The March 2021Empties

All right. All last night we had large machines moving through the neighborhood all accompanied by the random beeping. They are gone now and the power is on, the internet is connected and my work day can proceed as normal. Thank you ladies and gentlemen of the power and internet companies.

I salute your efforts.

And am thrilled the contents of my freezer are still frozen.

But now we move on to the Empties of March. it was an interesting mix of products this month.

the new bin

In case you are wondering about the Empties bin looking a little different, I ended up getting a new empties bin.  While my old plastic bin was great for smaller skin care item empties, it tended to overflow when I added shampoo containers and both washes to it and as a consequence I ended up throwing them away and forgetting to mention them because they were simply too much for the bin. 

This bin is canvas and can go in the washing machine if needed.  It comes from target.  It was one of their end cap items so I have no idea who the brand actually is.  I have no idea how long it will last but at the moment it seems quite sturdy. 

So, let’s start off with some of the larger items. This month I finished the Color Wow Color Security Shampoo and conditioner.  I love the fact that they are sulfate free, phthalate free and designed to help keep my hair color from fading. 

My hair liked them and I would recommend them to anyone with color treated hair.  In fact I would recommend nearly every Color Wow product to people with Color treated hair. if your color treated hair has an issue, they have a product. And Color treated hair is kind of their thing. They do it well.

This shampoo and conditioner also helped me out with the tangling of hair so I had to use less detangler.  They have different types, the set I used was for Normal to thick hair.  I believe they also have one for fine to normal hair.  For me this was a definite win and I will certainly be using them again.

Also being ordered again will be the Klorane dry shampoo.  This was the last of my Klorane dry shampoo with Oat milk.  It was a long time favorite but I have recently been loving the Nettle infused Klorane dry shampoo for dark hair.  They are both fantastic. Because I have dark hair I tend to lean more towards the Nettle infused version but I really just love the Klorane dry shampoo formula. 

It never feels heavy and even though dark hair always gets a white cast to it from dry shampoo it brushes out easily and leaves my hair glossy and fabulous.  Klorane is always a winner.  At the moment I am trying out the eco friendly packaged dry shampoo from Klorane so a review of that along with a little something special will be up soon. But yes, this is a product I would order again.

I am not so certain I would order the Essano Rosehip Micellar Water again though. I think this was a TJ Maxx purchase. It does an okay job removing most makeup.  It leaves a lot of foundation behind and is not good at all with mascara. It is good to use after a cleansing balm, especially if my skin is breaking out or irritated.  I like Micellar waters for that in general, however this one was a bit too floral for me.  It was an okay product but the scent turned me off and I’ve had better micellar waters.

This month I have an empty Re-nu contact lens solution in my empties bin  It is from Bausch and Lomb.  It is a great contact lens solution and I have used many bottles of it.  I would order it again. 

At the moment I am trying out the Bio True also from Bausch and Lomb and I think I might like it a little bit better.  It feels a little better in the eyes.  I would still repurchase the Re-Nu though as it is a great product

I am not going to repurchase the Luscious Hand cream in Citrus spritz from Ipsy’s Refreshments line.   It smelled okay and was a decent enough hand cream but it wasn’t a stand out.  In fact I have had the same issue with all of the Refreshments products I’ve tried thus far. They are generally okay, but not the best. I will use them while they are there but not reorder. They seem to be mediocre right across the board.

I have tried many much better hand creams and I will be ordering them in the future.  This is the sort of product that you use because it’s there, not because it is special. I used it, and used it up and now it is going away.

The three shave products that came with my first Dollar Shave club order when I was testing out the subscription also fall into the good enough to use if they are there, but not something I would re order.  They are the Dr. Carvers Prep Scrub, Shave Butter and Post Shave Dew. 

I like the thought of a prep scrub and have since started using a sugar scrub on my legs before I shave.  It has made a world of difference.  I like the concept, but the this prep scrub is easily out performed by other products.  he same applies to the shave butter and post shave dew.  There is nothing wrong with them, I just have many other products I like better. The razor was top notch though and I am thinking about reordering from them. I have a couple of other subscriptions I want to try out first though.

I was actually quite sad when I had to add my Milk Makeup Kush Lip Scrub and Lip Glaze to the empties bin this month.  Both are fantastic products that I really enjoyed using and would definitely order again.  I loved the convenience and formula of having the Kush lip scrub in a tube and I liked the formula and herbal scent to the Lip scrub. I also liked the easy to keep clean metal tip of the lip glaze. It wiped off clean after use and never got gunky. Both are products I would happily order repeatedly.

While we are on lips, I also enjoyed using the Teadora Wild Superfood Lip Drops.  These are little golden capsules that you twist open and apply to your lips.  While it is recommended that you use them morning and evening,

I found I really liked them at night.  They are just a little too much for day time wear for me.  However at night on dry chapped lips they were wonderful.  They coated the lips in soothing oil and were super hydration bombs for my lips.  If you are looking for a night time lip mask, I would highly recommend them.  I will be picking up another jar to keep around for the summer when I spend too much time in the sun.

I will not be repurchasing either of the Youth To The People Products in my empties bin this month.The first is the Kombucha 11% AHA Exfoliating Power toner.  To me it smelled like rubbing alcohol and  to be honest I didn’t see much change in my skin when I used it. 

The Adaptogen  Deep Moisture cream was too moisturizing for y skin.  If I had much drier skin it might have suited me better, but I don’t so it didn’t.  That is nothing against the product or brand.  I’ve tried a couple of things from YTTP that I liked, these just weren’t on the list as they didn’t suit my skin. And that is one of the best things about these sample sized products. They are large enough to give you a chance to see how your skin will react but small enough so that if you don’t like them you don’t waste a lot of product or money on purchasing a full size. While I have liked other things from the brand, I did not like either of these two products enough to use a full size.

I will more than likely be picking up a full sized bottle of the NeoGen Dermatology Real Ferment Micro essence.  It is the first essence I’ve really tried in my skin care routine and I really liked the effect it had on my skin.  I want to try out other products so I can get more of a feel for the essence category, but this worked so nicely on my skin that I am certain I will be circling back to it.

There will also be a definite full sized purchase of the Skyn Iceland Icelandic Youth Serum in the future. The sample was really small and I only managed to get just under two weeks with it, but in that time my skin felt fantastic.

A full size and a full trial is definitely on my list of upcoming product trials. I was very impressed with the brand. Prior to this I had only tried a mask or two from them. While I always liked their masks I never tried their serums. It was so worth trying out in any size. At least this one was and it is what will draw me to a full sized bottle.

I am not so certain I will purchase a full sized version of the Illamasqua Beyond the veil Primer. I like Illamasqua as a brand and routinely use several of their products.  In fact I was really excited to receive a sample of this in a subscription box because I love the regular Hydra veil primer from Illa masque. 

It is one of my favorite summertime primers. This is supposed to be the Hydra Veil primer blended with the Beyond the veil powder.  Both products are good and in theory this product should be really good.  For me it ended up being just okay. Personally I prefer the Hydra Primer.  That primer I will purchase from Illamasqua repeatedly.  I think this one however I will pass by.

I just finished using the Pearl Brightening Sleeping mask and although I had high hopes for it, I think I will have to admit that it is not for me.  It is too wet for me and ended up staining my pillow more than it ended up hydrating my skin.  I wanted to like it, I just didn’t.  I think you just really need very dry skin to use this sleeping mask.

I had better luck with the Dr Botanicals Pomegranate Sleeping Mask.  It was just enough hydration for me and even though I was still shiny when I went to bed, the mask mostly stayed on my face and absorbed in.  I felt hydrated in the morning after I used it (whereas I didn’t with the Pearl mask).I really like that this was a nice affordable sleeping mask and I am sure it will be making a return to my skin care line up.

Not making a return is the Avant Propanediol Mica Hyaluronic Maris Aqua Collagen Age Radiance Eye Cream.  I know with all of those terms you would think that it would be right up my alley. 

After all I like Hyaluronic acid and Collagen in my eye creams.  This one however clogged my pores something fierce.  I had enough bumpy texture to look like I was starting to turn into a Star Trek Character.  And that I can do without. 

This eye cream will not be returning to my skincare line any time soon. In general Avant is very hit or miss for me.  I have tried a couple of things I liked but mostly it is misses for me or so so products that I can easily walk away from. I was not sad to see it go. 

I was sad to finish the Amore Pacific Treatment Enzyme Peel Cleansing Powder. It is one of the brand’s best sellers for a reason.  Oh my darlings I am in love.  I used every grain of this and even contemplated writing poetry to it..  I loved the mixing with water, the foaming texture, the scent and the fantastic clean it gave my skin.  While I like a lot of cleansers and would repurchase them, this goes on my list of absolute loves.  This is a product I will stalk and stockpile.

Also in the list of satalk and stockpile are the Elemis Papaya Enzyme Peel.  I went through two of the,  They are masks.  They smell good enough to eat Although please don’t and my skin felt fantastic after I used them. 

I went through two travel sized tubes of them  I have a third one but I am holding off on using it while I use other products. 

I know that this is a product I will order in the full size and keep on hand.  I really enjoyed using it.  While I like Elemis products in general, this is right there at the top of the list for me.

This month I also have a sample size of the La Roch Posay Retinol B3 Serum.  I liked the sample and I will be picking up a full sized version to try out. 

My skin reacted really well to the serum.  At the moment I am using the Versed Press Restart Gentle Retinol (which I also like but purchased because the store was out of the La Roche Posay) but I will be picking up a full sized soon.

And finally we have a sample size of the MAC Cleanse Off Oil. I know it is a very tiny sample. I am not certain where I ended up getting it actually. Maybe it was at the MAC Counter. I do know that I had several of them and they were in the back of my skincare drawer.

I’ve been using them up periodically just to use them up. I wasn’t doing that because I wanted them gone but because they were small glass vials of oil that were rolling around in the bottom of the drawer which didn’t seem like the smartest of options. it actually seemed like a good way to break glass, loose product and potentially cut myself reaching into the drawer. So I used them up.

I liked it, the oil worked well and I would definitely repurchase it.  It is actually one of the oil products I liked the best out of the ones I’ve used. It did a great job removing makeup and didn’t cloud my contacts or sting my eyes if it happened to get into them.  It is a really good makeup removing oil. While I am glad that there was no glass breakage I am sad that this is my last vial of this oil. I have one other oil in my collection that I have been trying to work through for a while now. It isn’t my favorite but it works (its the scent) so I won’t be purchasing the Mac Oil for a while, but I think as incentive for using up that oil, I will be promising myself that once it is used up, I can purchase the Mac Cleanse off Oil in a full size. Sometimes bribery works.

And that my darlings is the Empties bin for March.  It had the good the bad and the only so so this month.  But now the bin can be emptied and new products can be used and judged. I hope you enjoyed this review as much as I did.

Using the Milk Kush Lip Scrub

Is there a category of lip product that I do not like? I’m not sure.  From lip balms to lip masks, I am a big fan.  However, when it comes to lip scrubs, not all of them are equal.  I have tried several that were too harsh, left too much oil and residue on my lips, or left none and felt that I was just running sandpaper over my lips.

While I like exfoliating my lips, I draw the line at sandpaper. 

Lips are one of the few body parts that needs a little assistance when shedding the excess skin, hence the need for lip scrubs in case you were wondering.  And who doesn’t need a little papmpering for their lips now and again?

Most lip scrubs come in little jars.  While I willingly use several of this variety, I am more partial to the ones that look like lip products.  And no it isn’t the shiny lipstick like exterior I am drawn to, Although it does make storing them with the lipsticks easier. I like this style because it means I don’t have to dip my finger into the pot of product and potentially contaminate the jar.   With the stick like scrubs the product just needs to be rolled up and applied.  The trick is that many of the stick ones tend to be drier because of the form they take. I am pleased to see more of them appearing on the market and hope this trend continues.

The left side has the lip scrub on the lips and the right simply has the exfoliate wiped off with one swipe of the washcloth.

The Kush Lip Scrub from Milk Makeup manages to strike a really good balance between nurturing oil and exfoliation.  It is neither too wet or too dry.  The exfoliate it rather fine as well so there isn’t a lot of harsh scrubbing.  And when you have finished you can just pat away the excess particles without having to rinse them off. 

I had one lip scrub that was really heavy on the product left behind.  So many sugar particles were left behind that I had to actually rinse it off my lips and then the rinsing took the moisturizing oil so the product felt a bit pointless. While I did have to brush off the excess particles one swipe did it and then it was all good. The nurturing oils stayed behind.

This lip balm smells of peppermint, does an excellent job and personally I like that it has a magnetic cap.  I don’t know why that amuses me, but it does.  I like feeling the lid pull back into place with a click.

Is it my favorite lip scrub? No. That title still belongs to my Hanalei lip scrub, but this does come in a close second.  And to be honest even though it is a close second, I have been reaching for it more often as the Hanalei is in a jar rather than in a stick format. The difference between the two products isn’t that wide a gap and the format of the Milk Makeup product makes me want to use it more. It is one of those times where packaging actually is a benefit to the product. Do I need the magnetic cap? No but it is fun. More importantly is the ease of use that the tube provides along with the good product inside. I enjoy having it around and will continue to use it. Would I pick it up again? Yes. I tend to use lip scrubs once a week and replace them once they have been used up. I like the peppermint scent, and the way the product itself. It is an excellent product that I really enjoy keeping around. While this product will last me a while I have one cousin who is a vegan and fond of peppermint who might be getting one of these in her christmas stocking this year as well.