Happy New Year! We may be into the second day of the year now, but as far as my blog is concerned, we’re kicking off 2019 today, as New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day are reserved for celebrating my anniversary with my husband (we long distanced to start with, and it was NYD for me, and NYE for him, so celebrate both days), so I intentionally avoided working yesterday to spend time with my better half. But now we’re back to the daily grind, and that means my empties post is due, which this time, includes empties from November and December. And for my normal empties post, this is a lot, so grab a drink, or a snack, or both, and let’s jump in.
Starting with hair care, this is a category of cosmetics I’m particularly low maintenance about. While I keep dry shampoos, heat protectant sprays, etc, I prefer to use as little product in my hair as possible, as my hair and scalp are so easily congested. So my regularly used hair products are shampoo, and a hair mask once or twice a week as a conditioner. So it was to be expected that I’d eventually finish up my L’OREAL Elvive Dream Lengths Restoring Shampoo, formulated for long, damaged hair. I picked this up before the move, and if I recall it was vaguely during the summer time, so before I went actively cruelty-free. As far as the product itself goes, I really liked how easy it was to work through my hair, but like all shampoos, when my hair got to it’s thickest, heaviest and most difficult to work with, I did have trouble washing it all out. This isn’t the product’s fault as far as I’m concerned, as I put myself in that situation by putting off cutting my hair for far longer than I should have.
But, as much as I like the performance of this product, L’OREAL aren’t a cruelty-free brand yet so I won’t consider repurchasing this until their animal testing policy changes. However, if you’re not pursuing a cruelty-free philosophy, then don’t let that put you off, as the product does work great otherwise. It’s just unfortunate that my values don’t align with the company’s.
Moving to a couple of random bits, I regularly work through packets of my Superdrug 100% Pure Cotton Wool rounds, which I use everyday. I’ve tried a couple of different cotton rounds from Boots, a couple of supermarkets own-brand, and Superdrug’s are by far my favourite to use. They’re soft to swipe over the skin, yet they don’t fall apart when soaked in product. I use these for my toners, water-based cleansers, micellar waters, etc, so I work through these very easily. I usually don’t mention these in my empties, as I work through them so fast and store them in my acrylic holder that I’m not sure exactly when the packet officially becomes an ’empty’, but I feel like these are worth mentioning as they’re basically a favourite of mine.
Moving to the B. Makeup Brush Cleansing Wipes, I gave these a go for a while and during early December finished up the packet. They’re decent wipes, but I wasn’t a fan of the smell of these, and I’m not sure what the smell is exactly to pin it down. It’s a nice product concept for quick-cleaning between uses, but I’m using some ordinary makeup wipes at the moment that do the job better and are multi-functional since they’re designed for the face. So if you’re curious to try them, I encourage you to, but I don’t think they’re necessary. I have reviewed these wipes in more detail though, so if you are curious and want a more comprehensive idea of my experience, I encourage you to give it a read.
Next we have sheet masks of a sort, which is a bit of an achievement in itself since I usually forget to use these. The first is the Superdrug Deep Cleansing Facial Sheet Mask, which was fun to use, but I wouldn’t call it “cleansing”. If anything it was deeply refreshing, and I pulled this out to use on a day my face felt flushed, congested and I couldn’t rid myself of my headache and wanted to force myself to slow down. This mask made me just sit down, watch some YouTube videos and relax. I find my mind never really settles down, so I tend to be fidgety or seeking something to do. While it’s good to crave productivity, it’s also important to give your body a chance to rest, and I think sheet masks are a good way to do that: not only are sheet masks awkward to move around in a lot of the time – forcing me to sit down and rest, it’s a nice treat for my skin. Generally speaking, I prefer Korean brands when it comes to sheet masks, but if you’ve never used sheet masks before these are affordable options that are easier to get access to. I have also seen some Superdrug stores beginning to stock Korean brand sheet masks, but I think it depends on the individual store.
The last sheet-style mask is the Dermactin-TS Collagen Gel Patch[es], which I reviewed back January 2016, which gives you an indication of how long this single sachet has been with me. I planned to bring this back to my parents over the Christmas festive period, but I actually used this before I traveled back, so a proverbial pat on the back is due! Eye patches, sheets masks, etc are a product I’m extremely enthusiastic to try, but I find awkward to fit into my daily routine, so a sort of ‘beauty resolution’ for 2019 will be to use them more often. I’m pretty sure I said that back in 2018 or even 2017…
A mention for this category that I don’t have anymore is the Superdrug Hydrating Self-Heating Mask, which I’ll link to tomorrow when I post my monthly ‘Products I’m Passing On’ post, where I do have a photo of it. It contains spoilers for that post, so I’ll update the post tomorrow when it goes live with the link if you’re reading this at a future time. Self heating masks are a fun concept and not one I’m unfamiliar with, but this particular sheet mask isn’t quite right for me. It was fun though, so I have no regrets in trying it. Edit: I don’t want to remove the original text, but here is the link to the planned post.
I used up a couple of makeup removers throughout November and December, the first being the L’OREAL Micellar Water, which I’ve reviewed before. For reasons I discussed earlier in the post, I won’t be repurchasing this, but I am happy I used it up, and now the packaging can go in the recycling bin. I really liked the size of the bottle and the amount of product, so I’m curious if this will become more of a trend with more brands to have 400ml bottles of products.
Another make-up remover I used up is the Simple Eye Make-Up Remover, which I used alongside the micellar water I just talked about. I did review this in October, so I won’t go into too much detail about it, but it was great for removing most eye makeup, although waterproof liners, mascaras, etc will prove more stubborn. So I wouldn’t say it’s claim on the front is true or untrue – I think that’s dependent on each waterproof product on a case-by-case basis, but it did what I needed it to do. Will I be repurchasing this? I’m not sure, there’s some conflicting voices regarding Simple’s cruelty-free status, so for now I’m waiting to learn more and find more reliable evidence to help me make an informed decision. I did buy this before I went actively cruelty-free however, so this wasn’t on my mind at the time.
I wasn’t sure where to put this product, but the Nip + Fab Clean Fix Gel is an empty of sorts as I think it’s so old now that I don’t want to risk using it on my skin, and I don’t feel comfortable passing it on. I picked this up at least two years ago from TK Maxx, so I just feel better washing the product out, then recycling the packaging. From what I remember of my experiences however, it was too thick a gel for my skin. Although my skin is oily, it’s also sensitive and I find lighter formulas work better to keep both the oily and sensitive aspects of my skin happy.
I only used up one eye product, which is the Superdrug Vitamin C Brightening Eye Gel. This is another product I’ve reviewed, but to keep it short and sweet, while I think the product itself was nice, I think I would have enjoyed it more had I put this in my desk’s drawer to touching up rather than as a dedicated eye gel. It’s a roll-on format that I’ve discovered from trial and error works best for me when it’s for refreshing my eyes throughout the day. This is a cruelty-free product though, so I’m happy that I can look at this as something I can repurchase in the future.
I worked through a couple of lip balms throughout November and December, the first being the SoftLips Vitamin Enriched Lip Balm. I reviewed this product as well, and my only gripe was how quickly I worked through it. I opened this up late September, and emptied it at the start of November, which is faster than I usually work through lip balms. It’s a nice lip balm for touching up throughout the day though, and are allegedly cruelty-free, based on their FAQ page.
Another lip balm I used up is the Simple Kind to Lips Essential Lip Balm SPF 15, which I have also reviewed. I finished this up most recently during December and reviewed it mid-November, so another lip balm I used up much faster than I would have liked. It’s a decent enough lip balm, but I have found that the slightly ‘slick’ texture I tolerated from this formula doesn’t fit me so much anymore, so I can’t see myself repurchasing this. If that’s a formula you like however, it’s worth considering. Again, Simple’s cruelty-free status is up to questioning to me since I’m not fully read on their case, so bear this in mind as well if you also pursue cruelty-free only brands.
Kicking off the first category of makeup empties, I want to start with lip products. A product I planned to remove from my collection after the new year is the Maybelline Color Drama Intense Lip Paint, in the shade ‘370 Vamped Up‘. This sat mostly unused in my collection while I had it opened, so I decided it’s no longer worth holding onto. The nude shade from this line looks gorgeous swatched, although I found mine was not only open, but half empty so I threw it out immediately, which infuriated me. If/when Maybelline goes cruelty-free, I plan to look at these again (assuming they don’t get discontinued), but for now I have to be patient.
Moving to two lip liners, I’m counting these as empties purely because I’ve learned and accepted that lip liners are not my thing. The first is the GOSH Velvet Touch Lip Liner in ‘002 Antique Rose‘ which is a gorgeous shade that looks like a dusty deep rose on my lips. I really like the shade, so if I can find this shade in a satin lipstick formula, I can see myself struggling to resist buying it. GOSH is a cruelty-free brand so I look forward to trying more of their products. The second lip liner is one I’m emptying somewhat regretfully, which is the Rimmel Exaggerate Full Colour Lip Liner in the shade ‘063 Eastend Snob‘. It’s a gorgeous shade, I adore it, but it’s also quite an old product in my collection, so alongside being a lip liner format which doesn’t fit with me, I have to force myself to use it. Unfortunately, while Rimmel expresses a passion to convince the Chinese authorities to move away from animal testing, still abide by their laws in the meantime, so they’re not technically cruelty-free. This means while I’d love to explore their lipstick lines to find this gorgeous shade in a satin lipstick formula, I intend to wait until their animal testing policy changes to be fully cruelty-free.
Eyeshadow and brow products next, I’m emptying my Maybelline Color Tattoo 24HR Creamy Mattes Gel-Cream Eyeshadow pot in the shade ‘Creme de Nude 93‘. It’s a decent eyeshadow base but I’m finding it’s drying out so I want to remove it from my collection. I’m finding the shade ‘Creme de Rose 91‘ is a slightly better shade and undertone match for my pale neutral-cool skin tone, but I have the feeling that one will dry out soon. I use these eyeshadow pots as bases for other eyeshadows to sit on top of, and they seem to work well. I’m quite fond of both shades I mentioned as they help tone down some of the veins on my eyelids, which tend to be quite prominent because my skin is very pale, so the contrast feels very obvious to me.
A brow product I’ve used up is The Body Shop Brow Definer pencil in the shade ‘03 Dark Brown‘. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed this brown pencil and I’m currently working through my backup, but if you’re curious what my comprehensive thoughts were, check out my review. While there is still a teeny bit of product left, I consider this an empty because even with the silver lid at the other end, the pencil is now so awkward to use that I’ve considered it ‘used up within reasonable means’. That I’m using up my backup hopefully speaks volumes for my feelings on it, and I definitely intend to keep this product in mind when I need to look at replacements.
The last product is technically a mascara, the Seventeen Clear Definition Mascara, but it’s a product I used as a brow setting product. I use mascaras rarely, mostly for special occasions, so when I realised I had this clear mascara in my backup stash, I decided to try using this to set my brows instead where it would get more use. For setting brows I found it didn’t really do anything except just add more bulk to my brows. I didn’t try this on my lashes as I simply don’t enjoy the process of removing them at the end of the day, and because Seventeen as a brand has been discontinued, I decided it was time to cut my losses and just let this product go.
And this concludes all of the empties of November and December 2018. It was quite a long post, so thank you for sticking with me for so long. I’m proud of myself for finishing up so many makeup products – I find makeup takes forever to work through for me. Although we’re technically into 2019 now, I feel like once I hit ‘publish’ I’ll be able to let go of that last little bit of baggage from 2018.
So thank you for reading my blog post, I hope 2019 greets you with great health, happiness and accomplishment, and let’s pursue the new year with a positive mindset.