As a beauty blogger and lover, I’m constantly trying out new cosmetic, skincare and hair care products. However, over the past 2-3 years, I’ve been attempting to reign in my shopping and work through what I own through a comprehensive inventory system, periodic No-Buys, and yearlong Project Pans.
The below products are beauty items that I am happy to have finished over the past 3 months. Although the total number of products finished is not greater than the number of new items that entered my collection, I still view these finished products as a small victory. Please keep reading to see what I used up!
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Winter 2019 Beauty Empties
Setting Spray, Primer, Mascara, etc.
Unsurprisingly, my finished makeup is the smallest portion of my 2019 Beauty Empties Roundup.
Benefit Cosmetics – …They’re Real Mascara Mini | $12.00
Benefit’s …They’re Real Mascara* used to be my holy grail mascara when I was younger, but I’ve fallen out of love with this product. It is still a good mascara for adding length and separation, but my preferences have changed. I tend to go for mascaras that provide more volume and lift.
Bobbi Brown – Eye-Opening Mascara | $30.00
The Bobbi Brown Eye-Opening Mascara* is an amazing mascara for lifting the lashes and adding volume. The formula isn’t clumpy and applies easily. However, the mascara smudges quite a bit.
Laura Mercier – Primer Mini | $22.00
The Laura Mercier Primer* is a classic primer that I used to love growing up. While I love the lightweight feel of this primer, I never feel like it makes an impact on my skin.
Milani – Make It Last Setting Spray Mini |$10.00, CF
I received a mini of the Milani Make It Last Setting Spray* in my Beautycon L.A. Hauler bag last summer. Immediately, I was blown away by the quality of this setting spray given the price point. The nozzle evenly distributes the spray across the face without being too overpowering. My only complaint about this product is the packaging. After dropping this product, the upper portion of the bottle immediately detached and setting spray spilled all over my floor.
The Urban Decay All Nighter Long-Lasting Makeup Setting Spray* is a makeup staple for oily-skinned individuals everywhere because it does exactly what it promises to do. This spray beautifully sets my makeup and helps it to last all day or night despite my oil slick skin. I honestly forgot that I had this little travel size bottle, but was happy to use this up during a recent trip to Los Angeles.
I already own a backup of this product in the full-size version, so I’m happy to open this up and use it. That being said, I will caution buyers against stocking up on this spray because it does expire and when it does it develops a repugnant smell.
Lotions, Masks, Sunscreen, etc
As always, my skincare is the largest portion of my 2019 Beauty Empties Roundup.
The Algenist Sublime Defense Sunscreen* is my holy grail sunscreen that I have discussed in detail in previous posts on my blog. Finishing this particular bottle was ridiculously easy, This was a product I previously misplaced but then found.
Note: This product was recently renamed as the Ultra Lightweight UV Defense Fluid SPF 50.
The Drunk Elephant Bestie No. 9* is a lightweight jelly cleanser that promises to gently remove oil, makeup, and other pollutants from the skin. While the formula was extremely lightweight and non-irritating, I didn’t think this cleanser was a standout product. Moreover, much of the cleanser was wasted as the squeeze tube packaging leaked.
Drunk Elephant – B-Hydra Serum Mini | $8.32, CF
The B-Hydra Serum from Drunk Elephant* is a lightweight moisturizer serum that I enjoy using as a mixing medium for applying face serums or retinoid-based products. That being said, I don’t think this product is moisturizing enough to use on its own.
Fresh – Advanced Lip Therapy Treatment | $25.00
The Fresh Advanced Lip Therapy Treatment* is my favorite (and most bougie) lip balm. As someone with extremely dry lips, this lip treatment makes a noticeable difference in moisturizing my lips. Due to the high price tag, I typically apply this right before bed, so I wake up to supple-feeling lips.
I purchased the Glossier Invisible Shield Daily Sunscreen* during a Glossier brand haul in 2018 and was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed this sunscreen. I loved how lightweight this formula felt on the skin and how effective this was at protecting my skin from the sun. Also, the citrus smell was a bonus!
Although I enjoyed the Invisible Shield Sunscreen, I don’t like that this formula can’t be worn if I’m going to be active or sweating a lot. Also, I was frustrated at how quickly I ran through this sunscreen.
Golden Door – Soothing Cleansing Foam | $39.99
I received the Golden Door Soothing Cleansing Foam in a subscription box that a co-worker gifted to me. As a whole, I don’t love foaming cleansers because I don’t find that they last a long time or that they are the best at cleaning my face.
JJ Young – Pore Glow Mask | $14.99
The JJ Young Pore Glow Mask* was a surprise favorite that I discovered while shopping at CVS in 2018. I’ve raved about this in detail in a previous post so I won’t elaborate much here. However, I will say that I saw that my skin looked noticeably brighter after using this mask.
LUSH – Plum Rain Shower Gel Mini | $8.65
I received the LUSH Plum Rain Shower Gel as a birthday gift in 2018. While I don’t tend to purchase shower gels, this was a nice treat that left a pleasant, sweet smell on my skin.
LUSH – Rub Rub Rub Shower Scrub Mini | $8.65
I received the Rub Rub Rub Shower Scrub in the same birthday gift set and loved it. As someone who lives in a cold climate during the Winter, my feet usually need a lot of love during the colder months. I loved using this as a foot scrub to exfoliate my heels.
Neutrogena – Hydro Gel Water Boost Moisturizer with SPF 15 | $19.99
I love the Neutrogena Hydro Gel Water Boost Moisturizer* in both the jar and tube formulas because of how lightweight, but hydrating these products are for my oily skin. However, I loved this particular formula for travel and for going to the gym.
Simply put, the Neutrogena Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelettes* are some of the best makeup remover wipes on the market. They remove makeup with ease without drying out or irritating the skin. Currently, I only purchase wipes like this for use when traveling.
Palmer’s Cocoa Butter – Daily Skin Therapy Mini | $4.29
I received a mini of the Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Daily Skin Therapy in my Beauty Con L.A. 2018 Hauler Bag. Although Palmer’s is a well-known brand in the US, I never gave them too much thought prior to trying this moisturizer out. However, after using up this mini moisturizer, I was thoroughly impressed at how hydrating and long-lasting this moisturizer was on my skin.
I liked that it didn’t leave my skin feeling greasy. The only con is the OVERWHELMING cocoa smell… but thankfully this dissipates fairly quickly.
I received the Sephora Collection Waterproof Eye Makeup Remover* as part of a Free Skincare Bundle I received during a Sephora Promotion this past holiday season. Although I don’t typically buy Eye Makeup Remover, I was happy to receive this product. I took this makeup with me during a recent vacation.
Shampoo, Conditioner & Stylers
Hair Care Empties
As always, my hair care products comprise the largest portion of my 2019 Beauty Empties Roundup.
Cascadia – Hemp & Lemon Shampoo Mini
The Cascadia Hemp & Lemon Shampoo was a freebie that I received during a recent stay in Los Angeles. Typically, I try to avoid using these mini products, but when I ran out of my Garnier Fructis Travel Size Size Shampoo I was forced to use this shampoo.
I don’t believe this can be purchased individually (based on the brand’s website), but I didn’t find this shampoo particularly nourishing to my hair.
C.O. Bigelow – Lavender – Peppermint Shampoo
The C.O. Bigelow Lavender – Peppermint Shampoo was a delightful treat that I received during a recent stay at a hotel in Southern California. Again, I typically try to avoid using mini products like this, but when I ran out of shampoo during my stay I was forced to use this. The shampoo thoroughly cleansed my hair and left a delightful scent.
Garnier – Fructis Travel Size Shampoo | $4.83
The Garnier Fructis Travel Size Shampoo is not an item I would repurchase unless I was in a pinch. Not only did this shampoo leave my hair feeling greasy, but it didn’t do anything to ease my frizzy hair texture.
It’s a 10 – Miracle Shine Spray | $20.00
It really is a miracle. I love the It’s a 10 Miracle Shine Spray* because it gave my hair a beautiful glossy shine without drying it out, weighing it down, or making it look greasy. I use this both on dry and damp hair, during and after the blow dry process.
Love Beauty & Planet – Coconut Water & Mimosa Flower Shampoo | $8.99, CF
The Love Beauty & Planet Shampoo* was a huge disappointment. While I love what the brand’s emphasis on sustainability, the shampoo itself was subpar and made my scalp itch like crazy. Maybe this will work better for individuals who don’t have a sensitive scalp.
I was surprised that I like the Marajo Deep Treatment Butter. This was another product in the subscription box that I was gifted. When my hair became super dry and brittle this winter due to my need for a haircut, this mask breathed life back into my hair. I used this as a deep conditioner rather than a true mask (because I’m too impatient to let this sit in my hair for 10 minutes).
Pantene – ProV Travel Size Conditioner | $1.47
The Pantene ProV Daily Moisture Renewal Conditioner is a travel size conditioner that I finished on a trip this Winter. This conditioner felt lightweight in my hair, but it didn’t soften or detangle my hair enough for my specific hair needs.
RenPure – Conditioner | $9.99
RenPure is another brand that I rave about constantly – it is so great for a wide variety of hair types and hair needs. This gigantic, hydrating conditioner is one of my all-time favorites.
Hot Sexy Hair – Flash Me Quickie Blow Dry Spray | $18.95
Like so many of the products on this list, I’ve already raved about this product. If you are someone who frequently blowdries your hair, Flash Me is a wonderful option that will drastically cut down on your blow-dry time.
Total Finished Products: 28
Value of Finished Products: $406.23
Beauty Products I’m Tossing Out
Decluttered Beauty Products
In addition to aggregating 28 beauty empties, I conducted a mini declutter towards the end of the Winter season. It was time to let go of some old or expired products.
Differin – Differin Acne Gel | $28.99
Honestly, the Differin Acne Gel is one of the best acne treatments at the drug store. Unfortunately, this treatment expired before I could finish it. I would repurchase if I were in need.
L’OREAL – Color Riche Single Eyeshadows in Green Promenade & Pain Au Chocolat | $6.35 each
I used to love the Color Riche Shadows from L’Oreal, but I no longer reach for these anymore because I have similar colors in newer palettes or as singles. Moreover, these shadows are discontinued, so if I were to use these to create a look, you wouldn’t be able to grab them.
Milk Makeup – Watermelon Brightening Serum Mini | $14.00
To put it bluntly, I hated the Watermelon Brightening Serum* because of the greasy feeling it left on my skin. Also, the serum clogged my pores and caused a breakout. Would not repurchase.
I was gifted the Perfect Filter Eyeshadow Palette by a friend, but I didn’t touch it in the year that I owned this. After swatching this palette earlier this Winter, I knew I wouldn’t reach for it, so I gave this to my sister.
Value of Decluttered Products: $75.69
Final Thoughts on my Winter 2019 Beauty Empties
Beauty empties are a great way to determine what types of beauty and personal care products I actually enjoy using and would potentially repurchase. Also, keeping track of empties is a great way to keep track of how many products are leaving my collection compared to the volume I’m acquiring. Per usual, color cosmetic products are the hardest to use up, so this is usually accounted for the smallest percentage of my seasonal empties.
All in all, I’m pleased to have rounded up 28 beauty empties and to have gotten rid of another 5 products. Although I hate tossing out products, sometimes this is a necessity. The total value of the finished and decluttered products is $479.72 USD. From a percentage perspective, I’ve moved out approximately 12% of my 2019 makeup collection. In terms of my yearlong goal to finish or declutter 50% of my collection, I’m pacing slightly behind (because I keep buying new things).