Makeup Minimalism | Winter 2019 Beauty Empties (Cosmetics, Skincare, Hair Care)

Project Pan 2019 | Beauty Empties | Makeup Empties | Skincare Empties | Haircare Empties | Beauty Trash | Beauty Use-Ups

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!

Winter 2019 Beauty Empties | Cosmetics

Unsurprisingly, my finished makeup is the smallest portion of my 2019 Beauty Empties Roundup.

2019 Winter Empties | Cosmetic Products I've Used Up
Setting Spray, Primer, Mascara, etc.

Benefit Cosmetics – …They’re Real Mascara Mini | $12.00 USD

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 USD

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 USD

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 USD

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.

Urban Decay – All Nighter Long-Lasting Makeup Setting Spray – Travel Size | $8.15 USD

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.

Winter 2019 Beauty Empties | Skincare

As always, my skincare is the largest portion of my 2019 Beauty Empties Roundup.

2019 Winter Empties | Skincare Products I've Used Up
Lotions, Masks, Sunscreen, etc

Algenist – Sublime Defense Ultra Defense Sunscreen SPF 50 | $28.00 USD

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.

Drunk Elephant – Bestie No. 9 Jelly Cleanser | $6.80 USD

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 USD

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 USD

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.

Glossier – Invisible Shield Daily Sunscreen SPF 35 | $25.00 USD

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 USD

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 USD

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 USD

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 USD

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 USD

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.

Neutrogena – Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelettes | $6.99 USD

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 USD

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.

Sephora Collection – Waterproof Eye Makeup Remover Deluxe Sample | $2.20 USD

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.

Winter 2019 Beauty Empties | Hair Care

As always, my hair care products comprise the largest portion of my 2019 Beauty Empties Roundup.

2019 Winter Empties | Haircare Products I've Used Up
Shampoo, Conditioner & Stylers

Cascadia – Hemp & Lemon Shampoo Mini | TBD Value ($2.00 USD estimate)

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 | TBD Value ($2.00 USD estimate)

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 USD

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 USD

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 USD

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.

LUSH – I Love Juicy Shampoo | $32.99 USD

I constantly rave about the I Love Juicy Shampoo from LUSH so I won’t go into detail. Great for individuals with sensitive scalps and/or greasy hair.

Marajo – Deep Treatment Butter | $29.00 USD

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 USD

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 USD

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 USD

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 USD

Decluttered Cosmetic & Skin Care 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.

2019 Winter Empties | Decluttered Products
Beauty Products I’m Tossing Out

Differin – Differin Acne Gel | $28.99 USD

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 USD 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 USD

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.

NYX – Perfect Filter Eyeshadow Palette in Marine Layer | $20.00 USD

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.

Decluttered Products: 5

Value of Decluttered Products: $75.69 USD

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).

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2019 Winter Empties | Cosmetics, Skincare, Haircare

Want to learn more about Project Panning or how to use excel to create an inventory system? Check out these posts for more details Project Panning 101 and How to Create a Beauty Inventory System.

Did you enjoy reading my Winter 2019 Beauty Empties Roundup? Check out my MASSIVE mid-year beauty empties roundup or beauty declutter.

Have you tried any of the finished products from my Winter 2019 Beauty Empties roundup before? What products did you use up this Winter? Please let me know in the comments below.

30 thoughts on “Makeup Minimalism | Winter 2019 Beauty Empties (Cosmetics, Skincare, Hair Care)

  1. Wow this sustainability and resourcefulness mindset is so admirable, I don’t think I could really get myself into that head space because I just love make up WAY TOO MUCH. I can see I will get to a point of no return though so I’m trying not to spend too much on it. I liked how you added up your loses and costs because it’s much more real if you see it in terms of money. I saw a few of my faves in there too which I’m close to using up too, I’m glad I’m not the only one that burns through them!
    Alex x

    1. Hah thank you – trying to refrain from buying makeup is honestly such a challenge (and my spreadsheet tracking is the one thing that really helps)… it took a long time for me to get to this point lol! And i’m so curious about which products are your favorites!

      1. A spreadsheet?! Wow you are organised!! I don’t think I could ever be at that level, go you! Well done you for getting there though. The urban decay setting spray is a life saver and the LUSH plum rain shower gel

  2. I think I mentioned this on your blog before, but I love how organized you are with your makeup (and your minimalistic perspective)! I’ve been trying to reduce the amount I buy because I don’t think I really use makeup often enough. I really want to try the Rub, Rub, Rub from Lush though! I would probably use it as a foot exfoliant too haha.

    1. Aw thank you so much! I’m FAR from a minimalist with my makeup, but I’m actively trying to keep my collection from exploding haha!! Being organized with it really does help. <3

      Def let me know if you try Rub, Rub, Rub!

  3. Brilliant job! I can’t believe how many empties there were! Personally, I’m a fan of They’re Real mascara, I always get asked if my lashes are real when I’m wearing it. But like you, not using it as much now, more for when I’m wanting to do a thorough job with the makeup!

  4. You used a lot of excellent products. The one that stood out to me was the Glossier because I love light weight sun screen. That is the type product I can and should use everyday!

  5. I always love it when I successfully get a product to its empty state. Though, it takes a lot to get beauty products there even though it seems impossible, hehe. Oooh, mascaras that add some volume are great! YESSS setting sprays go a long way. Neutrogena makes great makeup remover wipes. I need to check out Lush’s mini scrub. OMG!!! I’ve used Love Beauty & Planet’s shampoo and conditioner before and even though they’re about sustainability, their products are very light and don’t really do the job. Wow, that is a lot of value for beauty products. Thanks for sharing this list!

    Nancy ♥

  6. I love how you set up these posts. So organized & easy to read! Surprisingly, I’ve not used any of these products except the UD All Nighter Spray. I don’t have oily skin so maybe that’s why it didn’t work for me!

    1. Thank you so much. <3 There's usually so many products so I have to keep it organized! If you're looking for something more hydrating, MAC Prep + Prime Fix+ works well, as do the Mario Badescu facial sprays! 😀

  7. I really want to try the I Love Juicy shampoo – lush always looks amazing, and I’ve never actually tried anything from there before. But I’ve looked at this shampoo so many times before. Palmers products are always a go to for me. I love their hand cream – it smells almost good enough to eat! And it works so well too – some hand creams can be quite greasy but the Palmer ones and Body Shop ones are my favourite for their non-greasiness.

  8. This is an interesting thing to see – I like seeing what other people use. I love the Neutrogena makeup wipes as well and the Hydrogel Moisturizer – I have really dry skin esp in the winter and this product has helped me immensely. Thanks for sharing!

    Morgan @

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