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 this Spring!
Hourglass – Be Cautious Mascara Mini | $14.50 USD (CF)
I received a couple mini samples of the Hourglass Be Cautious Extreme Mascaras in my Hauler Bag from Beautycon L.A. ’19. This mascara did a great job at adding length and separation to my lashes, but I tend to prefer formulas that lift and add volume to my mascaras. I don’t think I would purchase this full price.
Kat Von D – Tattoo Liner in Trooper | $20.00 USD (CF)
Finishing my Kat Von D Tattoo Liner felt quite bittersweet because I love this eyeliner but have no intentions of repurchasing it. In terms of longevity, staying power, opacity, and ease of application this is truly one of the best liquid liners I’ve ever used. However, I won’t be purchasing this eyeliner due to problematic statements that were made by the brand’s founder and namesake. I won’t discuss the controversy here – if you’re curious just do a quick search on YouTube or Google.
L.A. Girl – Ultimate Stay Autoliner in Nonstop Nude | $7.00 USD (CF)
I received the L.A. Girl Ultimate Stay Autoliner in Nonstop Nude at Beautycon NYC ’18… and I’m thrilled I did! This liner truly is long-lasting, easy to apply, and pigmented. Moreover, the color is actually a close dupe for the Kylie Cosmetics Dolce K lip liner. I found the formula great when worn under a lip gloss or lipstick. However, I do recommend applying this overtop a lip balm.
L’OREAL – Brow Stylist® Boost & Set™ Volumizing Brow Mascara (Clear) | $10.99 USD
After finishing my Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Gel, I set out to try a less expensive drugstore alternative for a clear brow gel. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed the L’OREAL Brow Stylist Boost & Set Volumizing Clear Brow Gel. The wand is super small and great for setting the brows and adding a bit of volume. It isn’t as stiff or long-lasting as the ABH Brow Gel, but I preferred the lighter hold and smaller wand. Plus, this is a fraction of the price of high-end brow gels. I’d definitely recommend this brow gel for anyone looking for an affordable alternative.
MAC – Prep + Prime Fix+ Setting Spray | $27.00 USD
In theory, I’m supposed to despise the MAC Prep + Prime Fix+ Setting Spray because I have oily skin and this particular setting spray provides a dewy finish to the skin. No other setting spray melts my powder makeup quite like Fix+. Does this help my makeup to last longer? No. But I am certainly planning to pick this up again because of how beautifully this sets my face.
NYX – HD Shadow Base | $6.99 USD (CF)
To be fair, I’ve been using the Urban Decay Primer Potion for 10+ years now so I clearly have a favorite eye base. Nevertheless, 2018 and 2019 have been the years for me to rediscover amazing drugstore beauty buys. The NYX HD Shadow Base is quite comparable to the Too Faced Shadow Insurance, as the formula is very lightweight and thin. It provides slight pigmentation but is not as thick or pigmented as the Urban Decay Primer Potion. Although this did work to increase the longevity of my eyeshadow, I didn’t find it to be as effective as my beloved Primer Potion. For that reason, I would not repurchase unless I was in a pinch… If your eye lids aren’t oil slicks (like mine), this could be a fine, affordable alternative.
NYX – Micro Brow Pencil in Chocolate | $12.50 USD (CF)
The NYX Micro Brow Pencil in Chocolate is an awesome drugstore dupe for the Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz. It is easy to apply, pigmented, and long-wearing without smudging throughout the day. Nevertheless, I would not repurchase this brow pencil, as I’m currently using a prestige pencil that I prefer more. Also, this particular shade was too warm for my hair color.
Sephora Collection – Contour Eye Pencil 24-Hour Wear in Boyfriend’s Jeans | $2.00 USD
Without a doubt, the Sephora Contour Eye Pencil in Boyfriend’s Jeans is the oldest eyeliner in my collection. I received this mini in an old Sephora Play box in 2016. I was surprised by how much I loved this. Although this is described as an electric blue color, this pencil looks more navy when applied on the eye.
The Sephora Collection Eyeliners perform just as good as my high-end eyeliners. Boyfriend’s Jeans was pigmented, easy to apply on the eye, and lasted all day (whether applied on the lid or in the waterline). I would definitely repurchase in the future).
Amlactin – Rapid Relief Restore Lotion Mini | $3.72 USD
I received this mini Rapid Relief Restore Lotion from Amlactin during Beautycon NYC ’19. Although this moisturizer did its job to restore my skin and leave it feeling supple, I found the scent of this lotion repugnant. The smell had a “skincare” smell… but almost like skincare that had gone bad. I’m glad to have only received a mini because I wouldn’t have been able to work through an entire full-size lotion from the brand.
C’Est Moi – Purifying Charcoal Clay Facial Mask Single
I received the C’Est Moi Purifying Charcoal Clay Facial Mask single in my Beautycon Haul bag this year. I was excited to try this product because I had not yet tried anything from the brand. All-in-all, I found that this mask did a great job at clarifying my oily skin after a long weekend of travel. Although the mask was quite drying and tight on the skin, I do think that this is a great option for anyone looking to detoxify and clean out their pores. I would consider purchasing again in the future.
Caudalie – Vino Perfect Radiance Serum Mini | $26.33 USD
I received the Caudalie Vino Perfect Radiance Serum Mini in a Skincare Minis bundle from Sephora this past December. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed this product. Unlike Vitamin C-based serums, the powerful brightening ingredient in this serum is Viniferine GrapeVine Sap – immediately upon application, I saw a clear improvement in the overall brightness and feeling of my skin. Additionally, the Vino Perfect Radiance Serum left my skin feeling plump and hydrating. I’m glad to have received a full-size of this particular product in a subscription box that I was gifted. When I run out of the full-size, I intend to repurchase.
CotZ – Prime and Protect Tinted Sunscreen SPF 40 Sample |$8.86 USD (CF)
I received a free sample of the CoTz Prime and Protect Tinted Sunscreen at Beautycon NYC ’19. I enjoyed this sunscreen because it was lightweight, non-greasy, and played well with other products. No pilling, no strange white film. Honestly, this could work effectively as a primer and a sunscreen. However, I am unlikely to repurchase this sunscreen at this time because (1) I have two other full-size sunscreens I am working on finishing and (2) I am unsure whether this is reef safe.
(2) Drunk Elephant – B-Hydra Serum Mini | $8.32 USD (CF)
I finished my second B-Hydra Serum Mini and my feelings on this serum haven’t changed, negatively or positively. This is a great hydrating serum to use as a mixing medium when using other lightweight serums. I’d be open to purchasing this again but I’m not rushing out to get this.
Drunk Elephant – C-Tango Multivitamin Eye Cream Mini | $21.33 USD (CF)
The Drunk Elephant C-Tango Multivitamin Eye Cream is what I would describe as a classic eye cream. I didn’t see any brightening effects, but this did moisturize my under-eye area. I preferred to use this as my nighttime cream. Although this cream was fine, I would not repurchase because I recently repurchased my favorite eye cream.
Drunk Elephant – Lala Retro Whipped Cream Mini | $18.00 USD (CF)
The Drunk Elephant Lala Retro Whipped Cream Mini was a delightful discovery this Winter / Springtime because this is the first cream moisturizer that I’ve been able to use consistently without experiencing any breakouts. This all-purpose cream is meant to moisturize and prevent signs of aging and I believe that it does what it promises. I will consider repurchasing this again.
Drunk Elephant – Protini Polypeptide Creme Mini | $20.00 USD (CF)
The Drunk Elephant Protini Polypeptide Moisturizer is a hydrating, lightweight gel moisturizer that helps to combat dryness, restore firmness and elasticity, and prevent signs of aging. Again, like the Lala Retro, I believe that this product lives up to its claims so I will be happy to repurchase this again in the future for my morning moisturizer.
Drunk Elephant – Shaba Complex Eye Serum Mini | $20.00 USD
Of the two Drunk Elephant Eye Creams, I preferred the Shaba Complex Eye Serum. The formula was very lightweight, but powerful in hydrating and brightening the appearance of my eye area. I applied this under my eye and around my orbital bone in the mornings. Although this is pricey, half a pump was sufficient for me to use on both eyes. This cream lasted me for several months, despite the tiny size.
Although I enjoyed this formula, I will not repurchase because my IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye Eye Cream is better at brightening my eye.
Farmacy – Green Clean Makeup Meltaway Cleansing Balm with Echinacea GreenEnvy™ Deluxe Mini | $5.28 USD (CF)
Like many of the other products on this list, I received a deluxe sample of the Farmacy Green Clean Makeup Meltaway Cleansing Balm for free. Despite my self-proclaimed status as a skincare junkie, I had not tried any products from Farmacy until snagging the freebie of the cleansing balm. Although I did enjoy this balm, I found that I needed to use a lot of product to actually remove all of my makeup. Moreover, given how well the Pond’s Cold Cream works to remove makeup, I have a hard time justifying paying the full price for this premium product.
Fourth Ray – Cleansing Duo Mini Set | $10.00 USD (CF)
I received the Fourth Ray Cleansing Duo Mini Set for free during a ColourPop purchase earlier this year. Had I not been given these deluxe mini products, I would not have tried the brand. After using the cleanser and the makeup remover oil, I can say with certainty that I would not repurchase the facial cleanser. The cleanser was quite drying on the skin (despite my oily skin). However, I would consider repurchasing the facial oil if I were placing a large ColourPop order in the future.
Gold Bond – Overnight Hand & Body Lotion | $7.99 USD (CF)
I received the Gold Bond Overnight Hand & Body Lotion from Influenster in January. When I think of Gold Bond, I tend to think of their foot-focused products, so I was totally blown away at how effective this body lotion was at locking in hydration without leaving my skin feeling sticky or gross. This is definitely a product I would consider purchasing again in the future.
LUSH – Dream Cream Body Lotion | $8.65 USD (CF)
LUSH’s Dream Cream Body Lotion was gifted to me for my birthday. I love LUSH’s haircare products, but I’ve tried very little of the brand’s skincare. The Dream Cream Body Lotion is a super lightweight, calming body lotion containing oat milk, chamomile, and lavender. In terms of the consistency, this is a liquid-like formula that can leave the skin feeling a little damp initially, but this will eventually dry down. Overall, this is a fantastic moisturizer for individuals with sensitive, itch-prone skin. I would definitely repurchase this in the future.
Patchology – moodpatch Perk Up Eye Gels | $3.00 USD (CF)
I received the Patchology moodpatch Perk Up Eye Gels for free at the Patchology Booth at Beautycon NYC ’19. These green tea-infused eye patches promise to re-energize and de-puff the under-eye area while making the skin look brighter. If I’m being honest, I just don’t tend to buy single-use masks like this because I find them to be somewhat wasteful. This was fine to use, but I don’t think I would purchase this.
Philosophy – Purity Made Simple Ultra Lightweight Moisturizer Deluxe Mini | $1.24 USD
Honestly, this sample of the Purity Made Simple Moisturizer was too small to make an impression on me. I love that Philosophy makes products that are intended to be gentle on the skin. I’d be open to picking up another moisturizer from Philosophy.
Pixi by Petra – Rose Flash Balm Mini | $7.33 USD (CF)
Although I knew this product had a rose scent, I didn’t realize that the Rose Flash Balm scent would be so overpowering. As a whole, I found this balm to be underwhelming. It did give my skin a radiant, plump look and it did hydrate my skin. However, this balm does not play well with others. On the days I used the Rose Flash Balm in the morning, the balm didn’t play well with my sunscreen, primer, or foundation. Product balled up, sat on my skin, and added unwanted texture issues. I recommend using this as a nighttime cream, rather than in the morning.
Pixi by Petra – Rose Cream Cleanser | $7.33 USD (CF)
Unlike the Rose Balm, the Rose Cream Cleanser has a much less overpowering scent. This cleanser is meant to leave the skin feeling softer and stronger. However, I didn’t really notice much of a difference using this cleanser versus the other cleansers in my collection. I don’t think I’d repurchase this in the future, but I was glad to give this a try.
Pixi by Petra – Rose Tonic Mini | $7.34 USD (CF)
Out of the three Rose Collection minis from Pixi that I tried this Spring, I loved the Rose Tonic the most because of the way it left my skin feeling hydrated, balanced, and radiant. I am currently working through two other toners, so I will not repurchase at this time. I would repurchase this or the much-raved-about, Glow Tonic.
NNCC – Black Pearl Revitalizing Mask Single Sample
Even though I’m not calculating the cost for this single-use peel off mask sample from NNCC, I am still including this in my yearlong Project Pan count. I’m not a huge fan of peel-off masks anymore – I don’t find these to be the most effective for my skin type and regular use of peel of masks can result in premature aging. For those reasons, I would not repurchase this mask.
Raw Sugar – Raw Coconut + Mango Lip Scrub Sample (CF)
Prior to attending Beautycon NYC, I had never heard of Raw Sugar. The brand is organic and eco-friendly with plant-derived products. The Raw Coconut + Mango Lip Scrub worked so well at scrubbing away dead skin without leaving my lips feeling raw. I would certainly consider purchasing this in the future.
Raw Sugar – Raw Coconut + Mango Simply Body Wash Sample | $0.96 USD (CF)
The Raw Coconut + Mango Simply Body Wash Deluxe Sample smelled so wonderful and left my skin feeling nourished. A small amount of product went a long way. Despite these positives, I don’t purchase body wash so I would not repurchase.
(2) Sol de Janeiro – Bum Bum Cream Deluxe Sample | $6.67 USD (CF)
Are the Sol de Janeiro body creams worth the hype? Yes. The Brazilian Bum Bum Cream leaves the skin feeling hydrated and supple. The scent is warm, sweet coconut – much sweeter than the Coco Cabana Cream. This is long-lasting, but for whatever reason I found the Coco Cabana Cream to be more hydrating (and even longer-lasting) than the OG Bum Bum cream.
(3) Sol de Janeiro – Coco Cabana Cream Deluxe Sample |$13.34 USD (CF)
To put it bluntly: I HATE that I love the Sol de Janeiro Coco Cabana Cream because this cream is so pricey. I was surprised by the consistency of the oil-in-water gel cream; it felt almost like pudding. The Coco Cabana Cream left my skin feeling hydrated, plump, and luscious. The cream has a long-lasting, warm, coconut and butter smell.
I would certainly repurchase this cream in the future, even though it will hurt my wallet to do so!
Sunday Riley – C.E.O. Rapid Flash Brightening Serum Deluxe Mini | $14.17 USD (CF)
I received a deluxe sample of the Sunday Riley C.E.O. Rapid Flash Brightening Serum in a deluxe skin sampler set from Sephora. Even though Sunday Riley is a super hyped up in the beauty community, I’ve never tried anything from the famous skincare brand. I the C.E.O. Rapid Flash Brightening Serum as a part of my nighttime skincare routine, but I wasn’t blown away with the results. I’d much rather repurchase the Caudalie Vino Perfect Serum of the Drunk Elephant C-Firma Serums.
Full-disclaimer: I POWER through shampoo and conditioner because I have a sensitive scalp that is prone to itching (which triggers hair loss). Also, I have dry, frizzy hair that is in need of some major love (and a haircut).
Herbal Essence – Smooth Lisse Shampoo and Conditioner | $7.99 USD (each)
The Herbal Essence Shampoo and Conditioner have been lingering in my shower for some time, as these are the haircare products I keep on-hand as backups when I run out of my favorites. I neither hate nor love these two products. I appreciate that they do not irritate my scalp, but they could be more moisturizing for my hair. I may repurchase to keep on-hand.
L’OREAL – ELVIVE Total Repair Rapid Reviver Deep Conditioner | $5.99 USD
I grabbed the L’OREAL ELVIVE Total Repair Rapid Reviver Deep Conditioner on a whim while pursuing the aisles of CVS. I enjoyed this conditioner because it deeply conditioned my hair in a quick amount of time. However, I’m on the fence as to whether I’d repurchase this product because I ran through it SO quickly (less than one month’s time).
L’OREAL – Everpure Deep Nourish Conditioner | $8.99 USD
The L’OREAL Everpure Deep Nourish Conditioner is a hyped-up conditioner at the drugstore for a good reason. It is affordable, it is sulfate-free, and it smells great. This conditioner provides lasting moisture without weighing down the hair. On occasion, I’ve even used this conditioner as an all-over hair mask. I would certainly repurchase.
Pantene – ProV Blends Charcoal Shampoo | $7.19 USD
I haven’t bought any hair products from Pantene in nearly five or six years, but I stopped in my tracks when I saw the new ProV Blends Charcoal Shampoo on the shelves at my local CVS Health. Not only is this packaging a sleeker improvement on the brand’s traditional and more well-known bottles, but this is the first charcoal shampoo that I’ve seen the brand produce.
As someone with scalp issues, I love a good charcoal shampoo. I was happily surprised by how well this shampoo worked! I still prefer my Briogeo and LUSH shampoos, but this is a great, affordable option. I would definitely repurchase.
Pantene – ProV Blends Micellar Conditioner | $7.19 USD
I snagged the Pantene ProV Blends Micellar Conditioner when I picked up the Charcoal Shampoo at CVS. I loved the fresh, clean scent that this deposited on my hair. This conditioner left my hair feeling soft and conditioned, without weighing it down. I’d repurchase this again.
System Professional – Hydrate Conditioner | $37.99 USD
I received the System Professional Hydrate Conditioner via Influenster for trial and review. I loved the luxe-looking packaging, the floral fragrance, and that the conditioner did not irritate my scalp. Nevertheless, I would not repurchase this conditioner due to the ingredients (Suflates, Alcohols, etc) and the expensive price-point.
White Rain – Moisturizing Apple Blossom Shampoo | $2.79 USD
Honestly, I would have never purchased this product on my own, but I was in need of an inexpensive shampoo because I was quickly plowing through my beloved Briogeo shampoo. Surprisingly, this didn’t irritate my sensitive scalp, so I would consider buying this again if I was in a pinch. However, I wouldn’t go out of my way to buy the Moisturizing Apple Blossom Shampoo because I didn’t find that it moisturized my hair and I didn’t love the potent scent.
Spring Empties Total
Products Used Up: 44
Product Value: $399.30 USD
Final Thoughts on my Spring Empties
With so many major life changes happening around me, I let myself slip into back into bad habits of overconsumption. My beauty spending EXPLODED far beyond what it should have been given my financial situation, but oddly enough, them more I stressed about money… the more I seemed to anxiously spend.
As my collection currently stands, I have way more products than will fit in my makeup organizer. In all fairness, I received a large goodie bag of products from Beautycon, so the drastic increase in my beauty collection is not entirely related to my spending. Nevertheless, I am troubled by the fact that my collection no longer fits entirely in my Beauty Box.
Even though I purchased more items than I moved out of my collection, I am proud of how much I was able to work through this past Spring. As usual, the bulk of my empties are skincare and haircare, as those are products I use every single day.
To-date, I finished 61 products, valued at $707.95 USD. and I am actively working on another 11 products which I anticipate finishing this summer. (As a reminder, whenever I’m calculating the value of my collection I use the full retail price of the product rather than the sale price).
Love empties posts and mini-reviews? Check out my previous Winter Empties review roundup. Looking for even more decluttering or project pan inspo? Check out my 2018 Yearlong Project Pan Finale and my 2018 Year-End Declutter.
Have you tried any of these products before? What products did you use up this Spring? Please let me know in the comments below.