Although I buy a lot of makeup, I do my best to use and show love to the products that I own. Keep reading for my year-end 2020 Ultimate Beauty Empties Roundup to see how many products I finished this year. Also, keep reading for my thoughts on the products that I finished this past Fall.
Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links (*). If you purchase by clicking on my links, I may be compensated at no additional cost to you.
Why Do I Round Up my Empties?
Although I’ve addressed my reasoning for sharing empties in previous posts, I want to emphasize the importance of this type of content. Over the years, a lot of unhealthy dynamics and habits have become normalized. More specifically, impulse shopping, makeup up buying addictions, and hoarding (otherwise referred to as ‘makeup collecting’).
Beauty Products Expire
However, unlike collecting baseball cards or stamps, makeup products literally expire. Whether they are opened or unopened, they will expire, decay, and rot. Additionally, in most cases these products will expire before the beauty lover dies.
Addictive Shopping Tendencies
Also, the collector mentality with makeup not only fuels addictive shopping tendencies and hoarding, but the overconsumption of makeup or skincare products ultimately produces a ton of waste. Beyond the products that get tossed out, excessive online shopping causes increases our carbon footprints. And it cannot be overstated that there are negative side effects to makeup buying addictions.
Now I know that many bloggers, content creators, and YouTubers justify our excessive collections because makeup is our passion. Many of us even state that we buy so much to keep consumers informed so that they can make better shopping decisions. And while this may be true, the normalization excessive shopping and constant hauls only fuels others to overspend. And this is something that I recognize in myself.
Discovering Project Panning
However, once I discovered the panning community, I realized that I could still love beauty while using what I own. In fact, my discovery of product pans helped me to break my bad habit of NOT wanting to completely use up products. Over the years, as I started to track my makeup inventory, I started chronicling my beauty empties online. As a result, finishing products started to feel like a game – and a game that I wanted to win! Plus, I love how sharing my thoughts on my makeup empties allows me to revisit products that I may have only mentioned one or two times on my blog.
With all the above said, I will certainly continue to share reviews. However, I want to continue sharing empties, too. And I hope these posts help you as much as they help me! Keep reading for my 2020 ultimate beauty empties roundup.
Becca Hydra-Mist Set & Refresh Powder | ($39.00, CF)
At first, the Becca Hydra-Mist* felt like a super innovative product. Who knew makeup companies could create cooling setting powder that felt like water when applied to the skin?? However after about 6 weeks of usage, this setting powder lost its ”magical” effect. Once the cooling effect wore away, the Hydra-Mist felt like any setting powder. Therefore, I would not go out of my way to repurchase the Hydra-Mist Powder.
Charlotte Tilbury – Hollywood Contour Wand | ($38.00, CF)
Whenever anyone buys the Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Contour Wand,* she or he notes how little product comes in this tube. However, I can assure you that the volume of product is deceptive, because this liquid contour took me over a year to finish completely.
Although the liquid contour comes out quite dark, it can be easily blended out to create a seamless, natural-looking contour. I loved using the Charlotte Tilbury contour as a base for sculpting my face before going in with powder bronzers. Once I work through more of the cream contours in my collection, I want to repurchase this luxury favorite. See where it ranks in my ultimate bronzer ranking for fair skin.
Cover FX – Travel Size High Performance Setting Spray ($15.00, CF)
Later in the year I finally finished my travel size of the Cover FX High Performance Setting Spray.* Overall, I felt a little bland about this particular setting spray. First, I didn’t receive enough to truly test. Second, I hated the nozzle. This sprayer literally spits product out in chunks. Third, I own a ton of setting products that I prefer.
Ilia Beauty – True Skin Radiant Priming Serum Deluxe Sample
Earlier in the year I was lucky enough to receive a free deluxe sample of the Ilia Beauty True Skin Radiant Priming Serum.* Although I’ve been impressed by most of Ilia’s products, the Radiant Priming Serum failed to become a favorite.
First, this serum felt quite heavy on my oily skin. Second, I dislike serum primers like this because I am unsure when to apply them in my routine. Applying serums over sunscreen makes no sense. However, as an oily girl, I need to apply primer as the last step before foundation.
Ultimately, the Radiant Priming Serum is best suited for individuals with dull, dry skin who need an extra boost. I will not repurchase.
Tarte – Mini Big Ego Mascara| ($12.00, CF)
In general, I don’t typically experience too many struggles with mascaras. As someone with long black lashes that naturally hold a curl, most mascaras will work for me. The Big Ego Mascara* was fine, but the wand was slightly too big for my preference.
Chapstick – Chapstick with SPF | ($1.00)
To be candid, I only purchased this chapstick because I needed a lip product with SPF while on a vacation in 2019. While this Chapstick brand lip balm didn’t do the best job at providing lasting hydration, it is an affordable balm that kept my lips from sunburning.
Estee Lauder – Advanced Night Repair Deluxe Sample
Even though Estee Lauder is a classic makeup brand that is popular with many older makeup consumers, I’ve tried very little makeup and skincare from the brand. However, when Estee Lauder sent me a deluxe sample of the Advanced Night Repair Serum* I was genuinely impressed.
At the time I received this mini ANR sample, my skin was at its worst. My summer-long eczema flare up made my skin inflamed, blotchy, itchy and dull. In fact, my normally oily skin felt dryer than the Sahara. The dryness, dullness, and inflammation worked together to make me look haggard and aged beyond my years.
When I say that I was afraid to introduce something new into my routine, I felt petrified that my reaction would worsen. However, the morning after applying this serum for the first time, I woke up to skin that looked more radiant, more hydrated, and less angry. After a week of steady use, my skin looked like my skin again. If I didn’t own so much backup skincare, I would certainly repurchase this serum right now.
Good Molecules – The Caffeine Energizing Hydrogel Eye Patches | ($18.00, CF)
Given that I wrote an entire dedicated review on the Good Molecules Caffeine Energizing Hydrogel Eye Patches, I will keep this brief. I LOVE using these affordable gel patches on the days after a night of rough or no sleep to help improve the appearance of under-eye darkness. I purchased another tube of patches that I’ve been steadily using. Once I finish my second tube, I will repurchase the Energizing Hydrogel Eye Patches again.
Earlier in 2020, I received the Indeed Labs noAcid Pads* through Influenster for testing purposes. I liked this exfoliating treatment as an alternative to stronger exfoliating treatments like Glycolic Acid or Retinol-based products. These pads were a great gateway for me to use as I worked my way back up to using stronger treatments after my skin had been sensitized.
Marc Jacobs – Honey Eau de Toilette | ($58.00)
College-aged me used to live for Marc Jacobs Honey. However, this perfume lost its appeal to me after a really mean boss at an internship rudely commented on how awful I smelled when I wore this perfume. Isn’t it amazing how assholes can really ruin something for you?
Although I buy a lot of makeup, it truly pains me to toss out products that are not expired. However, now that I started to track perfume in my makeup inventory, I hated how this fragrance inflated my total inventory numbers.
In 2020 I set out on a mission to use this former favorite up – and I did. However, I didn’t use Honey as a perfume. Instead, I used this as a bathroom spray. Obviously, I would not repurchase this fragrance.
Primera – Alpine Berry Water Cream Deluxe Trial Size | ($7.00, CF)
Despite being a water-based cream, this moisturizer felt incredibly calming and nourishing. Even though I received a deluxe sample, it took me close to a month to use up this product. Only the tiniest amount was needed to provide me with lasting hydration. Despite the intense hydration, it never felt greasy or heavy on my oily skin.
Primera – Miracle Seed Essence Deluxe Sample | ($7.00, CF)
The Miracle Seed Essence is another product that I received in the Glow is All You Seed Kit.* This hydrating essence was the perfect first step in my routine to help calm my stressed-out skin. Similar to the above moisturizer, I enjoyed this product so much that I repurchased a full-size.
Sephora Collection – Lychee Face Mask | ($5.50)
Earlier in 2020 I purchased on of the Summer Favorites Sets at Sephora. Although I don’t buy a lot of sheet masks, I was happy to treat my skin to this sheet mask.* However, I didn’t experience any noticeable differences to my skin after use. At this time, I would not repurchase.
ColorWow – Color Security Shampoo (Travel Size)| ($10.00, CF)
First thing’s first, the scent of the Color Security Shampoo* is incredible. In fact, I received compliments from others on the way my hair smelled whenever I used this product. I cannot speak to the color safety benefits of this ColorWow shampoo, but I can say that this made me want to try more from the brand.
Prior to my eczema flare up, I loved my Maui Moisture mask* due to the intensely nourishing formula and tropical scent. Unfortunately, after my flare up, this hair mask irritated and agitated my skin every time I used it. Against my better judgement, I continued to use this mask until I finished it. Obviously, I cannot repurchase a product that irritates my skin.
Neutrogena T-Gel Shampoo | ($20.99 each)
The T/Gel Shampoo* has the worst, most putrid, tar-like, medicinal chemical scent. Also, it is expensive for a drugstore shampoo. With that said, I will continue to repurchase the T-Gel Shampoo due to the way it helps to calm the scalp during bad flare ups. In fact, I’ve likely finished 10+ bottles of this shampoo and I am currently working on another bottle right now.
OGX Pure and Simple Conditioner, Extra Strength, Refreshing Scalp + Teatree Mint | ($8.99)
After discovering that my Maui Moisture Hair Mask caused skin irritation, I needed another conditioning product. After struggling to find a scent-free conditioner, I figured that a product containing tea tree oily would be less likely to cause irritation. To note, tea tree is an amazing anti-inflammatory ingredient.
At the time I used this conditioner, it did it’s job. However, I didn’t enjoy this conditioner as much as others I’ve tried in the past. I’m far less picky about haircare than skincare or makeup, so I wouldn’t be opposed to rebuying this during a sale if I were in a pinch.
How Beauty Products Did I Finish in 2020?
By the end of 2020, I finished 112 products, including samples. While this total might feel impressive to others, I am disappointed with how few products I used up. The total items finished is even more disheartening given that 31 products were samples. Moreover, I used 50+ products by my March 2020 update. Thus, highlighting how my progress stalled as the year.
Makeup Empties: 38 products / $581.87 value
Skincare Empties: 30 products / $639.39 value
Haircare Empties: 14 products / $308.35 value
Samples Empties: 31
However, there is something to be said about the fact that I finished more makeup this year than any other categories. Normally, skincare comprises the largest portion of my empties. However, my 20 in 2020 Project Pan influenced my ability to finish so many makeup items this past year.
Final Thoughts on my 2020 Ultimate Beauty Empties Roundup
In a typical year, I should have finished 200+ products by 2020 ultimate beauty empties roundup. Although I’m disappointed by the total number of products I finished this year, I know that I shouldn’t beat myself up too badly. Beyond the skin issues that plagued me all summer, 2020 hasn’t exactly been the best year for makeup wearing or self-care. With my skin and mental health both at all-time lows, there were many days in 2020 where brushing my hair was even a struggle.
Although 2021 looks to be starting off on a similarly bad foot in terms of the state of world, I have been actively trying to reignite my love of wearing makeup daily. Similar to the people who continue to dress up even though they are working from home, I recognize that when I start my days applying makeup I feel much more like myself. Not only is the act of applying makeup a creative outlet, but it is a chance for me to practice mindfulness by focusing on the task at hand. I can detach from the worries that plague me – even if only for 30 minutes.
Project Pan & Low Buy Plans for 2021
Also, I am committed to a 3-month No Buy at the start of 2021. After March, I’ll give myself the option to continue on with my No Buy or to start a rolling project 10-pan where I’ll be unable to purchase new makeup or skincare unless I declutter, finish, or hit pan on 10 products. Every product finished, panned, or decluttered will equal one product I can purchase.
By buying less makeup and skincare, I know that I will turn my sights towards using what I own. Project Panning has been a part of my blog since its inception. Therefore, I know that I will continue with some to-be-determined projects next year.
Catch Up on My 2020 Ultimate Beauty Empties Series
If you enjoyed my 2020 Ultimate Beauty Empties roundup, please consider checking out my roundups from earlier in the year:
Do you own any of the products featured in the finale of my 2020 Ultimate Beauty Empties roundup? Are you planning on participating in any Project Pans next year? Please let me know in the comments below.