Yes, I’ve finally jumped on the bandwagon and posted my very first “Empties” post! Truth be told, this is kinda just a filler post as I get my bearings straight and start getting in the groove of blogging again. Readers and Twitter friends of The Beauty Sample will know that I’ve been *super* busy at work. We have been going through an audit for months now and it just seems like it will never end! The stress has been really wearing on me and tensions are running very high in my office. I kept putting aside the blog in favor of relaxing on my down-time because honestly, I’ve been worn out and feeling unhappy and just couldn’t be bothered to do much else besides sleep in, watch movies, read, and hang out with my family.
Then I started to feel a little blue and would catch myself staring wistfully at my camera from time to time. I realized that I really, really missed blogging and talking to all my lovely blogger friends. But even so, I’m glad that I was able to take a step back from blogging for a while because it made me realize that I do not think of my blog as work but as a fun hobby–one that connects me to so many sweet and amazingly supportive gals. And one shouldn’t give up their hobbies or the things that they love just because they are unhappy at work or busy. It’s always important to take time out for yourself to do the things you love, otherwise you start to get that feeling of “what’s it all for?”
I know I’m getting corny and I apologize. I just wanted to post my recent revelations and also take the opportunity to thank everyone that still visits my humble little blog. There are so many of you that still write to me and tweet me and check my blog and I am so immensely grateful to all of you! THANK YOU! I ♥ you guys
Anyway, I’ve never done one of these posts before mainly because I’ve never really had enough empties to put in a post before! I do go through some boring things quite regularly–like face wash (Aveeno Ultra Calming Foaming Cleanser) or blotting sheets (Clean & Clear) but I decided to save up some of my other, more “interesting” purchases so that I could show you guys what I love and buy over and over again.
(clockwise from top left red spray bottle)
First up is Ole Henriksens African Red Tea Face Mist. This is my 4th bottle of the stuff and I will continue to repurchase it. I love the ingredients (great antioxidants), lack of alcohol, and spray bottle (very convenient!). After cleansing, I spray this all over my face, press into the skin, and follow up with a serum while my skin is still damp. Plump, dewy skin ensues.
To the right of that (tiny bottle with black cap) is a travel-size of Hourglass’ Veil Mineral Primer*. I really like this stuff but I’m not sure I love it. It is, however, the best primer I’ve found for my oily, acne-prone skin. It keeps my makeup looking fresh for much longer than it would look without. It also provides a nice, smooth canvas for putting on base. It doesn’t quite fill in my large pores as well as other silicone-based primers do, but that’s also a good thing since too much silicone tends to break me out something awful. I will probably repurchase this until I find something I like more.
Next is Caudalie’s Vinosource S.O.S Thirst-Quenching Serum. This stuff is absolutely incredible and, amazingly, has taken the title of most-used serum in my beauty routine, edging out the Vinoperfect Radiance Serum. Don’t get me wrong, I still adore the Vinoperfect serum but I find that lately, my skin seems to need a bit more hydration (I think from all the stress) and this serum truly delivers. My skin drinks it right up, leaving no trace of sticky/greasy residue. Somehow my skin looks smoother, more even–even my pores are less visible. It’s like the serum plumps up my skin so that the pores are much less noticeable. Love it and have already repurchased a second bottle!
This is my 2nd tube of the La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo. It works well to keep my skin and pores clear. I usually use this on my t-zone during the day and my Epiduo prescription acne gel at night. If I have a large pimple though, I always use the Effaclar Duo; it zaps them quickly without drying out or irritating my skin. Good stuff!
I got a deluxe-sized sample of Lancome’s popular Bi-Facil Eye Makeup Remover and used it up quickly. I thought it was okay…did the job, but no better or worse than my usual go-to: the Neutrogena Oil-Free Eye Makeup Remover. The only difference? No fragrance. I will not be repurchasing this.
Another LRP product, I decided to try the Eau Thermale for Sensitive Skin. I like it but I don’t necessarily need it in my routine. I may repurchase one day but not now.
I got a tiny travel-sized spray of the Gucci Flora by Gucci fragrance. Loved the scent, hated that it only lasted an hour or less on my skin. I found that because of the minimal wear, I had to use it more often and as a result, the bottle lasted only a week and a half for me :/ Will not be repurchasing.
Lavanila The Healthy Deodorant in Vanilla Lavender was my first deodorant. I’ve always been a user of anti-perspirants but I was beginning to find more and more that my underarms would be itchy or rashy or dry or I would need to apply the anti-perspirants more frequently after prolonged use. I finally decided to give the Lavanila deodorant a try and am so happy I did! I don’t sweat much at all so honestly, I don’t think I ever needed an anti-perspirant in the first place. But I found that after using them for a while, I would start to smell (sorry if this is TMI!) faster and faster, strange considering I don’t sweat much. Now that I use deodorant, I don’t have that problem at all. I think what was happening was that since the purpose of an anti-perspirant is to stop you from sweating, it clogs up your pores and traps whatever sweat is trying to come out under this layer of gunk. After a while, it builds up and starts to smell, regardless of if you sweat a lot or not or how much anti-perspirant you use. This sweat is just literally sitting there, so it’s gonna stink after a while.
I know there are people out there who truly need anti-perspirant but if you feel that you really don’t perspire that much, try a natural deodorant for a while and see how it works for you. It literally changed my life. No more odor and no more itching from the rashes and dead skin building up under the layer of product. I’m never going back! Have since repurchased this product
The Cargo gloss in the back was very, very old. I found it while cleaning out my lip gloss drawer and immediately tossed it in the empties bag. Pretty color–sad that I wasted this one :/
And now we come to the lip balms! As you can see, I use a LOT of lip balm. My lips absolutely require being coated in balm 24/7, so it stands to reason that I go through a lot of lip balm. Over on the right (top), I have Osmia Organic’s Honey-Myyrh Lip Repair*. I love love love this stuff. I am definitely repurchasing but just have to finish up a few more lip products that I have before I can purchase anything else. I tell ya though, I haven’t used it in a couple of weeks and my lips miss it! This is the most incredible night treatment I have EVER used, hands down, and (once I get through these 2 more full lip treatments that I have) will never be without it again!
Under the Osmia balm, there’s a Korres Jasmine Lip Butter. Man, this tiny little pot took me forever to finish! Gummy will back me up on this: the Lip Butters just never seem to die!!! I still have another pot of the Rose one to get through, too! They are nice enough but once I’m done with it, I probably will not purchase again.
That shriveled blue tube you see in the back is a Jack Black Intense Therapy Lip Balm in Blackberry & Black Tea. You guys already know that I love this stuff. This is probably my 5th tube–I love these for daytime, especially since it contains a nice, high SPF. Will continue to repurchase over and over again!
Yes, those are 3 tubes of Aquaphor. I’ve told you guys I’m obsessed with the stuff, right? I have tube in my purse, car, next to my bed, in the bathroom…this stuff just works for everything! It feels nice on the lips and keeps them moisturized for hours plus when the weather starts to get brutally dry and cold, I can slather it all over my skin without fear of breaking out. This stuff is a staple for me.
Maybelline Baby Lips: I don’t really get the hype about these. They’re nice but I only ever really liked the blue one because of the scent and SPF content. But they just go so damn fast! I finished this tube in about 2 weeks flat. I find that I use much more since they don’t last very long on the lips. I’d rather pay a bit more for the Jack Black or Osmia Organics and have it last me a month or so at a time.
Again, the Sugar Fresh Lip Treatment is nice but I won’t repurchase. Besides, I love the tinted version (especially Sugar Honey) and really don’t need the plain, untinted version since they both feel the same and deliver the same results.
The Make Up For Ever Aqua Black Waterproof Cream Eye Shadow is another staple. This is my 4th pot, I believe, and it’s the most truly waterproof, indestructible liner I’ve ever found that doesn’t even smudge on my small oily lids.
Burt’s Bees Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream is really nice. I use it on my cuticles and even lips–it works really well as both! Plus the tin is really cute, too I’ve repurchased this.
Last is Hourglass’ Arch Brow Sculpting Pencil. I have most definitely repurchased this one. I’ve never been able to use eyebrow pencils before–I just always found the colors were too warm for me, the product too soft, and the results a bit unnatural. But this one is so unique because of the triangular shape. It allows you to create the most natural-looking brows with just a few quick strokes. The product strikes the perfect balance between hard and soft, is super-easy to control and blend out, and comes in 3 ultra-flattering shades.
*these products were provided to The Beauty Sample free of charge for review purposes. Despite this, my opinions are always honest and I only included products in this post that I truly use and love