It occurred to me today that I’ve managed to use up a lot of beauty products recently. Aside from giving me a weird sense of accomplishment, this also affords me the opportunity to put together my first ever empties post! I always enjoy these posts, I feel the reviews are slightly more reliable given that the products were used up completely and given a thorough test run. On a side note, it’s the first official snowfall here in NYC! I can barely contain my holiday spirit, though I’ve forced myself to stop playing Christmas carols lest I find myself evicted. Anyways, on to the empties!
Neutrogena Oil-Free Cleansing Wipes – Pink Grapefruit
I’m a long time fan of Neutrogena’s pink grapefruit face scrub and its eye opening fragrance so when I saw that Neutrogena had come out with a pink grapefruit version of their classic makeup wipes I immediately whisked home a pack to try. I have to say I was disappointed by these. The wipes stung slightly if I ventured too near my eye area and my face felt vaguely sticky and unclean after using them. I ended up using the whole pack as I follow up with a cleanser anyway but I definitely won’t be repurchasing. When compared to my all-time favorite wipes, the Say Yes to Cucumber facial towelettes, there’s no contest.
Emma Hardie Moringa Cleansing Balm
This pricey little number is probably the most luxurious skin care item I own. This silky balm melts smoothly into the skin to beautifully remove all traces of dirt and makeup, even eye makeup. The strongly floral, spa-like scent and dreamy texture makes what usually seems a chore into an indulgence. This was the first cleansing balm I had ever tried and I was apprehensive about how it would with my extremely oily, acne-prone skin. Suffice it to say it’s currently reigning supreme as my cleanser of choice and I’d highly recommend it to anyone who prioritizes skin care. While it’s a little steep, price wise, it also lasted me around four months used an average of four times per week.
Herbal Essences Long Term Relationship Shampoo
This has got to be one of the greatest shampoo fragrances of all time. The red raspberry based scent is so delicious, in fact, it managed to lure me away from all things volumizing and body-boosting. While I don’t claim that this shampoo does anything particularly mind-blowing for my hair, I can say the smell makes me happy every time I lather up in the morning. It’s affordable and delicious and I repurchase it every couple years or so.
Nivea A Kiss of Milk & Honey lip balm
I’m slightly obsessed with this lip balm. Maybe it’s because it smells like the Flintstones vitamins I would take as a kid, or maybe because of the way it melts into my lips, or maybe because of the satisfying click the packaging makes when I close it. Either way, I couldn’t stop applying this number over the past couple months. I’ll be honest and admit it’s not the most hydrating lip balm but there’s a high likelihood a new one of these babies will find its way home with me soon.
Beauty Protector Protect & Detangle
I’ve already done a full review of this product here so I won’t bore you with too many details. I will say that this is an incredible, multi-functional detangler/heat protectant that lasted me four months of daily use and smells like vacation. The spray did become slightly less even towards the end of the bottle, but it’s still a five start product in my book.
Lush Tea Tree Water toner
This product currently holds the top spot for me when it comes to toners. The main ingredient, tea tree, is naturally antibacterial and antifungal and is perfect for oily, acne-prone skin. It’s cool and refreshing on the skin and is completely alcohol free (a rarity among toners formulated for oil control). This was my fourth or fifth bottle and will most likely remain a staple in my skin care routine.
Michael Todd Blue Green Algae Antibacterial Toner
Despite having come to the end of this product, the jury is still out. I caved and purchased a bottle after hearing glowing review after glowing review from bloggers with a variety of skin types. When I put it to the test, however, I was disappointed. The toner stung my face despite being organic and alcohol free, a problem no one else seems to have had. I stuck with it for a few weeks but eventually switched back to my sting-free Tea Tree Water and gave it up as a bad job. Fast forward a few months and, out of desperation during ongoing and inexplicable skin issues, and I decide to give Michael Todd another shot. While the product still stings slightly, it did seem to calm my breakout. What’s a girl to think? While I generally prefer my skin care products painless, I also prefer my skin clear. I’ve decided to order another bottle and give it one more try – maybe I had an off bottle? Has anyone else had this issue, or is it just me?
Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash
This is probably the ultimate teenage cleanser. I can picture this bottle perched on the sinks and shower rims of so many friends throughout the years, especially those with any kind of acne. Despite its popularity, I was never tempted, purely for superficial reasons. The dull orange color of the cleanser and the medicinal smell were enough of a turn off to keep me walking down the aisle for years. So what changed? I learned two things: that foaming cleansers are actually drying to the skin and should be avoided, and that gel formulas are traditionally the most effective at cutting through oil. You’d be surprised how hard it is to find a non-foaming gel cleanser in the drugstore, this was pretty much the only option when I went looking. I used this cleanser as part of my routine in the mornings and liked it. I wasn’t impressed enough to swear loyalty but I wouldn’t be surprised if I repurchase it again in the future. This cleanser is super affordable and easy to find and I would recommend it for anyone still in the merciless grasp of puberty.
p.s. I’ve found a couple other great options for non-foaming gel cleansers since writing this: Yes To Tomatoes Facial Cleanser and Trader Joe’s Nourish All-in-one facial cleanser.
Nail Tek Foundation II – Ridge Filler
After many months of faithful use, I’ve finally come to the end of this base coat. It’s an excellent, smoothing base coat that dries quickly and helps extend the wear of your polish. It’s also formulated to help you grow healthier, stronger nails which is most excellent. A solid base coat and one I’d easily recommend to anyone looking.
That’s it for my empties. I hope some of these mini reviews were helpful, or at least interesting. Let me know what you’ve been running out of lately or if you have any product recommendations, I’d love to hear them!