EMPTIES | July 2018

Honestly, I wasn’t expecting to post another empties so soon, but between my decision to transition to cruelty-free and my recent decluttering of old products, my empties box really filled up quickly this past month.

As you may notice as you read through this post, a lot of my empties this month were samples and/or travel-sized products – this is because I did a lot of traveling this month, so I put my large collection of minis to good use. It also made me feel like I made more progress in moving towards being completely cruelty-free, since I tried to reach for the non-cruelty-free products to use first.

belif Moisture Bomb: I didn’t enjoy this as much as the Aqua Bomb, since it’s a little too moisturizing for me, but it ended up being perfect for while I was traveling. My skin always gets dryer on trips, and this was great in helping my face retain its moisture.

Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate: I had wanted to try this for the longest time, since I’ve been a longtime fan of the Midnight Recovery Eye Cream, but it didn’t impress me in the end. It doesn’t matter, anyways, since Kiehl’s is not a cruelty-free brand – had I decided I liked this, I would’ve needed to find a cruelty-free equivalent anyways.

Caudalie Premier Cru Serum: I’d heard good things about this serum, so I got a sample of this with one of my Sephora orders a few months ago. It’s a really pricey serum, though honestly, I didn’t see much of a difference when I used this. The sample was pretty decently sized, too, so I got to use this for two weeks every night before forming an opinion on the product.

Caudalie Vinoperfect Radiance Serum: I’ve also heard a lot of good things about this, but like with the Premier Cru Serum, I didn’t notice much of a difference while using this.

Kate Somerville Daily Deflector™ Moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF 50+ (1.7 oz, $48): I actually hadn’t finished up this sample, but it had been a couple of years since I opened it, and thus time to toss it. This was a decent suncreen, but definitely not my favorite, and I would not purchase a full size of this.

e.l.f. Lip Exfoliator in Grapefruit (0.11 oz, $3): I thoroughly enjoyed this lip scrub, and it is an extremely affordable one. Unfortunately, it went bad pretty quickly, so while I still had product left, I needed to toss it. I will definitely be repurchasing this when I get the chance.

Clinique High Impact Mascara: This had made it onto a favorites post a few months ago, but as I used it more, I liked it less. I started noticing that it would transfer to under my eyes if I kept it on for too long.

Glossier Balm Dotcom in Original (0.5 oz, $12): This is probably one of my favorite lip balms ever, but I’ve had other ones on rotation since I finished this one, so I won’t get back to it in a while. I look forward to trying the other flavors!

Sunday Riley U.F.O. Ultra-Clarifying Face Oil (1.18 oz, $80): I actually didn’t get to finish this little sample. The bottle malfunctioned, and I am unable to open it no matter what I try. I’m pretty bummed, because this was great to use when I was breaking out. Since I don’t breakout often, I doubt I’ll purchase this myself.

Acure Brilliantly Brightening Fruit Peel (1.4 oz, $22.99): This is one of the first products that I used where I really thought, “Wow, natural products can really make a difference!” I actually felt like my face looked a bit brighter after using this. I may repurchase this in the future, after I’ve finished using up the other peels and exfoliators in my inventory.

Milk Makeup Lip + Cheek in Perk (1 oz, $24): This is the best cream blush I’ve ever used. I’m holding off on purchasing though, because I already have other blushes in rotation.

Colourpop No Filter Matte Concealer in Medium 28 (0.14 oz, $6): I started off really liking this concealer, but as I used it more, I realized it was too thin for me, and would cling onto the dry patches and fine lines under my eyes. The smell changed too, so I decided to toss it even though I didn’t use it up yet.

Origins Checks and Balances Frothy Face Wash: This is a really dependable face wash, but alas, Origins is not cruelty-free.

Sumbody Salt Scrub (12 oz, $18.95): I got this sample as part of a Birchbox order. It was a pretty great body scrub overall, and I liked that it was pretty gentle. However, it was a little too moisturizing for me – I like super gritty scrubs because I can always moisturize afterwards.

belif Aqua Bomb: This is one of my favorite moisturizers ever, so I was bummed to learn that belif may not be cruelty-free when I was doing research. Thankfully, I’ve discovered other moisturizers I enjoy just as much, if not more, than this one. I still have a full size of this, but I won’t be repurchasing this again.


Weleda Evening Primrose Revitalizing Body Wash (6.8 fl oz, $10): I didn’t enjoy this as a body wash. It was so rich that I felt like I was trying to wash myself with a lotion.

Glossier Daily Oil Wash (8.4 fl oz, $18): On the other hand, I loved this. I’ve already mentioned this on an Instagram review, but basically, I will always find an opportunity to repurchase this.

Glossier Solution (4.4 fl oz, currently out of stock): I did not enjoy this at all, and it even broke me out a bit. I actually didn’t even finish this, but unfortunately, I couldn’t find anyone to pass this on to. If you’re looking for a chemical exfoliator, I would say it doesn’t hurt to try it, though, since I know plenty of people that swear by this. A word of caution though – Glossier doesn’t give the exact percentage of each of the AHA/BHA/PHA acids, only a total percentage of 10%.


W3LL PEOPLE Bio Brightener Stick (6g/0.21 oz, $23.99): If you open the link, you’ll see that this product has a completely different packaging now. That’s how long I’ve had this highlighter stick. This was very well loved, but a little went a long way, so I never got around to using it up. I’ve had this for at least two years now though, so it’s time to let it go.

No7 Lift & Luminate Foundation in Warm Beige (1 oz, $15.99): I really enjoyed this but never found myself reaching for it, especially as I started going for base makeup with less coverage, and then it expired before I could donate it.

Urban Decay Brow Tamer in Dark Brown (0.15 oz, $20): I wrote a review about this a year ago, which really goes to show that it’s time for me to toss this. I did not enjoy this then, and I still do not enjoy this now. It has too wet of a formula for me to enjoy. If you’re interested in trying this still, only the clear version is available on the Sephora site now.

L’Oréal Telescopic Carbon Black Mascara: I bought this because Kathleenlights used to talk about how this was one of her favorites, and I did enjoy it for a while because it made my lashes super long. However, it was way too wet and clumpy for me, which made it way too difficult to use on a daily basis.

Klorane Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk: Dry shampoo is a staple for me. This was one of my favorites.

Bumble and bumble. Thickening Hairspray: This was my favorite hairspray ever. The best way I can describe it is a natural hairspray – it’ll keep your hairstyle in place, but it won’t make your hair too crunchy.

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EMPTIES | Makeup, Body, Hair, June 2018

Still overwhelmed


Now, part two of my many empties! Continue reading to see what makeup, body, and hair products I’ve used up. You can find part one here.

As I’ve mentioned previously, since I am moving towards a cruelty-free lifestyle, I will not be including any of the usual product information that I usually include (links, price, size) for non-cruelty-free products.


Urban Decay Naked 24/7 Double-Ended Eye Pencil in Whiskey/Zero (2 x 0.01 oz, $18): Unfortunately, this shade is no longer available on Sephora or the Urban Decay website. Although I didn’t use up either side of this wonderful eye pencil, I got a lot of good use out of it. I just decided to toss it because it had been way too long that I had owned it so it was definitely past its expiration date. I really like the Urban Decay eyeliner formulations so I may revisit them in the future.

Lancôme Cils Booster XL Mascara Base: This has been a longtime favorite, but as Lancôme is not a cruelty-free brand, I will have to find a good dupe.

YSL Mascara Volume Effet Faux Cils

Fiberwig Mascara

Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment Sunscreen SPF 15 in Rose: Another favorite. I was so sad to find out that Fresh does test on animals when required by law 😦

Benefit Goof Proof Brow Pencil Easy Shape & Fill

YSL Touche Eclat Blur Primer

Hair, Body, Etc


Crabtree & Evelyn Bath & Shower Gel

Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray (full size 8.5 oz, $46): Oribe products smell amazing, and this one was no different. This travel size was pretty small, so I don’t think it was enough for me to form an opinion on the product itself. I have another travel size of this product, so I may give an update after I use up that one.

Sensodyne Toothpaste

Bumble and bumble’s Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil: This was one of the rare expensive shampoos that I had been willing to splurge on. Sadly, bumble and bumble is not cruelty free 😦

Bumble and bumble Don’t Blow It Fine (H)air Styler

NUXE Huile Prodigieuse Multi-Purpose Dry Oil: The fragrance on this was way too strong for my tastes.

SKINFOOD Intensive Shea Butter Cream In-Shower: I’ve written a dedicated review on this. I’m having a difficult time determining for certain whether SKINFOOD is cruelty-free, but it seems like it’s sold in China, so I will no longer be purchasing products from them to err on the side of caution.

Trader Joe’s Coffee Body Scrub (8 oz, $4.99): This wasn’t a bad scrub by any means, but the coffee grounds made way too much of a mess for me to enjoy using this.

L’Oréal Paris Elvive Extraordinary Oil Transforming Oil-in-Cream

L’Oréal Paris Color Vibrancy Nourishing Conditioner

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EMPTIES | Skincare, June 2018

I’m a little overwhelmed, tbh

Given that it’s been a good six months since my last empties post, I have accumulated a ton of empties to share with y’all. Although I’ve been slacking in posting regularly, I managed to lug my empties with me from my previous apartment when I moved in March! I was committed to saving my trash and posting a really satisfying empties.

I was so committed, in fact, that I have too many empties to talk about and will have to split this post in two. This first one will be on my skincare empties, and the next one will be on everything else!

Also, as I mentioned in the first post of my cruelty-free journey series, I’m trying to use up my non-cruelty-free products, so you’ll see a lot of those here. Since I am moving towards a cruelty-free lifestyle, I will not be including any of the usual product information that I include (links, price, size) with the non-cruelty-free products.



Korres Wild Rose + Vitamin C Advanced Brightening Sleeping Facial (1.35 oz, $48): This was a pretty decent daily nighttime moisturizer, but, to be honest, I’m not sure I experienced any brightening or evening of skin tone. To be fair, I only had a sample of this, so it probably wasn’t enough time to really notice any effects. The scent was a little too strong for my tastes, but I just saw that they’ve reformulated it with a lighter scent, so I may revisit this in the future when I’ve used up more of my current skincare stash.

Murad Hydro-Dynamic® Ultimate Moisture (1.7 oz, $75): I didn’t particularly enjoy this, but that was because this was way too thick for my skin type. I imagine that someone with dry and/or dehydrated skin would love this. It’s supposed to be anti-aging as well.

Biossance Squalane + Vitamin C Rose Oil (1 oz, $72) and the 100% Squalane Oil (3.4 oz, $58): I got these two samples via Biossance’s site, where you can choose one of three sample sets to try. I talk more about the brand and my impression of these in my Biossance brand overview post.

Origins Plantscription™ Anti-Aging Eye Treatment: This was a solid eye cream, but not my favorite. It doesn’t beat Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Eye, which was my holy grail nighttime eye cream until I recently decided to go cruelty-free.

Origins GinZing Refreshing Eye Cream: This was my holy grail daytime eye cream until I discovered the Ole Henriksen Banana Bright Eye Crème (0.5 oz, $38), review here. I’m glad I discovered the Ole Henriksen one, especially because Ole Henriksen is cruelty-free while Origins is not.

Mario Badescu Herbal Hydrating Serum (1 oz, $30): The packaging of this sample was one of the worst I’ve ever seen. It’s a mini plastic bottle from which you can squeeze out product, but the plastic was so stiff I maybe got three uses out of it before I couldn’t squeeze anything out anymore. I considered cutting the little bottle to get as much of the product as I could, but the plastic was so thick and the bottle so small that I didn’t really want to risk cutting myself by accident. From the very limited experience I had with the product itself, I’m not really sure whether I liked it or not. Hopefully, the packaging of the full-size product is a lot easier to use.

Cetaphil Dermacontrol Oil Control Foam Wash: This always makes it back into my skincare rotation because (1) my mom gets samples of this from her work, and (2) I’ve been a longtime fan. I’ve found out it’s not cruelty-free though, so after I use up the one I opened a couple of months ago, I’ll be phasing this face wash (and other Cetaphil products) out of my life.

Ole Henriksen African Red Tea Foaming Cleanser (7 oz, $30): I bought this so long ago that it’s since been repackaged and renamed as The Clean Truth™ Foaming Cleanser. This isn’t really similar to the Cetaphil other than the fact that it’s also a foaming cleanser, but I enjoyed this as much as I enjoyed the Cetaphil cleanser and would go back to it again in the future.

Glossier Priming Moisturizer (1.7 fl oz, $22): I did not enjoy this as a primer, but it was pretty great (and relatively affordable!) for a morning daily moisturizer. I may pick this up again in the future.

Origins High-Potency Night-A-Mins™ Mineral-Enriched Renewal Cream

The Ordinary Caffeine Solution 5% + EGCG, Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%, and “Buffet”: To be honest, none of these really impressed me. I had really wanted to love them, given the affordable price points, but I just rushed myself through these because I wanted to finish them and move on to other products. Anyways, I don’t want to support Deciem (The Ordinary’s parent company) anymore, so I will not be buying anymore of The Ordinary products after I use up what I have.

belif Hungarian Water Essence: belif is another brand that I really loved, until I found out it was possibly being sold in China. I’ve gone few quite a few of these essences, and I love them, but it’s time to let it go… I really want to try the Tatcha essence, though it’s so expensive…

Origins Original Skin Retexturizing Mask with Rose Clay: This was a longtime favorite, but I will not be revisiting it until Origins becomes truly cruelty-free.

Glossier Solution (4.4 oz, $24): I’ve done a review on this before, and I actually never used it up – it’s still half full. I tried to see if any of my friends and family wanted to try it out, but no takers as of now. I don’t really want to toss it yet since there’s still so much product left, but I may end up doing so in the end, unfortunately.

Glossier Soothing Face Mist (4 oz, $18): I enjoyed this for the most part, but probably won’t be repurchasing. It’s affordable and does feel nice on the skin, but I’ve sprayed it into my eyes by accident a few times before, and it burned like no other, which is odd, considering it doesn’t seem to have any irritating ingredients. The Botanics Organic Toning Spritz (5 oz, $9.99) with rosewater is at a much better price point and doesn’t irritate my eyes.

Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel: This wasn’t really life changing or anything, but it did the job. It was a great base moisturizer to mix with oils, and this size was an amazing value. It took me a year of using it twice daily to finish it up.

Julep Boost Your Radiance Reparative Rosehip Seed Facial Oil (0.85 oz, $36): This was my holy grail for the longest time, and I purchased a backup the moment I saw Julep was having a sale. I’ve since fallen in love with other oils, but this will always have a special place in my heart.

BYBI Beauty Prime Time Priming Facial Polish (1.01 oz, $18): I have a review on this product from when BYBI Beauty was still in its early stages, when it was still difficult to get BYBI Beauty products in the states. Now, you can buy from Urban Outfitters or ASOS! It’s amazing how far this green beauty company has come. Unfortunately, the product went bad (I kept this in my shower and the tub grew mold) before I could use it all up, but I may repurchase in the future.

Kiehl’s Blue Herbal Gel Cleanser: This had been my holy grail cleanser when my skin was still more acne prone, but I’ve since grown out of it.

Stay tuned for the rest of my empties next week!

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EMPTIES | December 2017

My second empties post! It’s been two months since my previous empties post, but I don’t really use up products frequently enough to merit monthly empties posts. Besides the usual beauty products, this month’s empties also includes a candle!

Continue reading “EMPTIES | December 2017”

EMPTIES | October 2017

My first empties post! As I usually throw away my containers as soon as I’m done with a product, it took me some time to accumulate enough trash to write one of these posts. Keep reading to see what I’ve used up and what I thought of them! If I’ve talked about a product on my blog before, my opinion may have changed since I last mentioned it.

Products will be listed from left to right, top down:

  1. The Body Shop Strawberry Shower Gel (25.4 fl oz/750 ml), currently $14): The Body Shop’s shower gels never disappoint, and they’re so affordable when they’re on sale. I’ve since moved on to the pink grapefruit one, which is my favorite scent.
  2. Pixi Glow Tonic (3.4 fl oz, $15): One of my favorite toners, since it gently exfoliates the face with glycolic acid while prepping the face for the next skincare steps. The Glow Tonic contains 5% glycolic acid, and I will be trying The Ordinary’s Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution (240 ml, $8.70) soon to compare the two products.
  3. Kiehl’s Hydro-Plumping Re-Texturizing Serum Concentrate ($58 for 1.7 fl oz, or $77 for 2.5 fl oz): I’ve written a review on this previously. I really liked it, but I realized that after I finished using it, I didn’t miss applying it either. I might revisit this in the future, once I’ve used up more of my skincare inventory.
  4. e.l.f. Hydrogel Under Eye Mask ($8 for a set of 3): This is a great affordable option for undereye masks. I find them similar to Skyn Iceland’s Hydro Cool Firming Eye Gels ($30 for a set of 8 or $15 for a set of 4), and they’re slightly cheaper. I do find Skyn Iceland’s slightly more effective for me, but overall these were great, soothing and depuffing my under eye area.
  5. Kate Somerville Exfolikate (2 fl oz, $85 or 5 fl oz, $175): I was always ambivalent about this exfoliator, until I realized recently that I had been using it incorrectly the whole time… You’re supposed to massage it onto your face, leave it on as a mask, then rinse off. It was too late for me to try it this way though, as I had already used it up, and I’m not too keen on splurging on this because I don’t think my skin really will benefit from regular use of this. I am interested in trying out a Kate Somerville facial some day though, so there’s that to look forward to.
  6. Acure Organics Seriously Glowing Serum (1 oz, $19.98): I was ambivalent about this serum, which really was an oil. It was pretty nice to use and indeed gave me a nice glow, but it can’t beat Julep’s Boost Your Radiance Reparative Rosehip Seed Facial Oil, one of my favorite skincare products ever.
  7. Caudalie Vinosource S.O.S Thirst Quenching Serum (1 oz, $49): I had bought this because it had been on sale on Birchbox, but I really ended up liking it. It was a great moisturizing serum that absorbed quickly and really gave my skin an extra boost of moisture. That being said, I’m not sure I would repurchase this again, though it’s definitely made me want to check out other Caudalie products in this line.
  8. Glossier Milk Jelly Cleanser (6 fl oz, $18): I’ve most recently mentioned this in my August Favorites, and my thoughts on it hasn’t changed – I still love it as a morning moisturizer. This will definitely come back into my skincare rotation in the future.
  9. Peter Thomas Roth Cucumber De-Tox Hydra-Gel Eye Patches ($48 for a set of 30): I really wanted to give this a try since I like Peter Thomas Roth’s Cucumber Gel Mask (5 oz, $52), but I had mixed feelings about this. The eye gels were very stiff, and the shape didn’t mold to my under eye very well, so they were a bit uncomfortable to wear. I also felt that they weren’t as effective as the other eye patches I’ve mentioned in this post. I’m glad I only bought one set during Peter Thomas Roth’s travel size sale. I wouldn’t recommend purchasing the travel size at full price, because it was already $3 at discount.
  10. Ouidad Advanced Climate Control Defrizzing Shampoo (8.5 fl oz, $22) and Conditioner (8.5 fl oz, $24): I had previously featured these in my Posh VoxBox review. As much as I liked these, I don’t plan on repurchasing them because they’re not for my hair type, and I still have other shampoos and conditioners that I like more.

Did you guys use up any products this month? Are you going to repurchase them?

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