Wednesday, January 27, 2016

January Empties: Will I Repurchase?

Would you believe that I have never done an "empties" post on this blog before today? Well that's what my archives are telling me! I can't recall ever doing one, and I can't find one in my archives, so I'm going to go ahead and say that this is my first (and possibly my last!).

I don't really keep track of the things I use up, only because the influx of new products is a bit crazy here at Nouveau Cheap Central. I'm constantly using things up, purging my stash, giving things away, and making donations (for things I haven't used and haven't yet expired). But THIS month in particular, I noticed that I used up several things all at around the same time, so I thought you might like to know a bit about each product. I don't know if I'll ever do this again, because I don't usually finish a group of products all at the same time. So this post might be as rare as a unicorn sighting.

That said, here's what I used up in January 2016:

Olay Fresh Outlast Cooling White Strawberry & Mint Body Wash (retail: around $5, 23.6 oz.).

I loved it when I first started using it, but I sort of grew tired of the scent. I think this has more to do with the HUGE amount of product you get in this bottle. I had to work hard to finish this one up and by the time I got toward the end, I was pretty much over it. I do like the formula though--it doesn't leave my skin dry, tight, or itchy. I probably won't repurchase, but I may try the other scents in the line at some point.

Victoria's Secret Hair Ultra Nourishing Shampoo & Conditioner (retail: unknown, 10.1 oz. each)

I won't spend a lot of time discussing these products because they appear to be discontinued (neither of these products are on the VS website anymore). I purchased these when I had a gift certificate a while back, because they were running some sort of 2/$20 type of deal. Bottom line: I can understand why they were discontinued. Both smell lovely (sort of fresh and clean, with a gardenia note in the background) but I did NOT find them "nourishing" in the slightest. Both products left my hair flat, frizzy, and dry. Dry, dry, dry. It was a struggle to use these up.

Bath & Body Works Signature Collection French Lavender & Honey Shower Gel (retail: $12.50 but always on sale; 10 oz.)

Shower gels are my favorite thing to get at Bath & Body Works, and this is one of my favorite scents. This was a repurchase for me, and I'm sure I'll buy it again at some point. It's weird because I normally don't care for the scent of lavender, but I like it in this. This does remind me a lot of Amber Blush though--I almost find the two interchangeable.

Cremo Cream (retail: around $6, 6 oz.)

For years now, my favorite shaving lotion has been Kiss My Face Moisture Shave (I love all of the scents listed in that link). But I had heard so many raves about Cremo Cream (check out the 600+ reviews on Amazon here), that I had to give it a shot. And guess what? I love it. It only comes in one scent (citrus) but it's not strong or overpowering. I love that it gives me a super close shave and it is very kind to sensitive areas. The skin on my body is kind of sensitive when it comes to shaving, so I can't use soap or hair conditioner or even shaving cream (foam) when I shave. Creamo Cream is so gentle on my skin and I rarely get razor bumps or razor burn anymore. I think I may like this more than the Kiss My Face at this point, but I'll have to go through another tube to make sure. Good stuff and I will definitely repurchase, especially since you only need a tiny amount even for legs. One tube lasts forever, especially if you don't shave your legs every day.

NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in Vanilla (retail: $12, 0.05 oz)

Please note that the tube in my photo is the MINI version available at Sephora (link above). The full-size version retails for $29 for 0.22 oz. (I actually threw out the tube by accident so I'm only showing you the box in my photo). I purchased this when I discovered that Sephora sells mini versions of select NARS products, because I had always wanted to try this product but I didn't want to commit to a full-size tube. I LOVE this stuff, and I'm actually mad that I do, given the price of a full-size tube. The shade Vanilla is a wonderful fit for my NC20 skintone, and it conceals my dark undereye circles beautifully (as well as blemishes, scars, redness, etc. on the rest of my face). You only need a tiny bit, so this mini tube did last me quite a while (about three months). I love that it's very easy to blend before it sets, and it stays put all day after I set it with some powder. On my oily skin, it doesn't budge, it doesn't oxidize, and it doesn't settle into my fine lines. I really wish I didn't like it as much as I do. I can't repurchase at full price, but when NARS does another one of their 20% off sales, I just might take the plunge.

NYX Micro Brow Pencil in Taupe (retail: $9.99, 0.003 oz.)

A fan favorite at Ulta and a reader favorite here at Nouveau Cheap, I must agree with all of you that this is a great brow pencil. I LOVE brow pencils with a very fine point that also don't require sharpening, and I love that this one comes with a spoolie on the other end. The shade Taupe is a nice fit for my brows (not too warm, unlike some other drugstore pencils catering to lighter hair) and I can see why so many people say that this is a dupe for Anastasia Brow Whiz, which is $21 (both are made in Korea and both are 0.003 oz.). They are very, very similar, although I do prefer the Anastasia pencil, actually, because I find it a tad less waxy but really, I'm splitting hairs here. I would buy the NYX over the ABH any day due to the price and similar results. Does the NYX beat out my holy grail Define-A-Brow by Maybelline? Nope. I still like that one best because of the color (Dark Blonde is my shade) and the consistency, but the NYX is a very close second. If Maybelline ever discontinues Define-A-Brow, this NYX pencil will surely take its place for me.

Philosophy Purity Made Simple (retail: $11, 3.0 oz.)

The bottle in my photo is actually the 2 oz bottle, which I got in-store at Nordstrom Rack for around $9 a while back (it took me a surprisingly long time to get through this 2 oz bottle, which I kept in my shower and only used in the mornings). I think I have 3 back-up bottles of this facial cleanser at this point, solely due to all of the deals I've been posting about lately (none are still available, but trust me, there WILL be another deal on this one, I'm sure of it!). I like this cleanser a lot. I didn't at first though (again, not a huge fan of lavender and this smells strongly of lavender to me) but the more I used it, the more I understood the hype. It doesn't dry out my skin, it removes everything pretty easily, and I feel like my face is very clean after I use it, without feeling dry or tight. I will definitely repurchase the next time I run out, but only when there's another good sale.

St. Ives Green Tea Scrub (retail: around $4, 6.0 oz.)

This has been my holy grail facial scrub for years now (you can check out my original review from 2011 here). Even through several packaging changes and name changes, this one remains my favorite. The current packaging looks like THIS, and the name has changed slightly since the package version you see in my photo (I stocked up when I got a good deal on the older packaging). It used to be called Blemish Control Green Tea Scrub (and the tube used to contain 4.5 oz.), but now it's called Blackhead Clearing Green Tea Scrub (and the tube now contains 6.0 oz.). It's the same glorious formula though (oil-free and contains Salicylic Acid; see full ingredients here) and the consistency, color and fragrance have not changed either. LOVE LOVE LOVE this stuff, for all of the reasons stated in my review. This is my go-to physical facial scrub and I will certainly repurchase again, and again, and again.

Do you own any of the products I just used up? If so, I'd love to hear how they've been working for YOU!

The products featured in this post were purchased with personal funds. For more information, click here.


  1. I feel you on the NARS concealer! I hate it when I end up loving something expensive too. :( I absolutely adore the Kat Von D Foiled Love lipstick in Adora; I got it for under ten dollars at TJ Maxx and it retails for 21 dollars at Sephora! I'm searching for a dupe but I'm afraid I'm going to have to repurchase it and it's really a terrible thought. XD

    1. Yeah, but if you really love it and it works well, it's totally worth it!! It's not like you're blowing $21 on a product you've never tried before. The money you'd spend searching for a dupe would probably be more than just buying the KVD in the first place. We're all worthy of spending a little extra on ourselves sometimes! :)

  2. i'm currently trying to use up the lavender honey shower gel. I find myself reaching for a thousand wishes more often. It smells nice but not as strong as I would like. Love the NARS concealer. it's a favorite

  3. French Lavender & Honey is one of my faves, too -- even though I also don't like lavender (as in hate it, please get away from me), so I was surprised to like it. I'll have to compare it to Amber Blush.

    And also YES to more Philosophy deals! (As if you have some kind of control over them.) I jumped on the bandwagon when the 8oz was a free bonus gift with any purchase on the Philosophy website and they had that gift bag for $1 (thank YOU for that tip)(yes, I bought two) and now I'm stressin' because I do not want to pay full price! :)

  4. If you're in love with the NARS, try out the Sephora Collection Bright Future Gel Serum Concealer. That's what I use, and I love it, and apparently it's a dupe for the NARS and costs about half as much. Worst case scenario, you hate it and have to return it to Sephora.

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  6. You're one of the only beauty bloggers I trust for honest opinions! I'm so happy you made an empties post, G!

  7. Have you tried the Sonia Kashuk Liquid Light Concealer? I think it's a good dupe for the NARS one and it has slightly more coverage. I'm gonna need the Cremo Cream.

  8. I picked up the cremo shave cream at Walmart the other - I think it was some sort of mango scent (not at home so I can't check), but I used it for the first time today and I love it!

  9. Love the St. Ives Green Tea scrub but it has been hard to find. Does a great job!

  10. I own the NYX brow pencil. Love it. It HAS to be made in the same factory as the ABH pencil, it just has to.

  11. The Nars concealer is everything! I know it's expensive but I can't go without it. The St. Ives green tea scrub is at Holy Grail status for me as well. I like the Nyx micro brow pencil too. But I pretty much have to build my brows from nothing so I go through that pretty fast. Hopefully they will make a dupe for the Anastasia Brow Definer. I love it but I can't pay $23 for that little amount of product.

  12. I have gone thru one bottle of that Oil of Olay body wash, have two more in reserve (but, you know, shower at max bottle capacity problem). I really like it, but maybe the mintiness is better for warmer weather anyway...

  13. LOVE the St. Ives Green Tea scrub!! At CVS this week all St Ives and Noxzema products are BOGO Half Off and if you buy $30 worth you get back $10, so this is a great week to stock up on them if you need some. It ends up being $20 for 8 scrubs, so a pretty solid deal.

  14. the Sephora Bright Future gel serum concealer, i've heard, is even better than the NARS! I haven't tried the NARS but i'm in loooooove with the Sephora one, it's $14 and amazing, amazing texture and amazing coverage. a little pricey compared to drugstore stuff, but with l'oreal cushion foundation going for $16 or $17, it's still reasonably low.

  15. I actually prefer Maybelline Fit Me concealer and NYX HD concealer wands to the NARS Creamy concealer! (The Maybelline is more similar). I returned NARS Creamy Concealer, I found it a bit drying compared to others I use like Maybelline Fit Me. I have yet to find that perfect undereye concealer but It Cosmetics! Bye Bye Under Eye (in the tube) and the new MUFE undereye corrector (also in a tube) are high up on my list.

    1. Bye Bye Undereye is my fav too, the wp version especially. I've tried a lot and always find my way back to it. I generally wait for deals, coupon codes, F&F, etc., though even though it is worth full price I won't if I don't have to ;) so naturally this site is my go-to!

  16. I love shower gels so much and every time you blog about something new I usually run right out and look for it. In order to use them up I will put them away for a few months and then bring them out. I do get sick of the scent after while and then it feels new again when I bring it back out.

    Now G., I want to try the Nars concealer! And I will definitely be looking at NYX brow pencil. I am trying to find some that is light enough for me. I used to go darker than normal but now I want lighter.

  17. The new L'oreal skinny brow pencil is yet another dupe and had great reviews last I checked. I like IT Cosmetics new skinny brow pencil too, especially since they.have an auburn shade which has been lacking until recently at drugstores. Sometimes QVC has good deals on duo sets that make the cost a bit easier to stomach.

  18. Cremo also comes in a cooling formula and a women's formula. I've still only tried the original but I think the women's scent was more of a coconut scent. I noticed the ingredient listing was slightly different as well and I'm not sure why. But yeah... cremo has been one of my best finds ever

  19. The Purity wash comes in a 900ml bottle on QVC...i love it.


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