Sunday, May 15, 2016

April 2016 Empties: Hits & Misses


Back in January when I did an "empties" post (which my very first "empties' post EVER), some of you said you'd like to see me do this on a regular basis. Well it may not be every month, but I'm trying! In April, I actually finished quite a few products. So here's a quick run-down, including my thoughts and whether or not I'll repurchase any of these items.

Bath & Body Works Amber Blush Shower Gel ($12.50, 10 oz.) - B&BW discontinued this scent, which is crazy since I know it was a favorite of many (probably part of their marketing strategy so that there's a crazy rush for it when they bring it back for the Semi-Annual Sale, but I digress). I love this scent and I'll definitely repurchase; you can still find it on Amazon and eBay very easily if you don't want to wait for the SAS in June.

Briogeo Rosarco Milk Leave-In Conditioning Spray ($20, 5 oz.) - this was on my Holiday 2015 wishlist after reading the glowing reviews at Sephora (you can see them for yourself by clicking the link in the title). So I finally caved after the holidays and purchased it for myself because I'm always on the lookout for a fabulous leave-in for my long, fine, wavy, and prone-to-frizz hair. I'm sad to report that this didn't live up to the hype for me. It actually did nothing for my hair, aside from making it feel a touch softer. I will not repurchase.

First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Hydrating Serum (free deluxe sample from Sephora) - I've read quite a few glowing reviews about this serum, so when Sephora had it as a freebie a few months ago, I jumped on it. While it is lightweight and it absorbs very quickly with no sticky residue (which my oily skin very much appreciates), I didn't feel like it delivered any real hydration to my skin, which was what I was looking for in the winter months. I know that with serums you need to use them for a while before you may see some long-term effects, so I won't rule out a purchase in the future, but it's not something that I'm clamoring to buy.

Deborah Lippmann Steppin' Out Nourishing Foot Cream ($32, 5.2 oz.) - I believe that this product has been discontinued since it's no longer on the Deborah Lippmann website, nor is it available at Nordstrom (it was at one point), although the link in the title will take you to HSN where it is still in stock as of the time of this post. I first purchased this way back when Beauty Brands was having a crazy 75% off sale on Deborah Lippmann, which I think was like two or three years ago (I'd have to check my blog archives to be sure, but I think that's right). Anyway, I freaking fell in LOVE with it and, such is the curse when buying high-end products on clearance, I HAD to purchase more when I ran out and I was willing to pay full-price for it (which is ridiculous because I would normally never pay $32 for a foot cream). But let me tell you--this stuff smells like peppermint buttercream, and it works so wonderfully to hydrate my sad, sad, dry feet. Not only does it instantly hydrate, but it continues to work its magic for days after application. I would repurchase but the full retail price is too much for me (I already feel guilty for purchasing it ONCE at full-price), plus since I think it's going away, I would rather focus my energy on the foot creams I love that are still in stock (and much more affordable).

Old Spice Fresher Collection Invisible Solid Antiperspirant in Timber ($3.99, 2.6 oz.) - I've said it here many times, but I LOVE Old Spice fragrances and even though they're geared toward men, I use and love many of them. Timber is my new favorite, since it's so fresh and clean, with a lovely mint note. I will most certainly repurchase.

Physicians Formula Super CC+ Cream SPF 30 in Light ($12.99; 1.2 oz.) - I've repurchased this 3x at this point and I will certainly do it again. I LOVE this stuff because it provides great coverage, it contains SPF 30, and it plays very nicely with my oily skin. Plus, it goes on so smoothly, I don't need to fuss with a brush or Beautyblender for application--my fingers work beautifully. It's the best "I'm in a hurry and need something on my face STAT before I walk out this door" product I own. If you want more info, check out my original review of this CC cream HERE.

NYX Micro Brow Pencil in Taupe ($9.99; 0.003 oz.) - you may recall that this brow pencil was in my January empties post. Well in February, I decided to buy it again. And as I said in January, I really do enjoy this pencil, but it's not perfect for me. I know a lot of people swear that this is a perfect dupe for Anastasia Brow Whiz (same exact size, both are made in Korea, etc.) but I feel like I'm in the minority here when I say that I don't feel like this is really a dupe. The ABH pencil performs better for me, and it never gets cakey. I've noticed that, depending on which moisturizer I'm wearing, the NYX can apply sort of weirdly and it can drag and look a little cakey in my brows, even when I'm using quick, short strokes. I do like the color (Taupe is a nice match for me because it's not too warm; I prefer cooler tones in my brows) but I don't like the color as much as my holy grail Maybelline Define-A-Brow in Dark Blonde. I do love that the NYX lasts me a very long time though. I tend to blow through my Maybelline pencil in about a month, but the NYX lasted me two months, even with continued use. I also love that this pencil lasts all day on my oily skin. Will I repurchase (again)? Yes, but only when there's a good NYX sale going on.

Maybelline Lash Sensational Washable Mascara in Blackest Black ($8.99, 0.32 oz.) - one of my top five mascaras of all time is the original Maybelline Colossal Volum' Express in the yellow tube. So when so many of you were raving about Lash Sensational a while back, I had to see what all the fuss was about. Once again, I know I'm in the minority here, but this one didn't "wow" me. Now let me state, in case you're new to my blog, that my lashes are short, straight, thin, and sparse. So I absolutely need a volumizing formula, and I actually look for a bit of "clumpage" to my mascaras because otherwise, you cannot see my lashes at all. So I TOTALLY get the love for this mascara because it doesn't clump, and I can see that if you already had some length to your lashes, and if your lashes were not thin to begin with, how this could be holy grail status. It enhances the lashes without clumping or making them look over the top. But what others may find "over the top" is not at all "over the top" for my puny little lashes. I will not repurchase.

I hope you enjoyed this "empties" post, and if you'd like to see me continue doing this in the future, please comment below. Also, if you own any of these products, I would LOVE to hear how they're working for YOU!

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

  1. Love Amber Blush! I'm surprised they are discontinuing it since it seems pretty new.
    I've tried several samples of the First Aid Beauty products and none of them have wowed me either.
    I do really like the Maybelline mascara but I can understand why it doesn't work for you.
    These posts are great, keep doing them because it gives all of us some ideas of new products to try ( like your Old Spice deodorant). Also, I've sorta been eyeing that PF CC cream so I might get it at the next CVS sale.

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  2. Please keep doing these posts! Sometimes you find a product you initially hated, but then realize why you love it (or vice versa), and these follow-up posts about items you've used to the last drop are great. I love the long-term, fully tested reviews. Thanks for doing them!

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  3. I do love your empties posts, please keep em coming!

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  4. Glad to see another lady likes the Old Spice a/p. I am in love with Amber! It's nice to not have pits that smell of baby powder or flowers LOL!!

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    1. Amber is SO GOOD!!! I switched to it for Fall/Winter, but I'm having a hard time switching away from it, because I love it so much. I generally like Fiji for Spring/Summer. I might have to try Timber now too. I agree that is great to have these as non-"girly" scent options. They also work WAY better for me than "women's" antiperspirant ever has. I have been very tempted to try the coordinating body washes, but I need to work through my stash first.

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    2. I use Old Spice Fiji. I really like the tropical smell! I'll have to check out Timber and Amber the next time I'm at the store. Regular men's deodorant works at least as well as women's clinical strength, if not better, but costs less than half as much. I only wish that I could find another brand that also made scents that aren't super manly. I can't use the same brand for two sticks in a row, because my body adjusts to it and it stops working, but nothing else smells as good as Old Spice. Unscented deodorants don't with well for me either, so I usually try to wear perfume more often to cover up my masculine deodorant scents!

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    3. Do you skip perfume when using a strongly scented antiperspirant? Go for unscented? Try to coordinate the scents?

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    4. My husband uses this brand an honestly never thought to use it for myself. I think I may give it ago on my next purchase. I need something heavy duty. My question is does it sting armpits when used right after shaving?

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    5. Robin, it doesn't sting at all for me.

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  5. I am going to definitely check out that CC cream for summer.

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  6. Hey G if you like your mascaras on the clumpier side (and since you mentioned they are so short) I would totally reccomend the new loreal Butterfly Sculpt mascara with the purple cap. The bristles are really short (which might be good for you) and hold a good amount of product which = clumpage if youre not careful. I personally like clumpier lashes and at first I found it toooo clumpy but if i scrape off excess mascara on the edge of the tube its perfect for me (i have pretty normal/standard lashes)

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  7. I love Amber Blush that is my favorite as well from Bath & Body works can can purchased on their website. It is only available online only.

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  8. If you have a B&BW outlet near you they have all fragrances, even discontinued ones!

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  9. Ok a your hair type sounds exactly like mine and Inhave to tell you the best leave in condition I have ever used is the Unite 7 seconds. It changed my hair dramatically. My hair is so much less frizzy, more healthy, softer, and less tangled. It's pricey but it lasts a long time and REALLY works.

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  10. Are you surely it's DC? They have a ton of scents that are 'online exclusives' like my beloved Dark Kiss.

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  11. Hello! Thanks for the post! I am a seasonal worker for BBW. Just wanted to let you know that the discontinued scents can be found on the website. Usually they run good sales on them like $6 each or buy 3 get 3. Some of my all time favs are dark kiss, forever sunshine and sensual Amber and they are are online. Of course most of the time they will be brought back for semi annual sale which is at the end of the month!
    Just started following you a couple months ago and it has changed my buying game! Thanks for your hard work!! ��������

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  12. More empties videos yes please!!

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  13. I love empties reviews. I always pass by that CC cream, will have to give it a try.

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  14. I wish the Physician's Formula came in more shades. I liked it when I tried it but even the Light is too dark for me.

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  15. I felt the same way about the Maybelline mascara. I was excited to try it because soo many people were raving about it but I agree that it's better for people who already have long lashes. My lashes are really short too and it didn't make that huge of a difference for me either. I wasn't a fan of the NYX brow pencil either lol. It just didn't offer enough coverage for my sparse brows. I have no idea why I gave in to try it as I'm not a fan of the ABH Brow Wiz pencil either lol. I think I may try the FAB serum soon though. I've also read a lot of good reviews about it so I'm curious to try a sample soon. Great post!

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  16. Oooh...I like empties posts. I think these are the best sorts of mini reviews actually--gives me an idea of what is actually worth it in the long run.

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  17. I agree about the nyx brow pencil. I find the texture to be draggy/stiff too. I think that the Loreal brow pencil (new one-- I think it's called brow definer??) is a PERFECT dupe for the brow wiz. I've used them side by side and can't tell any difference in texture or application. Loreal "blonde" is a match for Anastasia taupe.

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  18. Btw, I fell in love with the Sarah Macnamara miracle body transformer. I almost paid 32.00 at Kohls( I was going to use a 10.00 prestige coupon too). It was out of stock. About 6 months ago, I saw it on clearance at TJ Maxx for 8.00. Score!!

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  19. Bath and Body Works still has Amber Blush but it is online only now. They took it out of stories to bring in a new scent. I really like that scent too.

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  20. I don't know exactly what you're looking for in a leave in conditioner but the best one I've ever tried is the Goldwell Kerasilk keratin one. It's very light and makes your hair super shiny and silky and doesn't weigh it down at all. It's a very thin watery texture. My stylist used it on me and I bought it immediately. So good.

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  21. I have long, average densitylashes.The Maybelline Lash Sensational Washable Mascara in Blackest Black is great for a finished natural look. Definitely not the mascara if you are looking for volume or length.

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  22. G, you should totally try O'Keeffe'd for Healthy Feet foot balm. It's pretty affordable and I was surprised that it healed my cracked and starting to get infected heal. I'll definitely repurchase it!

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  23. Just wanted to say that I love these empties posts!!

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  25. I love that Maybelline Colossal Volum' Express mascara as well! It's just what my thin, short lashes need. Plus, it stays on pretty well and comes off without smudging much at all. I try other mascaras occasionally, but I always come back to that one.

    Loving your blog, btw!

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