Tuesday, June 21, 2016

May 2016 Empties: Hits and Misses


Due to your feedback (thank you!), I am trying really hard to post my empties every month. They may go up a little late (we're almost through June and here I am showing you my May empties!) but I WILL try to post these every single month. I don't think I have received such positive feedback about any other series I have ever done on my blog, so thank you so much for letting me know that you like these posts! (If you would like to see my previous two Empties posts, you can click my Empties tag HERE.)

I finished some deluxe samples as well as some full-size products in May, so here are my thoughts about everything pictured above:

Tarte Lights Camera Lashes Mascara - $21, 0.24 oz.
I'm a drugstore mascara girl, but I couldn't resist trying this one when Ulta was doing their 21 Days of Beauty and had it on sale for $10. I know that a lot of you love this mascara, but I'm said to say that it was just "meh" for me. I loved that it didn't flake, run or smudge, even on my super oily skin. But I felt that the overall effect that this mascara provided was nothing spectacular, and certainly something I can achieve with various drugstore mascaras. I have thin, sparse, straight, short lashes, so I really need more volume and length than this mascara provides. I will not repurchase (even if it goes on sale for $10 again at Ulta).

Yes To Naturals Grapefruit & Basil Liquid Hand Soap - $3.99, 12 oz. (if you click that link, it's currently on sale at Target for $3.50, also in-store)
This is absolutely my new favorite hand soap for the kitchen. I am OBSESSED with this stuff. First, the fragrance! It is the perfect balance of fresh grapefruit and fresh basil--not too heavy on either one, but just perfect. It's the type of scent that just works so well for the kitchen, and I LOVE the formula. It comes out of the pump almost like a lotion, and it's not huge on lather but it does provide a modest amount of lather after you get it going with some water. But what I love is that it gets my hands so clean, without ever leaving them feeling dry or itchy. It also doesn't leave any film behind, which is great when you're using your hands in the kitchen. I'm telling you, I freaking adore this hand soap and I have already purchased a second bottle.

Boots No7 Youthful Eye Serum - $23, 0.5 oz. (if you click that link, it's currently on sale at Ulta for $20.39)
This has been my go-to eye cream for several months now, since a Boots beauty concierge at Target recommended it to me. I don't really use it as a serum though, because it does't have that standard "serum" texture. The texture is more like a regular eye cream, although it's lighter than a cream--it's more like a lotion. What I love about this stuff is that it's light, fragrance-free, absorbs quickly, and it doesn't cause my eye makeup to slip. It adds some nice hydration to my eye area, but it doesn't feel heavy or give me milia. I have used it as a serum a few times underneath another eye cream, but I prefer it on its own, for daytime use (I use a more heavy-duty eye cream at night). I will definitely repurchase.

Redken Beach Envy Volume Texturizing Shampoo and Conditioner - travel size freebies from Ulta
I'm guessing that many of you grabbed this freebie at Ulta a while back when I blogged about it (that's when I got it). If you didn't, it was actually a trio that also contained the Beach Envy Volume Wave Aid Spray. Well, I don't know about any of you other wavy/curly haired peeps out there, but I did not like any of these products. At all. The shampoo and conditioner were both very thin and watery in texture and provided me with zero moisture. In fact, my hair felt very dry and hay-like after using these products, and it took me extra time to brush out the tangles after my shower. I used them up, but I couldn't get through that Wave Aid Spray. After two uses I was DONE. That product left my curls so crunchy it gave me flashbacks to 1992. Will not repurchase any of these products.

Origins Make a Difference Rejuvenating Hand Cream - deluxe sample 
I know what you're thinking. ANOTHER hand cream, G.? And yes, I know I'm obsessed with hand creams but I actually got this one as part of a value set that was on sale over the holidays, so it doesn't count, right?? ANYWAY, I actually really love this one, and I wish I didn't because the full-size tube is $22 (ouch). The good news is that a little goes a looong way with this stuff, and it took quite a while to get through this deluxe sample. If you use too much it will get greasy, so it's nice that you only need a pea-size amount for both hands. This stuff feels like liquid silk on my skin, and it keeps my hands soft and silky for hours. It is so luxurious, and I love that it has that signature Origins fragrance (a soft yet slightly spicy ginger note). If I can get a really good deal on this, I will absolutely repurchase.

L'Occitane Bonne Mere Honey Shower Gel $14; 10.1 oz.
I swear I didn't plan this but as of the time of this post (I don't know when this will end) L'Occitane is offering free shipping on ALL orders and this body wash is on sale for $9.50 (regularly $14). I bought this body wash under similar conditions a few months ago when I posted about another L'Occitane sale (I think I actually paid $8 at that time), and I have my finger on the trigger to repurchase as I type this. I adore this body wash because, in my opinion, it's the closest thing to a REAL honey scent that I have ever found in a body wash. I hate it when body washes say they're honey-scented but end up smelling like some plastic, floral-y interpretation of honey. This smells like actual honey to me and it's divine (plus the adorable cube packaging doesn't hurt). I do want to mention that it doesn't produce a huge lather (probably due to the amount of natural ingredients) but it's enough to get the job done. Plus, it's quite gentle on my skin and never leaves it feeling dry or tight. I would drink this stuff if I could.

Benefit Roller Lash Mascara - deluxe sample
I got this in a previous Sephora Favorites set a while back and it took me a while to get through it because, frankly, I just don't care for it. If I were going to fork over good money for a Benefit mascara, I would buy They're Real over Roller Lash any day. The Roller Lash formula did nothing for my short, straight, thin, sparse lashes. They're Real, on the other hand, is the only mascara I have ever used that has made my mom say, "G., are you wearing false lashes today?" I kid you not that I actually replied to her, "No mom, THEY'RE REAL!" I will not repurchase Roller Lash (but I will totally purchase They're Real when a really good deal comes around. I used up the last of my deluxe samples a few months ago and I'm hoping a crazy deal comes around soon.)

Have you tried any of my May Empties? You know I would love to hear from you!
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51 comments

  1. I love Lights, Camera, Lashes (I also got it for $10 at Ulta) but I, too, hated Roller Lash. It did nothing for me either. I had gotten it as a sample so I'm glad I didn't pay anything for it.

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    1. I'm sad it didn't work or you either, Carol, but happy I'm not alone! ;)

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    2. People look at me funny when I say I hate Roller Lash! I was beginning to think there's something wrong with me! I wouldn't say it did nothing for me, I got clumps...

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  2. I thought those Redken products were kind of awful, too. I wonder if they're really meant for people with stick-straight hair who need a lot of roughing-up to create texture? I could see them working brilliantly for that, but my curls did not like them one bit, even when I was trying to style them into messy beach waves. I'll stick with John Frieda Ocean Waves.

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    1. You have a good point there, M. I'm now wondering if they're more geared toward straight-haired people as well! Because they certainly did NOT work on my wavy hair. Ugh...so bad!

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    2. I'm not crazy about Lights Camera Action, but I do like the Splashes. It's waterproof and sweatproof for sports and it comes off easily with soap and water. I got both with various as part of sets. I don't plan on repurchasing either since there are options that are just as good for less.

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    3. I was thinking the same thing. I have curly hair and hoped it would tone down the curly and make it more wavy/beachy, but it was just a mess. Probably geared towards the straight hair. I also got the "one united" spray but I haven't used it yet because I'm still using "it's a 10". Loved the empties post, G!

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  3. I actually love Roller Lash! I got the deluxe sample in the Pink Set at Sephora and fell in love. I ended up buying a full size and still love it! My lashes are somewhat long to begin with and they look almost fake when I take the time to really use the mascara and get all my lashes. I will repurchase for sure. I really didn't like They're Real, but I really have a hard time getting used to sample sized mascaras. I feel like it doesn't give an accurate representation of the mascara wand. I think that's why I fell so hard in love with Roller Lash :)

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    1. That is interesting, I love mascara samples, but I also wonder sometimes if the sample vs full size can be different experiences.

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    2. I'm so glad the Roller Lash works for you! They're Real totally works for me and I THINK the brush itself is full-size on that one, even though the wand is of course a lot shorter.

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    3. That's a good point. The brush is the same for both the full- and deluxe/travel-size of They're Real, but the brush is smaller on the deluxe/travel-size of the Lights, Camera, Lashes than it is for the full-size one.

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  4. That tarte mascara is just meh for me too!!! #twins! I'm totally getting that hand soap btw lol!!!

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    1. Oh Dani, I'm so glad you agree with me because I KNOW I'm in the minority about that mascara! We're fail twinsies, I guess? Lol! And yeah, you kind of NEED that hand soap, girl. ;)

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    2. I'm with you guys on Lights, Camera, Lashes. However, Lights, Camera, Flashes-my holy grail. If you're ever able to grab a sample, I highly recommend giving it a try.

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  5. Have you tried The Body Shop Honeymania? I definitely get a "real" honey scent from that one -- but it is mixed with a floral note. I personally love that about it, but it's not straight honey. I've never tried the L'Occitane (so luxe!), but it might be a more affordable alternative if you like honey scents.

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    1. Yes, I have! I like Honeymania, but I don't love it. It doesn't smell like real honey at all to me, but since that's not what you're looking for, I can totally see how you'd love it! It's a fun scent, for sure! :)

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  6. Love the empties post!! Sad that you didn't like the tarte mascara it's my all time fav) but am totally with you on RollerLash! I got a sample in my Glossybox and wasn't impressed to begin with as far as lerformabce, but it also turned my eyeballs BRIGHT RED! Turns out I'm allergic to it (though not They're Real, which I just got another sample of in my Play!box)! Needless to say, I threw that stuff far, far away from my eyeballs when I figured out it was the problem. And then I picked it up off the floor and threw it in the actual garbage can but in my defense I couldn't see due to previously stated allergic reaction lol

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    1. Aaaaah, I'm so sorry to hear about your experience with Roller Lash! I'm hot allergic to it thank goodness, but it just didn't do a thing for me. So sad, since I know it works for others! :(

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  7. Hey love which eye creams do you enjoy using for night time. I'm always wanting to try new ones.

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    1. I am currently using the Algenist Firming & Lifting Eye Gel, which I got when Ulta had their 21 Days of Beauty event in March (it was on sale for $34; regularly $68). I really like it but unless there's another crazy deal soon, I won't repurchase when I run out because that's just too much for me when it comes to eye cream. So I'll probably go back to my old stand-by, which is Clinique All About Eyes. But I really want to try Kiehl's Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado, which a lot of people rave about. The next time there's a good Kiehl's sale, I'm probably going to give it a shot. :)

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    2. I used to work for Kiehl's. You can always stop by a store and ask for a sample of the eye cream!

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  8. Do you get Birchbox? For July, you can chose They're real as a sample choice. I also got one in the Play box this month. I love that mascara too.

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    1. Nope, the only beauty box I currently subscribe to is the Allure one, but thanks for that tip, Randi! xo

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    2. I thought you'd be all over the PLAY box.

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    3. I would love to give that one a whirl, but honestly? I have a really hard time using all of the products in the Allure one, since I also get the Target ones (duh) and then with the products I buy and receive for review, it is just A LOT. I am so overwhelmed at the moment with products in my review queue that the idea of taking on another subscription box gives me a pit in my stomach. Lol! Plus, the boyfriend would just about cry if I added more postal shipments to the mess that is our dining room right now. ;)

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    4. I know, its crazy how many samples and travel sizes I have. It would take me years to go thru everything. I get the Play Box, Birchbox, 2 walmart boxes and I try to get the Target box( and usually 2 of them). Its a sickness I tell you.

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  9. Hmm the Origins hand lotion sounds intriguing... I might grab the hand soap if I saw it at Target..usually my standard for hand soap is how big the bottle is so I don't have to replace it often (which I guess means I wash my hands a lot). I love to find giant bottles of random brands at TJ Maxx! :D

    I got that Roller lash from Sephora 100 point so I could try it, but haven't had a chance yet. I was working thru that sample set Lashstash to go, and I feel like the Marc Jacobs O!mega was the winner for me in that set...happens to also be the priciest one, so good deal to get that full size free with the voucher from the set!

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    1. Believe it or not, the 12 oz bottle of Yes To lasts a LONG time for me, since you literally only need one pump per use. If you can get it while it's still on sale at Target for $3.50, it's definitely worth it to me! :)

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  10. I've tried so many mascaras over the years, and hands down, the best one EVERRRR is the Diorshow iconic overcurl! I tell my friends, if you ever want to splurge on a high end product, buy this! It gives my lash so much volume and length too. Doesn't clump, doesn't give me raccoon eyes at the end of the day, it's not flaky. It's just the best. Expensive yes, BUT I used to spend so much money on drugstore mascaras that I didn't like, or were just OK, and now I'm done looking. I have ONE mascara in my little makeup collection. I used to always have 3 or 4 rolling around in there. I've been faithful for a about a year now. A couple of times I picked up a drugstore one that was on sale, and I had heard good things about, but they all ended up given away. Nothing compares to the iconic overturn. Absolutely worth the money. Give it a try and let me know. Geez...I didn't realize I was so passionate about a mascara. I feel silly now!

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    1. How funny! I actually bought the regular Diorshow when Belk was having that sale a while back. I like it, but I don't love it. Sounds like I need to try the Iconic Overcurl the next time they have a sale! ;)

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    2. I bought the Diorshow too at Belk and I have to say I was not that impressed. I was very disappointed because, come on, it's Dior! But honestly it wasn't all that great. I'll use it up but I would not ever buy it again so I am glad I at least tried it at a discount. Lately I'm having a real hard time finding an excellent mascara. So for now, it's just Lights, Camera, Lashes until that runs out then back to trying to find something.

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    3. Carol, did you get the set with the primer? I was a bit disappointed with both the primer AND the mascara, to be honest. I guess I just expected more because like you said, it's Dior! Well thank goodness we didn't spend a lot, right? I really like the Lancome primer SO much more and I'm hoping the new L'Oreal Voluminous primer is a good dupe.

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  11. Love empties!!!! Going to check out that hand cream!!!

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    1. Thank you! So glad you like these posts. :) And yes, that hand cream is something special--I think you'll love it!

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  12. I don't care for Lights Camera Lashes either - never understood the hype. Your eyelashes sound similar to mine and my drugstore favorites are Loreal Voluminous (after it has dried out for a couple of weeks) and the Cover Girl Super Sizer. I splurged once and bought the Chanel Le Volume and it was AMAZING. I might buy it again someday with birthday or Christmas gift money.
    What are you favorite drugstore mascaras?

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  13. I've tried all of the Bonne Mere scents but I ALWAYS come home with the honey and citron versions. In my experience, citron is just as spot-on as honey is. Good thing they're usually on some "three for x-amount" type of sale!

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  14. I love empties, too! It's such a great way to get more helpful info before buying and maybe learn about things you never would have tried otherwise!

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  15. Thanks for posting an empties post! They're so helpful. Also, thanks for the reminder to use up my deluxe samples. I stalk your blog a lot so I end up with so many of them. Hehehe

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  16. Thoughts on this:
    One, you must have the world's softest hands. (Kudos to you for actually using your hand creams. I often forget to use mine.)
    Two, there are Targets where there's a Boots concierge?

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  17. G, this is perfect timing on your part. I just got a sample of They're Real in this month's Sephora Play. I also just got a $10 gift card from Ulta that expires the beginning of July. I guess I better try the mascara out a.s.a.p.!

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  18. Great post! I'll have to try the hand soap. Sounds right up my alley. And yeah, Roller Lash is not that great, IMO. I do like the Tarte mascara, but I feel like it makes my lashes sticky once the tube is a couple of weeks old. So there's lots of product left, but it annoys me too much to use it.

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  19. I'm going to have to try out the Grapefruit and Basil hand soap and Origins hand cream. I'm a tad obsessed with hand cream myself as I wash my hands around a hundred times a day. I recently tried The Body Shop's Pink Grapefruit's shower gel and thought it would be a good fit as it's soapless, but the smell is way too strong and lingers. I don't mind the strong scent as long as it dissipates within half an hour.

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  20. I was emailed a coupon today from Origins. 20 off 45, in store only. Its yours if you want it. Email me and I'll forward it to you.

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  21. The key with the Wave Aid Spray, just a few spritzes. If you use too much, then you get the crunchy curls, but find the right amount, soft wavy curls that last. G, give it another go, if you haven't tossed it yet.

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  22. I'm going to have to grab that Grapefruit Basil hand soap next time I'm near a Target. I'm forever on a quest for kitchens hand soap that doesn't leave a perfumey smell behind. I have a super sensitive nose and can't handle Warm Vanilla Sugar scented food!
    I'm interested in trying RollerLash because my lashes are long, but straight and blonde at the tips. I love what Lights, Camera, Lashes does for me, but it's in the group of mascaras that I'm sensitive/allergic to! I have the same itchy, burning reaction to Lash Domination from BE, which stinks because I love the formula on that one, too!
    A couple of years ago, I got a QVC Tarte TSV on Auto-Delivery that included that mascara - my mom and sister really lucked out!

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  23. I love your reviews. For the last couple of years, I have been switching my makeup to more natural alternatives (slowly, as I replace things). Lights, Camera, Lashes was the first mascara that I even semi liked. Not great performance wise, but it didn't give me raccoon eyes or was super flaky. BUT, my favorite now is the Pacifica mascara. It makes my lashes so much fuller than Tarte and it's like 1/3 of the price. You should give it a try.

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  24. Unfortunately the L'occitane Honey body wash is out of stock. Thanks for the review though I will definitely try it I love honey scented products. I have L'occitane's honey scented lip balm and it is amazing.

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  25. G, have you ever had a bad reaction to any of the other Yes To products? I've found myself unable to use any of their cleansing cloths or masks, but then there are other items I can use (even within the same lines with products I can't) with no problems. This hand soap sounds like a dream (although I have two bottles of Method under my sink because I constantly fall in love with those scents!). At $3.50, I guess I can't go to wrong because I could always pass it along to a friend, but I was curious.

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  26. They don't work for straight hair either. I took my samples on my beach vacation thinking with the ocean and this I would get beautiful waves. Using this was worse than just letting the salt water do its own thing.

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  27. I love all Empties posts! I think it's just fun to see what does and doesn't work for others. I was a solid Bad Gal Lash lover before They're Real, and now I'm also in love with Roller Lash, I have blonde short lashes and it really seems to work for me. I love your dedication to a bargain, I'm so all over the place. I'm using a clinique All about Eyes gel, and I'm just interested in trying something else. I'm older so need to step it up a bit..LOL.

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  28. Sorry for commenting so late, just saw this post today.

    I must be the only person who LOVES that Redken Beach whatever shampoo! I can't speak for the conditioner or spray, I didn't try them. I have hair that's curly when long, but wavy when short and it's oily. Currently my hair is short (above the ears) and the shampoo gives me increased volume and shuzhh, if you know what I mean. I'm waiting for it to be a liter sale and am currently trying the Suave Sea Minerals shampoo as substitute.

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