It's been about 2 months since my last Empties Update, so I figured it was time to dump out the ol' empties box under the bed and see what I had in there. There was a time that I didn't save my empties because I really hated the idea of keeping trash, in a sense. I'm kind of a neat-freak, so it took a change in thinking for me to really be OK with keeping them. Interestingly enough, there is something strangely satisfying about slowly filling up my box of empties. Sometimes it feels like I'm never finishing products, or that I just have too many and I'm not going through them fast enough, but if I used up all of this in 2 months, I'd say I'm doing pretty well!
Just as before, I've separated the products into categories and broke down some of them a bit further. I like to see the product the blogger is talking about when I read empties posts, otherwise it's just a wall of text! Also, I've included my ratings: "Buy" or "Boot" based on whether or not I would re-purchase! There's some holy grails AND holy fails in this group, so I hope you enjoy!
Milky Dress: Pink Lovely Fast Shampoo
This Shampoo made my favorites of 2014 list, and for a good reason. It has such an interesting texture (kind of thick and almost stringy like a snail cream) and it smells absolutely divine. It's a heavy floral, but not a headache-inducing one. I feel like it lathers well, but not overly so, and makes my hair feel nice and clean. I found that it did do a noticeable job at thickening my hair when I was using it, however I have to say it pales in comparison to the Nioxin Shampoo/Conditioner I've been using since this one ran out. Even so, I would potentially buy this again if I ever found it on sale- it's pretty high priced for a really nice-feeling shampoo that smells amazing, but if I found it at a good price I would probably stock up!
Beauty Protector: Protect and Detangle Leave in Conditioner
Another favorite of 2014 and probably a top 10 holy grail product, I cannot live without this leave-in conditioner. It smells amazing, it detangles, protects my hair from heat styling, makes my hair shiny and silky...there really is nothing that comes close to it for me! I recently ran out and haven't had the Birchbox points to order more (it's sold exclusively through Birchbox.com) so I've been using the "It's a 10" Lite spray and really enjoy it, although I'm still missing my Beauty Protector!
VERDICT: BUY (this was my 4th bottle!)
Mise en Scene: Perfect Repair Hair Treatment
This conditioner is just fantastic and again, a 2014 favorite of mine. I used this along with the Milky Dress Shampoo, and the two of them together made my hair smell so good, that my fiance could not stop smelling my head! This is technically a hair "treatment" which means it should be used once or twice a week, however I used it daily as a regular conditioner. Even though my hair is fine and thin, this product did not weigh it down at all. If anything, my hair felt lighter and softer than it ever has! Love this product, and SUPER happy that I have a backup waiting to be used!
The Yeon: Jeju Canola Honey Silky Hand Cream
Ohhh do I love a good hand cream. I went years without using them often, but now taking care of my hands is one of the most important steps in my skincare routine! I apply hand cream multiple times throughout the day, and a thicker one before bed. The Jeju Canola Honey hand cream was one that I took to work with me, and I really could not stop using it. I don't love when "honey" is used to describe hand creams that have a heavy floral scent like this one does, however the hand cream it self was silky-smooth and absorbed quickly. It really made my hands feel incredibly soft too! The main problem I have with this product is simply that I have many better hand creams. It was a nice one to use, but I don't think I'd repurchase.
Julep: Glycolic Hand Scrub
Yet another 2014 favorite, this tube of hand scrub has lasted me a LONG time. I got it quite awhile ago (I think it has had a few packaging changes since I got this one) and didn't really use it even though I put it right by my sink. Once the weather started getting colder, my hands began to dry out for the first time ever- I guess I was always lucky before and never had to moisturize them! This hand scrub made my hands feel so ridiculously soft, especially when you apply a thick hand cream immediately after using. I haven't experimented with other hands scrubs yet, so I don't know how this one would compare, but I've got to say, it's become a staple in my body-skincare routine!
Secret Key Donkey Milk Whipping Hand Cream
I got this hand cream from the Beauteque Head to Toe Milk Bag, and I liked that it had a very light scent (sort of baby-powdery) as I don't like to apply heavily scented lotions when I'm at work in case someone I work with is sensitive to strong scents. This has a very light consistency, and absorbs very quickly, although I did feel like I had to keep applying it over and over throughout the day to keep my hands moisturized. It's an OK hand cream to toss in your purse, but it's not something I would go out and repurchase.
Label Young: Shocking Holjjuki Cream
I've had this body cream sitting around in my drawer for awhile now. I got it in a past Memebox, and it's supposed to tighten and firm the skin on the body. When I decided to start having a "body care" routine, I finally pulled this out and put it in the bathroom to use when I got out of the shower. I applied it to my upper arms, thighs and belly and waited for the magic to happen. If magic means a slight burning sensation and absolutely no results, then yea...it's magical alright. This tube is almost completely full, but I cannot see myself or anyone else actually wanting to use this useless stuff. I know most of these creams that do work are temporary, but this one did absolutely nothing, so in the trash it goes.
Acure Cell Stimulating Body Wash
I got this body wash sample in an early Kloverbox and completely forgot I had it! I decided to dig through my stash and start pulling out deluxe samples and forcing myself to use them up before my full size products so I could whittle down my huge stash. This one smells like sweet almond and doesn't have a very good lather, which would be great for people who don't like sulfates. As much as I'd rather not load my skin up with sulfates, I honestly cannot get over the lack of suds when I'm using a body wash. I need to see the suds in order to know that I'm using enough body wash and that it's cleansing my skin...it's a mental thing, I guess? Either way, this was a nice body wash and it didn't make my sensitive skin breakout, but I had to use almost double the amount I normally would in order to create enough suds for my liking.
Whish Shave Cream in "Pomegranate"
I absolutely love the Whish Shave Cream in the Almond scent, and it's something I've repurchased multiple times, so I thought between tubes of that, I would try out the Pomegranate sample I received in one of my Birchboxes. I'm not entirely sure what it is, but the Whish shave creams in the full size pumps have a completely different consistency than the samples in the squeeze tubes. It's almost like it had separated in the tube or something. It was much more watery than the thick, creamy Almond shave cream that I'm used to. It has a really lovely scent, but based on this sample alone, I can't say I'd get the pomegranate over the Almond. This particular scent is a boot, but the Whish Shave Cream in general is a fantastic product that I highly recommend!
ELF: High Definition Powder
For some reason, I tend to go through makeup a lot more slowly than my skincare, so it's usually the smallest collection of empties each month. The ELF high definition powder came highly recommended from a youtuber I adore (Emily over at Beauty Broadcast) so I picked it up in an ELF haul I did sometime last year. I didn't get around to using it until a few months ago, but I can't really say I'm a fan. Similar to the City Color Cosmetics high def powder, this is "transluscent" but it leaves a sort of white cast on my face after applying, and while it makes my skin feel abnormally soft, it also feels like it's sitting on top of my skin rather than becoming one with it. I also noticed that I care more about oil control than anything when it comes to my powder, and this one just didn't do the job in that department. It's a good price for a large container, but I'd much rather spend more money on a product that works better with my skin.
Skinfood: Shea Butter Lip Car Bar in "Milk"
This was another product I received in my Beauteque Head to Toe Milk bag, and weirdly enough, it might be my favorite from the entire collection. I rarely use up an entire lip product, but I couldn't get enough of this balm! It smells like a milky, creamy shea butter, glides on and feels incredibly comfortable on the lips. I kept this balm on my bedside table, and just kept applying it repeatedly because of how nice it feels! It really does a great job keeping my lips moisturized during the winter months. I'm not sure if it will heal already dry/chapped lips, but once I was able to control the dryness, this balm kept my lips in perfect condition when applied regularly. I was scraping the last of it out of the tube before I was able to admit that it was empty!
Lorac Pro Mascara
I picked up the Lorac Pro 2 Palette with a great coupon, and the Lorac Pro Mascara came in a value set with the palette. I saw some pretty good reviews on this, so imagine my surprise when I absolutely hated the formula. The brush is MASSIVE. It's shaped like a rounded triangle, but it's so voluminous and short that it was almost impossible for me to reach the inner corners of my lashes, or even coat them enough for my liking. The formula was also incredibly dry, and I needed to apply coat after coat to even get it to show up. I like big, dark, voluminous lashes, so this just didn't work for me. I would say that it might be worth it for someone who likes a more natural look, although there are plenty of drugstore mascaras that will work better than this one for a fraction of the price.
Rimmel: Scandaleyes Precision Micro Eyeliner
I got two different versions of these felt tip Rimmel liners during a drugstore sale, and I was so excited to try them. My go-to liquid liner is the Maybelline Line Stiletto because it lasts forever and the felt tip makes for very easy application. I figured the pen-shaped liners may provide even more precisions and ease of application. I actually adore Rimmel products: their lip products are arguably the best in the drugstore, and I've had fantastic luck with their foundations and mascaras as well, so I was surprised that this eyeliner seemed to be lacking in quality. Even during the first use, the felt tip on the pen seemed to dry out after a few swipes. I used this once or twice a week for less than a month and it was almost completely dried out. I'm not sure if I got a dud, but it wasn't even worth the sale price I purchased it for. I like products that will last me a long time, and this one definitely failed in that regard.
Purederm: Makeup Ceansing Tissues in "Green Tea"
These cleansing tissues have recently become a favorite of mine because they not only do the job well, but they also have a low pH, which is pretty rare to find in a cleansing wipe. The green tea ones smell really nice, however I've since purchased the Tea Tree, Q-10 and Peptide versions as well and I also enjoy those! The best part about these is that you can pick them up from Forever21 for under $3 for a pack of 30. Cleansing wipe packages are heavy, and they really rack up the shipping costs when you're buying them from a Korean site, so I'm happy these ones are readily available in the US. They aren't the best at removing eye makeup, but they really will get my skin cleansed in a flash!
The Face Shop: Herb Day Cleansing Tissues
These were the last 2 packages I had left of the Herb Day Cleansing Tissues. I actually really loved these as they were soaked through, removed my makeup quickly and had a great scent. Unfortunately, I found out that their pH was much higher than I'd like (I believe they came in around a 7-7.5) so I decided to switch to the Purederm ones.
It's Skin: Mangowhite Lip and Eye Remover Tissue
I received these in a Beauteque bag, and I am obsessed with them! At first I thought they were cleansing wipes, but I realized as I used them that they were actually makeup-removing wipes! They leave an oily-like residue on the skin that reminds me a bit of an oil cleanser, so while it quickly breaks down and remove makeup with ease, I do still need to use a cleanser or cleansing cloth immediately afterwards. Even so, on those nights when I can't drag myself out of bed to wash my face with water and a regular cleanser, using these along with a cleansing wipe really does the trick. Plus, they smell absolutely amazing! I want to get all the products from the mangowhite line simply for their scent!
Missha: Time Revolution Night Repair Turn Over Control Booster
This booster was included in my Memebox Haul of Fame, and for good reason! I love the watery-gel formula, and I feel like it did an amazing job evening out my skin tone and prepping my skin for more product. You're able to use this as a toner and booster at the same time, but I did use a toner on top of this. Even though this isn't a huge bottle, I felt like it took me absolutely forever to get through. You really need such a small amount to completely cover your face, which is awesome considering it's not an inexpensive product. The bottle is made of an incredibly heavy glass which can be a bit annoying if you're traveling or tend to be clumsy, but I have to say it's one of my favorite boosters I've tried so far!
Mizon: AHA & BHA Daily Clean Toner
My all-time favorite toner, hands down. I usually have a backup ready to go, however I had to switch to a different toner once this was empty because it's becoming more and more difficult to get at a reasonable price. This toner was the only thing I switched into my routine when I was having some breakout issues, and within days, my skin cleared up, looks visibly more calm and even-toned. My skin loves AHA's and BHA's, so I had great luck with this. Recently, there was a contamination issue with these toners where people who had purchased them from Rose Rose Shop and Tester Korea (and now reportedly, Beauteque) had received a specific batch that had floating particles in it. Since then, Rose Rose Shop has discontinued carrying the toner which breaks my heart, because they had it at half the price that most sites did, and with free shipping to boot. I'm still on the hunt for a toner that will work as well as this one did for me, but so far I've come up with no comparable ones.
Paula's Choice: Skin Perfecting 1% BHA Gel
This was my main BHA product for a long while. I have since upgraded to the Paula's Choice 2% liquid, however I recommend trying the 1% gel if you have sensitive skin, or you're new to using BHA. I started out using the 1% gel because it spread easily and evenly over my skin, and wasn't overly drying. I can confidently say that nothing has helped with my breakouts more than using the Paula's Choice BHA products nightly. Since I have upgraded to the 2% I've seen a significant change in the overall smoothness and appearance of my skin. Honestly, I've never seen my skin look better. I really attribute it to the Paula's Choice BHA products and I recommend them to everyone I know that suffers from excessive breakouts. It's truly a must-have!
Mizon: Special Therapy Good Night White Sleeping Mask
I had run out of my Lioele Waterdrop Sleeping Pack, and instead of buying another one, I made the decisions to start digging into my stash of sleeping packs that I've loaded up on during my Memebox days. Weirdly enough though, I got this one from a Beauteque bag. Even though this tube looks pretty small, it actually lasted me about 2 months, and just when I thought there was nothing left, I gave it a little shake and more would come out! You don't need a lot to completely coat the skin. It has a very subtle jasmine/soothing scent and it's a gel-like pack that would work amazingly well for oily skin. It seems to dry/absorb quickly so I don't have that greasy-look to my face when I wake up. I also do believe it helped with evening out my skin tone- my face looked so clean and even when I used this! I have moved on to a different sleeping pack from my stash, but I am still highly considering repurchasing this one- it's inexpensive and really does a great job for me!
Milky Dress: Bohr- Effect Carboxy Gel Mask
I remember when I first got this mask, I immediately thought it was too much effort to use and tossed aside. After seeing and hearing lots of good reviews, I finally decided to blow the dust off of it and give it a go. Basically, inside the box there is a tube of a gel-like essence as well as a dry sheet mask. You apply half the gel to your face, then lay the dry sheet mask on top. Then you apply the rest of the gel on top of the sheet mask and let it sit. The weird thing is, as you're applying the gel on top of the sheet mask, you can feel some intense bubbling happening, almost like soda carbonation! I will admit it did tingle/burn a bit, but not in an unbearable way. I left the mask on for about 30 minutes and when I removed it and rinsed, I've gotta say- my skin felt incredibly noticeably soft and smooth. Even though it caused an uncomfortable burning sensation, there was no irritation or redness on my skin when I removed the mask. My skin really felt more firm and smooth, and I would definitely buy this again if I found it at a good price!
Skinfactory: Real Soft Premium Deep Cleansing Cream
This was my favorite cleanser for quite awhile. I only needed a pea-sized amount to cover my whole face and boy, did this stuff foam up to a thick, luxurious creamy lather. Unfortunately, once I started pH testing my products, I found this one had a crazy-high pH of 10. I realized that this cleanser could be the reason why my skin was breaking out so badly, so I said goodbye to the small amount that was left. Since then, my skin has cleared up dramatically. This went from absolute favorite, to something I would never repurchase.
Benton: Snail Bee High Content Essence
This is a staple product in my skincare routine. This particular product caused some issues a while back, regarding some contamination issues and people's skin having major problems because of it, so many people have chosen to no longer use this product. I'm not sure if it's a blessing or a curse, but I hadn't tried Benton products prior to all the issues, so when one of these finally landed in my lap, I felt compelled by all the prior reviews to try it. I have to say, I can actually tell when I stop using this product. I'm on my 3rd bottle, and during the times when I had to wait for another one to come in, I could see a difference in my skin. My breakouts took longer to heal, I noticed my skin retained less moisture and that my redness started coming back here and there. I really do love this product, and while I can't blame people that were affected by it for never using it again, I don't know if I can live without it!
Benton: Snail Bee High Content Steam Cream
I was on the fence about this cream when I first got it. I still don't love the squeeze tube that it comes in. The cream is insanely dense, so it takes a lot of strength and squeezing to get it out of the tube. When I first applied it, I felt like it would no doubt be too thick for my oily skin. Interestingly enough, this stuff absorbs really beautifully, and leaves my skin feeling soft and smooth. When I put this on before bed, I love how bright and soft my skin looks when I wake up in the morning. I am currently trying to burn through my huge collection of creams so I haven't repurchased this yet, but I can tell you right now that I haven't found one I like better, yet!
She's Uris: Rice Water Double Action Wrinkle & Whitening Cream
During the time I was using the Benton Steam Cream, I also wanted one to use during the day that wasn't as rich. This cream was absolutely perfect for that. It is a creamy gel-like formula, and it's incredibly fast-absorbing. I found it to be perfect as a day moisturizer because as soon as I applied it, a minute later I was ready to start putting on my makeup. It's incredibly soothing and would be perfect for oily skinned people that need a gentle, fast-absorbing daily moisturizer. I can't say that this did anything magical other than simply moisturizing my skin, however it did do that job well. It's not something I would purchase again because I have such a large amount of creams that I still need to use, but it's definitely one I'd consider picking up again in the future if I ran out of daytime moisturizers.
I'm still shocked at how many things I was able to burn through in just 2 months time! I think I might start holding onto impressive as well as surprisingly awful sheet masks packaging as well so I can share which ones I enjoyed/disliked. I use sheet masks multiple times a week, but never think to hold onto them for my Empties reviews- so that might be something to keep an eye out for next time! Overall, I think I used up some really impressive products, although there were a few duds in the bunch. Let's see how many hand creams can work my way through in the next 2 months- hoping to really cut down on my huge collection of them, so wish me luck!
All thoughts and opinions in this blog post are genuine and belong to Harlot Beauty. No monetary compensation was received, although goods and/or services may have been provided and accepted for purpose of review. Post may contain affiliate or referral links.