Another better late than never “empties” post. Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Lotion (full size) – my favorite moisturizer ever (reviewed here) Paula’s Choice Clear Daily Skin Clearing Treatment (full size) – very gentle and effective anti-acne lotion. A tiny amount of product goes a long way. 2.25 fl. oz. tube lasted me almost a year. Granted I wasn’t using it every day. If I did it would probably last about 6 months. It’s effect is similar to that of Proactiv Repairing Lotion (reviewed here), but it seems to be less drying. Also, Paula’s Choice is much nicer company to deal with than Guthy-Renker. The lotion is a bit runny, which seems to be the case with many Paula’s Choice products. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, but took me some time to get used to working with this texture – it has to be applied quickly to prevent dripping. You really don’t want to get it on your clothes or anything else – it contains benzoil peroxide and will bleach most fabrics and some other surfaces. I really liked this product and already got a replacement. Paula’s Choice Hydralight Shine-Free Daily Mineral Complex (full size) – great physical sunscreen. It does leave a bit of a white cast, but it dissipates in a matter of minutes. A bit runny, like the lotion reviewed about. It tends to separate, so I recommend shacking the tube before each use. I really liked this and already got a replacement. Paula’s Choice Resist C15 Super Booster (deluxe sample) – products with vitamin C consistently spike my curiosity, especially if they are made by a brand I like and trust. So, I bought trial size of this serum, to give it, well, a try. I ended with pretty mixed feelings. I used it at night, mixing into Paula’s Choice Skin Balancing Invisible Finish Moisture Gel. At first I thought it doesn’t do anything. At some point I started feeling like my skin was becoming softer and smoother, but that’s when I ran out of serum. Fortunately, I got another trial size as promotion with my recent order (I’ saying “fortunately”, because at this point I wouldn’t buy it again, and would stay in doubts over weather it works or not forever). So, I’m going to give it another chance to impress me and report back. There are too things worth noting. First one is the smell. Some people say it smells like bacon. I wouldn’t say that, but it’s definitely savory kind of smell. It makes you care midnight snack when you are applying it a bed time. Consider yourself warned. Second, it seems to increase irritating potential of Paula’s Choice Clear Treatment mentioned above. So if you want to use both products, you may want to introduce them to each other gradually. Like in-laws. Temple Spa Peace Be Still Face & Body Lotion (deluxe sample) – did I already complain about generic and unimpressive moisturizers Birchbox tends to send once in a while (or in every box, if you are unlucky that way)? I’m sure I did. Well, here is another excuse to do so. This lotion was unsurprisingly similar to others distributed by Gilchrest & Soams. The main difference is the smell. Other G&S creations I’ve encountered had fruity or floral scents. This one had pine-like smell that I really disliked. Simple Soothing Eye Balm (full size) – this was probably empty for a while, but I just became aware of it now. Goes to show that I have too many products. In any case, it’s effective and gentle moisturizer for your eye area. It got me though harsh NYC winter, and I’m grateful for that. Egyptian Magic All Purpose Skin Cream (deluxe sample) – really think and emollient-heavy moisturizer. It’s really a mixture of olive oil and bee by-products that looks and feels a bit like Vaseline. It can be used as a lip balm or as moisturizer for particularly dry and rough areas, like heals and elbows. My skin, no matter how dry, usually doesn’t respond well to emollients. They tend to sit on top of my skin. Which is exactly what happened here. Plus, jar packaging bugs me for many reasons. KBShimmer Mani Shot in Oatmeal, Milk & Honey (not included in the picture) – this was my first experience with mani shot. The process was fun, and my hands needed more moisture afterwards. I would repeat this experience, but with a different scent of mani shot. Benefit They’re Real Mascara (mini) – one of my favorite mascaras. It adds some length and significant volume to my lashes and doesn’t smudge all over the place. Main drawbacks – it’s notoriously difficult to remove and it tends to clump.
Bonus – July Empties. It was so few of them, and I organized them so late, that there was no point in posting them separately.
Mix Botanicals Bath Milk in Rose Petals (single sachet) – I got sample of this in one of my first Birchboxes. I don’t use bath milk (or any other products) too often. So I’m not really an expert here. Moreover, I’m not sure how to describe my experience without sounding weirded out. For the sake of full disclosure, I probably should mention that I have this bath milk for about a year before I got to used, and it’s possible this affected the outcome. There are two ways to use it – dropping the whole sachet into the bathtub or emptying it’s content into the bathtub. I opted for the latter. It turned water in the tub whitish, which is I guess expected. It also spewed a few dried pieces of rose petals into the water. The whole thing smelled like milk and vaguely like something floral (yes, possibly roses). It didn’t make any difference to my skin and the whole experience just didn’t feel like pampering. R+Co Atlantis Shampoo and Conditioner (foils) – I don’t have much to say about these since they were single use samples. Hourglass Immaculate Liquid Powder Foundation (foil) – the shade was a bit too dark for me, but I did like the texture and staying power. It didn’t settle into fine lines and pores as much as other foundations do (at least for me). It is a bit drying like most of liquid-to-powder products. Since my skin is not particularly dry (most of the time) it wasn’t an issue for me. I’m not in love with it, but it’s the best one I’ve tried in a while. I ended up getting full size, so stay tuned for full review with pictures and details. Eyeko Skinny Liquid Eyeliner (full size) – I like liquid eyeliners, so I was all excited about it, but it didn’t work out for me. It was easy to apply and it dried to a lovely finish, but it just wouldn’t stay put. In a couple of hours it would smudge and travel places it doesn’t belong. Granted, I have this problem with many eyeliners, probably because I touch my face more often than I care to admit. Publix Nail Polish Remover (travel size) – I picked it up when I was on vacation in Florida. It looks like a standard generic polish remover, but for some reason using it was a pain. I feel like I was rubbing my nails for hours before seeing any results. I’m glad it’s over. Neutrogena Healthy Skin Boosters Facial Cleanser (deluxe sample) – pretty standard cleanser. Did it get my face clean? Yes, like pretty much any cleanser would. Was it a bit drying? Yes, like most of other foaming cleansers. Paula’s Choice Resist Barrier Repair Moisturizer with Retinol (trial size) – not sure why Birchbox send me this as this product is designed for dry/very dry skin, and I put combination in my profile. Anyway, I’m happy it got it. It’s a great moisturizer – very effective and not heavy at all. I’ll probably get a full size one after I lighten my current stash of moisturizers. Paula’s Choice Skin Balancing Super Antioxidant Concentrate Serum (deluxe sample) – this serum has very weird clumpy texture which made it difficult spread. Once spread it felt oily and heavy. It didn’t seem to make any difference to my skin. I think I have another little tube of this, so I’ll give it another try, but I’m not expecting much.