Sunday, April 21, 2013

The Inaugural Empties

Since beginning this beauty blogging journey in December, I've been saving up my empties to join all the other bloggers who intrigue readers with their... trash? Yep! We're a weird bunch like that. I'll be honest... I have been saving them up for four months and have a Birchbox box overflowing with beauty refuse. These are just a sprinkling of all the empties I have. 

The Inaugural Empties

I'm very excited for y'all, because most empties I read are all shampoos and mouthwashes... Less than exciting and mostly non-makeup items... Boo. So, I was excited to be able to tell you about three makeup items!

The Inaugural Empties

I guess only the box has the shade on it, because the bottle does not. On the bottom it says "REF: 37020" so maybe that somehow tells you the shade if you are in-the-know? If I wasn't switching from conventional cosmetics to healthier, more natural options, I would definitely repurchase. I am oily and (with a primer) this foundation had the perfect amount of coverage (I like a heavier coverage) and kept me matte. I really liked the squeeze bottle packaging, so you got as much of the product as possible. If I really wanted to milk it, I would have cut off the bottom, so I could scrape it out with a brush and stored it in a ziploc baggy.  But I'll admit - sometimes you want it to just be an 'empty' already so you can buy something else! I'm not like some of those crazy bloggers (no offense, Ladies) who just spend loads on makeup. I like to wait until I run out.

NARS Pressed Powder in Flesh - $33

Having been a Mac Studio FX powder fan, I tried this because of a Sephora associate suggestion. I wasn't particularly wowed by it. It had a decent coverage, but it always looked too powdery to me. For someone who can pull off powder only, this would probably work well. I like to put powder over foundation (or BB cream, now), and this was a bit too much for that.

The Inaugural Empties

Buxom Lash Mascara in Blackest Black - $19

I really like this mascara! I wrote about it in my Sephora Haul post when a smaller size came in my Beauty Insider points perk. Let me tell you the long road I chose to take to get to this wonderful product... It all started about two years ago when I bought a mascara sampler from Sephora. You know, one of their "Best of..." kits. It was about $45 and came with around 10-12 small mascaras. I used EVERY.SINGLE.ONE. until I found my favorite. I went through Too Faced, Tarte, Benefit, MUFE, Laura Mercier, etc, and this ended up being the best. I used up ALL the mascaras and over a year later finally took my 100 point coupon in to buy this full sized beauty. I adore the brush; it keeps my lashes clump free. The mascara is a pretty dry formula (which I prefer), so it's easy to build on. If you want a dramatic lash, this isn't really the best for that, but it does flake less than most I've used. Now, will I repurchase? I might. I'm currently using the sample size from my Buxom sampler box. When I run out, I'll move on to the Tarte Lights, Cameras, Lashes! travel size in my Picture Perfect Duo

(P.S. I was so excited about this purchase. Typically, as most of you know, getting any Tarte products half off is nearly impossible. BUT I have a store near me called The Cosmetic Market that has a 50% off wall that always has Tarte, Caudalie and Bare Minerals on it. I got this duo for $8, instead of the normal $16!) 

After I use up the Tarte mascara, I have my eyes on the Korres Deep Colour Mascara.
The Inaugural Empties

Next let's talk about hair products!

I would definitely repurchase this. I'm a fan of Giovanni products, because they avoid many ingredients I do: propylene glycol, SLS, and parabens. This shampoo smells divine, and the fragrance comes from essential oils. When purchasing products I also look at whether it just says "fragrance" or if it explains where it comes from/is organic. Most natural products derive the fragrance from something natural, because they don't have heavy chemicals to cover up. I also love the packaging. The "spout" is at the bottom, so it's easy to squeeze it all out and not have to turn it upside down when you begin to run out. If you are not brunette, they also have products for blonde, red and black hair.

I'm in my twenties and am about 25% gray. Yup! It's terrible... So, I needed a solution for the days and weeks between the never ending coloring I'll do for the REST.OF.MY.LIFE. This root concealer actually has an updated formula and packaging, so I'm not sure you can get this exact product. It has a very small sprayer that focuses a light brown "spray paint" onto your roots to cover roots and gray hair. I liked this product and may purchase again in the future, mainly because there are not a lot of options out there like it. I've seen hair "crayons" and sticks, but this is quicker and easier, to me. The only down side was at times the sprayer sputtered, and brown dots would get on me, my clothes, or my shower curtain. An additional perk to covering up my gray hair was that it also soaked up oil. I felt like it acted as a dry shampoo, as well! The main thing making me hesitate to repurchase is the price point and that it contains butane, which scores a 5 on EWG's Skin Deep database for immunotoxicity.

My photo of this is the small .75floz version that came in my monthly Birchbox in March. It's currently a Birchbox exclusive item. The full size bottle is not a squeeze tube, like this. (Do you see the little lines across it where I tried to use my new tube wringer? Clearly, it doesn't work well on plastic... just metal tubes). It smells really great with a very heavy blueberry scent. However, I didn't find it to moisturize my skin any more than a normal shave gel. (I'm currently using Skintimate). It comes out like a white cream, and I almost feel like you can't use too much. I would find myself dispensing a big blob and not be able to cover my whole leg. I could see someone using this up really fast, and for the price point, that's not a perk to me.

The Inaugural Empties

Lastly, let's talk about hygiene and natural products!

I have acne prone skin, and I honestly believe it's because I'm terrible about sticking to a pre-bedtime routine. I'm notorious for starting a book or TV show and getting so tired that I crawl into bed without washing my face. (Here's my hand... slap it. I know!!) So, my solution for the past year or so is to keep wipes on my night stand.  I've used Neutrogena wipes and some other brands, but since detoxing my beauty life, I tried these. (I also bought some Giovanni wipes that are waiting in the closet for when my current Blum wipes run out). The Burt's Bees version smells delicious and is very effective at taking all my makeup off. The only downside to using wipes is that I tend to not get all my mascara off. I started to realize I was rubbing a lot harder and pulling on my eye area too much with wipes. So, I often times will have to go back over it the next morning with eye makeup remover. (I talked about my favorite Bliss Lid + Lash Wash one in a favourites posts here). The reason I switched to the Blum wipes was the ingredient phenoxyethanol found in the Burt's wipes. It scores a 4 on the EWG database. Some would argue it's not toxic unless ingested, but if I have an option to buy wipes without it, I will. 

The Inaugural Empties

About two years ago I took a six week class with Dr. Josh Axe on toxins in foods and products. I learned a lot about the dangers of fluoride and have since switched to fluoride free toothpaste and mouthwash. This little guy is a travel size toothpaste, which I think is awesome. For some reason, travel sized products make me so happy. It's like a beauty baby - so little and cute! But one thing that has always frustrated me is I could never find natural options. Now I go to Whole Foods before a trip (which is where I got this) or if you're an online shopper has a great collection of natural products.
I'm currently using a full size Jason toothpaste with a cinnamon flavor and love it. This particular product pictured above had a nice, clean flavor. Natural toothpastes tend to have a grittier texture, but it doesn't bother me. 
And, just to reassure you, I just went to the dentist last week after missing my 6 month cleaning, and the  dentist said I have "dental school perfect teeth" and no cavities!

The Inaugural Empties

And for my last surprise 'empty,' I want to chat about a book I recently finished.

I like to peruse the free kindle books every so often, and this one caught my eye. I actually really liked it. I typically feel so-so about the free ones. But, this one actually made me cry. It's a story of a troubled young woman running away from her past and doing her best to make a future she knows she can't have unless the truth comes out. But the truth could ruin everything. On the flip side, there is a man who worked his whole life for success and respect that also has a secret that could strip him of the life he has built. In the mix are neglected children, a released convict with a deadly grudge and a kind spinster who has given her life to others. I really recommend reading this!

What books have you recently finished you could recommend? I don't have anything waiting for me, so I need some suggestions! 


  1. Good job on your empties! I never have makeup empties :( Have you tried the Yes to cucumbers wipes? I thought those were nice.

    1. thank you so much! I haven't tried those yet, but I definitely will with my next wipes purchase!