EauMG’s August 2017 Empties

August 2017 Empties

Let me just say I bought so much while I was in Europe. I can’t even list it all. I stocked up on European sunscreen, German bath/body products, makeup that isn’t available in the US and fancy skincare. I’ve got to stick to a no-buy for the rest of the year now. I just have to. Because I really went overboard. I’ll share my haul with you guys if you promise not to shame me.

Since I traveled so much in August, I thought this would be a good time to use up samples that I’ve been hoarding. You will see that most of my empties from August were samples. I was only home for about 9 days in August. This impacts my photos as well because there was no way I was traveling back with empties 🙂 I tried to take pictures of the emptied sampled when I remembered…I just didn’t remember to do that. It looks like I emptied a lot in August, I really didn’t. It was all samples.

Here’s my August Empties:

August Skincare Empties


I ran out of some basic stuff. And I used up some samples. It was hot and humid so I had to resort to light layers. 

The Ordinary Azelaic Acid Suspension 10% – I really need to dedicate an official post to my thoughts on The Ordinary, but I’m lazy. And I have too much to say. I’ll try to make this short. This has a thick, silicone texture so it doesn’t layer wonderfully under a lot of things. But, I figured out how to work with it. I have had prescription azelaic acid in the past for melasma. I feel this cheap product worked just as well EXCEPT it takes much longer to take effect (much, much longer). It leaves my skin brighter looking and smooth.

  • Repurchase? Yes. It’s not perfect but I like the results. And it’s cheap.

The Ordinary Vitamin C Suspension 23% with HA Spheres 2% – Now this is the product I could write a novella on. I hated it. It is the worst texture known to skincare. It’s gritty and so not luxurious. It burns until you get used to it. It doesn’t layer well. BUT, it works. My skin looks better when I use it. I FINALLY figured out how to make it work. I apply it in the morning when my pH is low. I follow up with a Korean serum. I later go on with my routine and hope that this stuff won’t make my other skincare gross. Vitamin C is so boring but I also have an expectation that it won’t feel weird.

  • Repurchase? UGHHHH, I can’t believe I’m saying it, but yes. I guess I’ll put up with crap if it is cheap and if it seems to work. Deciem needs to get its ish together but it’s always out of stock. Which is nuts because it’s truly a product I’m settling with.

Sasē Hydra-Purifying Cleanser* – This is a good gel cleanser that doesn’t dry out my skin. Full review.

  • Purchase? Probably not. But, that’s only because I have stuff that works that is cheaper. It’s a good product.

Clé de Peau Clarifying Émulsion Éclat – This isn’t an exceptional moisturizer (especially for its price). But, it is lightweight (like a gel-cream) and layers nicely under all my stuff. It plays very nicely in the summer and smells fancy and French.

  • Repurchase? No but I really enjoyed it during the summer.

Malin + Goetz Grapefruit Face Cleanser (travel size) – This is a clear face wash that has low lather (and a low-ish pH). Slight grapefruit aroma.

  • Purchase? Probably not. I did like it much better than I thought I would.

Belif Hungarian Water Essence (travel size) – I honestly don’t get this brand. All the things I’ve tried from them have done nothing positive (not negative) for my face. The textures aren’t really enjoyable and I don’t like the fragrances. If you want a real Hungarian Water Essence, just try the Omorovicza one.

  • Purchase? No.

Bioderma Hydrabio Gel-Crème Light (deluxe sample) – This stuff is lightweight with a finish that is excellent for humid weather.

  • Purchase? Maybe. I think it did great in the humidity but I’ll probably need more moisture for the upcoming months.

The Saem Cell Renew Bio Micro Peel Soft Gel (sample) – This is a gentle gommage/peeling with a faint “clean” fragrance. It was OK but I don’t really see a need for it in my routine.

  • Purchase? No.

Kate Somerville Exfolikate (sample) – Pretty sure this stuff spawned in hell. It burns my face like mad.

  • Purchase? No way.

The Sheet Masks: 

Hey Pinkgo Girl Rose Intense Hydrating Mask – This is a Taiwanese mask that you’ve probably seen in my empties before because I bought a box. It’s OK.

  • Repurchase? I don’t know.

Deoproce Moist Recovery Shining with Honey & Snail Secretion Filtrate – This is one of those dirt cheap H-Mart masks. It’s not luxurious but it has some nice, basic ingredients that leave my skin looking “moist shining”. Smells like honey.

  • Repurchase? Yes.

TonyMoly Changing U Magic Mask Sheet in Royal Jelly – I was in a honey mood. This is like the one above but a little more expensive and with a better, thinner mask. Smells like honey.

  • Purchase? No.

TonyMoly I’m Real Skin Purifying Seaweeds Mask – Has a faint “aquatic” smell. Has a super basic formula. I don’t notice anything negative or positive from using it.

  • Repurchase? No.

A gust Perfume Empties


I met my goal of emptying a sample a week. I even emptied a full-size!

Crazylibellue & The Poppies Crazystick in Aux Anges – It’s a pretty jasmine solid perfume that reminds me of the smell of Oscar Blandi haircare line. Full review.

  • Repurchase? Nope. This line has been discontinued.

NEST Black Fig & Honey Candle* (travel-sized) – The scent is a sweet, boozy honey with raisins. Full review here. They discontinued it. Which is a shame because it’s perfect for fall/winter.

  • Purchase? Nope.

Atelier Cologne Vanille Insensee (sample) – I’ve always loved this modern, musky vanilla. But, I swear it got even better with age. I don’t know if it was my sample or not, but it got more balsamic and more delicious. Full review.

  • Purchase? I’d like to so I’ll add it to my long list of wants.

4160 Tuesdays What I Did On My Holidays (sample) – This is a weird one. It’s a weird aquatic; it’s a weird gourmand. It’s like a boardwalk. Full review here.

  • Purchase? No.

Pirouette Essentials Victory Honey (sample) – This really aged well. It’s a sweet honeyed woods and patchouli.

  • Purchase? No. It’s no longer available.

DSH Perfumes The Beat Look* (sample) – A dark, 70’s retro chypre that I’m really digging these days.

  • Purchase? Maybe.

August bath/body empties


You’ll see a theme – a lot of German and Polish stuff. I’m so obsessed with Kneipp that it isn’t even funny.

CeraVe Moisturizing Cream – It’s unscented. It has a great texture. It moisturizes. This is why I keep repurchasing.

  • Repurchase? Yes.

Tree Hut Shea Sugar Scrub in Original Shea – This is my favorite drugstore body scrub. I love the oily base and the nutty fragrance.

  • Repurchase? Yes.

Thalia Goat Milk Soap – I’m obsessed with this Turkish brand of soap. This has a soft powdery fragrance.

  • Repurchase? Yes. But, it’s not easy to find here.

Kneipp Sweet Dreams Valerian & Hops Herbal Bath (travel size) – This turns the bath a Hypnotiq shade of blue and smells like it would repeal mosquitoes (citronella/lemon balm).

  • Repurchase? Probably. I need this sort of woo to convince me to go to sleep.

Kneipp Bath Crystals in Waaldspaziergang (one packet) – This does smell like walking through the forest. It leaves the water a beautiful shade of jewel-tone/fir green. I love it.

  • Repurchase? Yes! I want the large bottle.

Kneipp Bath Crystals in Abschalten (one packet) – This is a powdery floral that leaves the water a disgusting shade of yellow that reminds me too much of urine to make me feel relaxed and comfortable.

  • Repurchase? No.

Kneipp Body Oil in Restoring (sample) – This has a faint grapefruit aroma and an excellent texture (mid-weight).

  • Purchase? Maybe.

Kneipp Massage Oil in Arnica (sample) – It smells like ginger/turmeric. It’s a nice texture.

  • Purchase? No. I like it but I like others from the brand more.

Kneipp Body Wash in Enjoy Life May Chang & Lemon (sample) – It’s sunny, bright lemons (very natural smelling lemons). It’s one of my favorite scents from the brand.

  • Purchase? Yes. I have in the past and I will in the future.

Burt’s Bees Milk & Honey Body Lotion (sample) – This stuff sort of smells gross. Actually, I think it may be gross.

  • Purchase? No.

Ziaja Natural Avocado Oil Body Butter (sample) – It’s a lotion. That’s all I remember. Oh, and it has palm oil (which I try to avoid).

  • Purchase? No.

Ziaja Orange Butter Shower Soap (sample, not pictured?) – It’s a creamy shower gel that smells like Orange Julius.

  • Purchase? No.


I used up some samples. And I have no picture proof. 

Pantene Pro-V Age Defy Shampoo & Conditioner (samples of each) – I could only get one use of these but I think it made my hair look less frizzy. Long story short, unruly corkscrew grays are ruining my life (OK, that’s an exaggeration, but I hate them so much). I think this did smooth them.

  • Purchase? Yes. It’s cheap; I’ll give it a try.

Roux Rejuvenating Keratin Strengthening Conditioner (sample) – I have full-sizes of this. When I bought it, the gal at Sally’s gave me a ton of samples of it. It’s good but I think the Pantene may be better. However, this one is good for color-treated hair.

  • Purchase? I have a full-size.

August Makeup Empties


I’m close to emptying a few makeup items but I’m not there yet. 

IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye Illumination in Light (travel size) – I hate this concealer. It is so thick and has an unnatural, odd finish. At first I thought it was because this runs basically white. It doesn’t match at all. But, then I realize it’s the finish too. I love the original Bye Bye Under Eye (in Medium), but this one doesn’t work on me at all. I used it mixed with a BB Cream and all it did was make my BB Cream look weird.

  • Purchase? No.

August 2017 sample empties

Total: 28. 12 full-size. 8 travel/deluxe samples. 15 samples.

What about you? Which products did you empty in August? Did you buy anything new?

Disclaimer – If there is a /*/ next to an item, it was provided by PR. All other items were purchased by me or are samples/gifts with purchase/subscription box products.

*Nordstrom, Sephora, Beautyhabit and Amazon contain affiliate links. Thanks!

20 thoughts on “EauMG’s August 2017 Empties

    1. That don’t do anything negative to my skin either, so that’s good. I like some of the varieties more than others…like the rice one. They’re not bad, but I can find better even in this price range.

  1. Very interesting read! I love this monthly post. I always read it from beginning to end!

    I should be better at keeping a list of what I’ve used up. From what I can remember, I finished a 250 ml bottle of Bioderma Sensibio H2O. I use it every evening as a 1st step in my short and easy cleansing routine (oily skin here). No irritation, no new pimples : I love it. Our regional chain of drugstores just came up with a much cheaper dupe that I will probably try once my new 500 ml bottle is used up.

    I also used up a 100 ml bottle of Clarins Moisture Rich body lotion that was included in a gift set I bought last year. Lovely texture, light fragrance, but way too $$$$ for what it is, IMO.

    I probably used up other products (I certainly hope so!), but that’s all I can remember. Although it’s September already, let me add the 100 ml bottle of Reversa 3 in 1 face cleanser that I finished just this morning. It’s an unscented gel cleanser that is pretty boring, but it gets the job done and is not tested on animals.

    1. 🙂

      I have a travel size of that Bioderma. I need to add it to my routine since everyone seems to adore it. There are mornings when I think that may be all I’d need.

      I love Clarins body products but they are expensive (imo, too). They are a rare treat for me, usually with a GWP. But, I do like their stuff but I’m more in the Yves Rocher price point 🙂

      I used to think I never emptied anything until I started taking note. Obviously the samples/travel sizes really inflate my true empties. I’m already really low on a few sunscreens so I think they’re going to make the September post!

  2. I’ve had issues with Vitamin C products – they don’t play with my sensitive skin and rosacea. However, I’m liking the Derma E Vitamin C serum. No flare-up, no breakouts and my skin looks healthy. I use on alternating nights (use Finacea on the other nights).
    PS – no shame here.

    1. This is really great to know. I have been eyeing the Derma E because I have liked everything that I’ve bought from them. BUT it’s so iffy with Vitamin C because you just never know if it’ll be good or even hurt/burn. So, it’s like I buy it and then learn. Recommendations are so important to me with Vitamin C. Next time Ulta runs a sale, I’ll pick one up!

      Thank you for not judging 😉

        1. I expect that. But, what I don’t like is how some of these burn and leave little rashes on my face (the Paula’s Choice one did this to me). Do other people have that issue?

          1. Yes, I’m very wary of vitamin C products after my Avalon Organics Vitamin C Toner turned on me partway through using it. It started burning my skin and leaving me with a red rash in spots. I had to throw it away.

          2. Why is Vitamin C so tricky?! I feel like it’s hard to keep it fresh (because they’re sold in bigger bottles). It’s also hard to get the pH right. It’s frustrating. It’s one thing to waste money, but it’s also terrible when it actually irritates your skin too.

  3. Sorry to hear about your gripe with the Ordinary’s Vitamin C product. I also had the same issue and would mix it with a gel-like K-beauty moisturizer to deal with the gritty texture. Have you heard of their new Vitamin C product? This time it has a silicone base which eliminates the texture issue and (they claim) turns orange when the Vitamin C oxidizes so you’ll now when to toss it.

    I recently changed to Hylamide C25 booster and I am enjoying it. Hylamide is Deciem’s mid-range product line (above the Ordinary but below Nyod). I got mine at my local CVS and used a coupon so it was about $25. It is a very watery transparent serum and very pleasant to use. Depending on how much you are willing to work with the Ordinary’s products, it might be worth it to pay more for a better texture.

    1. When I applied and then quickly went over with a gel-like K-product, the grittiness went away. So, I if anyone here is up on skincare chemistry, please chime in! I have a few worries about that silicone-based Vitamin C. #1 My skin doesn’t love silicone (my hair likes it though). #2 If you are applying Vitamin C first (which I understand that one should because of pH, etc.), you can’t really follow-up with other products if the base is silicone. I understand that silicone is a final step (why it’s often used as a makeup primer) because of its feel and the barrier it creates. Like I guess my question is, can other products be absorbed over the silicone or will it just sit on the skin for most of the day? #3 I thought all Vitamin C turns orange when it oxidizes but I don’t know. There are so many types of Vitamin C. Why can’t this be easy? 😉

      OK, this is good to know as this was suggested since that one was sold out. Here’s what I want: a liquid based Vitamin C that can layer with other products nicely. A smoother texture would be great. I don’t really care about price (of course something that works and is cheap is a bonus!). I don’t like paying $100+ for Vitamin C because I think one can find it cheaper. Anyway, it does sound like if I stick with Deciem, I need to do their upgrade. Or give one of the liquid-based Ordinaries a try? Ugh, seriously, what can’t this be easy?

  4. Oooof, I’m on a very strict regimen after apparently destroying my face with Sunday Riley, so I can only experience about half of these products vicariously through you. I’m really intrigued by your thoughts on The Ordinary, though!

    I had ShanghaiJava Musc & Patchouli by Crazylibellule and the Poppies and it was one of my absolute favorites for “what can I wear that won’t offend the normies?” days. I haven’t found anything yet to replace it! Though…Vanille Insensée does also somewhat serve that purpose for me; maybe it’s time to spring for a full bottle!
    mlleghoul recently posted..Monster as Metaphor: John Allison, Webcomics Genius

    1. Really to summarize The Ordinary – It’s good for the price. There’s a lot of sacrifice with sensory experiences with it. They really aren’t meant to be used alone. They’re like “boosters”. I can’t really say anything negative because it’s all about building your own inventory of “boosters” on the cheap. Lazy people are best off buying a multi-purpose serum. Those of us that like to feel like we’re diagnosing our skin daily, we love this sort of ish.

      I have so many of the Crazlibellules from back in the day when I worked with regular people and wanted normie scents that wore close to the skin. They were great for that! So much in the ShanghaiJava collection were great. I loved Musc & Patchouli so much. Now when I want normie, I guess I’ll wear Byredo or Atelier Cologne.

  5. My August empties:
    Alba Botanica Very Emollient Sunscreen SPF 30
    Leaders Vita Brightening Renewal Mask
    Voluspa Orangerie d’Azahar Candle
    Root Candles Oakmoss Votive
    Parfums de Nicolai Eau d’Ete 1oz bottle
    Acqua di Parma Fico di Amalfi sample
    Tom Ford Orchid Soleil sample
    Tom Ford Jasmin Rouge sample
    Marni sample
    Parfums Delrae Debut decant
    Diptyque Eau de Lierre decant
    Diptyque Do Son decant
    By Kilian Back to Black decant
    Lush Flower Market decant
    Whole Foods 365 Fragrance Free Conditioner

    I zeroed in on perfume samples and decants, as you can tell. And I finished a full size bottle of perfume! Though to be fair I got it in a swap a long time ago, and it wasn’t completely full.

    All of the Kniepp stuff you used makes me even more curious to try the brand. But I went buying crazy in August, so I have no need for new bath products right now. I bought so many bars of soap from Formulary 55’s discontinued products sale. I’m so sad they’ll no longer be making Narcissus soap. I also got a sale bottle of Pirouette Essentials Moss Garden perfume from the same sale. Then I bought all 3 perfumes in travel size from Maison Anonyme when they had a crazy flash sale during the eclipse. If you haven’t tried them, I highly recommend to, especially Pale Fire.

    I also went on an impromptu shopping trip to TJ Maxx with a friend and bought so much under her bad influence. I’ve discovered I can’t wear mules because of my annoying feet, which then led me to returning shoes and buying other more practical ones. So I’ve got a new pair of black Nike running shoes and tropical print Converse.

    1. YAY! I feel like when someone empties a fulls-size, we need a little mini celebration or official ceremony. You really knocked those out. It was a nice mix of florals and gourmands (or gourmandy florals like Orchid Soleil!).

      I absolutely can’t buy any more bath/body products for the next 4 months at least. I am overstocked. I’m ruining my Low-Buy but I absolutely must not buy bath stuff until I use up my backstock.

      I like many of the Pirouette perfumes I’ve tried (I have bottles of Rose Musk and Jasmine Musk). I haven’t tried some of the newer ones so I should probably add a sample set to my list of things to sample.

      I have to stay away from places like TJ Maxx because I always end up buying stuff I probably don’t need. I’m in the process of planning my fall/winter wardrobe and making a list of what I need to buy or replace. I actually need some black running shoes 🙂 I went to Dover Street Market yesterday and they have these cool black Nike/CdG shoes but they’re pricey. (But, ugh, so perfect for what I want). I can’t resist floral print sneakers. They are one of my many weaknesses.

  6. Have you tried Paula’s Choice Vitamin C Booster? It’s a liquid in a dropper bottle that you can layer on top of any type of serum or moisturizer. I tried The Ordinary Vitamin C that you described, and had similar complaints to yours. The Paula’s Choice one is a lot nicer to use but is more expensive, of course. My problem is I use so many different things on a given day it has become hard to know what is working. Something is working. My skin looks really good for my age and the texture is improving. I added the Vitamin C for brightening, and my color looks pretty good as well. Haha, I have no idea what I’m doing.

    1. I have tried that when it first came out. They gave a generous travel size with a purchase. Looking back, I was not using it correctly. I ended up getting some sort of weird flat, red rash. I’m one of those pale people that is sensitive to vitamin C, so I get red. I was an idiot with the PC one. I thought it was the serum. I applied it directly to skin (not on top or mixed in something). So, there was no buffer between me and the C. I’d be open to trying it again. Because I didn’t like it…because I had no clue what I was doing. A lot of people really like that one.

      It’s so hard. Some products do something that is immediate – softer skin, even texture. It’s like they work, so we buy them. Other ingredients are slower or more preventative. We don’t really see their results (well, ever because we don’t have a comparison to life without using it). I just use stuff that sounds like it has promising “preventive” ingredients and hope for the best! I think it’s really all we can do. Embrace the ritual and take care of ourselves the best that we can.

  7. By the way, for this whole year so far I’ve been working on finishing perfume decants. I try to finish one every week (I had many that were evaporating). Some were precious and I was sad to see them go, but it was still good to finish them off rather than just have them evaporating away in my cabinet. Others I was just glad to get rid of. It sometimes feels like I’m not making any progress as I still have a lot of almost empty bottles, but when I look in my cabinet, there’s definitely a obvious reduction!

    1. Me too but I feel like I’m not getting anywhere! Getting one a week is an accomplishment.

      I do give away some but I still keep too many. With the blog, I get in this weird mindset that I’ll need reference material. But, that’s ridiculous. This stuff literally evaporates. I can’t keep it forever. I need to use it and enjoy it while it’s still there!

      It’s funny too. I also have the sad feelings for some and others I’m so happy to have them gone. Why do I keep something I don’t like? I don’t know. I do this with plenty of other things too (shoes, books, socks).

      I have only bought one perfume this year! I haven’t bought any other things (decants, samples) so I feel I’m doing good this year in comparison to the past.

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