January was a busy month and I was too distracted to buy things. However, I still participated in some retail therapy.
I bought a couple Hurraw! Lip Balms. And in case you wondering, Vata smells amazing. It’s a sour cherry-like rose with cardamom. It’s delicious. Green Tea is subtle and that’s exactly why I bought it. I wanted something without an aroma and packed with anti-oxidants. Almond is a subtle almond biscotti like scent. Earl Grey smells like its name. David stole my tube of Earl Grey.
Here’s what I emptied in January:
I tried to not buy any new skincare in January. I’m determined to use samples and finish up bottles that I already own. I also used less sheet masks this month. Instead, I went for overnight masks and wash-off cream-based masks.
Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex (1 oz) – This is one of those products that I keep repurchasing throughout the years. I usually switch between this or Paula’s Choice Skin Recovery Serum. Anyway, it’s something that I always come back to.
- Repurchase? Yes.
Bioré UVAqua Rich Watery Essence SPF 50+ – Because of the “invisible” texture of this gel-based sunscreen, it’s hard for me to believe it actually works. It’s completely weightless. I’m still on the fence with this. It’s excellent for layering over my morning routine. But, it has a high amount of alcohol (it’s a gel) and it smells like citrus (has citrus extracts which are photo-sensitizing). It’s just too drying for my skin; yet, I’m intrigued. It’s so light. It’s unlike any other sunscreen sold in America. And I admit, that makes me think it doesn’t “work” because it’s so different than what I’m used to.
- Repurchase? I probably won’t. Or I may. I’m still on the fence.
Mamonde Flower Essential Mask Anti-Aging Pomegranate – This a sheet mask coated in a watery essence. It smells sort of pomegranate-ish, more tart like grapefruit. It was an OK mask that did more to exfoliate than moisturize.
- Repurchase? Maybe.
Merlot Grape Seed Day Moisturizer (deluxe sample) – I like Merlot body products and this face cream came with a purchase. It’s super lightweight like one of those “gel creams”. It has a tart, fruity aroma. I wore it under sunscreen because of a few reasons – too lightweight, low SPF 15 and stored in a jar which makes me question the products stability.
- Purchase? No. It’s too light for me.
Estee Lauder Re-Nutriv Ultimate Lift Creme (deluxe sample) – This is a thick cream with a stronger floral/rose fragrance. It leaves the skin with a dewy finish. I feel it’s only good for those with dry skin because of its rich texture. but, it’s also “rich” AKA crazy expensive, close to $300.Ouch.
- Purchase? Nope. I’d use if it someone gave me some, but I’m not buying it.
Paula’s Choice Skin Recovery Super Antioxidant Serum (sample) – I’m trying to use up little samples and stuff. I’ve used full bottles of this in the past. I really like it.
- Purchase? Yeah.
Ziaja Cocoa Butter Cream (sample) – I think out of all the Ziaja face creams that I’ve sampled, this one is my favorite. It has a light coconut aroma and a very creamy consistency. It’s simple but I like it worn over more complex serums and acids.
- Purchase? I may.
Yves Rocher Anti-Age Global Day Care (sample) – This was surprisingly fragrant (generic floral). It has a silky texture and layered nicely under my sunscreen. However, it doesn’t have SPF…that’s so European.
- Purchase? No.
I was determined to use up samples that I had around with about one more wear left in them. January was a month where I confronted my sample hoarding.
Diptyque Candle in Figuier (votive) – OK, this was so weird. Let me preface this with – I have great “candle hygiene”. My wicks are perfectly trimmed. I avoid drafts. I do not burn them for too long or for too brief of a period of time. I snuff candles. Now look at this candle! WTH? The sticker melted off during one commercial-free episode of Empire. I have NEVER had this happen before. I’ve only had large Diptyque candles in the past. This little thing has been a problem since I got it. The wax melts too quickly, exposing a much too long wick. It spurts sooty blackness like a terrible hoodoo spell. And now look at it! The glass gets so hot that obviously, it’s a problem.
- Repurchase? Hell to the no.
Aura Candle in Cosmic – I think Aura candles are great for the money (I mean this full-size candle retails for less than that cruddy Diptyque mini). This one is for gourmand lovers. It’s a really sweet vanilla with orange. Full review here.
- Repurchase? I already have a back up 😉
Indult Manakara EDP (sample) – This sweet rose perfume has grown on me. At first I didn’t like it that much. But, now I see it as something a little more complex. It almost has a frankincense/incense base that I didn’t notice before. Full review here.
- Purchase? No. But, it did grow on me.
MIKMOI Lingua Franca EDP (sample) – This is such a weird fragrance. It’s like fruity with cedar and menthol. It’s fruity woods with a lot of lemongrass.
- Purchase? No.
Guerlain Shalimar Parfum Initial EDP (sample) – With this first came out, I wasn’t crazy about it. But, it’s actually pretty good. It’s a modern Shalimar. There are worst things to be wearing, that’s for sure.
- Purchase? No. But, I like it better now.
- Purchase? Gah, no.
LUSH Love EDP (sample) – This is another weird fragrance that hasn’t grown on me at all. It smells like brunch. Full review here.
- Purchase? No.
- Purchase? I debate it. I like it but do I wear stuff like this enough? I don’t know.
- Purchase? I feel like it’s something that I should purchase, but I don’t.
In January, I was all about roses and sandalwood when it comes to the bath. Can that combo be beat? No.
Mysore Sandal Soap – A pre-Jonas panic in an Indian market ended up with us buying this soap. It’s one of my old favorites. Woodsy, slightly powdery and so fragrant. It’s one of the cheapest luxurious you can buy.
- Repurchase? Yes.
Nature Republic Bulgarian Rose Shower Gel – This Korean shower gel smells like rosewater. It sort of reminds me of Pacifica Persian Rose but this one actually foams.
- Repurchase? Yes. I love roses.
Ayala Moriel Soap in Film Noir (sample, not pictured) – This soap smells amazing. It’s like bittersweet dark chocolate and patchouli with goth-y incense. The formula isn’t drying either.
- Purchase? I may. I’m really impressed with this brand’s soaps.
I used up makeup staples that do not match my Ghost Girl winter complexion. Oh, well.
Guerlain Lingerie de Peau Invisible Skin-Fusion Foundation in 02 Beige Clair – I know this bottle looks full, but trust me, it isn’t. I love the texture and coverage of this foundation. The color match could be better (borderline too dark, much too rose-y for me) but it works. I love it’s Guerlain-ish aroma. I realized that I don’t really like pump packaging for foundations. I like jars, squeeze tubes or droppers. I like products in this price range where I can get most of it out.
- Repurchase? I don’t know. There’s a lot I like about it but I feel like I could probably find something better for cheaper.
NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in Custard – Here’s another product that looks full but it isn’t! I love this formula. It’s so creamy and moisturizing. I love it for under the eyes. I’m in-between shades and didn’t want to buy two. I went with shade which has nice yellow undertones.
- Repurchase? I probably will. But, I want to try the creamy one from MAC (which has more color options).
Urban Decay Anti-Aging Primer Potion (mini) – I like this product but I don’t think it’s different than the original. I don’t know why it’s “anti-aging”. It’s really good. However, I don’t have oily lids. I just use primer to create a smooth canvas for shadow. I also buy the minis because the expiration date for these is six months after opening. Who can use up a full-size one in six months?
- Repurchase? Probably. I do want to try a different brand which has SPF.
Ulta Eye Brow Gel – This gel doesn’t really offer a strong hold at all. The finish is natural looking and it doesn’t flake. However, I didn’t like it. And I’ve decided I don’t like clear containers for clear brow gels. My powders/pencils make them look really gross.
- Repurchase? No.
Total: 24. 10 full-size. 3 travel/deluxe sample. 11 samples.
In January, I emptied more samples than I usually do. I made that a priority though. I’m trying to not buy anything new but “shop” my collection, samples included. This means that before I buy anything, I have to check and see if I have anything like it to use up first.
I organized all my products (from perfume to makeup) in January and this was a reminder that I probably shouldn’t buy any new things for a long time. I have a lot of nice things and I should be using these nice things instead of buying new stuff.
What about you? Which products did you empty in January? Did you buy anything new? Throw anything out? Did you get take advantage of any post-holiday sales?
*Nordstrom, Sephora, Birchbox, Amazon and Beautyhabit contain affiliate links. Thanks! All pics are mine, including the snow. Yep, I said I wouldn’t keep my Empties but it’s now oddly therapeutic to see them all together at the end of the month.