EauMG’s January 2016 Empties

January 2016 Empties

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. 

I had to pick up a few Paula’s Choice items for my daily skincare routine. And I bought a brow gel.

Here’s what I emptied in January:

January 2016 skincare empties


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.

January Fragrance Empties


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.

Capsule Parfums Urbane EDP (sample) – Totally a bro fragrance. No idea why I didn’t pay attention to my review and leave this alone.

  • 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.

DSH Perfumes Metropolis EDP (sample) – DSH always does “vintage” so well but it’s neat to see her do modern as well. This is a modern, chrome-like leather. Full review. 

  • Purchase? I debate it. I like it but do I wear stuff like this enough? I don’t know.

L’Artisan Bois Farine EDT (sample) – Really, this is the only “bread” scent that I can stand. It’s a really great perfume. I think of it like a starchy iris. Review here. 

  • Purchase? I feel like it’s something that I should purchase, but I don’t.

January Bath Empties



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.

January hair empties




January Makeup Empties


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.


15 thoughts on “EauMG’s January 2016 Empties

  1. I emptied two shampoos in January: Shea Moisture Raw Shea Butter Moisture Retention and Nubian Heritage EVOO & Moringa. Would purchase the first again as it does what it says it will do, moisturizing enough that I don’t need a rinse out conditioner and *almost* moisturizing enough that I don’t need a leave in conditioner if I’m going to be styling my hair. The second one I thought would be more moisturizing than it is, but it’s more clarifying than I would like, so probably won’t repurchase.

    Back before I switched to more natural skin care products, I used to use the heck out of that Merlot moisturizer. If you live in a hot climate, as I did at the time, and you have oily or combo skin, it’s a great moisturizer for late spring, summer and early fall. My skin has since changed to be a little on the drier side and I’ve since moved to a colder climate so I don’t have a constant need for a moisturizer like that anymore. However, I do wish I could find a natural ingredient gel-like moisturizer with that same consistency for the few days when I could possibly need something like that.

    1. I have straight hair that is course and dry. I feel like I can never really find anything moisturizing enough. Or I can but I buy a lot that says “moisture” on the label and it doesn’t provide enough moisture for me. Anyway, I was out and picked up a bottle of the Shea Moisture shampoo and conditioner. I’ve used in the past and with your comment, remembered just how much I liked it.

      I can see the Merlot working well in humid climates. Right now my skin is dry from being out in the cold/wind. I feel like there has to be a natural option, maybe without sunscreen. You’d think there could be an aloe based something out there. You may be able to get away with a gel toner like Organic Pharmacy Rose Gel Toner when the weather really heats up.

  2. I used up two decant of Creed Angelique Encens, which I love, but it’s too expensive and discontinued. I need to move on. This breakup is going to hurt.I can’t find anything like it. I tried a Shiseido glow enhancing primer from a sample and I love it. Smooth and moisturizing with a nice glow. I’m going to purchase this soon. I also used up a bottle of Chanel no 5 parfum from 2000 which was wonderful. I’ll repurchase. I used four Sephora Pearl sleeping masks. I ordered four more.

    1. Oh, no! I know you aren’t the only one that misses it.

      Anything with “glow” in the title will attract me. Also, my skin has been looking so “dull” lately. Ugh.

      I never “got” No. 5 until I started sampling vintage and vintage-ish ones. The older stuff (even the early 00s stuff) is so good in comparison to the right-now bottles.

  3. That Cosmic is vintage! We changed the label years ago…well at least there’s solid proof that our candles have quite the shelf life with proper storage and wick care 😉
    Aura Candles

    1. It is! It’s OG Cosmic! I bought it years ago (like 4 or 5?)

      I can tell everyone, they keep and the scent never faded!

  4. I’d be tempted to return the Figuier votive outlining the problems you had with it and mention that you have never had a problem with their large candles. Worst that could happen is that they ignore you, best that could happen is that they send you a large size candle and/or a gift certificate.

    As for skin care samples, I’ve been tossing out old ones that I never got around to trying. I dislike testing any that come in those little sachet packets — too much for one use, too difficult to keep for a second use.

    And I will never forgive Neutrogena for discontinuing their 3-in-1 lotion. The only 2% salicylic acid in any of their lines. Used it for years with nary a blackhead. Looked for a 2% in every other skin line I can find in stores — nada. Guess I’ll have to go with Paula’s Choice even though I don’t like ordering on line and the Canadian dollar is not pretty right now.

    1. I had bought it from Nordstrom around this time last year. I usually buy the large candles but ended up buying this and a bar soap. Like I said, I have never had an issue like this with the larger ones. I don’t know if this was a dud, or its size? I just know that for it to melt like this, it’s getting too hot. That’s not safe.

      I can’t stand these little sachet packs. They are so stupid. They don’t give enough product to get a real idea of what it is. I squeeze them into these little jars as to prolong their use. I also do that if I have more than one sample of the same. A friend of mine just keeps these sachet creams and uses them on her hands as a way to use them up.

      ME EITHER!!! That stuff was perfect for my skin. It wasn’t drying but addressed all the “bad” stuff too. Actually, my skin has been “bad” since I stopped using it. My cousin found a few on clearance at a drugstore and sent them to me (this was maybe 2 years ago?). Anyway, I kept hoping they would bring it back or upgrade the formula (like add more antioxidants). Nope. PC is the closest I’ve found.

  5. I actually emptied a few things this month! That rarely happens. Though, I suspect if I used all of the samples that I keep hoarding, it might occur more frequently.

    Emptied: a tin of Nivea lip butter (definitely repurchase, I always do), a sample of Geisha Noire (I like it, but not enough to purchase a full bottle), and a sample of Korres Greek Yoghurt Foaming Cream Cleanser (which smells lovely and which I like much better than the slimy, rotten cucumber scent of the Fresh Soy Face Cleanser that I am currently using.)

    I am very tempted by that Cosmic Candle! Although…I did just purchase the Haunt Me candle from Hannah Kristina Metz…but you can’t have too many candles, right?

    And I can totally commiserate with Katherine. I have been holding on to that one last drop of Angelique Encens for years. I think it is probably fused to the inside of the vial now, and could not be coaxed forth under any circumstances. How I wish they would bring that scent back!

    1. I need to be using more than I’m bringing in. And I’m not…

      You always find the coolest stuff. I love the look of that candle. And I say you can’t have too many, but look at me! I just used up a candle that is probably 5 years old! But, I do have a “candle problem”. I love them.

      A friend of mine is cherishing her bottle of Angelique Encens. She offered me a spray and I refused. I didn’t want to fall in love with something unattainable like that.

  6. I like this post! I emptied a few things. First of all the Lush Lord of misrule shower gel. It was part of the Halloween collection, quite nice … lot’s of patchouli! I also emptied my CHI silk infusion serum and one bottle of my fav day serum by Aldi (yes really). Also I emptied a tonic by Nordich Birch and 2 hand creams by Rituals… and Neutrogena. Ofcourse, a mascara (Chanel) and a foundation (Catrice) but right now I am using the Mac Pro Longwear and this is great!

    I’m sure there will be a lot of other products but I never really took time to think about this. This post inspires me to do something like this on my blog in the future.

    1. Lord of Misrule was surprisingly good, but I love patchouli.
      I had no idea Aldi had skincare. Trader Joe’s does but it never occurred to me that Aldi does too.
      I need to replenish my foundation/concealer from MAC. They have a great color selection and some good formulas for my dry, winter skin.

      You should! I started it because I felt like I never emptied anything. Well, I do. This helped me keep track of what I’m buying/using. Mainly I did it for selfish reasons 😉 I can go back and remember what I said I liked or not!

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