EauMG’s January 2017 Empties

January 2017 Empties

I announced in the end of 2016 that I was putting myself on a “low-buy” in 2017. I have accumulated a lot of stuff that I should be using. The deal is that I actually like the things that I have but I get so distracted by shiny, new things. My goal in 2017 is to buy less and enjoy more. This means that I’m only going to buy things that I really want (no more impulse buys) and that I’m “shopping” my stash.

So, how did this work out for me in January? I’m not going to lie. It was difficult. There were so many post-holiday sales that were so tempting. I also realize that I buy this stuff when I’m feeling stressed. To put it in perspective: I did Dry January and thought that was easier than not buying a cheap tube of lipstick from the drugstore. On about Day 20, I felt like I could walk into Saks and buy out the entire beauty department. BUT I didn’t. I went for a walk. I window shopped. I found distractions.

I allow myself “2 units” a month. I bought the new Juvia’s Saharan Palette, a palette that I’ve been anticipating for months. It is absolutely stunning. If you like playing in colors, you need this. Also, their shipping is insanely fast. They are based in Jersey City so when I get a shipping confirmation email/tracking number, I realize that the thing is already in my mailbox (like 24 hours from ordering).

I bought the Bite Best Redux because it’s cute. I hate when I miss out on their gift sets. It’s a nice little set for $25.

In 2017, you’re going to see some boring Empties. I’m shopping my stash and trying to use up what I have (including samples). Here’s what I emptied in January:

EauMG January Empties


My skin has been so dull and dry. I relied on masks to bring me back to life. Also, why do I hoard stupid little skincare samples that I don’t want to use?!

Moss Healing Dew – This was in a Boxwalla. It’s a gel that I like to layer. However, the smell is too much for me. It’s herbal-musky and lingers. If I could get unscented, I’d be all over this.

  • Purchase? No.

Kiehl’s Clearly Corrective Dark Circle Perfector with SPF 30 – This was one of my favorite products of 2016. It’s a weightless, tinted serum with SPF 30. I have to wear it over an eye cream but since it’s an SPF that doesn’t irritate my eyes, I’m dedicated to it.

  • Repurchase? Yes. I already have.

Fil-Lup White Essence Sheet Mask – These are cheap sheet masks that I love. They’re cheap and do give the appearance of “brighter” skin. They can typically be found at Korean grocery stores for under $1 each.

  • Repurchase? Yes.

Mamonde Flower Essential Mask in Elder Nutri Soothing – It’s an OK mask with a slight fruity-floral scent.

  • Repurchase? No. I like others in the line better.

Leaders Illuminating Treatment Mask – Leaders makes my favorite sheet masks. This one is one of my favorite formulas.

  • Repurchase? Yes. I have a box of these.

Leaders Hydrogel Eye Therapy Patch – I don’t think these do anything but I love how they feel. There’s a temporary plumping of lines afterwards.

  • Repurchase? Yes.

My Beauty Diary Hyaluronic Acid Moisturizing Mask – These masks are super thin and dripping with serum. They are sort of messy. But, the formula of this one is everything my skin has been needing. It’s moisturizing and “plumping”. It’s that cool drink of water my skin needed.

  • Repurchase? Yes. FYI – Be careful buying these; there’s lots of fakes out there.

ElishaCoy Caviar & Gold Sheet Mask – Why stop with caviar when you can add gold too? This is a lifting/firming mask that smells generic. It’s an OK cheaper mask. The feel isn’t sticky and it almost feels “oily” which I like.

  • Repurchase? Nah, but I love the tacky “luxury” of it all.

Honest Beauty Elevated Hydration Replenishing Mist (travel size) – Nothing about the Honest brand appeals to me. It comes across as smug and off-putting to me. Anyway, this mist is nothing special. It’s loaded with irritating essential oils and smells strongly of rosemary. It isn’t hydrating. It’s just some herb water you spray on your face.

  • Purchase? No.

Bliss Fabulous Makeup Melt Gel-to-Oil Cleanser (travel size) – I love oil cleansers but this is too much work. I feel like you have to use a lot to get it to have slip. You massage and you massage and finally it’s an oil. I don’t think it performs better than the oils that I use. It’s too much work.

  • Purchase? No.

Shiseido Ultimune Power Infusing Concentrate (deluxe sample) – I keep getting samples of this serum I hate but I keep using it. Seriously, what is my problem?

  • Purchase? No. It’s just alcohol and fragrance.

Oils of Heaven Cacay Anti-Aging Facial Oil (deluxe sample) –  I really like it but it’s not in the US…yet. Review here. 

  • Purchase? I’m most definitely interested in finding cacay oil even if it’s not this brand.

Nature Republic Ginseng Royal Silk Eye Cream (deluxe sample) – I love the face cream in this line and I wish I loved the eye cream as much. I like the greasy, glowy finish but it doesn’t do anything. I feel like it just sits on the skin even when you use the massager. Oh, well.

  • Purchase? No.

LUSH Ultrabalm (travel size) – I didn’t like it for my lips so I ended up using it as a cuticle cream. It’s really just a <meh> waxy balm.

  • Repurchase? No.

The Face Shop Chia Seed Moisture Recharge Cream (samples x 2) – If you like weightless moisturizers from brands like Origins, you may like this. It’s like a gel-lotion hybrid with a fairly strong green tea fragrance. It’s OK and probably better for my skin in the summer.

  • Purchase? Maybe in the summer? I don’t know.

January 2017 Empties


I was really into fragrance in January. I was into testing new things but not really wearing fragrance. I’m still trying to use up all my delightful little samples. 

Roxana Illuminated Perfumes Fleurish EDP (sample) – Heady ylang-ylang to get me out of a January funk. Full review.

  • Purchase? There’s a lot of Roxana’s that I like. This is one. I’m actually tempted, but as you know I’m on “low-buy”.

DSH Perfumes Guimauve de Soie EDP (sample) – Heliotrope gourmand. Full review. I do love this stuff in the winter.

  • Purchase? I wish I could purchase every DSH that I love, but I’m too broke for that.

DSH Perfmes Le Smoking EDP (sample) – Dark, moody and wonderful chypre.

  • Purchase? See above.

Malle Dans tes Bras EDP (sample) – This is such a weird, almost vulgar violet. Full review. 

  • Purchase? I’m actually surprised I don’t already own it. I may pick up a travel size one of these days.

MIKMOI Aqua Fortis EDP (sample) – I appreciate this perfume but it’s not my favorite from the line. It’s a weird, smoky aquatic. Full review. 

  • Purchase? It’s a fun one to sample but not something I’m going to wear.

January 2017 Empties


I’m really proud of myself for using up so many scented body lotions in January. I’m really cutting through my clutter. 

CocoaPink Goatmilk & Honey Body Lotion in Signature White – This was in a Boxwalla. I really enjoyed the formula but the sweet fragrance is a bit too much for me. It’s like a a vanilla cupcake with a benzoin/almond thing going on. I don’t dislike the scent, it’s just something I have to be in the mood for.

  • Purchase? Not in this fragrance but I’m tempted by other scents from the brand. They have some really great sounding scents.

Thalia Argan Soap – This is my favorite brand of Turkish soap. I adore the scent of this one which is like bathing in a cloud of musky, powdery goodness.

  • Repurchase? Always.

Bath & Body Works Shower Gel in Sweet Cinnamon Pumpkin – File this under “What the heck was I thinking?!”. I’ll tell you what I was thinking. It was fall and I wanted a spicy shower gel. The reviews of this one on the site said it was spicy and I swear someone compared it to Opium. It is ABSOLUTELY not. This is like their classic Fig & Brown Sugar but replace fig with apple. It’s an apple brown sugar over a lame amber. I used it as a bubble bath but was embarrassed by anyone seeing this ugly packaging in my bathroom.

  • Repurchase? Gah, no.

Yves Rocher Body Lotion in Lily of the Valley – This is one of my summer products that I FINALLY emptied. The formula is not moisturizing enough for winter. It’s a light lotion with a strong green, lily of the valley aroma. It layers nicely with Jessica McClintock or YOSH Sottile. I also love to layer it with roses like Aerin Rose de Grasse and Juliette Has a Gun Miss Charming.

  • Repurchase? Probably not but I like the perfume and shower gel in the scent. I’m trying to switch over to non-scented lotions.

Hempz Sensitive Skin Body Moisturizer (travel size) –  With a product with such lame marketing, I was surprised by how much I like this lotion. It is lightweight and moisturizes like the thick stuff. It has a faint NYC roasted nuts cart aroma.

  • Purchase? I may. But only when it’s on sale.

January 2017 Hair Empties


Nothing exciting here. My hair empties were boring. 

Herbal Essences Dry Shampoo – This stuff sucks. It does nothing for my hair except make it smell like a gross, generic grapefruit floral.

  • Repurchase? Never.

Matrix Total Results Mega Sleek Shampoo (travel size) – As I said last month, this line does nothing for me. It’s so meh.

  • Repurchase? No.

Eva NYC Hungry Hair Treatment (travel size) – This is like an oil and ‘cones blend that is similar to the brand’s other hair oils but this one is for HUNGRY HAIR. It smells sweet and a like perfume launched by Escada circa 2004. It works on my course hair.

  • Repurchase? Probably not. There are other oils I like better.

January makeup empties


I used up a lot of my staples in January. I’m also making it a goal to use up all my little primer samples that I’ve accumulated last year. 

ColourPop Brow Pencil in Dope Taupe – For the price, this is a great brow pencil. It’s thin and easy to use. The colors run slightly warmer/darker than the website will lead you to believe. However, this shade works for me (even though I wish it were slightly darker).

  • Repurchase? I may.

Atomy AA Cream Foundation in 21 Warm Beige – I love this stuff. It’s thick and makes me look like a mannequin. With one layer and no concealer, my post-acne marks are invisible. Also, this shade is an exact match for me.

  • Repurchase? Yes.

Tweezerman BrowMousse – Like whatever. It is a brow gel. I don’t really like its hold or finish. This is what I get for being tight and not buying Anastasia’s.

  • Repurchase? No.

IM Mamey Mascara – I bought this in Mexico because everyone said I should. I don’t like it. I don’t like dry formulas with huge brushes. This is a dry formula with a huge brush. I see why people like it, but like I prefer wetter formulas.

  • Repurchase? No.

Hourglass Mineral Veil Primer (deluxe sample) – I rarely use primer but I’m using up samples. This one feels good and performs well.

  • Purchase? In the past, I have bought full bottles of this. I’m still not convinced I need primer. We’ll see.

Total: 34. 17 full-size. 10 deluxe samples/travel. 7 samples

What about you? Which products did you empty in January? Did you buy anything new? How’s 2017 treating you so far?


*Nordstrom, Amazon, Memebox, Target, Sephora and  Yves Rocher are affiliate links. 

13 thoughts on “EauMG’s January 2017 Empties

  1. January empties:
    Tonymoly Pureness 100 Shea Butter Moisturizing Sheet Mask
    Tonymoly Pureness 100 Hyalauronic Acid Hydrating Sheet Mask
    Serge Lutens Five O’Clock au Gingembre sample
    Yosh Ginger Ciao oil sample
    Balenciaga Paris sample
    Miller Harris L’air de Rien sample
    Frederic Malle Carnal Flower sample
    Parfumerie Generale Cedre Sandaraque sample
    Profumum Confetto sample
    Guerlain Iris Ganache sample
    DSH Perfumes Piment et Chocolat sample
    Byredo Gypsy Water sample
    Arquiste Infanta en Flor decant
    Frederic Malle Musc Ravageur decant
    Voluspa Golden Cypress candle
    Voluspa Bourbon French Vanilla candle
    Voluspa Ponderosa candle
    Root Candles French Vanilla votive
    Lush Rose Jam shower gel
    Bee & Flower Jasmine soap

    The Different Company I Miss Violet
    Sylvaine Delacourte Musk Collection Discovery Set
    Bunch of samples and decants from a sale at TPC, including lots of Maria Candida Gentile samples and a couple Parfums d Nicolai small decants
    Serge Lutens Un Lys from Goodwill !!!
    Vintage perfume minis set (Hermes Caleche, Rochas Byzance, Eau de Givenchy, and VC&A First) from Goodwill

    Well, I feel like I need to commit to a low buy too, but my neighborhood Goodwill has deals and treausures that I wouldn’t know how to pass up! Seriously, I got amazing things there last month. And the TDC bottle was freaking $25 on Gilt. I didn’t even hesitate before blind buying it. I need to try it out again using more sprays. I wore it to work so sprayed conservatively, but it’s too short-lived to do that. It was quite a pleasant violet, but it seemed pretty and not a leather violet as it markets itself. The Sylvaine Delacourte set was pretty disppointing. I was anosmic to a musk in one of the samples and only found one of the others I really liked. I’ve already passed it along to someone else except for Lilyang, the one I did like.

    Empties were tons of perfume samples and a bunch of candles because I was home all the time because of winter weather.

    1. Holy perfume sample empties, Batman! You did some real damage in January! I’m envious of how many samples your emptied.

      Another envy…your Goodwill haul! Wow. That’s amazing. I don’t think I have ever found a perfume at a second hand store. I would have flipped out if I found a SL and vintage minis!!! I’m so happy they were picked up by someone that can appreciate them. Those are a great find. AND $25 for I MISS VIOLET, WHAT?! I actually like that one but would never ever pay full price for it (too fleeting). But, $25, yes, I’d buy a bottle with no regrets.

      With your good perfume luck, you shouldn’t go on a low buy 😉

      1. I think Gilt made a listing error at $25. There is no way that is the actual price they wanted to sell it for. I’m thinking it was supposed to be $125 considering full retail price is $245.

        And yeah, my Goodwill is awesome. It is why I try to get there at least once every 2 weeks. It is the Capitol Hill store in Seattle since I know you used to live here. This past year I have also found these there: vintage Hermes Amazone from the 70s or 80s, vintage Chanel No 19 EDT in a big splash bottle, L’Occitane Miel & Citron, The Different Company Kashan Rose, and Shalimar EDC. I may be forgetting something, but those are the highlights. Oh, and I forgot to say that this month Goodwill also bestowed upon me a Nesti Dante soap in Wild Raspberry and Nettle.

        This month I think I will barely empty any perfume samples because I am doing a month of roses. I’m wearing a different rose perfume every day. 🙂 It’s been a fun challenge. Today is Strange Invisible Perfumes Prima Ballerina.

        1. But, is that how much you paid? If so, that’s amazing. $125 would have been a good deal too.

          I went there a few times and never saw anything. I used to live right there too. I’m so happy though that it’s going to a good home. Those are some amazing finds.
          When I moved, I gave everything to Lifelong Thrift on Broadway. There were some perfumes in that mess!

          Yay! I should participate. I def have enough roses to wear something different each day.

          1. Yep, it was mine for $25.

            I need to continuously check Lifelong too. I saw an Annick Goutal there a while back, but I remember thinking it was still too expensive. Ahh, the thrill of the thrift store hunt though.

    1. YES! Saved. I haven’t looked into brands that I can buy here but you have did the research for me 🙂 I plan on buying a bottle when I use up the baobab oil I’m using now.

      Happy to hear it works for you. I was liking it in the morning during the winter. I didn’t realize my foundation was looking patchy until I used the cacay and it was a HUGE difference in the texture of my skin. No more dry patches. It’s def an oil I want to buy again. One of the things I liked about it was that it layered nicely with all my other skincare.

      I keep meaning to try that Josie Maran day moisturizer. It almost sounds too good to be true!

  2. You’re speaking my language, V. “I also realize that I buy this stuff when I’m feeling stressed”, “why do I hoard stupid little skincare samples that I don’t want to use?!”, “My goal in 2017 is to buy less and enjoy more.”
    This was an epic post!
    Here’s my progress:
    1) I decluttered ~20 full bottles of perfume. They’re in a box waiting their fate. I wanted to donate them to Northwest Center, but I don’t think they’ll take them. Hopefully Goodwill will.
    2) I’ve started a similar box for makeup. While I love the idea of putting on ALL THE SHADOWS, I look older when I overdo it. A simple taupe and brown crease with black eyeliner for special occasions, and just liner on a daily basis makes me look much younger and fresher! 🙂 So the crazy eyeshadows that look better on younger eyes are getting the ax.
    3) When I get that nervous-shopping habit twitch, I’m trying to stay away from the digital and picking up the analog – a physical book, a new journal and fountain pen, my current stash of stuff (nail polish, lotion, etc.). While I still slipped and bought things from Ulta, the majority were basic staples that needed replenishing.
    The idea of gathering all the energy and time to purge stuff only to get more stuff later is annoying, so that’s helping. I think it helps when you have friends in a similar mindset, so here’s me saying I stand with you. 🙂

    1. Oh but it’s difficult. I have a weakness for Hourglass and those new lip stylos are singing my siren song. Tell me – the owner of countless lipsticks – that I don’t need them, please? 😀

      1. I’m the worst person you can ask 🙂 Of course you don’t need them…

        I haven’t swatched them yet. I have tried to stay out of Sephora unless I *know* what I’m buying there (too many temptations!). Let’s just pretend the formulas are awful, lol. What we don’t know can’t hurt us!

    2. 1. WOW! That’s HUGE. Just going through and getting rid of 20 bottles is an accomplishment. According to Therabbitsflower, Goodwill takes perfume!
      2. I did the same with makeup. I sent a box to my sisters (they are like a decade younger than me so they can make anything work). I still love colors and stuff but I don’t need 15 versions of the same teal when I NEVER wear teal. One will do.
      3. YES. So, here’s something that I’m doing (not easy but I try). If something I want is available in store, then I shop in store. Ordering online is very convenient, but I find myself adding more to my cart for free shipping or a free gift of samples (that I’m only going to hoard). So far, my in-store shopping has been very nice. It sort of adds to the consciousness of my purchases, the *new* ritual of buying vs. stress coping mechanism. I obviously still order online because some brands are only available that way but I think avoiding the digital made my low-buy easier. This includes clothes and home stuff too. Also, I took myself off of mailing lists 🙁 And I’ve avoided Ulta because they make me part with my money so fast since they carry a lot of better quality, cheap brands and have sales.

      Oh, I did go through my closet too. I did get a lot of purging accomplished in January! SOLIDARITY!

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