EauMG’s November 2014 Empties

November Empties

Another month flies by and I’m left with more empties! In November, I tried to tackle all the nice samples that I’m apparently hoarding for no good reason. And being that it’s winter, I’ve been burning a fancy candle every evening for ambiance and well, because I have them. Also, the weather has been freezing and my skin has been exceptionally dry. I can’t find a skincare routine that works for me right now.

First off, here’s what I bought this month: a rose face cream, a bunch of Korean skincare products, Sonia Kashuk Contour Stick and  a matching shampoo and conditioner. Did I need any of it? Well, I needed the skincare, the other stuff was impulse buys.

November empties


Paula’s Choice Skin Balancing Ultra-Sheer Daily Defense Moisturizer (sample) – This is a lightweight daily moisturizer with SPF 30. It’s like a liquid and it dries matte. I have used full-size bottles of this but thought I should use the samples up.

  • Purchase? In the past, I’ve purchase this. However, for this time of the year, I need much more moisture than this can provide. Good choice for oily/combo skin. But, not a good choice for me.

Reviva Labs Vitamin E Oil Stick w/SPF 15 – This is an oily stick moisturizer than you can use around the eyes or on lips. I use it as a lip balm and it’s one of the few with SPF that doesn’t irritate my sensitive lips. I also like the “slick” texture. I’ve never used it around my eyes.

  • Repurchase? Yes.

Palmer’s Skin Therapy Cocoa Oil – This is an oil blend with retinol and vitamin C. It’s lightweight and you can read all about it in my review. 

  • Repurchase? I guess. Like I said in my review. I liked it in the summer but it doesn’t provide enough moisture in the winter.

Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Recovery Complex II (deluxe sample) – Such good stuff!

Shiseido Ultimune Power Infusing Concentrate (deluxe sample and sample) – First off, this did not infuse me with power and I’m disappointed! Next, this is basically just perfumed alcohol that you put on under your moisturizer. I think it actually dried me out. Actually, I’m certain that it did because when I stopped using it, my skin felt better.

  • Purchase? Nope. It’s not for my dry skin at all.

Epielle Facial Essence Mask with Collagen & Vitamin E – So, this is a brand of Korean sheet masks for the American “discount” market that retail for really cheap at discount stores. I guess they show up at Big Lots and other places. One late evening at Grocery Outlet when I went there in a desperate attempt for dishwashing detergent, I was shocked to see Korean skincare. And I had to buy them. I think it was 50¢. Apparently, these have an online cult-following. Well, I’m not impressed at all. The sheet is too thick. The sheet’s shape doesn’t work with my face shape. And there isn’t enough serum on this. I can spend $1 and get much better brands at Korean markets. It’s not horrible but if I have to sit around with something on my face for 30 minutes, I want it to be comfortable. I’ve tried a lot of brands and this one has been my least favorite.

  • Repurchase? No.

Pure Smile Choosy Gel Lip Pack in White Pearl – I was sick with a cold and my lips were chapped from mouth-breathing. This is a “weird” Japanese product that was in a Memebox. It’s a large silicon/gel feeling lip mask. It’s coated in a serum and you leave it on up to 30 minutes. David really liked this as it made me shut up for that long. It’s bizarre looking on. It’s an  extra-large pearly white lip shaped thing stuck to the bottom part of my face. It has a “cool” (but not tingling) feel. It does smooth lips and temporarily got rid of fine lines.

  • Repurchase? Probably not. I swear I need to just buy these and wear them when I start feeling hungry at 10 PM. It’s my new diet strategy 😉 This is a novelty item. I get the same results with a scrub and layers of Aquaphor…
japanese lip mask
My lips are sealed…

Fil-Lup White Essence Mask – I had such a great experience with the Charcoal mask from this line, that I picked up the other varieties. This is one of those masks with a super thick serum. It has a clean, soapy aroma. Immediately it left my skin feeling moisturized and dewy.

  • Repurchase? Yes. It’s cheap and makes my skin feel good.

3W Clinic Green Tea Sheet Mask – I picked up a few of these at an Asian skincare store for cheap. This is the green tea one, a soothing antioxidant mask for all skin types. It is a thicker sheet soaked with a lot of serum. It has a pleasant green tea aroma. Also, it’s Samsung branded. The more you know…

  • Repurchase? Yes. However, it isn’t as moisturizing as others that I tried. May be a good one for summer.

Conclusion: My skin has been really dry this month. I’ve had to switch over to new products like creams and cream masks. I need a good moisturizing serum too. Why is it as soon as you figure out your skincare routine then the weather changes?

november empties


Linnea Lights Soy Candle in Amber (votive) – It’s a nice benzoin-y amber. Full review. 

  • Purchase? No. And it’s not the candle, it’s that I’m a home fragrance flirt. I want to try something different.

Malin & Goetz Tobacco Candle  – I love this sweet and smoky tobacco scent.

  • Repurchase? Yes. This is one of the few candles that I always want around.

Votivo French Collection Candle in Rosemary Grapefruit – It smells like the name implies. This is one of those neutral scents that goes with everything, which was surprisingly nice for Thanksgiving. Full review. 

  • Purchase? No. I do like it but I can think of other candles I want to try.cabinent

Roxana Illuminated Perfumes Hedera Helix parfum (sample, not pictured) – This is a rustic, dark green chypre. It goes well with fallen autumn leaves and balmy mornings. Full review. 

  • Purchase? No. Even though I really like it, it’s a chypre. I rarely wear those.

Maison Francis Kurkdjian Ciel de Gum EDP (decant, not pictured) – This spicy floral is a Russian exclusive. Full review. 

  • Repurchase? No. But, that’s only because it’s hard to find in the US and it’s super expensive. And I can’t justify the hassle or the price.

Conclusion: I’m fairly certain that I have some sort of candle addiction. And yes, I’m outing myself right now. I just love candles so much. My goal is to get down to only owning five candles…so I’m not allowed to buy any unless I’m down to four…then I can buy one! As of now, I have a cabinet where I store the candles in the box or tin. It’s like I have a cabinet for candle storage. You can scold me now. I probably deserve it.

November empties

Bath & Body

B&BW Hand Sanitizer in Honolulu Sun – It smells like coconut tanning lotion which I don’t know if I like that or not. I just wanted to kill all the bus people germs.

  • Repurchase? Probably not.

Ziaja Goat’s Milk Body Lotion (sample, not pictured) – I made my first ever Ziaja order ever and they were awesome enough to include samples of basically every product they make. And that’s awesome because I’ve never tried anything from this Polish line before! This is a lightweight yet moisturizing body lotion. It has a clean lily/musk fragrance that reminds me of Ivory soap bar meets Dove Beauty Bar. I wore this and wanted to layer it with Avon Sweet Honesty

  • Purchase? Maybe. They have a body butter and body balm in this range and I want to try those before deciding. And for some reason I’m really craving this squeaky clean functional fragrance. I feel like such a rebel using this after using all my natural hippie soaps. <insert evil laughter here>.

Korean Honey Chestnut Exfoliation Soap – I love this stuff. I’ve been using it for years. I love the feel and the subtle sweet and nutty aroma.

  • Repurchase? Yes. It’s one of my favorite soaps.

I also used up two handmade bar soaps from a farmer’s market. One was patchouli and the other was licorice.

Conclusion: Why does it take me forever to use lotions when I use them 2x a day???

Silky Sexy Hair


Sexy Hair Silky Sexy Hair Control Crème – Being that I’ve had a bob for years, it takes me forever to use up haircare products. Take this one for instance, it’s been discontinued. It’s a creme for course/thick hair. It has like a floral/green apple scent. It did work. No frizzies with this stuff. It’s also lighter weight than most of the oils that I use so I could get more body when I used this.

  • Repurchase? No. The line has been discontinued. It’s time for me to move on.

Conclusion: Short hair doesn’t use up much product, so I have enough styling products to last a long time. Next, I need to lay off the buying of shampoo and conditioners. My shower is getting too crowded.

November makeup empties


NYX Slim Lip Pencil in Mauve – This is a lovely mauve lip liner that goes with a lot of lippies that I own. It’s really good, especially for the price.

  • Repurchase? Yes.

Kiss Me Meganecco Long Mascara – This is a Japanese mascara that is for length. I liked the natural look. And I think it is for girls that wear glasses. I don’t know.

  • Repurchase? Maybe. I liked it but I also like to try new mascaras.

Maja Compact Cream Powder in Morisca – Well, I’m out of my stock of this. I buy this anytime I’m in an area that sells it (L.A., NYC, San Juan, etc.). I love the finish and the fragrance.

  • Repurchase? Yes. It’s something I pick up when I see it. I refuse to order it because I like that it still feels “special”.

Benefit Stay Don’t Stray in Light/Medium (sample, not pictured) – I don’t really have any issue with oily lids but I like to use primers for eyeshadows. Tinted ones to help with discolorations, etc. This one is really pigmented. I guess it’s a concealer too. However, it was so dry on my lids that I didn’t’ want to use it under my eyes (which were already dry this month). I guess it’s OK to use, depends on your needs.

  • Purchase? No. I like Urban Decay better. Heck, I like e.l.f. better.

Conclusion: When I use up makeup products, I’m so proud of myself. And don’t act like you don’t get that feeling when you do the same 🙂

Total – 25. 15 full-size, 5 travel/deluxe, 5 sample. Obviously this number is skewed by the amount of samples, travel sizes and single use items I used this month.

Oh, and I threw out a few color cosmetics. I had two Clinique lipsticks that didn’t smell “right” and a Maybelline Color Tattoo Eyeshadow had dried up 🙁

What about you? Which products did you use up in November? Did you purchase anything in November? Did you throw out anything?

10 thoughts on “EauMG’s November 2014 Empties

  1. I used up my favorite shampoo and condition from Phyto that I loved for colored hair, but I’m not going to spend the money before Christmas on expensive/awesome hair care products. I went to whole foods and bought Mineral Fusion. It’s ok. I threw away three Too Faced lipsticks that smelled funny, but I bought 5 NYX matte lipsticks on sale!! I finished a boots eye cream that is for teenagers with no wrinkles, so I won’t be repurchasing. It doesn’t moisturize. I’m going back to my more expensive eye cream. I have to spend money on that.

    1. I keep buying shampoo and conditioners as if I’m going to find this magic duo that is going to change my life. So far, my life is still the same 🙂
      I love NYX matte lipsticks! They are so good.
      Oh, the eye cream thing. I’ve learned my lesson there. That is one of those that I’ll spend on for sure or at least be pickier about.

  2. I love your “empties” series! So many new goodies for me to try! Yesterday I ran out of my Dr. Hauschka Rose Day Cream so went to Whole Foods to buy a new one. It is inexpensive and very hydrating for my super dry and sensitive skin. Even still, I sometimes need to use a hydrating serum or oil underneath at night during the winter months. I really want to get NUDE Progenious Treatment Oil because it just works perfectly for me and makes my skin looks amazing but it is a bit pricey so I am trying to hold off on that for now.

    1. My skin has been sooo dry. By the time I figure out what works, it’ll be spring 🙂

      I keep hearing awesome things about both of those products. “Treatment Oil” sounds exactly like something my skin needs right now.

  3. I used up nuthin! But I switched some things up.
    I usually use the Organix shampoo/conditioner line, like the Coconut or Macadamia nut flavors And I stocked up at a great BOGO sale at Rite Aid on jumbo sizes…so long ago… but I get bored so easily so I decided to explore. I splurged on travel sizes of Living Proof (shampoo conditioner and mask), which were nice enough but my god the price. Then I remembered how once in my youth I was gifted a bottle of Paul Mitchell Awapuhi shampoo and it was my dream! So I got that and The Conditioner and it’s made my hair softer than ever. Sweet!

    For everyday face moisturizer, I love Paula’s Choice Resist Barrier Repair Moisturizer, but it was too light for stubborn dry areas when the weather changed. I was out of my usual cream so decided to blind buy their new Resist Intensive Repair Cream, which is a heavier duty version of the lotion. It worked ridiculously fast (1-2 days to get rid of the super dry patches) and now I must recommend it highly!

    Your lip mask photo is wow. 😀

    I once bought an ELF nail polish and it was the worst $1 I’ve ever spent. It was a strange terrible consistency not suitable for nails. So I worry about that set. Then again, every brand has duds.

    I saw that same mascara at Daiso and concluded they market it to people with glasses because when you wear it, your lashes get so long that they touch your lenses… and that’s both a blessing and a curse… and this formula is supposed to not rub off on the lenses … or something… Makes total sense.

    Happy holidays!!

    1. I need to try some more Organix products because they get rave reviews and like you said BOGOs happen. I know many people swear by more costly hair stuff but for me, I haven’t found anything in the super expensive range that was better than the higher end drugstore stuff…or at least not yet. Saying that I know there are so many different hair types on this planet and maybe I’m lucky in the regard that cheap stuff works for me!

      I really, really want to try the new Resist lotion because my skin is so dry now.

      That mask is some freaky sh*t isn’t it? lol Also, doesn’t help that the photo has the creepy blue glow from me sitting in front of my laptop wearing a weird lip mask.

      I don’t know. Some of the best polishes I’ve bought have been Sally Hansen…and some of the worst has been the same brand. It’s hard to tell. I do think some colors just were never meant to be nail polish shades…like so many yellows. Those are always streaky and goopy. Saying that, $1 is too much to spend on something that you’ll toss.

      Long lashes have never been a problem of mine, lol. Sort of wish I had that problem, but whatever. I say that as a person that has never had long lashes brushing against glasses!

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