Tuesday, December 31, 2013

December Empties: Miscellaneous Month

I hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas, if you celebrate it. Our family ended up sick for Christmas as is bound to happen when you have 2 kids under the age of 10. Just seems the thing to do, huh...pass around whatever germs are of the moment. Because of this, I didn't use as many products this month as I'd normally use. Honestly, I was lucky to wash my face once every 2 or 3 days - this is real life here folks. So here is the random collection of items I DID use up in December...

Up & Up Super Strength Cranberry Supplement - $4.95
Yes, I'm about to get TMI on you, but since I had my second child almost 4 years ago (Lord love him), I had a ton of issues with UTI's and Kidney Infections...Let me tell you, not fun! After much experimentation, I found that taking a Cranberry supplement daily really helped. I tried many different ones and this one from Target's brand turned out to be the absolute best! I only have to take one of these tablets a day to do the job. With others, I had to take 2 to 4 (yes 4) to equal the same mg in this one, and I wasn't having that. So, yeah...I have and will repurchase these. Also, something to note, they are quite a bit cheaper online...Who knew!

Slatkin & Co. Leaves 3-Wick Candle - $20.00 ($10.00 right now and for a limited time.)
I won't bang on about this candle anymore (see past empties posts like this and this), but yes, I used up another of my favorite candle...But really, you should go have a sniff if you haven't already. It is just the best year round (IMHO) scent.

Lush Ultrabland Facial Cleanser - $29.95
Again, another product I've gone on and on about in past posts (here and here, oh and here), but it's worth repeating. If you have angry or dry skin, give this a try. Morning and night it just gets your skin back to basics. I believe the Lush website even says so, and if they say so, it must be true - right?! The only thing I can say bad about this stuff, is use a wash cloth (or flannel if you are over seas) that you don't care about messing up. The oil content in this balm type cleanser can tint lighter colored fabrics - but totally worth it!

Simple Cleansing Facial Wipes - $4.99
Not much to say here. Cleansing wipes. No scents or nasties in. No problem for sensitive skins. Great for pre-cleansing when wearing a face of makeup. The only thing these don't really take off is waterproof mascara, but then again, there aren't many wipe-type products that will take that off completely. I have repurchased these, but I'd like to give the Up & Up version a go, because I do tend to like the brand.

Heartland Fragrance Co. White Tea Epsom Salts - (Can't find this exact scent on their website, but they do have others.)
I received these bath salts in a Glossy Box last year and put them in my bath stash...and promptly forgot about them. I was getting near the end of my back log recently and found them in the bottom of the basket. I used these salts with an Ayurvedic Bath Oil and it was lovely! The scent was very subtle, but they were relaxing. I have a rather large tub, so I probably could have done with a bit more, but they were nice. They didn't irritate my skin and they didn't leave any sort of residue in my tub.

Agave in the Raw - $11.97 (I'm sure I paid less in store at my local Walmart.)
This is a constant repurchase in my house. I put a tiny bit (about a teaspoon) in my tea every morning, and I use this as my sweetener of choice for most things outside of baking. I don't really have a preference on brand when buying Agave Nectar, as long as it is natural. Otherwise, I buy what is either on sale or what I have a coupon for - this brand has been that lately. It tends to last me quite a while since you only need the tiniest amount each use.

Fortune Cookie Soap "I Yam What I Yam," said the Marshmallow Whipped Cream - $10.99 (They do not have this scent anymore, but tons of others.)
This scent came in the Fall Soap Box and smelled a bit like pumpkin pie to me. I liked this even though I tend not to like food scented products. It also didn't have that issue that I had with previous Whipped Cream samples from FCS. It didn't ball up when rubbed into the skin. Plus my 3 year old LOVED it! I'm not sure if it was the name he loved saying when he asked to have some on his hands, or if it was the scent - either way, this name was meant to be said by a 3 year old! Good job FCS!

Origins Checks and Balances Frothy Face Wash - $21.00
I can't lie, I was totally roped into buying this after watching Jen's (from OrganizedJen.com) Morning Skincare Routine (2013). It just sounded like something my skin would love. I already loved Origins as a brand, so I figured I'd give it a try. It cleansed my skin really well and never left it feeling stripped and tight. I can't stand when my skin feels tight after cleansing. I used this bottle the entire time I was on Accutane and it never irritated or dried my skin further. For a cleanser to last 5 months - that's saying something! I did use others too, but still...If you have combination/normal/dry skin, give this stuff a try. I think it would work for just about anyone! I've already repurchased it. So, thanks Jen:)

Nivea A Kiss of Moisture Lip Balm - $2.99
Once again, I've talked about these Nivea lip balms endlessly, but they are a great CHEAP option for dry lips. My favorite lip balm is the Fresh Lip Balm, but this one has a similar buttery texture. It's not quite as good, but for those on a budget, like me, it's great. I've already repurchased the A Kiss of Milk & Honey version. 

Fortune Cookie Soap Pick of the Patch Personal Space - $9.99 (They do not have this scent anymore, but tons of others.)
I'm one of those people who hates the idea of bathroom sprays...I just don't like the idea of "something" scented bathroom smells...Ok, it's pretty hard to talk about this product without being gross, but this stuff does more of a neutralizing thing than just an overlapping scent type thing, and it just works. Plus it isn't all aresol-ly and industrial smelling. It smells like you've had a pumpkin scented candle burning. Much nicer! Ok, let's move on...

Origins Ginzing Refreshing Eye Cream - $30.00
Eye Cream! Yes, eye cream...(nice segue huh). Again with the Origins. I like Origins. I was given this free as a gift with purchase and have been using as my day eye cream for a few months. I like it. It does brighten my under eye area and gives a bit of a color correcting effect much like the Ginzing moisturizer does I guess (I've never used it.). It isn't super thick and rich, so if you have oily skin it still would work for you, but if you have super dry skin it may not be hydrating enough for you. I used this while on Accutane and it did fine though. I am nearing the end of my supply, so when I ordered a replacement Checks and Balances from Origins, I chose this as my sample so that I could go a little longer before I needed to purchase a new day eye cream. I love eye cream, and there are tons of them on the market to try, so I may not repurchase this one just yet, but I really do like it.

Slatkin & Co. Cider Lane 3-Wick Candle - $20.00 (They didn't have this scent on the website when I looked.)
Last but not least, *gasp* another candle...from Bath & Body Works nonetheless. What can I say, they really are the best of the affordable candles. They are ALWAYS on sale, and there is a scent to suit anyone's taste. This one, to me, is very Fall like and is similar to the Leaves candle with just a bit more of a sweetness to it. They tend to bring this back every year around the beginning of Fall, so be on the lookout for that in 2014!

What sorts of things did you finish off this month - I'd love to know!

Here's looking forward to an amazing 2014 filled with lots of used up products (*ahem* Don't forget to recycle!). Happy New Year to everyone!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

November Empties: Lots of Tea

I know I've been away for a bit, but the holiday season is upon us and I've been scrambling to get myself ready, but in the meantime the Winter weather has arrived! Cold temps and dry air...I went through a lot of hot tea, lip balm, and body butters. Here are the products I used up and some mini reviews.

Harney & Sons Royal Wedding Tea - $20.00
I'm not going to go on anymore about this tea. I am already on my second 50 sachet bag. It's my FAVE, we all know this...a little agave nectar, a little unsweetened almond milk - done. Get some! (I just noticed the 50 sachet bag is out of stock on their website - WHYYYY!?)

Fortune Cookie Soap You're Insecure, Donut What For..." #fall Milk Bath - $12.99 (scent no longer available)
I signed up for the Fortune Cookie Soap Box in the Spring and I am slowly getting through the sample sized bath and body products I've gotten in them through the year. This one was in the Fall Soap Box. They don't have this scent on their website anymore, but if you want to try the product itself, they have other scents. I have a pretty big bathtub, so I think I could have used more, but it was nice smelling and feeling in the water. I do like a good milk bath.

Fortune Cookie Soap "It's Five O'Clock Somewhere" Whipped Cream - $10.99 (scent no longer available)
Again, I got this little pot in the Summer Soap Box, so they don't have this scent any longer. I've been trying to get through all of my sample sized products before I use full size products in my stash, and I have a huge back stock of body butter and lotions...I did really like the scent of this whipped cream, but I just don't like the formula that much. It feels really nice when you put it on, but it would kind of ball up on the backs of my hands once I'd rubbed it in. I'm not sure if it was just mine that did that, but the ones I got in the Spring and Fall boxes did the same thing. I was sad since I do like their products a lot!

Nivea A Kiss of Mint & Minerals - $2.99
I've already gone on about the Nivea lip balms also, so I'll just say I've already repurchased 2 more tubes of this stuff to have on hand for the Winter months. It's cheap, easy to get ahold of, and does the job.

Benefit BADgal Lash Mascara - $19.00
I got this sample sized tube of mascara as a Sephora perk a while back and just didn't want to part with it. The wand is absolutely ginormous (I may have poked myself straight in the eye when applying once.), but it gives me the most amazing lashes and doesn't clump. I even used it well past it's expiration I'm sure and it never really flaked on me. I do plan to repurchase this mascara, but I've been getting through some drug store tubes first - waste not want not.

Bath & Body Works White Citrus Fragrance Mist - $14.00
Alright, this was the never ending bottle of fragrance mist! I seriously have  had this same exact bottle since before I moved to my present house over 7 years ago...I just never finished it....I have never been loyal to fragrance. I always say I will be with each new bottle, but I always stray. Sorry! That's just the way it is...and sometimes (as with this one) I just never get around to finishing it. I finally committed to wrapping this one up - with a strict one in, one out policy. I have to say, I was very relieved with I got that last spritz out. It was nice, but on to the next big thing!

Slatkin & Co. Leaves Candle - $20.00 (Slatkin & Co. no longer on the website)
Yet another product I bang on about time after time. I love this candle, and I will continue to love this candle until they change the formula too much. I currently have a few backups in my stash that I'm hording...Go have a sniff.

Harney & Sons White Christmas Tea - $8.50
Did I say I'm in love with Harney & Sons yet? Oh...well...I'll say it again; I'm kind of in love with you Harney & Sons. I know we just recently met, but call me, maybe?

Oh yeah, White Christmas tea...good stuff! It kind of reminds me of my beloved Royal Wedding, but just a tad bit lighter and not quite as almondy. It is also a white tea and I believe has some white camomile in it. I'm not usually a big camomile lover, but in this it just works.

Olay Refreshing Nectarine Fresh Moisture Body Wash - $5.99
I'm really into the Olay Silk Whimsy Moisturizing Body Wash, but I couldn't find it in store last time I needed body wash, so I picked this one up. It was warmer out and I figured I could do without the more creamy wash. I was wrong...I LOVE the scent of this one, but it has a gel texture and it's just not quite as moisturizing on my skin. It did the job, but I will be going back to a more creamy moisturizing one next!

Nastassja Skin Natural Beauty Age Defy Eye Cream - $40.00
Another.Never.Ending.Product! I thought this tiny pot of eye cream would be a breeze to get through...I was wrong! It lasted me for 5.5 months! You only need a tiny amount of this. It is good, but not great. I used this at night since it was a bit on the thick side (which I enjoy). I'd say this would be great for mature/dry skin. I used it while on Claravis and it definitely kept my under eyes hydrated and didn't irritate my skin. I love eye creams, so I am sure I will be perpetually on the hunt for a holy grail product in this category. I don't mind paying some money for a good one, but at $40.00, this one didn't seem to fit the price tag.

I'd love to know what you used up, or if you've tried any of these products. Oh, and if you try Harney & Sons tea let me know what you think in the comments!