Empties: May 2017

Flatlay of all the products reviewed below

I test and feature a lot of beauty products, but in real life I use up more samples than I have time to write about in great depth. For a while I did quick reviews of empties on Instagram. That quickly fell by the wayside, so I'm going to take a page out of other beauty bloggers' books and start doing empties round-ups here.

Fekkai Brilliant Glossing Shampoo with Olive Oil (approx. $30)

Quick notes: My hair must have cheap taste, because there wasn't any noticeable difference between this premium, salon-label shampoo and the drugstore ones I've tried in the past. The olive oil so proudly touted on the label falls somewhere in the middle of the ingredients list, which also contains sulfates, PEGs, polyquaternium, and methylparaben. Yikes! (As for why I'm showing you the shampoo but not the conditioner, I used up the latter ages ago.)

Would I repurchase? No, because performance- and ingredients-wise it's not superior enough to justify the inflated price tag and I'm looking for a natural alternative.

Pantene 3 Minute Miracle Moisture Renewal Deep Conditioner ($6.49 on sale for $5.99 at London Drugs)

Quick notes: This product was a Lazy Girl Approved pick, so check that post for details!

Would I repurchase? Yes, if I was looking for an inexpensive and effective deep conditioning treatment. For my next hair mask product I'm probably going to seek out a natural formula though.

Crabtree & Evelyn Pear & Pink Magnolia Ultra-Moisturizing Hand Therapy (approx. $9-20 depending on size)

Quick notes: This little tube of hand cream was part of a Crabtree & Evelyn sampler gift set I purchased at the end of the holiday season. The formula is everything I want in a hand cream: It's non-greasy and quick-absorbing, full of nourishing and natural ingredients with no controversial chemicals. The scents are hit-and-miss though, and this one was more of a miss for me.

Would I repurchase? Not this one specifically, but I would repurchase my all-time fave scent Avocado, Olive & Basil.

Leaves of Trees Coffee Argan Scrub ($15 for full size, available at BeautyMark)

Quick notes: The tiny tube of scrub was part of the Leaves of Trees Discovery Kit ($15), a sampler set of fan faves from the Toronto-based natural brand. I like the fact that the formula is all-natural, the granules are a nice size, the price tag is reasonable, and the ingredients exfoliate and hydrate at the same time. There was barely enough in the 5 ml tube to exfoliate my elbows, knees, and calves though; I would've liked more product to get a better feel for how it performs overall.

Would I repurchase? Maybe.

Dermalogica Multi-Active Toner ($54 for full size, available at BeautyMark)

Quick notes: Dermalogica Multi-Active Toner promises to hydrate, refresh, soothe, and smooth pores sans artificial fragrances or colours. A quick perusal through the ingredients list reveals aloe, lavender extract, and a host of beneficial botanicals and natural ingredients (yay!), but I don't like the fact that it contains dimethicone, a silicone that could block pores and inhibit serums and creams layered on top of the toner from fully absorbing. The nozzle produces more of a concentrated spurt than a fine mist. A little goes a long way, so although this was the sample size it lasted almost an entire month. It didn't dry out skin, but neither does it perform noticeably better than other toners I've tried.

Would I repurchase? Probably not.

Rocky Mountain Soap Co. Pomegranate Day Cream ($14.75 for travel size, $35 for full size)

Quick notes: Boasting the antioxidant benefits of pomegranates, this all-natural day cream has an amazing light fruity scent and a rich texture that absorbs quickly with no oiliness and moisturizes all day long. Best of all, there's no silicone to block pores, which means all the nourishing goodness of the natural ingredients is fully absorbed into skin. I'm a fan! The only downside of the travel-size jar is it's steep and narrow, so I was using a little spoon to scoop out product.

Would I repurchase? Yes.

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