Empties: December 2019

24 empty beauty products featuring makeup, hair care, body care, and skin care from drugstore, natural, and department store/luxury brands

I skipped last month's Empties post, which means I have a whopping 24 empty beauty products to recap today as we say goodbye to the last year and the last decade!

Empty hair and body care products from Garnier, Herbal Essences, Korres, Schmidt's, Gel Freddo Natural Benex, Not Your Mother's Naturals, L'Occitane, and Cutex

Garnier Whole Blends Legendary Olive Nourishing Shampoo ($6.99 at London Drugs)

Quick notes: I picked this up at the drugstore to go with the Korres conditioner, and I was drawn to it because it was olive-scented and free of silicones and parabens. True to the claims on the bottle, it left my hair feeling soft and healthy.

Would I repurchase? Yes.

Herbal Essences Volume White Grapefruit & Mosa Mint Dry Shampoo

Quick notes: This was sent to me as a sample ages ago, and yes, it's taken me this long to use it up. I've gone back and forth on dry shampoo over the years, and although I've gone through phases of liking it, in the end I think I'm just not a dry shampoo girl.

Would I repurchase? No.

Korres Pure Greek Olive Nourishing Conditioner

Quick notes: Thick, creamy, intensely emollient. Mostly natural formula. It felt like I was putting Greek yogurt into my hair. It was good, but not noticeably better than other conditioners I've used before.

Would I repurchase? No.

Schmidt's Lavender Tips Natural Deodorant ($12.99 at Welk's, previously featured here)

Quick notes: Like my beloved BVSpa body scrub, I think this deodorant is just a forever fave at this point.

Would I repurchase? Yes.

Gel Freddo Natural Benex

Quick notes: I bought this all-natural gel from a tiny Florentine erborista a couple years ago when we went to Italy. It's tingly and cooling and meant to relieve muscle pain and fatigue in legs and feet. So good, especially after walking on cobblestones all day.

Would I repurchase? Probably not, although I liked it. There are more readily available natural remedies for muscle pain in North America.

Not Your Mother's Naturals Royal Honey & Kalahari Desert Melon Hair Mask ($2.99)

Quick notes: I bought a bunch of these hair mask packets at Ulta the last time we went cross-border shopping. I liked the natural formula, the scent, and the intensely emollient and creamy texture. There was enough product in the packet for multiple uses.

Would I repurchase? Yes.

L'Occitane x Rifle Paper Co. Rose Hand Cream ($12)

Quick notes: I bought a trio of small L'Occitane x Rifle Paper Co. hand creams a while ago. Of the three, I liked this one the best for the pink packaging, the lovely rose scent, and the fact that it didn't feel as silicone-y as the others.

Would I repurchase? Yes.

Cutex Nail Polish Remover

Quick notes: Not as good as Deborah Lippmann.

Would I repurchase? No.

Empty skincare products from TONYMOLY, Avene, Derma E, Bioderma, Rocky Mountain Soap Company, Omorovicza, NeoStrata, A-Derma, and Caudalie

TONYMOLY Master Lab Hyaluronic Acid Sheet Mask ($4)

Quick notes: Light and hydrating.

Would I repurchase? Maybe.

Avene Thermal Spring Water Spray, 50 ml ($11.99 at London Drugs) and 300 ml ($22 at London Drugs), previously featured here

Quick notes: I love this stuff. I kept the large one at home for a refreshing spritz on hot summer days or whenever my skin felt parched, and I used it to rinse and wipe away my face after using micellar water. I kept the small one on my work desk and spritzed it directly into my face with my eyes open whenever my eyes felt dry. (Avene thermal spring water is manufactured in a sterile environment, so it's perfectly safe for this purpose.) Both cans lasted a surprisingly long time.

Would I repurchase? Yes.

Derma E Vitamin C Micellar Cleansing Water ($16 at London Drugs, previously featured here)

Quick notes: Natural formula infused with actives (vitamin C, probiotics, rooibos) intended to brighten skin, citrusy scent.

Would I repurchase? Maybe. I'm pretty loyal to Bioderma, but I enjoyed using this micellar water while it lasted.

Bioderma Sensibio Mild Cleansing Foaming Gel ($19.90 at London Drugs, previously featured here)

Quick notes: Lawrence and I were both big fans of this cleanser, which we kept in the shower. It creates a lot of lather and is gentle on skin. Plus, the pump bottle is very good at picking up every last bit of product at the bottom.

Would I repurchase? Yes.

Rocky Mountain Soap Company Hydrating Toner ($27, previously featured here)

Quick notes: Love the herb-y, slightly medicinal scent of this and how the spay bottle creates a fine all-over mist. I keep a smaller version of this in my barre bag at all times and I kept refilling the small bottle from this one.

Would I repurchase? Yes.

Omorovicza Queen of Hungary Mist ($70, previously featured here)

Quick notes: Super luxe, beautifully executed facial mist spray. It gave me spa vibes every time I used it. However, I didn't notice any benefits above what I'd get from a facial mist that costs less.

Would I repurchase? Probably not.

NeoStrata Intensive Eye Therapy ($90 on sale for $72 at London Drugs)

Quick notes: Great at moisturizing and de-puffing.

Would I repurchase? Maybe.

A-Derma Exomega Control Emollient Cleansing Oil

Quick notes: Meant for sensitive skin. Odd texture, not nearly slippery enough for a cleansing oil. I had to use tons of product to cleanse every time.

Would I repurchase? No.

Caudalie Resveratrol Lift Eye Lifting Balm ($72, previously featured here)

Quick notes: This is my second tube of this stuff. I bought it in Paris 50% off from a Monoprix that was closing for renovations. Love the formula, but don't love how the tube stops dispensing when there's still at least 2 weeks of product still inside. Also, I've since tried a different Caudalie eye cream that I like better.

Would I repurchase? Maybe.

Empty beauty products from Oak + Fort, Dior, Clarins, Saje, and Fresh

Oak + Fort CC Cushion ($28 on sale for $14, with an additional 15% off for Boxing Week)

Quick notes: I kept using this expecting it to provide superior coverage, or dewiness, or something. In the end this cushion compact was entirely forgettable and completely average compared to others. No SPF protection.

Would I repurchase? No.

Fresh Sugar Tulip Lip Balm ($32, previously featured here)

Quick notes: Fresh lip balms are a forever fave, and at one time I adored the hot pink hue of Tulip. These days though, I'm more drawn to other shades, which probably explains why it took me ages to use this up.

Would I repurchase? No.

Clarins Supra Volume Mascara ($30 at London Drugs)

Quick notes: Good volume, good length, love the luxe-looking gold tube. Smudge-proof-ness was hit and miss.

Would I repurchase? No.

Dior Brow Styler ($39, previously featured here)

Quick notes: I bought two of these while in Paris, and they were one of my favourite beauty products of 2019. I think that when they first came out, they were one of the only micro-tip brow pencils out there. But drugstore brands have since caught up and started making their own, and there are definitely lower priced alternatives that work just as well.

Would I repurchase? I still have one more of these in my beauty stash!

Saje Moon Cycle ($20)

Quick notes: This stuff has now been renamed as Saje Period! I use it to relieve endo-related abdominal twinges and bloating.

Would I repurchase? Already have!

Dior Cheek & Lip Glow (limited edition, previously featured here)

Quick notes: Flushed cheeks were one of the prettiest and most accessible beauty trends of fall/winter 2019. Seeing photos of it (and noting my own cold-weather pallor) prompted me to dig through my stash of cream blushes and rediscover this gem. Because it's so sheer and colour-adjusts to deliver the perfect flush, it's pretty goof-proof even if you are in a rush while using it. No brushes required. Loved it while it lasted. Dior should bring this back as a permanent item.

Would I repurchase? Alas, I can't.


  1. LOL this is savage "this cushion compact was entirely forgettable and completely average compared"

    I still have my cushion but they sent me the wrong shade so I never used it. I really dislike cushion foundations for that reason - they are unsanitary and most of them don't do anything so what's the point of using them.

    I feel the same way about the Omorovicza spray too. The nozzle is AMAZING so once I'm done with it, I might refill it with other essence waters just to take advantage of that spritz nozzle.

    1. I've used other cushion compacts from Laneige and IOPE that I've liked. This one just missed the mark for me. And that Omorovicza spray bottle is pretty luxe!

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