Empties Of 2017
categories: unquiet things
My problem, and I know I have rambled about this before, is that I am really good at acquiring new things, but I am terrible at actually using them–or rather, using them all up.
I’ve got three-quarters to half-full bottles and jars and vials and packets of products all over the place, but I never finish anything because I am suckered in by the idea that there is something newer, better, more *special* just around the corner…and so my stockpile grows, instead of diminishes.
This is kind of problematic. I only have a limited amount of space on shelves, and my funds are, unfortunately, not infinite. So to remedy this, I made it my business this year to try my best when it came to using what I already had, or as some beauty bloggers say, “shop your stash.” Which is not to say I didn’t make any purchases, I won’t try to fool you on that point, but I was very conscious about buying something only when something else was used up. Sometimes this turned into a “use one thing up, buy two more things”, but hey, no one is perfect, heh.
Here is a listing of all of the products I used up and emptied this year. If it was something extra special, I no doubt repurchased it, and I have tried to note when that happened– both to keep a record for myself, and for those who may be curious about such things!
- Baies candle from Diptique; definite repurchase, my favorite candle on earth
- Hurraw vanilla bean lipbalm; another repurchase, these are good and inexpensive
- a sample of Forbidden from House of Matriarch
- Incense samples from Blackbird; Blood Countess is to die for.
- Vanille Insensée soap; smells lovely, but ehh…I’m over bar soap.
- Naturallogic Cocoa Rose lip scrub; I adore it, but it’s discontinued.
- Ilia lip balm; this was OK, but it’s pricey.
- Zen Med AVT cream sample; it calmed my skin down, so I purchased a full size.
- Troïka pumpkin butter from Haus of Gloi; repurchase–this is my third jar!
- Algenist Vitamin C Serum deluxe sample
- Le Baume lip and dry skin balm; repurchased, love this stuff
- Shiseido sunscreen sample
- Winter by Dasein, sample; loved this, and purchased the full bottle
- Snowshoe Pass and Monarch samples from Solstice Scents; I thought they were both lovely, but it was Monarch that I purchased a full bottle of
- Rita Hazan shampoo & conditioner samples; left my hair ratty and gross.
- Farmacy Green Clean cleansing balm sample; lovely texture, creamy lime scent.
- Philosophy Purity cleanser sample; meh.
- Philosophy Time In A Bottle sample; gross and goopy like horror movie ooze.
- SNP Panda brightening mask; pretty lackluster.
- Kusmi Tea sampler; I really loved all of the elegant flavors and I drank all of this in the span of a month because of various bouts of unwellness.
- Atelier Vanille Insensée deluxe perfume sample; this is my travel scent, it’s very pretty in a vaguely interesting and comforting and completely non-offensive way… I should just probably buy a full bottle. It’s kinda perfect for what it is.
- LUSH Big Blue bath bomb; always repurchase this one, a perennial favorite
- Tony Moly peach hand cream; I keep this at my desk for dry hands, always repurchase.
- Korres Greek Yoghurt Foaming Cleanser; the sample size made me think I liked it, but it deceived me.
- COMME des GARÇONS Incense Series: Kyoto; repurchase, always. This was my fourth bottle in eight years. My A+, no. 1, five star favorite fragrance. If you never try anything else I recommend, I hope that you will at least have sniffed a sample of this cool, meditative scent.
- Chanel No. 19 decant; I need another sample to re-assess. Not sold on it yet.
- Iope BB cushion; I liked the ease and novelty and basically everything about this product until my dry, flaky skin rebelled.
- ZenMed cleanser; I liked this until I found something better.
- Josie Maran argan oil body butter sample; I really like this but could buy the same thing from small, independent sellers, I think.
- Kat Von D Sinner sample; I purchased the full bottle of Sinner, not because it’s super great – – I actually have something that smells pretty much exactly like it – – but I could not resist that dreamy bottle.
- Witch Baby Psychic bath bomb; my favorite from Witch Baby, always repurchase
- NeilMed saline for cleaning a new piercing. It did the job.
- Iope air cushion compact; didn’t I finish this last month? Whoops.
- LUSH Don’t Rain On My Parade shower gel; I loved this scent, and so of course they discontinued it. I’m still sore about Flying Fox, too, tbh.
- Bois 1920 Relativamente Rosso decant
- LM Parfums Chemise Blanche decant
- Atelier Perfumes Cepes and Tuberose sample
- Josie Maran argan oil body butter sample; somehow I had several of these?
- Sunday Riley Tranquility Cleansing Balm; I love this exfoliating balm so much I kinda overused it and fucked up my face for a while. Still: repurchase.
- LUSH Olive Branch shower gel; the selection of scents offered by LUSH that I actually like is rapidly dwindling. I settled for this one.
- Kat Von D Saint and Sinner perfume samples; neither of these scents are all that interesting or innovative, but oh, those bottles.
- Sister Spinster Flora Elixir; a flower essence formula “for connecting to abundant and divine nourishment”, Flora is composed of essences of anemone, wild iris, foxglove, rose, elderflower, lady’s mantle, belladonna lily, apple and olive in a rose and honey infused brandy. I don’t know if it “works”, but I really love this stuff. I will repurchase.
- Montale Blue Amber decant; I tried a sample of this a very long time ago, back in 2005, maybe? Around the time I was first exploring my fascination with fragrance. I loved it at that time, this strangely sharp, intensely sweet, then slightly smoky, and all-the-while marvelously powdery masterpiece, and I was delighted to rediscover it when a kind friend sent me a small decant this year. I haven’t yet purchased a full bottle (lordy, those Montale bottles are hideous,) but once I find a good price, it’s going to happen.
So that’s it, then! I didn’t empty as many full size things as I might like, but I am going into 2018 with the same mission, so we shall see how it goes!
Did you keep track of your empties this year? How did you do? Did you uncover any duds, or discover a Holy Grail that you cannot live without? I’d love to hear all about it!
this is a great idea, and i think i might do something similar to you in 2018. i'm always meaning to clean out my makeup and write reviews, but i just never felt the right way to do it. cheers to a good 2018.
S. Elizabeth says
I definitely want to keep up with it, myself! When I discovered Makeup Alley back in 2004, I was a makeup reviewing fiend. I reviewed everything I purchased! And then I stated reading make up blogs and started feeling self-conscious and weird about my own inexperienced thoughts and reviews, so I stopped. Pooh pooh to that! Let's get it started again.
I didn't keep track of what I got through this year, but I did try to shop my own stash a lot more. I used up all the face and body washes, all the soap, and all the lotion that had cluttered up my bathroom, although most of it was pretty utilitarian and not that fun!
The best and what I'll repurchase included "Coco Rose" body scrub by Herbivore, "Insalata Nocturna" and "Snow Wolf" scrubs by Haus of Gloi, eye cream and facial serum by Black Dove Botanicals, Josie Maran argan oil sunscreen lotion, and good old coconut oil. Duds included Mineral Fusion body lotion (felt like it didn't absorb well) and Keven whipped shea body cream (loved the whipped texture, but didn't care for the scent).
Where I failed to shop my stash this year was makeup and perfume. At the start of the year I vowed to buy no more, but I tried Rituel de Fille's highlighter and lip stain (meh to both, will use but may not buy from them again) and also bought a Kat von D lipstick (Cathedral, close to my own lip color, would buy again) and TWO BPAL 5mls (argh, did not need, I have way too much perfume but I got obsessed with Snake Oil this year and got both Pumpkin Spice and Frostbitten Snake Oil this winter).
Thanks for these posts & reviews, I'm forever looking for new things! Happy new year to you!
S. Elizabeth says
You know, while I love a lot of the RdF stuff in theory, in reality...not so much. I will say, however, that I really like their lip stuff. Strange Creature is definitely one of my top 5 lippies!
Calluna Jean says
The only thing I've been 100% on that I discovered in 2017 is my bareMinerals Complexion Rescue Tinted Hydrating Gel Cream SPF 30, Urban Decay Brow Beater Microfine Brow Pencil, and The Lucky Honey Bee's Nag Champa candle, which smells freaking amazing. These I will buy again. Otherwise I have my trusty Basis face wash and Head & Shoulders shampoo!
I have a large number of mostly full perfume samples (thank you again!<3), but nothing has stood out as the right stink for me yet. I am trying desperately to use up my ridiculous amount of facial moisturizers... so I can try even more... And I really need to stop buying lipstick and eyeshadow because I almost never wear makeup besides doing my brows. What I need is a good tinted lip balm...
S. Elizabeth says
Oooh, that candle sounds lovely! And I'm thinking I might need to revisit ye old Head & Shoulders...everytime I turn my head, it's like a freaking snow flurry!
Calluna Jean says
I discovered that if I just let the H&S sit on my scalp for a few minutes before rinsing, it really does the trick.
Oh Flying Fox *le sigh.* That was my all-time favorite scented anything and used to drench myself in it. I had no idea it was being discontinued or I would have bought vats of it. I have a love/hate relationship with Lush lately, totally agree that their scents are becoming more and more disappointing. But LOVE their Big shampoo (and face masks and bombs). When I last went to repurchase Flying Fox and was given the devastating news of its demise the salesperson tried to direct me to "something just like it." I don't even remember what it, but my reaction was just NO.
I'm going to start keeping track of the empties too! This is a great idea! In the last couple weeks I just finished a sample of Guerlain's Lingerie De Peau foundation and will definitely be purchasing. My winter skin loved it. Repurchased Paula's Choice Skin Recovery Enriched Calming Toner for the third time, and finished an imp of BPAL's Black Annis. I loved it, and will probably purchase the full bottle but I'm on a mission to finish all imps that aren't decants.
S. Elizabeth says
Solidarity mourning with you over the Flying Fox :(
And I've been wondering about that Lingerie De Peau foundtation...everything I use make me look flaky, cakey, or mummified!