Hi, everyone! Since I never got around to writing a December Empties post (late December and early January were busy with holiday celebration and New York City adventures), I thought I'd do an Empties post now that combined all of my used-up items from the past two months. This installment features products for hair and face- and even some tea!
Here are the spoils:
Thayers Unscented Alcohol-Free Witch Hazel and Aloe Vera Toner- I've gone through several bottles of this toner (as well as the rose- and cucumber-scented versions) and will always keep coming back to it. The formula is simple, but perfect for my oily, sensitive skin. The witch hazel helps keeps things clear and the aloe hydrates without clogging pores. Plus, it's under $10. What's not to love?!
Shu Uemura Ultim8 Sublime Beauty Cleansing Oil (mini)- I actually finished off this mini cleansing oil a while back, but hadn't reviewed it because I'd been using the bottle to decant and transport my trusty Shu High Performance Balancing Cleansing Oil to and from my boyfriend's abode. There is now a permanent bottle there, so I can retire this amber-coloured mini. The Ultim8 Sublime version of Shu's iconic cleansing oil features a blend of (you guessed it) 8 luxurious oils to clean the skin. While it did an amazing job at cleansing, I think I'll be sticking with my High Performance Balancing cleanser, as it's just as effective and $10 cheaper!
Aesop Camellia Nut Facial Hydrating Cream (sample)- When I visited the Aesop counter at Yorkdale last December, I was sent home with a bevy of samples. I told the lovely sales associate that my skin tended to be sensitive, so she included a sachet of this rich face cream. While I was hesitant that this potent hydrator would leave my complexion an oily mess, it actually did a wonderful job at deeply hydrating and calming my skin without leaving a greasy residue. A truly pleasant surprise! If I find myself in need of a Wintertime moisturizer next year, I will definitely consider this!
Aesop Oil-Free Facial Hydrating Serum (sample, x2)- this was an Aesop product I'd been eager to try for some time, so was excited to score a couple sachets of this as well. This aloe-based serum wore wonderfully under makeup without leaving a heavy residue or exacerbating oiliness. It feels quite sticky after initial applications, but soon sinks in to leave smooth skin behind. While I won't be rushing to purchase this, as I prefer a morning serum with some active benefits (brightening, exfoliating, etc.), I would definitely recommend this to anyone looking for the perfect lightweight hydrator for oily, sensitive skin!
Organix Repairing Awapuhi Ginger Conditioner- Organix is a drugstore brand that I regularly rely on for my tresses. While I always provide the disclaimer that they are in no way an organic, all-natural brand, their products nonetheless do a great job at treating hair well at a super affordable price. Their Awapuhi Ginger Conditioner smelled of a sweet, floral Hawaiian concoction and did a fantastic job at leaving my hair hydrated, and not heavy. Would definitely re-purchase, perhaps in summertime when the scent would really be perfection!
Mario Badescu Enzyme Cleansing Gel- This is such a nostalgic pick for me, as I've been using this as a morning cleanser on and off for several years. It does a wonderful job at cleansing thoroughly and exfoliating gently without stripping my sensitive skin. It doesn't irritate blemishes and it feels light and refreshing, which is always a bonus in the morning! Also, it's a fantastic value, since it costs under $20 and lasted for about six months! Am working on another morning cleanser at the moment, but will definitely be returning to this one when it's done. If you're in Toronto, you can pick up goodies from Mario Badescu from Jacob and Sebastian!
Colbert MD Stimulate: The Serum (sample x2)- I was lucky enough to score samples of this luxe serum when I visited Space.NK in NYC last month. I had not heard of this dermatologist-created brand at the time, but the facialist at the shop did a great job to convince me the line was top-notch. This translucent, lightweight serum is glycolic acid based, so aimed at exfoliating and smoothing the skin. Each little packet contained enough for 4-5 applications, so I got to give this serum a fair shake. At first it felt quite basic (no sexy scent or unique texture), but as the days passed, I began to notice that this was doing an incredible job at clearing up my skin without irritation. It really left me fresh-faced! While the price tag on this one is definitely a deterrent, if Space.NK ever has a mega sale, I would consider picking one up!
Mario Badescu Seaweed Cleansing Lotion- Much like the Thayers toner featured above, this Mario Badescu offering is a lovely alcohol-free, witch hazel and aloe-based formula that my sensitive, oily skin just loves. Makes my skin feel fresh and clean without stripping or irritating and is super affordable. Have already re-purchased another bottle!
Batiste Instant Hair Refresh Dry Shampoo Original Scent- We all know that I've been a Batiste Instant Hair Refresh devotee since I gave it a go last summer and this was the first time I took the Original scent for a spin. As expected, it did a wonderful job at minimizing oil and adding body at the roots of my hair, and the scent was light, clean, and simple. I still enjoy the Cherry scent the best, but this one comes in a close second!
MAC Blot Powder in Medium- This is a long-time staple that will be found eternally in my makeup bag. I've been using this on and off for over 10 years and have yet to find a better powder for mattifying and setting foundation. Keeps my complexion shine-free all day, doesn't break me out, and has a natural, translucent finish. Will never be without this one!
Tealish Queen West Blend Black Tea- My final empty is perhaps my favourite tea of all time. Tealish is a lovely independent tea shop here in Toronto, and the Queen West blend is an homage to the neighbourhood in which it resides. This black tea features blueberries, cherries, blackberries and flower blossoms and is the perfect fruity punch of caffeine in the morning. A true staple in my breakfast lineup!
So there you have it! A full rundown of the goodies I finished up over the past two months. Definitely some staples and exciting new finds among them! Here's one final jumbo-sized shot:
What have you finished up over the past couple months? Have you tried any of the goodies I featured here? Did I tempt you with anything?
Thanks for reading! :)