Empties #1: Winter 2017 and Spring 2018

June 17, 2018

First off, I'm sorry. I know it's been months since my last post. A lot has been happening in my world! I switched careers, leaving my long-time environmental career track for my back-up plan - real estate. Though I miss my pursuit of environmental protection, it wasn't sustainable. I'm finally in a field that allows me to support myself financially, have flexible hours and work environment, meet new people, and learn about homes! I love it. I spent all winter studying for my exams. In February I took them and passed (apparently it's rare to pass on the first try!). In March I officially started this new adventure, not really knowing what to expect. I have a LOT to learn but I'd say it's going well so far. With the end of winter I decided it was time to formulate three business plans: one for real estate, one for the blog, and one for my Etsy shop (Designs by Little Bear). I may be taking on more than I can handle but we'll see.

 

I've been meaning to do this blog post since the holidays. I actually had taken photos of some empties and thrown them out, only to later decide I didn't like the photographs. So, here's my next shot at empties. Here's (almost) everything I've used up over the winter and the first part of this spring. I forgot to save my Nature's Gate toothpaste tube but you guys already know I love that stuff:

 

  

SKINCARE EMPTIES:

 

There were a couple different Luminance Skincare products I used up: the Delicate Facial Cleanser and Rosewater Toner. I don't need to say much about these two. If you read my full Luminance review (read it here) you'll know I love these. They're delicate yet effective and packed with good-for-you ingredients.

 

Size: 4 oz

 

Price: $19.80 each at www.luminanceskincare.com

 

Pros:

Cleanser

↠ Lightweight, effective cleanser

↠ Leaves skin feeling moisturized, not stripped

Toner

↠ pH balances the skin

↠ Feels refreshing

↠ Smells like a bouquet of roses

↠ Sinks into the skin quickly

↠ Helps thicker moisturizers sink in beautifully

 

Cons:

↠ None

 

Would I repurchase? Yes

 

 

I also tried out a different makeup remover over the winter. During Credo's holiday sale I order SW Basics 3 ingredient makeup remover. It's formulated with only almond, olive, and jojoba oil. As the ingredients suggest, it's a very heavy makeup remover. I'm used to using micellar water that's light and doesn't leave a residue on the skin. I didn't hate this product but it wasn't my favorite. It definitely left a layer of oil on my skin which they say you can rub in to give your skin added moisture but I still felt the need to wash my face which kind of defeats the purpose. I would say it was fine for the wintertime but I won't be reaching for it again.

 

Size: 2 oz

 

Price: $14.00 at Credo, Pharmaca and others

 

Pros:

↠ Nourishing

↠ Only 3 ingredients - all natural

↠ Affordable

 

Cons:

↠ Felt like it didn't quite take off all my makeup

↠ Left an oily residue

↠ Not easy to use on a cotton pad

 

Would I repurchase? No

 

This past winter I finished up my Rooted Earth Farms Eyebrow Potion. I love this stuff. It's easy to use, effective, affordable, and all natural. What more could you want! Read the full review here. Since finishing this up I've been using the Province Apothecary Full Brow Serum which is also really nice but pricey.

 

Size: Roller ball bottle

 

Price: $10.00 at Rooted Earth's Etsy shop

 

Pros:

↠ Affordable

↠ Easy to use

↠ Wonderful, natural ingredients

↠ Effective

 

Cons:

↠ None

 

Would I repurchase? Yes

 

Last in the skincare category I had a sample size of the Caudalie Vinoperfect Radiance Serum. I've heard a lot of great things about this brand and was really excited to try this. I'm not sure if my sample was too old, if it wasn't enough product to see a difference, or if it just didn't work for me, but I didn't see any difference when using this product. I used it every morning after cleansing and toning my skin, and before moisturizing. My skin didn't look better or worse. I might try it again at some point to see if I notice a difference but for now, I'll say it's just an okay product.

 

Size: Sample size; full size is 1oz

 

Price: Sample was free; Full size is $79.00 at Sephora

 

Pros:

↠ Smells fresh

↠ Lightweight

↠ Mostly natural ingredients

 

Cons:

↠ Didn't notice a difference

↠ Pricey

 

Would I repurchase? No

 

BODY CARE EMPTIES:

 

I used up multiple bars of Alaffia Good bar soaps but since there's no packaging, I have nothing to photograph! For my full review on the soaps, check out my other post here. Spoiler alert, I love them!

 

 

I've been working my way through the many options of natural deodorant. It's been a journey! I'm sad to say I'm still on the search for one I really like.

 

I wrote a whole deodorant review last year with both of these products included. Interestingly, my thoughts on them have changes since then.

 

I started off loving the Alaffia Coconut Bergamot deodorant and said the only downside was that stickiness of the aloe vera. For some reason, the more I continued to use the product, the less it seemed to work. By the end of it I was only using it on stay-at-home or low-activity days because it just wasn't working for me. It's better than some others I've tried, but still not my got-to.

 

Size: 2.65 oz

 

Price: $5.99 at Alaffia (I found it for $3.99 at Marshalls)

 

Pros:

↠ Reasonable price

↠ No mess, easy to use

↠ Simple ingredients

 

Cons:

↠ Includes Phenoxyethanol which is a questionable preservative

↠ Can get sticky during hot summer days

↠ Worked at first but slowly got less effective

 

Would I repurchase? No

 

I also finished up the Stinkbug Naturals Tea Tree deodorant. Even though I used up the whole thing I still have mixed feelings on it. It's one of the better ones I've used so far but because of the baking soda, I got a red rash under my arms. It also, to a lesser extent, seemed to fade in efficacy like the Alaffia one. Not sure what that's about!

 

Size: 2.1 oz

 

Price: $7.99 at Stinkbug Organics

 

Pros:

↠ Smells clean and fresh

↠ No mess, easy to use

↠ Very simple ingredients

↠ Lasts part of the day

 

Cons:

↠ Includes baking soda (bad for those with sensitive pits)

↠ Worked at first but slowly got less effective

 

Would I repurchase? No

 

Read my more in-depth reviews of these two products here.

 

HAIR CARE EMPTIES:

 

Let me tell you, it is HARD to find good non-toxic shampoo, but...I've succeeded!

 

 

Upon a recommendation from Laura of Laura's Natural Life, I decided to try out Acure and Desert Essence shampoo. I'm seriously loving them!

 

I love how easy it is find Acure products both in-stores and online. I snagged Acure's Clarifying Shampoo and Volume Shampoo from Marshalls. I love both of them equally. They're gentle on my hair - not over-stripping but still strong enough to get all the oil and grime out. They smell wonderful and are made with such great ingredients. Also, the prices are super affordable!

 

Size: 8 oz

 

Price: $10.00 at www.acureorganics.com and Target (I found them for $5.99 at Marshalls)

 

Pros:

↠ Smells clean and fresh

↠ Leaves hair feeling clean and soft

↠ Very natural, plant-based ingredients

↠ Affordable

↠ Easy to find in stores

 

Cons:

↠ None

 

Would I repurchase? Yes

 

In one of my Vitacost orders last year I picked up the Desert Essence Lemon Tea Tree shampoo. I love this stuff! I like it as much as the Acure shampoo and can't say I noticed much difference in the quality. It's around the same price point too. It has a lovely fresh sent and produces a nice lather. Both brands are awesome!

 

Size: 8 oz

 

Price: $6.74 at www.vitacost.com or $8.99 on www.desertessence.com

 

Pros:

↠ Smells clean and fresh

↠ Leaves hair feeling clean and soft

↠ Very natural, plant-based ingredients

↠ Affordable

 

Cons:

↠ None

 

Would I repurchase? Yes

 

I have a handful of other products that I'm just about done with so expect another empties post probably near the end of summer or sometime in the fall. Do you guys like these types of posts? Would you rather they be in video form, consolidated on an Instagram post? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

 

 

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