Beauty Empties

“I adore artifice. I always have.”
– Diana Vreelance

When I first thought about doing these month-long blog projects, I had an idea I’d try to do something about beauty or makeup at some point and so I started collecting the bottles and packets of items I was using up. I debated trying to do some video content myself this month…but then my computer crashed and needed a new hard drive (a few other tech shenanigans behind the scenes also ensued) and I decided to put that goal off until another month. But I still wanted to do some kind of “empties” post, et alors, we’ve arrived!

I’m oddly obsessed with “empties” videos on YouTube. There are a lot of writers and content makers who are legitimate voices of authority in the industry (Caroline Hirons in particular springs to mind) and I have a number I trust to give good advice when it comes to skincare and makeup, so when they they tell me they’ve used certain products up, I pay attention. I’m also fascinated because from some of the anecdotal evidence I’ve gathered from some friends and internet pals of late leads me to conclude that we throw a lot of beauty products out because they goes bad before we finish them, we get bored before something is used up, or we just clear out our stashes periodically and anything that’s done its time is binned. Simply put, a lot of us can be fairly sloppy or casual consumers of our beauty goods!

Candidly, one of my projects this month was to throw away any makeup that had expired (as some of those products can be serious hubs for bacteria) and to give things that I simply wasn’t using to better homes. My little sister is awaiting a package of goodies from me as we speak! Also in the interest of full disclosure, I’ve picked up a few things this month which I’ll be documenting in a later post. But having done a clear out, and a couple of thoughtful shopping trips to replace what needs replacing, my goal now is to buy fairly little if any new makeup until I’ve used up some of what I’ve already got.

Also, since I stuck to my shopping ban faithfully (minus my one tiny little cheat courtesy of Estee Lauder and Victoria Beckham…) I didn’t buy any new skin care for several months and so was able to finish a lot of products that were already in my stash. My bathroom shelf is much leaner than its been in a long time, but that means I’ve got a nice little hoard to share of some of the things I’ve used up entirely in the last six months.

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I was surprised to see so many hair prodcuts in this stash as it typically takes me months to get through them…because I hate doing my hair. Every minute of the process. I hate washing it, I hate the time it takes to blow dry and style it, I hate the fact that the whole process is (for me) largely null and void the moment I step outside–all of it. This is unfortunate as I 1) really do want to look nice and hair is a big part of that and, 2) have eczema on my scalp which means I have continuous skin problems in that vicinity which requires constant care. Frankly, my hatred of hair care is probably related to this fact.

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There’s a lot of Glossier in here as I put in an order last summer when we were in the States and finally came to the end of it around Christmas. The serums I picked up at Christmas, however, and I’ve gone through both the Super Bounce and Super Glow formulas in record time. Bounce is a hyaluronic acid serum and though it seems to be a bit of an internet favorite, I won’t be repurchasing. I’m roadtesting the Deciem line at the moment, which includes an HA serum, but at the moment I think I’ll be picking up another bottle of the Pestle & Mortar HA serum when that runs out. I got through my first bottle of it in January and have not found anything I love quite as much as it yet! The Glossier Super Glow serum is a Vitamin C formula and I will be buying it in bulk as soon as I can get my grubby hands on a way to get it to the UK–it’s that good!

Speaking of buying in bulk, I’ve actually gotten through multiple packets of facial wipes (which most beauty editors and gurus worth their salt will tell you to stay far away from. Listen to their wisdom, kittens, but know that your beloved Aunt C. sometimes is just a lazy slob) and bottles of micellar cleansing water in the last six months. This is just indicative.

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The products above I’ve already repurchased since using them up (in December when shopping was permitted, of course!) and have every intention of picking up again when my current stash runs out. It’s taken me a long time to build an arsenal of products that I know work for me and when I find things I love, I tend to be loyal. I may still be fighting a losing battle with hair care, and may still fall victim to the slings and arrows of hormonal breakouts, but day to day, I feel like I’ve got my skincare game together.

Your turn! Are there any products you swear by? Do you repurchase old favorites or actively go out hunting for new ones? How long does it typically take you to get through your favorite items? 

7 thoughts on “Beauty Empties”

  1. i’ve been repurchasing the Boots No 7 beauty serum, day cream, and night cream religiously for like five years and almost always have at least one extra of the serum in the cabinet just in case (and because i buy several at a time when they go on sale online). since i don’t often wear foundation–or much makeup at all, excluding eye and lip products–moisturizing is my focus, lol.

    i like playing around with different mascara options. i’ll find what i like best and stick with it for a few buys, and then do an in-depth exploration of new options and try anything i haven’t seen before that catches my attention. choose a new favorite if necessary, stick with that for a few buys, repeat. must always be waterproof, the darkest shade available, and not subtle.

    as we’ve discussed before, i also tend to have just two lip colors at a time (not counting tinted balms, glosses, etc): a classic “old hollywood” red, and a darker and more instagram-y maroon. may adjust a little in the future since the products i’m using right now don’t stay put as well as i’d like, but shade-wise, i’m sold.

    1. Moisture is life! What are your favorite mascaras? Mine is good old Maybelline, hasn’t let me down in years.

      You have a glorious face that can carry intense dark shades of lipsticks and doesn’t need anything else to strike terror into the hearts of men. We with round faces (if killer eyes) salute you!

      1. currently “bombshell curvaceous” (lol) from covergirl’s lashblast line, in very black (waterproof), for daytime. and maybelline xxl (which is a microfiber mascara, and quite dramatic), also in very black, for night. zero interest in trying anything higher end, in this case. the products i use get the job done perfectly!

        re: your flattering second paragraph: contour by Jesus (#blessed) but i’ll always envy your eyes!

  2. Thinking about it, I only seem to repurchase skin care products like micelar water and eye cream from bioderma, and cleansers and exfoliators from the body shop and lush. As for makeup, I’m constantly trying out new things and never seem to finish the products! That being said, I think I do it because it is just so much fun to go shopping for new things to try out, not beacause I don’t like the products I was previously using.

    1. I cannot say I blame you for constantly wanting to shake it up, makeup shopping is one of the great pleasures of life! 🙂 But like you, most of what I repurchase are skincare stand bys. Makeup styles change, skin is forever.

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