Empties #5 | First Empties of 2014 (with a Twist!)

Empties #5 | First Empties of 2014 (with a Twist!)

I actually made good on my New Year’s Resolution of reducing my makeup stash. Don’t let the above picture fool you as it definitely does not do justice to the number of products I’ve been able to finish over the last couple of months. Today, I am pleased to report that I have finished 38 beauty products to start the year. I’m definitely very happy with that number and excited to rediscover some old favourites from my collection.

In the past times that I’ve done an empties post, I threw in a little fun way to keep me motivated. It’s almost like a diet, but for makeup. I was inspired by a thread that I found on the Sephora forum, and I want to share that with you today. My way of keeping myself motivated is set down a rule where for every product I finish, I get a “monetary reward” (I will elaborate below) which goes towards future beauty/makeup shopping. In my opinion, this little rule is far more realistic for me to stick to rather than a Project 10 Pan (I always fail that), and gives me the motivation to use up products while saving up for future hauls!

My rules are as follows and feel free to join me in this epic empties journey! Remember that you can modify the rules as you like and do let me know if you end up doing it so we can keep each other motivated! If I finish…

  • A full-size item: I have $5 for future beauty purchases
  • A deluxe-size item: I have $2 for future beauty purchases
  • A foil packet item/fragrance samples: I have $0.50 for future beauty purchases

You can change the dollar value up to whatever you’d like. I personally feel that the bigger the amount, the more motivated I am to actually finish up stash. For this specific post, I have saved up $118 for future beauty purchases!

Empties #5 | First Empties of 2014 (with a Twist!)

  • 18 full-sized items x $5: $90
  • 9 deluxe sized items x $2: $18
  • 10 foil packet/perfume samples x $0.50: $5

I won’t go into much details about individual products I finished (it will seriously be an incredibly long post), but highlight my favourite ones among the ones I finished.

The Lip Products

Empties #5 | First Empties of 2014 (with a Twist!)

I surprised myself when I counted how many lip products I managed to finish. I never considered myself to be a lip person, so this came as a nice surprise. I save up all my MAC empties so I can exchange them for a free lipstick/eyeshadow through the B2M program.

The Nivea Essentials Lip balm ($3, available here) is a stand-out among many lip balms I have tried. No nonsense, unscented, moisturizing and long-lasting, this tube is a keeper throughout the year.

I thought the Maybelline Baby Lips ($5, available here) was somewhat gimmicky but I was proven wrong. These are seriously one of the most moisturizing lip balm formula I’ve come across.

The Korres Mango Butter Lipstick ($18, available here) was one that I was sad about finishing up. I thought the name lipstick is more of a misnomer considering that it’s very sheer compared to a typical lipstick. These lipsticks are amazingly creamy and sheer that it’s perfect to wear for an interview or a work meeting. It leaves your lips feeling supple without having to reapply every 20 minutes.

MAC Cosmetics Slimshine in Rock Out, MAC Cosmetics Sheen Supreme in Bare Again, Wet n Wild Megalast Lipstick in 903C, Aquafina Minty Lip Balm.

Makeup Base & Samples

Empties #5 | First Empties of 2014 (with a Twist!)

If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you’ll know that I adore foundations. I like to pop by Sephora to test out foundation shades, and formula. Some of the ones I finished include:

Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation – 10-day sample from The Bay ($44, available here) Ever since I discovered the Estée Lauder Double Wear Foundation, this foundation has become my foolproof, fail-safe, holy grail product. This is a foundation that has won me over and is a reliable one to have and use despite the price tag. With the great coverage, natural and long-lasting finish, there is little to dislike about it.

Smashbox Photo Finish More Than Primer – Blemish Control ($50, available here) I received a sample of this during a recent Beauty Studio makeover at Sephora (Perks of being a VIB Rouge). The lady who was helping me gave me a couple of Smashbox primers to try since I told her I was a fan of the BB Cream. I don’t think I was too impressed by this product – it had a slight smell, and I didn’t see immediate or obvious benefits from using the primer.

Smashbox Photo Finish Primer ($50, available here) This was another one of the primer sample I received from the aforementioned recent Beauty Studio makeover at Sephora. This is very popular primer and definitely deserves the hype. I liked it as it helped smooth my skin particularly with the unevenness around the nose area. I think it’s quite a pricey primer though and I’ve tested and tried drugstore ones that are equally good so I don’t think I will repurchase.

Make Up For Ever HD Primer in #120 ($49, available here) I’ve been a little bit of a hermit lately and stayed indoors most of the time, which resulted in my disappearing tan, and my skintone going much lighter than I’ve ever seen it. I am currently around the NC20 area, and this was one of the shades I wanted to test out before splurging the money on this foundation. I’ve purchased this foundation before, and really liked the coverage, and finish. It was one of those foundations that made it to my repurchase list!

The Revlon Age-Defying Concealer ($10) has been my HG concealer for the longest time. Although the range is targeted towards older women, I find that this concealer delivers the best result for a drugstore brand. It conceals incredibly well without using too much, and stays on for a long time. When I don’t need much coverage, this is the product I always turn to.

Neutrogena Healthy Defense Sunscreen ($15, available here), Philosophy Purity Cleanser ($20-50, available here), Benefit Cosmetics Watt’s Up ($36, available here), CoverFX Matte Foundation Primer ($38, available here).


Empties #5 | First Empties of 2014 (with a Twist!)

The Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentré ($28, available here), in my opinion, is truly a super product that keeps my skin healthy and moisturized all day without feeling heavy or greasy. It absorbs quickly and easily and I can see the reason why it has been a staple product for makeup artists for such a long time. Ever since I purchased this tube in Paris over the past summer, I have not been able to use any other moisturizer! I think it is a little overhyped so don’t feel too bad if you don’t have access to it! It’s definitely a very nice moisturizer but not a must-have!

The Body Shop Vitamin E Toner ($18, available here) has been my toner of choice because it leaves my skin feeling supple and hydrated. The Vitamin E line is mostly appropriate for those with sensitive skin and this product did not disappoint though I don’t have very sensitive skin. The toner is powerful at removing makeup reside that I thought I had already washed off!

Bioderma Créaline H20, Shiseido Facial Cotton Pads ($11, available here).

Miscellaneous Beauty Products

Empties #5 | First Empties of 2014 (with a Twist!)

Vichy NutriHands Hand Cream ($10) is officially my favourite hand cream ever! I immediately fell in love with the scent – it’s a sweet, flowery scent that’s not as strong as the one from Bath and Body Works hand creams. I was pleasantly surprised to note that the lotion absorbs quickly into the skin. The consistency is just right – not too thick or pasty but not too liquidy like most body lotions.

Josie Maran Bear Naked Wipes ($15, available here) was not what I expected at all. It irritated my skin a lot, and I hated the how flimsy and oily the sheets felt. The sheets had a hard time removing the makeup, and I often need to use two sheets which really cuts down to the number of days I can use this. It is quite pricey at $12 for 30 sheets, there are certainly better alternatives at the drugstore to be checked out.

Bath & Body Works Secret Wonderland Shower Gel ($12) reminds of fairies and fairytales. A lovely Christmas/seasonal shower gel that is sure to bring fond memories of snowflakes back to memory.

CoverFX Brush Cleanser, La Roche Posay Lipikar Hand Cream, Urban Decay 24/7 Eyeshadow Pencil in Sin ($24, available here), MAC Cosmetics Fix+ Spray

Fragrance Samples

Empties #5 | First Empties of 2014 (with a Twist!)

Fragrance Samples: Dior, Juicy Couture, MARC Jacobs, Bottega Venetta, and more

All those online orders from Sephora resulted in a large number of perfume vials samples which I adore, but was also sitting unloved at the back of my vanity. Using up these samples really allowed me to explore different types/notes of fragrances without spending the money, and these are great to throw in your makeup bags/purse to use during the day. Each sample lasted me 2-3 uses, so it was quite a sizeable chunk to go through.

What are some of the products you finished recently?

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Comments (10)

  1. Erin on January 22, 2014

    • Stephanie | theFantasia.com on January 24, 2014

    • Stephanie | theFantasia.com on January 25, 2014

  2. Stacey on January 25, 2014

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  3. Vanessa on January 25, 2014

    • Stephanie | theFantasia.com on January 25, 2014

  4. Jenny on January 26, 2014

    • Stephanie | theFantasia.com on January 26, 2014

  5. Katie McCurdy on January 28, 2014

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