January Empties / Products I've Used Up

January is often a month of scaling back after the holidays and this year was no different for me and my beauty cabinet .  Last year I took part in #NoBuyJanuary and this year I joined Tamara from Rainbow Feet's Green Survivor Challenge over on Instagram.  I love the group aspect of these challenges!

Since I focused a lot on using things up, I actually got through quite a few items this month.  I'm going to try to keep it short- since I have so many products to talk about - but if you'd like more info, I'm happy to expand on anything in the comments.  

Organic Surge Tropical Bergamot Hand & Nail Cream
I usually love citrus scents, but the smell of this one was a little sharp to my nose.  It was a great hand cream though, and even the scent grew on me after a while.  Very affordable too.  I'd buy it again.

Balanced Guru Calming Masque   [Review]
I only discovered this product towards the end of 2014, but it quickly became one of my favorite masks.  It has a lot of calming ingredients, but is also quite detoxifying.  If you saw my massive green beauty haul earlier this month, you'll know that I've already picked up a replacement.

Andalou Naturals Citrus Verbena Shower Gel
I love some of Andalou's products, but this shower gel was not one of them.  The smell was nice at first, but I got tired of it about halfway through the bottle.  It also left my skin itchy and irritated at times.

SkinnySkinny The Cleanser   [Review]
I didn't have the highest hopes for this castile-based facial cleanser, but I ended up loving it.  It's probably one of the best cleansers I've used to date.  If SkinnySkinny were easier to find in Canada, I likely would have bought a second bottle right away, but due to lack of easy accessibility and high shipping costs, I've moved on to a different cleanser for now.

Northman Grooming Co. Shaving Cream*   [Review]
My only complaint with this shaving cream is the tub packaging, which could be a little cumbersome in the shower.  The actual shaving cream is great: very creamy and hydrating.  I'd especially recommend it in the colder months or for anyone who suffers from shaving-related irritation.  

Kinky Curly Spiral Spritz   [Review]
I've gone through several bottles of this light, non-sticky hair gel and it even made my Best Curly Girl Hair Products of 2014 list.  I've already got another bottle on the go. 

Acure Unscented Cocoa Butter + CoQ10 Body Lotion   [Review]
Another staple.  When I want an unscented body moisturizer, nine times out of ten this is what I reach for.  It rubs in easily, but still moisturizes well.  I stocked up the last time Acure was on sale on iherb, so I already had another tube waiting.  

Earthpaste Spearmint Toothpaste   [Review]
I've been using Earthpaste for a couple years now, but this was my first time trying this specific flavour.  The Spearmint is unique in that it's unsweetened and stronger than Earthpaste's other flavours.  I liked the strong spearmint taste, but I wished it was also sweetened a little.  Without the xylitol, I found it to have a slight bitter taste.   

Weleda Body Lotion (samples)
I enjoyed using these lotions - especially the Sea Buckthorn scent - but I'm not sure I liked them enough to purchase a full size bottle.  

Nonie of Beverly Hills AHA! Body Lotion* (sample)
This isn't the richest, heaviest, most moisturizing lotion I've ever used, but with natural alpha hydroxy acids from fruit, it gently exfoliates and leaves you with extra soft, smooth skin.  Smells lovely too, with Nonie of Beverly Hills' signature sweet lemon scent.  

Dr. Alkaitis Organic Soothing Gel (sample)
One of my best discoveries of 2014, I love using the Soothing Gel as a spot treatment.  It makes a noticeable difference on large blemishes and literally vanishes smaller ones within just a few hours.  I bought another sample for now, but I expect I'll be picking up the full size bottle at some point in the future.  

Derma E Vitalizing Cleanser (sample)
I was excited to try this as it's one of the few Derma E products made without phenoxyethanol.  I didn't realize it at the time, but it does contain fragrance.  It worked fine as a cleanser, but I think it's been discontinued and I  wouldn't purchase it because of the fragrance anyways.

Suki Moisture-Rich Cleansing Lotion (sample)
Another so-so cleanser for me.  I much prefer Suki's Foaming Cleanser.

John Masters Linden Blossom Face Creme Cleanser (sample)
I'm scratching my head trying to remember how I felt about this one.  Clearly not a very memorable product either way. 

Bl├╗m Naturals Pro Age Daily Cleansing Towelette
I like to carry these individually wrapped towelettes in my purse, but they're not something I use on a day-to-day basis.  The pro-age ones are my favorite of the types I've tried so far.  

Bare English & Co. Vanilla Coconut Lip Balm
I've given Bare English lip balms as gifts but I never actually tried them myself until this fell into my hands this past fall.  I'm not sure why I waited so long!  I love that they're made locally here in Toronto and the formula is excellent too.  I've already picked up a couple other flavors to try.

Young Living Lavender Lip Balm
I love these lip balms too!  They're super smooth and nourishing and last well on the lips without being overly waxy.  The lavender scent is my favorite.

EvanHealy Tea Tree Gel Cleanser (sample)
I've been liking to use a gel cleanser as the second step in a double cleanse routine and EvanHealy's was a nice option.  I don't think I'd buy it - just because I don't need a targeted acne cleanser like this - but it worked well and didn't do anything bad for my skin.  

Hugo Naturals Vanilla Peppermint Soap
I really enjoyed having a festive snowflake shaped soap over the holidays and the peppermint vanilla scent was nice as well.  I'm not rushing to buy more Hugo Naturals soaps immediately, but I certainly would - especially when they come in cute shapes like this!

Pai Kukui & Jojoba Bead Skin Brightening Exfoliator (sample)
I've tried this before, but after seeing several bloggers rave about it, I thought I'd try another sample.  I like how it works, but I'm not crazy about the scent, so I doubt I will ever purchase a full size bottle.

Silk Naturals Abstract Sheer Blush (sample)
I like Silk Natural's Sheer Blush formula a lot.  The blushes blend easily and aren't overly saturated with pigment, so they work well on my ultra fair skin.  The colors also last well on my face throughout the day.  Abstract is a gorgeous light pink with some plum tones - swatched here - that I will definitely be re-ordering soon.  

Burt's Bees Wings of Love Facial Powder (sample)
This is an ancient sample from Burt's Bees' old makeup line (pre-Clorox ownership I think.)  It was a loose, translucent face powder that did nothing for my skin.  I ended up throwing out most of the sample.

I see a lot of other bloggers keep a tally of empties, and I'm going to start one this year too.  I'm curious to see how much stuff I actually get through over the course of a year!  

Skincare: 4
Body/Hair: 7 
Makeup: 0
Skin/Body/Hair Samples:11
Makeup Samples: 2

2015 Total
Skincare: 4
Body/Hair: 7
Makeup: 0
Skin/Body/HairSamples: 11
Makeup Samples: 2

* Press sample
Contains affiliate links


  1. I love the sound of these! I already am a fan of the Dr. Alkaitis Soothing Gel but hope to try the Balanced Guru Calming Masque and Acure Unscented Cocoa Butter + CoQ10 Body Lotion. Also, skinnyskinny and Silk Naturals are on my radar.

    1. Those are some of my favorites from this batch of empties for sure! All highly recommended :)

  2. love how you make organized your empty post! My skin have the same reaction with Andalou naturals citrus shower gel! Andalou have nice product but this one is not for me. Nice post xx

    1. Thanks Julie! It's always nice to know it's not just my skin being weird or super sensitive :)

  3. I've been on the lookout for unscented products so I was interested to hear your thoughts on the one from Acure, I may have to see if I can get hold of that :)

    1. I don't even know how many tubes of the Acure I've gone through - it's one of my favorites for sure! I think you'd enjoy it :)

  4. Wauw wat a great products! I have a dutch natural beauty blog and I love to read about Canadian products. I wish I could swap some items haha.

    Kim / www.alleenpuur.nl

    1. Thanks Kim! I love reading international blogs for the same reason - it's so fun to see what's out there :)

  5. That is a lot of empties in one month! How on earth do you get through so much stuff?! Do you eat it? Lol! :-)
    I love the idea of a tally, especially a running one through the whole year, that would be so interesting to track.
    Rach xx

    1. No eating, honest! I've been trying to use up a number of things that were already on their last legs, none of these were used just this month! December was pretty light on empties for me too, so that helps :)

  6. You have got through loads this month. I am a huge fan of Weleda's Seabuckthorn range x

    1. The Seabuckthorn is my favorite line from Weleda too :)

  7. Always love your empties post coz they're my motivation! Great idea on keeping count, I'll start doing that too! xo

    1. Thanks Ru! I can't take credit for the idea of keeping count, but I think it'll be fun to track :)

  8. I love the idea of keeping track of empties for the whole year! I might try it too.

    1. Also, where did you find Organic Surge over here? I thought it was a UK brand!

    2. Thanks! I'm kind of excited to see what actually gets used up over the course of a year :)

      I got the hand cream from Naturisimo (free worldwide shipping!) but I've also seen a lot of Organic Surge products at Winners - the Canadian TJ Maxx - so it might be worth checking there too.