Mega Empties! Skincare, Makeup, Body + Hair

It’s hard to believe that my last empties post was almost two years ago!  Don't worry, I haven’t held on to my trash from that entire time, but I’ve got my empties from the last six months to a year.  I’m going to speed through these with very mini reviews, but feel free to ask questions if you're curious or want more details on anything.

Fair warning: it's going to be a long one!

Two of my favourite gel cleansers are the Ursa Major Fantastic Face Wash and Andalou Naturals Citrus Kombucha Cleansing Gel.  Both are lightly foaming and non-drying. The Andalou has been reformulated, but I’m using a bottle of the new version now and I don’t notice much difference in performance.  The Soultree Nutgrass Face Wash* was a new discovery in 2019 and one I really enjoyed. It's also a mild gel wash, but not foaming.  

For gentle morning cleansing, I enjoyed both the Grounded Sage Calendula & Cucumber Cleanser*, a rich and plush cream cleanser, and the REN Evercalm Cleansing Milk, a thinner lightweight milk.  The Michael Todd Charcoal Detox Deep Pore Gel Cleanser*, on the other hand, was a little harsher and more drying than I prefer. Aura Cacia’s carrier oils are consistently great quality and I use the Sweet Almond and Grapeseed Oils in my homemade oil cleanser.

I liked both the Brightening Gel Facial Toner* and Hydra Healing Skin Rescue Gel* from Grounded Sage quite a bit.  Both serve a similar function in terms of hydration, but my skin responded better to the Skin Rescue Gel, which more so addresses redness and sensitivity, and is a superstar at balancing oil production.  I also really liked the Life-Flo Salicylic Acid 5% Roll-On as a daytime spot treatment. It dries quickly and goes on clear.

My two serum favourites from this pile were definitely the Mad Hippie Vitamin C Serum* for brightening and the Consonant Skincare Glycolic Meta Serum for gentle exfoliation.  I also enjoyed the Live Botanical Hyaluronic Acid Hydrating Serum, a great minimal ingredient hyaluronic acid product. The Trilogy Very Gentle Calming Serum did not agree with my skin, so I used the majority on my chest and neck.  The Iremia Skincare Reparative Facial Oil* is another gem. Targeted at sensitive skin, it smells delicious and is fantastic for soothing and moisturizing.

Only one moisturizer, the Organation Customized Facial Cream*, which I loved.  Organation’s customization process is unique and easy, and the cream they made for me was spot on for my skin needs at the time.

It takes a lot for an eye product to blow me away and neither of these really did that.  Both are great moisturizing options, but I can’t say I noticed much in the way of results beyond that.  The Laidbare Pack Your Bags Eye Cream is a very inexpensive and gentle cream, whereas the Kahina Prickly Pear Seed Oil is a single-ingredient oil.  The Kahina oil was excellent under concealer!

I loved all of these!  The three Crazy Rumors, Wedderspoon Peppermint Manuka Honey, and Young Living Lavender are all balms that I’ve used multiple tubes of before.  The newer-to-me Sola Skincare Vanilla Lemon Lip Balm was excellent too, especially in the colder months as it has a firmer and more hardy/protective formula than the others.  

My top hair hits here were the Phillip Adam Curly Hair Shampoo* and A’kin Unscented Very Gentle Conditioner.  The matching A’kin Unscented Very Gentle Shampoo was just okay for me. The Acure Volume Shampoo and Conditioner are fresh and minty and the duo is one that I’ve purchased repeatedly.

Of the different henna brands I’ve tried, I’ve had the best experience with the Rainbow Research Burgundy Henna and continue to colour my hair with it today.  (More on my henna experiences here and here.) For styling products, I enjoyed both the Everyone Style Hair Gel and Tame Hair Cream. The gel is great for longer lasting curls, and the Hair Cream creates better definition initially, but has more fall by day 2.

I used the Alaffia Vanilla Mint Body Wash, which is lovely and non-drying, mainly as a hand soap.  SoapStix Hand Washes* are my favourite for carrying in my purse and I enjoyed both the Unscented and Lavender.  The scents are all pretty mild, so you can’t go wrong with any of them.  

I don’t think anyone needs a separate feminine wash, but I like the Organyc Intimate Wash for delicate areas that are sometimes irritated by other soaps.  I have another bottle in my shower now. The Green Beaver Concentrated Sunflower Castile Soap, something I constantly keep on hand, is a fantastic multitasker that’s good for everything from body wash to cleaning your floor or your makeup brushes.  

For bar soap, I thoroughly enjoyed the Godai Wind Soap and Shampoo*, Mamma Oceania Pineapple, Banana, Kelp, Oatmeal Brightening Soap, and Kariderm Neutral Natural Soap*.  The Mamma Oceania and Kariderm are unscented, while the Godai Wind smelled like a spicy mix of turmeric and cinnamon. All three were very gentle and moisturizing.

The T. Langhans House Blend Castile Soap* and Hand & Body Cream* are both great!  The bottles are beautiful and the products themselves are lovely and luxurious. I really loved the House Blend scent too.  In more inexpensive territory, the Kiss My Face Key Lime Moisture Shave is a longtime favourite. I’ve been having a hard time finding the Moisture Shaves in Canada, but I did track them down recently at Winners.

I also loved the Kariderm Hand Cream, which strikes a perfect balance between quick absorption, non-greasy hand feel, and long lasting moisture.  In fact, I could say the same about both the Consonant Skincare Organic Hand Cream and Organic Island Nourishing Hand Creme too. All three are winning formulas that I would happily rebuy!

Redmond Earthpaste Toothpaste was the first glycerin-free toothpaste I used and I still come back to it.  I’m happy with any of the mint flavours. This was my second tube of the Coral White Mint Toothpaste, but I think it will be my last.  After a recent cleaning, I’m convinced that this toothpaste was creating more tartar on my teeth, which, according to my dental hygienist can be caused by minerals in ingredients like coral calcium depositing and building up on the teeth.  (I’m in no way saying that everyone will have this issue, but this toothpaste just didn’t end up the best fit for me.)

The Everyday Minerals Matte Base (1N Ivory) is one of my everyday go-tos.  Despite the name, I find it to be more of a natural finish than anything overly matte, and the coverage, colour match, and affordable price keep me buying it again and again.  

I enjoyed a mini of the Pure Anada Mascara at some point, but I found the full size to be more dififcult to work with.  The formula itself is the same, but the tube seemed overfilled such that application could be quite messy. The Pacifica Dream Big Mascara was okay, but I prefer their Stellar Gaze formula.  And, the Young Living Savvy Minerals Mascara was a complete fail for me. Although it seemed to dry, it drove me crazy by smearing a colourless oily residue on the lenses of my glasses all day long.  

For me to finish any coloured lip product, it has to be a hit!  I enjoyed the Burt’s Bees Whispering Orchid Tinted Lip Oil, which was basically just a pretty pink gloss, as well as the Inika Organic Candy Ultimate Lip Tint*, a phenomenal tinted lip balm.  The Mineral Fusion Glisten Sheer Moisture Lip Tint is one of my all-time favourite lip products and one that I have been missing in my life since finishing it. I’ll definitely be rebuying at some point.  

PHEW!  If you actually made it all the way to the end, thank you!  I promise I'll stay more on top of empties moving forward, even if that means just sharing them over on Instagram instead of a full blog post like this.  

*PR Sample
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