Summer Empties / Products I've Used Up

It’s that time again!  Keep reading for mini reviews and a look at all the products I’ve used up over the last 3+ months...


{save} Skincare Ultra-Light Moisturizer*

I loved this lightweight moisturizer!  My skin just drank it up and was always left calm and moisturized.  The ingredients include pre- and probiotics and bakuchiol for barrier support and anti-aging, but mainly I just found it to be a good basic summer moisturizer. I need something richer for the colder months, but I would consider repurchasing it next spring.

Mad Hippie Cream Cleanser

An amazing gentle and pH-balanced cleanser!  The Cream Cleanser has a lotiony consistency and is made with great oil-balancing and hydrating ingredients like jojoba and macadamia oils, sodium PCA, and sodium hyaluronate. I’m already well into my next bottle now, but I did notice a difference in my skin when I was without this product for a few weeks in August.  

Aura Cacia Organic Rosehip Oil

I love Aura Cacia for carrier oils, and this organic rosehip was no exception.  It did have a somewhat more pungent scent than other rosehip oils I’ve used, but nothing terrible or offensive.  I mainly used it as an ingredient in homemade products (face oils, cleansing oils, body butters, etc.), but you absolutely can use rosehip oil on its own too.  

Ursa Major Bright & Easy 3-Minute Flash Mask

A mild enzyme and fruit acid treatment, the 3-Minute Flash Mask is a great one to gently exfoliate and brighten the skin.  I liked that it worked quickly and without irritating my skin, but, like I've said in earlier posts, I wasn’t crazy about how it smelled. 

Iremia Skincare Soothing Lotion*

Another major love, this lightweight moisturizer is a sensitive skin dream.  Made with aloe vera, shea butter, calendula, and manuka honey, it does a phenomenal job soothing sensitivity and tackles surface redness and irritation like nothing else I've used. I plan to repurchase as soon as I use up a few other products.

Biossance Squalane Phyto-Retinol Serum*

Another bakuchiol product, this time paired with Biossance’s customary sugar cane-derived squalane, plus niacinamide and sodium hyaluronate.  I enjoyed this lotiony serum a lot, but I’m not sure it did enough for my skin to justify the $95 CAD price tag, at least not on my current skincare budget.

Pacifica Rose Jelly Beauty Sleep Undereye Gel

I enjoyed the glass rollerball applicator, but the product itself didn’t do a huge amount for me.  While it has a nice gel consistency and boasts great ingredients like caffeine, coffee, blue tansy, and peptides, I just never saw much difference in either my dark circles or under eye puffiness.  That said, the gel is gentle and nicely hydrating, so if that’s your only eye concern, you might enjoy it.

AO Skincare Peak Strength AM Serum-Shot*

Another costly one, but, despite being even slightly more expensive than the Biossance, I could see myself splurging on this in the future.  The Serum-Shot is jam packed with actives and botanicals including niacinamide, stable vitamin C, ferulic acid, peptides, green tea, manuka honey and more, and it worked incredibly well for my skin.  It truly delivered on all its hydrating, firming, skin tone-improving and pore-minimizing promises and, as a result, could often take the place of multiple other products in my routine.


Real Purity Pressed Powder (Medium)*

One of the biggest selling points for me with Real Purity powders was always that they were silicone free, however the current iteration of this product includes dimethicone. I can't speak to that current formulation, but this version sat really nicely on the skin, though it wasn’t the best for longevity or a full day's wear.  I took this time in quarantine, when wear time was less of a concern, to use it up, but won't repurchase due to the ingredient change. Also, it’s worth pointing out that if I’m wearing your medium shade, there’s definitely some work to be done for an inclusive shade range.  I’m hopeful that deeper shades are in the works.

Real Purity Blush (Desert Rose)*

I don’t think I’ve ever actually finished a pressed blush before!  I got a ton of wear out of this -- occasional use and then near daily use for almost two years! -- and loved the rosey pink hue.  Like the pressed powder, the current formula includes dimethicone, so not one I'm rushing to repurchase, but I wouldn’t mind finding a similar colour in another formula to replace it.

Pacifica Supernova Stellar Gaze Mascara

A longtime favourite mascara, this shows up in almost every empties post!  I don’t find mascara to be a particularly exciting product to experiment with, so I typically just stick to what I know works.  Stellar Gaze is nice and black, gives great volume and some length, and doesn’t smear or smudge throughout the day.  It’s not waterproof, but I find it stands up just fine to watery eyes or a light mist/rain.

Nude by Nature Perfecting Concealer (02 Porcelain Beige)

I really liked this concealer! It’s a thinner formula with light-to-medium coverage and a really pretty luminous finish that’s perfect for under the eyes.  My only gripe is that the product doesn’t set at all on its own and it stays pretty tacky unless heavily powdered, but once I got the hang of working with it, it did work well.  There are a couple other concealers I’m curious to try out first, but I could see myself coming back to this one at some point.

Sante Coverstick (01 Light)

Another concealer hit!  Pencil concealers are a bit dryer by nature, but I never had serious issues with this one.  It's a good medium coverage product and the texture was amazing for covering up blemishes or redness on the face.  I also liked it under the eyes with a little extra moisturizing prep.  There are only 3 colours currently and nothing darker than a medium, but I’m hopeful Sante will also expand the range in the future so more people can enjoy this gem.


Laidbare In Safe Hands Sunflower Hand Cream

This is a fine hand cream, but I didn’t find it nearly as intensive as its marketing claims.  With a non-greasy finish and a mild scent, it was nice for spring/summer, but I prefer something richer in the colder months.

Good Bubble Fragrance Free Body Moisturizer

The search for an unscented body lotion continues!  This was a great one, but Good Bubble is not the easiest brand to get my hands on here in Canada.  I’d happily buy it again when ordering from overseas, but I’d still prefer to find something more accessible here.

Young Living Thieves Foaming Hand Soap Refill

I like this soap, though I do find it can dry out my hands if used too many times in a row.  I appreciate the extra boost from Thieves essential oil, especially now, and that the refill is a more economical and better for the environment option, so I continue to buy it.  I just know to grab something else if I’ll be washing my hands 12 times in a row cooking dinner!

Young Living Thieves Fresh Essence Plus Mouthwash

I don’t usually use mouthwash (did you just exit in disgust?!), but I like this one on occasion.  One of my wisdom teeth flared up in August and I used it to gargle throughout the day, which did ease some of my discomfort and helped the irritation clear up faster.  The formula is glycerin free and includes heavy hitters like colloidal silver and clove, cinnamon, lemon, eucalyptus, and rosemary essential oils.

Mabrook & Co. Lemon & Rose, Vanilla & Mint and Eucalyptus & Spice Clean Soaps*

The bar soaps are a relatively new addition to Mabook & Co.’s line, and I love them!  The soaps, which are sold without packaging, are palm oil free, and produce a really beautiful, lush, and non-drying lather.  My two favourites have been the Vanilla & Mint and Lemon & Rose, but, scent preferences aside, they all work equally well.  The scents correspond to the company’s deodorants, so if you’re familiar with those, you can easily match up your favourites.

Just Birch Lemongrass Artisan Soap*

Just Birch uses birch tree water in place of ordinary water for an extra boost in their soaps, which also include moisturizing shea butter and olive, rice bran, coconut, and apricot kernel oils.  The bar’s lather was really gentle and non-drying, and the lemongrass scent was lovely and fresh.  I loved the minimal packaging on this one too!

Old Soul Soap Company London Fog Handmade Soap

Old Soul has an extensive lineup of soaps, all naturally coloured and scented only with essential oils, and I was super impressed with my first purchase this summer.  The bars are generously sized, inexpensive, and again, minimally packaged.  London Fog, like the drink it’s named after, was a beautiful blend of bergamot, vanilla, and lavender.


Andalou Naturals Argan & Sweet Orange Moisture Rich Shampoo

My mom stocked up on quite a few of these shampoos before Andalou’s ingredient changes a while back, and she gave me a couple bottles to use earlier this year.  I really enjoy this shampoo for my curly hair, but I have no idea how it compares to the current formula.

Rainbow Research Burgundy Henna

A total staple!  Rainbow Research henna is inexpensive and is the longest lasting henna I’ve used.  It easily covers greys and I get hardly any fading, so I only have to go over my entire head about every six months -- otherwise, I can get by with just root touch ups, which is both easier and healthier for your hair. One of these pots lasts me multiple uses, so it's also very economical.

And that's it! It's always nice to move these things out and be able to see that I'm actually using my products:)

* Press Sample/Gifted. Contains affiliate links

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