Fall + Winter Empties / Products I've Used Up

Happy almost 2021!  I can’t think of a better way to round out this blogging year than by moving some trash out with my latest batch of empties.  Here's a look at everything I've used up over the last several months...


Ursa Major Brighten Up Vitamin C Serum

Brighten Up is a nice mild vitamin C product made with an ascorbic acid polypeptide and aloe, shea butter, and other great ingredients.  I generally love Ursa Major products, and 90% of the time I really enjoyed this one too, but I did periodically wonder if something in it was irritating my skin.  I ended up mixing about the last fifth of the bottle with a body lotion when it was nearing expiry and using the last of the serum up that way.

Grounded Sage Pure Amore Gel Facial Cleanser

Grounded Sage has incredible formulations for acne-prone skin and I loved every drop of this cleanser!  Pure Amore is a thick gel with zero lather.  It’s gentle and non-stripping, but also one of the best products I’ve used for deep cleaning my pores.  I've used a jar of this previously and plan to repurchase again once I work through the small stockpile of cleansers I've accumulated recently.

Acure’s original green scrub was not great on my skin, but I'm really glad I gave them another try with this one!  The Charcoal Lemonade Scrub, made with blueberries, lemon peel, and plant cellulose exfoliating crystals, has a much gentler grit and a soft mousse-like consistency that I really enjoyed.  I used it a couple times a week in the shower, and would happily buy another tube in the future.

Trilogy Age-Proof CoQ10 Eye Recovery Concentrate

The Eye Recovery Concentrate is a creamy oil loaded with great ingredients like aloe vera, hyaluronic acid, CoQ10, and coffee, green tea, and cucumber extracts, but, ultimately, I don’t think it did enough for me to justify its $50-ish (CAD) price tag again.  It does a great job moisturizing the eye area and minimizing puffiness, but I just wish it did more for darkness.  The packaging was also not my favourite, as the applicator had a tendency to ooze product unless the tube was stored completely upside down.  

Portland Bee Balm Unscented + Oregon Mint Lip Balms

I rediscovered Portland Bee Balm mid-year and, clearly, thoroughly enjoyed these lip balms!  They have very minimal ingredients -- just local US beeswax and organic extra virgin olive and coconut oils (+ peppermint essential oil in the mint) -- and work super well.  They’re a little waxier in consistency than some other balms, which makes them especially great for protecting the lips in colder weather.  


Thera Wise Natural Bio-Active Body Wash & Shampoo + Moisturizing Lotion

These are two of my current favourite body care products!  Both are beautifully formulated and smell like the most delicious tropical blend of yuzu and mimosa essential oils.  I’ve been using the body wash as a hand soap throughout the pandemic, and it’s a great gentle wash, specifically formulated to protect the skin’s natural defenses and clean without stripping.  The equally lovely lotion is lightweight and hydrating, and absorbs into the skin well without any greasy residue.  These aren’t my first bottles of these, and I’ve already got backups of both waiting in the wings.

Green Beaver Zesty Orange Castile Sunflower Soap

I’m sad that Green Beaver doesn’t make these bar soaps any more as they were some of my favourites.  Super soft, non-drying, and easy to lather -- they’ll definitely be missed!  

Godai Earth Soap & Shampoo*

Another great bar soap option, Godai’s five elements soaps are just beautiful.  Earth is their unscented bar, made with french green clay, organic sugar, and organic shea butter.  


One with Nature Grapefruit Guava Dead Sea Soap

Some of the One with Nature scents can be iffy for me, but I loved the Grapefruit Guava.  It smelled sweet and fruity, but the scent was not incredibly strong or overbearing.  These bars are non-drying, and also inexpensive and huge -- I think they're some of the best value natural soaps you can find.  I already picked up another of these in my last iHerb order.

My Magic Mud Spearmint Activated Charcoal Coconut Oil & Bentonite Clay Toothpaste

I’ve used My Magic Mud on and off for a few years now, and it’s been my favourite toothpaste in the last few months.  It’s glycerin-free and non-lathering, but still does a great job and leaves my teeth and mouth feeling very clean and refreshed.  I wasn’t convinced of its whitening properties at first, but with consistent use, I do think it’s made my teeth noticeably whiter.  I’m currently working on a tube of the Wintergreen flavour and will likely go back to the Spearmint after that.  


Clove + Hallow FlexLash Mascara*

I generally love Clove + Hallow products and this mascara was no exception!  Marketed as “flexible, lightweight, and nourishing,” the non-irritating formula left my lashes healthy and soft to the touch, while also staying put without any flaking or smudging.  In terms of effect, it’s not the most dramatic mascara on the market, but it’s nicely black and gives lashes a pretty and fluttery look.  I would happily buy it again.

Milk Makeup Kush Mascara

This one, on the other hand, did not impress me.  Kush is described as a “high volumizing mascara,” but I found the volume it provided was so-so at best.  Basically, it was fine, but not anything to write home about.  I got this mini tube in a Sephora birthday gift, but it does contain a couple petroleum/petroleum-derived ingredients that I usually avoid, so it’s not one I’ll be buying myself in the future.

Savvy Minerals by Young Living Foundation (Cool No. 1)

This is a good light to light-medium coverage mineral foundation, if not the most long-wearing.  It has a pretty, skin-like finish and wears well for about six hours on my skin before I feel the need to touch up.  Cool No. 1, the lightest cool shade, was initially far too pale for me, so I used it strictly as a mixer with other foundations, but after months of staying home this year, my skin has apparently gotten lighter.  I don’t consider myself someone who tans -- I usually wear the same foundation shade all year -- but when I pulled this powder out again in the fall, it was a surprisingly good match!  I enjoyed using it, but it's probably not one I'll buy again since there are other mineral foundations I can get longer wear from at a less expensive price point.


Andalou Naturals Argan & Sweet Orange Shampoo

I’m still working through a few bottles of this that a family member stocked up on before Andalou’s big reformulation.  I like this old version of the shampoo, but am less impressed with the ingredients in the updated version.

No surprise here, this is my favourite henna!  It’s easy to use, doesn’t stain my skin, and the colour lasts longer than other brands of henna I’ve tried.  I always keep a pot or two at the ready and have already repurchased.

And that’s a wrap!  Here’s to 2021 -- I hope the new year is filled with health, happiness, and fulfillment for us all.  

*Press sample
Contains affiliate links

1 comment

  1. It’s a great site for everything around the house and it also has a
    useful Beauty Section . You can see the best products in each
    category and they also have test results to back up the information they are giving you.