Empties: Noteworthy 9

I never intended to disappear from the blog for 3/4 of a year, but life happens, and here we are.  I've shared some over on Instagram, but the long and the short of it is that, between a stressful full-time job and a new migraine problem I've been dealing with since last fall, I've just had minimal bandwidth left for blogging and social media in general. I really want to be more consistent with content creation again, but I won't make any promises as I'm still not sure what that will look like.

My last empties post was way back in December 2020, and, while I did accumulate an overflowing bag of all my empties in the nearly 2 years since, I've picked out just a handful of really exceptional ones to share in more detail today instead of trying to quickly breeze through 1001 things. Plus, since it's been 9 months since my last post (and we're roughly 9 months into the year), 9 seemed like a good number.

Really, I think this could double as a Favourites post since many of these are longtime favourite products -- things I've repurchased more than once -- with a few standout new discoveries included too. 

Thera Wise Body Wash & Shampoo

I've collaborated with Thera Wise several times before and been sent products in the past, but I regularly purchase products for myself too.  I no longer really use liquid body wash in the shower, but I continue to buy the Body Wash & Shampoo to use as a kitchen sink hand wash.  Its intoxicating yuzu/mimosa flower scent is hard to beat, and it never dries out my hands -- even through bouts of Canadian winter and extreme pandemic handwashing.  The pump bottle is the perfect sink size also, though I wouldn't say no to a more ecofriendly refill either if Thera Wise was inclined to sell a bigger size!

Grown Alchemist Hydrating Day Cream

I received a Grown Alchemist Voxbox from Influenster last year, and was super impressed!  The Day Cream is a beautiful medium-weight moisturizer that strikes the perfect balance between nourishing moisture and a lightweight skin feel.  Geranium is not typically my favourite scent, but somehow it worked for me here -- and also in the matching Gentle Gel Facial Cleanser, which I also thoroughly enjoyed.  The $69 CAD price point is the only thing holding me back from another tube right now, but if it's within your budget, I do think the Day Cream is worth checking out.  It also seems like Grown Alchemist products make the rounds in subscription boxes fairly regularly, so if you can find a deal, definitely 200% worth it.

Lauren Brooke Cosmetiques Lip Moisturizer

If you saw my collaboration with Lauren Brooke last holiday, this one will come as no surprise!  I was able to help create a limited edition product for the company's 2021 Advent Calendar and I opted for a new flavour of the Lip Moisturizer. This tube here is one of the originals that I also used every last drop of, and it's just as great as my Candy Cane Vanilla Mint version. The Lip Moisturizer is an excellent soft lip balm that heals chapped lips like no other.  The ingredients are loaded with great oils, plus beeswax, shea butter, and vitamin E, and it’s become a must-have product for me, especially through the winter.  

Consonant Skincare The Perfect Sunscreen

Perfect is a big claim to make, but this sunscreen is undoubtedly pretty great and I understand why it gets so much hype.  The formula is lightly tinted and, while there's no real coverage from the tint, it eliminates any whitecast and does do a very slight job of evening out my skin.  The colour is also sheer enough that I think it would suit a lot of different skin tones.  In the spring/summer, I was using this in place of a morning moisturizer, but in the colder months, I would probably use it as an additional layer instead.  The sunscreen feels a little tacky at first, which might bother some people, but it does absorb within 20-30 minutes to a very comfortable finish.  Most importantly, this tube had me reaching for it every single day and truly got me in the habit of wearing SPF daily -- HUGE, as someone who is usually pretty inconsistent with SPF.  I went back to my other favourite, the Green Beaver Face Sunscreen, when Consonant was sold out of the Perfect Sunscreen earlier in the summer, and that's what I'm using now, but I could definitely see myself coming back to this one again in the future.

One With Nature Bar Soaps

As I said, I'm become a total bar soap convert everywhere except the kitchen in the last few years, and One With Nature is one brand that I keep coming back to.  The bars are inexpensive and huge, and easily create a rich and non-drying lather. Pictured here are the Grapefruit Guava and unscented Olive Oil, two of my favourite bars, but I’ve yet to find a dud in their lineup.  My only complaint with these is the plastic wrapping, since plastic-free packaging is a big benefit of switching to a solid bar in my book.  I still continue to buy them, but would love to see the brand transition to recyclable paper packaging.


{Save} Anti-pollution Sleeping Mask

I’ve had really positive experiences with {Save} products across the board, but the Sleeping Mask is my tip-top favourite of everything I’ve tried from the brand.  I typically used it in place of a moisturizer/night cream step 2-3 times per week, and it worked incredibly well to refresh my skin and seal in any other nighttime products.  The multi-faceted formula hydrates, gently exfoliates with enzymes, and protects against environmental stresses, and my skin is always extra glowy in the morning after using this.  I’m working through some other products first, but a repurchase is definitely in order soon!

Andalou Naturals Citrus Kombucha Cleansing Gel

I’ve gone through at least four or five bottles of this cleanser over the last few years, and it remains one of my favourite gel cleansers.  It smells fresh and citrusy, and produces a light, gentle lather that leaves my skin feeling clean but not stripped.  My favourite way to use it is as the second step in a double cleanse, but I’ll also reach for it in the morning sometimes.  I’m trying to finish off some other open products before I crack into a new bottle, but I do have one waiting in the wings already.

Crazy Rumours Raspberry Sherbet Lip Balm

With a rich and buttery vegan formula and tons of flavours, Crazy Rumors has been one of my favourite lip balms for many years.  The fruity flavours tend to be my top picks from the company’s extensive offerings, and Raspberry Sherbet -- now Raspberry Sorbet -- is a yummy mix of sweet berry and tart citrus.  Crazy Rumors is sadly not the easiest to get your hands on here in Canada (and is no longer carried on iHerb 😞), but I know it’s only a matter of time before I place a large stock-up order direct from the brand now that I've used up the last of what I had on hand. 

Derma E Hydrating Day Cream

I had both a full size jar and a mini of this moisturizer hanging out in my empties bag, which I think tells a pretty clear story.  The Day Cream is a thick moisturizer, but it sinks in completely to an almost matte finish.  It hydrates well, and I see a noticeable difference in the fine lines in my forehead when I use this product versus other moisturizers.  I say this every time I mention anything from the line, but the scent of Derma E’s Hydrating products is a little perfumey. It's never triggered headaches or other reactions for me and the performance keeps me coming back, but I would definitely prefer if it was less fragranced. That said, I just cracked open a new jar of this in the last few days after several months without it, and was immediately reminded why I like it so much!

And that's a wrap for today! I hope you've all been well, and I look forward to catching up more!

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