Empties & The Friend Box–What I Loved, and What I Didn’t!

So, I keep a bag (this old CK bag that a handbag came in) hung from the doorknob of the Glamour Cave to store my empties.  This way I can save them up and review them periodically–this is the stash from 1/2017 until now! I also keep a box with products that I want to give away to friends–stuff that is gently used but doesn’t work for me, or that I got in a beauty box and have duplicates of, extra samples, etc.  So here we go, these are the products I used up, and the products I don’t want to use.

Empties/Throw Away (clockwise from top center): 

Formula X Nail Polish in a metallic blue.  Guess why I don’t like this? Because I have used it once, had it for maybe a year, and it is totally separated into yellow liquid and blue sludge.  Gross.  All my other nail polishes have lasted way longer than that, I have ones from 5 years ago that still work fine.  I have also not found Formula X to be very long-wearing, so I probably won’t buy that brand again (I’ve gotten it in beauty boxes, so if I get more, it’ll depend on the shade, lol!). I’m not going to link that one because it’s clearanced out for $2 on Sephora and I don’t recommend you buy it.  FWIW, my favorite nail polish brand so far is Trust Fund Beauty; great colors, funny names, and very self-leveling and long-wearing.

e.l.f Liquid Eyeliner I don’t care for this, it smudges pretty bad on me and the brush tip is too soft to make a clean line.  Some e.l.f. products are great (I love their luminous setting powder), but not so much with this eyeliner.

Kiss Me Heroine Make Long & Curl MascaraThis is a Japanese brand and it is one of my HG mascaras.  This stuff DOES NOT smudge or come off.  However, it’s super hard to take off, so I like my L’Oreal Double Extend better.  I may repurchase though because it really is bulletproof.  It’s a little pricier than I like to spend for a mascara though–I have not found that mid-range or high-end brands of mascara do any better than drugstore.  I am sure it’s cheaper in Japan but it hits the $15-$20 mark here in the U.S.

L’Oreal Double Extend Tubing MascaraI have already repurchased this and I will continue to do so until they stop making it.  Great lengthening (my lashes hit my glasses unfortunately), moderate volumizing, does not smudge no matter what.  A tubing mascara coats your lashes with polymer tubes rather than being a pigment like other mascaras.  This way it doesn’t budge at all, but when you take it off, you just press with a cotton pad soaked in warm water and gently pull the bits off your lashes.  Also an excellent value at around $8.

Benefit RollerlashI got this either in a beauty box or as part of a set, and I already have another DS of this that I got in a similar way.  I really like the brush–it does what it says, curls up and defines your lashes.  It’s pretty smudge proof for a non-waterproof mascara but I tend to wear this only in the winter when my face won’t be “glowing”.  I actually would like to experiment with using the brush with another waterproof mascara, like Heroine Make.  I don’t think it’d work with the L’Oreal Double Extend.  I would recommend this mascara if you aren’t as smudgy as me.

Benton Snail Bee High Content EssenceI am already half through the bottle that replaced this one.  I love this stuff, it’s very soothing, hydrating but not heavy, and helps with my redness.  I think it helps with my skin clarity and avoiding breakouts too.  My one reservation on this one is that since K-Beauty exploded in the states, the price of this has gone up a LOT.  It was around $10 when I bought it, and it’s now running around $20 depending on where you get it.  It’s still great, but I’m iffy about the price.  I will probably purchase it again though.

Su:m 37 Miracle Rose Cleansing Stick I repurchased this as soon as I saw I was running out.  My absolute favorite foaming cleanser is Hado Labo Gokujyn because it is non-drying, low pH, smells lovely and has this great whipped cream foam right out of the pump.  However, everyone raved about this MRCS so I wanted to try it.  It’s a little pricey at $20 but it will seriously last you forever.  I think this stick lasted me 6 months with near daily use.  It has kind of a tangy (fermented) light rose scent.  I had wished it’d been a little rosier, but honestly, it works well, is also low pH, and the stick format is so damned convenient to travel with or keep in the shower.  I will buy this again when my current stick runs out.

Bioderma Sebium Micellar Water: Another product that I will continue to purchase until they stop making it (PLEASE DON’T STOP MAKING IT!).  I had tried other Micellar waters (Garnier, for example) and they always left somewhat of a film.  This one smells so fresh, feels so refreshing, and takes everything off my face (even Estee Lauder Doublewear and most of my waterproof eye makeup).  My face just feels clean afterward, no film whatsoever.  I don’t find it drying, but someone with dry skin (this is meant for oily/combo) might.  Excellent, highly recommend, A+, I am almost out of my 2nd bottle.

Thayer’s Alcohol Free Rosewater Witch Hazel Toner: $8 on Amazon and excellent.  Smells lovely (I’m a real sucker for rose scents) and it is great for removing any leftover residue from your face after cleansing.  It’s alcohol free so it’s not drying.  I will also continue to repurchase this ad infinitum.

Elizavecca Milky Piggy Carbonated Clay MaskYes, this mask is hilarious and makes you look like a cloud.  I didn’t feel like it did anything special for my skin, though, and the bubbling tickles so bad it drives me batty.  Great for novelty purposes but really doesn’t wow me.  I won’t repurchase this because I have several other clay masks I like better.

Glow for a Cause Body ButterI got this in Ipsy.  It’s fine, but nothing totally special, I wouldn’t buy a full size.

Beauty Blender: I got this black Beauty Blender in a value set (Kat Von D foundation from Sephora), and I also have an unused backup that I got in another Sephora value set.  It was fine, not torn or anything, but it had been long enough that I was concerned about bacteria accumulation, so I tossed it.  Beauty Blenders really are the tits.  You get a really great natural finish when you use this to apply and blend your foundation.  There are other cheaper substitutions (the Real Techniques one, which is good, but a little more rubbery/smooshy; and Pur Cosmetics set of 3 (from Boxycharm), which I am currently using, but the first one tore within days so I’m not sure about that brand’s version).  BB is the OG and I think the best, but I’m not sure I’d pay full price for one. If I saw another value set with one included, I’d absolutely get it.

Purlisse Blue Lotus Seed MaskThis was either in Ipsy or Boxycharm.  I absolutely LOVED it, it is a clay mask but has little scrubby bits so it exfoliates when you wash it off.  Left my skin feeling soft and clear.  However, it is $52 so I don’t think I would buy a full size.  If I were going to spend that much on a clay mask, I’d go Glamglow Supermud; I am very excited to try the Beauty Pie Black Clay Mask because the ingredients are very similar to the Glamglow.  (Don’t worry, darlings, I’m going to tell you ALL ABOUT Beauty Pie when I get my first shipment!

And now to the Friend Box!

I bring this box out whenever a makeup-loving friend comes over to dig through and see if they want anything.  A lot of it is samples but there are a few items that just did not work for me (but they might for someone else) so I threw them in there rather than wasting them.  Usually I’ve used the product a couple of times but my friends aren’t worried about germs as much as a stranger might be.

These are the items in the box that I did not like at all:

Smashbox Eye Trio: Just don’t love it and I have plenty of other eyeshadow so I’m letting it go.

No. 7 Stay Perfect Lipstick: Does not stay perfect on me at all.  Might work for someone else if they’re not as smoochy and smudgy as me.

Tarteist Lip Paint: Also does not stay perfect on me at all.  Does not dry down and comes off way easier than even my bullet lipsticks.  People seem to love this and I’m confused about that.  I do love some Tarte stuff, their blushes are excellent, but meh on this.

Wet N Wild Megalast Lipstick: I love Wet N Wild always forever, but this stuff does not megalast.  Gets all over my face.

Rimmel Kate Moss Lipstick: Same with the others, just doesn’t last on me at all.

Real Her I Am Fearless Liquid Lipstick: This came from Boxycharm.  I was so excited to try a Real Her Product, but this one is a dud for me.  Absolutely gorgeous shade, but comes right off and when it’s on your lips it feels like sandpaper. Yuck.

Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lip: This was a loser in my Liquid Lip Smackdown; it’s not the worst, but it does wear off patchy and feels very papery on.  Once it starts to wear off it gets all pasty/chalky and yuck.  Other people love it, I know I’m the odd woman out on this.

Dermablend Intense Camo Powder Foundation: I really wanted to love this, because the finish is very nice (glowy/satin), it’s a good color match, and has solid coverage.  I had noticed it’s not very long wearing though.  The nail in the coffin for me is when I wore it to the VIB Rouge event and I started getting a little sweaty with the crowd and temp in there, and this was just melting off my face like liquid powder, it was so gross (and embarrassing!).

Makeup Forever Aqua Rouge Liquid Lipstick: This is another product that people just rave about and I hate it.  It feels exactly like that old Covergirl Outlast 2-step liquid lip from the 90’s. It gets gummy and sticky and feels like acrylic paint on your lips.  Ugh.  But like I said, lots of people like it, and MUFE is a good brand, so I dunno.  Not for me.

And that’s it! Have a great day, my darlings!

**Disclosure**: I purchased these products with my own money, and did not receive any free product, financial compensation, or promotion for this blog post.  There are no referral/affiliate links in this post.


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