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Empties vol. 18

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Well there is nothing like downsizing to get you to throw away garbage you’ve been keeping for months so you could one day blog about it! If you’re new around here, my Empties series is where I just post pictures of the empty products I’ve used and give a quick review of what I thought of them (if I can remember, because the last time I did this was in freaking March).

Just a tiny lil’ empties this time around! I think a few months ago I threw out a bunch of empties on accident and then I set aside a basket for empty products… which strangely hasn’t happened in awhile! I threw away a bunch of old/replaced products the other day when we moved into our new apartment, so one of these posts might be awhile away again.

Pink Warm & Cozy shimmer body butter
Warm & Cozy is my favorite scent. Here’s the thing. I know these things are bad for us, but seriously they just smell so good. I love essential oils but essential oils don’t smell like Warm & Cozy amiright?! My plan of action is to use up the stuff I have but not replace it, so soon these empties will look way different!

St. Ives Energizing Coconut and Coffee Scrub
In July when I was in Nashville, I forgot basically all of my toiletries at home so we made a trip to Target. Coffee + coconut, two of my great loves. I really liked this scrub! It was scrubby and smelled great, but alas… that dirty little fragrance ingredient, so this is the end of the road for us.

Beauty Protect & Detangle Spray
I love this smell. I love this product. I have a bigger one I received from Birchbox as a sample. I’ll be going through that and then… freaking fragrance. Fragrance is in EVERYTHING and fragrance (as an ingredient) is SO BAD! Aye aye aye.

Coola Dawn Patrol Primer
Confession: I never tried this, I just decided I didn’t need it.

Benefit Roller Lash
I LOVED this mascara! It was a dream to apply and in staying power, but when I thought I was buying the full size version of it, I was wrong. I’d replaced it with a different Benefit mascara. Goodbye old friend, you were so good to me.

If you want your world rocked, go ahead and look up “fragrance” and “toxic” and then welcome to the club. :]

Check the rest of my empties posts here.

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Empties Vol. 17 { Feb/March}

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Spring cleaning has sprung and I’ve recently found myself staring at cabinets and things and going “what IS all of this stuff?” and I realized that one pile of stuff were bottles of empty products to blog about so I’m just gonna need to blog about this to get these the f out of our apartment.

There are all of my empties for the past few months in all their glory. I’ll break it down a few items at a time.

dōTerra Protecting Shampoo
I wrote about the conditioner in my last empties post and everything I said about that can apply to this shampoo πŸ˜€

Bath & Body Works Marshmallow Pumpkin Latte Body Wash
I love this smell, y’all. I debated keeping it for another year to use it at the correct season and then I realized that it’s kinda fun to buy it when it’s pumpkin season, so I finished it off. Plus I was way too cheap to buy new shower gel when I was running out, LOL. I love this smell!

Yes to Coconut & Argan Oil Conditioner
I got this at Bargain Hunt in Nashville and I really love it! Coconut is my fave scent and I loved that this conditioner was really lightweight and smelled absolutely delicious

Pantene Shampoo
Y’all IDK it’s just a small bottle of shampoo.

Olay Body Wash
I don’t like Olay body wash, I guess. IDK it was good to use up when I ran out of body wash and was so cheap.

IDK what that cream blush is in the upper left. I found it and didn’t like it so bye.

Manna Kadar Eye Candy Priming Shadow Stick in Honey
Got this in a Birchbox and I’ve already replaced it because I LOVED it. It’s really easy to apply – I like to quickly put it on for a subtle, shimmery eyeshadow. It’s my new favorite forever.

MAC Cleansing Oil
Already ordered the full sized oil of this! If y’all have followed my empties posts for awhile you’ll know that I was OBSESSED with the discontinued Garnier cleansing oil and have been desperately trying to find something to replace it and DING DING DING this MAC cleansing oil is IT. It’s foamy and smells fresh and I love it. Winner winner.

Two ELF eye shadows
These were okay – they’re creamy and tend to crease. I’ve had these for years and wasn’t using them up, so I figured it was time to just get rid of them ESPECIALLY since I’ve been finding eyeshadows I love even more.

Two random lip colors – one Revlon (left) and one Wet n’ Wild (right)

I don’t even know why I bother with actual lipsticks or lip colors, I just need to stick with lip gloss because I feel SO INSECURE when I wear lip colors, especially hot pink ones (pass! It looked so much softer than it was) and dark nude colors.

Three Times Sublime Blackhead Wash + Scrub +Mask
I actually bought this when I thought it was a scrubby face wash, but it’s actually a mask. I liked it because it went on like a mask, but then after letting it dry, you’d scrub it off like a scrubby wash. It’s one of my favorite masks I’ve ever purchased!

ACURE Purifying Face Peel
This smelled like butt and burned my face. I recently had a similar bad experience with an ACURE product – I’m not sure if the products were old because I’ve had a great experience with their products before, but I got rid of this ASAP, easy peasy.

PINK Warm & Cozy Hand Cream
The PINK Warm & Cozy scent is one of my all-time favorite scents. It’s… well, it’s warm and cozy. I really love the Victoria’s Secret lotion/creams because they’re thick but not greasy. This is one of my all-time favorites.

VERB Hydrating Mask
I don’t really remember this. Which means it’s probably not that great. Masks are all the same unless they’re phenomenal, so there you go.

St. Ives Exfoliate & Nourish Apricot Oil Scrub
Okay, so funny story. I tried this and HATED IT until one day when I was brushing my teeth, I was reading the instruction label and saw that I’D BEEN USING IT WRONG. After that, I tried using it correctly and it was pretty great! If I hadn’t immediately discovered the MAC cleansing oil.

Bath & Body Works French Lavender & Honey Body Lotion
So this whole Empties thing started because I had SO MANY smelly things from SO MANY trips to the Bath & Body Works Outlet so it’s funny when they happen to appear in here. This was a great post-shower lotion. I loved the simple scent and that the lotion wasn’t greasy.

 

Okay y’all I’m SO EXCITED to dispose of these empties that I’m going to do that right now. Y’all should do some Empties posts and share the links with me.

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Empties Vol. 16 {Nov/Dec/Jan}

This is a big massive empties post that I’ve been putting off because it’s SO. OVERWHELMING.

My goal had been to post an empties post every month and I was doing alright at it and then December hit me and I just got thrown for a loop. and then I had this big box of bottles and empty stuff that I needed to empty out but kept getting overwhelmed at the idea.

So I’m just going to tackle it.

I had them separated by month and then I’m a dummy and put them all together and couldn’t remember what went where, so they’re all going together.

empties // stephanieorefice.netSee ALLLLL the things?! I also decided to get rid of items I’d collected and was trying to force myself to use even though I didn’t like them. Hypothetically, if I was KonMari-ing, if that makeup item didn’t spark joy I got it out of there. There weren’t many, but it was a great start.

empties // stephanieorefice.net

Pores Be Pure Skin-Clarifying Mud Mask
This mask was a huge deal in my life. I saw it on Pinterest and I immediately drove to Ulta to buy it. It was one of the first times I can recall being very driven by social media to make a purchase. I have two more masks from this line that I’m trying to work through, but this was the first one I got because pink + strawberry + me = duh πŸ˜€ I like this mask a lot, but like I literally ALWAYS say… all masks are kind of the same at a certain point.

Wonderstruck Taylor Swift Lotion
Oh my word, I LOVE this stuff. First of all, Enchanted is like the BEST Taylor Swift song. I’ve had this lotion for YEARS and only used it when I felt ultra fancy because I literally LOVE this scent. I’ve started to keep my eyes open for the perfume or any other products in this scent at like TJ Maxx/Marshalls, since that’s where I got this, but no luck so far. Anyway. LOVE.

Dreamy Amour Cherry Blossom Body Wash
My friend Adriana got me this body wash for my bridal shower, and I have LOVED using it. <3

dōTerra Salon Essentials Conditioner
I’ve been using dōTerra oils for about a year but at the end of the summer, I started branching into their other products. I went for the shampoo and conditioner. My hair is long and since I use shampoo on the roots and conditioner on the ends (and there’s a LOT of “ends”) I use conditioner a lot faster than shampoo. I liked this conditioner, but it wasn’t my favorite. My hair has been going through a lot of changes, so it might be that. I’d definitely buy it again but probably just because I make monthly dōTerra orders. It’s definitely nice having it sent to me.

empties // stephanieorefice.net

Dr Jart+ BB Cream
Y’all should know by now that this is straight up one of my ALL TIME FAVORITE products. I’ve been slowly trying to shift my products over to more natural/organic products, so I’ve slowly replaced this with the Root Pretty Pretty Booster, but I still LOVE this stuff. I started using half this + half Root Pretty, and I really liked that combo. I cannot recommend this enough if you’re wanting an easy BB Cream.

The Body Shop Almond Hand + Nail Butter
I LOVE this stuff, but this little tub of it was SO OLD it smelled plasticy and nasty. It’s the curse of buying something I love and never using it because I want it to last forever, haha. It’s really thick and has a really subtle warm, almond smell. It’s perfect for the winter when your hands get dry.

Cover Girl Tru Blend Minerals Blush
I was in desperate need of new blush and I bought this because it was on sale, but I really didn’t love it. The pink was too red for me and it had little dustings of gold that were a little too harsh for me. I didn’t finish it but gave myself permission to get rid of it.

Almay Smart Shade Blush
I (clearly) loved this blush. It was a pale pink that was mixed with slightly darker spots to make a really subtle blush. I’m not a fan of dark/warm colors on my face, so this was perfect for me. I’ve decided that I do want to invest in something that’s more suited for my face (I liked it but I don’t think it was the best). It was good for what it was and was fairly inexpensive.

Laura Geller Baked Blush
I received this in a Birchbox and I REALLY wanted to love it because I obviously need blush and it was free, but it was way too pink for me. I felt like a clown every time I tried to wear it.

empties // stephanieorefice.net

The Beauty Crop Glamazon Stick Highlight Crayon
I was excited to try this, but it was damaged upon arrival in my Birchbox. They weren’t able to replace it but they gave me points to spend in the shop. So IDK!

DermaE Purifying 2-in-1 Charcoal Mask
LOVE. I love Derma E and I love masks so yeah. Birchbox sample… probably won’t purchase because I doubt with Birchbox that I’ll ever actually be in need of buying face masks, but I highly recommend.

Root Pretty Fresh Lavender Cleanser
I LOVED this! It had a little bit of unexpected scrub (and I’m ALL ABOUT that scrub life!) and it smelled wonderful AND it’s Root Pretty so I know and trust it’s full of great quality ingredients. Like I’m always saying, you can use this link and get 10% off your purchase of $25+.

Michael Todd Charcoal Detox Cleanser
I used this stuff with my Clarisonic Mia Cleanser and I really liked it. The gel cleanser I’ve been using with the brush is what Clarisonic sent me to try out and it’s great but by using another cleanser I was able to really appreciate the brush itself. I never tried it without the cleanser so I’m not sure how it is on its own, but I really loved it.

Benefit The Porefessional Primer
This one always shows up on my Empties lists because it’s a must-have item. Slightly tinted and matte so you can wear it under makeup or even just on its own to fill in pores. HIGHLY recommend.

Covergirl Plumpify Mascara
I feel like I may have received this as a sample, perhaps from Influenster. but I LOVE it. I use my L’Oreal Primer and then put this on top. I only am getting rid of it because I’ve had it for a VERY LONG time, and I need to start getting rid of things. Great drugstore mascara that offers length and volume.

Sand & Sky Brilliant Skin Pink Clay Mask
Reviewed in my December Birchbox Review post.

 

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January 2018 Birchbox Review

In my never-ending quest to finally get on top of my little sample pile, I’ve started to be more diligent with my Birchboxes as they come in. I deliberately go to the box every time I reach for ANY beauty product and first double check that there is nothing in there that I could try. It helps that I REALLY want to cross something off of my 101 list and reviewing Birchboxes is on that list.

I tried all of the samples in my Birchbox and I’m here to report back.

january 2018 birchbox review // stephanieorefice.net

This month I got 5 samples and the theme was “Find your happy,” though it’s hard to see that writing on this little card!

january 2018 birchbox review // stephanieorefice.net

One of the things I love about Birchbox is that they always include a card with information about the samples in my box. I frequently have to refer back to the paper to make sure I’m not putting a face cream in my hair or a blush stick on my lips. Y’all, I am actually THAT clueless.Β blonde shrug emoji

january 2018 birchbox review // stephanieorefice.net

I immediately tried the Smashbox Always On Lipstick. It was listed as a “warm pink,” but all I saw was a coral/orange. Obviously, this has a filter (sorry, not sorry) but it was actually an orangey coral. Which I guess COULD be called a warm pink, but I put it on and was NOT a fan. I’m definitely more of a blush/pink/nude kind of lip color girl. This is a bit much.

january 2018 birchbox review // stephanieorefice.net

Before the next time, I applied makeup, I used the Bioderma Pore Refiner because I LOVE pore refiners. But it turns out, I don’t like gels. I usually use the Benefit Porefessional stuff and I love that it’s matte and slightly tinted. This Bioderma stuff was a gel and I didn’t like that I had to wait for it to dry. I’ll try this again on a day I don’t wear makeup to see how it feels on its own.

I also drew myself a bath and tried the hair mask. Since my hair is long, I find that samples like this are kind of weird. In order to apply a generous amount, I have to use up like 3/4 of the product so I end up either using too little or potentially using way too much. I used the whole thing, haha. I knew the minute I started rinsing it off that it was good – my hair LOOKED really smooth and soft. I didn’t style my hair as normal, but my roots did seem a bit shiny/greasy so I think I may have applied too much. It was alright, but definitely not a product I’d buy on my own.

I was intrigued by the LAQA & Co B’Lighter Blush + Highlighter. The instructions are to dab a little bit on your cheekbones, brow bones, bridge of your nose and cupids bow. IDK, I tried it but it didn’t really seem to blend well so I applied a little blush on top of it – the instructions never said if this was the purpose, but I did like that it added some colored highlight.

january 2018 birchbox review // stephanieorefice.net

On my eyes, I usually wear gold/tan shadow without fail. I’m really weary of too much color. I think in general I hate anything that draws attention to me, so I tend to just stick with really natural/neutral colors of makeup. This shadow was PERFECT. It had a bit of a shimmer and I was able to put a second layer in the crease of my eyes to give it a little more somethin’ somethin’.

january 2018 birchbox review // stephanieorefice.net

That’s using the pore refiner, the highlighter + the eyeshadow. The lip color is one I got in my January Birchbox… in 2015. I looked it up and was like my word, I REALLY suck at using up Birchbox samples. If you’re interested in joining Birchbox, which is 5 samples a month for $10 (PLUS they have a big online store where you get points back for your purchases – I literally ONLY buy my beauty products on Birchbox *or Root Pretty* and I often get great deals and savings because of their sales & my points) please use my link and join Birchbox here πŸ™‚

 

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January Goals: Organize bathroom closet

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This is so dumb. Like I’m actually sitting here, 8:22 am with a cup of coffee and the rain dripping on the roof, thinking about how literally dumb this blog post is. But here’s the thing. I want to celebrate the little tiny successes in life because nobody is going to throw me a party because I organized something.

BUT I AM SO PROUD.

Also judge me for all the beauty products, I don’t care. Actually I think your judging is probably super valid. I said I wasn’t bringing samples to our apartment and lo and behold they snuck their way in.

Can I just throw out a non-rhetorical question?

Where do beauty bloggers keep all their stuff?

Anyone else feel me on this???? I watch people unboxing crap and I’m like… what are you gonna do with that? Where are you gonna put it? Like I’ll never throw away a bottle of shampoo because give me enough time and I WILL USE IT. But full sized gels and face masks and stuff? What do they do with it all?

Anyway, I’m not a beauty blogger, I’m just a Birchbox Subscriber and someone who has collected far too many samples of hair products for being a person who blow dries their hair 2xs a month and rarely styles it beyond a bobby pin. But still I keep my little bottles of product to one day use up.

See why the Empties Posts are so important? When I finally use something up, I need to stand on the tallest mountain I can find (which I guess is my blog) and shout it from the mountaintops.

My gosh. This is a really long-winded intro to the actual point of this post.

In our bathroom we have this cabinet that kind of became a catch-all for anything that entered into our bathroom. It was like one giant pile of stuff. I put on my January goals that I wanted to organize some things* and this was one of the things.

I’mΒ reading a book about simplifying life and it challenged the reader to NOT BUY ORGANIZATION STUFF while cleaning out their house because it’s just bringing more stuff in and finding new ways to rearrange/hide the clutter. So I decided that I’d just kind of have to embrace the current state of my bottles of products and still organize with what I had… which was space.

Here, my friends, is the before.

This is the cabinet over the toilet and the cabinet in the bathroom. We don’t have counters in our bathroom so this is what we get.

I started with the cabinet above the toilet because it’s one I see every single day. Here’s the before:

and then the after:

We keep out a LOT of our daily products. At some point I might transition this stuff over to cute little baskets or something, but for now I love being able to grab products and be able to see them right away.

Moving on to the big cabinet. Because the door closes, it’s been so easy to just throw stuff in and close the door. and yeah, this is where we’ve decided to keep our candles, lol.

Close up on the top two shelves. The top is candles and paper good overstock. Organized in a really nice way, too. And a shower curtain liner. and other things.

The second shelf is the one that gets used the most often. Spare shampoos, my daily skincare + haircare products, our toothbrushes and toothpaste. Lots of stuff and I had no idea what was all in there.

BEFORE:

AFTER:

I took the candles out of the plastic tub and stacked them. I burn candles ALL OF THE TIME, so when one goes out, it’s easy to grab another one to replace it. Organized the toilet paper and kleenex and such. I COULD get boxes, but I do better seeing everything.

On the second shelf, I took things out of the box and laid them out so I could see them better. I left two baskets in the back – one for often used (but not daily) products, and one for hair products & hair brushes. That little jar is full of Birchbox skin/hair care samples, and the two empty soap bottles is because I was waiting for refills. It’s been so much easier to keep track of things because boxes aren’t hiding them.

The bottom two shelves are towels/washcloths…. catchalls? and then cleaning supplies and hair stylers and boxes of empties and feminine hygiene products.

BEFORE:

AFTER:

Once I found places for the random things in this shelf, it was so much easier to organize. The one thing I’ve changed is that I’ve turned the hand towels around. I prefer to display the folded edges of towels because they look less messy, and looking at this picture helped me see that!

That box has the styling products and various other bathroom related chargers, and then our cleaning supplies were put in the little plastic tub that used to hold the candles. That way we can pull it out and get what we need!

On the other side of the bathroom is the medicine cabinet that keeps our medicines and my makeup. It’s been SO HARD to get organized. I have these little pails but they feel like they never work, and I realized that the clear little tub was KILLING ME, because I’d take something out of the white pail and then throw it in the tub and have to dig it out again.

BEFORE:

AFTER:

In addition to an EXTREME purge of things I don’t need/want, I took the time to organize all of the makeup products. The bottom container has ALL of my face products – brushes and sponges, primers, blush, powder. The top two are divided into eye products and lip products. I put all of the medicine together (spot the Miralax, thanks from when I got my gallbladder taken out).

It’s ACTUALLY been maintainable, too! That’s the biggest thing. I take out the containers one at a time and put everything away before I move on to the next one.

 

It’s ultra not Pinteresty. One day I might be able to get there, but right now it functions well, I feel less overwhelmed and I can find what I need. I do think that if I could ever pull this off, I’d be on it 1000%… what about y’all?

(found here)

 

Anyway y’all I gotta go cross some things off of my January to-do list. See y’all around soon.

 

 

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December Birchbox Review

I’ve been a Birchbox subscriber for roughly eighteen zillion months. That’s a slight exaggeration, but it’s accurate in how I feel. Every month the mailman shoves the box into the small mailbox that I cannot get out of the other end. True story, once I just ripped the box open and took out the products and waited for the mail man the next day and asked him to take the empty box out for me.

Anyway, in my actual 5.5 years of being a Birchbox Subscriber, I’ve only posted ONE review of my box. What the heck! On My 101 list, I have a goal to review 5 months of Birchboxes. I’ve learned that with Birchbox, if I don’t make time to sample my samples, I’ll just end up with a jar of little bottles and tubes of product that rarely gets used. No joke. Look at my jar, and this is just face/hair creams, the makeup is piled up with my makeup! I’m hoping to make sure they always fit in this jar.

Back to December. That sounds like it could be a great song, but I digress.

I realized that my Birchbox had been sitting on the couch for like two weeks and I decided to get really intentional about trying that bad boy out. Here’s what was in my December Birchbox:

(Those are some freaking harsh shadows and I am so sorry)

I immediately went for the easiest thing to try out: a face mask. I have this pretty solid theory that most face masks are exactly the same. I cleaned my face, and applied the Sand & Sky mask. I took some pictures. I was scrolling through the Birchbox hashtag on Instagram and saw someone who had a more thick layer of the mask and I wondered if I did it wrong but who even knows. I actually really liked this mask, and this is coming from someone who thinks most face masks are exactly the same. It was pretty lightweight, it came off easily, and I felt like my face actually looked more radiant after using it. This one is a win.

LOL sorry the flash was on.

See, should’ve been more generous with the face mask, but I still loved it!

Since my face was all clean, I applied some moisturizer and topped it off with the Whish Botanical Primer. I was worried that having moisturizer AND another product on top, my face would feel ultra greasy or suffocated or something, but the Whish product was delightfully lightweight and I didn’t even notice it! I’m not sure if that’s a good or a bad thing, but I’ll definitely be trying it under makeup to see more of what it does.

I decided to try out the eyelash curler and the Marcelle Ultimate Volume Nano Mascara. I’ve low-key been wanting an eyelash curler for years but have felt too dumb to buy one. GOD BLESS YOU, BIRCHBOX. Eyelash curlers are intimidating af, though. I tried it but I felt like it mostly just creased my eyelashes a little bit. The mascara was ho hum – I didn’t like the wand AT ALL. I’ve gotten better results with the CoverGirl mascara I love and swear by. Anybody have any good eyelash curler tips or tricks?

Earlier this month I got my gallbladder removed. and I was terrified to take a shower because ouch open wounds or something, right? So I literally took one very quick shower in like a 12 day period. But thanks to Birchbox, the day after taking a shower I drew myself a bath, dropped in that delicious Level Naturals Lemon + Coconut bath bomb (delicious as in smell, obviously, haha) and listened to a podcast. For being a teeny tiny bath bomb, it sure had a lot of smell! Call me extra, but I like bath bombs that like release flowers or glitter or unicorns. When they just smell and fizz, I get bored. But it did smell really great.

After my bath, I used the Aveda Smooth Infusion Style-Prep Smoother in my hair before blow drying it. This was one of the most lightweight products I’ve ever used in my hair, and it did a pretty good job of keeping my hair smooth after it was dried. Since I don’t always blow dry my hair, I couldn’t really tell how effective the product was.

Overall, if I had to purchase ONE item from my Birchbox and promise to NEVER buy one product, I’d buy the Sand & Sky face mask and I’d never buy the mascara.

If you’re interested in trying Birchbox, please sign up with my link! I get $5 in store credit for every person I refer πŸ™‚

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