October 2016 Empties

I’ve been binge watching Doctor Who all morning so my brain’s a bit mushy and all of my internal dialogue is in David Tennant’s voice. You can take that to mean that this post might be a bit weird. That being said, let’s just jump right into my garbage bin so to speak!


Let’s look at skin care first. I’m in a skin care chit chat kind of mood.


Paula’s Choice Skin Recovery Super Antioxidant Concentrate Serum (with retinol)

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What a name right? I’ve previously used the non-retinol version of this serum with great results but I enjoy this version a bit more. I’m definitely at an age where a little retinol does a person good. This tube lasts FOREVER. I started using this on our South Africa trip last Christmas and I do use it daily.

Key Claims and whether or not it delivers:

  • Fights multiple signs of aging – I feel like my skin looks better when I use this but it isn’t some miracle worker. Hopefully it’s doing good things in the long term.

Number of times purchased: 1

Would I purchase again: I already have!

La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo

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I am blessed in that I rarely have full blown break outs. I used this a handful of times and couldn’t really notice any difference in the speed of my blemishes clearing up. Now it’s long since expired and completely liquefied.

Key Claims and whether or not it delivers:

  • Reduces the number and severity of acne blemishes – It did not deliver for me.

Number of times purchased: 1

Would I purchase again: No

Estee Lauder Revitalizing Supreme + Global Anti-Aging Cell Power Creme

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First, what kind of BS name is that? “Global Anti-Aging”? What does that even mean?

I got this as a free sample and it feels nice going on, maybe a bit of a silicone/dimethicone feel to it but I can’t confirm that because Estee Lauder hasn’t posted their ingredients anywhere. Nice right? Particularly since this is $75.00 for 1.7oz. That’s bananas. This is also heavily perfumed. It was literally like spraying perfume, there was that level of all day long fragrance. I’m getting a little less “anti-fragrance” but this is strong. It also really irritated my skin. Who knew I’d have so many harsh thoughts on a free sample.

Key Claims and whether or not it delivers:

  • The key to younger looking skin – I guess we can all stop worrying now.
  • Dramatically reduces the look of lines and wrinkles – To be fair, I didn’t use this for all that long, it’s a small sample that truly didn’t work for me. I’m not sure I buy into any topical product “dramatically” reducing wrinkles though.

Number of times purchased: 1 x gift with purchase

Would I purchase again: No. And I don’t think anyone else should either.

Drunk Elephant C-Firma Day Serum

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My skin really responds well to vitamin C serums, it’s one of the few products that makes a noticeable difference when I use it regularly. That being said, I don’t notice a great deal of difference between different serums. I like the Drunk Elephant serum well enough, it does the same thing as other serums I’ve tried and it’s unscented which is a plus. Unfortunately I do NOT like the way that unscented vitamin C serum smells. It’s a bit like hotdogs and not in a good way. Now the real kicker with this serum is that it is $80.00 for 1 fl oz. That’s a lot of money. Right now I’m using the Ole Henriksen Truth Serum which I like (it is scented but I think that in this case I prefer that) which is $48.00 for 1 fl oz and it does exactly the same thing. If you want to be even more savvy with your spending, snag the Andalou Naturals Turmeric Enlight and Vitamin C serum for $24.99 for 1.1 fl oz. Again, I get similar, if not better results.

Key Claims and whether or not it delivers:

  • noticeably diminished appearance of photo damage, replaced by incredible radiance and luminosity – I feel like this is true (“Incredible” might be a bit strong but there is increased radiance and luminosity) but it’s true of all of the other vitamin c serums that I mentioned above.

Number of times purchased: 1

Would I purchase again: Most likely not.

CeraVe Skin Renewing Night Cream


This might actually be my “Holy Grail” night cream. I use the day lotion version of this as well but the night cream is where it’s at. I experience no irritation with this, I can use it in the day if I’m REALLY dry. The only issue I have is that it is so thick that if I use it day and night or don’t skip it about once a week, I can experience a little bit of congestion in my pores. It does not break me out though.

Key Claims and whether or not it delivers:

  • Helps refresh the look of tired skin – I would say this is true.

Number of times purchased: Approximately 4

Would I purchase again: Already have!

Papa Recipe Bombee Honey Mask

I love sheet masks! I haven’t been using them very often lately because I just keep forgetting. This particular mask was a gift from a friend and I really liked it a lot! It smells a bit like honey and it mostly fit my face.

Key Claims and whether or not it delivers:

  • “designed with all natural ingredients that are full of nutrients to replenish, rejuvenate, and hydrate your skin to protect & prevent from irritants” – I don’t know how much long term protection and prevention happens with a sheet mask but it definitely hydrated!

Number of times purchased: 2 of these were gifted to me

Would I purchase again: Yes!

I went a little crazy ordering teeny tiny jars of Haus of Gloi Pumpkin Butter. This isn’t even all of them, so there’s more to look forward to next month!


Obviously I’m a fan of this product. I find that the Pumpkin Butter formula is very moisturizing, it creates a nice barrier on the skin, and while the product lingers topically for quite a while, I don’t feel like I’ve been greased up either. It does eventually sink in/evaporate. One thing that I will mention about all of the scents I’ve tried in general is that they do all have a “hippie’ vibe about them. There’s that faint note of eau de headshop in each of them so if that isn’t your jam you might skip this. Also, amongst the fall scents, the strength of the scent is generally pretty mild and only lingers for around 4 hours. I’ll make a note on the few exceptions.

Key Claims and whether or not it delivers:

  • “this moisturizer is rich without being too greasy and provides long lasting moisture to the skin.” – I would say that this is fairly accurate, if a little vague. Terms like “not too greasy” are pretty subjective.

Number of times purchased: …a lot.

Would I purchase again: Yep! Although, I think once I work through this order, I might order another jar of Fortune Cookie Soaps body butter. I like that formula quite a bit as well.

Because I find the formula of pumpkin butters to be pretty consistent, the following will just be discussing individual scents.

Spider Silk


Part of the Fall 2016 scent list.

water mint, wispy grey musk, crystalline webs of amber, oakmoss, torchwood, copaiba resid and a touch of withered violet leaf.

Smells woody, fresh and clean. This is one of the milder fragrances that lingers only for a few hours.

Number of times purchased: 1

Would I purchase again: Yes



From the Summer 2016 scent list.

Dry gingergrass, litsea cubeba, neroli, grankincense tears, saffron infused honey, rosemary and the faint touch of true cinnamon.

This smells a bit like lemon kitchen cleaner. It’s not unpleasant, but I don’t get most of the listed notes. This has a longer lasting scent than most of the Fall scents but it isn’t over powering.

Number of times purchased: 1

Would I purchase again: Probably not although it wasn’t bad

Samhain II


Fall scent list.

Freshly turned earth, wet leaves and a cool spectre ridden wind.

This is clearly one of the more atmospheric scents.It does have a bit of an earthy fresh air before rain smell. It doesn’t smell like dirt but it does smell earthy.

Number of times purchased: 1

Would I purchase again: Yes

Pumpkin Queen


Fall scent list.

Gentle hay pillows, pumpkin, ripe peaches dusted with clove and nutmeg, dried summer herbs and lastly a glowing crown of amber.

This is the scent that convinced me that I just don’t love fall scents. I can’t handle this one at all and didn’t finish using it. Smelling it in the jar it smells basically like described but once I’ve applied it it smells like celery seed, spice cabinets and something sickly sweet. Clearly just a matter of personal preference but I just can’t with this. Total headache city. Also, this one lasts for days. Everything I touched while wearing this smelled for a while.

Number of times purchased: 1

Would I purchase again: Of course. Just kidding.

Pumpkin Eater


Fall catalog.

Cream, glowing pumpkin, rich vanilla bean and the tiniest touch of nutmeg butter.

Smells a bit like a generic “Fall” candle. Mild scent. Nothing really special though.

Number of times purchased: 1

Would I purchase again: Probably not.

Persephone’s Descent


Fall scent list.

Pomegranate, pale musk, narcissus blossom and black amber.

Here you can see that HoG sometimes has some issues with leakage on their packaging. Not a big deal but something that happens semi frequently. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed this. It reminds me a bit of the sun ripened raspberry scent that Bath and Bodyworks had back in the 90’s.(Just used the google and it turns out they’ve brought that scent back!)

Number of times purchased: 1

Would I purchase again: Yes



Fall scent.

…brackish amber, aged vanilla bean, and three dark fruits…

Another more atmospheric scent description. These types of descriptions are fun but not particularly helpful so it’s something to keep in mind when you’re browsing the scent catalogue. This just smells like straight up head shop to me. With maybe a hint of department store.

Number of times purchased: 1

Would I purchase again: Maybe

Ghost Puffs


Fall scent list.

Orbs of buttery popcorn and marshmallow goo, presented on a wooden stick.

If you follow many indie scent blogs you’ve likely heard about this scent as it seems to be a particular favorite. I feel like the scent description is pretty accurate with a heavier emphasis on the butter than the marshmallow note.

Number of times purchased: 2 (I have a full size because I am bad at online ordering)

Would I purchase again: Maybe

Lush “It’s Raining Men” Shower Gel


This was ok. It smelled a bit weird but not entirely unpleasant. It cleaned. Super exciting stuff.

Number of times purchased:1

Would I purchase again: No

Fizz & Bubble Cupcake Bath Fizzy – Birthday Cake


The Boy says that this smells like cake. I however, maintain that it smells like vomit and vanilla. It’s horrible. I didn’t use it because it triggers a complete gag reflex. I would love to know if you have tried this product and what your thoughts on the scent were.

Number of times purchased: 1

Would I purchase again: NEVER

Garnier Whole Blends Repairing Mask – Honey Treasures


This was ok. It smelled ok, it moisturized ok, the price point is ok.

Key Claims and whether or not it delivers:

  • Healthier stronger hair – honestly I’m not going to be a good judge of this since my hair is currently super short. It made it marginally softer and that’s all I can tell you.

Number of times purchased: 1

Would I purchase again: Maybe


Adidas for Women Cool & Care Soften

I bought this off of Amazon in hopes that it would be similar to the deodorant that I purchased in South Africa but it just wasn’t as good. It didn’t keep me fresh all day never mind 48 hours.

Number of times purchased: 1

Would I purchase again: No

Bath & Body Works PocketBac – Cozy Vanilla Cream

I bought this last Fall and really dug this scent! It’s kind of like vanilla that sat a little close to hot chocolate. It’s very strong but I enjoyed it.

Number of times purchased: I’ve purchased two of this particular scent.

Would I purchase again: Yes

Original OPI Nail Envy Nail Strengthener

Key Claims and whether or not it delivers:

  • I’m going to include a direct quote from Ulta’s website here: “Nail Envy Nail Strengthener Original Formula by OPI provides maximum strengthening with hydrolyzed wheat protein and calcium for harder, stronger, natural nails! Ideal for weak, damaged nails. (Results are based on variables, each ones desired results, correct application, type of work you do. On average, you should begin to see growth within 2-3 weeks, however, everyone’s nails grow at a different rate.)” – I don’t know that this made my nails stronger or grow faster but it didn’t do anything weird to my nails which is a plus and rather rare for me with base coats.

Number of times purchased: 1

Would I purchase again: I have already!

We’re in the home stretch here!


Maybelline Lash Sensation Mascara

I’ve mentioned this mascara before and it probably falls in my top five mascaras. It’s a rather wet formula compared to what I normally prefer but it gives nice separation and looks natural but dramatic if that’s such a thing. It doesn’t flake on me and it doesn’t irritate my eyes.I’m bad at describing mascara. It’s not something I get overly excited about and generally I can only really tell if you I like it not so much why I like it.

Number of times purchased: 2

Would I repurchase: Yes

Revlon Nearly Naked Powder

This is a nice light powder with a truly natural finish. I loved this when I was skipping wearing sunscreen for a while but once I got back on the wagon with the spf, I didn’t love this powder quite as much. It still looked great initially but it breaks down around my nose after about 3 hours when I apply it over my sunscreen (I use a very greasy sunscreen – Banana Boat Kids/Baby).

Number of times purchased: 1

Would I repurchase: Maybe

Revlon Kissable Balm Stain – Honey

Remember when the Balm Stains were THE thing to have? I went a little nuts and bought so many of them. Honey is a truly lovely shade, it’s a perfect nude for me. That is, it’s a perfect nude when I first apply it (see above photos). But three or four hours later it stains (as implied by the name) but it stains an uneven bright pink that almost never compliments whatever makeup I originally paired with a nude lip.

Number of times purchased: 1

Would I repurchase: No

I feel like this post ended up being about four times longer than I was anticipating. It’s all those dang pumpkin butters! That was probably more detail than you really needed or wanted on those but I enjoyed talking about them anyway.

Have you used any of these products? If so I’d love to know how our experiences with them varied.


  • I took most of this week off from the gym. Partially it’s for legitimate reasons and a need for a bit of a physical break but mostly it’s because I’m in a semi-pre diabetic coma from left over Halloween candy. I was so excited to live in an area that had a potential for trick-or-treaters that I went a little crazy with the candy. It turns out that the kids on our street all bus over to the wealthy neighborhood for trick-or-treating. I don’t blame them. There’s a street in our town that gives out king size candy bars, fresh grilled hot dogs, sodas, the works. It’s pretty wild.
  • I’m so glad Halloween is over. I get all excited for everything spooky at the beginning of October but now I’m over saturated and I’m ready for a cessation of costume makeup in my Instagram and YouTube feeds.
  • A truck just drove by my house with an 8 foot tall hot pink gorilla in the bed.

7 thoughts on “October 2016 Empties

  1. I’ve been wanting to try that PC retinol serum… did you find it stung your skin at all?
    I had that Effaclar Duo before and it didn’t do anything for me either. I much prefer the Effaclar K… which is of course, discontinued! 😦
    Oh that EL Global BS cream sounds awful. Why do they always add in SO much fragrance?
    Haha the Drunken Elephant vitamin C serum sounds a lot like how the PC C15 booster smells – MEAT. I did really like how my skin looked while using it though. It also contained ferulic acid which is supposed to be all sorts of awesome.
    LMAO your face with the sheet mask on – were you startled? 😆
    Of all the scent of the Pumpkin Butters, I think I’d like the Ghost Puff best – I love love marshmallows.
    I used to use the OPI Nail Envy and I have the same thoughts as you – not 100% sure if I could attribute my nail growth to it but it applied nicely and was a good base.
    Maybelline Lash Sensation is pretty darn good. It’s really good at volume and separation. What are your top 5 mascaras, out of curiosity?
    Yessss I remember the HYPE of the Revlon balm stains. I have 4 of them (including Honey!) and I can’t tell you the last time I wore them. I don’t know why I didn’t check what the fragrance was on those before I hauled them – I do not like minty lip products. 😛
    LMAO: A truck just drove by my house with an 8 foot tall hot pink gorilla in the bed.
    Do you live near an amusement park? 😆

    1. I don’t have any trouble with the PC retinol serum at all. I did ease into using it, but that’s a good idea with any retinol product. I think it’s the most gentle retinol serum I’ve used (which isn’t actually saying all that much, I’ve maybe tried three?)
      Seriously, the added fragrance thing is nuts. I get adding enough fragrance so that your product doesn’t smell like hotdog water, but I don’t need massive sillage and lasting power on my face thank you very much.
      The PC C15 booster was next on my list to try but I don’t think I can handle the whole meat smell. It’s just too weird for me.
      I too love marshmallows and I love smelling like marshmallows! It doesn’t seem to be a common scent note though, even in the indie world. Kheimistry has a marshmallow perfume that’s weirdly accurate. Like sticking your face in a bag of marshmallows kind of accurate.
      Top five mascara: 1. Jordana best lash extreme 2. Loreal 24 hour Smokey lash 3. Maybelline lash sensational 4. Cover girl lash blast 5. The MUFE mascara… I can’t think of the name at the moment but it’s the one with the ridiculously huge wand.
      Why is mint such a common lip product scent? I actually love it but it ultimately ends up drying my lips out like none other.
      Lol nope, no amusement park, just new neighbors. I think they might be frat boys:(

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