Review of 5 Empties Products

So…I’ve let my stash of empties pile up to a ridiculous level. Two bags worth are awaiting a review…which would make for a good video. Right? No. I think not; especially given that my last empties video was only a bag’s worth and it turned out to be a 16 minute video. Can’t do it both for your sake and my own. Editing a 16 minute video was quite a chore.

Anyway, here are a few of my favorite recently used up products.  

EVOLVh – SmartStart Leave-in Conditioner

This little bottle of magic seemed to evaporate before my eyes. I received it as part of one of my Petite Vour subscription boxes and it certainly made the entire box worth it for me. Given that my tresses are quite long, they are time consuming to manage—to say the least—and as a result of their length they have to endure the wroth of a lot of heat. With that said, a good leave-in conditioner is a must and this one is definitely a contender.

I think that what makes this product so amazing is its key ingredients—alpha hydroxy acids and vitamin e. As it turns out alpha hydroxy acids are a group of natural acids found in foods. They include citric acid, glycolic acid and lactic acid. Of these, glycolic acid is credited for enhancing the protection and manageability of hair by conditioning, moisturizing, strengthening and preventing breakage. (You can read more about it in this fabulous report by Cosmetics & Toiletries.) Vitamin e is known to help hair growth. I can’t personally attest to noticeably longer hair as a result of using this product, but I can attest to the decrease of breakage.

I apply it as soon as I get out of the shower, comb it through and let it sink in while I get ready. Honestly, I think I use more than what a normal person would given the length of my hair, which is fine—except ,it has quite the hefty price tag of $26. But it is definitely worth it as I just love how light weight it is and that it actually protects my hair! I’ve tried various products and most of them weigh down my hair so this is really a Holy Grail for me.

Tarte Amazonian Clay – Smooth Operator Pressed Finishing Powder

To be honest, this isn’t a must buy for me but I really like it as it keeps me matte for quite a long time. I appreciate that effect as I live in the dessert and staying matte for any length of time seems near impossible given my skin type—oily.

This is a translucent powder with the added benefit of Amazonian clay, whose properties include oil absorption, hydration and improved appearance of skin clarity and skin texture. I’ve noticed that many reviewers aren’t particularly fond of this product given that there seems to be a multitude of “dupes” to consider—not to mention that this item has a substantial price tag of $35.00. All points are valid enough but for me this product is ideal. As previously noted, oil excretion is a concern of mine and absorption is what I strive for in many of the products that I use. Needless is to say that I really enjoy having this product in my collection, if only to have on hand in case of an eventful hot day where greasy face is not a trend one should take part in.  In other words, I don’t use it on an everyday basis, but rather when I need to make a good impression.

Mario Badescu – Chamomile Eye Cream

So the majority of my skin care collection consists of Mario’s line. It’s affordable, effective AND it’s sizes are usually very generous. I.E. this eye cream offers 0.5 of an ounce of hydration for sensitive and dry under eyes. It took me about six months to get through this product—& I used it exclusively.

This is the second eye cream that I’ve tried from Mario. The first was the Ceramide Eye Gel. This one compared to that one seems to be more effective at maintaining my under eye skin satisfied. The Ceramide Eye Gel, while very hydrating often felt like too much for me. This one offers just the right amount of hydration on a daily basis.

I don’t have sensitive skin but I do have dry-ish under eyes. It’s especially evident when I use full coverage concealers, which isn’t very often but when I do it’s annoying to feel like I’ve aged before my eyes. I know it’s not generally recommended, but I do sometimes use eye cream before applying such products. Tarte’s CC Undereye Corrector pretty much makes the added step of using eye cream unnecessary as it provides plenty of hydration. On occasions when I've gone for an eye cream instead of the cc corrector, this eye cream has done a really great job, but only when used moderately as it can take some time to absorb. 

Will I buy this product again? Absolutely!—just as soon as I try a few of the other eye creams from the line. (It’s for the good of my curiosity. Plus, most of them are under $20 which is another reason I’m inclined to try them all.)

Balance Me Super Moisturizing Body Wash

This little bottle flew all the way from the UK and landed swiftly in my shower. My dear friend Caroline, from Style Lingua sent it to me as part of my wedding gift.  Now that I’ve fallen in love with it, I’ve been on the lookout for more. I love it because it has a very natural scent and it leaves my skin feeling clean but not overly dry like many body washes have a tendency to do.  

I usually shower in the morning. While using this product I unexpectedly found myself looking forward to my morning shower as the scent allowed me to wake up soothingly.

If I can’t find its replacement, I think I’ll look into the aromatherapy line from Bath and Body Works as I’ve not really tried any items from that line and have a feeling one of them be comparable. I’d love some suggestions.