2017 was the year of empties. Even though I regularly use up products, last year I was inspired by Ingrid Nilsen’s “Year of Empties” compilation which brought a good reflection on what products worked out and didn’t so you have an idea what’s worth your money for a re-purchase. This 2017 Year of Empties series will be broken up in a few posts.
At the beginning of 2017 I was organizing all my beauty products to better optimize their usage only to realize how many samples and travel-sized items I’d been procrastinating on. Since there are plenty of these, I’ll note the size of each “empty” in ounces so you have an idea which ones were travel and samples. They will also feature their full-size price just for reference. This will go the same for other posts, as well!
This entry will dive into a bunch of skincare empties. I’ve broken this into two sections: (1) the samples and (2) empties. The main empties section includes travel sizes.
Estee Lauder Radiant Moisture Creme (.17 oz, qty 1) Full-size price 65.00 for 1.7 oz
Thoughts: Light and airy. Ratings online list 4.8/5 stars via the brand’s website.
Would I purchase? 80% chance yes to try it out, but I wish there was a travel size available. It was really light and added a nice balance to my skin without it feeling greasy or oily after.
Estee Lauder Revitalizing Supreme Anti-Age Cream (.17 oz, qty 1) Other price 52.00 for 1 oz
Thoughts: I’m not a firm believer in anti-aging creams, but this had a nice texture to it with my skin.
Would I purchase? Since my anti-age regime is hydrating your skin and lifestyle choices, I’ll skip purchasing this.
Tata Harper Resurfacing Mask (.25 oz, qty 1) Full-size price 58.00 for 1 oz
Thoughts: The instructions ask to use every day for 2-3 days, then reduce to one to twice a week. Following these instructions, this lasted a couple weeks. It has a lovely scent and left my skin feeling smooth.
Would I purchase? Yes!
Tatcha Water Cream Moisturizer (0.17 oz) Full-Size Price 68.00 for 1.7 oz
Thoughts: I tried out this sample through a purchase. Since my skin is on the dry end and this is oil-free, I wasn’t sure if it would work out. But this actually leaves my skin hydrated! I love how light it is, where a little goes a long way.
Would I purchase? I ended up purchasing the full size!
Fresh Black Tea Instant Perfecting Mask (.5 oz, qty 2) Full-size price 92.00 for 3.3 oz
Thoughts: Using this 2x/week, and with two somehow in my hands, this lasted longer than I thought. It did its job leaving my skin extremely soft, making it a great additional step in my skincare routine. (I’m very sad to say I couldn’t find where this empty went so its photo can’t be included!)
Would I purchase? The $92 price tag is a lot to swallow when you’re on a budget. If a discount code comes along or if I had gift cards, maybe. In the meantime, I’d like to test out other masks before deciding.
Aveeno Daily moisturizing lotion (1 oz, qty 1) Price 6.00 for 8 oz
Thoughts: This might actually be considered travel-size, as I purchased for probably $1 this while on vacation and needed lotion ASAP. It did its job.
Would I purchase? If I’m on somewhere on the run, or on a stricter budget and run out of lotions, yes. It’s good for the price.
Benefit Total Moisture Facial Cream (1 oz, qty 1) Price 42.00 for 1.7 oz
Thoughts: This was one of my first facial creams, and I’d been using it for years. I would use this year-round but as I’ve gotten older, it became my winter solution.
Would I purchase? I’ve tried out other mositurizers that work out just as well, if not better. This may have been my last time using it.
Clinique Pep-Start Hydro Blur Moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF 20 (0.5 oz, qty 1) Full-size Price 29.50 for 1.7 oz
Thoughts: This was my travel-friendly moisturizer-SPF solution during a trip this year and ended up lasting beyond that. It was a good moisturizer, but may have been a little too heavy for my skintype. I’m glad this was available with SPF, since at the time I was in a rush at the store and couldn’t find a travel-friendly item of this kind featuring SPF.
Would I purchase? If I’m on the hunt for a moisturizer featuring SPF and can’t find one in travel size, yes.
Epielle Aloe Vera Cleansing Tissues (60 count, qty 1) Price 3-4.00
Thoughts: At some point in 2016, I was looking for cleansing/makeup removal tissues and found a four-pack on Amazon for $10-ish. One pack was left during 2017 – this consistency wasn’t my favorite and I ended up using it to wipe off swatches on my arm.
Would I purchase? Not likely – I’ll stick to e.l.f Cosmetics’ wipes when I need any.
First Aid Beauty Skin Rescue Deep Cleanser with Red Clay (1 oz, qty 1) Full-size price 24.00
Thoughts: A travel-size from ipsy, I couldn’t see a difference between this vs. a normal cleanser.
Would I purchase? This cleanser did its job, though I don’t normally need a deep cleanse on a daily basis.
Fresh Soy Face Cleanser (1.6 oz, qty 1) Full-size price 38.00 for 5.1 oz
Thoughts: When going back to check the price on this, I expected this to be more expensive. This cleanser left my skin feeling fresh (pun intended) and didn’t dry it out. This also lasts a long time and pairs well with my Foreo Luna.
Would I purchase? I liked this one a lot, but may try out other cleansers before deciding, but I definitely recommend it, especially in the 1.7 oz size, which is at 15.00.
Glam Glow Gravity Mud Firming Treatment – The Sonic Blue Version (1.4 oz, qty 2) Price 69.00
Thoughts: Let’s face it – if there’s a gaming character, I’m so there. This mud-based peel-off mask intends to tighten your skin. However, these types of masks aren’t necessarily good in the long run for your skin.
Would I purchase? Since I had a discount for this and gift cards, I ended up purchasing this again. But I don’t think I’ll purchase another peel-off mask in the future.
Nivea Smooth Indulgence hand cream (3.5 oz, qty 1) Price 3.00
Thoughts: At my former job, I needed a hand cream at my desk at all times. On a whim I picked this up and it lasted for months on end. Unfortunately I wasn’t a huge fan of the scent, which reminded me of baby powder.
Would I purchase? Given the scent, probably not. But it did a decent job.
Origins Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask (1.7 oz and 3.4 oz) Full-size price 27.00
Thoughts: This has been a favorite for a couple years now. I would use this once a week and ended up using the two sizes listed. Side note: They have new packaging on this, so it looks slightly different than what I have here.
Would I purchase? I definitely did and would again! This also arrived in my Sephora box last month. Major win.
Origins GinZing Energy-Boosting Moisturizer (2.5 oz, qty 1) Price 28.50
Thoughts: An extremely light-weight moisturizer that worked best during the hotter seasons.
Would I purchase? Yes.
Origins Original Skin Renewal Serum (1 oz, qty 1) Price 40.00
Thoughts: Also light-weight and worked well in the warmer seasons. I would use this at night just before bed.
Would I purchase? I may, undecided since I’m trying out other serums right now.
Peter Thomas Roth Cucumber Gel Mask (1 oz, qty 1) Full-size price 52.00 at 5 oz
Thoughts: One of the most cooling masks I’ve tried, and a new favorite this year!
Would I purchase? Highly likely.
Shiseido Ibuki Sleeping Mask (2.8 oz) Price 40.00
Thoughts: This mask tended to take a bit of time to dry down. It took quite some time to finish, though!
Would I purchase? Likely not, as I wasn’t a huge fan of this texture.
SK-II Facial Treatment Essence (1 oz) Standard-Size Price 179.00 for 5.4 oz, Mini-Size 99.00 for 2.5 oz
Thoughts: This was one of the best points-redemtion items I got. I’m sure you’ve heard about this everywhere, and for good reason. It’s extremely light and works as a great pre-moisturizing essence.
Would I purchase? If I saved up (a lot), then yes.
Laura Mercier Flawless Skin Face Polish (0.4 oz) Full-Size Price 32.00 for 3.4 oz
Thoughts: I almost hated this product because my skin ended up with dry patches. I stupidly realized exfoliation is the opposite of what my skin needs, but what my nose requires. It’s now one of my favorites since I correctly use it in that one area – it exfoliates the buildup on my nose to leave it smooth. Education, people!
Would I purchase? I ended up purchasing the full size and don’t regret it!
Sephora Avocado Sleeping Mask (0.27 oz), 6.00
Thoughts: This was a travel-size purchase for a trip, but I was fairly disappointed not with the performance, but the packaging. At least half (if not, less) was used in one use, leaving the rest without a re-seal. I didn’t have anything to package away the rest, leaving me very disappointed and out of half (if not more) of this product. (Sadly, this empty got lost somewhere, too.)
Would I purchase? Maybe, since I know now to dispense it in another container.
Josie Maran Whipped Argan Oil (2 oz), Mini-Size Price 12.00, Full-Size Price 35.00
Thoughts: Hands down one of the best presents I received in 2016. Not only was I surprised how much I loved this scent (I’m not a fan of vanilla but didn’t catch a whiff of it!) but also how long it lasted. I finished it a couple days before New Year’s!
Would I purchase? I would, in this perfect mini-size. Fortunately I have another one that was a gift so I’m excited to get started on it again!
I hope this list was as much fun to read as it was to put together at the end of 2017. It’s a great way to remind yourself, “Use this, give it a try, see how it goes!” – especially with skincare. Some items definitely turn out a surprise hit. Thanks for making it through this post and I hope you enjoy the others!