A New Day

Taking a look at all of the things I've been missing

Use It: October 2019 Empties

Hello again!

Can you believe it? I’m posting something in a timely manner… holy moly. I feel like I finally have my life together a bit more and am getting caught up on a ton of stuff at home. Thank goodness!

October was a busy product month – I was not on shocked how many things I finished up, but how many of these things were products I really loved.

I’m going back to my old method and be breaking everything down by type: skin care, makeup, body, hair and lifestyle/other. Sample reviews are posted to my Instagram (@lvp8779) as they are used.


Simple Cleansing Facial Wipes – I know that makeup wipes are bad for your skin… whatever. I use them to take off thick masks so my face cloths don’t get ruined and to use as a first step for removing makeup when traveling. They aren’t the only step – that’s just ridiculous. I already purchased a few more packs – I found a bunch at TJ Maxx and filled up my cart. Available at Target for $4.49 for 25 wipes.

StriVectin Advanced Retinol Eye Cream – this little tube lasted forever! My skin loves retinol and responds incredibly well. I hate the price, but know it really works. I would probably repurchase this – I have a couple other things to use up. Available at Ulta for $75 for 0.5oz.


E.L.F Blotting Sheets – there is a reason that these are like $1 – they were much smaller than some of the other sheets I prefer and also a lot thinner. These didn’t seem to be very absorbent, so I had to use 3-4 every day. I would not repurchase these, however I bought a ton of them because… well, they were $1.

Givenchy Volume Disturbia Mascara – oh man.. where do I start? The formula is good – super black pigmentation that is very wet. It takes a while to dry, but the end result is incredibly dramatic. The problem is the wand – it has the shortest, little nubby spikes on it that cause significant clumping. You need something like the mascara below to help separate and define the lashes. With a better wand, this could be a truly excellent mascara. Unfortunately, it really falls short. This was received through Influenster, and would probably not purchase. Available at Sephora for $27 for 0.28oz.

L’Oréal Voluminous Mascara in Black – such a great product! This is everything I ask for in a mascara. I don’t need length – I need my incredibly light lashes to pop and need volume. This separates and thickens each lash so well. I would repurchase again and again. Available at Ulta for $7.99.

Kat Von D Tattoo Liner in Trooper – this is not the first appearance in an empties post – when I get these in subscription boxes, I use until they are dry. I keep going back and forth about Kat… and it impacts my feelings on buying her products. Let’s put it this way, I like her stuff and I will use it… but I’m not rushing out to give her my money these days. Some day, I may be caught in a weak moment and actually buy something again. Full size available at Sephora for $20 for 0.019 oz.


Bath and Body Works Stress Relief Moisturizing Body Cream – I have serious sleep issues and use everything from aromatherapy to a prescription medication to conquer it. Some of my favorite things for a more holistic approach are from the Stress Relief line. This lotion is very hydrating and the scent lasts for a long time. I was using it for a hand cream, but it just isn’t moisturizing enough for my constantly cracked, dry hands. I would buy this again, but only to use as a body lotion. Available at Bath and Body Works for $15.50 for 8oz.

Lush The Comforter Shower Cream – this was a lovely, warm bergamot and cassis scent. Sadly, the scent was not long lasting. There are a ton of great products at Lush that I would probably repurchase before this one. Seasonal scent available at Lush for $11.95 for 3.3.oz.


Living Proof Night Cap – I don’t get it. This just makes my hair feel gross and I hate how it makes my hair feel on my pillow. No thanks. Approximate value – $7.50 for 1oz.


Color Club Nail Color in Pret-A-Pink – this is a beautiful light pink shade. This was a bit sheer, so you definitely needed 2, sometimes 3 coats and a topcoat. Typical wear was 4-5 days without chipping or peeling. I originally got this through Birchbox, but can’t really seem to find where to buy now – maybe Walmart? Approximate value – $6.44 for 0.5oz.

Deborah Lippmann Nail Color in Naked – the color is pretty self explanatory, right?  It’s a taupe/tan/café au lait shade that went on evenly and covered flawlessly in 2 coats. Sadly, this was a mini in a set and was used up pretty quickly. I would definitely repurchase this. Available at Nordstrom for $17 for full size.

Here is the breakdown for the year to date:

Skincare: 14

Body: 7

Hair: 3

Makeup/face: 19

other: 2

Nails: 5

Samples: 0

Sheet masks: 2

Total Products used: 52

Monthly Total : $175.37

2019 Total: $813.51

So there you have it – more trashy reading. 🙂 I personally love reading empties posts and I hope you do too. If not, you may want to pass on the next couple posts!

Have a great week!



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Overdue Empties

Hello again, everyone!

Life has gotten away from me again and I’ve had to take a little break… from the blog, from people, from everything. There have been a ton of changes in my personal and professional life, both good and bad. We’re getting through it though!

I have a ton of empties sitting around and I wanted to do a few quick reviews and then toss this stuff in the recycling. Since it’s only a few things, I just went alphabetically.

Aveda Madder Root Color Conditioner – this is my favorite color enhancing conditioner. It helps refresh and brighten color by depositing color as the dye fade. This is not dramatic like Overtone or anything, but it is subtle and helps with maintenance between salon appointments. Apparently Aveda has discontinued this specific shade but I’m going to lobby to bring it back. Price: $24 for 8.5oz.

Julep So Plush Hydrating Lip Gloss – this was a destash item – it started to change color and texture so it had to go. Julep makes great skincare and nail polish, not great lip gloss. There was nothing wrong with this, it was just fine. The color was very sheer and could be worn alone or with another product. It was lightweight and lasted a couple hours. It was not hydrating and it felt like it needed to be reapplied frequently. Would not repurchase. The company is going through a rebrand and some reformulations – wonder if this will make the cut? Available at Julep.com for $12.

Kiehl’s Close Shavers Squadron Ultimate Brushless Shave Cream Blue Eagle – this has been my go-to for what feels like forever. But they came out with the Smooth Glider that is much kinder on my skin that I prefer. This has a nice, cooling menthol feeling that is really refreshing. The Blue Eagle claims to be good for sensitive skin, but my legs always feel a little dry after use. I have a few stored away so will use those up and then make the full switch over to the Smooth Glider. Available at Nordstrom and Kiehl’s for $17 for 5oz.

Mamonde Flower Lab Essence Mask in Rose – I don’t typically include sheet masks on here, but I’ve also been forgetting to do mini reviews on Instagram so might as well just throw them in here when I remember. This is a lovely sheet mask – I love all things rose, so it was already a winner. The mask is made of a sturdy fabric that was able to hold a ton of essence. I left this on for 10 minutes and then tried to pat in the remaining essence, but definitely needed to let it absorb for another 10 minutes before adding on any more skincare. The next day my skin looked and felt amazing. I would buy this again. Available at Ulta for $3.

Nivea Visage Light Moisturising Day Care– this might be the most perfect day moisturizer ever. It is hydrating and smoothing and absorbs quickly without leaving my skin feeling greasy. This was wonderful for the colder and warmer months and wore well under different foundations. I would purchase this again in a heartbeat! Available at smallflower.com for $17.50 for 50ml.

Spongelle Freesia Pear – whenever a new Spongelle product pops up on the FabFitFun add-ons, I snatch them up. I absolutely loved this clean and fresh scent, but it didn’t last past the shower. What a bummer. Going forward, I am also going to cut them in half. They are almost too big and sort of wasteful. I feel like I will be able to make them go twice as far. Also, I think you get many more washes than the 14 that the box implies, but I didn’t really keep track. I will repurchase the product, but in a different scent. Available on Amazon for $19.99.

Here is the breakdown for the year to date:

Skincare: 12

Body: 5

Hair: 2

Makeup/face: 15

other: 2

Nails: 3

Samples: 0

Sheet masks: 2

Total Products used: 41

Monthly Total : $93.49

2019 Total: $638.14

A few down and more to go.. stay tuned!

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The Things I Repurchase

Hello again, everyone!

I was just thinking about some of my favorite things the other day and thought I would share a few long time favorites, including the top things that I repurchase. At first I thought this might be kind of a boring list… but really doesn’t it speak to how much you really love something if it is a staple in your routine?
All of these things have been my go-to items for years. Some of them have been at least 10+ years – I feel like that is so telling!
Here we go:
Ahava Body Lotion – This is definitely one of my splurge products. I have used this on repeat for years. I love the formula and the scent of this lotion. The scent is clean and minerally, and lingers for hours without being overwhelming. I have several perfumes that pair so well with this.
Batiste Dry Shampoo – there are so many versions of this, but my favorite has to be the Light and Breezy Fresh… I love a good clean scent! Batiste just makes the perfect dry shampoo. Every time I stray away, I wonder why. For the $7-8 price point, you get a really amazing product. I always have a couple stashed away somewhere.
Kiehl’s Ultimate Strength Hand Cream – I have no idea how many times this has appeared on the blog over the years… my feelings have not changed since day 1. This is one of my absolute favorite products. It is incredibly hydrating and leaves my skin feeling soft for hours without any oily feeling after applying. I usually exchange my Kiehl’s empties for a travel size to make sure I always have some with me.
MAC Fix Plus – I guess the question really is who DOESN’T keep a stockpile of this in their makeup arsenal? I especially love that there are now mini sample sizes of this to make travel even easier.
NYX Blotting Sheets – I go through tons of these. They are reasonably priced and are a great quick fix for humid days or when I’m just feeling a little oily. There are several versions of these, however the plain version in the black packaging are my favorite.
What are some of your long time favorites?
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Use It: March-May 2019 Empties

Hello again!

There is no excuse for my tardiness, other than being lazy. I really thought I was on top of this, but clearly I was not. So now I just have this box of empty containers taking up space in my house. I think the real problem was that I wasn’t finishing off a ton of items each month so I didn’t really think of posting any reviews. But now that I’m looking at this pile of containers, I’m really regretting the decision to put it off.

As usual, I’ll be breaking everything down by type: skin care, makeup, body, hair and lifestyle/other. Sample reviews are posted to my Instagram (@lvp8779) as they are used.


AmorePacific Treatment Cleansing Foam – If you are ever in the market for incredibly indulgent skincare, go spend your hard earned cash on some AmorePacific products. This is a rich, cream cleanser that is incredibly gentle on my skin. It removes every spot of makeup and leaves my skin feeling clean and hydrated. If I ever am feeling super spendy, I will drop the cash on the full size. For now, I will keep snagging the Sephora 500 point perks! Full size available at Sephora for $50 for 4.1oz.

Avène Riche Hydrating Cream – this is an incredibly thick moisturizer for dry to very dry sensitive skin. I have combination skin, so this was a bit much for me. It was really nice during the last cold surge of winter. I really love how it absorbed completely into my skin without leaving behind a greasy feeling. I would probably not purchase the full size… or if I did, it would be for my actual skin type. Full size available at Birchbox.com for $32 for 1.3oz.

Kiehl’s Rare Earth Deep Pore Cleansing Masque – I bought this in hopes of it being a cheaper version of the GLAMGLOW Supermud. Supermud it is not. It is, however a nice, gentle clay mask. It didn’t dry out my skin, but it also didn’t absorb excess oil or purify or shrink my pores. I will not repurchase only because I want a heavier duty mask. Available at Kiehl’s for $24 for 5oz.


Bite Agave Lip Mask – this is one of the most nourishing lip balms I have ever used. It is incredibly thick and stays put for hours. I used this mostly at night and after exfoliating. I would definitely repurchase. Full size available at Sephora for $26 for 0.52oz.

Blinc Mascara Amplified – when I hear the words “tubing mascara” I envision this completely coating and encapsulating the lashes. It really just kind of coats them. Once I got past what I thought it should be, I started using this to add more volume after using another mascara. This really helped fill in the space between the lashes and make my eyes look more dramatic. I am on the fence as to whether or not I would repurchase. Full size available at Sephora for $26 for 0.25oz.

Chella Eyebrow Color in Awesome Auburn – this is the perfect auburn shade. I feel like so many other brands offer an odd cool toned auburn. This is a warm, deep red shade that blends beautifully. This is already a repurchase, so would totally buy it again. Available at Birchbox.com for $20 for 0.09g.

IT Superhero Mascara – I decided to give this another try… and will never do it again. I just do not like this. It flakes constantly and then does not come off with any combination of makeup remover. I just do not like it. Available at Ulta for $12 for 0.17oz.

Laura Mercier Flawless Face Book in Nude – this little book holds a ton of products! At one point, there was a generous section of the Tinted Moisturizer in Nude and Mineral Pressed Powder in Real Sand. These were finished forever ago so I cannot really remember how they performed. I do know that there is so much more product than it appears. As you can see there is still a bit of the Secret Camouflage in SC2 and the Secret Concealer #2. They have started to dry out a bit so I am giving up. They are a perfect match for my skin tone and blend perfectly. Unfortunately they do not really ever completely dry down. I originally purchased this when I was in a high travel job and I loved the convenience having all of my products in one place. I have so many other great products that would only purchase again if I found myself in a similar travel situation. Very limited availability now… it can be tracked down for anywhere from $23-$40.

MAC Cremesheen Glass in Enchanter – this is one of my all time favorite glosses from MAC. It is a sheer red with micro-glitter that stays on for a few hours. I believe this was a limited edition shade but I bought a backup. 🙂 Similar products available at MAC counters and online for $21 for 0.09oz.

Mai Couture Bamboo Charcoal Blotting Sheets – These are so good. I randomly decided to buy them as a FabFitFun add on and I was not disappointed! One sheet absorbs oil from my forehead, nose and chin – this would normally take 3 of the NYX papers. I bought a ton of these so I don’t anticipate running out any time soon. Available on Amazon for $10 for 60 sheets.

Max Factor 2000 Calorie Dramatic Volume Mascara – what a great formula! It builds a ton of volume without creating a lot of length – I am blessed with incredibly long lashes. This is a drier formula that you can really build and fill in to create a more dramatic look. I had a friend pick this up for me while she was in England – I should have had her pick up 2! Approximate value – $10.

NYX Matte Blotting Paper (2) – no surprise here… Available at Ulta for $3.99 (50 sheets).


Kiehl’s Superbly Efficient Antiperspirant and Deodorant Cream – this has been a daily product for years now. This is the product that really turned me on to cream deodorants. It dries quickly and doesn’t leave white marks on clothes. I will repurchase again and again. Available on kiehls.com for $19.50 for 2.5oz.


Fekkai Technician Color Care Shampoo – this is a great shampoo, but it is not my favorite. It does a great job preserving my color, but it doesn’t feel like it cleanses my scalp as much as I would like. I would use it again, but would probably not go out of my way to purchase. Available at Target for $31.99 for 8oz.


White Barn Scented Candle in Bergamot Waters – I absolutely loved this. Bergamot is one of my favorite scents and I never pass up an opportunity to add more to my home. This candle lasted about 40 hours and had decent throw. I would definitely purchase again. Available at Bath and Body Works for $24 for 14.5oz.

WHEW! I can’t believe I sat on all of this stuff for so long.. Good grief. Off to the recycling they go.

Here is the breakdown for the year to date:

Skincare: 10

Body: 3

Hair: 1

Makeup/face: 14

other: 2

Nails: 3

Samples: 0

Sheet masks: 1

Total Products used: 35

Monthly Total : $261.47

2019 Total: $544.65

The way this is going, it will be another year of using up at least $1,000 in products. The scary thing is I think I have enough products for the next couple years.. I don’t even want to do the math on that.

Have a great week!

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Revisiting Some Old Favorites

Hello everyone!

I thought it would be fun to dig through the archives and take a look at some of the things I loved at some point and see how I felt about them now. This first glace back in time is looking at an old weekly favorite post from April 2015. The post is also copied below.

I haven’t forgotten about I Get No Kick, but it has dropped to the bottom of my eyeliner stash. I still love it and this has inspired me to break it out this week. I’m also going to check and see if I ever bought a backup.

Benefit Dallas is still a staple in my makeup routine. I absolutely love this – it is such a universal shade and goes well with so many looks. I feel like I use this all the time but still haven’t even made a dent!

Finally, the Laura Mercier eye serum… oh man. That was such a good product. And in my empties review I mentioned that I found something I like better… but I don’t know. I really feel like I want to revisit this, as well as explore more of the Laura Mercier skin care products.

Have you revisited anything from your product past? Any past loves that you want to bring back into your routine?


Happy Monday everyone

This post kept getting pushed further and further back… I’m not sure why, but there were a few other things blog-wise and personally that kept me from getting to this…

Without any further BS, here are my current favorites:

MAC Eye Kohl in I Get No Kick – this pencil is part of the MAC is Beauty collection and is running out quickly! This gorgeous champagne shade is described as a “metallic nude” – the ideal pencil for the gal who loves a good neutral. I’ve been using this on my lower waterline – this pencil is super soft and applies like a dream. Get it while you can… in fact, get 2. Available online and all MAC counters for a limited time for $16.

benefit Dallas – why am I so late to the party on this one? This is a warm, plummy-tan blush that works well on so many skin tones. Rumor on the street is that Dallas has been discontinued… can anyone confirm or deny this? It is still available on the benefit website and there are plenty at my local Ulta for $28.

Top: I Get No Kick; bottom: Dallas 

Laura Mercier Flawless Skin Repair Eye Serum – ugh – wrinkles. Maybe I’m smiling more these days or maybe I’m just getting old… these crows feet have been really stressing me out recently, so I started looking for some new solutions. In talking to a Laura Mercier pro, I learned a few things about the skincare line and she swore by this product. She applied it with the corrector and concealer and I noticed an immediate difference – my eye area looked firmer and brighter. After using twice a day for 2 days, the lines were less noticeable and after a month, my lines are significantly less prominent. One of the biggest changes is that my under eye area does not crease throughout the day and my concealer stays put. This little miracle worker is absolutely worth $83 for 0.5oz.

What have you recently discovered in the store or in your stash?

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Use It: January and February 2019 Empties

Hello again, everyone!

As always, the best intentions fell by the wayside. There has been so much going on that once again, blogging took a back burner at the start of the year.

In January, we finally closed on the sale of our old house and had to finish moving the remaining things to the new house. It was great to finally close that chapter. There was some work travel and fun travel in February, but my husband was ill so we had to postpone a trip to Florida until March. I’m so ready for a few days of sun and fresh seafood.

I am happy to share that I finished a bunch of items over the last couple months and am looking forward to getting rid of all of my recycling! As usual, I’ll be breaking everything down by type: skin care, makeup, body, hair and lifestyle/other. Sample reviews are posted to my Instagram (@lvp8779) as they are used. Since I changed jobs a couple years ago, my use of sample items has really gone down. The down side to this is that I have a ton of sample products taking up much needed drawer space! Hopefully I can start making a dent in some of those soon.

Here we go.


Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment (Feb) – just when I thought I didn’t have any more of these, I found one in one of my makeup bags. What a pleasant surprise! I’ve been using the Rose version of this for so long that I forgot how much I enjoyed the original. It has a slightly sweet, lemon hint to it that lasts for hours. It wears well under makeup and alone. Full size available at Sephora for $24 for 0.15oz. 

GLAMGLOW YouthCleanse Daily Exfoliating Cleanser (Jan) – I really enjoyed this product – it comes out in their normal mud-like consistency and you use on the face and then add water. It deep cleans without over drying skin. It’s a bit much for everyday, but I do love to add a deep cleanser in every few days to the routine. They change their products so often that I can’t figure out if this is now under another name or what… I would probably not repurchase. 

Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow Jelly Sheet Mask (Feb) – well this was fun! This was a strange, slimy mask that smelled like a Jolly Rancher. It was a bit difficult to remove from the packaging, but I loved wearing this. It was cooling, soothing and so hydrating. The scent wore off a bit after I removed it and the serum dried down. If it wasn’t for the high price tag, I might repurchase. Available at Sephora for $8 for one mask.

L’Oreal Revitalift Volume Filler Eye (Jan) – this is a great eye cream. Much like the other Revitalift products, it is chock full of hyaluronic acid and makes my skin feel great. This is now in a jar versus a much more sterile tube… that makes no sense. I would consider repurchasing. Available at Ulta for $17.99 for 0.5oz.

Ole Henriksen Sheer Transformation Facial Crème (Feb) – this is now the Perfecting Moisturizer. I seriously don’t understand the need for all of these name changes. This is… fine. It’s a nice, lightweight moisturizer. There is nothing outstanding though. I would not repurchase. Full size available at Sephora for $40 for 1.7oz. 

Perricone MD Neuropeptide Facial Cleanser (Feb) – I have no idea what this is under the new Perricone reformulations… Seriously… I’m tired of saying this, so I know you are probably also tired of reading the same thing over and over. Stop changing things, Perricone. This was a nice, lightweight cream cleanser. It was really gentle, but wasn’t anything magical. I would probably not repurchase. Similar cleansers available at Sephora for $38.

Skyn Iceland Nordic Skin Peel (Feb) – this is not an empty, but a toss. These burn the shit out of my skin. I just can’t do chemical exfoliants. Available at Ulta for $45 for 60 pads.

Sunday Riley Luna Sleeping Night Oil (Feb) – my skin LOVES retinol. I didn’t necessarily love the texture of the oil, but the product overall was great. Also, there is the whole conversation about the need for the additional blue dyes in this product, but that’s something for another day… I have other retinol products that work just as well, so probably wouldn’t go out of my way to purchase again. Available at Sephora – full price is $55 for 0.5oz. 


Eyeko Skinny Liquid Liner in Black (Feb) – this is a matte black liquid liner that lasts all day. However, it is a felt tip applicator… I just have such a hard time using this. I had a hard time getting an even line – forget even trying a wing. This is fine, just not for me. Available at Nordstom for $22 for 0.07oz.

Guerlain Terracotta Summer Collection Summer Shadow in White Sand (Jan) – I’ve been using this for probably far too long for a cream shadow…. This is beautiful and sheer on its own or acts as a great eyeshadow base. Since I cannot possibly let anything go, I made a point to use up as a shadow base. I hope they come out with more of these again. Purchased at Saks for $32.

MAC Pro Longwear Paintpot (Feb) – I’m not sure, but I think this is Painterly… it’s pretty old and the writing has worn off. I don’t know when I purchased it, but that alone is reason to de-stash. I really liked this – it neutralized any discoloration on my eyelid and extended the wear time of my eyeshadow. This worked especially well with the MAC loose pigments. I may repurchase. Available at MAC stores and website for $22 for 0.17oz.

Rimmel ScandalEyes Eyeshadow Stick in Bulletproof Beige (Jan) – I picked up a couple of these a while back to use when I was traveling and left my makeup at home. This WAS a super soft, multi-use pencil  It went on so easily and could be layered for more coverage. Unfortunately, it dried out and can’t be used any longer. These rival any high end shadow stick out there. I would totally buy more of these. Available at CVS for $4-$5.


Bliss Blood Orange and White Pepper Body Butter (Feb) – this is the older version of this, so I can’t speak to the newer formula. This is a warm, citrus scent that is not overpowering. The white pepper might seem unappealing, but it really is not the standout note here. I always enjoy the Bliss body butters – they’re not too greasy and leave my skin feeling great. Newer version available at Target for $5 for 1.7oz.

Lavanila Fresh Vanilla Lemon (Feb) – I’ve heard so many great things about this brand and wanted to explore a more natural deodorant option. For some reason I have no problem with perfume or hair scents, but deodorant scents drive me nuts. This is a really nice, mild, clean scent but it still just seemed so overwhelming. It did last several hours and keep me feeling clean and dry, but I just felt like the scent overpowered everything. I probably would not give this another shot. Available at Sephora for $14 for 2oz.


Bath and Body Works PocketBac (Jan) – no clue what scent it is – it’s completely worn off. The scent is nice and beachy though. This little bottle lasts a long time and gets hands clean quickly. I always have a random scent in my purse. Repurchase? Sure. Available at Bath and Body Works for $1.75 for 1oz.

Julep Nail Color in January (Feb) – this is a beautiful classic red shade. This cream formula lasted for 4-5 days without chipping. As with most Julep shades, there seems to be a fair amount of product left at the bottom.. I feel like there are a lot of great formulas at a lower price point though, so probably would not repurchase. Available at Julep.com for $14 for 0.27oz.

Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat (Jan) –  another product that has appeared multiple times. This is an absolute staple, you know I already have another one in progress!  Available at Ulta for $9.95 for 0.5oz.

Ulta Regular Nail Polish Remover (Jan) – this is fine. It works and it’s cheap. I would repurchase this, but I can never find it in the store… Available at Ulta for $2.49 for 6 oz.

Here is the breakdown:

Skincare: 7

Body: 2

Hair: 0

Makeup/face: 4

other: 1

Nails: 3

Samples: 0

Sheet masks: 1

Total Products used: 21

Total : $283.18

So there it is.. a great start off to 2019. What did you use up lately? Anything you would repurchase?

Have a great week!

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Use It: October – December 2018 Empties

Hello again, everyone!

Loooong time, no blog. As I’m sitting here on the first week of the new year, I’m sort of in awe that I have been away so long. Last time I posted, I was packing up my house and preparing to move to our new home. Here is the quick overview of the last 3 months – October – move, November – trip to Sonoma and Napa with some girlfriends, end of November through December – holidays, work chaos, and then right before Christmas, my beloved 11 year-old Boxer passed away very unexpectedly. It’s has been an absolutely crazy couple months. I’m really looking forward to some down time in January and a quick vacation in February.

In this time away, I have amassed a boatload of empties. I’ve been stashing them away in weird little places and they need to go in the trash. I’ll be breaking everything down by type: skin care, makeup, body, hair and lifestyle/other. Sample reviews are posted to my Instagram (@lvp8779) as they are used.


Avene  Eau Thermal Spring Water (Oct) – let me be clear – this is NOT empty… the sprayer just stopped working. I am really cranky about this. I highlighted this as a go-to during the summer months. This is great during hot weather, as well as after a clay mask or to help cool down after a good workout. I have more of these stashed away, but if they break too, I will not repurchase. Available at Birchbox for $18.50 for 10.58oz.

Boscia MakeUp-BreakUp Cool Cleansing Oil (Dec) – ooohh I really liked this one. Just a half pump would really break down a full face of make up so easily. This, followed by a gentle cleanser, would leave my skin feeling incredibly clean. I would repurchase for sure. Available at Sephora for $10 for 1.7oz.

L’Oréal Revitalift Volume Filler Night Cream (Nov) – this was a gift from the nice folks at Influenster a long while back. This was one of 4 products they sent for review and I’m finally getting to the last items. I liked this, but I did not love it and will probably not repurchase. I believe the packaging has changed on this and it may now be available in a jar at Ulta for $17.99 for 1.7oz.

Perricone Acyl-Glutathione Eyelid Serum (Dec) – this was really nice. I used every night in combination with a retinol or hyaluronic acid eye cream. It did provide a lot of additional moisture and helped depuff my skin. The Perricone brand just went through a major overhaul and everything has been rebranded. This is now the Essential Fx Acyl-Glutathione Eyelid Lift Serum. I still don’t know what acyl-glutathione is, but I think I like it. I do not love the price though and probably would not repurchase. Available at Sephora for $122 for 0.5oz.

Perricone Face Finishing Moisturizer (Dec) – I love Perricone products… everything I have ever used has been great. I cannot for the life of me keep their products straight… I think this is now the High Potency Classics: Face Finishing & Firming Moisturizer…? I don’t think this was very firming, but it was an excellent moisturizer. Would I repurchase? Sure if you can help me figure out what it is!


Benefit They’re Real! in Beyond Blue (Oct) – this is the convergence of two things that I love – this mascara formulation and blue mascara for summer. I do love getting my hands on this mascara every once in a while and would definitely repurchase. It is very difficult to remove, so be prepared to use a lot of eye makeup remover. Available at Ulta for $25 for 0.3oz.

Bite Beauty BB for Lips in Tawny (Oct) – RIP to this wonderfully hydrating product. Sadly Bite stopped making this forever ago and I am not even going to talk about it. I’m still salty.

Fresh Sugar Tinted Lip Treatment in Rose (Nov) – this is has appeared so many times on the blog. It is such a great lip product. I don’t know how I keep finding all of these mini versions of it, but I don’t hate it.  Apparently I have a massive stash of them.. If it ever happens that I run out, I would purchase. Available at Sephora for $24 for 0.15oz.

Guerlain Meteorites Baby Glow in Light (Dec) – I just love this and I’m very sad to see it go! This is a beautiful, sheer foundation that lasts all day. And it has the most lovely violet scent. Available at Saks for $54 for 1oz.

IT Brow Power Universal Eyebrow Pencil in Universal Taupe (Nov) – longest name ever… good grief. I use this to create a multi-hued look with the Chella auburn pencil from the last round of empties. I have another taupe shade that I am working through, so don’t feel that I need to replace it. It is a great brow pencil, but there are a lot of great brow products out there! Available at Ulta for $24 for 0.005oz.

LORAC Cobra Mascara  – this came in a sample box at some point… it is completely dried out.

Make Up For Ever Smoky Extravagant Mascara (Oct) – I’ve encountered this one before and it’s the same issue… the wand is just too much. I just don’t want to use it ever again. Full size is $24 for 0.23oz.

NYX Green Tea Blotting Papers (Oct) – I keep going back and forth on these… this time I liked them. Last time I did not.  If I have any more stashed away, I will use them, however will not intentionally repurchase. Available at Ulta for $5.99 for 100 sheets.

Tarte Lights, Camera, Splashes (Oct) – I used this about three times before I was reminded how much I despise it. This is the waterproof version of some other Lights, Camera, whatever from Tarte, but I dislike them all. They leave my lashes feeling crunchy and then it flakes off all day. BUT when you try to remove it, it will not come off. Be gone! Available from Sephora for $10 for 0.13oz.


Aveeno Positively Nourishing Smoothing Body Wash (Oct) – I have a very long history with this body wash. It is a lightly exfoliating, foaming cleanser. I absolutely love it and would repurchase again and again if it were still available. Whyyyyyy, Aveeno??

Body Shop Body Butter in Moringa (Dec) – this was another win. I haven’t used one of these body butters in a while and it was so nice to revisit this one. I have no idea what moringa is, but I loved the smell of this and would buy it again. Available at The Body Shop for $6 for 1.69oz.

Dove Deep Moisture Nourishing Body Wash (Oct) – I love the Dove body washes. They are really hydrating and leave my skin feeling great. This has that classic Dove scent that is so pure and clean, never overpowering other scents. Repurchase? Of course. Available at Target for $6 for 22oz.

Julep Rethink Your Shower Hydrating Body Cleansing Oil (Dec) – another ridiculously long name… I have been using this off and on for a really long time. I love using it during cold months because it doesn’t leave my skin feeling stripped and dehydrated. This works best with a konjac body sponge – I have gone through a couple but can’t remember what they were… obviously unremarkable. I might repurchase – currently using the L’occitane version to see how it compares. Available on the Julep website for $38 for 10oz.


Batiste Dry Shampoo in Fruity and Cheeky Cherry (Dec) – cute name. There is nothing at this price point that works this well – Batiste consistently knocks it out of the park. I stock up on assorted versions of this when it goes on sale buy one get one free at Ulta. This is the first time using this scent – it was sweet and fruity, but not overwhelming. I would buy it again. Available at Ulta for $7.99 for 6.73oz.

dpHUE ACV (Dec) – this is an apple cider vinegar hair cleanser that really helped balance my scalp oil and remove any product build up. It is incredibly gentle and cleanses thoroughly without stripping any color. This was my second mini and I did end up buying a full size version.  Full size available at Sephora for $35 for 8.5oz.

Drybar Detox Brunettes Dry Shampoo (Dec) – a while back, I used up a can of the regular Drybar Detox and I made the comment that I couldn’t wait to try this version. I take it back… seriously. I wish that I never purchased this. The formula is nothing like the original version. This did not make my hair/scalp feel less oily, in fact it barely absorbed oil. Also, it left a ton of pigment on my scalp. I double shampoo every time I wash my hair and I could not remove the remnants of this. So this is not empty, but I/m just done using it. Available at Sephora for $23 for 3.5oz.

Here’s the 2018 total:

Skincare: 21

Body: 17

Hair: 10

Makeup/face: 25

other: 5

Nails: 6

Samples: 6

Sheet masks: 2

Total Products used: 92

2-month total: $476.47

2018 total: $1,710.25 (approximately)

Okay, so that was a ton of stuff… I promise not to do that again. I also promise to start blogging more regularly again. 🙂

Have a wonderful January!

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Use It: August and September 2018 Empties

Happy October, everyone!

August and September were very slow months in terms of empties. I thought I would be finishing off a few more items, but it was surprisingly few. October is looking to be about the same. I wanted to get this posted at the end of August… and then September came and went… I am in the process of moving, so my house (and life) is in a complete state of disrepair and chaos. And I am NOT moving these empties across town!

Since there are so few, I will list everything alphabetically. Any samples used up will be featured on my Instagram (@lvp8779).

Here we go:

Belif The True Cream Aqua Bomb – this was really nice, however I think I prefer the Moisture Bomb. There was something about this that didn’t quite do it for me and I can’t put my finger on what. I have another sample of the Moisture Bomb and look forward to trying to pinpoint the difference. Available at Sephora for $22 for 0.84oz

Benefit Sugarbomb Lip Gloss – sadly, Benefit discontinued this lip gloss line. Each shade complimented their boxed cheek colors. The formula was really nice – lightly pigmented and not sticky. I’m definitely not in the market for any more lip products, but it I were, I would check out the new Benefit lip glosses and see if they compare. Approximately $20 for 0.5 oz.

Chella Awesome Auburn Eyebrow Color – I received this auburn eyebrow pencil in the How to Be a Redhead box and while I was skeptical, this quickly became part of my daily routine. While I am a redhead by choice, I have never really tried to fool anyone with my eyebrow color. However, this blended with my regular eyebrow pencil is a great match for my hair color. I repurchased this as soon as I realized I was running low. Available at Birchbox for $20 for 0.09g.

Jergens BB Body Perfecting Skin Cream – I don’t get it. This did nothing spectacular for my skin. This was an adequate moisturizer, but didn’t blow me away. And I didn’t notice it creating a flawless appearance for my body. Will not repurchase. Available at Target for $24.99 for 7.5 oz.

Kat Von D Tattoo Liner in Trooper – hate on Kat all you want, but her eyeliner is the shit. This is a beautiful, highly pigmented black liner. I use this as a finishing touch on my eye looks. I can’t do a cat eye to save my life, but this helps me to tightline and do a bit of a flick on the outer lid. If I didn’t have 25 other eyeliners, I would consider repurchasing. Full size available at Sephora for $20 for 0.019 oz.

Nest Citrine – I don’t use up a lot of perfume – samples or otherwise. I think it is really saying something that I not only used this, but went out and bought the rollerball immediately. I love bright citrus scents and this is no exception. There is a lot of freesia as it dries down – this makes it even more appealing! The freesia warms the citrus a bit and wears well for several hours. I am really a fan of Nest scents – their wear time is excellent! Available at Sephora for $27 for 0.27oz.

NYX Matte Blotting Paper – another one bites the dust. Available at Ulta for $3.99 for 50 sheets.

Origins GinZing Energy Boosting Gel Moisturizer – this was a gift from the nice folks at Influenster a while back. I have been a fan of the GinZing eye cream for quite a while, but never ventured beyond that. This is fantastic. I love a gel moisturizer during the hot, humid months. It brightened and hydrated my skin without leaving me feeling greasy or over hydrated. This is a winner and I will definitely repurchase down the road! Available at Sephora for $29.50 for 1.7oz.

Urban Decay Perversion Mascara – this is definitely a repeat here. I really love this mascara and have picked it up several times. I really love how it coats each lash and creates a dramatic look without getting clumpy. Definitely a winner. Available at Ulta for $10 (mini).

Wander Beauty Baggage Claim Gold Eye Masks – oooh these make me feel fancy! There is nothing like waking up super puffy eyed and miserable and having these little guys come to the rescue. These came in handy on a couple of really bad allergy days – they depuffed my under eye area and made the dark circles a bit less noticeable. These are nice… nice enough to splurge on a box of 6 for $25? Probably not.

Here’s the 2018 total:

Skincare: 16

Body: 13

Hair: 7

Makeup/face: 16

other: 5

Nails: 6

Samples: 6

Sheet masks: 2

Total Products used: 61

2-month total: $143.98

2018 total: $1,233.78  (approximately)

Hopefully the last quarter of the year will be a bit more exciting. I have been focusing on a few key products, so I’m anticipating finishing them up soon.

I also hope to get some fall favorites up here soon. There is no guarantee until I get moved – wish me luck!

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Use It: June and July 2018 Empties

Hello everyone!

How on earth has it been 2 months since my last empties post? I’ve witnessed them piling up, but failed to realize so much time has gone by. It has gone from my usual small box to half a shopping bag. The worst part is that when this happens, it takes forever to type up… go figure.

No delay – let’s go.

Since there are so many items, I’ll be breaking everything down by type: skin care, makeup, body, hair and lifestyle/other. Sample reviews are posted to my Instagram (@lvp8779) as they are used.


Le Métier de Beauté Instant Line Perfecting Serum – this product has loosely been in rotation from when I had my LMdB subscription. This is a heat-activated serum with hyaluronic acid, vitamin E, citric acid and caffeine. I really enjoyed this serum, but definitely didn’t feel as though it was as effective toward the end of its life. I always felt the tightening effect almost immediately after applying. I probably would not repurchase just due to price. There is a Vichy serum that works just as well at less than 1/4 of the price. Available at Dermstore for $150 for 1oz.

Lush Don’t Look at Me Fresh Face Mask – this is a really nice, cooling mask. There is a bit of grit and it provides light exfoliation. I love using this on a hot day to help refresh my skin. It also smells amazing. Available in store only for $13.95 for 2.1oz.

Tarte Rainforest of the Sea Deep Dive Cleansing Gel – this is probably one of the most unimpressive skincare items I have ever used. Biggest problem? It didn’t remove the makeup from my face. No thanks. Full size available at Sephora for $25 for 5oz.

Vichy Calming Cleansing Micellar Solution – speaking of Vichy… this is a repeat from about a year ago or so. I really like this formula – it easily removes all traces of makeup and helps get rid of stubborn mascara. It is also so gentle. I would repurchase again and again. Available at Target for $14.50 for 6.76oz.


Hourglass Extreme Sheen High Shine Lip Gloss in Child – I am really sad to see this go! Child is just a perfect, pretty neutral gloss. It is incredibly lightweight and wears well on top of other shades, but just as well alone. I would totally repurchase this if I didn’t already have 25 lip colors open right now. Full size available at Sephora for $28.

NYX Matte Blotting Papers – no surprise… I use these every day. Available at Ulta for $5.99 for 50 sheets.


Bath and Body Works Shower Gel in Peach and Honey Almond – this is such a great scent – it just feels like summer. There is something a bit unnatural about the actual scent, but it is easily forgotten after a minute. I love the honey and peach combo. I have a few backups of this and the body lotion. This isn’t a regular scent, but can be found at some of the semi-annual sales. Buy it when you can! Cost $13.50 for 10oz.

Kiehl’s Ultimate Strength Hand Salve – I have been through so many of these that I have lost track. There are at least 1-2 more somewhere in my house. Repurchase? Always. Available at Kiehl’s counters and stores for $23.

Laura Mercier Tarte Au Citron Crème Body Wash – this is the second or third of these that I have gone through now and I have to say that I am a really big fan of this formula. I’m also on a very big citrus kick right now, so this just really hit a home run in every possible way. I would definitely purchase a full size of this! 4-pack available at Nordstrom for $34 (1oz each).


One ‘N Only Brazilian Tech Keratin De-Frizz Wand – I just posted about this in my most recent favorites. This is great. I just bought a 3-pack on Amazon for $20.

Parlor Moisturizing and Repairing Shampoo – I never felt like this shampoo really cleaned my hair… but I think that is my general feeling with sulfate-free shampoo. I loved the scent but it just didn’t work for me. Full size available at Birchbox.com for $22 for 8oz.

Tarte Hair Goals Dry Shampoo – I hate this. It smells terrible and doesn’t absorb oil. I bought this as a FabFitFun add on and so glad I didn’t pay full price. Used twice and planning to rehome. Full price is $19 for 4oz.


Essie Nail Color in Penny Talk – I used this down to the very last drop I could scrape out of the bottle. This is an amazing, metallic copper that goes well with everything. I would repurchase for sure. Available at Ulta for $9 for 0.46oz.

Julep Nail Color in Caitlin – this seems like such a fun summer color, but I have never been able to make this work for me. This shade is really sheer and I could never get an even application. It finally started to get clumpy, as all Julep polishes inevitably do. Available at Julep.com for $14 for 0.27oz.

Lauren B Nail Couture in Polo Lounge Punch – I really loved this polish. The color was a beautiful blue-toned pink. It applied fairly well and lasted 4-5 days without chipping. I would definitely consider repurchasing this color or any other from this brand again – definitely a fan! I received this in an Allure box a couple years ago and can’t seem to find it other than the Lauren B website for $18 for 0.5oz.

Ruffian Nail Lacquer in Fox Hunt – if you are a long-time Birchbox subscriber, this should look oddly familiar. Known for it’s famous manicure style, Ruffian launched their own nail color a few years back. For some strange reason the shades were very odd, bold choices. I received this strange orange color that I only ever used on my toes. It’s finally to the end of its life and I’m not particularly sad. Birchbox only carries the top and base coats now and they run about $10.

Here’s the 2018 total:

Skincare: 13

Body: 11

Hair: 7

Makeup/face: 12

other: 5

Nails: 6

Samples: 5

Sheet masks: 2

Total Products used: 61

2-month total: $324.19

2018 total: $1,089.80  (approximately)

As I mentioned in my last empties post, I’ve been really focusing on using up a ton of open and half-used products. I’m finally making progress! 

I’m thinking of doing an Instagram project pan.. anyone want to join me? Follow along at @lvp8779

Have a great week!

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Current Summer Favorites

Hello again!

Summer is my least favorite season. Between the heat and humidity, it has been just miserable. My summer goal is always to find products that are going to help me battle said heat and humidity. This feels like a never ending search for things that eliminate shine, breakouts, frizzy hair, etc. However, every year, I feel like I find one or two things that make the hot months a bit more tolerable.

The most recent find is the Murad MattEffect Blotting Perfector. I purchased this on a whim as a FabFitFun add-on and have been using it religiously over the last few weeks. This cushion product comes with a small applicator and mirror to use on the go. The packaging suggests using any time to break up any shine, but I prefer to use blotting papers and then the product over top. Using the applicator, I pick up a small amount of the liquid and pat onto shiny spots. This helps my makeup (or what is left of it on a hot day) stay put and eliminate oil while blurring my pores. I don’t know what this magic is, but I love it.

Face mists have been no stranger on this blog. As I’ve mentioned in other hot weather posts, I love reaching for the Avene Thermal Spring Water spray. This sprays an incredibly fine mist of cooling water and has been such a treat on hot days. I’ve been foregoing toners the last few days and replacing them with this as part of my evening routine.

My hair go-to has been the One ‘N Only Brazilian Tech Keratin De-Frizz Wand. This is one mighty product. Using the mascara-like wand, you lightly brush through flyaways to smooth back into place. It leaves my hair feeling smooth and looking super shiny without disrupting the style. Too much can leave your hair feeling a bit crunchy. This is very strongly scented, but it will disappear after a couple minutes. I was so sad to discover that this is no longer carried in stores, but it does come in multi-packs on Amazon!

What are some of the things that are helping you get through summer? Please share in the comments below!

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