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Empties: Finished Product Reviews Fall 2019

By Kimberly

It’s time to review my empty products from Fall 2019. By the time I’ve finished something, I know exactly how I feel about it, so I prefer reviews of empties to first impressions. For items I neither love nor hate, I am always willing to try them again, but I will not seek them out. This generally means I will only try them again if they are: free, on sale, or in a set (sets are a great way to get a deal as long as the value of the items you want to try exceed the cost you are paying). The pH of products I’ve tested this season are below. Visit the pH article for info on how I test and a list of everything I’ve tested.

Anything in my Love category are items I consider a deal (even if purchased at the full retail price). That does not mean I will not seek out deals if I can find them. It does not necessarily mean I would buy them, especially if they are really expensive. Most are items I will typically buy again, although I will take a break from purchasing when I have too many similar items waiting to get tested. For items I really love, I spotlight ones I’ve finished (FabuFinds) and others I have yet to finish (Core Collection: Favorites) so I can discuss them in even more detail. Items in the Not for Me category are items I say no deal to (even on sale). Occasionally, I will just toss them before they’re empty, but I try to finish items unless I can’t (allergic reactions or extreme loathing). If they are really bad, I will not even use them again if I get them for free. Thankfully, I can usually find someone to take them from me, because we all have different wants and needs in our products.


Original Sprout Hair & Body Babywash- This is still a FabuFind. With my youngest now 8.5, I might not buy this again. I want him to try adult products. If he does not tolerate them, we will return to this. It lathers well, smells great (so light and fresh), rinses clean, and leaves some natural oils behind on the skin. My boys get great results with this, and I do use it when my sensitive skin needs a break from harsher products. It is a product I dedicated an article to. pH 5.5

Egyptian Magic All Purpose Skin Cream- This is still a FabuFind, and I dedicated an article to this fabulous product. My love for this product is never-ending. If I live a long time, I will still use this. Yes, it takes a long time to penetrate the skin. Once it does, it feels amazing. I wonder if I can get rid of all my fine lines by slathering in this from head to toe every single day! No lines would break through this, and then no one would know how old I am. My favorite use for this is still on the heels of my feet. Nothing prevents cracks better than this. Whenever my boys get an eczema flare up, nothing calms it faster than this. pH 3.0

tarte sugar rush cake butter- I love that this smells like cake, but the fragrance does not last long. For a formula that calls itself a butter, it is not very rich. It is a medium density formula that absorbs into the skin allowing it to breathe. This prevents it from feeling greasy and helps it feel moisturized. As the weather turned colder, this did not provide enough moisture, but it was great in warmer weather. I dedicated two comparison articles to this (against Sol de Janeiro Bum Bum Cream and against Ulta Beauty Butter Cream Cupcake Body Souffle). pH 5.0

Sol de Janeiro Acai Body Power Cream- I love the way this feels when I first put it on. It feels very rich. It gives me the infamous Sol de Janeiro glow, so I sparkle in the light. The floral fragrance is not my favorite but it is fine. This does not hydrate enough after the weather starts to turn cold. To finish it, I probably pushed it a week too long and dried out my skin. Other than that, it is a beautiful product. I dedicated an article to this.

Sol de Janeiro Coco Cabana Cream (Reformulated)- I really liked the original scent, but I like the reformulated scent better. This is either less moisturizing than the original or I used it too late in the cold weather season, because it did not provide as much moisture as I would have liked. It did provide that amazing glow I love, and I smelled great bringing it. I dedicated an article to this. pH 5.5

DERMA-E Hydrating Night Cream- This rich night cream is so moisturizing and nourishing to my skin. It really feels beautifully hydrated and refreshed. When I wake up in the morning, my skin feels plump. pH 5.5

h2o+ Blushing Orange Shower & Bath Gel– This smells incredible, lathers well, rinses clean, and leaves me feeling moisturized. pH 3.5

Harvey Prince ageless exfoliating shower gel- I really love the way this smells. It did not last on my skin too long after the shower or else I would have considered purchasing this. This also claims to exfoliate, but I did not notice that. Considering it is a really small sample, it is hard to say. There was a nice lather, and it did rinse clean. pH 5.0

skinfix Foaming Oil Cleanser- I love squeaky clean skin and this delivers. It lathers incredibly well and rinses away clean with zero residue. My skin feels really soft and does not feel overly stripped after I use this. pH 4.5

Sensodyne Deep Clean- While this is not my favorite Sensodyne formula, it still beats pretty much every other toothpaste. Nothing works on my tooth sensitivity like this brand. I can switch to another brand temporarily, but I always come back to this one. pH 7.6

Anastasia Beverly Hills Clear Brow Gel- Can you believe this is the first completely empty gel to make it into an article? I finished my first one before I started blogging (also a mini). While traveling, I finished one and accidentally threw it away. Another mysteriously disappeared never to be seen again. One dried out before I could finish it. Getting through a full size is hard for me, because I do not wear makeup everyday. This one is gone. Yes, it is a mini, but it is the first one I made it all the way through since starting the blog. That means I can finally put it in my FabuFinds, and you know I will. It is still my favorite brow gel after all these years. Nothing holds them in place better.

Bath and Body Works Aromatherapy Energy Orange Ginger Gentle Foaming Hand Soap- I love the fragrance in this. The ginger and orange blend together beautifully to create something more subtle than either fragrance could do on its own. This soap lathers well and rinses clean. For the people in the house who do not moisturize after every hand wash, they say this does not dry out their hands. pH 3.5

White Barn Kitchen Lemon Gentle Foaming Hand Soap- I love the fragrance in this. While I do prefer the ginger and orange, I think anyone who loves lemons will love this. It is a little strong, but it does not smell too artificial. This soap lathers well and rinses clean. For the people in the house who do not moisturize after every hand wash, they say this does not dry out their hands. pH 3.5

White Barn Give Thanks Gentle Foaming Hand Soap- This harvest pumpkin, spiced clove, and sugar cane scented soap really smells like fall in a bottle. It’s unassuming packaging would never give you that assumption until you pump it and it is instantaneous. You feel like you are wandering through a pumpkin patch on a beautiful fall day far from you worries. Seriously, I need this every year! pH 3.5

Bath and Body Works Purrfect Pumpkin Gentle Foaming Hand Soap- This is exactly what I expected, a really sweet fragrance. It smells like pumpkin, cinnamon, and vanilla. The scents are blended together nicely, but it is a little strong. I still loved it, but it was my least favorite of all the scents we tried this year. pH 4.0

Bath and Body Works Vampire Blood Gentle Foaming Hand Soap- I bought this and the candle that matches it, because my husband loves vampires. Granted, I did quickly smell the candle in the store and thought it smelled fine. As it turns out, I love this fragrance as much as my husband. The red berries, night blooming jasmine, and petrifying plum smell amazing together. If I had to choose between this and the Give Thanks one above, I would pick this. Hopefully I do not have to choose, because I want both! pH 4.0

AHAVA Mineral Hand Cream- This is still a FabuFind. It penetrates deeply to moisturize from within. The scent is even growing on me, but it fades quickly anyway. This is a moderately thick cream does not leave behind a greasy feeling, and it makes my hands soft (which is not their usual state). pH 4.5.

Schick Hydro Silk Hydra Boost Serum Razor- I really love that I get a close shave with this razor and rarely cut myself. The serum helps with the smoothness.

Schick Hydro Silk Razor Head- This is still a FabuFind. Nothing has ever given me a closer shave with less nicks than this razor.

111Skin Rose Gold Brightening Facial Treatment Mask- I thoroughly enjoy this mask, but I would not pay $32 for it unless I was wealthy. That is a lot to pay for one sheet mask when I can get a whole pack for the same cost or less, depending on the mask. If you want to see the glow this provided my skin, I did a dedicated review. My skin felt pampered and looked brighter, but the mask would have also made me feel poor if I paid full price for it. pH 5.0

PETERTHOMASROTH Un-Wrinkle 24K Gold Intensive Wrinkle Sheet Mask- I have no clue how many treatments it would take before this mask delivers on its promise to minimize the appearance of fine lines and deep wrinkles. It definitely delivers on its promise to illuminate and hydrate. Considering that this is nowhere near as wet as some of the other masks I’ve tried, it actually surprised me how well it hydrated my skin. My skin looked so bright and felt deeply hydrated after removing it. This mask is not cut the best, and I could not get it to conform properly to my face. Around my chin, it kept lifting. As a result, my chin was not as moisturized or as illuminated as the rest of my skin.

TONYMOLY Changing U Magic Foot Peeling Shoes- These definitely peeled my feet. Though they did not peel as dramatically as they did the first time (when I did not blog about them) or as dramatically as their more expensive competitors, they got the job done. They even had the disadvantage of being expired (which I did not notice until I was putting the article together and looked at the photos I took of the packaging). Yes, I have a review article if you want to see the peeling, because that is fun (for some).

AHAVA Deadsea Water Mineral Shower Gel- This has a very light, refreshing scent. The scent reminds me of rain water. It lathers nicely and rinses clean. My skin does not feel tight or dry after using this, even on my back where I do not always moisturize the parts I cannot easily reach. pH 4.5

Luvena Daily Therapeutic Wash- This is still a FabuFind. The fragrance on this is not overly pleasant, which is funny given this is advertised as fragrance free. After trying vaginal washes that dry me out, mess with my pH, or make me feel less than clean, I keep coming back to this one. My skin does not feel dry, I always feel clean, and I stay in balance. pH 4.5

h2o+ Sea Salt Body Wash- This wash smells very fresh and clean. The lather is lovely. It rinses really clean. My skin does not feel tight, dry, or itchy. pH 5.0

Degree MOTIONsense ULTRACLEAR BLACK + WHITE INVISIBLE SOLID antiperspirant- I felt this mostly did a good job. There were only a few days where I felt it could have worked a little better to make my stink a little less. pH 3.0

Willing To Try Again

Ulta Beauty Butter Cream Cupcake Body Souffle- The thing I liked least about this was the fragrance, which is fortunate considering I bought two at the same time. My other one has a different fragrance. It does not last a full 24 hours with moisture either. Because the price is so affordable, I would be willing to reapply to particularly dry patches of skin when I use the other one I purchased or if I got this again another way. What I like about it is it feels really cool going on, so it is very refreshing. During the warmer months, it has an almost cooling effect. When you first apply it, the formula feels great. I dedicated a comparison article to this (against tarte sugar rush cake butter). pH 5.0

drybar Prep Rally Prime & Prep Detangler- I seriously do not know why I am going to give this another chance. After ordering 3 FabFitFun Winter boxes with full sizes of these, I figured I could not let all three go without seeing if the sample was not a fluke. It had a strong chemical smell that I did not enjoy at all. This did almost nothing to detangle my hair, which I need a lot of helming with. Yes, it is lightweight, but it did not help my frizz either. While I would say it is better than nothing at all, I do not think it is worth the price. However, I will try at least one of the full size bottles I got to see if my opinion changes. pH 5.5

H2o+ Grapefruit Bergamot Shower Gel- It smells nice and lathers decently well. I like it, but it is not anything I feel I must have. pH 3.5

H2o+ Natural Spring Shower & Bath Gel- It smells nice and lathers decently well. I like it, but it is not anything I feel I must have. pH 3.5

Walgreens Citrus & Herb Hand Soap- This is fine for a relatively cheap hand soap. I actually prefer it to the Dial ones and think it is about on par with the Softsoap ones. It smells nice, rinses well, and lathers well. The only place it lacks is on moisturizing. pH 5.0

Dial Vanilla Honey Hand Soap with Moisturizer- For $1, this soap is okay. There are so many soaps that are barely more than $1 that perform better, so I would not purchase this again. The lather is inconsistent. At times, one pump is enough to get a nice lather. Other times, it takes 2-3 pumps. I cannot speak to how well it moisturizes, because I always apply hand cream after every wash. It does seem thicker than a lot of soaps, so it probably adds moisture. pH 5.5

Tigi S Factor Stunning Volume Shampoo- I do feel like this helped my hair with volume and it smelled amazing (when it was paired with anything other than its awful conditioner). My frizz and fly-aways were extreme with this. It seems like in an effort to build volume, it pushes my hair up and out. That is not a pretty look for me. If I try this again, I need to pair it with something that tames the frizz and fly-aways. pH 4.5

Dessange purifying clay Balancing Shampoo- There is natural green clay in this to help soak up oil at the roots. My son gets super oily hair and his hair looked better when he started using this. For me, I did not notice any change in my roots or it helping the dryness at my ends as it promises. I would buy it again for him, and I would try it. It is unlikely I would buy it for me though.

Not For Me

Tigi S Factor Stunning Volume Conditioner- This had an unpleasant smell from the moment I opened it. I figured I just did not like it and continued to use it. It would bother me to the point I would ask others and they would agree my hair smelt stale. Trying to mask the scent did not work either, because the pungent odor just came through. The shampoo smells lovely, so I convinced myself the conditioner had gone bad. There was no way I could finish it. While I was using it, I did not enjoy it anyway. Getting product out of here was so hard. I’d squeeze and squeeze hurting my hand for so little product. Tipping it upside down did not work, because my son would return it right side up EVERY SINGLE TIME. This product was just a mess all the way around. Glad to be getting rid of it. pH 4.0

Lubriderm Daily Moisture Lotion Normal to Dry Skin- The only reason these are ranked so low is the price my husband paid for them. On two different business trips, he forgot to pack lotion. He chose this dud at the respective airports paying (according to the price tags on the back) $6.49 and $6.59 each. You can get the giant bottles for less than that, and I do not think the giant bottles are worth it. This is a very watery formula. Had he paid this price for the giant ones, I would have bumped them up. Because he paid that much for the tiny ones, down here they went. He does not use lotion often, so I finished these bottles of weak lotion. pH 5.8

Lime Crime Unicorn Hair Semi-Permanent Hair Color Tint Oyster- I was really excited for this tint. Purple and silver would have looked really cool mixed in with my hair. It did not work with my natural hair or over bleached hair. If you want to read about my failed process, I documented it. pH 3.5.

What do you think about my Fall 2019 Empties? Let me know below. See all Finished Products articles. Subscribe to the blog to get updates on all posts. View my main page for the guide map to the site and deeper deal exploration.




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I'm Kimberly. Shopping is always more fun when I've found the best deal available, so I am always on the hunt. My father instilled that in me, and I love that I carry a piece of him. Sometimes, my husband and sons (12 and 7) let me shop for them, too. They do not use as many beauty products as I do. We can all benefit from nice products, even though their routine ends with moisturizer. That is when I can convince my 12-year-old to apply it.

Deal or No Deal? What Do You Think?

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