It’s time to review my empty products from Winter 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. These are the items I finished during the winter of 2019. 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). Empties from my December and February Foil Challenge are not here, because I wanted to avoid redundancy. 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.
After realizing the First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream and the CeraVe Moisturizing Cream looked similar, felt similar, and performed similar, I knew I needed to review them together. Are they dupes? Everyday, I applied the First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream to the right side of my body, and the CeraVe Moisturizing Cream to the left side of my body. I got this idea from my foil challenge, because the foils do not always have enough product to cover the area I am testing. Whenever that happens, I use my regular product to finish the job.
It is always easier to spot direct differences when you are using the products at the same time. After one week of wearing them both at the same time, I knew I was ready to compare them. This review is a comparison for how they perform on my body. If you are looking for a comparison of how they perform on the face, I found this video. Though the skin on my face is very dry, the pores get clogged easily leading to acne. Unless a product claims it is a facial moisturizer, I do not want to place it on my face. Everyone has different skin, so only you can decide if you want to risk trying CeraVe on your face.
Want to know the pH of products? At the end of each season, I will conduct pH (Potential Hydrogen) tests on all empty products that still have liquid in them and compile a master list here. The pH of each product will also appear behind the review of each empty article the product appears in. Type the product name into the search bar to find the corresponding article for the review. It is possible I will occasionally test products that are not yet empty. Place your testing request in the comments. I will test it if it is a product I own, and it is already opened. Opening and/or purchasing a product just to test it is not something I will usually do, because the expiration countdown starts the moment the product opens.
After I review my Empty Products, I like to take a little extra time to go over the standouts. These FabuFinds are products I love so much they seem like they’re made for me. They are items I would repurchase, even without a deal. Items I am loving but cannot finish any time soon make it into Deal Discoveries. To eventually spotlight all of my FabuFinds, I will never repeat items already mentioned in a past article. That does not mean they lost their magic. It is also possible an item not spotlighted in a past Empties article may get promoted as I try it more and fall deeper in love. There are 22 products I consider FabuFinds in my November 2016 – January 2018 Empties that I have not discussed yet.
I cannot believe how quickly time has passed since I last reviewed my empty products. This has been hard time with a lot of loss so my mindset was not focused on beauty as much as it usually is. During 2017, I barely ever wore makeup, although I continued to collect some for the day I once again had the desire to spend quality time getting ready. Since this was a year of bare minimum pampering (other than moisturizers, which I consider a necessity), I have a lot less than I usually would. It is still important that I tell you what I thought of the items I finished and saved (as I spent a lot of time between two houses and hotels this year so I did not save all of my empties). My ex also started throwing things away after we separated when he used to save the items we both used when we were still together.
I still miss my Dad every single day, and while I doubt I will ever get over the abandonment I feel from my ex, I am ready to resume blogging. Of course, I may need some time to really get back into the swing of things, so please bear with me if it takes a while. My goal is to resume regular blogging by January.
Ulta Kits (featuring products from other brands) are typically only released for major events, like The Love Your Skin Event that runs 01/07/18 through 01/27/18. There are 5 new kits discussed in detail inside the above article on that. For 2018, I am not writing a separate article for kits. All kits will go into articles for their corresponding event. Kits I purchase will get a dedicated article of their own. If you are looking for kits for a specific event (21 Days of Beauty, Gorgeous Hair, etc), type the year and event into the search bar. The article with the kits and all other information on the event should pop up.
I track all Ulta offers. Major promotions usually include at least one Sampler or Try Me kit curated by Ulta. Some events get multiples and there are times when an event does not get any. It is uncommon to see these kits outside an event, other than just before it starts or shortly after it ends. When I cover the events (in separate articles that I will link below), I will update details on new kits in this article. If a kit pops up outside of an event, and I notice it, I will list it below. These kits are almost always deluxe-sized items, but some drugstore brands include full-sizes. Although I have never seen a full-sized prestige brand in a kit, anything is possible. The size of the item is always specified in the product description, so you know what to expect.
Most kits have a value that is a lot higher than the retail price, but I suggest calculating personal value before purchasing any kit. It is not worth it if you are spending more than the value for the items you want to try, unless you are buying it with gifting in mind. Personal value is what the items you will actually use/try are worth, which excludes the ones you give or throw away. Even if you hate them, you get the value when you try them. You would not know you hated it if you did not try it, and there are not a lot of people you can give used items to. If I purchase any of these kits, I will link my review near the product description. Otherwise, I will usually not suggest getting them or not. I’d love to read reviews from people whether I purchase one or not, so feel free to comment that information below.
See Platinum GWP Bag Offers for 2018.
View detailed instructions on Earning and Redeeming Points at Ulta.
The Fall 21 Days of Beauty is in full swing. Read my overview for tips on the sale. Ulta offered a 24 piece Beauty Bag as a Platinum Perk with a $125 purchase. This is not a common offer during a major promotion, like the Days of Beauty. These monster bags are more common when Ulta actually needs to push us into an order. There is no expiration date listed on this offer, so it is available while supplies last. I had a few (dreaded full price) items I’ve been waiting to purchase. Since I wanted to get this bag, I decided to get them with some steals I was going to get anyway. It also helps that I redeemed 2000 points for a $125 credit, so I did not pay full price on anything.
See recent 10x points events.
The 2017 event took place on 08/21/17. A special mini 10x points event took place in early November 2017.
See General 2018 Beauty Bag Offers.
Every year Platinum members at Ulta get a one day event where select items are available for 10x points. Yes, this combines with any other multipliers you may have. Read my Ulta page for the rules on combining multipliers (if you’re lucky enough to have more than one). This event is always at the end of August and has not included every item sold at Ulta since 2014. In 2015, the event only included select items. It landed on Monday, August 24th. Ulta is on central time, so it officially started 08/23/15 at 10pm PST.
There is a dedicated link this year for the promotion, so no one has to wait for their email in the morning or play hours of trial and error to see which items get 10x points. The event offers free shipping and although it was not actually working in the early hours of the sale, I noticed it started working around 10am PST.
When the new month starts, I toss everything I finished the previous month. I give a mini review of each item. Items I love are usually repurchased, so some of them appear in the Empties Series a lot. If I like or am indifferent to an item, I will not rush out to repurchase, but I would be willing to use or try it again. Items that are not for me may not always be empty. Generally, I finish them but do not use them again in the future. If they’re really awful and new samples find their way to me, I give them to someone else unopened. For items I really love, I do a separate product spotlight to discuss them in more detail.
When it comes to shopping, I love benefits. Beauty.com and Drugstore.com not only offer rewards, but they share a cart. That means I can purchase from both sides of the store in one order with just a simple click of the mouse to switch sites. It makes hitting the $35 free shipping minimum a lot easier. Having a $35 shipping minimum is already lower than most stores, but I can add a cheap item from the Drugstore.com side when you Beauty.com side is a little short of $35.
If you purchase one item from the Beauty.com side, you also get to select three beauty samples. There are times when I add a Beauty.com item to a Drugstore.com order when I want the samples. I’ve placed a lot of orders from Beauty.com, and can almost assure you that you will get the samples you order. Unlike some stores, I’ve never received substitutes. If the samples arrive, they will be what you ordered. You get 5% back on everything you buy rewarded as a store credit every quarter. They give you the first month of every quarter to redeem your rewards earned from the previous quarter meaning I had from 04/01/15 through 04/30/15 to redeem the rewards I earned from 01/01/15-03/31/15. Every quarter resets.