After I review my Empty Products, I take extra time to go over the standouts. It is a round-up for the best of the best. Only products that seem like they’re made for me make FabuFind status, so there are a lot of items I love that never make it. These are items I would repurchase, even without a deal. Items I am loving but cannot finish any time soon make it into my Core Collection (favorites). To eventually spotlight all FabuFinds, I will never repeat items already mentioned in a past article. That does not mean they lost their magic. An item not spotlighted in a past Empties article may get promoted as I try it more and fall deeper in love. If something gets demoted from FabuFind status (formula changes, skin changes, finding something better, etc), I will note the change in the original article I mentioned it in. There are five products I consider FabuFinds in my Summer 2019 Empties that I have not discussed yet.
It’s time to review my empty products from Summer 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). Empties from my June 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.
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.
The Laundress Signature Detergent – I know this is a household item, but I got it in a FabFitFun sale I covered. It has a great scent and gets my clothes clean. This is not something I would purchase at full price though. Yes, it worked well, but so does Tide. pH 7.6
Biore Witch Hazel ULTRA Deep Cleansing Pore Strip – I do not really get blackheads, so I had my 12-year-old do the honor of testing this. It removed a pretty good amount.
BECCA Shimmering Skin Perfector Liquid Opal – While I do love this enough to finish it, I used the tube to make another product. The product I created adds a lot more texture than this does, so I prefer the way the original performs. It gives me a glow that is dewy and ethereal. This shade is a little dark for me, otherwise this would have made FabuFind status. pH 5.5
Original Sprout Hair & Body Babywash – This is still a FabuFind. I used it a little more than I usually do this season and really think it is great. 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
Nature Box Body Wash coconut oil hydrated skin – It lathers well, rinses clean, and smells incredible. There is a slight coconut fragrance, but it is mostly just really fresh. Even though it has 100% cold pressed oil, I still apply a body moisturizer (as I do with all washes). pH 5.5
Ulta Beauty Collection 4-way Buffer- It lived a great life and worked nicely while it was alive. I killed side three when I opened a drawer and it was stuck. That’s what I get for overfilled drawers. Now, it can live on in retirement. This could double as a stress reliever, because there is a slight amount of give.
Briogeo Farewell Frizz™ Rosarco Milk Leave-In Conditioning Spray – This conditions well for such a light weight leave-in. It detangles really well, too. My hair gets everything it needs from this, moisture, frizz reduction, and less pulling. pH 4.0
Gold Bond healing hand cream – This feels almost the same as the general one. While I would purchase the mini for my purse, I would stick to the body lotion for my hands and body at home. It is cheaper that way. They both provide almost the same level of deep moisturization. pH 5.0
Lancome Tonique Confort – This is still a FabuFind. It is a dense toner that gives my skin a great, hydrated base to apply products on top. pH 6.0
Biore Deep Cleansing Charcoal Pore Strip – My husband used this the same time my son used the Witch Hazel strip to see who could get more out. Well, my husband won, so this is the one we’ll keep purchasing between the two.
Kiehl’s Creme de Corps – This lightweight moisturizer really hydrates deep within. It does not feel greasy, but it does not completely absorb either (which I love in a lotion). ph 5.0
Softsoap milk & golden honey Moisturizing Hand Soap – This cleans well and lathers nicely. For the price, it is a nice hand soap. There is not much scent to this for those who prefer that. pH 4.5
BECCA Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed Champagne Pop – This is a great shade for my skin tone. I love what the powder does. It gives me a dewy, lit from within, wet look. If I used this the traditional way, it would make FabFuFind status. Since I used this in a project that did not work as well, I will wait.
Sol de Janeiro Brazilian Bum Bum Cream – This smells like butter cookies, which would almost be enough on its own to scream, “buy it.” However, the sparkle is the main draw. There is an imperceptible to the naked eye glitter that glistens when the light hits it just right. We can all look human most of the time, but channel our inner goddess when this highlights our skin. It is not moisturizing enough in cold weather but is otherwise perfect. pH 4.0
Sol de Janeiro Coco Cabana Cream – This smells like kettle corn. I would not rush out and buy it on scent alone. Despite being the thinnest lotion in the Sol de Janeiro line, it moisturizes the best. If you like the scent and you like to glow (because you glow with this as well), this is the one for you. pH 5.0
Josie Maran Argan Sugar Balm Body Scrub Sweet Apple Cider – The body butter in this fragrance smelled awful, but this scrub actually smelled good. How Josie Maran can market one fragrance and get it so right in one product and so wrong in another is beyond me. This gives nice exfoliation that is not too rough or too gentle. Skin is left feeling very soft. pH 4.5
First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream – This is still a FabuFind. I haven’t tried this on my face yet, but I love it on my body. It is pricy, and I am notoriously cheap with body products. My skin feels so hydrated, and it really lasts. Although this is better than its drugstore dupe, I will usually purchase that over this when there are no kits or sales on this. pH 5.5
CeraVe Hydrating Cleansing Bar – My son loves this soap. While I do not love it as much as he does, it does leave less of a film on my skin than any bar soap I’ve ever tried. It also feels moisturizing. pH 4.5
Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed in Rose Gold – This is not the best shade for my skin tone, but I do like it with a light hand. I love what the powder does. It gives me a dewy, lit from within, wet look. Since I used this in a project that did not work as well, I did get a shade that matched me a little better.
Palmer’s Coco Butter Formula Intensive Relief Hand Cream – This is a very rich hand cream, which I love. You need so little product that it is nearly impossible to squeeze out the proper amount. pH 6.2
-Pedicure Buffer – If I had the faintest clue who sells this, I would sings its praises. I cannot remember when or where I purchased it from. It works well though. I’ll pick a new one up from the drugstore and see how it compares.
Exuviance Triple Microdermabrasion – I am already in love with Kate Somerville Exfolikate and dr. brandt Microdermabrasion. This competes well with both and smells better than both. It has a light, citrus scent. My skin feels so soft afterward, and it is so gentle. pH 3.5
h2o+ Raspberry Guava Shower & Bath Gel – This smells incredible, lathers well, rinses clean, and leaves me feeling moisturized. pH 2.0
Softsoap Soothing Aloe Vera – This cleans well and lathers nicely. For the price, it is a nice hand soap. There is not much scent to this for those who prefer that. pH 5.0
it’s a 10 miracle leave-in plus Keratin – It detangles beautifully. My hair feels more moisturized when I use this, too. pH 5.0
HEMPZ Age Defying Renewing Herbal Body Wash – This is a rich, moisturizing body wash that takes a lot of product. If it did not take so much, I would buy it. pH 4.5
h2o+ Sparkling Currant Shower & Bath Gel – This smells lovely (Raspberry Guava smells better), lathers well, rinses clean, and leaves me feeling moisturized. pH 3.5
Vitabath Spa Day Lavender Chamomile Body Wash – This is a thin, but it takes a lot of product. I find the lavender scent very relaxing. If it did not take so much, I would but it. pH 5.0
Willing to Try Again
e.l.f. Volumizing & Defining Mascara – This lacks on the volume, but it does a great job on the defining. My lashes are separated and not clumpy at all. If you want a natural look, this is a great mascara of that. pH 5.5
Olay Active Botanicals Moisturizing Day Lotion – The scent is very strong. I also wish it was a little thicker. Summer was the only season where it provided enough moisture for my skin. pH 5.0
Sephora Quick-Fix Hair Tie – These never leave much indent in my hair (although it has happened). I like that they fit my wrist nicely (other than the ones with prints that are a little tight and never really loosen). They look as nice on my wrist as they do in my hair. It does appear I am losing more hair than usual. If I find out this hair tie is the reason, I will demote it.
Lancome Monsieur Big Mascara – When I apply one coat, I like this mascara. It does make my lashes look bigger. If I apply a second coat, they start clumping together no matter how careful I am. My lashes typically look longer with two coats, so I prefer other mascaras. pH 3.5
hello extra whitening fluoride toothpaste – I just prefer Sensodyne, but this was fine. There was no added sensitivity, but my teeth did not get whiter either. pH 7.6
Manna Kadar relax Sea Minerals Renewing Hand Lotion – There is just no substance to this hand lotion. It is really thin and it absorbs completely (which I dislike). I am also not a huge fan of the strong fragrance. The only reason it is here and not lower is I purchased three without knowing if they were good. This was my first, so I still have two left. Not bashing it too much might give me the motivation for finish it. If I still feel this way when I am all done, expect to see a demotion. pH 5.0
HASK Charcoal Purifying Conditioner – I prefer the shampoo, but I did like this. My hair did not feel as soft with this as it does with a mask, so I could not pair it with the clarifying shampoo. It did seem to work fine with a regular shampoo, even though it did not help much with tangles. pH 6.0
yes to Grapefruit Correct & Repair brightening Facial Wipes – These dried out after I used only 1 wipe. I cannot even remember what I thought of it. Since then, I rewet a few to remove swatches. The pack started smelling bad, so I threw most of them out. It could have been a faulty pack or user error, so I would test these again. pH 5.0
Milk Makeup Kush High Volume Mascara – It has fibers that catch onto the ends of lashes making them look a lot longer. My eyes never get irritated with this from fibers falling into them, which is my main fear of fiber mascaras. Even when I layer this, my lashes do not get clumpy. Granted, I always stick to one or two coats, so brave souls who venture into a third coat might find a different outcome. This mascara also gives a slight curl to my straight lashes. It looks even better if I curl my lashes, which I usually don’t. Why curl them when they will fall in 30 minutes? It just adds an extra, unnecessary step. With this, it is worth it. The brush on this sample is amazing. I can get every lash easily in two quick passes. It does smudge every time I wear it, and I also get some flaking. If it wasn’t for the flaking and smudging, this would have been a contender for my favorite. Until it starts to break down, it looks amazing though. pH 5.0
Garnier SkinActive Clearly Brighter Brightening & Smoothing Daily Moisturizer – I could not use this in fall or winter, because it left my skin feeling parched. It fared much better in spring and summer. There is a nice SPF, so I like the added sun protection. pH 3.5
Not For Me
Dial Cherry Blossom Moisturizing Hand Soap – I made the mistake of buying three of these based on how I feel about similar scents from this line. This one was overpowering to the point where it was uncomfortable to use it. My husband refused to use it at all, so we had two soaps on the sink to even get through it. The worst part is it did not even lather with one pump every time, so I would use two pumps. Double the pump, double the fragrance. pH 4.0
Delectable ultra nourishing Hand Cream lemon & cream – The cream itself is wonderful. It has a nice, hydrating formula. This is rich and does not completely absorb, which I love. I could not get over the scent though. There is a stale odor. At first, I thought it went bad before I opened it. Then, I checked reviews. Seems like this scent is just a miss in the otherwise impressive line. pH 4.5
What do you think about my Summer 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.
Almost everyone seems to love Sol de Janeiro Brazilian Bum Bum Cream, but I wanted to compare the popular cream to others within its own line. How does the Bum Bum Cream compare to the Acai Body Power Cream, and the Coco Cabana Cream? I’m confident that most people (who like to sparkle) will love at least one of the creams. So, I want to go over what makes them similar, what makes them different, and what makes them worth the splurge? At $45 for 8.1oz, these body creams cost a whopping $5.56 an ounce. That is extremely expensive for a body product, so why do we spend that much?
A question I’ve seen since the launch of tarte sugar rush Cake Butter regards whether it is a dupe for the Sol de Janeiro Brazilian Bum Bum Cream. At $23 for the newcomer, many hoped it could dethrone the $45 cult classic. After all, who doesn’t like to save money. I am going to review both the tarte sugar rush Cake Butter and the Sol de Janeiro Brazilian Bum Bum Cream, so you can see the similarities and the differences. For those who have never purchased either and are trying to decide which to splurge on (let’s face it, they are both a splurge), I will make sure I hit every aspect. After all, a pro to some is a con to others.
To see what this winner received or enter the next giveaway, view the new article.
I want to host a giveaway to re-home some of my duplicate products. There are four full-size items and a mini product in this giveaway. The full-size items are: COOLA Makeup Setting Spray ($36), QUAY Cherry Bomb Sunglasses ($55), Too Faced Tutti Fruitti Twinkle Twinkle Liquid Glitter Eye Shadow Strawberries & Champagne ($22), and tarte Sugar Rush preppy Precision Eyeliner ($15). My mini is the Sol de Janeiro Brazilian Bum Bum Cream ($20).
My Summer 2019 FabFitFun subscription box review is ready! FabFitFun is a quarterly subscription that releases one box per season. Boxes have over $200 in value. The items are always full-sized and include products from: beauty, wellness, fashion, and fitness lines. Subscribers can either pay $179.99 for an annual subscription ($20 off when buying 4 boxes up front) or $49.99 for a Seasonal subscription. Shipping is free, but sales tax gets charged (in certain states). There is usually a code to receive $10 off your first seasonal box. Those codes are fffa2p6 and FAB10. Members can select add-ons at deeply discounted prices to include with their boxes. All subscribers get to customize some choice options, but Annual Subscribers (select members) get extra choices.
Welcome to the place where I like to discuss my favorites from each season that I did not finish. Anything I’ve finished this season made it into my Empties article. Items I am still in love with as I empty them become FabuFinds. While I cannot promise I will ever finish these (some products expire before I can empty them) and I cannot promise I will still love them enough to label them as FabuFinds upon completion, I loved them throughout this season. These are items I reached for many times even though I have plenty of similar items in my stash collecting dust. Many of these items are serious contenders for my Top 10 of the Year. There were seven items I reached for constantly this summer.
Sephora Play! is a subscription box that offers five deluxe beauty samples and a bonus foil packet or perfume vial for $10 a month plus tax. Shipping is free. Only items sold at Sephora come inside the box so most items are from well-known, high-end brands. While Sephora does carry a few low-end and luxury brands, they do not really appear in the subscription boxes. There is not a traditional rewards program with this box so you cannot get points for referring friends or writing reviews. It does award 10 Beauty Insider points and applies $10 toward your purchase minimum to maintain your Beauty Insider status. Visit my Sephora page for descriptions on points and status. The $10 charge processes immediately for new subscribers and from the 1st through the 4th for succeeding months. Boxes usually ship from the 11th through the 15th.
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.
I received my Sample bag and wanted to go over the contents while it is still available for those considering it. The promo code WATERWORKS gives a 12-piece sample bag with a $35 purchase. It is also available in store, but you will need to show a picture of the promo to the sales associate. The Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel is deluxe sized, and the other 11 items are foils. This bag coincides with the 2x points event on skincare at Sephora. Ulta also celebrates skin in January with the Love Your Skin Event. If you happen upon this article after this offer expires, I keep a general listing of Sephora sample bags.
Sephora is getting into the Olympic spirit with its current promotion. It picked five samples for its Summertime Shake-Up it considers as good as gold. The first two did not make the medal round, because only three of the five samples were still available by the time I received the email. Thankfully, the missing two were the Coola and the Atelier, both of which I already own. I guess only three can get medals anyway. By the time I received my order, the tarte was out-of-stock, so I guess it gets the gold. I have a feeling the item I selected will get the bronze, which works out perfectly for a bronzy summer. Use code TROPICAL to redeem one of the two remaining samples: a 0.6oz Sol de Janeiro Brazilian Bum Bum Cream or a 0.15oz Culture Scent and Shine Coconut Oil with a $25 purchase.