Trash Talk Tuesday: 2016 Empties a.k.a. Products I Used Up Last Year

I’ve been meaning to get around to this post since the end of December, but my course load has been pretty intense this semester.

Read on for mini reviews of the products I finished (but didn’t necessarily start) last year:


NYX First Base Primer Spray
A primer spray sounded like the perfect solution for my laziness regarding ever using a primer, but my foundation didn’t seem to apply or wear any differently while using this product (or any primer I’ve ever tried.)

NYX Dewy Finish Setting Spray
I’ve been using this in conjunction with a matte setting powder, the combination of which results in a very skin like finish. Because no one likes a cake face.

Real Techniques Complexion Sponge
This cost effective alternative to the BeautyBlender is a great little tool for pressing foundation into skin, rather than dragging it across the surface like brushes can. This one developed a little tear, which can harbor bacteria, so I have to throw it out.

NYX Lashgasm Mascara My eyelashes are naturally curled and quite long, but I like mascara to add a bit of volume. This product did absolut  nothing for my lashes. I’m not too mad at it, since it came as a freebie in a palette.

NYX Hi Definition Photogenic Concealer Wand
Everyone and their mom seems to love this concealer, and it isn’t a bad product. It’s pretty full coverage and is blendable enough, but it doesn’t do a damn thing for
Milani Power Lip in Macaroon
I have so, so many lip products that I pretty much never finish one, which is a true testament to how great this one is. Not only is the Power Lip formula comfortable as well as staining, but Macaron is the perfect MLBB shade for my light-medium skin tone. It’s a slightly brighter pink than my actual lips, which is super flattering without that obvious I’m wearing lipstick look. It pairs perfectly with everything from a smoky eye to the (almost) “no makeup” makeup I throw on before a morning class.


Valentia Royal Rose Hydrating Serum

CeraVe Extra Gentle Makeup Removing Cleansing Cloths
If these are supposed to be extra gentle, I would be afraid to try the regular ones. These sting so badly I only finished the pack out of desperation.

Burt’s Bees Sensitive Facial Cleansing Towelettes
I finished several packs of these, my holy grail makeup removing wipes. If you have sensitive skin like mine, these cloths might actually change your life.

Pacifica Micellar Cleansing Water
Amidst the hype surrounding Caudalie and Bioderma, I’ve been searching for a cruelty free cleansing water for years. I’m stoked to have discovered this one from so widely available a cruelty free (and vegan) company as Pacifica.


Gud Body Wash
I don’t have any strong feelings about this. Like, it smelled kind of nice and didn’t bother my skin.

Body Shop Body Polish
This is my go to for pre-shaving. It’s gentle enough to use every day, as a light exfoliant.

Body Shop Body Butter
I’ve been using this product on and off for at least a decade. These days I prefer Jergens Natural Glow on my legs to compensate for my vampire like lifestyle, but I still use the Body Butter to moisturize the thicker skin on my feet. (Also, Natural Glow turned my toenails yellow. True story: I legit thought I had like scurvy or some kind of vitamin d deficiency.)

*and dental (because where else would toothpaste go?)

Tom’s of Maine Wicked Fresh Fluoride Toothpaste
It’s hard to find a good cruelty free toothpaste, since a lot of them are too natural and don’t really do anything. After using a fluoride-free Tom’s toothpaste for a while, I noticed my teeth looking a bit yellow and switched to this one. Fluoride is important for healthy, clean looking teeth. Tom’s has toothpaste options with fluoride for those of us who are cruelty free but don’t live in a yurt with hairy armpits and yellow teeth.


John Frieda Frizz-Ease Secret Weapon Finishing Creme
This cream is indeed a secret weapon. I mostly use it to (try to) smooth the plethora of ridiculous baby hairs/flyaways that stick up like little horns when I wear my hair pulled back/up.

Macadamia Natural Oil Deep Repair Masque
This is something of a cult classic, and for good reason.

Living Proof Perfect Hair Day Dry Shampoo
This is probably the best dry shampoo I’ve tried, to date. It’s effective at soaking up my oils (or whatev; I’m not sure how dry shampoo actually works) and doesn’t leave a white cast.

Redken Curvaceous CCC Spray
Boasting climate control care and curl memory complex, this spray gel gives definition without making my hair look wet. Because the only thing worse than hard, crunchy curls are limp, soggy curls. It does seem to keep the humidity induced poofiness at bay. (Florida’s so hot you actually catch fire, but the humidity puts you out instantaneously.)

Renpure Cleansing Conditioner
I required upwards of thirty two pumps (triple the ten to twelve recommended on the label) per use in order for my hair to feel adequately cleansed and conditioned. Granted, I do have kind of a lot of hair but surely not enough to warrant the need for that much product use.
I forced myself to use this several cleanses in a row, in case there might have been some kind of adjusting period, but it never got any better.
That said, my hair actually looked pretty good immediately after using this product. By the third (or even second) day, however, my hair became oily on top and frizzy everywhere else. It’s conceivable this product might potentially work for someone who has healthy hair and a dry scalp.

Have you tried any of these products I used up in 2016?
Do y’all enjoy empties posts, or have I been hoarding my trash for no good reason?
Please share your lovely thoughts in the comments below.


*This post contains affiliate links, which let me earn a small percentage of the purchase price but don’t cost you anything extra. (If you’re not cool with this, simply don’t shop through the links.)

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