April Empties

April is over?? Wow, that felt like a crazy fast month! I have been collecting all my used up products as usual, and was surprised to see I used so many again over the last four weeks.  I think this is mostly do to with me having so many sample sized items, and us having gone one two little trips in April.  I did end up finishing several things I have had on the go for ages though, and that is always both exciting and sad.

This month was much better in terms of products that could be recycled, and I am also slowly getting through the remainder of my plastic packaged items which makes me excited -- one step closer to finally starting fresh on my zero/minimal waste goal.  Out of 24 empties, 5 did not have recycling symbols on them (some due to having plastic seals inside of the foil packet, and one due the colour) -- these were the John Masters Organics sachet, Kimberly Sayer sachets, and Inika pump.

I honestly did not have a single product in April that I fully disliked, so I was not able to single out a least favourite this month.  There were some that I enjoyed less than others, but each had enough pluses to keep them from being fully frowned upon.  For example, the

John Masters Organics Body Milk (10ml): I have used JMO's shampoo for a while now, but have not really tried out any of their body care range.  When I got this sample as a freebie in an order I was thrilled to try it out.  The Geranium and Grapefruit scent was lovely and uplifting, and the consistency itself was actually pretty good.  I am not usually a lover of straightforward body lotions as I find them a bit wet and not as nourishing as I would like, but this one was thicker and did the trick.  I would definitely be up for trying this again to see if a full size is in order.

Esse Gel Cleanser (5ml): I have mentioned this cleanser several times before in empties posts (March, Jan 1, Jan 2) and have expressed my love for it pretty strongly I think.  It is definitely one of the best cleansers I have tried, and as I have said before, once my samples are used up (I think I only have two more!) I will be buying a full size bottle.  I love the smell (slightly of peppermint), how smooth it applies, how little you need to use, and the effect it has had on my skin.  My hormonal spots have been kept under control since starting to use this regularly, and I can't imagine switching.

Kimberly Sayer Light Cleansing Lotion (1.5ml x3): I was really unsure as to what this item was at first if I am perfectly honest, as I could not tell if it was a face wash or a lotion.  After a quick check online I found out it is indeed a cleanser!  The consistency is really thin and light, almost watery, although this might have been due to the product being in a sachet rather than the intended pump.  Even the scent of it was very minimal, which made me confident it would be good for my semi-sensitive skin.  I think I will have to try a little more of this before I give a final verdict, but from the 4.5ml I used (so 3 applications) it seems good.

Native Unearthed Coconut Vanilla Deodorant (30ml): This was the first natural deodorant I tried out, so it will always hold a special place in my mind.  It was my 'gateway deo' if you will.  The consistency is a little grainy, so in colder temperatures it can be a little uncomfortable when you first apply it, but once it melts fully it is not noticeable.  I really like the smell, and the staying power is impressive.  For me, it lasts all day, but if you are someone who perspires a lot, you may need to reapply.  I also love that even the sample comes in a glass pot -- the less plastic the better in my opinion.  I have several deos to get through at the moment (you will see why in an upcoming post!), but may consider rebuying this once those are finished as this jar lasts ages and it is very effective.

MOA Green Balm (15ml): I love MOA - anything they make I will buy, as I know it will be exceptional.  The green balm is the second product from MOA I ever tried, and I was so impressed by just how many uses it has.  Cuts and scrapes, makeup remover, cleansing, cuticles.. You name it, the green balm probably can fix it.  I have a full size pot on deck waiting to be opened, and will continue to buy in the future as well. You can read a more in depth look here.

Trilogy Everything Balm (18ml): I really wanted to love this, as I enjoy the other Trilogy items I have tried in the past, but this one I just couldn't get that into.  The smell is okay - a little earthier than I was expecting and not as fragrantly of rose as the other skincare products.  The texture is smooth but a bit thick, and I just could not figure out what was the best use.  It did not work for my lips, and it made the skin on my hands start to get a bit congested.  In the end I found it best for my elbows and knees.  There is a chance this is an old formula, as I know the packaging has entirely changed since I bought this, so maybe the new one is more effective.  As it is, this is an okay balm, but I have to be honest and say there are so many others out there I would buy first.

Trilogy Vital Moisturizing Cream (20ml): Like the majority of other Trilogy products I have tested, I liked this! The smell of rose was calming and not too strong, and the cream itself was smooth, not too thick, and absorbed into my face really quickly so I was not left with that weird white sheen.  The moisturizer was really hydrating and did not make my skin get congested and spotty which is what a lot of other creams do.  This is on my list of things to revisit once I have gotten through my stash.

Weleda Pomegranate Body Lotion (20ml): Lovely smell, though a bit sweet, but like I mentioned above I am not super keen on typical body lotions.  This was a little thin and wet for my liking, and took a while to fully sink into my skin.  I like using balms/butters/lotions/oils after my shower, but I had to wait a minimum of five minutes to get dressed after using this otherwise it got all over my clothes.  Will probably pass on this and go for something thicker instead.

Bloomtown Botanicals Soap (12g): I have recently fallen in love with charcoal based soaps, but always feel slightly guilty for using materials whose sustainability is questionable (more on the eco-friendly status of charcoal another time perhaps!).  That is why I was really excited to try Bloomtown's "The Clearing" mini soap that uses black clay as a natural detoxifying substance instead of the ingredient du jour.  While this soap did not have the exfoliating action I was expecting, it was really nice both in smell and feel.  It helped keep my skin clear thanks to the anti-bacterial essential oils such as tea tree, and left me feeling fresh and clean.  This tiny bar lasted about a week for me, so I think the full size one would be a great investment once I have used up some of my stash.

Badger Balm Lip Balm (.15oz): Not so keen on this one.  I usually love Badger Balm products, but the lavender and orange version of this lip balm was just slightly too much for me.  I ended up using this more of a pulse point product before bed rather than a lip balm as I did not find the consistency or smell working for me on my mouth.  It wasn't as moisturizing for my lips as previous ones I have used, so think I will skip this version in the future and use the other fab products Badger Balm offers instead.

Jersey Shore Cosmetics Lip Conditioner (.15oz):  I recieved the Mandarin Green Orange and Ginger lip conditioner from Jersey Shore Cosmetics in an Ipsy bag last year, and it was one of many natural products I got from the subscription service.  Yes, Ipsy is a major rival to Birchbox, a beauty box that is not known for including nontoxic/cruelty free items, but I was pleasantly surprised by just how many indie brands and green beauty brands were included in these cute little bags.  I finally opened this balm up a few months ago, and I instantly loved everything about it.  No harsh ingredients, no phenoxyethonal (yay!), fully organic, and 100% natural -- sold.  The lip balm is so silky and instantly feels hydrating.  It takes a little bit to set, but it smells so good that I do not mind that at all.  I would love to get another tube of this, but first have to use up all my other lip products!

Of these, I went through the Bloomtown Botanics "The Clearing" soap the fastest, but as it was a tiny sample, that was not surprising or unexpected.  The MOA green balm, Native Unearthed deodorant, and Badger Balm lip balm on the other hand lasted me months and months and months -- you can see the wear on some of the labels from how much I used them! For the most part I was really pleased with everything, and would be happy to rebuy most.

Rawganic Wipes (25): I have raved about Rawganic before, and will continue to do so!  I love these as a quick and easy way to remove makeup, cleanse, and hydrate - it is an effective all in one wipe, and one that I can't criticize in any way.  Made from 100% organic cotton and all natural ingredients, these are just lovely and refreshing all-round.  My only wish is that they did larger packs, or at least offered a refill option, as I do feel guilty since the packaging is plastic. Please please please make this happen Rawganic -- would be so wonderful!

Inika Face Oil (15ml): I have already finished one of these bottles, and I have the same thoughts now as I did then.  I love Inika - their makeup is next level amazing - but I will be rethinking their skincare in the future for a few reasons.  The first being that oils should not be kept in plastic bottles.  This seems like a really cheap product, when in all actuality it should be fairly luxury knowing the Inika name.  Also, when plastic packaging is used, it should be recyclable!  Since this is black, the bottle cannot be recycled and goes straight to landfill.  I have to wonder why in the world Inika made these decisions.  Also, the oil itself is not my favourite.  I love rosehip, but this one just seems a bit thick and heavy, so while it might be great for really dry or more mature skin, it does not suit me very well.  I used it for my own bath oil concoctions rather than on my face.

PHB Facial Tonic (100ml):  I did a full review of PHB's facial tonic range a while back, and this is sort of an update on my initial thoughts.  While I love the scent, the all natural ingredient list, and the brand itself, my skin really did not get on with this long term.  The essential oils were a little too potent and my skin ended up reacting.  I did find that diluting with water on a (reusable) cotton round really helped, but I was always a bit nervous that my skin would go red and hot again.  That being said, I did find it got me thinking of creative ways to help use it, and dry face masks, baths, and in my hair came top of that imaginative list!  Will I buy this again?  Possibly, but not as my main toner.  This is better suited to those without sensitive skin.

Aromatherapy Associates Bath/Shower Oil (55ml): I have so many AA oils as I went into my 'all of the things' mindset that I sometimes fall into once finding one product I like.  I had discovered the tonic and cleanser, both of which I had never used before in my life, and then decided I needed everything they made.  The one we just finished is Deep Relax, and while there are some things I love about it,  I'm also unsure about these oils for two reasons: cruelty free status and hydration quality.  While the smell itself is powerful and everything I want from a relaxing bath oil, the hydration my skin got was a little lacking.  I found myself still having to put on a body cream afterwards, or adding a small amount of carrier oil to the bath after the fact.  For the price tag, this is not something I should have to do.  Plus, AA's cruelty free status are currently under question, so this is one brand I won't be buying from again (at least until all is resolved/answered).

Elemental Herbology Facial Glow (50ml): I adore this face mask, and was so so sad that I reached the end.  This featured in my Exfoliating Favourites post as well, and it remains one of my go to facial products.  The fruit enzymes work to remove dead skin cells while also improving softness and overall radiance.  It smells incredible - very slightly sweet -- and it is such a quick treatment that literally anyone has time to squeeze this in.  It takes only 2-3 minutes for it to work its magic, and then you just rinse it off.  I apply mine right before showering so then there is not any extra work.   While definitely a little pricey, I thought it was worth every penny and I will be looking forward to buying more soon.

Imperial Candles Christmas Candle (600g): The Apple Berries candle smelled very nice, and filled the whole room.  Since it is soy wax, it doesn't cause me any allergy problems, but like I mentioned in my previous empties post, I want to focus on more artisan businesses when it comes to candles.  I have a few more IC products to get through, and I am sure I will enjoy each, but I will not be buying any more.

Majestic Pure Coconut Oil Hair Mask (260ml):  I got this hair mask ages ago and nearly forgot I had it since it was tucked away in the cupboard.  I started using it once a week, but quickly realized I would never use it up in time before it was past the expiry date.  So, I moved it into the shower!  This worked pretty well as both a hair mask and a deep conditioner, but I did end up finding out my hair (and skin!) do not get along well with coconut heavy products.  I found my scalp getting little spots and the ends of my hair felt a bit straw-like immediately after.  This has nothing to do with the ingredients, as I have never reacted to any of the essential oils or other carrier oils -- I do know my skin is more sensitive to this than others.  I think this would be ideal for someone who can use coconut oil without breakouts or whose hair does not react as mine did.  Will not be buying more, but happy I tried it.

Time for my favourite empties of April! It was hard to choose, since so many of the products I finished last month were downright lovely.  I narrowed it down to four that went above and beyond for me though, and that I will continue to stand behind for the foreseeable future.

Neek Lipstick (4.5g): I have the old packaging style which is made from recycled cardboard, but even their newer style (with ) is lovely.  Whole Lotta Rosie is a gorgeous sheer pink.  Unfortunately I think this shade has been discontinued recently, but I have five other colours and they all apply the same, so worth checking out.  The formula needs to warm a bit before it goes on smoothly, otherwise it feels a little chalky, but once it does it is fantastic in terms of shade and lasting power.  The more layers you use, the more pigmented it looks on your lips. I find for the sheerer colours (like this one) they actually are more opaque if you melt them down and apply with a lip brush.  Since jojoba oil is one of the main ingredients, I find this lipstick doesn't dry out my lips which makes it great for a day to day product.

Kiss the Moon Bath Salts (50g):  Kiss the Moon make amazing products that help with sleep, and the Glow salts are possibly my favourite I have tried.  They smell incredible -- orange and geranium seriously lift your mood and bliss you out -- and feel even better on a weary body.  Epsom salts are great for sore muscles, so I tend to use these after an especially busy weekend to help aid recovery.  With a lot of bath salts I still feel the need to add a splash of bath oil or something to the water to provide a moisture boost, but that is not the case with Kiss the Moon.  These hydrate the skin while you soak thanks to a small amount of coconut oil blended into the mix.  Will definitely be buying a full size bag soon.  For more details, check out my Kiss the Moon Brand Spotlight.

Organdle Votive (75g):  Gorgeous.  Simply amazing.  Allergy friendly.  I mean, what more can I say other than I love this brand and everything they make.  I bought the gift set of candles and have gone through two so far, this one being Sleep Deep: Dreamer, and both have smelled so incredible and have not triggered a sneezing fit thanks to the use of pure oils and organic soy wax -- no nasties found here!  I found Dreamer soothing, calming, and perfect for pre-bed.  We would light this in the evening for about 40 minutes, and then go upstairs to drift off.  With clary sage, clove, green mandarin, and roman chamomile, this is a great candle to check out for those wanting some help with their sleep ritual.

Elemental Herbology Vital Cleanse (25ml): This is the only contender for the Esse Gel Cleanser for me at the moment -- the Vital Cleanse is lightweight, but oh so effective.  It helped my breakouts, made my skin look more radiant, and was packed full of all natural goodness. It is no wonder this won in the Beauty Shortlist awards in 2017.  The smell reminded me of Antipodes eye cream, probably because of the manuka honey, and I found it helped me relax after using it in the morning.  I would love to introduce this into my full time skincare routine, and can't wait until I am ready to buy the full size.

I am nearing the end of my samples, so the amount of empties I have should also start to slow down in the next few months.  However, I have loved trying out so many new brands and products, so I will be a little sad to run out.  How many products did you get through this month?  I would love to hear the best and the worst of April for you down in the comments below!  I would also really like to know what you think about the items I finished using -- any you are keen to try out??


  1. I'm considering trying out natural deodorants so it's helpful to see what you thought of this one.

  2. Wow, you got through absolutely loads. I don't often buy new products, but it sounds like there are some great recommendations here. x

  3. I love the sound of Esse Gel Cleanser, does it sting your eyes when removing eye make up? I am really struggling to find a cleanser that is kind to my eyes! I am in need of a new one!

  4. I've heard a lot about Bloomtown, I need to try them so badly!

    Love, Amie ❤
    The Curvaceous Vegan

  5. I've been using deodorants with no aluminium but have been thinking about switching to a natural one so it's good to read your review, might have to give it a go as well!

  6. The coconut hair mask sounds delicious. You have been really spoilt with new products to try

  7. The Native Unearthed Coconut Vanilla Deodorant sounds appealing to me. Natural products are now finding popularity in the market.

  8. It’s fantastic to hear your being eco friendly about your beauty choices. I try and buy as eco friendly as possible plus always cruelty feee

  9. Ooh, great empties! That Esse gel cleanser sounds like something I need to get ahold of!


Share your thoughts!