#projectuseitup: quarantine empties #4

Empties from the last quarter of 2020. What I used, what I recommend, what I’d buy again.

the supplements…
  • Vitafusion Melatonin gummies – the only form of melatonin that helps me sleep and doesn’t give me nightmares. I’ve been using these for a few years and continue to repurchase.
  • NatureMade Magnesium Citrate – Citrate is supposed to be the most readily absorbable form according to research I did a while back… this one relaxes my muscles when they’re tight without making me too tired or weak. Will repurchase.
  • MyKind Organic Elderberry Gummies – I started taking elderberry after having a bad flu in 2016. It’s gotten me through many a cold season, and I’ve been taking it semi-regularly since last March. It tastes good and also helps with my allergies, so might as well. (there’s plenty of research on elderberry if you search on PubMed)
  • Rainbow Light Women’s Multivitamin – I switch between individual and multis based on whatever weirdness is going on in my body and/or dietary changes (ie-B12 when I’m leaning into the plant-based meals). I’ve noticed changes in my hormonal issues while taking this one. (Recommended dose is 4 caplets, but I only take 2 to supplement what I get through diet).
face and body
  • Function of Beauty custom conditioner – FINALLY an empty! I was a little to extra when I customized this blend. It was WAY too rich for my hair but not moisturizing enough. It became the most expensive shave cream I’ve ever used.
  • CeraVe Daily Moisturizing Lotion travel size – My skin was a little dry this summer and I happened to have this in my stash. Not my favorite, but it did the trick.
  • LaVanilla Healthy Deodorant – I love how these make my pits feel but it’s not always the most effective for stink control during the summer months.
  • ACURE Brightening Facial Scrub and Seriously Soothing Cleansing Cream – frequent repurchases and two of my favorite face products, but I’ve switched these out for the Ethique plastic-free cleanser bar.
  • Sappho mascara – not an empty, but it’s more than a year old at this point and it started to smell weird… trash. It looks nice but transfers terribly!
  • Schmidt’s Wondermint toothpaste – I think I found this at Marshall’s in the pre-quarantimes… Anyhow, it was in my stash and I quite enjoyed it.
  • Trader Joe’s Hyaluronic Acid – not the best I’ve tried, but it’s HA so it did the job.
  • Bliss makeup melt cleanser – This stuff smells AWFUL! Like petroleum or something. I bought it to see if it worked as a dupe for the Glossier milky jelly, which I do actually really enjoy. It is NOT. I’m so glad it was a mini because I’m not sure I could’ve committed to the full size.
  • Evan Healy Rose Geranium Toning Face Mist – A lovely mist. This is my second time receiving it in the Whole Foods annual beauty bag and it’s just as nice as the first time. Leaves my face refreshed, but gets used up pretty quickly.
more face and body, plus miscellany
  • Brandless Body Scrub – this company is now defunct… their scrub was decent though.
  • Overtone Coloring Conditioner in Pink for Brown sample (not pictured: green for brown, red for brown): I LOVED the pink for brown! The sample size is enough for one application on my hair (long, straight, fine textured) and adds a vibrant tone to my sun-bleached ends with a subtler color on my roots. The green didn’t really work for me, but the pinks and reds are going to be repeats going forward! It takes a few weeks to wash out of my hair and gives my grays a pastel color.
  • Ethique ginger snap face scrub: not an empty but an intro! As I mentioned, I made the switch to ethique for face wash… The scrub is a little harsh, but the cleansing bar feels lush.
  • Adagio tea sample – birthday wish freebie tin. A sweet surprise.
  • Stabilo point 88 mini fineliner – these are some of my favorite pens, I have lots of colors to get through…
  • cheeky mouthguard – Disappointing product rather than an empty… I tried cheeky to replace my last mouth guard but the whole experience was a disaster. I ordered it last February, it took more than a month and no shipment (this was before lockdown). When it did arrive, it was poorly packaged, had no instructions, and was missing the supplies to ship it back. I almost asked for a refund but decided to send it after waiting so long. when I received it, the impression barely fit my teeth and was missing half my molars. I was so tired by then that I didn’t even bother to reach out to customer service again and called it a loss. I was holding on to them, trying to make them work, but it’s hopeless.

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#projectuseitup: quarantine empties 3

a whole lot of empties

Quarantine empties, part 3! or, what I used up between July and September

EltaMD UV Physical SPF 41 РThis used to be my favorite physical sunscreen, until I noticed that it started to dry out my skin. I came back to it this year when I was struggling to find a non-makeup based spf for daily wear… that may have been a mistake. The dryness returned and I think this may be one of the culprits behind my eye dryness/sensitivity. Will not repurchase.

Thayer’s Witch Hazel, Rose Petal – A travel size from last year’s Whole Foods beauty bag. My favorite is the cucumber, but the rose is ok. I dislike rose scents in general, but I dislike waste more, so I poured this in a spray bottle and used it like a face mist. I have one more to use up (from this year’s bag and hope they replace it with a different scent in future bags).

Andalou Naturals, Meyer Lemon C Creamy Cleanser – Not my favorite, but not the worst. I won’t repurchase, but it met the need for a cream cleanser when I couldn’t find my ACURE cleanser.

LaRoche-Posay, Toleriane Hydrating Gentle Cleanser – I really liked this but couldn’t find a replacement when I ran out, so I’m going back to the CeraVe hydrating cleanser, which is similar but not as soothing IMO.

Dr. Bronner’s Almond Pure-Castile Soap – an old standard. I use this to make a foaming hand wash and as a travel all-over wash (when travel was a thing that actually happened).

Vitafusion Melatonin gummies – Basically can’t sleep without these. They’re the only type of melatonin that does not leave me groggy the next morning.

Farmacy Cheer Up brightening eye cream – I picked this up soon after it released and the texture was lovely, but it does NOT like the Florida heat because it went from mousse to weird gloopy gel long before the 6 month use by date. Also, 6 months is too short for such a large jar. They need to find better packaging to stop this product from going off so quickly.

Bath & Body Works, Vanilla Coconut & Fashionably Latte antibacterial gel – When covid was starting to become a real thing, I took a last minute, random trip to BBW and stocked up right before they ran out. When antibacterial disappeared from all stores, I still had a nice stock of these.

Andalou Naturals, CannaCell Happy Day Cream – My favorite day cream. Tried it as a sample and bought the full size because it worked so well on my skin. Not too oily and just a little dewy.

Arnica Montana 200ck tabs – do these work? is it a placebo? I don’t know, but it’s worth a shot when all else fails.

Twinkle * Apothecary Orange Blossom perfume – One of Twinkle’s monthly scents, a perfect blend of orange blossom and vanilla that gives me nostalgic, Cuban baby perfume vibes.

2 random pens!!!! – always a success ūüôā

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#projectuseitup: quarantine empties, pt. 2

quarantine empties

Not going out is definitely having a positive effect on the number of things going out vs. coming in.

What I used up in June and July.

  • ACURE seriously soothing cleansing cream: hands down, my favorite cream cleanser my evening cleanse. It leaves my skin soft and smooth, and is a constant repurchase.
  • Rainbow Light Women’s Multivitamin: Rainbow Light is my favorite multivitamin brand. I used to take their Once Daily, iron-free blend but something about the formulation changed and started to make me nauseous. The Women’s Multi is a capsule and easy to swallow. It also includes several of the herbs and supplements I take for PCOS/hormone balance, so I don’t need to take a handful of pills.
  • Solgar B Complex 50: I’m a flexitarian and take B vitamins when I lean more heavily in a plant-based diet. I’ve since switched to a spray-based b12 (when needed) because I get my Bs in the multi.
  • Rosehip oil (blue bottle): Just a generic rosehip oil that I use as part of my nighttime skincare routine. Rosehip brightens my skin (it has vitamin C) and offers light moisture.
  • Adagio teas, Alexander Hamilton tea blend: Not a Hamilton thing, just a random sample I received with an order :). It was an unexpected treat; just the right amount of light coconut flavor in a mild green tea blend.
  • Candle minis Currently Reading by Novelly Yours, Old Books and Reading at the Cafe by Frostbeard: I’m systematically working my way through the candles I purchased in the last year. Novelly Yours was part of a self-care book box and smelled like a sweet coffee latte, while Old Books is an old favorite that smells like fresh grass (to me, at least) and Reading smells like a thick chocolate drink (better for winter, but I only had a little sliver left).

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#projectuseitup: quarantine empties

quarantine empties, the first

In which I continue to use up my stash…

Eden’s Garden, Fighting Five Synergy Blend essential oil

I don’t believe essential oils have the power prevent disease, but there is something to be said for their healing properties… I’ve used this essential oil for sinus infections and colds, and have found it helpful in opening up my nasal passages and clearing things up. Will it clear the air of contagion? Maybe. Maybe not. Either way, I’m willing to try it.

Eden’s Garden is a non-MLM essential oil brand and their prices are just right for my budget.

Have since repurchased in the larger size (but not the largest, because I’m not made of money).

Humble brand natural deodorant, Palo Santo, Frankincense & Vanilla scent

In my quest for the best natural deodorant, I came across this. It’s not perfect, but the scent is nice and woodsy. I would consider repurchasing, but need to get through the rest of my stash.

ACURE, Ultra Hydrating Green Juice Cleanser (sample)

ACURE is a regular part of my empties. I like their products and find them reasonably priced (for the eco-beauty sphere). This one did the job, but it’s not as hydrating as the Seriously Soothing or Anti-aging cleansers that I regularly use.

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video: July – August 2019 empties

My cats jingled more than ever during this recording… apologies in advance. Microphone batteries being shipped as we speak…

MENTIONED

  • NOW Super Enzymes
  • VitaFusion Melatonin gummies
  • Thayers Unscented Witchhazel Toner
  • Alba Acnedote astringent
  • Brandless Green Tea Shave Gel
  • ACURE Radically Rejuvenating Cleansing Cream
  • Andalou Naturals CannaCell Happy Day Cream moisturizer
  • Hempz Age Defying body lotion
  • Johnson & Johnson’s Cottontouch baby lotion
  • Aveda Cherry Almond softening shampoo
  • Farmacy Honey Potion mask
  • LUSH Snow Fairy body wash
  • Nest Midnight Fleur eau de parfum
  • Sally Hansen InstaDri
  • Brandless gel pens
  • Stabilo fineliner

 

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loves & latest: July 1, 2019

loves latest

loves

reads

The F*ck It Diet by Caroline Dooner

I had a hard time connecting with books in June, but The F*ck It Diet resonated from the start. The title is something of a misnomer IMHO. This is NOT a diet book. This is an anti-diet book. It provides a science-based look at how diets screw up our relationship with food, resulting in restriction, binging, and negative self-image. Dooner’s style is swift and powerful and really hit home for me.

I’ll be posting a dedicated review video later in July because I’m only half-way through and I have soooo many thoughts to share.

beauty

Ocean Potion Sport SPF 50 Sunscreen Spray

It’s summer in South Florida (and the rest of the northern hemisphere, obvs) but for¬†reasons I was caught without sunscreen during my recent birthday penguin adventure. The¬†gift shop had limited options and I am¬†extra sensitive to chemical sunscreens, but this one did the trick, smelled great (no weird metallic scent), and covered my body in a pinch with minimal effort. Plus, it lasts, so I’m ready for my next adventure.

random

hot water bottle

This is an ode to my trusty helper. When I have neck pain, she gets me through the night. Ditto when my knee is flaring. Or cramps. She does it all.

It’s a long story, but I haven’t owned a microwave in two years, which means I can’t use my old flax seed heating pad, and I’m too paranoid for something electric. Enter ye olde hot water bottle. I have the one pictured. It’s pink and comes with a sweater and retains heat really well. If you need a warm hug to get rid of pain, you need one of these and a fast-boil kettle.

Want more recommendations? Check out the Loves page.

*Affiliate links help support the site and podcast.


latest

podcast

bluestocking-circleFollowing on the heels of my personal favorite (Labyrinth), we move onto my co-host’s favorite work: Zorro.

Join us as we explore the quintessential (Latin)American hero and release the Spanglish.

Episode 23: Zorro is available on your favorite podcatcher.

If you want to hear two lady nerds talk about their favorite books and movies, give us a listen on Podomatic, Apple Podcasts, Google Play, or Spotify. Also available on YouTube.

Follow us @bluesoxcircle on Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

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project use it up: perfume empty!

project use it up - new

I used up my #projectpan perfume! In my last #ProjectPan2019 update, I noted that my tiny bottle of Midnight Fleur (Nest Fragrances) was nearing it’s end. I’m happy to report that it’s now empty. Success!

img_8516

I’m trading this in for Tulip’s Lemon Sugar perfume oil¬†and Lush’s¬†Kerbside Violet solid perfume

Lemon Sugar reminds me of Tokyo Milk’s Honey and the Moon more than Fresh Lemon Sugar – a slightly sweet, sultry scent with a base of honey.

Kerbside Violet is reminiscent of the Violet-scented baby perfume I adored as a child. It’s extremely nostalgic. I’ve had it for about two years and it’s time to make a dent in it.

img_8517

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video: April – May 2019 empties

project use it up - new

A long overdue review of ALL THE THINGS! Supplements, skincare/bodycare, and pens(!).

I promise to list the items in coming updates. Life has been… complicated.

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project use it up: August empties

Another month of empties. Some supplements (if you’re a repeat reader, you’ll know I’ve been experimenting with supplements to alleviate PCOS and thyroid symptoms. if you’re new, hi!), beauty, hair, and coffee related things.

August 2018 empties

  • OLLY Restful Sleep – after weeks of sleeplessness, restlessness, and insomnia, I was desperate. I heard that L-theanine could help, so I decided to try these gummies; they have melatonin, L-theanine, and herbs. And they WORK! I never liked the idea of gummy supplements, but there’s something about this particular medium that my body likes when it comes to melatonin. I’m currently using the VitaFusion gummies and separate L-theanine capsules, and I’m sleeping at last.
  • Solgar Vitamin E – I was taking these in conjunction with Selenium for my thyroid. I am currently taking a multivitamin that includes Selenium, but I may try vitamin E again (noticed that my skin looked great and my migraines seemed to improve – need another try).
  • Jarrow Formulas Milk Thistle – liver support for PCOS.
  • AuraCacia Sweet Orange essential oil – I love citrus scents. One of my favorites.

August 2018 empties

  • ACURE day cream¬†– so I use ACURE a lot… this is an old standard whenever I need a bit of extra moisture.
  • ACURE radically rejuvenating cleansing cream – probably my favorite evening cleanser. Very gentle. I use it as my first cleanse to get things off.
  • Juice Beauty Mineral Moisturizer, sheer – I prefer the tinted version of this, but the sheer is clear enough that I can get away with wearing it without makeup.
  • giovanni 2chic Ultra-revive conditioner¬†– My ends became extra dry when I had some ombr√© put in, so I went back to using conditioner. I liked this one, but I’m currently trying the purple Repairing conditioner from the same line and find that I prefer that one.

August 2018 empties

  • Four Sigmatic Mushroom Coffee mix, Create with Lion’s Mane & Chaga – so I decided to try mushroom coffee. I can’t say I noticed a difference in my energy, but it was nice to try. I did, however, taste the mushroom. Maybe it’s just me‚ÄĒI¬†am hyper sensitive to tastes and smells. Not unpleasant, just weird.
  • Vital Proteins Collagen Creamer, coconut – I really wanted to love this, but the coconut milk just doesn’t dissolve very well. Still find that I prefer the basic collagen peptides mix.