Wednesday, July 18, 2012

2012 Empties Part 6

The time has come: I need a new empties bag! 11 months ago, I deemed a designated bag an absolute necessity for those who wanted to start the "empties" game, because without one, you'd just toss out the empty containers immediately and forget to blog about it. I've heard from various people that it really works. What I didn't realize at the time was perhaps a washable/waterproof bag might serve better since we're prone to tossing out containers that may spill liquids or leave oily residue. But I take it that regular shoppers have plenty of bags lying around waiting to be put to use. Just know that next post I shall have a new bag! (Oh gawd, sometimes it's the super tiny things that can really make a day, isn't it?)


Now, on to the empties!


Boscia Peppermint Blotting Linens - My staple. I buy in bulk when they go on sale for half price at Sephora during Christmas and have yet to find blotting papers that I like better. It's large, doesn't take makeup off with the oil, and I like the soft feel of it.

Philosophy Supernatural Oil Control Blotting Tissues - I hate this and have one more to finish up. I bought a two-pack along with the REN Glycolactic Radiance Renewal Mask from Strawberry.net way back when, thinking that I needed to try something new. The sheets are almost half the size of the Boscia and have a crispy rice paper feel and sound. I like to be discreet with my blotting and the sound gives me away! Also one side seems to be absorbent while the other feels like wax paper or coated somehow. The container also has a double fold which makes it more difficult to take out a sheet, so blotting becomes a really elaborate process. I've watched people watch me take this out to blot and the look on their faces always seem to say either, "That's it?" or "WTF are you doing??"


Etude House Happy Teatime Milk Tea Cleansing Foam - I bought it untested at Etude House in Singapore out of trip excitement and hated this so much that I used double the amount per use to get rid of it faster. Yeah, maybe that's cheating, but who cares. The point is I finished it. It doesn't remove makeup even after I had used the matching makeup removing balm from the same line. I highly recommend that everyone avoid this like the plague.

Weleda Wild Rose Facial Toner - This is now either discontinued or reformulated. I first mentioned it in a blog switch post with awesome Larie. I loved this toner and the sturdy glass bottle it came in. But I love my Body Shop Aloe Toner even more, so that's what I'm going to stick with. While the Weleda served me well during winter/spring, I think it wouldn't have been the best match for my extra oily skin during summer, so I'm glad to have finished it back in late May.


Dermalogica Clean Start Wash Off Foaming Wash Cleanser (travel size) - This came in a kit with the all-over treatment (see below) and an acne spot treatment which I finished last month. It has 0.5% salicylic acid which I think will always be better for my acne-prone skin instead of cleansers without any (except for my holy grail, the original Philosophy Purity Made Simple). Because I was using it in conjunction with a variety of products, it's hard to tell whether the cleanser staved off any breakouts. It didn't cause negative reaction or aggravate, and I didn't detect any unpleasant odours or experience any trouble. While I like it and the brand and the series, I wouldn't repurchase it because I think there are just as good anti-acne cleansers for less.

Dermalogica Bedtime for Breakouts (travel size) - This is an all-over treatment containing 2.0% salicylic acid, to be used at night before bed. I used it in the morning as well on makeupless days, without applying moisturizer on top. (My skin can't take the piling on of treatments, moisturizers AND makeup.) It feels a little sticky on the skin and doesn't fully absorb, which is why they recommend that you apply this at bedtime. It seemed to fight the breakouts decently though it's completely ineffectual against hormonal or stressed-induced acne. It's gentle on the skin and doesn't sting or aggravate my skin. However, between this and the Murad Exfoliating Gel which I loved so much, the Murad definitely wins. But I found something that works much better than either of them, which will be reviewed soon(ish)!

Mario Badescu Alpha Grapefruit Cleansing Lotion (travel size) - I had to toss this as it was ancient. A long, long, looooooooong time ago, when I was battling acne in another lifetime, I ordered some MB products (which didn't work) and this little guy was tossed in as a freebie. It's so dumb... but I just didn't know what to do with it. Was it a cleanser or a toner? Why didn't I look it up? It sat somewhere for years until I stumbled across this and looked at it in complete stupefaction. Normally I'd be stupid enough to try expired products that are 3 or 4 years old, but I fear this is even older than that. Out it went.


Cake Milk Made Velveteen Hand Creme - Larie and Ashley loved it so much I bought it on hype. While it is pleasant-smelling and has a lovely weighty yet non-greasy texture, I didn't fall in love with it. I kept it in the office and used it about 5-10 times a day, depending on how often I went to the washroom. One day I had just applied it when a male lawyer passed by and commented that something smelled delicious. So it does have its appeal. ;-) I would repurchase it if I saw it for 50% off or something amazing like that, but I'm a bit of a hand cream whore and am excited about busting open a new one to try out.

Bourjois Paris Express Eye Makeup Remover - Some of you might remember that I once went on a rant about the packaging flaw. The result of that was Bourjois Canada somehow getting wind of it and sending me a bunch of products to compensate for it. Truth is, I'm not a big fan of Bourjois. I don't like the plastic packaging and very few of their products appeal to me. I kept the cleanser they sent, hoping to write a rave review about it to balance out the negative review, but the rest were donated to friends and good causes like that. Anyway, read the rant if you want to know how this performed. I prefer the L'Oreal bi-phase eye makeup remover which can be had for half the price of this. But going forward, I'm not purchasing separate eye makeup removers unless I start wearing a lot more waterproof eye makeup in the future.


Slatkin & Co. Verbena Waters Candle - This is a pleasant green floral scent which is really difficult to detect with a one-wick candle until the entire candle turns liquid. I didn't want to spend a lot of money on candles and in fact tried to resist buying any, but a green floral was what I wanted for spring. While I liked this very much, I don't like it enough to stock up on it or be heartbroken if it doesn't return next year. Life is short and there are a lot of candles to enjoy out there!


Life Brand Ultra Soft Baby Wipes - Believe it or not, this is my newest holy grail product for the summer. Here's why. I gave up buying facial wipes because they cause me to be lazy and wasteful. However, in the summer when sweat and oil become enemy number one, they're a necessity. This giant package of 72 wipes is $2.99 on sale at Shoppers Drug Mart. Apparently the ingredients are the same as any regular makeup removing facial wipes. (See for yourself in the second pic below.) I found that this is actually even better than the more sophisticated facial wipes produced by skincare brands. The sheets are large and just the right amount of wet. It takes two sheets both front and back to remove makeup including heavy foundation, almost completely. I admit to several lazy nights of sleeping without follow up treatments and am happy to report not only did I not break out but my skin continued its good streak. And on top of all these wonders, these wipes are great for wiping dirty feet or the inside of sweaty flats and sandals. The best multi-purpose product discovery in forever!!! I bought a new one to replace it and I make sure to buy the unscented version with no alcohol.

[Brand Unknown] Apple Polyphenal Sheet Mask - The awesome Makeup Morsels sent this to me along with two more masks and I love it! This apple mask is apparently for oily/acne-prone skin and suited me perfectly. It has a fresh green apple scent that invigorates the nose and the residue didn't feel heavy or greasy on my skin. Usually I take great care to wipe off every remnant of sheet mask fluids though most people rub them into the skin instead, but this time I left it on and let the product penetrate all day long. Face felt fresh and looked glowy!



TOTAL


Today's Total
Jumbo: 1 (wet wipes)
Regular: 7 
Travel/Sample: 2
Tossed: 1

2012 Total
Jumbo: 3
Regular: 46
Travel/Sample: 18
Tossed: 5

I am glad to report that I've finally reached Level 4 of The Empties Syndrome. Level 1 is starting empties, 2 is becoming obsessed with emptying, 3 is feeling sad about finishing things up too quickly, and 4 is that state of zen when you're on cruise control and know things are emptying at a steady pace and you're neither eager to get rid of more nor desperate to hoard and save. I'm not sure what Level 5 is but perhaps you might know. What level are you guys at? If you're at 0, that's okay. Just stop buying half a dozen backups of everything and we'll go from there!

69 comments:

  1. Nicely done! I think I'm at level 1.5... I'm going to start packing soon and have been going through a lot of my makeup and other random crap I've been hoarding and just started tossing, tossing, tossing in the garbage. I say 1.5 because I can feel my obsession rising and now I can't wait to go through my closet and old drawers. I'm moving into a significantly smaller place so I have to be free of clutter! Your blog has also been a huge motivator to get me going on this task, too ;)

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    1. Oh gaaaaad, yeah!! Moving is such a good time to unhoard. (I've been living in the same house for... holy shit, 20 years!) Good luck with the move and glad to have been of service! :)

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  2. On your scale I'm hovering between 2 and 3. I was actually sad about finishing a favorite lipstick this month! Bring on level 4, hehe! xo

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    1. YOU ARE THE QUEEN OF LIP EMPTIES. HOW????? I think this makes you like Level 4521.

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    2. Finishing a lipstick?! Teach me your ways, sensei!

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    3. You NEED to see her "Lipstick Graveyard" post: go go go!

      http://makeup4myage.blogspot.ca/2012/01/my-lipstick-graveyard.html

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  3. I think I'm somewhere between a Level 2 and a Level 3...

    LOL @ "I used double the amount per use to get rid of it faster." <-- BEEN THERE. In fact, it's with the Boscia gel cleansers I bought earlier this year. I tried and tried, but I just can't bring myself to fall in love with gel cleansers. Philosophy's Purity Made Simple ("foaming" gel version) included.

    Boscia's Blotting Linens are pretty much the only oil blotters I'll use now. Does not budge make-up at all, AND it absorbs sweat, too! So essential for summer! And I'm the total opposite, I'm so obnoxious when blotting my oils. I'll literally slap one on my face, and it'll just be stuck there... on my greasy nose/forehead/chin/cheek until someone yells, "EWWWW!!!!". Then I snicker to myself and peel the sheet off my face. NO DISCRETION FOR ME.

    I'm not a huge fan of the Cake Beauty hand creams. I bought a gift set of three a couple Christmases ago and I have yet to put a dent in any of them. They feel nice on the hands, but the smell is too sweet for me, I think. I prefer clean smells, even fruity smells, but not that ULTRA-SUGARY DESSERT smell.

    Baby wipes are the best and cheapest option for removing non-waterproof make-up. It was essential for me when I was in make-up school. Now, I use them mostly for taking off swatches. :P

    GOOD JOB, LIZ!

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    1. !!! I love the Boscia purifying cleanser. I remember hoarding every last drop of that because the bottle was so small. LOL @ your blotting techniques - looking forward to seeing that in action!

      Most of Cake's scents are very very sweet but Milk Made isn't that bad - you might actually like it, especially if you were able to stand Principessa which is much more sugary sweet than Milk Made.

      I wish I had discovered baby wipes much earlier! This is one instance where it definitely doesn't pay to be a product snob. Thanks, Denise!

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  4. Your "Empties" bag totally got me started on making a bag like that; it's totally surprising how fast it quickly fills up :D I'm about a level 4, and it's worrisome with my blog sale underway...

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    1. RIGHT? The bag was a revelation, LOL. Your blog sale has good stuff! I'd totally be buying if I weren't on a spending ban. Good luck!

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  5. LOL good job on all the empties, Liz! That's too bad about the Boscia blotting papers--I have been curious about them for quite some time. But then again, I probably wouldn't have like them anyway--I find that blotting papers made of the thin tissue-y paper doesn't work all that well for me compared to my trusty Clean & Clear plastic ones. The tissue paper ones take almost double the amount to completely absorb all the oil on my face while with the C&C ones, it *usually* only takes one (unless the temp. is in the 100's or I'm having a really bad skin day)

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    1. You mean too bad about the Philosophy blotting papers! I LOVE Boscia! I used to use the Clean & Clear a long time ago but prefer paper texture to plastic. Can't really say why except that the blue plastic freaks me out a bit for some reason, lol.

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  6. LIZBEN (yeap, making up new names as we go) you are my idol, as you probably already know.

    I got that mask when I was home some time ago! Best things ever and if I remember wasn't all that expensive. I wish I had more :(

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    1. Hahaha! I prefer Lizben to Lizbob. But I love Lizbert the best. ;)

      My first time with that mask - it is really good! I have the Apricot and one other thing left. MM says the Apricot smells like heaven!

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  7. Haha. Now there are LEVELS? Oh man. OH MAN.

    We should do another blog switch. Soon. SOON.

    I have those Boscia sheets. I like them. I also buy them during the holidays when they're on sale. *fistpump*

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    1. LOL @ your OH MAN

      Yeah, let's do it again!! I need to relish unabashedly in some other beauty theme. Hmmm... maybe time to spread the blush love to the Eye Heart It audience. ;)

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  8. Hurrah for more empties! You're such a rockstar, Lizbob! :D

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    1. Thanks, Dani! (I'll have a nickname for you soon...!)

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  9. You are the empties queen! I'd say I'm at Level 1.75...I know I started a long time ago, but I seem to take so much longer emptying things than you do! The sheet mask is from My Beauty Diary :) Remind me to send you more for your birthday.

    YAY on getting a new empties bag hahaha

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    1. yes my beauty diary! :)

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    2. @Makeup Morsels - I think you're busy testing new things constantly! I'm such a bad reviewer when it comes to a full review. Thanks again for the masks - you are the bestest!

      @Jacq - Thanks for confirming. ;)

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  10. LOL You know you've gone through a bunch of empties when your empties bag has deteriorated. Because of you, I am goingg to load up those Boscia blotting tissues when Christmas time hits. I've tested them a few times in Sephora but meh.. Might as well get a few packs when they're 1/2 off. You speak so highly of them :D

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    1. For a paper bag, it lasted quite a long time!

      Don't stock up if you feel meh about it! Though I might have begun by feeling meh but managed to grow to love them. Just pick the scent that you can endure - I HATED the lavender and can barely tolerate the green tea. I prefer the unscented or the peppermint.

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    2. Oh no, I felt "meh" about the price, not the actual tissues! I agree, the lavenders were blegh! but unscented is fine.. I mean, it's unscented! LOL

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    3. Ah, okay!

      You know what? I came across $5 Anna Sui blotting sheets but it didn't say how many were in there. (They're cheap because they're refills.) Should I???

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  11. I'm definitely a Level 2 -- For soon-to-expire skincare, I use a lot of it, and all the time. I get really happy when I hit pan on my powder products and when one of my foundation bottles runs low. I have too much stuff to get rid of that I've lost count - I might start keeping track again when the amount of products I have gets to a reasonable amount. So far the hardest things to finish would be eyeshadow and perfume - they never end!

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    1. I have a huge bathroom cabinet full of things waiting to be finished. My trick is to only bring out the oldest or the closest to being finished and work through them first before putting anything else into rotation. But I hear you - I've never even hit pan on a shadow and it's my goal to finish a perfume this year! Good luck!!!

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  12. That Apple Sheet Mask looks like My Beauty Diary. I love their masks, and I've never heard a bad thing about any of them!

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    1. Thanks, it is My Beauty Diary! I can't believe I never heard of them before.

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  13. Congrats on reaching "Level4"! hahahah You know I love your empties posts ;) Great job!

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  14. I'm at level 2...I love that you have "levels" for empties...Your blog always makes me look at things differently!!

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    1. I try to offer something new... you know how fickle we beauty addicts are, lol.

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  15. Great job! I'm all for using twice the amount product than is necessary. It's making up for lost time.

    I see myself as a level 2 even though I just started . I'm enjoying the process and am optimistic. Since I've been using more of everything, my skin has been looking better. I've always been lazy with body moisturizer but since I have so many extra bottles of it I've been more consistent with using it.

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    1. "It's making up for lost time." - GOOD ONE! :)

      I noticed a few months into the emptying project that I was taking better care of myself during the process of trying to finish things! I'm like you, always lazy with moisturizing. I've abandoned doing that as of late because I've relaxed on the emptying frenzy, but I plan on getting rid of at least one moisturizer by the end of this summer! Go, Christina!

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  16. I'm at a level 2 with the things that I'm not thrilled about- or that are nearly empty, but not quite. I'm on level 4 with the things that I really love using. I have been forcing myself to save the empties so that I can take a picture of them and post a visual response to your ever-inspiring empties posts. The baby wipes is pure genius! It certainly makes you realize that they market things for our faces with a much higher price tag than babies bums!

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    1. oops meant they "are" pure genius!! NEED MORE COFFEE!!

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    2. Soon the visual response will cultivate into an all-consuming obsession! ;)

      I was looking at the Olay wipes that I used to love, which are anywhere from $6.99-$12.99 on sale. Crazy the money I used to throw away!! On wipes!!

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    3. Well, and I obsessively love the feeling of purging empty things-- I am little crazy about recycling etc. So these posts give me serious vicarious pleasure-- I fear that you may have created a monster in me!!

      Even on sale the Olay wipes are expensive! Your discovery really us brilliant!!

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    4. Oops, I meant that they're $6.99 on sale and $12.99 regular price! But there are more expensive wipes than that, as you know.

      Can't wait to see your post! :)

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    5. I'm frothing at the bit to take pictures, but I need a more impressive pile before I'm ready to post!! :-)

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    6. Start at even just 5 products and see where that leads! :)

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    7. I already have more than 5 empties-- I just want to wait until I have a particularly satisfying pile of empties to pat myself on the back about!!

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    8. Wow! I'm waiting to be seriously impressed. :D

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    9. I don't know that it will be all that impressive, but I will sure try to impress the master!

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  17. You are my empties hero Liz!
    I can hardly wait to see the new Empties Bag. :)

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  18. good on ya! and you're so right about the levels of empty-dom. I'd say I'm exiting level 2 and, with heavy heart, entering level 3. Keep on keepin on!

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    1. Lol @ heavy heart! Chin up, level 4 is nice and comfy. See you soon. ;)

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  19. I'm going to miss the old Empties Bag. :( I'm glad I was here to see it from birth to death. *sniff*

    I thought that rustling and crinkle-noises are characteristic of all blotting papers!
    I must try the Boscia ones. Sadly I have to get through the 2 boxes of 200 (250?) sheets I got at Daiso first. Bah!

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    1. LOL!!! I'm so glad you stuck with me. How's your emptying going? I don't know what Daiso is - how does that perform?

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    2. Daiso is a Japanese 100 Yen store, which sells things for about $2 each in North America. The products aren't all the best quality, but sometimes you can find value for your money. It's a bit out of the way so I must have got all googly-eyed at the price of the blotting papers.

      (Ok. I just checked. There are 250 sheets/box. Good news: I have just one box! Bad news: I found an envelope of 50 sheets I had forgetten about. Good news: at least it's not a box of 250!)

      I've been thinking about you lately, Liz. I found a beauty supply store near my home a couple of weeks ago. They sell Seche Vite for something like $7 a bottle. I keep wanting to buy some and send them to you!

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    3. I forgot to say -- the blotting sheets seem to be okay. I'm no connoisseur by any means. I usually forget to use them. You'd be best to get a review from someone else! :P

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    4. Thanks for the scoop on Daiso!

      And thanks for thinking of me. :) I frequently come across $7 Seche Vite at Winners so no worries. Plus, the OPI fast drying top coat I'm using right now will last 2-3 years I'm sure. There are a lot of options out there and I know where the cheap stuff are. It's just difficult trying not to jump on the high-end new collections bandwagon but am feeling MUCH better about it now!

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  20. As well as a slacking-master, you are also an empties-master! I tried out the Milk Made cream at a Sephora after seeing Ashley tweet about it, but I just didn't fall in love with it either. (Speaking from my experience with bf though, a lot of guys seem to love things that smell like food.)

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    1. I am versatile that way! *bows*

      Milk Made has something subtle about it that I do like, but I didn't LOVE it. We must train the men to love what we love!

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  21. I've said it before, and I'll gladly say it again: you're an "empties" genius! Congrats on going through all this stuff AND giving such a concise and thorough review on each item -- so helpful! In fact, I'll be hitting Pharmaprix tomorrow to check out those wipes....it never occurred to me that they could have as many uses (love the wiping of sweaty feet/cleaning up sandals). Can't wait to see the new bag!

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    1. I'm a horrible mess in the summer and desperately need those wipes! Or maybe I just need pedicures more frequently, lol! Thanks, Eugenia - your encouragement has spurred me on from the beginning! :D

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  22. AT Level 5 you become Liz-buddha and will live in a cave levitating and tossing empties out to the beauty pilgrims who cluster around the entrance waiting for the pearls of wisdom to drop from your nirvana-ed state... oh wait! We already do that! :)

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    1. This gave me SUCH a good laugh! You're hilarious, Christine. Now if only I could add more wisdom on top of the empties... :)

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  23. I had to LOL at using double the product to get rid of it faster. Cheating? Meh, as long as I'm using it up I don't feel as guilty. Using twice as much is better than letting it rot, right? And agree about the blotting papers- no crinkle noises please! Again, way to go on using up what you got!

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    1. Right! Unless it makes me break out or hurts my skin some how, I'm determined to finish using things that can't be returned or donated. Might as well get our money's worth somehow, even if it's a long and painful process. lol Thanks, Danielle!

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  24. Liz, I love your empty posts. it inspires me and motivates me to use before I buy. wow- howeve that makes me sound- I don't mind:) I keep my empties in a paper bag too! good idea, I throw cleansers straight from the shower in there!

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    1. You sound fine. ;) I don't like having crusty and filmy containers in the bag so sometimes I wipe them down or even rinse the bottles before I throw them in, LOL!

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  25. I am way too late to this party! Empties are among the best reductionista posts... plus it's always good to hear a product review after finishing the whole thing, as opposed to a few days in. I want to make a bag too, however I just haven't decided which bag upon which to bestow the honor :P

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    1. There's still room for Dovey! ;D

      I'm so bad at doing individual reviews that empties is the only way I'll ever get anything out! Can't wait to see your bag. :D

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  26. I'm almost done with a few things, and I've been saving the others for an actual empties post. I've actually got some posts I want to do, but I haven't had time. It's 2:25 and I am trying to get caught up on friend's blogs, but it's going to take a while. I hope to post eventually. I really am trying, let's hope I don't pass out first.

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    1. I think you passed out... lol.

      Don't worry about it and just post it when you have the time/energy/inclination. For me it's an obsession to get out a post sometimes that it distracts me from doing real work until the post is published. So glad to hear you're going to do an empties post! Yay!

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  27. Haha YES! I love that we have stages of emptying now :) I would say I'm at stage...well, it balances at 2 OR 4 (I'm NEVER at 3), maybe more toward 4 now. I got rid of a lot of straggling makeup items last month which pleased me to no end, so I'm good for now. I still have things I'm using up at a steady pace which pacifies me :) You did great here Liz and I can even feel your ZEN state of mind throughout the post - yay!!

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