Empties #8

If you read the title of this blog post, you know that it’s that time again–time to talk about a whole lotta empties! It’s a perfectly normal thing for a person to have a box of empty bottles in one’s house…right?? These empty bottles are the majority of products I’ve used/finished over the last several months and I’m going to share my review of that product with you. A lot of these products are ones I’ve received in various subscription boxes or just things that I’ve bought from the drugstore.

HAIRCARE

Batiste Dry Shampoo: I’ve had one of these in every single empties post I’ve written so I won’t say too much about this again. Bottom line is that it’s my favorite dry shampoo and it’s definitely the most effective if you tend to have oily hair.

Oribe Hair Plumping Mousse: I love the scent of Oribe products but this one was a little too heavy for my thin hair. The mousse seemed to make my hair more oily/greasy than it  did to add any additional volume. Not to mention that Oribe products are usually a lot more than I want to spend on haircare.

R+Co Outer Space Flexible Hairspray: This was a nice hairspray to use, and it was a great travel size, but I don’t remember it being the most effective to hold curls all day. The regular price is also a little much for me.

Amika Perk Up Dry Shampoo: I really like Amika products! This dry shampoo did not leave any white cast and it was great to use on less greasy hair days. This is another one of Amika products that I’ve tried–Bombshell Blowout Spray.

SKINCARE

Burt’s Bees Facial Cleansing Towlettes:These are so great to have for on-the-go, traveling, or the lazy nights when you don’t feel like taking off all of your makeup. The Burt’s Bees cleanzing towlettes are also very gentle and good for sensitive skin.

Derma E Evenly Radiant Brightening Cleanser: This cleanser has Vitamin C which helps to brighten skin and improve the complexion. I really liked this cleanser and thought it did a decent job of evening out my skin tone.

Elizavecca 24K Gold Mask: I bought this mask off of Amazon because it said it was good for removing blackheads, deep cleansing, and the packaging just looked interesting. The mask itself was a gold color and so that made it pretty fun to wear. I thought this mask did a great job of clarifying my skin and helped to decrease the amount of blackheads that I had, without drying my skin completely.

Retinol Anti Aging Gel Cleanser: This product has been staple for me to keep my acne under control. I usually get this at TJMaxx because it’s always cheaper there. If you deal with acne, milia, or post-acne issues–I highly recommend this face wash.

Honey Girl Organics Face & Eye Cream: This face cream was in a previous Bless Box and it was such a nice product to use. The product is a thick consistency that melts into the skin as soon as you apply it. A little goes a long way also. The honey in this product was also a great anti-bacterial property–which is also a good thing for acne prone skin.

MAKEUP

ColourPop Precision Brow Colour in Blondie: This is my favorite pomade to use because it’s long-lasting, it’s the exact color of my hair, and the consistency is really nice. Plus, this product is super affordable online!

Ardell Blonde Brown Pomade: This was not my favorite pomade to use because it was too waxy and the color was too dark.

NYX Wonder Stick: This is a great product to use for contour/bronzing because it has a darker shade on one end and a lighter shade on the other.

Ardell Brow Building Fiber Gel: This was nice to use over a pomade to help seal in all the brow hairs. It was a little more on the expensive side for me, for what it is, so I’m not sure that I would repurchase it.

Cargo_HD Picture Perfect Highlighter: This was in a FabFitFun box that I received several months ago. This was a pretty powder to use but it’s still a little pricey for me.

Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation: This was a sample in a Birchbox and I really liked it! The coverage was medium to high and the finish was kind of velvety. I’m willing to invest more in a foundation if it helps cover up my acne scarring.

It Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye Concealer: This used to be such a good product for me because of the coverage, but now I think it’s too heavy for my skin. I would recommend this though if you are looking for a full-coverage concealer!

FRAGRANCE

Stella by Stella McCartney: Stella!!!! This is my all-time favorite fragrance and I was so sad when I ran out. I had this for a few years and only used it on days that I needed a boost or for a special occasion. My cousin, Bec, wore this for years and I just loved the way it smelled on her–so I bought some of my own. I will probably repurchase this eventually because it’s just that good.

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Empties #7

It’s that time again–welcome to another Empties post! I’ve saved the bottles of all the beauty and skin care products I’ve used, over the last few months, and I’m going to give you my honest review of them. I really enjoy reading about what other people have used, and what they thought, because I always like trying new things. Let me know if you’ve used any of these and if you loved/hated them!

Makeup

Revlon Lash Potion Mascara. This formula is supposed to help your lashes grow longer but I didn’t notice any remarkable difference. I think the brush was also a little too big for my eyes and I never really used this mascara that much. I think the product had expired by the time I cleaned out this time.

Cover Girl LashBlast Mascara. This mascara is an awesome product to use, especially in waterproof. The formula helps you lashes to stay curled and the waterproof formula is very long-lasting.

ELF Poreless Face Primer. I have used a bottle of this primer before but did not have the same outcome as my previous experience. After I would apply my foundation, over the primer, the primer seemed to pill up and leave little grey dots all over my face. Because of that reaction, I’m not sure if I would buy this primer again. The Radiant Glow primer did the same thing on my skin, but I did like the luminosity that this product gave.

L’Oreal Telescopic Mascara. I think I am allergic to this formula because it made my eyes super red, itchy, and burn. I probably won’t buy this product again but I did notice a difference in my eyelash length.

L’Oreal Colour Riche Balm. This is one of the only lip products I ever remember finishing completely. This lipstick was more of a light moisturizer than an actual lipstick, and the pigmentation was very subtle. I will probably buy this again in the future.

Bare Minerals Prep Step Moisture Set. I found this at TJ Maxx this summer and really enjoyed it. The product left a pearlescent finish on the skin but also hydrated very nicely.

NYC Sun ‘n’ Bronze Bronzer. This bronzer is so affordable and it’s probably one of my all-time favorites. This product does not look muddy on my face and is not too shiny.

 Skin Care

Daiso Japan Charcoal Cleansing Foam. I bought this at Daiso, in Dallas, for $1.50 just for the mere fact that it was dirt cheap. Haha. I don’t know if I noticed a huge difference from using this product but, hey, for $1.50 I’ll try anything.

Retinol Gel Cleanser. I usually get this at TJ Maxx, for much cheaper, and it really helps to keep my cystic acne under control. I will keep buying this for sure and using it at night.

Andalou Glycolic Pumpkin Mask. I usually wait for this to go on sale at Sprouts or Whole Foods before I purchase it. I have used this a few times before and really like how it makes my skin look and feel. Glycolic products are also another thing that help to keep my acne under control, and I like that this product is all natural.

H20 Plus Face Oasis. I also found this at TJ Maxx, for a lot less, and used it during the colder months. The blue, gel-like product felt very hydrating and like a drink of water for my skin. If I can find this again, I would most likely re-purchase it.

Dr. Brandt Micodermabrasion Skin Exfoliant. I received this product in one of my subscription boxes and while it was a finely milled, gentle exfoliant, yikes–that price tag though. I will not re-purchase it again for that reason alone, but it was a nice treat to test this product.

ArtNaturals Serums. I really like ArtNatural products and will keep using them, when I can. I bought the Retinol and Vitamin C serums in a bundle and have been using them for a couple of years now. When used together, retinol and vitamin C are amazing for healing my problematic skin.

Body

Bath & Body Works Dark Kiss Body Wash. This scent is now retired–boo! This product has a very subtle scent of berry and musk and you have no need to wear perfume after using this.

Tone Radiant Glow Illuminating Body Wash. This was a fun product to use because it has sparkle in it and leaves your skin, literally, glowing.

Primal Pit Paste All Natural Lavender Deodorant. This is my absolute favorite deodorant to use. It’s on the pricier side but it is all natural and doesn’t make me break out in painful rashes. One your body adjusts to this deodorant, it controls everything you need it to control. I have bought this at Whole Foods and on Amazon in the past.

Hair

Garnier Volume Anti-Frizz Hairspray. This is my favorite hairspray to use because it holds for a long time and it protects against humidity.

Tresemme Thermal Creations Heat Tamer Spray. This heat spray’s scent is really nice and is my favorite part of the product. I use this off and on before drying my hair, or using heat tools, and it helps to protect from heat damage and gives my hair healthy shine.

Desert Essence Organic Red Raspberry Shampoo. I bought this during a BOGO sale a few months ago and even though the scent was nice, it did dry my hair out a little too much.

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Spring 2017 Empties 

The other day I was doing some Spring cleaning and trying to think of some new blog post ideas for the next few weeks. I pulled everything out from under my bed and saw a full box of empties. Voila! Today I’m going to walk you through all of the products that I have used in the last few months and my thoughts on them. There are a few things that I did not finish because they just didn’t work for me, but thankfully my mom and sisters are always willing to try new products. I’ve broken these products into categories because it makes it a more organized to review.

Makeup

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It Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC Cream Illumination. I think this is my third bottle that I’ve purchased and it’s my current favorite and the only foundation I use these days. A tube will last me about a month and a half and if you cut the top off with scissors, you can get a few more days wear out of it. This has a high coverage but also dewy, illuminous finish. And it smells like lemon which is nice to have a product that doesn’t smell overly perfumed.

Revlon ColorStay Moisture Stain in New York Scene. This was a nice, glossy lip stain that lasted a long time. I have had this particular one for quite a while though so I thought it was best to probably throw it away at this point.

Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment in Rose. This was a sample size that I received in a BirchBox and I loved it. This lip treatment was super hydrating and had a nice tint.

L’Oreal True Match Lumi Liquid Glow Illuminator. I really wanted to like this product because I love illuminators, but sadly I just didn’t. This finish was very patchy on my skin and just would not blend out. I tried it a few different ways but in the end it just wasn’t the match for me.

Benefit Cosmetics Dew The Hoola Matte Liquid Bronzer. This was another BirchBox sample that I received a few months ago. I really liked the finish of this product but it was a little too orange for my skin tone.

Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick. Ok, so I talked about this in a favorites post a few months ago but I think I’ve changed my mind about how I feel about this product. After several uses, I noticed that it really dried out and cracked my lips. I just found an awesome dupe for this product though from ColourPop.

3D Fiber Mascara. I don’t even remember what brand this is or where I got it but I had the WORST reaction. One day my entire right eyeball was solid red and pretty painful by the end of the day, so I will not use this again.

The BrowGal Eyebrow Gel. I just finished this up and I received it in a FabFitFun box. I really liked this product and it helped to hold all of my stray eyebrow hairs in place for the whole day. The price point is a little high for me to repurchase it, but I did find a dupe for it this week–Ardell Brow Sculpting Gel and I bought mine at Sally Beauty.

Moisturizer & Serum

H20 Plus Oasis Quench the Day Hydrating Mist. I found bottles of this at TJMaxx for $3.99 so I stocked up a few. I have been loving this product to apply before and after putting on makeup. I have one more bottle left from my stockpile so I’m trying to make it last.

Retinol Serum. I have been using a basic retinol serum the last several months and it’s really improved the texture and scarring that was caused by acne. I don’t have a specific brand that I use, just whatever is at TJMaxx or on Amazon for the best price.

Skin Laundry Brightening Serum. This was another FabFitFun product and while it really did help to brighten my skin, it wasn’t worth it to me to repurchase it.

Hyalauronic Acid Serum. This is another general product that I used a lot during the winter months. It really helped to pack in extra hyrdation and to prevent my skin from burning after using some other products that were a little harsher.

OSEA Atmosphere Protection Cream. This came in my first FabFitFun box and I liked it so much, and it did wonders to my skin, that I purchased it after being done with the sample bottle. However, I don’t know if my skin built up a tolerance to something but it just didn’t seem to do the orignal job once I was almost done with my second bottle. It is all natural, which I love, but it might be one of those things that I buy once a year and use it even more sparingly.

Vitamin C Serum. Another general product I’ve been using for a while. Vitamin C serum has helped a lot to treat redness, scar pigmentation, and to help my skin look much more even.

Makeup Remover

Burt’s Bees Facial Cleansing Towelettes in Pink Grapefruit. I used this packet for trips to the gym or weekend trips and they smell so nice. The grapefruit also helps to brighten the skin.

Watermelon Makeup Remover Wipes. I found these at TJMaxx for half the price of the Burt’s Bees ones and you get so much more in these packets. The scent was really fun and fruity and the product was just as effective.

Face Mask

Andalou Naturals 1000 Roses Rosewater Mask. This is another product that I really wanted to love because one of my friends really likes it. However, I might be allergic to rosewater because there was something in it that made me break out.

Pilaten Black Mud Face Mask. I bought this a long time ago before everyone started making YouTube videos of how painful this mask was to remove–but they weren’t kidding. You have to put on a pretty thick layer for it to not hurt as much and it takes about 45 minutes to dry. But boy does it do the job! I don’t know if this was a “fun” mask to use but it is definitely a good one to use on occasion.

Formula 10.0.6 Pores Be Pure Skin-Clarifying Mask. I love this brand of masks and there’s often a sale going on at Ulta. This mask smells like chocolate-covered strawberries and it is very gentle. This mask definitely wasn’t as powerful as the black mud mask but I really enjoyed using this product and will definitely buy it again.

Good Things Manuka Honey Radiance Face Mask. This was another TJMaxx find and it was only a few dollars. I really liked this mask and the honey worked really well to brighten my skin. If I can find this again for a good price, I might repurchase it.

Face Wash & Scrub

Boscia Detoxifying Black Cleanser. This product was a gift to me from one of my sweet friends. I really enjoyed using this wash because it has a warming effect to help cleanse deeper than a regular face wash. This wash also smells like hot tea, which is so soothing.

Malin+Goetz Grapefruit Face Cleanser. This was a BirchBox sample and I used this on a trip a few months ago. I can’t remember where I was going but I do remember that this product was super refreshing and smelled amazing.

Nuxe Reve de Miel Facial Cleansing and Makeup Removing Gel. Another reason to love Birchbox! This product was apparently discontinued but it was really nice while I had the chance to try it. I think I took this on a trip as well and it worked really well to remove makeup. This gel also smelled like ginger so I felt like my skin had some zing back after cleansing.

Good Things Deep Clean Scrub. This was a great facial scrub to use because it was very gentle but effective. I can’t seem to find this online but I did buy it at TJMaxx several months ago.

Origins Modern Friction Nature’s Gentle Dermabrasion. Yet again, thanks BirchBox! This was a really nice microdermabrasion scrub that was also gentle. My skin felt even and smooth after using it and it didn’t seem to burn or overly dry out my skin.

Haircare

OGX Anti-Gravity+Hydration o2 Shampoo. This shampoo smelled really fresh but I think that my hair just doesn’t respond well to hydrating shampoos like it used to. I probably won’t buy this again just because my hair was really oily by the end of the day.

Desert Essence Italian Lemon Shampoo. An amazing natural clarifying shampoo! I bought this at Sprouts during a BOGO sale, I’m currently using a Raspberry one, and it was so worth it. Plus it smells like gelato!

Batiste Dry Shampoo. I love this dry shampoo and I’ll keep buying it. I have found it for less, though, at Walmart or TJMaxx. I tried a few new scents over the last few months and I liked all of them except the “Neon” scent. I don’t know what it was but I just did not enjoy it at all. This product does give out a white-cast but the Blonde or Brunette ones are great to blend in to other hair colors. 

Dove Detox and Purify Dry Shampoo. I tried to find a dry shampoo that was less than Batiste but, even though this one is, it didn’t do anything for me except maybe make my hair greasier. Although there was no white-cast with this product, I think it was just a little too wet for my hair texture.

Big Sexy Hair Dry Shampoo. This was probably the worst dry shampoo I’ve ever used so far because it just made my hair so greasy and sticky. Sorry if that’s gross. I did get this through for only about $5.00 so I wasn’t out a lot of money for not being able to finish it. If you have thick hair, maybe this would work for you.

Whew, that was a lot of products! What have you been using in the last few months and what are your thoughts?

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Winter 2017 Empties

It’s Empties! It’s Empties time! In case you’re not familiar with an Empties post, it’s the kind when I talk all about the empty bottles of products that I’ve used over the last few months and what I thought of them. A few of these products are ones that I’ve talked about so much already so I won’t expound a ton more on those.

Face Wash

Vitamin C Makeup Cleansing Wipes. These were great for sticking in travel bags, gym bags, just taking off makeup, and they really helped to brighten my skin. You can find a variety of these makeup remover wipes at TJMaxx and for affordable prices.

PCA Facial Wash. I’ve talked about this product a lot, it’s one of my favorite products for acne-prone skin. You can read more about this product here.

Stemulation Daily Microderm Scrub Face & Body. This was one of the things in the Summer FabFitFun box in 2016 and I really liked the size of this product because it lasted me a long time. This scrub was gentle enough to use on the face but also worked great for exfoliating shoulder, knees, and elbows.

Makeup

Almay Smart Shade CC Luminous Primer. This is one of my favorite makeup primers because it helps to correct the complexion and it helps makeup last throughout the day. This primer lasted me a while also because you don’t need a lot of product for it to apply evenly to the whole face.

IPKN Radiant Creme Primer. This was a BirchBox sample and I loved it SO much. I’ve never seen my skin so luminous without makeup on. This was probably a notch above the Almay primer but I think I’m still going to buy the Almay primer next time.

Rimmel Lasting Finish 25 Hour Comfort Serum. This was a great, full coverage, matte foundation and it did not budge once applied. I used this a lot on travel days last fall and it helped keep everything in place during those long days and flights.

Elf Concealer. This is one of my favorite concealers because it is full coverage and lasts really well throughout the day. Plus, it’s $3.00 at Target.

Bare Minerals Marvelous Moxie Lip Gloss. This lip gloss was a little too sticky for me but I did like the color. This was a BirchBox sample and I nearly finished it. Does anyone have a hard time finishing liquid lip products like I do?

Face Moisturizer

H20 Plus Gel Moisturizer. I mentioned this product in my December Favorites and it’s still something I’m loving. It’s helping to keep my skin hydrated, it smells great, and it’s this calming, blue, gel consistency.

PCA Skin Rebalance. Another one of my favorite moisturizers and I’ve also mentioned it before in last year’s Winter Empties.

PCA Skin Silkcoat Balm. I bought this on Amazon when I ran out of ReBalance and didn’t have more in stock at that time. This wasn’t my favorite product to replace it with and I’m not sure that I’ll buy it again, it just didn’t seem to do anything for me.

Kiehl’s Powerful Strength Line Reducing Concentrate. That’s a mouthful. This was also a BirchBox sample and I used it on my trip to Iceland. There were a few days when I was really feeling tired and even though I’m not sure it helped me look less tired, I know that my eyes felt less puffy and droopy.

L’Occitane Divine Cream. My mom swears by this product but fair warning, it’s pricey. It does last you a while though so if you don’t use much, it can last a while and be more cost-effective. I did notice that my skin was smoother in texture but I only had a small sample size so I wasn’t able to make it last very long.

Body

Bath & Body Works Triple Moisture Body Cream in Hawaii Passionfruit Kiss. I bought this last winter after I had gone to Hawaii that fall. This does smell exactly what I remember from Hawaii so I tried to savor it and make it last a while. Don’t you love how scents can bring back memories?

Hair

Renpure Coconut Water Hydrating Shampoo. This was a nice shampoo to use because it has no sulfates, parabens, salts, gluten, etc. This product wasn’t earth-shattering to me but I didn’t hate it.

Batiste Dry Shampoo. It’s not an Empties post if I don’t mention one of these gems. I had 4 other bottles but you don’t need to see those, haha. If you want more info, here’s last spring’s Empties post.

I hope you enjoyed reading about these products and let me know if you’ve tried anything recently that you’re loving. I can’t believe that I’ve also done a whole year’s worth of these posts!

Love from, Amy.

Fall Empties 

Welcome back to another post where I tell you all about the empty bottles that have been sitting under my bed! If you have never read an “Empties” post, it’s basically my review of products that I have used in the last few months and bottles that I have saved. These are honestly some of my favorite posts to make because I love product testing! I have found a few new favorite things that I will repurchase, as well as identifying some that I will not repurchase.

Makeup

Boots No7 Lift & Luminate Foundation. It took me a while to finish this because I didn’t love it but I didn’t hate it. This may not be an ideal foundation for oily skin because it does make the skin very dewy.

Boots No7 Beautifully Matte Foundation. I’ve mentioned this before so I won’t say too much again, but this is my favorite full coverage foundation.

Almay Smart Shade Foundation. This used to be my go-to foundation as it used to match my skin perfectly. However, maybe just over time as my skin tone and skin type has changed–I don’t really like it that much anymore. Plus it shows up a little too orange for me.

Jergens Natural Glow Daily Face Moisturizer. This is a gradual self-tanner for the face and I used it all throughout the summer. This was a product that I replaced when it ran out.

Elf Tone Adjusting Face Primer. While this was inexpensive and it did help my foundation last a little longer, I didn’t notice too much that it helped reduce any redness or discoloration. This is a great makeup primer though for the price.

Covergirl True Blend Foundation. This is probably a close second favorite of mine as far as foundation. This provides a medium amount of coverage and doesn’t take a whole lot to apply. This foundation line also comes in several shades so odds are that there’s a good shade that will match your skin.

Maybelline Age Rewind Concealer. This is one of my favorite products ever because it is pretty full coverage concealer for under the eyes and for spot treatments.

Purlisse BB Cream. This was a Birchbox sample and it left my skin looking super healthy! This was a light coverage BB cream so it would be good to use on good skin days, but not to great if you need a lot of coverage.

Skincare

PCA Face Wash Oily/Problem. I’ve mentioned this before but this is saving my face!

PCA Smoothing Toner. SAME! This is the second bottle I’ve bought in the last several months. This is a lactic acid toner and acts like a chemical exfoliator. This has been amazing for breaking down milia.

PCA ReBalance. YASSS!

Simple Cleansing Micellar Water. Micellar Waters are a huge beauty care trend at the moment. Micellar Water is a great product for removing makeup and very effortlessly. Just pour a little bit on a cotton round and swipe it all over your face and eyes and watch it work it’s magic.

Osea Atmosphere Protection Cream. This has a few drops left and I’m majorly savoring it. I even added in a little water to make sure I get every last drop. This is another product that has absolutely been restoring my damaged skin and I might end up caving and buying a new one when I run out.

Evologie Intensive Blemish Serum. I think I have mentioned this too but this is an amazingly strong, but gentle, acne treatment serum. I did buy the full-sized product after sample it through BirchBox, and I will buy it again if my skin completely breaks out again.

Dr. Oz Hyalauronic Acid Serum. I bought this on Amazon several months ago and just finished it. This serum helps add some extra moisture to my skin and also helps other products sink in more effectively.

Medyskin Retinol Serum. I have already replaced this product and it’s been helping with acne scar discoloration and keeping the cystic spots under control.

Bare Republic by Coola Natural SPF. This is my favorite brand of face sunscreen because it is very gently and smells great. Other brands of sunscreen tend to burn my face and cause more irritation.

Retinol Face Cleansing Wipes. These were great for removing make up on the go, or after a gym sesh, but also with the benefits of retinol. I think these were around $3 at TJMaxx, which is a steal for the amount of face wipes you get.

Body

Nivea In Shower Body Lotion. This is great for the lazy girl who doesn’t want to have to lather up with lotion after drying off from the shower. Just rub in to skin and rinse off and you’re all set!

Sport by Herban Cowboy Natural Deodorant. I couldn’t even finish this because it burned my skin so bad and left my arms feeling painful. I’m not sure what even caused that pain since this is a natural product but I gave it a good try.

Kiss My Face Active Life Deodorant. This was the same as the last deodorant and I couldn’t finish it either.

SHE Lemon & Grapefruit Body Scrub. This was so zesty, citrusy, and summery! I used a fair amount of self tanner this summer for some events and after a while it started to become patchy and I just needed a good scrub. This product worked magic but also left my skin feeling soft afterwards.

Hello Legs Shaving Lotion by FabFitFun. Definitely worked and made my legs super soft, but I didn’t love it enough to buy it again.

Kopari Coconut Crush Body Scrub. This was a BirchBox sample and was a great scrub to take on trips.

Hair

Suave Daily Clarifying Shampoo. I love this for 2 reasons, one because it’s dirt cheap and secondly because it strips down all of the product build up and oil that one might have.

Clairol Hair Food Volume Conditioner. While this smelled great and I like that it didn’t have sulfates in it, I wasn’t super impressed so I probably won’t buy this again.

Batiste Dry Shampoo. It wouldn’t be an empties post without one of these bad boys. I actually had like five in the box but didn’t think it was necessary to show all five. This is the best dry shampoo ever.

Whew, that was a lot. Thanks for bearing with and let me know if you have an Empties from the past few months you loved/hated.

Love from, Amy.