Amateur Writer | Professional Nerd

Trash Talk: First Empties of 2021

It’s a new year, but I’m still bringing classic empties energy! I’ve finished so many products in the first month of 2021, and I’m excited to let you know how I felt about them. Enough small talk, let’s get down to business.

Sheet Masks

The best part of this picture is the packaging for the Banila Co Dear Hydration. Doesn’t it look like an emoji with some serious grievances?

January 2021 Sheet Mask Empties
Banila Co Dear Hydration Sheet Mask – Definitely lives up to its name. This mask was dripping with serum and still had plenty left in the pouch. I fell in love immediately and have already purchased two more. BioBelle Peachy Facial Mask – Smells like peaches with lots of serum! This is another cute Instagram-worthy peach print mask. I would absolutely repurchase. Bliss Rose Gold Foil Sheet Mask – Not only is this loaded with serum, it is also super cute with rose gold foil and a rose pattern that is perfect for an Instagram selfie. Although it’s a two piece mask, it stayed on my face! Dr. Jart+ Vital Hydra Solution Mask – Love this! I’ve purchased this multiple times, and I will continue to do so. Huangjisoo British Rose Hydrating Mask – After singing the praises of the Shea Mask, I’m back celebrating the other mask I purchased that I also now regret not buying in bulk. This mask had so much milky serum and a lovely rose scent that wasn’t overpowering. Lapcos Red Wine Daily Sheet Mask – No noticeable fragrance, plenty of serum, fit my face perfectly. The Crème Shop Slow Down, Skin! Mask – Has adorable sloth print and loads of serum. Who can say no to that totes adorbs face?! Ulta Beauty Holiday Animals Puppy Hydrating Sheet Mask – Cute sheet mask with plenty of serum.

Body Care

As this photo shows, I definitely spent the month of January bathing in moisturizer. I finished three full size bottles!!

January 2021 Body Care Empties
Bath & Body Works Snowflakes & Cashmere Moisturizing Body Wash – Has a light milky cream scent. I prefer more of a punch in the scent of my shower products, so I wouldn’t go out of my way to repurchase. Dove Dry Spray Shea Butter Antiperspirant Deodorant – My staple deodorant in a scent I really enjoy. Kiehl’s Creme de Corps – The only moisturizer that keeps my dry skin nourished and moisturized. I will never not use this lotion. La Roche-Posay Lipikar AP+ Balm – Love how thick and rich this is, but the natural scent made me want to vomit. This is the one time I wish they added a fragrance. Love Beauty & Planet Argan Oil & Lavender Relaxing Rain Body Wash – The name is a perfect fit. The lavender scent is strong, but not overwhelming. This is the perfect evening body wash. The packaging is also aesthetically pleasing. Love Wellness Do It All Wipes – Meh. These were handy when I needed to freshen up post workout, but they’re not a necessity in my routine. Soap & Glory Drop in the Lotion Lightweight Body Lotion – This is a constant rotation in my routine. Even though it doesn’t smell like coconut to me, I still enjoy its sweet scent. It’s very light on the skin and leaves it with a nice sheen. My skin is too dry to use this as a regular moisturizer, but it might work for anyone who has oily skin or who doesn’t really like wearing lotion. Supergoop! Play SPF 50 Antioxidant Body MistSupergoop! can really do no wrong in my book. This sunscreen is no exception. It has a fine mister that allows for quick and easy touch ups. However, I would only recommend this sunscreen to people with dry skin because it contains plenty of oils that left my skin with a glowing sheen, but may make others feel greasy.


I love samples that make me realize how much I enjoy a product that is already in my collection or that make me want to immediately buy it in a full size. Although there are some busts in this bunch (read: basically all of the fragrances), there are so many unexpected wins!

January 2021 Samples Empties
Aerin Amber Musk Eau de Parfum – Had a pleasant smell initially, but it didn’t last long. Chloé – Floral that isn’t too overwhelming, but it’s not a fragrance I want to have in a full size bottle. Clinique Even Better Makeup – I already have a full size of this, and it’s one of the foundations that I really like. Clinique Moisture Surge Hydrating Supercharged Concentrate – I liked this as a hydrating serum, which is good because I recently bought a full size bottle. Derek Lam 10 Crosby Blackout Eau de Parfum – Didn’t like this at all. Has more of a masculine scent. Dolce & Gabbana Dolce Garden Eau de Parfum – Being a floral fragrance, I was surprised how much I liked this scent. I have a full size of this on my to-buy list. Drunk Elephant A-Passioni Retinol Cream – Seems okay, but I’m not interested in purchasing from the brand. Their vibes are off putting. Ellis Brooklyn West Eau de Parfum – The only note I enjoyed was the bitter orange. The rest was trash. Hair Ritual by Sisley Regenerating Hair Care Mask – Used a pre-poo treatment. Had more of a conditioner texture than a mask one. No noticeable scent and my hair didn’t feel any different than it does with my current pre-poo conditioner. Juice Beauty STEM CELLULAR Anti-Wrinkle Moisturizer – Nice moisturizer, but wasn’t a fan of the scent. I don’t want to try a bigger size.
Juliette Has a Gun Not a Perfume Superdose Eau de Parfum – Eww!! I hated this fragrance with every spray. I couldn’t finish this sample fast enough. Juliette Has a Gun Moscow Mule Eau de Parfum – Bleh Lancôme Idôle Eau de Parfum – Eh … smells like a basic generic floral fragrance on me. Laneige Cream Skin – Lightweight yet nourishing to the skin; Prefer it as a mist. L’Occitane Immortelle Precieuse Eye Balm – Used to give an extra moisture prior to applying concealer. Texture is not as rich as I prefer. L’Oréal Infallible Fresh Wear Foundation – Used the shade 520 – Sienna. The shade match was good. Might get if I need an affordable foundation. Milk Makeup Vegan Milk Cleanser – This was okay, but I’m not interested in buying this in full size. Morphe Filter Effect Soft-Focus Foundation – I received this as part of the foundation sample pack in a recent order. The shade closest to my skin tone in the set was Filter Deep 34. I liked this immediately. ROC Retinol Correxion Line Smoothing Night Serum – Product was fine, but the packaging was too complicated and unnecessary for me. I can see myself dropping a vial in the trash or in the toilet trying to open it. Tocca Florence Eau de Parfum – Another boring floral. Urban Decay Stay Naked HydroManiac Tinted Glow Hydrator – Used the shade 80 from the sample. Looked like a decent match from the limited shade range. It felt light on the skin. Urban Decay Stay Naked Weightless Liquid Foundation – Used shade 80WR, which seemed to be a decent match. I would most likely mix this with the aforementioned HydroManiac. Versace Eros Pour Femme Eau de Toilette – Although I have more positive than negative feelings toward this fruity floral scent, I didn’t enjoy it enough to want a full size bottle. Wishful Honey Balm – Love the texture and how rich it is. I would purchase a full size if it didn’t have niacinamide. I prefer my face creams without any active ingredients. Youth to the People Superberry Hydrate + Glow Dream Mask – I already have a full size version of this, and I love it!

Home and Hand Care

Thanks to the ‘Rona, my empties continue to have plenty of hand soap and sanitizer. I also went through better candles after the Hallmark disappointment.

January 2021 Home and Hand Care Empties
Ahava DeadSea Water Mineral Hand Cream – Rich texture that feels thick but absorbs quickly. The scent is soft and relaxing like a day at the spa. Bath & Body Works Peach Bellini Creamy Luxe Hand Soap – Smells like millions of peaches, peaches for me. The soap feels luxurious, and the bottle looks cute in the bathroom. CND Solar Oil – Smells delicious thanks to the almond oil. Leaves cuticles and nails feeling nourished and looking shiny and healthy. Milani Rose Hand Sanitizer – Thought it would be a liquid spray, but it squirts out as a gel. Smells like roses. The scent lingers for a bit, but the fragrance isn’t overpowering. Only a small amount of gel pumps out at a time, so it takes a lot of pumps to get a good amount. Pacifica Aloe BFF Hand Antiseptic – Has a pleasant scent, but also a sticky and goopy texture that feels gross. White Barn Ballerina Rose Scented Candle – Has a beautiful rose scent that I would buy again and again. White Barn Mahogany Teakwood Gentle Gel Hand Soap – I really like this manly musk scent and would definitely buy this again.


If you add this bunch with the sheet masks, I average finishing a skincare product every day. Now, that’s impressive!

January 2021 Skincare Empties
Acure Seriously Soothing Blue Tansy Serum Stick – I freaking LOVE this thing! It’s been a constant in many of my empties. I’m sad that it’s no longer available at Ulta. Acure Ultra Hydrating Watermelon Seed Oil – This isn’t my first rodeo with this oil. I loved it then, and I still love it now. It works great with locking in my daytime routine and helping to prep my skin for makeup. Banila Co Clean It Zero Nourishing Cleansing Balm – I immediately fell in love with the original Banila Co cleansing balm. For my dry skin, I decided to try the Nourishing one, and I absolutely LOVE this stuff! I highly recommend it, and it will definitely be in future empties. Bare Republic Mineral Sunscreen Stick SPF 50 – Love the convenience of the stick, but this leaves my skin with the dreaded white cast. Cannuka CBD Calming Eye Balm – Has an earthy medicinal scent, but it’s not overpowering. Very rich eye balm that provides a very moisturized base prior to concealer application. A little goes a long way, so this will last a while. Clinique Moisture Surge 72-Hour Auto-Replenishing Hydrator – Okay moisturizer for the daytime, but it only works for my dry skin because I layer an occlusive. However, I hate the texture of gel creams, so I would never purchase this. COSRX Full Fit Propolis Light Ampoule – No noticeable scent; lightweight serum that leaves my skin feel softer, brighter, and more dewy. I would definitely repurchase. The only negative is I finished the bottle faster than expected. First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream – Light, fluffy cream that made my dry skin feel amazing. Heritage Store Rosewater Hydrating Face Mist – Has a lovely scent and a good mist. Might try a full size one day. Hero Cosmetics Mighty Patch – These were okay just like any other pimple patches, but the packaging was overkill. Indie Lee CoQ-10 Toner – This is another absolutely fave! It’s pricey, so I only buy it when there is a sale!
La Roche-Posay Effaclar Purifying Gel Cleanser for Oily Skin – Much too stripping for my dry skin. Accidentally purchased instead of Toleriane Foaming Cleanser which doesn’t dry out my skin. Mixing in a cream cleanser makes this tolerable. La Roche-Posay Toleriane Purifying Foaming Cleanser – Used to wash my face in the shower. Despite this being made for Normal to Oily Skin, my dry skin really enjoyed this cleanser. It doesn’t leave my skin feeling stripped. Milani Rosewater Hydrating Mist – Love the fine spray and the rosewater scent, but it didn’t last long enough for a power user like me. Oh K! Chok Chok Hydrating Serum Mist – Has a jetpack mister, but product feels very hydrating. Contains niacinamide, so only used once during routine right after cleansing. Might repurchase. Olay Regenerist Retinol 24 Night Serum – Gentle enough to use daily, and lasts for months. I already have another bottle waiting in the stash. Peach Slices Deep Blemish Microdarts – Worked well enough. Since they aren’t overpriced, I would purchase them again. Shiseido Facial Cotton – These are the best cotton pads. Period. I only stopped using them because I started using reusable cotton rounds. Trilogy Hydrating Mist Toner – Hated the scent, but the mister was nice. Vichy Pureté Thermale 3-in-1 One Step Cleanser – Fell in love after one use! It has a thin milky texture that feels great on my dry skin and mixes well with other cleansers. There is fragrance, so this isn’t for the no fragrance in skincare bunch. I liked the scent. It’s not overpowering and doesn’t linger.

Hair and Makeup

These empties feel the best because it takes sooooooo long to finish products in these categories.

January 2021 Hair and Makeup Empties
Carol’s Daughter Black Vanilla Edge Control Smoother – The scent is gone. The texture is weird. I haven’t used it in ages. It’s time to declutter this thing. CoverFX Correct Click – Decent color corrector, but I would like different packaging. DevaCurl Supercream Coconut Curl Styler – When taking out my twists and detangling my hair on wash day, I had more than usual shedding and tangles. Nothing in my routine was different except for this cream. I’ve heard horror stories about DevaCurl products destroying people’s hair, and I seem to have been on my way to having a similar experience. I immediately decluttered this. Ofra Makeup Fixer – Has a light mister and a pleasant scent. Worked well with any makeup or application technique I used. Would purchase again during a sale. PHYTOPHANÈRE Dietary Supplement for Hair & Nails – I saw a lot of growth in my nails over the months I used these, but only a little in terms of hair growth. Too Faced Born This Way Super Coverage Multi-Use Sculpting Concealer – The color Butterscotch is too caucasian for me, but the product gives great coverage.  Ulta Beauty Brush and Sponge Cleaner – Used to clean up makeup spills on my vanity and wipe down my mixing plate. Works great for the way I use it and lasts a long time.

What’s the best (or worst) of your first of 2021 empties?