Amateur Writer | Professional Nerd

Trash Talk: March 2020 Empties

Let’s just say it. March 2020 was a dumpster fire. My 90-day trial for 2020 is over, and I definitely want to cancel my subscription. The good news is that I was able to finish quite a lot of products, especially when it comes to hand soap because The ‘Rona is real, y’all!! Stay at home. Wash your hands. Sneeze and cough in your elbow or a tissue. Throw that tissue in the trash. Then wash your hands.

Now that we’re done with that PSA, let’s talk empties. I’m sharing the products I’ve loved, the products I thought were just a’ight, the products I hated, and the products I’m decluttering. This month, I have 48 empties!!! 😮 That might be a record for me.


I absolutely loved every product on this list, and I can’t get enough of them. I rated everything on this list Haul It. Even though there are a few products below that can often be found on sale (so there is no need to pay full price), they are still worth the regular price haul if you can’t wait for discounts. Actually, a number of these products are holy grails in my skin care routine. I gladly recommend them all!!

March 2020 Empties - Loves
  • The Crème Shop Hello Kitty Celebrate Me Time Youth-Promoting Printed Essence Sheet Mask – This was a clearance buy, and this mask is so good that I wish it was still available for purchase. There was so much serum in this mask!!! My dry skin felt plump and nourished after a 20-minute session. If I ever see this mask out in the wild again, it will be in my cart immediately!!! I would highly recommend this to anyone looking for hydrating sheet masks. 
  • The Crème Shop Hello Kitty Ready Set Glow Sheet Mask – Another clearance buy that makes me sad because I will most likely never get to use this again. The serum in this mask is so milky and creamy, and my skin soaked up every last drop.
  • Essie Spa Many Many Mani Intensive Hand Lotion – I only tried this hand lotion because of bonus points at Ulta. I paid $20, and some may consider this too much to pay for a hand lotion. I will caveat that with the fact that this lasted me over a year, and this lotion was amazeballs!!! I would buy it again in a heartbeat, but Ulta no longer sells it. 
  • Kiehl’s Since 1851 Creme D’Elegance Repairateur – This has been my holy grail moisturizer for the past few years. I would highly recommend this face cream to anyone with dry skin looking for a rich face cream. 
  • Kiehl’s Since 1851 Ultra Facial Cleanser – I absolutely love this as a second cleanser in my evening skincare routine. It has a light foam that gives me the clean feel I enjoy without feeling like my dry skin is being stripped. Only a small amount of cleanser is needed, so a tube will last several months.
  • Mon Guerlain Eau de Parfum – I absolutely LOVE this fragrance!!! I was skeptical because the initial scent smells like a traditional “old lady perfume.” Luckily, that scent quickly dissipates once the fragrance melds with my body chemistry and smells like a spicy, vanilla floral.
  • Shiseido Facial Cotton – This is a staple in my skincare routine. Whenever I see a pack at TJ Maxx, I grab them all. If you think these are over hyped, I’m here to tell you that I was once like you too. Now, I sing the praises of the Shiseido Facial Cotton!! I’m a convert and will never use any other cotton pads (unless they’re reusable).
  • TonyMoly Master Lab Hyaluronic Acid Mask Sheet – I really love this sheet mask, and I pick it up whenever there is a sale at Ulta. Lucky for me, there is always a sale. However, I would still buy this mask without a sale. It’s just that good.
  • Too Cool for School Egg Cream Mask (Hydration) – This mask is great for my fellow dry skin beauties! This is another sheet mask full of a creamy serum that my skin just soaks up. This mask is definitely pricey for a one time mask, so I recommend waiting for a sale to pick this up, but you should definitely pick it up. 
  • Vichy LiftActiv Vitamin C Skin Brightening Corrector – I finally got around to trying a Vitamin C! Using the Vichy Vitamin C has made me see the difference a Vitamin C can make in my skincare routine. My face feels firmer, my pores are less visible, and my post acne scars are disappearing faster than usual. I’m almost finished with my second bottle and will forever sing the praises of Vichy Vitamin C. The only downside is this will not be a permanent Vitamin C in my routine due to its high concentration of denatured alcohol. 


In this section are products I generally enjoyed using. I would seriously consider purchasing some of these products again or purchasing the full size version when it comes to samples. Some are products I would buy without a second thought. Others are products I would pick up … if they were on sale. Keep reading, and I’ll let you know what you need to add to your wish list and what you can put on hold until a good sale.

March 2020 Empties - Likes
  • Bath & Body Works Toasted Vanilla Chai Deep Cleaning Hand Soap – For the most part, you can never go wrong with anything from Bath & Body Works if the product has a scent you like. Vanilla is one of my favorite scents, so I enjoyed this hand soap. RatingHaul It
  • Bath & Body Works Mahogany Coconut Wallflower – If you are looking for a coconut scent, this ain’t it chief. This Wallflower smells like a sweeter version of Mahogany Teakwood. I like that scent, but is not always a fan favorite. I was looking for a spicy coconut, and this didn’t give me that. RatingScam Alert
  • Catrice Prime and Fine Anti-Shine Fixing Spray – If you are looking for a matte spray without alcohol, then look no further than this setting spray from Catrice. I like that this spray helps give my makeup lasting power, but it doesn’t dry out my dry skin. I have read reviews that complained about the scent, but I didn’t notice any off-putting scent. Another positive about this setting spray is the price. It is less than $10. However, you may find yourself running through it quickly if you wear makeup often. I used the entire bottle within one month, but I would quickly pick this up again. RatingHaul It
  • Clarisonic Skincare Cashmere Cleanse Facial Cleansing Brush Head – The original Radiance Brush Head is my favorite. I like that the bristles on the Cashmere Brush Head are super soft, but doesn’t have the stiffness I like in the brush head in order to get a deeper clean. If you are looking for the gentlest brush for your sensitive skin, then the Cashmere Brush Head may be a must buy, but it is not a decent replacement for fans of the Radiance Brush Head. RatingClearance Bound
  • Dove Beauty Finish Dry Spray – Since discovering this dry spray, it has been my HG deodorant. I no longer get white stains on my shirts, and I stay dry and fresh all day. RatingHaul It
  • EcoTools Makeup Brush Shampoo – This was a good shampoo for washing off powder products, but it wasn’t as great with handling liquids and creams. It also did almost nothing for my sponges. If you’re in a pinch and need a brush cleaner that won’t break the bank, then EcoTools is worth the buy. However, it’s not a must buy since it can’t clean all of my tools. RatingClearance Bound
  • Farmacy Honey Ginger Lip Bloom – I found this at TJ Maxx. I like how this balm felt on my lips, and the jar lasted about a year with me using it once a day. This is not on my repurchase list unless I see it again at TJ Maxx, and it’s in another scent. I wasn’t a fan of this scent. It was more ginger. I wanted more honey. I would only recommend picking this up on sale. RatingClearance Bound
  • First Aid Beauty Hello FAB Coconut Skin Smoothie Priming Moisturizer (Sample) – This primer provided both moisture and luminosity. The moisturizer can be worn alone, but on my deep complexion, it looked kind of ashy. I would only recommend using this as a stand alone moisturizer if you have a light to medium complexion. However, I love how much extra glow this gave to my foundation. I would definitely buy a full size version. RatingHaul It
  • Florence by Mills One Swipe Glow Wipe Treatment Pads – I bought these for my dark knees and elbows. I haven’t seen major results yet, but I am going to use it a few more times before making a final decision. The only negative I have at the moment is the picture on the Ulta website is deceiving. The pads are actually not the same diameter as the jar. These remind me of the First Aid Beauty Radiance Pads for those in search of a dupe. RatingClearance Bound
  • Garnier SkinActive Micellar Cleansing Water – For the longest time this has been my go-to micellar water. I use it between my first and second cleanse to remove any makeup residue. This is very affordable and lasts a long time. I would recommend this for anyone looking for a gentle makeup remover to take off a light layer of makeup. RatingClearance Bound
  • It’s Skin Rose Moisture & Vitality Mask Sheet – If you love rose-scented skincare, then this is a must buy. This sheet mask has so much serum, and my skin felt nourished, plump, and hydrating after my 20-minute sheet mask session. RatingHaul It
  • Laura Mercier Caviar Volume Panoramic Mascara (Sample) – It’s rare that I am wowed by mascara, but I absolutely loved how long and thick my lashes looked with this mascara. Even with the crappy Milani Lash Primer, my lashes looked gorgeous. I am not ready to pay $25 for a mascara. However, if there is a sale or points to redeem, then this mascara would be hauled immediately. RatingHaul It
  • Sephora Honey Hand Polish – This is a gentle hand scrub that smells just like honey. If you use hand scrubs often, then you will run through this quickly because this is a very small travel size tube. Overall, this is a good product, but not a must buy product. RatingClearance Bound
  • Touch in Sol No Poreblem Primer (Sample) – Although I really liked this primer, I don’t think it did anything amazing for my makeup. I don’t have enormous pores, but they are visible. This primer didn’t make them invisible, so if you are looking for a primer to do that, then this isn’t the primer you want. I would purchase a full size version of this primer since it is less than $20, but it’s not on my “I need to buy it now!” list. RatingClearance Bound
  • Tree Hut Moisturizing Shave Oil – This shave oil works so well with the Schick Intuition and gives me the smoothest shave. My legs feel silky smooth, and I feel like the hair grows back more slowly. RatingHaul It
  • Truly Unicorn Fruit Whipped Body Butter – This smells like cotton candy and makes me shine like a brand new penny. I LOVE it! RatingHaul It
  • Ulta Beauty Rosemary Mint Foaming Hand Soap – In this time of the Coronas, hand soap is more important than ever. I was surprised how much I enjoyed the Rosemary Mint scent because I generally hate everything mint flavored. However, the mint scent is not strong and the combination of rosemary and mint actually gives me a spa feeling while I wash my hands. RatingHaul It


For me, everything under the “Mehs” are products that I didn’t hate, but I was not wowed by them. Some are items I would buy for the right price. Others I will probably steer clear of from now on.

March 2020 Empties - Mehs
  • Buxom Lash Volumizing Mascara (Sample) –  I like how the brush separated my lashes, but I needed a lash primer to give them any real volume. This mascara didn’t wow me at all. I wouldn’t mind getting this at a discount or as a deluxe sample, but I wouldn’t buy it at full price. RatingClearance Bound
  • Dermal Olive Collagen Essence Mask – This mask was part of a set of masks the beau bought me for Christmas. Like the previous ones I’ve used. It was okay, but I wasn’t wowed by it. I don’t think I would buy this on my own, but I would happily accept it as a gift. RatingClearance Bound
  • Diamond Cosmetics 3-Way Buffer – This costs $0.99, and it lasts as long as you would expect something that costs $1 to last. It worked well enough while I used it. I would only recommend it for someone that needs a buffer in a crunch or for occasional uses. RatingClearance Bound
  • Japonesque Goat Milk Cleansing Balm Solid Brush Cleanser – I used to love this brush cleanser, so I was super excited to find it at TJ Maxx. However, after using the first of the two jars I bought, I am singing a different tune. This works the best on brushes with powder products. If I’m washing brushes with creams or liquids, it takes longer to work up a good lather, and it does nothing for my sponges. I spent less than $5 on this, so I would buy it again at that price. It wouldn’t be top of the list since it doesn’t work the best for all my makeup tools. RatingClearance Bound
  • Kiehl’s Since 1851 Amino Acid Conditioner – I was excited to use this since it’s silicone-free since I have low porosity hair. I used this for my pre-poo treatment. There is nothing spectacular about this conditioner. You can still find a decent silicone-free conditioner at a more reasonable price than this one because $10 for 2.5 oz of product is a lot to ask for a basic conditioner. RatingScam Alert
  • Living Proof Perfect Hair Day Conditioner (Sample) – I tried this once as a pre-poo treatment and once while washing my wig. I wasn’t wowed by the results either time. This conditioner costs too much money to give these lackluster results. RatingScam Alert
  • Sephora Rose Hand Balm – There is nothing balmy about this balm. It is a light rose-scented moisturizer. As a person with dry skin, I like a thick, rich cream. This “balm” fell short of that. I would recommend this for those looking for a light hand lotion. RatingScam Alert
  • Tarte Micellar Magic Makeup Remover & Cleanser – I fell for the cute packaging, but the product itself didn’t really delight me. Sometimes the product burned my eyes, and that is never good for a product for removing eye makeup. Don’t be like me and fall for cute packaging. RatingScam Alert
  • Ulta Beauty Coconut Cream / Sea Salt Splash Foaming Hand Soap  – Both these scents didn’t wow me at all. I was most disappointed by the Coconut Cream because I love coconut-scented products. This hand soap gave me no coconuts. I wasn’t really sure what Sea Salt would bring, but it smelled like some basic ocean water scent. I won’t be jumping at the opportunity to repurchase either of these. RatingClearance Bound
  • Yes to Tomatoes Detoxifying Charcoal Cleanser – I used this as a brush cleanser because someone in the Sephora BIC recommended it as a dupe for the BeautyBlender BlenderCleanser Solid Pro. Let me just say, this Yes to Cleanser will NEVER replace the BeautyBlender Solid Pro!!! It does a good job with my brushes, but it does NOTHING when it comes to cleaning my sponges. I might buy it again if I want to save a buck on my brush cleanser. RatingClearance Bound


All the products in this category are the opposite of “Loves.” I did not have an enjoyable experience with these products. I will never repurchase them. I will never recommend them. I ate them all as a Scam Alert. You have been warned!

March 2020 Empties - Nopes
  • Clinique Happy Perfume Spray – I got a mini size of the fragrance in a holiday set with the Happy Gelato Cream. This fragrance is a strong mix of citrus fruits and flowers, which is the opposite of scents that speak to me. Although Clinique Happy is supposed to be a light and airy fragrance, it felt heavy and perfume-y to me. I was not a fan of this scent, and it did not make me feel happy in the slightest. I will be staying far, far, far way from this fragrance. Unless you want to smell like grapefruits and flowers, then I suggest you also stay far, far, far away from Clinique Happy. 
  • Cover FX Illuminating Setting Spray – This might be one of the most disappointing products of the month. I was excited to finally give this setting spray a try because I can’t resist a spray with a little sparkle. Unfortunately this gave me all the wrong sparkle by leaving pink splotches on my face. This was definitely the fail of the month.
  • Curlsmith Ultimate Lengths 30-Day Therapy – After 3 months of use, I didn’t see any results worthy of praise. The pills taste disgusting, and all of the touted claims just seem false and empty. I say save your money and just keep taking your regular multivitamin. You will probably get better results from those.
  • Earth Therapeutics Collagen Pure Gel Under Eye Patches – The good thing about these eye patches is they have plenty of serum. The bad news is they never stay in place. Unless you are lying flat, these will slip and slide all over your face. If you see these on the shelf, keep walking. They aren’t worth it.
  • Jade Roller – I found this no name jade roller at TJ Maxx because I wasn’t looking to spend a lot of money in case I turned out not to like it. The third time I used it, the small stone fell off. I continued to use it, but I finally decided to declutter it since getting the PMD Clean. Also, the metal pieces are starting to rust, which also encouraged me to finally let this go.
  • Kiehl’s Since 1851 Daily Reviving Concentrate – I used this serum for years, and I absolutely loved it. My skin glowed, and it felt like I was getting a spa treatment every day. However, as I move to using less fragrance in my skincare, this essential oil-laden serum had to go. I still have one more bottle I purchased before my epiphany, so our journey hasn’t come to an end just yet. Overall, this product is too pricey without much benefit to justify a recommendation.
  • Mario Badescu Cleansing Milk with Carnation & Rice Oil – The texture for this is too liquidy for my liking, and the smell is off putting, which makes me really sad because this is one of the few Mario Badescu cleansers without fragrance. I will never repurchase this cleansing milk. 
  • Maybelline Lash Discovery Mini-Brush Mascara – I thought this would be good for my lower lashes. It wasn’t. Every time I used this mascara, it was smudge city. The only positive is the small brush.
  • Milani The Violet One Lash Primer – This primer does not slap. It is gloppy and makes my lashes clump together. This also doesn’t work with any mascara I used with it. No matter the mascara, or the number of coats, there was still primer showing through. I would not recommend this lash primer to anyone.
  • Ren Clean Skincare AHA Smart Renewal Body Serum – This serum did nothing for me in terms of evening out my skin, and my skin didn’t feel any softer than when I used my regular moisturizer. Others may feel this product was a game changer, but this only made me feel like I got got.
  • Ulta Beauty Crystal Nail File – I don’t think I’ve had this file for a year, and it has already dulled to a point where it is unusable. It is definitely affordable, but having to replace it often doesn’t help with the affordability. If I receive this free, great, but I wouldn’t willingly spend my coins on this nail file.

Share the empties you loved (and hated) in the comments!