Good to the Last Drop – Cruelty-Free Beauty Empties Ep. 1.

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Cruelty-Free Beauty Empties.

I love watching makeup empties videos. I’m not sure if it’s because you get to see what someone really thinks about a product, or just the satisfaction of an empty container. Probably both.

Just today, actually, I posted my empties video for August 2020 (it’s also embedded at the end of this post!). All of my products seemed to get used up around the same time. Does that also happen to you? I’ll go forever and not have a single empty, then I get a bunch all in a week.

This month I had quite a few duds, but I wanted to focus on the best products I’ve used up.

The best products I’ve used up this month.

Alba Botanica Sport Sunscreen SPF 45.

Photo of an empty tube of the Alba Botanica Sport Sunscreen SPF 45.

Honestly, I have way too much sunscreen for someone who rarely goes outside. But I actually had to repurchase this while I was out this summer!

We went to the beach (don’t worry, we were staying in a camper and the beach was not crowded at all) and I used a surprising amount of sunscreen. I was determined to not get burnt, and all I got was a little crispy on my shoulders and part of my arm where I was using a boogie board. All in all, I’d consider that a win.

Surprisingly, I had to repurchase it and Walmart had some from Alba Botanica. That was pretty much the only cruelty-free option. It was even in that big display of sunscreens, I didn’t have to hunt for it down the regular sunscreen aisle. My stash of sunscreen is full at home, so I don’t know why I didn’t bring more than one bottle.

Anyways. This sunscreen worked pretty well. I reapplied every hour or so, at least to the worst spots like my face and shoulders. No reactions or anything, though I don’t recall ever being sensitive to sunscreen.

I would highly recommend Alba Botanica sunscreens! They are affordable and easily accessible.

Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge.

Photo of an old and dirty Real Techniques Miracle Complexiion Sponge. (Sorry).
Sorry for the dirty sponge haha.

So I have never tried any other sponges. Shocking, I know. I bought way too many of these on sale at Ulta a few years ago and still have like… 6 left.

But, they work! I figured why bother trying anything different if the thing works just fine, right? (I literally only have this mindset with sponges and brushes – actual makeup is a different story haha).

There was a consipracy, which may still be going around, that Real Techniques changed the sponges at some point. People were noticing a different texture in some of the sponges. I don’t go through enough of them to really notice the difference. Either way, I’d buy these again over a more expensive sponge.

Maybe some day I’ll run out of them and get to try a different one.

Derma E Hydrating Eye Cream.

A photo of the Derma E Hydrating Eye Cream.

Eye creams have not always been in my skincare routine, but they should have been.

I notice a difference in my under-eye and even on my eye lid when I use an eye cream (though I’m not 100% sure if you’re supposed to put them all over your lid?). Also, I use them on that little bit under the middle part of my brow, it helps with those little bumps.

Derma E is fairly accessible and not dirt cheap or anything, but inexpensive for the quality. This tube lasted me quite a long time, I was starting to think I wouldn’t be able to use it up by the expiration date.

Pacifica Micellar Water.

A picture of the Pacifica Kale Water Micellar Cleansing Tonic.

I’m no stranger to the Pacifica Micellar Waters. I’ve used up several over the past few years.

This most recent one was the Kale version – however, I prefer the Coconut one. They both work, but I feel like the Coconut works just a little better.

I love that they are pretty inexpensive and often can be found on sale. Though, my qualm with Pacifica is that they discontinue products so frequently. The micellar waters are no longer on Ulta’s website, but they are at Target and on Pacifica’s website.

Another cool thing about Pacifica is their recycling program. You can tell them which products you’ve emptied, and they send you a prepaid shipping label. They take them back and hand them off to Preserve for recycling. They are made into Preserve’s products like razors, toothbrushes, and more! I just wish they would give the option to send back discontinued products, the menu to select products only has the ones that are currently available.

I use the micellar water with my reusable cotton rounds (which may still be available here, depending on when you are reading!) I make and sell larger rounds than most other reusable ones out there. They are washable and reusable. I’ve had some for over 3 years and they’re still going strong. I can take off a whole face of makeup with just two, maybe one if I’m wearing a lighter foundation.

But, the Pacifica Micellar waters take off makeup fairly easily. They do take a bit of work with waterproof mascara, but everything else comes right off.

Manic Panic Bleach Kit.

A photo of the Manic Panic Cream Developer from the bleach kit.

Bleach at your own risk!

I’ve been bleaching my hair for about two years now. All but one time I’ve used the Manic Panic kit. I do have a method of using it that is a bit less harsh that I talk about in this video.

If I’m careful about opening it, I can do my roots twice with one box. You just can’t save the mixture for later, it goes bad. If you divide the powder and developer in half and seal them back up, it lasts for a little while.

The kit is very potent, this one is 40 volume (the maximum strength). They had a 30 volume kit, but it’s hard to find. I just throw a kit in with my Ulta order every now and then.

Bleaching my own hair saves me a lot of money versus going to a salon, but it’s not for the faint of heart!

Mai Couture Blotting Sheets.

Photo of the Mai Couture Bamboo Charcoal Blotting Sheets.

In my empties video, I compared these to the e.l.f. Cosmetics ones. The Mai Couture definitely is better quality. I only need one, maybe two sheets versus five of the e.l.f. ones.

Blotting sheets are great for on-the-go when you start getting a bit oily.

That’s not really what I use them for, though. With my work (from home) schedule, I usually put makeup on later in the day, hours after I’ve done morning skincare. So I can be a bit shiny by then. I use the blotting sheets to take off some excess oil without having to wash my face again. Probably not the best thing to do, but I don’t want to over-wash.

These are actually on sale at Petit Vour right now for $3, originally $10!

Meow Meow Tweet Lemon Rose Cleansing Oil.

Photo of the Meow Meow Tweet Lemon Rose Cleansing Oil and the Sweet Orange Neroli Body Oil in a 1 oz size.

There’s a whole brand overview on my YouTube channel about MMT, I tried quite a few of their products and did mini reviews on each one!

My standout product from that haul was this Lemon Rose Cleansing Oil.

It takes off all of my makeup, and leaves my skin feeling super soft. I follow it up with their Pink Rose Clay Facial Soap for a double cleanse.

The best thing about MMT (among a lot of good things) is that their packaging is totally reusable and recyclable. You can order a product in a glass bottle with a pump, then once you run out you can get either a new one without a pump (and reuse the old one) or you can get a bulk refill size. They will ship your bulk refill for free, and you can send it back to them for free! They’ll refill and reuse it again and again.

Meow Meow Tweet Sweet Orange Neroli Body Oil.

Another thing that I’ve neglected for too long is body lotion. I really only used it when I was super itchy in the winter from dry skin. Because I’m lazy, honestly.

I actually enjoy applying a body oil a bit better, it feels like the process is faster. The problem with oil though, is that doesn’t seem to go as far as lotion. I felt like I had to use a ton of this product to adequately moisturize.

This would lead me to skip using it and go with a lotion or a solid body butter instead. (Hey MMT, there’s an idea! haha). I would prefer to buy this body oil over a conventionally packaged lotion, but solid body butters are a great option as well.

I liked the product, but I’ll have to think about if I want to repurchase it.

Milani Make It Last Setting Spray.

Photo of the Milani Make It Last Setting Spray.

Finally onto some makeup.

To be honest, I’m not 100% convinced that setting sprays actually make your makeup last significantly longer. I’m getting ready to test this for an upcoming video. But, I do notice that makeup looks better on the skin after you’ve used a setting spray.

A lot of the time with my oily-ish dry-ish combo skin, makeup can look a bit weird and cakey until my natural oils start coming through. I think the setting spray sort of replicates that process, even though it doesn’t have oil.

The Milani Make It Last Setting Spray is one of my favorites. It dries down quickly and doesn’t have a strong smell.

e.l.f. Cosmetics Ultra Precise Brow Pencil.

Photo of the e.l.f. Cosmetics Ultra Precise Brow Pencil. I have broken it open to reveal more product inside.

I go through brow pencils like candy. This is why I prefer an inexpensive one, like this $5 pencil from e.l.f.!

The $3 one, the Instant Lift Brow Pencil is okay, but it’s not nearly as precise. It can get out of hand pretty fast.

The Ultra Precise Brow Pencil is not too creamy to where it gets everywhere, but also is not too waxy and hard to apply.

This is one of those products that I will throw in my Ulta cart to get the free shipping. I know I’ll use it up quickly!

(Pro tip: almost all brow pencils come apart right under the part that twists up. Crack it open for more product! I can usually get about a week’s worth of extra uses.)

Have you emptied anything recently? Let us know in the comments!

Check out the video below! I also talk about the not-so-good products I’ve used up this month!

If you liked this post, check out these Cruelty-Free Foundations for $16 or Less!

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