what i’ve been using lately – november 2019 empties

My bag of empties in the closet is starting to fill up again, and that means two things:

  1. It is time for another empties post
  2. It is time to examine what I am using and see if can change anything to something more sustainable

Everything I use is cruelty free and while I do try and be more sustainable there is a lot of plastic here. I am trying to change things that I can to unpackaged, but some things that I have tried don’t work as well and also I really love makeup and skincare and like trying certain things. I do try and get of things as sustainably as possible including:

  1. Both Lush and The Body Shop take back their containers for free product/discounts
  2. Most makeup products can be taken to a L’Occitane store where they work with TerraCycle to recycle them
  3. Most other products are traditionally recyclable and can be put out with my recycling

Here is what I have used up in the past 6 months or so:


  • Essence setting powder – This is a nice setting powder, but I have since switched to using products without mica in them so I have changed to a different brand
  • Tarte Lip Crayon – I have owned this forever and finally finished it up. It was a nice colour and it wore really well throughout the day
  • NYX 3 in 1 brow pencil – This was a bit of a fail. I did like the traditional pencil in this set, but I didn’t like the crayon or brow mascara that came with it so I will be sticking to more plain brow pencils from now on
  • Essence gell brow mascara – I love this product and have gone through so many of these throughout the year. These set my brows in place so well and give them a natural look at the same time
  • Lush Magical Moringa primer – This was a primer that I just finished up and while I did like it I don’t think it is the greatest primer I have ever used and I am trying something new
  • NYX Epic Ink Eyeliner – This is my favourite liquid eyeliner currently and I wear it almost every day. It is super easy to apply, doesn’t budge during that day, but also comes off easily at the end
  • The Body Shop eyeliner – this is in here as I didn’t really like it. I got it in an advent calendar two years ago and haven’t really worn it since. I have other eyeliners I love more (see above) and it was getting really old
  • NYX voluptuous mascara – This was a fine mascara, nothing too special about it, but nothing bad either
  • Essence brow pencil – This is a great eye pencil, but as mentioned above I have stopped using products with mica and I have switched to something else


  • Alba botanica facial cleanser – I used this face wash in my shower which is where I do my deep face washes and really enjoyed it. I am currently just testing using a bar of soap though which seems to be working well
  • Lush Ultrabland makeup remover – This has been my go-to makeup remover for a while now and I love it so much. I just rub a bit on my skin and the makeup just melts away. Rinse off with a warm washcloth and I am done. This pot lasts such a long time and works so well.
  • Drunk Elephant cleanser – This was part of the Sephora birthday gift and while this face wash worked well I didn’t find it special at all, especially for the price
  • Body Shop Micellar water – This was a decent micellar water, but I have since switched to a naked cleanser from Lush that I hope can replace this in my routine
  • Drunk Elephant Moisturizer – This was the other half of the Sephora birthday gift and I loved it. Sadly it is more money than I want to be spending on my moisturizer and I have also found a unpackaged one that I do like as well
  • The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% and Zinc 1% – I love this product so much and it has cleared up my skin. It is a great serum that I use in the morning and l love that it comes in glass bottles. They even have bigger bottles now so I don’t have to get as many.

Body Care

  • Body Shop body butters – These are my ultimate body lotions as I find they moisturize so well and also smell so delicious. I always use these and do really enjoy them. The ones I have empty here are pina colada and peach
  • Lush Scrub Scrub Scrub – This was an amazing smelling scrub from lush that was also pitch black which was kind of fun. I love the way that it scrubbed so I will probably repurchase this again some time in the future


  • Garnier conditioner – This is my one non-cruelty free product as I have been using it for over two and half years as it was a massive bottle. It was since cut open to get all the product from the bottom which I did transfer to a small container that I am still using up. I am so excited to finally find a new cruelty free conditioner after all of this time
  • Disney Shampoo – When in disney we used the shampoo from the hotel and took it home to finish it up. It was an okay shampoo, but I did find that it didn’t deep clean as much as I usually like
  • Briogeo deep conditioning mask – I have heard of this brand a lot so I decided to get a small set to try out. This deep conditioning mask was definitely nice, but something I probably won’t purchase again
  • Briogeo deep cleaning shampoo – This was the other half of the small set and I liked this one a lot more. This shampoo has charcoal in it and I felt that it really got my hair clean


  • Dr. Bronner’s soap – I used this to make some DIY bubble bath and while it didn’t work as well as I hoped I am definitely going to try again. There are so many uses for this listed on the bottle including shaving soap, floor mopping liquid, body wash, and laundry soap so I definitely want to try some of those things in the future
  • Shmidt’s bergamot and lime deodorant – A lot of people think this is very weird but my husband and I share deodorant. We both love the scent of this one (plus we can get it at Costco) and don’t feel the need to have two out. I do really like this deodorant and find it works well while being a bit more natural

So that is a little look at what I have been using up the past few months. I do think that the amount that I am using is slowly and surely getting smaller as well as I am doing my best to not buy something until I am out of the product it is replacing.

What are some of your holy grail products? Also if you are trying to replace products with more “naked” ones, what do you love?

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