Monthly Empties: October 2018

Monthly Empties: October 2018 | Writing Between Pauses

I always feel like I need to give my series of my monthly empties a clever name—but I can’t really think of anything particularly catchy. Plus, isn’t it just better sometimes to call a spade a spade? Here’s everything I used this month—no song and dance, just the basics.

October felt like a very long month. While I had fun doing Blogtober, it took a lot out of me and I felt very burnt out by the last day. In fact, I never wrote the post for Halloween; I figured I’d done 30 days, what was missing one? I was tired.

I’m even more tired now. I hate Daylight Savings anyway, but this past weekend, we fell back—usually, that’s an easier one to manage, but this past week has been pretty awful. Forrest has woken up every day around 3 or 4am, I’ve had stressful days at work, and I feel like I’ve fallen behind just about every single task in my life. (I have at least 5 loads of laundry I need to do.) But, I did also buy a couch over the weekend (which is big for us!) and I’ve been able to kind of turn my week around thankfully in a few small ways.

That’s just a very long-winded way to say: November has been a month so far, I’m excited for Forrest to start sleeping well again, and I really needed to put my Christmas stuff up this week so at least I had one good thing.

Now, here are my empties for this month:

1. The Body Shop Tea Tree Facial Wash

This is one of my favorite cleansers; I got this big bottle at Marshall’s for $9 (it’s normally around $17, I think). I also reviewed the matching mask here. This bottle lasted about 6 months, which is really good!

2. L’Oreal Pure-Clay Cleanser (sample)

I was surprised by how much I loved this cleanser. I actually bought a full size bottle this past weekend to replace this little sample. It’s absolutely a dream face wash: very cleansing, but not too drying; no overpowering scent. I highly recommend.

3. SOO AE Donkey Milk Overnight Masks

If you read my Ipsy review, you know that I liked these masks, but was disappointed that they are cheap, $1 masks you can get at Wal-Mart. I did like them, but they aren’t anything to write home about, really.

4. Sephora Green Tea Overnight Mask

I finally finished up this overnight face mask and goodness, I really loved it! I need to get to Sephora and buy some replacements. One mask lasted me about 9 nights, which is really good for $4.

5. Tarte Shape Tape

Tarte Shape Tape is one of those very divisive things in the beauty world: some people love it and some people hate it. I feel somewhere in the middle; it is a solid ok. Nothing to write home about, but it does in a pinch. I finally finished up the tube I bought in February or March, and I probably won’t repurchase.

6. Makeup Revolution Conceal & Define Concealer

This is another hyped up product that I feel very “meh” on. It’s not a horrible concealer, it’s not the best, it’s just… a concealer. I feel like all of MR’s colors are grey-tinted (or green-tinted) and they don’t look very flattering on my skin, at least. I used this tube very fast as well—maybe 2 months worth of use?

Monthly Wrap Up & Empties: September 2018

Monthly Wrap Up & Empties: September 2018 | Writing Between Pauses

Originally, I planned to do an Inspiration Sunday post for Blogtober today. But then I realized I had September empties to discuss and it felt more important to do this post. Well, maybe important isn’t the right word… rather, it just seemed to fit better!

September was a big month for us: we were super busy with back to school, Forrest’s birthday, and lots of stuff. And that trend isn’t letting up in October. I have Blogtober, of course, and my birthday on the 20th. Forrest and I are on a mommy-son trip this weekend (I’m writing this in advance, don’t worry!). Next weekend, we have Danny’s parents visiting. Then the last weekend of October will be our Halloween weekend. Then suddenly it will be November. Whew!

I have a lot to talk about for this wrap up, so let’s get started!

Empties: Everything I Used Up

Empties 1

1. OGX Coconut Miracle Oil Shampoo: I reviewed this shampoo here. I love this shampoo and it’s my current favorite. Of all the shampoos I’ve used, it’s the only one that really soothes my scalp and leaves my hair feeling nice. At this point, that’s all I ask!

2. Love Beauty & Planet Murumuru Butter & Rose Magic Masque: I used this mask to help repair my hair after a disastrous PR shampoo I received. (I’m not even reviewing it, it’s that bad!) But I loved this mask! It smells lightly of roses and was so thick and lovely. It immediately helped my damaged, dry hair. You can buy it here.

3. Bliss Drench & Quench Moisturizer: I reviewed this moisturizer here. It’s not my favorite moisturizer ever, but it wasn’t awful. It was mostly just very expensive! This little tub lasted about 6 weeks and cost $20. It’s not a repurchase, that’s for sure.

4. Rosehips Oil: I recently added rosehips oil to my routine to help my dehydrated skin. As you probably know, I sing the praises of jojoba oil for removing makeup and helping improve my skin. However, jojoba as a moisturizer can give me a lot of texture. So I added rosehips oil as a sealant after my moisturizer to help my skin absorb a bit more. It has helped a lot, but I don’t love this one; I suspect the orange oil it’s mixed with hasn’t been helping my skin much!

5. Coty Flawless Complexion Tinted SPF Moisturizer: I discussed this SPF moisturizer in my Ipsy bag review here. I love this SPF, which sucks because it was such a teeny tiny tube! But it is absolutely lovely, hasn’t made me break out, and wears great under make up.

What I’ve Been Up To

Remus 1

Yes, that is the very rarely featured Remus. If you didn’t know (and most probably don’t), I have a beloved chocolate lab named Remus (as in Remus Lupin, the greatest werewolf). Despite playing second fiddle to Forrest, Remus remains my biggest baby. I don’t have any reason for this photo other than I took it while I was doing product photos for my Ipsy bag in September, Remus looked cute, and I can’t resist his big, golden eyes.

Anyway, I thought I’d share a few things I enjoyed from September here for your enjoyment!

1. Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger: I impulsively borrowed this book from the library because the jacket contained the words “Highgate Cemetery” and “Victorian.” For whatever reason, when I started it, I thought it would be set in Victorian times. It is absolutely not; it’s set in the early 2000s, which leads to some truly hilarious ensembles worn by the main characters (remember white denim skirts!?). That being said, I still really enjoyed it. Highly recommend! How’s that for a tiny review?

2. Dr. Death: I started listening to this podcast after it was recommended on My Favorite Murder. This was a tough podcast for me to get into, because as I’ve written before, my grandfather was paralyzed by a neck surgery. The center of this podcast is a neurosurgeon who performs bad, irresponsible, and devastating neck and spinal surgeries; he paralyzes multiple people and kills a few. That being said, I really enjoyed it.

3. Summer Wives by Beatriz Williams: I have been waiting for this book on digital hold from the library for weeks and finally, I got it! I was so excited to read it. It’s set on a fictional island off the coast of New York where wealthy families summer for years on end. It was so good and kept me captivated the entire time.

4. Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson: Another book I had waited for weeks on hold! I keep doing this thing where I put holds on books, they take ages, and by the time I get them, I’m not “in the mood” to read them. I had to force myself to read Truly Devious about 4 days before it was due and I am SO glad I did! It was excellent and I found myself so disappointed that the sequel isn’t out yet. If you like mysteries and murder podcasts (which play a surprisingly pivotal role!), you’ll love this book.

Oh yes, Fall is finally here! Gosh, it feels like time goes by so fast! I hope you’re having a great October and you’ve been loving all the cozy Blogtober content around lately.

Monthly Wrap Up & Empties: August 2018

Monthly Wrap Up & Empties: August 2018

After lots of hemming and hawing, yes, I'm combining my monthly wrap ups and my monthly empties posts! I feel like it just makes sense, as often I end up talking about very similar things.

August felt like an absolute blur. We've been busy the entire summer (with way more social obligations and other things than usual), but August felt like a lot. A good a lot. Usually by the time September arrives and Danny goes back to work, I'm excited for him to get back into a routine so that I can get back into a routine. But for the first time ever, I got very sad about him going back to work. Because, at the same time, Forrest will be starting preschool 2 days a week and honestly, I just can't handle it! What am I going to do with all my time? 

Probably stuff it full of more hobbies and obligations, let's be real. 

August 1
August 2
August 3

3 Good Things from August:

1. I finally got my hair cut. I try to keep this quiet, but I didn't get my hair cut for nearly 3 years. Forrest had just been born and my mom took me to get my pixie cut trimmed. And that was it, the last hair cut I got was December 2015. 2015! 3 years! My ends were wrecked, at least to me, but my hairstylist was extremely proud to see they were not bad at all. In fact, she said I could have gone another 3 years and not lost much more length. Don't tempt me. 

2. The leaves started to change. Fall seems to start a little earlier every single year. I started noticing some yellow-tinged leaves around the end of the month. The tree outside my house is maybe 10% yellow today. I get so excited for the beautiful Fall colors... I have to remind myself to be patient! We'll be raking leaves soon enough. 

3. I started collecting Fall candles. Uh, sorry to rush the end of summer (except I am not sorry!!), but in August, I started nabbing up cheap Fall candles wherever I could. My local Wal-mart had one of my favorite Yankee Candle scents, Sage & Citrus, on clearance, which of course meant I bought 3 of them! My local TJ Maxx has also had some amazing Yankee Candles and off brands with amazing scents. I need my house to smell like cinnamon and caramel for about 4 months straight, so I'm happy. 

Empties 2
Empties 1

My Empties

1. Everyday Aromatherapy Calming, Lavender Chamomile: I got this body wash/bubble bath at TJ Maxx for around $6. It's one of my favorites; I really love the smell of lavender, I know it's "old lady-ish" or can be, but gosh, it's relaxing! Danny and I finally used this one up so we could start a eucalyptus and mint scented one we got at the same time. 

2. Bath & Body Works Fresh Sea Salt Mango Body Spray: I rarely ever use up body sprays, because I tend to accrue them faster than I can ever use them. However, I've made it my mission to start using up the things I have lying around. This was the first to go and I wanted it done by the end of summer. I am starting on last year's winter scents now, so wish me luck! 

3. Pores Be Pure Mud Mask: This is one of my favorite masks, but by the end of the tube, I was tired of it. I used it exclusively the last two weeks. Can you tell I'm clearing out clutter!? This mask smells amazing though--like strawberries--and really does give a good pore cleaning. Highly recommend.

4. Hey Honey Copper Peel Off Mask: The next 3 bits are from my August Ipsy bag. I managed 3 uses out of this little tube, which is perfectly acceptable. I just didn't feel like this mask did anything. It is very pretty though! 

5. VenEffect Pore Minimizing Face Wash: My bonus item from my Ipsy bag, I got maybe 6 face washes out of this tube. I liked the smell of it, but didn't notice it doing much as I didn't receive a large enough amount to really get to use it much. 

6. Caudalie Vinoperfect Concentrated Brightening Essence: Listen, here's the thing: I talked some shit on this essence in my Ipsy bag review and I take it back. I only got maybe 4 uses out of this little tube, but 4 uses was enough to know that this improved my skin texture and redness by leaps and bounds. Leaps! And! Bounds! I hate that it's $80 for a full ounce.  

7. Wet'n'Wild Cushion Foundation: My favorite foundation of all time and I've used my 3rd compact of it. Sorry, not sorry. It's so good! 

August 4
August 5
August 6

3 Things I Read, Watched, or Listened To:

1. Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater: I read this book a while ago, but I've been catching Danny up on the Raven Cycle via audiobooks. So this is something I listened to this month. I forgot how lovely this book is (and yet, how annoying I find all the car stuff) and I'm glad Danny is finally experiencing it!

2. Overdue Podcast: Overdue is a book podcast that I started listening to. I listened to one episode about a book I like, then started listening to all of them. I've been bouncing between episodes; I listened to the Twilight episode, then all their 50 Shades episodes, now I'm only some more serious ones. If you like listening to podcasts about books, this is a good one. 

3. Enchanted Falls Trilogy: One of my favorite authors (Emma Prince) who writes exclusively Scottish romances released the first in a trilogy at the end of July; then 2 other authors released the 2nd and 3rd books through August. The 3rd book is written by my least favorite author ever (I won't go into it, but trust me: it's bad). However, the first 2 in this series were amazing. I'm still working on the 3rd because it's a slog. 

I hope you all had a lovely August. What were your 3 favorite things about the month?

Everything I Used in July 2018

Everything I Used in July | Writing Between Pauses

Another month, another empties post! Just like last month, this month felt a bit "light" in terms of things I used up. Some months, I fly through products; and other months, especially when I'm traveling, I just don't use as much. 

Here's everything I finished up in July. 

1. Precision Beauty Under-Eye Pads Cucumber

These under-eye masks are a TJ Maxx purchase--and this was actually my last one in a box of 10! I think it was $5.99 for a pack. I don't know if they actually do anything, but I do really like how they feel. They're relaxing and I like doing them before I do my makeup for the day, as I find them help hydrate my under eyes (which are unfortunately getting crepe-y as I age, sigh). 

2. Callysee Caffeine Rush Nourishing Face Mask

This mask was from my July Ipsy bag. I did really like this mask, it smelled really good, and it did make my skin quite soft--but gosh, it made me flushed! For about 20 minutes after I used this mask, my face just felt like it was warm--not burning like it was irritated, but warm, like I had worked out. It's not unpleasant, but it is a little disconcerting. 

3. It Cosmetics Bye Bye Pores Loose Powder

This is my favorite setting powder of all time. I recently replaced it with a more affordable powder that I wanted to review and without spoiling things, let me just say, I'm already a bit sad about it. If you have oily skin, this powder is a must have! 

Everything I Used in June

Everything I Used In June 2018 | Writing Between Pauses

I definitely didn't go through as much stuff in June as I did in May. But I think it's important for me, as a consumer, to keep up on my empties posts so I can chronicle what I use and hopefully that will help me reducing my spending (and plastic use) in 2019. 

I apologize right now for these photos. I have a maybe 2 hour window to take photos and sometimes I don't have the best light. Not proud of them, but they're what I've got! C'est la vie and all day. I don't usually use stock photos for posts like this, but in this case, I felt I needed to, as these photos required so much editing to make them not look dark brown... it was honestly like I went back into a 1970s photograph, honestly. 

Anyway, let's jump in! 

June 2018 Empties 2
empties June 2018

1. Biobelle #UnicornGlow Mask

I got this Biobelle mask in my June ipsy bag, and I quite like it! It didn't smell as sweet as I thought it would, as I mentioned, but it did leave my skin very soft. I have one more of it to use, then I'll have to decide how much I really love them. 

2. Mickey Mouse Charcoal Face Mask

I kind of impulse bought two of these Mickey Mouse masks from Target a few weeks ago and decided to use this charcoal one first. I was pretty disappointed. This mask is quite dry, first of all, and the mask itself was very small and oddly shaped. It did make my skin feel quite soft, but given the price and the dryness of the mask, it definitely wasn't worth $3. 

3. Purlisse Coconut Oil & Coffee Body Scrub

If you remember, I received this in my April ipsy bag. I originally liked it quite a bit, but found myself never reaching for it as I found it quite messy to use in the shower! However, it was really nice to use after I use fake tan, as it helps get any orange bits off my ankles or knees. 

4. Tony Moly Painting Therapy Pack 

I received this tube of mask in my May ipsy bag and, ugh, it's one of my favorite masks I've ever received! It also had a ton of uses in this little tube, which is probably why I like it so much--more bang for my buck! I was sad to use up the last little bit, but I'm trying to have less teeny tiny tubes floating around. 

5. Clear Skin Nose Strip (from TJ Maxx) 

Listen: I know these aren't good for my skin. However, I have found that if I do a pore strip on my chin about 2 weeks before my cycle starts, I get less breakouts. I've been experimenting with how to help my face get less congested, especially throughout my cycle, and this is one step that surprised me, but also made total sense. I'll have a post on this later, but for now: these aren't very good for your skin, but I've found a place for them in my routine. 

Here's Everything I Finished In May

Here's Everything I Finished in May | Writing Between Pauses

When I decided to add an empties post, at least every other month, I figured I should ask if people even, well, read them. I love reading empties posts when I run across them. In general, the idea of them is good. 

So often, blogging can be only about buying new and consumerism. About collecting and collecting and collecting. It can be really overwhelming. Sometimes I find myself wanting to buy something simply to buy it, because someone else has it and gosh, it looks lovely in photos, doesn't it? But I have so much stuff, especially in the way of beauty products. 

I ran a poll on both Twitter and Instagram. I posted the results on Twitter. It was a pretty close split, honestly, of those who read posts about empties and those who don't. Even though technically "no, I don't read them" won... I decided to still write this post. Because I want you to know that I'm not always buying new beauty products. In fact, the last beauty product I bought was a new foundation (to replace the one I used up featured in this post) and a new lipstick that was at Marshall's. 

Without further ado, let's dive in and talk about everything I finished up in May. 

Empties May 2018

I set myself the task of finishing up a bunch of small samples I had lying around. Those include: 

1. KORRES Wild Rose 24-Hour Moisturizer 

I got this moisturizer sample about a year ago? If I am remembering correctly. I got it in a Sephora order where I got a whole bundle of around 30 samples, which was exciting but took me forever to work through. This was the last sample I had and I finally set to using it up. It's a pretty decent moisturizer, but it is very heavy... so I only used it at night. I found it made my skin feel quite greasy; plus, it is very, very scented (which I know doesn't work for some people). I'm glad to be done with it! 

2. KORRES Pomegranate AHA Mask

I received this in my Chic VoxBox. You can read my whole review here; my impression there still stands. 

3. Purlisse Blue Lotus Seed Mask

I received this mask in my January Ipsy bag and it's been one of my favorite masks, because it's such a good exfoliator. Like the KORRES mask, I find it is less a mask and more just a face wash--so I mixed it with a more traditional clay mask so that it would actually dry down. 

4. FEEL Restore Warming Clay Mask

I received this in my April Ipsy bag. My review still stands: I love this mask, I love how warm it gets upon application, and I love how it made my skin look. I'll definitely be repurchasing soon! 

5. Pacifica Dreamy Youth Day & Night Cream 

I bought this sample at Target when I needed more moisturizer, but didn't really have the money to buy a full size tube. (Hi, welcome to my thrifty life.) I really love this moisturizer though and even though I recently bought Pacifica's Crystal Youth moisturizer with watermelon & tumeric, I'll probably repurchase in the future. It's a great moisturizer for those who like something a little more moisturizing at night. 

I also finished up a few sheet face masks and one foot mask: 

1. Get Glowing Face Mask from Bath & Body Works

I can't find this exact mask on their website (I received it in a gift set that I received from my mother-in-law). However, this one looks like it has similar ingredients. This was a lovely, soothing face mask and it smelled fantastic! 

2. Revive Repairing Activated Charcoal Mask

I can't find a link to these masks anywhere. Admittedly, I bought them at Marshall's, so there are most likely a generic Korean brand and/or a repackage. They're some of my favorite sheet masks though. They are $7.99 for 6 at Marshall's, so if you're curious, they're a totally affordable splurge. 

3. Oh K! 3-Step Charcoal Face Mask

I bought this face mask on a whim after working out. I love masks that include cleanser and serum as well as a mask. This mask left my skin feeling quite smooth, moisturized, and rejuvenated. The serum was absolutely lovely and I wish I could buy a bottle of it. 

4. Oh K! Peeling Foot Mask

So, when I did this foot mask, I thought, initially, it didn't work. The way it works is that you have two packets of the "mask" and two booties. I found the booties quite difficult to keep on, so I only wore them for 30 minutes. (I've since seen that if you put socks on over them, it helps a lot. I know for the future.) When my feet didn't start peeling 3-4 days like the package said, I was sure I hadn't worn them long enough... but a week after, I was in the bathtub and I kept feeling something touch my foot. I thought it was a bug... but no, it was just my own foot skin. These foot masks are gross, but a solid 10/10 if you're getting your feet summer weather ready! 

I also finished up the following. 

1. A La Maison Rosemary Mint Shower Gel 

I love herb-scented body products. I got this shower gel at Marshall's in Idaho at Christmas. It was around $7-8, I think. I used it as both body wash and bubble bath and loved the scent! I am not particularly picky about body washes, so this is pretty basic. But it's the first body wash I've legitimately finished in months. Time to start on the others! 

2. Wet'n'Wild Cushion Foundation with SPF 15 (in the shade Light Ivory)

I love this foundation. I started using it about 2 months ago and I use it probably 2 times a week; it's perfect for days when I still need some coverage, but don't want to go all out. It is hard to get it out of the sponge (I hate the applicator it comes with), so I just use my usual beauty sponge to get product out. At $8.99 a pop, it's not as cheap as the Photo Focus foundation and has less product, but it is an infinitely superior foundation in every single way. No weird smell. Great coverage. Great tone. I have repurchased and will absolutely continue to wear! 

3. LevenRose Jojoba Oil 

I'm a jojoba oil freak. A bottle usually lasts me 2-4 months, depending on how much I use it. I use it to take off my make up at night. I used to use it as a moisturizer, but recently stopped as I noticed it was giving me a bit of texture on my forehead. I now use it to take off my make up and then, once a week, apply over my moisturizer for a bit of a sealant so I can more adequately moisturize if I need it. This is my fourth bottle of jojoba oil and this is my absolute favorite brand.