Empties: 3

December 27, 2018 | Empties | No Comments »

Purchased By Me/PR Sample


The last empties post of 2018! I’m hoping for many more next year. I’d really like to try and use up more product.

Smashbox X-Rated Mascara

Smashbox X-Rated Mascara
I received this sample sometime this year. I don’t know where or when exactly, but I know it was this year. I ended up falling in love with this mascara. It took me a while to get the hang of the wand, but once I did I swear it did wonders for both my upper and lower lashes! The time finally came to purchase a full size and… apparently it has been discontinued? I can’t find it anywhere! That really sucks because I think this could have been the one.

Repurchase: I would have if it were still available.

Yves Saint Laurent The Shock Volumizing Mascara

Yves Saint Laurent The Shock Volumizing Mascara $29.00
After I sadly tossed my empty X-Rated Mascara into the trash I reached into my sample drawer and picked this one up. The packaging is all kinds of fancy even for a sample! She sure did photograph well! I ended up with at least 3 great shots of this sample alone. I was really impressed with the volume this gave me. It also lengthened my lashes really well. It almost looked like I was wearing false lashes. After my first use I noticed a bit of clumping. Suddenly the brush didn’t separate my lashes as nicely. The brush does pick up a lot of product. After the first use it doesn’t spread out as evenly.

Repurchase: I wish I could say yes. The first application was perfect! But for that price tag I had better get a perfect application every single time!

Tatcha The Water Cream

Tatcha The Water Cream $68.00
I swear this was the world’s tiniest sample! I really hate samples that come in these cardboard type packages because you just know you’re only getting one use. But I guess Tatcha figured one use was all you needed to fall in love with this cream. And at least the cardboard is really pretty. Anyway, the small packet inside barely had enough product to cover my entire face. But I swear my skin never looked so good! My skin looked radiant! My redness calmed down and for once my bare skin looked… even. It truly is an impressive cream.

Repurchase: Yes!

Sky Organics Organic Rosewater Facial Mist

Sky Organics Organic Rosewater Facial Mist $14.95
After being diagnosed with rosacea early on in the year, I did a lot of research to see what would help soothe my sensitive skin. Rose water kept popping up. When I stumbled upon this bottle from Sky Organics I just had to give it a try. I love their products so I knew it would be a winner. It’s a really nice sized bottle and a pretty one at that. It smells amazing! But most importantly it soothes my skin without drying it out. I spray it on after cleansing both morning and night. I also reach for it any time I feel a flareup coming on. It instantly soothes my skin leaving me feeling cool and refreshed.

Repurchase: Yes!

Life Flower Anxiety Elixir

Life Flower Anxiety Elixir $25.00
My experience with Life Flower didn’t start off on a positive note, but it definitely ended on a positive note. After that Charcoal Aura Bath Bomb disaster the company kindly sent me a few of their more popular products to try out. I felt horrible writing a negative review and while I try my best to keep things positive, that bath bomb really was a disaster! And I will always be completely honest with you guys. Anyway, thankfully the other products turned out to be amazing. I ended up passing the Insomnia Elixir onto someone who ended up loving it. I then went and purchased the Anxiety Elixir to try out as it seemed like something I could really benefit from. Both my husband and I use the Anxiety Elixir. He actually uses it to help him sleep and he swears it helps. I purchased it in hopes it would help ease my nerves throughout the day and found that it helped relax me so much that it did make me sleepy. I don’t apply it too heavily during the day so that I can stay alert and get my work done. At night I apply a bit more and within a half hour I’m ready to sleep. It has a semi-strong herbal scent, but it fades nicely as it sinks into your skin. Despite the semi-strong scent I find it to be extremely relaxing! I apply it on my inner wrists and a bit on my neck so that I can breathe it in. I’m able to breathe more deeply and end up feeling relaxed and just… content.

Repurchase: Yes! This little roller ball is a miracle worker! I’m planning to get one for my mother-in-law too.

Empties: 2

September 13, 2018 | Empties | 10 Comments »

Purchased By Me/PR Sample


I’m slowly making a dent in my samples drawer. Very very very slowly. For the past few weeks I’ve been decluttering and reorganizing. I gathered up my recent empties and finally formed them into a post.

Cover FX Illuminating Primer

Cover FX Illuminating Primer $38.00
Would you believe me if I told you that I received this in my November 2016 Play! by Sephora box? Yikes! Well, I’ve been making it a point to use up my samples in hopes of finding some new favorites. I actually ended up liking this one. I squeezed every last drop out of it and I was left wanting more. There aren’t many silicone-free primers I actually like, but this is definitely one of them. My makeup applies beautifully and my skin is left looking a little brighter.

Repurchase: Yes. But probably in the Winter when I can use a little brightening up.

NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer SPF 30

NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer SPF 30 $45.00
I purchased this a few years back and decided to finally move the nearly empty container to my empties basket. I don’t usually care for tinted moisturizer, but I remember really liking this. It felt lightweight and offered decent coverage. Of course my skin was more even back then. I’d get a little red here and there, but nothing a little tinted moisturizer couldn’t even out. I’m not so sure how well this would work for me now.

Repurchase: Probably not. While I did love it back when my skin wasn’t nearly as red and sensitive, I just don’t think this would work for me these days. Maybe in the future?

Make Up For Ever HD Microfinishing Loose Powder

Make Up For Ever HD Microfinishing Loose Powder $36.00
I received a sample of this with one of my Sephora orders. I’m not sure how long ago. I do know that I’ve been using it ever since. That one little sample lasted me months! It’s become my go-to finishing powder and sets my makeup beautifully. I even love the way it photographs. I’m not really sure what more to say about a finishing powder. I feel like it does what it claims. It minimizes the look of pores and really does feel weightless.

Repurchase: Yes! I just recently purchased a full size. I even used some points to get another sample size to have on hand as backup.

Fresh Rose Floral Toner

Fresh Rose Floral Toner $40.00
I received this in my January 2018 Play! by Sephora box. I applied the sample with a cotton pad. It was a great toner and left my skin feeling so soft and even afterward. When I purchased the full size I was surprised that it came with a mist applicator. This was much more gentle on my skin. I like using it as a setting spray these days. It also smells really nice.

Repurchase: Yes. I have already purchased a full size.

Life Flower Bath Bomb

Life Flower Bath Bombs $15.00
I already mentioned how much I loved the Limonene Bath Bomb. I finally used the Aphrodite Bath Bomb. I hurt my back again doing who knows what and so I caved and used my last CBD infused bath bomb. Aphrodite was similar to Limonene. It had a bit of a floral scent. It was really nice and super relaxing. Like I mentioned with the Limonene bath bomb the coconut oil can make the tub a little slippery so be careful. These bath bombs are the real deal though. After my bath I felt incredibly relaxed and my back felt so much better. If I had to pick between the two I’d pick Limonene. But both were amazing bath bombs.

Repurchase: Yes! I already have. I can’t wait for my goodies to get here!

Empties: 1

March 19, 2018 | Empties | 12 Comments »

Purchased By Me/PR Sample


Today I’m starting a new series on the blog. The concept itself isn’t new as I’m probably one of the only bloggers who doesn’t participate. But it’s new for my blog. I’m going to start sharing my empties, but with a bit of a twist. Part of the reason I never did my own empties posts in the past is because aside from my essentials I don’t really use up a lot of products. It would be boring to keep seeing the same old empty bottles of Clinique Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief Moisturizer. Then I thought about all of the empty sample containers I’ve tossed. Right now the only subscription box I’m subscribed to is Play! by Sephora. I actually do use my samples, but I never really follow up. So that’s my twist. I’m going to include empty samples and give my final thoughts along with whether or not I’d be purchasing a full size. I’m also going to talk about some of the bath bombs from my monthly Sky Organics Bubble Boxes. And of course if I ever do finish a full sized product I’ll share that here too. Aside from my essentials of course.

For this first post I’ll be listing a few items I have previously reviewed. I won’t go too far into detail. I’d only be repeating myself. However, I will link back to the review in case you missed it. I’m doing this because while I do take the time to thoroughly test products, sometimes I change my mind. Or maybe I did like the product, but just not enough to repurchase it after all.

I won’t have a certain day set up for these posts. I have a small basket set beside my vanity. Once it contains 5 empties I’ll write up my post. I have so many tiny samples so I’m hoping I can try and get in at least 1 post per month. But no promises. Ok let’s get started!

Blaq Dual Sided Wipes

Blaq Dual Sided Wipes $12.95
I reviewed these wipes in the beginning of the year. I didn’t realize just how much I relied on them until I went to reach for one and the package was empty! I love how quickly I can remove my makeup (all of it even the most stubborn mascara) AND gently exfoliate within minutes. I never experienced any irritation and that’s a huge plus for someone with such sensitive skin.

Repurchase: Yes. I have already ordered a few packages and am anxiously awaiting them.

Joanna Vargas Daily Serum

Joanna Vargas Daily Serum $85.00
I was really impressed with this serum. It was nice and lightweight. It took a little while before I noticed any changes, but I did notice them. I love how it helped with my redness. While a little on the pricey side I must say that it is worth every penny.

Repurchase: Yes, but not immediately. I’m testing another serum at the moment and I’d like to see how it goes before I go ahead and purchase another.

Mario Badescu Facial Spray

Mario Badescu Facial Spray With Aloe, Herb and Rosewater $7.00
I purchased this on a whim one day while wandering around Ulta. I purchased the smaller bottle just to test it out. That small bottle lasted months! I’ve actually been using it as a setting spray and prefer it over all of my other setting sprays. I love Mario Badescu’s products and this beauty is at the top of that list! Plus it smells like roses!

Repurchase: Yes. I have already purchased the larger bottle. I hear that you can now purchase all 3 varieties in a nifty little 3-pack. I’ll have to pick that up next time I’m at Ulta.

Clinique Pep-Start HydroBlur Moisturizer

Clinique Pep-Start HydroBlur Moisturizer $29.50
I actually received this sample in my February 2017 Play! by Sephora box. I finished it up some time toward the end of the year. The sample was very tiny, but a little goes a long way so I got quite a few uses out of it. I really liked it. But not as a moisturizer. It felt more like a balm than a traditional moisturizer, but it worked beautifully under my makeup. I didn’t experience any irritation and didn’t detect any scent. I wouldn’t say that it felt lightweight, but it didn’t feel heavy either.

Repurchase: Probably not. While I did like it as a primer, I didn’t think that it was moisturizing enough to be used as a moisturizer. I used it when I ran out of my go-to moisturizer and while it did the job, I was left wanting and needing more.

Sky Organics February 2018 Bubble Box

Sky Organics February 2018 Bubble Box (Love Is In The Air) $19.25
Have I mentioned how much I love Sky Organics? Because I do! Their products never let me down! They’re simple yet make such a statement. I’m always left wondering how they do it. Their monthly Bubble Box subscription is a must have for anyone who enjoys bath bombs and bubbles. It even contains a shower steamer which I usually pop in the shower for my son. He loves them!

Let me break down the February Bubble Box (Love Is In The Air).

Roses Are Red Heart Bath Bomb

Roses Are Red Heart Bath Bomb – I never knew I could love a bath bomb so much! It was almost too pretty to use. But use I did. It left the water a vibrant red/pink. I couldn’t decide if it was more romantic or more horror scene-like. Either way I was digging it. It smelled like roses, but it wasn’t overly perfumey. It was really really nice. And despite the vibrant color it didn’t stain one bit.

Also, I really wish Sky Organics allowed you to purchase single bath bombs. Because I would LOVE a box full of these wonderful rose bath bombs. I need more of these in my life!

Madly In Love Bath Bomb

Madly In Love Bath Bomb – I was equally excited to use this one. This left the water a nice vibrant color as well. I felt it gave off some fairy vibes the way the blue and pink swirled together. There was even a bit of shimmer in the water. It smelled wonderful and looked all kinds of magical. Then it was time to get out of the tub and my fingernails and toenails were dyed pink! And the last thing I want to do after a nice relaxing soak in the tub is scrub it down afterward. But that’s what I had to do because boy was this one messy bath bomb. I’ve used many of their bath bombs and never experienced anything like this. It’s such a shame because if it hadn’t dyed everything pink I would have loved a box full of these as well.

Cupid’s Kiss Mini Bath Cake – I loved the bath cake! It smelled wonderful! It creates a nice amount of bubbles. Not too little and not too much. What I like about the bath cakes is that you don’t have to use the whole thing immediately. I used half for one bath and used the other half later on. Obviously this leaves you with fewer bubbles, but it was just as nice.

Repurchase: Yes. While Sky Organics kindly sends me a Bubble Box every month, I’m planning to buy a box of some of their other bath bombs. I’m curious about the Charcoal Bath Bomb Gift Set. The Aromatherapy Spa Bath Bombs Gift Set also looks pretty nice. Maybe I’ll just get both? You can never have too many bath goodies.

A little side note: I almost always post videos of the bath bombs in action on my Instagram stories as well as Snapchat. So make sure you’re following me so that you can see them in action.

Now that I have reached the end I’m wondering if 5 is too much. Maybe I’ll cut it back to 3 empties per post. I feel like this post took me weeks to write up.


Welcome to Midwest Glam! My name is Lisa Marie and this is where I blog about all things beauty, food, and photography. While I mainly focus on beauty topics, I do weekly photography posts as well as the occasional recipe. Thank you so much for visiting!

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