For those of you just joining us, it’s come up a time or two that I’m all about getting my money’s worth out of a product, item, or service. Several years back, there was a thing going around social media called Project Pan. The idea was to use up your makeup to where you reached the little metal doohickey it’s contained in. Eventually it extended to other products, and this is the idea behind today’s post.
Before this blog came to be, I embarked on my own empties project, keeping it to myself as I filled up the old paper shopping bag I kept just for what I used up. After about a month or so, I’d have it filled to the brim, and then it was time to take it out to the recycling bin on trash pickup day.
One time, I actually had it so full I ended up with an empties avalanche just from looking for a book I wanted to read again. It turned out that book was right next to the empties bag, and when I took it out from under the stack of other papers and books, it all fell to the floor.
This installment of my empties project is long overdue, since the move and some family things delayed my plans for it.
Without further ado, in no particular order, here goes this month’s installment of my years-long project.
VO5 Conditioner in Kiwi Lime: I found this at the dollar store, since I needed it for my attempt at Kool-Aid hair dye before the move. My attempt ended up using six packets of the lemon-lime variety, and since the conditioner was green, I figured it wouldn’t have an impact on the resultant color. I ended up using way too much of the conditioner, and it made my head itch like a son of a bitch.
The reason why is because propylene glycol is in the ingredient list, and a propylene glycol reaction seems to be more common than a lot of people realize. I’ve mentioned it before, but it’s a benign food additive, generally regarded as safe (or GRAS for those in the industry). The problems start if it’s in personal care products like conditioners, darker hair dyes (i.e., blue-black), some deodorants, and some body scrubs. The burning and itching is usually immediate from what I’ve read and experienced firsthand. If it feels like someone took a blowtorch to your pits or wherever after using a product with propylene glycol in it, this is probably why.
However, definitely check with your doctor to be sure. More importantly, if the product you’re using causes a reaction like this, cut your losses with it and stop using it, yesterday. Make peace with whatever money you’re out over this, and maybe consider letting the company who makes it know what happened.
I will say in all fairness, when I used this conditioner for its’ intended purpose, things seemed to be okay. Since there was a relatively small amount in the bottle to begin with, it didn’t take long for me to use that stuff up and be rid of it. Definitely won’t rebuy, though.
Garnier Nutrisse in Teal Forest: I got this with a deal on Ibotta a couple weeks ago. This was originally released a couple years ago, under a different color name. It was originally Matcha Latte or Dark Matcha, but this is basically the same thing under an alias. My hair’s dark enough that it isn’t super noticeable like it would be on someone with lighter hair, and when I tried it the first time around, I figured that if it turned out to be a dumpster fire, it wouldn’t be super noticeable unless someone knew what they were looking for.
In its’ original run, I noticed that it faded quickly. However, I’m guessing some of that may have been due to outside factors like the chlorinated water in the pool and whatever. This time around, I didn’t notice much fading after I went to the pool last week. I wonder if maybe they made some improvements to the formula before its’ re-release. Either way, I’ll rebuy at some point down the road.
Nivea Creme: I picked up the travel-size before I made the plunge into the full-size version I’ve got with the rest of the products I’m working on. I’m a huge fan of it, and I’ve got another of the travel-size tin just in case. Definitely will rebuy once those run out.
Bath and Body Works body butter in Sea Island Cotton: I unearthed this while we were getting ready for the move, and they’ve long since discontinued Sea Island Cotton. That’s a dead giveaway as to how long this has lived at my house, and I managed to use it up just before we moved. Its’ discontinuation made my decision whether to rebuy or not for me. If I find something in a similar scent, I’m totally gonna try it and report back.
Caress soap bar in white peach and orange blossom: Another bar out of the package I picked up before the move used up. It’s an oldie but a goodie, and one of my favorites. When this package is gone, I’m rebuying for sure. Speaking of which, I think it would be really cool if Caress put out a lotion in the same scent. Just sayin’.
Crayola bath bomb: When I found out our new house would have a bathtub and shower instead of just a shower stall, I was super stoked. I picked up this one, along with one in a different scent and colorway for a dollar apiece. I always wanted to try out a bath bomb, but since our old house had a shower stall only, and so did the house we lived in before that one after the renovations to the bathroom, bath bombs weren’t an option. For a dollar, it was okay for what it was. If it’s on mega-clearance, I’ll rebuy. Otherwise, it’s a nope. I’m moving forward with other bath bomb options, and once I find some I like, I’ll try ’em out and report back.
Suave Strawberry Conditioner: I used this in co-washing between shampoos, and it’s a decent value for something like that. I’ve used it before, and probably will if I have an Ibotta deal for it.
Lip Smacker in Passion Fruit: Part of a haul I got from the Lip Smacker website a long time ago, and also something else that’s lived in my house for too long. Used it up before the move, and since it was winter, that didn’t take long at all.
Method hand soap in Sea Minerals: Found two of these in the store’s clearance bin for a dollar each. The bottle on both of them is janky af, so I’ve decanted this one into a reusable soap pump that matches the coastal theme I’m going for in my bathroom. This is still a work in progress, but since the bottle itself is empty, I’m counting it as a product empty all the same. I love the smell, and how it really says summer. Will definitely rebuy once I get through my other soaps from Ibotta deals, or if I find any more of these on clearance, whichever comes first.
Avon Mark body butter in All Bundled Up: This is that round dark-colored thing that looks like a hockey puck, located above the hair dye box and the conditioner. Also long discontinued and living in my house for way too long, I used it up before the move as a nightly foot treatment before I made like a horse and hit the hay for the night. It was winter at the time, and it had a cozy smell that’s hard for me to describe offhand.
African Pride Olive Miracle Deep Conditioning Treatment: A dollar-store find shortly after the move, meant to be left in the hair for a short amount of time. I love the smell of this stuff, and would probably rebuy at a later point down the road.
Avon Lip Conditioner: This is that silver thing above the Lip Smacker empty, and from what I can tell, also discontinued. It supposedly has plumping properties, however, I didn’t notice any real difference. Usually whatever difference those plumping lip glosses or lippies make aren’t noticeable on me. I did like the way it felt, so if I find something like it, I’ll try it out too.
Lafe’s Deodorant in lavender: Another Ibotta find at Wally World. The lavender scent was nice at first, but I quickly got bored with it. Still, I used it up, and I’m glad I did. I also like how the label even says “no propylene glycol” as part of its’ selling points. I like that! Myro was another deodorant that seems to have disappeared from Target shelves that had a reusable container with refills sold separately, and yes, it had propylene glycol in it. From what I gleaned off the reviews on the Target website, they reformulated their products, but according to their website’s product ingredients list, it’s still there. If there’s another scent in the Lafe’s deodorant line available at Wally World, I may give it a try.
Glasses cleaner from LensCrafters. Just glasses cleaner. I’ve got another bottle of it, however, I found a place closer to home that has a better deal on it, so I’m gonna use that stuff instead.
Over to you, readers. What product empties have you amassed? What’s been your favorites out of your stash? What sucked? Drop it like it’s hot below, and let’s talk.