January 2022 Empties

January 2022 Empties

Mid last year when I announced I had fell out of love with doing empties posts and was deciding to take a little break from doing them, I was met with people saying that they still enjoyed reading them. A few years ago I found monthly empties were getting too much to cover in one post and was doing multiple posts to break it out into more manageable chunks, so I introduced my “Ten Empties” and every ten products I finished I collected them up to get then out the door. I’ve decided that I wanted to bring my empties back but almost merge these two concepts together for my January 2022 Empties.

My empties will now consist of featuring all my empties from the month, but instead of feeling like I need to provide an in-depth comment on everything, I’m going to pull out the most interesting products that I’ve finished – for good or bad reasons – and just list the rest with a short comment and whether I plan to purchase or repurchase.

The Best Empties of the Month

January 2022 Empties - The Best Thing I tried this month

Pixi Lift Lip Max in Petal Ice [Gifted]
I found this at the start of the month half used and I’ve WHIZZED through it. I haven’t been a gloss girl for about 12 years but have had a real resurgence of love for it last year (great timing with all the face masks!). This has a tinge of colour and adds a lovely finish to the lips by itself with a slight minty, menthol effect. I had this on my desk and have had zoom after zoom meeting recently so it’s been an easy one to pop on between meetings for staying looking put together.
Repurchase? Yes I would! Great topper over lipsticks and great by itself.

MAC Seduced at Sea Blush
This is an old one from my collection that I had in my project pan last year and finished up in the first few days of this year. This is a lovely neutral blush that adds a subtle wash of colour to the cheeks that went with all makeup looks, the finish of this had a slight sheen that made the skin look lovely. I’m sad to say bye to this packaging too, it’s probably my favourite from any line!
Repurchase? It’s a discontinued limited edition shade plus MAC is not currently cruelty free.

Aoura Midnight Passion Body Mist
I picked this up on a little bit of a whim last year from Boots, the packaging really reminded me of a limited edition collection of Victoria’s Secret Body Mists that were more perfumey and deeper in note than the majority of their fragrances. I picked those up in New York in 2016, and my sister and I regularly still comment on how we’d like them back after I bought bottles for us both. It didn’t disappoint and gave me those more grown up body mist vibes than most that are on the market – my boyfriend comments a lot when I wear this that it smells really nice and is a very affordable option over a perfume and is great for a “round the house” fragrance.
Repurchase? Yes, I’m going to go back to Boots and see if I can find them to smell in person as I think I’d like to get a few!

Laura Mercier Pure Canvas Blurring Primer
Whilst this is only a relatively small sample size, I was able to get around 5 uses out of it and really seemed to enjoy it. I didn’t find it blurring in the same way as a very siliconey primer but it seemed to do a really good job of mattifying my skin and my makeup seemed to last well when I wore this.
I might do! I have finished two mini primers this month and have a full size one in my project pan, but this is an entirely different formula. Trying the full size definitely intrigues me and their loose powder is also on my list to try this year!

The Worst Empties of the Month

January 2022 Empties - the worst things I tried this month

Pantene Superfood Conditioner
With shampoo and conditioner things stay in my shower until done, so when I found this in my cupboard, I was a little dubious as to why it was there as it was half used. This made my hair look and feel so heavy and very quickly seemed to give my hair a greasy appearance. I used this up but also decided to try and use it up by using it for shaving my legs too to help get it finished faster! Pantene isn’t a brand I tend to buy, so I assume this was bought somewhere in lack of options to choose from and the risk of picking it up again is fairly low.
Repurchase? An obvious no!

Briogeo Be Gentle Be Kind Mask
This isn’t the worst product I’ve ever tried, but I was kind of expecting miracles from it. The full size of this mask is £32, and I was expecting to see similar kinds of transforming results I’d expect from something like Olaplex. With Hair masks, I expect to get high hydration and better, instant results to that compared to a conditioner. This was a nice smelling, nice light texture, but it could have been any mid-budget conditioner – the results I see from the Garnier Superfood masks which are about £5 on offer are far better in comparison.
Repurchase? No

Milk HydroGrip Face Primer
Again, not the worst product I have ever tried but one that ended up just being disappointed! This had been on my hitlist to buy for ages and had heard people with oily skin get on really well with this primer. I think I got about 10 uses from this deluxe sized sample, so I had a really good play with it and I just felt like it would have made no difference if I used this or not. It didn’t feel particularly hydrating and I didn’t feel like it was really gripping my base makeup either. I didn’t find that it did anything negative like making my skin more oily, but it didn’t deliver on the incredible results I was expecting to see either.
Repurchase? No, but glad to have tried it for myself.

Other things finished this month

Michael Kors White Luminous Gold Perfume
Repurchase? No, entirely generic perfume IMHO

Mario Badescu Witch Hazel & Rosewater Tonic 59ml
Repurchase? No – nice and lightweight but didn’t notice what it did, could have just been a micellar water! 

Basic Beauty Tools Sponges x 5 [Gifted]
Repurchase? I wish I could! These are my favourite sponges ever and I’ve used them well past their best. I have a handful left, but I had to admit these ones were shedding completely. The brand kindly gifted me 3 at the beginning and I then became a loyal purchaser too and stocked up when they announced they were closing. The texture and shape of these was perfect, I’m sad I only have a few usable ones left!
Review here

Molton Brown Vintage with Elderflower Shower Gel Bauble
Repurchase? No, nice to use up and lasted me all month but scent wasn’t my favourite. Would use again if I had it.

Imperial Leather Wild Thing Shower Gel
Repurchase? It was nice enough – I wouldn’t actively hunt it down, but if I saw it and was in need of a shower gel, I’d happily pick it up – cheap and cheerful! 

Goldwell Elumen Colour Conditioner
Repurchase? Maybe, Fairly cheap for salon quality – but didn’t find it made a truly significant difference to how my colour lasted – but was a decent conditioner that went far.

Umberto Giannini 60 Second Smooth
Repurchase? No, I couldn’t pinpoint what it was actually doing or see any noticeable results. An unnecessary extra step.

La Riche Directions Violet
Yes, my go to purple hair dye, lasts amazingly!

It’s a 10 Miracle Leave in Product
Repurchase? Eh – I’ve had the full size bottle of this before many years ago and recall loving it but I think I have better things in my drawer now. This smaller sized bottle also had a terrible ability to get product out atall, let alone evenly when it came out. I have one more I will finish but I don’t think it will go on my repurchase list. 

Philip Kingsley Elastacizer Treatments
Repurchase? This is probably the best form of elasticizer I’ve tried from PK, it’s a lot lighter and thinner and seemed easier to apply – and the smell of this one was LOVELY. But again, still don’t really feel like these do much for me compared to what a hair mask would.

And there is my January 2022 Empties, I don’t know what you thought but January seemed to whizz by for me. I’m surprised that I only finished one skincare item this month but definitely can see a few products that are close to empty that are bound to be finished in the first few days of February. Let me know in the comments if you have tried any of these before and if you had any star empties this month.

As usual, I’m tracking my empties for the year to see my total end-of-year value and finish-up rate compared to previous years. If you would like to see my spreadsheet or download a template to join in, you can find that here.



  1. February 2, 2022 / 1:31 pm

    Hey there! Question: Do you finish something even if you’re not loving it? Since becoming pregnant, I have this urge to finish every half used product I own (guess it has something to do with nesting lol) and sometimes I look at them and wish I could just be done with them already but I keep using them anyway.

    • rachael
      February 11, 2022 / 5:29 pm

      Gah it’s a frustating one! Yes and no really – some things like a body wash I’ll finish it up as it tends to be easy, but with something like a mascara where it’s a core part of my routine and I’m going to have to use it for months, I kind of think life is too short to subject myself to it and really hate it daily. But I hate waste too, so find myself trying to use up as much as I can!

  2. February 3, 2022 / 1:50 am

    Yay glad you decided to keep doing empties posts and found a format that works for you! The Pixi lip product sounds so pretty and I agree those types of products are good for WFH days or between Zoom calls. January did zoom by, lots of people always complain about it dragging but I didn’t think so at all!

    • rachael
      February 11, 2022 / 5:34 pm

      I never find January drags, maybe it’s because we both have birthdays in the early part of the year it seems to fly by for us!

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