March Empties

March Empties

It’s been awhile since I’ve done an empties blog post. I don’t often use up several items at the same time and most of the time I don’t remember to save my empties to show but I really made an effort this time to put my empties aside.

I’m a die hard fan of CeraVe Moisturizing Cream (the one that comes in a tub) and I’ve probably gone through at least 10 tubs since I discovered the product a few years ago. But the cream retails for about $15 in my area, which is pricey in my opinion, so lately I’ve started to look at generics in the hope of finding a comparable but less expensive dupe. I stumbled across the CVS dupe of the CeraVe lotion a couple of months ago and for $6 I figured it wouldn’t hurt to give it a try. I’ve never actually tried the CeraVe Moisturizing Lotion; I’ve always opted for the richer, heavier Moisturizing Cream version, so the CVS Moisturizing Lotion is lighter than what I’m used to. Nevertheless, it’s a really nice, fragrance-free, hydrating lotion that sinks into the skin easily. I’ve used it on my body as well as my face with no adverse effects. I liked this enough that I would repurchase but I want to give some other generics a try so I probably won’t rebuy anytime soon.

To help keep my skin clear and blackhead-free I like to use a salicylic acid toner (rather than benzoyl peroxide products that really dry out my already parched skin). Neutrogena used to make a 2% salicylic acid product called the Oil-Free Acne Stress Control 3-in-1 Hydrating Acne Treatment that I swore by and used religiously but then they discontinued it. When I was at Walmart recently I spotted a salicylic acid toner from the same Acne Stress Control line and I had to get it. Unfortunately, I really should’ve taken a closer look at the ingredients because it contains alcohol, so while it does an okay job of keeping my pores clear it’s rather drying. This isn’t something I’d repurchase.

I’m proud of myself for finishing two Bath & Body Works body creams. I don’t like wearing a lot of fragrance so I tend to use scented body lotions sparingly. I normally moisturize all over with a fragrance-free lotion/cream and then apply a little bit of scented lotion to my hands only. I’m kind of sad that Bath & Body Works has discontinued Country Chic from their physical stores but I stocked up at the most recent semi-annual sale so I still have several backups. I spotted Morocco Orchid & Pink Amber at the sale too but chose not to repurchase. I like the opening mix of fruit and florals in it but the amber dry down is a bit too spicy for my liking.

I finished off a Cake Batter Chapstick and I’ve already repurchased another set of three. I recently bought a REVO lip balm in Marshmallow Creme and, while it’s nice, I prefer the Cake Batter Chapstick a lot more. The texture feels creamier and the scent’s better. The REVO has a thinner texture, smells a bit artificial to me and contains a lot more artificial sweetener. In my opinion the Cake Batter Chapstick smells more realistic and feels better on the lips.

Vanicream was a 2014 discovery for me. I first heard about this product nearly three years ago from frmheadtotoe but it wasn’t until last year that I finally got around to buying it. Now this isn’t a cream that I think is moisturizing enough on its own. In my opinion, since it’s petrolatum-based it’s better suited as a topper for sealing in moisture. I prefer to moisturize first with my regular lotion and then finish off with a bit of Vanicream on top. Prior to Vanicream I’d been using a bit of Vaseline as a topper for my moisturizers and in comparison the Vanicream is much more lightweight and non-sticky yet still does a great job of preventing moisture from escaping my skin.

On a slightly related note, I finished off a jar of Trader Joe’s Cranberry & Apple Butter that I purchased a few months ago. It tasted okay but was way more tart than I expected. There’s hardly any sweetness to it at all. I got mostly tart cranberries with a hint of apple flavor. I had expected something like a strawberry jam that I could spread on toast but this was better suited, in my opinion, as an accompaniment to poultry. I mainly used it as a cranberry sauce replacement and it worked nicely in that capacity.

I purchased a jar of Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Butter when I got the Cranberry & Apple Butter but I wasn’t a fan and ended up tossing it without even finishing it. I try not to waste food but it just wasn’t good. It tasted like pumpkin pie filling with a healthy dose of lemon juice (lemon juice concentrate is one of the ingredients), so basically sour pumpkin pie filling. It was really off putting and I was never quite sure how to use it. It was too sour to eat with toast but the spice flavor profile was too dessert-like to be eaten with poultry/meats.

I also ended up getting rid of the Trader’s Joe Dijon Mustard. I like mustard but it was simply way too intense for me. It had that sinus burning spiciness that I associate with horseradish and wasabi, neither of which I enjoy. I tried using it sparingly on its own and in vinaigrettes but it was still too much for me.