Empties | Reverse Rouge Intro + Quarter One Trash

A collection of beauty product empties from Drunk Elephant, Lador, MILK Makeup, Benton, and Josie Maran.

the empties that started Reverse Rouge


The smattering of empties in the photo is a paltry showing, I know. (And may I add that it was a failed challenge to photograph this in any attractive way!)  But part of the aim of this little hobby blog is accountability. So hopefully there will be some improvement in the future. With the help of Reverse Rouge, I’m sure we’ll all do fine. I was introduced to the Reverse Rouge concept by cindyhyue.com, a beauty blog. Here is a link to her post (which also links to the original Reddit thread).

The goal is to “Reverse Rouge” or use up $1,000 worth of product by the end of the year. I plan to calculate the value of each of my empties based on the standard size of the product. If I got the product for free, I would still determine a value. If the product came in a mixed set, I might try to weigh the value against the other products; but that seems like an awful lot of work for now. The goal is to motivate me to use up my stash, after all. If I can’t find a size on the package to reference or some other unavoidable hassle, I’ll assign a value of one dollar.

Let’s get into some mini-reviews for 2018’s first quarter:


Josie Maran 100% Pure Argan Oil

Argan oil was my first dip in the face-oil pool. It is on the thinner side, but plenty nourishing and viscous. Unfortunately, I prefer thicker oils now.  It had never broken me out and daresay it cured an eczema patch on my leg when I first started using it.  You can, of course, use this product on hair, but I’ve never been very compelled to do so.  Now there are cheaper argan oils on the market yet I will always come back to this one if I could only choose one argan oil for the rest of my life. Why fix what isn’t broken, and all that.

MILK Makeup Sunshine Oil

Sunshine Oil has a happy, citrus scent. It’s a thinner oil that gives a pleasant glow. MILK has marketed this as a whenever / wherever oil: to use as a highlighter, on hair, cuticles, etc. Its full-size comes with a rollerball, which I hate. I like to be able to control how I apply a product. That’s why I hoarded these little sample pouches that have a screw top. I thought they’d be excellent for travel and I could keep refilling them from the rollerball. But if you look closely at the photo, you can see that the product leaked and made a mess of the screw top (and my bag). It would be one of my favorites if not for the packaging.


Benton Snail Bee High Content Steam Cream

I got several of these packets from a kind soul on Reddit’s Asian Beauty Exchange. I like to shop there and on eBay if I am looking to sample a specific product. If I can help it, I never want to invest in full-size without trying the product first. The cream is fine. That’s it. It’s sublimely thick, unscented, and would make an acceptable occlusive in your night routine. I woke up with plump, moisturized, smooth skin. I didn’t buy the full size because I have a massive amount of other moisturizers to trial first. Please consider that this formula has bee venom in it, and if you are allergic to bees, you may want to stay clear as a precaution. To those of you horrified by the preceding sentence, I plan to tackle unusual ingredients (by Western standards, anyway) in another post.

Drunk Elephant B-Hydra Intensive Hydration Gel

This product confuses me. It’s what some would consider a gel moisturizer, but I’ve also heard it referred to as a serum. It is unscented, lightweight, and, whoa, does it absorb quickly. I have to use so much more than I would ordinarily because my hands soak it up before I can spread it on my face sufficiently. This quick-absorption can be beneficial to anyone who needs their moisturizer to dry down quickly before makeup. But if you have to use five pumps to make sure it spreads around alright, you’re going to be going through a lot of bottles of this. Maybe you want to because even though my skin feels somewhat dry and velvety after use, making me doubt it is moisturizing at all, I wake up and find several hours later that my skin is plump and glowing. How? I don’t know.

Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Framboos Glycolic Night Serum

The Glycolic Night Serum is a solid intro product to AHAs. I can feel that it has worked in the morning after use. But it isn’t the heavy-hitter that I need. I’ll keep at it and see if it is one of those products that require a goodly duration of use to see effects. I have some deluxe minis that can help me with this experiment. I wanted to work on my foil samples first.


Lador Scalp Scaling Spa

Lador was a bit of a cult brand in the heyday of MeMeBox. The Scalp Scaling Spa is a post-shampoo treatment. The tubes are meant to be one-use, but I can get two uses from them and maybe more if I’m careful. There is a cooling effect which is tea tree oil and the gimmicky addition of menthol. You’ll also find a good selection of ingredients like snail mucin, ceramides, salicylic acid, and green tea. It hasn’t worked the way I want it to yet. I think I want to try this as a pre-treatment next because how much good can it do sitting on your scalp for only three minutes after shampooing? I’d think some of those things need more time to absorb. Also, I’ll try to use it more consistently to give a more thorough review in the future.

My Reverse Rouge Totals

This 1st Quarter lot came in at $27.13 (USD). That’s a lot for a mishmash of foils. The argan oil clocked in at $14.00 (USD) all by itself!

What Now?

I am going to put this money away in a high-interest savings account, that’s what! By the end of the year, I’ll be able to buy a new laptop, go on holiday or maybe just use it to buy more makeup. The point is to keep track and use it as a motivator to shop my stash and use up as much as I can. The amount of stuff I have is getting a bit overwhelming. And, f you find yourself in the same boat, check out the Reverse Rouge thread in Skincare Addiction on Reddit and see which version of this plan will work best for you.

Join me in saving some money, if you like.  And then consider making some money on that money.  Take a look at these two online account options with THE BEST interest rates in the US. If you aren’t in the US, Google your locale’s highest interest rates for online savings accounts (they can afford the higher interest payout because they don’t have the expense of physical locations).

Barclay’s Best 1.50% APR  This is the best rate for an account with no required minimum to open the account and no fees.

Salem Five 1.85% APR  This is the best rate for an account that requires a minimum to open the account ($100) and no fees.






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