Project Pan Beauty Empties January – March 2023 Part 2

Project Pan Beauty Empties January – March 2023 Part 2

I Bought This, Affiliate Links


Here are the rest of my Project Pan empties that I started yesterday!






Chella Good Drama Mascara, travel size black: I’m still a fan of lengthening Chella Good Drama Mascara. I’ve been buying the travel size because I could usually finish them up in three months. Recommendation: Yes, if you like a lengthening mascara, this is an excellent one. Plus, they go on sale rather frequently.


Benefit Roller Lash Curling & Lifting Mascara, travel size black: Benefit is another brand of mascara that I really like, and Roller Lash is a good one in spite of the curved wand that does work well to curl and lift. It too is primarily a lengthening mascara. Recommendation: Yes, it’s worth buying.





Histoire de Parfums Ambre 114, travel size spray: As you probably know, I adore amber scents and Ambre 114 has become a favorite. It’s a gender-neutral fragrance that is composed of so many of my favorite notes: Thyme, Nutmeg, Rose, Geranium, Patchouli, Sandalwood, Cedar, Vetiver, Amber, Vanilla, Tonka Bean, Benzoin, Musk. Although some might consider it an autumn and winter scent, I wear it year round. Recommendation: It’s difficult to recommend fragrances since it depends on your preferences. But if you like amber, you may like this one. Though I had intended to use up some more of my perfumes, I just found the travel spray on Amazon for $35, so I think I’ll buy a replacement.





IT Cosmetics Confidence in an Eye Cream Anti-aging Peptide, two jars: As I’ve mentioned before, I discovered IT Cosmetics Confidence in an Eye Cream as a more affordable substitute for City Beauty Lid Lifting Treatment. I just love it as an above the eye (lid, crease, and above) replacement for everyday. I thought I could save CB Lid Lifting for special occasions, but that was a mistake. The spackle-like consistency of Lid Lifting gets thicker with time, so I need to finish up what I have. Nevertheless, IT Cosmetics CIAEC is an excellent eye cream. About a year ago, IT changed the formula a bit either once or twice, adding the peptides that are one of the “it” anti-aging ingredients now because they are building blocks for proteins like collagen and elastin. Recommendation: Yes, this is a terrific firming eye cream. I have one more jar in my stash, and I will probably buy more when Macy’s or Sephora has a sale.


City Lips, two tubes of Clear: City Beauty just launched their new Night Oil, and I have been using it during the past week. It’s thick, cushiony and hydrating. However, I have found over the years that lip oils don’t stay on my dry lips quite as well as City Lips. Recommendation: I will continue on with Night Oil, but City Lips works for me and remains my favorite.


Theraderm Clinical Skin Care Flawless Neck Cream: Can you hear me crying right now? I finally found the perfect neck cream for me – the right consistency, an airless pump dispenser, and it definitely made my neck feel firm but soft – and now the price has gone up substantially. Right now, my poor, post-surgical neck that swollen with a big scar will really need a neck cream once it heals more, and I just don’t know if I can justify a neck cream that now costs $110. Boo hoo. Recommendation: If you can afford it, Theraderm Flawless Neck Cream is wonderful.


Buffalo Gal Magic Mushroom Restorative Beauty Potion, travel size: I wrote about Magic Mushroom Restorative Beauty Potion twice already, when I received it from organic, clean beauty Conscious Beauty Collection and as one of my favorite skincare products from 2022. It’s a lightweight oil made from mushrooms (that are having a moment right now) that is hydrating, plumping and non-greasy. Recommendation: After I make some progress on my skincare serums and oils (when I can use skincare products again), I will buy this oil in the future.


La Mer The Moisturizing Soft Cream, travel size: I received this generous sample size jar from Neiman Marcus a while ago, and I was happy to get to finally try La Mer’s new Moisturizing Soft Cream for balanced to dry skin. I used it sparingly and it lasted a long time. Unfortunately, it is a fragranced cream, and I didn’t love that. The cream itself is rich, hydrating and nice to apply for nighttime use. But I decided that it’s been knocked off its place atop the pinnacle of skincare creams. Recommendation: No.


Sample Packets



First thing, ignore the Ombre Mercure fragrance sample that I reviewed in December.


Hempz Milk & Honey Body Moisturizer and Hand & Foot Creme: I loved the mild fragrance and the rich consistency of both the Body Moisturizer and Hand & Foot Creme. Some day when I’m looking for something to buy at Ulta to get free shipping, I will pick up one of these. Very nice.


Clinique Moisture Surge: I started using Clinique Moisture Surge back in the 1980s, and it was perfect for my balanced and occasionally dry skin. I was happy to get this sample and get to try it now when my skin is much drier. I still think it’s a terrific moisture blast for young skin or skin that is combination, but no longer for me.


DHC Super Collagen Cream: DHC is an underrated brand, and the Super Collagen Cream is a rich, hydrating cream. If I didn’t have so many night creams, I would buy this one.


DHC Coenzyme Neck Cream: Oh heck, I wish I could remember what I thought about the Coenzyme Neck Cream since I need something to replace my Theraderm. I will check from sample stash and see if I have another one!


Total Empties for January – March 2023


My total of empties for January through March, not counting the sample packets, is 24. As I mentioned yesterday, I have a few more empties that I just finished in March, but I’ll fold them into my April empties. Considering I haven’t been able to use a lot of beauty projects this year because of my surgery, 24 isn’t so bad.


How about you? Any good empties that you will repurchase?

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Lots of Project Pan 2023 Beauty Empties, Pt. 1

Lots of Project Pan 2023 Beauty Empties, Pt. 1

I Bought This, PR Samples, Affiliate Links

I have managed to accumulate a lot of empty beauty products since the year started almost three months ago. Because I don’t remember which I finished up in January, February or March, this will be an aggregate Project Pan empties post. But I will most likely break it into two posts since it is too long for one.

During the two and a half months, I used up about 21 products. Since I took the photos, I’ve finished up a few more products, but I’ll count them towards April empties.


Vegamour GRO Hair Serum: I am still using Vegamour Hair Serum just about every night on the parts of my hair that were thinning, and it has definitely made a difference. Recommendation: Vegamour works for me. I have several bottles stockpiled.

Vegamour Revitalizing Conditioner: I used the Vegamour Revitalizing Conditioner along my hairline where the hair was thinning. Since the Hair Serum worked, I figured why not add this. Recommendation: I was given another tube by a friend, so I will continue with it. However, there’s a new Vegamour Shampoo and Conditioner line called HYDR-8 Repair for very dry hair that imparts moisture with a glass-like shin that sounds intriguing.

Eva*NYC Clean It Up Shampoo: I love how absolutely clean Eva*NYC Clean It Up Shampoo gets my hair, but the formula contains sulfates, a no-no for color-treated hair. I bought this shampoo several years ago, and I saved it to use right before I got my hair colored, but it’s just about empty and I need to toss it. I just checked Eva*NYC and they no longer make the Clean It Up Shampoo. Their current line is called Mane Magic. Recommendation: I haven’t tried Mane Magic yet, but I believe that Eva*NYC must have merged with the existing brand Mane Magic.

RITUALS The Ritual of Dao Nourishing Shampoo: I got The Ritual of Dao Nourishing Shampoo in a gift box during the holidays from RITUALS. I liked the gender-neutral scent, the amount of suds, and pretty much everything else. It was a good, everyday shampoo. Recommendation: As far as I can tell, Ritual of Dao has been discontinued. RITUALS, with the except of Ritual of Sakura, likes to mix things up and bring out new fragrances.

Beauty Tools

Sea Sponge: I’ve used up another sea sponge for washing my face. They’re all different, but this sea sponge from Neptune was just the right size. Recommendation: I prefer sea sponges, and I have been using them for decades. Though I understand they are not for everyone since they were living creatures, I love them. I bought a small bag of them on Amazon last year, and I am on to the next one.

Bath & Body

Curel Hydratherapy Wet Skin Moisturizer: I received Curel Hydratherapy Wet Skin Moisturizer by a PR person when the product launched a few years ago. You’re supposed to apply this body moisturizer while you’re still in the shower and your skin is still wet/damp. Unfortunately, I could never get used to using it that way, though I understand the rationale. I prefer to immediately reach for a towel after my shower. I did try using it that way, but I disliked applying it on top of wet skin. Plus, it didn’t seem to make much of a difference. Nevertheless, Curel Hydratherapy is a good body lotion applied to dry-ish skin after towel-drying. Recommendation: No, Curel makes a lot of good body lotions so this one seemed rather gimmicky.

RITUALS The Ritual of Sakura Flowering Hand Balmkitchen size bottle and purse size tube: This is about the hundredth bottle and tube of Sakura Hand Balm I’ve finished up. I love the light, cherry blossom fragrance. The consistency is perfect for me for most of the year (except maybe the winter when I need something a little heavier). Recommendation: Yes, I strongly recommend RITUALS Hand Balms. Right now, I am using RITUALS Precious Amber Hand Balm from their “private collection”. Since I am an amber fan, I thought it would be worth trying. Precious Amber is more of a gender-neutral scent, in fact, a little more masculine but still very nice.

Derma E Lemongrass & Thyme Tone-Correcting Shea Body Lotion: I think the amount of sun-damage I have on my arms and legs is too great for Derma E Lemongrass & Thyme Tone-Correcting Shea Body Lotion to fade the discoloration. That said, it’s still a very nice shea body lotion for dry skin. I love the scent of lemongrass and coupled with herbal thyme, it makes a nice lightly scented lotion. Recommendation: If you have a lot of discoloration, Derma E Tone-Correcting Body Lotion won’t significantly fade it. But if you are looking for a good body lotion, Derma E makes several different varieties including Lemongrass & Thyme.

Prideful Tahitian Vanilla Scented Bath & Shower Gel: Prideful makes gender-neutral bath and body products as well as makeup, and they are very affordably priced. The Tahitian Vanilla scented shower gel smells absolutely divine! I was sad to use it up. My only complaint is that the shower gel itself is rather thin. As a result, it is necessary to use a pouf or washcloth to get it to lather well. Nevertheless, I used it on its own as a shave gel and just to enjoy the delicious scent. Recommendation: I adore the vanilla scent and the shower gel is very inexpensive ($4.97 at Walmart) – so for those reasons, I recommend it. But since I don’t always use a pouf or washcloth, I wish the gel itself lathered up better on its own.

Olive & June Overnight Hand Treatment: I got this Overnight Hand Treatment in my Olive & June Hanukkah “Advent” Calendar in December. I assume it’s a travel size product, but I haven’t checked yet. It’s an absolutely terrific hand treatment: not greasy, works overnight like a charm. Recommendation: Yes, I strongly recommend this overnight hand treatment. In fact, it’s sold out right now. I intend to buy one when it’s back in stock.

So, these are the first half of my empties. The rest will be coming soon, maybe even tomorrow!


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See Ya Scentbird!

See Ya Scentbird!

I Bought This, Affiliate Link

Since the fragrance subscription launched about 10 years ago, I’ve been a subscriber. They approached me when they first launched to try out their service, and I did. Every month, I would receive a month’s travel spray of the scent of my choice.

Oscar de la Renta perfume, fragrance subscription service, perfume @redAllison
one of my first purchases years ago

I liked it so much that I joined on my own for $14.95/month once their introductory offer for bloggers ended a couple of months later.

After a couple of years, I switched from the monthly subscription to four times a year, every three months.

Over the years, I have discovered a number of fragrances that became my favorites. La Perla, Ambre 114 by Histoires de Parfums, and Oriental Lace by Oscar de la Renta. I tried a lot of other scents that were near misses or far misses. Nevertheless, they were fun to try.

Scentbird has changed a lot over the years. The prices have increased: $16.95 for most of the scents but some are considered “premium” and their costs are higher. There’s even a Saks Fifth Avenue collection of premium fragrances that are even more costly.

But while the prices have gone up, the month travel spray and its holder have gotten cheaper. Six months ago, my travel spray came in a cheap-looking, beige holder that the glass travel spray now with a cheap-looking gold top fits into. I was shocked that it had changed so drastically.

new glass spray

Unfortunately, this new holder is so much less attractive than the brightly colored metallic spray case that the older silver topped spray easily slipped into.

Scentbird perfume subscription service purse sprays @redAllison
the original spray holders

The spray I got this month didn’t work at all. I try fitting it into the beige holder that I got 3 months ago but it didn’t work at all. In fact, the gold top broke off.

Fortunately, I had an empty Travalo travel atomizer, and I managed to get some of the Velvet from Commodity EDP into it. Before I found the Travalo, I asked Scentbird Customer Service to either replace the broken spray or refund my money. They refused.

Commodity is a relatively new fragrance house, an independent, modern, unisex, niche brand. I’ve tried a few of their scents, mostly near-ish misses. Honestly, Velvet didn’t suit me either, though I hoped it would. It was described as:

“Mysterious and elegant, Velvet Expressive evokes the pure indulgence of a soft texture meeting bar skin. Its woody oriental blend is infused with roasted almond, rose petals and black amber.”

After this failure, I decided to give up on my Scentbird subscription. A key reason for cancelling is that they changed their website. It doesn’t work at all with my Safari browser, and it doesn’t work for me with Chrome either. Since I can’t get on the site to choose any fragrances or any of their other products (candles, makeup etc.), what’s the point? When I wrote to customer service telling them why I wanted to cancel my subscription after 10 years, they didn’t seem to care why. They were unwilling to help me figure out why their website doesn’t work for me. Oh well, I guess it’s easier to get new customers than to hang on to the old.

In spite of my disappointment with Scentbird, there are now millions of websites that sell smaller samples and premium and vintage fragrances that make it quite easy to try out new scents. Although I had some good times with the old Scentbird, I won’t miss the “new” Scentbird.

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St. Patrick’s Day Beauty Spotlight Team

St. Patrick’s Day Beauty Spotlight Team

Hope you’re having a fun St. Patrick’s Day weekend. Are you eating green bagels or drinking green beer? Hmm, that could be going a little too far, lol.

Beauty Spotlight Team logo

This weekend, we have 5 bloggers participating in our Beauty Spotlight Team Roundup. Hope you have had a chance to get to know our newest fashion and style blogger from the U.K., Pamela from Style Yourself Confident. If not, she’s with us again this weekend, so check her out!

Allison from Never Say Die Beauty has been using City Lips for plumper, softer, hydrated lips for more than 10 years, but not City Lips has just launched a brand new product: City Lips Night Oil. Get the deets and discount on the new products here!

Lola’s Secret Beauty Blog has extolled the many virtues of Current Body Skin LED Light Therapy Mask, and if you are seeking rejuvenated skin this  is worthy of your consideration.

Cargo pants are a top choice for women’s utility looks in 2023. This year comfort rules, with baggy legs, long hems and maximum pocket space. Age doesn’t matter because the newest styles have higher waists after the super low-rise versions of the past. This week, Angie at Your True Self Blog talks about cargo pants and how to make them new again. She hopes her outfit ideas will inspire you to wear cargoes in many different ways!

So you have a skincare routine, but you want to up your skincare game to something a bit more aggressive. Well, look no further as Barbie’s Beauty Bits shares one safe and effective way to rejuvenate your skin…chemical peeling.

Think ‘Simply Pink’ says Pamela from Style Yourself Confident. Even if you’re not a girly girl, every woman needs to know the most flattering pinks to suit her complexion so she can choose makeup shades with confidence. And of course the flowers that inevitably will be around this weekend for Mother’s Day in the UK!

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On The Mend

On The Mend

I am on day 9 post-surgery, and I’m making slow progress. As the visiting nurse Carol or maybe it was Jeff who said, if only I had taken a photo of what I looked like on March 7, I could see the progress. But when I look in the mirror now, I don’t look quite as awful.


The Surgery


My surgical procedure was a left carotid artery endarterectomy. The vascular surgeon removed the build-up of fatty deposits or plaque that cause a narrowing of the artery that supplies the brain, face and neck. Basically, they scrape the artery walls.




There was something unexpected that the surgeon saw during the surgery that was different from what he anticipated from my CT scans, though I’m not exactly sure what it was. The plaque was in a different formation – a lacy weblike structure – that was harder to remove. The procedure took 4 hours instead of 2. I think the vascular surgeon found the surgery to be interesting and different from the usual, and I assume that’s a good thing in terms of keeping him involved.


The surgical team made a long incision that went from behind my ear to my neck. I can’t really see where it starts, but I think he said it was 5ish inches long. My left ear and my neck from behind the ear to under my chin are very sore. I have internal sutures that will disappear on their own. The outside scar is held in place with clear adhesive that should flake off on its own. Every now and then I feel like something is stinging me in that area, and I was told that is the nerves trying to reconnect? I still can’t turn my head, so I’m not driving yet.


Nevertheless, I survived, even when they had to shut off the blood flow to the left of the brain while they removed the plaque! I assume that I have a clean carotid artery, and I hope my brain is getting enough blood now! Over the past few months, when I bent over, the top of my head hurt, and now I know why.


Altogether the recovery time is about 4-6 weeks, so I have a ways to go. I really hope the swelling goes down so I don’t look as puffy. Post-surgery, my jawline, that I am always talking about and trying to keep somewhat taut, definitely came out looking like my grandmother. The scar is long, wide and black-ish. Ick. The entire area is no longer “hot” but it still is “warm” to the touch.


What to Blog About Now??



Because the left lower quadrant of my face and half of my neck is so sore and swollen, I can’t use any beauty products on it. To be honest, I am having a hard time just washing my face. I can use some eye cream, but not like I could before. Wearing makeup for the foreseeable future is out of the question.


So for now, I have stopped accepting products for review. Wouldn’t you know that a French makeup brand that I have been eying for the past 3 years wrote to me early this week asking me to try their brand for review!! I asked if I could get back to them in a month of so, and they kindly said yes. I also intend to finally cancel my every-other-month Ipsy subscription since I’m bored with it and I can’t use the products now anyway. I still have plenty of beauty products waiting in my stash for when I can use them.


In the meantime, I can review my 2023 Beauty Empties that have been accruing. Hopefully, I might have some body lotions and butters, hand creams, body wash, lipsticks, nail polish, and perfumes that I could write about. Also, I don’t have the energy right now to blog every day, so my blogging schedule will be more random.


That’s the update on my medical situation right now. Thank you for sticking with me and for your concern! And Happy St. Patrick’s Day to all of the Irish and those who are Irish for the day 🙂 xoxo


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City Lips Night Oil: New Cushiony Nighttime Lips on Sale

City Lips Night Oil: New Cushiony Nighttime Lips on Sale

PR Sample, Affiliate Link


I’m back today as a quick hello!


New Nighttime Version of City Lips on Sale!


Because my surgery, sinusitis, and generally feeling lousy took up so much time, I didn’t get a chance to try out brand new City Lips Night Oil. But today was the first day of the launch that goes through March 18, and I wanted to let you know about it in case you were curious.


Introductory Packaging!


With my code NEVERSAYDIEBEAUTY, you can get 15% off the regular $39 price.


Night Oil Background Info


Now you know that regular City Lips is the first product from City Beauty that I ever purchased myself to try. It’s been well over 14 years that I’ve been using it.


My Old Faithful


I use it every night before bed, and I use it most days as well. Honestly, I love the way it feels on my lips so I keep coming back to City Lips even if I stray for a bit to try something else. I promise that I will try out new Night Oil and post about it again soon.


In the meantime, I will report on what City Beauty says about their cushiony, hydrating new product.


The benefit: City Lips Night Oil nourishes, exfoliates, and plumps the look of lips overnight.


It’s an antidote for:


  • Smoker’s Lines

  • Thin Lips

  • Dry Lips

  • Wrinkled Lips

  • Mature Lips


How to use it: Before bed, apply a generous amount to clean, dry lips as the last step in your evening skincare routine.


Key Ingredients:


  • Portulaca pilosa extract: Supports a youthful-looking lip shape and contour

  • Hyaluronic acid spheres: Deliver deep hystration and a visible plumping look

  • Plankton and Floral extract: Helps reduce the look of aging lips for a smooth, younger look.


Full Ingredients


Key Product Details: Cruelty-free. No parabens, mineral oil phthalates, or sulfates. No irritating capsaicin, cinnamon, menthol, or ginger.



City Lips Night Oil comes in a heavy plastic bottle holding 0.23 fl. oz. It has a twist off top with a soft applicator inside.



Night Oil User Group Study Results



City Beauty conducted a small-scale 12 week usage study among women, age 35-70. The results included:


  • 100% said the skin on their lips look and feel healthier in the morning

  • 94% said their lips felt immediately plumper and more supple

  • 91% said the appear of fine lines around their mouth are less noticeable

  • 100% said throughout the day their lips felt less chapped


A Secret Gift in the Box


I always have a difficult time sleeping, so the silk sleeping mask inside was an added extra that I will definitely use.



So click over to new City Lips Night Oil and take a look, and let me know what you think!




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