Winter Empties- Skincare I Loved and Hated

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Winter Skincare by popular Monterey beauty blog, Haute Beauty Guide: image of Pursoma, Lord Jones, Colleen Rothschild and Elemis beauty products.

Winter skincare products shown include a mixture of press samples and purchases, mainly purchases.

Winter Skincare Empties

Winter Skincare by popular Monterey beauty blog, Haute Beauty Guide: image of Pursoma, Lord Jones, Colleen Rothschild and Elemis beauty products.

First up, bodycare.

Pursoma – LOVED both of these. The After the Class soak even had a rose quartz crystal in it! So cute. I bought a bunch more of these.

Elemis – My skin gets so dry and itchy in the winter. This oil was awesome at making those ailments go away without competing with my perfume. It was super quick absorbing and my skin felt awesome all day.

Brazilian Bum Bum Cream – I know this has a cult following and I received a bunch of samples of it at Sephoria but…. I hated it. The scent is just too overwhelming for me.

Molton Brown – I love all things Molton Brown so these were a win for me.

Rituals* – This scrub in the Ritual of Chado was lovely. My skin felt so soft and hydrated after using it each day. The body spray in the ritual of Jing wasn’t great. I didn’t care for the smell so I threw it in my husband’s bathroom to use as a room spray.

Lord Jones* – MY NEW MUST HAVE OBSESSION. The scent is so good. The best way to end a long week!

Colleen Rothschild* – Who knew a body cream wash would be so life-changing! I was sent this in a PR box and then went on to buy several more. It is a rich creamy wash that doesn’t leave my skin itch or dry. The scent is light and pleasant.

Royal Apothic – Body Cream Hated it. I ended up using it on my feet at night. On my body, it just felt sticky and not pleasant.

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Winter Skincare by popular Monterey beauty blog, Haute Beauty Guide: image of Elemis, Augstinus Bader, Dr. Barbara Strum, Lala Retro whipped cream, and Bobbi Brown beauty products.


Tata Harper * Water-Lock Moisturizer – This was really lovely. Rich and creamy but not heavy at all. I loved it for the morning.

Augustinus Bader* – I saw this all over IG and when it arrived in a PR box I was skeptical. I loved it after the first use. It melts into the skin leaving my skin soft and hydrated all day. On days I didn’t wear makeup I really noticed a difference. My skin glowed. When I used this cream at night I woke in the morning with my skin still hydrated. I loved it so much I treated myself to a second bottle for Christmas.

Dr. Sturm Face Cream* – This was nice for day. It was heavy enough to last all night on my skin but as a daycream, under SPF and makeup it was great.

Elemis Pro-Radiance Illuminating Cream – I’ve used this a lot in the past, after trying some new formulas, like the Dr. Sturm face cream, I would rather buy other face creams.

Huxley Anti Gravity Face Cream- This was just ok to me didn’t hate it or love it.

Bobbi Brown Face Base Cream * I was a fan of this. I really liked it and the price point is great. This cream sinks into the skin, creates a nice seal, lasts all day and makes my makeup look great!

ESPA Skin Rescue Balm – Hated it. It felt greasy and just gross.

Drunk Elephant Lala Retro Whipped Cream – THIS WAS AWESOME!!! So good. It layered really nicely at night with some of my thicker face oils. I would day if you have more of a combo/oily skin this one will work well for you. With my dry skin I had to layer it with an oil.

Glow Recipe Watermelon Water Sleeping Mask – This was lovely. I used it while in the bath and then layered my regular creams over it. My skin was very happy with it. If you have combo or oily skin you could totally use this on it’s own without an additional cream.

Chantecaille Stress Repair Serum* – UM WOW this is more of a serum. If you have an event or Zoom and need a little mini botox effect this is AWESOME!!!!!

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Winter Skincare by popular Monterey beauty blog, Haute Beauty Guide: image of Beuaty Pie Lantastic, Kores, Klavuu, Evelom, and Green Clean beauty products.


Beauty Pie Plantastic Apricot Cleansing Balm – Wow! This was incredible. It took off all of my tough makeup with ease, left my skin plump and clean, and rinsed off clean. If you have dry skin this is a must-have makeup, first evening cleanse item. Shop Now.

Grown Alchemist* – This was lovely. I liked the texture, scent, and how easily it removed my makeup.

Farmacy Green Clean – This is a great cleansing balm to remove makeup for all skin types. A little goes a long way so the price point is great. This lasted 4 months almost 5!

Eve Lom – Hated it. The texture weirded me out and I didn’t like that I couldn’t use it on my eyes.

Tatcha Cream Cleanser* – AMAZING! I bought another. This is a great morning cleanser. It really softens the skin and leaves a fresh faced look.

Korres Greek Yoghurt Foaming Cream Cleanser – I liked this but think it is better for combo skin. I used it as a nighttime second cleanser and as a morning cleanser.

Klavuu – I didn’t like this. The scent was off and the texture was off and it left a weird film on my skin.

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Winter Skincare by popular Monterey beauty blog, Haute Beauty Guide: image of Peter Thomas Roth, SkinCeuticals, and Caudalie beauty products.


Peter Thomas Roth Water Drench 45* This was awesome. I used it without a moisturizer and my skin was very happy. I think for any skin type this would be a win.

Skincueticals SPF 30 – I really liked the texture of this but it didn’t always play well with makeup.

Caudalie Resveratrol Lift with SPF 20 – I used this on days I stayed indoors. It is light, smells great, feels great and worked great.

Winter Skincare by popular Monterey beauty blog, Haute Beauty Guide: image of Murad, Farmacy, Derma-E, and Caroline Hirons Oskia beauty products.

Vitamin C

Oskia X Caroline Hirons Super-C Capsules – AMAZING!!!! These oil capsules are just the right amount of product to do the whole face and neck. They have great texture and scent and absorb quickly. I didn’t get any irritation from them at all. THESE ARE SO GOOD for all skin types.

Derma E Vitamin C Concentrated Serum* – I’m a big fan of DermaE but not this serum. It just didn’t absorb well for me.

Farmacy Very Cherry Bright – This is great for Vitamin C newbies. For me it wasn’t really strong enough.

Murad Vita-C Glycolic Brightening Serum* – So good! This was and easy to use all in one morning serum that gave instant results. I was gifted this earlier this year and wrote about it here. Since then I have repurchased twice!

GlowRecipe Pineapple-C Bright Serum – This smells awful BUT if you want smooth, glassy and glowing skin this is your serum! Even with this tiny sample I saw great results. I bought a full-size it was that good!

Mists, Toners and Eyes

DermaE Hydrating Mist* – LOVED, LOVED, LOVED. Seriously, so good. The applicator gave a super fine mist that absorbed quickly. I bought 5 more of these. I keep one in my car, my purse, every bathroom and next to the bed! SOOO GOOD. The price point is awesome. You can find it at TARGET!

Pixi Rose Tonic* – I liked this for days when I used Tretinoin. Usually, I use an acid based toner but this was really nice.

Sunday Riley Auto Correct – Probably one of my favorite eye creams ever. I was really skeptical about this one but man was I glad I bought it. The caffeine really brightens my under eyes and the texture is awesome under makeup!

PCA Ideal Complex Eye Gel – This is one my can’t live without products. It makes the crepey eyelids disappear! I like this for the mornings.

Winter Skincare by popular Monterey beauty blog, Haute Beauty Guide: image of Pixi Skintreats and various face mask sheets.

Masks and Scrubs

Tell Me ‘Pout It by Maskeraide – Anytime I wear lipstick I am sure to use this mask. My lips are sensitive and almost all lipsticks just tear them up. This mask helps prevent that.

Wanter Beauty Baggage Claim Gold Eye Masks – SOOO GOOD. Instant refresh, instant depuff, instant hydration. I wear these while working they feel so good when staring at a computer screen all day.

Kate Somerville Wrinkle Warrior* – I liked this but not as much as the chest mask in the same line. I just didn’t see a lot of a difference. It is great on fine dehydration lines. Feels good in a hot bath.

Pixi Hydrating Milky Peel* – I really liked this. A great gentle peel. It reminds me of a gentler version of a traditional gommage.

Ole Heinricksen Transforming Walnut Srub – This was a little too aggressive for me since I use AHAs, BHAs and Tretinoin so I used this on my feet and hands! It worked great. I actually bought another one just for my hands.

Winter Skincare by popular Monterey beauty blog, Haute Beauty Guide: image of Peach Perfect, Tarte, 111skin and lip magic beauty products.


Peach Perfect Mattifying Loose Setting Powder – I really like the smell of this. The texture and finish are great but a little too matte for my skin. I like a glossy look.

Tarte Shape Tape – LOVED!! I’ve been doing a no makeup- makeup look lately and this covers my under eyes perfectly. I even used my fingers to blend it and the finish was perfect each time.

Becca Backlight Perfecting Primer- I carried Becca in my skin studio for YEARS before anyone even knew what it was wayyyy before Sephora carried them. Their primers and foundations have always been a win for me. This backlight perfecting primer is gorgeous. I wear it without foundation all the time for a soft glowing look.

Charlotte Tilbury Lip Magic – Loved this. It was a sample I found at the bottom of my drawer. Thick, creamy and super hydrating. So good. Sadly, it is discontinued.

111Skin Neck cream – This was just ok. Honestly, the sample was too small to make a real opinion.

Winter Skincare by popular Monterey beauty blog, Haute Beauty Guide: image of Living Proof dry shampoo, Briogeo shampoo, Loreal, Quai, Philip B., Kerastase, and Biosilk hair products.


Kerastase I use a lot of my samples from Kerastase up and like all of them! This Initialiste scalp serum is one of my favorite winter products. My scalp gets so dry and itchy and this serum helps without leaving my hair greasy.

BB Repair Blowdry Cream – Loved the scent, texture and results from this. My hair looked frizz free and soft for days after using this.

Living Proof – Very happy with their dry shampoo and the overnight leave in cream. I would recommend both.

Philip B Dry Shampoo* – The best dry shampoo I’ve ever used. The scent is lovely, It didn’t dry out my scalp or leave my skin irritated. It didn’t leave a weird shadow on my roots and it WORKED!! I plan on buying this the next time I run out of dry shampoos.

Briogeo – These hair mask cap kits are awesome. They make masks so easy. If your hair is dry and coarse this Be Gentle, Be Kind™ Avocado + Kiwi Mega Moisture Superfoods Hair Mask is a winner!! I even used it on Olivia’s hair. We love it. Both of our hair takes to this mask so well leaving our hair soft, manageable and super shiny. Their shampoo is one of my favorites for both me and Oliva.

What winter skincare empties are you currently loving? Let me know in a comment below!