Hand & Nail Empties: January-June 2018

Today’s empties post is going to come at you in two parts. Part I will go like all my other empties posts have gone, so expect to see hand cream, top coats, cuticle oil, etc. Part II is a new addition: hand soaps! I asked about including those last post and got a positive response, so you also get to see all the Bath & Body Works soaps I went through (no joke, I pretty much only buy BBW soaps). If you want to skip that part, no problem friends. Now that I’m including hand soaps, we have a lot of products to get through. This is the second photo-heavy post I have done in a row, so prepare yourself!

Part I: Hand & Nail Care


NYC Chine in a Minute Grand Central Station

Technically, Grand Central Station is just a quick-dry clear polish, but I had read somewhere that it was good as a top coat so I used it for that purpose. For less than a dollar, this is one of the best quick-dry top coats around! It indeed dried my polish quickly and I did not get worse wear than usual. It is a thinner polish and the brush was not my favorite, but it is fantastic as a top coat for the price if you are on a budget.


Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat

I feel like you all know about this top coat and either love it or hate it. This is far from my first bottle as I am firmly in the “love it” camp and use it over almost all of my swatches for the blog. Yes, you need to thin it over time, but I have yet to use a top or base coat that has required zero thinner. I must be doing something to expose them to air too much or something. I have already repurchased two bottles!

I have no photo for this, but I used up one of my own DIY cuticle oils. My recipe was loosely based on a Color4Nails cuticle oil I used. In fact, I refilled my C4N oil pen with this blend and found that it worked beautifully. This is my favorite cuticle oil I have blended so far, which makes it a great way to start giving you guys a taste of my DIY ventures. I would have at least taken a picture of the empty pen, but I managed to break it and into the trash it went without a goodbye photo.

Nail Oil Blend #3 (#s 1 and 2 have not and will not appear on this blog):

  • 6 mL grape seed oil
  • 1 mL avocado oil
  • 0.5 mL argan oil
  • 0.5 mL jojoba oil
  • 3 drops lemon essential oil
  • 1 drop vitamin e oil


elf Concealer Brush

I use these super cheap brushes as clean-up brushes! I go through about one a year because pure acetone over time just destroys the bristles, causing them to fray and causing my clean up to be just as sloppy as my painting. Don’t worry, I’m already destroying another one.


Sally Hansen Nail Rehab

In terms of actual nail rehabilitation, this base coat did nothing for my nails. I did not notice any difference when it came to peeling, a problem that several of my nails have. This worked better as a ridge-filling base coat than anything. I do not love the long stem that the brush has and I really do not love the stumpy brush. Imagine a medium width brush that someone chopped in half. This brush is probably a bit smaller, it is baffling. I tried to save this with thinner many times towards the end, but eventually gave up. If I had started thinning it earlier, I might have gotten more use out of it than I did but to be honest, I was not that motivated. I give this a big, fat pass.


Butter London Nail Foundation

Butter London Nail Foundation could be my favorite ridge filling base coat yet! It is so smooth, dries quickly, and goes on easily with the medium-width paddle brush. However, I made the mistake of not consistently thinning it. Towards the end, it got so gloopy that I gave up. There was probably still a quarter of the product left when I had to call it quits. Butter London has offers often enough that I do not feel like I was completely pissing away money, but I still would have preferred to get more use out of it! I will blame myself this time instead of the product.


Baroness X Acetone Antidote in Moloko Drengo

You know how I have been mourning the discontinuation of The Body Shop’s polish remover? This stuff is my solution! Baroness X’s Acetone Antidote is a little vial of oils, humectants, and emulsifiers that you add to 6-8 oz of nail polish remover to make it gentler on your nails and skin. I add it to my Beauty Secrets Acetone-Free remover. It did not change the effectiveness of the remover and it is amazing how not gross and dry my cuticles look afterwards! This stuff is perfect. I got this bottle in the Polish Pickup in March (the scent name is a reference to A Clockwork Orange) but have since repurchased from the Baroness X website. The scent was not super strong in the polish remover and it was a bit overpowered by the smell of the remover, but I noticed that it did linger a bit on the skin. It was not overpowering, you would only notice if you tend to rest your chin in your hands like I do :]


Philosophy Hand Cream in Fresh Cream

This is the second Philosophy hand cream I have used and I find myself pleasantly surprised by them. They have a lighter texture than I prefer, but when you massage the cream in, it feels thick and rich. These do a decent job for my perpetually dry hands. The best thing about this particular cream is the scent. Oh my goodness, I am absolutely in love with it. If you like foodie scents, indulge yourself with this. Yum! I would repurchase anything in this scent, I cannot get enough of it.


The Body Shop Sweet Almond Oil Nail Varnish Remover

I won’t go on about this because I have had at least one bottle in my previous posts. Just so you know, I only have two bottles left. Sad times.

Part II: Hand Soaps


Bath & Body Works Hand Soaps in Winter Candy Apple and London: Tea Time Shortbread

I kicked off the winter with my favorite holiday scent, Winter Candy Apple. It’s a classic and at this point, Christmas would not feel the same to me without it. I use at least one bottle every year. I prefer the deep cleansing formula during the winter because it does not dry my hands out as much as the foaming soaps. I followed up Winter Candy Apple with Tea Time Shortbread, which I got in the semi-annual sale the season before. It smelled okay, it had a cherry note that was stronger than I thought it should have been and it ended up smelling like cherry almond cookies. I probably would not repurchase anything in this scent again. I do love the packaging, though, how cute!


Bath & Body Works Nourishing Hand Soap in Golden Pear and Salted Honey & Vanilla

Winter ravaged my hands this year and these were pretty much the only soaps I could use because they did not further the cracking and bleeding that my poor skin was exhibiting. Golden Pear was a lovely, sophisticated fruit scent while Salted Honey & Vanilla was more of a “dark” vanilla scent. I did not detect much honey, which was okay because a previous BBW scent with a honey note in it sickened me.


Bath & Body Works Gentle Foaming Hand Soap in Jamaica Pineapple Colada and Salted Bergamot

Once spring hit, my hands finally got over their crustyness and I was able to use the foaming hand soaps again with no issues! I started out with the delicious Pineapple Colada scent. I get a straight-up pineapple scent and no coconut with this one, which is fine with me because it is so juicy and wonderful. Salted Bergamot was a more sophisticated citrus scent; it was not sweet or too dark, a very pleasant and more interesting scent from BBW.


Bath & Body Works Gentle Foaming Hand Soap in Lime and Turmeric & Watermelon Lemonade

Going into summer, I started with Lime and Turmeric. It did not particularly smell like lime or turmeric, but it was definitely citrusy and bright. Watermelon Lemonade is a fragrance BBW has been bringing back for the past few years and it is delightful! I actually hate watermelon, but the melon note takes away some of the tart and sweetness of the lemonade and makes for a nice, well-rounded, fresh and fruity summery scent. I adore the packaging for these two, the little doodles are too cute!

Thanks for sticking with me! If you want me to keep including hand soaps, let me know. I am also curious about favorite nail polish removers, especially if you know of any that are gentle. I like my Baroness X Acetone Antidote solution, but I am willing to try other options out there.

xx, Ashley



3 thoughts on “Hand & Nail Empties: January-June 2018”

  1. I feel like I bought that NYC clear polish based on the same information online but I didn’t like it. I tend to like goopy thick top coats for whatever reason. ๐Ÿ˜›

    Thank you for your recipe for DIY cuticle oils! But the trick is to buy all those oils and only use 0.5ml – 6ml of each. What do you do with the remaining bottles? Curious… what secrets do #1 and #2 oils hold?! ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

    My friend swears by the Butter London Nail Foundation. The other one she likes is the Essie one but they discontinued it and she’s pissed because it was cheaper than the BL.

    That Baroness X Acetone Antidote sounds genius. I actually just add glyerin to my acetone nail polish remover from Sally Beauty Supply and that seems to do the trick.

    BBW Winter Candy Apple scent is such a classic – I went through one of those too. I was eyeing those Honey hand soaps but ended up sticking to the foaming ones. Maybe I should switch up the formula between the seasons like you do – I tend to use foaming year-round. Yes please continue to include hand soaps in future empties. I go through a ton of hand soaps and am always looking for new scents to try from BBW. My current favourite is Sea Salt Citrus. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I do a lot of diys, so I have no problem using up oils. Lip balm, oil cleansers, etc. The secrets that recipes #1 & #2 hold are the secrets on how to make the most greasy cuticle oil ever ๐Ÿ˜›

      That’s the thing with Butter London, the price tag! Especially for something like a base coat which you are going to go through faster than a color.

      You know, glycerin is one of the ingredients in the Acetone Antidote. I wish I had just gone to that cheaper solution, but I think I’m a bit addicted now.

      I used to use the foaming soaps all year round, but I moved to a city that is at least 1000 ft. higher above sea level than where I used to live and my skin got annihilated last winter! The moisturizing hand soaps were a savior, and sometimes they do have scents exclusively in those formulas. I have had the Sea Salt Citrus before, it’s a good one! I tend to love all the citrusy scents :]


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