April make-up and skincare empties

So it’s time to talk about rubbish – my rubbish and the empty products that I used up in April!

I always tend to have a lot of these, but the fat that I get subscription boxes means that I can test a lot of things out without committing to the full size, so I hope these reviews are helpful. I also enjoy reading posts like this, so if you’ve done a blog post or video about what you used up, feel free to post it in the comments.

Haircare

I used up a 7th Heaven argan oil single use hair mask and a papaya one from the same range. In terms of the products, I liked it, but I’d say that unless you specifically want to try a product out, or you want a single use one because you’re going away, it’s better value to buy a bigger tub and get more uses out of it. I also think this because I have a lot of very thick hair, and I would have probably used a bit more than was in these single use packs. So, if I come across it as a tub, I would buy it again, especially the papaya one because it smelled amazing! However, I want to try out some other hair masks first.

Skincare

I finished up the last 3 masks in my Innisfree set, which were cucumber, acai berry and Bija. I’ve since removed the link from my site though because it appears that they’re not available any more. It can be a bit hit and miss with sheet masks on Amazon and they’re only available while stocks last – but if I came across these again, I would buy them. They worked out at around £1 or £1.50 a mask and there weren’t any in the pack that I didn’t like.

I’ve talked about these before, but I finished up my Nip+Fab exfoliating pads. They contain glycolic and fruit acids and are great for exfoliating when you want to use chemical rather than physical exfoliators. I hate the texture of the other ones, so these are a perfect find for me!

The strawberry range in the Body Shop is not one that I usually go for, but I had one of their strawberry body butters in my drawer and decided to use it up. This is one of the firmer body butters, for those who want something thick and luxurious, rather than the creamier butters. This isn’t my favourite, but it’s a good product, especially if you love the strawberry scent more than some of the citrus ones.

There would be no point doing this blog if I said I loved everything. You wouldn’t believe me. So I’ll be honest and say I’m not a fan of the Body Shop coconut lip butter. I used about 2/3 of it, but every time I picked it up, I thought of all the other lip products that I have that I like more. I don’t think it’s a bad product, I’m just not a fan of the coconut taste on my lips which I found quite strong and overpowering. But if you’re a coconut fan, you’d probably love it. Also, I’d had it a while and the product had begun to separate. This can happen with more natural products because they’re not packed with preservatives, but some of the other lip balms which I’ve had as long did not do that. I finished up the last bit of my raspberry lip balm, > also from the Body Shop, and I liked this much more. I thought the formula was smoother and the taste was better – which does count when you’ve got something on your lips!

I used up another green tea mask from the Masque Bar. This mask is meant to leave your skin looking more radiant. It’s a nice gentle formula and although I wasn’t trying to hide any dark spots with it, it left my skin feeling soft and looking brighter.

I got a Detox Diva mask from Latest in Beauty. These sound great because you’ve got honey to hydrate, Chinese plum strawberry and lemon to exfoliate. Unfortunately though the scent of the geranium oil is quite strong. I much preferred the pre party prep mask from the same company – the main scent here is the orange, which along with the argan oil, rice and super fruit extracts prepares and hydrates your face for a night out.

I didn’t even know that L’Occitane did lip care products, but we got a teeny tiny tube of their lip balm in the advent calendar last year. Like some of their other skincare products, it is made with shea butter for moisturising chapped lips. The product was definitely good – it kept my lips soft and didn’t really taste of anything. I love the fruity ones, but if you want something a bit more subtle, this could be for you. The tester didn’t have an applicator, but the full size might. I don’t know.

I also finished up the shea butter hand cream from L’Occitane that I reviewed in my L’Occitane post last year. This product was a PR sample, but I would buy it again. It’s the thickest out of the hand creams that I have tried from L’Occitane and I used it as a rich night hand cream. It’s not one for on the go when you don’t have much time, but it really sinks in and moisturises your hands while you sleep!

Korres is a Greek brand that one of my friends introduced me to last year. I like their body milks because they are more lightweight than butters, but still feel your skin feeling as though you’ve moisturised it. I was a bit dubious about the body milks at first, but they do work. I’ve just finished up one in vanilla and cinnamon. I’m going to do a full post on Korres soon, so let me know if you have any favourite products from them.

Make-up

My L’Oréal True Match foundation ran out and I already had another one in the drawer. I don’t tend to try out lots of different foundations – I find one I like and that matches my skin tone and stick with it.

I used up another ELF hydrating primer and I’ve already bought another one! I have a number of primers lying around at the moment because there were a couple in the advent calendar, but I keep coming back to this one because I have dry skin and like a primer with a bit of hydration as well. Also it comes in a pump dispenser, so you just need one pump for the whole face as you do with the foundation. This means I always get the right amount and as I also like the formula, this is one that I will keep repurchasing.

In my M&S Advent calendar last year was a Pur primer. It’s nice to see that M&S have got their accessibility glitch sorted out – when I went to get the link, I could actually read the page, rather than one line of text being repeated, presumably because the page kept refreshing. Anyway – I hadn’t heard of this brand before and I enjoyed using the primer. Still, it is quite expensive and I think there are cheaper ones available that do the job just as well! Still, nice for a Christmas treat!

We got a PHB mascara in Lovelula a few months ago. I don’t get the Lovelula box at the moment, but I was quite happy with this mascara as I haven’t found a cruelty-free one that I liked! I’ve found that getting good cruelty-free skincare is fairly easy, but when it comes to make-up, it’s more difficult. I prefer ones that aren’t waterproof, so I probably wouldn’t get this again, but it did add length and volume to my lashes.

I used up a Makeup Forever liquid highlighter – I can’t find this to link it because it was in the Make-up Forever advent calendar and I got it as part of a swap. I definitely prefer this to powder, but I prefer the cream highlighter sticks, so this isn’t something I’d replace.

I can’t find the link for this on Boots either, but I finished up my Makeup Obsession contour cream. There are also powders in this range in a range of shades, but a friend got me the contour cream, which is in a mini palette of its own. Again, as someone who is blind, I do find the cream products easier to work with. This contour cream is empty, but I still have some other sticks, so I won’t replace it straight away.

Bath and shower

I’ve been trying out some different bath products recently – there’s a lush update to come – but I keep going back to Radox bubble baths. My favourite at the moment is still the Feel Ready one with apple and pomegranate.

Fragrance

I can’t find the exact link to the Indian night jasmin spray that I got from the body shop, but this fragrance mist is from the same line. It’s a lovely, refreshing scent and makes me think of hot summers and refreshing jasmin tea! This is something that I would get again for the summer months.

How about you?

So, finally at the end! Have you tried any of these products? Let me know in the comments!

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21 empty products from March

Welcome to another empties post! Quite a lot here again, but there were also a number of samples and one thing that was given away due to make-up rage! Let me know if you’ve finished up anything good – or not so good – lately, and if you’ve written a post or done a Youtube video, feel free to post it in the comments.

1. Garnier micellar water

I think most people have already heard of this. There was a time when I couldn’t see the point of micellar water, but I like it for taking off make-up before going in with the rest of the skincare routine. I had the one for sensitive skin. This link is to the 700 ml – which is huge – but I couldn’t find the link to the 400 ml one which I had. It doesn’t feel as luxurious as the Madara one, which is twice the price for much less product, but it does the job nicely.

2. L’Occitane cherry hand cream

The English teacher in me doesn’t want to post this link because it refers to “an handcream”! No!

Anyway, this cherry blossom hand cream smells amazing! I only had a tiny one from a gift set, but this link is to the full size. It’s not the richest one that they do, so it’s fine for during the day because it soaks in quickly and leaves your hands smelling of beautiful cherry blossoms.

3. White company shower gel

This was part of the set that I got last year and I thought that using the shower gel and the body lotion separately would make the set last longer. I raved on about the Seychelles handcream for ages, and this was the shower gel that I got in the same range. It’s lovely – makes me think of holidays. This is the link to the Seychelles bath and body gift set

4. Innis Free sheet masks

I use a sheet mask once or twice a week and this month I used lime, strawberry, blackberry, green tea, and rose from my Innis Free pack.

There are 18 masks available and you get a selection of 16 which could be acai berry, aloe, bamboo, broccoli, Coconut, cucumber, fig, ginseng, green tea, lime, manuka honey, oatmeal, pomegranate, rice, rose, shea butter, tea tree, or tomato

I enjoyed all of these and so far there have been none in the pack that I don’t like. They have enough product without dripping everywhere, and so far none have left my face feeling sore or sticky.

5. Grapefruit hand cream

NO surprises here, I had another of my favourite Body Shop handcreams lying around and finished it up. These handcreams are handbag size, smell great, do the job, and they’re often in the sale, so they are even better value for money. Here’s the link to the Grapefruit one.

6. Happy Jackson London soak it up girl

I hadn’t heard of this brand before, but I got these as a Christmas present. There were four bath blocks in here – two mango and raspberry, and 2 coconut. You snap off blocks and dissolve them in your bath like bath bars.

7. pomegranate and orange bath salts

I can’t link to these because you can’t get them in the UK – they were from my Germany swap box. S&J know that I like all the fruity things! There’s quite a lot of bath stuff in the empties this month. It’s not because I have been having more baths – I love baths and have them all year round – but obviously something like a bottle of bubbles would take longer to use.

8. Pomelo and water lotus shower gel

This is from the Being by Sanctuary review that I did last year. The scent is fresh, probably because of the water lotus, and this is a thicker cream, which feels moisturising as well. My favourite from this range is still the mango one, what a surprise, but this one is nice and refreshing, especially in the morning.

9. Sanctuary hand cream

Another mini from an advent calendar, this Sanctuary Spa essentials hand cream isn’t the kind of scent that I usually go for because it’s more floral, but it does leave your hands feeling soft for a long time. So if you’re not into all the fruity handcreams that I usually talk about, you would probably like this one more, and it does have a good formula for soothing dry hands.

10. Melon bath cube

Another treat from my Germany swap box – which is why I can’t link it, but all of the Germany products are pictured on the swap box page. Another fruity bath!

11. Moisturiser from Amazon beauty box

I hadn’t heard of Pai skincare until I got a sample in my Amazon beauty box. The box is no longer available, but this is a link to a 50 ml of the Pai skincare chamomile and rosehip calming day cream. Pai skincare creates organic skincare for sensitive skin. I don’t actually have sensitive skin, but I’ve no problem with using something that will be gentle on my face. Chamomile has anti-inflammatory properties, which makes it good for sensitive skin. I used it at the time of the month when my skin was least happy!

12. Toning pads

I’ve talked about these Nip+Fab dragon’s blood cleansing pads before.

“Wipe away the day with the gentle NIP+FAB Dragon’s Blood Fix Cleansing Pads enriched with salicylic and hyaluronic acids to deeply cleanse pores and provide long-lasting hydration for skin that appears plumper.”

I’m a big fan of this range and have already bought more. Apart from being handy because the pads are already soaked in the liquid, hyaluronic acid acts like a sponge and holds water in the skin, preventing it from becoming dehydrated. A great thing to have for anyone, but particularly if you are prone to dry skin.

13. Manuka honey hair mask

I’m a fan of hair masks and I’ve used 7th Heaven ones before. This Manuka honey one is a single-use mask, and good for anyone who wants to try out some different masks to find out which ones they like. I think the product is good – it left my hair glossy and was good for the dry ends, but as someone with very thick, long hair, I could have done with more product than was in this single use pack. It would probably have done most other people with shorter hair though.

14. Geranium and mint shower gel

This came in a Lovelula box. I didn’t like it much, but I used it up!

15.Boss the scent for her – Hugo Boss

I don’t usually get perfume samples in Latest in Beauty unless they are a decent size, but I was interested in this Hugo Boss one, so I chose it as one of my 9 options. I was glad I did! The Scent Intense for her is hard to describe, so I’ll copy out the notes for you:
Top: Honeyed Peach & Freesia Bloom
Heart: Osmanthus Flower
Base: Roasted Cocoa

I’m not usually into floral scents – maybe it’s the cocoa that drew me! I don’t know! But this is a scent that I would definitely be interested in buying now that the little tester has finished. Again that’s one of the things I like about Latest in Beauty – the chance to try before you commit to a full size product.

16. Burt’s bees night cream

Burt’s Bees don’t only do lip products. They also make this intense hydration night cream with clary sage, which is a plant that survives on rugged hillsides, making the most of the moisture it finds and retaining it. So basically it helps your face to do the same – to keep in moisture and not dry out. This cream has quite a distinctive scent. Some people don’t like it. I’m fine with it – for me it just smells like being outside on a walk, but if you prefer scentless cream, this is not the one for you. In terms of the benefits though, I do like it because the next day my skin is not dry, and I also like the brand because it uses more natural ingredients.

17. Garnier sheet mask

I’ve mentioned this before too, but the Garnier pomegranate sheet mask came up on Latest in Beauty again, and it’s a good one, so I added it to my selection. There is a lot of serum in this mask though, so it’s best to do it lying down, or else you have it dripping down your neck, which I don’t like! Still, if you want to give your skin a good drink, this mask will help it to feel soft again, particularly good for these colder days when we spend a lot of time going between the cold outside and centrally heated homes.

18. Cowshed gorgeous cow body lotion

I got this as a mini once, but I got the full size Cowshed Gorgeous Cow body lotion for Christmas. The gorgeous cow is one of the ranges from the Cow Shed, and it contains:
• Madagascan ylang ylang, Bulgarian rose and Indian palmarosa oils to evoke a happy, blissful mood
• French lavender to help soothe and balance the mind.

The cream is rich and nourishing, and your skin will feel soft for hours after you’ve used it. More of a special treat than something I buy all the time, but it was a lovely gift to get for Christmas.

19. Caudalie sample

I got a free sample of the Caudalie Glycolic Peel Mask with my Feelunique order, but I really didn’t like it. I wanted to like it. But it was really hard to get it off my face and I didn’t notice any benefits, so this isn’t something I would buy. Still, who doesn’t love trying samples with their orders?!

20. Clarins eye shadow

I was really, really disappointed with this. To be fair, I’ve given it to my mum and she likes it, but I feel cheated by this because it was marketed as a cream eye shadow, and on using it was definitely more powder than cream.

I did pick up a couple of lovely cream shadows from Feelunique, and I’ll tell you about them in my April favourites. But when I went to use this, instead of getting cream, the top of the product broke away as loose powder and went on my carpet. I do not usually get make-up on my carpet! It came off, but I feel that if most of the other brands can agree on what a cream shadow is, Clarins shouldn’t market what is essentially a slightly more creamy powder shadow as a cream shadow. If I’d known what it was like, I would never have bought it.

In the end it didn’t go to waste because my mum got a new eye shadow, but I don’t have that kind of money to waste – if I think I’m buying a cream shadow, that’s what I expect to get.

I don’t really want to promote it, but here’s the link for what I would never call a cream shadow!

21. Clarins tester

The second tester in my Feelunique order was better, and it was the Clarins extra firming day cream SPF15. I had to be a bit careful of this in terms of which serum I put under it, otherwise it pilled, but overall I liked the product as a day moisturiser.

Discount on Feelunique

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Blogger swap box from the cozy den

Find out what happened when I arranged a blogger swap box with new friends from Germany!

If you read my November favourites post, you will know that I did a blogger swap box with some new blogging friends. Today I’m going to tell you about it!

I met Sazzy and Joanie (S & J) from the the Cozy Den blog in a blogging Facebook group. There are threads on most days where bloggers can share their work whilst supporting other bloggers. It’s a lovely little community.

Anyway, we got talking on my blog about the Yes To sheet masks, and I think it was S who said that they aren’t available in Germany. That’s when I thought about a blogger swap box – I could send S & J some products from the UK, including Yes To ones that weren’t available in Germany, and I could try out some new German products. Win win!

Happily they agreed, so we set our price limit for the box, agreed when we’d do it, and sent each other a bit of information about the kind of things we liked/avoided/really wanted!

When my box came, it was at the end of a tough week and just the right time for a pamper session! The box smelled amazing and between us S (oh dear that’s bad – now we have two S people), so my partner S read out the German labels to me and I translated them! Teamwork! Having a blind girlfriend gets my S into all kinds of beauty-related projects!

There were plenty of bathtime treats in there which is great, because I love pampering sessions and skincare, especially now that the winter is here. I’ve already used the trio, which were vanilla but had a fresh and zingy scent too! The pink grapefruit shower foam smells good enough to eat, and I’m looking forward to using the body lotion with orange blossom, and to relaxing with the bath salts, bath cube, and cute little bath melt!

I’ve also tried both of the face mask sachets –honey is good for your skin, and I love the scent of the tropical one, which contains pineapple and coconut. To be honest I’ve only ever done sheet masks, so it was fun to try something else!

Lip care is really important, especially at this time of year, and the minty lip care will see me through the winter.

I love trying new hand creams. The one in the box has avocado oil, aloe vera and chamomile in it.

I’m a bit of a pain to buy for in terms of make-up because I don’t use powder products, but they managed to find me an eye shadow crayon and two cream shadows. I haven’t tried these brands before and I was excited to add them to my make-up collection.

The one thing I asked for from Germany was Jogurette. If you don’t know what they are, then you’re missing out! They’re little individually wrapped chocolate fingers with strawberry yoghurt in the middle and they’re amazing! They’re also all gone!!! Sorry S, I’ll share most things but not Jogurette!

As well as the chocolate, there was some Lebkuchen and Speculazius – two types of yummy Christmas biscuits!

There were so many other lovely things in there that I haven’t had the chance to try them all yet. I really enjoyed both putting together S & J’s box with things I hoped they would like, and opening my own and trying out all the goodies that you can’t get on my local high street.

If you’d like to find out what was in S and J’s box from me, head on over to their swap box post on the Cozy Den.

Have you done a swap box before? If so, why not let us know about it, or link your blog/Youtube video in the comments?

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