Late August empties – mainly skincare and haircare this time

After my stupid accident, I kept working, but I’ve been chasing my tail all month. I did put together some August empties though, so I thought Better late than never!”

Let me know if you’ve tried any of these products, and if so, what you thought of them!

Skincare

Products: 8

I’ve talked about the Body Shop® almond milk and honey body yoghurt before but it’s worth mentioning again. This range is so kind to the skin. It’s not as strongly scented as the others, and it’s recommended for those with more sensitive skin. I don’t have sensitive skin, but my allergies to other things can make my skin flair up at times, and this is when I especially enjoy using the almond milk and honey line of products. The body yoghurts are much lighter than the butters, they absorb quickly, and are great for the Summer and Autumn.

I discovered two more hand creams through my Latest in Beauty box –first the orange blossom one. You can’t buy individual products directly from Latest in Beauty, so I’ve included the link to Boots. Not the cheapest out there, but it does a good job, isn’t greasy, and I am a big fan of the citrus scent.

Then there was the Gardeners’ hand therapy from Crabtree and Evelyn. The link is to Feelunique. This was a bigger tube, so more value for money, but I found it a bit greasy, which was a shame because I do like this brand. I’d use this again as a night treatment, just before bed, but after I’ve used a handcream, I don’t want my hands to feel sticky, so for me this one lost points on not being an all-purpose kind of product.

I wanted to link the Body Shop ® vitamin C serum, but it doesn’t seem to be on the site any more. I’m not sure whether it’s been discontinued or is just out of stock, but as someone who likes the vitamin C moisturiser, I decided to try the serum as well. This is an oil-based serum, so I found it better for use in the evening or on no-make-up days. I like the moisturiser more, but as someone who doesn’t like using face oils, an oil-based serum that isn’t so oily that you spend the rest of the night with a shiny face is a good thing to have.

I raved about this Lavera serum in this Latest in Beauty review. You can really get some good finds in there if you are lucky. Of course some boxes are better than others, depending on the products available, but this was a full-size serum and one that I would definitely buy again.

As I loved the serum and the night cream from this range, I decided to try the toner as well. (The link goes to Amazon). I wasn’t as happy with this product though. The product itself was fine, but it smelled like cough mixture, and I can’t deal with that in my morning facial routine. So, it’s a personal preference, and it lives up to the name of being gentle (at least I thought it did), but if there’s an ingredient that I don’t like the smell of, I don’t buy it again!

Another Latest in Beauty product was the Morning Dew moisturiser from Aimie. I think it’s aimed more at people with oily skin, because it does absorb fast, and promises to control excess oil and shine. I don’t think someone like me with normal to dry skin will see the best results from this, because I do like something a bit more moisturising, but that’s more about it not being the right product for me than it being a bad product.

I’ve talked about this Malin and Goetz moisturiser before, but as it was on offer on Latest in Beauty for a while, I picked up a couple of them. They were really generous sizes too, and I had no problems with applying this moisturiser over other products.

Haircare

Products: 5

I’m not even going to link these – I really wasn’t impressed! I was so glad to try some products from Noughtie, especially as a full-size shampoo and conditioner duo counted as only one product in the Latest in Beauty basket. Out of the two sets I tried, I liked the Blondie locks shampoo more than the “to the rescue” duo, but I wouldn’t go out of my way to buy any of them again. Rather than being super-nourishing, I found the “to the rescue” products quite thin and watery, which meant I ended up getting through them much faster.

Something I did really enjoy though was the Korres sunflower shampoo. I got mine from Feelunique, but it’s available in supermarkets such as Waitrose and Ocado too. I got this because sunflowers are my favourite, and didn’t actually notice that it was for coloured hair – which I don’t have – but even so, it’s a lovely range and definitely one that I’d recommend.

At the same time, I picked up the Korres almond and linseed mask. This is intended for dry and damaged hair, but you can also use it from time to time as a treatment if you want to give your hair some extra moisture and nourishment. I would definitely get this again as my hair felt great afterwards. It’s not damaged, but it’s so long – down to my waist – that I like to give the ends some love once in a while.

Perfume

Products: 1

I loved this Shea and blue, blood oranges perfume that we got in the 2017 M&S advent calendar. It’s so fresh and well – orange-scented! Definitely one for you if you like your citrus scents. Once I’ve used up some other products, I’d definitely buy this again. I think this is one of the great things about advent calendars, especially the non-branded ones – you get to discover some new brands that you’d never heard of before. (See this post for my thoughts on the advent calendars this year).

Bathtime

Products: 2

I actually forgot that I had this Cowshed Gorgeous Cow shower gel – I found it when I was doing the massive tidy-up operation when the new drawers came. It is part of the Cowshed range and contains Madagascan rose and Indian palmorosa oils, along with lavender to relax you. I love the Cowshed and always recommend their products. They are quite strongly-scented, and some of the scents are unique, using plant extracts that other companies don’t, but I think they’re great.

I tried out the ginger and clementine bubble bath from Waitrose. Actually I got mine from Ocado, but it’s available in both stores. I’m not loyal to bubble baths, but this was a refreshing change, had a good deal of bubbles, and is one that I would cycle round to again.

Discounts

You can get £10 off your first Feel Unique order by going onto the site using my affiliate link. This offer is open to new customers only, and the minimum spend is £30. So basically you can get £30 of products for £20.

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14 empty products from June

Before I go into my June 2018 empties, I thought it would be interesting to look back at my June 2017 empties. Of the 18 products I mentioned, 4 of them are still things that I have bought again and am using a year later. The mascara, the foundation, the crazy hair tamer, and the micellar water from Madara are things that I still use. I love to try new things and find new favourites!

So, here are the 14 products that I got through in June this year. Let me know if you’ve tried out any of these products.

Bath and shower

Hot weather and a lot of bath and shower products got finished up – partly due to minis and partly because several things were open and all got finished up.
Lemon bonbon shower gel – this is good for anyone who likes a fresh and citrus scent. It’s lemon bon bon, so a bit sweeter than just lemon on its own, and I like it because there seems to be a trend at the moment to put neroli with lemon things – and I don’t like that! So yes, it’s a good shower gel – not sure why it’s called a crème – and it’s got a zingy lemon scent. I’d get it again.

Original Source mango shower gel – I picked this up purely because it had the word “mango” on it and I love all the mango things. This is a budget-friendly shower gel, slightly thinner and less creamy than the lemon one, but it did the job and smelled deliciously of mangos. I like to swap out my shower gels and rarely use the same one twice in a row, but I would go back to this one, or see what else there is in the range.

Sud the lot of you shower gel – this was a mini sample from Pink Parcel. I love the names that Anatomicals comes up with – they’re quirky and fun, and there are some cool ingredients. I would need to get a bigger one really to say what I thought of it, but it’s got mango and papaya, which are two of my favourite scents, and as a general rule I do like these shower gels. I went on about their coffee one for ages last year. To be honest, I still prefer the coffee one, but the mango and papaya one was good too. It depends what you like!

Amie face wash – I got this as part of a skincare duo in Latest in Beauty. It was nice enough, but I won’t be dashing out to get it again!

Korres bellflower, tangerine, and pink pepper shower gel – I love Korres products. These shower gels contain wheat proteins, which form a protective film on the skin to keep it hydrated. It doesn’t feel sticky or uncomfortable though – I wouldn’t have known that if I hadn’t read the information on the website. It contains bellflower, from Mount Olympus, tangerine, apparently offered as a new year gift and a symbol of prosperity, and sweet pepper. It does smell floral, but the tangerine is there too, so the floral scent is not overpowering if that’s not your thing!

Atlantic Kelp body wash – from my M&S summer beauty box, which is now sold out. This body wash contains Ren’s blend of oils to awaken and revive skin, along with Atlantic kelp extract and energising magnesium. Not what I would usually buy, but good to try out the sample.

Haircare

Maria Nila shampoo and conditioner – this was a set that we got in Glossybox and I was pleased to see decent sized samples. I have very long hair, and a lot of it, and sometimes the tiny samples you get in beauty boxes aren’t really enough even for one wash. Anyway, this was a travel size, so I could put it through its paces. It did leave my hair feeling soft after use, but I like haircare products with a bit more scent to them, so this isn’t something I’d buy again.

Novex hair mask – from the Glossybox French Riviera box. This brand is actually Brazilian, so I’m not sure about the French Riviera connection – maybe it’s that you need to look after your hair after you’ve been out in the sun for ages! Who knows! But this was a decent size of mask and I enjoyed using it because my hair felt soft and tangle-free afterwards. The mask contains baobab oil, which helps to hydrate the hair – so ideal if you’ve been out in the sun and want to give your hair a treat.

Skincare

Vitamin C glow-boosting moisturiser – I’ve talked about this Body Shop product before and I got through another tub of it. It helps to wake up grumpy skin and smells of fresh oranges. It contains vitamin C rich camu camu from the Amazonian rainforest and has a lovely lightweight formula – especially good for the summer when you want something that will absorb quickly. I have read somewhere that vitamin C products become less effective when exposed to the air, so if you open this, I’d use it up before starting any other moisturisers – and don’t leave the lid off! Shame it’s not in a tube or pump bottle really, but I do like the product.

Madara micellar water – this was actually in last June’s empties as well! It’s more expensive than some of the budget micellar waters, and I don’t use it all the time. But I do really like Madara products, and this micellar water also contains hyaluronic acid, which is good for keeping your skin supple and hydrated.

Wonder Hand moisturising hand cream – from the Zoella range. I’ve tried so many handcreams that something has to be pretty amazing to wow me. This will be an unpopular opinion with some, but I just don’t find the Zoella products that I’ve tried provide the level of moisture that I’d want them to. Maybe the younger demographic target audience doesn’t need it, but I do – so this isn’t something I’d get again.

mango hand cream from Garnier – This is half the price of the one above and I’d say twice as good. Apart from the fact that it contains mango oil and smells great, it’s moisturising and not greasy. It doesn’t smell as strongly of mangos as some that I’ve tried, but it’s got a clean and refreshing scent and it keeps your hands soft for ages. I kept it on my desk and could use a bit, rub it in, then be ready to start typing again. Out of the two that I finished up in June, this was definitely my favourite.

Pink grapefruit body puree – a treat from the Body Shop that I forgot I had! I love the pink grapefruit line anyway, but this is especially good because it’s a lightweight body lotion, which absorbs fast and still leaves your skin hydrated. I have found an issue with some of the fast-absorbing lotions for the Summer is that they do absorb and then do nothing for you, which isn’t the point. That’s not the case here though. It contains grapefruit seed oil and honey from Ethiopia. I’d definitely get it again!

Fragrance

Cherry perfume from L’Occitane – one of my Christmas favourites! The link takes you to the roller perfume – I didn’t actually have this, but they don’t stock the small one that I got in my gift bag. Still, it’s the same scent and it’s lovely – fruity and floral! Makes me think of springtime, but that’s perhaps because I wore it then!

Summer giveaway

Don’t forget that my Summer giveaway is still open – so why not have a look and enter if you haven’t already. The giveaway is international and it’s open until 15thJuly 2018.

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Discounts

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If you want to give Glossybox a go and get 20% off your first box, you can use my code KIRSTY-RGE when you place your first order on the Glossybox site.

A load of rubbish from May – 18 empty products and what I thought of them

A load of rubbish from May – 18 empty products

Well, the products weren’t rubbish – there weren’t any that I really hated this month, but I was left with a lot of empty containers to talk about! Let’s get into it, and don’t forget to let me know if you’ve tried any of these products and what you thought of them!

1. Jasmin hand cream

I only had a mini of this lovely handcream from L’Occitane as it was one of my Latest in Beauty products, but it smells amazing, absorbs quickly, and I would definitely get it again.

2. Autograph primer

This primer from Autograph was a bit unusual to use at first – it’s a thinner consistency to the ones I usually use, and at first I wondered if it would actually do any good. However, it did provide a good base for my foundation, and I think this would be a good one for the summer because it’s not as heavy as some of the other primers in my collection. It’s not something I would usually have bought, but the M&S Advent calendar introduced me to it.

3. TIGI® Bed Head Fully Loaded™ Massive Volume Shampoo And Conditioner Duo

This was actually a free gift that I got in a Feelunique order – don’t forget that you can get £10 off your first Feelunique order if you use my link – details at the bottom of the page. Anyway, I got a sachet with this shampoo and conditioner because I had bought a hair mask from the same brand. It’s supposed to give your hair lift and body, which it did, but I was more distracted by the scent which was like black currant. Fruity hair products are my favourites! If you’re interested in the shampoo, this is where you can find it.

4. Vetiver and grapefruit shower gel

Another free gift – this one came with my Molten Brown haircare order. It was a sample of the new grapefruit and vetiver shower gel. As you may remember from my products for grapefruit lovers post, I love all things grapefruit. This is definitely the traditional grapefruit, so not the sweeter pink grapefruit scent, but I found the vetiver a bit strong, and would have preferred the grapefruit on its own.

5. coconut body butter

I’m not sure how I came to have this coconut body butter from the Body Shop because to be honest, the coconut range is a bit intense for me as someone who doesn’t love coconut. However, this body butter is one of the lighter body butters, so not the solid ones, and I didn’t find the scent was too much. So if you love your coconut more than the fruity things, it’s a good product and keeps your skin feeling soft and moisturised.

6. Elemis superfood wash

This face wash sample from Elemis came in a beauty box. It does smell quite strongly of plants, and it’s packed with natural ingredients such as avocado, broccoli, and pumpkin seed oils, to make your skin feel healthy and look radiant.

7. Cosmeticism Anti-Aging Serum

This is not something I would buy again. I was testing out some serums and noticed this one on offer at the supermarket, which is rarely a good idea. Anyway – I finally finished up the Cosmeticism serum, but I wouldn’t get it again as I think there are much nicer serums on the market, and this one smelled a bit floral, leaving my face a bit sticky. I’m not saying you always have to get the most high-end serums, but I think there are budget-friendly ones that are nicer than this one.

8. Cetterfil cleanser

I hadn’t tried anything from this brand before, so I picked up a Cetterfil set when it came up on Latest in Beauty. The set itself was generous with 3 mini products counting as one item, and this cleanser was one of them. To be honest, I still prefer my vitamin E one from the Body Shop, but if you want a completely scentless one, the Cetterfil one might be better for you.

9. Satsuma shower gel

Yes, this satsuma shower gel is enormous, and if you manage to pick it up from the Body Shop when they are on offer, you can get really good value as well because it lasts ages. Ideal if you love the satsuma range, or you are sharing between a family and want something that’s going to last. I keep swapping between shower gels and am not loyal to one, but this is one of the ones I keep going back to.

10. Madara eye cream

This eye cream came in one of my Lovelula boxes, which specialise in cruelty-free and natural beauty products. I’m not getting the box at the moment, but I always looked forward to getting products from Madara, and this eye cream is no exception. I found that Madara products are nourishing, good quality, and even better that they’re from a natural range.

11. sweet mandarin and grapefruit body wash

I actually got this as part of a Baylis and Harding set, but here is the link to the body wash on its own. We’ve bought both the hand wash and the body wash in this scent – and of course it’s got grapefruit in it, so I’m going to be a fan!

12. spackle primer

I know some people rave about this spackle primer from Laura Geller but it just didn’t work for me. It hated some of my skincare products, even when I left it a while, and it just felt sticky and not like a good base onto which I could put the rest of my make-up. I don’t know what type of skin it suits best, but it didn’t seem to like mine. I don’t think it’s a bad product as such, but not one for me.

13. peppermint and geranium shower gel

I got this peppermint and geranium shower gel in a beauty box. In terms of doing what shower gels do, it was fine, but I don’t want to smell like a peppermint or a geranium plant, so it lost points with me on account of the scent. It’s a shame because I do like the Greenfrog products, just not some of the scents that they do.

14. Body shop toner

An old favourite – the Body Shop toner is back in the empties! I do have other toners such as exfoliating ones, but if you want a good, gentle toner, you can’t go wrong with this one.

15. Fuji green tea shower gel

I just had a mini of this because I wanted to try something from the Fuji green tea range. I prefer the fruity things, but as a shower gel it’s fine, and I think people who like things that are a bit more subtle would enjoy this more than some of the other lines.

16. Kiehl’s face wash

This face wash was sent to my Mum with an order and she passed it on to me for blog testing! I only really use products like this in the shower. I think out of the products I’ve tried, the toner is still my favourite, but this is a gentle facial wash and my face didn’t feel dried out as it has on occasions with more harsh facial washes.

17. Body Shop gentle eye make-up remover

I’ve been through several of these now. I have tried others, but I keep coming back to this make-up remover from the Body Shop because it is kind to eyes and doesn’t make me cry!

18. micellar water

This is the Caudalie micellar water that I got in the April Latest in Beauty box. At the time of writing, it’s out of stock, but I’ll link to it anyway. It’s not the cheapest micellar water around, but I think it’s kinder to the skin than some of the really cheap ones, so I don’t mind investing a bit more in something that will shift the make-up whilst at the same time being a bit kinder to the skin.

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This post contains some affiliate links, but I only promote things that I’ve tried and tested.

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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You can get £10 off your first Feel Unique order by going onto the site using my affiliate link. This offer is open to new customers only, and the minimum spend is £30. So basically you can get £30 of products for £20.

19 empty products from December – luxury treats and a couple of disappointments

December was a busy month for empties, mainly because I had a lot of minis in the calendar. So here we go!

1. L’Oréal gentle eye make-up remover

I wanted to try something other than the Body Shop one. This eye make-up remover was indeed gentle and didn’t make my eyes sting once. It smelled slightly of roses, but not in an annoying way, and it shifted everything from my lids and lashes. I’d buy it again!

2. Verbena body milk

I got a mini of this from the calendar, but here’s the link to the full size one. This scent is for anyone who loves lemon or citrusy scents. It’s a milk, so probably more suitable for the summer, but I couldn’t wait to use up my little tube. I love this collection, so would definitely get it again!

3. Vanilla pumpkin shower gel

This is something the Body Shop did for Halloween and I’ve only just got round to using it up! It doesn’t seem to be available any more, but it might come back next Halloween – who knows! I liked it and found it thicker than some of the other gels, perhaps because we need extra moisturising in the autumn and winter? I don’t usually go for vanilla things as they can be a bit sweet, but with the pumpkin it was ok.

4. Sanctuary Spa green lemon and orange blossom body wash

I got this Body wash as a mini in a calendar from the previous year, but as someone who loves orange and lemon products, I would definitely buy it full size. Some of the Sanctuary Spa range can be too floral for me, but you can’t go wrong with this lovely orange and lemon line.

5. Mango shower gel

I’m not going to go on about this because the Body Shop mango range is one of my favourites and I often talk about it. The mango and grapefruit shower gels are my all-time favourites and I often go back to them. If you’re a mango lover, check out the rest of these mango products.

6. L’Occitane hand creams

There were a number of teeny tiny hand creams in the calendar, so I’ll link to the full range. Previously I’d only tried the shea one, which is nice. I think my favourite has to be the almond one, but the cherry scent is lovely too. The Verbena one is supposed to be cooling – I guess for the summer, but it was thinner than the others, so I found it more of a cooler than a deep moisturiser. There was a floral one too – I think it was rose. Nice enough as a hand cream, but the fruity ones tempted me more!

7. Max Factor foundation

I finished up my Max Factor Face Finity All Day Flawless foundation, but I think I prefer my L’Oréal one. I don’t try a lot of foundations because it’s a pain when you can’t colour match yourself, which means buying online is also harder. The coverage on the Max Factor one was fine, but the L’Oréal applies easier and I know it sounds weird, but it smells better too! I notice these things! Anyway – Max Factor was ok but I won’t be buying again!

8. Body Shop vitamin E toner

I don’t use the same toner every day because I have some exfoliating toners as well, but this is my go-to everyday toner. It’s moisturising and not too watery and has been a part of my skincare routine for a while. I already had another one in the drawer!

9. MaskerAide detox diva sheet mask

This is a hydrating and exfoliating sheet mask. To be honest, I don’t usually spend this much on sheet masks, but it came up on Latest in Beauty, which means I got it for about 1/3 of the normal price. If I’m given other types of mask, I do use them up, but when I’m buying my own, I only get sheet masks now. They’re so comfortable and easy to use. I don’t like them dripping, so I usually lie down and listen to an audio book or podcast and think of it as some me-time to relax. These masks are definitely good – even better when they’re on offer!

10. Lovelula samples

I don’t think I’m the only one who found the last Lovelula box a bit disappointing. One lovely Madara product, a lip crayon in peach that I may use, a liquid eye liner that I have given away, and a bunch of samples! Great! I gave away the Urban Veda face oil, so I can’t review that. I don’t think it was a bad product – I just don’t use face oils. The Urban Veda rose botanics day cream sample was nice enough – it didn’t make me want to run out and buy it, but it was a nice cream if you don’t mind a strong rose scent. I opened the Neem + Botanics night cream, but I disliked the smell so much that I didn’t want to put it on my face! There was also a BB cream that was the wrong shade for me – sad really as I know some people got a face mask instead.

11. Spiced apple body butter

This was something that the Body Shop brought out last year. They didn’t do it this year, which is a shame as it was my favourite one. Still, it was unopened and I couldn’t find a date on it. It smelled fine and the consistency was fine, so I used it all up and spent the early part of December smelling like a festive cinnamon stick on an apple crumble! Yum!

12. Rodial dragon blood lifting cream

This sculpting cream was in the M&S beauty calendar. I haven’t tried anything from Rodial before and I was glad to get the chance to. Having said that, It’s a sister company to the more affordable Nip and Fab, so I would normally shop there for products like this, and their dragon’s blood serum is really good. This was one of those products that was really nice to use, absorbing quickly, and with anti-aging properties for lifting and firming skin. I just don’t think I can justify the price!

13. Gatineau Melatoginene AOX advanced rejuvenating cream

I was really happy that the M&S calendar contained so many skincare products. This is another one that would usually be out of my price range in terms of what I’m prepared to spend, but I did get a few Gatineau products in the 40% off sale at Feel Unique. This night cream left my fairly dry skin feeling so soft and smooth the next morning – I was really impressed with the formula.

14. Feel Ready Radox bath soak

This was actually something that I got by accident – I’d ordered something else and it came as a substitution on my shopping order. But it turned out well because I really liked this bath soak with pomegranate and red apple. I’m not sure if it was just a Christmas thing because it had already sold out in Superdrug when I looked, but if you see it and like fruity bubble bath, snap it up! I’m not so fond of their shower gels, but I think the bubble baths are great!

15. Dr Hauschka moisturising face mask

This too came in the Lovelula box. I can’t say anything kind about it! I love the idea – who doesn’t want a moisturising face mask on a cold winter evening, but this started to irritate my face after a couple of seconds, and getting it off was a pain because it was sticky and hard to get rid of. Not a fan!

16. Cherry blossom shimmering body lotion

I got a mini of this shimmering body lotion in the L’Occitane calendar – a lovely lotion to help you prepare for parties and going out. It’s described as a floral scent, but a very delicate one, which is probably why I liked it. There were a couple of samples in this range and I’m glad I discovered it.

17. Body Shop vitamin E cleanser

I already have a new one of this cream cleanser from the Body Shop. I don’t think there are any products in the vitamin E line that I don’t like. They are gentle, moisturising, and always leave my skin feeling soft and nourished. I do try out other cleansers and have one that you wash off in the bathroom, but as cream cleansers go, I keep coming back to this one.

18. Pixie lip lift max

Another product from the M&S calendar, but unfortunately not my thing! I wanted to like it, and you might if you’re not put off by minty lip products, but unfortunately I am, so this wasn’t one for me!

19. Jasmin shower gel

Unfortunately I didn’t get the whole bottle of this as I got a faulty one and didn’t realise until it had empties itself over my drawer and the other bath products in there. We had so much fun cleaning that up on Christmas Eve! Grr! However, I do also have the jasmin spray, and I did get about 2 showers out of the 250ml shower gel! If the fruity ranges from the Body Shop aren’t your thing, this Indian Night Jasmin is a lovely, fresh alternative!

So, have you tried any of these products? If so, what did you think of them? Do you prefer this new format for the empties posts? What did you use up in December? Let me know in the comments!

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15 November empties – lots of hand creams and a disappointing panda!

15 November empties – lots of hand creams and a disappointing panda!

Another month is over and I’ve been trying to use things up because I know that more will be added to the collection when December starts! Let me know if you’ve tried any of these products, what you thought of them, and also what you got through in November!

Hair care

So, the first thing isn’t a new product for me, but I liked it so much that I got another one! It’s the Banana hair mask from the Body Shop. If you want something that’s natural, that smells great, and that gives your hair a pamper session, this is a good thing to go for. It’s not cheap, although you can get a good deal if you wait for it to be on offer, and you do get a generous pot of it. I do intersperse this with cheaper ones sometimes, but overall this is my favourite!

The other haircare products were a sample set of the shampoo and conditioner from the Seaweed Bath Co. The products contain vitamins and nutrients from the ocean to give you strong and healthy hair. It may be ok as a product, but I can’t deal with peppermint in haircare. I don’t want my hair to smell like toothpaste, which means that these products were not for me. Still I was glad to get the chance to try them, and overall I was very pleased with the November Lovelula box, which also contained a lipstick, eye cream from Madara, a face primer and a moisturiser.

Click here for my other hair care reviews.

Bath and shower

I got a mini of the SenSpa sleep therapy bubble bath in my Latest in Beauty box. I’m usually a Radox girl, but I like to try other things, and this bubble bath contains lavender, which is good for a relaxing pamper session at the end of the day. I don’t know that I’d rush out to buy it, but if it shows up in Latest in Beauty again and I’m looking for things to fill my box, I might pick it up again.

I went through an enormous 750 ml of the Pink grapefruit shower gel from the Body Shop. This is my all-time favourite scent, and sometimes these bottles have 1/3 off. Something this size lasts a long time, and unless you’re someone who gets bored with a single scent, I definitely think they’re worth it. Just make sure you like the scent first. I knew I would with this one though because I think I’ve had most of the pink grapefruit products. By the way, I’ll be doing a skincare post for grapefruit lovers in the new year, so do let me know any recommendations that you have for me to include.

Skincare

November was a bumper month for skincare empties! First up is the body lotion from the Seychelles bath and body set. I just love this stuff! The coconut is really refreshing, but it’s offset by the orange, almond, and vanilla. This leaves you moisturised and smelling amazing for hours!

I don’t usually get excited about the little sachets in Latest in Beauty, but the Lavera face cream really got my attention because it smelled sooo good! It was a night cream and I liked the way it left my face afterwards, but I have to say it was the scent that got my attention. This is a brand that I would like to look into more next year.

After I enjoyed the SenSpa bath soak, I also tried the SenSpa relaxing body butter which was being offered as a mini on Latest in Beauty. It’s a thick, rich, butter for anyone who likes something a bit more intense, but this also smelled of lavender, and whilst I don’t mind my bathwater having this scent, I don’t want to walk around with it for the rest of the day. So this was ok, but I probably wouldn’t get it again. That’s why I’m so glad that I get to try minis of these things in Latest in Beauty, rather than buying them full-size.

Next there were a couple of the little handcream tubes from the Body Shop. I had a couple of them open and wanted to use them up. First there was the pink grapefruit hand cream, which is my favourite! I also finished the tube of Almond and honey hand cream which I got when I reviewed the whole almond milk and honey range earlier in the year. I think when I first smelled this range, I was a bit disappointed that you couldn’t smell the almond as much as the honey, but I really enjoyed using this gentle hand cream, and it’s definitely a good one if you’re not up for the more powerful, fruity scents, or if you have sensitive skin that might be irritated by other ingredients.

I haven’t tried much from the Spa of the World range from the Body Shop, but I did get some of their Ethiopian green coffee cream when it was released earlier this year. At first I was a bit surprised because it didn’t smell of coffee, as my other coffee products do, but it’s a creamy lotion with green coffee extract, suitable if you want your skin to feel firmer and smoother. I didn’t really need a skin-firming cream, so I can’t comment on how well it does that, but I did enjoy using it!

The second thing I want to mention from the Lovelula November box was the priming serum from Ren. Ren is a good brand and I was happy to try this out. The little glass bottle, the kind that you get perfume samples in, made it a little annoying to get out, but the serum itself absorbed very quickly, but as I tend to go more for moisturising primers, it wasn’t the texture I’m used to. To be honest, I don’t want to sound cheap, but I couldn’t justify spending £50 on a primer. Not when there are others on the market that I feel do the job just as well. Still, I’m glad it was included because I enjoyed trying it out!

Now something from the May Lovelula box – the Laidbare cleanser and toner that is out of stock at the time of writing. I’m genuinely a little suspicious of two-in-one products. I like the face care ritual with its many steps, and I don’t try to double up, because I think each step has its purpose. However, I did use this up eventually. It had a pleasant, citrus and apple scent, and I had it in the bath for a while. I wouldn’t buy it again, but it’s a decent enough product if you don’t like faffing around with as many products, or if you’re going away and need to save space.

I got the next product because a number of people received it in one of the beauty boxes that I don’t get. I don’t like a lot of them because there would be too many products that I wouldn’t use, but that doesn’t stop me watching the videos and reading the blog posts for inspiration. I was already a fan of the Grumpy Cow range from the Cowshed, so I decided to try out their Cowpat handcream. Such a funny name! One thing that drew me to it was the grapefruit oil listed in the ingredients. It’s quite a thick cream, so I kept it by the bed and put it on last thing at night. This handcream also contains coriander essential oil, which apparently relieves muscular aches, increases circulation and helps you to sleep. It does however smell of coriander – I’m fine with that, but I’ve seen some people saying that they don’t like it. We use coriander quite a lot in cooking, so it doesn’t bother me.

I’ve gone on about the vitamin E cream from the Body Shop before, so I won’t ramble on about it, but if you haven’t tried it, it’s wonderful stuff! I got a mini pot in last year’s advent calendar and was using it in my travel bag. I decided to finish it up and when I’ve got through some of my other creams, I would definitely buy this again!

This was a bit of a disappointment. I wanted to try some things from the Oh K! brand, so I got their cherry blossom panda hand cream. The panda is definitely cute, but I’d rather plain packaging and a good product than cute packaging and an underwhelming product! The product was like a hand butter, a bit greasy, and I didn’t like the scent. I didn’t find it particularly moisturising either. I know there are other things in the range and they might be better, but I felt the product wasn’t really worth it. I guess it would be ok to buy for someone who wants some cute things on their dressing table, but don’t expect big results from it!

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13 products that I finished up in October and what I thought of them!

13 products that I finished up in October and what I thought of them!

I’m on a real mission to use stuff up – partly because I don’t want things to go out of date, and also because with December coming up, there’ll be an advent calendar….

Have you tried any of these products? Let me know in the comments, and I’d also be interested to read your empties post if you’ve written one!

Haircare

This Garnier hair mask with Argan oil gives a shine to dry hair. I don’t have really dry hair, but it’s very long, and I like to give it a treat sometimes to make it all soft and shiny, particularly the ends. To be honest, this isn’t my favourite hair mask, but my favourite is about 3 times the price of this one, so I like things like this when I want to swap things out. It smells good to – I can’t bear hair masks that don’t because your hair smells of them for ages afterwards!

I was intrigued by the Main and tale shampoo that some people got in one of the other beauty boxes, so I decided to get myself one of the shampoos.

The picture of a horse on the side would have sold it to 11-year-old Kirsty, whatever the formula was like, but the Kirsty of today is a bit more choosy! The shampoo promises to moisturise and lock in moisture, and it contains vitamins E and botanical protein to strengthen hair. Originally, horse owners started using products from this range, which was originally meant for horses, on themselves. The products became more popular for people, and since then new products have been added to the range. I still prefer my Yes To cucumber shampoo, but I was certainly happy with the Mane ‘n Tail and would buy it again.

I got a sample of the L’Occitane repairing conditioner when I bought my advent calendar. It contains five essential oils – ylang-ylang, sweet orange, lavender, geranium, angelica) and plant-derived amino acids, as well as almond oil and vitamin B5. It was nice enough, but I wasn’t convinced on the scent, and I was a little underwhelmed, particularly when I saw the price. Ok, this is a more expensive brand, but I think there are cheaper products on the market that produce results that are just as good. Still, I didn’t pay for this and I was glad to have the chance to test it out! Generally I’m a big fan of this brand, but realistically you’re not going to love everything that a brand brings out!

Skincare

My Mum gave me a sample of the Kiehls calendula alcohol-free toner that she got with an order. It’s made with whole flowers, so watch out for the petals at the bottom of the bottle! I really enjoyed using this toner. It was soothing to the skin, refreshing, smelled great, and I noticed a positive difference in my skin when using it. This is a more expensive treat, and I’m going to use up some other toners first, but I really enjoyed trying it out!

This Tea tree night lotion from the Body Shop lasted me for ever because it’s for oily skin, which I don’t have! I don’t use it as a night cream, because it wouldn’t give me the moisture that I need, but it’s really good to put a little bit on spots as it takes them down and makes them less angry. If I have a spot, I put a bit of this on there, then moisturise my face with a lotion better suited to my normal to dry skin.

Very random and not something I usually buy, but I got aSanctuary Spa foot butter mini sample, and I finished it up this month. I should probably take better care of my feet, but it’s not usually something I think of. It was ok as foot butters go, but if I’m buying stuff from Sanctuary, there are other things there that I like more!

I used up my mini Esse sensitive cleanser from Lovelula, but I have to say that mint-scented face care products aren’t for me.

Last year on a whim I bought the Pomegranate firming night cream from the Body Shop. It’s one of the ranges that people don’t seem to talk about as much and I was interested to try it. At first I got it because it made me think of drinking fresh pomegranate juice in Turkey! When it arrived, I realised I’d made a mistake because it’s for mature skin. Well maybe I’m heading that way, but in my mid-30s it’s not the best choice for me. In any event I particularly enjoyed this cream when I was away, especially in hotel rooms that dried out my skin with the aircon and after flights. I didn’t want to waste it, so I decided that I would still get some benefit from it, after all it promised skin that was hydrated, firmed and plumped.

Another product I used up from the Body shop was the almond hand and nail butter. This has a thicker consistency than the hand creams and is good for when your hands are really dry. A little goes a long way, so it lasts longer too. Mine was on my desk for ages!

I also finished up the camomile gentle eye make-up remover from the Body Shop. I love this because it is gentle on the eyes, it’s worked fine on all the make-up I use and it doesn’t sting. I do have another one that I want to use up first, but I would buy this again. Another product that I discovered in the Body Shop advent calendar last year.

I’ve raved about these before, so I won’t go on about them, but I got through a pack of the Glycolic fix cleansing pads . Basically I use these because I don’t like grainy exfoliators, and the glycolic acid acts as an exfoliant instead. The which hazel tones the skin at the same time.

Fragrance

When I got my Charlotte Tilbury lipstick in September, I was also sent a sample of her fragrance, scent of a dream. It’s what you’d expect from CT really – sophisticated and sensual! It is floral, including notes of tuberose, jasmin and violet, but also fruity with lemon, mandarin and peach. I think that’s why I like it – I don’t tend to go for things that are too floral, but the fruity notes offset the flowers in a way that makes them not overpowering.

Now for something a bit less positive! Let’s start by saying I liked the idea of putting a scent set in Lovelula, and including five fragrances increased the chance of people liking some of them. Well it should have anyway! I know a couple of people have said that they liked the Waldon perfumes, but I wasn’t impressed, and I’ve heard a few other people on Youtube saying they weren’t either. I did wear one of them – a little stardust, which contained ylang ylang, iris and jasmin. It was probably the jasmin that drew me to it, and for some reason I thought it smelled nice and festive. There were three that I didn’t particularly like, and one that was just … unpleasant and had to be thrown out straight away! I’m really glad I paid about £3 and not the asking price of £30 for this!

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