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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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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12 empties from August – reminiscing, being scared, and new favourite shampoo

The products that I used up in August – which ones I loved, and the ones I’ll avoid in future!

12 empties from August – reminiscing, being scared, and new favourite shampoo

Before we get on to the August empties, if you live in the UK and you’d like to be in with the chance to win some skincare products, my birthday give-away is running throughout September, so head on over and enter if you haven’t done so already!

Haircare

The good, the great, and the somewhat scary!

Let’s start with the good. When I did my 7th Heaven review, I hadn’t had the chance to test out all of the masks. Although the papaya was my favourite, I also liked the honey one and I still need to try the coconut. I’m happy with these though and I like these little single-use masks, particularly for going away.

I raved about the Yes to cucumbers volumising shampoo in July, and now that the tube is finished, I’m pretty sure that this is what I’m going to stick with – that is, once I’ve used up the Mane & Tail one that I’ve just bought. But this Yes To product smells good, lathers up well, is affordable, and leaves my hair feeling clean and alive – so I will definitely be buying more of it!

And now for the thing that left me wondering if I was having an allergic reaction – the John Masters scalp stimulating shampoo. (I do have allergy issues, but not usually with skincare ingredients!) Fortunately this was just a travel size from the Lovelula box. I know some people really like it, but apart from not being a fan of mint-scented hair products, I didn’t like the way it felt like someone set light to my head. It’s apparently meant to do that and feel all tingly, but it’s not for me!

Bath and body

I was so sad when the Anatomicals Java Lather coffee buzz shower gel ran out at the beginning of August! It smells amazing, like you’re bathing in coffee, and I’d recommend it for any coffee lover! I can’t justify buying it again because I have some other shower gels knocking around, but it’s definitely something I’ll get again in the future.

If you like banana and want some bubbles, you might like the Imperial Leather banana bubble bath I just picked it up from the supermarket because I fancied a change, and I was pleased that it foamed up well, and although the banana scent was there, it didn’t smell sweet and like fake bananas as some other products do. So nice for a change when I’m swapping out my bubble baths!

It must have been a month of baths, because I also got through a Radox stress relief bath soak with rosemary and eucalyptus. As a child growing up with my grandparents, I always had bubble bath, but we didn’t have Radox! Radox reminded me of my visits to my mum during the holidays when we would make bathtime last for ages, relaxing in the water and having stories! Now, when I smell it as an adult, it often takes me back to those times. I haven’t been impressed with one or two of the shower gels that I’ve tried, but the bubble baths are something that I often go back to!

Now for a couple of shower gels. I used up a body wash from the Sanctuary Spa advent calendar, and I love their fresh and luxurious scent. This wasn’t a floral one, so it got extra points from me. I also used up the virgin mojito shower gel from the Body Shops summer range. I think the mixture of lime and mint was a cool idea, but I preferred the pineapple and coconut one! Still, I’m glad I tried them both.

Skincare

I have to say I was a little disappointed with the wonderous whip body lotion from Zoella, but then I think I’m maybe expecting more from it than it was meant to give. Even when I use a whipped lotion, I still want a degree of moisture for my fairly dry skin, and I don’t think this lotion gave me enough. It’s fine if you’re at the gym and you want something to dry really quickly, or if you don’t have dry skin, but I probably won’t get this again because I need that bit of extra help!

Another thing in the Sanctuary calendar was the Sanctuary spa luxurious body balm and I was happy to see it again! I’d already tried this from Latest in Beauty, so I knew that I liked it. This is a thick and luxurious balm which smells good and leaves your skin feeling pampered and moisturised for hours afterwards (not greasy, just soft and smooth).

The next thing I tried was the Skyn Iceland hydro cool firming eye gels. The link leads to a pack of 8, but I only ordered 1 in my Latest in Beauty box, so I can’t report on what it does if you use them over a number of days. I read somewhere that you are supposed to cool them first, but I didn’t know that at the time. They are supposed to help soothe the under-eye area, reduce fine lines and puffiness. They were easy to apply and having them on was a pleasant experience, but I can’t say I noticed any dramatic effects. I think for me the money is better spent on sheet masks, but if you have tired eyes or you want to give your under-eye a treat, then why not?!

Make-up

My ELF hydrating face primer ran out, so I replaced it. I do use the Porefessional one from Benefit as well, but I can’t afford to use that every day! The ELF one is a more affordable alternative, and it does the job well enough. I like the pump dispenser because you always get the right amount. As I have dry skin, I like the fact that this one is moisturising too. It doesn’t have that same silicone base as the Benefit one, but it gives good coverage and doesn’t go weird and flaky with my moisturiser as some primers do. I’ve already got a new one!

Can someone explain to me the point of Foaming micellar water? I got some in my calendar and whilst I’m a fan of micellar water for removing make-up, I really don’t get why you’d want a foaming one! I’ve used it up, but won’t be repurchasing.

So, those were my August empties. Have you tried any of these products? What did you think of them? Let me know in the comments, and also drop your links if you’ve done an empties post or video!

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17 empty products from July – new conditioner and some old favourites

The products that I finished up in July – what I thought of them, and whether I would buy them again!

Right, it’s time for the July empties! Not all of them are pictured here – partly because there were a lot, and partly because I had to completely destroy some of them to get all of the product out!

Have you used any of these products? What did you think of them? Let me know in the comments, and also feel free to share any of your empties posts or Youtube videos there.

Skin care

I can’t show you the first thing that I used up because it’s not available at the moment, but it is a lip gloss from Hot Lips. I got two, but the one I finished up was the grape flavoured one. It’s a gloss with a difference because you apply it using a roller ball rather than an applicator, or even worse, nothing at all! I like the way that the ball slides over the lips to give an even finish. I would use this again if it weren’t unavailable, but I also have the cherry one to finish up.

I like the sweet mandarin and grapefruit range from Baylis and Harding, and we had the Sweet mandarin and grapefruit hand lotion in the bathroom for a while. You get a decent amount. It’s not the thickest, richest hand cream I have, but it’s got a pleasant scent, and I had it near the sink so that I remembered to put on some hand cream when I washed my hands to stop them drying out. I like to have something more heavy-duty at night, but I think this is a nice product to keep in the bathroom.

I also got through the strawberry and pomegranate hand cream from the same range. This is in a tube, not a pump dispenser. It’s a bit more expensive than the grapefruit one, and I don’t usually like strawberry scents because they are too sweet. However the mixture of strawberry and pomegranate makes it work for me!

I’m quite hard to please when it comes to eye creams, but I did enjoy the Bee good youth enhancing lift and brighten eye cream. I think it’s a fair price, and I like the fact that it uses more natural ingredients. It absorbs well without being greasy and moisturises at the same time.

According to the web page, it’s made from natural British bee ingredients including the antioxidant-rich propolis which fights bacteria and helps to repair skin damage. Propolis has natural preservative properties that eliminate the need for harmful synthetic preservatives. Vitamin E is expertly blended with skin tightening oat extract, and the brightening silk tree extract to address dark circles and fine lines. It moisturises, strengthens, and enhances the elasticity in your face.

I got mine from Latest in Beauty, but you can buy it elsewhere too and I would get this again once I’ve used up my other eye creams.

One of my earliest memories of the Body Shop, apart from the Dewberry perfume, is the Cocoa butter body lotion. I won one in a prize draw run by Heidi from the Body Shop at home and it took me back to being a teenager! I can’t find the link on the site now, so maybe it’s only available on special promotions. It’s made with cocoa butter from Ghana and it’s a nice, lightweight lotion for the summer.

Staying on the topic of things that I used when I was younger, a few months ago I repurchased the No. 7 moisturising night cream. I shudder to think of my skincare routine back then! I knew a lot less than I do now, but I always understood the importance of moisturising, even in the night time! The smell of this product took me back to being a teenager, and I think the no. 7 products are rather underrated! I’ve tried plenty of other creams since, but I enjoyed coming back to this one. It absorbed well and left my skin feeling wonderfully soft and smooth in the morning.

Boots had a deal on face masks, so I picked up a couple of the Garnier pomegranate sheet masks to mix in with my Korean stash. You get a lot of product with these masks and they’re different because once you’ve got it settled on your face, you peel off the protective outer cover, which presumably is there to stop it sticking to itself.

As someone with dry skin, I really like these because they are super-hydrating and another plus for me is that they also contain hyaluronic acid, which helps the skin to retain collagen, increase moisture, and provide elasticity.

I mentioned my L’Occitane lavender oil in my L’Occitane post back in March, and as a little goes a long way, I’ve only just finished it up. This product has completely changed the way I think about oils. I didn’t like them before because I thought they were messy and annoying, but the roll-on packaging means that you don’t get too much out at once, and you can just apply it to the skin where you want it. Lavender is known for its calming properties, and I enjoyed applying this oil before going to bed.

Next – this isn’t a point about a specific product, but when I was tidying up my products I came across some sun cream that was years out of date, so I chucked it. I am not usually ultra-strict with dates if the product seems and smells fine, but with sun care it’s not worth the risk. If the product has past its usefulness, you’ll get burned!

Another Latest in Beauty finish was my Katherine Daniels micellar water. It’s out of stock at the moment.
I’ve gone from someone who didn’t see the point of micellar water to someone who uses it all the time! I enjoyed using this one, and it has won an award for best eye make-up remover, but I think I still prefer the one from Madara, so I’d be more likely to buy that one again unless this one came up on Latest in Beauty.

I’ve got a few Sanctuary spa products from the Sanctuary Advent calendar. This month I used up the Sanctuary rose body lotion (I got a mini and this link is to the full-size one). I enjoyed the mini, but think this scent is a bit too floral for me. It reminded me of a teacher I used to have at school – she must have worn this or something similar!

Bath and shower

Another treat from the calendar was the Sanctuary bath soak. It contains aloe vera to moisturise, and there was a decent amount of bubbles. I got the mini because it was in the calendar, but I would buy the full size version.

Next up is the Seascape unwind body wash, which I got in my March Lovelula box. I don’t usually go for lavender body wash, but this was good for unwinding in evening baths!

When putting in an order for L’Occitane, I had the choice between paying postage or adding one small item to qualify for free postage! I’d already enjoyed the verbena bubble bath, so I got, and used a little Verbena shower gel mini I’d usually get a larger one, but this would be fine for a weekend away!

I don’t usually buy face washes, but I used up my Sanctuary Spa face wash from the calendar. I probably wouldn’t get this again, but it was fine to use in the shower and it didn’t leave my skin feeling dry.

Hair care

I continued with my hunt for good hair care products, and the Korres almond conditioner sounded like a good thing to try as I had already been impressed with a number of Korres products. I don’t have dry, damaged hair, but I have very long hair, so I like to make sure that the ends get a lot of nourishment so that they don’t split. Still, maybe the one for normal hair would have been better, but I’ve only just seen that whilst looking for the link for this one! Almond does sound more appealing though! Anyway – I enjoyed using the product and was happy with the soft and silky results.

Perfume

I don’t want to add a link for this because I believe this fragrance has gone out of stock and there are a lot of fakes around. I was bought the Gucci Envy perfume as a gift many years ago. It’s always a gamble when you buy perfume for someone, but I was pleasantly surprised with this because I really liked it. I repurchased it once, but wouldn’t do so again because it’s so hard to get hold of. There is another one called Envy Me, but I can’t say what I think of that because I haven’t tried it out yet.

Thank you for reading if you got all the way to the end! Don’t forget to let me know your thoughts on these, or the products that you’ve used up!

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May empties – masks and favourites from Latest in Beauty

My thoughts on the products that I used up in May 2017,and whether I’d repurchase them.

Well it’s that time of the month again – time for the May empties! I seem to have a lot this month, partly because of the sample-size products I’m getting in my Latest in Beauty and Lovelula boxes, and partly because I’m making a real effort to finish things up before opening new ones! So here they are – the products I finished up in May and what I thought of them.

Skincare

I only found out about them this year, but I love sheet masks. I finished up a packet of my favourite ones this month, the Skin Food everyday facial masks. The picture is of my favourite one, the orange one, but you get 10 different kinds in there such as tomato, broccoli, green tea, berries and nuts. I’ve since tried out a number of different makes, but I keep coming back to these. They have the right amount of product, which means that there’s a good covering, but they’re not slopping with it, making everything messy. Also, just a small detail, but the little cuts around the edge don’t go far into the centre, making them much easier to unfold and put on the face. I’ve ordered a new pack already and would highly recommend them.

I tend to go for the Body Shop body butters in the winter and reach for the lighter lotions and sorbets in the summer. I used up a pink grapefruit body butter and really enjoyed it, partly because of the grapefruit scent, I love this range, and partly because this one isn’t quite as firm as some of the other butters, so it’s easier to spread over the skin. I would buy this again, but only when I’ve used up some of my other butters and lotions!

I also used up a mini body butter and a shower gel in the spiced apple range, but they were in the Christmas 2016 range, so I can’t link them. Still, if they come back next year, I’ll snap up some more. Also, If you prefer berries to the apples, I used up a spiced berries shower gel, also from the Christmas range, which was nice and wintry!

I’m swimming against the tide of positive reviews, both from Lovelula and Latest in Beauty, when I tell you I was somewhat underwhelmed by the Weleda Skin food that I got in Lovelula, but that was also available recently on Latest in Beauty. Some people are raving about it on Youtube because it helped to clear up skin conditions. Some people have even said that they put it on their face, but I wouldn’t put anything that greasy on my face. I used it up as a foot cream, but wouldn’t think of putting it anywhere else!

I mentioned these wonderful Glycolic fix cleansing pads in my May Favourites as a quick and easy alternative for exfoliating, particularly for those of us who don’t like exfoliators with rough particles and prefer to use natural acids. I finished up the mini pack that I got in Latest in Beauty and ordered a full-size one straight away because I was going to Amsterdam and wanted to take them away with me. This was the first thing that I bought directly as a result of trying on Latest in Beauty. The second was the Benefit Cosmetics Porefessional primer which is fabulous!

I finished up my second Seychelles hand cream from Latest in Beauty. I really should just get the full-sized one from the White Company. The hand cream is brilliant and I love the smell which makes you feel as though you’re on a tropical beach somewhere! This will be my third “Latest in Beauty made me buy it!” product.

On the subject of hand cream, I also used up the Shea hand cream from the Body Shop. It’s not my favourite hand cream from there, but it is a good one if you don’t like some of the stronger scents, because this one just smells clean and fresh.

Bath and shower

If you’re looking for something to wake you up in the morning and you like citrus scents like lemon and lime, I got through a mini citrus blend hand and body wash that I got in my Latest in Beauty. If you don’t want to subscribe to Latest in Beauty, you can also get it directly from Evolve Organic Beauty. Not the cheapest hand and body wash, but a nice alternative if you want something citrusy and refreshing in the shower! Link removed because it was broken.

I also used up my Greenfrog botanic body wash – neroli and lime from Lovelula. I think I’ve discovered that I don’t like Neroli very much, which is a shame because it seems to be used in a lot of beauty products. This was ok, and actually I do have a second one as a friend gave me hers. I will use it up, but because of the neroli scent, this isn’t something that I would buy again.

The satsuma range is one of my favourites from the Body shop, and I had a mini satsuma shower gel, probably left over from the advent calendar! I love this stuff, and the minis are great for taking away with you.

If you want something for the bathroom that smells fresh and is great value for money, we just finished up the Baylis & Harding jasmin and apple blossom hand wash. I usually get the grapefruit one, but we fancied a change!

In Latest in Beauty, I got a mini shower gel so that I could try out the Jasmin and Bergamot range from L’Occitane. I like this and would try out more products in the range.

Hair care

I tried out the Avon naturals almond and avocado shampoo I think I prefer the apple one that I mentioned in last month’s empties, but if you like something with less of a fragrance, you may prefer this one.

Fragrance

I got two free fragrance samples in my Latest in Beauty box. One was the Flower by Kenzo but although I used up the sample, this is two floral for me, with the main notes being rose, violet and white musk. I didn’t hate it, it just wasn’t my usual fruity fragrance!

The other one surprised me, because it was also a floral fragrance, but I liked it more, maybe because the top notes were rose and gardenia, and it reminded me of Tuberose Gardenia? No idea, but it was the Narciso Rodriguez Eau de Parfum.

Make-up

Anyone who reads my blog will know that I’m a big fan of the body shop, but I was rather disappointed with the insterblur. I was very close to just binning it, because I hated the way it came out of the tube like little worms, and the way it applied. Heidi from the Body Shop said that you need to warm the product up between your hands first, and this does work better, but I still don’t think it’s as good as my other primers, so although I’ll use it up as an everyday primer, I won’t be buying it again.

One of the products in the Body Shop advent calendar that I hadn’t tried before was the Camomile gentle eye make-up remover. I don’t wear waterproof mascara, so I don’t know how well it deals with that, but for the non-waterproof mascara and cream or crayon shadows that I wear, it does the job well and is gentle on the eyes. I have already replaced it with the full-size version of this product.

How about you?

Which products have you been enjoying, or which ones did you finish up in May? Let me know in the comments. Also, have you tried any of the products I mentioned in this post? If so, I’d love to know your thoughts!

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