Empties September 2020

Skincare

Amie Naturally Kind Spring Clean Deep Cleansing Mask. I would say this was a basic clay mask that was drying to that cracking your face tight point and it had also mint extract in it which I could theoretically loved in the summer but it’s definitely nothing you would want to put on your face if you’re sensitive or sensitised. It could be something a teenager would love but I already expect my clay mask to be a bit more sofisticated.

Sukin Super Greens cleansing oil. It’s that kind of oil that doesn’t emulsify so you have to remove it with a wet warm washcloth. Plus, I had to make sure it wouldn’t stay on my face longer than 2 minutes because it would cause me breakouts. I tried to use it also for cupping massage for my cellulite and I provide you with TMI when I say it caused pimples on my bum (luckily sorted with daily use of salicylic acid). It wasn’t easy for me to use it up and have no intention to repurchase.

Patchology Aquaflash daily gel moisturiser was like a drink of water moisturiser for me when it was unbearably hot and my 12 years old loved it too. I didn’t find it enough for my dehydrated skin now at the end of September though. It had fragrance also and I could definitely feel it when my skin got sensitised from tretinoin.

Pyunkang Yul essence toner. At first I felt like it was great, especially for a toner that doesn’t contain hyaluronics or other things but I noticed that after a few weeks, my skin began feeling a bit rougher until I started using hyaluronics so I definitely prefer the Klairs toner I had before this one.

The Ordinary “Buffet” + Copper Peptides 1% was my absolute love. I am cheap so almost £29 was a bit lot for me but absolutely worth it. I like the consistency that was like viscous gel water so I just used a drop for each part of the face I wanted to put it on. For now though, I have other night serums I need to use.

CeraVe facial moisturising lotion was great, I especially used it around my eyes and neck, not so much on the face in the summer as it is for dry skin, although it wasn’t heavy, I didn’t want to risk more breakouts with daily use and it did feel a bit heavy in the summer.

RapidLash eyelash enhancing serum. I liked it as it made a difference in the length of my lashes but didn’t make it thicker. I did use nightly but after getting back to work keep forgetting. I have another one.

COSRX Centella Blemish Cream. This was really good spot treatment that worked in a gentle way to soothe my breakouts. I used it at night as it was a bit like sudocrem leaving white film on the skin. I might repurchase but would like to try some other alternatives as well.

Merumaya treatment toner was what I would call a “neutral” toner without actives, nice as a preparation step between cleanse and serum. Not that keen on its fragrance but I wouldn’t mind having a full size.

Body

Aldi Ocean Activ 48 HR anti-perspirant deodorant. Aldi’s spray hybrid that I was given. Not my favourite fragrance, made me choke when sprayed but it doesn’t fight with a perfume. Average supermarket deodorant, no repurchase.

Aldi True Activ 48 hr. I actually liked the scent of this deodorant, like fruity blossoms although besides the fact that there is no Aldi near my house that I would be doing regular shop, I don’t feel tempted to go and repurchase this.

Police To Be EdP was rather generic fragrance that was light and good for everyday use in the summer but I don’t think I would want to repurchase as it didn’t seem exceptional but I can imagine I would love it in my late teens or early twenties.

Little Butterfly London Dewdrops at Dawn body lotion for babies with cucumber seed oil, cocoa butter and oat kernel extract was a luxurious thick body lotion that luckily didn’t cause me any body acne despite being a bit difficult to spread evenly on my skin because of its thickness. I don’t think I would repurchase as its normal price is £23.50 and I am not really willing to spend more than £15-20.

Senses by Navia Fruity. Finally their deodorant with a working mechanism so I digress my saying their sticks don’t come out. It was also a lovely summer fruit with powder scent, unfortunately it didn’t last that long so also wouldn’t repurchase.

St Tropez Self Tan Classic bronzing mist is the classic selftanner with colour guide so not only do I recommend for you to wait for it to dry before you get dressed but also don’t use light coloured clothes or bed linen. It looks relatively natural on me, unless I used too much, then it gave me deeper yellow/gold tone that doesn’t look well on me. Also it looked occasionally slightly patchy when fading but I usually use selftan only in the summer for my legs so it wasn’t that horrible but still don’t feel tempted to repurchase.

Radox Feel Revived lemongrass & mandarin shower gel. I love everything mandarin in body care or fragrance and loved this one.

Kamill hand&nail cream. Classic handcream, a bit thicker and richer than an average handcream so worked nicely in the time of countless handwashing and hand sanitiser applications.

Oriflame Masquarade EdT. I loved this scent which to me smelled like woody blackberry. I might repurchase at some point but at the moment have lots of others to use.

Superdrug Deep Action spot clearing body spritz was kind of my holy grail for body acne unfortunately, I found out when I wanted to repurchase that Superdrug don’t sell it anymore.

Soap & Glory Heel Genius foot cream. This was not only moisturising but it also had fruit acid and it kept my feet nice and smooth, not a crack all through the summer.

Nivea Men Sensitive shaving gel. It was goodl old classic for shaving, creating a nice rich lather for shaving.

Hair

Klorane dry shampoo with oatmilk, gentle formula. Can’t say it was my favourite, rather powdery with heavy white cast and fragrance reminded me of the 80s hair products.

L’Oréal Paris Elvive Colour Protect 3-in-1 low shampoo no foam cleansing cream. I like L’Oréal low shampoos as they are gentle but don’t leave my hair greasy and my hair smell lovely. Any of them is a repurchase for me.

XHC styling hair gel wet look. I like using this gel on my daughters’ thick curls because I like the formula that isn’t sticky and doesn’t make the hair crunchy. I find it heavy for my fine thin hair though although I do occasionally use it very lightly to control the frizz.

Make Up

Eyeko Sport catch and curl waterproof mascara did exactly what it promises – it did curl my lashes up and although it didn’t create mega volume, it grabbed each of my lashes and I tested it hundred times in the swimming pool. I had three in a row now so want to try some other waterproof mascara now but might return to it in the future.

L’Oréal Volume Million extra black. Loved this mascara, especially after I started using RapidLash. Not only gave my thin eyelashes extra volume but lengthened them as well. There are many more mascaras I want to try but might come back to this one at some point again.

Yves Rocher Volume Elixir mascara. I found it more lengthening than volumising. It was okay but nothing that would make me want to repurchase it.

I Tried Shaving Subscriptions

There are numerous options for hair removal. I can’t afford expensive laser treatments in salons and find waxing painful and also I am prone for ingrown hair after waxing so I find regular shaving still the best option for my body hair removal. Shaving subscription services started popping up more and more recently so when I started seeing them offering trial kits at good prices, I decided to give some of them a go. I paid for all of them with my own money and judged them by my own needs and experience.

Harry’s

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Harry’s trial package cost me £8.95 and contained a pouch with razor handle and a razor head, 60 ml travel size of shave gel with aloe, 60 ml travel size of shower gel with scent Stone and a bonus full size face wash with peppermint. It was delivered in bulkier package by Hermes so you would need someone at home to get the parcel for you.

You can choose from three colour options for your razor handle which are blue, green and orange. As this club is more men oriented, these colours are not the Bright shades and I would call the blue shade navy and Green khaki or olive but they probably kept the names simple for their main target group. The razor handle has a good weight and sits well in my hand and it probably also helps sitting better on the skin getting a close shave. Razor has 6 blades that slide on the skin easily enabling smooth shave, no hair left behind. The razor hand is bendy, flexible over all the different places where I can shave as a woman.

The face wash contains scrub so it is not something I would really use on my face but I would recommend to use it on body prior shaving, especially now in the summer as it is with peppermint. Shave gel gel s nice creamy lather and I am yet to try the shower gel which again is more masculine spicy citrus scent. I can use it on me perhaps having a cheeky thought about men in the shower but you can give it to a man in your life😄

When buying, you fill in a questionnaire about the frequency you shave and they can recommend you monthly or bi monthly but you can choose how you decide, you can also postpone your delivery or cancel any time and if you change your mind, you can resume your plan any time you want. They have also wide range of products in their shop, not only for shaving but for personal hygiene but as I mentioned, they are men oriented fragrances and regime.

It was also easy to cancel my subscription by clicking through my membership and I could also easily delete my bank card from the system. It’s also easy to rejoin by a click of the button so really no strings attached.

Subscription is also a bit expensive one as it cost £19.

I couldn’t find out whether their products are cruelty free so I am guessing they might not be.
Despite it being a men’s shaving club, I was really happy with the handle and razors and how close my shave was leaving very smooth skin so, plus I really like how easy it was to manage my subscription in comparison with others so for those reasons I might consider repurchasing razors in the future.

FFS Beauty

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This is a definitely a shaving club that’s targeted to women because both design on the shaving handle and the products you can buy with your razors which not only a pre-shave exfoliant, shaving cream and post-shave balm but also natural deodorant in aluminium packaging. Again, you fill in a questionnaire about frequency of shaving and you can add other products to your order. I just wish it was easier to get into their shop if I just decided to shop for their other products.

For £7.95 I received a beautiful rose gold handle with my name engraved on it, 2 razor heads and a cover for the razors. The heads have 6 diamond-coated blades. The handle is smaller, it did give a smooth shave but didn’t glide as easily as Harry’s razors and I even nipped myself lightly on my knee. It says that it is a bikini blade and would confirm that because it fitted and worked in that area well if you know what I mean.

I like also ethics of the company as it is cruelty free, the cream tubes are made from sugar cane polyethylene that is more sustainable and you can even recycle the blades. They recommend to save at least 12, put them in the FFS box and send them back to their address. And, to reduce the carbon footprint, the handles are made 500 yards from their fulfilment warehouse.

Although I didn’t find the blades and handle as good as Harry’s (maybe have men’s hands), the esthetics and ethics of this brand really impressed me. Plus their delivery was quick (2 days from placing my order) and box is flat and long so it can easily fit through the letter box hole so you don’t have to be available for the delivery which is a big plus for me. The cost of the subscription is £9.

However, when I wanted to cancel my subscription, I had to send a cancellation email and had to email back and forth until that was done so it was a rather faff and wasn’t able to delete my bank card from their system.

Dollar Shave Club

Dollar Shave club is another men focused subscription and they offer a wide range of men’s toiletries. The company supports charitable projects like It was also a generous one as for £5 I received a handle and 4 razors however, subscription costs £21.85. The design is nice and sleek and again, it fitted well into my hand (does that mean I have manly hands?).

6-razor blade head gave nice close and smooth shaving although I do think that I liked the Harry’s one just a little bit more.

Estrid

Estrid is a Swedish shaving subscription for women and their trial kit also costs £7.95 and subscription cost £9.95. The kit contains a handle with a rubber slip for better hold (you can choose from 4 pastel colours), a shower holder and two 5-blade razors. The handle looks like plastic but it’s actually sturdy steel. The razor head has aloe vera and shea butter lining and this gave me such a great lubrication that I couldn’t believe, especially when going around my intimate area. The handle was also a better fit in my hand that the one from FFS.

It came in beautiful box that fitted through a mailbox as well so it’s not something you have to wait for the delivery guy. It came with a lot of messages about body positivity and it’s also something the brand promotes. The proceeds support women’s charities. Besides the razors, they sell shave butter, body lotion and shower oil.

Unlike FFS, you can can easily cancel it online as well as resume your subscription just by clicking through.

The only problem I had was that 3 weeks after my shipment mail, my trial kit still didn’t come so I had to contact them via email. After three days, they replied that looks like the first one got lost but they were shipping another one for me so it took a month from my purchase till it finally got to me. However, overall impressions are good and this would be my choice for female shaving subscription.

Empties August 2020

Hello everybody reading my empties, hope you enjoyed your summer as much as it was possible in the current situation. This month I found myself with a bigger pile of empties than I expected and my bag was full a few days before the end of the month so I am a bit earlier than usually.

Skincare

Nivea Double Effect eye make-up remover has been in my empties numerous times. Reliable, good value. For me the best eye make up remover that I always buy under £2.
The Ordinary Marine Hyaluronics. I love it. On first sight doesn’t look like much and it’s basically like water but it makes my skin beautifully plump without leaving any residue at all. I didn’t have any dedicated hyaluronics because I had serum which was a mix of vitamin C and hyaluronic acid and niacinamide with hyaluronic acid but my skin still felt a bit rough and once I added this to my routine, it got plump the way I like it. Will definitely get it for next summer.
Rodial White Brightening Mask multi-acid mask for uneven tone. It was a medium strength acid mask. It made my skin brighter and smooth but as Rodial products go, unless you buy on offer, you can always find much cheaper alternatives that work the same if not better.
Holland & Barrett Vitamin C + Hyaluronic Acid brighten and restore serum was a typical slightly slimy hyaluronic acid serum with added sodium ascorbyl phosphate. My experience with vitamin C is that it does brighten the tone of my skin but doesn’t do much for my hyperpigmentation so I use it more as an antioxidant. I Also didn’t find it to be enough hydrating for me as my skin still felt a bit rough and only after adding TO Marine Hyaluronics to my routine, I felt the plumpiness and smoothness I expect from using hydrating serums or toners.
Bioré UV Aqua Rich watery essence SPF50+ PA++++. I could say that this was a good SPF, especially in comparison with all those sticky, white cast leaving sunscreens that are basically not really good for face but there is BUT. It contains so much alcohol which I can imagine helps all those chemical sunscreens penetrate the skin quickly and admittedly it also made it a sunscreen that’s easy to reapply in the afternoon but it also made me feel like those alcohol laden toners that I used to like when I was a teenager, sensitive, slightly burning and after a while oils coming out more. Even though I layer a lot of light skincare products underneath, I needed a light moisturiser as a buffer before this sunscreen except for the very hot days when my skin is very greasy anyway. I not saying I would never buy it again but I do think there are some better out there.
Secret Key starting treatment essence rose edition. If I am honest, this is a product that I don’t think does anything for me other than it serves like watery toner after cleansing. I used it every day morning and evening but didn’t really see any changes after I started using it. I don’t intend to repurchase as I don’t consider £20 justifiable for its effect. Also have an ordinary version that I am yet to open but for now I intend to replace it with Missha to see whether that one will have any effect.
Botanical Lab Neem Leaf gentle wash. It has salicylic acid in the middle as the 10th ingredient. It has sodium lauroyl sarcosinate instead of sulfate so it is not that drying although I don’t think it would be suitable for dry skin as well as sensitive skin as there are some essential oils. It wasn’t bad but it didn’t make me feel like “wow, I need it back in my life”.
Bioré baking soda cleansing micellar water. Finally finished this one. It was ok, remover the face make up and a light eye make up but not so good for removing mascara or eyeliner thoroughly. To be honest, I don’t know why I bother buying micellar waters because I struggle to use them up as I prefer other make up removers that I don’t use with cotton wool. Although it did work well with my fluffy microfiber make up removing cloths. I don’t intend to repurchase. I have one more micellar water in my stash I really need to use up and then will see whether I’ll ever buy any other.Nip+Fab Glycolic Fix Sensitive gentle pads. I didn’t feel like these did much for my skin and I had a bit difficulty to find a place for them in my routine but my 12-year old used it occasionally as she has emerging acne and she said it did help her with it. I don’t see myself repurchasing though plus I have a version of it in a bottle that needs to be used.
Skin + Me is customised skincare prescription that I started in July as they had a free trial, I just had to pay £3.50 for prescription. My first month prescription contains tretinoin 0.006%, niacinamide 4% and azelaic acid 4% in non-greasy, non-comedogenic cream that is supposed to be applied every day. It is a low concentrations so I didn’t see it a problem to start with in the summer and I liked that it has niacinamide and azelaic acid as those are both ingredients I wanted to incorporate in my skincare, just was searching for AA that wouldn’t be as expensive as Paula’s Choice nor as thick as The Ordinary’s one. So far the only effect I see is my purging jawline and once when I used it with brightening mask in one routine, I got sensitised. I will review again next month and want to wait three months of use to fully make my opinion about it.

Body

Altruist Sunscreen SPF50 is a chemical sunscreen that doesn’t feel sticky, that’s why I like it for my body but it’s still heavy for my face.
Nivea Intimo wash lotion with aloe vera and lactic acid. 50 ml lasted me a year just because I didn’t really use it for washing my intimate part but for shaving it. It was nice and gentle, giving a nice slip.
MOR Snow Gardenia soapette was a soap with beautiful fragrance however, I used it up for cleaning my make up brushes.
Original Source tingly mint and tea tree shower gel, I bought it at the beginning of the summer remebering it always being in Caroline Hirons empties as a cooling shower gel and oh my god I was glad I had bought this big 500 ml bottle! This gave my body that mint cooling tingle! Not something I would enjoy in winter but I will have to have again next summer.
DDD Chafing Care cream. Barely used. All I can say I found it useless unless you reapply it regularly throughout the day, which I am not really into especially as I like walking a lot outside in the summer and it is impractical and nuisance to me, I rather put shorts underwear on under my skirt.
Urban Veda Rose + Botanics Reviving Exfoliating Facial Polish. As I don’t use physical polishes on face anymore, I used this travel size for my body. As all Urban Veda products, it was highly fragrances but as I used it on my body, I didn’t mind it.
Imperial Leather Fijian Waterfall & Zesty Bergamot Revitalising shower gel had a beautiful scent, I think Fijian Waterfall was really great name for it as it did make me feel like I am on an exotic island holiday.

Hair

Nexxus Encapsulate serum caviar had a caviar beads in oil gel that mixed all together when pumped out of the bottle. I didn’t find it sufficient for my nor my daughters’ hair.
Love Beauty and Planet Muru Muru Butter and Rose blooming colour shampoo. I liked the rose fragrance in it that lingers even though the rose fragrance isn’t something I would be looking for. It contains SLS so it does wash some colour from my hair despite it being for colour treated hair. I didn’t find it stripping though and would be interested in trying more from this brand.
Charles Worthington Salon at Home Volume & Bounce body booster mousse did add volume when I styled with it but my hair also got very frizzy after an hours or two outside. However, it looked quite good on second day so it is 50-50 product for me.

Make Up

MUA Glitter Eyeliner in City of Gold and Sequin Queen are old and dry and don’t think MUA still make them but it lasted well although it needed to top up colour for opaque glitter line. Still good value for money.
MUA liquid eyeliner in shade 3 which was medium metallic brown. Again an antique from MUA (happens when you have makeup in multiple locations). Not really a shade that would suit me but cheap eyeliner and great longevity even through the heat and sweat.
Marc Jacobs highliner gel crayons. Warm brown shades that don’t suit me well. They are great long kasting eye pencils but as most gel liners dried out within a few months of opening.
Avon Glimmerstick Diamonds Eyeliner in Brown Sugar was a good eye pencils but the lid fell of it in my bag and it dried.

Empties July 2020

Hello people, how are you doing? Hope that you started slowly enjoying your life again even if with your face masks on after months of craving but also being scared of closer contact with other people.

I am bringing you my regular monthly empties without any further ado, I feel like I don’t want to repeat myself every month😄

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Skincare

Simple De-stress sheet mask with aloe and multi-vitamins. This mask gave me just what I expected from a sheet mask – add hydration and plumpiness into my face. I am not into the sheet masks as much as I used to be but I wouldn’t mind buying it again if I felt that I need some hydration boost.

Simple Pollution Protect sheet mask wit vitamin B3 (niacinamide) and E. Of course, you wouldn’t see antioxidant result from one use mask so I am not going to comment on brightening or strengthening my skin, I use sheetmasks occasionally as a hydration booster and now basically using up my stash (as far as I know, I should have only 1 left now).

Dr. Paw Original Balm was like a nice petroleum jelly with added olive oil, papaya extract and aloe juice. I liked using it at bedtime for my lips, knuckles on my hands and cuticles and I am actually quite surprised how long this 10 ml tube lasted me.

Boots Ingredients Bakuchiol serum was quite a nice moisturising sérum I bought on a whim just before the lockdown as a summer alternative to retinol. I used a pump of it morning and evening in my serum cocktail (mix of serums for my face). It did add some moisture but I didn’t see any particular changes. I am not saying I won’t but it anymore or wouldn’t try other brands as well but just don’t feel like it is as revolutionary for my skin as they say.

Argentum Facial cleansing bar with silver hydrosol and DNA HP. Although I I am not into soap bars for cleansing my face, I got this product in a beauty box and I started using it as a second cleanse after face oils that don’t emulsify like the one I had from True Skincare. Surpringly, I didn’t find it drying for me and even if it got closer to my eyes, it didn’t sting. However, I would never justify £104 for a soap/cleanser no matter what it contains.

Petitfée Gold hydrogel eye patch with 5+ golden complex, ginseng, swallow nest, collagen and rose flower water. Not gonna whether all these ingredient really work, I use it basically as a sheet masks to help hydrate my undereye after I was shocked how old and crepey I started to look there a couple of month ago when looking into a mirror in  full light during the lockdown and All I can say is that it helps and I will continue with regular use of hydrogel eyepatches. The packaging has 60 eye patches that should be used within 2 months after opening wich is something you should keep in mind when buying.

Beauty Pie Japanfusion Pure Transforming cleanser is infamous for a good reason – it starts as a very smooth cream gel that starts to melt and change into oil on the skin and once you add water emulsifies into milky water. I loved it as a morning as well as the first cleanser in the evening. Have another one in my stash.

The Ordinary Amino Acids + B5 is what I repurchased a numerous times over the year since I first used it. It’s watery and makes my skin feeling healthy.

The Inkey List Niacinamide was a 10% concentration serum with 1% hyaluronic acid. I used it in a cocktail of serums in the morning and evening and it did work well. I don’t see brightening like my sun spots fading but it kept my skin clear of breakouts except for that tíme of the month. I would repurchase but have now other products that contain niacinamide in my routine.

Salcura Activ gel serum. I did like this as it seemed to calm down occasional breakouts on my chin. Should have another one in my stash.

Body

Navia Chladivý Vánok (Cooling Breeze). I liked this scent which was a mix of lemon grass and mint and it even felt a bit cooling upon the application. The scent didn’t change into something I didn’t like like with the previous one but again, within a week, the roller didn’t work so I had to scrape out most of it with a little spatula. Now I know that this brand has faulty packaging.

Phergal Push-up Buttock Elifexir sculpting gel promises to shape, smooth and firm. The 40 ml only lasted for a couple of uses (used it for my thighs and belly, not only butt). Not sure about the push-up effect but my skin felt smoother. It wasn’t like a gel to me though, more like a thick sticky cream I wasn’t very keen on.

The Body Shop Indian Night Jasmine fragrance mist. As Jasmine fragrances go, there are two possibilities – ones that remind me of urine (sorry) and ones that are sensual like this one. This is the second tíme I had it and still loved it. Of course it doesn’t last long as it is the most but 100 ml lasted me what felt like forever. Wouldn’t mind having it again.

James Read Gradual Tan H2O Tan Mist. I am not a big lover or self-tanning but I do need it for my pasty white legs in the summer and this works brilliantly, no streaks, nice golden colour although it still has that biscuity smell.

Hair

Cake The Mane Manage’r 3-in-1 leave-in conditioner. This had a lovely sweet fragrance and worked well as a detangler and adding a bit of moisture to long, curly hair. My older daughter especially liked it for her mixed race coily hair. It is rather creamy for a spray conditioner so somebody with greasy hair might not like it.

Make Up

MUA liquid eyeliner. This is a long overdue empty. I liked the brush on it as it was easy for me to work without getting messy and as far as I remember, it lasted really well. It was a dark silver shade that I quite liked as it matched most of my black and grey outfits.

 

Empties June 2020

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Skincare

True Skincare Certified Organic Clarifying Safflower & Geranium cleansing oil. Although this is supposed to be for normal – oily skin, I found it very heavy, left residue and if I used it every day, I had breakouts, I had to make myself to use it within 6 month from it being open. It melted eye make up well but as it was heavy, left my eyes blurry and I found it difficult to remove residue from there without tugging, also didn’t fully remove waterproof mascara. I prefer cleansing oils that emulsify like DHC.

Freederm Sensitive Facial Wash was a great facial was that I tried after Dr Dray recommended it together with Simple Moisturising Facial Wash. It is gentle, non-drying, doesn’t sting eyes and cheap as chips so this will definitely be a repurchase.

Z Skin Age Defying Retinique SPF45 is supposed to be like organic retinol and there is a mix of vitamins A and D as the 3rd ingredient, overall the INCI looks very interesting and tempting as it all looks like “natural” ingredients and I would have to investigate more to find out which one of them is supposed to provide SPF45. It was a bit thicker consistency but gave matte finish and didn’t seem to bother my skin however, the 15 ml sample lasted me around 5 uses and while the first two uses I felt like the cream felt a bit like a curdle but it spread well and I didn’t detect any pilling, I saw some on the third application and the last time, it was completely unusable. I got it just a few months ago and I stores it with my other skincare so don’t think it should have gone bad but if this is how it would be with a full size product, I would be really disappointed.

The Ordinary Argireline 10%. I liked that this was like water and it worked to some extend for dynamic lines, I think I prefer Matrixyl more.

Bodycare

Superdrug Deep Action Spot Clearing body spritz is for me a £2 product I restock every time before I finish the one I am currently using. It should contain maximum permitted concentration of salicylic acid and works wonders every time I get body acne so it is a definite necessity for me in the summer. Already have another one.

Faith In Nature Dragon Fruit body wash. I loved the scent of this body wash, it reminded me of dragonfruit or pittahaya drink that’s sold back at home and it truly did revitalise and made me feel lovely when I was in the shower.

Altruist Dermatologist Sunscreen SPF50. This is a super affordable sunscreen sold on Amazon (2 for £8) made by a dermatologist and the proceeds help to support children with albinism in Africa. Although I still find it heavy for my oily face, I love it for my body as it isn’t sticky and heavy, more like a body moisturiser and it also should be water resistant. It contains chemical filters and unfortunately, when I tried it around my eyes, it did make them sting after a few hours.

Soap & Glory Hand Food Call of Fruity hand cream. We loved the fragrance of this hand cream and my girls kept coming to my room to get on their hands. This will come back to me after I use hand cream I already have.

Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula bust cream us my most repurchased product that I’ve been using for around 10 years. Thick but not greasy, works great at a great price.

Nivea Firming rich body lotion withQ 10 and vitamin C. It is a rich lotion but it doesn’t feel tacky or greasy. I liked it. Might repurchase.

Dove exfoliating body scrub with kiwi seeds & cool aloe scent. Great cheap body scrub with lovely fragrance. Always buy when it is half price.

Haircare

Maui Moisture Revive & Rehydrate shea butter shampoo and conditioner were beautiful and gentle hair products. It probably wouldn’t be something a person with oily hair enjoy but my dry, fine, longer waves loved it as well as its gentle, subtle fragrance.

Salon Science Hydrafoliant Scalp Scrub. I kept forgetting to use it before dying my hair and I didn’t want to use it after so that I wouldn’t remove my colour and it’s been sitting in my bathroom for around two years so it’s time to declutter this half-empty product. I liked this range though, especially the mask as it was hydrating for scalp.

Charles Worthington Salon at Home Everyday Gentle Miracle Jelly leave-in conditioner. This could be good for fine hair but I ak not sure I would really miss it in my haircare routine.

John Frieda Frizz Ease original serum is gel-oil serum. It did work well for me even if this version was for medium to thick hair, had to use much more for my girls’ mixed hair. Might try the other versions.

L’Oréal Paris Elvive Extraordinary Oil 3-in-1 low shampoo. This is probably the favourite low shampoo in our family. Love the fragrance, cleanse well and doesn’t leave my hair flat and greasy. A definite repurchase.

Make Up

Nivea Micellair Skin Breath Professional make-up remover. This for overtook from the blue version as my favourite eye make-up remover, although it is slightly more expensive and less often on half price deal than the blue version. I will repurchase again when I see it on offer, for now I have a blue version and also bought to try a rose version. Haven’t try the rose version yet but this and the blue are my forever repurchase.

Avon MagiX prime and setting spray. This was a great bargaing it did work in my opinion. I don’t think it is still available because Avon have a quick turnover of most products they sell.

May 2020 Empties

Hi everyone, I hope you’re all doing well now when the weather is lovely and life is getting a little more normal now.

At the beginning of the lockdown, I was the opposite of those people who went deep into their self-care so my empties in April were quite ok. Not that I went back to overmasking like I did 2-3 years ago but I tried to do better in May so my empties bag filled up nicely by the end of the month so here we go again with my empties.

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Skincare

Panachea Royal Treatment moisturising foil mask is one of those 2-compartment sachet mask where you remove a clip dividing the compartments and squeeze force the serum from one part to the part where the dry sheets are. I wish I had known how long it would take to really move to serum to the sheet and soak it properly as I would have done it before I cleansed my face. I understand it is to have a fresher batch, just it took a while to squeeze it through the tiny hole. As for the sheet mask, it has an upper and lower part which meant better fit for face, although it still didn’t cover my big European nose fully. Outer part part of the sheet was covered with golden foil so the serum didn’t just evaporate dry which I liked as it provided better hydration. The serum was sticky and slimy but dried out within 5 minutes after removing the mask. Considering it cosst under £4, I wouldn’t mind having it again although I am not that crazy about sheet masks as I was 3-4 years ago.

Petitfée Silk Amino Serum Mask was drenched in a very slimy serum and although the sheet was a good fit for me, it was sliding off.

The Ordinary Vitamin C Suspension 23% + HA Spheres 2%. This is a water-free and silicone-free suspension so it had a better feel than the 30% with silicone but I still couldn’t stand it on my face and used it on my arms instead. I saw a very slight fading of sunspots on my arms so maybe if I was more consistent and used it long term, the results could have been better. I might consider repurchasing for my arms because of the price point.

Klairs Supple Preparation Facial toner. Beautiful, beautiful toner, I finally know why people love it. Adds a bit more hydration to my routine and it’s great for seven skin method. I liked doing two layers of this within my normal routine as I really saw a difference in plumpiness of my skin while still using all the other products. Will repurchase at some point and also want to try the lighter version although this one didn’t feel heavy at all and fully absorbed in.

COSRX Aloe Soothing Sun Cream SPF50 PA+++. Sunscreen I use as 2 in 1 as it is a bit thicker so serves as a moisturiser as Well. It’s not as sticky or pilling as European sunscreens but I learned my lesson layering it over a moisturiser last year in the summer when I suffered from breakouts. It is not something you want to use when you go to swimming pool as it melts and will sting if it goes to your eyes as well as chemical filters often do. I would occasionally repurchase again.

LA Roche-Posay Anthelios XL SPF50+ tinted this was very orange for me but I was able to use it in July when my skin is the darkest but a shade paler than that and I looked like Oompah Loompah. Which is a shame because I quite liked it. Will have to get an untinted version for days when I don’t use foundation as it pills if your want to apply something over it or wear heavy skincare under.

Petitfée 98% Collagen & CoQ10 hydrogel eye patch. I bought these to get some hydration and antioxidant boost in the under eye area. It’s like a sheet mask for under eye – when you use it, you the some inprovement but the next day nothing. However now, in the lockdown, I had an opportunity to use it almost daily, I saw some inprovement so although I didn’t repurchase exsctly these, I will continue with hydrogel eye patches and I might come back to them at some point.

COSRX BHA Blackhead Power Liquid was a nice product but I can’t say I was as excited as the hype about it. It is Nice and gentle and it does help with the condition of your acne but in my experience their form of BHA which is betaine salicylate doesn’t deal with my acne as well as salicylic acid.

Patchology Moodpatch Happy Place inspiring tea-infused aromatherapy eye gels. I love Patchology eye gels as in comparison with the most of eye gels which feel like plastic gels, these are like jelly gels and they have shape that sists my under eye like I want it. Of course, as they contain perfume and limonene, although at the last place, if you’re sensitive, that would be something to be careful about.

Beauty Pie Triple Hyaluronic Acid  lipopeptide serum isn’t just triple-weight hyaluronic acid serum but it also contains peptide and ceramide but also seafill that’s supposed to fill in wrinkles. It has milky texture that sinks in well.

BioMiracle Skin Therapy Star Dust Mermaid Bubble Mask. I think this mask was a part of a beauty box because by the packaging looks a bit like masks you get in Poundstore. I got a little scared when I opened it because the sheet was soaked in something I’d call a blue solvent and it even smelled like a cleaning product. The thought of it dying my face blue crossed my mind but I decided I’ll take that risk. No smurf face happened and I was surprised that my face didn’t feel stripped but of course, I don’t know whether normal to dry skin would feel the same. I’m not saying I would repurchase but I was pleasantly surprised.

Patchology Flashpatch Rejuvinating eye gels are clear jelly gels and although they have fragrance as the last ingredient, I couldn’t really smell it. It feels refreshing, especially if you keep it in the fridge prior the use.

Bodycare

Biovène Honey Bust boob mask. I bought it more out of curiosity than anything else. It was like a manuka coloured gel. As I could expect, there was just a slight difference right after I removed the mask. Of course, there night be some change with regular use but I don’t thinks it’s better than leave on bust moisturiser.

Biovène Baby Got Back Booty Mask was another dud as it was just a body scrub. As it is currently unavailable, I don’t know how much it costs but I can imagine, it is an overpriced body scrub as the sachet would cover my big butt twice.

Radox Moisturise chamomile & jojoba. You could say this is a standard moisturising shower gel but I love the scent of chamomile as it reminds me of my childhood, I find it more relaxing than lavender. Plus, I haven’t had a Radox shower gel for ages and was happy with this one.

Benton Aloe Propolis Soothing Gel. I bought this for summer to soothe occasional sunburn but then forgot about it and as its expiry was near, used in on some mornings after dry brushing my body so cannot really say whether it was really soothing and not sure about any hydration either. Will not repurchase.

Navia Ranná Rosa (Morning Dew). I bought this deodorant because I read many good reviews from Slovak bloggers and I also wanted to support small business from my home country so I really wanted to love it and from the inci I thought I would, but it just didn’t work for me: a) I didn’t like the scent, it was kind of typical mix of essential oils in natural cosmetics which I wouldn’t mind but it didn’t work well with the chemistry of my body because it actually changed into a stink, I got used to it gradually and was able to use it up in lockdown though, b) it was basically rather oily coconut stick, c) it broke almost immediately after I started using it so I had to use an old spatula from a moisturiser to scrape it out. I have there more deodorants from the brand so I hope I will at least like the other scents better, but will not repurchase these anymore.

Lacura Activ 48hr Ocean anti-perspirant deodorant. I received 3 of these as a gift and this one didn’t have any special scent nor did it work the best as an anti-perspirant. I wouldn’t purchase this myself but I will use it at this time of the year.

Super-Max Sensitive shave gel for women. Not sure where I bought it, but I am sure it was cheap. It did what it was supposed to, didn’t have problems with it. Would buy again.

Haircare

Batiste Eden Bloom dry shampoo. Good old classic with lovely fruit flower fragrance.  It does leave some white cast on my dark hair so I always need to make sure to brush it out properly but it reliably soaks up the hair oils and gives a good lift to the roots.

Regaine For Women Once a Day. I’ve been trying to use this for a year and found it had a minimal, if any effect trying to regrow hair I lost after having my second daughter. I’m probably lost case.

Make up

GOSH Giant Pro Double Liner. As the name says, this had felt tip liner on one side and black kajal on the other. The felt tip was long and soft, easy to work with even for someone like me with hooded, asymetric eyelids. The colour was a strong black but it lasted through the day. I didn’t much like the kajal side. It was a nice smooth, easy to glide with rich black colour pay of, but it smudged, melted and all the things you don’t want to happen to your eyeliner kind.

MUA  lip crayon. I don’t even know the name of this because is antique. I liked this berry shade on my lips in winter, it wad hydrating and rather lasting for this kind of product. I still have a bit of it left but I don’t think it’s safe to use it on my lips anymore.

Essence Nail Polish remover with coconut and papaya fragrance. It was cheap, removed nail polish well (I barely wear any, if I’m honest) and the coconut and papaya fragrance made the acetone more bearable for my nose.

Vichy Dermablend settings powder was finely milled, giving natural looking matte result, it gave slightly white colour which I can imagine is even more visible on darker skintone. It says it lasts for 16 hours which might be tru on long lasting foundation on normal skin, on oily a bit less and it definitely won’t keep your skin matte for long if that’s what you look for in your powder. That being said, I am more like one and done and don’t tend to carry a powder with me around to reapply, except for the summer.

Nude by Nature Sheer Glow BB cream. I am declutter this BB cream because I see no use for it and I have it for too long to give it to someone else. It is a typical glow product that translate greasy on my skin and has no coverage or colour correcting property whatsoever even though there is a tint but it just disappears once on skin. I think this is something a person with dry skin would appreciateand before I threw it out, I did use it on my lower arms and legs as it gave those parts a healthy glow.

Empties April 2020

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Skincare

Shiseido Ultimune Power Infusing Concentrate was a mini size milky serum that made my skin smooth and soft but I couldn’t use it daily as it contains dimethicone plus it also contains perfume which are both a bit disappointing for an expensive (30 ml costing £70) item  so I don’t think I would buy a full size.

The Ordinary Pycnogenol 5% is an antioxidant extracted from maritime pine that looked like a dark orange dry oil (although not feeling oily at all). Besides being antioxidant, it is also supposed to rebuild collagen. Of course, you’re not really sure about antioxidant claim but I rather be safe than sorry, especially living in London. I did like using it though and I usually mixed 2-3 drops with my hyaluronic acid serum in the morning so 15 ml lasted for 4 months.

Patchology Down Time calming tea-infused aromatherapy eye gels were very pleasant eye gel patches. I liked them and wouldn’t mind having again.

Benton Aloe Soothing Mask Pack was a lovely good standard sheet mask delivering what it promised, e. g. smooth and refreshed skin.

Beauty Pie Jeju Daily rehydration mist was basically antioxidant hydrating toner with hyaluronic acid, bamboo grass and cherry blossom. It really help hydrate and prepare my skin for following skincare but it had fragrance and if I didn’t close my eyes properly when I sprayed it on my face, it stang my eyes.

Simple Kind to Skin moisturising facial wash. It took me ages to finally try it but then I watched a video from Dr Dray where she recommended a few facial washes. As the price point isn’t high anyway and I even saw it for half price in Superdrug, I got it and I definitely recommend. Yes, it does contain SLS but it is not drying at all and I even used it around eyes when I had a problem to wash away residue heavy oil cleanser I used to remove mascara. Loved it and it will definitely find its way back to me.

Facetheory Regenacalm Serum Pro, pro treatment serum with 3% retinol liposomes, dill, liquorice and vitamin C. I called it a bacon serum because it smelled like smoked bacon (probably because of vitamin C). The dill extract is supposed to regenerate elastin and liquorice extract to reduce hyperpigmentation while retinoid regenerates collagen and vitamin C serves as an antioxidant. It has a consistency of emulsion, slightly thicker than granactive retinoid from The Ordinary. Of course, it was more expensive than The Ordinary but had also more visible results and also my skin was a little more sensitive after a few couple of times at first. Once you open it, it starts going yellow but wouldn’t rely on vitamin C in pipette delivery system anyway. The retinoid though worked well for me and I can only recommend together with their Porebright No 10 serum.

It’s Skin Honey firm & glow mask sheet was a quite standard mask with slightly   thicker watery essence which I am not saying it’s not good but you can find similar ones for less than £5 this is retailed for. It also has a fragrance which I didn’t mind but it might cause problems for some people.

SBC Collagen 3-in-1 cleanser was one of the best cream cleansers I’ve used. Really loved how effectively it removed make up. The only complain is that is it is a a thicker cream, it was difficult to get the bottom out (will cut it open after the pictures) and I think squeeze tube would be better.

Context oil-free daily moistures. It doesn’t have SPF so I would normally use this as a night cream in the summer but used it in the lockdown when I didn’t go to work. Or shopping.

Body

M&Y Get Up & Glow body scrub was a creamy scrub with almond shells and coconut husk. It had pleasant fragrance but I didn’t find it scrubby enough although I think somebody who likes gentler body scrubs would like it.

Organii hand cream with sea buckthorn extract and orange oil which also gave it a lovely smell. It did what the hand cream is supposed to do for me.

The Body Shop Indian Night Jasmine shower gel. Love this scent and still have the way de toilette. It’s the second time I’ve had this and wouldn’t mind having again.

Dr. Organic Vitamin E deodorant is aluminium free, SLS free, paraben free and alcohol free roll on. I liked it for everyday use and it worked quite nice with my body chemistry.

OPI Pro Spa Skincare Advanced Softening gloves were alright although didn’t find them any better than other hand treatments.

Beauty Pie Dr Glycolic Soft Feet Peel Socks should be that foot peel that would cause your feet to start peeling after around 7 days after the application. It contains a mix of glycolic and lactic acids and some fruit extracts. The serum seemed to be distributed evenly and the fastening on the socks worked well, however when I made a few steps just after putting the socks on, one of them split around my big toe. My feet started getting dry and flaky around day 4. I thought that maybe it is not working that we’ll just like other foot peels I used but by day 7, the skin started shedding bigger parts of skin on my heels and when I took my socks off at the end of the day, they were full of thick bits of shedded skin. Gross but also satisfying leaving new softer skin behind. Finally the footpeel that worked on me as I had imagined and I would buy again.

Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula firming butter. Finally, after ages of getting through my stash I could go back to this and oh boy, did it feel good. One of the best firming body lotions with good price and I will certainly not wait that long till I get it again. Love it.

Nivea Firming + Good-bye Cellulite gel-cream. Of course it’ s not gonna malé cellulite disappear but it helps to firm up skin on your body and I used it every other day after dry brush in the morning.

L’Occitane supple skin oil with almond oil. Love the scent of this range and love the shower oil but don’t care much about this oil.

Make up

B. Beauty make up sponge was great at doing foundation as it was soft and bouncy but when I washed it, a lot of pink dye leaked from it and it started crumbling after just a few uses.

Empties March 2020

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What a month this March was for obvious reasons!

I used up less products despite staying in most of the time since the last week and even if I went to work, I didn’t use much make up or make up remover because, using public transport, I wore face mask so used only mascara,  but have a lot that will finish next month.

Hope you all are and will be safe and well. Stay strong and healthy x

Skincare

COSRX Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence is one of my old favourites and if you asked me what I would recommend for you from COSRX, this would be on the list. It is just an addition to your skincare routine but adds an extra moisture without heaviness so my skin feels healthy and calm and  I usually don’t have many breakouts when I use this.

COSRX Hyaluronic Intense Cream. I got lured by the COSRX brand, hyaluronic acid and a promotional price into buying this but this is hyaluronic acid for dry skin and felt very heavy on my face so I used it as my hand cream at bedtime and it worked amazing for that purpose.

Dr Botanicals Tropical Invigorating Cream, duo moisturiser. This was light enough yet really moisturising for me to use as a night as well as a day moisturiser in winter or days I didn’t go out in the sun.

Image Skincare Biomolecular Hydrating Recovery Mask was a hydrogel mask and recovery is a good word to use this mask as it was intensely hydrating to the point that when I took  hit off, it felt greasy and sticky but luckily it did sink in within 10 minutes or so, I can really say it is for all skin types.

FOM London Hydra Bright Night Complex treatment was a hydrating complex of hyaluronic acid and beta clucan and AHA. It worked really beautifully, making my face radiant and smooth.

Polaar Icy Magic Instant Eye Contour Energiser, the metal roll gave eyes a bit of oomph and although wasn’t miraculous just like any other eye cream, it was decent.

Madara SOS Instant Moisture Radiance Hydra Mask is a pinkish cream that I liked using 2-3 times as my night moisturiser and it did work its magic.

Body Care

Fruity by Superdrug Pineapple & Papaya body lotion. I usually like fruity in my body care but this didn’t excite me. Also it was made in China and I am not really a fan. This was a present and I wouldn’t buy by myself.

Haircare

L’Oréal Elvive Colour Protect 3-in-1 Low Shampoo no foam cleansing cream. I don’t have the feeling of fully cleansed hair after this but I did use it once a week, it kept my hair smelling nice and refreshed my hair. Plus it is easily available and often on half price offer so this was and will be repurchased.

Botanicals Fresh Care Rose & Geranium Radiance shampoo, silicone free. This cleansed my hair well without stripping. I liked it and wouldn’t mind repurchasing.

Botanicals Fresh Care Argan & Safflower nourishing potion was a pomade that did nourished and softened to some extent but I did have better products.

Viviscal Gorgeous Growth densifying elixir helped to give a boost to my hair but I don’t feel like it’s not something I really need in my life.

Cantu shea butter coconut curling cream. This was heavy for my hair but worked great for my daughter’s mixed race curls.

Beauty Pie Super Healthy Hair Repair Treatment was basically a thick mask that worked well in 3-5 minutes and it had a lovely fragrance that lingered.

Empties February 2020

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Skincare

Oh K! Purifying Pink Clay sheet mask. It was quite a novel concept for me to have a two part fiber tissue mask soaked in pink clay. There was however quite a lot protective plastic. Also unlike ordinary sheet masks where time to leave it on is usually somewhere between 15-30 minutes, here was 30-40 which I think is a bit much because this mask is not that wet. I think for price, ease of use and amount of rubbish, I favour the classic clay masks in pot or tube.

111 Skin Bio Cellulose Facial treatment mask. It contains arbutin, silk amino acids and centella asiatica. I like this mask and this is the second time I used it but not sure I like it that much I would buy it at normal price.

Beauty Pie Double Phase Cleanser. This is rather overlooked BP cleanser and it might not be the best at removing  eye makeup but it emulsifies so beautifully and is so gentle that I used it as my morning cleanser this winter. It is a white cream that spreads like a smooth oil balm over the face, massage it with damp hands and it changes to milky consistency that is easy to wash off without residue, you don’t even have to used the cloth included, unless you use it as the first cleanse in the evening.

The Ordinary Matrixyl 10%  + HA. Any water gel serum could do for my oily skin but this one did work well for me and I would buy it again when hauling from Deciem again.

Ziaja Goat’s Milk serum was like a milky lotion but it also contains some silicone so wasn’t the lightest for me and I used it every other night, usually after retinol. It made my skin smooth and it was good for winter.

Elemis Papaya Enzyme Peel is such a beautiful product that I am not surprised it is so popular. It’s smooth and creamy and acts for me like a gentle peel and hydrating mask at once.

Facetheory Pore right N10 serum is a 10% niacinamide and azelaic acid serum and now that I’m not using it for a few weeks and a few buggers came out after a few months of having clear face, I do wonder whether it was because of this serum. My skin actually looked so well, I often went out only with a bit of mascara.

COSRX Low pH PHA Barrier Mist. Used it in my night routine before essence and serum. Okay but the mister was pretty rubbish and when I got halfway through, I had to put it in a different bottle.

Body care

Adam Levine Women’s eau de parfum. This gian 100 ml lasted me forever but I liked it and it worked well for me this autumn-winter. At first it was musky which I am not a fan of but then changed into sweeter tones that I liked  and also lasted well.

Yves Rocher Mango – Passion fruit eau de toilette. It was a nice handbag size with a fresh fruity scent that I on occasions used also as an air freshener in public toilets.

Schmidt’s Coconut Pineapple natural deodorant was finally deodorant from the brand that I liked. Unlike the other ones that were based on shea butter that took a bit to melt and felt grainy while leaving yellow stains on my clothes, this one was smooth, melted well and no yellow stains, plus I liked the the coconut and pineapple scent.

Dove exfoliating body scrub with crushed macadamia & rice milk scent. This was another brilliant body scrub from Dove, in fact I love all three of the. It has a lot of finer particles that did a wonder job and I love the scent of it as well.

Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula bust cream is my oldest forever repurchase product. Non greasy cream gel, doesn’t break me out and keeps skin on my boobies nice.

Superdrug Fruity Pineapple and Papaya shower gel. Although I am usually a sucker for fruity scent, this one didn’t make my senses tickle.

The Body Shop Strawberry hand cream. Liked the scent and the cream sinker in quick but still managed to moisturise. Wouldn’t mind having again.

Oriflame Tender Care Blackcurrant. I used it on my lips before bedtime and it did the job – woke up with smooth hydrated lips.

Amazing Grace eau de toilette. Clean, soapy kind of fragrance that didn’t excite me.

Avon 24k gold strength. Nail polish that was supposed to strengthen the nails. I think it did work to some extent but I just kept forgetting using it regularly.

Dove Pro Age body lotion with AHA, olive oil and vitamin B3. I bought it on Nadine Baggott’s suggestion (not the first time I bought something on her suggestion) and although it says it is for mature skin and it’s rich and moisturising, it isn’t greasy.

Haircare

XHC styling wet look hair gel. After they discontinued Boots and Wilko wet look gel, this is the best replacement I found for my girls’ hair that isn’t super sticky and spreads easily, doesn’t flake and still looks rather natural after drying.

Garnier Hair Food Banana and Shea 3-in-1 hair mask. Big packaging for a great price, smells like a banana pudding and works quite well for the price. Can also be used as leave-in. I am not surprised this is so popular.

John Frieda Frizz Ease. My hair was relatively frizz free the first day and I bought a full size since.

Davies the Renaissance Circle. Wanted to know what’s the fuss about this brand and judging by this mask I came say the fuss is real and worthy.

Make up

Empties January 2020

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Hi there, I’m bringing you my first empties post of 2020 (although theoretically, the December one was posted in January). They are lesser in numbers but bigger in packaging. Hope you’ll enjoy.

Skincare

Avon Planet Spa Treasures of the Desert was a bit strange fit, especially around the eyes and it made my eyes water initially. After removing, my skin felt smooth in a kind of stretched way. I did like it as it didn’t feel oily but I am not sure dry skin would like the final feeling.

Facetheory Cera-C Pore Reducing toner with niacinamide, ceramide complex, vitamin C and aloe vera. Although ceramide complex and aloe vera were at the end of inci, niacinamide was the third ingredient and there was actually also lactic acid on the list as well. It was like a thicker yellow water and I liked using it as my morning toner especially as it contained sodium ascorbyl phosphate as a  form of vitamin C and the mentioned n niacinamide. Not sure about the claims about shrinking pores but it didn’t contain alcohol or fragrance so it didn’t make skin tight and although it didn’t feel like the most refreshing toner I had, using a toner on a cotton pad after cleaning my face in the morning works for me. Not sure I would repurchase this one although have nothing to complain about, it actually lasted me over 6 months of once daily use but want to try different one as well and I wouldn’t mind trying other toners from the brand. When you decide to buy from Facetheory, I recommend to start using their products immediately because they have expiration within 1 year from the day they were made so it’s not something that should just sit on your shelf.

Neutrogena Hydro Boost water gel is almost everybody’s favourite. It intensely hydrates without feeling heavy although it is not something that completely disappears from the skin for me (it does contain dimethicone and rather lot of it). Still wouldn’t mind having it again.

Monu Skin Firming Fiji facial oil. It smelled of essential oils and it felt rather heavy on my face so I used it on my body and left the skin beautifully smooth and soft.

Manuka Doctor ApiNourish Rejuvenating Face Mask with purified bee venom and manuka honey. I really love this mask as it does give toned and youthful skin and refined fine lines for a few days as it promises but I had to leave it on for full 30 minutes or more to really reap those benefits. I have some hydrating masks I want to use ip at the moment but I’ll gladly go back to this one if I see it for a good price. So far, I was actually happy with most of the Manuka Doctor products so bee products probably work for me.

Dr Botanicals Tropical Invigorating Cream. I was a little bit nervous when I saw there is coconut oil but although it doesn’t feel superlight initially, it absorbs quickly but still moisturises well in the winter and I used it morning and night.

The Ordinary Buffet is a multi-peptide serum combined with hyaluronic acid and amino acids that probably everybody but me had tried a long time ago. I don’t know why it took me so long, probably was hesitant because I was worried how this anti-aging formula would work with my oily skin but it is more gel/watery with a bit slimy feel.  This will be a definite repurchase.

Mario Badescu Flower and Tonic mask. Although this mask seemed to clean the pores, I feel a bit meh about it. It was a rather thick kaolin mask and after just one use got very thick and difficult to get out and apply to the face. I basically sprayed it with a face mist and applied on wet face to make it possible to spread around my face and it is also the reason why I’m glad I had it only in travel size. It got very dry very quick and by 15 minutes, my face felt very tight, however, when I washed it of, it felt like I had some silicone/oil layer on my skin that didn’t feel the best. Not tempted to buy a full size at all.

Alba Botanica Hawaiian facial cleanser with pore purifying pineapple enzyme was my second cleanse for quite a few months. It was sulfate- free and I foun it really gentle for a facewash that foams after adding water. It had a pineapple scent and it rid my face of all leftovers after make up removal.

Manuka Doctor Brightening facial oil. I love Manuka Doctor as a brand and find the raw honey scent of these products soothing. Using up facial oils is however difficult for me, although it didn’t cause me breakouts and as I had this one for a good while, I used it up on my body.

Nip+Fab Post-Glycolic Fix Moisturiser SPF30. This promises to be a lightweight, oil-free moisturiser but I don’t find it to be that light so I’m glad I started using it in the winter. It is a mixture of chemical and physical filters so it needs to be blended in to avoid heavy white cast but I still think the whitecast will be visible on darker skintones. Not sure how much Can ingredients like niacinamide penetrate into skin from a sunscreen but my skin wasn’t congested. It also didn’t Sting my eyes when I went swimming like some other sunscreens when water caused the cream slide close or into my eyes. However, if I wanted to use foundation, I had to do it carefully with a beauty blender or sponge because it pilled. Maybe would repurchase in winter if for a fiver and I have a good skin like now.

Body

Balea Shining Star shower gel and shampoo. Again, something probably for children but I liked using it as well but only as a shower gel. It is described as pH neutral shower gel with fruity fragrance but it was more like a raspberry cake to me.

Benecos hand & nail cream sea buckthorn and orange. Light orange scent and nourished better than those light hand creams that sink in in seconds. Kept my hands nice and soft without being over greasy.

Kind Natured Coconu & Passion Flower comforting body wash was really lovely ans gentle shower gel but I wasn’t won over with the fragrance unfortunately.

Hair

L’Oréal Paris Elvive Extraordinary oil 3-in-1 low shampoo no foam cleansing cream for dry and grafike hair. This is one of my favourite low shampoos I’ve ever used – it doesn’t dry my hair so I use it when I don’t have time for conditioner and mask and also for my children. Although it doesn’t foam, it cleanses rather well (but I have dry hair, so won’t be saying you should get it if your hair’s oily) and has the most beautiful fragrance. Definitely repurchase, especially if on offer again.

Batiste Original Clean&Classic dry shampoo. First two times I used it, I had quite a lot of white cast but it got better with use, just needed a good massaging and brushing out. I wouldn’t mind having it again. Actually, bought another Batiste but different fragrance.

Regaine For Women Scalp foam. To be honest, I am beginning to give up on this product, don’t really see a real improvement. I am stocked for another 6 months and them I am most probably giving up.

Beauty Pie Super Healthy Hair shampoo for fine and normal hair cleansed well without overdrying and I loved the scent – the whole bathroom smelled nice and even further if you opened the door.

Make Up