February 2019 Empties

Welcome back to my blog and yay me because I finally managed to produce one more blog before posting my only regular empties. Although the beginning of the month looked promising for empties as I finished half of them the first week, if you follow me longer, you know it is less than my usual amount and also, I didn’t use any sheet masks – I have a lot of skincare before expiry date and sheet masks make me use less. Nevertheless, this is the first time since I started writing about empties that the count is under 20.

And I didn’t buy anything cosmetic related this month, not even Latest in Beauty box because by the time I could choose, I didn’t feel there is something I really need and items I wanted ran out (although I really love Marc Jacobs mascara). So I did have a total no buy this month.

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Skincare

Caudalie Vinoperfect radiance serum. I didn’t use it consistenly and it’s 10 ml travel size. I had one before and I still have one travel size somewhere in my stash.

Eve Lom cleanser was the travel size of in my eyes very expensive cleansing balm. I understand the hype around this product as its slightly grainy looking texture melted smoothly, removing make up and left my skin really lovely and soft (although I still prefer dedicated eye make up remover for my eyes). Also the 20 ml went quite a long way. Still, it is too expensive for me so I doubt I will ever have more than  the travel size. But I want to keep the small sturdy tub for travels.

Uriage Water Serum. I have to be honest – when I read the name and good reviews (plus I finally wanted to try something from Uriage), I thought something called water serum will be perfect for summer so I was disappointed when I pumped the serum the first time and found out it was like a light moisturiser. Nevertheless, it didn’t feel greasy so I still gave it a go last summer. Unfortunately, I got something like a heat rash on my face so it went back on the shelf after two days of use. I tried it again when winter started and fortunately, it was fine this time around and no heat rash so I used it as an evening moisturising serum. It moisturiser well but because I felt wary because of what happened to me in the summer I don’t intend to repurchase.

Benton Aloe BHA Skin Toner was hyped product a few years back. It contains aloe vera water, snail secretion filtrate and 0.5% salicylic acid. It had a consistency of runny gel. I tried using it morning and evening but probably because of acid and retinoid serums I use in the evening (not the same day), it felt like a bit too much so I used it in the evening only. As it had only a few months before the expiration when I finally started using it, I also tried 7 skin method with it like I saw in some videos (I know no acid toner should be used for that but I just wanted to try it) and although skin on my face didn’t have any adverse effect (probably because it us oily), I noticed my hands started to peel after I tried it so I wouldn’t recommend doing it. I think it is a nice toner for those who want to try acids that are not harsh but I didn’t see any change in improving my acne in changing this in my skincare routine alone. I am glad I tried it but I don’t feel like I miss it and I actually partly used it on my body just to use it up before the expiry date.

Klairs Midnight  Blue Calming Cream is one product I felt was hyped everywhere so when I got I expected miracles. Although miracles didn’t happen, I still liked it, especially mixed with Manuka Doctor facial oil in the night when I had breakouts. I did feel it was lightly soothing that’s why is in my maybe purchase category.

DHC Mild Lotion was a great morning hydrating  toner with watery consistency. Although, I am not going to run to restock immediately (I have now a different full size toner from DHC), I will not mind having it again. Plus I am keeping this travel sized bottle because it’s just a great size for travelling☺️.

Body

Dove Exfoliating Body Scrub with pomegranate seeds and shea butter scent was lovely body exfoliant – the seeds were milled just enough to spread and scrub properly but not too rough or too fine and it smelled like pomegranate yoghurt. Not to mention that I got it when it was under £3.

The Body Shop Amazonian Wild Lily shower gel. Old version, not my favourite scent so I used most of it as handwash substitute.

Yves Rocher Marvelous Berries bath & shower gel and hand cream were sparkly cranberry fragranced from last Christmas and I loved it. The only thing is that it was emptied relatively quickly.

The Body Shop Strawberry shower gel. Not my favourite strawberry scent, more like strawberry laces, it was open for a few minths and again, for some reason I kept forgetting buying handwash this month, so I just put around a quarter of it that was at the bottom  into the handwash pump last week.

Avon Pur Blanca anti perspirant deodorant. I liked the Powder fragrance of it but I found it average as a deodorant as well as an anti-perspirant.

Hair

Noughty To The Rescue Moisture Boost conditioner seemed rather runny for a really moisturising conditioner but it worked okay for my hair or cowashing my children’s hair. It doesn’t contain parabens, petrochemicals, sulphates or silicone.

Lee Stafford Wet Look Gelee wasn’t our family favourite, left hair feeling sticky and greasy. It is more for somebody who can wash their hair every day (or rather if you use it, you have to wash your hair daily).

Pantene Pro-V Gold Series Repairing Mask surprised me with rather thin texture but it was still a great hair mask, especially for the price.

Make Up

Freedom eyeliner was a basic liquid eyeliner with a very scratchy brush.

Primark foundation sponge. I remember that I had one before and it was rubbish. I found this in my stash and it was no different from the other one except for the shape. Too hard, doesn’t bounce and doesn’t apply foundation well or evenly.

 

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Mario Badescu Drying Lotion

I know – by now, most of the people with at least occasional breakouts shared their opinion about Drying Lotion from Mario Badescu. I still decided to share my thoughts.

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As you might know, Mario Badescu is in the UK officially available only from Beautybay and that is where I got it from.  Sucked in by the hype around this product, I put it in my virtual basket and within a few days had it at home. It has been 9 months since I started using it so I think I can write more than first impressions about it.

Containing isopropyl alcohol as the first ingredient with calamine, camphor, sulfur, zinc oxide, titanium dioxide, talc and salicylic acid, it is most certainly not for sensitive skin but delivers on the promise in the name and that is drying the spots you get.

You must not shake it so the pink sediment of calamine, sulfur and talc fully sets at the bottom of what should look like clear alcoholic camphor liquid. What you should do is dip a cotton bud into the sediment, dab onto surface blemishes and let dry overnight.

I first used it in the summer when my acne is the worst and last summer my face was full of those big, deep and painful cysts. Unfortunately, even with daily use, I found it useless against these. But as my zits got more superficial towards the end of summer, I found myself always reaching for it as my first choice of spot treatment. I usually do my whole night routine and dab this on spots before bed.

So again, it is not a miracle cure or preventative measure (although it does help keeping infection from spreading, if you just can keep your hands away) and doesn’t work for deep cysts but it is better than any of those gels used for covering breakouts and I can see myself buying it or something similar after I run out.

Have you tried it? And what is your experience with spot treatments?

 

January 2018 Empties

Hello everyone, I greet you back with my monthly empties, now the only posts I do. And it is the first one in 2019. I wanted to do something no buy but as I couldn’t help myself getting my monthly Latest in Beauty box, I failed, although I wouldn’t say miserably because except those £18 that it costs me to get the box with 9 products (and I know I will start using most of them within next 2 months), I didn’t buy anything else beauty wise so I’ll just continue low buy probably till Black Friday.

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Skincare

Ooharr Rosie Glow Deep Cleansing Mask was a surprise like from me – orange-pink clay mask with rich creamy texture – it left my skin perfectly smooth and clean and the sachet lasted two whole face applications (maybe it could last one more, if I didn’t use it to half of my neck and was more economical with my layer of it).

Caudalie gentle buffing cream was a nice physical exfoliant but because of amount of acids and also retinoid in my skincare, it was difficult for me to make space for it in my routine, so I used over a half of it as a body scrub before it got too old.

Elemis Pro-Collagen Cleansing Balm was beautiful, smooth and efficient oil balm. It emulsified easily melting all dirt and make up but I didn’t like using it on my eyes due to essential oils and a bit of blurred vision it gave me. Too pricey for me for make up remover so I doubt I would ever have a full-size considering my budget but I would gladly have it again.

Yes To Primrose Oil Mud  Mask. I think this mask would be best for people with dehydrated skin as it didn’t dry. I think this would appeal to those who like pink mask. I liked it and would like to try other from this range although I like more masks that give me more cleansed feeling. Also, I am not sure it is really as soothing as it claims as it tingled a bit and was fragranced.

Klairs  Freshly Juiced Vitamin E Mask. Another sample. I loved it’s bouncy texture and I would love to purchase a full size one day.

La Roche-Posay Effaclar clarifying toner. Although I cannot vouch for completely mattifying and pore-tightening effect but it worked well on my skin making it feel like a sponge that made it absorb the skincare products better without alcohol (it contains parabens though). Not something I couldn’t live without but good for what I expect from my morning toner.

La Roche-Posay Effaclar purifying foaming gel. Although it does have SLS, it is fragrance-free with pH 5.5 and so gentle that I used it around eyes without problem (of course, it did sting, if it went into my eyes but not as bad as a regular one). Really liked it as my second cleanse in the evening and wouldn’t mind having it again.

Vichy Aqua Thermal light cream was a difficult one. I did like it and was really hydrating but as my skin was more breakouts prone this year, it didn’t feel as light to me and took over half a year to use up, mostly now when I used it every other night. However, this was older formulation and I heard that new version should have less dimethicone (or even be silicone free?) so might try it.

Body

Yves Rocher Retropical is a monoï/gardenia (if I’m not mistaken) based fragrance. It is more summery EdT but I used it up now as I fancied a bit exotic mood in this grey English cold.

Yves Rocher Bourbon Vanilla body lotion and shower gel. My favourite vanilla fragrance. Period. The only thing I would complain about would be that I am not keen on the shape of the bottle YR have now for their body products.

Melvita Huile Extraordinaire travel size. Because of ots fragrance, I didn’t feel like I wanted to use it on my face, prefer oil treatment or serum on my hair and regular use on my body makes me itchy, so I used it up on my feet at bedtime.

Elemis Sweet Orchid body cream. I didn’t like the scent that was too flowery and reminded me of a cologne from the 80s.

Yves Rocher Pomegranate from Spain Refreshing Deodorant was pretty much useless as a deodorant and the only excuse besides liking pomegranate scent that I have for having it as one of my favourite products is that I had a limp and painful legs after the accident that year, so I didn’t move that much.

Crabtree & Evelyn Nantucket Briar ultra-moisturising hand therapy. Again product that I can’t say any particular negative except that flower fragrances are not my favourite but also it doesn’t make my heart beating.

MOR Snow Gardenia body butter. First time I used it, I really didn’t like it – it is thick, sticky and very difficult to massage into skin although gardenia is one of the few flower scents I like. Later though, I used it at bedtime fir my hands and feet and it worked very well.

The Body Shop Indian Night Jasmine EdT. Another flower scent I can do. Sweeter, slightly heavier exotic jasmine. Liked it as an everyday fragrance this winter.

Hair

Schwarzkopf Palette Rich Care mask. I like those masks from hair dye because they are rich and nourishing but funnily enough, never keep them for empties.

Aussie 3 Minute Miracle Restorer was good for a 3 minute hair treatment and I wouldn’t mind use it again but there are hair masks I liked more and I wasn’t keen on delivery of product where I had to squeeze it out through a hole that was covered only with a sticker.  When I couldn’t squeeze out more, I unscrewed the cover and found out there is still around a third left.

Tigi Bedhead Totally Beaching cleansing jelly shampoo and mellow after-sun conditioner compliment each other perfectly. Not only they have that amazing typical Tigi scent, the shampoo cleansed well and the conditioner nourished my hair to the perfect softness. Loved both, I just wished the shampoo was SLS free.

AA Skincare Intense Coconut shampoo bar. I was really excited to try my first shampoo bar and at the beginning I really liked the idea of no plastic plus it didn’t dry my hair while washing it well but after around a month of use I noticed my scalp gets dry and very itchy every time I used it so it is a no repurchase for me, I’m afraid but I have my eyes on some shampoo bars I want to buy later in the year.

Make Up

Essence Eyebrow Stylist in Natural Brunette took two years of constant use and it would last longer if it didn’t crumble to bit in the end. It was a two tone brow powder. I like using Powder as I don’t like my eyebrows too harsh but lately prefer quicker brushing through my brows with brow gel. I liked the colour of this one in real life but it looked a bit warmer in the pictures. Nevertheless, at the moment, I want to use up brow products I already have in my stash.

Benefit the Porefessional Primer. I don’t tend to use primers but I was in love when I used it with liquid foundation – it smoothed my pores and it worked like a glue for my foundation. I didn’t like it with every foundation though so I can understand if some people don’t love it.

Avon Colortrend was in my stash forever (probably 7 years), I used it maybe twice and really don’t understand why I didn’t declutter it ages ago.

December 2018 Empties + End of Year Rambling about No/Low Buy

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Happy 2019 everyone and welcom to my last empties of the year of 2018.  I want to continue my empties series although I got more relaxed about emptying products or maybe it is because I found out I still have plenty skincare I bought during Black Friday two years ago and want to try to use them up before most of them expire by June 2019. It also shows me that although I did quite well with low buy this year and my stash did reduce, I need a no buy for the first 6 months of 2019 by which I mean, I’ll have to really use up all the products in one category before I am allowed to buy another.

I still enjoy my skincare but this year showed me big stash is a big burden to me and I would like to get to the point when I don’t own more than two products in one category, plus I also need to save some money so use up what I have without having to buy what I don’t need. So that’s also probably my resolution – don’t shop what I already have and don’t go crazy if I find out I ran out of something.

I actually noticed that no buys and low buys are kind of “in” so I might be getting some inšpiratívnych around when I feel tempted although I found out the best way to avoid new purchases is basically to check my stash – not only I might see I have something similar, I also see the actual physicality of my stash and really consider whether the purchase is really necessary at that time or it could wait until I use up what I have and I might even change my mind by then. My favourite videos to watch on YouTube are empties because you can see all those influencers recommending different products that are not even for their skintypes but you don’t really know how much they use them, especially if they talk about at least 10 new skincare products in similar category every month or two. And let’s not talk about the hype about some products. I think I can count only on fingers of one hand products that hype made me buy them but once I spent money and tried them, I didn’t feel deflated and disappointed.

I could go on but maybe I could make another post about that later. As for my empties, I had two lots – one from after Christmas and one from after New Year as I spent a week visiting family.

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Skincare

Rodial Stem Cell Cleansing Cream was a good 70 ml size (not full size). It did remove make up and sunscreen well and if I used warm water, I didn’t have to use a cloth. I liked using it as quick cleansing mask when I spread it and massaged it into my face for a minute, left it on for another minute or two and then washed it off. It left my skin clean and soft but overall, I wouldn’t pay full price for that (although it was discontinued, I think), as I don’t see that much difference between the budget and expensive cream cleansers although it left my skin softer and conditioner without leaving residue than more budget friendly options.

Aurelia Cell Revitalise Day and Night   Moisturiser. I had Aurelia’s sample set last winter when I was at my parents’ and although both moisturisers are richer, they didn’t break me out and I got along with them but this year my skin couldn’t stand them, they felt heavy, so I used them both for neck and decolletage. Another thing I didn’t like was that they smelled like mothballs my grandma used when I was a child.

Superdrug Ultra-Purifying Nose Pore Strips with charcoal and volcanic ash were not the best nose pore strips I used. I wouldn’t repurchase and I think Superdrug doesn’t even sell these anymore.

Avon Planet Spa Luxuriously Refining Peeling Off face mask with caviar extract. There is still around 1/4 left but I just don’t care about peel off masks and it is about to expire. I used to like this kind of mask 15 years ago but I think they give skin as much as plaster – the only reason it makes skin soft because it blocks hydration loss. As it was a gift, I tried to use it and my girls loved peeling it off and that was the only reasons I used it but otherwise when I see a peel off mask, I skip.

COSRX Natural BHA Skin Returning A-Sol. Many people wrote positive reviews about this treatment for acne but unfortunately, it didn’t work for me. I used it mostly as an evening toner and you can feel by the smell, the alcohol content is high although it doesn’t feel drying however, when I used it twice a day, although my skin didn’t feel right, I felt kind of heat under my skin and at the end I used it mostly as a wash off treatment before morning cleansing. As I didn’t find it effective for my acne, I have no intention to repurchase.

Oriflame Love Nature Anti-ageing Alfalfa + Peptide Q10 eye cream was cheap so can’t expect much but it wasn’t worse than many more expensive eye cream, probably the main reason I keep buying eye cream is that many creams make my eyes teary so with eye creams it happened only a couple of times that it burned.

Rodial Super Acids Sleep serum was just a one- use sample of range that was replaced by vitamin C range but it smelled like delicious chocolate jelly, it seemed to be gentle creamy consistency, if I can judge it by one use and I now regret I didn’t get one when they brought the whole range back for one time only a month ago.

Vichy Pore Purifying Clay Mask. I loved this mask – it moped my natural oils without making me feel like Sahara, it tingled slightly upon application and 5 minutes were enough for it to leave my skin perfectly cleansed and smooth. If I didn’t have overload of masks I want to use up, I would repurchase.

Skimono Advanced Moisturisation+ hydrogel sheet mask is not in my empties for the first time and I still love it. Its gel essence is slimy on application but it sinks in and leaves soothed plump skin. The cost of one mask is rather steep though, so I would repurchase only on good offer.

Dr. G A-Clear Spot Repairing serum was only a small sample I got three spot treatments so cannot fully judge but I liked how it felt when I applied it on my jawline. It was more of a cream than serum and I felt that the part where I was breaking out felt calmer. Unlike most spot treatments that are more suitable for night as they are visible, I liked that this could be used during the day so I am tempted to buy full-size.

Oh K! Avocado sheet mask has light milky essence and I the sheet seems like tencel to me so it adheres well without liquid dripping everywhere but still allowing your face to soak some in. It leaves a bit of film that I didn’t want to wait ages for to dry so I just continued with my other skincare after about 5 minutes and although not fully sunk in, it didn’t make my skin feeling too heavy. I know Fiddysnail didn’t like their masks but I have no problem with them except maybe for what they are you could really find many cheaper alternatives from Korea.

Espa Overnight Hydration Therapy was used sparingly and once a week only on my face because although it didn’t break me out, it did feel heavy and eventually, I started using it as an overnight treatment for my hands and feet and I have to say it was brilliant and I can imagine it to work for dry skin perfectly.

Avon Nutra Effects Active Seed Complex Radiance with SPF20. I actually really liked using it in the summer because it was light and it adjusted colour as I applied it although it was a bit lighter than my summer colour.

Superdrug Clearly Youthful Resurfacing Night Serum is the last bottle of long discontinued Superdrug serum. It contained salicylic acid, lactic acid, phytoprotein, cimicifuga, polyglycan, glycolic acid, tetrapeptide and red algea. This was a great one and I loved it.

Yves Rocher Sérum Végétal Ultra Plumping serum was a one use sample so cannot judge fully. At first it felt very slippery and rather rich for a serum and I thought that “this definitely isn’t for my oily skin, this isn’t going to sink in” but surprisingly, within a few minutes, it did and my skin felt nice so although I cannot say how it works long term, one winter night use was rather pleasant.

Amie Naturally Kind Morning Clear Purifying Facial Was a travel size of a cream cleanser. I wouldn’t use it to remove make up, more a second or a morning cleanse as it washes off well with water. I used it for a few days in the summer as a morning cleanse and although it seemed as a nice soothing one at the beginning, after three days of continued morning cleanse I felt I needed a good foaming cleanser because my face didn’t feel properly clean. Same happened when I tried to use it now as both morning and second cleanse in the evening. However, it worked really nice as a morning cleanse now in winter. And as you could read, the 10 ml I had, went quite a long way.

Garnier Skin Naturals Moisture+ Comfort super hydrating and soothing tissue mask with extract of chamomile, hyaluronic acid and hydrating serum offered a good bang for my buck and I did like it although it was made in China. Also, unlike the sheet mask I used from them before, I didn’t see parabens on inci now, so I will have to check other masks whether they changed it for all of them. It wasn’t a bad fit and although it left residue on my face, it didn’t feel unpleasant or greasy.

The Face Shop Chia Seed no shine hydrating cream was one use sample of a clear gel. Maybe because I used it after the above mentioned sheet mask, it took a bit to fully sink and I didn’t have the matt finish it has in its name.

Yves Rocher Elixir Jeunesse Night care. Another single use sachet that didn’t make strong enough impression to have an opinion on.

Rodial Bee Venom moisturiser. Another small sample. I was prepared to hate it, as I had read it caused some people’s breakouts plus it mentioned it targets mature skin with meluttin peptide, biomimetic growth factors and vitamin C (which all sound good), but as sample goes, I felt I have a layer of skincare but it didn’t feel heavy or greasy, just smooth firmer skin. I wouldn’t use it in the morning though as it pilled.

Urban Veda Soothing Exfoliating Facial Polish smelled heavily of sandalwood so instead of my face, I used it on body. It had finely ground pumice that worked well.

Neutrogena Hydro Boost micellar water is rubbish for removing make up, especially mascara when it was utterly useless. It felt nice and hydrating but it didn’t do what it was supposed to do. No repurchase.

Mario Badescu Facial Spray with aloe, herbs and rosewater is a classic and one of the first choises for trying alcohol free rosewater/toner. There is better choice now but it is still a nice choice for the price. Might repurchase.

DHC Astaxanthin Collagen All-in-One gel is another sample and a great one. It felt like most creams when applied but it sinks well without feeling heavy and greasy. As it contains astaxanthin, it had light salmon colour and smelled like shellfish. I might repurchase once I get to two day moisturisers.

Body

Cien Natural Minerals 48 Hours Anti-Perspirant I bought while grocery shopping after I had run out of deodorant before my payday. It is not the nicest or best anti-perspirant but it kept my pits odour-free throughout the day so if I was skint again, I would buy again, maybe just a different scent.

Crabtree & Evelyn La Source hand cream has aquatic/sea fragrance which I like even though it reminds me of my favourite toilet cleaner😳.

Yves Rocher Jardins du Monde Velvety shower cream with macadamia nuts from Guatemala was the last one from my favourite now discontinued range of shower gels so I can’t repurchase anymore.

The Body Shop Amazonian Wild Lily eau de toilette was an okay everyday  fragrance although as most TBS ones didn’t last whole day but I didn’t mind as I also felt like I couldn’t overdo it with this one either but it isn’t something I would repurchase especially with the amount in my stash.

Ameliorate Transforming Body Lotion has very chemical smell and because of that I was a bit hesitant to use it on my 7-year old when she got KP on her arms and back of her thighs where she usually has bouts of eczema if I don’t slather her in good moisturising body cream. It improved her KP although didn’t fully get rid of it. It is not as moisturising as she would need but good for occasional use and it also helped me with preventing ingrown hair between shaves. Not something I couldn’t live without but still good and useful to have at home.

Soap & Glory The Righteous Butter was okay, I can see its appeal and nice smell, it is a good body moisturiser but I felt a bit bored with it and as it is a butter, didn’t feel like I wanted to use it every night. It isn’t something I would purchase by itself, more like in gift set.

Avon Romantic Rose bubble bath. This is what I used for my children when we went to visit my parents. It had a light rose scent and created great and lasting bubbles, especially if we used a bath fizzer as well.

Chloé EdP was a small sample from Glamour Beauty Club. I had a bottle of this 5 years ago and felt a bit meh about it but I actually really loved it this time around and I think I might repurchase some day full size again.

CeraVe Moisturising Lotion is a great body moisturiser if you want something fragrance free, deeply moisturising but not heavy. This is a second bottle in 2018 for my family and I am sure there will be more this year.

Crabtree & Evelyn Verbena and Lavender ultra-moisturising hand therapy was a nice combination of fragrance and not a bad handcream but again, I woul lie if I said I am tempted to repurchase.

Hair

Noughty 1 Hit Wonder Co-Wash Cleansing conditioner is not a bad stand alone product, I also used it on my hair and it worked well if I didn’t use it on scalp but the pump is a complete rubbish – it was difficult to get any product out that way so I had to unscrew and tip it out which was quite hard with the thick creamy consistency.

Noughty To The Rescue Moisture Boost shampoo was an SLS free shampoo dealing with frizzy and dry hair but to me it seemed basically like a water diluted shampoo and ingredients like sweet almond and sunflower seed extract they mention at the front are almost at the end of INCI. Not a total fail or that I would hate it, I could find it’s place in my and my children’s hair care but it didn’t make me even excited and I definitely had to wash my hair twice with this one.

Forever Aloe-Jojoba shampoo and conditioning rinse were again one use samples that were not even enough for my hair especially the conditioner, although the shampoo seemed nice and gentle.

Philip Kingsley Maximizer was good for morning ”spray, brush and go” or low maintanance that I am hairwise. It doesn’t get my hair too sticky or crunchy, tamed frizz a bit but still gave a bit of lift to my roots.

Make Up

Look Good Feel Better Contour blender was a very good make up sponge that I got first time in Powder box and really loved it till I forgot to bring it back from a trip. Then I got it again a few months ago but as I was using a foundation I prefered applying with the fingers, I didn’t use it much over the last month and I noticed speckles of mould on it the other day.

L’Oréal Double Extension was a revisit for my favourite mascara from 10 years ago when I shopped only L’Oréal mascaras. It is not bad although I had better both lash primers and mascara but I didn’t like how it transfered to my lower lid almost without a fail and I don’t want to be checking whether I don’t look like a panda every time I pass by mirror.

MUA Pro-Base Prime & Conceal Powder did almost nothing to mattify and I used it more to set matt foundation. Most of the pan is revealed and because it had been with me for a few years, I decided it is time to let it go.

 

November 2018 Empties

Hello reader, thank you for coming to read me and I sincerely apologise for my sporadic presence here. I started a full time job a month ago, so I am still trying to find the best way to juggle work, children and ever growing list of chores and errands. I could consider abandoning the blog but I found myself unable just to throw out a product so I am bringing you empties again😉

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Cou you believe I finished only two products in the first 10 days of November and one of them was a sheet mask? After that though, it started getting better but it is nothing like those days when I had like 30  empties a month. Sometimes it felt like a chase to use up as many products as possible but I am not in that kind of mentality anymore. I noticed that my acne was getting worse over the last year while a few years ago in November I could say I had almost normal skin. There are things that help but I suspect all those products shifting and adding to my skincare play a role in it and although I wouldn’t say I want to cut it back to basics, I want to mostly use products that feel good.

Skincare

Masker Aide Detox Diva Detox Diva. I enjoyed this mask as it hydrated my skin without feeling heavy or leaving greasy residue and some congested areas that had bumps came up to the surface the next morning without being inflamed and painful so I can say I wouldn’t mind getting this mask again.

Masker Aide Restore mask had a rich milky essence so it was nice to see their masks are different. I wanted to use the mask because I had some dry patches after treating breakouts I had on jawline and it delivered. As I mentioned, the liquid was rich so I didn’t feel my oily skin needs more skincare after this step.

Masker Aide Pre Party Prep promised to brighten, prime and energise. Although not the best of fit, I liked these mask and it really delivered on nicely smooth skin, ready for makeup.

Manuka Doctor ApiClear Skin Rade & Repair gel with propolis. I would say that it was a slightly more effective than other spot gels I used but I am getting rid of it even if it should have lasted for 24 months after opening because there was something like mould on the lid and the gel got darker colour than it used to be.

Oriflame Alfalfa Peptide Q10 night cream was a cheap moisturiser that wasn’t bad, didn’t feel greasy or too heavy but just like with the day cream I had to make sure I applied with a light hand otherwise I broke out. To be honest I used the last 5 uses for neck and hands as I was getting tired of it.

The Body Shop Skin Defence multi-protection essence SPF50 PA+++ was a lovely sunscreen for face. It had light milky texture. Some could say it feels like nothing, me with oily skin and certain layer of of skincare can feel I have something but in comparison with most of sunscreens I tried, it is very light.

Snail Bee High Content Essence was a nice addition to my skincare, it was a gel that changed into water the moment it touched the skin, sinked in seconds and I also used it around eye area without a problem. I didn’t notice hydrating effect immediately like with COSRX 96 Snail Mucin but after around a week. I liked it but not sure I would repurchase (maybe in the summer) because I know there are things that work better, especially as I saw it being sold for twice as much as I bought it last year. So in conclusion, I would recommend it to oily skin that needs some light additional hydration but it might not be enough for other skin types.

Paula’s Choice 1% Retinol Treatment is so far my favourite retinol from those I tried. Besides retinol, it also contains vitamin C and peptides and gives me a lovely morning skin as an overnight treatment. It is richer, so I often skip moisturiser with this one.

Dr. Organic Organic Snail Gel Facial serum was more like light moisturiser and what hit me was strong scent like a ginger shot but as it doesn’t have aby ginger on INCI, my guess is the lemongrass oil that gives it such aa stron scent. And I can’t say I liked how strong it was, I actually really started thinking I am beginning to hate essential oils in skincare. Also my preference for serum is to be lighter. Although I found a way it worked for me, I didn’t enjoy it and don’t intend to repurchase.

Body

Crabtree & Evelyn Pear and Pink Magnolia  andhand cream were more my kind of scent than some of the others. It keeps my hands soft with regular use and it is a nice hand cream but I am not sure whether it is special special to look for it with an intention of repurchase although I wouldn’t mind getting it again as a gift.

Soap&Glory Clean On Me shower cream  is a good old classic with its vintage fragrance (at least to me) has been copied by some brands. It is non drying and very pleasant to use. Loved it and although I don’t shop for S&G that often I am pretty sure I’ll get some gift set at some point again.

Yves Rocher Refreshing Deodorant in Green Tea from China. When I first bought this aluminum salt free roll-on in pomegranate, I was enthusiastic and bought two more for my daughters for their PE bags. However, when I bought other deodorants, they gave me these back and I am not surprised – it feels wet, doesn’t last and if you do just a small physical task, you can smell your own BO more than this. I used it on day I spent at home.

Yves Rocher Orange Blossom eau de toilette. This was to me like D&G Light Blue but instead of lemon with orange in it. Loved it and loved D&G but I have so much fragrance, I don’t plan stocking on till the next Black Friday.

Yves Rocher Jardins du Monde energising shower gel in Pomegranate from Spain. JdM are my favourite YR shower gels and for somebody who loves fruity bodycare, this was again very enjoyable. I love the shape of the bottle as well. The only things is that we finished it under two weeks. Also, I think it was discontinued and they’re selling out the stock, if you’re able to find it.

Hair

Pantene Pro-V Intensive Repair mask. Man, I love this mask. I know is a silicone based mask but the way my hair felt and looked… I can’t even remember the last time my hair felt like that. I have no illusions, I know that there is silicone but this with Moroccanoil Treatment made my hair like a silk. Repurchased already.

Noughty Wave Hello Curl Defining Taming Cream was thick and very heavy for my hair, but it worked well for my children’s hair so I would repurchase for them.

Moroccanoil Treatment is one of my favourite hair products. Little goes a long way on my hair and 25 ml bottle lasted me a few months. If I use it on my children’s thick curls, it is around a month or two.

Make Up

Eveline 8in1 Total Action concentrated lash serum. Purchase of this was based on good reviews online and my friends and also because it was cheap. It is supposed to nourish my lashes, make them thick and healthy and it works great as a primer before mascara but unfortunately, it contains something that makes my eyes teary so I can’t really use it.

Yves Rocher 360° Length mascara is black version of one I used to love and I still love it but not as much as the first time. I also used it with the above mentioned lash treatment so it started stinging me as well as it got mixed with it.

 

October 2018 Empties

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Hello everybody, I continue in my series of empties blogs only as I am not inspired to write more blogs and considering the amount I finish up usually (I feel like I am unable to just throw away an empty bottles and tubs, it is smaller than usual, in fact, it is probably the first time I didn’t finish any body moisturiser). It is probably due to the fact that I got a cold a month ago that although didn’t seem as serious as full blown flu, left me so tired for weeks that I just did my skincare and barely ever managed to deal with body care, just fell dead tired in bed in the night. Besides that, I am trying not to be buying (I am mindblown that I haven’t ordered from Latest in Beauty in four months and I resisted Merumaya’s birthday offer, although I am a bit worried I will regret it) and although all Hada Labo and Pyunkang Yul in my virtual trolley make my figers itchy wanting to pay and buy, I am telling myself, I will buy when I REALLY need it. I want use up what I have already and have smaller, more curated collection/stash. Still, I added some items that have maybe one to three uses left so I wouldn’t have to keep them for one more month.

Anyway, let’s proceed with the empties.

Skincare

Dr. G Wrinkle Snail Mask is probably my favourite sheet mask this year and appeared in my empties numerous times. I love it because it hydrates my face perfectly without leaving my face feeling sticky or heavy.

Mizon Enjoy Vital-up Time calming mask is a great mask that might feel slightly heavy in the summer heat but I love it now in autumn and I also feel like it helps at calming small breakouts as well. Pity is, that Lookfantastic don’t sell Mizon anymore and other sellers have rather limited choice.

Nature Republic Real Nature Mask Sheet Bamboo was the last from my Nature Republic set of masks and if I am honest, most of the masks from the same range seem similar although it doesn’t necessary mean a bad thing. It was cheap and did what you generally expect from a sheet mask. The fit of the mask wasn’t bad and it even covered the tip of my big European nose. There was plenty of the essence left for neck and decolletage but the sheet itself held the liquid quite nicely so it wasn’t dripping down. My face felt a bit sticky afterwards but the following skincare sank in well.

Aurelia Revitalise & Glow serum was lovely to have when I wanted a break from actives. My skin felt beautifully nourished and I loved milky texture that didn’t feel heavy but gave my skin everything it needed. It was only a 4 ml sample but it lasted for around a week. Pity that this is out of my budget.

Aurelia Miracle Cleanser is a beautiful creamy cleanser good as both first or second cleanser as well as in the morning, I enjoy massaging it into my face for a minute or two before wiping with included cloth. It leaves my skin feeling soft and clean, however the price for 120 ml is £42, so Liz Earl or Organic Surge (150 ml for £13.99) certainly seem a better option, not to mention Organic Surge removes eye make up a tad bit better, in my opinion.

Oriflame Swedish Spa Purifying Face Mask seemed at first as any other budget clay mask, I would say, nothing special but doesn’t hurt. However, after a few uses, when I tried to wash the mask off as it dries more to a powder than thick pulling layer (I also tried to avoid over abrasion by using washcloth or face towel too many times), I noticed that instead of the mask pulling out the dirt and oils from my face, the kaolin powder actually clang on my oils (I am not sure whether that is what they call HydraCare+ on the packaging) and I was left with green face that I actually really had to use slightly abrasive face towel to remove. I still tried to use it up but I just lost my patience with it. So definitely WON’T repurchase.

Jurlique Rose Moisture Plus moisturising cleanser was brilliant second cleanse – it made me feel squeaky clean without being stripped one bit. I know I said it about a few cleansers already but this one was something different for me. However, I think Jurlique discontinued this range as I know that had big sale during the summer and had a bit of make over in their range.

Avon Anew Clinical Infinite Lift was in my empties not so long ago and just before I finished it, I found I have another in my stash with the expiry at the end of this year. It is divided in two parts where the gel part is supposed to be used on the upper part of eye, while the moisturiser under eye. As I mentioned before, the moisturiser part was quite rubbish, working at most as a serum and I wasn’t sure about the gel but I read good reviews about it so this time, I decided to try to use alebo under my eyes and I think it worked much better so conclusion is, they should just dump the moisturiser part completely and keep the gel.

Gatineau Floracil Plus gentle eye make-up remover remover make up well, including waterproof mascara but I didn’t find it more effective than my favourite Nivea or Garnier make-up remover and actually, it seemed to leave oily residue which sometimes gave me blurred vision.

Beauty Pie Japanfusion Deep-Treatment Serum was my morning antioxidant serum with vitamin C and grape polyphenols. It was a generous 50 ml size, so using 3 pumps every morning made it last almost four months. It was oil-free, milky consistency, it wasn’t heavy but wasn’t watery and it sank in quickly leaving slightly matt finish. Although there was some viscosity and you could feel having you have some layer on, it worked well for layering skincare and didn’t pill. If anything, skin felt slightly plumped up and after around a month of use, I could see my skin being healthy looking after getting a slightly dull and ashy appearance towards the summer. My face looked brighter but I wouldn’t say that it is strong enough to brighter pigmentation marks, to be honest, sometimes I am not sure Vitamin C serums are not more like placebo for brightening skin as they never got rid of pigmentation marks even if they claimed it. However,I use them more as morning topical antioxidants, so I don’t care. I know that a fragrance shouldn’t be a plus in skincare but I loved a light cherry blossom scent it had. Overall, great morning serum I wouldn’t mind buying again (although I want to try other serums first).

Benton Snail Bee High Content Essence was a sample of the essence that comes out as a clear gel but the moment it touches my skin, it melst into water. It might not be enough for people with dry skin but gives the right hydration boost when layering on my dehydrated oily skin. I have a full size which I’m currently using.

Elemis Exotic Cream Moisturising mask didn’t seem that exciting. I would say, I had better.

Huxley Secret of Sahara Sleep Mask: Good Night was lovely for my oily skin and I think I would love it especially in the summer as it was like milky gel but I think it wouldn’t be enough for other skin types.

Oriflame Love Nature Anti-ageing Alfalfa Peptide + Q10 day cream with SPF10 was a cheap and good enough day moisturiser, nothing to complain or write home about.

Body

Argan+ Moroccan Spice Oil Infused Body Wash was a very enjoyable shower gel this time of the year – not only the mix of ginger, pepper and cinnamon smelled amazing, it contained argan, baobab, kukui, moringa and sacha inchi AND it also had vitamin E infused beads that burst once you massage it in. It was Made in the UK and I think I will surely have to explore the brand more.

Crabtree & Evelyn hand cream in Evelyn Rose is a good everyday hand cream in a convenient handbag format. This one had a typical rose scent.

Neal’s Yard Remedies Wild Rose Beauty Balm should for some people be in skincare but for me, it is too heavy to be used on my face and I use this kind of products only on my body. I used this one on my feet and hand at bedtime and it worked well, I would even say that it dried rather quickly in comparison with similar balms.

The Body Shop Fuji Green Tea Exfoliating Gel Body Scrub. As a lover of green tea scent, I thouroughly enjoyed this product and while it was an exfoliating gel or jelly, as body scrub it doesn’t have the grittiness that would leave my body super smooth, it was more on the level of exfoliating shower gel that you can use almost every day.

Elsa’s Organic Natural Deodorant Stick in Dew was another good one from the brand and it gave me an idea what ingredients to look for in deodorant. Liked the scent but still liked Love and Ocean more. At the moment, I want to use up deodorants I already have in my stash and then try something with similar inci from other brands.

Armand Basi Sensual Ted was and okay fragrance I bought a long time ago. Despite the cherry blossom on the bottle, it was more like spicy cherry wood to me.

Hair

Noughty Leave-in Conditioner for frizzy and damaged hair was used mostly on my children’s hair and for home-made detangling spray but I did use it a couple of times. It is a richer conditioner and I thought it might be heavy for my fine hair but it actually worked great for frizzy hair and as I’m prone to very dry split ends I found it working very well. The tube also lasted much longer than I would expect for the three of us.

ORS Hairepair Coconut Oil & Baobab hair oil smelled delicious and although it wasn’t my favourite hair oil, it worked fine and I liked using it for making home made detangling spray. For the price happy and might repurchase although I would like to try some other from their range.

Charles Worthington Volume & Bounce Body Booster Mousse was a nice mousse to give a shape controlled volume boost without getting my hair rock hard or leaving lots of residue. What I didn’t like is that there was still a considerable amount of product left but it didn’t come out. Might repurchase.

Batiste dry shampoo in Fruit & Cheeky Cherry is my favourite scent and it works quite well if I am careful to massage and brush out the white residue properly.

Jason Normalising Tea Tree treatment shampoo. It is SLS and paraben free so I could use it also on my my girls but just didn’t work as anti-dandruff shampoo for me. I kept having one anti-dandruff shampoo to maintain flake free scalp I had but I started getting small ones again after a few months of using this one, so no repurchase and thinking of going back to T Gel or Nizoral after a long while.

Make Up

Eyeko Sport Waterproof catch & curl mascara was my occasional summer mascara. It was really waterproof so I used it when we went swimming with the children or when I wanted to make sure my mascara doesn’t melt in summer heat. The bristles and bent wand really lifted eyelashes well and coated each lash however, it did dry quite a bit after a month although I used it just a few times a week and it was then difficult to build up some volume.

Yves Rocher Longueur 360° used to be my favourite mascara a few years back and this was a revisit and I really loved it again but I am not sure whether except the new packaging it was also a bit reformulated because while I found it long lasting before, if I had it on the whole day this summer, I sometimes found smudges under my eyes at the end of the day (except when I didn’t apply it on my lower lashes).

Revolution Pro Fix Makeup Fixing spray worked well for me and didn’t make me oily quickly. Good price as well, so wouldn’t mind buying again although it took ages for me to use up and now I have one from Avon so don’t know whether that’s gonna happen☺️.

September 2018 Empties

I am not gonna say I can’t believe it is the end of September because it was a busy month for me and a lot happened and I got less active on the blog and all social media and I begin to think I should call my blog Daniela’s empties now as that’s mostly what I get to at the moment but here we have another monthly empties post.

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Skin

Oh K! Coconut Water fibre face mask. I liked this mask as it hydrated without leaving heavy residue or sticky yucky but I can imagine it wouldn’t give much to a person closer to dry skin as well as  I can imagine getting a mask with similar product for cheaper.

Skin Chemist Aqua Repair Facial Serum was something I received in Alice Davis Hart box for Allboxedup and to be honest, I still didn’t expect much from it but this thick oil-free gel surprised me at how well it hydrated, even though aloe vera was almost at the end of ingredients. Although I try to press out of the tube as much as I can, I am rather lazy to cut it to get every last bit but I did cut the tube with this one so it says something even if it doesn’t contain hyaluronic acid.

DHC Alpha Arbutin White Mask. This was a thick paper sheet that didn’t stick to the face very well and somewhere between 15 and 20 minutes started falling off my face completely. Although it would be impossible to get rid of Dark spots after just one use, my face did look fresh afterwards.

Avène Cleanance Mat mattifying toner. As alcohol is the third ingredient, I am having no illusions why it works well as a mattifying toner or claiming it’s for everyone, however it doesn’t make my skin feel right or like all water was sucked out like drugstore toners so I wouldn’t mind having this as my morning toner again.

Eucerin Dermo Purifyer cleanser is a soap-free gel that is based on 6% ampho-tensides. Loved it as my second and mornig cleanse although now that weather got colder or when my skin feels a bit stripped, I prefer something creamy in the morning.

Klairs Supple Preparation Facial Toner was really lovely and hydrating and just by the sample I would like to buy full size in the future.

Pretty Athletic Recovery Boost Cell Repair serum. In my eyes this was just oil although very runny but it took ages to sink in, I divided it to two uses (around 1 ml per use) and it was basically still there feeling rather oily when I went to bed one hour after my skincare routine, I wasn’t willing to add any moisturiser. I have to admit though that when I woke up in the morning, my skin felt genuinely restored and some old breakouts that never really came to head on my jawline felt calmed and soothed.

DHC Extra Nighttime Moisture seemed quite rich and greasy at first but most of it absorbed after around 20 minutes, still leaving a lot of sheen.

Benton Aloe BHA skin toner was a sample of the toner. I have a full size but I used this as it was getting close to expiry date. If I’m not mistaken, it contains 0.5% BHA (in form of salicylic acid), aloe vera juice, snail secretion filtrate and hyaluronic acid. I use it as my evening toner and so far I am still unsure whether my skin got better because the hot weather finished or this product or combination of both.

Elemis Balancing Lime Blossom Cleanser was just as any other cream cleanser to me. It had quite creamy texture so squeeze tube instead of bottle would be better.

Body

The Body Shop Mango shower gel was beautiful, one of my favourite from TBS. Unfortunately, I got only three uses from this one as my husband opened it while I was visiting my parents.

The Body Shop Fijian Water Lotus shower gel, body lotion and eau de toilette. This was in old packaging and I wanted to use it up before it expired and I bought a set of shower gel, body lotion and eau de toilette (I had two more sets to go). I have to say that the fragrance didn’t impress me although was okay for everyday use. I loved the lotion though – it was light and runny but I felt moisturised enough and more for my needs.

Little Aurelia Sleep Time Top To Toe was a sample from Aurelia’s children’s range so I used it on my younger daughter when we ran out of her body moisturiser and I used it for hands once. As it is a night time moisturiser, it doesn’t sink in immediately but leaves slightly greasy layer which is good for my daughter. The scent is relaxing and although not subtle, not so strong to offend senses. We know Aurelia is way out of my budget but it was lovely to try. The small dark glass container is great for decanting products for travelling.

Crabtree & Evelyn Pomegranate argan and grapeseed ultra-moisturising hand therapy was just the perfect handbag size in 25 ml and the pomegranate was a dream, I couldn’t stop sniffing on it every time I used it. The cream itself for me was somewhere in the middle – it moisturised well bit it wouldn’t nsave you much if your hands are extremely dry but it isn’t something that would fully absorb within a minute on my hands.

Crabtree & Evelyn Summer Hill ultra-moisturising hand therapy was the same as the above mentioned, just the scent was of meadow flowers.

Avon Far Away Bella body lotion. I love Avon’s Far Away fragrances and this one is no exception, however I don’t much prefer body lotions matching to the fragrance although this one didn’t feel unpleasant.

Yves Rocher Yellow Peach shower gel. YR shower gels rarely disappoint me and this was another great one – the gel washed well without being too drying and the peachy scent was amazing, it lingered a little after somebody had shower and I could always tell when somebody used it.

Hair

Klorane Ultra gentle conditioner with oat milk. I don’t know but somehow I don’t feel the love I wanted to for this oat milk range as I don’t find it nourishing enough.

Salon Science Reglosse Smoothing Serum is oil gel serum that I wasn’t sure about until I found the right amount to apply which basically meant that instead of one pump recommended in directions, I needed around 5 but I really liked nice defined curls on my fine hair. I wouldn’t mind buying again.

Klorane Color Enhancing shampoo with pomegranate. Unlike the oat milk shampoo, I found this one gentler and loved the pomegranate scent.

Dr Santé Argan Hair Mask with argan oil and keratin is great mask and the  best mask I bought for € 1.60 by far. It was the only hair mask they had in village minimart where my parents live but I already plan to stock up, if I see it again when I’m visiting. It is like a butter and worked well for mine as for my daughters.

Philip Kingsley PK Prep Perfecting Spray was a sample I used again as a detangler/light leave in conditioner for daily use and I liked its scent and it worked well on hair.

Salon Science Thickening Serum I was happy to see go even if I use it up. It didn’t give much to my hair and it seemed to me like it was a bit more difficult to detangler my hair.

L’Oréal Paris Elvive Phytoclear Anti-dandruff. I already had a sample of this before and like I wrote before, this is one of those L’Oréal shampoos I wouldn’t mind buying as it smell quite nice, not over perfumy and left my scalp feeling comfortable.

Make Up

Essence The Velvets in Mr. Mocca Bean was described as velvety soft and longlasting eyeshadow but longlasting it wasn’t. Although it was an intense dark brown great for smoked eye, outer corner or to line the eye, it always melted only after a few hours, so when it smashed on the floor, I didn’t try to save it.

E.l.f. Hydrating Under Eye Primer. I think this might be good for someone with dry under eye area but although I am 37 and ageing is showing now, I didn’t feel like it’s doing much for me, maybe because I have oily skin. It wasn’t unpleasant though and considering low price I wouldn’t say I won’t buy it again, even though I wouldn’t use it daily on my skin as it contains mineral oil, silicone and titanium dioxide, so it might be clogging pores easily and I also wouldn’t use it if you’re prone to millia in that area.