June 2021 Empties

Skincare

Beauty Pie Multi-Phase Purifying Cleansing Milk with Jeju bamboo grass, pine extract and soothing cherry blossom. I never liked cleansing milk but I loved, loved this one. It spread on very easily, and once in contact with water, emulsified perfectly.

Olay Regenerist Retinol24. I bought different retinol serums before I started tretinoin treatment last year so now used them for my body. Worked really well and I liked it but I think would be bougie to repurchase just to use in body care.

Geek & Gorgeous 15% Vitamin C serum. Nice watery serum at good concentration. Don’t buy if you don’t plan to use it up immediately as it is freshly made and then should be used within 3 months. Once you receive it, you need to keep it in the fridge as it starts oxidising rather quickly, once you start using.

The Ordinary Alpha Arbutin 2% + HA. I am never quite sure about efficacy of lightening serums since I use tretinoin treatment and never saw much of a result before but like d that it was watery, good for layering and it seemed to work well with everything else I had in my morning routine.

Purito Galacto Niacin 97 Power Essence. Maybe it worked and has a list of good ingredients like galactomyces, niacinamide, bifida ferment lysate etc., but I didn’t feel like it is something I really miss or can’t be without.

Greek & Gorgeous Liquid Hydration 5% Panthenol + NMF toner. Lovely soothing and hydrating toner. Loved it and it is worth a repurchase when I order from G&G again.

The Revolution Copper Peptide serum. It was okay for the price of £8 if I remember correctly, but cannot compare with copper peptides from The Ordinary where I clearly could see and feel the results.

Murad Essential-C cleanser. Don’t see much of a point in putting vitamin C in a cleanser but as face washes go, this one felt lovely and not stripping. However, I don’t need to even check the price of it knowing that this one is expensive so probably would buy only when on offer.

Skin + Me tretinoin 0.021%, niacinamide 4%, azelaic acid 4%. Like my tretinoin, will continue.

Hylamide SubQ Eyes. Watery eye serum. Great for layering under eye cream. Plan to repurchase at some point.

Missha Essence Sun SPF45+++. It seemed a bit thicker but is spread and sunked in well.

Dr Botanicals Po Pomegranate Superfood Regenerating Sleeping Mask. Thicker but when used twice a week, didn’t cause me any breakouts, just made me wake up with lovely well fed skin.

Rabot 1745 Almond Chocolate lip balm. Lovely texture and scent. Plus the wooden packaging. I used it only when at home though as lip balms you have to use your fingers are a no go for on the go for me.

Body


Soap & Glory Call of Fruity Bubble in Paradise body wash and The Way She Smoothes body lotion. I am a sucker for the fruity and this was amazing scent for me. The body wash was lovely creamy, non drying. The lotion was a bit thicker but it did leave my skin lovely smooth and my 13- year old loved using it too.

Dr Carver’s easy shave butter from Dollar Shave Club. Gave nice smooth shave but I don’t feel like I can’t get any other nor live without it.

Dove Invisible anti-perspirant. I don’t think it prevented me from sweating pits but I didn’t smell my BO with it and really didn’t leave the marks so I would repurchase.

O’Keefe’s foot cream. It did keep my feet moisturised but not sure it would keep it soft, if I wore sandals every day for two weeks, especially with the amount recommended.

The Library of Fragrance Cherry Blossom. It is described as simple, subtle, singular for each day and everywhere and that’s exactly how I would describe it. Just a simple authentic cherry blossom that you can wear for work and won’t bother anyone. The only thing is that I am a heavy sprayer so went through this 30 ml bottle quickly.

Hair

Bouclème curl cleanser. I remember I liked it when I tried it before but this time around not so much.

Sea Magik 3-Seaweed Scalp Mud daily conditioning treatment. I used it only once a week when I washed my hair with a shampoo and it felt lovely and soothing on my scalp so I would agree with its claims.

Biovène Moroccan Goddess oil replacement hair wrap treatment. It did nourish and left my hair soft but find single use hair sheet masks very wasteful.

Empties May 2021

Welcome back reading me, with another month finished, I am bringing you another set of monthly empties. I admittedly don’t spend much time writing blogs anymore but my empties is something I just feel I have to do. Thank you for finding time to read me now that everything is opening up again (hopefully somehow permanently now).

Skincare


The Ordinary Buffet + Copper Peptides 1%. This serum is my love. When I use it daily (in my night routine), I can see my skin soften and smooth and I like the slightly liquid gel consistency that is easy to apply and not oily nor sticky, not the mention the beautiful blue colour that doesn’t stain. I have another one in my stash already and will be repurchasing after that.

No7 Advanced Retinol 1.5% complex. This has a bit deceiving name as the actual percentage of retinol is 0.3% but should be the optimal amount for efficacy and skin comfort. It also has retinol optimiser that should slow-release retinol throughout the night and Matrixyl 3000 Plus which is a great slow-aging/anti-aging ingredient. As I use tretinoin on my face, just like with all the other actives, I used this  on some targeted areas on my body and I do feel rather happy with it.

Simple moisturising facial wash. The last time I had this, I felt it would be the last time I repurchased but I felt like I liked using it now again so I don’t know whether it as some differences between the batches.

Balance Me balancing face moisturiser. It is described as a gel-cream and I am not sure I would describe it like that but it was lightweight and a nice final layer of my skincare day and night. Not sure I would got out of my way to repurchase but I saw it on promotion when looking for an everyday moisturiser, I might.

Cerave Eye Repair Cream. Agreeable day eye cream, if you feel like you need it. Moisturised enough and wasn’t too sticky or causing congestion around my eyes. Maybe repurchase.

Mum&You Bright Eyes gel. Clear gel with a roller ball applicator. I used it up as I got it in a beauty box but didn’t really see a point of it to be honest. No repurchase.

Urban Veda Soothing Day Cream actually didn’t feel bad nor heavy so I was able to use it as a final layer in my skincare without getting breakouts, the only problem I had with it is that all Urban Veda products are heavy in essential oils so don’t really feel like I need a full size of it.

Skin+Me tretinoin 0.018%, niacinamide 4% and azelaic acid 4%. I am now using this as the only tretinoin treatment for my face as it is summer and this is kind of milder treatment than the one from Dermatica, to which I might got back to after the summer, depending how my pigmentation will show up.

REN Ready Steady Glow daily AHA tonic. Lovely gentle acid toner I used on my body and my body thanked me for it by skin that is soft to touch. I would recommend this to anyone who would want to introduce a gentle acid into their daily routine.

Simple Water Boost hydrating gel cream. This was my daughter’s empty. She said she liked it because it felt refreshing and didn’t feel sticky or heavy.

Body


Boots Live+Be body scrub. I bought it in Boots sale and I was a bit worried as it contains almond oil because I still feel traumatized by the Beautypie very oily body scrub that caused me terrible body acne, but luckily, this wasn’t that oily. It was a sugar based scrub so it gradually melted as I massaged it in. It was nice but I do prefer something more scrubby for my body that doesn’t melt in so quickly.

Nice Rêve de Miel deliciously nourishing body scrub. I haven’t used anything from Nice for a very long time but the scent of this is heaven and once I finish some of my stash I will have to place an order for body products with them.

Harry’s shave gel with aloe. Made a nice thick and creamy lather. Maybe repurchase.

The Body Shop strawberry lip butter. I used this at bedtime because it was thick and looked white on my lips. Especially when I started using it, the product seemed to be too thick and waxy but it subsided as the top layer of the product got used. It was okay but nothing to write home about.

RapidLash. This was a good serum when I started using it but after a while, I didn’t see any difference anymore so this opened tube laid forgotten in my stash for ages. I might revisit some day.

Haircare


Show Riche leave in conditioner. Luxuriously packaged rich conditioner, one pump was enough for my hair but I noticed my daughter who has thick curly mixed race hair, loved it.

Garnier Ultimate Blends Smoothing Hair Food Coconut and Macadamia 3-in-1 hair mask. Who doesn’t like these hair masks, especially for the price? Still have some in my stash and a definite repurchase in any of those “flavours”.

Colab Dreamer dry shampoo had a nice cotton and musk fragrance. It looked as a usual white powder when I sprayed it in my hair but it when away easily when massaged and brushed out and my hair didn’t look as matte as with Batiste. That being said though, I don’t feel like I have any particular opinion about it so that is that.

FYC For Your Curls refresh and detangle spray. I did like it as a refresher for my third day curls. I basically sprayed it into my hair at bedtime with a bit of water, brushed my hair through and put it in a high bun to sleep in and in the morning was another good hair day with defined but not weighed down hair. The only thing that discourages me from repurchasing is its limited availability. I would prefer if it was available in a local supermarket or a drugstore.

Philip Kingsley body building weightless shampoo Mayan vanilla & orange blossom. It was an okay shampoo, cleansed my hair well (it has SLS) but I don’t think I would go out of my way to look for it again unless maybe I would buy another TSV set on QVC like this one was part of.

Make Up

Empties April 2021

Welcome back to my blog and I hope you are doing well waking up to life after Covid now. Self-care was one of the words of the year and I hope you did well with it as well. I know beauty products might seem to be something for vanity but in my case, taking care of myself helped me love myself more which started way beyond the pandemic. I know there might have been days when you “couldn’t be arsed” as not going anywhere and seeing no-one outside my household but I did go to work throughout the last year, so I kind of still was “arsed”, although using way less make up, basically going off foundation so there’s been very little make up in my empties. Still, hope you’ll enjoy it if you read and have a great and sunny May x

Skincare

Facetheory Porebright N20 serum 20% niacinamide and azelaic acid serum. Light, almost watery consistency sinks in in seconds, depending what you applied before. I did find both N10 and N20 helpful at keeping me clear from breakouts but I didn’t see much difference for my daughter who is 13.

Whamisa Deep Rich toner. I didn’t like the light version but I actually did like this one despite the pond water smell. It moisturised well and I could see myself being willing to have it again.

The Ordinary Mandelic Acid 10% + HA. I have it to my 12-year old daughter as it is gentle and I saw many reviews about it helping with acne, but she returned it back and I am not surprised because I forgot it is actually like a dry oil. So, as all the acids I used up since the last summer, I used on my body where prone to acne (chest, back and bum). Didn’t see much of a result, but I think this actually seemed to work quite well for my back as some acids are a bit drying and as I don’t use moisturiser in that area because of sweater and being covered with clothed it is rather easily congested but then produced more sebum and it seems that this regulated the sebum production on my back. Hope you were able to understand what I wrote in that long sentence😅

La Roche Posay Cicaplast lèvres barrier repairing balm. This was lovely but as I have a daughter that seems to finish one lip balm in a month, once she got her hands on it, I only saw an almost empty tube next so didn’t have much opportunity to play with it. She must have liked it though because she cut that tube and scraped every little leftover bit from it. Might repurchase.

The Body Shop Pollution Clearing mask with matcha tea. When I got this mask, I didn’t realise that it is basically a face scrub so it was kind of difficult to use it up and at the end, I used it once weekly for my chest and back. It smelled of green tea which I loved, just the shame about it being a scrub so no repurchase.

The Ordinary Ascorbyl Glucoside Solution 12%. This was a stable vitamin C derivate and during the months I was using it, it barely changed the colour. It was slightly sticky water gel can consistency that made skin appear brighter and glowy after use. As a basic vitamin c derivate it was okay but I am not sure I would repurchase.

Garnier Micellar Rose Water. This micellar water was good, although it didn’t work for waterproof mascara and it has rose fragrance but it is a really good value for money.

COSRX Galactomyces 95 tone balancing essence. This essence says it “helps nourish and hydrate the skin and over time making it appear more radiant and clear”. I am not sure it was only because of this essence but I would describe my current situation with skin as more radiant and clear. I liked most of the products I tried from COSRX and I wouldn’t mind repurchasing this one.

Lumene Sisu deep clean purifying cleansing oil. Plus of this cleansing oil is that it emulsifies well and I looove the scent of forest berries and conifers it has. The con is that it couldn’t go anywhere near my eyes because it burnt as hell.

Dermatica tretinoin 0.05%, hydroquinone 4%. Although I liked it and it lasted me longer than a month with daily use, I decided to take a break from this, at least till the end of summer and will be now using lower concentration from Skin+Me.

The Lab by Blanc Doux Oligo Hyaluronic Acid Calming+ Cream. This is supposed to be for sensitive dry skin, but I was using it in the morning and evening, had no problems or breakout. It was great for my post winter dehydrated acne prone skin as it locked in my skincare, provided great additional hydration and kept my skin nicely plumped up.

Hada Labo Gokujyun Premium is beautiful hydrating toner. I was keeping it for use in winter and I still remember that feeling when I started using it again like my skin was telling me “you make me happy”. This was still old formulation, I think new one is fermented. Will definitely purchase for winter again.

Paula’s Choice 10% Azelaic acid booster. As much as I hate to admit it because this is expensive for my budget, it was really good, especially as it also contained licorice and salicylic acid, it worked well as a spot treatment for mild acne and this 5 ml mini lasted surprisingly long. Maybe purchase a full size.

Body

Ezitan Overnight Tan Body mask. Now this is the proper case of when you love the juice inside but hate the packaging. The mask was like moisturising gel that absorbed easily, didn’t stain my bed linen if I really waited for it to absorb fully and some more and if spread properly the finish was streak free. I also didn’t smell much of the biscuit on me. I also really liked the mitt that went with it as it really allowed spreading the self-tan everywhere equally. But the pump on this was completely defunct. Don’t want to be vulgar but it was like doing a full hand job for a one tiny squirt. That was also the reason this was in my stash forever as I needed to transfer it to some other empty container with a pump. Really shame, I don’t know whether they are still in business as I found it only on discount eshops now.

Eveline Night Lipo Shock Therapy slim extreme 4D. Of course, I don’t believe a cream could make me slim and cellulite free but I could feel how it heats up where I applied and my skin felt nice and firm the next morning. It is thicker but not greasy and it didn’t cause any body acne for me either, price was also under £7, so have nothing to complain about.

Yardley English Bluebell deodorising body fragrance. Sharp flower scent that, just like the most spray deodorants, didn’t last long. It was okay, but wouldn’t repurchase.

Dove shower mousse with argan oil. I like the scent of argan oil generally plus this mouse felt rich and lovely and I was actually quite surprised that it lasted for the three of us for three weeks.

The Essence Vault 140 is supposed to be a clone for Thierry Mugler Angel. Of course it is not as elegant as the original but I did love it the first two weeks when I would have said it is a beautiful multifaceted fragrance with cocoa done right. I might have overdone it because after those weeks, all I could smell was a ratched dirty patchouli. It was like falling into a big nest of old nettle spilling some cocoa powder. While I can still smell the multifaceted beauty in original (although I don’t want to risk buying it anymore), this one doesn’t do it for me anymore, even more I hate it with a passion now. I don’t like wasting product and I tried to use it up by using it as a base for other patchouli base fragrances layered over it but I just realised I am forcing something that doesn’t bring me joy and fragrances are about joy for me and my senses so I am throwing it away with around 1/5 left.

Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula bust cream with vitamin E. My good old “always repurchase”. Always see and feel results with this with regular use.

Aveeno moisturising lotion with active colloidal oatmeal. This was a beautiful nourishing body lotion that wasn’t greasy or sticky and kept my skin nice and smooth. I also used it on my hands and feet before bedtime. My daughter also loved it because she kept using it. So for how much it was used, it also lasted rather long (2-3 months). I will repurchase around autumn/winter time again.

Haircare

Regaine scalp foam 5% minoxidil. Don’t believe this could help me anymore but as I have, I tried to use it up. I have one more left.

Grow Gorgeous hair growth serum. I wasn’t using it daily and I am not sure about thickness of hair but I do think regular massage with it helped my scalp and hair grew a bit quicker.

Make Up

B. Beauty eye concealer in light/medium. I liked it although I don’t use concealer every day. It brightened my undereye and didn’t melt into wrinkles around my eyes. I had it too long though and it oxidised.

Essence The Velvets in 04 You’re the Greytest. This was a grey matte  crease colour for my every day. It was rather crumbly with some fallout and didn’t last that much on my eyes but for the price it was okay.

Empties March 2021

Skincare

The Ordinary Lactic Acid 5% + HA. As I say almost every month now, as I use tretinoin every day, I am using up all the acids I have in my arsenal for body. This was lovely gentle and hydrating lactic acid. This in my opinion, could be used every day and the price tag is amazing. I would repurchase this and probably will when I do my yearly Deciem shop in November.

Skin+Me  tretinoin 0.015%, niacinamide 4% and azelaic acid 4% daily doser. Like I said before, starting tretinoin was the best skincare decision of 2020. Love it, still subscribed.

Patchology Breakout Box. Didn’t actually have a chance to use anything from the box as I gave it to my daughter who is now suffering from hormonal teenage breakouts. He favourite were Detoxifying Charcoal Nose strips and from the dots preferred the blemish shrinking ones.

Jiinju Beauty Ginseng & Eucalyptus under eye mask. Nice cooling under eye patches. Sat well and didn’t slide. I would use them again but also wouldn’t go out of my way to get them as they also have a lot of packaging for 2 small eye patches.

Secret Key starting treatment essence. One of those YouTube made me buy it products. I do like a neutral hydrating starting essence/toner but I just find it overhyped and overpriced for what it is. And as I mentioned, buying from the UK, the price is comparable to Missha first treatment essence which feels better and has a definitely better plug on the bottle as well.

COSRX Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence. Classic in my skincare, probably one of the most repurchased now. It is supposed to be mainly moisturising but I also find it healing and soothing, good for my ageing breakout prone skin.

Patchology Moodpatch Chill Mode with soothing cannabis seed oil, reishi extract and rhodiola extract. Love Patchology patches and I loved these as well although they were sliding a bit. They feel nice, fit well under my eyes shape, moisturise and I like the light aromatherapy scent.

Patchology Moodpatch Keep Smiling soothing tea-infused lip gel with sweet violet, lavender and coconut extract. This is probably only the second or third lip gel I’ve ever used and it isn’t something I would usually look for if I didn’t have it in a beauty box but again, love the aromatherapy accent of Patchology products and once in a while it is a lovely treat for my lips.

Too Cool for School Pumpkin sleeping pack. Just a sample that lasted me 2 uses. I liked it as it was light and sank into the skin. Unfortunately, the brand cancelled themselves when bullying small YouTubers about their sunscreen.

Missha Time Revolution Night Repair Probio Ampoule with bifida ferment lysate and 10 lactic acid ingredients. I liked it but because it contains lactic acid and I use tretinoin, I couldn’t use it every day, although have to admit, at the beginning I forgot about and I did use it every day with tretinoin and after around two weeks my skin became very sensitised. Besides those two it is packed full of great ingredients but there also essential oils so not sure about using it on sensitive skin. My skin however felt and looked lovely and smooth this winter after I reduced the frequency of use. I might repurchase but not in very near future as I have a lot of products I have in my stash already. The ampoule is also 50 ml so using 3 times a week, it lasted me a very good time (7-8 months). For now, I am replacing it with Isntree bifida ampoule.

The Ordinary Lactic Acid 10% + HA. Again, I used it on my body and it made it lovely and smooth while feeling gentle. It was light, non greasy and felt moisturising. This was amazing and I will repurchase for sure.

The Ordinary Resveratrol 3% + Ferulic Acid 3%. Not sure about how I know antioxidant works but at the age of 40, I am definitely better safe than sorry. Despite feeling like a dry oils, it should be oil free and it made my skin looking radiant with healthy glow.

Purito Centella Green Level Unscented Sun. I didn’t mind using it despite its much lower than advertised SPF and emptied the tube just before the warm weather arrived in the UK. Won’t repurchase for obvious reasons.

Elizabeth Arden Visible Difference moisturising eye cream. As much as most of the eye creams are redundant, as my age goes up, I am more willing to be looking for a better eye care. I found it better than most eye creams I’d tried before so I might repurchase it in the future.

The Lab by Blanc Doux Oligo Hyaluronic acid foam cleanser made a fluffy, creamy and rich lather that gently but effectively cleansed my face, perfect for the second cleanse. I loved it. The price is also not horrible even if it is a little bit over £10 that is usually my top price willing to spend on the cleanser. Possible repurchase.

Body

Bioderma Atoderm ultra-nourishing anti-irritation cleansing oil. This was a beautiful, lightly foaming cleansing oil that I used in the shower and as my morning face cleanser. Really gentle, washed off well, felt lovely. I first bought a small 250 ml bottle and then this big 1 litre that lasted for the three of us for around 3-4 months of daily use. This will be a repurchase the next winter.

The Solution Retinol smoothing body lotion. This should be a body lotion for skin showing signs of aging, age spots and dullness as it contains retinol, arbutin complex and shea butter. I liked that it absorbed quickly but I didn’t notice it would hydrate more that other body moisturisers I used nor my age spot vanishing but maybe if I used it constantly over a longer period of time. I would repurchase for that placebo effect but only if on offer again.

The Solution Collagen perfecting body cream. I liked this one as it was a very light, fast absorbing lotion that still kept my skin smooth but I can imagine it would be too light for someone with dry skin. I would repurchase, if I saw it on good offer.

Balea facial wax strips. I have pale skin and dark hair so always need to keep up with a bit of facial hair in the lip and chin area. These were nice as they seemed a bit gentler than what I usually used. Might repurchase one day after corona, when I go to visit my family again and pop into DM drogerie markt.

Wilko men’s shaving foam. I bought a few of it for my children to add when they make slime during the year of lockdown but they gradually got bored with it so this one just stayed behind until I decided to use it for its original purpose. Nothing special, definitely prefer shaving gel bit still usable and better than just to waste it.

Hair

Biovène hydrate protect hair wrap treatment. It was interesting to try this mask as it is like a sheet mask for hair but I don’t find that kind of delivery system the best for long hair as I couldn’t properly control how much which part of my hair would get plus there is too much rubbish so I prefer the traditional way to mask my hair.

Philip Kingsley Moisture Balancing Conditioner. I did like it as it gave me the right amount of moisture and I didn’t overload my hair either. The subtle vanilla and orange blossom scent didn’t last long although I like fragrance in hair products. Philip Kingsley is on pricey side for me to repurchase but I might do so maybe repurchase.

Batiste De-frizz dry shampoo. I just really didn’t like this shampoo as it had a heavy white cast and despite the claim, I actually found my hair frizzier. I found the way to use it though for my curly hair and that was use it at night, brush it out, spray my hair with water and use a bit of curly cream and then make a bun up for sleeping and my hair had curls refreshed and looked okay in the morning (better than usual on the third day after washing). Don’t intend to repurchase.

Tresemmé Colour Shineplex no foaming cleansing conditioner. I use it in the middle of the week and found it a bit heavier for my fine hair, will have to look for something else although still don’t know what after my beloved Elvive low shampoo got discontinued and there are only alternatives for African hair in drugstores which I find rather heavy for me.

Make up

It is difficult to use up make up for the obvious reasons as the only thing I make up for the most of the last year were my eyes and brows.

Empties February 2021

Skincare

Nip+Fab Glycolic Fix Liquid Gold Extreme 6%. Although glycolic acid isn’t for everyone, I wouldn’t call 6% extreme although it is Nip+Fab’s more potent formula toner. It is also fragranced as probably all N+F products so I definitely wouldn’t recommend to sensitive skin. As usual, now using tretinoin nightly, I used it 3 times a week on my body as a chemical peel and it did keep my arms KP free and kept my body acne away.

Purito Centella Green Level Safe Sun. The infamous one. I bought all three Purito sunscreens last summer and then the scandal about it not been SPF50 came out. So I decided to use them up in winter, especially now with lockdown (although I still had to go to work). Although it sinks in well and feels lovely once it does that, initially when I applied, it just slides over my face so I felt like that hype about was a bit unfounded (when I ignore the SPF, just the feeling on my skin). I found it enough to use as my moisturiser and low SPF in one. But I have oily skin.

The Ordinary Argireline Solution 10%. I had a bottle of it last year and I thought I wouldn’t repurchase but sometimes you miss products unexpectedly and if they have a price tag like TO, it’s easy to repurchase and I put 2 in my shopping bag when I did a big order with Deciem in November and this is the first one of them. It softens dynamic facial lines and I use it around my eyes, lips and forehead straight after cleansing before putting anything else because this is literally like water.

Real Barrier Extreme Cream should strengthen skin barrier. I found it too much for my face but it worked well for my neck. However, when combination of scratchy woolly jumpers, retinol and corona made skin on my neck burnt, the only cream that didn’t sting from what I had in my stash was La Roche Posay Cicaplast.

A.T. Snail Extract Intelligent Mask. I used it as my past step in night routine. It had that snail product moisturiser texture. It wasn’t greasy which I liked but it pulled and I often woke up in the morning with rolled bits of it in my face and neck.

Petitfée Gold EGF eye patch. I liked these and even if they were fragranced, not as much as the ones I had before. I wouldn’t mind repurchasing and I probably will.

Nivea MicellAir waterproof make-up remover. Good old favourite and a definite repurchase.

Body

The Essence Vault 142 is supposed to be a dupe for Jo Malone Pomegranate Noir which I never smelled so can’t really compare but I was surprised how well it lasted on me. I have to admit, first time I sprayed it, I thought “This is not a woman’s fragrance!” as it has a very strong smoky, slightly leathery opening (probably guaiac wood) and it felt like I had a cigarette and tried to cover it up with a fruity scent. At first I used it only at home as I wanted to use it up and the drydown was still likeable to me but it grew on me and my nose got more accustomed or less sensitive to the smokiness of it and I wore it as my day fragrance as well, I kind of felt feminine but with an edge. However, I did purchase some new fragrances in January sales and this one didn’t give me such feeling of happiness as smelling my new ones so I don’t plan to repurchase. However, 100 ml for around £12 with a code I used, it was a good purchase and it lasted really well, if I sprayed it in the morning, I could still smell it on me on some points of my body and  on my clothes still the next day.

Thisworks Deep Sleep Pillow spray. I really liked spraying this before sleep and so did my daughter, although I am pathologically such bad sleeper, so all I could say is that it helped me maybe sometimes.

Thierry Mugler Alien. I got this sample to compare it with the “inspired” fragrance from The Essence Vault. This is really strong jasmine and the strength and sillage of this perfume is really reminiscent of the 90s that is difficult to find nowadays. It is rather strong for me, I am still not sure whether I like it.

Borotalco Invisible no aluminium salts anti-white marks and yellow stains. I liked it because it had no particular smell so no clashing with a perfume and it really didn’t leave any marks. Would I purchase it? Maybe but I think I would prefer something like a roll-on or gel than stick besides the fact that it is only available on Notino in the UK.

Nursem hand cream. Moisturised hands nicely, absorbing quickly but still leaving kind of protective film. I kind of liked the mix of the essential oils in it as well. It would be maybe repurchase.

Champneys Spa A Little Pick Me Up citrus blush enlivening daily scrub. I loved how this smelled of warm spicy lemon. It would be good as a daily body scrub but as I use a physical once a week, it wasn’t enough for me. However, I would be still willing to repurchase is I saw it on good offer.

Prismologie Indigo Interlude foot cream with oud an sapphire. It was an okay moisturiser for my feet, I am not sure that our in it was my jam as it really smelled like a rotting wood in the forest to me.

Hair

Make Up

Seventeen Stay Time in Natural. I bought a few things when Seventeen was discontinued in Boots. I loved it as lit really lasted well with semimatte finish close to natural on me, depending on how much coverage I did. Really shame it’s not available anymore.

L’Oréal Volume Million Lashes Excess. I loved all L’Oréal mascaras I’ve had and this one was no different – it added volume without sticking lashes together. At first, I thought the rubber brush is giant and I did smudge my eyelid a bit on first use but it was great after that. Would repurchase, if I wasn’t a cosmetic slut and also, while this corona situation and wearing facemasks lasts, I use ordinary mascaras as my first layer and then it is waterproof for me.

ModelCo Instant Radiance concealer. I liked using this concealer for undereye area in colder months only as it melted on my oily skin quickly in the summer. Also used only a tiny amount just to brighten up the area a bit otherwise it would melt into my fine lines. It had lighter coverage which was fine for me but not really for someone with really darks circles. It was okay but nothing I would run to repurchase.

Empties January 2021

Another month in lockdown, another empties post. Hope you are all doing well, despite this year starting different to what we would prefer. Don’t want to give any advice as I know everyone is different as well as their circumstances in life, I just hope for the light at the end of this tunnel soon.

I am bringing another empties and as usual, my daughters helped me use up some of it, especially my older 12-year old who’s getting into skincare because of those hormonal changes on her skin. I also included some products that still have a couple of uses in them as I don’t want to hold onto them for another month, if I finish them within the first week. Enjoy x

Skincare

Superdrug Foot Pampering sock pack with hemp seed oil. This one was similar to the honey one from the last empties but it seemed to me my heels felt a bit softer after this one.

Nip + Fab Glycolic Fix Daily 2%. I could say this has a lovely scent but don’t think that’s a very good thing especially for an acid toner, even though allegedly gentle. As I use tretinoin daily and avoid exfoliants on my face, I used it up mostly on my body. However, as I try to use as little cotton wool as it is convenient for me, I applied it with my hands and when I tried using it nightly, my body skin was fine but skin between my fingers where it gathered when I applied, was getting red and irritated. When I went back to using it every other night, my hands were okay. I suspect the combination of acid and the fragrance might have been the culprit.

Guinot Masque Dynamisant Anti-Fatigue or instant refreshing mask was a creamy mask containing lactic acid. I used it on my face once, around 2 months after I started tretinoin and then I was punished by lesson why tretinoin and acids shouldn’t be used on my face on the same day although initially it felt like a hydrating mask that lightly refined irregularities on my skin. I used the leftover as a body mask before shower.

Too Cool For School Five-in-One Egg Mellow Cream collagen infused firming moisturiser was a bit too rich for my liking although OK for occasional winter day. It was just a sachet sample that lasted me two uses.

Urban Veda Turmeric + Botanics radiance day cream. This was a sachet sample but because it is a cream for dry skin, I used it sparingly on winter mornings so it lasted me three days and luckily, didn’t cause breakouts. Urban Veda products are usually heavily fragranced but I can’t comment on this one as I had corona when I was using it and couldn’t smell anything.

Petitfée Black Pearl & Gold hydrogel eye patch. These kinds of eye patches help me sort out my under eye area but works the best when used consistently. I had Q10, gold and now the black pearl. Don’t see much difference in effect except for the colour and fragrance. Gold one was my least favourite as it’s fragrance was quite strong for eye area but I would repurchase Q10 and black pearl. Also, these should be used within 2 months of opening so you should really try to use them at least every other day.

Time Bomb Youthful Juice secret oil was supposed to mimic natural sebum to help keep skin dewy and wrinkle free. I don’t know about that because I didn’t use it for my face once as it takes ages for me to use up a face oil and I honestly hate skincare open more than a year even though this one should be okay for 36 months. I used it on my body and quite honestly, didn’t see any difference.

The Ordinary Ascorbic Acid 8% + Alpha Arbutin 2%. It is not the strongest vitamin C serum and I don’t think it does much to brighten my pigmentation but I surprisingly love it even if it is in a light oil formulation. I mix it with a couple of drops or TO Resveratrol which is of similar formulation and use it in my morning routine after essence before sunscreen. I love how radiant but not greasy skin looks throughout the day and I already repurchased in TO November sale.

Facetheory Porebright N10 serum with 10% niacinamide and azelaic acid. This is brilliant for keeping my skin relatively breakout free (still had one or two during my monthly cycle). This is my second bottle and after I finished it started using the N20 version which should be 20% concentration to compare so will see which one looks better. If you want to purchase, make sure you use it, not hoard because it Facetheory products have expiry of 1 year from the date they were made, advantage is though that they always send a freshly made badge when you order (or at least I always got when I ordered) so it’s a year from your purchase.

COSRX Acne Pimple Master Patch. Something for “juicy” buggers. I didn’t use it much anymore but I have a twelve year old with crazy hormones now so I gave a few left over patches to her. Seemed to help her from touching a volcano on her face and prevented another one that wanted to come out from growing. At the moment have acne rescue pack from Patchology where there are some pimple patches so we’ll see how that will work.

CLE Oxygen Foam Cleanser was very lovely and fun product. You pumped out gel that you spread over dry face and it changed into very fine foam you washed off. It cleansed well but gently. My daughter also loved it. 120 ml finished quickly within a month with me using it once a day while my daughter used it twice a day. I got it for a very good price through Latest in Beauty and we really liked it however full price of £23 is too steep for a cleanser for me.

The Ordinary Caffeine Solution 5% + EGCG. This is a good product to slightly reduce puffiness around the eyes. Not sure about the pigmentation as that’s not what I used it for. Already repurchased.

The Ordinary Salicylic Acid 2% Solution. I managed to get this just before it went permanently out of stock but I mostly used other products for my acne until I showed this to my daughter who used it daily so I could see she liked it. It was nice as it wasn’t drying and it did help with breakouts to some degree.

Ashanti 15 Shades of Pink pomegranate face cream. I don’t know why I got this cream as it is for dry skin, I think it might have been in a beauty box. The way this shea butter based cream is whipped makes an illusion of lightness but once on skin, it is just grease. Also, it has a degree of grains like it happens with shea butter. It had a lovely fragrance though and I used it up on my hands and feet at bedtime.

Bioré Blue Agave + Baking Soda whipped nourishing detox mask. I did like this as it isn’t drying and in the summer felt very cooling but I noticed since I use tretinoin, it made my skin a bit sensitised, if I used it more than once a week, so just once a week for 5 minutes and it worked well when I had some breakouts plus cheap as chips.

Dermatica tretinoin 0.05%, hydroquinone 4%. One of my monthly tretinoin treatments. Felt a bit up and down about both of them, especially at the beginning, at the moment I am at the point where I love them. To me, it seems like this 15 ml lasts longer than month as well.

Body

Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula massage lotion for stretch marks. Good old Palmer’s. Really good although I like the firming lotion more. I noticed though, that my 12 year old liked using it after her shower.

Avon Perceive Soul for her EdP. Just a tiny sample of an Avon flanker. Very fresh with white flower tones. Actually a really nice everyday fragrance, more for spring or summer. Lasting power isn’t the best but considering, all Avon fragrances I’ve had cost between £6-£10, around 4-5 hours isn’t bad. I liked it but I used to buy a lot of Avon fragrance as my sister was an Avon lady but it got to the point that I got tired of the brand.

Chanel Coco Mademoiselles. Sample of the perfume. I know my taste in perfume is probably too boring and mainstream but for me this is probably the only Chanel perfume from those that I smelled I would be willing to buy. It still feels heavy for me when sprayed initially but it dries nicely and you don’t need a lot to last long so the price tag kind of justifies.

Queen of Shaves sensitive shave gel. I am not sure whether I would call this a gel as it was more like a cream or a hair conditioner which means that it gave good slip and didn’t dry my skin nor made it feel tight or stingy. I bought it for £2 or £3 in Savers and I would be willing to repurchase for that price although have other products to use up at the moment.

Super Facialist Vitamin C Skin Renew cleansing oil. I quite like this oil as it emulsified and washed off easily, it worked for removing make up, although waterproof mascara or heavier make up needed dedicated eye makeup remover. If I removed it over the sink, it gave me a bit blurry eyes, if I washed it off in the shower before the water got hot at the beginning (why waste water), my eyes were fine. It had that fake citrusy fragrance some vitamin C products have but I quite liked it here and didn’t bother me. For the price point, I would say really good cleansing oil.

Haircare

Cantu Complete Conditioning co-wash. I really miss Elvive low shampoos that seem to be discontinued (there is only one and I was never able to get it in shops around me), even more so after using this one. This didn’t seemed to get rid of build-up nor make my hair refreshed, quite the opposite, I sometimes felt itchy, with dirty scalp and slightly greasy hair. I was just happy my daughter has a lot of hair so it was done relatively quickly and I don’t plan to repurchase.

Living Proof Perfect Hair Day dry shampoo. I heard a lot of good reviews of this shampoo and for once, they were all right – this was brilliant, it removed oil from my hair perfectly even without using a brush which is great when you have wavy/curly hair and want to prevent frizz on your third/fourth day. Just massaging got rid of all white residue on my dark hair and created also good lift in my roots. Plus the fragrance is perfect. It is more expensive dry shampoo for my taste but I am really tempted to buy a full size of it.

Garnier Hair Food Aloe Vera and Coconut 3-in-1 hair mask. It is a thinner mask that can be used as a conditioner, mask and leave-in conditioner which I used it for most of the time for my daughters. Wouldn’t mind using again but at the moment have other from the Hair Food range.

Tigi Bedhead Ego Boost split end mender leave-in conditioner. Light leave-in conditioner I liked using for my thin fine hair. Wouldn’t mind using again although have other ones I need to use up. Also, shame this doesn’t have the beautiful sunny fragrance other products I used from Tigi had.

Make Up

Collection lasting gel nail colour in Blackjack 2. I don’t usually wear much nail polish because it makes my already weak nail weaker so it’s been a while since I used this but I remember that despite its name it always chipped on me very quickly, often even on the same day which is a shame as I loved the beautiful rich black finish it had.

Empties December 2020

Skincare

Skin+Me 0.012% tretinoin, 4% niacinamide, 4% azelaic acid. I like this concoction and still also use Dermatica as I cannot decide which one I prefer more. Skin+Me starts with lower dose of tretinoin so I’d probably recommend it to people who never used retinol treatment before. Whichever, so far I feel like starting tretinoin treatment was the best skincare decision of 2020.

The Inkey List Hyaluronic Acid is a very pleasant and light watery serum that sinks in easily and doesn’t leave sticky residue. I already have replacement but want to use up some other hyaluronic treatments I have in my stash before I got back to this one.

The Ordinary Amino Acids + B5. One of my favourite products from the Ordinary which I used this year less than in 2019 but is still a firm favourite as it makes my skin healthy looking and feeling. Already have another one in my stash.

A313. Before I started tretinoin, I wanted to try some other available alternative and as you do, when you spend too much time on YouTube and Amazon, I came across this pomade. The moment I opened it, I knew I would never used something like that on my face. As it has a consistency of an old fashioned thick, sticky ointment that smells of vinegar. As I didn’t want to completely waste my £14 I paid for it, I used it occasionally 1-2 times a week on my body as the weather got colder. Even though it says it contains synthetic vitamin A, I feel like I was duped and my skin felt smooth after using it only due to how occlusive the pomade is. Definitely no repurchase.

Merumaya Gentle Exfoliating Toner. It is a gentler lactic acid toner but probably because of the combination with fragrance (which I don’t like), my skin felt just a little sensitised even if I didn’t use it in the same routine as tretinoin. I used it up on my body.  Although it isn’t bad as a daily acid toner if I forget that fragrance, I think you can now easily find cheaper alternatives.

Botanical Lab Indian Clay non-foaming cleanser was my morning cleanse for the last 2-3 months. It works well because it’s creamy but rinses well with water even without using a wet cloth. I didn’t try to remove my make up with it but I don’t think it would be possible without a cloth and you need to spread it over the face rather quick as the Indian clay and kaolin cause it to start drying rather quickly so you wouldn’t want to drag your face and that’s also the reason I wouldn’t use it on eyes to remove make up either. Otherwise it cleansed well without drying the skin but also washed off well without causing me breakouts (I tried to use some cream cleansers in the morning and some of them clogged my pores). It is sold in Superdrug for a reasonable price so it could be a possible repurchase.

Missha Time Revolution the first treatment essence RX. How disappointed I was with the Secret Key first treatment essence being just a glorified water for face, I didn’t have the big expectations for this one, however I liked it much more from the first use. The glass bottle and the delivery system was much better for controlling how much essence I’d dispense. It softened my skin and added a bit of much needed moisture. I really loved it although it isn’t something that is necessary and I couldn’t live without. Unfortunately, I have another Secret Key, as I had bought one regular and one with rose but I wanted any of these again, it would be definitely Missha, especially as here in the UK, the price for the both is comparable.

Simple Protecting Light moisturiser SPF15. This was simple but really everything that my skin needs in a day moisturiser (although if this had SPF30+, would be ideal). It is cheap (again often on half price offer for £4), worked for me well in the summer as well as now in the winter, sits well on top of my layered skincare. I can see myself repurchase at some point in the future.

Indeed Retinol Reface was a mix of retinol, bakuchiol and peptides. It had consistency of a light moisturiser that I used nightly on my neck and decolletage and really liked it for that. It is something I would definitely repurchase but at the moment will be replaced by the similar product from No7.

Indeed 10balm soothing cream. The word balm usually doesn’t make me feel like it is something I want to use on my face but this was nice relatively simple cream with ingredients like honey extract, propolis, royal jelly and arnica extract etc., no fragrance. I loved using it at night after my tretinoin cream especially now in winter. My skin always felt smooth and nourished and not at all greasy or congested in the morning. Again one I will repurchase at some point although at the moment have other night creams and got myself La Roche Posay Cicaplast.

Simple Moisturising Facial Wash is one of those I liked the most as far as SLS based cleansers go. I have another one in my stash but after that it is maybe repurchase as there are so many cleanser I want to try that don’t have SLS. While I still might like it, especially in the summer, as I age, I feel I need something less dehydrating but still cleansing well so I wouldn’t get breakouts.

Body

Sanctuary Spa body wash. The scent of this body wash didn’t seem as musky as in bath milk or body lotion but it still isn’t a something I would purchase for myself.

Yves Rocher Oui a l’Amour is a lovely mix of flowers, sweet spices and woody scent and it lasted very well even for an eau de toilette.

Neal’s Yard Remedies lavender & aloe vera natural deodorant for sensitive skin. To be honest I didn’t think much of this fragrance as I am not that keen on lavender as a fragrance and didn’t feel like it did much for me as a deodorant but my daughter liked it so if I ever repurchase, it would be for her. I will keep the beautiful blue glass bottle though.

Soaper Duper hand cream with coconut water and kukui oil. Lovely handcream that moisturises well without being heavy and greasy with a pleasant gentle fragrance. Wouldn’t mind repurchasing.

Prai Ageless throat & decolletage crème. I heard a lot of good things about this but I found it was always pilling when I applied it on my neck but it didn’t pill when I used it as a body moisturiser and it felt nice and firming in that case. Still don’t intend to repurchase.

Oriflame 5-in-1 nail serum was a runny gel to apply on my notoriously week and thin nails. Not sure it did much for me and I gradually stopped using it and now although there is a bit of it left, it is old and thick, probably dried out. To be honest, I kind of gave up hope, I used different nail supplements, stopped using nail varnish and started wearing gloves all the time when washing up which helped a bit but I think my nails will simply always be rather weak and brittle.

Superdrug Honey & Almond foot nourishing sock pack. I don’t believe much in those nourishing socks and this one wasn’t different but I had a moment waiting for the checkout in a Superdrug so I grabbed three with different ingredients. I left it on longer than 20 and yes, it did moisturise my heels to a certain degree but I think consistent care is better at preventing hard skin on your heels than trying to make it softer by an occasional mask.

Palmer’s Cocoa Butter formula body scrub was lovely and delicious just as the other products from the line. It was thick but it did spread well over wet skin and washed off well as well while being scrubby enough for the body use. Possible repurchase.

Byre Semi Skimmed body wash. This technically isn’t an empty as I still have 3/4 of the bottle but had to put it in a different container as this bottle fell down and the lid broke. This feels lovely and conditioning but it isn’t a big sensory experience and the scent is like a mix of an old-fashioned soap and milk that went sour which might not be to everyone’s taste. I did like it though and wouldn’t mind trying other two milk body washes.

Bioderma Atoderm shower oil. I loved this. It went quickly because I used more to get the cleaning I wanted but my skin felt amazing and I sometimes used it as my second or morning cleanse as well. It has a gentle flowery scent that I didn’t mind. I already repurchased 1l bottle.

Sanctuary Spa hand cream. This was well moisturising, slightly richer than most hand creams I use but still good absorption but then again, I didn’t like the scent of it.

Hair

Beauty Pie Super Healthy Hair shampoo and conditioner. I liked these both. The shampoo didn’t strip my hair but washed well and the conditioner was rich and nourishing almost like a mask. And the fragrance was amazing, made my hair smell lovely and fresh for days. I would repurchase but at the moment, I don’t have Beauty Pie membership.

Make up

Burt’s Bees tinted lip balm in Rose was a perfect everyday lip balm giving a touch of colour to my lips especially this year when my lipsticks didn’t get much used because of the facemasks. I already have another one in slightly different shade.

Sport FX Game Changing waterproof mascara. The mascara itself seemed quite thick and gloopy but as most waterproof mascaras it dried rather quickly as I started using it daily (I had to start wearing waterproof mascara because in this cold weather, wearing a mask caused my eyes steam up and by the time I got to work, my ordinary mascara melted and bled down) so at first it tended to stick my lashes into spider legs, then made good lashes for 2-3 weeks and then it was too dry to make any visible effect. What was brilliant though is that it was double ended and the other end had what was called Game Changing Miracle Remover which to me seemed to be an oil make up remover that you applied with the provided spoolie and it melted the waterproof mascara really well (I also tried it on a different waterproof mascara). I also liked the 3D waterdrops design. Despite the thick formula and short bristles, I would say maybe repurchase here.

Empties November 2020

Welcome back to my monthly empties. This month there is more just because I used some travel sizes as there’s no point in hoping to travel much any time soon and I hung up on some of them for too long. As I now have to wear a mask at work all the time except for my lunch break, my make up use is minimal and I actually live the opposite of pre Covid when I didn’t use make up maybe once or twice a week. Now I use make up only on weekends, even if I stay at home just because I want to so it is a bit difficult to use up make up items for me now.

It is what it is at the moment I just hope you’re making the best of it and keep healthy mentally and physically wherever in the world you are. Stay strong and take care of yourselves and your loved ones x

Skincare

Skin in Motion Cool It mist. I am not the biggest fan of face mists but I do fancy them in the summer and I did like this one – it had a nice mister that wasn’t spitty distributed the mist well in one spray and was really refreshing pick me up when hot, especially as I kept it in the fridge. Wouldn’t mind having it again.

Nip+Fab Glycolic Fix Daily Cleansing Pads. I don’t really see much point of these as I don’t feel like they would really clean my face and I had better chemical exfoliants but I know some people used to like these pads. Not for me though.

Merumaya Mineral Cleansing Paste. Another product that’s not really for me because I don’t really use physical exfoliants anymore although this one is very fine but it still felt harsh on my face as I use retinoid (didn’t use it in the same routine) and it was too fine for my body to do anything. But I guess it could be for someone who likes very fine physical exfoliants.

Elizabeth Arden Daily Youth Restoring Eye Serum were basically ceramide capsules with oil inside. I did see a bit of difference in my under eye area and as one capsule was more than enough for both eyes. However as it is an oil I wasn’t able to use it every day with my oily skin. I might repurchase if I see it for a good price again.

Etude House Sunprise mild airy finish SPF50 PA+++. When I used it the first time in the summer, I thought “It’s okay but doesn’t feel exciting”. The reason is that even if it feels very comfortable on my skin, I felt like I had a pale face and I am a light skinned person so I am not sure how bad would someone with darker skin look like if using required amount. Another thing is that even if it says that it is a mineral sunscreen for sensitive skin, when I tried to use it around my eyes, it stang a lot. However as I started using it more and we got into the autumn, I actually started loving it so it is a possible repurchase but not immediately as I have quite a few to open and use up in my arsenal already.

The Ordinary Alpha Lipoic Acid 5% is unfortunately discontinued concentrated antioxidant. As there was no chance I would be able to use this within 6 months from opening when used only 2-3 drops 2-3 times a week, I also used it on my body and I really loved it that way. It did sting on my face a bit but it didn’t on my body. Shame I can’t repurchase anymore.

Simple Ultra Light liquid moisturiser with thyme, zinc and witch hazel. I originally bought it for my daughter who is 12 and is beginning to experience hormonal acne thus developing a bit of interest in skincare that is as oil-free as possible. It is light but I think as it is liquid and watery it was a bit fuff for her to apply and as she says it also didn’t seem hydrating enough for her. I used it up and I did like it as unlike my daughter’s 2 to 3-step routine (cleanse, moisturiser/sunscreen), I layer quite a few steps and I liked this watery consistency for when the weather was hot or my sunscreen felt a bit heavier than my liking.

Bare Minerals Skinlongevity Vital Power Infusion serum isn’t bad – it contains niacinamide so it brightens and some ingredients that smooth out skin but it is not heavy but it still doesn’t make me go “Wow, this is how I want to spend £48!” 7.5 ml sample lasted quite long though.

Jurlique Radiant Skin foaming cleanser. I loved it as it is that kind of cleanser that makes my skin perfectly, almost squeaky clean in a jiffy without making it dry. I had a sample like that a few years back and wanted to purchase a full size but I think that at that time Jurlique renamed their products so I wasn’t sure if I would buy what I wanted. Now I know but despite it being a brilliant second cleanse, I don’t feel like spending £23 on facial wash. On the other hand, unlike me, my 12- year old wasn’t as impressed by it as me as she asked me whether we have “some other face wash as this one doesn’t foam much”.

African Extracts Rooibos Misting Toner. Alcohol was the second ingredient and there were also some plant extracts so when my skin was sensitised, I definitely felt it thus this is nothing for dry or sensitive skin. I would say it’s not for oily skin either but I used to like toners like that before. Not for me now though.

Simple eye make-up remover was good but I still like my 2 phase Nivea better and it is the same price.

Nip+Fab Dragon Blood Fix plumping mask. I didn’t waste this as a 10-minute mask but rather used it 1-2 a week as a sleeping mask. Skin felt nicely plumped up in the morning and as it is oil-free, it was especially good as a bit of extra treat in the summer.

The Ordinary EUK134 0.1%. Water-free, high-potency antioxidant I used in my morning routine by mixing a couple of drops in TO Amino Acids. It has an orange-brown colour that doesn’t stain skin (unless you drop it on a fabric) and gives a light oily finish that sinks in well and doesn’t interfere with the following products. I liked it but I am now replacing it with vitamin C treatments I have and I also repurchase Pycnogenol but I might buy it again if Deciem do again 23% off in November next year.

Dr. Lipp Original Nipple Balm for lips. I loved using this, it hydrated my lips well and cuticles, I used it especially at night time and woke up with lovely luscious lips and still felt a tiny layer of it on. And I know my 12-year old also loved it because she also kept coming for it all the time and when it was about to finish, she told me to repurchase which I might do but because 15 ml is £12, I first want to try 100% natural lanolin nipple balm that is £7 for 40 ml plus have some other lip balms I need to use up.

Body

Weleda Wild Rose pampering body oil. This was part of a beauty box I had bought. It had nice scent if you like rose but I wouldn’t buy body oil myself as daily use of body oils gives me body acne and itch.

Love Beauty and Planet Coconut Oil and Ylag Yang tropical hydration shower gel. I really like the scent of this shower gel, made me feel like being on a tropical island with fresh breeze on. Like I wrote before, will have to try more from this brand.

Yardley Lily of the Valley was one of my picks in my Latest in Beauty monthly edit and I have to say, I hated it. It smelled exactly like a cheap 80s cologne. I didn’t reach for it even to use up when at home. Luckily, my older daughter who keeps coming to use some of my stash more and more often, did use it for school days.

Laidbare Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow! Hair minimising moisturiser for legs and body. It should be used daily but I used it only on days after shaving my legs. It was very runny like water gel and I do think it slowed down the regrowth but I am not sure I would repurchase this particular product. I did however buy some hair minimising products from Deciem so I am curious how those will work.

Sanctuary Spa Foaming Bath Soak. Don’t have a bathtub so used it as a shower gel and it worked well, bubbled up nicely, cleaned up without drying up. A bit more mature kind of fragrance than I usually prefer but nice for me in winter. Don’t think I would want to buy a full-size of it though.

Sanctuary Spa body lotion. Nice relatively light lotion that hydrated well with the same fragrance as the bath soak. Again, because of the different fragrance preference, I wouldn’t buy a full-size.

Palmer’s Cocoa Butter formula bust cream with vitamin E. This is my longest ever used product that I’ve used for many years and will repurchase as long as I’ll be able to get it. Nicely firms up my chest without causing body acne. Love it.

Holika Holika Aloe 99% soothing gel. The first Aloe gel that I really loved and might repurchase. It felt very refreshing in the skin a the fragrance was very subtle.

Hair

Osmo Deep Moisture Intensive Deep Repair Mask. I bought this mask in March just before the big lockdown as it was a very big 1200 ml tub with an inexpensive price. It is very rich and moisturising mask but using didn’t excite me at all. I know it might be superficial but I want my haircare and body care to also give me a sensory pleasure but this just smelled like raw petrolatum. I’m not saying I would never buy it because it is good for dry damaged hair on budget but it is like a medicine you have to force yourself to use it.

VO5 wet look styling gel. I bought it after Wilko discontinued their wet look gel and I didn’t like it – it is heavy, sticky and makes my hair dirty that I had to wash it. Stopped using it after I found other we like and it laid unused for who knows how long.

Tresemmé Pro Collection Sulphate Free System Colour Shineplex no foaming cleansing conditioner with camelia oil. It was gentle and smelled nice but my hair felt cleaner when I used Elvive low shampoo. I did repurchase though because it looks like L’Oréal discontinued those low shampoos I liked from them😥.

Superdrug Argan Hair Therapy pre-shampoo elasticising hair treatment. This was supposed to be a dupe for Philip Kingsley Elasticizer but I just didn’t get very excited about it and kept forgetting using it so it took literally a year to use up this small 200 ml tub on three curly heads.

Sport FX Body Build dry shampoo. I liked it – didn’t leave my hair full of white cast and my hair had a nice volume. Possible repurchase.

Make up

No make up this month.

Empties October 2020

Skincare

LUÉ by Jean Seo Balance is a 4 ingredients serum: aqua, sodium hyaluronate, potassium sorbate and sodium benzoate. At £14.50 for 30 ml it is a bit pricier for an ordinary hyaluronic serum but still manageable and good to try if you’re sensitive or prefer simple formulations.

Simple Micellar Cleansing Water was one of the better ones as far as micellar waters go and it also had a great price as I bought it on half price promotion in Superdrug. I might repurchase but I don’t consider micellar water something I cannot live without although prefer it as my first cleanse in the summer because using oil to cleanse every day usually causes breakouts for me.

Skin&Me is my second doser of prescription tretinoin 0.009%, niacinamide 4% and azelaic acid 4%. My purging or maybe maskne finally started clearing in October and I started seeing positive results in my skin like smoother and more elastic skin, better than I ever had before except from any active ingredient. I also tried Dermatica besides this which start with higher percentage of tretinoin.

Dermatica tretinoin 0.025%, hydroquinone 4%. I also took advantage of free trial month with Dermatica prescription and started using it after 2 months on Skin&Me. What I did was I used Skin&Me 4 times a week and Dermatica in between. I have to admit I started seeing quicker results in smoothing skin but I also gradually started seeing the negative effects of tretinoin that I didn’t have before like at first peeling of skin on my nose. I am still unsure which one of these I will stay with although I know that hydroquinone shouldn’t be used longer than 4-5 months. I am thinking about writing a blog comparing these two but who knows whether I’ll really get to it.

Nip+Fab Glycolic Fix Daily Cleansing Pads. I know these  were quite popular a few years back but I don’t think they really are a product for me, as they are a cleansing pad if I use them before washing my face (I have the need to wash my face but also get breakouts if I don’t, no matter what some people might advise), I will wash off glycolic acid so it won’t have much time to work and if I use it to tone, I feel like I am maybe leaving on my face something that shouldn’t stay there. And now that I use tretinoin in the evening and vitamin C in the morning, don’t really have much space for acid in my routine as I want to avoid getting my skin sensitised so I used this on my body.

Merumaya melting cleansing balm. To be honest I am not the biggest fan of Merumaya’s fragrance but I don’t mind it that much in this balm. It melts make up well but it stings my eyes as hell so it isn’t good as all over cleansing balm which I consider as a minus even though it emulsifies well.

Whamisa Organic Flower Original toner. I really hated the smell of this toner so I’m glad I had only travel size. It was like pond water mixed with solvent. It was hydrating but so are many other toners that don’t pong.

We Are Kind Natured Shea&Aloe calm&soothe face wash. This was like a baby wash for my face – gentle with chamomile scent. Maybe repurchase.

Harry’s face wash with peppermint was a creamy wash with fine exfoliating particles. As I don’t use physical exfoliants on my face anymore, I started using it on my body before shaving but then I noticed my 12-year old likes using it once or twice a week on her face so I left it for her.

Yves Rocher Elixir Jeunesse repair + anti-pollution + restructuring care. I liked this cream even though YR skincare is fragranced. When I first used it I thought “oh oh, this is feels a bit heavy” but when I woke up in the morning, my skin didn’t have any greasiness and was smooth and plump like it had a nice drink and food.

Body

Radox Feel Uplifted shower gel with pink fruit and basil. Lovely scent, nice shower gel and 500 ml at around £2, what’s not to love.

Soap&Glory Call of Fruity Summer scrubbing. I love Call of Fruity range, every time I am using something from it, I keep sniffing. I also loved the consistency of this body scrub which was a bit like a sorbet with exfoliating particles. I already ordered another one.

Cien shower gel with eucalyptus and citrus oil. At first, when I started using it, it seemed underwhelming in comparison with shower gels I ever used, I even told myself like a snob that this is probably that “no thrill supermarket value shower gel” but it did grew on me and I began liking its fragrance although I had different expectations from it when I was buying it, seeing eucalyptus on the bottle.

Yves Rocher Raspberry EdT. I loved having these 20 ml bottles in my handbag not only to smell better when I was out of the house the whole day but also the fresh fruity fragrance was great, if we had to use a public toilet and the smell there wasn’t very appealing, if you know what I mean.

Senses by Navia Glamorous natural deodorant was the last I had from the brand and another disappointment. It had a lovely smell but after just 2 hours of moderate physical activity, it just wasn’t anywhere. I was using it on days when I was at home.

Mum&You Anytime Anywhere hand cream was slightly richer but still absorbed relatively quickly and had just a subtle touch of fragrance. I would rate it well but I don’t think it made me excited enough to repurchase.

Nivea Q10 Firming + Good-bye Cellulite gel-cream didn’t make my cellulite disappear but like I had said before, I like using it on mornings when I have time to do dry brushing my body.

Palmer’s Coconut Oil anti-oxidant firming lotion with marine seaweed. I really liked this thick gel-cream as it kept my skin firm and wasn’t greasy or heavy.

SenSpa relaxing bath soak with organic lavender and essential oils was alright although I am not a big fan of how essential oils smell but this was a lavender that was alright. My daughter loved the scent though.

Hair

Dr Organic Hemp Oil 2in1 shampoo and conditioner wasn’t drying and I wouldn’t rate it badly but it just didn’t make me excited enough to talk about it much or want it back.

Garnier Ultimate Blends Nourishing Hair Food Banana and Shea 3-in-1 hair mask. I love the versatility of this mask and I did use it all three ways, love the smell also and already repurchased this and other from Hair Food masks.

Love Beauty and Planet muru muru butter and rose conditioner. I loved both the shampoo and conditioner from this range. It was thick and nourishing without weighing my hair down and I liked the rose fragrance it had that could smell in my hair for days after using it. Would like to try more from this brand.

Make Up

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.