May & June Empties

June is far from over yet, but since I’m heading to the US very soon to stay with my lovely guyfriend, I thought I’d post them early! I’ve still been eagerly working on finishing up products rather than wasting them, just so I can tell you all about exactly how I feel about them! So let’s jump into them already..

Skincare & Makeup

1. REN Frankincense Revitalising Night Cream (£32 via Look Fantastic) – Incredibly pricey for just 50ml of product, but this seems to be the only night cream that truly nourishes all skin types (including combination & oily skin) overnight and doesn’t break me out! I apply a couple of pumps of this over my night serum and my skin always looks and feels very moisturised and soft the next day, without causing any breakouts. Also the airless pump packaging is perfect, making it so easy and hygienic to use. I just wish it didn’t cost quite so much! Repurchase? When I can next afford it!

2. Johnson’s Makeup-Be-Gone Extra Sensitive Wipes (£3.19 via Boots) – Yet more of these blasted wipes! I still feel like the texture is way too abrasive for sensitive skin, they’re too dry and don’t do a great job at removing makeup (but I’ll use them all up anyway). Even the super-cheap Boots own brand face wipes perform so much better than these. Repurchase? No.

3. Lush Rosy Cheeks Fresh Face Mask (unavailable online) – My dad was awesome enough to pick this up for me from the Oxford Street store! I’ve already raved about it before, & finally finished it up – these little tubs are enough for around 5-6 uses, but need to be kept in the fridge and used within a couple of weeks. The results were most noticeable on first use, but not so much on consequent uses, although it still calmed my skin and kept it soft quite nicely. Beautifully rose scented and a must-try for anyone with sensitive skin. Currently it is an Oxford Street and Poole Lush store exclusive, but I have a feeling it’ll be more widely available very soon! Repurchase? When possible.

4. Lush 9 to 5 Facial Cleansing Lotion [Sample] (full size from £5.10 via Lush) – I’d been curious to try one of Lush’s non-scrubby cleansers, so it was a nice surprise to find this little sample in one of my Lush Kitchen orders! This creamy floral-almond cleanser smelled so lovely, but I felt it was a little too rich for my combination skin, and would definitely work better for someone with drier skin! I’d use an oil-based cleanser to remove makeup if necessary before using this, as it wasn’t so effective at removing mascara. Repurchase? No.

5. MAC Prep + Prime Future Length Lash Serum [currently unavailable] – I purchased this in January to use as a brow serum but strangely it has completely vanished from the MAC Cosmetics website since! Just as well since I wasn’t a huge fan – I used it religiously day and night on my brows for 3 months and only saw a very minimal amount of fine baby-hair growth, nothing that anyone else would ever notice. I believe it was around £25, so definitely not worth it in my opinion! In contrast, GrandeBrow gave me great results & brand new growth after only a couple of weeks, so I’d definitely recommend investing your money elsewhere! At least I have another empty for Back to MAC.. Repurchase? No.

6. Maybelline Full ‘n’ Soft Mascara (£4.84 via Amazon UK) – The mascara I always go back to! As much as I love trying out new products, this is the trusty mascara I always end up returning to when I’ve had enough of overpriced & rubbish formulas. Everything you want in a mascara – lashes look long, luscious and defined without flaking, clumping or looking spidery in the least. Unfortunately it isn’t sold on Maybelline displays in the UK, so you have to get it online or from the US! And after trying out some pretty terrible, overpriced mascaras recently I definitely need another asap! Repurchase? Yes.

Skincare (Body)

7. Mitchum Advanced Control 48 Hour Roll-On Deodorant in Powder Fresh (£2 via Boots) – My everyday deodorant that never fails! I’ve been using the Shower Fresh scent in the new packaging recently, and I don’t know if it’s been reformulated or if my body’s not responding to it as well as usual, but the other variety hasn’t worked quite the same! The scent is light and unobtrusive, and it really does work all day, even if you feel like you sweat a ton compared to others. I just wouldn’t recommend using it for the full 48 hours! I’ve already bought another Powder Fresh, so hopefully it still works just as well as ever! Repurchase? Yes.

8. Gilette Satin Care Olay Sensitive Shave Gel [Travel Size] (£1.50 via Sainsburys) – A great mini size ideal for your next holiday or trip away! This lasted me a couple of weeks of regular shaving, and the Olay formula felt nicely luxurious and softening on my skin – expensive but I enjoyed it! Not exactly a necessity as my regular shaving gels work just fine, but this is definitely a little more softening. Repurchase? Yes.

9. Bath & Body Works PocketBac in Flip Flopped Fruit ($1.75 via Bath & Body Works) – A bit of a victory for me, since I either lose these or get fed up of the scent before finishing them! This exact scent is no longer available, but Bath & Body Works (only available within the US unfortunately) has such a variety of scents there will definitely be something for everyone. I received this in a makeup swap quite a long time ago, and this one smelled like a delicious fruity tropical cocktail – a lovely reminder of summer even when the weather is grim! I use these a whole lot when I’m up in London, they’re so useful when you’re out for the day and need your hands to feel clean and germ-free. Repurchase? When needed (as I have lots).

10. Lush New Charity Pot Hand & Body Lotion (from £6.95 via Lush) – A lotion that is wonderful for your skin as well as the planet – 100% of the profit goes to one of Lush’s carefully selected good causes, which is a wonderful incentive to buy! This thick lotion is ideal for use in the evening, as it has a light floral scent and can be a little greasy, but is very moisturising, and works well with most shower gel scents after an evening bath or shower. It took a while to use up this little pot even with regular use, so you definitely get value for money! Repurchase? Yes.

11. The Body Shop Hemp Hand Protector (from £5 via The Body Shop) – My all-time favourite hand cream! Nothing else is quite as good as this – it’s super-thick and definitely more of a nighttime cream as it is a little greasy and smelly (you either like it or hate it), but the resulting baby-smooth hands speak for themselves. I’ve gone through so many of the large tubes as I’ve been using this since I was 10! There’s always a backup in my bedside drawer, and always recommend this to anyone. Repurchase? Yes.

Haircare

12. TiGi Bed Head Queen For A Day Thickening Spray (£13.05 via Feel Unique) – A giant can that I’ve had lying around for ages! I used this before blow-drying. I have to say I didn’t notice much of a difference at all, since I use a volumising mousse as well and haven’t missed it since finishing it up – it didn’t seem to do anything noticeable. Probably just as well, since it’s fairly expensive! Repurchase? No.

13. Aussie Colour Mate Conditioner (£4.19 via Boots) – This lasted ages, and I loved the delicious peachy smell! It didn’t seem to do anything mind-blowingly spectacular, but it worked just fine as a creamy conditioner and didn’t strip the red dye from my hair. Repurchase? Maybe in the future.

14. Lush American Cream Conditioner [Sample] (full size from £4.50 via Lush) – I’ve used full sizes of this up before, and while it isn’t the most moisturising conditioner out there, it smells incredible! I have a perfume and body lotion in this scent as I can’t get enough of the delicious vanilla and sage aroma. Super-dry hair may need something more intense, but this one’s about the smell more than anything! Repurchase? Yes.

Candles & Home Scents

15. Yankee Candle French Vanilla Medium Housewarmer Candle (currently unavailable) – Sadly this candle has been discontinued in the UK! I got this as a lovely gift from someone a couple of years ago, and steadily burned my way through it. I always reached for this whenever I wanted a true, rich vanilla scent which didn’t smell at all artificial or overpowering – I really do hate vanilla scents that smell fake. I found it didn’t burn all the way to the edges, but still did quite well! I haven’t found anything quite like it since, but if I spot one I’ll be sure to pick it up! Repurchase? Yes, if possible.

16. Bath & Body Works Paris Amour 3-Wick Candle (currently unavailable) – Bath & Body Works has a full range of body products in this delightfully fruity-floral, girly scent, but I can no longer find the candle on their site. If you typically love your fruity-floral scents, this is a good one to go for! As with all B&BW candles I’ve tried, it had an excellent scent throw; but unlike most of their candles I’ve tried this didn’t burn very well! Two of the wicks kept drowning and extinguishing themselves, so I periodically had to dump some of the wax to save it, and even then it didn’t burn all the way down, so it was a relief to finish it up in a way. In the meantime I’m trying out other ones! Repurchase? Maybe in the future.

17. Ten Digit Creations Wax Melts in The Comforter and Rose Jam ($1.25 each) – Yet more of these lovely melts I’ve used up! Both fragrances are Lush dupes which smell true to their original products – The Comforter smells exactly like the blackcurrant goodness of the Comforter bubble bar, and Rose Jam smells identical to the delicious-smelling limited edition shower gel of the same name. The quality and throw was excellent – I’ll definitely be ordering more when I can; just a shame that shipping to the UK is expensive, so I had a bundle delivered to my aunt’s home in the US. Repurchase? Yes, when possible.

So that’s my empties for the last month and a bit! I left out Lush bath bits this time since I always use up SO many the list gets endless, and now I wrap my Lush bath bombs with cling film to stop them going bad, it’s hard to keep track of the little paper bags. What do you think, should I include them next time? Or include them in my blog some other way, since I’m a little obsessed? I hope you enjoyed this post – let me know what you’ve been using up lately! And I’m going to be away for a while having some much-needed catching up so there probably won’t be any posts on here in that time, but if you want to follow my adventures via Instagram my profile is @beckyalyssa – I’ll follow you back & we can be Instagram friends!

May Favourites

I know everyone is saying how fast the month has gone, but since it’s just turned my birthday today, and I’m also  going away in just over 2 weeks the time couldn’t have gone more slowly for me! I won’t be back until the end of next month (that’s a lot of makeup & beauty packing!) so I won’t be able to post a Favourites until the end of July / beginning of August unfortunately! But here are my favourites for this month, and you can probably tell I’m a big fan of one brand in particular (try to guess which one)…

1. Lush Don’t Rain On My Parade Shower Gel (from £4.75, only available from Lush Oxford Street) – As you probably know, there were few things more exciting to me than the incredible new Lush store on Oxford Street in London: three floors of exclusive, beautiful-smelling products to sample and enjoy! What more could you ask for, really? The exclusive shower gels are absolute must-haves, and this is one of my favourites – a beautiful turquoise blue shower gel scented with sweet violet and vanilla (and blueberry too, apparently). I’ve been pairing this with Lush’s Violet Nights bath oil and Ultraviolet bubble bar for the loveliest floral baths! I adore all of the new shower gels, but this is the one I’ve been reaching for most of all – I can’t get enough of it.

2. Lush Dark Angels Face & Body Cleanser (from £6.75 via Lush) – Definitely not the prettiest-looking cleanser to use, or the tidiest, but after trying a sample of this and seeing what an amazing difference it made to my skin, I had to get hold of the full size. Simply pinch a tiny piece of this black squishy cleanser, mix with water and gently rub all over the face and neck (and body, if you suffer from body blemishes). And try not to laugh at yourself in the mirror. Suitable for even sensitive skin (just don’t scrub hard), it has made my face incredibly smooth, clear and kept even the hormonal blemishes away. Yes, it’s a messy one, but worth the wiping up afterwards! I use every couple of days and my skin texture has never been better. I’m just going to have to apologise to my guyfriend for the black stuff all over his bathroom when I take this away with me..

3. Lush Rosy Cheeks Face Mask (£5.95, only available from Lush Oxford Street) – Another exclusive – I had to ask my dad to pick this up for me since I couldn’t find it on my trip there! And I’m so glad he did. My skin can be super-sensitive and therefore prone to redness, so I’m thrilled Lush finally has a mask specifically designed to soothe sensitive skin. It immediately relieves any soreness as it’s both cold from the fridge and filled with calamine (ultra-soothing), not to mention the true rose scent is gorgeous. I noticed the biggest difference after my first use, and when used every few days my skin looked and felt much more calm. I hope this becomes permanent asap – I’m not so keen on the other masks but this one is excellent!

4. Lush [New] Charity Pot (£6.95 via Lush) – My current go-to lotion! The light floral/cocoa scent seems to go with most scents, so this is what I’ve been reaching for after an evening bath. Not to mention it’s wonderfully moisturising and leaves skin feeling baby soft the next day – it can feel a little greasy if you use too much, so best to use before going to bed. On top of being a great product in itself, the whole cost of the pot (minus VAT) goes to wonderful charitable causes, meaning it does good for others as well as being great for your skin!

5. Escada Born in Paradise Eau de Toilette (£25 via Debenhams) – I did buy this last year, but unlike many other fragrance purchases I’m still enjoying it! I feel like Escada fragrances are targeted at a younger audience and therefore underrated by most, but this is really just like summer in a bottle, and I feel instantly uplifted and ready for sunshine whenever I wear it! Consisting of pineapple, watermelon, guava and coconut, this is like an irresistable tropical cocktail in spray form, and I love it! Now we just need the tropical weather to go with it..

6. MAC Lipstick in Patisserie (£15.50 via MAC Cosmetics) – This has been my go-to the last couple of months, especially since recolouring my hair a touch too red meant my beloved MAC Creme Cup isn’t quite as flattering as usual. I used to dismiss Patisserie as a ‘boring’ shade, but it’s actually the ideal suit-all casual nude which looks especially good with red hair and dramatic eyes. One of those shades you don’t need a mirror to apply, but effortlessly disguises bare lips with the prettiest pinky-nude hue to pull a look together. I’ve yet to finish up a lipstick, but with the amount I’ve been wearing this lately this could be the one!

7. NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Sex Machine (£19 via Space NK) – A product my mum actually gave to me after disliking it on her own lips is an all-time favourite of mine – so glad it made its way to me! NARS definitely like their risque names, so this one is a little awkward to ask for in store! The prettiest matte dusty pink-rose shade in a soft, easy-to-apply chunky pencil – easy to pair with just about any look, and looks especially pretty on fair skin tones. As you can see this has been well-loved – shows how much I use it!

8. Tarte Amazonian Clay Full Coverage Airbrush Foundation in Fair Honey ($36 via Sephora US) – My go-to lazy day foundation! I have to say this really isn’t ‘full coverage’ to me, more of a light to medium. I love that it’s super-easy to apply with a fat fluffy kabuki brush (the recommended Tarte brush is a bit too stiff & dense for my liking) and take seconds to apply, rather than spending ages blending liquid foundation with my fingers and washing messy hands afterwards. This is ideal for covering most of my redness when I have to leave the house in a rush – it feels so lightweight and fuss-free, and the Fair Honey shade is ideal for my light cool-toned skin. I think I’ve almost finished this one, so guess what I’ll be repurchasing when I’m away later this month!

I hope you love my Favourites for May! Have you tried any of these products? What are you loving this month? Let me know below, & if you’ve written a Favourites post too I’d love to read it!

My Travel Essentials: Don’t Leave Home Without Them!

Packing for travel is always something I plan and organise meticulously – there is just so much to share on the topic, & too much to fit into just one blog post! Since holiday season is coming up, I thought it would be best to break down this involved subject into a few different posts. I probably do travel around more than most, & always do my best to make sure my packing is both streamlined and somewhat affordable! Read on to find out my top non-makeup beauty essentials to pack before jetting off yet again..

 1. Invisibobble Hair Ties (£3.75 for 3 via Feel Unique) – I’d originally received some of these in a beauty box ages ago & hadn’t touched them, but since I have longer hair now they’ve become an essential for me! The last thing you want to worry about whilst travelling is having hair in your face, and these keep even the slipperiest, finest hair up in a high ponytail or bun without budging. I use them for such occasions, or for when I’m doing my makeup and don’t want hair in the way!

2. Bath & Body Works PocketBac (£1.95 via Ebay) – My particular one is a fruity special edition from Halloween! I’m amazed how cheap these are to buy in store if you’re lucky enough to ever visit a Bath & Body Works – only $5 for 5 in the USA. They’re tiny, smell great and come in a range of scents to suit just about any taste. Especially good if you’re having to deal with public transport, or for taking in your bag if you’re going out to eat!

3. Boots Mini Emery Boards (£2 for 3 via Boots) – Nothing particularly amazing, but this mini-size emery boards are a lifesaver if you’re stuck with a broken or ripped nail as you can file it down with ease – always carry one with you wherever you go for such emergencies!

4. The Body Shop Hemp Hand Protector 30ml (£5 via The Body Shop) – My favourite hand cream! I’ve used it for over 10 years and nothing else seems to compare – I leave it on overnight and the next day my hands are always smooth and baby-soft. The mini 30ml size is ideal for your travel bag, as the 100ml one is huge (although better value)!

5. Indeed Labs Hydraluron Moisture Boosting Facial Serum (£24.99 via Boots) – I’ve gone on about my love for Hydraluron before, but there is really nothing better when you’re dealing with air travel. Other moisturising products leave my skin greasy and a little congested after over-using on a flight, but a small amount of this before and during a long haul flight means skin is wonderfully hydrated and ready to go once you’re off the plane, rather than dealing with blackheads and dry patches for a few days afterwards! If it wasn’t quite so expensive I’d use it every day, though it really is an essential in preventing dried-out skin when you’re staying in a different climate.

6. Boots Large Patterned Mirror (£5 via Boots) – I didn’t realise how much I needed this mirror until I got one for myself! An essential if you know you’re going to be sleeping on a friend’s sofa or floor, or sharing a bathroom with someone else. I’d even recommend it for festivals, as it’s quite inexpensive too. This portable mirror can be folded back on itself and stood on a flat surface so you can do your makeup wherever you go and don’t have to hog the entire bathroom. It’s very slim and the size of an A5 notebook, so really easy to travel with, especially since the plastic cover prevents it from getting dirty or scratched in your bag. Much more convenient than trying to apply your full face peering into a tiny compact mirror!

7. Primark Dual Pencil Sharpener (£1 via Primark) – Great for keeping your lip pencils and liners sharp on the go – it is unbelievably frustrating needing one and not having it! The dual sizes accommodate pretty much any size of pencils (my NYX chunky crayons and Nars lip pencils also fit), and the plastic lid prevents stray shavings from dirtying your bag.

8. Elizabeth & James White Nirvana Rollerball Perfume ($22 via Sephora US) – Or any rollerball perfume really! White Nirvana is so fresh and floral, and reminds me of being away visiting my lovely family. It’s a shame that rollerball perfumes aren’t really sold in the UK, but fragrance samples, or a solid perfume from Lush would be just as useful! The bonus with Lush’s solid fragrances is that they won’t spill, only cost £6 and don’t count towards your liquids allowance so can be taken in hand luggage no problem. My favourites are Lush Karma and Lord of Misrule (limited edition). I really try to stick to solids or rollerballs whilst en route and in close proximity to others, as some people are allergic to perfume, or just won’t appreciate a spray of it themselves!

9. Bioderma Sensibio H2O Micelle Solution 100ml (£4.80 via Escentual) – How cute are the mini Biodermas?! This 100ml size has lasted me a couple of trips already, despite using every day as well as on the plane to remove dirt and makeup from my skin – just sprinkle onto a cotton pad and wipe all over. This formula is super-gentle and non-drying too. The small size also means you don’t have to cart around a giant bottle of the stuff.

10. The Mini Wet Brush (£6.99 via Cult Beauty) – I’m a huge fan of the regular size Wet Brush, so was delighted when I came across a cute little purple one! I used to use the Tangle Teezer in my travel bag, but since dropping it on a tiled floor it now makes an annoying rattling noise when using it, so I decided to invest in one of these instead. The Wet Brush may look like any other hair brush, but is unbelievably gentle on even the knottiest of hair. I imagine these would be ideal for children as well, as they don’t tug the hair at all.

11. Bumble and Bumble Pret-A-Powder 0.3oz ($12 via Sephora US) – I hadn’t actually tried this product before, but after spotting this adorable mini size in Sephora I couldn’t turn it down! As well as being an ultra-small size for your travel bag, this is ideal for combining with your regular dry shampoo to add a little volume boost – I can’t go without big hair wherever I am, & most volumising products usually come in massive containers! The perfect antidote to dull, flat hair in a super-compact size.

12. Nivea Sun SPF 30 Pocket Size 50ml (£4 via Boots) – I’ve had this well over a year, so will probably buy myself a new one before going anywhere else! In the UK it’s rare we have the weather for getting our body sunscreen out – and who’s ever finished off a giant bottle of the stuff?! This tiny size is airline-approved and pocket/handbag sized, and you’re more likely to actually finish the whole thing up, so you won’t be spending on product that’s going to end up in the bin!

Hope you enjoyed having a look at my travel essentials! Let me know below if there’s anything that’s a must-have for you when you’re on holiday or travelling anywhere!

A Bumper-Size Lush Oxford Street Haul!

If you’ve been reading for a while, you may realise I have a slight obsession with Lush. Just a little bit. I mean, I only have two giant storage boxes and a bathroom full of it. I only visit there every single week, and obsessively order from the Lush Kitchen. And I’ve only applied to work there 4 times, you know. Okay, maybe I have a major Lush obsession, but there really are worse things to be addicted to! As I’m planning on a long trip 4000 miles away to see my favourite guy, I’m trying to be good with my money and not shoving it all at Lush for once, but I couldn’t resist checking out their brand sparkling new 3-storey Oxford Street store the first chance I got! And I wanted to share all the goodies with you too!

Heaven is Lush Oxford Street…

The store itself is absolutely stunning; I just wish I had taken more pics but as you can imagine I was a little distracted! Above you can see some of their beautiful new bath melts, including the delicious-smelling Shark Infested Custard, which sold out in a flash in the Lush Kitchen this morning! They reminded me of the old-fashioned pick ‘n’ mix sweets! On the far wall behind the mirror you can catch a glimpse of the brightly-coloured Experimenter bath bomb and wintery, sparkly Frozen bath bomb, and some Oxford Street soap and the Dragon dual bubble wand reflected in the mirror behind me.

My initial haul photo – clearly I have a thing for shower gels!

I picked up..

  • Life’s A Beach Body Scrub Powder – I still haven’t opened this as I have so much other body scrub to work through right now, but after a very similar version was released in Australia to rave reviews a while ago, I knew I had to grab one for myself! I’ve been informed this is vanilla-scented however; whereas the down-under version smelled of watermelon.
  • Don’t Rain On My Parade shower gel – This dreamy shower gel seems to be one of the most popular, with a gorgeous blueberry-vanilla scent. Haven’t tried this in the shower yet either, but I really hope there are more products to come in this scent!
  • Lord of Misrule Shower Cream – When I found out the store was carrying Lord of Misrule products, I may have screamed a little bit. This was the single product I was most excited for. Although I’m not totally disappointed: it doesn’t have quite the balancing creamy sweetness that the perfume and bath bomb versions have, instead smelling very strong and more bitter to me – I guess they went a little too heavy on the patchouli and black pepper. And it is much runnier than I expected for a ‘cream’ product. The perfume version would always be hard to live up to, but still, I’m glad there is now  something that’s pretty close to the beloved original scent, & I’ve still been quite enjoying using this for my bathtime!
  • Yuzu and Cocoa Shower Cream – I was never one to reach for the Yuzu and Cocoa bubbleroons in store previously, but I’m always keen to try out new shower gels (as you can see). Described as a ‘chocolate orange’ scent, it definitely smells more coconutty to me than anything, and as I’m not keen on coconut scents I’m a little skeptical, and can’t decide just yet if I’ll like it or not. But I’m excited to try it, I may love it a whole lot more in the shower!
  • Wash That Man Right Out Of My Hair Shower Gel – A brand new Lush scent – I’m surprised this one hasn’t been more popular already, as there’s really nothing else in the store currently like it! It smells very fruity to me but in a grown-up way (this isn’t anything like the bubblegum fruitiness of Snow Fairy), probably due to the fig, guava and rose. I can’t imagine anyone disliking it as it smells truly delicious & unique!
  • Comforter Shower Cream – Everyone knows how much I love the blackcurrant and cassis fragrance of the Comforter! I already have the shower gel version, and of course needed to try the shower cream too. This smells creamier and more true to the bubble bar scent than the shower gel, & all fellow Comforter fans really need one of these too! I got a mini size so I could take it on holiday with me – I used my guy’s Old Spice shower gel last time & truly learned my lesson, as I smelled far too manly for my liking!
  • Bath Oil Selection – I got a few Shark Infested Custards (super-cute and smell just like vanilla custard!), a few Johnny Appleseeds (delicious green apple scent!) and Oil on Troubled Waters – a super-relaxing yet subtle scent for a chilled bathtime.
  • The Experimenter Bath Bomb – Due to some of the truly incredible preview photos of foamy rainbow goodness of this bath bomb in action, I had to pick up one for myself! And I wasn’t disappointed – it was truly the most beautiful bath bomb I’ve ever used, with a spicy scent and full of bronze-coloured glitter. Check out my video of the beauty here, and a photo of the stunning aftermath here!
  • The Rough With the Smooth Body Scrub – Again with the Lord of Misrule obsession! This LOM-scented sugar scrub dissolves fast in the water so would only be good for a few uses, but lives skin silky-soft and smelling lovely! I’d love to try out more of the solid scrubs in future.
  • Golden Slumbers Bath Bomb – The perfect remedy to a stressful day, this lavender and chamomile bath bomb makes for an ultra-relaxing pre-bedtime bath. It was previously a spa exclusive so I was really curious to try it after spotting it in store. I really enjoyed using this one and it fizzed for ages, as well as releasing a ton of fine gold glitter! However since using around a week ago, I’ve been finding gold glitter everywhere! Hopefully it’ll be all vacuumed up and washed out of everything soon, but steer clear if you’re not a glitter fan!
  • Frozen Bath Bomb – I imagine this bath bomb will sell more for the name if anything! I haven’t used it yet, but as I was also picking up one for a friend, the sweet grapefruit and neroli scent as well as the pretty, wintery blue and white colours made me throw one in my basket. I can’t wait to try this!

I would have loved to have picked up more, but all this cost me almost £70! Plenty to be getting on with, but my inner Lush addict just wanted me to buy everything, especially seeing all the beautiful exclusive products!

Last week I’d had a particularly awful trial shift at a local restaurant I applied to work at, so as my dad was working in London that day he very kindly picked me up a few amazing things – shout-out to my dad for being awesome!

This is what he kindly picked up for me..

  • Aliens and Monsters Fun – I’m not normally a fan of Fun, but as it was so cute and Lord of Misrule-scented (most importantly), how could I say no?! This was sold out on my initial visit but luckily they had it last week! I haven’t yet tried it, but have kept it in the fridge to keep it fresh and prevent melting. I love the creativity of the new Fun bars!
  • Granny Takes A Dip Bubble Bar – The ultra-psychadelic bath bomb version of this is beautiful, so I’m really excited to try out the bubble bar version! The scent isn’t one that stands out to me in the store (ginger, pepper and lemon), so I’m curious to see what kinds of results this gives in the bath compared to the bath bomb.
  • Rosy Cheeks Fresh Face Mask – I’m not normally a Lush face mask fan since they don’t keep for long and don’t clean out my pores as well as others, but since this is advertised to soothe sensitive skin, how could I say no?! This has a beautiful rose scent, feels cooling on the skin, and I noticed the first time I used it the redness in my skin was much calmer that night and the next morning. I didn’t quite notice the same results after using it again last night, maybe I left it on too long? Worth trying if you suffer from sensitive skin and redness too!
  • Salted Coconut Hand Scrub – I’d tried this on my last visit after I’d already checked out, & really regretted not grabbing one! I use a small blob of this once a day after washing my hands, and rinse off. I’m not a huge fan of coconut as previously mentioned, but it leaves my hands feeling so silky soft I really enjoy using it every day!
  • Sea Salted Caramel Soap – Again with the salt theme! This doesn’t smell as sweet as I was anticipating, but it does smell delicious and I can’t wait to use it.
  • Sticky Banana Hand Soap – I’m a huge banana fan & wish more products were banana-scented! This actually smells amazing scent-wise combined with the above soap..salted banana caramel soap would be incredible! I can’t wait to try this either – definitely more of a natural banana scent than a super-sweet artificial one. Fellow banana lovers rejoice!

And £100 later I’m a very poor & very happy Lush addict – time to get back to being good and saving my money! The Oxford Street store is an absolute must-visit wherever you live in the world, it’s a truly unique shopping experience and there is so much to see, smell, touch and spend all your pennies on! Please let me know if you’ve had the chance to visit, or what exclusives are on your wishlist!

March & April Empties

Spring is here, and so is a brand new Empties post! They’re probably my favourite type to read on other peoples’ blogs, so if you love doing Empties posts too, please link yours below & I’ll check it out! It’s always fun seeing what others have actually been using up, & hearing honest opinions on it since they used up the whole product. Anyway, here are my Empties gathered over the last two months! 

Skincare, Bodycare & Fragrance

1. Neutrogena Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelettes (£5.30 via Amazon UK) – Sadly these aren’t sold in the UK except from resellers via Amazon who add hefty shipping costs on top, but these typically cost $7-9 each in the US and are usually on offer somewhere – I always cram as many as possible into my suitcase! I can’t find any wipes that are as durable, super-soft, gentle and effective as these – they remove my layers of mascara and eyeliner effortlessly. Of course I always do a full cleanse afterwards, but a great quality wipe makes the job much easier. Repurchase? Yes, when possible.

2. Johnson’s Makeup Be Gone Extra Sensitive Wipes (£3.29 via Boots) – On the other hand, I don’t like these so much! I’m not sure why they’re labelled ‘extra sensitive’ – the wipes are textured which irritates my skin a little, and they’re often on the dry side and don’t do the best job of removing makeup. My family used to buy these on offer so I still have a few to use up, unfortunately! Repurchase? No.

3. L’Oreal Sublime Bronze Self-Tanning Elixir for Face and Body (£10.66 via Tesco) – I’m the last person you’ll ever find on a tanning bed or sunbathing, so this is how I give my skin a bit of colour! Not that there’s anything wrong with being a pale girl – my skin is naturally a little pinkish, and I find a subtle golden tan shade complements my summer clothing much better. This is fairly affordable for a self tanning product and delivers excellent results – no colour transfer, a natural-looking glow and it can be applied for up to 3 days in a row so you can achieve either the most subtle shade, or a more intense tan. It applies clear, so I apply and rub in well wherever I want some colour (usually chest, arms and legs), leave on overnight and I’m ready to go the next day – my guyfriend even commented that I was getting a “nice tan from the sun” whilst on holiday! Even on super-pale skin it looks extremely natural, and lasts for up to 2 weeks (I applied every 4-5 days whilst on holiday, only using for 1-2 consecutive days at a time). My only complaint is that I’m not a fan of the smell that lingers on my skin when I go to bed, but that is easily covered up with a sweet-smelling lotion. Repurchase? Yes.

4. Lush Celebrate Body Lotion (currently unavailable) – I received this in one of the (several) Lush Christmas gift box sets I bought myself on Boxing Day! In the past I haven’t been the biggest fan of citrus scents, but some of Lush’s unique concoctions have turned that right around. Celebrate is a mixture of oranges, almond oil, lime and cognac to create a very lime-heavy festive scent. Admittedly it’s not one of my all-time favourites, but it complements their other citrus family scents, like Avobath and Fizzbanger, quite nicely. The texture is fairly thick and buttery compared to other Lush lotions and this moisturises my skin well whilst leaving behind its refreshing, zingy scent. Repurchase? Yes, when available.

5. Indeed Labs Hydraluron Moisture Boosting Facial Serum (£24.99 via Boots) – A lifesaver for dehydrated skin; just a shame it runs out so fast & costs so much! A small amount of Hydraluron worn under moisturiser hydrates the skin perfectly, absorbs super-fast and isn’t greasy at all – it’s unscented and would be ideal for even the most sensitive skin. The hyaluronic acid hype is real! I took this on holiday with me – normally long plane journeys leave skin looking and feeling wrecked, but applying this a couple of times during my journey left it feeling and looking great afterwards. Wearing this at night also ensured my skin stayed hydrated and smooth despite changes in climate and environment during my travels – I couldn’t recommend it enough for anyone else with dehydrated skin. Repurchase? Yes.

6. Ten Digit Creations Wax Melt in Sex Bomb ($1.25 each via Ten Digit Creations) – There was no doubt my Lush obsession would eventually move on to home fragrance! I’d seen a lot of positive comments on Instagram regarding Ten Digit Creations and their perfumes and homemade fragrance products, some of which are great dupes for favourite Lush scents, so I was keen to try some out! Although they do ship to the UK, international shipping prices tend to be hefty, and as I was heading transatlantically anyway, I bought a few sweet-sounding things to have shipped to my aunt’s US address, including a selection of their wax tarts. I can’t fault their customer service – all my wax tarts arrived safely and promptly with a few freebies thrown in! Using my Yankee Candle tart burner, the scent throw is amazing and lasts at least a couple of full evenings. Sex Bomb is a gorgeous floral and musk scent, not one of my typical picks for Lush bath bombs but works beautifully as a home fragrance! Since purchasing in early March, the company has already added even more Lush dupes to their Lush Types wax melt selection, and I’m sure I’ll repurchase a bunch when I’m next in the US! Northern Lights and Twilight?! I need them! Repurchase? Yes, in the near future.

7. Lush Enchanted Eye Cream [Sample] (£12.50 for full size– I received this rather generous sample with one of my (many) Lush Kitchen orders – this tiny tub lasted me a good few weeks! Rather than being a powerful, scientific eye cream, it gently hydrates with almond oil, jojoba oil and lavender honey water. The super-light texture means it absorbs quickly and can comfortably be worn under makeup. I wouldn’t recommend it if you need something heavy-duty, but if you’re after something natural to gently hydrate then this is definitely worth trying. Repurchase? Maybe, after using up others.

Hair & Makeup

8. Batiste XXL Volume Dry Shampoo (£3.99 via Superdrug) – One of my everyday essentials! This dry shampoo is ideal for giving a little texture and volume boost to day-old, fine hair. Like other Batiste products, it does leave a white cast at first, but blends easily. My go-to product when I’m lazy and need to get ready super-fast (sshh) – my hair doesn’t look or feel the same without it! Repurchase? Yes.

9. Batiste Original Dry Shampoo Mini (£1.50 via Superdrug) – Is it bad that I get through more dry shampoo than actual shampoo? And that I used up two of these in total?! I left the other at my aunt’s after using it up! I use the above XXL Volume version on my roots, and this on the mid lengths to ends when my hair is particularly in need of washing; though in my defence my hair is coloured and often on the dry side, so I can justify only washing every few days. These little Batistes in the fresh Original scent are perfectly handbag and travel bag sized, and perfect for every event from work to music festivals to your summer holiday – I never go on a long journey without one. Repurchase? Yes.

10. Urban Decay Subversion Lash Primer Mini (£15.50 for full size via Beauty Bay) – Apologies that this seems to be sold out everywhere in the UK lately – wish I’d known this ahead of time, as I’m completely out! I received this mini Subversion alongside a purchase of the full size Perversion mascara by Urban Decay. I’d never used a lash primer before and was amazed at what a difference it made – my lashes looked longer, fuller and more defined, and mascara which would usually smudge or flake stayed put throughout the entire day. I’m currently using MAC’s lash primer and sadly it’s not quite doing the same job that this one did for me! Repurchase? Yes, when available.

11. MAC Brow Definer in Lingering (£13.50 via MAC Cosmetics UK) – My go-to brow pencil! I’d used a nicely taupey yet affordable one from Collection 2000 for a few years, but since realising what a difference the ultra-fine point of this one makes, I haven’t turned back. It’s wonderfully taupe and natural-looking, in a super-skinny soft retractable pencil which is ideal for drawing in individual fine hairs. The only issue is that you don’t realise you’ve run out until twisting it up and nothing else is there! Lucky I always have a backup on hand these days. Repurchase? Yes.

12. L’Oreal Volume Million Lashes Waterproof Mascara (£10.99 via Feel Unique) – Normally I go for cheaper options when it comes to mascara, but this one was a gift! Choosing a waterproof mascara is somewhat of a different game from choosing regular mascara – some of the formulas are just horrendous! However this one is truly waterproof, lengthening and volumising lashes without smudging or flaking. I’d happily used it on holiday in September last year, but felt it was time to give it up recently when tidying up my dresser, as it had mostly dried up. I’d strayed to others recently and been disappointed, so I wouldn’t hesitate to go back to this. Repurchase? Yes.

13. Maybelline Anti-Age Eraser Eye Concealer (£7.99 via Boots) – One of those products which made the rounds a while ago and everyone seemed to love except me! Firstly, I couldn’t stand the sponge applicator – it just seemed to tug at my under-eye area and not deposit enough product. It was more useable once removed and the formula was agreeable enough, but no matter how much I blended it just appeared too yellow-toned for my skin. I haven’t completely used it up, but close enough! Repurchase? No.

Lush Bath Ballistics & Bubble Bars

14. Lush The Comforter Bubble Bar (£4.75 via Lush) – My favourite go-to when I need a cheerful, sweet-smelling bath! I also have the accompanying shower gel in the same scent (okay, two of them) as well as the Comforter perfume! A little pricey but when considering you get 4-5 generous baths out of a single bar, it’s not too bad! Gorgeous cassis (blackcurrant) and bergamot make this a truly unique, fruity & comforting classic. Repurchase? Yes.

15. Lush Tisty Tosty Bath Bomb (£3.35 via Lush) – One for the romantic lovers, this contains real rosebuds and rose petals as well as floral geranium, rose and jasmine scents to create the ultimate lovelorn bath bomb. Not to mention, it’s also shaped like a heart. I really enjoyed the rose buds and light floral scent of the bath water – I’d buy as a once-in-a-while treat but for the price I prefer my bath products to do more for me. Repurchase? Maybe.

16. Lush Twilight Bath Bomb (£3.35 via Lush) – One of my favourites – Twilight is the most dreamy, calming bedtime scent for those who hate lavender! The addition of tonka absolute makes the scent sweeter and creamier than your typical lavender – I’d love to have a stockpile of these so I could use one every night! Aside from smelling amazing, this turns the water a captivating pink, blue and purple with plenty of fine glitter to imitate a shimmering night sky. Beautiful! Repurchase? Yes.

17. Lush Floating Island Bath Melt (£4.35 via Lush) – A more recent discovery for me, but I’m so glad I found it! I add half a Floating Island melt to my bath when my skin is feeling particularly dry, and as it’s packed with cocoa butter and almond oil it moisturises wonderfully. Even a quarter of a melt would give some extra moisture, and its gentle sandalwood fragrance is so relaxing. Repurchase? Yes.

18. Lush Karma Bubble Bar (£3.25 via Lush) – One of Lush’s signature fragrances, and yet another favourite of mine! Half of this little bubble bar fills the bath with sweet orange oil and patchouli bubbles. I can’t get enough of Karma in the summer months, and having the Lush Kitchen Karma shower gel, Karma Kream lotion and Karma solid perfume in my possession, I’m more than happy to layer that fragrance up and smell like Karma all the time! Repurchase? Yes.

19. Lush Avobath Bath Bomb (£3.35 via Lush) – I actually received this as a kind freebie from my local store’s manager after receiving a dud product – gotta love Lush’s customer service! I’d never tried Avobath before, and after the unbelievable hype over the Lush Kitchen Avoshower shower gel recently, I felt I had to try it. As mentioned earlier, I’m not typically a fan of citrus scents, but the lemongrass and bergamot was wonderfully refreshing, and the avocado and olive oil left my skin feeling soft and lovely. Even if this doesn’t sound like your cup of tea, it’s worth a try! Repurchase? Yes.

20. Lush Kitchen Ne Worry Pas Bath Bomb (currently unavailable) – I added this to a recent Kitchen order to try out and wasn’t sure what to expect, but now I’m converted to violet scents! The plain white spherical bath bomb with the small purple hole is nothing incredible to look at, but the sweet violet scent is strong & not overwhelming, and the soy milk leaves the water milky and nicely moisturising. Repurchase? Yes, if more readily available.

21. Lush Kitchen Happy Bubble Bar (currently unavailable) – Another Kitchen exclusive, & one I bought last year! Happy Bubble Bar was my second ever Kitchen purchase, just because I was so intrigued by it – it’s quite strongly sandalwood scented, and I’m a definite fan of sandalwood. And who doesn’t love cheerful bath products?! These chunky bubble bars are ideal for being cut up and used for 4 baths, giving a lovely scent, although not as moisturising as other Lush bubble bars and bubbleroons. Repurchase? Maybe in the future, if available.

And those are my empties for March and April – hope you enjoyed! What do you think of these products? Any you’d consider purchasing? And if you’ve written your own Empties post, don’t forget to leave the link below!

April Favourites

It’s Favourites time again! I ended up having to skip last month’s due to unexpectedly ending up on a transatlantic flight towards the end of the month (oh, and completely falling for someone lovely whilst over there..), so here’s an April Favourites stuffed with my completely up-to-date beauty obsessions! 

 

1. Lush Roots Hair Treatment (£10.25 via Lush) – As anyone else who is worryingly attached to their longer hair knows, the mandatory ‘maintenance haircut’ to trim those looming split ends never fails to fill you with (slightly) irrational fear. As brilliant and talented as my hairdresser is, my trimmed hair always feels a little uncomfortably short and I’m counting down the weeks until my hair (hopefully) returns to its former glory; I doubt anyone else even notices but it definitely bugs me for a while! I’d tried Roots a couple of times before and wasn’t quite sure what to think, but have decided I actually quite like it! Applying an egg-sized dollop (rather than the entire half tub which Lush recommend!), I attempt to massage it into the roots of dry hair before washing (harder than it sounds, it’s much more tricky to apply it to the roots of longer hair), some coconut oil on the ends, and put in a big lobster clip to leave for half an hour or so, after which the peppermint & spearmint oils make it start tingling a little. After washing out and blow-drying thoroughly, the roots of my hair feel so soft, clean, volumised and healthy – the olive oil and honey condition and give shine to even fine hair. On top of leaving roots clean and healthy, the tingly minty oils are meant to stimulate the scalp for new hair growth, and of course the conditioning ingredients ensure the new hair is in top form. Pricey for a hair treatment, but I think the tub should last me 5-6 uses in total, possibly more for those with shorter hair. I’ll keep using this once a week in preparation for my next hair colouring in mid-May!

2. Lush Kitchen Twilight Shower Gel (currently unavailable) –  Two Lush favourite products in a row? You should be surprised it’s only two – I have a serious obsession, and my hoard of bubble bars, shower gels and lotions from the limited edition Lush Kitchen is getting wildly out of control – another reason to stick to a budget! But there was no way I could possibly turn down Twilight when Lush announced their first batch recently. More than just your grandma’s lavender shower gel, and aside from being beautifully glittery, the Twilight scent has the wonderful tonka bean note, which makes it sweeter and much more tolerable and beautiful than your regular lavender – everyone needs to try it. Twilight is also my top pick for pre-bedtime baths since the scent is so relaxing & helps me sleep!

3. Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara (£19 via Debenhams) – As much as I completely disagree with the name, you can’t dispute that this is a great mascara! I received this in a British Beauty Blogger box a while ago when the product was first released and have had it in my stash for a while – I doubt you’d see me paying almost £20 for a mascara myself! As much of a devotee of the cheaper ‘drugstore’ mascara I am, this one gives seriously impressive length and volume in a single swipe, without flaking or smudging. The only problem is, if you get it in your eye by accident it stings badly (learning from experience as always) and will make your eye water everywhere – so stay away if you have ultra-sensitive eyes! Fortunately it’s only happened to me once. On top of its great performance, the packaging feels heavy and luxe in your hand, and the shaped bristle brush allows the product to be applied flawlessly in all the right places. Still think they could have chosen a better name though!

4. La Roche-Posay Toleriane Fluide (£12.75 via Escentual) –  My new favourite go-to daily moisturiser, not to mention La Roche-Posay is one of those rare brands you can always rely on to do good for your skin, and won’t bankrupt you in the process. Toleriane Fluide is a super-lightweight moisturiser ideal for wearing under makeup and/or in the warmer weather, since it absorbs quickly and leaves the skin matte rather than shiny, whilst still hydrating the skin – everything oily and combination skin needs. And personally I love pump bottles, making the product so easy to use Perfect for holidays and summer – I can see myself needing to repurchase this soon!

5. Bourjois 123 Perfect CC Eye Cream in Ivory (£7.99 via Boots) – After picking this up as an afterthought in a 3 for 2 deal, I’d forgotten about it until I realised how much I dislike the yellow tones of so many budget concealers – that stuff doesn’t cut it on my cool-toned skin! The click-pen packaging is a bit of a novelty, and not to mention a bit tricky when you have foundation and/or primer on your hands, but it manages to seamlessly neutralise redness and discolouration without looking like you’re wearing makeup at all. This is a perfect easy product to quickly swipe on under my eyes when I’m in a rush or don’t feel like wearing much makeup, and is also a great product for travelling as it’s so slim and small. The only issue is it’ll be hard to tell when this is almost gone until I’ve used the whole thing up..

6. Grande Brow Eyebrow Formula (£52.42 via Overstock.com) – Firstly I didn’t pay quite so much for this product! A family friend in Orlando owns her own beauty salon, and after doing a fantastic job of shaping and tinting my brows during my visit, she recommended this for growing back the more sparse areas and sold it to me for the reduced price of $45 (around £29). I’ve always had issues with my brows being sparse thanks to an incident involving cutting them off as a child, as well as some slight over-plucking in the past. I’d been using MAC’s lash growth formula and after 3 months found it didn’t really do much. I’ve been using this for just under two weeks and have noticed far more growth than months of using the MAC one ever did! It is the same formula as Grande Lash MD eyelash growth serum, but with a thicker brush more suitable for applying to brows. I brush a small amount onto the front of each brow as well as just under the arch and tails (the thinnest/most sparse areas) every morning and evening. It is recommended to use this regularly for 6-8 weeks before using just a couple of times a week to maintain healthy growth. The brow version is fairly new and seems to be US-only for now, but if you can get hold of it for a reduced price I’d recommend it to anyone (£50+ is more than I can afford on one of anything, even if it’s excellent).

7. Sephora Collection Universal Atomiser ($16 via Sephora) – One of my new travel essentials! I originally bought mine off Ebay for a little less, but hadn’t had the opportunity to use it until my most recent trip. With air travel, every bit of weight really counts and so I’m very strict with what I pack. I really didn’t want to take my chunky glass bottle of Escentric Molecules 01 due to weight and potential leakage, but then again really didn’t want to be without it..what to do?! This was the perfect solution – this tiny atomiser was so easy and fuss-free to fill up, fit in my little clear makeup bag perfectly and didn’t leak at all despite lugging it around deep inside my suitcase and handbag numerous times. I took a couple of other spray perfume samples (one of which leaked), a rollerball and a solid, and despite using this one almost daily for 3 weeks, this tiny size lasted me perfectly. I’ll happily be filling it up again for my next trip and would recommend it for anyone, whether you’re travelling to Australia or travelling to work down the road.

8. Kat Von D Shade & Light Contour Palette ($46 via Sephora) – Contouring is undeniably a huge trend right now, & this is the palette everyone and their grandma seem to be lusting after (grandmas need hot cheekbones too). I’d previously been using Benefit Hoola bronzer for contouring, but needed something a bit more taupe and light for me. The lightest brown shade is perfect for using under my natural cheekbones applied and blended out with my Make Up For Ever 158 Double Ended Contour Brush, and a dusting of the middle brown shade is ideal for bronzer on my temples and around the outside of my face. The formula is so much more pigmented than cheaper contouring products I’ve tried, and applies beautifully onto the skin. My only complaints is that I wish the shades were sold separately, or at least in a smaller travel palette, as the palette is quite large and chunky, the highlight shades don’t really show up on my pale skin, and I can’t see myself using the darkest shade. Despite these minor issues, this has been ideal to keep on my dressing table and use for some everyday contouring.

Those are my current favourites for April! Hope you enjoyed reading, and would love to know if you’ve tried any of these out yourself! What are your favourite products this month? Feel free to link me to your monthly favourites post below!

January & February Empties!

The first Empties post of 2015! Have you been keeping up with your New Year’s Resolutions so far?! I’ve been trying my best to use up products, and simultaneously developed a bit of a Lush addiction – oops! But I’m still enjoying keeping track of what I’ve been using up and at least trying not to buy anything I don’t really need! Here’s what I used up through January and February…

Skincare

1. Clarins Pure Melt Cleansing Gel (£17.60 via Escentual) – My HG cleanser for taking off my makeup; shame it’s so pricey! Luckily Escentual has quite a good deal, but despite only using this on days when I wear heavy eye makeup, it still gets used up so fast. I remove the bulk of my makeup with a wipe and use this delightfully jelly-textured product on dry skin to literally ‘melt’ away my makeup, easily and gently – the most effective way to remove stubborn liner and mascara without irritating sensitive eyes. Repurchase? Yes – when I can afford it!

2. REN EverCalm Gentle Cleansing Milk (£16 via Space NK) – Another cleanser, though I don’t love this one quite as much as the Clarins. I used this on days when I was wearing less or no makeup, since it required a bit more work to get everything off! However its creamy, gentle formula meant it didn’t irritate or dry my skin at all – ideal for no-makeup days, and the pump bottle made it so easy to use. Though I definitely need something more oil-based to get all my makeup off, and £16 is a bit steep for me at the moment! Repurchase? No.

3. Barleans Coconut Oil (£17.99 via Amazon) – First I have to say this was around £10 when I bought it – Amazon prices seem to change a lot, and I don’t tend to discriminate between brands of coconut oil as they all do the same thing! I’m sure everyone and their great grandma has already heard how miraculous coconut oil is, and I’ve been using it for just about everything these days, but mostly for areas of dry skin (my skin does not like this winter weather) and as a treatment on the ends of my hair, left on for at least half an hour before washing. It makes quick work of dried-out skin and damaged hair, better than many expensive lotions and conditioners – a must-have multi-use product for just about everything! This giant tub lasted me well over a year, so it’s also excellent value for money. Repurchase? Already did.

4. Bioderma HydraBio H2O (£10.20 via Escentual) – My quick morning cleanser! After waking up, I drop some of this on a cotton pad, swipe all over my face and leave – I love a good micellar water, and this is my favourite. I have to say I don’t notice a huge difference between the HydraBio version and the regular Bioderma, but I find this brand doesn’t dry out or irritate my skin at all – it’s definitely the most gentle and effective I’ve tried. A must-have for me – makes cleansing in the morning so easy when I’m half-asleep! Repurchase? Already did.

5. Johnson’s Extra-Sensitive Wipes (£3.29 via Boots) – I have a considerable stash of these, since my nan would always buy loads when they were on offer! To me, they’re nothing special – despite being labelled ‘extra sensitive’ they are quite rough on the skin and don’t do the best job of removing makeup, but they’ll do when I don’t have others. Neutrogena are still my favourite; though sadly not sold in the UK! If I have to buy wipes in store, I usually go for Simple instead. Repurchase? No.

6. Kleenex Shine Absorbing Sheets (no longer available) – These always make a regular appearance in my Empties posts, so I won’t go on about them too much! If you can get them cheaper than the much-loved Clean & Clear blotting sheets, they are most definitely worth it – a handbag essential for anyone else with oily skin.

7. La Roche-Posay Hydreane Legere Moisturising Cream (£10.20 via Escentual) – Another regular in the Empties that I won’t go on about too much! My everyday moisturiser – I’ve been layering this over my Hydraluron serum during the cold weather, for some added moisture. I always go back to this – it’s hydrating yet non-greasy, kind to sensitive skin – an ideal daytime moisturiser for wearing under makeup. And luckily it’s not too expensive! Repurchase? Yes.

8. La Roche-Posay Redermic Eyes (£20.80 via Escentual) – So maybe I’m not old enough to need any kind of heavy-duty anti-aging eye creams yet, but creasing under my eyes is enough to make me a little self-conscious. Of course, on my young skin it didn’t make a huge difference, but the light creases have certainly improves a little; not so much with dark circles though! Repurchase? Maybe when I finish up other eye creams.

Bath

9. Kneipp Herbal Bath Stress Free in Mandarin Orange (£7.99 via Fragrance Direct) – I received this as part of one of my BBB boxes last year – a lovely surprise which I quite enjoyed! I never really use bath oils, but this gave a gorgeous, uplifting orange fragrance that was wonderfully relaxing in the evening. I’m more of a bubble bath / bath bomb person, but I did love this while I had it! Repurchase? Possibly not.

10. Lush Sweetie Pie Shower Jelly (from £3.50 via Lush) – I tend to stay away from Lush’s shower jellies after finding them thoroughly frustrating a few years ago, but I just couldn’t say no to this delicious scent! Sweetie Pie is a coconut, cherry, blackcurrant and bergamot-scented sparkly jelly, not too far from the scent of the much-loved Comforter bubble bar. I still find these wriggly, slippery jellies annoying to work with in the bath, and don’t use them in the shower at all since I’d constantly drop it, but this did smell gorgeous, & fairly useable squished into an exfoliating cloth! Repurchase? Yes, in future.

11. Lush Snow Fairy Shower Gel (unavailable) – Found this in a little Christmas gift box from 2013 which I’d forgotten about, oops! It still smelled good but the pretty colour and glitter had all stuck to the bottom, and I have another mini one to get through in the meantime, so I used it as a bubble bath instead! Snow Fairy is a real love/hate product – its scent being almost overwhelmingly sweet, a fruity, sugary, ultra-sweet marshmallow fragrance. I used to love it but now I’m fairly indifferent – a bit too sweet for me! I’m happy to use it up somehow if I’m gifted it, but not one I rush out to buy! Repurchase? Probably not.

12. Lush Roots [Sample] (£10.25 via Lush for full size) – An invigorating treatment for the roots of your hair – clue is in the name! It’s hard to tell from a tiny sample if your hair will like this, so I bought the full size anyway. So far? I used it a few times in the run-up to dyeing my hair in order to help get it in great condition. It’s rather difficult to apply to longer hair – messy and tangly, ouch! After 20 minutes it feels rather tingly from the peppermint, and you wash it out. I haven’t used it near enough to notice if it encourages hair growth or helps maintain condition over time, but I did notice it give a little more volume, and the hair at my scalp felt particularly clean and fluffy afterwards. I’m not totally sure if it’s safe for coloured hair, so I have it stowed in the cupboard for now! I’m not sure if this is really a necessity for me personally, but I’d encourage anyone with dandruff or a dry scalp to try it out, it might really help! Repurchase? Not sure yet!

13. Lush Northern Lights Bath Ballistic [x2] (unavailable) – Possibly my favourite bath product from Lush’s Christmas collection last year! This unusual cylindrical bath bomb is dreamy in every way – gorgeous ylang ylang and jasmine scent, purple, covered in tiny stars and fizzes and foams into beautiful purple, blue and yellow swirls in your bathtub, reminiscent of the Northern Lights in the skies, hence the name. I wish this was a permanent product, but at least I stocked up well! This is my go-to bath product to use for a lovely relaxing evening. Repurchase? Yes, if possible.

14. Lush Unicorn Horn [unavailable] – The beautiful must-have, sparkly, candy star-encrusted, conical bubble bar from Lush’s Valentine’s collection this year! Needless to say I stockpiled these too – they’re just so pretty, not to mention the calming lavender fragrance that is a perfect partner to the Twilight shower gel or bath bomb. I was feeling gluttonous so used an entire bar for one bath, but this could easily be used for two, making them decent value for money. I hope they bring these back next year! Repurchase? Yes, if possible.

15. Lush Christmas Penguin [unavailable] – Sorry for all the limited edition products! I have reviewed Christmas Penguin briefly before, but wish I’d bought a few more at the time. Aside from being completely adorable, this smells very much like the wonderful Olive Branch shower gel, citrus and bergamot scented – one that’s unisex and an all-round pleaser. Why do they not do these all year round?! Repurchase? Yes, if possible.

16. Lush Heart Throb Bubbleroon [unavailable] – My other favourite from this year’s Valentine’s collection, besides Unicorn Horn! One bubbleroon is enough for two baths – the bright red hearts easily break away from the gold glittery middle. Scented with ylang ylang oil, geranium, vanilla and frangipani, this is a slightly floral, slightly spicy, a little bit gourmand fragrance – quite an unusual one. Crumbled under the tap, this produces luscious red bath water, a good amount of bubbles and leaves skin nicely moisturised after. I’d have been more than happy with a few of these for Valentine’s Day. Repurchase? Yes, if possible.

17. Lush Star Light Star Bright Bath Melt [unavailable] – Last one of the discontinued bath bits for now! This was included in one of three (!) 12 Days of Christmas gift sets I bought in the 50% off sale – really good value considering the wonderful items inside! I was really hesitant to use it as it’s somewhat of a glitterbomb (I’m still finding glitter everywhere!) though I changed my mind once in the water. This melt faded into a stunning deep blue, the glitter adding to the beautiful shimmery night sky effect in the water – so pretty! And not to mention ultra-moisturising – my skin felt incredibly soft afterwards and I didn’t need to use lotion. Repurchase? Yes, if possible.

18. Lush Phoenix Rising (£3.35 via Lush– A new favourite of mine – not sure why I never tried it before! My personal style lately is very much a witchy/hippie kind of thing, and this divinely spicy cinnamon and bergamot delight just adds to that. I cut it in half before use, which left plenty for one bath. It looks gorgeous in the water – purple and then fizzing into the blue middle. Cocoa butter and shea butter leaves your skin feeling soft and smelling luxurious. A rather unique one that I wish I’d tried out sooner – can’t stop smelling myself afterwards! Repurchase? Yes.

Makeup

19. Rimmel Wake Me Up Foundation in Ivory (£8.99 via Superdrug) – My go-to daily foundation for a while, but now I’m favouring L’Oreal True Match since it controls my oiliness a little better. Though this is ideal for when you’re looking and feeling a little tired to create a foolproof radiant look that isn’t just shiny – this saved me many days whilst at uni! Great medium coverage and colour match, easy to apply and pump packaging, which is perfect. A must-have for anyone looking for an affordable, natural-looking, slightly glowy base, even on oilier skin. Repurchase? In the future.

20. MUA Makeup Academy Fixing Mist (£5 via MUA) – I was looking for an affordable dupe for the Urban Decay fixing sprays; sadly this didn’t live up to expectations! It wasn’t a disaster or anything, but just didn’t make my makeup last longer – why waste money on a product that doesn’t do anything? Repurchase? No.

Hope you enjoyed nosing through my empties from the last couple of months – hopefully I can rein in my Lush addiction and start using up more products..especially since I’m going away next month and need to save money! What have you used up lately?