March & April Empties / Products I’ve Used Up

Hey all! I’m back in the chilly UK, currently awaiting any signs of sunshine or warm weather – keep me updated if you spot any! I’ve been trying my best to downsize my belongings in order to save space and money (and also earn a little more to fund my travels), so I’ve been doing my best to use up all my beauty products.. and telling you all about it afterwards! This edition is a particularly small one since I was away most of April, but I hope you enjoy.. and let me know if you’ve tried any of these before, I’d love to know!

1. Redken Colour Extend Shampoo [1l size] (£37.99 via Salon Skincare) – My all-time favourite shampoo for keeping my dyed red/purple hair wonderfully vibrant for as long as possible! I believe it has now been reformulated and repackaged as the ‘Magnetics’ version, but unlike most reformulations it actually still works just as well. I picked this up at TK Maxx for just under £20 – always worth checking for your favourite hair products, as you can find some brilliant deals. This shampoo doesn’t lather well, but keeps my coloured hair looking fresh as long as possible and allows me to go at least an extra month between colour treatments. Repurchase? Yes.

2. Lush D’Fluff Strawberry Shaving Soap (from £5.75 via Lush) – Definitely not an essential as it’s quite a bit more expensive than your typical supermarket shaving cream, but one of those products that’s fun to indulge in once in a while! Rather than being your regular foaming or gel formula, simply pinch off a chunk of this soft, squishy pink soap and rub all over your legs, underarms, chin or anywhere else you like to shave. It does leave my skin noticeably softer thanks to all the extra moisturising oils, great if you live in a climate where your skin dries out easily. Not to mention the delicious strawberry smell! It did take much longer to use up than expected and I really enjoyed using it – I’m sure I’ll buy it again when I can afford it. Repurchase? Yes.

3. Lavanila ‘The Healthy Deodorant’ Stick Deodorant ($14 via Sephora) – Gorgeous-smelling and aluminium-free, I had to try this deodorant as I’m always hopefully in search of healthy alternatives. Unfortunately, I do get quite sweaty easily, so although this smells divine and feels comfortable on the skin, I have to use stronger products during the day so I’m not able to give up on the chemical deodorant just yet. However I love using this in the evening when I’m less active – it smells soft, fresh and beautiful and doesn’t irritate my skin at all. I even purchased a couple of the Pure Vanilla scent on my last trip (as they were out of the Vanilla Grapefruit) – I just wish it was more effective for daytime use!  Repurchase? Yes.

4. La Roche-Posay Hydreane Riche Moisturiser (£13.50 via Escentual– My favourite night moisturiser! Unscented and basic (in the best kind of way), yet extremely hydrating without being greasy at all. I apply this over my serum of choice every evening and I wake up with wonderfully hydrated skin – especially helpful in the chilly British weather. It’s fairly affordable yet works so well – I don’t see myself switching to anything else anytime soon! Repurchase? Yes.

5. MAC False Lash Waterproof Mascara in Stay Black (£19 via MAC Cosmetics) – I believe this was discontinued for a while but appears to be back now! I bought this from a Cosmetics Company Stores outlet at a discount, but still disappointed even though I saved some money. The effect was definitely not one of false lashes; neither was it waterproof at all! The mascara made my lashes look short and stubby and smudged onto my lower lids. Needless to say I was not impressed! At least I can use it towards my next Back 2 MAC freebie. Repurchase? No.

6. Lush Lovely Jubblies Breast Cream (discontinued) – It breaks my heart that this is no longer sold in Lush stores or online, but if you’re reading this soon after it was published, it’s actually appearing in the Lush Kitchen on Tuesday the 3rd of May, so if you want to try it for yourself be quick! I have something of a small stockpile of these and hope to never run out – I use it on my chest and boob area for subtle softening and firming (but definitely no replacement for surgery). The jasmine scent is something of an acquired taste and won’t be for everyone, but I can overlook this as I do enjoy the effects of the product. Hopefully I won’t oversleep on Tuesday and can grab a couple more to stock up!  Repurchase? Yes!

7. Lush Top of the Blocks Soap (discontinued) – Another unfortunate discontinuation! This little value pack allowed you to try a generous chunk of both Karma soap and Honey I Washed The Kids soap – two gorgeously-scented bestsellers. Karma is a punchy blend of citrus and patchouli, whilst HIWTK is a creamy, toffee/honey scent. You can still buy both of these separately, but I did love these little bundles. The solid soaps also last ages, making them excellent value for money!

8. L’Oreal Sublime Bronze Self-Tanning Elixir (£15.99 via Boots) – The only self-tan I use, though a little expensive! I apply a couple of pumps wherever I want to look more tanned, cover with a layer of lotion and then leave overnight to develop. The result is a gradual, very natural tan ideal for pale people like myself, and doesn’t stain clothing or sheets. You can apply for up to 3 days in a row, but I find 1-2 applications are plenty. This is my second bottle and I’d recommend it to anyone else who is fair-skinned and not a fan of looking orange! Repurchase? Yes.

9. Lush Blue Skies Liquid Bubble Bath (currently unavailable) – A Lush Kitchen exclusive! This is a liquid version of the Blue Skies and Fluffy White Clouds bubble bar found in stores, an ultra-relaxing, dreamy mix of patchouli and frankincense. I love using this when I feel stressed out and need the most relaxing bath possible – it really does help! I won’t be devastated when I run out as at least the solid version is still available. Repurchase? Yes (if possible)

10. Tigi S Factor Flat Iron Shine Spray Heat Defender (£15.09 via Amazon UK) – The only heat protection spray that works for me! These days the only heat I use on my hair is a gentle blow dry, but since I’ve been using this over the last couple of years I’ve noticed a huge improvement in the health of my hair and far less fried and split ends. It doesn’t make hair feel coated or sticky and all and has a gorgeous strawberry scent. This is fairly expensive but does last for ages – this bottle lasted me 9 months or so. If you use any kind of heat on your hair at all, you need this – nothing else comes close! Repurchase? Yes.

11. Tigi Bed Head Colour Goddess Colour Combat Leave-In Conditioner Spray (£12.43 via Amazon UK) – Slightly worried this might be being discontinued as it seems to be discounted and out of stock everywhere! I picked up my newest replacement via TK Maxx at a bargain price too. This creme-brulee scented conditioning spray is specially formulated to protect dyed redheads and brunettes and help stop colour fading. I find it smells amazing, helps keep my hair soft and makes it easier to brush it through, and the large bottle lasts months and months. Why discontinue it?! Repurchase? Yes.

12. Lush Key Lime Pie Lip Balm [Sample] (£6.95 for full size via Lush) – I hadn’t tried a Lush lip balm in years but was pleased to notice the creative new flavours now available! Key Lime Pie is a must-have for any lime and citrus fans, as it contains real lime oil and of course smells zesty and just like a key lime pie! Performance-wise, it’s not the most moisturising around but would be suitable for daytime wear. Personally I’m not nuts about the scent, so will be checking out some of the others available. Purchase? No.

13. Tonymoly I’m Real Brightening Lemon Sheet Mask (£6 via Cult Beauty) – Or check out a variety pack of 11 for just under £11 on Amazon here! Like many Asian sheet masks I’ve tried, this doesn’t fit my big British face too well. The lemon smells natural and didn’t irritate my skin at all, but it didn’t seem to do anything else either, even after leaving on for 30 minutes. However I’ve really enjoyed some of the others in the set – at least they’re not all useless! Repurchase? No.

 

Holiday Empties

14. TonyMoly I’m Real Avocado Nutrition & Seaweed Skin Purifying Sheet Masks (see links above) – Two sheet masks from my little TonyMoly bundle I bought on Amazon (linked above). I found the avocado mask did wonders for hydrating my post-air-travel skin, whilst the seaweed wasn’t quite as impressive but did hydrate my skin a little. Neither were particularly strongly scented and had the exact same issue as the lemon sheet mask where they didn’t quite fit my face properly, but I’m glad the two I brought with me worked better than the first! Repurchase? Yes.

15. Sephora Pearl Face Mask ($6 via Sephora) – One I picked up on my travels after being recommended it in store! This fibre sheet mask felt thicker and better quality than others I’ve used, but what I was particularly pleased with is that it actually fits my big face comfortably! This is meant to have a brightening effect – I left it on for the full 30 minutes and didn’t notice a big difference in my skin brightness, but it did feel smoother and more hydrated afterwards. There are 8 different masks available and I’m curious to try more! Repurchase? Yes.

16. Living Proof No Frizz Humidity Shield [Travel Size] ($14 via Sephora) – A relatively expensive but 100% essential investment for anyone visiting or living in a humid climate – with fine hair like mine, it quickly turns into a frizzy disaster at the first sign of humid air! I found I had to use a LOT of this for it to be effective and that it worked best on clean hair after fully styling. I had to use 2-3x more than the amount of hairspray I’d use normally and really hated the smell, but it did seem to make a big difference in keeping my hair smooth and frizz-free in the crazy Florida humidity – nothing else has yet! The only issue is that using so much every day gets pretty expensive, so at least I was only visiting! Repurchase? Yes.

17. Bourjois CC Eye Concealer (£7.99 via Boots) – I only picked this up just to try at first, but have quickly become a fan! I love the natural look of the Bourjois CC Cream and the concealer complements it perfectly, easily disguising any dark undereye circles by neutralising any uneven pigmentation without looking orange or cakey, or feeling heavy at all. My only complaint is that it runs out so fast and suddenly – these only seem to last me a couple of months! Repurchase? Yes.

18. Lush Rosy Cheeks & Catastrophe Cosmetic Face Masks [Samples] (£6.75 via Lush) –  I received a generous sample of both of these face masks from my local store to try out! I’d used Rosy Cheeks before – a calming, cooling, rose-scented mask to soothe redness and sensitive skin. This definitely felt (and smelled) lovely on my skin! Catastrophe Cosmetic contains real blueberries and is one I had never tried, but it could be in the running for a new favourite! It soothed my skin, leaving it soft and smelling good enough to eat – really want to pick up the full size next time I visit. Purchase? Yes.

19. Lord of Misrule Shower Cream (unavailable online) – Sold in the flagship Oxford Street store, this bright green shower cream is full of patchouli, black pepper and vanilla-scented goodness – one of Lush’s most popular scents! I feel it smells a little sweeter than the bath bomb and solid perfume of the same scent family, but still love it. My only issue is that the bright green pigments stain any dry skin, especially under my arms when I regularly shave in warmer weather, which sometimes puts me off using it! Repurchase? Yes.

20. Charles Worthington Volume & Bounce Body Booster Mousse (£5.99 for full size) – A tiny-sized mousse for travelling! This was fine to use in place of my normal mousse – it did give a decent volume boost without feeling sticky or crispy; however the formula didn’t wow me and I’m not a fan of the scent either. The size is ideal and I did use it up, but I might try to find something else for next time. Repurchase? No.

21. Tresemme Salon Finish Firm Hold Hairspray (£3.50 for full size) – Another mini-size hair product! Again, this product wasn’t anything mindblowing but it didn’t smell as bad as the loathed Elnette and did the job of keeping my hair in place without being stiff or crunchy. I prefer my Bed Head Masterpiece, but these are great for keeping in travel bags when you need them. Repurchase? Yes.

 

I hope you enjoyed my slightly-shorter-than-usual Empties post! Let me know if you’ve tried any of these and what products you’ve used up lately!

January & February Empties

Hope your month has been wonderful so far! I’m currently fighting a really nasty bug from food poisoning (just don’t eat shellfish no matter how fancy you may feel) but really happy I’ve finally felt well enough to share my Empties with you! Spoiler alert: if you like discovering new skincare goodies, you’re in for a treat. This is a pretty huge one, so feel free to buckle in and grab some snacks…

Bath & Body

1. Radox Muscle Soak Bath Therapy (£1 via Tesco) –  My go-to bath product for when I’m either sick or achey (or both)! I sprinkle a handful in running water and pair with other favourite relaxing bath bits. I know some people also love Epsom salts for a similar effect – I don’t know the exact science behind it, but they’re so affordable and really help me feel relaxed when I’m feeling rubbish! My boyfriend enjoyed stealing some when visiting this month, since we were so sore from an 8-mile trek around London and these helped a lot! Repurchase? Yes.

2. Along Came Betty Bath Soak in So Much Bubble (£4 via Tesco) – Another bath product I quite enjoyed mixing and matching with others – it paired great with super-sweet Lush bath bombs. It lasted me ages, as a small amount produces a ton of bubbles. The scent is described as ‘lemon and mallow’ – very sweet and fruity with a slight hint of citrus. £4 is decent value considering it lasts numerous baths, but not incredible enough to be something I’d rush out to buy again. Repurchase? No.

3. Lush Calacas Shower Gel (currently unavailable) – Another of my Lush Kitchen favourites! Calacas is one of their most popular shower gels – a zesty but sweet lime citrus scent, ideal for waking you up and feeling fresh early in the morning. Normally I’m really not a fan of lemon or lime scents as they remind me of bathroom cleaner, but this one has a sweetness to it that makes it smell so gorgeous (not at all like toilet bleach). As a bonus, when it’s freshly made it often has an orange/yellow-green duochrome effect to it, which is kind of amazing. This was my go-to gel for the shower for a couple of months and I really loved it! Repurchase? Already did.

4. Lush Gold Fun (£5 via Lush Cosmetics) – If you’re not yet acquainted with the squishy scented playdough-style goodness that is Fun from Lush, why not?! It’s literally playdough you can wash yourself with. The Gold one has the same scent as the It’s Raining Men shower gel, a delicious honey-toffee scent. If you’re not into playing in the bath, no worries – I squish mine into a sieve and run under water for tons of bubbles. I really enjoy the scent, especially as there are no bubble bars in this scent, but already have one in the fridge to use up before I go out and buy another. Note: be sure to keep these refrigerated, as the remains melted (even in my cold, arctic-like bedroom) and made a mess of my Empties bag! Repurchase? In the future

5. Mitchum Advanced 48 Hour Deodorant in Shower Fresh (£2.89 via Boots) – My everyday deodorant! As much as I’d love to make the switch to natural deodorants full-time as I’m becoming more aware of the ingredients used in our everyday products, unfortunately I’m too much of a sweaty person to commit to a ‘healthier’ alternative. Mitchum is the only deodorant that seems to work for me and doesn’t give that horrible sweat-and-flowers stink after a few hours that most of the others seem to do. The scents are okay, ‘Shower Fresh’ smells exactly as you’d expect, I’d prefer unscented but their version smells of plastic. The most effective roll-on out there, I’m trying others but so far this is the only one that works for me! Repurchase? Yes.

6. Bath and Body Works Japanese Cherry Blossom Shower Gel ($12.50 for full size via Bath and Body Works) – One of those products I was glad to use up! Japanese Cherry Blossom is a somewhat powdery floral scent that I enjoy as a home scent, but don’t get on with at all used on my body. Although this was only a tiny travel size bottle, it took so long to use up just as I dislike the scent on my skin! I eventually finished it off by using as bubble bath (their shower gels foam up really well for this). I find many of their body products a little overpowering for me these days, so I stick to Lush and other favourites instead – just as well, as it’s quite expensive and hard to get hold of here! Repurchase? No.

 

Skincare

7. Orgaid Organic Sheet Mask (via Amazon; currently unavailable)* – I was sent this sheet mask for free via an Amazon reviews site in exchange for a completely honest Amazon review, and I thought I’d feature it here too! I’m new to the world of sheet masks but really enjoyed this one – it left my skin feeling so much more smooth and hydrated the next day after leaving on for 15-20 minutes the night before. The only issue is that I suppose I have a big face, as it didn’t fit my features too well – tall girl problems I guess! I’d be tempted to purchase again, though I believe the full price was £6-7 per single use mask (!) so I’ll definitely be trying out plenty of other cheaper ones first! Repurchase? If cheaper!

8. Oskia Renaissance Cleansing Gel (£28 via Space NK) – A blogger favourite, though I swear this was £2 cheaper before! At least you can take £5 or more off if you have points on your Space NK card, although it doesn’t quite excuse this cleanser from being so expensive. I do have to say this is my favourite everyday cleanser – no discernable fragrance or essential oils that irritate, just a gorgeously silky jelly-like texture that melts off dirt and cleanses so gently, even on sensitive eyes, without feeling greasy in the least. You may need an extra product to remove heavy eye makeup. This suits my skin perfectly and lasts at least 3 months of daily use so I’m willing to pay the price! Although I wish they made a travel size and a method for telling when the bottle’s nearly empty – it’s a bit of an expensive habit but to me a necessary one! Repurchase? Yes.

9. Una Brennan Superfacialist Vitamin C Cleansing Oil (£10.99 via Boots) –  My second step in cleansing when I’ve been wearing mascara! After removing as much as possible with a face wipe, I use several drops of this oil to melt away tough mascara and lip products if I’ve been wearing a full face of makeup. Quite affordable considering it can last months and months even if you’re an everyday mascara wearer, since you only need a small amount each time to remove everything. It has a gorgeous citrus orange scent to it and doesn’t irritate sensitive skin or eyes in the slightest. I even decant some into a travel bottle to use on holiday. The only issue is that as it’s an oil product that lasts so long, the bottle gets quite dirty, oily and gross-looking – sorry about that! Repurchase? Yes.

10. Lush Sweet Lips Lip Scrub (£5.95 via Lush Cosmetics– This one is currently discontinued from the main collection, but happens to be still available in the Lush Kitchen, so if you’re after some be quick! Mine ‘expired’ quite a while ago, but they’re still perfectly good to use after expiry and mine still smelled as sweet and chocolatey when I finished it off as the day I bought it. These little jars last for so long and are packed with so much product I feel the price is completely justified – no need to spend more money on ingredients to make your own. After brushing my teeth in the morning, I rub a small amount into my lips and it does wonders to soften them and remove any dead skin, perfect for giving a smooth base before applying lipstick. Natural, delicious and so effective – now to work on my special Valentine’s edition from last year! Repurchase? Yes!

11. Bioderma Hydrabio Micelle Solution 250ml (£10.50 via Escentual) – Previously my go-to micellar water and that of so many bloggers and Youtubers, but I’ve been trying out others lately. This particular one claims to be more hydrating on the skin – I didn’t notice a huge difference, but it felt soothing, non-drying and didn’t irritate my eyes at all. Nothing earth-shattering, but effective nonetheless! My only complaint with Bioderma is that they make it impossible to decant the product or to re-use their containers, even when using a narrow funnel, which I feel is a little sneaky! Repurchase? Maybe in the future.

 12. The Body Shop Aloe Calming Toner (£9.50 via The Body Shop) – I’d never been a toner fan but found this one really effective for my sensitive skin! I use it following my micellar water in the mornings, it really helps tighten pores and reduce redness a little whilst removing any extra dirt or makeup. As a bonus, it’s pretty much unscented and doesn’t strip or dry out the skin, or contain any harsh essential oils. I’m trying out another product at the moment but this is one I’d definitely come back to! Repurchase? Possibly soon!

13. Bee Good 3-in-1 Honey and Wild Water Mint Cleansing Water (£10 via Waitrose– At £10 for just 100ml (small enough to carry in hand luggage) I probably wouldn’t have picked this up on my own, but I did really enjoy using it after receiving it in a beauty box a while ago! It has a very gentle, pleasant honey and mint scent and doesn’t irritate or dry the skin at all, nor does it interfere with sensitive eyes. I’m trying out other products at the moment and may come back to it in the future, as I did really enjoy it! Repurchase? Possibly in the future!

14. Lush Dark Angels Cleanser (£6.95 via Lush Cosmetics) – I didn’t finish up the whole thing but this was long expired – a tiny amount goes such a long way, the small size is more than enough for anyone! This black scrubby cleanser works so well to exfoliate all skin types (and stain your towels), especially good for combination skin and blackheads. I’ve since switched to a different routine so no longer buy this, but I did really enjoy the results on my skin. Just be sure to use old towels and washcloths to avoid staining! Repurchase? Maybe in the future.

15. La Roche-Posay Hydreane Legere Moisturiser (£13.50 via Escentual) – One that seems to make an appearance every single post! My absolute favourite daytime moisturiser which is perfect for sensitive dehydrated skin – the mildest and blandest of formulas and yet so effective, non-greasy and so hydrating. I’ve been using it for a couple of years now and not sure how I’d carry on without it. Absolutely worth the money, so little else seems to work for me. My only slight complaint is that there is at least another couple of weeks worth of product hiding inside the tube once you cut it open, so I slice it up and decant the rest into a small plastic tub. Repurchase? Yes.

16. Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm [Sample] (£22 for full size via Feel Unique) – I received a few of these little sample pods as freebies during the Sephora VIB sale in November while I was away – I’d heard so much about the product, but was reluctant to purchase due to the price. The balm feels very similar in consistency to coconut oil – it melts on your skin in the same way but doesn’t feel greasy, nor does it have any kind of scent. I was impressed at how well it seems to melt away makeup, including mascara, without leaving a residue. I definitely need to try it out a few more times – it could well be worth the investment! Purchase? Maybe.

17. NYX Green Tea Blotting Paper (£5 via Boots) – I’d bought these on a whim on an Ulta visit in the US a while ago, but only recently finished up all 100 sheets. The claims are interesting and the papers are definitely quite pretty, but I didn’t notice any notable differences from any other blotting papers. My Kleenex and Clean & Clear ones definitely seem to absorb more oil than these. Repurchase? No.

18. Lush Enchanted Eye Cream [Sample] (£12.95 for full size via Lush Cosmetics) – I’m always the cheekiest and ask for samples of this whenever I can, just to help make my mind up! This eye cream is super-light and hydrating, made with simple and safe ingredients, a tiny amount goes a very long way, it’s pretty affordable and packaged in a handy and very practical mini pump bottle. After much deliberation I think I’ll be purchasing it as soon as I’ve used up all my other eye creams – I don’t need anything too heavy just yet and I’ve been quite enjoying it! And do I really need any encouragement to take a trip to Lush? Purchase? Yes (eventually).

Hair

19. OGX Thick & Full Biotin & Collagen Shampoo (£6.99 via Boots) – I got very excited for this shampoo but ended up a little disappointed! It has a very unusual stringy, jelly-like consistency and a pleasant candy-like smell which I just can’t put my finger on. Initially it did seem to give a small boost of volume to my fine, flat hair, but towards the end of the bottle I noticed my hair shedding more than usual when I used this shampoo. Which definitely isn’t what I want from a shampoo! A shame, as it seemed like a good one initially. Repurchase? No.

20. Johnson’s Baby Powder (£1.05 via Boots) –  A bit of a controversial one at the moment – a woman in the US has sued Johnson & Johnson claiming that their baby powder causes cancer. Side note: I didn’t realise ladies use this as a feminine hygiene product? You learn something new every day! Talc is used in so many powder-based cosmetics, scientifically shown to be just as safe if not safer than many other cosmetic products, and in the UK at least, there are such stringent cosmetic safety regulations I think we’ll all be okay to keep using our favourite powder products a bit longer. I use this as dry shampoo to massage into my roots when they’re particularly greasy – it works just as well if not better than many dry shampoos for me! Repurchase? Yes.

Makeup

21. Revlon Colorstay Whipped Foundation in 150 Buff ($11.19 via Drugstore.com) – Unfortunately this brilliant formula isn’t available in the UK, but keep an eye out for it on Amazon or Ebay as it occasionally pops up! This is my absolute favourite all-day long-wear foundation – a natural looking matte finish that’s comfortable to wear and doesn’t budge on even the busiest days out. It’s so easy to blend and apply, and Buff matches my light, cool-toned skin perfectly. My one complaint is that the packaging is ridiculous – the huge glass jar is chunky, heavy and a little unnecessary. Repurchase? Yes.

22. Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion (£16 via Feel Unique) – My mini primer potion dried up so I had to get rid of it unfortunately – just as well, as it’s a pretty old one! This cult favourite is possibly the best out there for keeping powder eyeshadow in place, although powder shadows crease every time on me, so I usually stick to cream formulas instead. A great investment if you regularly wear powder eyeshadows! Repurchase? In the future.

23. Collection Extreme 24 Hour Felt Tip Liner in Black (£2.99 via Superdrug) – One of my makeup essentials! I wear this liner every single time I wear full eye makeup – it’s one of the cheapest out there as well as the most effective and easiest to apply. Personally I just can’t get on with gel, pencil or brush tip liners, so this is my one and only. It always looks great and wears so well – I hope they never discontinue this! Repurchase? Yes.

24. Maybelline Full ‘n’ Soft Waterproof Mascara (£8.16 via Amazon) – Another one of those great products that sadly isn’t easily available in the UK for some reason, but at least Amazon has them (if a bit overpriced once shipping is added). The best waterproof formula I’ve found – if it can survive the Florida summer, it can quite literally do anything. Lashes look naturally defined and lengthened, no clumps or spidery business here. I stock up from Target or Walmart when I’m in the US where it’s a little more affordable. Repurchase? Yes.

25. Maybelline The Rocket Volum’ Express Mascara / Waterproof Mascara (£7.99 via Superdrug– I’d purchased both versions expecting great things but unfortunately felt a little disappointed, not to mention like I’d wasted my money. Both versions seemed very similar to me – average, spidery lashes that stuck together and smudged on my lower lids, even the waterproof version. A shame, as they’re not the cheapest out there and I was expecting good things considering their popularity. Repurchase? No.

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Thanks for checking out my last 2 months worth of Empties – what a journey! Let me know below what you’ve been using up lately, or even link me to your own Empties post, I’d love to see! 

January Favourites

Happy early February – I hope your January has been amazing! I’ve been keeping myself busy and have a really exciting next couple of weeks planned, but thought I’d stop by and keep you updated with what I’ve been falling in love with over the last month! 

1. Lush Creamed Almond and Coconut Smoothie (currently unavailable) – A product I didn’t think about too much previously, but now in the depths of the chilly winter months it makes a huge difference to my skin, as well as smelling truly wonderful! Unfortunately it is only available rarely in the Lush Kitchen, so I’ve had to scout the internet to find a couple of backups. I use my regular shower gel (a strawberry one goes really well with the creamy nuttiness of this!) and then apply this all-over before washing off under the shower. No need to use lotion afterwards, such a bonus when in the cold weather it’s a race to throw clothes on just to stay warm!

2. Lush Snow Fairy Shower Gel (currently unavailable) – Lush’s iconic Christmas shower gel! If you haven’t smelled the unique mix that is Snow Fairy, it’s a real love/hate one – a super-sweet, fruity bubblegum / candyfloss scent. It pairs perfectly with Lush’s sweeter bath products, but if used too often (as I did several years ago) it gets a little much. However I’m currently really enjoying using it in my baths to add a burst of glittery pink sweetness to gloomy winter evenings..but just a little, don’t overdo it! I also tried adding a capful into my washing machine when cleaning my bedsheets – it doesn’t come out super-strong but enough to give wafts of the lovely cult scent!

3. Lush Twilight Perfume (currently unavailable) – Three Lush products in a row.. and three that can’t currently be purchased online or in stores! But what kind of Favourites post would it be if I didn’t tell exactly what I’ve been loving?! The Twilight perfume was available for all of a few minutes when it was released in the Lush Kitchen, as it’s enormously popular amongst Lush fans and was well overdue for a re-release. I’ve never been a lavender fan but Twilight has turned that around for me – now I want my entire life to smell of lavender-tonka scented Twilight goodness. I wasn’t even sure I’d be keen on the perfume as surely it would send me to sleep, but it’s the ideal scent for low-key, lazy winter days and evenings. I love wearing this if I’m just having a chill evening with a friend for example – it’s a delightfully cosy scent which makes a change from the typical ‘cosy’ perfumes of amber and vanilla. I can’t get enough of it and I’m so glad I managed to pick up two bottles while it was around!

4. Maybelline Superstay Better Skin Foundation (£8.99 via Boots) – My new everyday foundation! A surprising new favourite for me, I picked it up on a whim just to try out something new and I’ve ended up loving it. I prefer to use a blending sponge to fully blend it out to avoid a streaky finish, but it doesn’t oxidise on the skin and gives my face a truly natural, satin look finish without being at all oily or drying. I’d recommend it for all skin types. As the name suggests, it’s truly your skin but better. The only flaw is that I was exactly between the two lightest shades (Ivory and Light Beige) and it does lean a little dark/warm for fairer skin, so I decided to buy both and mix them together for a custom shade. A great decision, my base is looking so much better and more natural-looking, and it doesn’t cost a fortune either!

5. Paula’s Choice Clear Extra Strength 2% BHA (£19.98 via Paula’s Choice UK) – January has been the month I decided to up my skincare game and this is the number one product that’s really turned my problem skin around! This BHA exfoliant claims to do it all – reduce redness, unclog pores and keep stray spots at bay. I’d suggest it to anyone with problem combination to oily skin, sensitive or not. Especially if you feel like you’re using All The Products to tame troubled skin! Since using this in place of my old liquid exfoliator, I haven’t touched a face scrub or mask at all this month. Really! Using every other day, it keeps my skin both looking and feeling smooth, free of most blackheads or spots, whilst helping to keep it looking clear all over. I’d highly recommend checking out Paula’s Choice skincare if you haven’t already – everything is free of fragrance and essential oils that can easily irritate skin, only featuring the necessary ingredients to keep all skin types looking and feeling wonderful! I also love that they never test on animals and are not too expensive, just a little pricier than Boots favourites but 100% worth it. You can also order trial and sample sizes of any products, which is fantastic – no wasting all your money on a product that doesn’t work for you! I’m also trialling their anti-redness serum and can’t wait to pick up one or two more things when I next order!

6. MAC Lustre Lipstick in Cut A Caper (currently unavailable) – Apologies for mostly discontinued bits this month – why do they always get rid of the best products?! Cut A Caper is a shade I often hear raved about by bloggers and I was never able to get hold of one of my own until recently. This is a slight sheer, slightly glossy-looking pinkish-salmon shade that’s so flattering and wearable for pale, cool-toned skin. I do like some orange shades in the summer such as MAC’s Ravishing and Vegas Volt, but this is ideal for everyday in that it’s not too ‘WOAH, orange lipstick?!’ and a bit more subtle, perfect for swiping on every day. Why is this limited edition, and can we get it back please?!

 

Those are all the wonderful things I’ve been loving this January – do let me know if you’ve tried them before, or if you decide to pick them up yourself! What have YOU been loving this month? Link me your Favourites posts below!

September – December Empties!

FOUR months worth of empties in one go! Okay, admittedly there isn’t quite as much as usual, due to being away for 6 weeks, and using travel products instead / buying new items to keep me covered whist gone, but this is what I’ve managed to use up since September – hope you enjoy! Let me know what you’ve recently used up in the comments! And if you’ve been using any of these products, let me know if you’re loving them or loathing them – I’d love to know:)

Hair

1. Batiste Dry Shampoo in Original (£2.48 via Superdrug) – Looks like Batiste packaging has changed yet again! I only wash my hair every 3-4 days so dry shampoo is a must to prevent it looking too greasy. I use this on the mid-sections and ends of my hair to give it the illusion of being soft and fresh, and use a more volumising product at the roots. I actually prefer the smell of this one to most of the others – it’s quite clean and fresh without being too strong, I can’t stand scented hair products that compete with your perfume. An essential that does the job for me, and doesn’t cost a fortune! Repurchase? Yes.

2. Batiste Dry Shampoo in XXL Volume (currently unavailable) – Slightly worried this HG essential is being discontinued, as I can no longer find it online! All I can find is an ‘improved formula’ which contains oils – why would I want extra oils on my roots?! Lots of people seem to dislike this product, as it’s easy to go overboard on first use and end up with tangled sticky hair, but just a few small sprays at the roots gives a great boost of volume whilst also absorbing excess oil. Repurchase? Yes, if possible.

3. Boots Expert Build-Up Removal Shampoo (currently unavailable) – Sigh..another discontinued hair product?! Okay, I’ve had this one a while – the packaging is practically ancient! The latest version came in a very muted, ‘classic’ looking slim cream bottle with silver and black print – really hard to spot on the shelf, even if you were looking for it. I prefer the old packaging! Although I don’t use this much, especially with coloured hair, it’s ideal for removing excess product (I’m a big dry shampoo fan as you can see) and keeping hair clean and healthy. I always follow up with a deep conditioning mask to avoid drying my hair out. This was totally affordable and did the job – any other recommendations? Repurchase? Yes, if possible.

Bodycare

4. Vaseline Spray & Go Body Moisturiser in Aloe Fresh (£2.45 via Superdrug) – I actually just finished this one up this morning! Ideal for warm days in the summer, but this doesn’t get much use for me in winter as I’m normally far too cold to mess around with lotion in the morning! Ideal for anyone who’s bad at body moisturising, as this is so fast and easy to apply, sinking in almost immediately without leaving any sticky/greasy residue at all. I find the Aloe scent is the most mild and non-offensive, as it just smells light, fresh and clean! Repurchase? Yes.

5. Lush Ocean Salt Face & Body Scrub (from £7.95 via Lush) – A tiny size from a gift set last Christmas! This was my first time trying out Ocean Salt, & I really enjoyed it. The zesty, clean smell is so refreshing, the coarse sea salt gives a good scrub without being overly abrasive, and avocado butter softens your skin at the same time. Not to mention, like everything else Lush it’s completely natural. I rarely purchase body scrubs for myself as I enjoy my Salux so much, but this was a lovely one to try out! However it’s very expensive for a scrub so not sure I’d repurchase right away! Repurchase? Maybe in the future.

6. Lush Comforter Moisturising Shower Cream (from £4.95 via Lush) – I was thrilled that Lush released a Comforter-scented shower product, since I love the bubble bar so much! Unless they’ve been reformulated since I purchased earlier in the year, I feel it does smell a little more sugary than the classic bubble bar, not to mention the shower cream formula can be a little gritty. I also find that if my skin is quite dry, these stain as they’re so pigmented! I had this issue when on holiday in the summer, as my underarms were so dry from regular shaving. I do prefer the shower gel formula I managed to snag in the Lush Kitchen, & will most likely repurchase when I’m all out of the gel too, as the smell can’t really be beaten. Repurchase? Soon!

7. Bath & Body Works Japanese Cherry Blossom PocketBac ($1.75 via Bath & Body Works) – One I’ve had around for a while – it does take me ages to finish these up! I always have a selection of different scents to throw into bags whenever I go on a trip, as they’re essentials if you’re using public transport (or just out in public in general). I did used to love the pretty floral Japanese Cherry Blossom scent but now it’s a bit strong for me. Repurchase? Yes, in another scent.

8. Lush Golden Handshake (£2.95 via Lush) – I’d bought this to use for both my hands and feet before going on holiday. After following the instructions, it was nothing like the creamy paste pictured on the website – the product barely melted & just remained as chunks floating around. I’d definitely recommend using in boiling water and just leaving to cool, as hot tap water as mentioned in the instructions isn’t quite adequate (at least where I live). It was a bit frustrating (and messy) & I would have got the same result just using a hand & foot cream! Repurchase? Probably not.

9. Dr Bronner’s Organic Rose Castile Liquid Soap 59ml (£1.99 via Dr Bronner’s UK) – I used this one for washing my brushes! I’d heard a lot of good things about it, so decided to try it out. However I’m not sure I’m a fan –  although the rose smell was lovely, the soap felt drying on my skin and still felt like it left a slight film on my brushes. Think I’ll go back to using baby shampoo! Repurchase? No.

Makeup

10. MAC Prep & Prime Lash (£13.50 via MAC Cosmetics) – Unfortunately this didn’t really seem to do anything for me! Whilst good lash primers give the look of length and definition, this didn’t seem to do anything. Also it didn’t dry properly at all – a shame when MAC products are so expensive! Repurchase? No.

11. MAC Pen in Lingering (£14 via MAC Cosmetics) – ..Wait, has this always been £14?! I swear it used to be less! Though I can’t complain too much when it keeps my brows nicely filled whilst still looking natural due to its super-fine tip and lovely taupe shade – no ugly orange-brown brows over here! My only complaint is that I do go through them very fast! Repurchase? Yes.

12. Tarte Opening Act Lash Primer  [Deluxe Sample] ($22 for full size via Sephora) – I wish it was easier to get such great samples & mini sizes for free over here – god I love Sephora! I probably wouldn’t have even considered this product otherwise. It really does give great length and definition under regular mascara and I definitely see a difference whenever I use it. I made sure to pick up the full size on my last visit!  Repurchase? Already did!

13. ELF Cream Eyeliner in Black (£4.50 via ELF UK) – I didn’t quite finish this one up – it’d dried out so I had to get rid of it sadly! Though I just stick to felt tip style eyeliners these days, as they’re just easier and less messy. If you do use cream or gel eyeliners, this is so similar in formula to the MAC Fluidline liner and works just as well – a great product for the price, but just one I don’t use anymore! Repurchase? No.

 

14. Neutrogena Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelettes (£3.79 via Amazon UK) – My favourite makeup wipes! It makes me sad that these aren’t so easily available in the UK. They’re thick, super-soft, extra-moist and remove makeup so easily, even on sensitive eyes. Using anything else is always frustrating! I’ll always use these as long as I have some stashed away. Repurchase? Yes (when I can!)

15. Indeed Labs Eysilix Instant Eye Rescue (£24.99 via Boots) –  My favourite eye cream! I don’t enjoy the idea of paying £25 for an eye cream, so I always purchase when they’re on sale in Boots, or search for a new one on Ebay. This is probably the only one I’ve used where I’ve actually noticed a difference in smoothing out fine lines under my eyes, which means both my skin and my makeup look better. It doesn’t give me those horrible milia spots either, which are often caused when creams are too rich for your skin type. I’ll keep repurchasing if it keeps up such great results! Repurchase? Yes.

16. Lancome Bi-Facil Eye Makeup Remover [Deluxe Mini] (£17.95 for full size via Amazon UK) – I used to use this regularly and loved it, but I’ve had this one such a long time so thought it best to get rid of it! The oil-based formula is ideal for quickly breaking down tough waterproof mascara, but now that I use an oil-based cleanser I rarely need to use a separate eye makeup remover. I also found this leaves an oily film behind, so I tend not to reach for it anymore. Repurchase? No.

17. Mudd Original Mask [5 application pack] (£3.06 via Amazon UK) – My HG face mask! I’ve been using this for a few years now & it’s still just as effective as ever. It does a brilliant job of drawing dirt out of pores, leaving the skin smooth, soft and clear without being overly drying or irritating sensitive skin at all. And it’s great value – a decent face mask doesn’t need to cost a small fortune. Repurchase? Yes.

18. Elizabeth Arden 8 Hour Cream Lip Protectant Stick (£11.69 via Amazon UK) – The first time I’ve ever finished a lip balm! *cue confetti* A new HG for me – many lip balms just seem to make my lips even drier; this is one of the few that actually seem to help and ensure my lips don’t feel dry during the day, especially in the chilly winter weather. The only con is that the RRP price of £20 is a bit crazy for a lip balm, and that it’s quite a soft formula so seems to get used up very quickly!  Repurchase? Yes.

19. Sunday Riley Good Genes Serum [Sample] (£85 for full size via Space NK) – One of the many little samples of this wonder I picked up from Sephora. I know I went on about it in my Sephora haul so I’ll keep it short and sweet – an absolute wonder serum for keeping skin smooth and youthful-looking without irritation, seeming to solve a wealth of problems for me. Just a shame about the crazy price tag! Why must some expensive products be so amazing?! Repurchase? Yes (when I can afford it).

20. Fresh Rose Hydrating Eye Gel Cream [Sample] ($40 for full size via Sephora) – A little sample sachet that lasted quite a few days! This thick cooling gel product felt so soothing on the skin and left my undereye area quite moisturised; however it didn’t do anything incredible, especially for the price. I’d try others first! Repurchase? No.

21. Clarins Blue Orchid Face Treatment Oil (£29 via Escentual) – My go-to oil for when my skin’s feeling particularly dehydrated (which is all too often). Quite a pricey option but absolutely worth it – mine lasted me a few months, and never breaks me out or makes my skin appear overly greasy. I use this under my REN Frankincense night cream, a brilliant nighttime combination for sensitive/dehydrated skin in the cold weather. Repurchase? Yes.

22. La Roche-Posay Hydreane Legere (£9 via Escentual) – I’ve lost count of how many of these I’ve used up! My favourite daytime moisturiser for my sensitive dehydrated skin. Free of oil, fragrance and colouring, it never irritates my skin or looks greasy. Just lightly hydrating & very effective for troubled skin in the daytime. Repurchase? Yes.

23. GrandeBrow Brow Enhancing Serum (£39.50 via StrawberryNet) – Extremely expensive, but a must-try for anyone else who has sparse brows because of over-plucking, accidents or genetics. I used this one up until it was completely dry – it’s the first growth serum I’ve tried that actually works. I started seeing results within a couple of weeks and my brows really improved, though I wasn’t able to get hold of one for a while and I believe you’re supposed to apply weekly or so once you’ve achieved the brows you want. My brows are very sparse partly due to an unfortunate accident as a child on one side, and partly due to overplucking. I’m trying again with a brand new tube and hopefully I can get them to grow nice and full again! Repurchase? Yes.

Holiday Empties

24. Bumble & Bumble Thickening Dryspun Finish 40ml (£9.50 via Feel Unique) – A useful little texturising spray for travel – I used it up over my last couple of trips. I found it only gives light texture to the hair, not much more than a dry shampoo would. It was just okay, & in the meantime I’ll try something else! Repurchase? No.

25-26. More Neutrogena Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelettes and Batiste Original Dry Shampoo – see above!

27. Elizabeth & James Nirvana White Perfume [Sample] (from $25 for full size via Sephora) – A tiny sample size which lasted several uses! Nirvana White is one of my all-time favourite scents, a gorgeous peony and musk which is gorgeous to wear in warmer weather (or any weather really). It always reminds me of holidays, so very appropriate to take with me! I love the White version & have recently become a fan of the Black, a new favourite of mine for winter and evenings. Repurchase? Yes.

28. Kleenex Shine Absorbing Sheets (currently unavailable) – I use up SO many of these! Very similar to the Clean & Clear blotting sheets – an essential for me as my skin gets very oily through the day. I’d recommend them to anyone else looking for decent, effective blotting sheets which don’t take off half your makeup with them! Repurchase? Yes (if possible).

29. Lush The Olive Branch Shower Gel (from £4.95 via Lush) – My last empty of 2015! Olive Branch is an old favourite of mine but I hadn’t used any in ages. The gorgeous smell and ultra-moisturising formula makes it a pleasure to use in the shower – skin feels silky soft afterwards, even without lotion. My boyfriend mentioned it smelled amazing too (slowly converting him to Lush). Anyone who’s never used it needs to try it!

 

So those are my last Empties for 2015 – I hope you enjoyed seeing what I used up! Remember to let me know what you’ve used up below, & if you have any favourites from my list! 

A Container Store Travel Beauty Haul!

Part 2 of my very lovely haul from the sunny USA! I’m not sure how familiar you are with the Container Store, but it’s like Muji and Ikea put together but 10x better, in my opinion! I never thought I’d get so excited about containers and storage, but here we are…

 
1. 40 Blinks Travel Sleep Mask ($12.99) – A very expensive eye mask but I was in need of a decent quality one! This eye mask is very lightweight and comfortable to wear; however due to the shape of my nose it doesn’t keep all the light out! Not to mention velcro straps require care so as to not get hair stuck in them. Despite these little flaws it was very comfortable to wear on my longer return flight from JFK full of thoroughly miserable people and I did get several hours of sleep!

2. Every Drop Beauty & Lip Spatulas ($3.99 – $4.99) – Perfect for anyone else who loves using things up as much as I do! How many times have you yelled in frustration at struggling to scrape out the last little bits of an expensive foundation when the product is stuck to the sides of the container? I bought the standard size as well as the mini lip size and one with a longer curved edge for bottle necks – I’m sure they will be extremely useful in my Empties quests!

3. 2oz Striped Jar in Pink ($1.29) – Purchased specifically for my hair mask when travelling, as my larger Superdrug pots crack and break so easily, not to mention I need 2 of them for a longer trip, which can be annoying. This cute striped jar is the perfect size and feels much sturdier!

4. Hinged Cotton Round Holder ($0.99) – One of those items you never knew you needed. On short trips or for hand luggage, cotton pads inevitably get dirty when thrown in with everything else in your bag – this is perfect for keeping them clean, dry and hygienic for using on your skin. My only complaint is that the hinge broke as soon as I got it out for this photo; maybe I got a dud as the other reviews seem positive. At least the lid still stays on & I can still use it!

5. Neon Luggage Tag ($1.99) – Not really a beauty item, but ideal for making your bag full of all your very important things stand out on the luggage carousel. I usually have my address on my bag in 3 different places as well as a flight itinerary on the inside, just to make sure none of my important, expensive makeup and clothes ever go missing!

6. Cotton Swab Holder ($0.99) – Much like the cotton round holder, this is one of those travel items you never knew you needed. I normally throw my cotton buds in with my makeup brushes or makeup bag; inevitably something leaks or they get dirty, so I have to throw them away! This keeps them all dry, clean and in one place for whenever you need one.

7. Translucent Cylinder Mister 1oz ($0.99) – Lastly, I picked up 4 of these tiny spray bottles – I can never find spray bottles small enough but these are perfect! I use them for decanting various hair products to take on my travels – these ones seem sturdy and will no doubt see a lot of use.

 

That’s all I picked up from the Container Store this time! I spent almost an hour just browsing – they really do have everything you never knew you needed, both for your home or your luggage. I can’t wait to go back for another visit!

A Sephora USA Haul!

Oh hey – I’m still alive! How have you been? After a wonderful few weeks away I’m back in cloudy England all ready for the impending Christmas season.

Last time I visited the sunny USA I didn’t post a haul, but thought I’d do one this time around, especially so close to the festive season – if you’re near a Sephora yourself or flying over for the holidays, I hope my purchases will be helpful & inspiring. Not that I truly needed any of these products, especially whilst valiantly working through old products for my Empties posts, but with the 20% off VIB discount last month I really couldn’t say no! (And can we appreciate how great the lighting is in my boyfriend’s apartment?!)

1. Kat Von D Mi Vida Loca Remix Studded Kiss Lip Set ($42) – Incredible value for $42! This set includes 7 mini sizes of the creamy, pigment-loaded lipsticks by Kat Von D as well as an exclusive full size lipstick. An ideal gift for yourself or any bold lip lover. Considering a single full size KVD lipstick is $21, this is the perfect way to try 8 new shades without spending a small fortune. Gotta love Sephora gift sets!

2. Tarte Opening Act Lash Primer ($22) – After trying a deluxe mini size of this primer that I’d received as a freebie and stashed in my travel bag, I was amazed at the extra length and definition this product gave under my Maybelline mascara, so I’ve been using it every day since! Not to mention Tarte is one of my favourite brands (but sadly hard to obtain in the UK) due to its ethics and good-for-your-skin approach in all its products.

3. Elizabeth & James Nirvana Black Dry Shampoo ($28) – A lesson in never leaving yourself in Sephora unattended! My Batiste is a perfectly good, affordable dry shampoo that really does the job to combat greasy roots, but after trying this out in store I couldn’t walk out with such soft, sweet-scented hair and not buy it. I initially fell in love with the Nirvana White fragrance a year ago, but suddenly I’m very much into the more sensual, sultry Black scent. A very extravagant & unnecessary purchase I know, but I can’t imagine anyone not wanting their hair to smell this good.

4. Sephora Favorites Extend Your Style Set ($32; currently out of stock) – I debated on picking this up but decided to just purchase it anyway..and I’m glad I did! $32 gets you 7 travel size high end dry shampoos, all perfect for throwing in your handbag or suitcase. Just over $4 per product is very reasonable, especially when this set contains coveted favourites from Bumble & Bumble and Dry Bar. I can’t wait to try these out for myself.

5. Sunday Riley Good Genes Treatment ($105) – Ridiculously expensive, but not quite so much with my 20% off code. I’d been trying a couple of samples before my trip and really didn’t want to enjoy something so pricey, but unfortunately it worked some brilliant magic! My skin is temperamental at the best of times and this lactic acid serum drastically improved my uneven skin texture and pigmentation within just a few days. I’m taking a break from it temporarily and being very gentle with my skin since it’s having something of a freakout after returning home to drier weather, but will absolutely be returning to it very soon. I just dread ever having to repurchase it without some kind of heavy discount!

6. Tarte Amazonian Clay Full Coverage Airbrush Foundation in Fair Honey ($36) – The only powder foundation that’s ever provided any kind of decent coverage for my pigmented skin. I use a fluffy kabuki brush to apply – Tarte’s own Airbuki brush is far too dense and stiff for my liking. This is my absolute favourite easy foundation – no mess, looks good and feels perfectly comfortable on the skin. I use other formulas for longer wear and days out, but this is my go-to for errands and lazy days that makes me look like I actually made some effort.

7. Benefit Roller Lash Mascara ($12) – One mascara I’ve heard so much hype about and absolutely have to try for myself! I didn’t want to drop money on a full size without knowing if it would work for me first, so this mini size is perfect. I still have quite a few mascaras to work through, but can’t wait to try this one next!

8. Urban Decay Subversion Lash Primer ($20) – Very similar to the above Tarte mascara primer, though this one was sold out everywhere for months! I’m curious to try these two primers side-by-side, especially as I know both really do make a difference to your mascara. Not to mention I’m not the biggest fan of the Urban Decay Perversion mascara – maybe this will help it work for me while I finish it up.

9. Elizabeth and James Nirvana Black Hand Cream ($15) – Living in a cold climate in the winter means a hand cream is always a necessity. After picking up the Nirvana Black dry shampoo, I spotted this and had to try it out too, especially as the scent is so lovely – I’m sure I’ll feel very luxurious every time I sniff this on my hands. And the slim, mini size is perfect for your handbag.

10. TokyoMilk Dark Femme Fatale Fragrance Wardrobe Discovery Set ($42) – After thoroughly enjoying a mini rollerball set by TokyoMilk last year, I decided to pick up this beautiful set of miniature bottled perfumes by the brand this time around. I already have a full size of the darker, more mysterious citrus-scented Everything & Nothing and can’t wait to try out the rest. An ideal gift for anyone who likes more unusual, non-mainstream scents but don’t want to buy a specific one for. A fragrance brand I feel is a little underrated – there really is something for everyone to fall in love with.

11. Sephora Beauty on the Fly Travel Bag ($4.95) – A traveller’s essential! My flimsy little ziplock bag broke on my way over there, so I decided to invest in a more sturdy replacement. I believe this is the American TSA’s regulation size, but according to reviews it may not be acceptable for passing through UK and European airports, which is a shame. Otherwise it’s surprisingly large and fits plenty of travel size liquids for your flight. I may just carry an extra plain ziplock for UK security and use this during the rest of my journey in future, as it seems to stand up much better to repeated use on a long trip.

I also received mini sizes of the D&G Light Blue fragrance as well as 2 of the Nest Indigo fragrances as 250 point and 100 point perks – I’ve yet to try these out but can’t say no to a good fragrance freebie.

My only complaints would be that there was an issue placing my initial VIB order where it didn’t seem to go through and I had to re-order later in the day after realising (luckily everything I wanted was still in stock!), and also I didn’t receive any samples at all in my package after requesting them. I did have some issues with USPS immediately returning my packages because of a ridiculous ‘undeliverable as addressed error’ that was an absolute nightmare to sort out; at least this arrived fine, as I’d be very upset if it was returned!

I hope you enjoyed checking out what I grabbed in the Sephora VIB sale! Please let me know if you’ve tried any of these products and what you thought of them!

September Favourites

It’s the Favourites time of the month again! I really wanted to put together a very exciting new blog post earlier in the month, but I’ve been suffering from a reallly long, drawn-out flu/viral infection, which has meant I haven’t been able to do a great deal unfortunately! I didn’t want to put up a rubbish post just for the sake of posting, so hopefully I can have that up very soon instead! Until then, here are some of my favourites this month: mostly classics with a couple of new ones! Have you tried any of these before?

1. Bee Good Honey & Wild Water Mint 3-in-1 Cleansing Water (£10 via Waitrose) – At £10 for just 100ml of cleansing water, this has got to be one of the pricier micellar style cleansers out there! I did receive this in a BBB Box a while ago, and whilst I haven’t read or heard much about it otherwise, it’s an excellent one! It has a very mild natural, earthy honey/mint scent, is gentle on even the most sensitive skin, and doesn’t leave a film or residue on the face. Very refreshing in the morning! The only downsides for me are the price as mentioned, and that it isn’t the most travel-friendly container with the large plastic lid, so I’ll most likely be bringing my mini Bioderma away with me next month instead. Though for everyday use at home, this is now my favourite.

2. REN V-Cense Revitalising Night Cream (£32 via Space NK) – Infamous for forever changing product names, this is REN’s staple frankincense night cream that has been around for a while, same formula and all. Annoyingly, I think this tube is even smaller than before – £32 for just 50ml of product is a bit steep! However I’ve been trying out different night creams and after waking up with blackheads, greasy skin and breakouts from other formulas, I’ve returned to this old favourite. This soothing night cream is ideal for all skin types – my combination/sensitive skin always wakes up looking calm, refreshed and feels soft and nourished – not greasy or irritated at all. I may be sticking with this old favourite for a while – despite the price, my skin is so glad I came back to it!

3. Bath & Body Works Leaves Medium Candle ($12.50 via Bath & Body Works) – Getting my favourite cold weather scent out today! I’m really not one of those people who gets in a Pinterest-fuelled frenzy for pumpkin spice and knits as soon as the first day of Autumn arrives – I feel like the only people who genuinely look forward to the colder weather are those who don’t have to worry about affording their heating bill! But Leaves is the kind of scent that makes you feel warm and cosy – nectar, red apple and spiced berries carry all the way through from the first day of Autumn to Christmas and beyond. I’m so glad there are new Medium candles out this year, as some scents are just better with a more subtle throw – some of the larger candles make even the most pleasant scents really overpowering. I’ll definitely be picking up another whilst I’m away!

4. Lush Yuzu and Cocoa Moisturising Shower Cream (from £4.75 via Lush) – Initially I didn’t get the Yuzu hype, always overlooking the bubbleroon of the same scent in Lush stores, but since picking up the bright yellow shower cream when the Oxford Street store opened several months ago, I’ve definitely fallen for it a little bit more. Most dramatically when pairing with my last Golden Wonder bath bomb recently (packed with the lime-laden Celebrate scent) and realised what a perfect combination it was! And I quite enjoy smelling like a chocolate orange. I’m looking forward to trying this out with more citrus-scented bath products I don’t usually reach for, as they are a heavenly match together – I couldn’t stop smelling myself.

5. Lush Vanilla In The Mist Soap (currently unavailable) – Unfortunately a Kitchen exclusive and one that isn’t much to look at, but one I’ve been obsessed with lately! I use the solid Lush soaps to wash my hands (although you can use them in place of a shower gel too), and having hands that smell like delicious Lush scents makes such everyday chores that much more lovely. If you ever get the chance to purchase one, Vanilla in the Mist smells just like you’d expect – sweet, natural, non-synthetic vanilla. Like expensive vanilla ice cream. I’m very picky with vanilla scents & this is vanilla perfection for me!

6. Escentric Molecules Molecule 01 (£27 via Cult Beauty) – One that’s become something of a signature scent for me, now returning as the weather gets a little chillier. I can never get enough of it as it always smells a little different – mostly it smells of fresh paperback books, a little woody, a little floral – an enigmatic, mysterious scent which is totally unisex and never too strong or overpowering. I’m on my second bottle of this and prefer the refill size as they’re easy to travel with – my Sephora Travalo only holds enough scent for a week or so. I’m not sure how much I believe the claims of using pheromones to produce a unique scent on each person, but it is one of those rare scents I just don’t get tired of. One that everyone needs to try.

7. Ten Digit Creations Whipped Body Butter in Tuca Tuca (from $6 via Ten Digit Creations) – I didn’t buy a whole lot beauty-wise this month as I’m trying to save up for travelling and use products up, though I did treat myself to a TDC order. This wonderful company produces handmade, affordable bath, body and home scents, many inspired by your favourite scents by Lush, Bath & Body Works, Victoria’s Secret as well as their own blends. Ever tried a shower gel/bath bomb by Lush and thought “damn, I wish I could smell like this all the time”? They probably have a scent dupe for that, and you can smell like Lord of Misrule, Northern Lights and more as much as you please! Since getting hooked on the now-discontinued Tuca Tuca scent after thoroughly enjoying Lush’s new Don’t Rain On My Parade shower gel in the exact same scent, I wanted a lotion to pair with the shower gel so I can smell delicious all the time. This lotion is truly spot-on scent-wise, the whipped texture is a delight to apply, and the mixture of shea butter, olive oil and vitamin E makes my skin feel incredibly soft. The only downside is that international shipping can be pricey and you risk getting hit with expensive import taxes and handling fees, though it’s one that’s absolutely worth trying out.

I hope you enjoyed checking out my favourites for the month of September! What have you been obsessing over this month, beauty or otherwise? I’m heading off on my travels at the end of next month, so expect a few more posts before I leave (and maybe a naughty US haul when I return)!