Beautiful trash. Sort of.
Hope you had a beautiful Christmas! I’m currently recovering from multiple self-inflicted food comas and kind of glad that not too many people gifted me chocolate this year – it’s wonderful to be able to take a break from uni work and all the associated stress. Today I went go-karting for the first time with friends and had the biggest meal imaginable afterwards. So I decided I’d put together an empties showcasing each product I’ve used up from November and December before I fall asleep for a post-food nap!
I’ve split the post into 2 sections since I somehow managed to collect a lot this time..
Bath and Body
1. Lush Christmas Eve Bubble Bar – Despite buying this back in October I still managed to use it at a seasonally appropriate time – namely Christmas Eve, and then on Boxing Day after I’d returned home with a full belly and aching legs from my series of feasts and a crazy shopping trip. I’ve been keeping a blunt knife with my bubble bars in order to cut them up and avoid waste, so I ended up using half a bar for each bath, which turned out to be plenty. I found this incredibly relaxing and like most bubble bars, made my skin very soft. It’s scented with jasmine and ylang ylang, not something I’d usually pick out for myself, but it ended up being an aptly-named way to wind down before and after the big event. Unfortunately this is now unavailable on Lush online, but a few may still be in stock in your local store.
Repurchase? Yes, when available.
2. Lush Magic Wand Reuseable Bubble Bar – The sweet, sweet smell of Snow Fairy! I wasn’t keen on the idea of a ‘reuseable’ bubble wand; that it would probably just make more mess than it was worth. I decided it worked best for me broken into chunks and dropped in the bath instead. It took more effort than I would’ve liked to swirl it around a lot and make a decent amount of bubbles, but it did smell wonderful and leave my bath water a lovely pink colour. Again, this is now sold out via Lush online & if you’re lucky you might be able to pick one up in the sale.
Repurchase? Yes, already picked one up in the sale!
3. Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Body Lotion – I’ve used this for years and I’m sure plenty of you have too. It’s perfect for rubbing in all over after a relaxing bath – not only will you smell divine, you’ll wake up with beautifully soft skin the next day. It’s a bit heavy and sticky to use on a morning, but ideal before bed. It took me a while to use up this giant bottle: although the pump was useful, it did clog each time, not to mention the effort of trying to get the last bit of product out!
Repurchase? Yes, in a smaller size.
4. Tesco Kids Raspberry Bath Foam – Blame my inner child: I just really love bubbly baths. I have sensitive skin so children’s bath foam is ideal for me to use most bathtimes and doesn’t irritate my skin at all. I prefer Matey due to the funky packaging and slightly preferable smell, although this has a similar fruity berry scent and does cost less for a large bottle. Nothing to complain about here!
5. Original Source Vanilla & Raspberry Hand Wash – I know hand wash is on the less exciting side of the beauty spectrum, but moisturising hand products are essential in the colder weather. This does help keep your hands soft and smells like a delicious raspberry cheesecake! I adore Bath & Body Works’ moisturising hand soap as it works better for me, but it is expensive since I’d have to buy it from Ebay or Amazon for a ridiculous price, and this is my next favourite for a much more reasonable cost.
6. Garnier Body Intensive 7 Days Ultra-Replenishing Lotion – This is a product I picked up a while ago, and let me tell you exactly why I have so much love for this! It’s very affordable, especially when on offer in the supermarkets, and despite looking like any other bottled lotion it’s actually very light and absorbs much faster than anything I’ve used before. Coming from someone who gets fed up with the arduous task of rubbing in lotions, this is my new go-to for morning or evening when I can’t be bothered to spend ages kneading the stuff into my skin. It instantly makes your skin feel hydrated and has the loveliest soft shea butter scent. I recommend it all the time and it’s absolutely worth trying if you’re lazy or busy but still want soft fabulous skin.
Repurchase? Yes, already did.
7. Philosophy Raspberry Sorbet Shower Gel – This took the most ridiculously long time to use up. If you haven’t used Philosophy shower gels before, they’re renown for having a range of divine, delicious scents as well as thoughtfully designed packaging. They can also be used effectively as bath foam, or shampoo should you wish. I got this from my dad for Christmas a few years ago and used it as shower gel for a while, but being such a huge bottle meant it took forever to get through and I inevitably became a little fed up of the smell. I eventually finished it up by using it in my bath and enjoyed the last of the fruity scent. To me, Philosophy is a little overrated, especially with brands such as Lush, The Body Shop and Soap and Glory already producing a selection of slightly cheaper shower gels that are much easier to obtain (although I have seen certain ones in TK Maxx). I think my dad picked this up in Selfridges in London originally, which was very thoughtful of him!
8. Bath & Body Works Mahogany Teakwood Mini Candle – To say I have an obsession with Bath & Body Works candles is putting it very lightly indeed. I’m like a crazy cat lady, but with candles. I picked up this tiny-sized scent on my USA trip in September because it smelled like the inside of Abercrombie and Fitch (hate their values but love their more comfortable, flattering clothes), or like the lovely Youtuber Rachel Whitehurst mentioned, “just like a male model’s crotch”. Lovely mental picture for you there! I later found out this is actually a very popular scent with other Brits due to the similarity to the Abercrombie and Fitch fragrance, so no wonder I like it! I thought the scent would be choking, but it lightly scents the room just right, striking the perfect balance for me. The musky smell is also weirdly calming when I’m just hanging out in my room doing work. Since I loved this I got through it very quickly and even shelled out the money for a larger size on Ebay to enjoy – hoping the larger size isn’t too intense.
Repurchase? Yes, already did.
9. The Body Shop Cocoa Butter Body Scrub (travel size) – Ugh, this smells incredible. Even annoyingly realistic – the scent is so delicious! I picked this up on a 40% off day at The Body Shop and took it on holiday with me. It then came home with me again and I only just finished it last month. I can’t get enough of the scent and it works pretty well as a scrub, even on sensitive skin, and feels moisturising too. However I have been getting breakouts on my shoulders and back, so I’m trying something else in the meantime to see if this might’ve caused it.
Repurchase? Not sure yet.
10. Soap and Glory The Righteous Butter (travel size) – I bought this ages ago – years – and recently decided to finish it off. At first, I didn’t like the smell at all and decided it was too strong for me. However recently I love this scent! Funny how your ‘scent tastes’ change over time. Its moisturising power is pretty decent, it doesn’t feel too heavy on the skin and complements other S&G products perfectly.
Repurchase? Maybe, when I use up more lotions.
11. The Body Shop Strawberry Body Butter (travel size) – Yet another one of those products I’d long abandoned and completely forgot about! I’ve been a huge fan of The Body Shop’s strawberry collection since I was a small child and have been dipping in and out of it over the years. This is such a sentimental smell for me in a way – my mum used to buy me the shower gel and the body scrub in the same fragrance. Some people are completely into TBS’ body butters, but I’ve never been the biggest fan. I’ve bought them because they smell amazing, but they’re a chore to rub all over your body and even remain sticky the next day.
12. Soap and Glory Flake Away Body Scrub (travel size) – Another S&G favourite! I bought this with the lotion and again, hated the scent but love it now for some reason. This was a joy to use – not only did it make me smell wonderful, it did a great job as a body scrub and left my skin feeling pleasantly moisturised. What more do you want in a scrub?
Repurchase? Yes, when I use up more of my scrubs.
13. Lush Pink Fun Bar – The Fun bars are bizarre! Unfortunately, I’d had to chuck this one away early because it must have melted in the summer heat and gone a horrible gloopy consistency, as you can see from the messy packaging. I’ve used it before and this is a definite novelty item so it isn’t for everyone. I use 1/5 of a bar per bath – it has a sweet fruity bubblegum scent but doesn’t produce a whole lot of bubbles. This would make a great gift for kids who hate bathtime, but not for me!
14. E45 Cream – Nothing exciting! I used this on the dry skin under my arms before I discovered the miracle that is coconut oil. E45 is a decent product to use if you have problem areas of dry skin, but coconut oil works so much better for me.
15. Organic Surge Peach Passion Shower Gel – I was gifted this enormous shower gel from my mum since she loves it – it took me months and months to finally use up! I love natural, organic products and was pleased that this was gentle and didn’t dry out or irritate my skin. The light earthy peach scent was pleasant but I did get fed up of it by the time I’d finished it off. I’m currently busy thoroughly enjoying my Lush shower gels at the moment.
Makeup, skincare and everything else!
1. Boots Expert Single Use Facial Waxing Strips – Because few females enjoy sporting facial hair. I’ve had these for ages to eliminate lip fuzz and used them the other day; sadly they didn’t seem to be very sticky at all anymore so I’m getting rid of them. I remember they weren’t bad when I bought them, but waxing strips losing stickiness isn’t great or economical, especially for someone like me who doesn’t use them very often.
2. Nivea Daily Essentials Gentle Facial Cleansing Wipes – I fully appreciate a decent face wipe, since I use them almost every day to remove the bulk of my makeup. I’ve become fed up of my cheap Boots wipes since they seemed a bit too drying and not the best quality to effectively remove makeup. These are alcohol-free, fairly thick, did a decent job of removing the worst of my makeup and didn’t dry out my skin like many wipes do, although they are lightly scented with a fresh floral fragrance, but nothing too overpowering. They’re fairly affordable and sold in Tesco, making them very easy to find. Even better when they’re on offer.
Repurchase? Yes, already did.
3. Lacura Anti-Wrinkle Night Cream – Aldi’s cult favourite ‘miracle face cream’. I loved this at first and couldn’t believe what a great job this did for the price, but after a while it was making my skin greasy and clogging my pores. I think it’s too heavy for my skin, but must work better on drier, mature skin since my auntie who’s nearing her 70s loves it and has finished up 2 pots already. This does contain mineral oil, so avoid if you’re trying to cut mineral oil products out of your routine.
4. Oribe Dry Texturising Spray (travel size) – £18 for what is essentially a mini dry shampoo. I must be crazy. I picked this up at Space NK with the Oribe Maximista spray which was a fail for me, however I do love this. It’s ideal for anyone like me who has flat, soft hair after washing and needs a decent product to give it a little much-needed volume and texture. I spray it into the roots of my dry, freshly washed hair, scrunch for texture and volume and then finish with a light hairspray (I love Bed Head Masterpiece). I prefer this to Batiste because it’s not as strongly scented and doesn’t leave any kind of white cast or residue on my hair – I’ve forgotten to blend in the white powder before and it’s more than a little embarrassing when someone kindly points it out. The full size of this costs £35, but it is an enormous can and better value than the mini size, which only lasted a couple of months.
Repurchase? Yes, already did.
5. Collection 2000 No Clumps Mascara – Remember that post I wrote about how much I love this mascara? Yep, still do. I can’t believe that a £2.99 mascara can give me such long, defined lashes that aren’t sticky, crusty or clumpy in the slightest. I still stand by my statement of this being “the ‘They’re Real’ dupe that’s even better”.
6. Collection 2000 Eye Brow Definer in Blonde – Another brilliant, affordable product by Collection 2000. I struggle finding a light ashy brown eyebrow pencil that isn’t too dark or too red. It’s far more difficult than you might think. Fortunately I found this soft retractable brow crayon on my favourite makeup display. It’s really similar to the Almay one that I have so much trouble finding. It’s ideal for those who prefer to have subtly defined brows rather than those terrifying tattoo-look ones that seem to be so popular right now. Every time I’ve used a different brow product I get asked awkwardly if I’ve done something ‘different’ because the colour is never quite right. Sticking to this affordable, lovely product!
7. Kat Von D Lock-It Tattoo Foundation in Light 46 (sample pot) – I ordered this from the brilliant Rose’s Beauty Store to test for a match before trying out the full size – luckily this matches perfectly. This tiny pot lasted me for 3 full uses and I truly love it – it’s a brilliant full-coverage foundation with no SPF which means it’s brilliant for using on evenings out. It disguises all of my skin imperfections without looking cakey, I just look like I have flawless skin. I hated all the foundations with SPF in since they made my oily skin look like a shiny beacon in photos, but this is perfect. Unfortunately it’s quite expensive and hard to get hold of if you live outside the USA, but I don’t use it often so I’m hoping it’ll last until my next visit when I can stock up again!
8. Origins Dr Weil Megabright Moisturiser (sample pot) – Read my full review on this product here. I don’t know how I ended up with so many of these since they’ve been making regular appearances in my empties posts! I used this on holiday and it definitely helped calm redness and lightly moisturised my combination skin without being oily. However I think this stops being so effective against redness after a couple of months of continuous use, so after I use up my full size I’ll try something else for a while.
Repurchase? Yes, in the future.
9. Seche Vite Top Coat – The cutest little bottle of Seche I’ve ever seen! This top coat is an absolute must-have for anyone who uses nail polish. I can’t stand when my nails are wet and I have other things to do, or when a particular polish genuinely takes three hours to dry – definitely don’t have time for any of that. I allow my nails to dry for a couple of minutes after applying the final coat of polish before using this. My nails are then fully dry in around 10 minutes and I can then go on to do more important things than sitting around waiting for my nails to dry! Although I love this product, I had to repurchase early because the formula went gloopy and unuseable around halfway through this tiny bottle.
10. Dermorganic Leave-In Treatment with Argan Oil (travel size) – Dermorganic hair products seem to get brilliant reviews but sadly I’ve yet to experience the same level of success with them. This oil had an unpleasant synthetic nutty smell to it and didn’t do anything to make my hair feel soft or shiny – it’s like I didn’t put anything in there at all. I much prefer my Moroccan Oil over this – yes, it’s full of silicones but it works wonders for me! I’ve yet to use the mini shampoo and conditioner that came with this, hopefully they’ll be better.
11. Ren Frankincense Revitalising Night Cream (sample) – My new favourite night cream. I used this mini up, loved it, purchased the full size. I use it over my Ren Omega 3 serum every night and when I wake up my skin looks clear, fantastic, oil-free and feels baby soft. I was put off by the strange earthy smell originally but used it anyway and so glad I did. This night cream would work for most skin types: it’s universal and one of Ren’s best sellers so I urge anyone to try it out who hasn’t already!
12. Origins Dr Weil Megabright Serum (travel size) – I found this on Ebay for a bargain price to try out..and I love it! I actually prefer it to the moisturiser as it’s lighter, but I have been layering the moisturiser over the serum recently since it’s been so cold here and my skin feels a little dry. Yes, the full size is expensive but the Megabright gift set on the Origins website is great value as it contains the moisturiser and a cleanser as well, or pick it up on Ebay from a reputable seller like I did. Again, my skin seems to get used to moisturisers after a while, so although this is a great product I’ll rotate it with something else soon.
13. Ren Omega 3 Night Repair Serum (travel size) – Another mini I took with me on holiday. I actually bought this in Ren’s travel size kit for sensitive skin and I feel like I can no longer be without it because it helps make my skin look so lovely every morning. It truly does work magic overnight. This tiny size lasted me over a month of almost-daily use and I’ve had my larger size for many months and only recently hit halfway, so I’d consider it to be a very good investment.
14. The Body Shop Aloe Calming Toner (travel size) – Looks like I bought most of the holiday minis home with me. This lasted several months for me since I don’t use a lot of toner, but it’s great first thing in the morning or between cleansing and moisturising. This product is ideal for sensitive skin: it doesn’t sting or smell and it’s very gentle. I’ve already bought the full size and currently working my way through Lush’s ‘Breath of Fresh Air’ which I enjoy just as much.
Repurchase? Already did.
15. The Body Shop Hemp Hand Cream – Finally, the last of my empties. This product is far from attractive when all used up. It’s one which gets frequently ignored due to the hemp smell and association, but this truly is the best hand cream ever. I could’ve wrecked my hands in numerous ways during the day, slather it on at night, and I wake up with baby soft like-new hands every single time. I’ve used it since I was 10 and continue to repurchase it. I’ve managed to get so many others into it and they always come back to me in shock about how great their hands look and feel. Out of any products on the list, this is one I’d recommend about all – you must try it if you haven’t already!
What an enormous selection of empties! I’m glad I managed to get through so much over November and December – it makes me very happy to see that I’m using up more than I’m buying and thus downsizing my hoard a little. I love collecting empties and letting you know all about them: not only is it informative for you, it allows me to see exactly what I’m using up over time, what products I should rebuy and any I hated. I hope to keep doing it until my collection is a more manageable size. Now let’s see if all of this will fit in our tiny recycling bin..