Clearly I’ve been ridiculously busy using stuff up these last two months! I’m so relieved to finally get this post up & get everything in the recycling bin right before it’s all collected. Read on to see what products I’ve loved & hated using up the last couple of months..and grab a snack or two, because this is a long one!
Bath & Body
1. Gillette Satin Care Pure & Delicate Shave Gel (£3.49 via Boots) – I only buy this on offer because it is a little expensive for a shave gel..and when you have super-long legs to shave, that stuff runs out quickly! This formula is perfect for sensitive skin – unscented and gentle, not to mention non-messy – I find some of the cheaper versions ‘foam up’ in the lid after using and leak everywhere. Repurchase? Yes, when it’s on offer again.
2. Matey Molly Bubble Bath (£1.85 via Tesco) – I’m beyond caring that this for kids! It’s gentle on the skin with a light, fruity scent and even the smallest amount creates mountains of bubbles. Love it! Repurchase? Yes.
3. Tesco Sleep Therapy Bath Soak (95p via Tesco) – It annoys me when people say “it’s only £x, you can’t go wrong!”..yes, you can go wrong. You could have a severe allergic reaction, accidentally ingest it and become seriously ill, or just never use it and waste your money. Therefore you could go wrong quite badly. But 95p is a pretty excellent price for a product that lasts a good few bathtimes. I use this when I just want something relaxing and soothing before crawling into bed – the combination of lavender and ylang ylang helps to de-stress after a busy day, as well as producing bubbles-a-plenty. Repurchase? Yes.
4. Bath & Body Works Warm Vanilla Sugar Anti-Bacterial Moisturizing Hand Soap (£7.45 via Ebay) – Okay, £7+ is a bit of a mad price to pay for hand soap when there are plenty of options in the supermarket for under £1. Rest assured I haven’t gone crazy (yet). But I really think we ignore our hands all too much – abused hands need love and care too. This formula is far more moisturising than any I’ve ever used! Which is ideal in the horrendous winter weather. I use hand cream in the evenings before going to bed, & this helped a lot to keep my hands soft and moisturised throughout the day. Not to mention, Bath & Body Works fragrances really can’t be beaten. Truthfully, I was a little disappointed by Warm Vanilla Sugar as it has an unpleasant ‘smokiness’ to it which I really didn’t like, but I’m currently trying out Black Raspberry Vanilla, which is much fruitier and uplifting. I definitely won’t be able to buy this all the time, but a must-have for when I’m next in the US with some suitcase space. Repurchase? When cheaper/In the future.
5. Lush Dream Cream (£11.25 for 240g via Lush) – An old favourite of mine, but just one I don’t use anymore! Probably TMI, but I used to get unbearably dry underarms from my deoderant and this was the only thing besides the scary prescription steroid creams that actually worked. However I’ve found coconut oil works better than either of them. I had barely used this tub and had to chuck it out because it started to smell nasty. I’d recommend trying this specifically for problem areas on any rashes, eczema, or sore dry skin, but right now it’s not something I need. Repurchase? No.
6. Deborah Lippmann Steppin’ Out Foot Cream [Sample] (£26 via Look Fantastic) – I got this cute sample sachet in my secret santa box..and I kind of wish I hadn’t, because I love it now! This divine, mouth-watering cake-scented foot lotion contains kokum butter and aloe vera, leaving your toes mega-soft by the next day. My skin absorbed it so quickly, leaving barely any residue which was impressive. This sample was enough for 2 uses. As much as I loved it, £26 for the full size foot cream is a bit of a luxury purchase for me – maybe something I’d request for a gift, or buy if it ever goes on sale. My Body Shop Hemp foot cream does a good job too, and for less than half the price. Repurchase? If I had the money.
7. Lush Bubble Bar in Dorothy (£3.25 via Lush) – One of my favourites that constantly turns up in these posts! The combination of ylang ylang & orange flower as well as blue/multicoloured bath water can’t be beaten. Not too overpowering and my skin is super-soft afterwards. Not one I’ll get sick of anytime soon! Repurchase? Always.
8. Lush Bombardino Bath Bomb (sold out!) – This was part of Lush’s extensive Christmas collection – I think I sampled almost everything! I don’t normally go for bath bombs since they’re the least economical – you can only use them once, whereas bubble bars can be cut up and used several times. However the cocoa butter scent of these was heavenly, softening my skin & filling the room with its lovely fragrance. Repurchase? Yes, when/if available again.
9. Lush Snowman Bath Bomb (sold out!) – Another Christmas exclusive and another cocoa butter themed one too – sensing a theme here?! As I type this, I actually just used my last one (oh no!). Again, lovely cocoa butter scent and very moisturising on the skin without feeling greasy afterwards. At least Lush’s Butterball bath bomb has a similar scent and is available all year round. And now we play the waiting game til the cute Christmas products come back into our lives! Repurchase? Yes, when/if available.
10. Lush Cinders Bath Bomb (sold out!) – Last of the Christmassy bath bombs! Cinders was an unusual one, different from what I’d normally pick, but I was compelled to try it out anyway. It absolutely smells like Christmas and mulled wine – there’s a strong scent of orange and cinnamon. No exciting visuals, it just turned the water a urine yellow shade, which wasn’t exactly pleasant! It was fun to try out something new, but it wasn’t really my taste. Repurchase? No.
11. Lush BB Seaweed Fresh Face Mask (£5.95 via Lush) – This used to be my HG all-time favourite, but I don’t find it that effective anymore – I need something that really sucks my pores out! It feels cool and soothing on my skin, but doesn’t do a lot compared to my other masks. Not to mention, having to store it in the fridge means it’s easy to forget about and then encounter a nasty (mouldy) surprise 3 weeks later. I have so many spare black pots lying around to trade in for masks, but don’t really like anyof them! Repurchase? No.
12. White C Mask Pack ($15 for 5 via Ebay.com) – Another surprise from my very thoughtful Secret Santa! I really lucked out this year. She sent me this sheet mask which claimed to clear, brighten and hydrate the skin. It was a bit of a fuss to apply and made me look like a horror film reject for about 15 minutes. It did feel soothing and cooling on the skin, but I didn’t notice added hydration, nor clearer skin. Nothing too exciting here, unfortunately! Repurchase? No.
13. MAC Mineralize Charged Water Moisture Eye Cream (£24.50 via MAC Cosmetics) – Ouch, the price of this has gone up a whole £1 since purchasing. After reading rave reviews on this, I decided to go for it, being in the market for a decent eye cream. I hated it at first since it didn’t seem to do much, but towards the end I actually enjoyed how moisturising this was and how quickly my skin drank it up. However it did make my eyes sting and go blurry if I accidentally got it in my eye – far from enjoyable. I didn’t notice any change in puffiness or dark circles. Since using this up I’ve been enjoying the Emu Oil Well Moisturising Eye Cream – less than half the price, does an even better job of moisturising effectively and doesn’t sting my eyes! Repurchase? No.
14. Philosophy Purity Made Simple One-Step Facial Cleanser [Sample] (£8 for 90ml via Boots) – I was kindly given this in Boots in Oxford Street during a promotion, and after hearing plenty of good things about it I was more than happy to accept! I massaged this onto my dry skin in the evening and washed off with a damp cloth. It was satisfyingly gentle and would make a decent everyday cleanser, but I just couldn’t get over the strong, plastic, chemical smell – really overwhelming and offputting. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I thought Philosophy products were supposed to be natural and smell good? Repurchase? No.
15. Montange Jeunesse Chocolate Masque (£1 via Boots) – Still can’t ever get over how damn delicious this smells! It reminds me of chocolate fudge cake. This is a thick clay masque that sucks out dirt and blackheads from the skin. It’s perfectly fine on my ultra-sensitive skin, so would work well for any skin type. However it is extremely messy, permanenly staining my face cloths and even my towel, which I wasn’t too happy about. And it took so long to dry – I was sat around for about half an hour before getting bored and washing it off. Repurchase? No.
16. Mudd Original Mask 10 Application Pack (£3.59 via Amazon) – My HG mask! I was so surprised to see bad reviews of this online – personally I can’t fault it at all. It’s great value considering you can squeeze at least 10 uses from this pack. It’s resealable, so no mess or drying out between uses. Another clay-based mask that sucks the nasty bits out of your skin and leaves you with baby-soft, ultra-clear skin. I love how clear and calm my skin looks after this – nothing else has done such a great job for me. And it doesn’t irritate my sensitive face at all, nor does it stain. I use this at least once a week, so I did the sensible thing and bought a load on Amazon. Repurchase? Yes!
17. Aesop Parsley Seed Cleanser [Sample] (£25 via Aesop.com) – No strong opinions on this! A gentle cleanser that didn’t irritate my skin and left it feeling clean with no residue. The fairly strong natural herbal scent wasn’t my thing. Repurchase? No.
18. Yes To Blueberries Age Refresh Brightening Facial Towelettes (£6.99 via Feel Unique) – Almost £7 is a bit more than I’d like to spend on a month’s worth of face wipes, but I was eager to try these out. The first couple of wipes had a really nasty chemical smell, but the rest smelled like citrus rather than blueberries. The wipes were thick and durable, getting the worst of my makeup off before doing a proper wash with my cleanser and warm water. They didn’t irritate or dry out my skin like many wipes seem to do. However I can’t quite justify the price for something I use and throw away so regularly. Repurchase? Maybe in the future.
19. Clarins Pure Melt Cleansing Gel (£17 via Gorgeous Shop) – This lasted me an entire year! Yes, I do switch cleansers around, but I always reach for this when I’m wearing a lot of eye makeup, especially stubborn mascara. Spread over dry skin, this gently melts all traces of makeup quickly and easily, turning into a ‘milk’ when water is added. It feels and smells luxurious on the skin, never drying it out and leaving it clean and ready for bed. An HG for me! I ordered via Gorgeous Shop before, as they offer the best price for this product, and it arrived safely within a couple of days. Repurchase? Yes.
20. REN Hydra-Calm Cleansing Milk [Deluxe Mini] (£18 via Look Fantastic) – Ren confuse me by constantly changing the names of their products – I believe this used to be Evercalm but has now switched to Hydra-Calm. This mini lasted my 3 weeks on holiday in September and even left me plenty to finish off at home. I love how it’s gentle and soothing on the skin, whilst cleansing effectively and removing makeup. I’ve since bought the full size and the rather large pump bottle is so easy to use – Ren’s packaging design is excellent. However when I bought the full size from Look Fantastic, the pump was broken – at least they were apologetic and able to send a replacement. Repurchase? Yes.
21. Kleenex Shine Absorbing Sheets (discontinued) – It’s such a shame these are no longer in shops! At least I managed to buy an obscene amount of them for 29p each from Home Bargains before they disappeared, so I’m well stocked up. A good alternative to the Clean & Clear blotting sheets, which are similarly difficult to find. Having oily skin, I can’t go out without any kind of oil blotting sheets in my bag. I never see similar products in the UK so usually buy in bulk from Ebay – it’s a shame these weren’t more heavily promoted, since everyone I’ve mentioned them to got very excited and wanted to know where they could get some too. Repurchase? Yes, if possible.
22. Montagne Jeunesse Very Berry Face Mask (£1 via Boots) – To put it nicely..I hated this! My skin felt like it was burning until I washed it off, most likely an allergy since I appear to be allergic to many face masks. Luckily it wasn’t too severe and settled down quickly. Really, who wants sore, painful skin? Repurchase? No.
23. Estee Lauder Advance Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex [Sample] (£48-65 via Debenhams) – I couldn’t live without my Ren Omega 3 night serum, so I’m always eager to try out new and exciting formulas. Unfortunately this only lasted me a few days, so it was hard to see any serious results. It did absorb quickly and left my skin feeling smooth and hydrated the next day, but a little sticky which was offputting. I didn’t notice anything significantly more exciting than my Ren serum, at least not enough to make me want to throw down the significant amount of money for it. Repurchase? No.
24. Johnson’s Baby Gentle Cleansing Wipes (£2.44 via Boots) – My current all-purpose wipes – I mainly use them for wiping my hands after applying foundation, and cleaning up any swatches/makeup-related mess on my dressing table. I borrowed these from my nan and wouldn’t usually spend out on branded wipes for such a mundane job – I don’t need anything too fancy for that, and will no doubt go for whatever’s cheapest next time I need to restock. Repurchase? If on offer.
25. Boots Eyelash Curler (£4.50 via Boots) – This was long overdue for a chucking out! When I received a lovely new Shu Uemura curler for Christmas, this one went straight in the bin (or rather, the empties bag). You really do get what you pay for with eyelash curlers! This is a fine one for travelling – you really don’t want to risk losing your nice expensive curlers. It gives a bit of a noticeable curl, but the rubber pad wore out quickly and it didn’t come with a replacement. I feel I got my use out of it! Repurchase? No.
26. Benefit PoreFessional Primer [Sample] (£24.50 via Feel Unique) – I felt this was a decent primer, but way overpriced for what it was! The flesh-coloured product can be worn alone to ‘blur’ pores, or under makeup for a smooth base. This is so similar to my MUA Matte Perfect Primer, right down to the colour and everything – costing only £4, I know which one I’d go for! Repurchase? No.
27. MAC Technakohl Liner in Graphblack (£14 via MAC Cosmetics) – I bought this on Ebay as part of a big lot of makeup a long time ago, but unfortunately the mechanism was completely broken when I bought it and it wouldn’t twist up at all, so I’m just getting rid of it. At least I can Back 2 MAC it for a free lipstick! Repurchase? No.
28. Tarte MultiplEYE Lash Enhancing Primer ($22 via Sephora US) – Either this is useless or my sample was completely dried up when it arrived! Possibly the latter, since the brush seemed to have no product on it at all. I chucked it right away. However now Sephora is shipping to the UK, I’m really curious to try this after reading reviews – hopefully it won’t be so dried up! Repurchase? N/A
Hair & Candles
29. TIGI Bed Head Masterpiece Massive Shine Hairspray (£7.95 via Fragrance Direct) – As fellow Tigi fans might be able to tell, this is the practically vintage packaging! I’ve had this lying around for so long and really needed to use it up. Previously I’d only used ultra-strong hold hairspray since I was used to having shorter hair for so long, but now my hair is longer it really needs a more gentle product to avoid the undesirable crispy-headed look! As well as having the most divine fruity smell, it gives my longer hair a light to medium hold as well as a subtle bit of shine without looking greasy. Prices seem to vary wildly online, but I always buy from my hairdresser to support them, as they’re brilliant. Repurchase? Yes.
30. Johnson’s Baby Powder (£1.25-2 via Asda) – In case you hadn’t realised, I’m not a baby and don’t use this stuff to powder myself down. It’s my go-to for rubbing through my greasy roots as a dry shampoo, as it works so well to absorb excess oil – I find Batiste and aerosol dry shampoos don’t do such a good job, as well as usually having suffocatingly strong smells that completely cover up any lovely perfume you might be wearing. Just make sure to distribute well to avoid awkward white patches! This just works really well for me, especially when my hair is freshly coloured and I want to avoid washing it for as long as possible. Yes, I’m disgusting. Repurchase? Yes.
31. Bath & Body Works Gelato 3-wick Candle ($20 via Bath & Body Works) – I fell in love with this after receiving one for Christmas. Yes, they’re double the price on Ebay UK since we’re not blessed with a Bath & Body works, but I was thrilled to receive a few different flavours as part of my Christmas gifts! This one smells just like strawberry ice cream – how can you not buy it? The only issue was that the candle started tunnelling really quicky and drowned the wicks, so I had to constantly keep scooping the wax out (fortunately I’ve saved it to use on my oil burner). Usually these candles last such a long time and burn well, but this issue meant it didn’t take long to get through the whole thing – quite disappointing for something that is, for us, quite expensive. Repurchase? Yes, in other scents, & if more affordable!
32. Febreze Cranberries & Frost Candle (unavailable) – Last one! This was my Christmas candle of choice – a warm, inviting cranberry scent, costing only £2 from Wilkinsons. I’d never used Febreze candles before because I thought they’d smell overly synthetic, like the Febreze air freshener spray. This one served me well as my festive candle of choice without spending a small fortune, with a surprisingly good throw and minimal tunnelling. Repurchase? Will try other scents.
I really hope you enjoyed my latest empties! Some months I will have loads of products and others very little – seems this time I had rather a lot! Have you ever used any of these products before? What have you been using up lately?