January & February Empties!

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

Skincare

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bath

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Makeup

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

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

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

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