July & August Empties!

Welcome to a brand new edition of Empties for July & August! Okay, I haven’t used up a huge amount of products, but I did spend all of July across the ocean & have some travel goodies to show you, as well as plenty of makeup as well as Lush products I finished up! Read on to find out what I thought…

Skincare (Face)

1. Boots Essentials Fragrance Free Cleansing Wipes (£1.50 via Boots) – Unfortunately not a fan of these – I think I’d bought lots ages ago on offer! They’re very thin, dry and don’t do enough to get off stubborn makeup. They’re fine as cheap wipes for festivals or travel, but typically I’d want something a little better quality than these! Repurchase? No.

2. Mudd Original Deep Cleansing Mask [10 Application Pack] (£5.10 via Amazon) – Always my go-to mask when I need something to remove blackheads and clear my skin! I’m sensitive to ingredients in most face masks including menthol, but this is ideal for my super-sensitive skin – thoroughly cleansing pores and removing dead skin and dirt without causing any redness at all. These resealable packs travel well and are great value for the price – I always try to stock up on Amazon. Repurchase? Yes!

3. La Roche-Posay Hydreane Light Moisturising Cream (£11.45 via Escentual) – My everyday moisturiser! I’ve gone through numerous tubes of this and it’s still my number one choice. Being fragrance-free, it’s ideal for sensitive skin types, and hydrates without being oily at all. I apply a small amount after toner or serum in the morning and before applying makeup. The only flaw is having to cut open the tube to completely finish it up! Repurchase? Yes.

4. Benefit ‘It’s Potent!’ Eye Cream [Travel Size] (£25.50 for full size via Feel Unique) – I received a mini size of this eye cream as part of a set, and it was ideal for my little travel bag! The glass jar isn’t the most ideal for travel, but it’s still super-tiny. There wasn’t quite enough in the jar to properly trial it as a skincare product, but the thick cream did sink in quickly and make my undereye area feel hydrated. However it did make my eyes sting a little when I applied too much, so just be aware if you have sensitive eyes! Also it is a little pricey for a full size, so I’ll be sure to try out some more affordable alternatives first. Repurchase? No.

5. Kleenex Shine Absorbing Sheets (unavailable) – These are on every single Empties post of mine without fail, after bulk-buying them a couple of years ago for just 29p each at Home Bargains! They work just as well as the popular and more expensive Clean & Clear oil blotting sheets to easily remove excess oil without affecting my makeup – absolute essentials for travel and going out anywhere! Repurchase? Yes, if possible.

Skincare (Body)

6. Lush Rose Jam Shower Gel 250g (currently unavailable) – This Rose Jam wasn’t just from last Christmas, it was from the one before! Despite ‘expiring’ a good 8 months ago, it still smelled of its delicious trademark fruity rose scent, just not as strong. I’m not usually a rose scent lover, but this one is gorgeous – a rose/lemon combination that even my 90-year-old grandma is totally into (she uses it as shampoo). It also works really well as bubble bath, though a rather expensive one! It’s unfortunately been limited edition and only been released at Christmas for the last couple of years, so hopefully it will make a reappearance in a few months time, as the scent is so unique and lovely! Repurchase? Yes.

7. Lush Lovely Jubblies Breast Cream (discontinued) – I was devastated when this staple product of mine appeared on Lush’s discontinued list back in June! Despite being around £16 I stocked up on a couple to stash away, along with my seasonal and discontinued Lush bath bombs and lotions. In addition to moisturising well and smelling like beautiful jasmine, it gives a subtle tightening and firming effect to skin when used regularly – no substitute for surgery but I do notice when I haven’t used it in a while (I forgot to take it on holiday & missed it). I know other ladies also swear by this for undereye bags, thighs and bums, so this is a true multi-use product! I just hope they release something similar ASAP, as other products like this are even more expensive and it really does what it claims. Repurchase? Yes, if I could!

8. Lush Ro’s Argan Body Conditioner (£16.50 for 225g via Lush) – I actually picked a couple of these mini pots up at the car boot sale ages ago for mere pennies; I just wished I’d remembered to use them sooner as they were in date when I bought them! Unfortunately by the time I got around to finishing this, it had gone quite goopy and lost almost all its smell. But normally it’s a lovely lotion-y texture with the same sweet scent as the Rose Jam shower gel – they are wonderful used together, and you don’t even have to use a regular lotion afterwards. A real bathtime luxury! Repurchase? Yes.

9. Lush Dream Cream [Sample] (from £5.95 via Lush) – I received this as a freebie from Lush after I got super-dry underarm skin while I was away – lovely, right?! A combination of heat, humidity and regular shaving can cause the delicate skin to become very dry and sore, though after returning home to cooler temperatures, shaving less and applying this daily my skin returned to normal very fast. Dream Cream absorbs so fast and does a wonderful job of soothing and calming problem skin – I’d also recommend this for conditions such as eczema and for use on problem areas, rather than as an all-over lotion. Repurchase? Yes (if needed)

10. Gillette Satin Care Sensitive Skin Shave Gel [Travel Size] (£1.20 via Tesco) – A mini size from another trip away that I only recently used up! Hair conditioner is fine to use for shaving and all, but I really like the gel and foam texture of this shave gel, and the sensitive skin option is ideal for me. The small size uses up minimal space in your suitcase and lasts at least a couple of weeks, even if you’re shaving regularly. My only issue is that I still get some ingrown hairs with this, although I’ve yet to experience any accidental cuts. Repurchase? Yes.

Makeup

11. Bobbi Brown Oil-Free Even Finish Compact Foundation in Warm Ivory (£33.50 via Bobbi Brown UK) – The first foundation I ever used, and one I continued to use for years! I’m amazed my foundation as a teen was so expensive compared to what I use now – I suppose I used so little makeup back then my parents didn’t mind buying it for me as a once-in-a-while expense! I had to get rid of this particular one since I must have had it around for years and it was smelling a little off. I do prefer the liquid formulas as they’re easier to work with (and not to mention more hygienic), although this formula blended well into skin and looked natural. This does come presented very beautifully in a thick, sturdy compact with a built-in mirror and soft sponge, but I’ll just stick with my cheaper foundations for now! Repurchase? No.

12. NARS Pro-Prime Multi-Protect Primer SPF 30 (£26 via Space NK) – Another expensive one but absolutely worth it for me! It’s lasted me a couple of years and wears wonderfully under makeup. The SPF 30 helps protect my skin on sunnier days, and I top up with dry mist sunscreen during the day if I’m out for more than an hour. Makeup applies smoothly on top, and it never clogs pores or gives a super-shiny look like many other sunscreen products. I did have to cut open the tube to get the extra product out, as considering the price I didn’t want to waste any! Repurchase? Yes.

13. Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara (£19 via Debenhams) – The mascara with the name that got everyone talking! Obviously it’s just a marketing gimmick, it is just a mascara after all. I received this in my BBB Latest In Beauty box a while ago, which was excellent value considering for £20 I got a whole bunch of other products as well. The metal packaging is heavy and feels very luxurious, and the hourglass wand is a bit of a novelty. The formula is thicker than I’m used to and made my lashes looking very long and thick, but a bit too spidery for my taste after a couple of coats. It can flake a little, and once a large flake landed in my eye while I was driving, which really did burn and made my eyes water – extremely dangerous when you’re trying to concentrate on the road! I’ll stick with my cheaper alternatives for now. Repurchase? No.

14. Fresh Sugar Shine Lip Treatment in Clear ($18.50 via Sephora) – A bit of a disappointment for me! I discovered I’m not a lip gloss person, and this clear minty gloss wasn’t anything special – it really didn’t deliver the moisture or ‘definition’ it promised. It went bad after only a few months, going discoloured and gloopy a bit quicker than I’d anticipated. A shame, as this isn’t the cheapest! Repurchase? No.

15. MAC Brow Set in Beguile (£14 via MAC Cosmetics UK) – Amazingly this lasted through almost a year of daily use! This mascara-like tinted brow gel is so easy to apply, and looks so natural. I fill in my brows with MAC Lingering brow pen, and use this on top to colour fine, light hairs. It doesn’t smudge or transfer either – no complaints here! I used this old one until it was fully dried out (see where I’ve scraped the sides!) – I was almost devastated when I thought I’d lost my brand new one after using this up, as it’s a daily must-have for me! Repurchase? Yes.

Hair

16. Macadamia Deep Repair Masque 250ml (£23.16 via Feel Unique) – My holy grail hair mask! I used this once or twice a week – a small amount goes a long way and it lasted me months. Although it has recently been reformulated, it still seems to give great results. The old formula is a gold pearlescent colour and is a little thicker, and the newer one is a peachy shade. I leave this on wet, shampooed hair for 10-15 minutes whilst in the bath and then rinse out – once my hair is blow dried it’s always wonderfully soft and silky. It can usually be found for cheaper on legitimate beauty discount sites, so I’ve yet to pay full price. This was my number one pick for travelling last month and it really saved the condition of my hair from the chlorinated tap water and humidity! Repurchase? Yes.

17. Lee Stafford Hair Growth Treatment (£8.49 via Boots) – Not quite as good as the Macadamia mask in my opinion! It does give satisfactory results in conditioning the hair, but you do have to use a large amount in one go, so it can be wasteful! But the worst..the smell! Some people may enjoy it, but it’s far too over-perfumed for me and lingers in my hair. And as for the hair growth claims? I doubt it actively helps your hair grow and instead just keeps it in better condition. It does the job of deep conditioning, but not a must-have for me! Repurchase? No.

18. Fekkai Protein Rx Anti-Breakage Treatment Mask (now discontinued?) – I can’t seem to find this exact product online anymore, so I’m not sure if it’s being discontinued or just renamed! It used to be my go-to when I had very brittle and abused hair as it made it feel like new, and I decided to use it again after a long plane journey and 6 weeks of infamous Florida tap water (it’s known to be quite chlorinated and a friend of mine is allergic to it). My dried-out hair was back to its former glory after one use! I’d only use this once in a while since the results aren’t as stunning when used regularly, but I always have one in my cupboard for such emergencies. Repurchase? Yes, if available.

Home

19. Bath & Body Works 3-Wick Candle in Espresso Bar (currently unavailable) – A freebie for me, as my guyfriend moved into a new apartment and the previous owners had left it behind! On cold sniff it smelled wonderful – I’m one of those people who loves the smell of coffee but hates the taste, and this smelled like an expensive coffee shop. However when lit, it wasn’t as pleasant! I think there is a ‘chocolate’ scent added which is much more apparent when lit; unfortunately it’s very much an American chocolate, which has a very odd smell to it compared to our lovely British chocolate! I had to quickly extinguish this and get rid of the wax, but at least I have this very pretty jar for storage. Repurchase? No.

Holiday Empties

20. Bourjois 123 Perfect CC Eye Cream (£7.99 via Boots) – A shame this got used up so quickly, as it was a brilliant under-eye concealer! This twist-up pen deposits a small amount of product at a time and I use my finger to apply it under my eyes. Rather than looking cakey or orange like some concealers, any uneven tones are neutralised and look very natural. I love Bourjois’ CC cream for all over my face, so it was no surprise I enjoyed the eye version too. Repurchase? Yes.

21. Gillette Satin Care Olay Sensitive Skin Shave Gel 75ml (£1.50 via Sainsbury’s) – I used up a very similar Gillette shave gel above, though this one is thicker, creamier and a little more moisturising. Sadly I still got ingrown hairs using this, but it does feel quite luxurious for the price! Repurchase? Yes (for travel).

22. Ole Henriksen Truth Serum [15ml and 30ml] (£39.95 / 30ml via Feel Unique) – I took both of these serums with me as they needed using up! I first purchased it in the US after trying out the mini size and thought it did wonders for my skin, but it was really the humidity keeping my skin hydrated! After using it at home I really didn’t notice a difference – it does smell lovely, like orange sherbert, but no point buying it if it doesn’t seem to be doing anything. A shame as I’d heard such good things about it! Repurchase? No.

23. Fresh Peony Brightening Night Treatment Mask [Sample] (£49 for full size via StrawberryNET) – Despite only receiving a tiny sample of this mask from Sephora, I did get a couple of uses out of it! It did a good job of retaining the softness and hydration of my skin and I woke up the next morning with super-soft, supple skin. It also doesn’t block my pores or break me out, nor does it feel greasy at all. I’ve been enjoying using the full size 1-2 times a week, although it does work well as a regular night cream too! Repurchase? Yes.

..I guess I did use up a lot of products this month! I really enjoy sharing my empties and opinions with you – I hope you find them helpful! What products have you used up lately, and what did you think? 🙂

July Favourites

So I’m back from 6 busy and wonderful weeks in sunny Florida, USA and still very jetlagged, hence the lack of posts! But thought I’d finally put up my most favourite things from the month of July to share with you all!

1. Contents at Target Floral Zip-Up Makeup Bag (currently unavailable online) – I grabbed this on my travels, as it was the perfect size to keep my makeup brushes and lip pencils clean, organised and safe, as I used the bathroom to do my makeup! Much more preferable to keeping them in an old ziplock bag. The colourful pattern brightens up any space or suitcase too – not so bad for a few dollars!

2. Givenchy Le Rouge Lipstick in 102 Beige Plume ($36 via Sephora USA) – My most expensive lipstick by far! When attempting to find a UK link for this shade and failing, I was a little worried it had been discontinued..which would be awful! I initially fell in love with this a couple of years ago when a Sephora employee tried it out on me during a makeover. I hadn’t used this much since, but have recently been reaching for it a ton, as it’s a slightly coral-peach dusty nude – ideal for the mild summer weather. Not to mention the beauty of the weighty, luxurious leather packaging. The formula is super-soft, feeling truly high end and much smoother than any cheaper dupe I’ve tried in the past. Absolutely worth the money in my opinion!

3. Fresh Peony Brightening Night Treatment Mask (£46.10 inc shipping via Amazon UK) – Another expensive purchase, but one that’s really helped out my skin! I hardly bought much else from Sephora this time around (surprising, I know!) but wanted something that could help my redness and dehydrated skin. Funnily enough the Florida humidity did wonders for my skin (shame the same can’t be said for my hair) and I wanted to maintain that feeling. I’ve been using it for around 3 weeks now and my skin does feel softer, smoother, plumper and more hydrated, but I’ve yet to see massive changes in marks or redness – hopefully that will happen later. I’d been using it every night for the first week or two, but then realised it’s only recommended to be used 1-2 times per week – at least nothing bad’s happened yet! Hopefully this will continue to maintain the soft, smooth feeling of my skin and also deliver on the brightening promises in time.

4. Colab Dry Shampoo Extreme Volume in New York (£1.66 for 50ml via Superdrug) – I’d heard a lot of praise for the Colab dry shampoo line before I went away, so I grabbed a mini size of the fruity, tropical New York scent to take with me. This was ideal for freshening up hair in the nightmare humidity – I wore a hat almost the whole time since my hair looked lank and greasy as soon as I stepped outside, even if it had just been washed! This definitely helped before taking photos or before going out to give my hair a touch of volume and to take away some of the greasy look – I took it with me practically everywhere to spritz in my roots and rub through. Great value, especially if you can find it on sale.

5. Lush Twilight Shower Gel (currently unavailable) – One of my all-time favourites from the Lush Kitchen – they absolutely need to start selling this in stores! This deep purple vanillary-lavender shower gel smells divine, really helping me to get in the mood for sleep and fight this killer jetlag which keeps me up until 2-3am. Pair this with a Twilight bath bomb from Lush and you have the bathtime dreams are made of!

6. EOS Hand Lotion in Berry Blossom (£3.83 via Amazon UK) – These are around $2 pretty much everywhere in the US, including the supermarkets! I hated the EOS lip balms as they dried up my lips, so didn’t have high hopes for this hand cream. And I was proved wrong! The light, non-greasy formula absorbs into skin so fast, and hydrates hands without leaving them feeling sticky or greasy afterwards. This was ideal as a daytime hand cream for when I was cleaning up and doing housework around my guyfriend’s apartment and my hands felt dry – I could eat food or use the computer almost straight afterwards without fear of leaving residue everywhere. The small, flip-top tube is ideal for carrying in your handbag (but not so ideal for keeping in the TSA ziplock back as it’s an odd shape!) – glad these are so affordable!

7. Maybelline Full ‘n’ Soft Waterproof Mascara ($7.99 via Ulta) – Sadly this is pretty much impossible to get hold of in the UK..which is so sad because it’s consistently the best mascara I’ve ever used! I’d tried more expensive waterproof mascaras before going over, though it was ridiculous how many weren’t actually waterproof in any way whatsoever. This made my lashes look long, defined and voluminous, and didn’t budge at all even in the crazy heat and humidity. It’s also easy enough to remove with an oil-based makeup remover. I think I’ll use up all my pricier mascara backups and just stick to this when possible!

And those are all my favourites for July – what have you been loving this past month? Let me know down below! My beautiful quartz necklace is from Shop Dixi (get 10% off your first order using this link) – nearly all of my jewellery is bought there and I always get so many compliments on it. Look out for more posts very soon now I’m home again, and if there’s anything at all beauty-related you want me to write a post about, be sure to let me know!