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.
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!