Long time no post! I know, I know. I let my empties get away from me again and here I am writing up three months worth of beauty trash to try and catch up… I did this once before, and vowed to never do it again – but hey!
Let’s not faff about, and just get on with reviewing all these finished products – so I can finally throw it all in the recycling bin (yay).
Holy heck, that’s some pile of trash. How many products do you reckon are in there? Go on, have a guess. Write your answer down and we’ll see if you’re right at the end… No cheating!
Setting spray is a daily must for me, so it’s no surprise I finished three! The Kiko Tropic Heat Primer & Fixer was a really fine, refreshing mist that never squirted me, and did the perfect job of setting my makeup. It smelt kind of tropical too! I might get this again if I see it in the sale but it’s almost £8 for this tiny bottle, which is a lot compared to some of the others I use.
The Primark Primer Water is fantastic as a setting spray – I’m not the first to go on about it. The nozzle sprays a fine mist which distributes evenly, and it sets your makeup without soaking your face. For £2, it’s a must – I’ve already repurchased. The PS… Workout Fix Up Makeup Up Setting Spray is ok, but not nearly as good as the Primer Water, so I’d give it a miss if you can find that instead.
I really liked the Too Faced Shadow Insurance – this tiny sample tube lasted me ages – but it’s the only high end eye primer I’ve tried, so I fancy giving at least the Urban Decay one a go before I shell out for the full size.
The Maybelline Baby Skin in Warm Apricot is a really good primer if you have redness in your skin – I do personally prefer the one in the blue tube as it’s more smoothing, but if you don’t like silicone-y primers you will prefer this. It’s often on offer on Amazon for £2 – that’s why mine has the Spanish packaging.
I also really love the Maybelline Better Skin Concealer – on bad skin days I’ll use this all over my face in place of foundation. I have to say I don’t like the foundation version though! They stopped selling this line in Superdrug so I bought a load of them online to stock up… I just like it that much!
Lastly I’ve trashed this copycat version of the Real Techniques Complexion Sponge. I’m not entirely sure where it came from – you can get similar ones on eBay and Aliexpress – and I couldn’t really tell the difference between this and the real one. It’s a great sponge, but I have to say I’ve been converted to a Beauty Blender!
The B. Clean Melting Gel Cleanser is a favourite – this is my second tube. It’s a three-phase cleanser, which means it starts as a gel, turns into a oil when you rub it in, and emulsifies into a milky cleanser when you add water. It doesn’t dry out my skin but does a great job of cleansing. I always grab a backup when it’s half price in Superdrug!
The Sukin Foaming Cleanser is a gel that turns into foam when you add water. It’s a nice cleanser, but does tend to leave my skin pretty dry.
The Face Shop Rice Water Bright Light Cleansing Oil was a firm favourite too – just as it says, it’s a really light cleansing oil, which does a great job of breaking down makeup. It’s also very gentle and doesn’t sting my eyes (which can be quite sensitive). I’ll probably get this again, as it’s one of the more affordable but still effective oil cleansers I’ve tried.
My top pick here is the Innisfree Wine Jelly Sleeping Pack (reviewed here). I used this daily for months and loved it! I’ve tried quite a few things from Innisfree now and loved them all – there’s tons more I want to try too.
I also really enjoyed the B. Confident Hylauronic Acid Facial Spritz – a great budget facial spray that’s great after cleansing, or as a refresh at any time of day.
I’m not sure on the name of this product – let’s call it A&Qiong Kimbo Essence Whitening Concentrate – and I wasn’t expecting much for £1.49 from Aliexpress! But I have to say, it was much better than I expected, and has a bit of hydrating, plumping action going on (read more here). I have another in my stash I’m looking forward to using.
The Biore UV Watery Essence is a great high-protection facial SPF that doesn’t leave a white cast, doesn’t smell bad, and doesn’t make your skin greasy. It’s also affordable – I got mine for around £7 on Amazon. I’d highly recommend this!
Lastly I finished two moisturisers – the Garnier Essentials Hydrating Day Care was a gel formula, which usually enjoy, but this had a habit of pilling up on my skin on days I didn’t wear makeup, which was kind of gross. I much preferred the BIOMED Pure Detox 24H – read my full review here.
It’s not an empties if there’s no Primark Oval Cosmetics Pads! I decided to try the new Argan Oil Oval Cotton Pads, which I actually prefer. They’re a little more expensive, but they’re softer, and the edges are stitched together – plus, they’re still cheap as hell. I hope Primark keep them in their line permanently!
I also finished with two Konjac Sponges – I buy these dirt cheap off Aliexpress and usually get through one a month. There’s always spares on standby.
I’ve been slacking on the sheet mask front lately – I always seem to when I get my tiny fringe cut in, because I’m not sure what to do with my fringe when I’ve got one on? Like?
Anyway, The Creme Shop Coconut Oil Infused Face Mask is super hydrating with tons of essence in it – I used whole box of these and really liked them. The Innisfree It’s Real Squeeze Mask with Green Tea was also fab – I’ve tried tons of these and really enjoyed them. I also remember enjoying the Bioaqua Snail Prime mask (another budget Aliexpress purchase) considering the price, which was probably about 46p.
The Soothing Jeju Natural Aloe Mask was ok, but I wasn’t wowed by it. If I can’t see a visible plumping when I take off a sheet mask, it’s kind of meh to me – there are so many that actually give my skin a visible difference, I haven’t got time for a meh mask!
I’ve mentioned the Garnier Pure Active 3 in 1 in an empties before (I have loads of these things) and I still think it’d be a fab product for someone with a minimal skincare routine who doesn’t want tons of products in their bathroom.
Lastly the Coconut Water Foot Pack is fine, it’s not the best one I’ve tried – I prefer the Macadamia one – but it does help soften your feet.
I recently discovered Mitchum deodorants – I’m not sure what took me so long, but I’m officially obsessed. They’re a little more costly than my regular deodorants (run around £1.99 at Savers) but keep me try and fresh whatever I’m doing, and don’t stain my clothes. My favourite is the Mitchum 48H Advanced Control in Powder Fresh, but the Mitchum Unscented Roll-on is good too! I’ve already bought another of each.
Nivea shower creams are one of my favourites, and I won this Nivea Creme & Oil Pearls with Lotus in an Instagram giveaway. It’s the same softening, creamy formula with tiny bubbles of oil that burst as you rub it into the skin. It’s just as luxurious as the others in their line, and is one of the only shower gels that helps to moisturise my skin as I wash – perfect, because I’m way too lazy for body lotion!
Lastly I finished the Pampered Shower Smoothie with Strawberry, Raspberry and Pomegranate. These smell deliciously fruity and have a gentle exfoliating action – my mum’s a big fan of these too. This scent smells fantastic and I’ll probably buy it again once I run out of my 4 million bottles of shower gel…
I made a little progress on my Project Lotion – two small tubs bit the dust. Firstly we have LUSH Sleepy Body Lotion – smells like lavender and is very relaxing, although I’m not hugely into lavender so I wouldn’t pick this out myself. The formula of their lotions is faultless though – easily absorbed and non-greasy. The Body Shop Spiced Vanilla Body Butter has been in my stash for literally years – when I say years, I remember having this before I met my boyfriend, which was SIX YEARS AGO. I never opened it at the time! I’m not a massive fan of this formula, it’s too thick and takes too long to absorb, but I’m glad it’s finished anyway.
I also finished a hand cream – the Essence Kiwi and Dark Chocolate 24H Hand Protection Balm. This smelled really good to me personally – although I did meet a few people who hated it! This was a limited edition from a Christmas line they released – it takes a little longer to absorb than some hand creams, though I did enjoy it.
One bottle of each of my favourite scents from the Garnier Ultimate Blends Shampoo line – Delicate Oat and Vanilla Milk & Papaya. I really like this formula and so does my boyfriend, so I usually have some knocking around. I also thought I’d try something new – the L’Oreal Hair Expertise Pure Sleek Shampoo. It’s supposed to help with frizz – to be honest I’m not sure anything except straighteners helps with frizz in my hair, but it was a nice shampoo all the same.
Lastly I finished one conditioner – the L’Oreal Elvive Full Restore Repairing Conditioner. It did an ok job, but didn’t totally wow me if I’m honest. It hasn’t left a lasting impression!
I’ve also been working on using up my hair styling products – mostly that means finishing nothing but dry shampoo, but it’s a step in the right direction…
I really like the Herbal Essences Clearly Naked Dry Shampoo – it does the job perfectly. The Pantene Dry Shampoo Volume Booster was great too – I like buying these mini cans because they’re better for travel and I get to try more kinds!
The Lee Stafford Flat Iron Shine Protection Mist was my go-to for my fringe for ages – I always blow dry my fringe and this is perfect to spray before blow drying (especially when it’s dried in an odd position after washing, oops). I LOVED this and will definitely be getting a full size when I’ve finished my other heat protectants.
The Garnier Fructis Style Flexible Hold Volumising Hairspray did the job of holding my barnet in place, wasn’t sticky, and brushed out easily. I don’t know if I’ll get this again because I usually just buy whatever hairspray is in Poundland I haven’t tried before – think I have Toni & Guy right now!
As with all my empties, there are some Arm & Hammer toothpastes – two Extra White Care and one Advance White Extreme. I can’t tell the difference if I’m honest – they’re good toothpastes though, I don’t use any other brands after trying these!
I’ve got hand soap in my kitchen and bathroom now, so we finished the Carex Protects Hand Soap in Chocolate Orange and Cola Bottles. I love these (they smell like sweets!) and buy them every time I need soap.
I always keep a mini pack of wet wipes in my handbag – not because I have babies, but because I have a habit of swatching lipsticks in shops and then getting it all over my clothes. These Pure Handy Wipes are perfect to carry around!
I use the B. Pure Sensitive Micellar Cleansing Wipes just for removing swatches at home – they work really well for that. I have a backlog of these because I got a bunch of packs free with a Superdrug order a while ago.
I’m also done with two nail files – I’ve since moved on to glass nail files, which are SO much better. I can reshape my nails in no time!
I clean my brushes every Sunday so I do get through quite a lot of brush cleaner – I tend to stick to drugstore ones because they’re much more affordable.
The Primark P.S. Love This Make-Up Brush Cleanser is one I always pick up if I see it, because at £2, the price can’t be beat. Unfortunately, it’s hardly ever in stock, and I only ever find like two bottles hanging out on a random shelf. It has a strong scent of alcohol but gets my brushes super clean.
I’m a bit miffed by the Freedom Brush Shower – it’s the same price (£5) as the Makeup Revolution version, and does the same job – but it’s in a smaller bottle. I won’t be buying that again!
I bought the Makeup Revolution Pro Hygiene Sanitising Solid Brush Cleaner because I’d used the Freedom one and loved it, but discovered this was a little cheaper. Unfortunately, it didn’t work nearly as well – it seemed harder to get the soap to come off on my brushes and sponges, and frankly I got fed up of using it by the end! I have since replaced it with the Freedom one again, and love using that to clean my makeup sponges.
Considering I didn’t feel like I’d been melting much wax, I have quite a few empties!
Luxury Belgium Chocolate by Ferrari Lane really wowed me – the perfect deep, rich chocolatey scent, which I thought would be a bit sickly – but actually wasn’t at all! It wasn’t too sweet, and surprisingly didn’t make me crave chocolate. Lime Cooler was kind of the opposite, in a good way – the perfect fresh lime scent. I reviewed both of these on my Instagram here.
Lemon and White Chocolate Cake from Cupcake Chasm was the perfect mix of fresh lemon and sweet, fluffy white sponge. That sounds like I ate it – I didn’t, I just melted it – but I did really enjoy it! I was on the fence when I purchased it, as I’m not a huge white chocolate fan, but I’m glad I tried it. Amaretto Cheesecake was pretty strong on the amaretto, and quite tangy; Cheeky Chocolate Raspberry was more raspberry than chocolate – not a bad thing of course!
I finished off almost all my remaining Cupcake Chasm Brittles this month – Red Velvet Cake, Plum and Almond Cake and Key Lime Pie (looks like one of my sheet masks leaked on this one) were all scrumptious. If I had to pick a favourite, it would be Red Velvet – this is my second time purchasing that scent from her. The Pumpkin Pie Gummy Bears were from one of her older lines, and have a great scent but I’ve realised I don’t actually like pumpkin! (D’oh) The one negative thing I do have to say about this wax formula is that the fragrance doesn’t store well – I had these for a fair few months and the last pieces didn’t smell of very much. If you melt them within a month or two of buying them though, you’ll be fine.
One brand of wax that does store well is Ferrari Lane – I finished two mermaid-tail inspired melts this month. Island Fresh was one of the scents that really got me into fresh scents instead of just bakery – I did a full review on my Instagram here. Black Plum & Rhubarb was a perfect sour/fruity scent – I was sad to finish it off! I kind of wish it came in a perfume too…
I recently discovered the Home Inspiration by Yankee Candle range of votives – stocked in Poundworld of all places for 75p each. I like this size because it gives you an idea of what the scent is like without having to shell out for a huge candle, although these aren’t as fragrant as the main line of votives from Yankee Candle. My favourite was Perfect Margarita – a fresh lime scent that had a good throw. Cherry Vanilla and Raspberry Sundae weren’t as strong, but still smelled good – both fruity with a little sweetness. I have at least one more of each in my stash so I won’t be repurchasing right away.
The Essence candles are the closest thing I can find the the Bath and Body Works candles in the UK – Brown Sugar Allspice was the perfect warming spicy scent, reminiscent of Christmas baking. These have dual wicks and a good throw – not the strongest scents but very good for a budget candle (they are only £2.99). I’d get this line again if I can find them – I’ve only seen them stocked in B&M Bargains.
Total: 68 products
Monthly average: 23
Considering my goal of 365 empties for the whole of 2017, it seems like I’ve got some catching up to do. Oops!
Total for 2017 so far: 237
That’s a monthly average of just under 30 products. Not bad!
There’s 4 months left in 2017, which means I need to finish another 128 products – exactly 32 each month to hit my total.
Right – I’m off to dig out some half- or almost-empty products to concentrate on!