Empty Products #19

Another empties post, the fourth this year! I’ve finished up a couple more products from my Project Pan and it’s rewarding to see how many things I’ve used up in total so far in 2021. Please leave a comment if you still enjoy reading empties posts or if you’ve tried anything mentioned here.

Haircare

1. Function of Beauty conditioner

I decided to give Function of Beauty another go after having a better experience with the products towards the end of finishing my first set of shampoo and conditioner. I changed up the hair goals and changed my formula to suit medium thickness hair rather than coarse hair. I think I just have a lot of hair which makes it seem thick but that doesn’t mean it’s coarse. The second set has been much more enjoyable to use and you can read more of my thoughts in this post *HERE*. I’m not far away from finishing the shampoo from this set either but let’s face it, 97% of people finish conditioner first!

Repurchase: Yes, my third set of shampoo and conditioner will be sent towards the end of September.

Makeup

2. BECCA Champagne Pop Shimmering Skin Perfector Liquid

Who doesn’t love glowy skin?! I like a soft, lit from within glow that isn’t too intense and in your face. This liquid shimmering skin perfector was part of a set with two other mini products from BECCA and it’s beautiful! I would use this in place of a traditional primer and buff it in with my foundation, the effect it gave was lovely.

Repurchase: Possibly if BECCA weren’t closing down.

3. Garnier Micellar Water

I was so excited to try this when it launched 5-6 years ago as it’s a great concept for makeup removal but my skin didn’t agree with the product. I haven’t tried the version for sensitive skin but I’d be apprehensive as I didn’t like how this felt on my skin after makeup was removed. When I purchased some sets of false lashes in 2020 I re-purchased a small bottle so I could empty some product into a container and soak the lashes to remove any glue after wearing them. It works a treat and this small bottle lasted well over a year for that purpose.

Repurchase: Yes, to soak false eyelashes, not as a makeup remover.

4. Colourpop Pretty Fresh Sponge

I’m one of those people who doesn’t like applying base makeup with a sponge. I don’t find they give even coverage or the look I like and much prefer brushes. As far as sponges go this one is decent, it’s soft and bouncy and doesn’t absorb too much product. I’ve had this sponge for a wee while now and haven’t used it in months so it’s time to say goodbye.

Repurchase: No, not because it’s bad, I’m just not a fan of sponges.

Skincare & Fragrance

5. Natio Daily Defence Face Moisturiser SPF50+

I hadn’t tried this product before but I like my daytime moisturisers to have SPF and it sounded perfect for applying under makeup as it claims to be a non-greasy formula. The moisturiser is lightweight, hydrating and makeup applies nicely over the top – it’s a great day to day option! I have a different day cream from Natio to use next but I can see myself going back to this afterwards.

Repurchase: Yes.

6. Natio Rosewater Hydration Moisture Boost Day Cream-Gel

Natio is one of those brands whose skincare just works really nicely with my skin. They use a lot of natural ingredients and the price point of their products for the quality is very reasonable. That being said, this moisturiser isn’t my favourite product from them. It’s not bad by any means but I’m not a fan of gel formula moisturisers, I find them less hydrating for my dry skin. The scent of rose is also quite prominent, not enough to be annoying or irritate my nose but if you’re sensitive to smell this might not be for you.

Repurchase: No.

7. Destiny by Delta Goodrem

This perfume was one of the original 10 items in my project pan I started in January. I enjoyed the warmth of the scent and the notes of orange blossom which leant it to being a nicer winter perfume than a summer perfume. I didn’t find the longevity of this very good, the other Delta Goodrem perfume I mentioned in my last empties had better longevity and was more up my street overall.

Repurchase: No.

8. Juicy Couture – Viva la Juicy

This perfume is my holy grail and I consider it my signature scent! It’s got everything I love; vanilla, gourmand, sweetness and more. Certain perfumes work well in conjunction with a person’s body chemistry and this is one of mine. Whenever I wear this I feel confident and upbeat and over the years I’ve received compliments about how good this smells on me too. Viva la Juicy is feminine, fun and sexy.

Repurchase: Already have.

Body

9. The Body Shop Peppermint hand cream

This was given to me at Christmas time by a work colleague. I was pleasantly surprised by how good this smelled – like mint chocolate – and it felt pretty hydrating too!

Repurchase: Would happily use again.

10. Nivea Invisible Silky Smooth Anti-Perspirant

I deviated from my usual Nivea deodorant and this one is a winner! Past deviations didn’t leave me impressed but I would happily alternate between this and my usual in future. This is formulated with skin conditioners for silky soft and velvety skin and keeps black and white garments their respective colours.

Repurchase: Yes.


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Empty Products #17

Long time, no post! Life happened and I simply haven’t had energy or time to focus on the blog. I had this post written and the photos taken at the start of April but my mum got sick and was admitted to hospital again. It’s nice to finally share it!

I enjoy being nosy and seeing what products people have finished up which is part of the reason I continue to share what I use up. A number of products I started my project pan with feature in this empties, I’m proud of all the progress I’m making so far! A quick warning, these empties are VERY makeup heavy.

Makeup

1. Revlon Lip Butter – Lollipop

This is a classic example of what I dub “the Chanelle lip colour”. Lollipop is a beautiful bright fuchsia with hints of micro-shimmer and the formula is lovely. The lip butters were designed to be more like a stain but Lollipop can be built up and layered and is very pigmented. The formula can be quite glossy and slip a little but I didn’t have any trouble with this shade.

Repurchase: This range is discontinued but if it was still available I would consider purchasing Lollipop again. I do have other fuchsia shades in my collection.

2. MAC Studio Finish Concealer in NW10

I purchased this concealer in 2017 and it lasted me around 3 years. I didn’t use it solidly or exclusively throughout that time, I used other concealers in between. The formula works well with my dry skin, product can be built up and layered easily without looking cakey and clinging to dry patches. This isn’t the most high coverage concealer but as it can be layered it is able to cover redness and blemishes. Since finishing this up, I do miss it. I’m currently using L’Oreal’s Infallible More Than Concealer and while the coverage is amazing, it can perform differently depending on the foundation and primer used underneath.

Repurchase: Maybe

3. Clinique Rosewater Pop Lipgloss

I got this lipgloss in a set a couple of years ago. The colour is really pretty, it gives such a natural, rosy sheen to the lips. The formula isn’t sticky and this was nice to wear on no makeup days but the gloss didn’t have much staying power. Lips felt nice and soft after wearing this but it’s not something I would reach for often. I used this up because it had been with me for a while.

Repurchase: No.

4. BECCA Skin Love Brighten & Blur Primer

This primer has such a lovely fruity scent and the product itself is incredibly moisturising and hydrating. Where this fell down for me is I found it was too hydrating and makeup wouldn’t always sit nicely on top. I have dry skin so I need hydration but the texture felt thick and heavy on my skin. It’s nice to have tried this but I wouldn’t buy the full size.

Repurchase: No

5. Rimmel Professional Brow Pencil in 002 Hazel

I have used this to fill in my brows for about five years now. I am currently using a different brow product from Rimmel which I’m enjoying and I think the cooler brown shade suits me a little bit more at the moment. I do still enjoy the pencil as it’s quick and easy.

Repurchase: Already have.

6. Johnson’s Baby Shampoo

I use this to clean my makeup brushes which is why I’ve included it in this category. One of these bottles lasts me a couple of years and several brush washes. The product is inexpensive, brushes wash up nicely and my skin doesn’t get irritated when this has been on the bristles and they come into contact with my skin.

Repurchase: Already have.

7. Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara (4.8 ml)

In a previous empties post I used a sample size of Too Faced’s Better Than Sex mascara and was on the fence about it as sometimes the product would smudge onto my eyelids and I didn’t always get on with it. As the product dried out I did enjoy the mascara more but it’s interesting that using a second sample I had a different experience. What I think made the difference is the wand, the pink part of the wand on this sample was a lot longer so it was easier to hold and really get into the eyelashes and apply product. There was pretty much no smudging and my lashes looked really full and voluminous.

Repurchase: I’m not sure I would pay full prize for this mascara ($44 NZD) but I would use this mascara again if it was on sale, I was given it or received another sample.

 

Skincare & Fragrance

8. Natio Ageless Advanced Lifting and Firming Serum

I hadn’t used a serum before as I really enjoy facial oils but I decided to buy this one last year when Natio had a 3 For 2 offer on. I didn’t hate the serum but I also didn’t notice much difference when I used it. My skin didn’t seem plumper or softer but perhaps in hindsight laughter lines looked less prominent. This was easy to spread over the skin and it soaked in quickly but I also looked forward to finishing the serum.

Repurchase: No.

Body

9. Nivea Invisible Anti-Perspirant – Clear

Still using and loving this! A nice, fresh smelling anti-perspirant that doesn’t cause skin irritation or leave residue on clothing.

Repurchase: Yes.

10. The Body Shop Shea Nourishing Body Lotion

I love The Body Shop and the Shea range is a firm favourite but this body lotion isn’t quite how I remembered it. It used to come in a pump bottle and there used to be some product wastage but the texture of the lotion seemed to be softer, more moisturising and have a stronger scent. The squeeze tube as opposed to the pump bottle is great but the lotion doesn’t seem as malleable and it seems like more product is needed at a time.

Repurchase: Maybe. If the brand bring out a Shea Body Yoghurt I’ll be all for it! I love the texture of those and there’s no product wastage.

11. The Body Shop British Rose Body Butter (50ml)

I had always been curious to try a product from the British Rose range. I held off for a while as I was worried the floral scent would be overwhelming but I didn’t find the scent of this body butter too much at all – it’s a nice, fresh floral. This does give a glowy sheen to the skin but I don’t find the formula as moisturising as other body butters I’ve used in the past. Not sure I’d purchase the full 200ml size.

Repurchase: Maybe the 50ml size.


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Empty Products #15

This is my fourth empties post of 2020 but it feels like I have used products up so slowly this year due to Covid and lockdown and being home more, has anyone else noticed the same? Overall in this round up all of the products were good, there aren’t any I’d begrudgingly use again if they were back in my collection.

Haircare

1. Wella Professionals Oil Reflections Conditioner

The scent of this range is lovely; white tea extract and camelia. This conditioner aims to work in 30 seconds to smooth hair and lock moisture in but I always leave conditioner in for a couple of minutes before rinsing. The conditioner does help hair feel and look shiny and smooth. The one slight gripe I have is that the shampoo and conditioner don’t come in the same size bottles, the conditioner is only 200ml. Most people tend to use more conditioner than shampoo and I wish brands would keep both products the same size or have larger sized bottles of conditioner so products can be finished up at the same time. (I am still using the shampoo at the time of publishing).

Repurchase: I can see myself using this again.

2. Wella Oil Reflections Luminous Reboost Mask

I got this mask in a set with the shampoo and conditioner and most of the time I would alternate between using this or the conditioner. Occasionally I would mix this mask and the conditioner in together if I wanted super silky, soft hair. The texture of the mask is not as runny as shampoo but it’s not thick either, it’s malleable and able to be massaged in really easily. I do think my hair wasn’t as smooth once I ran out of this mask but at the same time I won’t rush out to repurchase it.

Repurchase: The mask on it’s own, no, but if I find it as part of a set with the shampoo and conditioner again I would happily use it.

Makeup/Beauty

3. BECCA First Light Priming Filter

I had heard so many good things about this product so when I saw it as part of a BECCA set on the Sephora website last Christmas I snapped it up. The packaging of this smaller size is beautiful, it’s a pretty purple iridescent tube reminiscent of the primer inside. If you like glowy skin or want something light to wear on top of moisturiser on minimal makeup days I think you will enjoy this. I liked the glow it gave but I found with certain moisturisers and base products if there wasn’t a matte element it would pill and crumble up on my skin.

Repurchase: No.

4. Maybelline Master Prime Hydrate + Smooth

The more I used this primer the more I enjoyed it. Unlike the BECCA primer this would apply the same no matter which base products I used and give a nice smooth, even look to my skin. This is a good, all round every day primer that does what it says. I don’t know how oily skin types would get on as they may find this a little slippery but if you have normal-dry skin you’d probably like this.

Repurchase: Maybe.

5. Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara

Most people either like this mascara or they don’t and I sit somewhere in the middle. For a lot of people this is their holy grail and I will say when this mascara is good there is plenty to like. When I first started using the mascara the formula was wet and it would smudge but as it dried out I started to like the formula more, the mascara layered and built volume better. The brush is a nice hourglass shape and made of real bristles which I prefer. I’m glad to finally have tried this mascara but it won’t be taking holy grail status.

Repurchase: No. If I received the mascara as a gift or in a set I would use it again though.

Skincare & Fragrance

6. Trilogy Sensitive Very Gentle Restoring Oil

This is the third or fourth bottle of this oil I have finished up over the past couple of years. The oil is not heavy or greasy on the skin and three-four drops is ample. The oil soaks into the skin quickly and keeps it feeling nourished and hydrated. If I am applying this oil I do so in the evening after washing off my makeup. I haven’t had to reach for this oil a lot this year due to winter being mild and trying a new night cream that would do a good job on it’s own most of the time.

Repurchase: Yes. This is lovely applied over my nighttime moisturiser when my skin feels especially dry.

7. Natio Renew Radiance Night Cream

I started using this at the beginning of the year and the 75ml tube lasted the best part of a year with almost nightly use. Natio products seem to work well with my skin and I love that the brand uses plant and natural ingredients. This cream contains pomegranate and vitamin c and the blend is lovely. The texture is very lightweight and a little goes a long way. Product soaks into the skin quickly without compromising on hydration. I found with using this I didn’t need to reach for facial oil as often, my skin wasn’t getting as dry.

Repurchase: Yes. I think the brand has discontinued this range *sad face* but I have found a tube online which I purchased.

8. Olay Complete UV Lotion Sensitive

This is the second bottle of this lotion I have finished up. I used to only use Simple moisturiser but after trying this it’s more hydrating than the Simple product and I haven’t gone back. I do use separate day and night moisturisers – this is such a nice one to wear under makeup, it’s lightweight and non-greasy. This contains SPF too which is an added bonus.

Repurchase: Maybe. I’m currently exploring other daytime moisturisers.

9. Marc Jacobs – Daisy EDT

Before trying this perfume I had seen the bottle as a prop in tons of photos but didn’t have any idea what the fragrance actually smelt like or what the notes consisted of. I first tested this in store and really liked it, it’s fresh, light and bright, floral and feminine. The scent is not overpowering and has good lasting power. This perfume is a perfect one to wear day to day, to work and it’s good for a first date too. This is a safe, all rounder that I will definitely purchase again once I’ve used up some of my other perfumes.

Repurchase: Yes.

Body

10. Nivea Invisible Anti-Perspirant – Clear

I have been using this anti-perspirant for over 5 years now and I don’t tire of it. It works so well and does what it claims and features in every empties.

Repurchase: Yes.


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Full Face of First Impressions

I have acquired some new makeup recently and there are enough products to warrant trying out a bunch together for a dedicated post. I love trying out new makeup and enjoy watching videos and reading about other people doing the same. Before purchasing products I always research and look up plenty of reviews and over the years there aren’t many products I’ve purchased that I really haven’t liked.

Products listed in order of application. Products marked with *** are new:

1. Natio Daily Defence Face Moisturiser SPF 50+*** – Natio face products work well for my skin. Their products are full of good, natural ingredients and the price you pay for the quality you get is sensational. The main ingredients in this moisturiser are Aloe Vera and Vitamin E which are wonderful for dry skin like mine. SPF 50 in a moisturiser is great too and this one doesn’t smell like sunscreen. It feels light and non-greasy on the skin. It spreads easily and soaks in quickly without leaving skin feeling like it’s parched.

2. BECCA Skin Love Brighten & Blur Primer*** – This primer was part of a set I purchased at the end of 2019 and I have been waiting to finish up a couple of other primers before trying this one. The primer is lightweight and blends easily into the skin. It’s less runny than something like First Light by BECCA and more akin to the texture of the Hangover Primer by Too Faced. I love the sound of this, it aims to smooth, brighten and nourish the skin and diffuse the look of pores to allow makeup to apply flawlessly over top.

3. Rimmel Professional Brow Pencil in 002 Hazel

4. Lancôme Teint Miracle Foundation in 005 Beige Ivoire*** – Since trying a couple of high end foundations I see a difference in how my skin looks and the overall finish of my makeup is nicer and more flawless. This particular foundation is a favourite of one of my closest online friends (Nadine) and she has dry skin as well so I knew it would be a winner. I purchased the lightest shade available 005 Beige Ivoire which leans a little yellow but in a good way that I can make work. I don’t know if bronzer on top would be too much right now but in summer when I’m a little less fair it should be fine. The formula is extremely lightweight to allow for breathable coverage and a natural glow. The texture is quite runny as it is a water based foundation but that also helps product spread easily over the face. I usually wear one layer of foundation but to test how this builds I used two light layers around my nose and chin where I get redness. The foundation built nicely and didn’t cake or settle into lines.

5. MAC StudioFinish Concealer in NW10

6. Fenty Beauty Mini Pro Filt’r Instant Retouch Setting Powder in Butter*** – I got the mini size of this powder as a back up for when I have finished my Rimmel Match Perfection loose powder. Fenty Beauty’s powder is ideal for all skin types and the powder does feel silky smooth once applied. I have been enjoying using powder to set my concealer recently as it does make a difference to the overall look of my makeup. I purchased the shade Butter as it is one of the shades recommended for fair skin tones and aims to give a soft, brightening effect. I have heard a few people say this powder is messy but I’ll have to use it a few more times to see whether or not that’s true. The combination of this powder with the other base products left my skin feeling like velvet.

7. BECCA Shimmering Skin Perfector in Champagne Pop*** – This is the third of these little mini highlighters I’ve purchased and they are some of my favourites! Champagne Pop is described as a soft white gold with pinky peach undertones. In comparison to the other minis I own by Becca Champagne Pop is warmer and more golden than Opal and Moonstone. This shade isn’t too golden for my liking and it’s absolutely beautiful on the skin, Becca highlighters have a lovely, soft formula that blends into the skin effortlessly.

8. Rimmel Magnif’Eyes Eye Primer*** – I have been using Milani’s Eyeshadow Primer but I notice sometimes it makes my eyelids dry and different eyeshadow formulas can be hard to apply and blend over top of the Milani primer. I’m a big fan of Rimmel and this primer was half the price of the Milani one. It reminds me a lot of Urban Decay’s Primer Potion which I love, looking forward to using this more!

9. Urban Decay Naked 2 Palette*** – I love neutral palettes and I know this has been discontinued but it’s an absolute classic! I picked this up brand new a couple of months ago and it has been sitting in my drawer since. I used the shade Bootycall as a base shadow, Tease to deepen the crease and Suspect all over the lid. I used the fluffy side of the double ended brush that comes with the palette to apply Bootycall and Tease and my ring finger to apply Suspect. The shadows were incredibly easy to work with and blended like a dream. I can tell I’m going to get a lot of use from this palette.

10. Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara This mascara isn’t brand new to me but I haven’t spoken about it on the blog before. Does this mascara live up to its name, no, is this mascara the most lengthening and volumising I’ve used, also no. It is however a decent mascara and as the formula dries out I enjoy it more. The formula was very wet when I first started using it and it didn’t layer well and would smudge. I probably wouldn’t repurchase the full size of this mascara but I’m glad I’ve tried it.

11. BECCA Glow Gloss in Foxglove*** – I purchased three Glow Glosses from Becca and Foxglove is my favourite shade out of the three. It is a muted plum with cool silver pearl and gives me MAC Syrup vibes. The formula has little flecks of glitter but this doesn’t feel gritty on the lips and it’s very subtle. The gloss does have a minty scent and a bit of tingling upon application but nothing uncomfortable and it stops after a few minutes. The formula isn’t sticky, it’s very comfortable to wear and the gloss is nicely pigmented.

The Finished Look

Overall I’m impressed with how this look turned out and I’m a fan of all the new products I tried. Standouts after the first use that I’m looking forward to trying more are the moisturiser, foundation, eye primer and eyeshadow palette.


What do you think of this look? Have you tried any of these products or purchased any new makeup recently?

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August Favourites + Highlights 2020

I will start by saying the past two months have been full of disruptions and upheaval which is why I haven’t been posting. I wrote THIS POST at the start of August that mostly explains everything. Since then my mum was admitted to hospital for a third time (and has since been discharged and is back home). It was finally discovered she had a bad bacterial infection that had possibly been laying dormant for a while which is why the first two rounds of antibiotics didn’t kill it and why her electrolyte levels weren’t holding and she’d feel weak and fuzzy in the head. My life for the past two months has pretty much been eat, hospital, try to sleep and go to work when I can – I haven’t had time for much else. I really hope this is the end and she can continue to get her strength back at home!

Onto this month’s favourites:

1. Ellie Goulding – Brightest Blue – I have been a fan of Ellie since she released her first album 10 years ago! Her voice is incredibly beautiful and angelic, I understand it’s not for everyone but it’s certainly distinctive. I never tire of listening to Ellie and when she announced her album release I was very excited – nearly everything she does is perfect in my eyes. This album really sees Ellie return to her roots, the melodies are quite simple which gives Ellie’s voice even more chance to shine. Her voice also has powerful, raspy moments and her lyrical phrasing is always something I look forward to hearing. Ellie’s music is uniquely her and that’s why I enjoy it so much, she’s uber cool and does things unexpected and different. Standout Tracks: How Deep Is Too Deep, Love I’m Given, Tides, Flux and Brightest Blue.

2. MAC Studio Fix Fluid Foundation in NW10 – I originally tried a sample of this foundation in NW13 and liked the formula and how product looked on my skin so much I purchased the full size in a shade lighter. Studio Fix Fluid has a natural matte finish and an oil controlling formula. I have dry skin but I don’t find this foundation too matte or drying, it gives a soft, velvety look to my skin. This is my current everyday foundation I use for work and it’s very easy to wear. It has SPF 15, is comfortable and long wearing and helps minimise the appearance of pores and imperfections making skin look smoother and more flawless.

3. Natio Rosewater Hydration Moisture Boost Day Cream-Gel – Natio is a brand I have used for a number of years. Their products are reasonably priced, good quality and contain natural ingredients. I was interested in trying a new daytime moisturiser and this cream-gel hybrid appealed to me. The texture is lightweight, product soaks into skin quickly and keeps it feeling moisturised throughout the day. This is what I thought Clinique’s Moisture Surge would be like but I was a little disappointed when I tried that. The scent of rose is noticeable but it isn’t overpowering and doesn’t irritate my skin or my nose. The pink tube is sturdy and travel friendly and looks cute on my dresser too.

4. BECCA Shimmering Skin Perfector in Moonstone – I got a mini Moonstone as part of a three piece BECCA set from Sephora at the end of last year. As I have been focusing on a different eyeshadow palette and highlighter pairing per month in 2020, it was finally Moonstone’s turn in the spotlight in August. Moonstone is described as a pale, incandescent gold best suited for fair-light skin tones. The formula of BECCA’s highlighters is lovely; soft and buildable and they don’t look chunky on the skin. Moonstone is a great everyday highlighter that looks natural but can be built up if you want more glow.

August Highlights

  • I was keen to purchase another luxury foundation and settled on Lancôme’s Teint Miracle in 005 Beige Ivoire after one of my closest blogging/Instagram friends always mentions how much she loves it. (I’m yet to use the foundation but very excited to try it).
  • Purchased a shampoo and conditioner set from Function of Beauty. I’ve seen lots of good reviews and being able to customise my own hair products was fun. Let me know if you’d like a review once the products arrive and I’ve had a chance to use them.

July + August’s Spotify Playlists (since there was no July Favourites):


How was your month? Share one of your highlights in the comments!

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February Favourites + Highlights 2020

I didn’t find January to be a slow month but February has zoomed by! I was on leave from work for the first week and absolutely loved it, I spent time listening to lots of music, completed a jigsaw puzzle, slept in, ate when I liked (I find this makes me less hungry as opposed to having structured times to eat and being in the ‘work routine’) and did some online shopping. I’ve been back at work for the past three weeks and honestly I am really tired. The heat is so draining and I cannot wait for the cooler, autumn weather.

Onto this month’s favourites:

1. Zoella Reach For the Stars hand cream – One of my closest blogging friends, Dannii, sent me this hand cream along with a few other goodies at the end of 2018. I started using it recently and I’m really enjoying the scent which is a mix of vanilla and peppermint. The hand cream was released as part of the Cosmos Collection but Zoe announced the end of Zoella Beauty so I wouldn’t imagine it’s readily available unless you try eBay or somewhere like that. The cream itself is lovely, it feels very moisturising and the tube contains 90ml of product which will last me ages! I love the iridescent shiny tube as well.

2. The Body Shop Warm Vanilla body butter – Warm Vanilla was one of the Christmas scents released by The Body Shop last year and I’m a sucker for vanilla so I wanted to try something from this range. When the body butter arrived I was a little overwhelmed at how sweet and sickly this smelled and wasn’t sure if I’d like it. After using this for a while the scent has grown on me a lot, when the body butter is applied to the skin the scent isn’t as intense and it’s more subtle. It does have a warmth to it and I thought this would be more suitable for winter but it’s summer in New Zealand and I’m a fan! The texture is soft and luxurious and spreads very easily over the body.

3. IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC Cream in Fair – If you’re curious to try this product I highly recommend you do! The coverage of this CC Cream is amazing and the texture is lighter than most regular foundations. I squeeze a little line out onto my hand and dab product over my face and that is enough for me. I find most days I don’t need to go in with additional product in the areas I have more redness. Product blends like a dream and feels good on the skin too. If you read my Testing Four New Foundations post you’ll know this came out on top and got a glowing review!

4. Natio Renew Radiance Night Cream – I have been using this night cream for about a month now and a combination of this product and the heat has meant I haven’t needed to apply my facial oil as my skin hasn’t been dry. A little goes a long way and the cream soaks in quickly and leaves my face feeling soft through the night. My face doesn’t feel greasy and my makeup has been applying nicely the following day. The key ingredients are pomegranate and vitamin C.

5. Louise – Heavy Love – I can’t remember how I first heard about Louise as she hasn’t had chart success in New Zealand but she has such a beautiful, pure tone to her voice with a slight R&B edge. Heavy Love is Louise’s first album in 20 years and is a great pop album! Louise co-wrote the majority of tracks and a lot of the lyrics talk about heartbreak which is to be expected after splitting from her ex-husband. Pop music with a catchy beat and heartfelt lyrics is right up my street. Standout Tracks: Stretch, Not the Same, Hurt, Straight To My Heart, Settle For Nothing and Wrong.

February Highlights:

  • I am ahead with my Goodreads goal for 2020 which is exciting!
  • I started my one palette, one month challenge where I aim to use one eyeshadow palette each month in an attempt to use all the palettes in my collection more. Each palette is paired with a different highlighter for the month as well.
  • At the beginning of February mum and I went out for a belated birthday lunch (our birthdays are three days apart). I had pancakes with bacon, banana, maple syrup and cream.

February’s Spotify Playlist:


How was your month? Share one of your highlights in the comments!

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Empty Products #9

It’s funny to think as I sit and type this up I’m already halfway towards finishing products for the next empties installment. I’ll keep the intro short because I do give mini reviews of all the products mentioned and this post is a wordy one!

Makeup

1. H&M Precision Makeup Sponge

I won this sponge in a blog giveaway a couple of years ago and I finally decided it was time to let it go. The sponge is in no way bad but I haven’t used it to apply foundation in a long time. The sponge is lovely and soft and bounces across the face easily. The sponge washes up well and is nice but I don’t use it anymore.

Repurchase: No. Not because the sponge isn’t good but I prefer brushes to apply foundation.

2. Johnson’s Baby Shampoo

Technically this would class as a haircare empty but because I use this to wash my makeup brushes I have included it in the makeup category instead. The shampoo cleans brushes so well and this product lasted for countless washes. As this is a baby shampoo it keeps the bristles super soft too.

Repurchase: I have.

Skincare & Fragrance

3. Clinique Take the Day Off Cleansing Balm

Funnily enough I won this cleansing balm in the same giveaway as the H&M sponge! Over the past year I have regularly incorporated this balm into my evening routine and I love it. The balm is creamy and effective at removing makeup and doesn’t leave a greasy film on the skin or break me out. The balm is unscented and suitable for all skin types.

Repurchase: I have!

4. Natio Clay & Plant Face Mask Purifier

I have used this product for a number of years and I still enjoy it and find it works well for me. The squeeze tube makes application easy and the texture of the mask is not too thick. Using this mask 1-2 times a week is more than enough and after rinsing the mask off skin feels soft and clean but not stripped or dry. The scent is barely there and this would suit a range of skin types. I have dry-sensitive skin and this isn’t harsh in the slightest.

Repurchase: Yes. I’ve finished up two tubes previously and it’s a lovely mask. I’m using another mask from a different brand at the moment.

5. Olay Complete UV Lotion Sensitive

I tried this moisturiser on a whim after using my beloved Simple Rich Replenishing moisturiser for the longest time and this is certainly comparable in terms of price and what it does for my skin. Possibly this is slightly more hydrating than the Simple moisturiser and makeup applies over top like a dream. This has an SPF of 15 and doesn’t have a sunscreen smell.

Repurchase: Yes, this is a nice day moisturiser for my skin.

6. Clinique Moisture Surge

I purchased a 30ml tube of this moisturiser as part of a set with a lipgloss around Christmas time. I had heard a lot of people talk about how good this moisturiser is and how it is one of their favourites and I wanted to see what the fuss is about. Whilst I didn’t hate this moisturiser it will not be making it’s way to holy grail status. I think for combination or oily skin types the gel-like texture would be more suitable. I like something that properly sinks in and feels hydrating. I’m glad to have tried the product but for the price I don’t see myself picking this up again.

Repurchase: Probably not. My skin didn’t feel nourished and product didn’t soak into my skin as much as I would have liked.

7. Simple Radiance Brightening Moisturiser

I discovered this moisturiser a couple of years ago and I love the fact it comes in a compact 50ml tube. This moisturiser would be even better if it either a) came in full size or b) was as readily available as other Simple products in New Zealand. The moisturiser is light and creamy and feels lovely on the skin. Makeup also applies like a dream over top of this one and the brightening effect the mango extract gives the skin is subtle but beautiful.

Repurchase: Yes but sadly this isn’t easy to come across.

Body

8. The Body Shop Early Harvest Raspberry Body Butter

One of my favourite bloggers, Rachael from Helpless Whilst Drying, loves this scent and when I saw it I wanted to try it. This body butter gets big brownie points from me for being a beautiful baby pink and having the texture I know and love; soft, malleable and moisturising. The scent is nice for spring/summer which is when I used this. I try and match scents to seasons e.g. fruits and florals for spring/summer and musky, heady scents for autumn/winter.

Repurchase: Maybe. This isn’t a permanent scent and there are other scents I would choose first.

9. Victoria’s Secret Vanilla Lace Body Lotion

This body lotion combines two of my favourite scents, vanilla and musk. Both of them work well with my body chemistry and they match my girly/sweet personality. The scent of this lotion is similar to the Vanilla Chai scent The Body Shop released a few Christmases ago but less spicy and more musky. The lotion soaked into the skin quickly which is what I like when I’m getting dressed and the texture was nice and easy to spread.

Repurchase: Yes but I think this has been discontinued.

10. Nivea Invisible Anti-Perspirant – Clear

Features in every empties. Love the scent, keeps me feeling fresh and does what it says on the label, keeps white clothes white and black clothes black.

Repurchase: Of course.

11. The Body Shop Almond Milk & Honey Shower Cream

I am unable to use shower gels and body washes due to my skin being extremely sensitive to SLS which is a common ingredient used in soap. Soap for washing my hands is fine but if I use anything like that on my legs the skin dries out and gets itchy and leads to eczema. I picked up this 60ml sample of Almond Milk & Honey shower cream as it doesn’t contain SLS and I was curious to see whether my skin would still react. I can confirm my skin was fine but I didn’t use this over consecutive showers, I used it once or twice a week to ensure my skin didn’t dry out. The product felt nice and creamy and made my skin soft but I didn’t enjoy this scent as a shower cream, I’ve used the hand cream from this range in the past and liked it better. Whilst this didn’t irritate my skin I wouldn’t pick up the full size. It is nice to know that other shower creams without SLS could work for me though.

Repurchase: No.


What was the last product you finished up?

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Nighttime Beauty Routine

I know the importance of skincare and having a good routine but if I’m honest all of the products, oils, serums and acids confuse me! My skin tends to be on the drier side, I don’t get a lot of acne which I am thankful for and ultimately I don’t like to use too many products and keep things simple. Over the past 3-4 months my skin has been pretty good and I put that down to my current combination of products.

In this post I talk you through what I’m loving for my skin and also mention what I use to keep my lips and hands in tip top condition.

Cleanser:

Clinique Take the Day Off Balm – I won this cleansing balm in a giveaway 18 months ago and I’ve barely made a dent in it! Granted I don’t use this every time I remove makeup but I have started using it more regularly lately and I find it gets makeup off my face so easily and doesn’t leave my face feeling greasy afterwards. The texture changes from a balm to an oil when it is applied to the skin and you can use as little or as much as you like. The product is not scented and doesn’t irritate my skin. For all you sensitive skinned beauties out there I urge you to try this.

Masks:

The Body Shop Honey & Oat 3 in 1 Scrub Mask – This mask I use 2-3 times a week and it is very gentle on the skin. It’s also great if you want a quick mask, the tub recommends leaving it on for 5-10 minutes. The mask contains bits of oat but they don’t feel scratchy on the skin when the mask is applied. The scent of this is very natural and a little goes a long way.

Natio Face Mask Purifier – I have used this face mask for a while now and I’m currently on my second tube. A 100g tube will last me a couple of years. I tend to use this 1-2 times a week depending on how oily my skin is and how often I’ve worn makeup. This is a clay mask and contains kaolin but the mask doesn’t feel too drying. This mask is also unscented which is good if you’re sensitive to smell.

Moisturiser:

Palmer’s Moisture Rich Night Cream – I picked this moisturiser up on Feel Unique in late 2017 and started using it in March 2018. It comes in a 75g glass jar (which would be a little heavy for travel) but for the price I paid that’s a generous size – I paid $14 (NZD) from memory. I love the scent of this, it’s a cross between cocoa butter and shea. If you’re sensitive to smell the scent doesn’t linger. It is recommended to only use this at night as Retinol is listed as one of the ingredients and it can make your skin more sensitive to the sun which is why using a day moisturiser with SPF is encouraged.

Facial oil:

Trilogy Sensitive Very Gentle Restoring Oil – A couple of months ago I was trying to decide whether to try a facial oil or a serum. I settled on an oil as the texture is more lightweight and soaks into the skin easier. Ever since I started using this oil I have noticed the biggest difference, my skin feels softer, my skin is less dry and foundation and concealer don’t settle into lines around my nose as much. I use roughly 4 drops of this oil every night and apply it after moisturiser. The oil is unscented and contains maqui berry, apricot, and sea buckthorn. It’s rich in essential fatty acids and antioxidants.

Lip Treatments:

Clarins Lip Comfort Oil in Honey –  I am not the biggest fan of honey scents but this lip oil smells good! I tend to use this if my lips feel extra dry or to protect them in the cold weather. The oil feels tacky upon application but soon loses that sticky feeling. The applicator picks up a generous amount and I normally do two lighter coats on each lip rather than one.

Vaseline Cocoa Butter – I try to apply lip balm most nights before bed to keep my lips soft and supple and this lip balm is lovely. The little pot is the cutest and it will last ages! The Cocoa Butter scent smells good enough to eat and this works just as well as normal Vaseline in a jar, plus it’s easier to tote around.

Hand cream:

The Body Shop Frosted Plum – I have finished up numerous tubes of hand cream from The  Body Shop in various scents. Currently I am using Frosted Plum which I picked up last December as it was one of the festive scents. The smell is like a floral plum and whilst it is ok it’s not my favourite. The hand cream is moisturising though and comes in a fetching metallic purple tube! Hand cream is the final step in my evening routine before lights out.


What products are essential to your nighttime routine?

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Empty Products #4

This is my biggest empties to date! I am always in awe of bloggers who manage to get through this number of products in a month as they get to try new things and get rid of what doesn’t work. On the other hand it shows how economical I am and how long certain products do last.

Haircare

1. Lee Stafford Poker Straight Shampoo & Condtioner

I purchased travel sized shampoo and conditioner when I flew up to stay with my brother in August 2016. These were expensive but I’d heard good things about Lee Stafford products so I was hoping the $7 (each) would be worth it. The packaging is pretty and the bottles contain 75ml of product which is decent considering some full size bottles contain 200ml and look how big they are. I feel like this did help straighten my hair but I wasn’t a huge fan of the citrus scent and my hair felt a little dry. These lasted me for a good few months (I used them at my boyfriend’s after the trip to see my brother) and they did the job.

Repurchase: No.

2. OGX Argan Oil Shampoo & Conditioner

I purchased some OGX minis after finishing up the Lee Stafford ones as I like the convenient size. The scent is much more up my street and my hair didn’t feel dry. It felt smooth and soft and looks really nice the day after washing. A little of the shampoo certainly goes a long way, it lathers up well. (The empty shampoo bottle was at my boyfriend’s house at the time of the picture which is why it doesn’t feature).

Repurchase: I’ll definitely consider it. The products were cheaper than the Lee Stafford minis and contain 13ml more product. I would also consider splurging on the full 385ml size once I’ve finished my current shampoo and conditioner.

Makeup

3. Maybelline Lash Sensational Mascara

I won this mascara in a giveaway and everyone who raves about it isn’t lying! The shape of the brush allows product to be dispersed onto nearly every lash and the formula is nice to work with. I did experience a little bit of smudging sometimes when I applied the mascara but I think that’s because I have small, hooded eyes. I had the washable mascara, it would stay put all day and was a breeze to remove. The plastic brush worked well, it wasn’t too bendy but I do think I preferred this mascara when it was wetter rather than when it began to dry out. Some mascaras perform well dried out but this one not as much.

Repurchase: I would like to try this again.

4. Rimmel Scandaleyes Reloaded Mascara

I was disappointed with this the more I used it. It started off okay but as the formula dried out the brush would apply barely any product and it was a struggle to build up the lashes. It would give the lashes some length but nothing else, they looked flat. The bristles on the brush were poorly cut.

Repurchase: Nope.

5. Rimmel Match Perfection Foundation in 010 Light Porcelain

I was kind of forced into buying this when my old shade 091 Fair Ivory was discontinued and the product was rebranded. This used to be my favourite everyday foundation as it gave such a natural look to my skin but since buying a second bottle of Light Porcelain I feel like the formula is different to this empty bottle. It could be my skin is extra pale from winter.

Repurchase. I did buy a second bottle of Light Porcelain so I will assess through summer and as I finish up the bottle.

6. The Body Shop Strawberry Lip Butter

This lip butter was pricey but it did a good job of keeping my lips soft and nourished overnight. I would apply this before going to bed and my lips didn’t feel dry when I woke up the next morning. The scent was lovely and didn’t change throughout the two years I had the product. Once I started reaching the end of the pot the product did have chunks that hadn’t been mixed in properly. I don’t know if this is normal or just because of the age of my lip butter.

Repurchase: I’m not sure. It does a good job but there are lots of other lip balms/similar products out there. Maybe if it was on sale.

7. W7 Power Puff

I bought this sponge as a dupe for the Beauty Blender. I’ve never tried the original Beauty Blender so I can’t compare the two. It was an okay sponge, it didn’t eat up foundation and it washed up well. It didn’t stay soft and spongey for long and I haven’t used it in months so I’ve decided to get rid.

Repurchase: No.

Body & Skincare

8. Natio Face Mask Purifier

This face mask is really good at making the skin feel clean and refreshed. It’s particularly good if you’re feeling oily as the clay helps to combat oil. The scent is relatively neutral, it’s fresh and inoffensive. I use this mask a couple of times a week and it doesn’t dry out my skin.

Repurchase: I have.

9. The Body Shop Vitamin E Nourishing Night Cream

I was inspired to try this night cream via another blogger and when I first used it I really enjoyed it. The 50ml pot lasted the best part of a year and I was a fan of the rose scent. The pot is travel friendly and pretty good value for money.

Repurchase: I don’t think so. Since trying other night moisturisers I realise they perform better and keep my skin more hydrated.

10. Lavanila The Healthy Deodorant – Vanilla Coconut

This is another giveaway prize and it was different from the normal deodorants I use. The solid formula was actually really pleasant and the scent was lovely. I do think this is better in the cooler months as in the heat I had to reapply during the day.

Repurchase: No. I prefer longer lasting deodorants and because of the solid formula product gets left in the wind up tube and can’t be used.

11. Nivea Invisible Anti-Perspirant – Clear x2

I have featured this product in all of my previous empties so I’m sure you can guess I like it!

Repurchase: Yes.

12. Nivea Invisible Anti-Perspirant – Pure

I decided to try a different scent to what I usually use but I still prefer the Clear scent to the Pure.

Repurchase: If I had to, not the worse deodorant in the world.

13. The Body Shop Moringa Hand Cream

I was worried this scent would be strong due to the floral nature but I enjoyed it. It was up to normal Body Shop hand cream standard, non greasy yet light and hydrating. This scent would be lovely for spring/summer and I’m sure most females would love it.

Repurchase: Yes.

14. The Body Shop Almond Milk & Honey Hand Cream

This particular hand cream felt very moisturising and the scent was nice too. It wasn’t too sweet from the honey and almond and it is a good range for those who suffer from dry or sensitive skin. The range is still available currently but I wonder if it is limited edition.

Repurchase: Yes.

15. The Body Shop Shea Body Butter 50ml

A 50ml tub of Shea body butter was one of the first products I purchased from The Body Shop and the scent is mesmerising. I’m a sucker for the shea scent and how natural it is. I have always vowed this scent would be lovely on either gender and I’d really love to smell this on a man!

Repurchase: Maybe. This isn’t my favourite Shea product and I actually think there are softer, creamier body butters from The Body Shop. It has more of a solid formula compared to some of the others.

16. The Body Shop White Musk Body Lotion

The scent of this is so lovely. I am a fan of musk and the scent of this lotion lasts all day on the skin. It feels light and absorbs quickly which is perfect when you’re getting dressed in the morning. I like the screw cap as opposed to a pump as it means less product is wasted.

Repurchase: Not at the moment. I have a few other body lotions to use up but possibly in the future.

fragrance

17. Impulse Tease

I have used Impulse for years and I will continue to do so. Into Glamour is my jam but I tried Tease on a whim and I love it equally as much. I use Impulse as a body mist and spray more in the direction of my outfit rather than my skin.

Repurchase: Yes!

18. Bath + Body Collection Berries & Blooms

I received this fragrance mist as a birthday gift in 2016 and it smells incredible! The scent matches the name and the product itself lasts longer than some other mists. The bottle contains over 200ml which is more than three Impulse cans. Also, the packaging of this is beautiful.

Repurchase: I would but I can’t find it. *sob*

19. The Body Shop White Musk EDT

I was first inspired to try this scent after hearing my mum express her love for white musk. It is a feminine scent but it isn’t overly sweet and contains floral notes. I would use this as more of an everyday scent, it’s nice for work. The ombre effect of the bottle is cool.

Repurchase: I kind of did, I purchased the White Musk Fragrance Mist as it lasts roughly the same amount of time on me, was cheaper and contains 70ml more.

20. The Body Shop Black Musk EDT

After trying White Musk and loving it I tested Black Musk in store and instantly fell in love! Black Musk is spicier due to notes of pink pepper. This is more sensual and less fresh/crisp than White Musk and makes a nice winter fragrance. The black bottle is unusual which I like but the lid on my bottle was loose and wouldn’t fasten properly.

Repurchase: As with the White Musk I purchased the 100ml fragrance mist instead.

21. The Body Shop Strawberry EDT

This was the first EDT I tried from The Body Shop and I really like the compact size of the bottle. It is travel and handbag friendly and the lid can’t fall off. The scent is fresh and fruity and my boyfriend was a fan of this on me too.

Repurchase: Yes.


Have you tried any of these? What was the last product you finished up?

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Recapping Project Pan

recapping-project-pan

Today is my proper, final post in the Project Pan series! I have enjoyed being part of this project a lot and seeing how much progress I could make with my selected products. I also want to thank my three Candadian collaborators for having me on board (#ProjectPanClan) and their general amazingness: Stashy – Stash Matters, Jodi – A Brash Attitude and Ingrid – Curly Spring Blossom.

Summary

  • I was surprised at how many uses certain products take to finish. I thought I would finish a few more products than I did.
  • I made a good dent in all of the products. My most used product was The Body Shop’s Strawberry Lip Butter and my least used product was Cutex’s Strengthening Nail Polish Remover.
  • I finished two out of my eleven products; Collection’s Lasting Perfection concealer and The Body Shop Wild Argan Oil hand cream.
  • I didn’t get tired of using the same products over the course of the eleven weeks.
  • I don’t regret purchasing any of these products and committing to this project reminded me why I like them and purchased them in the first place.
  • I don’t intend to throw any of the nine remaining products away, I will continue to use them up.

Statistics

1. Nivea Pearly Shine Lip BalmUsed 12x in total. Rating: 10/10.

2. The Body Shop Wild Argan Oil Hand CreamUsed 46x in total. Rating: 8.5/10. Finished week 11!

3. Max Factor Lasting Performance FoundationUsed 27x in total. Rating: 8/10.

4. Britney Spears – Curious – In Control Used 24x in total. Rating: 9/10.

5. Fudge Urban Miracle EndsUsed 22x in total. Rating: 7.5/10.

6. The Body Shop Vitamin E Face MistUsed 30x in total. Rating: 6/10. (Looking back I think I was harsh on this product. I’ve enjoyed using it after moisturiser and before foundation these past few weeks).

7. Natio Clay and Plant Face Mask PurifierUsed 11x in total. Rating: 7/10.

8. Collection Lasting Perfection ConcealerUsed 55x in total. Rating: 9.5/10. Finished week 10!

9. Rimmel Match Perfection Translucent Setting PowderUsed 15x in total. Rating: 8/10.

10. The Body Shop Strawberry Lip ButterUsed 60x in total. Rating: 8.5/10.

11. Cutex Strengthening Nail Polish RemoverUsed 10x in total. Rating: 9/10.

Total number of uses over 11 weeks = 312 times
Average product rating = 8.3/10

Final Progress: 28 November – 5 December*

project-pan-11

  1. Nivea Pearly Shine Lip Balm – Used 3x.
  2. The Body Shop Wild Argan Oil Hand Cream – Finished week 11!
  3. Max Factor Lasting Performance Foundation in 101 Ivory Beige – Used 3x.
  4. Britney Spears Curious – In Control – Used 2x.
  5. Fudge Urban Miracle Ends Tropical Cocktail – Used 2x.
  6. The Body Shop Vitamin E Face Mist – Used 4x.
  7. Natio Clay and Plant Face Mask Purifier – Used 2x.
  8. Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer – 1 Fair – Finished week 10!
  9. Rimmel Match Perfection Translucent Setting Powder – Used 2x.
  10. The Body Shop Strawberry Lip Butter – Used 4x.
  11. Cutex Strengthening Nail Polish Remover – Used 1x.

*These uses aren’t counted as part of the 312 mentioned under ‘Stastics.’


Don’t forget to check out the recaps from my collaboration partners:


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