Empty Products #16

I feel like this is the empties where a few discontinued products feature which sucks a little as I enjoyed those products and wouldn’t rule out repurchasing them. I am going to try to be on a low buy in 2021, I’ve bought a few things in January as it’s my birthday month but other than that I’m aiming to keep spending to a minimum. I have products in my collection I’m close to finishing and want to focus on those as much as I can.

Haircare

1. Wella Professionals Oil Reflections Shampoo

I finished the matching conditioner in my last empties but the shampoo took a bit longer to get through as it contains more product. The shampoo is clear, has a lightweight texture and it lathers up well, you don’t need to use a lot to make hair feel clean. The scent is a mix of white tea extract and camelia and it sticks around after hair has been washed which is nice. The bottle of shampoo contains 250ml and it lasted me about six months. Overall this range is lovely.

Repurchase: I can see myself using this again.

Makeup/Beauty

2. GlamGlow Glowsetter Setting Spray

I’ve seen so many people singing this setting spray’s praises and I kind of get it. I purchased the 30ml bottle which was a mistake, the nozzle on my bottle didn’t work properly and I had to use a dozen sprays each time to get mist onto my face. I wish I had spent more at the time and got the full size because the effect of the actual mist on my skin is nice and the smell is as delightful as everyone says! Unless the full size is on sale I don’t know that I’d repurchase as $60 for a setting spray is a lot of money.

Repurchase: Don’t think so.

3. The Body Shop Rose Dewy Glow Face Mist

In comparison to the previous setting spray I can get away with four-five sprays of this and I find they have similar effects. This mist is not too wet and smells lovely, the rose fragrance isn’t too strong at all. Less is more with this spray, too much and makeup can cake up around my nose area but it’s great to add a dewy glow after powder products have been applied.

Repurchase: Yes, but it’s been discontinued.

4. bareMinerals Lashtopia Volumising Mascara

I got this as a free sample with an order from Mecca but it’s the mascara I’ve liked the least in a long time. The brush does have proper bristles which I prefer but I found this mascara performed better when it was first opened and the formula was wetter. When it started to dry up (maybe two months after I opened it) the formula would not layer well, it became sticky and tar-like. I also found this more lengthening than volumising. This is a nice, natural everyday mascara but doesn’t pack the punch I personally want.

Repurchase: No.

Skincare & Fragrance

5. The Body Shop Camomile Cleansing Butter

I had heard so many good things about this product before trying it and if you like cleansing balms for removing makeup I urge you to give this one a go! You only need a coin sized amount for the entire face and if you rinse off your hands after the initial rubbing and rub the skin again while your hands are slightly damp you will see even more makeup melt off. The packaging is lightweight which would also make it a good travel option and the scent is lovely and soft. If you don’t like fragrance in products I don’t think you’d be put off by this. I would use this again but not having The Body Shop in my city any more makes it harder to get hold of.

Repurchase: Maybe.

6. Juicy Couture – Viva la Juicy La Fleur

Apart from the original Viva la Juicy this is one of the nicest Juicy Couture fragrances I’ve tried. I love the soft subtle florals mixed in with the gourmand and fruit notes and this is a wonderful perfume for work. From memory I purchased this in August 2019 and it was finished by December 2020. The bottle contains 150ml of perfume which is more than usual and I used it up quickly. I didn’t need a lot of sprays, most days I would have used around four or five, I just really enjoyed it as an everyday fragrance. The lasting power is decent too.

Repurchase: Definitely – I already miss this!

Body

7. Nivea Invisible Anti-Perspirant – Clear

You know the drill by now, this is my favourite deodorant and it does what it’s meant to.

Repurchase: Yes.

8. The Body Shop Vanilla Chai Body Scrub

My skin is extremely sensitive, especially on my legs. I had bad eczema as a child and whilst I don’t get it now I know to stay away from soap like products or products with lathering ingredients. I wash my hands with soap and they’re fine (thankfully) but other parts of my body react. This body scrub I purchased to use as an exfoliator before shaving my legs and it worked a treat. This scrub lasted me a good couple of years for that purpose and my legs didn’t get irritated. The scent is more of a smoky, spicy vanilla as opposed to sweet but it’s lovely. I would consider repurchasing this scrub if The Body Shop bring it back.

Repurchase: This was a limited edition Christmas fragrance a couple of years ago but maybe if it returns.

9. The Body Shop Japanese Cherry Blossom Body Butter

The fragrance of this body butter is DIVINE! I have tried my fair share of body butter scents from The Body Shop and I’m putting it out there that this is definitely in my top three. This is one of the body butters with the slightly higher price point but it feels ultra luxurious and it’s worth it! The texture is super soft and moisturising and the smell is gorgeous and feminine; a lovely mix of sweet magnolia, blooming cherry blossom and hinoki wood accords.

Repurchase: Yes.

10. Zoella Reach For the Moon Hand Cream

I was sent this hand cream by one of my best blogging friends and it was such a delight to use. The tube contains 90ml of product which is huge and the vanilla-mint scent was a lot nicer than I imagined. I hadn’t tried anything from Zoella Beauty before this and if the other hand creams were of similar quality I missed out. The hand cream soaked in quickly and kept my hands soft and supple.

Repurchase: Yes, if it hadn’t been discontinued.


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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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Empty Products #13

My second empties post of the year! I currently seem to be getting one of these posts up every other month which is satisfying and makes sticking to a low buy easier. When it comes to a low buy I don’t restrict myself with a dollar amount and I still allow myself the occasional impulse purchase. I find I’m working through products more smartly and I’m able to identify what I enjoy and what (if anything) is missing from my collection.

Makeup/Beauty

1. Urban Decay Primer Potion

Up until 18 months ago I hadn’t tried an eyeshadow primer but now I’m sold on the difference they make to the longevity of my eye makeup. This primer from Urban Decay is one that is well loved and one I’d heard a lot about and it is really good. I picked up the 5.7g size and it lasts a long time, a little goes a long way. If you’re curious about eyeshadow primer or are on the fence over this one, I highly urge you to give it a try!

Repurchase: Yes.

2. Fenty Beauty Pro Filt’r Instant Retouch Primer

Over the past couple of years Fenty Beauty have been making a real name for themselves and to date this is the only product I have tried from the brand. I picked up the 15ml version to see if I like the primer and at first I was on the fence about it, it felt nice and soft on the skin but it was just an ordinary primer. This primer is more on the matte side and I really started enjoying it when I paired it with foundations that verge on being too dewy to create more of a satin finish and keep excess glow at bay.

Repurchase: Maybe – I would at least consider picking up the 15ml size again.

3. MAC Pinklite Strobe Cream 30ml

One thing MAC’s Strobe Cream has going for it is it’s versatility. You can use this as a moisturising primer, mix a little bit in with foundation for a subtle glow or apply it on top of foundation for more of a blinding effect. I used this like a primer on top of my moisturiser as I didn’t find the cream moisturising enough on it’s own for my dry skin. I would be interested to swatch the peach and silver shades to see what they look like on my skintone. It’s a shame not all shades come in the small 30ml size.

Repurchase: Maybe.

4. Rimmel Scandaleyes Lycra Flex Mascara – 003 Extreme Black

This mascara is my holy grail! It gives length and volume and the formula is super easy to work with. In my experience this is one of the only mascaras I’ve tried where the formula stays the same from when the tube is first opened. The mascara doesn’t flake or smudge and is a breeze to remove at the end of the day. I was extremely happy when I found out the extreme black shade wasn’t being discontinued, the product was just being re-packaged. I am yet to try a re-packaged tube however.

Repurchase: Already have a backup.

5. Maybelline Dr Rescue Top Coat

The bottle is not technically empty but I can’t get any more product out and it’s time to call done on this one. The top coat itself is excellent but the brush is really thin and doesn’t pick up a lot of product at once. The amount of product that gets left behind in combination with the small brush is a little disappointing.

Repurchase: Not sure. Value for money wise this is good but I think I prefer my Revlon top coat.

Skincare & Fragrance

6. The Body Shop Shea EDT

I love the Shea range from The Body Shop but this EDT was my least favourite out of all the scents I’ve tried. I thought this scent would work as a fragrance but I didn’t like it on me.

Repurchase: No.

7. Palmer’s Moisture Rich Night Cream

This is a good, inexpensive option for nighttime but I definitely need to apply my facial oil when I use it. My current night moisturiser is more hydrating and lately I have been able to get away with applying that on it’s own without the facial oil. This was the second time I’d purchased this cream so I do like it but I think there are better options.

Repurchase: Maybe.

8. Clinique Take the Day Off Cleansing Balm

I purchased this tub in April 2019 and 98% of the time I have worn makeup over the past year I have removed it with this. It is a little pricey but for me the price tag is worth it; my skin doesn’t get irritated, my skin has improved since using the balm regularly and the product isn’t scented or full of harsh ingredients.

Repurchase: Yes.

Body

9. Nivea Invisible Anti-Perspirant – Clear

I haven’t gotten around to trying a different anti-perspirant yet but I will! As you know these feature in every empties and it’s a great everyday staple.

Repurchase: Yes.

10. The Body Shop Moringa Body Yogurt

I first mentioned the Moringa body yogurt in my November 2019 favourites. If you find body lotions and body butters too heavy and want more of a lightweight, gel texture you will enjoy these. Product absorbs quickly, it’s great for all skin types and you get the same amount as you would in a tub of body butter for a cheaper price. A great all over body moisturiser!

Repurchase: Yes. I’d be interested to try other scents too.

Discards

1. Soap & Glory Hand Food – Hydrating Hand Cream

I purchased this hand cream at the end of 2018 and it sat sealed in my beauty drawer for around a year before I got to using it. I noticed at the start of the year only a couple of weeks after opening the hand cream the texture changed to an oily, greasy mess. I shook the tube to try and mix the product back up but that didn’t do anything. The product must have gone bad which is a shame because I’d heard good things about this hand cream and it’s scent. The cream itself did feel nice on the skin and for the price it’s very reasonable. I’m not inclined to repurchase but I’d happily try this again if I received it as a gift.


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Empty Products #12

The first empties post of 2020! Let’s see how many products I can get through this year! In my bullet journal I will keep a list of everything I finish up and at the end of the year total them up. I’m aiming to be on a low buy in 2020 and not purchase products until I’ve used others up first and stop buying things for the sake of it. I do quite well anyway but there’s no harm in trying to do better.

Haircare

1. OGX Brazilian Keratin Therapy Shampoo

I was curious to try this range after trying the Argan Oil shampoo and conditioner from OGX. A little bit of this shampoo goes a long way and my hair does feel smooth and soft when I use it but I can get the same result from cheaper shampoos. These bottles do last me a long time but by the end I was looking forward to moving on to something else.

Repurchase: Don’t think so.

2. OGX Brazilian Keratin Therapy Conditioner

I prefer the shampoo in this range to the conditioner. The conditioner has a strong scent and it’s not one I find pleasant. Like the shampoo, the conditioner didn’t do anything revolutionary for my hair.

Repurchase: No.

Makeup

3. MAC Prep + Prime Fix+

I don’t use a setting spray each time I wear makeup but I thoroughly enjoyed this one. The mist feels hydrating and gentle when it hits the skin and the mist sprays evenly when the nozzle is pushed. The scent is nice and natural and contains elements of green tea, chamomile and cucumber. If you’re sensitive to scented products you should be fine with this one. This is great to dampen eye brushes to pack on eyeshadow too.

Repurchase: Yes.

4. Max Factor Lasting Performance Foundation – 100 Fair

If you asked me a year ago what my favourite foundation is I would have said this one. It has decent coverage, has a nice satin finish, a little goes a long way and the tube packaging is compact and lightweight. However, since trying a couple of high end foundations in 2019 this pales in comparison. The colour doesn’t match me as well as foundations from MAC and YSL and towards the end the product wasn’t sitting as nicely on my skin as it once did… possibly due to age? If this was a touch lighter it would be the perfect drugstore option for me.

Repurchase: Maybe.

5. L’Oreal True Match Lumi Healthly Luminous Makeup in W 1-2 Porcelain/Warm Ivory

I researched this foundation before I purchased it and the selling point for me was how good it was for dry skin. I have no doubt this is good for dry skin but a lot of the times I wore this I would need powder as the foundation is so thin and slippery. It’s not the best for layering and one thin layer works best. As a result the coverage is very minimal and this seems more comparable to a BB cream or tinted moisturiser. The product didn’t cling to dry patches and the shade was ok. This wasn’t terrible but by no means would I try this again.

Repurchase: No.

Skincare & Fragrance

6. The Body Shop Moringa EDT

These little bottles are really travel friendly. I bought one in a different scent to pop in my locker at work for when I need a quick refresh but I didn’t end up doing that. The moringa scent is a delicate floral that’s nice for everyday wear.

Repurchase: Yes. I would also consider the Moringa Fragrance Mist which is cheaper and contains 70ml more product.

7. Juicy Couture – Viva la Juicy and Viva la Juicy Glacé rollerball

I received this double ended rollerball as a gift and both of these scents are lovely! Viva la Juicy is a vanilla gourmand and is my signature scent. Glacé is a fresh, icy take on the original containing notes of pear and sorbet. Both of these scents have serious lasting power and I found with the rollerball the scent really gets absorbed into the skin and lingers all day.

Repurchase: Not this exact rollerball but I do have full size bottles of both perfumes.

8. Juicy Couture – Juicy Couture

This is not a bad perfume but it is my least favourite Juicy Couture scent that I have tried. The notes are stronger than what I usually like and nearly border on headache inducing territory. The lasting power is excellent and this scent does evoke compliments. If you don’t like sweet, overly feminine scents give this one a sniff.

Repurchase: No.

9. YSL – Black Opium

I purchased a YSL set of minis mainly so I could sample this perfume as I’d heard mixed reviews and wanted to try it before committing to a full size bottle. Black Opium is seriously sexy and contains notes of coffee, warm florals and vanilla bound by an undertone of white musk. I used this 7.5ml sample bottle up in a matter of weeks. The scent lingers all day and is one of those that is perfect for all occasions.

Repurchase: I intend to purchase a full sized bottle.

10. Antipodes Halo Skin Brightening Facial Mud Mask

Antipodes is a New Zealand brand which I had heard plenty of good things about prior to trying this mask. For a mud mask this didn’t dry out my skin or irritate it at all. It helped to soothe skin and keep it clear from impurities but for the price tag I don’t think it’s outstandingly better than my favourite face mask from Natio which is half the price and contains more product.

Repurchase: Don’t think so.

11. The Body Shop Black Musk Body Lotion

The black musk scent from The Body Shop is one I enjoy for it’s spicy warmth. This body lotion was satisfactory but didn’t feel as moisturizing as others I have tried in the past. The black bottle makes it hard to see how much product is left. Another product I’m glad to have finished.

Repurchase: No.

Body

12. Nivea Invisible Anti-Perspirant – Clear

I have used this anti-perspirant for about 4/5 years now and it features in almost every empties so if you’re a long time reader you’ll know how much I enjoy this.

Repurchase: Yes but I might buy a different product next time I need deodorant to give my skin a break.


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Empty Products #11

My fifth empties post in a year! I am proud of how dedicated I have been to using products up and the speed with which I’m getting through things. There’s a lot of great products in this post and 80% of them I would be happy to purchase again. Let’s get started!

Haircare

1. TRESemmé Heat Tamer Protective Spray

I have had this heat protector for a few years as I rarely use styling tools on my hair. The scent is pleasant, it’s like a fruity version of The Body Shop’s Vitamin E scent with less rosy notes – there is no hair spray, chemical type smell. The spray makes hair soft and look shiny without looking oily and it is good value for money. It costs $7 (NZD) for 300ml. If you do use styling tools regularly and had to purchase this a few times a year it’s still good value.

Repurchase: Yes.

Makeup

2. L’Oreal Paradise Extatic Mascara

Paradise Extatic is the European/New Zealand version of L’Oreal’s Lash Paradise mascara. My initial thoughts are I don’t like Paradise Extatic as much as I liked Lash Paradise. I found Paradise Extatic dried out quicker and the formula got clumpy and thick after not being open for very long at all. Paradise Extatic didn’t build and layer as well as I remember Lash Paradise doing and my lashes didn’t look long and fluttery. The performance of this particular tube of mascara was average. I’ve seen people compare Lash Paradise and Paradise Extatic and this has come out on top but for me it’s the other way round. The only way this is superior to Lash Paradise is that the colour on the outside of the tube doesn’t flake and peel off.

Repurchase: Yes but Lash Paradise in the pink tube.

3. Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer – 1 Fair

I have talked about this concealer numerous times over the years on my blog so I’ll keep this short. It is my favourite creamy concealer and as far as value for money, shade match, coverage and pigmentation goes it wins hands down!

Repurchase: I already have.

4. MAC Studio Fix Fluid Foundation in NW13 (Sample)

I recently reviewed this foundation *HERE* and I’m including this little sample as an empty because it gave me 27 uses which is a lot more than the week’s worth of product the poster stated. The colour match could not be more perfect for my skin and this foundation blended like a dream, it is the nicest looking foundation I have tried to date. Cheek products sit nicely on top, the formula is comfortable – the right amount of dew and matte – and product didn’t break down on my face throughout the day.

Repurchase: I am considering buying a full size of this foundation once I finish up a few others in my collection.

5. MAC Syrup

I am sad I have finished this lipstick but also proud. Syrup was my first ever MAC lipstick and my first ever MAC purchase so it holds a special place in my heart. Syrup is the most beautiful pink-purple mauve berry and such a hard colour to dupe. It has a lustre finish meaning it’s incredibly comfortable to wear and has a nice natural shine.

Repurchase: Definitely – one of the best lipstick colours I have ever owned!

6. MAC Patisserie

I actually thought I would finish Patisserie before Syrup but as it happened I used both of these up within a week of each other. Patisserie is also a lustre finish and is the perfect peachy-pink nude. When it comes to nude lipsticks pink undertones suit me best.

Repurchase: I’m sure I will at some point.

Skincare & Fragrance

7. Antipodes Hosanna H20 Skin Plumping Serum

I received a deluxe sample of this serum as a gift with purchase but I didn’t enjoy it. The serum has a strong medicinal scent and I didn’t notice any benefits to my skin when I used this. It didn’t irritate my skin or dry it out further but I didn’t see any plumping effects either. The serum seemed to soak into my skin awfully quickly and it felt like I hadn’t applied any product.

Repurchase: No.

8. The Body Shop Strawberry Smoothing Face Mist

Aside from Fix+ by MAC this is the face mist I have enjoyed using the most to set my makeup. The strawberry scent is lovely and fruity and the spray feels light and refreshing on the skin. This mist gives my skin a smooth, dewy look.

Repurchase: Most likely.

9. Britney Spears – Prerogative 30ml

Prerogative is probably my favourite fragrance from Britney Spears so far. It has notes of amber, pink pepper, apricot, lily, espresso foam and a velvety, gourmand twist. The scent is quite light and not the most long lasting but it’s a good everyday perfume for work. My only slight gripe is the bottle. The packaging is simple and sexy but as the bottle sits on an angle I worry perfume could leak out.

Repurchase: Maybe.

Body

10. Victoria’s Secret Ruby Guava Hand Cream

A work colleague gave this to me and the packaging is super cute! I didn’t know Victoria’s Secret made hand cream. The scent is fruity and a little stronger than what I usually like. This also didn’t feel as moisturising as other hand creams I’ve used in the past.

Repurchase: No.

11. The Body Shop Shea Body Butter 200ml

Shea is my favourite scent from The Body Shop and this is actually the first 200ml tub of this scent I have finished up. I’ve used a couple of smaller 50ml tubs in the past but this is softer and creamier despite being the same scent. I never tire of this scent and it’s perfect for any time of year.

Repurchase: Yes!


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Empty Products #10

This is my fourth empties post in a year which is a record for me! I definitely have noticed that using what I have before buying more is working and I’m getting through products faster and have less clutter. I have actually enjoyed being on a low buy and lately I have only being buying products to replace what has been used up or when I’m close to finishing something.

Haircare

1. Schwarzkopf Extra Care Shampoo Supreme Length

I tried the matching conditioner first and was a fan so decided to pick up a bottle of the shampoo and I like it equally as much. The shampoo doesn’t feel drying or make my roots look greasy and only a small amount is required for each wash.

Repurchase: I see myself picking this up again.

2. Schwarzkopf Extra Care Conditioner Supreme Length

This is the second bottle I have finished and this is a great, inexpensive conditioner. My hair feels and looks smooth when I use this and the smell is really nice.

Repurchase: I see myself picking this up again.

Makeup

3. Max Factor Smooth Miracle Primer

I picked up this primer after hearing a fellow blogger rave about it and I’m not disappointed. If you prefer moisturising primers this may not be your favourite but it doesn’t feel greasy or like silicone. Foundation applies nicely over top of this, it doesn’t make product pill and gather and it definitely smooths skin. The product gets pumped from the bottom up so every last little bit gets used and you know exactly how much is left. The packaging is lightweight and travel friendly too.

Repurchase: Possibly in future.

4. Tanya Burr Selfie Lash Mascara

I was sent this mascara by the lovely Dannii and I was surprised by how much I like it! I’m quite fussy when it comes to mascara, I prefer natural bristle brushes, a super dark black shade and a formula that is on the drier side without being clumpy. From the get go the formula was really nice, it didn’t change much throughout the 7 month course of using it which is impressive. The formula didn’t dry out and become sticky either. The wand is made up of small, silicone bristles which help to build length and get in to every lash. This is such a lovely everyday mascara.

Repurchase: Yes, if the mascara hadn’t been discontinued!

Skincare & Fragrance

5. Juicy Couture – I ❤ Juicy Couture

Out of all the Juicy Couture perfumes I’ve tried this is one of the lightest in terms of fragrance and lasting power. This is really nice for work as it’s inoffensive. The fruit notes are the most prominent and whilst they are pleasant they aren’t what I typically go for in a perfume. In no way is this a bad perfume, if I was gifted another bottle I would happily use it!

Repurchase: Probably not. There are other perfumes I like more.

6. The Body Shop Strawberry Body Mist

Over the past month or so I have enjoyed not spritzing a body mist before applying perfume and I’ve got to say I’m enjoying letting the perfume do it’s thing and getting the full scent. Some days I’ll apply a rollerball perfume to my neck and spritz a different perfume to layer the two scents together but I don’t need to rely on body mists. Usually body mists aren’t strong or long lasting either.

Repurchase: Maybe.

7. Trilogy Very Gentle Restoring Oil

This oil has been such a saviour for my skin! I’m currently using a serum from Antipodes and I don’t like it anywhere near as much. The oil is extremely gentle, delicate and is fragrance free. The oil aims to smooth fine lines and wrinkles and I agree with those claims. It’s rich in essential fatty acids and antioxidants for soft, smooth, comfortable skin.

Repurchase: I have.

8. The Body Shop Honey & Oat 3 in 1 Scrub Mask

I used this face mask twice a week and it lasted me a couple of years. It’s good if you want a quick 5-10 minute mask and don’t like the tight feeling of clay masks. The honey and oats mean this is nice and gentle on the skin but the texture of the oats cleans and scrubs skin at the same time. The smell of this is lovely, I don’t usually like honey. The mask was easy to apply and wash off and is suitable for normal to dry skin but I also think this would suit sensitive skin. The style of packaging means every last bit of products gets used too.

Repurchase: Not sure. This mask has been discontinued and I didn’t notice any visible differences each time I used it but it’s not a bad mask.

Body

9. The Body Shop Strawberry Softening Gel Lotion

The strawberry range is usually one of my favourites from The Body Shop but I’m glad this lotion was only the travel size. I didn’t enjoy the gel texture, it wasn’t very moisturising and whilst it did soak into the skin quickly the strawberry scent was sweeter than other products I’ve tried from the range. The scent wasn’t light and fresh, it was sickly and synthetic. Squeezing product out of this little bottle was also annoying.

Repurchase: No.

10. Nivea Invisible Anti-Perspirant – Clear

Still my anti-perspirant of choice. Maybe after my current one of these is finished I’ll branch out and try something else.

Repurchase: Yes.


What was the last product you finished up?

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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.


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June Favourites + Highlights

Winter has well and truly arrived! Getting up at 5:30am for work I really notice the cold mornings but I will admit New Zealand is lucky to still get sun in winter and to see the blue sky peaking through for the most part. June has felt extremely busy and I don’t know where the month has gone. I haven’t blogged a lot (but I still pop on and read posts and comment everyday) or read a lot. I don’t think I’ll make my Goodreads target of 50 books at this stage but I’m not going to dwell on it, I read because I enjoy it not to pressure myself and some days I simply don’t have time to read. I also broke my goal not to buy a lipstick in 2019 this month and I am a little disappointed. I’m not completely sold on the shade I purchased and I may end up passing it along. Even so, one lipstick for a whole year is good right?!

Onto this month’s favourites:

1. Revolution Lip Topper – Fortune – I purchased this lip topper at the end of April and over the past couple of months I’ve really been enjoying wearing it. Revolution released three lip topper shades, I swatched all three in store and this looked the most sparkly and the one I imagined would go with the most colours. This product can be worn on it’s own or on top of other lipsticks to add a natural shine and sparkle. This is extremely comfortable to wear (both ways) and isn’t sticky or gritty. This shade is also a dupe for the Fenty Beauty gloss bomb in Diamond Milk.

2. MAC Melon Pigment – I am surprised I haven’t mentioned this pigment in a favourites post before. I bought this pigment around six months ago secondhand and it was almost full. I would describe Melon as a peach-gold and not a shade that is difficult to pair with makeup looks. The gold tones down the orange/peach colour and makes for a somewhat neutral eye look. Without a doubt the pigment can be built up to add extra sparkle or used alongside other palettes. I love pairing this pigment with the Sol palette from Colourpop. This was one of the shades on my MAC pigment wishlist and I’m glad to have crossed this one off!

3. The Body Shop Shea Body Butter – Without a doubt Shea is probably my favourite scent from The Body Shop. I’ve been through a few small 50ml tubs of this body butter in the past but the texture was different. The texture of this 200ml tub is much softer and creamier. This product not only has the most gorgeous scent but it feels luxurious on the skin and soaks in so easily.

4. Antipodes Halo Skin Brightening Facial Mud Mask – Over the past few years I have used a mud/clay mask at least once a week as part of my self care routine and I like how they work with my skin. I make sure to go for a mask that doesn’t irritate my dry skin but makes it feel clean and has nourishing ingredients. I’d been looking at an alternative to a clay mask I was using from Natio and really liked the sound of this one. Antipodes is a New Zealand brand and one that I know is renowned for quality products. This mask features Vinanza Grape & Kiwi and peony petal and aims to brighten skin and improve skin’s appearance. The mask has a subtle scent but it isn’t offensive.

June Highlights

  • The denim jacket from this haul had it’s first outing.
  • Found a new purpose for one of my lighter coloured highlighters as a nice, glowy setting powder.
  • Rented The Greatest Showman from work and finally got to see it. I enjoyed the movie.
  • Went on a cute date and was given roses.

June’s Spotify Playlist:


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

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Best Beauty Discoveries of 2018

2018 feels like the year I mastered my makeup routine. I have experimented and I know what types of products and colours I like and what I find manageable. By manageable I’m referring to how easy a product is to use, the pigmentation and application and how often I’m reaching for it. I don’t like the thought of owning makeup for the sake of it to sit there and not get used. I’m not a big palette lover, I like simple eye makeup 99% of the time and I’d rather jazz up my look with a beautiful lip colour. The majority of these products are all versatile which is another thing I love, they go with so many looks and get worn frequently.

1. xoBeauty – Starting with my favourite beauty discovery of the year – YouTuber Shaaanxo’s makeup line xoBeauty. When it comes to Shannon’s videos and YouTube channel I was late to the party. She’s probably the biggest New Zealand YouTuber and I do really enjoy her videos. Her makeup line is beautiful and the quality is top notch! I have made numerous xoBeauty orders this year and standout products include: The Remix Eyeshadow Palette (I use this a lot and reviewed it *HERE*), a liquid lipstick in the shade Carpe Diem and a matte lipstick in the shade Philocaly. The makeup brushes are very good as well and a few of my favourites are the Detail Face Brush, the Powder Tulip Brush and the Firm Blender Brush.

2. L’Oreal Lash Paradise/Paradise Extactic Mascara – It takes a lot to rival my holy grail Rimmel mascara but this gem from L’Oreal does. I purchased a tube of Lash Paradise (pink tube) in March 2018 and from the first use I loved it! The only downside is the coating flaked off the tube so by the time it was finished it wasn’t pretty anymore. I purchased a tube of Paradise Extactic (gold tube) in September which I’m excited to use and compare to Lash Paradise.

3. Trilogy Very Gentle Restoring Oil – My skincare routine is simple but when you find something that works you tend to stick with it. I have always had dry skin and this year I wanted to try a facial oil or a facial serum to see if that helped and made a difference. I did a little bit of research and found this oil for sensitive skin from Trilogy (which is a New Zealand brand). Ever since I’ve been using it I’ve noticed a big difference. My skin is softer, I get less breakouts than before (and even then there weren’t many) and my makeup looks nicer. I apply four drops of facial oil every night after my moisturiser. I have been using a day moisturiser for sensitive skin too which I think helps.

4. MAC Mineralize Skinfinish in Soft & Gentle – This highlighter is a firm favourite in the beauty blogging world and it’s easy to see why! I will say this shade is better suited to lighter skin tones but it’s nice to have something that caters for fair-light skin tones that isn’t blinding and can be built up for desired effect. Soft & Gentle is a gilded peach bronze shade and out of all my highlighters, this is the most versatile. I’ve worn this an all over face powder and it also looks lovely. I’d love to try this on my eyes as an eyeshadow base or on it’s own for a more natural look.

5. Urban Decay Primer Potion – Can you believe I didn’t use eyeshadow primer until a few months ago?! I’d been thinking about trying one for a while and settled on the travel size Primer Potion from Urban Decay – I know this is tried and tested. I do notice a difference when I use this, my eyeshadow stays put longer and doesn’t crease. A little goes a long way and I haven’t had any eye irritation. I like to apply this and leave it to sit for a couple of minutes whilst I apply concealer and bronzer before going in with eyeshadow.

6. NARS Mini Orgasm Blush Highlight Duo – I knew when I saw this product online it wouldn’t stick around for long and if I left it I would miss out, so I bought it! I have an Orgasm blush dupe and it is beautiful but it’s nice to own the real thing as well. This blush is such a gorgeous colour and goes with almost any makeup look, it gives a soft flush of colour and can easily be built up, the highlighter is the same. I don’t normally wear highlighter and blush together but when I use this duo I really like how my cheeks look with both. Despite this being a mini product, it will still last a long time.


How many of these did you guess correctly? 😛

What products were you glad you discovered in 2018?

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Empty Products #6

It’s only been a few months since my last empties post and this is probably the shortest time between posts. I am a cliched blogger for the fact I thoroughly enjoy reading and writing about empty products! Staying around the 10 product mark seems more manageable for the box I keep my finished products in and it stops these posts becoming too lengthy.

Makeup

1. Revolution Ultra Face Base Primer

I bought this primer in 2016 but didn’t start using it regularly until 2017. The more I used it the more I liked it and the more I began to notice how much nicer my makeup looked when I wore it. I wouldn’t say this primer blurred my pores but it did make foundation and concealer apply smoother on my skin.

Repurchase: Maybe. This was a decent primer.

2. The Body Shop Vitamin C Face Mist

This range from The Body Shop smells lovely and fresh! This mist doesn’t feel too wet on the skin and as I was coming to the end of this product I enjoyed spraying this onto my face before applying my day moisturiser over top and massaging both products in together. (Thanks Stashy for that tip!)

Repurchase: I don’t use face mist regularly but I would consider buying this one again.

3. L’Oreal Lash Paradise Mascara

I have sung this mascara’s praises a few times on the blog (it’s even got it’s own review *HERE*). I rarely stray from my Rimmel Scandaleyes Lycra Flex but I’m glad to have found another favourite because the shade I use in the Rimmel mascara has been discontinued. I love the drier formula and I love how voluminous my lashes look when I wear this. Also, the brush has proper bristles instead of a plastic wand which I prefer.

Repurchase: I have.

4. Rimmel Scandaleyes Lycra Flex Mascara in 001 Black

This mascara has been a favourite of mine for years but shade 001 is nowhere near as good as 003. The mascara lacks that dark, black colour that I love and the formula seemed different as well. That voluminous, fluttery element wasn’t there and I only used this mascara for a couple of months before deciding to let go of it.

Repurchase: Yes, but only in the Extreme Black shade (003).

5. BYS Fuchsia Surpise

This lipstick costs under $10 and it is amazing! It is the first lipstick I have completely used up and is one of my personal favourite fuchsia shades to wear – I have a few! The lipstick packaging is cheap and the plastic did crack but the pigmentation, creamy formula and how long the colour lasts makes up for that.

Repurchase: Already have.

Skincare & Fragrance

6. Palmer’s Moisture Rich Night Cream

I purchased this night cream from Feel Unique for $14 which for a 75ml pot is good value. This product lasted me about nine months and it also smells really nice, the cream contains shea. The scent doesn’t linger or become overpowering. The texture of this cream is relatively light and doesn’t leave my skin greasy. It works well with the Trilogy facial oil I started using and the skincare regime I’ve had for the past 6 months has been working well.

Repurchase: I think I would.

Body

7. Nivea Invisible Anti-Perspirant – Clear x2

This features in every empties and I’ve used it for years.

Repurchase:  Yes.

8. The Body Shop Frosted Plum Hand Cream

I didn’t hate the scent of this but it was more of a floral plum rather than a straight fruity scent. This hand cream felt really moisturising but there are other hand creams from The Body Shop I enjoy more. The purple packaging is pretty and unique though.

Repurchase: No.

9. The Body Shop English Dawn Gardenia Body Butter

I like floral scents but I don’t like them to be too strong. I purchased this body butter at the end of 2017 in a sale and began using it straight away. I absolutely adore this scent, it’s feminine and fun. The texture of this particular body butter is like velvet, it feels softer than some of the others and made me feel pampered and luxurious when I used it.

Repurchase: Yes but the range has been discontinued.

10. The Body Shop Vanilla Chai Body Lotion

The Vanilla Chai scent is from Christmas 2016 and I bought a few different items from the range. I adore body lotions from The Body Shop, the scents linger all day and they feel moisturising. The only downfall with this product is the pump, it doesn’t get all the product out and I ended up unscrewing the pump and tipping the bottle upside down to get the rest of the lotion out.

Repurchase: Yes, if the scent comes back.

11. The Body Shop Cocoa Butter Body Lotion

I much prefer this packaging for body lotions to packaging with a pump. You can tip the bottle upside down and get every little bit out. The scent of this was different to the body butter I’d tried in the past and not as nice but as I used the product more I got used to it and it started to smell less like chemicals/paint. The lotion itself was good on my skin.

Repurchase: No.


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