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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My Birthday Round Up! 🎉

My birthday falls towards the end of January and if you follow me on Instagram you may have seen a few pictures I already shared from the day. I intended to write a blog post as well sharing what I treated myself to throughout January. There were a few items I wanted to get my hands on and I totally used my birthday as an excuse!

A couple of days before my birthday I booked in for an hour long therapeutic massage and it was lovely to be pampered. My muscles were a little sore the next day but thankfully the day after that on my birthday the aching had subsided.

My birthday was very chilled out. I woke up at 4:30am and couldn’t get back to sleep. I got up around 6am to feed Halo, tried to go back to sleep for a little while but wasn’t able to. At 8am I got up properly and started the day with a coffee in my favourite cup. Mum and I went out to get a chocolate sponge cake and for the majority of the day I did chores around home. I showered, listened to music and did my makeup in the afternoon ready for my boyfriend to pick me up in the evening. We’d decided to do an evening treewalk through the local forest and it was magical, all the lights are beautiful! My favourite section was one that looked like the lights were specks of glitter. I took plenty of photos and videos and loved the experience. I’m not worried about heights so being up in the trees didn’t scare me and because it’s dark you can’t see the ground and it doesn’t feel like you’re up high.

I don’t expect presents from other people and it’s truly the thought that counts. People say that I’m hard to buy for but I joke in response they don’t know me well enough! I don’t mind spoiling myself anyway, it’s the whole independence thing. My mum gave me money and my boyfriend got me a beautiful pair of earrings. My brother is giving me a Sephora gift card which I plan on putting towards the Pat McGrath Mthrshp Mega: Celestial Divinity Palette.

Here’s what I treated myself to:

Bras from Triumph

I find bra shopping difficult as I have very narrow shoulders and I’m petite but curvy. A lot of straps are too wide set and slip off my shoulders. I purchased two bras from Triumph last year and they fit incredibly well, they’re stylish, comfortable, good quality and the straps don’t fall down. I purchased three bras at the start of January and the order came to less than $100 which is very reasonable for lingerie. Understandably I’m not going to share pictures of me wearing the bras but the collage above shows the styles and colours I chose.

BECCA Highlighters

BECCA highlighters have the most beautiful formula, they’re soft, buildable and blend like a dream! Pretty much all of my highlighters are BECCA and it’s fun to mix and match which shade I wear based on my makeup look that day. I purchased the BECCA x Barbie Ferreira set from Sephora which contains three mini shades: Vanilla Quartz, Rose Quartz and Champagne Pop. I already own a mini of Champagne Pop so I will gift this to someone. Vanilla Quartz is stunning and a great one for day to day.

I also purchased the full size of Prismatic Amethyst (not from Sephora). I love purples on me and the duochrome shift in this shade is surprisingly wearable and doesn’t look too intense. This can be applied with a subtle hand or really built up to intensify the purple, it looks great with all purple makeup too!

BECCA Lipgloss Trio

I actually made two Sephora orders in January and this lipgloss set was the basis behind the second order. This set is also part of the Barbie Ferreira collaboration and the glosses are absolutely stunning. There are three shades Sparkle (a sparkly gold), Facet (a sparkly purple and my favourite shade in the set) and Foiled (a sparkly pink). Foiled is the most pigmented in the set but honestly all shades are wearable and are great as lip toppers. The gloss is not sticky at all and the small size is great as it won’t be difficult to use these up!

Fenty Gloss Bomb in Fenty Glow

I’m having a moment with lipgloss lately. I’m loving wearing glosses on their own on no makeup days to keep my lips nice and plump and applying glosses as toppers over lipsticks. Fenty Glow is the original gloss bomb shade and it’s supposedly universal and suits everyone. On first impressions I did find the shade a little warm but it’s still nice. I look forward to wearing it more and finding lipsticks in my collection to pair it with.

Benefit Pencil Sharpener

This is the most basic item to purchase but it’s a necessity. My old pencil sharpener from school days is cracked and everytime I’d go to sharpen my Rimmel brow pencil the lead would snap and I’d end up wasting a lot of product. This sharpener caters for three different sizes and it even comes with a handy little cleaning tool. This sharpener is also baby pink so it’s totally my aesthetic.

Marc Jacobs At Lash’d Mascara

I added this mascara to my order on a whim so I could qualify for free shipping. I have really enjoyed trying sample mascaras this past year and this sample was $24 for 8.4g of product which was a lot fairer priced than sample mascaras from Tarte or Benefit. I haven’t tried anything from Marc Jacobs before but this mascara sounds good, it aims to lift and volumise which sounds great for my lashes. The black and gold striped tube is neat too!

Body butters from The Body Shop

Ever since The Body Shop store in my city closed down I have missed it greatly. I now am strategic when I buy and try to make a bigger order as I can’t pop into town for a look anymore. I wanted to utulise my 20% off birthday discount and I was running low on body butter so purchased two in scents I hadn’t tried before. I purchased a 50ml of British Rose as I didn’t know if the scent would be too strong (it’s not on first sniff) and a 200ml of Japanese Cherry Blossom Strawberry Kiss. I finished up the regular Japanese Cherry Blossom a little while ago and it’s one of the best I’ve tried. I love the strawberry range too so the combination of both scents is a match made in heaven.


Do you treat yourself for your birthday? Have you tried any of these products?

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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.


What was the last product you finished up?

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October Favourites + Highlights 2020

October has zoomed by! I can’t believe it’s been almost a month since my tonsillectomy and I’ve been back at work two weeks already! I did get more spendy in October compared to a usual month and I haven’t been reading a lot either. I will still meet my Goodreads target of 40 books for the year but I want to spend more time reading again in November. I haven’t really been up to much this month, mainly sleeping, relaxing and taking it easy. It’s been nice to have time for self care.

Onto this month’s favourites:

1. Colourpop Easy Bake Ultra Glossy Lip – Easy Bake was released by Colourpop last year as part of their Strawberry Shake collection. This shade is a sheer strawberry pink that can be worn on its own but I love wearing it over top of lipstick for added shine. This is the perfect neutral gloss that looks good on top of everything without altering the lip colour underneath. The scent is nice, the formula isn’t sticky and goopy and the packaging is adorable!

2. Revlon – Gel Envy Nail Polish in Silky Negligee – I was placing an order online for magnesium for my mum and needed something else to add to the order to qualify for free shipping (it was a chemist website). I had seen this polish in a store the same day and snapped it up immediately. Silky Negligee is a glossy metallic silver grey and it looks stunning on. Two coats is perfect and the polish lasted for almost two weeks with Revlon’s Gel Envy Diamond Top Coat (which I have loved for years) applied over top. The polish was a little difficult to remove but nothing like removing glitter polishes. I also picked up another shade from the range called Standing Ovation (glossy metallic lilac pink) which I’m yet to try.

3. Trilogy Hydrating Jelly Mask – There is a facial oil from Trilogy I love and I saw this jelly mask on sale for half price so decided to give it a try. The mask contains rosehip, hyaluronic acid and manuka honey and it aims to smooth the appearance of skin as well as deeply nourish and refresh it. There is a little spatula that comes with the mask and makes it easy to scoop product out. The texture is like jelly and feels very cooling on the skin. Product is easy to spread and after a few minutes it sets a little but doesn’t feel uncomfortable. The mask only needs to be left on for 5-10 minutes and washes off with minimal effort. This is a lovely mask that I’ve been reaching for once a week and a little goes a long way.

4. The Body Shop Japanese Cherry Blossom body butter – I purchased this body butter over a year ago and I can’t believe I haven’t mentioned it on the blog before! I didn’t start using it until around lockdown but the scent is gorgeous – it’s light, fruity and floral and a nice feminine scent to use after a shower. The texture of this body butter feels slightly more luxurious compared to the standard ranges The Body Shop is known for. The price point of this is slightly higher as well but it doesn’t bother me.

October Highlights

  • It was nice to have a break from work after my surgery. I hadn’t had a proper break since February.
  • Purchased some comfy tracksuit bottoms and the most gorgeous purple hoodie from Nike. You bet the first cold day that comes I’ll be wearing them!
  • Finally got to watch Knives Out this month. Not going to lie though, I was a little disappointed. I didn’t like the fake accent Daniel Craig’s character had.

October’s Spotify Playlist:


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

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GRWM: Drugstore Makeup Look

In June I shared this look using as many luxurious makeup products as I could. It was a lot of fun to create so I also wanted to do a look using a full face of affordable, drugstore makeup. Most of the makeup I own is more in the drugstore price range, I love products that are good quality and inexpensive and sometimes drugstore products can’t be beat!

Products listed in order of application:

1. Olay Complete UV Lotion Sensitive – I used to be all about a face moisturiser from Simple until 2018 when I tried this one from Olay and haven’t looked back. This is really nice, it’s lightweight, makeup looks good on top of it and it contains SPF 15.

2. Maybelline Master Prime Hydrate + Smooth – The more I have used this primer the more I have come to enjoy it. It is a little thicker than other primers in my collection but for work and everyday wear this is good. It soaks in quickly so you don’t have to wait before going in with your foundation if you’re short on time.

3. Rimmel Professional Eyebrow Pencil in 002 Hazel – Still all I use to fill in my brows.

4. Max Factor Miracle Match Foundation in 40 Light Ivory – I got this foundation as a birthday gift in 2019 and it sat in my drawer for about a year before I tried it out. I put this to the test with three other foundations at the start of the year (post *HERE*) and whilst it was one of the lower ranked foundations I don’t want to give up on it yet. The undertone of this shade is neutral which works well with my skintone and as it wears throughout the day my natural oils come out and I don’t mind how it looks.

5. L’Oreal Infallible More Than Concealer in 323 Fawn – I purchased this concealer in April after seeing it on Arna Alayne’s YouTube channel. I was a little worried this would be drying on my dry skin but it’s not at all, this still feels nice and creamy! This concealer is full coverage but blends into the skin easily and a little goes a long way. I do find if I use too much this can make my skin look a little pale. This does have a bit of a weird smell but once product is applied the scent disappears.

6. Rimmel Match Perfection Loose Powder  – I am loving this powder lately. I have had it for a few years now but it still applies and looks the same on the skin. It’s translucent so it doesn’t alter how my base products look and it works particuarly well to set the L’Oreal concealer above in place.

7. Milani Eyeshadow Primer – I don’t enjoy this primer as much as Urban Decay’s Primer Potion but it gets the job done and keeps eyeshadow in place. It can make my eyelids a little dry.

8. Colourpop Lilac You a Lot Palette – Purple is one colour that really works for my skin tone and it was fun bringing out this palette for this drugstore look. I started by applying Zoned Out as a base shadow all over the lid then used Iffy to deepen up the crease. Finally I applied Fluff all over the lid with my finger for a pop of shimmer.

9. Colourpop BFF Mascara in Purple Prose – I have a back up of my holy grail Rimmel mascara that I didn’t want to crack open just for this post. The other mascaras in my collection at the moment are all high end and then I remembered this purple mascara I got from Colourpop last year. I love pairing it with purple eyeshadow and it’s fun to wear. Coloured mascara doesn’t take the place of regular black mascara for me but this does add length and volume to my lashes without looking clumpy and the formula is nice and doesn’t smudge. The more coats I apply, the more purple my lashes look.

10. I ♡ Makeup Goddess of Love Highlighter – This was my first highlighter and I still love wearing it. The pink, purple and silver tones look so nice on fair skin and this can be built up depending on the intensity you like. This highlighter looks natural on the skin and pairs so well with purple toned eyeshadow.

11. Dainty Doll Cream Blush in Billion Dollar Babies – I knew this blush would be perfect to add a natural flush to the cheeks. The cream formula is lush!

12. The Body Shop Rose Face Mist – This mist makes the skin lovely and dewy. It’s particularly nice on top of more matte foundations and if I’ve used setting powder. The rose scent is also pleasant, it’s not overpowering or too strong.

13. Revlon Lip Butter in Lollipop – Not only is this my favourite kind of lipstick colour to wear but it also looks good with anything! I love these lip butters as they are nicely pigmented as well as making the lips look juicy and glossy. The formula is sheerer than a regular lipstick but this shade in particular still packs a punch!

The Finished Look


What do you think of this look? What are some of your favourite drugstore products?

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Empty Products #14

My first empties round up post lockdown! Has anyone else noticed they have been using less   due to not wearing making and not using as many beauty products? On the whole this bunch of products wasn’t the best for being ones I love and would gladly repurchase but there are a couple I really enjoyed.

Haircare

1. Schwarzkopf Leave In Treatment

I would apply this product after a shower when my hair was 80% dry and let it soak in. The smell was pleasant, my hair did look sleeker as opposed to if I didn’t use this but it’s not a product I’ve missed since finishing it up.

Repurchase: Probably not.

2. Schwarzkopf Ultimate Repair Shampoo

The scent of this is very manly but not in a good way. I didn’t find this worked well on my hair and I didn’t enjoy using it.

Repurchase: No.

3. Schwarzkopf Ultimate Repair Conditioner

Usually I can remember if I preferred a shampoo or conditioner more but I can’t with this range, I just know I wasn’t a fan of either of these.

Repurchase: No.

Makeup/Beauty

4. IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC Cream in Fair

This CC Cream is totally worth the hype! I purchased a 12ml deluxe sample from Sephora in December and love how this looks on my skin each time I wear it. The quality day after day is consistent and it makes such a lovely everyday base. One light layer of product was enough for the finish I like and this does not cling to dry patches, it skims over the skin and gives a natural, healthy look. Product can be layered but I found I didn’t need more than one layer. I did notice Fair was a slightly better match for me in summer as opposed to autumn but I can still make the shade work.

Repurchase: Maybe. I see IT Cosmetics have come out with a new Fair Ivory shade but not in the 12ml size yet. I’d want to try the smaller size first in the new shade.

5. YSL Volume Effet Cils The Curler Mascara

I got this mascara as part of a set of YSL minis last year and started using it in February this year. The mascara has a plastic wand which I’m not usually a fan of but this formula was so good I didn’t mind the brush not having real bristles. This mascara gives length and volume and it’s super black which I love, it adds to the drama and really makes your eyeshadow pop. The formula was consistent throughout the time I used this and it was a nice medium between wet and dry. The formula wasn’t sticky and layered well without clumping.

Repurchase: No, sadly. Not because the product is bad but no full sized mascara is worth $70 – that’s ridiculous!

6. Rimmel Professional Eyebrow Pencil in 002 Hazel

This brow pencil is all I have used to fill in my brows for the past four years. This shade matches in with my auburn hair perfectly.

Repurchase: Already have.

7. Delon Regular Nail Polish Remover

This did the job and wasn’t harsh on my nails when it came to removing nail polish but I didn’t like it as much as the Cutex Strengthening nail polish remover I tried years ago and loved. The Cutex product is difficult to track down though.

Repurchase: If it was the only type available then yes but there are other nail polish removers I prefer.

Skincare & Fragrance

8. The Body Shop Mandarin Energizing Face Mist

I purchased this thinking it would be similar to The Body Shop’s Vitamin C mist as they both target tired, dull skin and aim to give it a boost. I did not enjoy the scent of this and it felt a little sticky on the face. It didn’t soak in and leave my skin hydrated, it just kind of sat on top of other products.

Repurchase: No, my least favourite face mist out of all The Body Shop ones I’ve tried.

Body

9. The Body Shop Warm Vanilla Body Butter

When I purchased this body butter I was overwhelmed at how sweet the scent was but once I started using it the sweetness was manageable. The scent is easier to digest in smaller doses and the sweetness wasn’t too much once product had soaked into the skin. As with other body butters this feels lovely and silky to apply and keeps skin nourished and soft.

Repurchase: Possibly. This was part of a Christmas range but The Body Shop tend to release a vanilla scent nearly every Christmas.

10. Nivea Invisible Anti-Perspirant – Clear

Holy grail! This features in every empties for a reason.

Repurchase: Yes.

11. Dove Invisible Dry Anti-White Marks Deodorant

I strayed from my trusty Nivea anti-perspirant and this was nowhere near as good! The product was more like a cream than a liquid when applying it and it felt a little sticky. Product didn’t feel as moisturising on the underarms and I felt more sweaty. I used this during autumn/winter mainly working from home so I wasn’t getting particularly hot either.

Repurchase: No.

Discards

1. Stila Magnificent Metals Glitter & Glow – Perlina

I had heard so many good things about the Stila Magnificent Metals and when I purchased a set of three minis to try I was left scratching my head as to what all the fuss is about. One shade I threw out as product was non existent but I did want to make an effort to use up the other two shades in the set; Perlina and Kitten Karma. I went to apply Perlina on top of another eyeshadow recently and discovered it had dried up which I was disappointed about. I will not be picking up any of these in future as overall I haven’t had a good experience. I don’t know whether it’s because these are minis and the full sized shades perform better but I’ve been put off.


What was the last product you finished up?

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May Favourites + Highlights 2020

I can’t believe we are at the end of May and it’s monthly favourites time again already! I’ve only got a small selection of products to talk about this month but they are really good ones.

New Zealand is also no longer under strict quarantine, most people have returned to work and businesses and shops have re-opened. Currently I split my working day between home and the library, I work from home in the morning and go into the office in the afternoon. This means there are less staff in the building until we fully re-integrate.

Onto this month’s favourites:

1. Colourpop It’s My Pleasure Palette – I purchased this palette in July 2019 and I feel like it isn’t until now that I have really started to appreciate it. Don’t get me wrong I’ve always liked It’s My Pleasure and before purchasing it I saw so many people raving about it but I didn’t start to gel with it until recently. For May, June and July I’m rotating through my Colourpop nine pan palettes week by week and I’m already looking forward to revisiting It’s My Pleasure! I’ve got a better idea how the colours work together and what combinations I like. My favourite shades are Do Or Dough, Earthshine, Fan Fiction and Sleeper.

2. Wella Oil Reflections Shampoo and Conditioner – After getting my hair cut in February and being impressed with how the Wella products that were used made my hair feel I started looking at products online with the intention of purchasing some. I decided on the Oil Reflections range as it’s suited for all hair types and aims to leave hair cleansed and luminous. The scent is lovely too, a mix of vanilla, white tea and fruit. The products make my hair feel amazing and since I started using these my hair looks nourished, soft and more sleek. This is more pricey than regular shampoo and conditioner but I’m proud of my hair and I want it to look good so I don’t mind paying a little extra.

3. The Body Shop Rose Face Mist – I was not expecting to enjoy this as much as I have. I recently finished up the mandarin face mist from The Body Shop and I didn’t really like it so I was apprehensive about this one. The rose most is in an entirely different league and it really does make my skin and makeup look beautiful and dewy. The mist is fine and not too wet which is why I didn’t like the mandarin one, it didn’t feel refreshing and the scent wasn’t my favourite either. The rose scent is spot on, it’s very subtle and one I wouldn’t imagine would irritate you if you are sensitive to smell.

4. Colourpop Berry Good Lipgloss – This gloss was released alongside Colourpop’s Strawberry Shake palette. I have checked the website and this is no longer available but it is a beautiful shade that I have been reaching for a bit recently. Berry Good is a juicy pink-red that gives a lovely strawberry coloured tint to the lips. I purchased this gloss last year and the first time I wore it I wasn’t sure I liked it but I every time I have tried it since it has really grown on me. I purchased the other gloss from the Strawberry collection called Easy Bake (still on the website but showing as out of stock) and I personally prefer Berry Good.

May Highlights

  • I’ve been feeling more body confident recently and I very bravely shared *THIS* photo to Instagram. The comments are all so sweet!
  • I came up with an idea for a semi-regular Instagram series to share some of my favourite songs relating to a theme. For example, the first one featured five of my favourite feel good tracks (new and old). Feel free to leave any theme ideas in the comments!

May’s Spotify Playlist:


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.


What was the last product you finished up?

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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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Products I Want To Use Up

I prefer to use up what I have before purchasing replacements and new products. There’s something satisfying about minimalism and being without clutter which also prevents me from feeling overwhelmed and questioning what to use. It’s more effective when I can use a product and move on to the next one rather than having a ton I’m working my way through at the same time. Makeup is a slight exception as I don’t wear the same lipstick and eyeshadow everyday. I’m sure these products will make an appearance in an empties post in the near future.

1. The Body Shop Shea EDT

I do enjoy these 30ml bottles of EDT from The Body Shop for their size and their portability. If I need to carry fragrance in my handbag these fit perfectly. The Shea range from The Body Shop is my favourite but I don’t think Shea works as a perfume. I don’t dislike this product but it’s my least favourite of the eau de toilettes I have tried. The scent has grown on me the more I’ve used it and it shouldn’t take me long to finish up.

Estimated amount of product left: 1/5

2. Rimmel Match Perfection Translucent Loose Powder

This powder is lovely but I never see anyone talking about it. Rimmel is an underrated brand in my opinion, the quality you get for the price point is very reasonable. I have had this powder for a few years now and I want to use it up while it’s still good. If you have dry skin like I do this is a good option as it’s not matte and can be applied with a very light hand. I don’t find the product messy despite having to tip it into the lid and as it’s translucent it doesn’t alter how foundation looks underneath.

Estimated amount of product left: 1/3

3. IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC Cream in Fair

I know you’re probably thinking this is only a relatively new addition to my makeup collection and you’d be right. Realistically being a deluxe sample containing 12ml of product compared to a normal foundation containing 30ml I don’t think this will take me long to use if I’m consistent and don’t switch between foundations. I’m also interested to see how this works for me over a period of time so I can decide whether I’d purchase the full size once. I’m also excited about my makeup looking consistently good as when I tested this along with three other foundations I was very impressed!

Estimated amount of product left: Almost full

4. MAC Studio Finish Concealer in NW10

This concealer is a little over two years old and I have made such a big dent in it. Every day the amount of pan gets bigger but the product seems to keep going. This works well in conjunction with the IT Cosmetics CC Cream so that will be a good match. This concealer is good but I still prefer Collection’s Lasting Perfection. Creamy concealers work better with my skin type.

Estimated amount of product left: 1/4

5. Stila Glitter & Glow minis in Perlina and Kitten Karma

I purchased a set of three Stila Glitter & Glow minis as a Christmas present to myself in 2018 and in all honesty I was disappointed. I wrote this post in March 2019 about how I don’t think these are worth the hype and I’ve barely reached for these since. I threw Golden Girl in the bin as the colour/glitter is practically non-existent. I would like to finish Perlina and Kitten Karma as they are easier to work with and I’m hoping to incorporate them into an eyeshadow challenge I am setting for myself even as an inner corner highlight or topper or something simple like that.

Estimated amount of product left: Perlina = 2/3, Kitten Karma = 3/4

6. Urban Decay Primer Potion

This is cheating a little as it is so close to being finished and I am ready for it! This eye primer has been a game changer for me, I love it and it definitely makes my eye makeup last better but I’ve had a Milani eye primer I’ve been waiting to try for a few months in my drawer that I’m itching to crack into. I’d say there’s another week or two left with the Urban Decay primer at most.

Estimated amount of product left: Nearly empty

7. The Body Shop Mandarin Face Mist

This is my least favourite product of the bunch. The scent is a little sickly and the mist isn’t as good as the Strawberry one I’ve tried previously. I don’t feel this mist does anything for my skin and I find I have to do quite a few sprays to feel the product on my face. Compared to the strawberry mist this doesn’t smooth or set my makeup so I’ll probably use this under/on top of my moisturiser in the morning to give my skin a boost of moisture.

Estimated amount of product left: 1/2


What products are you trying to finish up at the moment?

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