Look at my junk! There’s so much of it. Oh no.
Halfway through July, I thought “hmm…it’s weird that I haven’t used much stuff up this month” and then suddenly things happened.
The Body Shop Japanese Camellia Cream – I finished a big body moisturiser! It’s always exciting because it usually takes me so damn long. Of course, it’s much easier to finish things when you’re excited to use them, and this cream smells gorgeous and it’s got a really light, air-whipped texture so it sinks in super quickly and doesn’t make you sticky. In winter, it was a little cold on the skin (a byproduct of that texture), but it’s so lovely, and I wish it was cheaper so it was a little less of a treat-yourself body cream. I’m happy to treat myself, but sometimes it’s like “When you stop working at the body shop, that cream is going to cost you $52.95. Don’t love it too much”. Repurchase? With staff discount, absolutely. Without, eugh, probably. Eugh.
Lush Rosy Cheeks Fresh Face Mask – This was my freebie face mask for returning five empty Lush pots (accumulated over about a year’s time). I’m on the fence with it – I actually really enjoyed this particular mask, definitely my favourite of the ones I’ve tried from Lush, but I cannot stand the Fresh Face Masks in general. It did a good job of leaving my skin cleansed but hydrated, without doing anything particularly intense on the clearing/smoothing side of things, but didn’t set off any sensitivities. It’s just that you only get a month’s use from them, and they go bad so quickly and it just feels like throwing money down the sink. Especially as someone who doesn’t like to use the same face mask every week. Repurchase? Probably not, but I would get it again as another “you’ve finished five pots” freebie.
Pantene Colour Therapy Conditioner – This is just a standard cheap conditioner for coloured hair, despite not being sulphate free, but I wanted to get something simple I could toss a bunch of blue dye into to preserve my colour with and it did the job. Repurchase? I wouldn’t be opposed to it, but I’m not attached.
CPR Always Blonde Shampoo – Obviously I am not blonde, but a friend gave me this following the logic that the product itself is blue and therefore it should work well with my blue hair. It did fine. Shampoo is shampoo. Repurchase? No, because I think this stuff is expensive for stuff that didn’t really work wonders.
The Body Shop Colour Crush Eyeshadow in Gorgeous Gold – I bought this back when I first started working at the Body Shop, so well over a year ago now. I had actually hit pan – it’s one of my favourites – but then I dropped it on tiles and it shattered everywhere, so it’s out the door. It’s also recently been discontinued, which makes me a little bit irritated. This is the perfect true yellow gold and it goes on as a satiny metallic, and we don’t have another similar shade in the range (the closest is Bronze Bliss, which is considerably more brown toned). I do have a backup, so no fretting, but it’s frustating that it’s going. I also have qualms with the Colour Crush shadow packaging, and wish they were more secure in their compacts. Repurchase? Did so when this broke, and if you can find it now it’s on sale for $4.95, but it’s going to be gone soon so the possibility to repurchase didn’t last long.
Australis Matte Me Mattifying Lipstick Base – This isn’t empty, but it’s half done and hardened to the point of being unusable. When I first got it, I hated it and didn’t see the point – it’s essentially useless with already matte or super creamy formulas. I then fell in love with it – it’s perfect with formulas like the one from The Body Shop or other creams where the colour is matte but the formula isn’t because it does that job for you. And then it just became something I couldn’t be bothered with, which is what I’ve ended up feeling. If that’s what you’re after, and you can be bothered, sure. Repurchase? No
Dove Deodorant – I think I’ve said all I can say about this. Repurchase? Clearly
Your Tea Skin Magic Tea – This is nowhere NEAR empty but I wanted to put it in here because I wanted to report back after how accidentally aggressive I got in my June Bellabox. Not only do all of the points I made still stand, but I gave this to my sister, who actually loves all of those tea skin cleanse crap things, and even wasn’t a fan. I had a sip and we agreed that it tastes like a bad version of nothing. Purchase? Ha
Australis Eyeshadow Primer – I cleaned out the last holdout from my big makeup cleanout which was mascaras/eyeliners/eye makeup, and a few things which had considerable use got thrown in the empties bag. Australis do some good stuff, but this eyeshadow primer is crap. It’s totally pointless, does nothing for longevity, has no grip to it, it’s just a flop. Repurchase? No. Even the Essence primer is better.
Rimmel Wonder’Full Mascara with Argan Oil Waterproof – I don’t generally dig Rimmel mascaras, with a few completely exceptional exceptions. I bought this one because it looked vaguely like a Rimmel mascara in a silver tube I had picked up in 2014 when I was in the UK and I was hoping the formula would be similarly amazing, but it wasn’t, and it was underwhelming and I don’t remember it doing much for my lashes and I think it smelled weird and was a pain to get off and kind of clumpy. Repurchase? No
Essence Lash Princess Mascara– I remember next to nothing about this mascara other than the fact that for how cheap it was, it was pretty decent. Not good enough that I’d pass up on other, nicer drugstore mascaras for it, but if I was ever in a really tight bind and needed urgent mascara with less than a tenner, I’d happily go for it in that ultra unrealistic situation. Repurchase? Probably not, but it’s by no means bad.
Rimmel Super Curler Mascara – Speaking of exceptions to the Rimmel mascara thing, I was surprised at how much I enjoyed this one! I don’t remember how I came to own it – did I buy this? Did I receive it? Where did it come from? – but I really enjoyed the curl, volume and definition it gave to my lashes without excessive clumping or any flakiness. I enjoyed it to the point where receiving another tube of it in a subscription box didn’t make me roll my eyes and hand it off to a friend, but keep it as a backup for when this one ran out. Repurchase? I don’t know where I enjoy it enough that I’d rebuy it, but I’m definitely super happy to use my backup tube and decide at the end of that.
Maybelline Full’n’Soft Mascara – I used to non-stop rave about this mascara because it gave the most natural-but-better lashes I had ever seen. I haven’t used it in a long time, so I need to get a new tube and refresh my memory (I do prefer the waterproof for longevity), but I absolutely loved this mascara and I hope it stands up to my memories. Repurchase? The waterproof version, absolutely.
Maybelline Master Precise Liquid Liner – This liquid liner is great for precision and if you’re on a budget, but the truth of the matter is that now I’ve gone Kat Von D, I can’t go back. This one dries out so quickly, and it ends up being much more expensive to just keep buying it than to splash out the $30 once every 5 months or so for the other one. Repurchase? Not anymore, but it used to be my favourite.
Maybelline Hyper Sharp Liquid Liner – The shape wasn’t my favourite, and I couldn’t get the same precision as with the Master Precise. Repurchase? No
L’oreal Super Liner Perfect Slim – Of the non-Kat Von D liquid liners, this is my favourite. It lasts longer than the other Priceline liners (I get a good three or four months use) and the felt tip is long and thin so it’s easy to maneuver. Repurchase? Maybe
Phew. Alright, sample time.
Swisspers Make Up Pads – I talk about make up rounds every month but the basics of it are that my favourites are from Target, and I use these when I can’t be bothered to get my ass to Target. Repurchase? When I run out of Target ones, probably, because I am lazy.
Sasy N Savy Peppermint N Rosemary Bath N Shower Gel – I received this in the June Lust Have It bag, and though it had a lovely aroma, I was nonplussed by it and all of its Ns. I took it on my weekend in the Hunter Valley, which was a bad mistake, because it was fucking freezing and a pepperminty shower gel really just emphasised that. It’s a gel consistency, and my skin felt really dry afterwards, but it could have been the cold. Purchase? No
Urban Decay Perversion Mascara – Little baby size of a mascara that is more money than I would spend on a mascara, and honestly, I was very underwhelmed by this. The actual effect it gave was nice enough – full, thick lashes – but it’s the flakiest mascara I’ve ever used. I know they have a specific mascara primer, but I don’t believe it should be necessary for a mascara to be usable. Purchase? No
Kate Somerville Eradikate in a Snap – With essentially the same concept as a Mario Badescu Drying Lotion or one of those dual phase spot treatments that never really worked for me, the most recent Mecca Beauty Loop box came with one of these cotton buds. One. A single use. You snap it and the product dispenses and you can put it on a few spots and that’s that. It’s a stingy sample and I have no idea if it’s any good, but I’m guessing it’s pretty useless because these treatments never work for me and I have never had any luck with a Kate Somerville product. Purchase? No
Fortune Cookie Soap Company Whipped Creams in We’re All Mad Here and Reflection – Bunch of little whipped cream samples came with my last order. Strongly dislike the formula – way too thick and balls up on the skin, makes me feel sticky. I preferred We’re All Mad Here and Reflection was a little too floral but that’s all I remember. Purchase? No
Paula’s Choice Skin Balancing Super Antioxidant Concentrate Serum (Oily/Combination Skin) – I’m sure this serum is fine, but it totally solidified in its sachet. Nah. Purchase? No
Fortune Cookie Soap Company Steam Me Up Scotty in Serenity – I use these on nights when I’m stressed and exhausted and about to get straight into bed. This one fills the shower with lavender and I love it, but it’s too expensive to use regularly. Repurchase? When I’ve finished my other two, probably.
Paula’s Choice Skin Recovery Cream Cleanser – This is fine. It hurt my eyes. Eh. Purchase? No
Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Facial Cleansing Oil – I liked this as a cleansing oil, and I like the Cocoa Butter smell. It didn’t blow me away, and it didn’t really get at my waterproof eye makeup. Purchase? No
Avon Nutra Effects Night Cream – Eugh, Avon, eugh, natural marketing. Purchase? No
And a little segment just for Body Shop samples/delux sized, because there’s always so many. A couple of yet-to-be-launched products in here too, which is a little sneaky, but I figure it’s game to share because reviews have started hitting the international market.
Aloe Day and Night creams – I use the night cream religiously and I love it. It’s gentle, not active, doesn’t mess with anything else, and just crams in come hydration. For the day cream, the same goes, but I prefer something with a lighter texture – I’ve been using the Drops of Youth one for quite a while, and I kind of love it. I used these little travel pots up over quite a length of hospitalisations and weekend trips, and they came as a part of a mini set but it is no longer sold in Australia. Repurchase? Definitely on the night cream, and maybe if my skin is irritated and I need a simple cream for daytime, maybe that.
Italian Summer Fig EDT – I love this perfume (I own a full bottle that I got as a gift) and so I like getting little vials, like I received in one of my subscription boxes. It’s only enough for a few uses, but it’s handy for the handbag. Purchase? I have more than enough perfumes, but this is a fresh-woody-fruity blend and I own it already.
Masks! We don’t have samples of the two I actually want to try – the Acai and the Ginseng – but the packaging is gorgeous and they’re an exciting launch.
Himalayan Charcoal Face Mask – To match the body mask, which is a little too inconvenient for me, this is a standard put-on-and-wait-til-it-dries face mask. It’s too intense for me – if I did it again I would only use it on my forehead – because it’s got the clay and the exfoliating factor, but it would be nice if you like something that is intensely exfoliating while “detoxing” in the extent that detoxing is at all a thing. Purchase? Probably not, as it’s too intense for me
British Rose Face Mask – I’ve never really been one for softer masks because they rarely give me effects I couldn’t get from a moisturiser (I like the Sukin one I have, but I was underwhelmed by the Glamglow and some others). I did actually really enjoy this – it has a gel texture, and it smells like roses, which isn’t usually my thing, but it manages to be simultaneously refreshing and hydrating. I couldn’t care less about the firming claims, though, so I can’t say to have tested them. Purchase? Maybe, but I’ll try the others first
Ethiopian Honey Face Mask – I loved how this mask felt on my skin – super hydrating and somehow also cleansing – but I can’t get past.the smell. I’m sure it’s just the raw honey smell, but holy shit, this smells kind of baby vomit to me. Some people are going to love this, though. Purchase? No.
Instaglow CC Creams in Peachy Glow and Bright Glow – I tried these out just because they were brand new, but they just weren’t for me. They provide next to no coverage, which makes sense for a CC cream, but they’re probably best for people who already have perfect skin. They’re also very glowy, which isn’t really my aesthetic. I like them in small doses – I’ve been using the Warm Glow one as a liquid bronzer, and I like using them mixed in with foundations, but for me, I wouldn’t get enough out of them to buy a full size. Purchase? No
Pomegranate Softening Face Wash – I’ve been using the same face wash for ages, so I’ve been trying a bunch of new ones out of curiosity but none of them quite measure up. This one is lovely, smells good, not drying at all, but it’s a little too much for me. I prefer my unscented, less lathery cream cleanser. Purchase? No
Tea Tree 3-In-1 Wash.Scrub.Mask – This is another new launch, but a bigger hit than the CC creams for me. Way too intense for me to use as a wash, and honestly, I probably wouldn’t recommend it as a wash for anyone because too much manual exfoliation is rarely good, but as an occasion scrub this is lovely. It’s more intense than the OG tea tree scrub (which is my favourite face scrub because it’s super cleansing but still gentle), but it’s nice for something different. It worked alright as a mask too, but it took quite a while to dry. Purchase? Maybe, when I run out of my existing scrubs
Vitamin C Microdermabraision – This is such a popular product, and it’s loved by so many people, and I just wanted to make sure it was still too intense for me. Yep, still too much. Way too much. If you like a super intensive physical exfoliant that isn’t as broad and actively scratchy as a St Ives scrub, this is a good option, but for me, it’s a no go zone. Purchase? No
Finally we’re through! A little overwhelming for me as well. Will it slow down? Probably not.