July 2017 Empties and Reviews – Light and Late

As I mentioned in my Battle of the Holographic Highlighter Palettes, I’ve been a little more absent than usual. I’ve been spreading the blog love to populating my pop culture review blog, Sara Watches Stuff, and I’m back at university again.

I’ve had a light month on product usage, and I’m later than normal. Any excuse to clear out the garbage that’s populating the corner of my room, right? Let’s talk about it. A lot of things I’ve spoken about before!


The Body Shop Vanilla Chai Shower Gel – I talked about this here and here and it’s still sweet, cinnamony deliciousness. It was back in the recent sale and I picked up three bottles, so more will come. Repurchase? Bring it back.

Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid – Apparently the full size of this took me nearly a full year to finish up! The full size packaging is far superior to the travel size, and religious BHA usage is the only thing that helps to keep my under-the-skin forehead bumpiness at ease. Repurchase? Already have. I am not a huge fan of anything else I’ve tried from Paula’s Choice, but I’ll continue my patronage for this. If you know something better, I’m open to suggestions.

Verb Hydrating Mask – This was fine? It was a moisturising hair mask and my hair did feel really nice and soft. It seems like almost any hair mask will do that for me, though, and this didn’t surprise me as much as the Christophe Robin hair mask did from the same Sephora Favourites pack. Repurchase? Most likely not.

Benefit They’re Real Mascara – I hated this. In a Bite Sized Five review, I said it was lovely when used with a great deal of care – apparently I’m not capable of that level of care. It was awful to remove and I poked myself in the eye exponentially more than usual. Purchase? Absolutely not.

La Roche-Posay Redermic C10 – From the final Marie Claire Parcel, this was a 10% vitamin C treatment that I ended up quite enjoying. La Roche-Posay tends to mesh well with my skin, and this was a good size to test for a couple of weeks. I liked how it felt. Purchase? I don’t think it did enough to justify the cost for me, personally.

The Body Shop All in One Face Base 04 – I’ve also written about this! This is my on-the-go powder. I wear it every day for work. I’m very boring. Repurchase? Have done.


Sephora Collection 10HR Wear Perfection Foundation – This was fine? It was fine. I was not amazed by it, but it did an alright job. It would do if I was desperate for foundation, in a more appropriate shade. It wasn’t anything spectacular? Purchase? No, but I’ll use my abundance of samples.

Simple Kind to Skin Cleansing Wipes – I’ve spoken about these fifteen thousand times. I love them for infrequent first step makeup removal without making my skin weirdly sore. I’ve never tried anything else that I liked, and I’ve tried a lot of things. Repurchase? Yes

Erno Laszlo Cleansing Bar (Sensitive Soothe & Calm) – Why did I even try this? It’s a bar soap for your face, and no matter how suitable for sensitive skin it claimed to be, it did the same thing 95% of cleansers do for me: it dried me out. It was also a pain to store hygienically. Purchase? No

The Body Shop Green Tea Cleansing Hair Scrub x2 – I absolutely loved this weird hair scrub – akin to, say, Lush’s Big shampoo – for easing up some of the big chunks of dry scalp I have and for getting out product build up, but there is a major caveat. This stuff is deep cleansing. When I say “deep”, I’m talking “strip colour from your hair” deep. It would be fine for people with normal hair, I’m sure, but I have bright green hair and all of a sudden the previous blue was everywhere. Purchase? Not in the forseeable future – I value my bright, weird hair colour too much.

Drunk Elephant TLC Framboos Glycolic Night Serum – I wanted to try a couple of samples of this much hyped product before I bought a mini, because I am historically sensitive to AHAs. It didn’t cause a reaction, so I’ve got a mini to give a fair try to. I’m not wowed. Purchase? I bought a small size to test the hype – I’m looking for something that isn’t the Sunday Riley Good Genes – but at this stage, it’s not wowing me.

Son & Park Beauty Water – I’ll cop to not really getting this product. It’s a toner and cleansing water with exfoliating ingredients? Willow bark extract and papaya, to be specific. I used it post-cleansing, and it was fine, but I prefer my regular toning/BHA liquid routine. Purchase? No

Benefit Boi-ing Concealer in 02 – The new boi-ing concealer is nice, but the colour range is pretty dismal. I liked the consistency a lot. It’s creamy but gives decent coverage, would be lovely for undereyes if the shade was right. I would probably be an 01 for under the eyes and an 02 for blemishes, and this seems like it could work on either: sadly I didn’t love it enough to pay more than $30 for one or the other. I’d rather shell out the dollars and re-buy the Tarte Shape Tape that I have somehow misplaced. Purchase? Most likely not.

And we’re done! I’ll keep using up boring products you’ve heard me go one about before. I’m working on a review on my experiences with some products by The Ordinary, and I have a few new-ish products I’m keen to write about. Prepare for all the platitudes.

July Lust Have It 2016 – Unboxing/Review

This bag came on the 29th of July, so it made it in within the month. I spent that day on the drive to a mini family trip to wine country. Basically, my stomach hurts. I drunk a lot and I ate a hell of a lot of cheese. Usually I would have tested these products out in passing, but a few of them got a nice, real life test. Unfortunately, no swatches. We’re in a pickle here.

Not pictured: the black version of the bag – into it

“Hey Sara, you went to a bunch of wineries, why’d you take a photo on some nondescript wood?” Look man, it was an emotionally heavy weekend.

The theme for this bag is “All About Makeup”, which is cute, and it is a makeup heavy bag – three makeup items. Not all about makeup, though, if I were to pick a nit. Also about a couple of other things.


Teeez Cosmetics Desert Metals Mascara (Full size; RRP $32.50 – seems about right with exchange rate) – Now, for me to want to spend $32.50 on a mascara, it would have to do incredible things. This mascara may not be magical, but the packaging is admittedly stunning. It’s also a pretty decent mascara – it gives you some length, some volume, gets right in there and does the job. It’s brown! I don’t own a brown mascara, because my colouring tends to demand intensity (I have blue hair, for heaven’s sake). I would argue that it isn’t easy to wash off, which is their claim, but it didn’t flake or run on me, which outweighs ease of washing it off.

MPrincess Mineral Blush in the shade Strawberry Kisses (Full size; RRP $15.45 although the website says $16.99) – I don’t wear blush, as a rule, so I rolled my eyes at this inclusion. Holy shit, though, this is beautiful. Not only does the name evoke the Nikki Webstar song that defined my girlhood, but the colour is a soft pinky lavender and it blends so wonderfully on the cheeks. It’s one of the few blushes I’ve tried that ends up looking soft and not like I’ve got natural redness/pink coming through. It’s a little overfull, so the sifter is inconvenient, but it’s such a lovely formula.

Marsk Mineral Eyeshadow in the shade Rich List (Full Size; RRP $29 although the website says $22.50) – This could have been a great eyeshadow, despite my general wariness of unfamiliar loose eyeshadow formulas – I trust Fyrinnae, I trust My Pretty Zombie, but what the fuck are Marsk? This eyeshadow is pretty, but sadly it’s just not for me. It’s a total glitterbomb, heavy on the fallout, and a bit of a pain on application.

Essenzza Fuss Free Naturals Masquerade + Moisturise Mask (Full size; RRP $4.95) – This brand sells a strange assortment of goods – sheet masks, face wipes…ear candles? It seems like a pretty basic sheet mask, and it’s not really my thing – especially with the emphasis on moisture, rather than things like smoothing, but I always question the effectiveness of sheet masks for anything other than moisture anyway. The masquerade gimmick is cute.

Glamourflage Saucy Sue Shower Cap (Full size; RRP $7.95?) – This was the “mystery item”, so I have no information on it, but it seems like a pretty standard fake silk shower cap with a pinup-esque print. I don’t use shower caps because I don’t style my hair or really ever do anything, but this is cute anyway and I liked enough other stuff in this bag that I don’t mind.

This bag had more of an emphasis on smaller, high value items, and I liked that. Even though the eyeshadow was a miss for me, the blush and mascara were big successes, so the shower cap and mask whatevers that were chucked in were fine being just that. I do wish the prices given were a little more in line with what things actually retail for, especially when they only sell from one location and are full size items (everything was full size! No bad maths!), but it’s again, a little nit to pick.

Another 3.5/5 for this bag, and most of that is because I really really love that blush. Like, that blush might be the blush that makes me wear blush.

July Bellabox 2016 – Unboxing/Review

Now, these pictures are terrible. These are some of the worst photos that have ever graced my blog. My plan was to retake them in the morning before posting this, but one of the items in the box has already been ripped from me and taken to the depths of my sister’s room, never to be returned. This box answered her prayers. It’s not my favourite box, but she’s over the moon about it. Let’s investigate the contents!

Of course, not including the bits of rubbish that I’m ignoring the HelloFresh “voucher” because as I’ve explained before, they make me angry and Bellabox have given up on even including them on the card. Beyond that, there’s also a $30USD voucher for Sweet & Spark, which is a vintage costume jewellery website. That’s fine, but it’s not a cheap, and I couldn’t really give a toss about costume jewellery. If you’re into that stuff, though, I’m sure you’ll find something nice (and the code is BELLABOX16).

Then there is the actual, usable stuff.


And the card, with all the info (and the theme, which is apparently “Back to basics” – although how a purple eyeshadow fits that, I’m not sure).


Klorane Shampoo and Conditioner with Quinine and B Vitamins (Both retail in full size for $13.95, the shampoo is in a little bottle with two uses but the conditioner is a foil sachet; I gave the shampoo about $1.30 value in my Marie Claire but honestly I’ve had so many of these recently I’m going to cap the combined value at $1, because when you’ve received something for free four times in three months, it starts to lose its perceived value) – I’ve got all these samples building up and I never use them because I’m busy using stuff for my very very coloured hair, or stuff that comes in bottles with more than two uses. My time is worth more than that. I’m sure this stuff is fine? I’ll use it eventually I guess.

Physiogel Daily Moisture Therapy Intensive Cream (100mL full size, RRP for $13.99) – This stuff, which I have used before, is great for easily irritated skin. My sister loves it, and has stolen all of my past tubes of it, and since it stopped being available at Priceline (there’s no Amcal locally) she has been stealing all of my other moisturises. I figured that since this was probably going to end up stolen anyway, I may as well pass it straight over to her, and no sooner was the offer extended she had snatched it up and taken it away. It’s nice to get a full size, and of a product that is basic, but good.

Gosh Mono Eyeshadow (Mine is in Aubergine, RRP is $24.95) – As of right now, Gosh Cosmetics aren’t available in Australia, so I appreciate that this is a little preview of sorts while they secure a stockist. The RRP seems a little high – I’ve tried Gosh while in the UK, and it’s very much a drugstore brand, so singles for $25? If the quality is up there with the Prestige Cosmetics singles, maybe. The colour I got is, obviously, an eggplant purple with a satiny shimmer. It could have swatched smoother, and I wish the purple was a little richer and less brown, but I can see it being quite nice. I can definitely report back on blendability and versatility. Here’s a swatch:


It does actually go on the lids quite nicely, albeit a little muddy when you work with it.

Revo Lip Balms (Mine is Melon Mint, these retail for $4.99) – I like the smell of this, but I’ve had bad experiences with EOS balms and their ilk. This will probably get given to my mum or sister – I prefer more emollient balms, when I do use lip balms – I want things that can really get in there and hydrate overnight or at the beginning of my morning so that when I remove excess product, my lips are totally dry but kept soft. Not my thing.

Baimeni Hydrating Eye and Face Serum with Hyaluronic Acid (Full size is 30mL for $25.00; this lil baby is 3mL so $2.50) – Now this is my kind of thing. Looking at the ingredients list for this is actually really exciting for me – hyaluronic acid is the next ingredient after purified water, and I’ve been wanting to try something rich in HA but not heavy in too much else (though I’m not mad at the inclusions of glycerin, aloe vera, lactic acid, that sort of thing – the ingredients list is pretty nice), and my skin is pretty dry in this miserable weather. I tried it out amongst my nighttime routine, and it’s quite lovely – lightweight, but hydrating. 3mL should give me quite a few uses, especially as the packaging is not a shitty foil sachet.

Palmers Ultra Gentle Facial Cleansing Oil (Listed as a bonus item so ostensibly no value, but I’m pretty happy with the inclusion despite booo foil sachet; full size is 192mL for $14.99) – Sure, it’s a tiny boring sachet, but Palmers products smell nice and I like cleansing oils. This one is nice enough, though a little thicker and, um, oilier than than my favourite cleansing oil options, but it smells nice and it does the job. I can’t use it directly in the eye area, but that’s me with most options. Thankfully this foil sachet is more than one use.


So overall value wise, this rounds out at about $47.50 (not including the voucher-esque content, or the palmers sample), but the content was okay. That’s really what it comes down to. I’m really happy to try out the Baimeni serum, something I wouldn’t have otherwise found, and the Gosh shadow and Physiogel cream are both nice inclusions (though the latter doesn’t end up in my hands). The rest is kind of give or take. It’s, maybe, a 2.5/5 box? I’ve had worse, definitely.

Oh Bellabox. Our relationship is hanging on by a thread. I don’t know what’s going to happen, but I’m hanging in there.