May Empties and Reviews

Short and sweet this month. I made considerable dents in a lot of products, but didn’t flat out finish much. Three days into June and my bag of empty things will runneth over. But as for these few products:

The Body Shop Pinita Colada Shower Gel – I’ve gone through bottles of this – I stocked up when it came out, and then again when it was on sale to get through the rest of the units. It’s summer in a bottle. If you live somewhere that this is being brought back as the summer limited edition scent, I’d highly recommend it – in Australia, it’s winter, and we’re getting raspberry, and cocoa butter. Repurchase? If/when it comes back, I’ll probably buy another bottle. I have enough shower gel to last a lifetime.

The Body Shop Virgin Mojito Body Scrub – Speaking of long lost limited editions that are being brought back in some places as summer scents! Virgin Mojito is my favourite scent TBS have ever done, and so I used the body scrub in spite of it totally not being my thing. I like my scrubs a little more abrasive than this, and this is one of the most gentle scrubs that’s come around – it’s like the Fuji Green Tea, to compare a permanent one. I used it more as a gently exfoliating body wash, to get my Virgin Mojito fix. Repurchase? Not the scrub, but if the shower gel comes back I will bulk buy it like a doomsday prepper.

Sephora Daily Makeup Brush Cleanser – This was good for spot cleaning brushes without smelling too offensive. I don’t think it’s still available in Australia? Sephora US has a different version. Repurchase? I need something for convenient spot cleaning, but I’ll take whatever I can find.

Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Moisture Rich Night Cream – This came in my Autumn Marie Claire Parcel (I’m saddened that there will only be one more Parcel!) and I really enjoyed it but it was probably a bit too heavy for my skin – I felt like I was breaking out more than usual when I was trialing it. It was a great sample, though, and lasted a good amount of time. If I was drier and less prone to breaking out, sure. Purchase? No.

The Body Shop Felt Tip Eyeliner – This is my day to day liner when I’m not going more graphic and using my holy grail Kat Von D Tattoo Liner. My full thoughts are in another empties post! Basically: I need more flexibility and a brush for true love, but this is nice and precise and opaque. Repurchase? Yes.

Christophe Robin Regenerating Mask – This came in a hair mask pack that I picked up in my USA haul,  and it was probably my favourite of the ones I’ve tried so far. It smelled really nice and it made my hair lovely and soft, so of course it’s $71USD. I’ve got one or two masks left to try, and have been surprisingly happy with that purchase despite not really being a hair mask girl. Who knew? Purchase? At that price? That money will probably just go to destroying my hair further with bleach and blue dye.

Poesie Perfume Tuff Baby – I actually got this in the Reddit indie makeup exchange ages ago! I have since drifted away largely from indie makeup – I like to be able to swatch – and the community, because it is unhelpful to my own disposition towards compulsive consumerism in my manic periods. I’m glad I got to try this perfume, though, which was lovely – towards the end, I accidentally spilled a bunch of it on myself one night, and got so many compliments on how lovely it was. It smells like watermelon lollies, a splash of lime juice, and a kick of ginger. It’s delicious. I should dig into my indie perfume sample box more often. Purchase? You know, if I didn’t have three million perfumes, I might. The fact that they do roll ons is an even more enticing prospect.

Too Faced Lip Insurance Primer – This was fine, but I take pretty good care of my lips and there were very few lipsticks that I found it made a difference with. The rare exception to this was Mac’s Ruby Woo – a lip primer under that bastard of a lipstick makes a world of difference, it turns out. I ended up using it almost exclusively with that. Purchase? It’s not worth owning just so that Ruby Woo goes on nicely, to be honest. I’m sure I can find a better, cheaper alternative.

November/December Empties (Or: Too Much Junk)

I was away over the end of November and so this stack of garbage built up and my god, there’s a lot. I’m also in a pretty rubbish mood because New Year’s Eve is famously a trash night designed to be filled with disappointment and make me feel inferior, so let’s get this show on the road. Yikes.

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Aveeno Skin Relief Moisturising Cream (Skin Cooling Effect) – This big tub lasted for an extraordinarily long time, because it’s mainly a cream I use when my skin is irritated in warmer weather. The cooling effect is quite nice, not too extreme, but definitely noticeable. It’s great when I’m amidst heat rash or other kinds of grossness. Repurchase? Maybe, when I have a few less moisturisers

Lush Bubbly Shower Gel – There’s usually one Christmas shower gel from Lush that I really gravitate towards (RIP Glogg, Hot Toddy, Ponche), but this year I was kind of underwhelmed. I also am starting to find the formula more and more drying? Maybe my skin is getting used to the time off. I bought Bubbly just to get it, and it was way too one-note for me, just straight up citrus. Also, Lush shower gels are…not cheap. I’ll still buy limited editions, but I’d rather they just brought back Glogg. Repurchase? No.

Bath and Body Works Pretty as a Peach Foaming Scrub – Loved the formula of this, am kind of hooked and wish I bought more because I feel like it’s really easy to go through quickly, which was a major downside. It’s also not super intense, and I do feel like I need a bit more sometimes. I wasn’t a huge fan of the scent – the peach was a bit perfumey – but I like the way it foamed and spread and exfoliated. Repurchase? In other scents, if the only Bath and Body Works wasn’t at the airport.

Bath and Body Works Frosted Coconut Snowball Shower Gel – I needed a little shower gel for Hawaii and this was the summeriest Christmas smell I’d ever come across. It’s a really lovely one and I’m definitely a fan. The bottle also lasted for a decent amount of time. Repurchase? If it were available to me in full size easily and I ever needed shower gel, sure.

Herbal Essences Moroccan My Shine Conditioner – I have no comments on this conditioner, which was fine and worked for travel. My hair eats up shampoo and conditioner, it turns out. Repurchase? Not particularly

OGX Coconut Milk Shampoo and Conditioner – These were also fine and worked okay, but I similarly went through them very quickly in Hawaii where I was washing my hair very frequently. On the bright side, these smelt amazing. Repurchase? Maybe for shorter, less swimmy travel stints.

Bath and Body Works True Blue Mini Foot Butter – Needed some foot cream abroad, where my feet were garbage and dry and gross. This worked fine, nothing spectacular. Smelt nice. Repurchase? If it was necessary and the nearest available foot cream

Dermal Heel Balm Platinum – Another mini foot cream. I swear I have normal feet. This was from a subscription, and it was actually pretty good. I preferred this to the B&BW one. Still not a miracle worker for travel torn feet, but good. Purchase? Maybe

Ouai Treatment Masque – From the Sephora Favourites box of hair treatments, because my hair was another thing that took a real beating from sun and sea water and constant washing. This one was pretty nice, not my favourite that I used, but it smelt good and my hair felt soft afterwards. Purchase? No

Nip + Fab Glycolic Fix Daily Cleansing Pads – My skin just doesn’t like glycolic acid, it seems. This, pixi glow tonic, Paula’s Choice AHA…it’s just a recipe for breakouts, regardless of how consistently I use them. This was the closest we got to decent. Still, not a step I feel like my skin needs. Purchase? No

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Bobbi Brown Smoky Eye Mascara – Wasn’t a huge fan of this one. It tended to flake a bit on me after a few hours, and it didn’t do anything of exception to my lashes. Purchase? No

Hourglass Mineral Veil Primer – I was not a fan of the sample of this primer I tried long ago, but my decision to splurge on a travel size to take overseas with me was such a a good move and a different experience. I guess now my skin is less congested and covered in breakouts, I appreciate something that just smoothes the skin and boosts foundation. I don’t need the same leveling from a very siliconey primer that I do when I’m going for a full base and when breakouts are bad. Repurchase? Maybe, but I don’t know if I could bring myself to do the full size!

Kat Von D Tattoo Liner in Trooper – I’ve said this a million times, but I love this liner more than any other liner I’ve used. The Physician’s Formula one can’t hold a candle, the Stila one flakes right off – until the day someone else has a brush tip this precise with a formula this black and longlasting, I’ll be using this liner. It’s $30 in Australia, which pisses me off, but mine last for months. I picked up a replacement in a Sephora Favourites set in the US. Repurchase? Obviously.

Rimmel Colour Precise White – This liner dried out after one use. Get absolutely wrecked. Repurchase? Go to hell.

Giorgio Armani Lasting Silk Foundation – Such a good lightweight foundation for medium coverage, easy makeup days. So expensive, such a splurge, and really not a neccessity but…Purchase? If you can justify it? Sure. I bought it for $45USD on a fluke and I do not regret it at all.

Mac Pro Longwear Waterproof Foundation – This stuff sucks on my skin. It never sets and feels sticky and gross and looks inorganic and weird. Purchase? No

This Works Deep Sleep Plus Pillow Spray – This stuff was a little too strong, but I like having something soothing to spray on my pillow before I go to sleep, and the scent blend here is definitely soothing. I prefer the original version, which I’m using right now, because it’s less  intense. Repurchase? Not this version

Sunday Riley Good Genes – This stuff doesn’t smell great and logically, it’s not the most amazing based on ingredients, but my skin is really loves it. Purchase? Already have.

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Simple Kind to Skin Cleansing Wipes – These are the cleansing wipes that I use when I use wipes, and they are good. They don’t hurt and they get stuff off, though I need extra to get off heavy duty eye makeup and I would avoid overusing makeup wipes where possible because they rarely get it all off. Repurchase? Always

Lush Fireside Soap – Where I hated the last Lush Christmas soap I had, this one smells much more my style. Very spicy, wintery, clovey. I love it. I don’t use these soaps for much other than my hands, but my family complain that they don’t lather much. Repurchase? Probably

Bumble and Bumble Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil Balm-to-Oil Pre-Shampoo Masque – Really liked how this one from the Sephora set made my hair feel, but it was a pain to use and difficult to saturate my hair with, considering how much hair I have. Purchase? No

Those are just some cotton rounds from rite aid and I didn’t like them at all, one side didn’t absorb any product and the other was “exfoliating” but actually crap.

Daiso Cotton Puff – I liked these but I went through them pretty quickly. You get 180 for about $2.80, though, which is a great price. Repurchase? Sure

CLab &  Co Coffee Scrub with Coconut – I actually really liked this, in spite of the coffee smell – I hate coffee. That said, it made my skin really smooth. It was incredibly messy, though, which was irritating – because it has no real oil base to it or any kind of viscosity, it just falls around everywhere. Purchase? No, but I did enjoy it.

And now, Body Shop stuff. Yeah.

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The Body Shop Aloe Vera Calming Cream Cleanser – This is my go to cleanser, and I’ve been using it for years. I go through it quicker now, because my sister has decided that she loves it as well. It’s non irritating, doesn’t dry out my skin (I use it in the shower, even though it’s designed to be used on dry skin), doesn’t sting my eyes. I use a more intense cleanser if I’m following up an oil makeup remover to double cleanse, but this is my everyday go to. Repurchase? Constantly.

The Body Shop Papaya Shower Gel – A really lovely summery smell. Some places still have it in their sale stock, and while it isn’t my favourite Body Shop smell of all time, it’s definitely a great one. Repurchase? If it comes around again as a limited edition, sure.

The Body Shop Vitamin E Moisture Cream (sample) – This stuff is fine, but I just so much prefer the aloe vera creams. They’re much more soothing. My absolute moisturiser is the Drops of Youth moisturiser, weirdly, which I also finished a tub of but forget to take a photo of – much lighter, but still as moisturising and makes my skin look lovely and feel great. Purchase? No

The Body Shop Tea Tree Facial Wash (sample) – This used to be my jam as a young teenager, but it’s way too intense for me now. Just dries me out. It was nostalgic to revisit it, though. Purchase? No

The Body Shop Fresh Nude Foundation in 024 Hawaiian Macadamia – Man, look at this beat up foundation.  I thought I was developing a form of stockholm syndrome for it when I started to wear it all the time, but it turns out my preferences in foundation have just changed quite a lot in the second half of this year. I really like how natural this is, with medium coverage and a really natural weardown over the day. Repurchase? I already have a new bottle on the go.

The Body Shop Moisture Foundation in 06 – This is too dark except in summer, but it’s also a formula that my skin hates. It looks so good on so many people, but on me or on people who – in my experience applying it – have any kind of combination, flakiness or oiliness to their skin, it picks up on those things and amplifies them. I also find that instead of wearing down naturally, it gets patchy and cakes over the course of the day. Repurchase? No

The Body Shop Calming Aloe Toner – Even this tiny bottle – no longer available – took several holidays and hospital stays to finish up. It’s a good toner, very basic but soothing. Nice after a non-cream cleanser especially. Repurchase? Can’t get this size any more, but I have a bottle on the go and a backup ready. After that I’ve got a Muji generic toner to try out, which is super affordable and in a huge bottle that would enable me to not buy for months. If that works for me, it would be nice.

The Body Shop Vanilla Chai Shower Gel – This smell from Christmas is incredible, and naturally it sold out almost immediately. If you can find any of this in the remains of the boxing day sale stuff, I’d definitely recommend picking it up, because it smells flat out like a vanilla chai latte and I am the whitest girl that ever did live. I did manage to snag a full size of this, which I’m excited to use up later on in the year. Repurchase? Hey Body Shop, listen to the sales statistics, bring back Vanilla Chai.

The Body Shop Super Volume Mascara – My go to work mascara, does the volume and the curl for me. A little clumpier than some others, like the Divide & Lengthen, but I like the volume and I’ve been enjoying layering it with Benefit’s Roller Lash for separation. Repurchase? Have done.

The Body Shop Skinny Felt Tip Liner – Nice for filling in the line and for day to day stuff, but I wish it was a little more flexible and god, I love brush tips for the wing. I’m so spoilt by the Kat Von D tattoo liner. I still use this liner for everyday stuff, but it dries out quite quickly and it could be blacker and easier to work with, despite being better than a lot of the options I’ve tried. Repurchase? Have done.

Alright! Now I’m off to go and wallow in some misery and loneliness and maybe put some more turquoise in my hair so that my laziness induced regrowth looks more like an intentional balyage.

 

September Empties 2016

Look at my junk! Not too much junk – I went easy on the small stuff this month.

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The Body Shop Fuji Green Tea Shower Gel – I, with the help of my sister, use up a lot of shower gel. This is one of my favourites from the main line up (this and olive) because I like fresh smells. It lathers well and it doesn’t dry out my skin. Repurchase? Come a time when I need more shower gel, sure. I work at the body shop. I have so many shower gels.

The Body Shop Passionfruit Shower Gel – This one was a limited edition pretty recently, and it smelled like passionfruit soft drink. I loved it. It’s long sold out, although it tends to appear occasionally around the world (I believe you can still find it abroad?), but it’s just a nice summery smell. Repurchase? If it was another limited edition, sure.

The Body Shop Matte It Primer – Decent mattifying siliconey primer similar to most dense siliconey primers on the market. I liked it, but I’m 90% certain it’s been discontinued in Australia. Repurchase? It’s not my top pick of the primers available, but it does in a pinch.

Vitafive CPR Always Blonde Conditioner – Finally used up the matching conditioner to the shampoo I finished, and it’s way too expensive for me to ever actually buy it, especially considering my hair is not blonde. I don’t know if my hair was any better or my colour lasted any longer, because I have no means for comparison. Purchase? No

Kat Von D Tattoo Liner in Trooper – My favourite liquid liner around. The brush tip makes for an easy wing, and it’s remarkably arthritis friendly. It’s nice and black too. The one i have now feels a little like a dud – it’s not as opaque – but nearly every one I’ve gone through has been phenomenal, and yes, it’s more precise than its supposed dupes. The inconsistency between batches that I’ve now seen is not fun, I will say. Repurchase? Yes

Fortune Cookie Soap Company Butterbeer Sugar Scrub – This is now the “rum butter” sugar scrub, presumably for copyright reasons. I liked the foaming sugar scrub texture, and it felt nice on the skin, but I went through it quicker than a scrub that would remain the same texture. The smell, though, was beautiful. Repurchase? No

GlamGlow Powermud Dualcleanse Treatment – I first bought this for the impossibility of resisting it, and reviewed it here. It’s a nice mask, hydrating and still clay based, and while I loved it initially…I just don’t need it anymore. I sound like such an ad, but seriously, I talked about the Body Shop Chinese Ginseng and Rice mask over here and that does just as good of a job for me of being hydrating but also clarifying and smoothing. Repurchase? No

eos Lip Balm in Summer Fruit – I hate this lip balm. It’s not finished, but it’s old and gross and nah. It doesn’t actually do much for hydration, the application is clunky, blah. Repurchase? No

Mecca Cosmetica Soft Focus Smoothing Primer – This is a smoothing primer, but weirdly not that siliconey feeling. It didn’t do much to my skin and my makeup didn’t sit well over it. Purchase? No

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Simple Kind To Skin Cleansing Wipes – Fifty second verse, same as the first. These are my favourite cleansing wipes, they don’t irritate my skin and they get stuff off. I still need micellar water or an oil cleanser for my eye makeup, but these are a decent first step on heavy makeup days. Repurchase? Yes

Kleenex Anti Bacterial Wipes – These clean surfaces and hands and they do it well. Repurchase? Sure

Fortune Cookie Soap Company Winter Has Come Bar Soap – This is a good soap. It smells nice and it’s a good size. It’s a nice thing to spend soap box vouchers on. Repurchase? Maybe a different scent for some change

June Jacobs Perfect Pumpkin Peeling Enzyme Mask – Would not recommend this for sensitive skin, I broke out hardcore. I just wanted to try it because it smelled really nice and I am weak.

Fyrinnae Hollywood Sorcery Finishing Powder – A very pretty finishing powder, but took me a long time to use because I prefer my base to be a bit more matte and this has some dimension that makes it more suited to photography. Repurchase? In the future maybe

Avene Tolerence Extreme Creme – Too heavy for me, but not irritating. Didn’t love it. Purchase? No

The Body Shop Polynesian Island Tiare EDT – I love this new fragrance – fresh and sweet and a little touch woody. Frangipani is my favourite floral smell, so this is pretty perfect for me. Purchase? Not anywhere soon – I have a million perfumes – but perhaps in the future

Palmolive Oil Infusions Body Moisturiser – I bitched about not wanted to join the #moisturemoment conversation or whatever it was when I received this in a subscription box, but whining aside, this was a decent moisturiser. The smell was too strong, but it was nice. Purchase? No

The Body Shop Oils of Life Revitalising Eye Creme-Gel – This launches on Monday, and while the tiny jar it comes in is adorable, it’s a little too expensive for me (a person who is too lazy for eye creams). It is nice and light, which I appreciate, because too heavy an eye cream is the worst for me, but it’s also way too “brightening” (aka it contains – glitter) to be my kind of a cream. If I did use eye creams, I would go for this type – light but hydrating – but this is just too exxy for my personal tastes. Purchase? No

It’s been a really tough month, emotionally, and it’s just going to get worse. I’ll try and keep up with posts, because it’s a good distraction. I might fall off a little. It’s rough.

 

 

August Empties 2016

August was a small month! I spent nearly two weeks of it with a mammoth migraine and a chunk of it hospitalised, so it’s not surprising that I wasn’t powering through products. Mostly easy products, samples, travel sizes, or staples.

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Target Essentials Cosmetic Pads – These are my favourite cotton rounds. They’re cheap and they’re so soft and gentle. They last forever because there are so many, and I stock up on them whenever I can be bothered to get to a Target. Repurchase? Yes.

Philosophy 3-in-1 Shower Gel in Christmas Cookie – This is from Christmas 2015 (notice the sale sticker), and it smelt incredible. Almost a more subtle version of their Cinnamon shower gel, which I’ve used before. I only use this as a shower gel, but the bottle sucks – it’s nearly impossible to squeeze – and I find it mildly drying. Repurchase? I generally pick up one of the Christmas ones on sale, but they’re so expensive full price.

The Body Shop Tea Tree Squeaky Clean Scrub – I love this scrub and have used it for ages, and I’m so glad they reformulated it last year without microbeads (and the new packaging is nice). It’s gentle, but effective. I don’t use manual exfoliation that regularly, but this is great when I do. Repurchase? Already have.

Maybelline Lash Sensational Mascara – This was fine, but nothing special. Gave some length, some definition, some volume, but it wasn’t exceptional in any area. Repurchase? Probably not.

The Body Shop Blueberry Body Scrub – Found this sitting around from last year’s limited edition blueberry range! It smelt delicious – exactly like blueberry jam (and it looked like it as well) – and it was pretty intense, thanks to the combination of seeds and crushed nuts. It was almost a bit too abrasive – I prefer my scrubs based on sugar or sat or even just nuts – and I prefer non-gel scrubs, because they can be a little drying and I go through them way too quickly. Repurchase? It’s a nice summer scrub, but I’d probably stick to this scent in the shower gel.

The Body Shop Drops of Youth Cream – This day cream is nowhere near marketed to me, but I love the hell out of it. As in, I finished it up a few days before the end of the month (and my sister has been stealing it), and using other creams up has been genuinely upsetting for me. Somehow the combination of light, but still there, hydration with that lil bit of salicylic acid and aloe vera for soothing is just the dream team for my skin. It sinks in quickly and doesn’t impact how my makeup sits. It’s just a nice cream. It’s not cheap, but I’ve had this since it launched and it lasted for ages until my sister started stealing it (and is now making me buy it for her as well). Repurchase? About to

Paula’s Choice BHA 2% Perfecting Liquid – I really liked this product, and actually bought the full size. I don’t care about the Paula’s Choice brand devotion, but I just need something chemical to help with the dead skin build up around my forehead. This packaging sucks, though. I thought I’d keep it for travel, but it’s useless and it leaks everywhere the second you turn it on its side. Repurchase? I bought the full size.

The Body Shop Calming Aloe Cleanser – I finished using this up just outside the shower when I get back from the Hunter Valley, so at the beginning of this month. It’s just a tiny size of my favourite cleanser, which I’ve used up time and time again. Repurchase? You can’t get the minis anymore, but I always have a backup of the big one ready to go.

Brite Organix Coconut Masque for Coloured Hair – This hair mask was awesome. I’m going to say I’d use it once every two weeks instead of the once a week I did, but it made my hair so soft and lovely. My colour is a little too far along to be salvageable, but I’d definitely try another one of their masks, maybe the one for frizzy hair, or I’d use this again when I get my hair redone. Repurchase? Eventually

Small stuff and samples! What a small amount of stuff. How unsatisfying.

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Josie Maran Argan Enlightenment Luminiser – This is all dried out, but I used about half the sachet. It’s way too liquidy for me, and the reflects are too large for me to enjoy it. I much prefer my highlights in powder form. Purchase? No

Macadamia Natural Oil Luxurious Oil Treatment – I hate the smell of this and it didn’t do anything for my hair – I put it in the ends, where’s been bleached and dyed and mistreated badly. I don’t get the hype. Purchase? No

Korres Wild Rose Face and Eye Serum – The scent of this was so strong that I couldn’t stomach it for a second use. It’s okay, because I didn’t think much of it. It didn’t feel particularly nice, made me a bit greasy. Purchase? No

Paula’s Choice Shine Stopper Primer – Um. Not for me. I hated this. It was way too mattifying at first, difficult to apply (a la the Becca mattifying primer, but not to that extreme), not super effective in the long haul, and because my biggest issues are textural, I prefer something with more smoothing benefits. Purchase? No

Fortune Cookie Soap Company Tangle in the Tinsel Lip Scrub – Loved this, favourite lip scrub I’ve ever used. Tasted amazing (had to stop myself just straight up licking it off) –  sweet with a little cola candy taste – and a really nice fine granule that doesn’t scratch the lip. Repurchase? These are basically what I use the vouchers from my Fortune Cookie Soap Boxes on. I’ve got the Cupcake on right now.

Mecca Cosmetica Hydrating Primer – This is fine, I guess. It feels like the Laura Mercier hydrating primer, which I was also totally meh on. I don’t really need a hydrating primer. Purchase? No

Bare Minerals Clay Chameleon Transforming Purifying Cleanser – Because I’ve been using the same cleanser for so long, I sometimes want to try other cleansers. This one was fine, but a bit drying. Didn’t really do much. Didn’t take off my makeup. Purchase? No

Glamglow Thirstymud Mask – This is literally just a moisture mask, except it’s got the patented GlamGlow bullshit pseudoscience to go along with it. It’s moisturising, but it’s boring. Purchase? No

Avene Gentle Milk Cleanser – I used this up in hospital, and it was fine. I was hoping it would be equivalent to my Aloe cleanser, but it’s not as moisturising and it made me feel sticky. Purchase? No

Baimeni Hyaluronic Eye and Face Serum – This was light, and it was hydrating, fast-absorbing, and I really like it. I just got another sample in my Lust Have It bag this month, and I’m looking forward to finishing this up. Purchase? Maybe one day? I have so many serums

The Body Shop Amazonian Acai Energising Radiance Mask – A nice exfoliating gel mask, a good option for lighter exfoliation and it does feel nice and brightening. I didn’t love it as much as I wanted to, just because I felt a little bit red afterwards. Purchase? Not as this stage

The Body Shop Chinese Ginseng and Rice Clarifying Polishing Mask – Now this one, finally, I love! It feels super intensely scrubby, but it’s not harsh and it doesn’t irritate my skin. It’s got that scrubbiness at the same time as feeling nice and cleansing, as a clay mask, and it leaves my skin looking lovely. Purchase? Yes. Tomorrow, when I go into work.

And that’s it! Easy peasy.

July Empties 2016

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

June Empties 2016

June started with a hospitalisation, so I didn’t use up a whole lot of products. Understandably. Then things got underway, and I started churning out my regular quantity of rubbish. Let’s dig in.

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TonyMoly Baby Shine Foot – Because I am a disgusting human, I love these exfoliating foot masks. I like feeling like a snake and shedding the entirety of the skin on my feet. After hospital my feet were a mess, and it was time for another go at one of these. This is a cheaper option than the $30 Milky Foot you get at Chemist’s Warehouse, and more expensive than the Softsole one by 1000Hours that I used last time, but I don’t think it works quite as well. Repurchase? I’d probably try and track down the cheaper 1000Hours option.

Ecoya Coconut and Elderflower Soap – This is a nice, creamy soap that I got as a gift a while ago.  It smells beautiful and fancy and it isn’t over-drying. Purchase? No

The Body Shop Quiet Night Mist – This is the exact same thing as the Deep Sleep mist (why did they rename it? Don’t ask me) and it is, I must admit, a beautiful camomile/date herbal blend with a lavender feel that definitely throws out a soothing vibe. It’s discontinued internationally, but Australia is going to keep carrying it for a while, so if you like it, definitely pick it up. Repurchase? Probably not – I just spray whatever I’m feeling onto my sheets. At the moment, it’s a ginger/sandalwood blend.

The Body Shop Calming Aloe Cleanser – I talk about this cleanser about every second empties post because I keep using it up? It’s nice and simple and soothing and it doesn’t mess my skin up. They’ve just changed the packaging and I’m sussing out the formula. Repurchase? Yeah. Assuming the formula is similar and it still works the same, I’ll probably keep at it for a considerable amount of time.

The Body Shop Early Harvest Raspberry Shower Gel – This smelled exactly like raspberry jam and it was pretty lovely, but towards the end, I did start tiring of it. I’m just not a berry person as much as I am a cinnamon and sweet stuff person. Repurchase? If it comes back, I’m sure I will.

The Body Shop Glazed Apple Sugar Scrub – I love the smell of this, and I liked the texture at first, but after a while I got some water in it and it just turned sludgy (that’ll happen). It wasn’t rough enough for me, but god, that smell. Repurchase? I have the body butter in this scent somewhere tucked away. I’d buy something else in it, but probably not the scrub – as a personal preference, I like my scrubs rough.

The Body Shop Hemp Foot Protector – Until I find a better foot cream, I’ll keep using this. It does the job, and keeps my feet soft. It doesn’t smell sweet – it’s earthy and a little spicy – but it lasts a good while and my feet need it. Repurchase? Already have

Lush Volcano Foot Mask – Been hacking away at this for months. I love the smell – spicy and sweet – but it just doesn’t do anything for me. It’s also a pain in the ass to use, because you get the stuff everywhere. I liked it the first time, but after that…nothing. Repurchase? No. But it was my fifth black pot, so time for a face mask.

Rexona Deodorant – Why do I put deodorant into these? It’s a deodorant and it worked. Repurchase? Sure.

NYX Lipliner in Sienna – I love this colour – a rusty red – and the formula on this is nicer than the dark red I use sometimes from NYX. It’s pretty and affordable and not the creamiest lipliner, but it does its job. Repurchase? NYX stands are rarely stocked up at Target, but they’re apparently moving to Priceline in the next couple of months so I’ll happily pick this up then.

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Kleenex Anti Bacterial Wipes – I use these up every month to clean my hands and get makeup off of stuff.They do their job well and I buy them in bulk. Repurchase? Already have.

Neutrogena Makeup Remover Cleansing Wipes – I liked these quite a lot, the ones from my Lust Have It bag this month. I don’t love them more than my Simple wipes, though. They weren’t quite as effective at getting off my makeup. Purchase? No. Maybe? Probably not.

Simple Kind to Skin Cleansing Wipes – These get my makeup off really well and they don’t irritate my skin, so it’s a win-win situation for me. I’ve run out of stuff to say. Repurchase? Already have.

And some samples/deluxe sample sized things!

Ole Henriksen Sheer Transformation Cream – This little cream was fine. It didn’t do anything special. It was light, but left me feeling a little greasier than I prefer. I bought the little trio of Ole Henriksen products, and at least I could use this one. The Truth Serum – the bestseller – I had to give away. Purchase? No

Ole Henriksen Invigorating Night Treatment – This was probably my favourite of the three products in the trio. I couldn’t use too much of it – it irritated me if I did – but when I used a tiny bit, I did feel that my skin looked lovely and glowy and smooth for the duration of the product use. I don’t think I liked it enough to buy it, but it was nice. Purchase? No

Clinique Even Better Makeup Foundation (Alabastor) – I might have found my next foundation, if I’m honest with you. I was not expecting to love this, and actually had no intention of trying it, but the girl at Mecca showed it to me and it just…worked. It’s not the full coverage I usually go for, but when my skin is semi-decent, this gives medium-buildable coverage and looks gorgeous. It just looks lovely. I don’t know. I might get another sample – I like to try twice before I commit. Purchase? Maybe

Origins Original Skin Rose Clay Mask – I liked this mask – it was gentle, but still did its job of being a mask. I felt refreshed afterwards, but I didn’t feel like it really did its job in terms of purifying or smoothing the skin. Like – my skin felt nice, but it just felt the same. You know? Purchase? No.

Soak Superfood Skin Booster Body Lotion – This was just a body lotion, and it was too lightweight and slippy and blah to really do much of anything. I wasn’t keen on it. Purchase? No

First Aid Beauty Daily Moisturiser (???) – Whatever this product is, they don’t make it anymore and it smells funny, so it’s going in the bin. I remember it being fine, I guess? I don’t know. Repurchase? Ha

Rituals Cosmetics Fortune Oil – This is a shower oil and it is actually gorgeous, although I am well and truly set for shower gels for life. This was fun for a week, though, and really luxurious while I was in hospital and my skin was disgusting and dry, and I liked the orange and cedar smell. Purchase? Most likely not.

Mac Prep and Prime – One of the primers that has been around since the beginning, but I was kind of disappointed by it. It didn’t make my makeup wear particularly well on skin, and it didn’t smooth it out much. It also had a really weird fine shimmer to it (?) so I would see the occasional speck of tiny glitter on my face, and I am not a fan of that. Purchase? No

Derma E Charcoal 2-in-1 Purifying Scrub – Got this in a Bellabox and yikes, it is WAY too intense for my skin. I used it mostly on my shoulder grossness, which I had a couple of this month in response to hospital messing my skin up, and on my forehead (the most resilient part of my face). Purchase? No

L’occitane Immortelle Divine Cream – I was already prepared to be doubtful about L’occitane facial care, because their bodycare is expensive enough, but this cream is apparently $145?!?!?! I am even more disappointed in my experience with it now – it made my face weirdly itchy. Maybe if it was more relevant to my skin concerns? I don’t know, man, $145 for a face cream that isn’t even really from a prestige brand seems a little bizarre to me, but you do you. Purchase? Hahahahahahaha.

Laneige Water Bank Serum – This was a fine serum, but I don’t think it did anything particularly special or felt particularly nice. Serums are hard to tell in sachet form. Purchase? No

Kate Somerville Goat Milk Cream – Why do I keep trying Kate Somerville products and hoping that they’ll work for me? This supposedly super gentle cream felt greasy and broke me out on my jawline. Grr. Curse you, Kate Somerville. Purchase? No

That’s that!

I was surprisingly brief, and I don’t know what’s got into me.

May Empties 2016

I love writing about stuff that I’ve used up because it encourages me to actually use things up instead of hoarding and never getting through product, and also because I find it’s the best way of finding out what people think about products. I have been battling vestibular migraine for about four days now, so I haven’t got my writing mojo going, but this is giving me something to distract myself with, so let’s have at it.

Full sizes

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Fortune Cookie Soap Guardian of the Forest – This smells like three thousand different kinds of flowers and it’s just way too much. These soaps don’t stand up to shower use – they fall apart really easily – so I use them as hand soaps. Purchase? I would never buy these shaped soaps, but I like their normal bar soaps. This smell, though? Nope.

Lush Reindeer Rock Soap – This is a lovely smelling berry soap that I had left over from Christmas. It’s nice, not incredible, but really nice. Repurchase? If it came back for Christmas? Sure. I’m a sucker for Lush soaps.

Lush Egg Snog lip balm – Why did I buy this lip balm? It smells delicious and cinnamon-y but I never finish these lip balms and I hate lip balm pots and eugh. I was lured in by the good smell. Repurchase? Why did I buy it in the first place?

Fortune Cookie Soap Candy Fluff lip scrub – Oh my god this lip scrub is beautiful. I wish it didn’t have the too-chunky bits of candy cane at the top, because they’re too harsh on the lips,  but the rest of this is super finely milled and it makes the lips feel lovely and I love minty flavour/smell. Bring it back, FCS. Repurchase? If I could, hell yes.

The Body Shop Calming Aloe Toner – I have sensitive skin and sometimes cleansing leaves my skin a little exhausted and so I need a toner, and this one is unscented and non-drying. It’s super simple, and if you don’t use a toner then just ignore it, but I love it. Repurchase? Yes, and I have.

Philosophy Melon Daiquiri Shower Gel – I finally finished the last shower gel from my Christmas 2014 trio! And despite what I was expecting, this was my favourite. It smelt like watermelon lollies. I loved it. Really summery, and one of the only shower gel formulas that doesn’t dry me out. Repurchase? If it was available individually. Now to start on my christmas 2015 shower gel.

The Body Shop Virgin Mojito Shower Gel – The Body Shop messed up by making this limited edition. This scent is the best thing in the world. I’m so bummed that I’ve finished the last of my shower gels and I keep being tempted to buy the $40 buckets with all of the products in, just so I can get the shower gel. Repurchase? I wish, I wish, I wish.

The Body Shop Drops of Youth Concentrate – Look, I’m as dubious as to the actual scientific benefits of the “stem cell technology” claims this concentrate boasts as you are, and I work at The Body Shop. That said, this stuff makes my skin feel amazing. It’s hydration and a boost without greasiness or stickiness, and really, that’s my main concern. What matters to me is that it makes my skin look and feel good. Repurchase? Already have.

The Body Shop Tea Tree Blemish Lotion – Yeah, I loved this when I was 13, but it’s time for this tube to go. It’s way too light for my combo-dry skin, and I tend to react to anything too strong in salicylic acid or tea tree left on the skin. It’s just not for me. Repurchase? No

Old Spice Classic Anti Antiperspirant – This stuff works, but it smells too much like man and I just could not get through it. Repurchase? No.

Physiogel Daily Moisturising Therapy – My sister and I both love this stuff when we’re rash-y and gross, and winter isn’t kind to our skin. I was frustrated to learn that it’s not sold at Priceline anymore, which means it won’t be easy to purchase. Repurchase? I don’t want to get it online, so probably not.

Dove Original Deodorant – Now this is more like it. It’s a deodorant, it doesn’t smell gross, and it does the job. Repurchase? Every time.

Kleenex Anti Bacterial Wipes – They keep my hands and my desk clean so I don’t get foundation over every single thing I touch. Repurchase? Yeah.

Swisspers Cotton Rounds – They’re not my favourite – they’re not super soft – but they get the job done. Repurchase? In times of necessity.

I do not know where this makeup brush is from and I do not want to talk about it.

Max Factor Masterpiece Max Mascara – This is such a nice mascara. It gives volume, length, drama, a little definition, and it does it in one coat. It’s super pretty, and I have Bellabox to thank for that. Bellabox, you did well one time. Repurchase? If I ever need mascara again, I’d consider it.

Kat Von D Tattoo Liner in Trooper – This liner is the easiest thing to do winged liner with when my arthritis is flaring up, and in the winter I cannot live without it. As soon as this dried up – it takes about six months for me, as opposed to two months for my Body Shop one or the Maybelline Master Precise – I have to rebuy it. It goes on beautiful and black and it’s just amazing – but for the sake of fairness, I hate the Stila liner that a lot of people love. Repurchase? Already have, in the Sephora black card 20% off sale.

And now, for the other stuff.

Samples/Deluxe Sized:

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Wotnot Facial Wipes for Normal/Sensitive Skin – These were nice, and I loved how nice and big they were, but they were way too fancy for me to use as facial wipes, and they weren’t that great at removing eye makeup. Simple face wipes still have my heart. Purchase? No

It Cosmetics Bye Bye Undereye Concealer in Medium – These samples lasted a good month each, and I ended up falling in love. Such great coverage, and a tiny bit goes such a long way. You definitely need to set it, but I don’t mind that considering the wear time I get out of it and how little it cakes on pimples or the undereye area. Purchase? Ended up buying it in that Sephora sale as well, for 20% off.

Josie Maran Argan Milk Josie Maran stuff just does not agree with my skin at all. I used some of this and my sister stole the rest, but it broke me out anyway. Purchase? No

Aroma Magic Almond Moisturising Lotion – this product is the kind of thing I talk about when I mention prioritising a “natural” image over functionality. It’s the brand’s choice to make whatever lotion they want, and I’m sure some people loved this in their May bellaboxes, but for me it was everything that irritates me in a lotion – way too light to properly hydrate but still greasy feeling, and way too heavy on certain essential oils making it unusable on my danger regions (my arms, thighs and chest are way more sensitive than the rest of my body). I used this up to use it up. Purchase? No.

Fortune Cookie Soap Company Intervention Whipped Cream – when I got my spring/summer box, this was the item I was most excited about and with good reason. The whipped cream formula is way less frustrating to use in the cooler months, and this one smells like a straight up Malibu and pineapple. I don’t need to buy body moisturiser for at least another year, but I do have a whipped cream to work through. Purchase? In this scent, potentially, depending on if it was still around by the time I end up actually needing moisturiser (probably not).

BareMinerals Complexion Rescue Tinted Moisturiser – Finally finished up this tune from a couple of BeautyLoop boxes back, and it was ok. I don’t generally go for lighter bases – I either just conceal or I go full foundation, so I didn’t find myself reaching for this terribly often. It doesn’t give much coverage (unlike something with more, a la the NARS matte skin tint) but it does even out the skin tone and it has a nice natural finish. I wasn’t a huge fan of the thicker gel texture – if I want a light base, it feels like too much. Purchase? No

L’oreal Nude Magique BB Cream – don’t even talk to me. I wore this around the house because I knew how little I would like it. These magical “universal” shades are bullshit and everyone knows it, and it was a tinted moisturiser, if that. Purchase? No

GlamGlow Powermud Mud-to-Oil Dualcleanse Treatment – I wanted to hate this sample because I objectively hate GlamGlow and their pseudoscience ingredients lists full of bullshit trademarks (claytox? Really?) but I actually really loved how my skin felt after I used it. One test is not enough to conclusively be swayed, but I might try another sample, and then maybe one of the minis they sell at Mecca. Hell, the full size is $100. Purchase? For $100? Never. Could I justify one of the little tubs for a treat? Maybe.

Nars Sheer Glow Foundation in Mont Blanc – this foundation is one of the most widely adored bases online, and it looks beautiful on my skin for one hour. After that, it’s a hot mess. It gets patchy where I’m oily and clings to dryness I didn’t know I had and around spots and loses coverage and it’s just dismal. Purchase? Hell no.

Laura Mercier Hydrating Primer – this was fine, but these hydrating primers really aren’t my bag. I have too much texture in my skin and I need that protective smoothing factor. Purchase? No.

Fyrinnae Pixie Epoxy – after about two years of use I have retired my baby Pixie Epoxy. My big tube is still going strong, but this is the one I would take to friends when doing makeup or allow to get slightly messy of applying over the tops of other things. Pixie Epoxy is a glitter adhesive, and it is legitimate. It will lock onto any shifty shadow, find the beauty hiding, turn it into an eyeliner, you name it. It’s not the most user friendly product by any means – you need to work quickly with it, you can’t blend over it, you have to work out how much time to give it and what shadows don’t mesh with it – but I need to have some around.   Repurchase? I’ve got a big tube on the go.

Nourish Naturals Dry Skin Lotion – a lightweight, undetectably scented  lotion that I used on my arms where I was red and itchy. It was find. Purchase? Maybe if I ever desperately need one of those easy unscented chemist lotions for a sudden hardcore reaction.

Guerlain Super Aqua Creme Day Cream – holy smokes, this was heavily scented. I ended up using most of it on my neck because it was itching on my face. Purchase? Definitely not.

Nivea Q10 Plus Anti Wrinkle Replenishing Pearls – the packaging of this foil sample looked cool but was a pain to use, and the product itself was…fine? I’m totally not the target market. It didn’t feel like it did much at all to my skin, other than feel superficially silicone-y and smoothing. It reminds me a lot of the Body Shop Vitamin C Skin Boost, in that it’s more of a primer, but people use it as a serum? Its marketing, at least in the box I received, was confusing. Purchase? No.

The Face Shop The Therapy Secret-made Anti-aging Eye Cream – it’s an eye cream. It moisturised. I still can’t convince myself to use one. Purchase? No

Indeed Labs Vitamin C24 – I like the primer texture of this vitamin c booster, but I don’t like using it at night – I’d like a vitamin c more akin to the Paula’s Choice one I tried a while back – and I don’t need to increase my sun sensitivity more than medication already has. Think I’ll stick to primer. I am very curious about the science aesthetic of this brand, and I’ve heard a lot of talk about their products, so I’ll keep an eye out. Purchase? No.

We’re finally done!

Sorry I’m posting it so late – in the last week of the month, as I mentioned, another bout of migraine hit. I’m actually finishing this post off in a moment of feeling alive – I’m in hospital. Hopefully it’s a short stay.