Two Months of Junk – August/September Empties 2017

Despite holding out on this for two months, not a whole lot is going on. I guess that’s a relief? Let’s look at a whole bunch of shower gels!


The Body Shop Early Harvest Raspberry Shower Gel – Good, sweet, smells like jam, doesn’t dry my skin out. I last used one up in June 2016, so this will presumably keep coming round. I’ve become used to this formula and now my skin instantly dries out with any other shower gels. Repurchase? When it comes back, I might pick up one. It’s not an all time favourite, but it’s nice enough.

The Body Shop Pinita Colada Shower Gel – I finally used the last of my sale stash of pinita colada shower gels! I love the Body Shop cocktail smells – this is second to Virgin Mojito in my all time favourites, but it’s up there. Both of them are coming back to Australia this summer, so I’ll probably stock up again, and then my showers can be cocktail scented forever. Confessions of a shower gel hoarder. Repurchase? Absolutely.

The Body Shop Olive Shower Gel – You don’t know what you’ve got til it’s gone. It took me a solid year of Body Shop shower gels before I got into the olive scent, and then I realised that it was actually the best of the main body shop scents. It’s fresh and clean but also a little soft and slightly woody? I love it. Naturally, it’s been discontinued and this was my last bottle. Damn, two months of shower gel usage went a bit wild. Repurchase? If they bring Olive back as a limited edition, I’ll be all over it.

Lush Plum Rain Shower Gel – As I mentioned, my skin has become strangely conditioned to Body Shop shower gels which thankfully don’t dry it out, but nearly everything else seems to make me itch. Lush is a particular offender, as lovely as this one was to sniff (my mum picked it up from the flagship London store). It was so nice smelling, but it made me so squeaky and itchy. What a bummer. I ended up mostly using it on my hands. Repurchase? No

Beautyblender – My original beauty blender finally kicked it! Admittedly, I wasn’t particularly vigilant about giving it any deep cleaning and just rinsed it here and there. Still, it’s about a year old and I used it mostly for cream contouring, so it was getting pretty gunky. I also can’t place which foundation I used it with that resulted in a weird tough chunk in the sponge material that made it a little fiddly to use. I don’t know that these are any better than any mid-range sponges (I haven’t tried the Real Techniques one, for instance), but I did have a backup from some gift set I had in the past. From black to pink I go. I enjoy using good soft sponges like this with thicker, mousse/clay type foundations or ones that are otherwise prone to catching on dry spots or looking mask-like. It makes them look more smooth and less cakey. I don’t like it for full coverage, or for full application – it’s not an everyday thing for me. Repurchase? I like having a good sponge on hand, but when my current Branded Beauty Blender dies, I’d like to try a different (cheaper) kind. These things are grossly expensive.

The Jojoba Company Jojoba Oil – This came in the last ever Marie Claire parcel, and it just would not run out. It’s fine, because it’s a nice oil, but I have an oil I prefer to use which made getting through this feel like a real slog. I appreciated that this wasn’t too thick or too gross smelling, but in an ideal world I’d have an oil that was a little bit lighter on the skin and a little nicer in scent. My skin was fine on it – no noticeable change. Purchase? Probably not, although I would look into their other products.

Sephora Collection Honey Lip Scrub – Nice enough for moisture, not nearly enough on its own as a lip scrub. I appreciated the moisture and gentle scrubbing it gave when I used it before bed, but would have preferred something slightly – slightly – more abrasive. Repurchase? Maybe. It’s a pretty decent balm, and I prefer a gentle scrub to an overly abrasive sugar scrub.

Mac Prolongwear Concealer in NC20 – This is a good concealer – heavy duty, not too dry, long wearing. Sadly, this colour was always slightly too yellow for me, and there was never anything quite right. Also, the packaging is terrible and everyone will tell you that. Repurchase? No.

Blinc Amplified Mascara – I’m fine with tubing mascaras, but this is not nearly as easy and fun to get off as I remembered. It also doesn’t do really do much of anything. Repurchase? Not on its own. If it’s in a set, like this one was, sure.


Simple Kind to Skin Cleansing Wipes – Blah blah blah, I love these wipes when I’m feeling very lazy, or as a first step before properly taking off stubborn makeup. They don’t hurt my skin or my eyes and they’re the perfect amount of moist. Repurchase? Eternally – whenever Simple is on sale, I pick up a few packs.

The Body Shop Beauty Sponge – I thought I’d try out the Body Shop’s answer to a beauty blender and can conclusively say that it is…not good. I made it about a month of using it before I flat gave up, and most of that was damp use with powders. It’s far too dense – compared to most blending sponges, it’s rock hard. I’ve used the Chi Chi sponges before, and I’d be recommending those over this. It didn’t drink up product, which was good, but it also didn’t give me the airbrushed, smoothed effect I would want if I was opting for a sponge as my application method. No dice. Repurchase? No

The Body Shop Japanese Matcha Mask – I tried a couple of sachets of this (I tossed the other one) to give the new mask a go, and honestly speaking? It’s fine, but I still prefer the Ginseng and Rice mask any day of the week. That’s possibly my favourite mask in the world? I am looking for something still gentle but a little more deep cleansing for the summer, and sadly this wasn’t it – menthol freaks my skin out, and I’m not into the associated tingly feeling. I liked the exfoliation and I do like cleansing masks that are more gentle and less drying, but this just didn’t do enough to justify the unpleasantness, and it left my notoriously picky skin pretty red and frustrated. Purchase? No

it Cosmetics Confidence in a Cream – Employees have used this on me before to no particular notable impact, so I thought I’d give this sample a go myself. My current moisturiser is gorgeous for summer but occasionally I lust after something heavier – this wasn’t it. I’m very picky with skincare, and this was not a match for me. I was okay with the thickness and lack of fast absorption, because I could see it being nice for winter, but I still had a lot of problems with this cream. Mainly the ingredients list – yowza. Not the “yikes, chemicals!” rubbish, which you’ll never hear from me, but almost the opposite – this cream is so packed with unnecessary essential oils and plant extracts that as soon as I put it on I muttered to myself “lavender” and my chin began to itch. “Perfect for all skin types, even the most sensitive”, but still we’re going to throw in sandalwood and grapefruit and orange and bergamot and lavender. I really, really hate gratuitous essential oils in skincare that would have been perfectly lovely otherwise, when marketed to people with sensitive skin. I can handle lavender in very rare products, but they’re getting fewer and fewer. This cream messed me up. Purchase? No

Sephora Collection Smoothing Primer – I’ve used this primer before, and it’s a perfectly nice silicone based primer. I’m not rushing out to buy it again, but I’ll always use up samples of it. Purchase? Maybe one day, but I have other primers I prefer that are cheaper (albeit less accessible – The Ordinary’s High Adherence Silicone Primer; NYX Angel Veil Primer)

Sephora Collection Whipped Cream Body Moisturiser with Watermelon Extract – I liked the texture of this body cream, but it smelled far too strongly of watermelon lollies for me to ever purchase. Purchase? No

I suspect I’ll power through more junk the next couple of months. I’m doing another cruise in November, and travel tends to eat up product minis.

September Empties 2016

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


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


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.



September Lust Have It 2016 – Unboxing/Review

I really do love that Lust Have It is so much more makeup focused than its subscription bad cohort. However, can that save it from what has turned into Shocking September? Spoiler alert: Not really.

Most of these items are “this would be so great IF” items. You’ll see what I mean.


Face of Australia Lip Quench Lipstick SPF30 (RRP $9.45) – I have nothing against Face of Australia. Their primer is legitimately great, and it’s super cheap – the one in the green tube. This lipstick is really creamy, so it wouldn’t be my thing regardless, but oh my god, the colour I received (Lychee Crush) is the last colour in the world I would ever wear. I took it out of the bag and my mother looked over and said “you’re never going to wear that”. There will be a swatch at the bottom, but yeah, I will never wear this.

Ofra Universal Eyebrow Pencil (RRP $17) – “Universal”. Why even bother? Thankfully I have boring dark brown eyebrows, and they’re super thick, so I can make most things match if I blend it well and disguise the pencil beneath the hair. I’m always keen to try Ofra stuff, with it being so hard to get a hold of.

mPrincess Mineral Powder Foundation (RRP $15, apparently, and I honestly don’t know because Lust Have It pricing tends to be inconsistent with the actual prices). I loved the mineral blush that came a couple of boxes ago – the most beautiful lavender pink – so I was psyched for this, but whoever put the colour “Almond” in this bag…yikes. I will try to make it work, perhaps in summer if I’m at all tanned – highly unlikely – but I am not this colour. Foundation, even powder, is such a risky move. Why risk it? At least blush and highlighter and eyeshadow are versatile! Or have a level of personalisation. Remember when you guys sent my leggings made for people with small legs? Ha.

Simple Kind to Eyes Makeup Corrector Pen (RRP $25) – I’ll use this. Well, I’ll try. I assume it will be much the same as dipping pointed cotton buds in micellar water when I mess up my eyeliner. Surely it will get gross? How do you makeup remove from the makeup remover? A question for the ages.

And the mystery amazing bonus item.

Designer Brands Fine Eyeliner (Black – $8.99 RRP) – Designer Brands have some okay products, but this doesn’t seem to be one of them. I haven’t tried it on the eyes, admittedly, but while it has a nice fine brush, there is zero control to it and it lacks the opacity needed to get a good line. It’s also way too glossy and imprecise for me to get the wings I go for. Womp womp. I’m a black eyeliner enthusiast, but this is not a hit.

Swatches! Top to bottom: Face of Australia Lip Quench in Lychee Crush, Ofra Universal Eyebrow Pencil, mPrincess mineral foundation in Almond, Designer Brands Fine Eyeliner in Black

Not the bag of my dreams, unfortunately. It had all the elements of a good bag – a lipstick, a liner, a base product, something from overseas and a novelty item – but they were all just too left of centre.

September Bellabox 2016: Unboxing/Review

Today’s warm up for doing my assignments was going to be a wrap up review post on my most recent lipstick purchases (Mac, Urban Decay, Pretty Zombie Cosmetics), but both of my monthly subscription boxes arrived yesterday so in order for me to hashtag stay relevant, you’re stuck with this trash.

And when I say “stuck with this trash”, I’m talking trash. Bellabox, guys, what is going on? It’s more of a letdown after my disappointment with the usually phenomenal Marie Claire parcel, and I’ll give you a bit of a spoiler in saying that this month’s Lust Have It was…not stellar. September’s been a bad month for my life and also for subscription boxes, it seems.

I usually try to focus on the positive (NOTE: whether you interpret this as sarcasm or not depends on what extent of my writing you have read), but with the way September has metaphorically taken to repeatedly slapping me in the face, there may be some traces of what the kids are calling “saltiness”.


Hey, Bellabox! Don’t get me all excited with a theme like “Kiss Me” if you’re going to include one measly lip product. That’s unfair to people like me who like their lip products and kissing abundant. More kissing, more lipstick. It’s practically my life motto.

“Jelly Lipstick” (“RRP $14.95”) – I cannot refer to any of that without direct quotations, but feel free to also imagine me doing over-emphatic air quotes. Where is this lipstick from? What is the brand? If it’s a no-brand dollar store lip balm (it is), that’s fine, but then don’t try to tell me it’s $14.95. Lipstick Queen can charge my mother $30 for that Frog Prince lipstick but I’ll be damned if I’m paying more than $2 for something that does nothing to my lips and has no value other than, I guess, looking slightly cool and transparent. It is referred to as “the internet’s latest sensation”, although I think it’s missing a tiny flower inside to actually be what they think it is. Also, the gaudy orange tube – and I have no problem with gaudy tubes, believe me, I bought one of the Mac Trolls lipsticks – is emblazoned with the phrase “Sexy Love”. Aside from being a weird Ne-Yo song from 2006, a fact that I embarrassingly did not have to google,  it’s probably not the phrase I want across my lipsticks. Sorry, “lipsticks”. This may be the most I have ever used quotation marks in a review.

Natural Instinct Eye Creme (25mL RRP $19.95) – This is an eye cream. It is fine, I’m sure. Will I one day regret not using eye cream in my twenties, despite working in a skin care retailer? Possibly. But right now, it’s an extra step I am entirely too lazy for despite spending nearly an hour on the rest of my routine. I don’t know. My eyes are fine. I won’t ding them for this, because it is a fine product, and my disillusion with eye creams stems from the disproportionate amount of time I have spent over the last seven years talking about eye creams.

Palmolive Oil Infusions Body Moisturiser (Free extra, 12mL) – Mine is “Citrus with Jojoba oil”. We have the handwash from this range in our bathroom and it’s fine, so I’m sure this – ahem – sachet will be fine. My main issue with this is nitpicky, but if you’re reading this review, you’re prepared for that. Palmolive want us to “join the conversation”, and hashtag #moisturisermoment and something else as well (I do not remember because I immediately threw the cardboard bit out in disgust). Palmolive. You make moisturiser. Are you offering me a prize? You don’t mention a prize. Unless you’re going to give me a prize, I have no motivation to tag a moisturiser company. Do you really want to facilitate a conversation about…moisturiser?

Cocofixation 100% Coconut Facial Wipes (a 25 pack is $12; this is a 5 pack so $2.40) – At the very least, I use face wipes. Coconut is a nice ingredient. Good things. Smiles. Deep breathing.

Avon Skin Goodness CC Cream SPF30+ (25g is $16.99, this is 5g so about $3.40) – I have said all I can say about not really caring for Avon products generally, but I am always happy to be wrong. I doubt this product will do that. There does not appear to be a colour range, and this is on the medium-tan end of the spectrum, but it does of course sheer out to boring nothing. Blahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. I like the size?

Sebamed Skincare Derma-Soft Wash Emulsion (200mL is $19.95; this is 20mL so it is under $2) – This is fine and I will use it when I am next in hospital or away for the weekend or crashing at someone’s house. I have only used sebamed  body products, and they were good for my patches of dermatitis. I am sure this will be fine?

And of course, there is a HelloFresh “voucher”, to which I loudly exclaimed “Go fuck yourself”, and threw in the bin.

Honestly, the box is objectively not the most terrible thing in the world, but there are items that make me so irrationally angry that it outweighs everything. That jelly lipstick fills me with seething rage. I will not swatch it for you, because it just looks like a lip balm.

Angry face/5. -300/5. I’m just not in the mood to give a rational rating.