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!

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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.

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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.

June Empties and Reviews

June got weird. I dyed my hair green and agreed to accompany my grandmother to Japan? I finished the first semester of what should have been the last year of my degree? Mostly, I just worked a lot and felt pretty sick. A lot of my levels have been low, so I’ve been awful and lethargic. I’m making excuses. Here’s my garbage.

I’ve been very boring, so there’s mostly staple products.

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The above are all The Body Shop products, and are all permanent bar one. I get staff discount but with most of them, I’ve used them for long enough to have established whether or not I would continue to use them if I was paying full price.

The Body Shop Almond Milk & Honey Shower Cream – I’ve got so many shower gels stored up. This one is really nice, but I don’t forgive it for pushing Olive out of the main lineup. It’s not too thick, even though it’s a cream formula. My mother really loved this one. Repurchase? Not any time soon. I’ve still got so many to work through. I also still don’t really get why this is two dollars more than the rest of the shower gels.

The Body Shop Spiced Apple Shower Gel – This is a really nice smell now that it’s finally cold in Australia, so I’m glad I grabbed one. It’s really cinnamonny, so I didn’t like to use it every night. There’s not much to say about shower gel. Repurchase? I almost always pick up a couple of the Christmas shower gels, so we’ll see what comes up this year.

The Body Shop Calming Aloe Cleanser – Blah blah blah this is my cleanser, it will continue to be my cleanser, I use one at least every four months. It’s easy and relatively affordable even without discount and it is quite literally one of the only cleansers I’ve ever used that doesn’t dry me out or sting my eyes. Repurchase? Yes.

The Body Shop Tea Tree Squeaky Clean Scrub – I use this scrub a lot more in summer,when my skin is oilier, but recently it’s felt like a little too much even then. It’s great for something that’s effective and physical without being overly abrasive, but the gel base and tea tree combo just dries me out a little more than I’d like most of the time. Repurchase? Maybe, when I need a cheap, classic scrub that I know won’t actively hurt my skin. Until then, for physical exfoliation, I need something gentler.

The Body Shop Oils of Life Facial Oil – I do genuinely quite enjoy this oil. It’s taken me more than a year of on and off use (I’ll use it continuously for a few months, then get lazy) to finish it, but it is truly lovely in consistency and it hydrates beautifully without feeling greasy. I wish it weren’t quite so heavily scented but I always wish that. My skin always looks lovely when I’m using it, and I’m using plain jojoba oil right now and finding my skin a little flat.  Purchase? I received this one, but I have since bought another that I’ll be going back to soon. That said, I don’t think I require a fancy oil enough that I’d pay full price for it right now. Maybe as hydration becomes more and more of a concern, and I get older? It does last a long time, but it’s just not my priority right now.

The Body Shop Drops of Youth Cream – Could not give less of a fuck about anti ageing or plant stem cell technology but I have not found another cream that makes me skin feel as nice as this one does. Repurchase? I’m on either my third or forth tub. It’s expensive, and I don’t know that I’d keep spending $43 on a moisturiser if I didn’t work there, but I so do not want to go through the ordeal of finding the perfect moisturiser again.

The Body Shop Instamatte – This is the new mattifying primer they’ve brought out! It comes in a damn tiny tube, and it doesn’t do enough that I would be able to justify buying it. Purchase? No

The Body Shop Velvet Gel Pencil in Brown – I love the ease of twist up and the golden tinged brown colour of this, but it dried out a little too quickly for me. I’ll probably go back to the ordinary brown pencil. Repurchase? No

Return to normal programming.

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Simple Kind to Skin Cleansing Wipes – If you haven’t read my thoughts on this, you’ve never read an empties post before. They’re gentle and don’t sting my awful eyes and they don’t hurt me and look, it’s apparently hard to do. Repurchase? Constantly

Neutrogena Make-Up Remover Wipes – Sample pack from…something? I’ve tried these before, and I’ve always found them a little too bizarrely wet for my personal tastes. Purchase? No

Paula’s Choice 2% BHA Lotion – I’m a consistent user of the BHA liquid, and I thought I’d try a sample of this when I reordered that. Turns out, this stuff is not for me. I broke out almost immediately. Not worth the lack of slight stickiness. Purchase? No

Swisspers Cotton Rounds – These are fine, but please give me the Target ones any day. Repurchase? Presumably, out of laziness.

Marc Jacobs ReMarc-able Foundation – Marc Jacobs himself is a bit of a problematic character in the makeup world with regards to shade range and appropriation, and none of his products have ever moved me to try them. I got given this sample, and tried it out of eventual reluctance. It sucked. It brought out dry patches I didn’t know existed. It clung to everything. It looked cracked and bizarre and settled strangely, and I felt a little vindicated. Purchase? Absolutely not.

Kleenex Anti Bacterial Wipes – Boring, but useful. They get things clean. I need more. Repurchase? Yes

Makeup Forever Excessive Lash Mascara – This is a beautiful mascara from my USA haul, but it’s very wet and has a very short brush so it takes a little more work than I prefer with my mascara. It builds beautifully to create wonderful volume, but it’s much more of a special occasion affair. I ended up using it mostly for my bottom lashes. Repurchase? No. I’m enjoying others in my collection more.

Kat Von D Tattoo Liner in Trooper – I had one of these in my April empties, and have used them so many times, but this one finished faster than normal because it was an older travel one I found in a handbag that I managed to get another two months use out of. This liner is the best. It’s opaque and super black and so precise and it’s the only thing I can really use to easily get a good wing. I’ve seen a matter version teased and man, I want it. Repurchase? Already have.

Benefit Gimme Brow in 3 – They revamped Gimme Brow! I’d never tried it before but this sample size last for months upon months. I’m a stress-picker, so when I have bald patches growing out, this is a handy product (the fibres are great). It’s also a good lazy brow product that takes far less work than, say, a brow pencil. The requisite “however” is that I have really thick brows anyway, so if I generally need detail work done, I need something a bit more precise than this. The last thing my brows need is additional thickness. Purchase? No

That’s the empty stuff for the month! So many things I could say. Instead, here’s a photo of my newly green hair.

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For some reason, people keep wanting to talk to me about comic books.

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.

April Empties and Reviews

I used stuff up! There haven’t been many posts in between these. Lots of drafts, but no real posts. Things have been a little hectic, and I’ve been quite sick. It’s been gross. Let’s instead talk about disgusting empty bottles.

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Bath and Body Works Gingerbread Latte Shower Gel – This is the first bath and body works shower gel I’ve used that hasn’t had a weird after-smell? Even as it sits on your body, it’s nice. It smells like cinnamon and ginger and winter spices and it’s lovely.  Repurchase? If it was readily available and I didn’t have such hit/miss experiences with B&BW shower gels, sure. Also, I have enough shower gels to last me six hundred years.

Mario Badescu Enzyme Cleansing Gel – Please stop looking at this empty bottle. It’s disgusting. I promise you this is only the two or so years old that it’s supposed to be, but it was an absolute slog to get through and for some reason it got super gross living in my shower. I could only use it if I was going for a second cleanse on a day I was oil cleansing, but overall it was way more drying than I would generally prefer. I have never loved anything from Mario Badescu and I’m not sure why I owned this in a full size. Repurchase? No

The Body Shop Chinese Ginseng & Rice Mask – I adore this mask. I’ve spoken about it before. I wrote about it back in September and I’ve loved it since then. I’ll try new masks but in between, I go back to this. It doesn’t dry me out, but my skin always feels smoother and clearer and I don’t seem to be getting less efficacy from it. Repurchase? Have done. Am exploring cheaper alternatives, because this stuff is $35 and when I’m not working at The Body Shop that is a bunch of money, but so far nothing I’ve tried has come close (sorry exfoliating L’oreal mask).

Tatcha Polished Classic Rice Enzyme Powder – I’ll be honest. When I mentioned this back in my USA haul, I just wanted to try something from Tatcha to see what the brand was about. I should have tried the cleansing oil instead. I liked this better than, say, the Dermalogica microfoliant, but it was still super average and ridiculously priced for a powder cleanser. It did last a long time, but it was quite stripping on my skin and I could only use it very irregularly (it was my out-of-the-shower cleanser for a while). Repurchase? No.

Urban Decay Deslick Setting Spray – I have found that, after extensive testing, setting spray does not do a whole lot for me. I ended up using this up just to use it up. I mostly used it with foundations that didn’t sit nicely on my skin, or to foil shadows. Repurchase? No. I am trying out the Rimmel one, because at least that’s cheap and smells lovely.

Dr. Brandt Pores No More Pore Refiner Primer – Really burning through some stuff from that USA haul! This primer was fine, but nothing outstanding in the world of primers. Way too slippery for me, but didn’t do a whole lot for lasting power. Eh. Really thick. Not my thing. Purchase? No

The Body Shop 2-in-1 Smoky Gel Liner in Brown – This liner is incredibly longwearing, but it’s also got a really steep learning curve and dries out pretty quickly – I’m too lazy to revive something I don’t use very often. The brush attached is not great (it’s not fine enough), but the dark black-brown colour is lovely. Repurchase? No. I am much more of liquid liner person.

Kat Von D Tattoo Liner in Trooper – Thankfully I always have a backup of my favourite liquid brush tip liner on hand. I’ve spoken about this countless times: opaque, easy to apply, incredibly precise. This would have lasted a lot longer, but the lid came off in my makeup bag and…yikes. Repurchase? I’m currently using the backup, but I need to go buy a new backup. I’ll keep using this. I wish it was cheaper, sure, but it’s infinitely better than any other liner I’ve tried.

The Body Shop Super Volume Mascara in Black – I enjoy this mascara as much as I enjoy most nice mascaras, but it’s nothing exceptional. I have a new preferred Body Shop mascara – the Lash Hero – to wear to work, but I wear these on off days as well. Nice volume, standard length, standard separation, not too clumpy if you get off the excess. Repurchase? Not right now.

It Cosmetics Brow Power Universal Eye Pencil – This was a really nice brow pencil and the “universal” colour actually worked perfectly for me. It was easy to go too hard, because it was quite dark, but done right it was lovely. I liked it, but I didn’t $38 like it. I did like that it was buildable, and not too creamy or pigmented – brows need to build,  I feel. Purchase? No

Fortune Cookie Soap Company Talkin’ Smack Lip Scrub in Cupcake – I love the scents of FCS lip scrubs, and how finely milled they are (way more so than a Lush lip scrub), but now that I’m not getting the Soap Box, I am not motivated to make any orders from the website. The new coconut peppermint one sounds lovely, though. Repurchase? Not anytime soon. I’m super happy with the Sephora honey lip scrub I’m using right now – it’s in a stick, it’s finely milled, and it’s wicked convenient for $9.

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Boring stuff!

Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess Eau Fraiche Skinscent – This was in the most recent Marie Claire box, and it was fine. It ran out really quickly and didn’t last very long. Purchase? No

BeautyBlender – I liked the beautyblender, but it’s a $30 sponge. I ended up using it mostly for cream contouring, clearly. Repurchase? I have done, when I was in America and I could get it in a set, but I’m not sure I’d do it again.

The Body Shop Drops of Light Peeling Liquid – This is my favourite of the newly launched peeling liquids, because it’s the most gentle and the least sticky. I’ve mentioned that the marketing behind them is mostly rubbish – there’s very little dead skin they’re pulling – but they’re far more gentle than a standard physical exfoliant which I quite like. Purchase? Maybe eventually when I’m all out of all of my physical exfoliants.

Simple Kind-to-Skin Cleansing Wipes – Please read any other empties post I have ever done, because these will be in there. They’re gentle and they don’t make my skin hurt. Repurchase? Always and forever, unless they change them.

Mac Wipes – On the contrary, these were awful.  They’re so heavily scented, they didn’t get off eye makeup, and they left my skin really red and irritated. This was just not a good move for me. Repurchase? These were a part of a larger gift, but I wouldn’t buy them for myself.

Target Cosmetic Pads – I finished these and couldn’t be bothered to go back to Target to buy more, so I was using the Priceline branded ones. They are not the same and it’s terrible and I’m battling through them. The Target ones are soft but durable and lovely. Repurchase? Yes. If I can get to a Target, I’ll always pick these up. It’s $2 for 100, come on.

Kleenex Anti Bacterial Wipes – These get foundation off everywhere I get foundation – hands, desk, mirrors, packaging. They’re boring, but functional. Repurchase? Sure. Not a necessity, but they’re handy as hell.

That’s it! Does anyone read these? I love posting them – they incentivise me to actually finish things instead of just stockpiling – but they’ve got to be boring to read. And yet with my sick form of voyeurism, I love to read them as well.

March Empties and Reviews

Now with 60% less junk! Don’t hoard your trash, kids.

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A disproportionate amount of shower gels! A soothingly soft green colour palette?

The Body Shop Olive Shower Gel – RIP Olive. Probably the best scent in the main lineup, and it’s just been discontinued (in Australia, anyway). It’s all on sale at the moment for $5, so I picked up a spare bottle. I’ve been through a few in my time – it’s fresh but not too aggressively crisp. There’s a slight soft floral tinge to it, but none too strong.

The Body Shop Virgin Mojito Shower Gel – My last bottle, discovered from the depths of my collection, finished. My favourite scent TBS have ever done. I don’t feel strongly enough for shower gel to buy it from ebay, but I do still have a little bit of the scrub, and I have the splash (still available in stores on sale) decanted into a spray bottle so that if I’m craving the scent, it’s not far off.

Rituals The Ritual of Sakura Shower Foam – This came in my November 2016 Lust Have It bag and I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it. The scent was…eh, sweet and lightly floral. What was great was the texture – the foam worked really well for shaving without having to use a thicker oil or something. A little drying if I used it too often, but in the short term it was great. It doesn’t ship to Australia (but it does to the US and most of Europe)  though, so it’s for nothing.

The Body Shop Aloe Calming Cream Cleanser – I found my last bottle in the old packaging! The change was only last year, but I just use this cleanser with a loyalty I reserve for very few products. My thoughts have not changed from this empties post or this one or really any post I’ve made in the last few years on either of my blogs. It’s gentle and non stripping and it won’t give you a squeaky clean feeling, but thankfully I hate that feeling.

Fresh Soy Face Cleanser – This was supposed to be a really gentle cleanser, based on what I’d read. Naturally, I found it a bit drying. I also started to get little whiteheads after using it for a few days, and after an adventure reacting to a sunscreen, it was rough. I liked the smell, though, and it was less stripping than other similar cleansers. There are no physical retailers in Australia that I know of, and the online retailers aren’t ones that I have experience with.

Smashbox Insta-Matte Lipstick Transformer – I see no point to this product. I appreciate that sometimes you want to make a cream lipstick into a matte one (I prefer a matte finish, and I hate dealing with transfer), but this product does nothing that blotting or using a translucent powder can’t achieve. For me, at least. I’m sure – like with most products – there are people who love this and find it to really help them get the most out of their lipsticks. As for me? The idea of paying $35 for this is laughable. I’d rather use that money to buy a whole new lipstick in a matte finish, because I myself am laughable.

This Works Deep Sleep Pillow Spray – At Christmas I bought a little set of minis and this was one of them. It’s nice and lavender laden and I prefer it to the “plus” version. I still can’t decide whether or not I’d pay for it, because the aromatherapy thing has never really done it for me, but it’s still a nice addition to my nights.

DKNY Be Delicious/Golden Delicious Rollerball – This is a relic from when I was about fourteen. Be Delicious – along with Vera Wang’s Princess – was the first perfume I ever fell in love with. I still like it now! It’s apples and pears and not very sophisticated, but it’s lovely. Golden Delicious is nice, but it’s a little generic for me (more prominent blossoms and a bit of white floral to it) – there’s still some left but it’s gone sour.

The Body Shop Aloe Soothing Night Cream – When I don’t want to use an oil, or when I want something over the top, this is the cream I use above. It’s nothing dramatic or active and it doesn’t claim to do anything special, but it delivers hydration without being irritating and usually that’s all I want. In summer, I thrive off this stuff.

NARS Smooth and Protect Primer – For a $52 primer, I was expecting more. I don’t know. I didn’t mind the Pore & Shine Control primer, but this one never truly settled and made my foundation go on strangely. It felt extraordinarily thick and tacky and I can imagine I would go through it really quickly as well. Glad I tried it, and a few attempts gave me a better grip of how to work with it – you really need to let it sit on this skin before you apply foundation – but it’s way too much work to pay that money for it. Again, for me. I’d rather just pay exorbitant amounts to order the NYX Angel Veil primer off the internet.

This is so much easier to manage for a month. Also a lot easier to manage when I’ve been sick and my mental health is teetering on the edge – not great for me, but I tear through products with far less determination and aggression!

January/February Empties: Junkpocalypse 2017, Rubbish Reviews

I’m never going away over the end of a month again.

Actually, this wasn’t nearly as bad as it could have been. All things considered.

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Bath and Body Works Love & Sunshine Shower Gel – I like the B&BW shower gel formula, and this scent is a really nice fruity one with a touch of sunny floral. My one complaint with this is that once you’ve lathered it and it’s been on the skin for a little bit, the smell changes a little? It gets a bit funky and sickly. It isn’t consistent with all of the shower gels – the two others I’ve used recently haven’t had that- but I have had it with their shower gels in the past. Repurchase? Not in this scent, as nice as it was from the bottle.

Foreo Luna Play – 100 uses goes quickly! I wrote about my thoughts at length over here. In short: I enjoyed it, , but it’s absolutely overpriced. I am now using a Model’s Prefer knockoff device from Priceline that I got in the 40% off skincare sale for a bit over $20, and while it isn’t as nicely shaped, it recharges and it does the same job. Repurchase? No

Innisfree Super Volcanic Pure Clay Mask – This was actually one of my favourite clay masks I’ve used recently. It did such a nice job where I was post-travel congested around my nose and because I didn’t need to use much, it lasted quite a while (I got it in my November Bellabox). I’ve got plenty of clay masks to use up, but I would consider buying this. Purchase? I could see it happening!

I can’t remember what this was called but look! I finished a hand sanitiser and didn’t lose it! That’s never happened before. This one also smelled really good. I’ll miss nice Fortune Cookie Soap Company hand sanitisers.

Briogeo Don’t Despair Repair Deep Conditioning Mask – This was a pretty nice hair mask, but it wasn’t anything exceptional? I can’t pick up any major discernible results. Sorry, Briogeo. Purchase? No

Foreo Day Cleanser – This was fine, and it worked nicely with the actual Foreo. It didn’t foam too much, but it still dried me out more than I’ve come to like from a cleanser. It wasn’t  bad, though, as a cleanser for when I needed to have something on hand. Purchase? Oh, absolutely not. What a pain.

Sunday Riley Good Genes – I also wrote about this in that same Bite Sized Five! I really liked it, but I don’t $154 like it. It’s nice and it makes my skin look lovely. I’m currently using The Ordinary’s Lactic Acid 10% + HA 2%, and honestly, that’s giving me my fix. Repurchase? Maybe one day if I’m a millionaire, but otherwise no, and I kind of resent them charging that much.

Nars Pore and Shine Primer – Definitely my favourite of the new primers Nars launched, but by no means anything worth uprooting my routine and switching to. Honestly, I’ve been loving my NYX Angel Veil primer over everything else. Purchase? No – it’s like $50 and it’s not amazing.

CoverFX Custom Enhancer Drops in Moonlight – I got a sample of this because while they look like absolute magic when swatched, I suspected I’d have next to no use for them and I didn’t want to get sucked in. I was right. It’s a glitter bomb, and yet it somehow sheers out to next to nothing? Repurchase? To play with this kind of thing, I’d want it to be unique or affordable – I’d either wait for the beautiful shifty blue/purple shade, or just go for the cheap Australis alternative.

Monomola Eyebrow Tattoo – This came in a Bellabox and dried out almost immediately. Womp Womp. Purchase? No

Benefit Rollerlash Mascara – I actually really liked this mascara mini! I used this when I was travelling, and I took it on the cruise with me. It did really nicely for separation and curl and some really pretty feathering. Not too natural, not too false. It also didn’t go bad super quickly, which was nice for a mascara. I’ve got enough mascaras to last me for the rest of the year (Do I like the Buxom mascara? I don’t know yet! Am I into Tarte’s Light Camera Lashes? Only time will tell!) but I did really like this. That’s actually why I was so utterly irritated by Benefit’s  They’re Real. EUGH. Purchase? Maybe one day? Not any time soon.

Tarte Gifted Mascara – I’d had this open for a little while, but not that long, so when I went and opened it and it less than three months later and it smelled awful, it was a little disconcerting. It wasn’t a great mascara anyway – it flaked quite intensely. Purchase? No

Estee Edit Pore Vanishing Stick – Slippery, but really effective for getting a good foundation application around the nose. I didn’t use it all over my face, because I was kind of grossed out by the concept of smearing the stick around, and also because I don’t need pore filling on my temples. Purchase? Way too expensive for something that is essentially a fancy silicone primer.

Maybelline Full’n’Soft Waterproof Mascara – I used to adore this mascara, and it’s still absolutely serviceable, but it’s no longer the best of the bunch. I’ve definitely used better. I do love how long it goes without getting super gross and foul, though. Repurchase? If I need a cheap mascara in a bind, this is my go-to. I’m blessed with pretty great lashes, thankfully, so I don’t really need anything that fancy.

Rimmel Super Curler 24hr Mascara – Amazing for volume but borderline clumpy, especially as it started to dry out. A good cheap mascara in a pinch, though, perhaps even more so than Full’n’Soft if I was looking for volume over definition. Repurchase? Maybe one day? I have so many mascaras, it’s ridiculous.

Cetaphil Suntivity Sunscreen 50+SPF – I had a bad reaction to this and walked around with a big old rash on my face for a few days on the cruise. I also got sunburnt, because apparently the reaction negated the SPF. Purchase? No, and please get out of my life.

IndeedLabs Nanoblur – Yeah, no. This was a confusing, slippery, weird product that didn’t do it for me. Purchase? No

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Kleenex Anti-Bacterial Wipes – These are anti-bacterial! They wipe! Good stuff. Repurchase? Yes.

Simple Kind to Skin Cleansing Wipes – I was trying to go without these to finish up my Mac wipes, but I hate those so much. These don’t irritate my skin, blah blah, good stuff. Repurchase? Have done.

Daiso Cotton Puffs – These are fine? I prefer the Target Cosmetic Pads,even though you get more with these because you get two boxes for like $3. I felt like they broke apart really easily. Repurchase? No

Target Cosmetic Pads – My favourite cotton rounds. I keep trying others and then remembering why I use these. Repurchase? Every time.

Brite Pastel Green Dye – I used this to attempt to brighten up the ends of my hair before I completely bleached and re-dyed my hair, and it was surprisingly effective. It took even on parts of my hair that weren’t already blue? Not extremely, but decently. Not as effective as the best thing, which is the full re-bleach. I got my hair bleached and re-dyed back at the beginning of February, and I feel like myself again. Repurchase? If I was home dying, sure.

EyePro Eye Makeup Shields – I rolled my eyes a bit when this came in my January Bellabox, but it was nice to not deal with fallout on a heavy eye makeup day. It was a weirdly rounded shape, though. Purchase? No

Neat 3B Action Cream – Such a boring workhorse product and nothing to do with beauty, but holy shit, I cannot live without a tube of this stuff. I keep one in my bedroom, one in my bathroom, and one in my travel bag. It’s the only thing that helps the chafing  I get on my inner thighs (aka the dreaded “Chub rub”) which has been deadly in this long hot summer. You can also use it for boobs (another chafe zone for me) and anywhere else that tends to rub, but it’s excellent as a preventative and then as a soothing agent. Repurchase? I will literally never stop using this.

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And now all the Body Shop stuff! Yikes.

Camomile Cleansing Butter – This is a bit of a cult product and for good reason. It’s non irritating and gentle on the eyes and excellent as a first cleanse to remove makeup.My skin is mostly reactive when it comes to cleansing, so I’m really grateful for this stuff. I haven’t used this to clean sponges, but apparently it’s great for that too. Repurchase? I tend to alternate between this and the liquid form, based on what’s in stock and what my skin is doing. At the moment I’m using the liquid, which is admittedly a little easier, but I find it’s slightly less effective. Very little, but there is something. It is also a touch lighter in liquid form, but I find I go through it quicker (which is not saying much – I take about 9 months to finish a tub?). I’ll keep using it in some form.

Vanilla Chai Shower Gel – Why did I only buy one of these shower gels? I used up a mini in my November/December empties, and now this, my lone full size. It was so beautifully scented and I wanted to use it so liberally but I tried to be a little bit restrained. It was also really nice and hydrating, not too sweet, a little spicy, just lovely. Repurchase? Bring Back Vanilla Chai All Year Round.

Pinita Colada Shower Gel – My two favourite shower gels! I’m so glad this stuck around for a few extra months and I managed to get some extra backups. It’s just the perfect summery shower gel. Not too sweet or too coconutty. Repurchase? Thankfully I have two left.

All in One Face Base 04 – This is a really nice powder. It’s not too matte, which is ideal, but it still stops excessive shininess. I do wish it was slightly better at bringing shine down for touch ups, but it’s still pretty good. It’s not flat at all, which is great. Repurchase? Yes.

Tea Tree Face Mask – I’ve had this for so long, but the tea tree stuff is way too intense for me now. I’m so devoted to the Ginseng and Rice mask that forcing myself to use this up was a pain in the ass anyway. It’s almost too effective at bringing pimples out – I find I tended to wake up with whiteheads all over the place. Repurchase? No

Vanilla Chai Body Butter – Second verse, same as first. As if I need more body butter, though. Repurchase? No

Colour Crush Lipstick in 125 Crazy Sexy Crimson – I finished a lipstick! Who’d have thought? I’m not usually one for cream formulas, but this is a lovely colour and I reach for it all the time. It also suits so many different complexions? I love it so much. I’ve bought a replacement. Repurchase? Have done.

Peppermint Foot Scrub – This is fine and works nicely on my gross retail-worn feet, but I’m really lazy. If I could be bothered to use this consistently it would be much more effective. Repurchase? If I can get it, I’ll take it, but it’s not something I’ll seek out.

Drops of Youth Liquid Peel – I’ve never seen the appeal (heh) of these peeling gels, but now I’ve established that most manual exfoliation is too much for me, I kind of get it. It has a really strong smell that I’m not into, and I don’t like the false idea that these scrubs are peeling off just dead skin (Here’s a great post over at Lab Muffin on that). Still, it’s quite an effective one. I’ve since been feeling the other ones launched, and I prefer the texture of the Drops of Light one, which is much more liquidy and feels lighter. I wish this, the Drops of Light and the Vitamin C ones weren’t all so similar. Purchase? No

Next time? Probably just one month.

Next up in posts, I’ve got a lot of new lipsticks to write about (Smashbox Always On! Winky Lux! I should write about those Sugarpill ones!) and probably a semi-spur of the moment post about the intersections of gender, sexuality and makeup that tends to come around Mardi Gras. I’ve done those before, but they evolve, and it never ceases to be an important topic that I get very easily passionate about. Plus, surely you’ll want to see whatever glittery abomination of makeup I end up in.

 

 

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.