Empties Post 2015

Every year I have so many empties. Whenever I look at the empties bag in my cupboard through out the year I say "I must do an empties post, I must do an empties post" and of course it never happens until my cupboard is literally over flowing and I have no choice to wait any longer. So here is another mahusiveee empties for you and as I did last year I'm going to put a heading for each category of product, so if you want to skip to a certain one without reading through it all you can do. Let me tell you there are some good-ens this year and also some shockers, including the Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Concentrate. So sit back, grab a coffee, or tea if you prefer, and enjoy.

Make up
Now I really am undecided abut the NYC Smooth Skin Pressed Powder. If I can remember rightly I think I found it a little cake-y however I really don't feel confident that this was due to the powder. Recently I have found changing my powder brush to a stippling brush has made my powders a lot less cake-y and for this reason I really want to give this powder another go before I can trulygive my opinion on it. Currently I just smoothed a little left over in the pan onto my skin and it hasn't clung to any dry patches, it has actually left my skin feeling baby soft. For £1.99 you can't go wrong so I think this is going to definitely be a re-purchase of mine. Now I did purchase it from Superdrug however they don't seem to sell it any more however it seems to be purchasable from Amazon as an add on item, just to let you know :)

Primer is a product I never skip as it helps to prevent make up clogging up my pores and adding to my archive of breakouts. Seen as I swear by the Seventeen Stay Time Concealer I thought I would try the matching primer. I was however sadly disappointed. Blending the product out was really difficult, even if I applied a generous amount and often when I applied my foundation it would bunch up into rubber like shavings. I must say one excellent aspect to it was that it really was like glue for my make up. I must say I'm tempted to give it another try however £5.49 I really don't think it is worth it so I don't think I will be seeing this one again unless it is on a super amazing offer!

Another primer I went on to try was The Body Shop's All-In-One Insta Blur after hearing fabulous rave reviews about it in the beauty world. On the more positive side the matte, gel-like product glided effortlessly onto my skin, leaving a baby smooth result. On the downside however it really had no powers in making my foundation last at all and I don't recall much difference in the texture of my skin after applying the product. For £14 for 25 ml I think it is a little pricey for what it is; maybe it just didn't suit with my skin as I have heard for some it is their holy grail primer.

Although my skin is quite acne prone - and I'm quite convinced it is hormonal acne - I actually suffer from more drier skin. This means that in the moisturiser department I favour something super nourishing yet that won't break me out. A tricky mix isn't it. I've tried a few in my time but not many have compared to the Garnier Moisture Match Illuminating Light Lotion. Everything about this product is perfect for me! Although it is a lotion I find it to be very moisturising and once applied it leaves my skin looking dewy and fresh all day. It also relieves and tightness I may have after cleansing my face. Something special to note is that the moisture lasts all day and the only time I am really lacking in moisture is between cleansing my face and re-applying my moisturiser. Id addition to this is is also SPF 20 which makes me sooooooo happy as I one who loves to protect their skin, especially considering how pale I am. Despite it giving plenty of moisture, all day round, and having a good SPF the great thing is it doesn't break me out! Oh and not to mention the formula is oil free yet doesn't cause your skin to dry out! This product really caters for all skin types I feel.
I must also add that I absolutely love the smell. Although lemon based it reminds me so much of Lipton Peach Iced Tea, my holiday favourite, and whenever I apply it it brings back some lovely holiday memories.
So what's not to love? The product claims to give "non-greasy hydration", "UV protection" and to "illuminate your skin", which I can most certainly agree with all of these claims. An excellent all-round product that I'm most likely to repurchase when in need of a product I trust to benefit my skin.

When my skin was utterly drier than a cracker in the desert in was swayed by some reviews to try the First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair cream. Being a heavy duty moisturiser it claims to give intense hydration that is safe for even sensitive skin. On application it was slightly nourishing however left my skin feeling and looking slightly greasy. to be honest it was quite an average moisturiser and I'm sure there are similar ones that are much less expensive in the drugstore. The worst thing however was that it really made me break out. Some of the spots I was getting were large and painful and I really don't think it is worth enduring the use of any product if it disagrees with you skin; for that reason I don't think I will be repurchasing this product.

The Boots Vitamin E gentle Eye cream is literally my holy grail eye cream, I never use anything else! I find the product perfectly nourishing to sooth dry eyes, which I little never have at all now since using this product each and every day for just over a year. It truly is gentle, with no scent, and the product its self is light enough yet nourishing on the delicate skin around my eyes. Hear and there in the beauty world I often hear vitamin E raved about as a super anti-ageing and general all round good skin ingredient so I have no reasons to change up my eye cream at the moment and will continue to repurchase for the foreseeable future. Ok just as I was looking up the price of this wonder product, seriously this has got to be a joke :'(, I cannot find it on the boots website and think it has been discontinued :'(. Some of the vitamin e range is still there so if you are interested in trying this product I'd say keep looking.

Now I'm not really one to invest in anti-ageing products right now as I still consider myself to be a little one being a mere seventeen however I received the No7 Youthful Serum in a beauty set and seen as it was small I though I would give it ago. Personally I feel using anti-ageing products too young can cause more damage than prevent, however that is just my thoughts, and I didn't feeling too bad using this product as it didn't seemed to be targeted as an anti-ageing product. The serum its self was light yet moisturising and I didn't experience any irritation. Although I'm not old I do have one or two minute fine lines around my eyes but that's simply just the way I am made however I don't know if I was just a bit of a placebo effect but I really did notice these little lines seemed to fade away a bit. I was most intrigued by this and ever since have made a mental note to try this product again in about, lets say, ten years time, if they still sell it!

Philosophy skin care; ahhh what a trip down memory lane. I have such sweet memories of this brand. It was the first "proper" skin care brand I got into and I used to have a lovely friend who worked on the Philosophy counter who always used to help me so much and give me lots of lovely samples. Purity Made Simple Cleanser was the first. I say again, "proper cleanser that I ever used. This is such a delightful product. It has a really gentle scent, a little like the smell of Cif but not in a horrible or chemically way, just in a lovely refreshing and delicate way. Likewise it is just as gentle and delicate on the skin yet powerful enough to literally clear away every once of make up. It is even most effective a removing stubborn mascara! Even though it is priced around £18.00 for 240ml it is actually extremely great value for money. All you need is literally and I mean literally a pea sized amount and trust me you are going to experience lather like no other! I got this bottle in the early months of 2014 and I think it took me the majority of the year to use up, bearing in mind I used it every night without fail. 
Although this product holds a special place in my heart and is absolutely wonderful it isn't the best for my acne prone skin. It doesn't cause me to break out or doing anything to aggravate my acne however I have since found another cleanser that works a little better to help sooth my acne. If acne control however is not on your agenda then I would highly, highly recommend this cleanser to all skin types. My mum, who is quite fussy when it comes to her skin and skin care, is an avid fan on this cleanser and if it's not Clarins then it's hard to please her so that's saying something!

My favourite cleanser ever has to be the Liz Earle Hot Cloth Cleanse and Polish. It is the only cleanser that has ever truly worked for me and works wonders. I really don't think I will ever switch to another cleanser, apart from trying a few here and there. When I massage the balm-like, creamy texture onto my skin it just melts onto my face and leaves such a soothing sensation. After leaving on for a good 15 minutes, feeling as though I have literally been whisked away to a spa, I remove simply with the muslin cloth provided. The cloth is wonderful. It gently removes all those left over nasties and bits of foundation you would have never even noticed with a microscope and exfoliates the skin a little a delicately. Results, I'm left with baby smooth skin that is ultimately soothed and calmed. By morning my redness almost always has faded and this is why I adore and trust the product so much. It is the only product ever, and I mean ever, to help reduce my redness. For £14 I really don't think this is expensive at all considering how effective this product actually is and as well it lasts a good few months, and that includes me using it everyday! Seriously I cannot fault this spa-like wonder and I don't think I will ever stop repurchasing it! 

Here is praise to another miracle cleanser, this time to The Body Shop's Camomile Silky Cleansing Oil. Well I have tried Bioderma and I have tried dupes for Bioderma. They were all good, obviously with Bioderma being the best out of them all however no other cleanser compares to this one on the same level. Honestly this is skin-loving luxury in a bottle. When applied my make up melts away instant and most importantly without any need for scrubbing and tugging! Eyes you may wonder, an absolute breeze. The rich, oily texture literally melts all eye make up known to man, in a swipe! Removing my make up is not only so simple with this product but also so luxurious. I also love the fact I feel this product is helping to protect my skin by removing the skin to rub or scrub at my skin to remove my make up. Likewise with the Cleanse and Polish for £11 I really think this cleanser is a steal and it too also lasts for months I tell you! I don't know what more to say really apart from just go and try it. It is literally amazing and the most dreamiest, relaxing cleanser you could ever imagine.

The Balance Me Cleanse and Smooth Face Balm was a little sample I received in a magazine and I hadn't really heard much about the brand before. It says to apply onto a dry face and to remove with warm water and a cotton cloth, much like I do with my favourite Liz Earle cleanser. I really didn't notice any benefits at all for my skin and the product seemed really average. It didn't cause any issues for my skin however it didn't do anything for my skin at the same time. I also fund the heavily zest-y, oatmeal scent really sickly and off-putting. For that reason I don't think I will be purchasing this cleanser. 

Night creams aren't something I ever really considered using until I tried a free sample of the delightful Philosophy Hope in a Jar. After enjoying it so much and feeling how plump and smooth my skin felt each morning I was determined to fins a cheaper alternative. Oh boy was a lucky! I didn't really know what sort of thing I was looking for and picked up the Boots Botanics All Bright Hydrating Night Cream on a whim. I don't know what sort of luck Jesus blessed me with on that day but I have found a treasure, a holy grail and a sensational product. The cream is aimed at normal to dry skin and claims to promote "surface renewal for brighter looking skin by morning" and contains hyaluronic acid to help "immediately boost moisture levels". On application I definitely feel nourishment and also soothing to my skin and upon waking up my skin is left so amazingly, gorgeously soft, it is actually crazy. It has a beautiful hibiscus scent that I don't find poignant or irritating at all and my skin absolutely loves it when I used this product. On top of its amazing smoothing and nourishing results it also does not break me out at all! This is a wonder product and if you are looking for a night cream to help replenish your moisture levels then most certainly give this one a try. It is the most nourishing moisturiser I have ever tried that doesn't leave your skin feeling greasy too.

Philosophy's Hope in a Jar Night Moisturiser was a serious game changer for me in the skincare department. I'd never used a night cream before so was sceptical of the results however this product truly left me wowed. Never have I used a product that has left my skin so irresistibly smooth and nourished. Although the scent being a little weird, like a mix of lavender and ear wax, it didn't linger and was so worth getting over for the truly amazing moisturising results. I would really love to purchase this night moisturiser at some point however at £37 for 60 ml of product I don't think that is something I will be able to afford just right now. You can always however pick up a free sample at the philosophy stands, they are lovely, so definitely do that before purchasing if you are interested in this product. 

Toner has always left me a bit confused to be honest. I never thought it really did anything I was told it was an important step not to miss in your skincare routine. In the past all the cleanser I have tried have been very stringent and usually left my skin stinging, red or irritated. However The Body Shop's Tee Tree Skin Clarifying Toner is the only one I have ever tried that is gentle on my skin. No stringing, no redness and no irritation. I must say I really love it for that however considering it is aimed towards blemished skin to help leave clearer looking skin I really don't feel it does anything. It doesn't seem to do anything for my redness and acne and likewise for blackheads. Although the 400 ml for £7 last me literally months I really don't feel it is worth repurchasing as it just sadly seems to do nothing for my skin.

Another toner I tried and tested recently was the Garnier Fresh Refining Toner Shine Be Gone. So first of all I'm not an oily skin I a drier kind so on the shine prevention aspect of things I can't comment much. When I think of shine minimising products however the word 'drying' almost always comes to mind but with this product I didn't find it too drying at all. It did leave my face a little tight after application but nothing a bit of moisturiser couldn't sort out and it didn't leave any long lasting dryness at all! Although it stung a tad more than my normal Body Shop tee tree offering it wasn't unbearable like some other I have tried in the past. P.S one I tried was so bad I looked like I was crying and my face hurt and to put the cherry on the cake my boyfriend said "I don't like the smell of that" and attempted to avoid my face all evening. So considering this I quite enjoyed using this Garnier Fresh Refining Toner. I wasn't expecting miracles as I picked it up on a whim (conscious that I had dragged my friends up and down the skincare isle on multiple occasions in order to make my mind up). Despite this though I was pleasantly surprised when I noticed that my pores seemed to be shrinking whilst I was using this toner. This is something I have never experienced before with a product and I was rather impressed that a mere £2.19 toner could have these kind of effects! At the moment my pores seem horrendous so I think I'm going to repurchase this magical and mysterious product and give it another whirl. 

Well I've just emptied the flipping empties bag and the Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Serum has obviously decided to not get back into the bag after having it's pictured taken and to waddle off on some exotic holiday. Good for him. Anyway I was so unimpressed with this serum and that makes me so sad "insert crying face emoji". The serum it's self was really luxurious and the smell was heavenly spa like however it was so average! It didn't aggravated me skin yet nor did it reduce my redness, improve my acne or even make a substantial change to the moisture in my skin. Although it was only a sample size I got about a week out of it, applying it each night, which I think is pretty good for a trial run. I just don't think this product is the one for me, not right now any way. At a hefty price of £36 for 30 ml I don't think this is really within my budget now and for that and the reason that it doesn't really do wonders for my skin I don't think I will be purchasing a full size. 

I really enjoyed The Body Shop Tea Tree Cool & Creamy wash; it's the perfect refreshing wake up face wash. My favourite thing about it is that it gives a deep cleanse without drying out my skin at all, literally at all! It actually leaves my face baby soft after I use it. Cool and calming tea tree scents really make it delightful to use of a morning and it is most refreshing. The only disappointment I had with this product was that it didn't really do anything for my acne. My redness it calmed a little but not really dramatically and I still got the occasional spot here and there. However it is probably the best face wash I have ever tried. My skin, especially my acne scarring, is quite stubborn so I'm not too surprised it didn't help in that area much. Despite this though I really would like to try it again now my skin has got a little drier in the colder months. If you have drier skin this would definitely be a wonder product for you!

Ahh the Chap Stick Flava Craze Lip Balm. When I purchased these about a year ago I was so utterly obsessed with them and was quite satisfied with their moisturising powers. Now however I am not as big a fan and think I will be venturing out into the lip balm world to find something a bit more nourishing. The Apple Burst was my favourite scent with Watermelon Splash coming in close second however after a while I found all the scents to be really chemically and unpleasant. Once applied they give some moisture however as soon as they are rubbed off I am left with dry lips once more. They aren't the sort of product that will help to keep your lips nourished and are more of a gimmicky product. 

Body Care
I very rarely stray from my usual deodorant as it is the best I have ever found however I picked up the Dove Go Fresh Grapefruit Roll On Deodorant for a little trip down memory lane. I must say I am not the biggest fan of grapefruit scents but this one is lovely and gentle, not too sweet. The smell is probably my favourite part about this product as it has a delightful smell without that strong deodorant, sort of chemically sent. However, sad to say, as much as I enjoy the lovely memories that come along with this product it really isn't very good. When applied it can be very sticky, clinging to clothes and leaving a bit of a not so nice feeling in the under arm region. On top of that is is absolutely rubbish at helping to concealer and sweaty odours (lovely) and even when I'm not doing any strenuous activity I'm am still left with delightful sweat patches :) now there' s a lovely thought :) . I don't think I will be repurchasing this one; I think I will stick to the impulse body sprays if I am in need of a trip down memory lane.

As much as I love a bit of Soap & Glory the Hand Food Hand Cream didn't really wow me. It had the traditional Soap & Glory scent, which if you love means this product may be fab for you as it does linger subtly, however it's not a scent I really really love. For £5.50 for 125ml I would rather purchase a hand cream with a scent I absolutely love. It terms of keeping my hands moisturised it was decent; it did the job but could have been better. I wasn't disappointed with this product at all though and I am most willing to give it another go as Soap & Glory are one of my favourites!

Let me just tell you now I really am a bit of a Sheldon (if you watch The Big Bang Theory you will understand me). I say a bit I rather likely more am the girl version of Sheldon to be honest and for that reason I am an avid hand cleanser, always ensuring to carry round a hand gel. My mum had a L'occitane hand gel hanging around and offered it to me as she said she wasn'tgoing to use it so naturally I said yes please. Well I didn't really get on with it did I. The smell of the Lavande Hand Gel is very strong and lingers, which I find really off putting, especially considering I don't like lavender too much. On top of this it is the most useless hand gel I have ever come across! In the tube it clumps together as a jelly and when applied spews out water and jelly pieces. Even is this was an Asda smart price 10p hand gel I would never ever purchase it and for £6 for 30ml I really don't think it is worth it. Sadly this just wasn't the hand gel for Sheldon.

Hair Care
For me dry shampoo is a must! When trying to grow your hair out washing it every other day isn't really on the agenda and sometimes sleep wins over hair washing. Anyway after having a bit of a love hate relationship with my Batiste I though it was time to give something new a try. The CoLab Dry Shampoo claims to "refresh roots with a residue-free, lightweight finish" and I must say the prospect of "residue-free" really drew me in. The scent was my favourite thing about this product, fresh and gently tropical. The product however I wasn't so impressed with. Although it was excellent at leaving no residue to the touch or even to the eye it really didn't do its job. After application My hair was still left looking limp and a little greasy. For me getting rid of these things is the most important thing a dry shampoo product can do and for that matter I don't think I will be repurchasing this product again. 

Ahh my Batiste XXL Volume Dry Shampoo; I am close to tears writing this. Ok maybe not but I am definitely heart broken at the fact I think it is being discontinued *insert mega crying emoji face*. Just in case you can still grab one of these gems or in case they aren't being discontinued let me tell you this is the Chief Shush-er of dry shampoos (if you have seen the film Home you will understand) :) Use this and grease is gone, volume is back. Seriously the only dry shampoo I have ever found that works. To put it simply it makes your hair look like you have just washed it and is a life saver on the days when you don't have time to wash your hair.

Shampoo and conditioner really does last me a lot longer these days no I only wash my hair twice a week hence why my brain is struggling to stretch as far back as to when I used the Tresemme Platinum Strength Shampoo and Conditioner. The product aims to strengthen the hair, reversing the look of up to two years of damage. I therefore expected super healthy and super shiny hair from this product however these weren't the exact results I got. It didn't the job and cleansed my hair, with the conditioner helping to remove tangles and knots however it actually gave my hair more of a little texture than smoothness. My hair however was not left rough, it was a nice balance of texture and smoothness with a good 'umph' of volume. My ends were left a little dry however and it didn't really leave much of a sheen to my hair. Although not bad I don't think I will be going back to this product right away as at the moment I'm all about that shine and moisture.

When in search of a shampoo and conditioner duo that was going to amp up my shine and moisture in my hair I decided to try the new Garnier Ultimate Blends The Sleek Restorer. First of all can I just say for a non-coconut fan I absolutely adored the scent of these two products; it's like holiday heaven in a bottle! I was pleased to see that the duo left my hair with a slight sheen and it was nourishing yet without compromising volume. It gave  little texture, the perfect amount actually in my eyes, not too drying. I think I'm definitely going to give these hair products a go again as I have an inkling of a feeling they were just right for my hair, considering that I want volume and texture as well as a touch of shine. If you want ultimate nourishment and shine then I don't think these will quite cut it but they are fairly moisturising if you are looking to add a little shine to your hair. 

Shower and Bath
Shower gels to me are such exciting products. They can encase scents so beautiful it can change your mood and your outlook on the day. At Christmas I received the most delightful selection box of mini I Love shower gels and each one had the most unique and delightful scent. One of my favourites though has got to be the Lemon and Limes scent. This smells like zing-y, zest-y, amazing-y, fresh heaven. It smells like straight up Starbursts, literally Starbursts in a shower gel. In addition to these these showers gels also produce an excellent lather which is a crowd pleaser for me (I mean who doesn't love a good lather?). Now I like to mix and match my shower gels from time to try and try so newbies as there are just so many delicious ones out there however if I am in need of a bit of a pick me up I am most certainly going to pick this one up! The I love range are also exceptionally good value for money (£2.99 for a 500 ml bottle!) and seem to be quite readily available in Superdrug. They are literally shower sensational! P.S the strawberries and cream one literally smells like Calpol and is divine! 

Shortbread Cookie by Philosophy was a delightful body wash and bubble bath. Sickly sweet and Christmas Joy packed into an excellent lathering formula though I'd say it's better as a shower product than bath product in terms of bubbly-ness. Shower time is literally like I'm baking cinnamon cookies in my Christmas apron and no one can take away by Christmas cosy-ness spirit with this shower gel. I don't know if this was limited addition but if it isn't is a serious cake lovers shower dream and I would highly recommend trying it! Tip of the day: if philosophy sell it still wait till the Christmas sales because everyone goes half price and it's only about £7 for this literally mahusive bottle :)

Well I think it's only right to clarify I am rather a big fan of Zoella :3 so when I received this as my secret Santa I was most excited. Now if you are one for a good lather in the shower then this is quite the one. Scent is another big thing for me when it comes to bath and body products. Soak Opera's sent is a cotton fresh and delicately floral, which is quite unique and really lovely. I definitely think it is something I would like to repurchase however I wouldn't class it as a favourite favourite of mine as I am really one for the big scents and sickly scents. If you prefer a little less 'kapow' in your shower scents, something a little more gentle, then this really is ideal for you. I adore the scent and the product I just wish for £5 the scent would last a bit longer and be a bit stronger because it really is beautiful. On the moisturising side of things I can't recall any major difference so I'd say this shower cream is better for the scent rather than for really softening and soothing dry skin. 

Ellie x