Hello lovelies; it's been a while to say the least. These past few months have been a little stressful as I'm at that age where I'm transitioning from child and school to hopefully fully fledged adult and career and my gosh has it been a bit crazy! However it has saddened me deeply that these busy times have taken away from my blogging but I am back! And I ain't going away. This is my happy place and I am here to stay! And with that being said it's time to discuss some empties. Sit back and relax as it's time to praise and poo poo some lovely little beauty products.
(P.s I know it's a big one so I have split the post into four sections: skincare, hair care, body care and other delightful things, and I have also split the product reviews into a paragraph per product with the full product name included in the paragraph so that you can skip to what your interested in without having to read the whole thing. Hope that helps!)
Starting off in the order of my skincare routine, one makeup remover I tried was the Garnier Simply Essentials Soothing 2 in 1 Eye Makeup Remover. Now this purchase was quite the while ago before I discovered the benefits of cleansing oils and to be truthful it really didn't live up to the power of my faithful Body Shop Chamomile Silky Cleansing Oil. To be honest my usual cleanser is tough to knock off the podium. I found the product quite oily however it still took a bit of gentle rubbing to wipe my eye makeup away. For your usual mascara I'd say not bad but if your wearing water proof don't even consider this one, it just doesn't have that kind of muscle power. So it didn't make eye makeup removal easy. Decent for eye shadow; borderline decent for normal mascara. Despite its pretty average performance I did feel as though the oiliness of the product was the culprit of some pesky spots popping up in near by areas on my face. Although a bargain at £2.69 this one just didn't quite have the strength to tackle my daily eye makeup.
Moving on to toner now I really enjoyed my time with The Body Shop Vitamin E Hydrating Toner. Anyone reading this with dry skin prepare; this may be your new best friend. The product it's self is the most lovely, rich toner that isn't heavy on the skin at all. No nasty or oily reside was left on my skin after use. I also thoroughly enjoyed the delicately heavenly smell of this product. Fresh and creamy. After use it always left my skin feeling plump and nourished. And most importantly it didn't aggravate my spots! For me it's a win, win and I think I will definitely be looking to incorporate this into my skincare routine again alongside my glycolic acid toner.
Now looking at some past moisturiser choices the Yes to Tomatoes Daily Balancing Moisturiser was again another one I enjoyed, with similar effects to that of The Body Shop's Vitamin E Toner. A rich moisturiser that doesn't leave a greasy or oily film yet leaves the skin feeling plump and nourished. The scent was also lovely and so unique, with gentle hints of tomato and watermelon in a creamy mixture. Now considering the product aims to "help balance skin" I was stupidly expecting miracles for my acne however it didn't have any effect on that issue. Despite this down side for me though the product didn't aggravate my acne either and with the nourishing effects it left my skin with this is yet again another product I would like to incorporate into my new skincare routine to add in the moisture my acne fighting products depleat a little. Oh and did I mention it contains 97% natural ingredients. Fabulous!
When my passion for makeup and beauty started to delve into an interest for all things skincare I heard fabulous things about the Kiehl's Ultra Facial Moisturiser. With a hefty price of £15.50 for a 75ml bottle I was expecting some quite miraculous results in terms of nourishment, performance and skin texture. To my dismay the moisturiser of beauty guru favourite was a bit of a flop for me and really didn't do much for my skin. Rich it was however it left a greasy film on my skin, which I do feel contributed to some extra pesky spots. The product certainly didn't sink in, which didn't bode too well with my makeup and the texture of my skin was left pretty average. I was expecting an 'as smooth as a baby's bottom feeling' on my skin but it really didn't resemble that. Sadly for me this moisturiser just didn't do it for my skin so I don't think this will be one I will be investing in however I was made up to have the opportunity to try it.
In the past few months I've really been upping my game in the mission to tackle my acne and the Vichy Normaderm Beautifying Anti-blemish Care Lotion was a moisturiser/ treatment product I was eager to try after reading famous blogger Really Ree's review on it. The lotion is aimed at those "suffering from blemish-prone skin: blemishes, shiny skin and uneven skin texture", according to Vichy and bar the shiny skin I definitely have a concoction of everything else listed. According to Vichy it is also "clinically proven to target persistent and recurring imperfections" including "blemishes, colour marks, dilated pores, recurrent shine and dull complexion". Blemishes and colour marks, I definitely have a plentiful of them! Whilst using the product I have to give it credit that it really did reduce the significance of my red spots and blemishes. This was something I had only ever seen with the La Roche Posay Effeclar Duo. My breakouts were also reduced slightly in frequency. On application the product gave a little tingle to my skin but in a reassuring way so that I felt it was doing something for me. The other factor I love about this product though is that it really is great for sensitive skin because it didn't dry my skin out at all unlike other harsh acne products. My skin was actually left quite moisturised. I must highlight that it didn't clear up all my acne woes but it certainly did have very good positive effects on it, helping to minimise it to an extent. Definitely a product I want to try incorporating into my new skincare routine in rotation with other high performing moisturising products for me like the Yes To Moisturiser. If you suffer from acne, no matter dry skin or oily skin, I would definitely recommend trying this product.
After my beloved Boots Vitamin E Eye Cream was discontinued I was on the sorry hunt to find a new one to live up to its excellencies. One product I tried was the La Roche Posay Toleriane Ultra Eye Contour after hearing how wonderfully gentle the sensitive skin range was from Kate La Vie's blog post review. I must agree that the product really was delightfully gentle on my delicate eye area and I really new I was nourishing my delicate skin with quality seen as it was a La Roche Posay product. The stand out point for me with this product was how well it nourished the skin around the eye area; it really was quite special. The price however (£14.90 for 20ml) was a bit of a down side for me as that just isn't a price I can be paying for eye cream each month on a student budget. My only other gripe was that no matter how fantabulous and gentle the cream it didn't have any SPF and that is the one factor that sets an eye cream apart from the others for me as I don't have incredibly dry eyes and am not quite ready for any wrinklage control of prevention. I think if a dry eye area is your problem zone then this is definitely a cream to try as it will not disappoint in terms of nourishment whilst being gentle enough for all eyes.
Another eye cream I tried in hopes of finding a replacement for my greatly missed Boots Vitamin E Eye Cream was the Superdrug Vitamin Nourishing E Eye Cream. The product its self was very similar to that of the Boots one in that it was the same colour, a similar texture and the same great bargain price. To sum it up it did the job and it moisturised my eye area. It was pretty average but still good. Again the only issue I had was that it didn't contain any SPF unlike the old Boots offering. As of now I'm not using any eye cream, which I'm not sure if it is a bad thing, but I ensure to blend my facial SPF carefully around my eye area. I haven't experienced any dryness around my eyes since stopping using an eye cream so I'm holding off until I find a moisturising one that has SPF and no wrinklage prevention or controlling.
Going back to the face now I picked up a acne specific treatment product in the hopes of it working wonders for my blemished skin and this was The Body Shop Tea Tree Blemish Fade Night Lotion. The lotion was refreshing and light, leaving a slight tingle after application. No greasy film was left and it certainly didn't aggravate my spots however it definitely wasn't a product you would want to swap for your daily moisturiser, not because it was drying but because moisturising wasn't the main aim of this product. To be honest I wasn't overly impressed with the results this product gave. My active breakouts seemed slightly reduced but still occurred here and there. There was no effect on my redness or blemishes however I must admit it is a tough job to tackle those factors when it comes to my skin and only a select couple of products have ever shown good results in defeating these factors. Overall I'm just not too sure this product gave my acne prone skin any noticeable effects however I am willing to give it another go at some point. Because it is so good at sinking in, yet isn't super nourishing and doesn't leave a greasy film I would definitely suggest this product for those with oily skin as I feel as though it would be excellent in mastering oil control.
Last but not least in the skincare department I couldn't neglect my lips and one moisturising product I had been using was the Chap Stick Flava Craze Lip Balm in the scent Watermelon Splash. Out of the three scents in the pack (water melon, orange and apple) Watermelon Splash was definitely may favourite. Now looking at the product seriously skincare wise it wasn't the most nourishing lip balm, a bit gimmicky to say the least, however it did the job. My only gripe was that these Chap Stick Flava Craze lip balms can smell a bit chemically, especially as you continue to use them regularly. Probably not the best ingredients to be nourishing my gentle skin on my lips with so I don't think I will be rushing to the shops to pick this one up again. I have to hold my hands up, I'm a sucker for sweet and fruity scented beauty products!
When it comes to my hair my key aim is nourishment and protection and my hair its self is pretty average, meaning not too dry or too greasy. At the moment I'm trying to grow my hair as long as I can so to keep it in tip top condition I thought a bit of argan oil would be the perfect investment for keeping it sleek and taming those unruly layers. The Argan Oil Hair Treatment was a bargain I picked up from my local pound store. Now if you are a fully fledged hair oil user you will probably get on great with this oil whereas for me, at first, it took a bit of getting used to. When I first tried it I would apply a little to my hair post washing and pre drying. Warning, do not do this unless you're looking for greasy locks. So after that disaster I learnt the best method with this product is to apply it only to the ends of your hair, I repeat just the ends of your hair, prior to washing and them washing thoroughly out with your usual shampooing and conditioning routine. I must say for £1 this argan oil really was excellent and left my hair sleek and glossy. It met all my expectations and left my hair feeling and smelling luxurious. Now if you like your beauty products to be as pure and natural as possible I don't think this is the oil for you, as it appears to have quite a few added chemicals, however if a bargain hair oil that does the job and does it well is what you are looking for then look no further. One of the best bargain hair products I have ever used and for only for £1!
After lathering the ends of my hair in some nourishing oil I simply wash it away with my regular shampoo and conditioner and for this I use the one and only L’oreal Extraordinary Oil Nourishing Shampoo and Conditioner. This duo is just beyond amazing; one of the best hair cleansing and conditioning products I have ever used. I cannot count how many I have gone through already and cannot recall when I starting using them as it has been that long! The Extraordinary Oil range of shampoo and conditioner is the only drugstore hair washing duo that has ever left my hair so soft and healthy. This duo is ultra nourishing, leaving my hair feeling like silk after I use it. The scent is very classy and lingers subtly for the first day after washing, leaving my hair smelling fresh and luxurious. And in addition to the amazing results it leaves on my hair it never interferes with the extra nourishing effects my weekly hair oil treatment creates, whilst still clearing the reside out of my hair to leave it light and refreshed. I would recommend this duo to anyone and everyone who wants their hair to feel like silk and look glossy and nourished after washing. If you suffer from dry hair or your hair is suffering in the cold winter weather I also think these products would be great for adding that little bit of life and gloss back into your strands. A must try and a holy grail product for me!
The Aussie 3 Minute Miracle Shine Deep Treatment was one of the first deep conditioning products I tried after becoming consumed by the beauty blogger and beauty guru world. My time using this product was thoroughly enjoyable and I couldn't fault the performance of the product. After my regular conditioner I would apply this generously all over my hair (even the roots!) and leave in for a good five minutes. Then I would rinse well before being left with only hair so soft that princesses would dream of. The product claims to "help revitalise dull hair" and that it "adds gloss to each strand" and I can guarantee you that is how it left my hair feeling and looking. My hair felt like silk and looked like silk all thanks to this amazing deep conditioner. Oh, and did I mention it smells like bubble gum candy floss! For me this is a product I will definitely be repurchasing as an alternative to my coconut oil. Or who knows; maybe I will go mad and try them both together! Oky I'm definitely trying that now. I will be sure to let you know the results but in the mean time if you are considering purchasing this product don't hesitate to go and grab it and dazzle those luxurious locks of bubble gum scented dazzling hair!
Shower time! Most of these picks are probably sweet and sickly and that's just the way I like my shower gel to smell! First off we have The Comforter Shower Cream by Lush, a shower and soapy suds version of The Comforter bubble bar. With the comforter being one of my all time favourite bath time companions there was no doubt I was head over heels in love with this shower friendly version! Purchase this beauty and each an every morning you will be lathering yourself in the sweetest and most rich scents of creamy dark berries and other delightful fruits. For those in need of further explanation it basically smells like super sweet Ribena, which is a smell my nose enjoys greatly as do I. This is a product I would definitely purchase over and over again, especially knowing it is made with quality ingredients without any animal testing!
Next up in the sweet smelling showering offerings we have the Soap and Glory Orangeasm Body Wash. As it says on the tub, zesty-fresh and revitalising are definitely the two perfect words to sum up this gorgeous shower wash. Again the product has a brilliant lather, along with a rich and sophisticated creamy, zesty orange scent. Another one for a repurchase maybe?
Another Soap and Glory shower spectacular on the creamy side of things was the Whipped Clean Shower Butter. With hints of cocoa and shea butter, sweet almond and macadamia nuts this creamy shower mixture was a recipe for showers smelling of freshly baked cakes with a selection of milkshakes to indulge in too. And not to mention the creamy formula left my skin feeling heavenly soft. Yet another shower beauty hopping on the the repurchase list I think!
Although not an everyday faithful moisturiser I more than often ensure to use something nourishing on my skin after showering to maintain healthy and smooth skin. Looking back on the past few months I have been trying a plethora of formulas to moisturise my body, three of which being The Body Shop Sweet Lemon scented. Out of the butter, oil and whip the body whip was definitely my all round favourite. The formula was creamy and nourishing yet with the ability to sink in quickly. The body butter came in close second however it just took that little bit longer to sink in. Despite this, the texture of The Body Shop Body Butters is the most luxurious and I would highly recommend them if you don't mind that little extra time to let things sink it. A really good option for a night time indulgence in my opinion! As for the oil, it really wasn't my cup of tea. The oil tended to leave a greasy film on my skin and had difficulty sinking in and the after effects of oily hands and an oily bottle were just too much for me and my Sheldon like tendencies to comprehend. Because of this I actually popped it in my empties before finishing it as it just wasn't a match made in heaven for me. The sweet lemon scent was present in all the body moisturisers and it was lovely and refreshing however quite strong and poignant. If you like lemon scents you will adore this range and I would highly recommend both the body whip and butter in any of The Body Shop's other delightful and gorgeous scents for ultra moisturisation.
Last up in the body moisturisers category is the Boots Fruity Strawberry Body Moisturiser. I've been using Boots own fruity body products for years now because I just adore how natural and un-chemical like their scents smell. As well as being an excellent body moisturiser this Boots offering had a really lovely natural strawberry smoothie scent that reminded me of a strawberry Petits Filous yogurt. The Boots body tub moisturisers are a definite super purse friendly dupe for The Body Shop Body Butters if you can't get your hands on one of them yet still with the same great rich and fruity fragrance.
Other delightful things
Sadly to say two of my last empties are some of my all time favourite delightful things. Firstly is the Lily Flame Scented Candle in Fairy Dust. Scented candles for me are one of the most comforting and relaxing aspects you can add to a home and the Lily Flame candles have excellent fragrant powers that fill rooms with pure delight. To me the Fairy Dust candle smells like sweet dreams and baby bubble bath and helps me relax into a state of peaceful happiness. If I were to pick a candle that defines me it would most certainly be this one without a shadow of a doubt. One of the signature scents in my lovely little life.
Another new found signature scent of mine, of which I was sad to see run out, was The Body Shop White Musk Eau De Toilette. Although only an eau de toilette this fragrance really holds it scent throughout the day and boasts the most beautiful rustic and creamy notes, with a mix on sandalwood and vanilla. Again another beautiful fragrance I will repurchase as long as I shall live.
If you made it all the way then I present to you a virtual medal of excellence in blog reading and thank you with all my heart for enjoying this rather hefty and from the heart empties post. Don't worry, the next post won't be such a blog-a-thon :)