Hello and welcome to another round of my plethora of collected beauty empties. I seem to go through so many beauty products at once; is anyone else like this when it comes to hoarding ever mounting bags of empties? Well then, before my cupboards start over flowing lets crack on with the post and as usual I will be breaking it down into beauty categories, highlighting the product names so you can wiz straight to the ones you are interested in. See you at the end peeps!
Starting in a logical order with the base of all makeup, primer. With anything in life the best foundations make for the most effective creations and naturally, being the makeup addict I am, I was on the hunt for the primers of primer-makeup-super-glues and oh boy did I find a treasure. Hands down, Soap and Glory's One Heck of A Blot Primer is the best primer I have ever used and will likely use. Bold claims I know but what's not to love when a primer seriously smooths and grabs on with all hands to keep your makeup in place all day? A drugstore super buy that I will definitely be repurchasing.
If you're going to glue any makeup to your face you want it to look fab and do it's job, leading me onto my next crucial product, concealer. Hearing it's praises sung by a number of beauty YouTubers, especially my fellow pale lovelies, I had high hopes for the NYX HD Concealer in porcelain. Sadly I wasn't so impressed. Although it has a thicker consistency I didn't experience great coverage from the product, applied in many a way, and it also had a tendency to oxidise on my rather ghost-like complexion. Longevity-wise it was also not the most resilient concealer however I am yet to find my dream industrial strength concealer so I can't complain too much there. All-in-all I wouldn't recommend this concealer or re-purchase. I love many an NYX product but this just wasn't a show stopper for me.
With the eye shadows poppin' and the skin looking flawless (in my dreams) the best way to round off any makeup look is with a fabulous mascara that achieves those doll-like lashes. And as everyone, their friend and their cat has exclaimed, Maybelline's Lash Sensational Mascara is one of the dreamiest and best-est mascaras out there. Rivalling my favourite Max Factor False Lash Effect Mascara, the Maybelline offering certainly delivers those doll-like lashes. My lashes are certainly hard to work with. Stubborn and unruly. Maybelline's lash sensational however seems to be the best in terms of lifting, curling and volumizing my lashes and holding this miracle for the day. Not forgetting to add, it also doesn't cause my great mascara pet peeve; smudging! Everyone just drop everything and go and purchase this mascara now. It's special! Don't buy them all though; I need to restock!
Again in my natural order, lets begin the extensive skincare empties list with facial cleanser. Now can I first of all make a claim and say that I think this facial cleanser is "the" longest-lasting face wash in all time history. To bubble up and wash away you only need half a pea-sized amount of Kiehl's Ultra Facial Oil-free Cleanser and my 150 ml tube literally and actually lasted me about a year and a half. People I do not lie; a year and a half! So for £16.50 it actually works out as quite the bargain. The product it's self however was quite the opposite sadly :( For a product that claims to maintain moisture and be non-stripping this face wash dried my face out to the full and take the "avoid eyes" message highly seriously because oh my a face wash has never burned my eyes more intensely than this. For myself, I didn't experience any positive skin benefits from this face wash and any possible benefits to my skin were drastically outweighed by it's desert-like drying effects. Sadly this is a no, no repurchase for me.
To toning with a classic I present to you the Pixi Glow Tonic Exfoliating Toner. I must say, I don't find toners have the world's most existing or noticeable effects for my skin however I definitely experienced some little wonders with this cult product. Perfectly refreshing, not at all drying or stringent and spa-like upon application perfectly sums up this gem. My favourite aspect of the product's performance was that it significantly reduced my redness, which is a great issue for a pale gal with sensitive and acne prone skin. After repeated use for many months however I am unsure as to whether the wonders of this product were wearing off a bit so, to conclude, I am taking a little break from the Glow Tonic for now I would certainly look to repurchase for a treat in the future. A perfect toner for all, with some lovely natural ingredients (aloe juice, witch hazel and horse chestnut extract), that leaves a natural glow without painfully peel provoking exfoliation.
Onto to eyes now. Dr Organics has fast become a brand I trust and love, with their fail-safe products bursting with nature's wondrous ingredients and many vegan products. One of the first Dr Organics products I tried was the Virgin Olive Oil Eye Serum. To this day I have tried a few of their other offerings but nothing has beaten this one for me. The nourishing creamy, gel-like texture blends and absorbs perfectly around the eye area and it left my eye area plump, nourished and healthy. On the dark circles and fine lines I can't really comment as lucky I am not displaying them at my 19th year of life however the nourishment this product provided for my delicate eye area would suggest to me it would be excellent at improving fine lines just with the moisture it provides. I would certainly recommend this eye cream to all, especially those with dry, irritated and sensitive eyes to sooth and restore long lost moisture.
Dr Organics Rose Otto Eye Serum offered very much the similar effects as to the olive oil offering. Again it provided me with moisture and comfort around my delicate eye area however the nourishment just wasn't on as intense a level as the olive oil offering. I have no complaints with this natural and moisturising eye cream and would recommend to those who are looking for a light and absorbent eye moisturiser. For myself however I don't think I'm sure I would repurchase this Dr Organics eye product as I just adore the more intense hydration of the Olive Oil Eye Serum.
When I started using Acnecide it drained all living moisture from my skin and left my skin quite red and irritated at first, with an abundance of dry patches. I was desperate to find a high intensity face moisturiser and that is when I stumbled upon the Weleda Skin Food for dry and rough skin. Being a thick cream with some fabulous natural ingredients, the Welda Skin Food was like an all day moisture mask and soak for my skin. It was quite the heavy duty moisturiser and did tend to leave my skin fairly oil once applied however it considerably soothed and replenished my poor dry face. When my skin was at it's worst Skin Food certainly repaired my skin but it's not something I would be calling for on a daily basis when my skin is happy and calm. If you are going through an extremely dry skin phase then I would definitely recommend this moisturiser as a rescue product to bring your skin back to humanity however.
From morning moisturisation to nighttime nourishment, this year I began to branch into the facial oil department on my quest to find the most natural and nourishing skincare routine. Naturally, if you'll pardon the pun, I swooped straight over to the acclaimed Trilogy Rosehip Oil. What drew me to the product was the claims that it would be fabulous for acne scaring, which I have a fair dabble of. Overall, the product was luxurious to use. Smelling like a spa in a rose garden, I would apply nightly and it would soak into my skin almost dry to the touch. Compared to other facial oils I have tried now it has definitely been the best at minimising the intensity of my acne scaring. The only issue I had with the product was with it temporarily staining my pillow however that was a minimal cost at the benefit of it's scar-reducing powers. Although it didn't completely rid my scars it definitely made a noticeable difference and I am certainly intrigued to try this product again.
Now I think the Boots Witch Hazel Gel is the only product in this post that isn't necessarily empty but I didn't feel the need to finish it. As bad as that sounds it wasn't an awful product but it simply didn't do anything for my acne, which was the reason I tried it. It claims to keep skin clear and prevent spots and pimples but it sadly didn't do a thing :( For me this is a no, no repurchase and I don't think it would do much for anyone with acne.
The Clarins Daily Energizer Wake-Up Booster was a little tester I was given and, to be honest, I'm not too sure what this product is for! It claims to be a "skin drink" that should be applied each morning prior to normal skincare. I'm not too sure how this would work under toner and I applied it as a moisturiser. When applied it sadly balled up in little shavings and had no effect on my skin. For that I definitely wouldn't buy this product as it just simply didn't do anything for my skin.
Tell me if I'm not the only one but I think there is something so very satisfying about applying a super nourishing lip balm. I adored the Carmex Vanilla Moisturising Lip Balm and I'd say it is one of the best I have ever used. It's vanilla scent was dreamy yet fresh and the balm left a delightful cooling and slightly tingly effect to my lips on application. The balm it's self was that perfect in between of thick and light and both soaked in to my lips as well as creating a moisture-rich barrier which lasted all day long. Once applied it did the job and unlike many lip balms it didn't dry my lips out to continuously campaign for me to apply it several times throughout the day. Definitely a product I'd recommend for all.
Seen as I very much enjoyed the Carmex Vanilla Lip Balm I decide to branch out to the Carmex Strawberry Moisturising Lip Balm, which presented as a gel in a squeeze-y tube. Unlike the vanilla offering, I despised this product. It smelt sweet but nothing special and my greatest gripe was how sticky and messy the applicator became, making it feel so unhygienic. Instead of absorbing into and nourishing my lips it would leave a thick gooey covering over my lips, making it impossible to eat, drink or apply a lip product over it. It also wasn't amazing at moisturising my lips either and for that reason I don't think I will ever repurchase this lip balm and definitely wouldn't recommend it to anyone. Sorry Carmex, your vanilla balm is considerably better.
Now on to the lip balm of all lip balms however! Once again in my quest for natural skincare products I stumbled across the Crazy Rumors Gingerbread Lip Balm. In a lip balm I look for long lasting moisture and nourishment that keeps cracked lips at bay whilst having the most delightful scent and pleasant texture and I can tell you the Crazy Rumors lip balm certainly achieved all of these for me. I'd go as far as to say it is one of, if not the, best lip balms I have tried, seriously repairing my lips in the most scrumptious of ways. With cosy hints of gingerbread and all things Christmas-y, the scent was perfectly sweet yet not too over powering and the texture was balm-y but light, soaking into my lips perfectly. Considering that this amazing lip balm is also 100% natural, cruelty free and vegan it seems unquestionable to me to repurchase all the amazing Crazy Rumors lip balms again and again.
After all my efforts in looking to care for my skin as best and as naturally possible I wanted to ensure I maintained all the benefits of my carefully planned day-to-day skincare by shielding my skin from the sun and it's ageing powers by investing in a daily facial SPF. The first I ever tried was the La Roche-Posay Anthelios XL Ultra-light SPF 50+. My main concern was avoiding any breakouts at all costs as I was aware sun creams are renowned for being a potential greasy culprit of acne. What drew me towards the La Roche Posay offering then was it's non-greasy and non-comedogenic claims along with it's light texture. Light it was and, as it also claimed, wasn't visible on my skin, didn't cause any breakouts and didn't cause any irritation for my skin. It did the job and it did pretty well at protecting my skin from all the letters of the alphabet. My only slight dismay however that it was actually fairly greasy to myself and it left a light greasy layer on my skin throughout the day. For this reason I don't think I would repurchase the fluid sun protection again and wouldn't recommend to any skin types. I would however look at trying their other formulas as La Roche-Posay is a brand I trust and love.
Now on to the best of the best of the facial SPF's in my opinion. Just like the La Roche-Posay offering, the Vichy Ideal Soleil Mattifying Dry Touch Face Fluid SPF 50+ offers the ultimate UVA and UVB sun protection that is fit for sensitive skin. It promises to provide a water resistant, matte finish to the skin and is aimed at people with combination and oily skin. Unlike the La Rocche-Posay offering however it doesn't state that it is a non-comedogenic formula. Let me however restore your faith in humanity because people of planet earth, this WILL stick to your face, mattify like there is no tomorrow and praise the Lord himself, it doesn't cause a single pore clogging break out! Although it is always recommened to top up your SPF throughout the day, this miracle will not leave your face until it meets soap and water. It could NOT be more PERFECT to sit under your makeup too as it is seriously more mattifying than a mattifying primer. Yet BEHOLD, it doesn't dry out your skin. To round this little product preaching off I have to say, I don't think I will ever stray from using this as my go to daily facial SPF. People with OILY, COMBINATION or ACNE prone skin, this is your holy SPF!
Starting with the basic essential I bring you one of my ultimate holy grail body care products in the form of the Mitchun Advanced Control Powder Fresh Deodorant. Now I think this is a bit of an unspoken body care wonder in the beauty department because I myself only stumbled upon it when I had a deodorant running out crisis and had to borrow my mum's offering and since that day, many years a go may I add [my teenage years are almost up :'(], I have never found a deodorant on the same planet, let alone level, that comes close to the insanity of this product. Hands down the Mitchum, specifically Powder Fresh, deodorant is the only deodorant that stops you from sweating for the day and halts any smells that may emit from my under arms. Lovely I know but I'm not one to enjoy being sweaty throughout the day. At a bargain drugstore price this is my staple deodorant of life and when I have ever strayed from it I have always came straight back to it's trusted powers. I swear no one could find a better deodorant than this. The deodorant that actually works!
What better way to add to the benefits of freshening up than by locking in moisture with lathering of blissful body moisturiser. Seen as I am one to enjoy a bit of organisation we are going to go from light to heavier formulas, staring with the lotions [God help me]. I won't lie to you, I do love a bit of Disney if I do say so myself and when you mix Disney with spa-worthy, sweet scented beauty products I'm going to be all over that thing like it's chocolate cake. If you either want to spoil yourself or someone else I highly recommend the Disney Wonder Bath Set, which includes the Disney Wonder Body Lotion. As enchanted as you could imagine, this perfectly nourishing and non-greasy exquisite body lotion nourishes the body with sweet scents of the sugary-est apple. I cannot fault this divine product that worked just as wonderfully as a middle of the range drugstore speciality body lotion yet with the most luxurious feeling. The only sad point to it is that I think this was a limited edition set and I'm hazarding a guess it was from the Disney Store yet I cannot find it on their website. Keep your eyes peeled around Christmas time in case you see this wonder in a gold detailed bath set with Bambi on as it surely won't disappoint as both a gift and personal treat.
Another Christmas body lotion I worked my way through this year was the Beautycology Pink Peppermint Candy Swirl Body Lotion. I haven't had the best experiences with Beautycology products in the past but I must say they have really upped their game in the past year and their product scents this past Christmas were utterly divine. My only slight negative of this product was that it wasn't the one for moisturising my skin and it was quite watery to apply, not really absorbing into my skin. For that reason I think I will try some other body lotions from my long list of other sweet treats to try for now but I must say if you are one for a sweet smelling product Beautycology really do some delightfully scented products! Hint, hint, their showers gels are pretty scrumptious!
From the lotions to creams, another body moisturiser I tried for the second time to my delight this year was the Monsoon Moisturising Body Cream. Each time I have tried this product I was lucky enough to receive it as a gift and was so excited when I saw it peeping through my wrapping paper again last Christmas. [Shout out to Connor and his family who always get me the most beautiful and loveliest of gifts that I never ever expect and they are truly the sweetest and most exquisite delights! I am very grateful <3] Put simply Monsoon's signature perfume and body cream set could easily be a high end gem. It perfectly nourishes my skin with the most luxurious and regal scent. As it states, this product really does "leave your skin silky smooth and softly scented" and I would highly recommend to all, again as a gift or present to yourself.
From one body cream dream to another. I'm sure everyone and their friend and their friend's cat has tried a Body Shop Body Butter at least once in their lifetime and it certainly is an indulgence not to be missed and to be highly anticipated in life! When the dreamy half price sale hit the classic body butters I couldn't believed my eyes and swooped in to grab their Chocomania Body Butter. Firstly, lets just get this out the way as it's pretty much a well known fact. The Body Shop Body Butters are some of thee, if not thee, best body moisturisers ever to grace this earth. They work, they work flipping well, they are very flipping natural and they make your skin ooze with the most nourishingly scrumptious scents there are on this earth. Now to the best part of this product; the smell! Imagine coco butter mixed with hints of chocolate icing and all things indulgent. Now add the creamiest, most buttery body butter texture in the world and you have yourself one of my all time favourite body moisturisers. The Body Shop's Body Butters are a sheer treat for me and there is not a thing I can fault about their chocolate perfection Chocomania scent. Definitely a 100% repurchase-able item for me and the rest of my living days!
When it comes to body butter delights I am still all about that bargain as I am both frugal and a student on this earth. Therefore when I saw Boots' sophisticated Diptyque-like Florence Anne range I popped it immediately on my Christmas list. In the set I so gratefully received was the Blackcurrant and Fig Body butter and oh my was it a treat. My favourite aspect of this product was it's perfectly cosy and Christmas-y blackcurrant pie-like scent. In terms of it's performance, it was more of a body cream I would say as the formula was more watered down as opposed to the true buttery-ness of a Body Shop Body Butter. I must say it still did a lovely job at moisturising all my extremities and soaked in pleasantly and, to my content, left me with delicate hints of that rustic blackcurrant pie. All in all, I'd say this was a lovely product, perfect for some Diptyque-cheating style Instagram pics at a fraction of the cost. Certainly a product I would enjoy to use again but not necessarily the best of the best.
Last but not least we come to the humble hands and back to another delight I bring to you the Disney Wonder Hand Cream. Just like its body lotion offering, the hand cream was just as dreamily sweet smelling. What really impressed me however was it's absolutely fantastic hand moisturising powers. Better than some on the high street I'd say! It certainly nourished those hands for good without screaming for layers to be reapplied constantly throughout out the day. Sadly this beauty may appear to be limited edition so if you see it out there in the wild grab it and don't look back [don't forget to pay!] as I can assure you it will do your hands and olfactory cells ;) a treat!
Well if you made it all the way to the end of this post I applaud you and you are certainly very special! And to all that have just popped down here and in and out of the post you are equally as special to me <3 I myself had to go through 10 teas and 3 wees before making it to this mighty end. I hope this post has given you a little idea of how these products have worked for me and my weird and wonderful self and may help you in your quest to find some beauty gems and avoid some beauty-not-so-gems!