Empties Post #5 …

(I miscounted the number of empties posts that I’d done, so the last one was #4, not #3! – I clearly use up way more stuff than I think I do!)

Ah empties. It feels right to be doing an empties post so close to the new year – a good old clear out of all the half used bits and bobs that have been hanging about for ages. One of my ‘things to do in 2016’ (I hate the term resolutions) is to use up more stuff. I obviously have a lot of make up, skincare and bath stuff and it collects very quickly to become a mountain of stuff that is quite daunting! I try to order it in to boxes and things I need to use first by date, but I’m the kind of person that loves opening something new so I end up with half finished bottles everywhere. So, hopefully, in 2016 there will be a lot more empties posts and my stash will decrease in size somewhat.

So, this month I have been trying to use up all the sample sizes I’ve acquired. I love mini sized products but they are never quite big enough for a two week holiday, and usually on my holidays, my skin gets a bit sun burnt or the sun breaks it out and I need to rely on my old staples – not new products that I have no clue about. I always travel with products I know and trust – I rarely take sample sizes away unless they are body washes.

So here’s what is in my bin!


1. Giorgio Armani Si Eau de Parfam 100ml – I bought myself this two years ago with my Boots points that I’d been saving up; I think it was about £85. I’ve just done a quick Google and it looks like it’s come down a bit and is now around £70 for 100ml. I went through two phases with this: absolutely loved it when I got it which lasted about a year. Then totally went off of it. Then in September of this year I picked it up again and fell back in love. It is a bit more feminine than I usually go for, and quite sweet, but there is definitely something about it. Every time I wear it, Steve always asks what perfume I’ve got on and he said it smells different every day – interesting. Anyway, I’m back loving it again and am sad that it has come to an end.  Repurchase? Yes, I will, once I’ve used up the 378 bottles of other perfume I am hoarding away! 

2. Sarah Jessica Parker Lovely 50ml – I used to own this about 10 years ago when it first came out and I had a couple of bottles which I used and loved. Then someone gave me this bottle about a year ago I think, and I rekindled my love for it – it took me right back to being at Uni. Again, this is a sweet, heady scent that is not my normal preference, and I have to say, I don’t love it as much as I did. I think as I’ve got older my perfume tastes have changed and (hopefully!) become a bit more sophisticated .. haha who am I kidding?! Anyway – it does take me back to Uni again, but I think that’s the point: I was 21 at Uni and I’m now 32 … I think I’ve grown up a bit and out of Lovely – which is a shame. Repurchase? No, sadly. 


3. OGX Argan Oil & Shea Butter Shampoo and Conditioner – OMG. Stop the press. I actually finished a shampoo and conditioner at the same time!!!!! Can you believe it?! Well, don’t … I actually didn’t. The shampoo is the original but the conditioner is the second bottle – so not technically the same finishing times! However, these two are gorgeous. You all know my loyalty to OGX – SLS free shampoo that still lathers up a treat and makes my hair feel amazing. The whole family use these- Steve, Elsie and I. The smell of this one is gorgeous and it is a bit richer than the Weightless Coconut Water one that I prefer for day-to-day. This one is the one I pick up when my hair has been scorched with GHDs or been in the sun as they are so moisturising. If you have’t tried OGX yet, do it! Available in Boots and frequently on some kind of 3 for 2. Repurchase? Yes, definietely – this particular one and others in the range – I fancy the Vitamin E shampoo/conditioner next. 

4. Pantene Dry Shampoo Instant Refresh – My quest for the perfect dry shampoo rumbles onward – COLAB is still the front runner currently! This one I read about on another bloggers page and she rated it – I do not. The product feels really thick for a dry shampoo – like you’re spraying a full blown texturising spray on your hair. Also, the smell. My god – when I spray this I have to go and open all the windows in my room. It is so so strong and lingering and it really gets in the back of your throat – god knows what it has in it that I am ingesting every time I use it! Normally when I use a dry shampoo (COLAB), I can get a day or two more out of my hair; when I spray this on it I feel the need to wash my hair instantly. Not good. Repurchase? No. 


5. Aveda Botanical Kinetics Exfoliant – I’m not going to talk about this as you know I all love it – it is in my Hall of Fame and will be for a very long time to come! Repurchase? Yes YES YES!!!

6. L’Oreal Miss Manga Mega Volume Waterproof Mascara – Not strictly empty as such, but dried up and unusable. I bought this for the cruise about 18 months ago (I personally don’t go by the 6 month rule for mascara – I chuck it away when it dries up and goes manky) and used it all summer long last year (when we had a summer). I wore it in the pool, the sea and it didn’t budge. It held a curl (waterproof mascaras are much better at this than non waterproof) and didn’t run down my face. It has now finally given up the ghost and is so thick you could write your name with it, but it did well. I love this mascara and wish I’d got another one the other week when instead, I bought the Max Factor waterproof one – which is nice, but not as good as this. Lesson learnt. Repurchase? Yep, definitely – in time for holidays/summer.

7. Estee Lauder New Dimension Shape + Fill Expert Serum – This was a free sample from Estee Lauder when I bought a load of other stuff. I always hate it when they send you something lovely and amazing and when you decide you want it you realise it costs a bomb. This is £62 for 30mls, so it isn’t cheap. I don’t think I am the target audience for this serum as I’m a bit young – it says 45+ – but I like a good wrinkle serum and this is so lovely. It is light, sinks in beautifully and smells lush. I’ve been using it every night after Hydraluron and before moisturiser and, whilst I can’t make any grand claims about wrinkles, I do love it. Purchase full size? I think I’d seriously consider it if I was over 45. I may revisit in a year or so – I have loads of other serums to use up first. 

8. Origins GinZing Refreshing Mask: to wake up tired skin – Well I’m the perfect target market for this mask as I always look like I have tired skin first thing in the morning – who doesn’t? This sample size is tiny and I got two small uses out of it, so reviewing it in full would be unfair. However, those two uses didn’t wow me at all. I was expecting great things as the GinZing range has a huge cult following online, but this just felt a bit meh and for £23 full size, that is a lot of money for not very much. It is a gel consistency that you put all over your face and leave for 10 minutes – which I did. It is supposed to make you look more awake, but surely if you want/need that, then you need to apply your full skincare routine and face makeup? That is what makes me look awake and less tired. I didn’t get anything from it at all, unfortunately – as I usually love Origins. Purchase full size? No. 

9. Emma Hardie Amazing Face Age Support Cream – One thing I do hate about this is the name: Age Support?! Who the hell decided to call it that??! Sounds like the name of a care company. Anyway, dodgy names aside, the product is actually really good; I was pleasantly surprised as, for some reason, I thought I’d hate it. It does have the rose smell, which I’m not a fan of, but that isn’t overpowering and does disappear almost instantly. The cream is just lovely, quite thick but fast absorbing and makes my face feel smooth. I’ve been using it every night and maybe 4 times as a day cream and I really really like it. It is currently in the FeelUnique sale at £35.70 for 50ml (MUST.NOT.BUY.ANYTHING) so a really decent price for a very good night and/or day cream. I would say it was suitable for dry/dehydrated/normal/combination skin – not oily. Purchase full size? Yes. 

10. Hydraluron Serum – Again, like the Aveda, I wholeheartedly adore this product and will never be without it. Ever. Holy Grail status achieved. Go and buy it!! Repurchase? Always and forever. Currently £16.66 in Boots- normally £24.99!!! 

11. StriVectin Advanced Retinol Night Treatment Cream – This is the little bugger that gave my skin a reaction and cheeks like a beetroot. I know it was this as I wasn’t using any other new product at the time. Retinol is an effective but quite scary product to skincare newbies. It is powerful and is pretty much the only ingredient in skincare products that will actually do something for your face – wrinkles, scaring etc. It is (or should) be in anything anti-ageing, although you shouldn’t use it if you’re pregnant. I’ve had this sample tube for a while, but obviously, as I was pregnant, couldn’t use it. I was disappointed that it made my cheeks react – and, having read some reviews, if I’d have had a bigger sample and no Christmas party to go to, I might have persevered through the beetroot look. Reviewers seem to suggest that on the other side, nice clear skin awaits. I’ll never know. I’m going to give the Sunday Riley Luna Sleeping Oil that I mentioned yesterday a whirl first and see what the retinol in that does for me. Purchase full size? No. 

12. Radical Perfection Fluid – I’d never really heard much about Radical before getting this sample from SpaceNK. After using this sample up, I’m dying to try more from the range as I loved this. It is pricey at ‎£60 but worth it I think. This is one of the lightest yet most moisturising day creams I’ve used in ages. It is a very very thin fluid that, when applied, sinks in so quickly but makes skin feel so comfortable and moisturised. It has an ever so slight tint to it I think (hence the perfecting term) as it does seem to smooth out the texture of the skin and illuminate it, making it look healthy – this makes my skin look more awake than the Origins mask mentioned above! Whatever it is, I love it and this is definitely going on my to-buy list in 2016! Purchase full size? Definitely! 


13. Wax Lyrical Spiced Clementine Candle – I featured this a few weeks ago in my Christmas Candle post. I’ve used this up now and I did really like it, although the scent was lost slightly the nearer it got to the bottom. There was also a bit of black along the top, so not the cleanest burner, but it did burn all the way to the bottom with very little wax wastage. Repurchase? Only at Christmas for this scent, and only if it was on offer for ‎£4 again. 

14. Shearer Candles Vanilla & Coconut – This was a gift for my birthday in November and I love it. It is such a strong scent that really permeates the whole house. The tin is beautiful to look at – very elegant and the price is amazing at £4 for a really quality scented candle. I’d never heard of Shearer Candles, but you can get them from Ocado or Amazon and they are made in Scotland. I will be looking up other scents to get for the house for the new year when I’m sick of smelling cinnamon and cloves – I quite fancy the Persian Lime next. Purchase again? Yes. 

So, that’s all my rubbish accounted for! Hopefully, if the new year plan to use up stuff comes off, I should have another empties post pretty soon.

Thanks for reading.



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