It has been exactly two weeks since I uploaded my last empties post – in that time I seem to have finished a whole load of stuff. Empty products do come in waves it feels like – I can go for months without finishing anything and then 20 things empty at once; it is the same with household things too … I end up having to buy bleach, toothpaste, dishwasher tablets, washing gel etc. etc. all in the same week = an expensive shop!
Anyway – I’ve finished up a few skincare bits in the last fortnight, probably in my eagerness to get started on my new bits I got for Christmas that I showed you in yesterday’s post. As ever, a mini review plus yay or nay for future purchasing…
Soap & Glory Whipped Clean Shower Butter £7.00 Boots – This was a really nice, luxurious feeling shower cream. I tend to prefer shower creams as they feel more moisturising and this is lovely. The scent is quite strong – in true S&G style – and some might find it sickly; I quite liked it which is odd as I normally hate overly sweet scents. The texture is a bit odd at first – it is a cream, like a body lotion. Once lathered up though (I used one of those round net spongy things) it creates a lovely foam. Does contain SLS. Repurchase? Probably not, as there are other S&G shower products that I prefer.
Clarins Eau des Jardins Uplifting Shower Gel – (sample size) £19.00 full size Escentual – This was one of the lovely samples from Clarins when I bought something else and it is gorgeous. Such a light, zesty, uplifting scent and beautifully soft bubbles. Having just said I prefer creams to gels, this is an exception – I love it. I got two uses out of this teeny tiny little bottle and I wallowed in the scent for a while – standing freezing in the shower; it made the bathroom smell lovely! Purchase full size? Aaah… er… yes probably. I know, the price is crazy. Maybe I’ll get it in duty free?… or wait for a Clarins discount code.
Liz Earle Signature Foundation in Porcelain £21.00 Liz Earle/John Lewis – I’ve made no secret of the fact that I just cannot get on with a lot of Liz Earle products – this is another of them. Whilst this isn’t strictly empty, it has gone gunky and is unusable and frankly, I’m relieved. I’ve tried so many times/ways to like/use this to suit me and I just couldn’t do it so I’m very glad to see the back of it! I always feel a bit guilty being negative towards LE, as they are a home-grown brand based on the Isle of Wight, where I live – but there is just something about them that does not gel with me (only exceptions are Skin Tonic and Eye Lotion which are fab). I found this foundation difficult to blend – it kind of sat on my skin; it also went oxidized on my skin after about 5 hours too. Repurchase? No.
Lancome Hypnose Drama Mascara in Black £20.25 lookfantastic.com – The Lancome Hypnose mascaras are my Hall of Fame mascaras. The curl and lasting power of these are amazing, but they aren’t for you if you like a clearly separated, defined set of lashes; I like the clumpy, slightly thick spidery lash look (similar to L’Oreal Miss Manga – go for Max Factor any one or Benefit They’re Real if you like separation). This tube has been going for about 18 months and has now dried up beyond saving. The only negative I would say about this mascara is that I prefer the regular Hypnose one, not the drama – the brush is a bit too huge on this one. Repurchase? Yes, definitely, but the regular Hypnose one.
Chantecaille Faux Cils Mascara in Black (sample size) £35.00 full size SpaceNK.com – This has been going for about 18 months too, but it now has not got any actual product left in it and is dry when it comes out of the tube. I loved this mascara, a lot- even as much as Lancome. It is the polar opposite of the Hypnose mascaras I found – gives a real lifted curl, separation and definition – no clumps; kind of good for work as the clumpy, exaggerated look isn’t quite appropriate somehow for standing in front of a load of kids! The downside to this? The price. £35?! No way would I ever pay that amount for a mascara. Why would you? The high-street (plus Lancome!) do such good mascaras now that you don’t need to. Purchase full size? If I won the lottery, yes – for now… no. Shame.
Origins Ginzing Brightening Mascara £15.75 Feel Unique – I got this as a free sample from Origins when I purchased other products and to start with I loved it. The brush is massive with bristles, not a plastic wand and it gives good separation and a good coating on the lashes. However, I found that this mascara flaked during the day and didn’t stay in place – I had a few of those black fallout bits on my cheek. It says it is a brightening mascara – hmm; I’m not entirely sure how you can have a brightening mascara? If it coats your lashes and opens your eyes up – as all mascaras are meant to do, why would we bother otherwise? – then what’s the deal with the brightening tag? Purchase full size? No, there are much better ones on the high street.
Beauty Bay The Collection Drop Dry £2.50 http://www.beautybay.com – These are fabulous little bottles of amazingness if you like painting your nails but can’t be bothered to wait for ages for them to dry; that is exactly me. I used to use a much more expensive bottle of drying drops from Leighton Denny that I got from QVC years ago when the idea first launched and they were good but pricey. Then, when placing an order with BB, you get to select a free gift if you spend over £50 I think so I picked these – and they are amazing! You apply your polish, then your top coat (Revlon Gel topcoat for me) and then wait two minutes and apply the drying drops once; they’ll be touch dry within about 5/10 minutes depending on the polish, but I like to give it about 30 minutes – whilst watching TV. I decanted the liquid in to the Leighton Denny pipette/dropper bottle (as I think that is a better way of applying than the brush that this bottle has) and it works a treat, and for £2.50 it is a bargain. In comparison, OPI drops are £8.75 and the Leighton Denny ones are £11.00. Purchase? Yes, definitely – can’t be without these when doing my nails.
REN Glycolactic Radiance Renewal Mask £19.95 http://www.allbeauty.com – I got this about two years ago after reading amazing reviews on it from various beauty bloggers. I expected big things; I was unofrtunatly a little disappointed. From what they’d all been saying, I expected miracles and it just didn’t happen! This is a pricey mask – £30 when I bought it – and it just made my skin red and blotchy. It contains glycolic acid (my skin prefers Salicylic acid as I’ve now discovered) and can be quite sensitive – so this isn’t one for you if you have sensitive skin or redness as it’ll make it worse in my opinion. There are some incredible reviews on this product claiming it improves skin tone and radiance while minimising pore size, reducing congestion and the list goes on, but for me (said in a Cheryl Cole voice… I hate it when she says that!) it just didn’t do an awful lot! I did use this mostly when I had much spottier, oilier skin a few years ago and never saw any of the things people claim with my skin, and I didn’t really like the tingle either as it was a pretty intense ‘tingle!’ Repurchase? No – the REN 1 Minute Facial or Gatineau Gommage do more for my skin than this does.
Aveda Botanical Kinetics Purifying Creme Cleanser £16.20 Feel Unique – This is part of the wonderful Botanical Kinetics range which I adore – the Exfoliant is in my Hall of Fame and I recommend it to everyone who’ll listen! This was a nice cleanser – smooth, creamy and gentle but you know it’s working. I wasn’t blown away by the scent – those who like quite herby scents might like it. I generally used this as my AM cleanser or as a second PM cleanse if I didn’t want to use a balm. I don’t really know about makeup removal as I never used it for that purpose. It says for normal to dry skin, but I’d say normal/combination skin – when my skin was at it’s driest, this wasn’t moisturising enough for a cleanser. In my opinion, this is the weakest product in the BK range from Aveda – but if you’re after a slightly more high end, gentle cleanser and like herby scents, check this one out. Repurchase? No, as I prefer others (S&G Ultimelt) and I’m not keen on the scent.
Clarins HydraQuench Intensive Serum Bi-Phase (sample size 15ml) £34.95/30ml http://www.allbeauty.com – This was a free gift from Clarins when I purchased other products and I was amazing at how good the sample size was! It has lasted me a good few months using twice a day. I used this when my Hydraluron ran out and it bridged the gap for a few months. It is designed to quench the skin with hydration and I would agree. It is a slightly weird texture; you have to shake it up to mix the two liquids together as it is bi-phase and it comes out very very runny, like water so you have to work quickly. It sinks in beautifully in no time at all and doesn’t interfere with other products. I used this after spritz toner and before moisturiser, AM and PM. This is a really good one if you’re not keen on Hydraluron (why!?), or if you fancy trying something from Clarins. It would be good for dry/deyhdrated/normal skin to inject a bit more hydration in. Purchase full size? Yes, I would – as I get older – to use in conjunction with Hydraluron and other anti-ageing serums.
Bobbi Brown Extra Bright Advanced Moisture Cream (sample size 7ml) £64.50/100ml Bobbi Brown/John Lewis – This was another free gift from BB when I placed my order for the corrector/concealer duo before Christmas; they too always give good samples! This is meant to be a cream that ‘visibly reduces skin-dulling dark spots, discolourations and unevenness over time’ (said BB) and unfortunately I don’t think I had enough product in the sample to comment on these tags. However, there are some amazing reviews of this product so it must do something! I do have dark spots from old blemish scars, and uneven skin tone around my mouth/nose, so maybe in the long term it would have done something for those, but I just didn’t have enough to see anything change. Reading the reviews, if you have hyperpigmentation or dark spots, definitely look this up and have a read – as I get older I may revisit this as my skin tone changes and age spots start to appear, but for the moment it doesn’t really do much for me past the fact it is a lovely hydrating moisturiser. Purchase full size? Not for now, but in the future I will come back to this.
Estee Lauder Revitalising Supreme Global Anti-Aging Mask Boost (sample 5ml) £45.00/75ml Estee Lauder/Feel Unique – There is a lot of love online for this range at the moment; the Global Anti-Aging Revitalising Supreme range seems to be hitting the spot with it’s anti-aging effects. This mask was a tiny sample from EL and I managed to eek out two uses from it. I really enjoyed using it and the smell was delicious. It really hydrated my skin and left it feel smooth and silky. It feels cooling but not tightening and my skin did look more glowy when I removed it. I love a face mask but struggle to find decent ones that actually do something – this is one that visibly does something. Pricey I know, but I like a skin investment so this is definitely on my radar! Purchase full size? Yes, I will purchase this mask – but I’ll wait for an offer/discount code for EL or Boots first.
Boots No7 Youthful Eye Serum £19.50 Boots (currently on 3 for 2 across No7 skincare) – This was a full size sample sent to me from Boots to test and it has cropped up across the blog for a few months. I used this every morning and evening (with the exception of a few nights when I used Origins Eye Doctor instead), alone, on and around my eye socket; it lasted me a good 4/5 months using twice a day. I was very skeptical about this product as I’m not a fan of No7, but this is good stuff! If you are of a similar age to me – 32 – and want an eye cream that is hydrating, smooth, sinks in well and actually does something to the tiny fine lines begining to devlop around your eyes – this is for you. If you’re older (maybe 50+ …?) and have more deep set wrinkles, then I don’t think this will be enough – you need some kind of retinol product. I also don’t have massively dry eyes, so this was a good amount of moisture – if your eyes are mega dry you might need another cream on top or this might not be for you. I have never used an eye cream that actually can be seen to have done something with the lines/dark circles. It isn’t a miracle worker – I still have fine lines and dark circles, but they are reduced in colour and depth and that is good enough for me. Purchase? Yes, I definitely will be getting another tube of this!
Why do I end up writing an essay about each product?!
Of the lot, what should you buy? …. The Boots No7 Eye Cream – and it’s on offer at the moment!
Thanks for reading 🙂