Babies and Children · Bodycare · Empties · Make Up · Skincare

Empties #8 …

There is something so therapeutic about collecting rubbish, writing about it and then chucking it out. I love it! To be honest, battling Tonsillitis and a hideous reaction to an eye serum, an empties post is about all I can come up with right now! I do have a Sephora haul post and some high end dupes coming up too – but they’ll have to wait until I can see out of my eyes and I can swallow … come on antibiotics – do your stuff!

Anyway – violins away. Here is my rubbish for the last six weeks. I never know whether to include sample sizes, but seeing as I’ve actually used them up and they are empties, I figured they still count. And I’ve had full sizes of most of them anyway, so I know my opinion about them is fair – and if I haven’t had full sizes, I’ll tell you.

Let’s get on with it so I can go back to wallowing in bed, feeling sorry for myself!


This collection contains quite a few products that I took on holiday and used up. As I’ve said before, I rarely take brand new products on holiday (unless I’m desperate to try them!) as my skin goes bonkers when I’m abroad (combination of flying, heat/cold, change of water, chlorine etc.) so I like to rely on products that I trust to keep my skin in check or come to the rescue if needed. All of these sample sizes, apart from one, I’ve owned in full size and purchased myself and liked – so having mini sizes in the drawer for holiday was a bonus and saved me a lot of weight in the case – thankfully, given the amount of stuff I packed in to bring home with me! (We had to do a dramatic ‘open the cases in the middle of the airport and shuffle knickers, shoes, makeup and skincare around’ job prior to check in. Luckily, we were the first in the check in queue, so I sneaked the cases on the scales to check – thank god I did! – on the way out, mine, Steve and Elsie’s cases were 18-19kg. On the way back, mine started off at 27.4kg!!!!! I even changed my shoes and ditched a hardback novel in desperation! With some clever thinking – Crystal Maze ‘I’ll have a mental game’ style – I got mine down to 23.9kg – phew!).

Anyway – get on with it Jane…


Marks & Spencer Global Escape Tahiti Nourishing Shower Cream with Moisturiser £4.50 M&S – I love a nice smelling shower cream/gel – I just cannot be doing with a naff smelling one that I don’t enjoy using. Life is too short for crap smelling products! These shower creams are gorgeous. The Tahiti one smells like coconuts and tropical flowers – really heady and quite a strong scent – but I love it. The Monoi oil is the strong scent and I love that, but it is a bit of an acquired taste.  I used a similar smelling shower cream on our first time in Thailand and it takes me straight back. It is meant to be one of those in-shower moisturisers too; I’m dubious about those, but it does leave skin feeling soft. This one does not contain SLS either – so bonus there. It is also not tested on animals and made in the UK – M&S have upped their game with things like that recently, so another plus point. Yes, these are more expensive than your Radox shower gel, but they are nicer to use. Repurchase? Yes, definitely – the Tahiti is one of my favourite, if not the favourite, shower products. 

Marks & Spencer Moroccan Escape Bitter Orange Conditioning Shower Cream £3.50 – This is from the same range as the one above and again, it is lovely and leaves skin feeling soft and moisturised. I much prefer a shower cream to a gel – it just feels so much more conditioning. This contains Argan Oil to condition the skin so there are some nice ingredients in it, however this one does contain SLS – so if you have dry body skin, I’d use the Tahiti one instead. Repurchase? Yes I would, but I want to check out the Tuscan Escape Lemon Verbena one from this range too. Overall, I prefer the Tahiti one.


L’Oreal Kids Super Pear Tangle Tamer £2.00 Tesco (They’ve changed the bottle slightly too) – Obviously I haven’t used this – Elsie has. We’ve been using this on Elsie’s hair for ages and I thought it was doing quite a decent job, until I stumbled on the Organic Sprout de-tangler that I mentioned in my Holiday Favourites post. Elsie is amazing at having her hair washed/dried and I use good stuff on her hair. She has very thick, long but easily tangled, hair – exactly the same as mine really! This product does do the job back here in the UK – it was ‘sufficient’ and I was relatively happy. Organic Sprout however, is natural and organic and proved itself a worthy winner when it untangled Elsie’s hair. Her hair had pretty much been destroyed by being shoved up in a bun for 4 days, chlorine damaged, being wet/dry/wet/dry constantly, sun cream spray in it etc. – you get the picture. This product, unfortunately, didn’t touch it when covered Elsie’s hair in it and attempted to get a wet brush through the hair. Moral of the story – if you’ve got kids and are abroad in pools, or a regular swimmer or have a kid that hates hair washes and you need to go quite a while between washes and need to do some damage limitation with knots/tangles, use Organic Sprout. If you’re child has mild tangles and you don’t want to spend more than a few pounds – use this. This is not remotely organic or natural however, if that is your concern. Repurchase? No, not now I’ve found Organic Sprout – which has been elevated to Hall of Fame status in our house! Sorry Super Pear – you served us well for a time. 


Bobbi Brown Cleansing Oil 30ml/£10.00 or 200ml/£31.00 – I think this was one of the first, if not the first, cleansing oils I purchased way back when… I used it up, liked it and never repurchased, moving on to trying others – I’m a bit fickle like that. Anyway, this is a nice cleansing oil – no nasty mineral oil. It does a good job of removing makeup effectively, including eye makeup and mascara. I use this as the first PM cleanse to remove makeup. This little bottle (I think it is 15ml) about two-three weeks using once a day, so it went quite a long way. This cleansing oil has won multiple awards and is very well known as being a ‘good one’ in the beauty world. The problem with this product is the price. If you’re not fickle and you stick with something when you love it, or you’re a BB fan then you would pay it – it is lovely and it works. However, The Body Shop or Una Brennan do an equally good one for a third of the price. Purchase full size? Hmm. Probably not to be honest, just due to the price and the fact the TBS is just as good so why would you? Shame though, as this is lovely. 

Clarins Water Comfort One Step Cleanser £21.00/200ml – This is a 10ml sample size of this product and I think I got about 6 uses out of it, so it does go down quite quickly. I used this on the plane to take my makeup/skincare off (I used it after the Yes to Cucumbers wipes (the burning ones!) and before the toner coming next). I have the full size 200ml bottle at home and am about 2/3 of the way through, so this size was perfect for the plane to save me decanting. This smells of peaches and is designed, in my opinion, for the lazy girl. The lazy girl who doesn’t like wipes but can’t be bothered to go to a sink. I use this on nights when I just cannot. be. bothered. It works well at removing basic makeup – this isn’t one for the full face of full coverage and SPF and it isn’t that great at mascara either, but to save my skin from a face wipe, this is good stuff. I’ve read a lot of people say that they use this for their quick morning cleanse; personally, I want to wash my face and I like doing it. And I shower most mornings, so you’d just wash your face in there wouldn’t you? Even if you were lazy! Anyway – if you can’t be faffed with cleansing with water, and you know that wipes are terrible, buy this instead. Purchase full size? Already have it. 

Clarins Toning Lotion with Camomile 200ml/£13.95 on (this is a GREAT price for this!) – I used to use Clarins toners years ago and again, loved them but the Extra Comfort Toner is the only one I have now, which I use all the time. However, after using this on the plane too, I may reconsider and take advantage of that amazing allbeauty price. This is for dry/normal skin and the other one I’ve used for combination skin is fab too. They are just nice, effective, pleasant toners. Do they do anything crazy? No. But they are a pleasure to use and I feel like they do nourish my skin. There isn’t anything stripping or nasty in them, no alcohol or anything like that, and if you can get that low price, a real bargain for such a good quality product. Just soak a cotton pad, and swipe over face after cleansing/acid and before eye/serum – twice a day. I couldn’t be without the toning stage. Purchase full size? Yes, I think that allbeauty price is too good to resist! 


Tropic Eye Refresh Herbal Roll-On £15.00 (now called Cooling Roll-On) Tropic – This has lasted forever, but it finally gave up on me just before the holiday or I’d have taken it away. This is such a lovely, cooling treat for the eyes. This really becomes a saviour when the hay fever season hits – I normally get it about May time for a few months – joy. Sore, red, itchy, puffy eyes are instantly cooled with the metal roller-ball tip and the soothing lotion inside. I used to use an old Garnier one in a green tube years ago but I don’t remember that doing anything at all – whereas this does cool the skin around the eyes. It doesn’t do anything amazing to bags, circles, lines etc. but then again, I don’t think it’s meant to. It is so simple, but effective. Repurchase? Yes, definitely in time for hay fever. This, combined with Liz Earle Eye Bright Lotion and Origins Eye Doctor eye cream = winner. 

Hydraluron Serum £24.99 Boots (wait for an offer – don’t spend £24.99 on it!) – I think we must be in to double figures for this tube of wonderfulness! Cannot and will not be without it. Hall of Fame. Holy Grail. Whatever you want to call it. Repurchase? Forever more!

Sunday Riley Good Genes sample size £85.00/30ml Cult Beauty/SpaceNK – Damn it! I wanted so SO much to hate this product. SO MUCH! This was the one wild card that I took on holiday – and I loved loved loved it. I used it for about 10 days before leaving and then the two weeks we were away, using twice a day – so the sample size has lasted ages. Essentially it is an anti-aging product that targets lines and wrinkles – personally, I’ve noticed the difference with the texture of my skin: it is SO smooth! Obviously I’ve not been using it since it ran out and boy have I noticed the difference. I’ve had some spots appear and my skin has returned to being a bit uneven and bumpy. I wanted, so much, for this to be crap so I didn’t have to even think abut spending the ££££££ on it. No such luck. When I go back to work full time on April 11th, my first full pay packet will be buying this for me as my ‘you survived your first month back at work in exam season’ treat. If you’re skeptical, read the reviews- they are pretty awesome. Annoyingly. Does everyone need this? No. Anyone under the age of 30 – nope. Anyone with uneven skin, bumps, lumps, lines, wrinkles – absolutely yes if you can afford it or save for it. Purchase full size? Yes. April 30th – this is mine! 

Caudalie Vinosource SOS Thirst Quenching Serum £29.00 – This is like giving your skin a drink of water – literally. This serum is so runny that it does feel a bit like water on the skin; it is so quickly absorbed and sinks in so beautifully. I used to have the full size of this about 2/3 years ago and loved it – then I discovered Hydralron and stopped buying it. The difference is that this serum feels cooling and soothing, whereas you don’t get that with Hydraluron. If you’re more of a fan of a serum feeling like it is soothing your tight, dry, dehydrated skin then this might be for you. This would be really good for sensitive skin too as it is natural with nothing artificial – Hydraluron is a bit more man-made if you know what I mean. Personal preference. But this is a fabulous serum if you’ve got dry/dehydrated or sensitive skin and need some moisture, urgently! Purchase full size? I am loyal to my Hydraluron, so probably not, but I did have the full size in the past and  this is still an incredible product that comes highly recommended by me. 

Bobbi Brown Extra Repair Moisture Cream £64.50/50ml – I’ve had this knocking about for a while in my samples drawer. I bought the full size of this about a year ago and used it up, loved it and my skin loved it. It is quite a rich moisturising cream but it doesn’t feel thick or cloggy on the skin. It sinks in well and has the normal, kind of medicinal scent, that BB creams have – I like it, others might not. This little sample size jar (7ml I think) lasted for ages – I think I got about 3 weeks worth of use out of it, using once a day in the AM as my day moisturiser. It is pricey stuff, but you get what you pay for and I personally think, that this cream is worth it. Purchase full size again? Yes, I think I would. It is a nice, hydrating but not greasy, cream. Good stuff. 

Bobbi Brown Extra Repair Moisturising Balm SPF25 £64.50  I forgot to include this in my Holiday Favourites (or did I? I can’t remember …) but it should have been there. I was expecting my skin to turn greasy in the heat, but it did the complete opposite and went mega dry. The only really hydrating moisturiser I took with me was this one – and it worked a treat. I used it every morning after the normal routine and the Good Genes mentioned above. The SPF 25 was a bonus and the cream hydrated my skin all day long, didn’t interfere with the Zelens SPF I had, or the Liz Earle Skin Tint. My skin was soft and smooth, and in conjunction with the Good Genes, I think this kept my skin in check for the two weeks. This is a thicker, more hydrating version of the Moisture Cream above – if you have mega dry, flaky or irritated skin this is the one for you. Again, pricey, but if you want to invest in a great cream then this is the one. I think this is my third sample pot of this that I’ve had, although I’ve never purchased the full sized one myself. Purchase full size? Yes, I would definitely get this in full size – especially for the winter months or if my skin gets any dryer. 

Estee Lauder Revitalizing Supreme Global Anti-Aging Cream £52.50/50ml allbeauty (this is by far, the best price per ml online) – I got this with the EL Christmas gift set that you got with a fragrance purchase. I didn’t use it for a while and then found it at the back of the cupboard. I liked it, but I found the texture to be a bit weird – almost like it contained some silicone. It seemed to smooth over lines/pores etc. I’m a bit suspicious that the ‘anti-aging’ part is the silicone-like effect that does indeed smooth wrinkles/lines, but only in the short term. Long term, I’m not sure about how anti-aging this would be. The sample size was decent – it lasted me about a month using it every morning. I liked the scent, but for me, the cream just seemed a bit thick and took quite a while to sink in. It didn’t interfere with any makeup or anything, but I could feel it on my skin, if you know what I mean … Purchase full size? No, this particular cream isn’t for me. I much prefer the BB above. I just didn’t get on with the texture. 


Estee Lauder Sumptuous Extreme Mascara £24.00 – I got this in an EL gift bag sometime back in 2015 … or 2014?! It has completely dried up, quite rightly, as it has been knocking around for ages  – I don’t know how it has managed to escape the makeup culls that happen quite frequently around here! It is a nice mascara, but it didn’t wow me. I have another one, exactly the same, that I got in the Christmas gift bag, and I’m a bit meh about having to use up another one to be honest. It just doesn’t excite me and the high street have such better mascaras that I enjoy so much more. I’m so picky with mascaras and this one just isn’t interesting enough – not enough volume, not enough length, not enough curl, not enough staying power. Purchase myself? No. 

L’Oreal Paris Color Riche Extraordinaire in 301 Rouge Soprano £8.99 Boots – This has also succumbed to dryness. I’ve had this for years and it is probably completely full of a million germs and bacteria. Lovely. I think this was one of the first bright red lip products I bought about five+ years ago – my first toe in the bright lip ocean! To be honest, I’ve hardly ever used this product. I hate the smell and the texture is weird. It is more like a gloss but the staying power is rubbish so you have to constantly reapply – who can be faffed with that? And in the world of matte liquid lipsticks that hang around for hours, this is a bit redundant. Repurchase? Nope – it doesn’t stand up against the Bourjois, NYX, NARS lip favourites right now. 

Phew – rubbish has been thrown away.I feel refreshed and ready for the sofa.

My picks – definitely check out the M&S shower cream in Tahiti. And if your budget allows, the Sunday Riley Good Genes or one of the Bobbi Brown moisturisers.

Or, if you’ve been ignoring me for a year – get yourself some Hydraluron!

Thanks for reading



2 thoughts on “Empties #8 …

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