Winter 2014-2015 Empties

I’ve been meaning to do a Winter 2014/2015 Empties post for a little while now, especially since it’s now technically spring, and nearly the end of March. The days certainly feel lighter in the mornings and evenings, but it’s still not super warm – mostly because the winter we had here was really mild – in a good way – I don’t look forward to bad weather. My last empties post, which was finished in December 2014, covered the products finished/thrown out in the Autumn period of 2014. So this is everything that’s been used since then.

Bathing Empties

First is bathing empties:

The Yves Rocher Exfoliating Shower Gel in Vanilla was very nice, but as I said about the Strawberry flavour, it’s not nearly nice enough to warrant the rubbish customer service Yves Rocher are becoming known for – not when you can get equivalent items from Boots and The Body Shop. Currently I’m using the Lush shower gel Snow Fairy, which is my favourite Lush thing to pick up at Christmas, and since I have two of those (I got one as a present) it’ll take me a while to get to anything new.

And then we have my go to hair treatment – the Boots Ingredients line is a great compromise between results and price paid. Their coconut line in particular is my favourite. The Coconut & Almond Intensive Hair Mask comes in a big tub that lasts a fair while, and only costs a few pounds. I consistently rebuy this as it gives a reasonable amount of pampering to my hair and smells lovely.

Face care empties

Next up is facial skin care items:

The Simple Soothing Facial Toner is a consistent repurchase and it works well as a basic toner, the simple ones are good at removing bad excess oil before putting on my own moisturisers. They don’t dry the face out, and are on the right side of affordable. I’m currently using the Kueshi toner from the January GlossyBox, which seems nice so far. I’ve also been tempted recently by the Boots Rosewater toner.

Next up is the Simple Moisturising Facial Wash. This was a nice, uncomplicated facial wash, but I did feel like it didn’t clean just right enough (how Goldilocks of me), and have since switched to the Simple Oil Control Facial Wash. Like all Simple products it’s cheap enough and nice enough to recommend.

And finally the Simple Replenishing Rich Moisturiser, which I have since repurchased, and this is my daily moisturiser. I do find the rich one is a really good amount of moisture for me, especially since we’re still going through the colder months of the year. I do remember this moisturiser being an SPF as well as having a light version but it doesn’t seem to be now if it ever was. I love this moisturiser.

Face mask empties

Next up is face masks, this month I mostly used up two tubes rather than a number of sachets:

First is the Boots Botanics Ionic Clay Mask. Unfortunately I have to give mixed feelings about this, when I used this tube my face did react a little, not unbearably – but my skin was warm and pink afterwards. And the strange thing is that the last time I did use this I didn’t react at all – so I don’t know if it’s just me being sensitive right now. Regardless, it is actually a nice clay face mask, my skin feels nice and clean afterwards. The Botanics line have lovely ingredients while still being pretty affordable, for face masks especially buying in tubes can be better value than sachets, and there’s less waste I guess.

And secondly I finally finished the Nuxe Creme Fraiche De Beaute mask from the October 2014 GlossyBox. This mask was lovely – a very moisturising non-clay style mask that is great for dry or sensitive skin. I loved using the whole thing, but I’d still say £19.50 is far too expensive for me personally to justify a repurchase.

Skin care empties

Some regular moisturisers now:

First off is the Boots Extracts Coconut Body Butter, which was a lovely big tub of body butter at a nice enough price. The smell was lovely and it had a nice non-residue-y feel. I would say it didn’t wow me all that much, especially since it’s not that cheap for a Body Butter at £8, it’s more that it’s not expensive. I’m still trying to find my perfect body butter – I have used The Body Shop ones before and I find them personally a bit too oily, I’m currently using Soap & Glory’s Sugar Crush – mostly for the delicious smell – but at only £2 more for a bigger tub it’s a lot nicer.

And my usual go to body moisturiser, a nice big bottle of Nivea Body Moisturiser. This is a lovely moisturiser, thick and rich, but it does rub in with a little encouraging and doesn’t feel icky afterwards. I particularly like to use these on my legs and underarms after shaving, and the bigger bottles are such good value.

Makeup empties

A few more make up items to be thrown out:

The nailgirls 3 in 1 base, topcoat, & nail strengthener was an item from my very first GlossyBox way back in June 2014. It was a lovely clear coat and very useful, but I did find that it thickened/dried out a bit quickly compared to other clear coats I’ve had before. I also found that the brush just did not properly reach the last portion of clear polish – so I didn’t really feel like I got to finish this item, and full size it would have cost £13.50 – so I can’t really say it’s swayed me over to buying a higher price clear coat when I could just get something from Rimmel or Barry M.

Next up is a Rimmel Crack Your Colour crackle effect top coat in silver which has actually just dried up solid in the bottle for some reason, not sure what’s up with that since the black one I bought first is still going strong. I like crack top coats though and the Rimmel ones are good.

On top is the Essence Cosmetics Nail Art Tattoo Pen. This was very disappointing in the end, sadly. The applicator didn’t work very well at all, it was hard and awkward to really draw what you want. The only consolation is that it was cheap. I’m not sure if I’ll try another art pen either simply because it was a bit awkward, and I’ve found nail stamping to be a much easier way to get a more impressive look.

And finally is a very old Urban Decay Big Fatty waterproof mascara which has been unused for a long time, but I’ve kept because I really loved the packaging – it’s super cute. As far as I can remember, and looking at the wand inside, it’s a pretty standard, more old fashioned style mascara (it doesn’t have one of those newer, interesting looking brushes), but I’m sure it was nice. Mostly it was cute, and I need the room now.

Mini empties

The final section here is a collection of smaller items, mostly deluxe samples from various GlossyBoxes:

First off is the Anatomicals Zap! Zap! Zap! Gets that Chap Day & Night Spot Stick. This suffered from very weak plastic in the end, and both ends snapped off leaving a lot of it unused. I was very disappointed since the actual product seemed to work very well, it just needs better packaging. It was pretty cheap for what it was and even more so since I got mine in a GlossyBox but it really only lasted a month or so before the whole thing broke. I’ve since bought the Boots Tea Tree and Witch Hazel double ended spot stick thing which looks the same and is priced comparably. The plastic is thankfully much stronger, especially since this is really a ‘carry with you’ style item, and the Anatomicals one wasn’t poorly treated at all but still broke.

The SkinPep Hydra Boost Pure Hyaluronic Acid Serum was nice but not that nice considering the price. From the same GlossyBox as the Zap Spot Stick.

The Figs & Rouge Mango & Mandarin Hand Cream from the August 2014 GlossyBox was lovely and rich, strong smelling but in a good way. Full sized the price isn’t terrible (£6.95), and I may consider buying more.

The H20+ Face Oasis Hydrating Treatment was a nicer but very similar product to the SkinPep’s Hydra Boost. It was nice, but again, not tempting for its price range.

And from the same box, the November 2014 one, was the Monu Skincare Refining Capri Facial Oil. I’m still undecided about this item, and facial oils in general. On the one hand my skin did feel very pampered and soft, but on the other I was also consistently more blemished while using this the whole time through – and I got a good number of weeks out of this bottle to really see if the blemish-ness would die down. It didn’t particularly, and while I’m sure the oil was good for my skin, I still prefer to be less blemished anyway I think.

The Lalique L’amor perfume sample was also from the August 2014 box (with the hand cream) and it honestly wasn’t all that, especially considering it has a very premium price.

Finally, a non GlossyBox item, in the Simple Soothing Eye Balm. This was my first foray into eye cream/balm/treatment territory as I haven’t really felt the need to use one really, but I’m experimenting. For the low cost, this was actually a lovely eye balm. It does feel soothing and calming rather than necessarily very moisturising, but I thought this was nice, since I do suffer from warm tired eyes more than anything over the course of the day.

So, this was all of my Winter 2014/2015 empty items. I think the Spring section might end up being smaller in terms of less tiny containers, as we’ve been getting a lot less of the little samples, and a lot less skin care items from GlossyBox, which has been a shame, as they’re nice to have. Until Next Time.

Empties of 2014 so far (not that there’s much of 2014 left)

Similar to my GlossyBox format, where I do a video and a written in-depth review once I’ve gotten over things being new, I’ve been thinking of doing empties reviews – I think this type of review is better suited to writing, as I don’t have to worry as much about length. So, empties.

I’ve been collecting them up in a bag for a while now, (I couldn’t give you an exact start date), and there’s rather a mish-mash of items, but I figured that’s how empties would work. Some final clarification: Not all of these are literally empty, some are being thrown out due to age, and since I’m in the UK these will be items available here.

empties bath

I’ve put the empties into small sections, and first off is bath items:

To the left and right are the new Wilkinsons Fruits bath foams, in ‘Orange & Pomelo’, and ‘Rhubarb & Vanilla’ – these are the replacements of their older, plainer bath foams. The scents are very nice, strong, and fancy – but sadly more impressive in the bottle. The Rhubarb & Vanilla is more guilty of this by far than the Orange & Pomelo, but the scent fades fairly quickly for both once it’s in the water, more so than the previous versions did. But they are nice enough, especially for the money: Each item in the fruits range is £1.50, and they’ve so far always been available in a 3 for 2 offer, making them really cost £1 each.

And in the centre we have the Yves Rocher Exfoliating Shower Gel in Strawberry – this was a freebie (along with a vanilla one) for doing a Yves Rocher order (in regards to Yves Rocher, nice enough items, rubbish customer service). The flavours they have change, but the format remains pretty much the same – it’s a nice, strong smelling shower gel, it lathers well, and exfoliates the skin using natural ingredients (seeds, which is a pretty clever idea). It’s priced at £4.50. I suspect the Body Shop’s body polish items are very similar, as well as the Boots Extracts one.

empties facial wash

Next are the skin washing items:

To the left is the Simple Toner, just the regular one. It’s a nice, basic toner – it cleanses without drying, it smells nice enough, and I like the ingredients. At the time I think Wilkinsons were doing Simple skincare items for £2 each, but it is worth checking either Boots, Wilkinsons, or Superdrugs for whoever has the best price on Simple, as it’s often on offer. I have a new one of this item now.

In the centre is the Boots Foaming Tea Tree & Witch Hazel face wash – a nice basic, gentle wash, but honestly the best thing about it is probably the pump, turning a thin water into a foam that’s very soft and gentle. I don’t actually use this anymore, as I don’t think it was cleansing enough for me, the range as a whole is really good though. It’s currently £3.59 at Boots.

Finally, we have the Simple Moisturising Facial Wash – I liked the idea of it being moisturising, as things are often too harsh on my face, making the skin dry and tight. This is a nice, gentle, straight-forward face wash that works well. Again like the toner, I picked this up when it was on offer, but it’s usually on offer somewhere anyway. I currently have another bottle of this on the go now, but I’m quite tempted to give my old staple – the Body Shop’s Tea Tree face wash, another go.

empties sachets

Next we have sachets – and most of these are face masks (I do love face masks):

First off we have the Skin Pep Brightening Enzyme & Acid Peel, from my September 2014 GlossyBox. This was a nice item, it did chemically exfoliate, and was very gentle. I didn’t notice that much of a difference overall to my skin other than a bit of a thorough cleansing – I suspect I’m not really the target audience for this type of stuff, as it’s aimed at people more concerned with anti-aging, or signs of aging, which is fair enough. I would say I feel the price, which is £3.05 per mask, is a bit pricey, more expensive than the other two masks.

Sticking with the same brand, the Skin Pep Dark Circle Eraser Eye Cream, priced at a higher £6.49, and again – it is a nice eye cream, but feels no better to me than the one I use, so feels overpriced.

Then we have what is very obviously a Montagne Jeunesse face mask – this one is the Fruit Smoothie with Raspberry and Mango. I generally like this brand, though sometimes some masks are better for me personally than others – this is more to do with skin sensitivity and my own skin dryness. This one smelt lovely (the only mask by them I’ve ever had where I’ve disliked the smell was the White Chocolate face mask – it smelt so awful and strong while I was wearing it) and made my skin feel pampered. These face masks can be anywhere from £1 to £2 in stores to pick up, depending on the type, but I actually like to buy the multipacks online, as you get much better value.

And finally we have the newly launched (when I bought it) Superdrug’s own brand of face mask, and this is the anti-aging one – I wanted to try this one because it says it was moisturising, and I was feeling a bit dry. It reminds me a lot of the Nivea face mask that I only ever seem to see in the boxed gift sets – it’s like a very nice, thick moisturiser that you put on like a face mask. It left my skin feeling really lovely, and super soft. These are £0.99 each, but have been on 3 for 2 since they’ve been released as well.

empties facial moistFace care now, with another three items:

To the left we have the Simple Light Moisturiser with SPF 15 – from when I was first trying out Simple during the summer, and I was pretty pleased. It works very well as a moisturiser, and doesn’t leave a residue. The lightness and SPF works well in the warm weather. Right now I have the rich version of this moisturiser, since it’s cold and miserable at the minute, and the humidity inside isn’t always fantastic. Again this was £2, and again, check for those offers.

Next is my absolute favourite moisturiser, Nivea Soft. It’s rich and thick, rubs in well, it works amazingly, it has Jojoba oil, it has vitamin E, it’s nice and affordable. It’s my perfect moisturiser, I have a new one now, and will probably buy it forever unless for some crazy reason they change it. I do use this on my face, but usually only if it’s super dry or has been irritated. I’ll use it on my underarms after shaving, and on anywhere and everywhere that needs a little love. These 200ml tubes are £4.26.

Finally, we have the Boots Tea Tree and Witch Hazel Night treatment gel, again I might use this on nights when my skin is irritated or feeling blemish-y, and it is soothing, but it’s not super wow. And I’d probably be tempted to buy something new. From Boots, it costs £2.99, making it nice and affordable.

empties scentWe have a little short one now on scents, just two things:

First off is my go to deoderant – the tesco everyday value one. This costs all of £0.41, and is great. It’s unscented, which I really prefer, and works very well for the price. It’s very ‘no fuss, no frills, does it’s thing’. Like the Nivea Soft, I suspect I’ll always buy this – scented deodorants never tempt me, and I have had solid ones before – in my experience you never really get to use the whole thing, as over time, in its ‘use as a rub-on item’ format, it gets kind of icky and un-usable.

The tiny bottle is a perfume sample way back when from the June 2014 GlossyBox, and it is the Roger & Gallet – Fleur de Figuier perfume from M&S. It was a nice, sweet, fruity perfume, and these samples do actually last for a while. It’s not the usual type of perfume I get, so I wouldn’t buy the full sized item, but it makes a nice change. This sample was worth all of £0.48, as a proportion of the full size item (£32).

empties hairNow onto hair items:

First off is the Palmer’s Strong Roots Spray – this item was quite disappointing. It does clearly say ‘coconut oil formula’ rather than coconut oil spray, and with good reason – it doesn’t smell of coconut, which is pretty much why I bought it. It smells of mint. The ingredients didn’t feel nice on my scalp, but have that uncomfortable tingly feel you get from items labelled ‘refreshing’. It also doesn’t work that well as a hair care item – my hair doesn’t feel stronger, and it does make the hair limp and greasy looking very easily. In the months since I’ve gotten GlossyBox and received more hair care oils and tonics that work much better, it does put this into perspective – I won’t buy it again. You can get it for £3.49

Next we have two dry shampoos. They’re both 200ml, the Boots one is £2.29, and the Wilkinsons one is £1 but I got it reduced to try it out. The Boots one is actually a pretty good dupe for Batiste Dry Shampoo – it has a very similar light formula, and a pretty similar fragranced feel. It’s a very nice dry shampoo, and cheaper than Batiste, which is usually £2.99. The Wilkinsons one has a very different formula – thicker which does leave more of a white colour – it takes longer to work through the hair and clear out – but it does clear out, which is the important thing. Because it was thicker, it felt like the oil reduction lasted longer than the Boots one. It’s also quite simply the best value for money. They even have a 400ml version for for only £1.75, which I need to get (Boots doesn’t do the bigger 400ml size, though Batiste does at £6.49 – so if you’re really into the dry shampoo, try the cheaper one).

Finally we have the Philip Kingsley Elasticizer from the August 2014 GlossyBox. In the end this was pretty unimpressive, it made my hair feel nice very briefly, but then lank and a bit residue-y for the most part. This is mostly because I have very fine, very thin hair – and it does state this hair will need extra careful rinsing – even with this I don’t think it’s for me, but simply on hair type, which doesn’t seem so bad. If you have thicker hair you’ll have better luck. This sample was £6.08 (£38 for the full item).

empties makeupWe’re onto the last section, and this is makeup! I’ll try to keep it brief, since there are so many little items and most of them aren’t actually empty.

Stuff I didn’t like: The Company eyeliner (but then what do you expect from a free no-brand eyeliner), it was basically useless, not really working, not having much pigment, and the stuff not flowing out of the tip. And secondly, and sadly, Benefit’s They’re Real liner sample – I was surprised by how much I disliked this. I can do the whole smooth eye liner look, I just prefer the smudged look personally, the applicator does work, and it’s a nice idea – but I wasn’t really that impressed with the formula. Maybe it’s just the sample I had, but it was dry, and did kind of cake and crumble. I was expecting more of a gel that you could use and move and smooth around a bit more, before it set, like a gel pot eyeliner with a fancy applicator – so maybe my expectations were just wrong.

Stuff that’s all empty: Boots Seventeen Doll’d Up Mascara, this is a really nice mascara actually. I love the curved applicator, because it works really well with my lashes, the formula was also lovely, at just £6.29 it’s surprisingly better than pricier mascaras.

The rest – makeup that just needs throwing out: A Nivea Pearly Shine lip balm from last winter, very nice in the usual Nivea moisturising way, and a bit shimmery – I have a new metal pot one in Raspberry, but in general the Nivea lip items are lovely. It’s old, and short, and stubby, and drying out. Three lipsticks that have sat in a drawer and not been worn, Rimmel in 210 Fancy, which is a shimmery pink, Rimmel in 160 Rose Passion which is a nice red, and The Body Shop in pink. The Rimmel lipsticks had very nice colour and formula, but they smear within five seconds now, and don’t hold their colour, The Body Shop one on the other hand, is just drying out, and doesn’t glide smoothly. I can’t recall when I bought either of these, and I have some new items now from GlossyBox. A blush from The Natural Collection in Boots, in the shade Peach Melba that I bought ages ago, and never really used. And a Boots base coat nail polish, which is old and gloopy. I don’t really remember the prices of any of these, but they’re all due to be thrown, and won’t have been that much.

So, that’s all my empties for now. I don’t see myself doing these a lot, and I do tend to use a lot of the same staple items anyway, so you’d just regularly be seeing stuff from Nivea, and Simple, so there doesn’t seem to be a huge point collecting it, unless it’s something different – we’ll see. As an aside, GlossyBox really make it easier to throw out old items, as I have new stuff that was pretty good value, but I also suspect it might be a pain in other ways, as I have a number of hair care items now that will take ages to get through.

Until next time.