September 2014 empties


My golly, what a bundle of products. If only I could get through this many things every month! True, some of these things are either sample or travel sizes - but I still feel like I've made a dent in my collection and I've been able to open quite a few of the products I had waiting in my stores this month. Huzzah!

I may have mentioned before that I don't like opening eg a second handcream when I've already got one on the go. That means I often wind up with a couple in backlog when I receive them in beauty boxes or pick something up on special - so I do love it when I finish things off and get to move on to some new products : ).

Let's have a look at what I finished this month...

Royal Moroccan Hair Mask Treatment (RRP $29.95 for 250ml)

I picked this one up in the Bellabox shop for 30 per cent off. I loved it so much that I ordered a second when there was another 30 per cent off sale on; however the replacement that showed up was well past its useby date so I asked for a refund. I love this product so much that I'll definitely be on the lookout for another one - it does complete wonders for dry hair like mine that tends towards frizz. Repurchase? YES. Love.

Appelles Shampoo and Conditioner (both RRP $18.95 150ml and $44.95 500ml)

These 60ml deluxe samples arrived in our June Violet Boxes. I love the packaging and the smell of each (herbal and refreshing), but I don't think these are great products - at least, not for my hair (keeping in mind that my hair's a bit of a nightmare). The shampoo didn't seem to clean well. It wasn't lathering much, even after three washes. The conditioner wasn't heavy/moisturising enough for my hair, but it may suit those with normal hair. After washing, my still-wet hair felt a little greasy at the scalp (so didn't wash properly), and wet chunks of knots were all through it, making the brushing process horrendous. Glad to have tried but not for me. Repurchase? No.

Clarins Super Restorative Replenishing Comfort Mask (RRP $80 for 75 ml)

My mum gave me this one and the below. The mask contains mango oil, shea butter and pueraria lobata to strengthen weakened skin and minimise the appearance of lines and wrinkles caused by daily stress. I found that it didn't do anything for me however; I've used much better 'replenishing/moisturising' masks (eg the lovely facial mask from Sukin) and this one costs the proverbial arm and leg. Six arms and legs, in fact. Purchase? No.

Clarins Super Restorative Serum (RRP $165 for 30ml)

This is meant to replenish, lift and renew skin challenged by natural hormonal changes due to the ageing process. It also aims to provide tired, lacklustre skin with a boost of concentrated radiance and vitality as it replenishes, and reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. While it's a nice-enough serum, I've used much better ones (Estée Lauder's fabled Advanced Night Repair, for example; or Sukin's Purely Ageless Intensive Firming Serum, which is a truckload cheaper). Looks like Clarins isn't the brand for me! Except for Clarins' Beauty Flash Balm, which has been a staple for ages. Purchase? No.

Sukin's Hydrating Mist Toner (RRP $9.99 for 125ml)

According to the product details, this combines chamomile and rosewater to help soothe, tone and cool tired skin. It doesn't contain sulphates, animal derivatives, harsh detergents, petro-chemicals, artificial colours, synthetic fragrances, triethanolamine, mineral oils or parabens. I agree with the general consensus that this isn't Sukin's best product. It may as well contain nothing but water; it isn't refreshing and doesn't seem to have any hydrating effect. Repurchase? No.

Sukin's Facial Moisturiser (RRP $9.99 for 125ml)

This is a lightweight cream that combines an infusion of aloe vera, horsetail, nettle and burdock to soothe with rosehip, wheat germ, jojoba and avocado oil to promote healthy skin renewal and help minimise the signs of ageing. I didn't like this one; it wasn't heavy/moisturising enough for me and I switched to using it as a body cream only two days after first use. I imagine it would be more suitable for those lasses with oily skin who don't need much hydration. It didn't absorb well either, so you're left with white streaks on your skin that take a while to disappear. I've tested a couple of other Sukin moisturising products (eg the serum) and those seem to fare better than this one. Repurchase? No.

Avon Colour Trend Eyeshadow Duo

Well, this product was so old that I can't find a product description/price tag online! Oh dear. In any event, it never caused any kind of irritation (!) and I wanted to hang on to it because I knew I'd actually finish it! I'm not sure I've ever completely finished an eyeshadow before? Might be because the whole thing was only 1g - a much better size for shadows (being 0.5g for each colour), so then you can actually get through them, rather than stacking them up as the years pass without making a dent in them. This was a really lovely duo - a frosty white/cream and a pale pink colour that looked coral on. I loved it. Repurchase? Yes, although I don't think they make it anymore hehe.

LAQA&Co Lip Lube ($24.50 for 2g)

I've done a full review of this one here. In short, we received it in Violet Box and I was over-mooned to get this colour - a lovely peach that happily suits me. While I was so glad to receive it, it's not the best product on the market - it can be a bit drying and doesn't last particularly well. Having said this, I enjoyed wearing it and it has a beautiful creamy texture. I got through it so quickly not only because it's so creamy, but also because the end bit broke off and it became hard to deal with as I got to the bottom of the product - so I added it to the Mary Kay Lip Lacquer we received in LHI a while back (not a great product, and mine wasn't coloured well), and I've now got a nicer, coloured product to use. Purchase? Maybe.

Naked Tan Creme de la Creme (RRP $27.50 for 150ml)

I picked this up in the Lust Have It shop and paid only shipping for it since I could redeem the whole cost in points. It's one of the richest, best smelling and most velvety body creams I've ever used and I LOVED it. Having said this, I wouldn't have paid that price for it and I wouldn't now, despite how much I loved it - it's a thick cream and you go through the tube so so quickly, so it's more of a splurge item. Purchase? Maybe, if I could get it cheaper.

Clarins Extra-firming Body Care Rich Replenishing Cream (RRP $66 for 200ml)

Another Clarins product given to me by Mum, bless her. A Clarins lover for most of her life, she often winds up with products she's not using or doesn't need/like (eg from gift sets etc). Since she had some extras and wanted to offload them, I was the lucky recipient! This cream aims to firm and revitalise skin and targets visible lines for a more defined silhouette. While it was nice enough, it wasn't nice enough for that price! In terms of firming/revitalising skin and targeting visible lines, you're much better off using something from Palmer's I reckon. Purchase? No.

Olay Regenerist Revitalising Hydration Cream (RRP $34.99 for 50g)

I received this in my June Bellabox and kept it as a handbag product due to the SPF 15. It's a nice moisturiser but quite a heavy one, so you may need to powder your face after use. What I didn't like about this was that we received it in June, and it has a November 2014 expiry date. Ok, so I got through it by the end of September - but I did this because I was forced to use it before other products. I don't like receiving products that don't give me at least a year before they expire, and I reckon that's fair enough. Anyhoo. Purchase? Probably not, but I did like having the sample SPF product in my handbag, to keep me moisturised and protected throughout the day.

Burt's Bees Almond & Milk Hand Cream (RRP $19.95 for 57g)

Another product from the June Bellabox. I loved this - it's a good-sized sample and a cute container that I'll likely re-use when the product's finished (yep, I've already cleaned it, ready for use ; ) ). It's nice and thick and moisturising (good for the cooler months when dry hands happen more often), but watch out for the smell! OMG hello fake almond. Fortunately the smell doesn't hang around too long on your hands - yay to that. I liked this so much that I've already bought the full size. Purchase? Yes, obviously ; )

Glamourflage Jane Gem Primer (RRP $22.95 for 8.5ml)

This primer turned up in an LHI box yonks ago and I've done a full review of it here. Note that you'll go through it very quickly - not only is it a smaller size, but it's a very thick product. As mentioned in my review, I tend to use it above make up since it has such a great plumping effect. I'm not sure about its 'priming power', although I'd consider buying it just because I love the packaging so much hehe. Purchase? Maybe.

Revlon Photoready Skinlights Illuminator in Pink (RRP $29.95 for 30ml)

This is described as a lightweight, sheer illuminator that instantly brightens skin. I received it in the Lust Have It Bridal Party Box and was glad to give it a go, although I'd much have preferred the Bronze colour (or the Bare one, as a second choice).

It's a decent illuminator and, while it's not the best I've used, it's a good option - particularly if you see it at Chemist Warehouse or Priceline for half-price, as happens often enough.

I mix it with my primer (50:50 ratio) and it gives that lit from within look, before smoothing my BB/CC cream over the top. Repurchase? Maybe.

Milk Ultra Light Moisturiser (RRP $19.95 for 150ml)

Thanks to Bellabox for including this sample with an order of mine - I've been wanting to try more Milk products but haven't. This is Lindy Klim's range. I own the body scrub and it's actually pretty shite (too gentle for me and not scrubby enough - I'll review it in due course), but have been open to trying other products because they're well-priced and I've heard others rave about them.

It's meant to be moisture-rich but not heavy (hence the name ; ) ). It's formulated with aloe vera extract for a soothing, anti-inflammatory effect and aims to keep you hydrated and protected from external radicals. My thoughts? I liked this a lot more than I thought I would. Having skin that tends towards dryness, I didn't think it would be moisturising enough for me - but it totally is. I like the smell too. Purchase? Probably not.

Lucas' Pawpaw Ointment (RRP $4.99 for 25ml)

I'd be surprised if you haven't heard of this one - even if you haven't tried it. It's one of those products you can't really avoid; it's a cult product that's talked about throughout the beauty world and there always seems to be crates of it sitting near the counter at Priceline and Chemist Warehouse - usually on special. I know a lot of women who swear by this (it's described as 'a local topical application for boils, burns, chafings, open wounds, insect bites and nappy rash') and use it on chapped lips and dry skin. Since I happily don't have any of those things going on at the moment (touch wood!), it hasn't been getting any use. This past month or so, I used it as a foot cream.

If you'd like a full, in-depth review of this one, I suggest heading to eg makeupalley. I say this because I used it as a foot cream (worked a treat for that purpose, by the way) and not for anything else. A lot of people use it as a lip balm and/or cuticle treatment (and not just for boils/burns etc), and I can see how it would work well for those purposes. Repurchase? Maybe.

Essenzza Fuss Free Naturals (Mini wipes valued at $2.50)

These turned up in August's Lust Have It women's box and these are now officially my favourite wipes. EVER. The textured side is a smashing idea to really get the gunk off and have an exfoliating, as well as a moisturising effect. Once I've gotten through my wipe stash, these will be my go-to brand. Enough said. Repurchase? Yes. I already had the full size of the blue wipes from LHI, and I've now already bought the pink and green versions in full size, since Priceline was selling them for 20% off the day I dropped by.

Sharashara Black Charcoal Mask Purifying (RRP $2 for 23g)

This contains high concentrates of charcoal powder and volcanic ash complex for clearing the skin of any dirt, impurities and sebum clogging the pores. Apparently it also works to soothe and protect sensitive skin with its wine and aloe vera leaf formula. This whole charcoal/volcanic ash thing is really taking off, yes? Don't think I've ever used anything with charcoal in it, so I was happy to give this a go.

In the end, it's just like any other 'serial killer' mask (that's what Mex and I call them), except this one's black - that is, the mask itself is black but the fluid is clear. I didn't notice any special difference with this one, other than that my face felt a bit nicer afterwards and there was so much left-over essence that it was almost enough to cover my entire body. Repurchase? No.

The Jojoba Company, 100% Natural Australian Jojoba (RRP $19.95 for 30ml)

This came in the LHI Winter Eco Box. I love oils! I've been an oil junkie since I discovered Bio Oil when it first hit our shelves. My skin and hair tend towards dryness if not kept in check. You can use it on your lips, face, hands, cuticles, body and hair. As well as apparently being useful for various skin conditions (eg acne, rashes, sunburn etc), it also claims to reduce the appearance of scars, stretch marks and wrinkles. I loved this. I used this on my hands, body and face. It wasn't too greasy for me, more towards the dry oil category but not quite. It's quite a thin oil and absorbs well. Not sure about the smell but it wasn't terrible, just oddly distinctive (probably smells exactly like jojoba, a smell I'm not familiar with. Ha). Purchase? Yes.

La Mav Bio A7 Firming Eye Lotion (RRP $39.95 for 15ml)

Another product from the LHI Winter Eco Box. Apparently it was awarded 'Best Eye Cream' of 2010 by Nature & Health Magazine. Maybe it's just me, but 2010 is a little too far gone for my liking (makes me feel the cream is old news or something). That's probably neither here nor there, though - if it's a good cream, then it's a good cream. It contains various goodies that are meant to increase elasticity, smooth lines and wrinkles, and lift/tone the skin.

It's nice and rich and I enjoyed using it, but I've used better eye creams and, while this does the job well, it's not my favourite. Still, very glad to have tried it. Purchase? No.

Cellilux Glacial Mineral Gel (RRP $69 for 60g)

I've said it before but I'll say it again: this is without question the BEST face mask I have EVER tried. See my full review here. While it's pricey, on the two occasions I've bought it, I got 30 per cent off in the Bellabox shop and used a bunch of points to soften the blow. It's a truly wonderful product: you know how face masks often don't do much other than leave your skin feeling a bit nicer afterwards? Well, this one actually achieves something - your skin feels amazeballs after use and looks so fresh and bright for a while after use. Can't rave enough about it. Repurchase? Yes, and I already have.

Signorina by Salvatore Ferragamo (RRP $72 for 30ml)

I picked up this little 5ml sample in Priceline for $6.50, a lovely price considering the cost of this fragrance! I bought it without sniffing it again first (they didn't have a tester) because I'd tried it when we were living in Berlin and it was on my list of 'maybes' purchases. I've mentioned before that I only became a beauty junkie at the age of 31. Well, I was always a fragrance junkie (note to self: do more fragrance reviews!).

This is described as: 'a new fragrance creation for an elegant, feminine, chic young woman. The Signorina girl is sophisticated, full of personality, with natural elegance and a graceful sensuality.'

I'd say it's sweet but not too sweet, fresh but not super interesting. It's just a nice everyday fragrance and I'll buy the sample bottle again if I ever come across it. Repurchase? Yes, to the sample; otherwise, unlikely - unless I can get it for a reasonable price.

In sum

Did I really finish 23 products this month?! That's almost a whole product a day! Wow. 

Hmmm... Maybe that means I can now buy 23 Memeboxes?!?!

So it's been a good month in terms of finishing things. My favourites in this lot would be the Burt's Bees handcream, the Essenzza wipes, the Cellilux, the Jojoba oil, the Naked Tan body cream and the Royal Moroccan hair treatment. I'm a lucky lass to have tried such great products - all of which arrived in subscription boxes or were picked up for free or at a discounted rate. Yay : )

Bring on October!

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