December empties - finished beauty products for this month


Another month, another truckload of empties. Huzzah.

I decided to write my empties post a few days early this month. Not only did I have more than enough products to include (and indeed I had to hold some over for next month), we had a house full of wrapping and boxes after Christmas, and since the recycling man came this morning, I wanted to add as much to the bin as possible!

Swisspers Facial Cleansing Wipes with Mango Extract

These used to be my favourite wipes until I discovered the Essenzza Fuss Free ones. I still love them, but I'll probably only buy them now if I can't find the Essenzzas because those are just so good. What I like about the Swisspers ones is that they're nice and wet and clean well while still being gentle. I'm also a big mango fan so anything that's flavoured with that scent is ok by me! Repurchase? Maybe. 

Swisspers Makeup Pads

I've gone through quite a few packs of these since starting this blog, and for some reason I've never included them in an empties post or reviewed them. I guess like eg deodorant or toothpaste, they're on the 'boring' list of everyday staples and I've never thought to say anything about them. But I've included them this time because it's worth saying that these are decent pads and ones I keep buying, since there are different pads on the market and many don't work too well (generally the cheaper ones, which have a nasty habit of falling apart and leaving fluff all over your face. These don't). My only issue with these (and with all decent makeup pads I've tried) is that I reckon they're overpriced. Repurchase? Yes.

Eslor Rejuvenating Day Cream

Full review here. I got this as part of an Eslor travel kit, and while I really like it, I don't think it's the best cream from the brand (I prefer eg the Firming Collagen Day Cream). It's still a great product - thick and rich and plumps the skin nicely - I just think Eslor has better products. Repurchase? Maybe, if I bought the same kit.

Eslor Chlorophyll Lifting Mask

Full review here. This is a really great mask and one I've loved using. It's unlike any other mask I've used before (goes on as a gel and thickens to a tight covering, almost like glue) and I feel it works harder than your average face mask. I do notice a difference in my skin after use - it's fresher and brighter and more plumped. Fortunately I have a travel-sized back up of this waiting to be opened, otherwise I'd be rather sad that it's gone! Repurchase? Probably.

Dior Addict Eau Fraiche

Ach, another month gone, another perfume empty. It's not that I'm going through a whole perfume each month (!), it's that I've had far too many open at once this year and last, and they've started dropping like flies recently. Indeed, I'll have at least one more in January's empties post. I really really love this fragrance. It's grapefruity and so fresh - a great, light fragrance for summer. The only question mark is over its lasting power: it's definitely one I needed to re-spray throughout the day. Bummed I've finished it to be honest. Repurchase? Yes.

St Tropez Gradual Tan for Body

Full review here. I've mentioned this product a few times now on this blog and I probably don't need to include it in empties posts, but I can't help myself because I love it so much. Honestly, St Tropez produces the best tanning products on the market (at least in my experience). I've absolutely loved any product from the brand that I've tried, and this body cream is no exception. Not only is it a beautifully rich and hydrating cream, it does the tanning job well. And the best thing is, I'm yet to have paid for any St Tropez product - I somehow keep getting them as samples or from friends who don't use tanning creams. Yay to that! Purchase? Yes.

Aveeno Daily Moisturising Lotion

This was an LHI sample from memory. A lot of people rave about it - and it's my husband's favourite cream - but I really don't rate it. It's just not moisturising enough for me and I need to apply another moisturiser after use to make my skin happy. I also don't like fragrance free body creams - I like ones that smell wonderful and feel luxurious. This doesn't. Purchase? No.

Clarins High Definition Body Lift

Full review here. There's a lot of big claims attached to this product, but in short, it doesn't live up to them. It's meant to be one of those lifting and firming cellulite creams, but it doesn't deliver. Things like cellulite and stretchmarks are largely determined by genetics anyway, so be careful of falling for hype around expensive products like this one. Nevertheless, I did enjoy using it because it had a nice, cooling and tingling sensation when applied. Purchase? No.

Pantene Clinicare Shampoo and Conditioner for Dry Hair

Many lasses don't like Pantene products, but I've always had a good experience with them and return to them again and again. These handy travel sizes were included in one of the swaps I did with a lovely lady via a beauty product swap group. The shampoo cleans well without stripping my hair, and the conditioner is nice and rich, so my dry hair was very happy with these products. Purchase? Yes.

Davroe Colour Senses Ends Repair

This one's fine, but definitely not the best product I've used of this nature. Since my hair is naturally dry, hair oils work much better for me. What this product is good for, however, is taming the flyaways near the roots of my hair, when I don't want to add any oil near my scalp region because I'm not far away from a wash and don't want my hair to look greasy. That makes it a good one to keep in your handbag - especially if your hair looks frizzy and rubbish after it's been rained on or you've been in a humid environment. Since I have so many hair products in stock, I ended up using this one as a conditioner, just to get through it. Perhaps surprisingly, it worked very well for that purpose. Purchase? No.

Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics OCC Tint Tinted Moisturiser in Y3

Full review here. In short, this product was ok but I didn't love it. I think I liked it more to start with and got sick of it about halfway through the bottle (so I'm very happy it's gone!). It wasn't a tint I could wear on its own - it was too sheer for that and it doesn't contain sunscreen. What it was good for, however, was refreshing my makeup later in the day, if I was going out and didn't want to reapply a full face again. So it was useful in that sense and I carted it around in my handbag for that purpose. Repurchase? No. I prefer tints with sunscreen.

Invisible Zinc Tinted Daywear in Medium

Full review here. I got through this little 20ml size very quickly (and it's the second or even third one I've used) because it's great to apply throughout the day to keep up your sun protection. Like the OCC Tint above, it's too sheer to offer any decent coverage on its own, so I wouldn't rely on it for that. It is however great for freshening things up and making sure your skin's looked after when the sun comes out. Purchase? Maybe.

Skinria Smart 4.0 CC Cream SPF34 PA++

Full review here. This was from Memebox and it totally didn't match my skintone - far too white. So considering its high sun protection, what I did was mix it in a (roughly) 1:1 ratio with my normal sunscreen in order to use it up, and to make the latter last longer so I didn't have to buy more. I have another couple of BB/CC creams from Memebox that are also too pale, and I'll likely use those in the same way. Might as well put them to good use! Purchase? No.

Benefit Hello Flawless Custom Powder Cover up in 'I'm cute as a bunny' Honey

Full review here. I liked this powder and I'm glad to have tried it, but I don't think it's worth the Oz price tag and I've certainly used better powders (try anything from Bodyography and I'll be surprised if you ever go back!). Still, it was a decent product and you could do a lot worse. Repurchase? No.

Elizavecca Milky Piggy Elastic Pore Mask Cleansing Foam

Full review here. A Memebox inclusion. Not much to say about this other than that I think it's an ok product, I just couldn't stand the smell (made me think of rancid pig fat). I ended up using it as a body wash to keep it away from my nose, and it was fine for that purpose. Purchase? No.

Clinique Liquid Facial Soap (mild)

This was another FB Swap Group product, and I'm really glad I got to try it. I wasn't expecting much from it - Clinique products generally don't work for my skin and I don't like any other liquid soap that I've tried - but I really liked this. It cleaned super well and somehow felt like it was really getting in there and removing dirt, without being too harsh. I wouldn't go out and buy it but I'd be more than happy if it came my way again. Purchase? No, but mainly because I wouldn't buy it on its own without other Clinique products (none of which have worked for me thus far).

Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream

This came in the Summer Edit of Marie Claire's The Parcel. I've tried it now as a night cream, a lip balm, foot balm and also as a heavy duty moisturiser for my expanding belly. I prefer it on my belly: it does feel a bit much as a night cream after the first couple of uses; I don't like it as a lip balm because I have better products for that and I don't like the smell/taste of it (and it's meant to be fragrance free!); and I feel it's wasted as a foot balm (I often use old or unwanted lip glosses for that purpose). On my belly it feels just about right. Purchase? No, but I'm glad I've finally tried it!

Grown Alchemist Vanilla & Orange Peel Hand Cream

Full review here. Happily I was able to pick up this purse size via the Bellabox FB Swap Group. I absolutely love this hand cream - it smells wonderful and is nicely hydrating. Unfortunately, however, my tube split when I was only a small way through the product, so I couldn't keep it in my handbag. Annoying! Purchase? Yes.

Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse

How I love the smell of this product. I've used it many-a-time before (I'd say anyone who's been subscribed to Oz boxes for a while has too!), and I love this dry oil so much that I bought the full size. It feels so wonderful on and I love that it doesn't leave a greasy, slick residue like many oils do. Purchase? Yes.

Foltene Nail Treatment

This one was a Violet Box inclusion and it's meant to help your nails grow stronger and faster. I used it pretty solidly for a couple of months and didn't notice any change. It also expired in December and started to bubble and smell funny, so it was time to turf it! Purchase? No.

The Body Shop Coconut Body Butter

Full review here. I've always loved these body butters and Mex goes nuts for coconut so it's not unusual that we'll pick one of these up if we see them on special. I wouldn't pay full price for one however because it's thick and we tend to go through each tub so quickly. Repurchase? Yes.

Designer Brands Coconut Lip Butter

Ah, DB. The brand that shouldn't (in my opinion) be turning up in sub boxes, and certainly not so often! I did try this on my lips and it felt rubbish and strangely greasy. Instead I used it as a foot balm and it worked well for that. Purchase? No.

ASAP Clearskin Gel

This was another FB Swap group acquisition. I haven't tried a lot of stuff from ASAP so I wanted to give this a go. It's a skin-clearing treatment (hence the name ; ) ) and it did feel as though it had a breakout-preventing and resurfacing effect, although I've used better products of that nature. What I will say is that this was only a 15ml travel sized sample, so I may have found a better effect over time if I'd had a full size. Purchase? No.

Nivea Men Power Refresh Shower Gel

Mex got this as part of a travel kit and gave it to me because he's a soap man and doesn't do gels. I actually really liked it. It has a nice, male smell (you know, one of those aftershavey scents) and foams and cleans well. While I wouldn't go out and buy it, I certainly wouldn't knock back another bottle. Purchase? No.

Ariul Spa Water 24 Hours Moisturising Refreshing Mist

Full review here. This was a Memebox inclusion and I really loved it. I've become something of a face spray junkie in recent times, and this is one of the better ones I've come across. It's hydrating and so refreshing, and I love the smell - one of those scents that gives you a lift each time you spray it. Purchase? Yes.

Sukin Certified Organic Rose Hip Oil

Review here. I do love me a good oil and I did like this one, it's just not my favourite oil. I prefer any of those from Happy Skincare, so I'll be sticking with those for now. Still, this is a well-priced product and I can see why many lasses love it. Repurchase? Probably not, unless it was heavily discounted.

In sum

So that's it for December! These posts always take me so long to write - I really need to stop getting through so many products each month ; )

The stand-outs this month were the Dior fragrance, the Ariul face spray, the Clinique liquid soap and the Eslor mask. Looking forward to watching my stores shrink as the months pass and my spending ban continues!

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