May 2018 empties #1


Hello and welcome to my first empties post for May!

I can't believe it's taken me this long to get an empties post up for the month, but I suppose the last fortnight has been rather dicey - a sick household and bundles of work to do - which is why blogging has fallen to the wayside.

Hoh well. Let's get into it.

Skyn Icelandic Relief Eye Pen

Full review here. This product came in a skincare set and while I didn't mind it, it also didn't do a huge amount for me and you get less than 4g in the pen so it wasn't very good value, all things considered.

It's a lightweight cream that's meant to offer 'relief' to dry eyes, and while I found it to be reasonably hydrating, it didn't pack the punch I was expecting and it also wasn't cooling or soothing at all. 

Plus it's marketed as travel-friendly but it comes in a rather long, twist-up container - which happens to be at least twice the size of the 7.5ml eye cream I'm currently testing, meaning the latter contains almost twice the amount of product for less than half the volume, and the tube will get even smaller over time as I use more. So which one's really travel-friendly? Repurchase? No.

NYX Butter Gloss in Tiramisu

This is the third one of these that I've finished and I can't rave about the formula enough. I've reviewed this one here.

Not only is this my favourite budget formula for lip gloss, but it's my favourite formula full-stop - and yes I like these even more than the fabled Fenty Gloss Bomb and also the Marc Jacobs offerings that everyone raves about. They're not sticky, they're hydrating and they plump up the lips beautifully. Plus if you wait for specials then you can buy them for five bucks a pop. Love. Repurchase? Already have.

Clarins Aquatic Treasures Summer Bronzing Compact

Full review here. I didn't love this bronzer to start with but I didn't hate it either so it went onto my Project Pan list, after which I began to dislike it intensely.

Why? Because it kept developing hard-pan (even though it wasn't very old) so I had to keep removing that with tape, and then it got very dry very quickly so it became impossible to use: it kept cracking whenever I dabbed my brush into the pan. After that I re-pressed it and added more binder to help with the cracking issue, but then it developed so much thick hard-pan that I couldn't use it anymore. End of story. Repurchase? No.

Croquis Alight Pact

This is one of the nicest highlighters I've used and the only thing I didn't love about it was that it was a little too frosty for my light-medium to medium, yellow-based skin. I've reviewed it here.

Otherwise I really can't fault this: it was beautifully smooth, finely milled and creamy, plus it didn't emphasise texture so it's perfect for those who are concerned about fine lines and pores etc. 

Plus it was subtle enough that you could use it all over the face if you wanted to, but it also built well for a visible highlight. Oh! Did I mention that it contained little circles of gold, purple and pink highlight? Well it did. I used those on the eyes because they were large enough for an eyeshadow brush. Love. Repurchase? Yes.

Sukin Oil Balancing Facial Tonic

Full review here. I did really like this toner and even though it's designed for oily skin, it worked well for my dry skin too. It toned my face well and left it feeling refreshed after use, plus the makeup round always came away dirty so I knew it was effective.

Indeed, the only thing I didn't like about it was that I finished it in three weeks. My golly! Sure there's only 125ml of product in the bottle and standard toners tend to be a bit larger, but I still got through it faster than I normally would so I don't think it's very potent, which would explain why I was using so much of it per application. This is the only reason why I wouldn't buy it again. Repurchase? No.

Antipodes Worship Skin Defence Antioxidant Serum

I love Antipodes but this product didn't do much for me. In my experience, Antipodes' water-based serums like this one aren't anywhere near as good as its heavier, oil-based serums - although perhaps I partly think this because I have dry skin. I've reviewed the product here.

My biggest issues were that it wasn't hydrating enough and it also dried down to a rather powdery finish that made my skin feel dry and tight. Plus it didn't seem to add anything to my routine - eg it didn't brighten my face or plump up lines - so it was one of those items that I was quite happy to get through. Repurchase? No.

Korres Black Pine 3D Sculpting, Firming & Lifting Night Cream

Full review here. I loved this product so much that I'm planning to go out and buy a full-size as soon as I've run out of enough cream to warrant the purchase. Indeed, I even gave this 15ml sample an HG tag - which is something I so rarely do, especially if I haven't been through an entire full-size.

What I loved about it was that it was lightweight but still very hydrating, plus it had a brightening and plumping effect so it made me look younger. On top of that it had a firming, toning effect on the skin - so it was one of those rare products that actually lived up to its claims. Can't wait to own it again. Repurchase? Yes.

Clinique Pep-start 2 in 1 Exfoliating Cleaner

This product was fine, although I wouldn't rush out and buy it because I've used better cleansers and I've used better exfoliants. I guess sometimes it's better to just pick one task and do that well. I've reviewed it here.

It was a bright orange product that contained smooth little exfoliating grains that offered a nice, gentle exfoliation and didn't feel too abrasive. It also lathered up and felt like it gave my skin a really good clean, but it wasn't so effective that it stripped the oils from my skin. I guess you could call it a good 'workhorse' kind of product that did a decent job and that's not too expensive, but it also didn't wow me so I wouldn't return to it. Repurchase? No.

Bondi Sands Liquid Gold Self Tanning Dry Oil

Full review here. This is another HG product of mine and I only recently discovered it: I'd been wanting to try it for ages but kept forgetting to do so, and I'm super glad I finally bit the bullet when Priceline had it on sale for 40% off.

It was a dry oil that smelled wonderfully like coconut. It absorbed into the skin beautifully and it was easy to use and apply because it's brown in colour so you could see where you'd put it. Better yet, I always got an even-looking, natural tan from this and my tan lasted for a full week - even though I exfoliate twice-weekly. I'm not sure that any body tanner has achieved that before so I'll definitely be sticking with it from now on. Repurchase? Already have.

Mario Badescu Facial Spray with Aloe, Cucumber & Green Tea

This is one of his newer versions of the old classic facial spray, and I have to say, I liked it better than the original. Reason being, I found it to be more soothing and refreshing so it was great for my dry skin and I also think it would be a good product to have on-hand in summer.

I've reviewed it here. One of the things I liked about it was that it gave the skin a dewy, radiant finish - so it should suit those who suffer from dullness. On the flip side, it often made me too dewy/shiny (so if you have oily skin, it mightn't be for you), and what this meant was that I had to powder it down or my pores would look too noticeable in all that glow. Still, I liked it and would recommend it. Repurchase? Probably.

In sum

Well, it's nice to have an empties post down for the month and I'll hopefully be able to do another one over the next few days.

The best items in this lot were those from Bondi Sands, Korres, Croquis and NYX. The others I can take or leave.

Hope all's well with you, and speak soon x

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