Another month, another round of empties posts: woot woot! 

I'm happy to say that I've seen a remarkable reduction in the amount of unused stuff I have floating around throughout July - in part because I've been decluttering my collection and in part because I haven't been buying much so I've been able to get through what I have. Yay to that : )

I'm limiting this empties post to ten products (counting the two Bio Oils as one) or otherwise we'd be here for ages, so I'm also happy to say that I have a few more products I've been able to hold over for my August empties, just in case I need to pad that post out.

Anyhoo! Let's have a look.

Nivea Irresistibly Smooth Body Lotion

Full review here. This is a sensational body cream that nourishes my dry skin and keeps it comfortable throughout the day. 

I love the pump packaging and I extra love that the product costs a measly $8 for 400ml - and I got mine at half-price so it's worth waiting for specials at the supermarket or chemist (thankfully it's widely available to boot). This is definitely a good one for those of us with dry skin, and a little goes a long way so this bottle lasted for ages. Repurchase? Yes.

Bio Oil

This is one of those products I've kept coming back to for years, and it's a staple in the bathroom not only for me but also for my husband. Full review here.

It hydrates the skin beautifully and I do think it has an impact on scarring and uneven skintone, and I've used it in both my pregnancies to help ward off stretchmarks (if it's even possible to do that, since stretchmarks are largely hereditary ; ) ). So far so good! Repurchase? Yes, already have.

Sample products

I won't go on about these too much here because I've done that recently via a decluttering post (see here), but I'll make a brief comment on each for completeness.

The Bobbi Brown Hydrating Face Cream wasn't a bad product but I wasn't wowed by it either - a good thing, since it ain't cheap! While it felt rich and hydrating when first applied, my dry skin didn't love it and I'm not convinced it was absorbing well enough and delivering moisture where I need it most. Purchase? No.

The Elizabeth Arden Prevage Anti-ageing Antioxidant Infusion Essence came in one of my sub boxes and unfortunately I didn't notice any benefits over the three weeks that I applied it (once a day, in the evenings), and sometimes it stung my skin a little - quite possibly because I'm so dry at the moment that my skin is less resilient and more easily irritated than usual. Purchase? No.

I really, really didn't like the Klorane Shampoo with Quinine and B Vitamins. It's an odd shampoo that's really liquid (and not thicker like a gel) and something about it reminds me of hard liquor. It also smells strongly of men's cologne, and I needed three washes with it to get my hair clean so I don't think it performs well. Purchase? No.

Garnier Miracle Sleeping Cream

Full review here. This came in The Parcel and it's one of those products that I neither loved nor hated. I did experience some minor irritation when I first started using it (it gave me dry patches around my mouth and nose) but those settled down after a while and it did enough good things - like hydrate and plump my skin - that I was happy enough to keep using it. I wouldn't recommend it but I don't think it's rubbish either. Purchase? No.

Maybelline Lash Sensational Mascara

This is became my HG budget mascara from the moment I first used it, and I haven't stopped loving it since. It lengthens and thickens my short lashes beautifully, and the brush isn't so large that I'm always having accidents on my hooded upper eye area. Plus it stays put all day. An amazing product (reviewed here). Purchase? Yes.

The Body Shop Vitamin E Moisture Cream

This one I've used before and I didn't love it any better the second time than I did the first. Full review here.

It's a passable moisturiser but it is heavily scented and leaves a greasy after-feel - even though it's not that hydrating anyway. Plus I've seen a lot of people say that the product breaks them out, and to be honest, I have wondered whether it does the same for me. Purchase? No.

Ren Keep Young & Beautiful Instant Firming Beauty Shot

I seem to be one of the few people who doesn't love this product, but unfortunately I somehow keep winding up with samples of the stuff! I've reviewed it here.

It's so drying and feels so uncomfortable on my skin that I can only use it over makeup during the day (I guess the makeup acts like a barrier between my skin and the product) and I can't use it on clean skin because it tightens so much that I need to wash it off. I'm in the minority here though and many people swear by this product. Purchase? No.

Ren Flash Rinse 1 Minute Facial

Full review here. I LOVE this product, so much so that I bought the full size well before I was getting near the end of this travel-sized version, because I knew that I wouldn't be able to live without it once my tube ran out.

It's one of those products that does everything it says it will do - revitalises and rejuvenates, firms and tones, plumps the skin - and it does this all within one minute. My golly! So so good. Repurchase? Yes, already have.

In sum

While there are some misses in this lot, there are also plenty of hits too - the Ren Flash Rinse, the Maybelline mascara, the Nivea body cream and of course the Bio Oil.

Hooray to more empties and the successful decluttering of all sorts of products during July!

Let me know if you've used anything amazing this month - I'd love to hear : )

It's been one of those months where there was absolutely no question in my mind when it came to which products I've been loving and using the most.

Sometimes it's hard to pick from the products I have on hand, and sometimes I have my favourites lined up almost from the beginning of the month. July was one of those months for me!

In no particular order...

Alpha-H Balancing and Pore Refining Mask with Jojoba

Full review here. Few masks really make a difference to your skin, in my experience, but I knew from the first use of this one that I'd found a winner.

When you have dry skin, a good clay mask can be hard to find - you want something that works without drying out your already parched skin - and this is one of those products for me.

It somehow clears, refines and balances my skin without stripping it, and my skin has been in better shape ever since I incorporated it into my routine. I'm almost done with this travel-sized tube but I've already bought the full size - and you have to love that you can find it online for less than $40!

Hourglass No 28 Primer Serum

This product has had a huge workout this month because it's winter and I'm pregnant, so my dry skin is even more parched than usual. 

This primer is a dry-skinned lass's dream, and thankfully you only need the tiniest bit each time - so even this little travel-sized version is lasting me forever. I've reviewed it here.

I don't use it every day (it costs far too much for that!), but it's great for those days when I'm worried my dry patches will muck up my BB cream. This primer always saves me and it works with every base I've paired it with. Can't imagine ever being without this one.

Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector (Liquid) in Moonstone

Full review here. I absolutely love the three shades I own of this product, but I recently included Moonstone in my Project Pan list so it's the one I've been using the most of the three.

I honestly think these are the best liquid illuminators on the market, not only for their effect but also due to their value on a price-per-gram basis.

Also, I use my shades to darken or lighten my foundation when it doesn't quite match my skintone, and you can also use them alone because they make the skin look gorgeous without a fleck of glitter in sight. Such gorgeous products.

Ren Glycolactic Radiance Renewal Mask

I'm sure I've included this product in a monthly favourites before, but it would be wrong of me not to include it again because I've been bumping up the applications this month to keep my skin looking half-decent. I've reviewed it here.

Some products are cult products for a reason, and this is absolutely one of those. It makes my dry skin look and feel so much better - brighter, plumped and more youthful - and I always have a good skin day after using this one. Love.

My new Z-palette

If you read this blog, you'll know that I recently acquired a Z-palette and started depotting my powder products for the first time. I never expected to find the process so addictive, and I've had such fun popping things out of their pans and arranging them in this gem!

Indeed, I love my new Z-palette so much that I've gone ahead and picked up a second, and I can't wait for it to arrive so I can fill it with the other single and duo eyeshadows I own.

If you've been on the fence about getting a Z-palette (as I was), I really think it's worth taking the plunge because it's wonderful to have all your products sitting there together. I use mine every day, which means shadows I kept forgetting about are now getting plenty of use. Huzzah to that!

In sum

It's been a great month for me when it comes to beauty products, not only because I've fallen hard for my Z-palette, but also because the skincare I've had on hand has been doing its job and nurturing my dry, parched and pregnant skin. Woot woot!

Do let me know what you've been loving this month - I'm always up for hearing about others' favourites : )

Earlier in the month, I posted an intro on these products - samples that were too big for my sachet city posts and (generally) too small for full reviews. (See that post here.)

As part of my 2016 declutter series, I wanted to get through these items so I've spent the last three weeks testing them all and I'm ready to give you my thoughts.

Some of the products are big enough to warrant full reviews (I'll post those later), but for now I'll do a quick round-up of mini reviews in case anyone's interested in seeing how I went with any particular product.

Bobbi Brown Extra Repair Eye Cream and Hydrating Face Cream

I didn't mind either of these but I wasn't wowed by them - a good thing, since they ain't cheap!

The eye cream is the better product: it's nicely rich and hydrating so it's great for my dry eye area, but it's not as good as other thick eye creams I've tried and it's not one I would buy. I'm still getting through the generous sample so I'll likely write a full review of the product once I've finished it, since it will easily last me a month.

The face cream really didn't float my boat: while it feels rich and hydrating when first applied, my dry skin didn't love it and I'm not convinced it was absorbing well enough and delivering moisture where I need it most.

Both items are a pass for me, but I'm glad I've had a chance to test them.

Elizabeth Arden Prevage Anti-ageing Antioxidant Infusion Essence

I was expecting to love this because I've had some good luck with Elizabeth Arden skincare lately and I do love me a good essence.

Unfortunately I didn't notice any benefits over the three weeks that I applied it (once a day, in the evenings), and sometimes it stung my skin a little - quite possibly because I'm so dry at the moment that my skin is less resilient and more easily irritated than usual.

Another pass for me, which I'm ok with because this product ain't cheap either!

Klarity Lasertox Miracle White CC Lotion SPF 30 PA++

This one I really didn't like. It contains diamond powder apparently, which I totally believe because I can see the powder bits sitting in my pores after application so it leaves little white dots on my face.

I also find it quite drying and it has a tacky finish, and while I think it has a 'soft focus' effect that slightly blurs imperfections - so it might be a great product for those without texture issues or dry skin - it's just not for me. At least it contains plenty of sunscreen.

Klorane Shampoo with Quinine and B Vitamins

I really, really didn't like this one. It's an odd shampoo that's really liquid (and not thicker like a gel) and something about it reminds me of hard liquor.

It also smells like men's cologne, which wouldn't bother me if I liked the product, but the smell is quite pungent so it's something to be aware of.

Also, I needed three washes with this to get my hair clean, so I don't think it performs well either. Blurgh.

Alpha-H Liquid Gold with Glycolic Acid

If you read this blog you'll know I've used this for years and love it: it's an HG product of mine and one I'll probably always have in my stores. 

I wanted to use it here, however, because I was keen to test it against the Pixi Glow Tonic that I've recently reviewed. While the Pixi product isn't bad, this Alpha-H one is light-years better and does a lot more for my skin with less applications and less product per application. Can't recommend this one enough.

Bioderma Hydrabio H2O Solution Micellaire 

Well I don't like the regular Bioderma micellar water, and I don't like this one any better. I know I'm in the minority here, but this just doesn't work for my skin for some reason and I've used micellar products that remove makeup better than this does.

Sometimes cult products that are HG items for many just don't work for some people, and this is the case for me here. Hoh well! Cheaper micellar products exist so perhaps I should just be happy that those work for me where this one doesn't : )

Malin+Goetz Clarifying Clay Mask

This one was a bit of a surprise because I wasn't expecting it to contain exfoliating particles until it came to applying it to my face.

I'm still testing this and comparing it to other clay masks and exfoliants, but my first impressions are that I do really like it and think it works beautifully. It's for oily skin but it works for my dry skin too, although I wouldn't want to use it too often.

I'm looking forward to testing this some more but after a few applications I do think it's worth sampling at least, so it's one to consider if you're after a double-duty product that acts as both a clay mask and a decent granular exfoliant.

The Body Shop Drops of Youth Concentrate

I didn't love the oil product from this range and I don't like this serum either. It doesn't hydrate my skin at all and I found that I needed to apply moisturiser immediately after application (unlike other serums, which I normally leave to work for a few minutes before adding anything over the top).

It's also a bit sticky and I couldn't see any benefits to using it, and it lasted three weeks so I'd expect to see something good happening by now if it was going to. This one's a pass for me but it may work better for you if you don't have dry skin.

L'Occitane Immortelle Divine Youth Oil

Oh, this product is just gorgeous. It reminds me of a Sunday Riley oil I've sampled (from memory the Flora one, designed for dry skin) because it smells very similar and has a similar effect. It just melts like butter into the skin and feels so good for you that you just know it's doing good things.

Problem is, the product is even more expensive than Sunday Riley's oils! So if I were going to splurge on a face oil (which let's face it, is something I'm liable to do ; ) ), it wouldn't be this one.

Still, a gorgeous product.

In sum

That's it! Some good and bad things in this bunch, and the L'Occitane and Malin+Goetz products are my favourites (aside from the Alpha-H Liquid Gold, which I already use and love).

Otherwise nothing in this lot grabbed me, so I can happily cross them off the list and declutter the empties from my collection. Woot woot!

Do let me know if you've tried any of these products, and what you think of them if so : )

While I only started Pan that Palette 2016 less than two weeks ago, I want to get into the habit of writing updates at the end of each month - so I'm updating you now, even though of course there hasn't been a bundle of progress since then.

What has progressed, however, is the building of my Z-palette. If you see where it was in my Pan that Palette 2016 intro (see here), you'll notice that quite a few things have changed in terms of layout and also the shadows I've included. 

Since then, I've depotted my Kevyn Aucoin singles and duos, and I've happily had success with that and only suffered one casualty, which was nothing that a little rubbing alcohol couldn't fix (although you'll see that the purple matte shade I'm referring to looks a little worse for wear ; )):

Also since my Pan that Palette intro, I've decided to move across two products I was working on as part of Project Pan 2016 - the Gorgeous Cosmetics Bronzer and 'Tini Beauty Eyeshadow - since it made more sense to include them here, given that I'd already depotted them and also wanted to reduce my Project Pan list, which had blown out of proportion.

So, here are the five pans I'm working on in my Z-palette:

I can't give you before and after shots for the newer inclusions, but I can for the three existing shadows I've been working on since I started the Pan that Palette challenge.

Here's where my Stila eyeshadow in Bliss was earlier in the month (top shade):

And here's where it is now:

You can see there's definitely been some progress, so I'm confident that I can get through this shadow relatively quickly. It's such a great crease colour and transition shade, and I can also mix it with a darker brown if I want to use it on my brows (so I don't need to use it on my eyes every day if I don't want to).

Here's where those two Mirenesse shadows were previously:

And here's where they're at now:

Definitely some good progress there, even in such a short space of time! While I don't love the formula of these because they can look a bit dry and powdery on the eye, they're useful colours and they're great for touching up my eyeshadow after lunch if things have faded a little. I can also mix them to touch up my blush.

The only reason I'm working on these (rather than just passing them on or throwing them out), is because I'm planning to use the empty pans to press some loose shadows into when I've finished them, since I've already magnetised the pans and don't want to buy empty ones if I don't have to.

In sum

Hooray to starting Pan that Palette (belatedly) for 2016! I'm enjoying the challenge so far and I'm also loving my newly acquired Z-palette, which I look forward to using since I have everything laid about before me - plus it's meant that I've been using my Kevyn Aucoin products a lot more than I was previously. A good thing!

Let me know if you've ever done Pan that Palette and whether you have any tips if so : )

I received this sample setting spray in one of my Mecca Beauty Loop boxes. I was super excited to see it because it's one of those cult products that's raved about by beauty lovers worldwide - but I wasn't game to buy it without testing it first because it ain't cheap and I'm rather particular about my setting sprays!

While I do think it's an excellent product that indeed locks your makeup in place, it's not one I would buy because it doesn't plump and hydrate my skin as well as other sprays - which is what I'm after these days since I don't need my makeup to last forever but prefer a good dose of juice.

Urban Decay claims/product details:
  • Developed in an exclusive partnership with Skindinavia, this revolutionary setting spray works to set and extend the wear of your makeup for up to sixteen hours
  • True to its name, the light-as-air formula mists onto skin to deliver a soft-focus effect and just-applied finish that lasts all night
  • Patented temperature control technology works to lower the temperature of your skin and keep foundation, eyeshadow, blush, and concealer in place - even in hot and humid conditions
  • The result is a gorgeous, 'just-applied' finish and makeup that lasts all day 
  • Suitable for all skin types
  • RRP $23 AUD for 30ml or $49 AUD for 118ml

This sample is a great little purse size, and now that I've used it enough to review it, I'll definitely be keeping what's left for those rare occasions when we're out for long events.

The only bad thing is that the spray mechanism itself doesn't spread the product out in a full circle (or at least, mine doesn't), but instead the mist sprays in a vertical line so I need to move across my face in portions. Hopefully this is just an issue with the sample bottle and not with the full size.


I can see why this is a cult product and I reckon it deserves all the rave reviews that it gets. While I don't have a huge problem with my makeup lasting because my skin is dry and tends to cling to product anyway, I was still surprised by how well this stopped things from fading and it's something I'd recommend if you're after a setting spray that really keeps things in place.

I've noticed that it works wonders on my blush and eyeshadow in particular, and since those are the first two things to go - on my face at least - I'll definitely consider buying this if I ever need my makeup to last the day without touch-ups. Because we have kids and don't go out for hours on end like we used to, this isn't a product I need but it's one I'll keep in the memory bank in case that ever changes.

While it does give my makeup a freshly applied, dewy finish, what it doesn't do is hydrate my dry skin super well so I need to use a different, more hydrating spray over this one to keep my skin feeling comfortable. 

Fortunately, spritzing something else over this doesn't impact its efficacy - a good thing because I was worried that it would - so I can confirm that it does work in combination with other products if like me you need an added boost of hydration.

All in all, this is a wonderful product that meets all its claims and I absolutely recommend it. I haven't given it an HG tag because I've used better plumpers/hydrators, but I've never used anything this good when it comes to longevity.


While I know it's nearing the end of July and I'll be doing my usual Project Pan monthly round up shortly, I wanted to write this mini update now because my PP list has crept up recently so it includes too many products and it's better to shift a couple across now, as opposed to waiting for the full update when I'll have so much to talk about (and photograph!) as it is.

So. What I wanted to say in this mini update is that I've decided to move two of my PP products across to my Pan that Palette project, since I've depotted them anyway and there's a spot for them in my newly acquired Z-palette, which I've been playing with throughout July (spoiler: that palette will be in my upcoming monthly favourites - I'm loving it!).

Above are the two products I'm moving across, being my 'Tini Beauty Eyeshadow in Pearl Fizz and my Gorgeous Cosmetics Bronzer in 01-ES, and here they are below in my Z-palette:

Please note that if you've been watching these two particular products via PP to see how they've progressed throughout the year, you'll still be able to do this via my monthly Pan that Palette updates because I'll absolutely keep using them daily. So don't despair! ; )

The 'Tini Beauty eyeshadow especially is one that I don't want to give up on, since I'm really getting somewhere with it (and you'll note that I've re-pressed it, so I'm no longer dealing with those bits that had loosened in the pan) - plus I'll use it for one of my 'how long does it take to finish?' posts soon enough because I'd always meant to do that, in case anyone's interested in seeing how long an eyeshadow pan lasts with daily use (second spoiler: AGES).

Anyhoo! That's all from me for now. I'm glad I've made the decision to move these two products across, not only because my PP list was too long, but also because I wanted to make my new Pan that Palette project a little more interesting.

Looking forward to updating you on my two projects shortly : )

'Till then! x

Last month I posted on my Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in Moonstone (see here), and I promised myself that I would review the other two versions I own because I've had them for ages now and I keep forgetting to review them!

Next up is Topaz, which I don't use quite as frequently as Moonstone, but I love it just as much and there's absolutely a place in my collection for both.

Topaz is a gorgeous golden bronze colour, which will work beautifully on darker skins as a dedicated highlighter - and you can also use it as a base before foundation to add a slight bronze glow that's perfect for the warmer months.

While I don't use Topaz as a dedicated facial highlighter because it's too dark for my colouring, it's a sensational product for mixing with foundation to add a nice glow - and it has the double purpose of darkening any base that's a little too light for me when it's summer and I'm more tanned.

There's the dreaded pump above. I say dreaded because a lot of people have commented that the pump dispenses far too much product - unless you're using it all over your face, in which case the amount is spot on. 

While it's true that the pump dispenses too much product for application as a spot highlighter, this is an easy fix and it doesn't bother me at all:

Above is what one, gentle pump looks like. If I want to use it as a spot highlighter, I squeeze the product out into a container like this, use what I need and keep the excess. 

You'd probably want to use it all up within a week or two so it doesn't dry out, although I've never had it dry out on me because I can easily get through the amount within a couple of weeks, and I don't feel forced to use it every day to achieve this.

There's the colour below in direct sunlight:

Becca claims/product details:
  • The iconic highlighter that started it all
  • A sheer, crème-liquid that perfects skin with ultra-fine light-reflecting pearls for a soft, natural glow
  • Achieve a subtle luminosity
  • Melts into your skin for polished, natural-looking radiance
  • Water-light and sheer, it has a prismatic effect that allows it to adjust in any light, so your refined glow is never lost
  • To use: apply as a base over the entire face; mix with your foundation for a radiant complexion; use over makeup to highlight cheekbones, browbones and temples 
  • RRP $68 AUD for 50ml, but do shop around (you can easily find it online for around $50)

There's a heavy and lighter swatch above, photographed in direct sunlight.

Below I've sheered it out and left the shot slightly out-of-focus, so you can see that it doesn't contain any noticeable glitter chunks (which I'm not a fan of):

Same shot, natural light - you can see that it's not too dark once sheered out, and even medium skintones like mine could use this on its own to give a nice bronze glow to the skin:


This is a great product and I've given the formula an HG tag because it's definitely the best liquid illuminator I've used to date and it's also reasonable value because you get so much product and the bottle should last for ages. If you were only going to use this as a spot highlighter, I'm convinced you'd never get through it!

The formula is a thin, light cream with no detectable scent. It's one of those products that just vanishes into the skin without feeling heavy/oily or drying, so I'd say it would suit all skin types and you shouldn't be aware of it once it's on.

Topaz is a golden bronze colour that's best for darker skintones if you're planning on using it alone or as a spot highlighter - but it's also a fantastic product for darkening your foundation a shade or two if it's a little pale for you in the warmer months. 

On that, I bought Moonstone so I could bring down the colour of some of my darker bases so they would suit my winter skin, and while it does this successfully, it doesn't make a dramatic difference so if the colour is really off, you may need to use something else. But Topaz packs a punch in terms of darkening your foundation (perhaps it's more pigmented because it's darker), so I really recommend it if you're after a mixer product that also adds a nice glow.

What sets these illuminators apart for me is both their versatility and also the effect they give on the skin. Liquid illuminators are more versatile in general, but these Becca ones don't contain noticeable glitter chunks and instead just give a natural, credible sheen to the skin. 

While you can certainly build them up so they announce themselves as highlighters, if you want a 'look at me' highlight you're better off going for the pressed or poured versions - but with so many big bang highlighters flooding the market, there's absolutely a place for products like this that are work-appropriate and suitable for day use.

Another huge plus with these liquid versions is that they don't look overly metallic on the skin, nor do they emphasise texture (a problem I've had with the pressed versions), so I feel these are the stand-outs in Becca's highlighting offerings and they're also the best value of the three versions on a per-gram basis.

All in all, these are the most versatile, best-value highighters I own and they also give me the best effect with very little effort. If you had to pick just one highlighter, I would recommend one of these - although of course do test them first to check that they give you the look you're after.


I received this product a while ago from The Parcel and it's one of those items that I've kept putting aside after testing once or twice because I just don't like how it feels on my skin and I've had better things to reach for.

But I wanted to use it for a short while so I could at least review it, so I've done that over the past few weeks and can now move it from daily rotation. In short, I don't like this serum because it's sticky and feels odd on my skin, but for this reason you can use it as a primer so all is not lost. More on that below.

Essano claims/product details:
  • A silky serum that stimulates collagen by repairing and protecting the epidermal layer of your skin
  • An intensive blend of certified organic rosehip oil and innovative plant peptide technology
  • Enriched with plant peptides to revive, nourish and regenerate
  • Regular use will smooth and soften wrinkles, and promote a youthful complexion
  • Plumps and fills in wrinkles and fine lines
  • Improves firmness and elasticity
  • Resurfaces your skin: this treatment tightens pores to visibly refine skin texture
  • For all skin types
  • Dermatologically tested
  • To use: apply 1-2 pumps to cleansed face and neck, morning and night before your moisturiser
  • RRP $29.99 for 30ml, but do shop around


I just want to say from the outset that I haven't used this for a couple of months consistently (as I normally would when it comes to serums) because I don't like it enough to do that, so I won't be able to comment comprehensively on what this product has done for my skin over time. 

But I wanted to write this review anyway because I suspect I'm not the only one who doesn't like how this feels, so it's worth noting my comments on that and how I've decided to use the product instead, since that may be useful for others who don't love how this feels either.

It's an ivory-coloured serum that feels more like a cream than it does a standard serum, and it's quite thick but it spreads easily enough. The product has a faint, earthy scent that shouldn't offend most people, and a little goes a long way so you don't need much product each time.

What I don't like about this serum is that it dries down to a super tacky finish that just doesn't want to go away. I'm really aware of the stuff sitting on my skin after use, and this makes me wonder how well it absorbs and delivers nourishment where it's needed, and indeed my dry skin doesn't feel at all hydrated after application - just sticky and coated, a sensation I don't like.

While I can't comment on the long-term effects, I'd be surprised if it achieved any of those, given that I don't think it absorbs but instead sits on top of the skin. But it does have a temporary impact on fine lines, so it plumps the skin as claimed.

I've seen that the third listed ingredient is glycerin, which would explain not only the stickiness but also the slight plumping effect too. This might also explain why my moisturiser doesn't absorb well after using this: I reckon the glycerin creates a coating that interferes with my moisturiser's ability to work.

So while I don't rate this product at all as a serum, I think it works pretty well as a primer under makeup because the formula is so sticky, meaning it grabs onto makeup and holds it in place. Now my skin is dry so it generally clings to makeup anyway, but I have noticed that my makeup stays in place a little longer when I use this, so that's a plus at least.

All in all, I don't like this product as a serum but all is not lost because you can re-purpose it as a primer if like me you've found yourself with a bottle of the stuff and don't love it. I'd be interested to hear how those with oily skin find it when used as a primer, so let me know if you've tried it this way and how you've gone if so.

I wouldn't buy this because I still don't like how it feels on my face, even if I apply it as a primer over my skincare, but I will use it because it's not terrible and I've found a place for it in my collection.

I'd definitely test this before buying it because I suspect I'm not the only one who won't be a fan of the stickiness.

Not for me.

It's probably been a week since I wrote my last declutter post, so it's time for another one because I'd like to have the declutter series wrapped up by the end of July. 

I might then do some more decluttering as we come into Christmas, but for now I'll finish off the process so my stores are looking a little neater as we enter August and spring doesn't look so far away.

I'm decluttering thirteen items in this post and, over the next week, I'll have a look at my stores and see if anything else can go. I've been adding these products to the 'donate' bin throughout the year, but I haven't yet turned an eye to my existing collection so I'll do that soon and let you know if anything else is heading out the door.

So without further ado, here's what I'm passing on:

The ulta3 volume & length and Nars Audacious mascaras just didn't work for me, and I'd meant to give those to a friend who works for a women's shelter while they hadn't been open long, but unfortunately she's been away so I'll probably just bin those because mascaras aren't something you want to leave sitting around.

The two Mirenesse brow mascaras can also go into the bin: I don't like this brow product because it has a sheen to it (I don't like my brows to look shiny), and while I only opened these to check them the other day, for some reason they've started to thicken and dry out so they're heading for the bin too.

As for powders, none of these is super old so I can easily pass them on and hope someone else gives them more love than I have.

The ModelCo Blush in Peach Bellini is a beautiful shade but the texture is quite bad - it's grainy and powdery - and while it looks ok on the cheeks, I have other blushes I prefer so I never use it.

The two eyeshadow quads from Mememe and Be a Bombshell aren't great formulas because they're not very pigmented, but they're both ok products and I'm sure that someone else can get more use from them than I have.

All three of these products will be donated to the women's shelter, and I know they'll be gladly received there so they won't go to waste.

Now for six lip products, which I'd also like to donate while they're still fairly new. Again, there's nothing wrong with any of these but they don't work for me for whatever reason - maybe they're not my colour or they're too drying on my lips, or I have dupes for them and don't need more items in the same shade - so these will be going to better homes too.

Almost all of the products are pink, which isn't surprising because pink generally doesn't suit me, and I know someone else will give these more love than I have.

In sum

There we are: thirteen products that will be leaving my collection! Four will be binned but the other nine will be passed on and hopefully enjoyed by others.

Let me know if you've had a declutter moment this year, and how you've found it if so : )

I finally bought the full-size Pixi Glow Tonic a while back from Beautybay, and not long after I was lucky enough to receive a travel-sized version from Maslow & Co.

It's one of those products that I've wanted to try for absolutely ages because I've seen it raved about so much online, and I'd hoped it might be a cheaper alternative for my HG Alpha-H Liquid Gold.

While I do like it and I reckon it's a good 'entry level' product if you're trying glycolic acid for the first time, it doesn't hold a candle to Liquid Gold and I wouldn't buy it again because it doesn't end up being cheaper either, once you look at how often you need to use each product to see results. More on all that below.

Pixi claims/product details:
  • Exfoliating facial glow tonic
  • Helps tone, firm and tighten the skin
  • Removes dead skin cells for healthier looking skin
  • With ginseng, aloe vera, fructose and 5% glycolic acid
  • For all skin types
  • Alcohol free
  • To use: apply after cleansing; saturate a cotton pad with the tonic and sweep across face, neck and décolletage (avoiding eye area); can be used AM and PM 
  • RRP $29 AUD for 250ml (see eg Beautybay), but do shop around


I was expecting to be bowled over by this tonic and unfortunately I haven't been, although that's probably because I've been using glycolic acid products for a while so I already know how my skin behaves when I use them and this particular tonic hasn't offered anything new.

Also, as mentioned above, this is nowhere near as good as my HG Alpha-H Liquid Gold (reviewed here), so perhaps I was always going to be a little disappointed because I've used a better comparable product before and one that's been a staple for a long time, so this one has paled in comparison.

It's a standard toning liquid that you apply to a cotton pad and wipe across the face after cleansing. It has a pleasant, green smell that I quite like and find refreshing, so it's nice to use in the morning.

The product does tone reasonably well and the makeup pad always comes away dirty, so it's doing its grime-removal job without issue. It also does give me a small amount of the effect you should get from glycolic products - brighter, smoother skin and some exfoliating action - but nowhere near as much as I've found with other products like the Liquid Gold.

Also, I need to use this each morning and evening to get a good impact from it, whereas I only need to use the Alpha-H product on every second evening. So I'm already using it four times for Alpha-H's one, and on top of that, I need to use about twice as much of this product each time as compared to the Liquid Gold. 

So all of a sudden it's the Alpha-H product that's looking better value on a per-use basis, and the Alpha-H does more for my skin with one use than this one does in four (which I can say for sure because I've been comparing the two products side-by-side during the testing period).

So while I do think this product generally meets its claims of removing dead skin cells and toning, firming and tightening the skin, it doesn't do this as well as other available products and it's not one I would buy again. 

If you've never used glycolic acid on your skin before and want a gentle 'starter' product that won't break the bank, then this might be a good option - but otherwise I'd be sticking with something stronger.

Not a bad product, but I've used better.

Look what arrived at my local Mecca on Wednesday - woot woot! 

Like many I rushed to my nearest store as soon as I got the email, and while I'd hoped to have this unboxing up on the same day, it's been a big week so I'm only getting to it now. Never mind!

I'm a level three because I spend far too much money on beauty, and while I think this is a good box, it's not the best one I've received of late and I much preferred the last two. But of course that's all personal preference.

I've seen a couple of unboxings and, from what I can tell, the Nars, Hourglass and Skyn products were included across all the level three boxes, but the fourth product varied - there are the options above. 

I'm quite pleased that I got the gloss because some of the potential items I've either already tried or won't use, but a gloss will never go astray so that's a good thing.

Let's have a quick look at each item in turn:

Nars Liquid Laguna Bronzer, 4ml

I haven't tried a liquid bronzer before so I'm more than happy to give this a go. The powder version of Nars Laguna of course needs no introduction, so it will be interesting to see whether it's as popular in the liquid form.

Apparently this comes in a warm brown shade, and is enriched with oils and vanilla extract for moisturising and antioxidant benefits. Looking forward to testing it out.

Skyn Iceland Hydra Cool Firming Eye Gels; received one pair

As you may know, I'm not a huge fan of sheet masks - but I haven't tried anything from this brand before so it's nice to have the chance to do so.

These are apparently cooling transdermal gel patches that infuse the eye area with potent doses of soothing ingredients. They're formulated with elastin to firm and tone, hexapeptide to reduce the look of fine lines and wrinkles, and ginkgo biloba improve circulation.

Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer SPF 15, 4ml

This is a cult product that needs no introduction either. I've used it before and while I do like it, I prefer the Hourglass serum primer because that's better for my dry skin.

It's a satin-finish, oil-free mineral primer that's meant to create a porcelain-smooth complexion, giving your foundation longevity while minimising shine and protecting against sun damage.

Travel-sized products will never go astray and I'll definitely use this one.

Mecca Lip De Luscious SPF 25+

I haven't owned one of these before but I know they're very popular. Looks like we received the clear version, and I'm looking forward to using mine once I've finished the couple of glosses I have open.

It's meant to hydrate and condition the lips with a botanical-rich formula, and it contains shea butter, hyaluronic filling spheres, pomegranate seed oil, vitamin e and SPF 25 for beautifully soft, SPF protected lips.

In sum

I'm pleased with this box but I reckon it's not quite as exciting as the last two. Still, I'll use everything and you can't ask for more than that.

Do let me know what you received in your Beauty Loop box this month - I'm always interested to see what goodies Mecca has included : )
littlewhitetruths. Powered by Blogger.