November 2018 empties #1


Hello and welcome to my first empties post for the month.

Note that I actually finished most of these products in October, it's just that October was a bugger of a month so I didn't manage to get my third empties post up.

Hoh well, this means that I should have enough products for three empties posts during November, and that has to be a good thing.

Let's have a look.

Nivea Daily Essentials Refreshing Toner

Full review here. This is my HG budget toner and it's been a favourite since the first time I used it. It doesn't matter how many new toners I try, I always come back to this one and I miss it when it's gone.

It's hard to describe why it's so good, but part of my love for it definitely comes from the refreshing smell: something about it wakes me up and makes me feel cleaner and better. It's also great at gunk removal so it's a good one to use not only all over the face, but also down the neck and dec (where perhaps your cleanser hasn't quite reached). The makeup pad always comes away dirty when I use this so it does the job and it's cheap to boot. Repurchase? Yes.

Innoxa Renew + Polish Anti-ageing Exfoliator

I bought this product on clearance and while it wasn't a completely wasted purchase because I was able to use it on my body, I didn't like it and I wouldn't buy it again. I've reviewed it here.

It was a clear gel product with a weird, sticky texture that I didn't like, and it smelled like rotten fruit mixed with detergent - which of course meant that I didn't want it anywhere near my face. I did try it, though, and the grains inside it were decent enough (plenty of them and they weren't too smooth) so they offered an ok exfoliation - it was just the process of using this that I couldn't handle. Bad smell, bad texture, exfoliated ok but didn't clean well. No thanks. Repurchase? No.

Becca Mineral Blush in Bolero

Full review here. I really love these Becca blushes (lucky, since I have another 3.5 of them!) but I was pleased to finish this because it was getting old, and it was also limited edition so it's not as though it's useful for comparison swatches etc.

What I've always loved about Becca's blush formula is that it blends and applies well, and it also airbrushes the skin - although nowhere near as much as my Hourglass and Marc Jacobs blushes do, so I would still pick those two over this one. Still, Becca has some great colours available and I liked that this shade was suitable for bronzing, which is how I got through it. Repurchase? No, but only because I prefer the Hourglass and Marc Jacobs formulas and I have enough blush already.

Nude by Nature Moisture Shine Lipstick in 03 Dusty Rose

I really love the packaging of this lipstick: indeed, it's the nicest packaging I've come across from a brand you would find in Priceline. I've even kept the empty bullet for display purposes.

Unfortunately, though, the lipstick formula itself didn't work for me (I've reviewed it here). While it felt nicely hydrating on, it didn't apply evenly and it also sat in lip lines and tended to leave stripes behind when I pressed my lips together. Plus it didn't last well so it's safe to say that it wasn't for me. Gosh that packaging though. Purchase? No.

Andalou Naturals 1000 Roses Rosewater Mask

Full review here. I ended up putting this on my Project Pan list because it wasn't working for me and I wanted to get through it. Now that I've done this, I'll have a think about which mask to pan next because I do have others that I would like to get through.

It was a pale pink mask that had a balm/gel texture. It spread and applied well, but it also stung a little while I had it on and I found that it didn't do anything for me by the time it came to washing it off. That is, it didn't offer anything for tone or hydration as claimed, and if anything, my face felt a little drier after use. Not for me. Purchase? No.

The Ordinary Advanced Retinoid (Granactive Retinoid Emulsion) 2%

This product was excellent and I'm sad to see it go, although I'd owned it for a while so it was probably time for me to get through it. I've reviewed it here.

Do note that I've always had issues with retinols and this is only the second one I've ever used that didn't completely kill my skin. What I loved about this product was that it applied and spread well, and it had an immediate resurfacing effect from the moment I first used it. It also had a brightening effect and it dulled down the look of my age spots a bit after three months of use - something I personally have never experienced before (despite how many products claim to have an impact on age spots). Love. Repurchase? Yes.

Origins High Potency Night-A-Mins Cream 

Full review here. My skin really enjoyed this product. It applied, spread and absorbed well, and it was quite thick and rich but not so much so that it weighed the skin down or didn't absorb properly. It also had an orange scent that I found refreshing.

Not only did it make my dry skin feel comfortable, but it had a gentle resurfacing effect so my face looked happier and brighter after use, and it felt smoother too. Plus it made my skin feel softer and more hydrated, and the product helped target dullness to boot. Worth considering. Repurchase? Maybe.

Origins Checks & Balances Frothy Face Wash

This product didn't work for me at all, and I ended up using it as a body wash because it was far too astringent for my dry skin (its pH came in at somewhere between a nine and a ten, so that's hardly surprising). Full review here.

Still, it was nice to use (the foam it created felt lovely: creamy and velvety) and I can see why a lot of people love it because it did effectively remove the gunk from my face. But I'm certainly not the only one who's said it strips their skin and dries it out - so I would be careful with this product. Even oily-skinned lasses have noted that it strips their skin to the point that they start to produce more oil, and those with sensitive skin have said that it causes their faces to flare up. Not ideal. Repurchase? No.

Origins Modern Friction Nature's Dermabrasion

Full review here. While this contained exfoliating grains, there wasn't enough of them to give a decent exfoliation and they were also too large to do much - plus they were scratchy so I had to massage my face very gently when I used it. On top of this, I found it rather drying on my dry skin.

Note that quite a few people have said this isn't an effective exfoliant and have made the same comments I have (see eg Mecca's website), so it's not just me and I would certainly test this before purchase because it mightn't do what you want it to do. I also agree with those reviewers who noted that it stung their eyes if some product slipped in there during the cleansing process. Boo. Repurchase? No.

Laura Mercier Foundation Primer, Blemish-less

Even though this primer isn't designed for my dry skin (it's for acne-prone, oily skin), I really enjoyed it and I would recommend it. I've reviewed it here.

I liked that it was lightweight (it's more like a gel than a cream, although it was still creamy) and it spread and applied well. I also liked that it left a tacky finish on the skin that helped makeup adhere. On top of this, it helped smooth out the look of my skin and it also sat beautifully under makeup. Definitely worth considering. Purchase? Yes.

In sum

That's all from me. I hope you enjoyed this little empties post and that you have plenty of your own empties this month.

The best items in this lot were the Origins night cream, the retinol from The Ordinary, the Nivea toner and the Laura Mercier primer. I did like the Becca blush too, but everything else I can take or leave.

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

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