Mid-Year (ish) Empties

I was going to make this a video, but while the video itself was fine when I tried to edit I somehow moved the audio track off by about a minute! Technology is clearly not my friend.

So these are the things that I have used up or abandoned…

Gatineau Peeling Expert (Worldwide) I was genuinely surprised that I enjoyed this. I had a travel/deluxe sample size and it lasted a good four months. Which is impressive for a mini! It genuinely had an impact on my skin – to the extent that I kept luring people into touching my face (people I know I should add!) However, I don’t think I’m prepared to stump up the cost for a full size version at this point, but if my  face starts to drop off without it…

LM souffle
Picture from Space NK

Laura Mercier Body Souffle 5 set (Worldwide) I LOVED this. Loved loved loved. I use a fair bit of body moisturiser and this is one of the two loveliest textured ones. I initially bought it mostly for the Fig scented one, but fell completely in love with the Pistachio (the one they don’t seem to make in a big size). However, even those that I wasn’t that enamoured with like the coconut were genuinely nice takes on the scent. Might treat myself to another coffret next December.




Jennifer Lopez Live (Worldwide) I am so happy to have finally got this off my perfume shelf. Jenny from the block has been lurking around like a teenager behind the bikesheds for years and years. The scent has held up really well despite several years of less than ideal storage, and it’s a nice enough fruity floral. I won’t be buying this again.

Lipstick Queen Hello Sailor (Worldwide) This is less an empty and more a travesty. I had this in mini size and have been quite happy with the shade. However, the other day lipstick disaster struck when the lipstick’s entire self fell onto my carpet. Dressing table savable; carpet no way. It is a pretty berry shade, and is quite sheer (I’ve seen it described as lip balm). However, I’m not sure it is quite the colour for me so I won’t be rebuying.

Oskia Renaissance Mask (Worldwide) Had a deluxe size sample of this. Beautiful, beautiful scent and it does change texture and consistency. However, I can’t justify the price at the moment so am not purchasing the full size.

Picture from Lancôme

Lancôme Bi Facil (Worldwide) I only ended up with this because I’m a fool and fell for a gift with purchase offer. However, that said this is excellent. Doesn’t make me cry (yes Body Shop Camomile eye makeup remover I am looking at you), and gets even the most stubborn mascaras off. I may buy again but not in the immediate future.




Boots Shower Gels/scrubs from their Christmas range (no longer available). This was a gift set I bought in the post Christmas sale with hand cream, body cream and shower scrubs. I’ve gone through a couple of each of the shower gel and shower scrub so far and it’s okay. Nothing to write home about, smell is a bit synthetic. Wouldn’t buy again.

The Ordinary Vitamin C 23% (US and CAN / Worldwide) I have reviewed this here, and don’t think I’ll be buying again.

The Ordinary Argireline 10% (Worldwide) this is supposed to help with dynamic wrinkles, I can’t say it has appeared to do much for me. I won’t be buying again.

Nip+Fab Dragon’s Blood Hydrating Mask (Worldwide). I have reviewed this here, and again I won’t be buying this again.

Image from Nip + Fab

This Works In Transit No Traces Cleansing Pads (Worldwide) I had a deluxe sample size of these. They were functional, pleasantly scented and got my eye makeup off. I did on a couple of occasions have to use two for stubborn mascara. Lovely but I won’t be buying the full size.

Rituals Sakura Body Cream (UK/ US/couldn’t find CAN or AUS sellers). I had a packet sample of this. This smells beautiful, it felt beautiful. It is just lovely. However, I’m not thrilled with the slightly creepy orientalist “hey let’s stick a Geisha in there” advertising. I am undecided about this, but it is beautiful.

Real Techniques Miracle Sculpting Sponge (Worldwide) Less of an empty more of a “it’s a bit too gross now”. I love this, throwing it away made me quite sad. I will buy this again, but not immediately as I have a bit of a backlog of cheap sponges to get through.

Rituals Ayurveda Foaming Shower Gel (UK/US) I had a deluxe sample of this. It’s a bit strange if I’m honest. There seems to be a new trend of shower gels that are like shaving foams, which I am not keen on. I used my sample as a leg shaving gel though and it did a pretty good job. In the shower the sent is sadly overwhelmingly propellant. However, once outside you are left with a nice sillage. The advertising again erks me again though. I won’t be buying the full size.

Clarins Extra Firming Wrinkle Control Night Cream (US and CAN/UK/AUS). I got a packet sample of this and the Day Cream. I’ve not listed the day cream because I can’t think of much to say about it, it was meh. The night cream however, was really nice and delicately scented. However, I won’t be buying this in full size because of the price.

Picture from So Susan

So Susan Colour Hybrid (Worldwide). This is a lip and cheek “mousse”, I’m not really sure what qualified it as a mousse, it did not have a mousse like texture. I can’t say I liked this much past the shade, would not buy again.


Dior Miss Dior (US and CAN/UK/Worldwide) I had two small samples of this. It’s a nice enough slightly sweet (but not cloying) scent. However, the thing I was most impressed by was the sample packaging with it’s little atomizer. I won’t be buying this.

The Body Shop Shea Shower Cream (Worldwide). I had the smallest size of this – travel size I guess you’d call it. It smells divine, and it makes the skin feel lovely. It is, however, a safety nightmare. Copious showerings of the shower do not rid the greasy slime off, and I personally do not want to die in a shower. I will not be re-buying this.

Sunday Riley Martian Mattifying Gel (AUS/UK/US and CAN). I had a sample packet of this and it is GLORIOUS. Does exactly what it says on the tin, and is another transforming substance (which I’m a sucker for). I would love to buy this but it would take up a bigger chunk of my skincare budget than I’m willing at the moment.

The Body Shop Drops of Youth Concentrate (Worldwide). This is possibly the most infuriating product I have used in a while. I get it; pharmacy style bottles look cool, glass pipettes are cool, but they are not cool when your product is so viscous the dropper cannot actually suck up the product. I do not know how well this works because mostly it just made me furious each time and I had to pour it out. Would not buy again in a million years even if it would make me look like a 15 year old.

Skyn Iceland Hydro Cool Firming Eye Gels (Worldwide). I started with a travel size of these. Unlike most eye gels which either feel too heavy, or weirdly slimy they are almost perfect. The cooling side is indeed cooling, and the front side leaves no room for me getting confused about which side I should press against my face, because it feels like fuzzy felts. My only criticism would be that they seem to be quite long in the narrow part which can make positioning them tricky. Not only would I buy these again, I have already.

Figs and Rouge Face HA+ cream. They seem to have stopped making this, which was a wise idea on their part because it was awful. Thick, heavy and just wrong. I hate finished this.

Bobbi Brown Skin Nourish Mask (Worldwide). I got the tiniest tube sample I have ever seen in my life of this. It was another of those, meh products. I wouldn’t buy the full size.

No7 Completely Quenched Body Milk (UK/ this doesn’t seem to be on Walgreens or Ulta). I had a small “gift” size of this. It’s a perfectly nice functional body moisturizer, but I wouldn’t buy the full size of this.

Bobbi Brown Smokey Eyes Mascara (Worldwide) Again another teeny tiny sample. I have reviewed this here. I would not buy.

Eyeko Mascara Magic (Worldwide) and Sport (Worldwide). I had the travel sizes of these two. Both really nice mascaras, nice formula and good brushes. The Sport was marginally better for me due to the waterproof function, but I liked both. I may buy again, but I do have quite a mascara queue.

Photo from Elemis

Elemis Superfood Day Cream (UK and US/AUS) I had a travel sized sample of this (and have another waiting) and love it. It feels really nice, smells lovely and did seem to have a tangible impact on my skin. I would buy this in full size, despite the price, and once I’ve worked through my face cream samples may well do.

Caudalie Vinosource Moisturising Sorbet (Worldwide). I have had two travel sized tubes of this. It feels lovely, is super light going on, but does hydrate. Very low level but pleasant scent. I do like this but I think Elemis Superfood has knocked it off it’s spot on my to-buy list.

Elemis Pro Collagen Marine Cream (AUS/UK and US). I had a travel sized sample of this. It is nice enough, but I don’t like it (and the idea of fish things in my face cream) enough to want to buy it.

Pai Instant Calm: Chamomile and Rosehip Day Cream (Worldwide). I had a travel sized sample. The texture of this is lovely, really really nice. However, the scent is a touch off putting for me. So I wouldn’t buy the full size of this, but I would buy one of the other creams in the range.

Kylie Showtime EDT. I don’t think they make this any more, certainly the only bottles that I can find for sale seem to be on eBay. However, it has taken me 11 years to get through this. It was a nice, sweet scent, but even if I could find it I wouldn’t re-purchase.

The Body Shop British Rose Exfoliating Body Scrub (Worldwide). This is a lovely, naturally scented scrub. It is a physical exfoliant using walnuts (poor walnuts relegated to being bits in scrubs). I really enjoyed the scent and the feeling of the gel and would happily buy this again.

The Body Shop Lip and Cheek Velvet Stick (Worldwide) This is a colour changing lipstick/blusher.
(Nerd moment: these type of lipsticks don’t change because of mood, your pH or temperature, but because of using a specific colour molecule. It looks different because of the tones in the skin, not magic.)
This was terrible. It made a nice enough shade, but it lasted for less time than it takes me to get out of the house. Will not buy again.

REN Keep Young and Beautiful Instant Firming Beauty Shot (Worldwide) I had a travel sized version of this and frankly the only real result was that it led to me endlessly singing “Keep Young and Beautiful” around the house. Will not buy the full size.

This Works Deep Sleep and Sleep Plus Pillow Sprays (Worldwide). I had sample sizes of each of these and loved both. They genuinely work to help me to go to sleep. It’s not zopiclone, but for a mild sleep problem it’s great. I have already bought a full size bottle of Deep Sleep and will likely buy again.

Photo from The Body Shop

The Body Shop Strawberry Softening Body Polish (Worldwide). This is an exfoliator crossed with a shower gel, though I’ve followed up with shower gel after each use. This is a lovely scrub, with a nice natural strawberry scent. You could almost eat it; don’t though. I would happily buy this again.

Avon True Colour Perfectly Matte Lipstick in Absolute Coral (UK They don’t seem to do the same shades in other places). This was a perfectly nice orange coral, but I threw it away because it reminds me of something I’d rather forget.

Studio London Highlighter Sticks (I think these are now discontinued). I binned these after trying multiple times, and looking like someone had crayoned my face each time. Would not buy again.

Lacura by Aldi Day Cream (not currently available). This unfortunately caused an allergic reaction (I did patch test afterwards to confirm). I suspect it was the Acmella Flower Extract as it was the only ingredient that I don’t recognise from other products. I wouldn’t buy again for obvious reasons!

Lancôme Visionnaire Day Cream (Worldwide). I had a deluxe sample of this and it lasted four applications before I binned it. It is so heavily fragranced I cannot imagine how anyone uses this, though evidently people must. Would never buy again.

RedKen No Blow Dry (Worldwide) I got this as a deluxe sample. I tried it once but it patently was not suitable for my tonne of hair, so I passed it onto one of my friends who is less like a yeti than I am. Wouldn’t buy full size.

Emani Cream Blush/Bronzer (seems to be discontinued ). I tried with this for well over a year, but I either ended up like an oompa loompa or sparkly in the wrong way. Would not buy.

So that is my empties for this almost half year – tell me about products you’ve loved or not so far?


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