April Empties - Re-Try or Bye Bye?

Wednesday 16 April 2014

One post I've never done before is an 'empties' post. Of course I see them on other blogs, but I never seem to go through products that quickly!

However, all of a sudden I've found myself with a load of empties. Why do they all seem to go at once?

You can see there is quite a lot there- from mundane stuff like deodorant and body lotion to a favourite lipstick! All dead soldiers this month.

So the time is right for one of these posts, which I doubt will be a regular occurance! For each item, I'll be saying whether it's a definite re-try or a big goodbye! Here goes:

L'Oreal Studio Line Hot & Smooth 

One product I always use consistently is a heat protection spray. My locks are pretty dry and parched, the ends are colour treated and I have a deep love of heated styling tools, so it's pretty much an essential to stop my hair from frying completely. I've found a few sprays that I've re-purchased consistently but as yet, no holy grail product that's convinced me to stay loyal.

Re-Try or Bye bye?

This spray was actually pretty decent- the whole Studio Line range has had a makeover and there are some great new products. I especially liked the trigger spray which makes it really easy to use. It's difficult to tell if a heat protection spray is really doing its job- my hair doesn't feel fried, but I can't say I've noticed a big difference in the moisture levels that I could put down to this. It isn't a bad product and I'm highly likely to buy this, because it's under a fiver and perfectly serviceable. But it hasn't swept me off my feet either. I'm likely to repurchase this out of convenience. But I have purchased an Andrew Barton heat protection spray that I'll be trying out first.

Garnier Body Intensive 7 Days

Like most girls a body lotion is an everyday use product, so I don't really consider it an optional purchase. I exercise a lot, so I shower a lot, so I need lotion a lot. And thus the universe is complete!

Re-Try or Bye bye?

Definitely, without a shadow of doubt, re-try! I am nuts about this body lotion and since trying it several years ago I've never never been without it. In fact, on my hen weekend in Edinburgh, I made all my hens go searching for a Boots when I ran out! This lotion is just the best. It's so light and easily absorbed- there's no hanging around a chilly bathroom waiting for it to sink in! It has a really long lasting effect and I love that my skin still feels silky the next morning when I wake up. And the scent is light and unobtrusive, so it doesn't compete with your perfume. Best of all it's cheap as chips, under £4 for a big bottle that generally lasts me about a month and a half of all-over daily use. I already had my next bottle lined up before I finished this one...

Sanex Zero %

Is it weird to include a deodorant in here? It's not one of the more glamorous things to talk about, but obviously it's an important part of anyone's morning routine (or it should be !) and it's another grooming choice we make.

Re-Try or Bye bye?

For the moment, it's bye bye! This deodorant was a bit of a lazy choice. I don't have a major preference so I usually just pick up whatever is on offer at the time. I prefer something that doesn't leave white marks, but other than that I'm easy to please. Only lately I felt that my deodorant wasn't working hard enough for me. Hopefully I'm not an excessively sweaty person. But I walk to work every morning and sometimes I do feel less than fresh when I get there. So I've decided to try something stronger and I've gone for Sure Maximum Protection - one of these new, once a day creams. They cost £5 which is a lot more than a regular deo but I do feel more protected and less hot and bothered when I get to the office, so it's worth it!

Schwarzkopf Got2b Happy Hour

Hairspray is a constant in my hair arsenal and something I use most days to keep styles in place and flyaways to a minimum, even if I wear my hair down. But finding one that doesn't stink, doesn't leave your hair unbearably crispy and actually holds well is a challenge.

Re-Try or Bye bye?

Soooo re-try! This hairspray is lovely and such a bargain. I really like the whole Got2b line. It's colourful, innovative and bargaintastic. What's not to like? This hairspray is a star and I'm on my seventh can! The hold it has is truly very good, but it also had a great natural texture to it and doesn't leave any crispy strands. Plus it smells like piƱa coladas! Not overpoweringly chemical, just a gentle fruity waft that reminds me of nights out. It's the perfect finishing touch. Although I have a can of Tigi Catwalk Session Styling Hairspray to get though first (It was on offer, I was intrigued) I know I will come back to this hairspray because the quality is so good and the price so low. I'm quite fussy with hair sprays but this one really gets my vote.

Nip + Fab Glycolic Fix

These pads are a fairly recent addition to my skincare routine. They take the place of a physical scrub (with the gritty bits in) as I've always found those unpleasant to use on my face. They can be very harsh, especially in the winter when skin in dry and sensitive. So these pads have been an answer to that.

Re-Try or Bye bye?

So much of a re-try, I'd purchased a new pack last month before I even ran out! But they were on a half price offer. Even at full price, these babies are a worthy addition to any skincare regime. Not only do they leave you with gorgeous, glowing skin but they also help your other products to act more effectively, by stripping away the barrier of dulling dead cells that stop active ingredients properly getting into your skin. I love these and I can't see myself being without them now.

Bourjois Happy Light Matte Serum Primer

A primer has gone from being something I'd only wear for a night out to an everyday and pretty indispensable part of my routine. I work a long day and I haven't got much time to touch up my make-up during the day, so I need it to last as long as possible. With primers infiltrating the drugstores over the past couple of years, it's been easier than ever to add one in.

Re-Try or Bye bye?

A big fat bye bye! I wanted to love this product, I really did. Bourjois are one of my favourite brands and as soon as this launched I went to hunt it down. But this product promises so much and delivers so little. I love the idea of a light-infused mattifying primer that will make my base stick, especially for the summer months when my skin gets a bit oilier. And the nice little glass bottle and vacuum pump are great. But although this has a (very short lived) mattifying effect, it does absolutely nothing in the way of making maquillage last. Big fat nothing. In fact, I felt it made the staying power marginally worse. I also bought the 'Luminous' version of this primer at the same time and although I haven't used it yet, I've been told that it's a bit better. But with the Matte version, I haven't been as disappointed in a product for a while. It's a total fail and I've replaced it with the Elf Mineral Primer, which turns in a far superior performance.

UrbanVeda Daily Radience Facial Wash

Washing away the day's grime is one of the most pleasurable parts of my day. It might just be me being a freak, but I really enjoy washing my face at the end of a long day and putting my night creams and oils on. It's like a signal to my brain to switch off and relax. This little number came in my first Birchbox in February and I've been using it since then.

Re-Try or Bye bye?

UrbanVeda wasn't a brand I'd come across before this sample landed on my door. It's all based on Ayurvedic principles and luckily this matched my 'dosha' or Ayurvedic type. I got on with this face wash fairly well and I did think it made my skin look bright and clear, but I won't be repurchasing this. And that's purely because of the smell! One of the main ingredients is turmeric, and the wash smells very strong and spicy. I just don't like it at all, so I could never love this product 100%. I've gone back to the L'Oreal Skin Perfection wash I was using before this, which is much less strongly scented.

Benefit They're Real! Mascara

I'm all about the flutter power. Lashes are one of those things that are small, but make a big difference to the way I feel! And I am super fussy about mascara. Some products I seem to switch whenever I run out but with others I'm extremely loyal - and mascara is one of those items I consistently repurchase when I find one I like.

Re-Try or Bye bye?

One of the great thing about Boots is that they've started selling trial sizes of some cult products, like the Smashbox Photo Finish Primer and some of the Benefit stuff by the tills, which is super useful if you want to try out something new or just like tiny travel sizes of things. They're Real is a holy grail mascara for so many people, I've seen endless praise for it online but after trying it out now I won't be replacing my usual favourites with this. I don't think it's terrible but I found it nothing special, especially considering the price. It is lengthening but it did nothing for me in the way of volume. I thought it left my lashes long but limp looking. This sometimes improves as the formula dries out and thickens up a bit but not in this case. It's funny when the whole internet seems to be loving something and you just don't get it! This isn't a hall of fame product for me and I can think of cheaper products that produce a far better effect. I'll be sticking with my current choices of Mac 3D Extreme and Seventeen Doll'd Up (which by the way is a good dupe for They're Real and much cheaper!).

Balance Active Formulas Snake Venom Eye Cream

My under eye area is a complete disaster- dark circles, bags, fine lines, you name it! It's all going off. So I need an eye cream that delivers a lot. So far, I've never found one I loved enough to stick with for long though. Would this be the product to change that?

Re-Try or Bye bye?

It's a bye bye- but probably more of an 'adieu' than a 'goodbye forever'. If you haven't ever come across Balance Active Formulas, they are a brand you tend to pick up in Home Bargains and cheaper shops like that, but their products are very cosmeceutical, full of science and big promises. I've always wondered whether they can really deliver a significant amount of actives for the price.  I've tried a few of their products now and the jury is still out. They are certainly just as effective as most things you can pick up in Boots and are a good fall back option but I'm doubtful about how powerful they really are.

Having said that this eye cream performed fairly well and I was quite pleased with it. Snake venom was starting to be used in a lot of high-end products so it intrigued me to see it in something accessible. This was under a fiver and it was pretty darn good for that price. I would buy this again but I don't feel it's ended my quest for the ultimate eye cream. Balance Active Formulas do some pretty neat products and I'm still using their Hyaluronic Youth Serum and Snake Venom BB Cream, which I really like. I'm sure I might use this again at some point but I'm now trying out the Garnier Miracle Eye Cream and Nip + Fab Viper Venom eye roll on instead.

Mac Sheen Supreme 'Bare Again'

Every girl needs the ultimate nude lipstick. It's a make-up essential for adding a bit of subtle polish and for during the working day. Of course, I've got heaps of nude shades but this was my absolute favourite and the one I was carrying in my daily make-up bag.

Re-Try or Bye bye?

The shade and consistency of this is undeniably gorgeous. It's a cross between a lipstick and a gloss, beautifully shiny and pigmented and quite moisturising. A clear favourite. And yet since I bought this, Mac have launched a new range called Huggable. They are still highly pigmented, still glossy but have more in the way of skincare benefits. They contain collagen and are more moisturising. On the whole I much prefer the formula and purchased a nude from that range called 'Fresh and Frisky' which is a little more peach but still a good neutral. I've also been using a Nars Satin Lip Pencil in 'Biscayne Park' which had become a favoured neutral option. So although I liked this lipstick a lot at the moment it's been replaced with something else!

It's been quite an epic month of empties- some definite keepers, some that I'll no doubt return to a couple of definite no's!  What products have you finished lately that you'd recommend? 


  1. Nice post. I'm totally with you on the Garnier Body Lotion, it's amazing. it really does make a difference to my skin. I'm prone to getting dry skin on the top of my arms near my shoulders and since I started using this lotion (about a month ago) I noticed how different my skin both looks and feels. Would definitely recommend it! The shea butter is the best out of the 3 or so options.


    1. Oooh I've actually never picked up the shea butter one, I usually go for the honey option! But will put it in my basket next time xx