Empties & Mini Reviews #5 (Skincare, Haircare, Bodycare)

I am back again with more finished products to discuss my thoughts on with you. So let’s jump in and get started! 🙂

Skincare

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No7 Melting Gel Cleanser | Alpha H Balancing Cleanser with Aloe Vera | Superdrug Naturally Radiant Hot Cloth Cleanser

No7 Melting Gel Cleanser £9.50

I got this with one of the £5 off No7 vouchers that Boots hands out every so often. This was a nice buy! It’s a gel that transforms into an oil on the skin and feels quite luxurious, accompanied by an equally luxurious smell. I think I sometimes used too much; you don’t need too much to cover your face. Too much makes it slightly harder to work it into your skin. I enjoyed this but I often wouldn’t reach for it because it wasn’t my most hydrating option.

Would I buy again? Maybe

Alpha H Balancing Cleanser with Aloe Vera £25

I found this a gentle and nourishing cleanser that was really pleasant to use! It does feel quite basic but it did the job whilst being hydrating and softening. I found the packaging annoying when it started nearing the end as the pump couldn’t reach the product and I could see lots was left at the bottom. I’m not sure I would want to pay full price for this as it is quite basic but if it was on offer, maybe.

Would I buy again? Maybe, if there was a good deal

Superdrug Naturally Radiant Hot Cloth Cleanser £5.99

This a brilliant little cleanser and definitely comparable in many ways to the Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish! It’s a thick, pleasantly fresh smelling cream cleanser. A dollop is easily worked into the skin and each box comes with its own muslin cloth which is really handy! It has lots of nourishing ingredients and I definitely felt the effects of that when I used this. I bought this on “buy one, get one half price” so I already have one in stock that I will happily be using. The packaging is a bit pants but I love the colour and for the price, who am I to complain really?

Would I buy again? Yes

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La Roche-Posay Serozinc | Peter Thomas Roth Max Complexion Correction Pads | Nip & Fab Dragon’s Blood Fix Cleansing Pads | Nip & Fab Glycolic Fix Night Pads Extreme | First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads | Caudalie Grape Water

 La Roche-Posay Serozinc

This spray has gotten a lot of love over the internet but I’m a bit unmoved by it. As someone with blemish prone skin I unfortunately didn’t notice a difference when using this. My skin has reacted well to Zinc products in the past (mainly referring to Sudocrem) but with this any effect was minimal. It’s quite possible I didn’t use it frequently enough or that I’d have been better off spraying it onto a cotton pad then wiping it over my face, but as this isn’t even Cruelty Free I don’t think I’ll be giving it another shot.

Would I buy again? No

Peter Thomas Roth Max Complexion Correction Pads £25.95

If I’d researched properly before buying this I’d have found I shouldn’t have been buying this at all as they are also not Cruelty Free. Now I’ve finished them I don’t think I’ll miss them anyway. They contain a lot of alcohol and that is definitely noticeable in the smell. They contain a potent mix of AHA/BHA acids (Glycolic 10% and Salicylic 2%) which should make them super effective at exfoliation. They were okay at this and I used them day and night most days until they were finished. They were especially helpful when my skin was playing up, but overall I think the alcohol content was just too high for my already dehydrated skin.

Would I buy again? No

Nip+Fab Dragons Blood Fix Pads £9.95

I really struggled to use these up as I didn’t find them effective at all. I found they kind of ‘foamed’ on my face when I was using them which I found strange. I’d hoped they’d be good as they are marketed as being hydrating and exfoliating because of Hyaluronic Acid and Salicylic Acid, however upon consulting the ingredients list it’s clear these are only present in tiny amounts (under 1%). You can tell this by checking the ingredients list which goes in descending order based on how much of each ingredient is in the formula. The commonly used preservative Phenoxyethanol is only approved for use in the EU in concentrations up to 1%, so anything after this is only present in tiny amounts (I think I picked up this tip from Cheryl at Honesty for Your Skin). Suffice to say I am not a fan of these.

Would I buy again? No

Nip+Fab Glycolic Fix Extreme pads £14.95

These were much better than the Dragon’s Blood Pads; my skin seems to react so well to Glycolic. Having said that though I still think I prefer the original Glycolic Fix Pads which is slightly strange as these Extreme ones on paper have a better formula. There’s just something about the originals that gives me more hydration, but that could just be that I found the original’s pads were better soaked in the product than these Extreme ones. I will definitely be trying these out again though as they are a great affordable AHA product.

Would I buy again? Yes

First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads £22

I can’t help but compare these once again to my beloved Nip+Fab Glycolic Fix Exfoliating Facial Pads and to me personally, I still prefer those ones more! These I found ineffective in comparison (I don’t know what the exact percentages of Glycolic are in each) and that coupled with a smell that reminded me of nail varnish remover pads, I didn’t thoroughly enjoy putting these on my face. The actual pads the product is soaked in are much better quality in the FAB ones, they are much sturdier and have a more textured side, but this is immaterial if the product isn’t as good.

Would I buy these again? No, I don’t think so but they’re not awful

Caudalie Grape Water £6

This product is basically just a spray of grape water! It’s supposed to soothe and moisturise and whilst it’s very refreshing I didn’t feel any true hydration benefits. For a hydrating spray, I am much more impressed by the one I am currently using (Pixi Hydrating Milky Mist) but that one is three times the price of this spray. If you just want something refreshing to use on the go or for hot weather maybe you would like this, but as a beneficial step in your skincare routine, I don’t think this is the one.

Would I buy again? No

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Botanics 80% Organic Hydrating Eye Cream | PHD Skincare UV Defense Daily Moisturiser SPF 30 | James Read Day Tan SPF 15 Face

Botanics 80% Organic Hydrating Eye Cream £9.99

As I always seem to say with eye cream, this was okay. I am yet to find an eye cream that has provided any noticeable effect but I am holding that to the fact I am only 22 and don’t really have any issues in that area yet. I still like to always use one though so I can prevent any signs of ageing; it can’t hurt to start early can it?! And I do like to keep my eye area hydrated, especially around this time of year when my eyes get all sore due to hayfever. 😦 This one was hydrating and I love that it’s largely organic.

Would I buy again? Maybe

UV Defense Daily Moisturizer SPF 30

I bought this on the Boots website but I can no longer find this on there. I now wear SPF every day so back when I bought this I was searching for affordable facial moisturiser with SPF that I could wear under makeup (I think this came in at £8.99). It was pretty good! It has a sunscreen smell but it kept me moisturised and worked well under makeup. I was however pretty happy to use it up, I’m not really sure why… It just wasn’t perfect and I wanted to move onto the next SPF to try. After some research, I decided I’d like to find a daily moisturiser which uses mineral sunscreens so I am now using Paula’s Choice Skin Recovery Daily Moisturizing Lotion SPF30 and I love it!

Would I buy again? No

James Read Day Tan SPF 15 Face £22

I got this little sample in last years Selfridges Summer Beauty Box and only got round to using it early this year. This was actually really good! It definitely gave a glow and some colour to my face, which is always so much paler than my body. It worked well under makeup but you need to let it sink it for a bit and it does remain tacky. It also almost inevitably has that ‘fake tan smell’ which is the main downside as it’s right on your face so it’s difficult to get away from. It does die down though; that or you just get used to it when it’s on your face!

Would I buy again? Yes, if I wanted to tan my face

Bodycare

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Pitrok Crystal Roll On Deodorant for Women | The Body Shop Blueberry Body Butter

PitRok Crystal Roll-on Deodorant for Women £4.99

As my first experience of natural/aluminium free deodorant, this was a pretty good one. A pleasant smell and it was relatively effective at keeping me fresh smelling. However, I was a lot more conscious and worried about sweat patches when wearing this as it doesn’t stop you sweating like my previous Mitchum deodorant did. If you’re going to be really active and likely to sweat and are wearing clothes likely to show this sweat, maybe stick to a stronger deodorant if that bothers you (it does me). I am however converted to using natural deodorant on days when I’m not doing much and/or no one will be able to see sweat patches anyway!

Would I buy again? Yes

The Body Shop Blueberry Body Butter

I think this was a festive special scent as I can’t find it online. I hope they bring it back each year though as it’s a really lovely scent; I love anything blueberry. As usual, Body Shop body butters are rather iconic for being reliable body moisturisers whilst smelling amazing. They have the greatest range of scents.

Would I buy again? Yes

Haircare

The ratio with which I get through conditioner to shampoo is hilarious lol; 1:5 here!

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Lavera Cornflower Anti Dandruff Shampoo | A’kin Macademia & Wheat Protein Conditioner | Charles Worthington Moisture Seal Condtioner | Charles Worthington Strength and Repair Hair Masque | Charles Worthington Moisture Seal Hair Masque | Kind Natured Ylang Ylang & Sage Conditioner

Lavera Cornflower Anti Dandruff Shampoo £5.95

A decent anti-dandruff shampoo with no SLS and made from natural ingredients. Although I’m not the biggest fan of the smell.

Would I buy again? Maybe

A’kin Macadamia & Wheat Conditioner for Dry Hair £8.90

This is a beautiful, natural conditioner that I felt really nourished my hair. It’s a thinner consistency than standard conditioners I’ve used which actually meant a little went quite a long way; I thought this would be empty in no time but it actually lasted longer than I thought! The smell is not amazing, but that’s just due to it being natural I guess.

Would I buy again? Yes

Charles Worthington Moisture Seal Conditioner £5.99

Another good conditioner for my dry hair; although not as nourishing as the A’kin one. It’s much easier to get hold of though as you can just grab it in Boots and it’s always on offer. I don’t like the packaging; as it gets used up it gets more and more difficult to get the product out.

Would I buy again? Yes, I already have

Charles Worthington Strength & Repair Longer & Stronger Hair Masque £5.99 and Charles Worthington Moisture Seal Mineral Hair Rescue Masque £5.99

These are both really great hair masques that I used in the place of conditioners as my hair is that dry and damaged at the moment (I need a haircut badly). Again, Charles Worthington is always on offer and they’re paraben free and do a great job. If I had to choose, I think the Moisture Seal Masque was better.

Would I buy again? Yes, probably the Moisture Seal one out of the two

Kind Natured Nourishing Conditioner £4.99

A fantastic, 97% natural conditioner that is really affordable that you can pick up in Boots! Amazing. I really liked this conditioner, it made hair feel hydrated (not as much as A’kin or the CW Masques however) and it smells quite relaxing!

Would I buy again? Yes

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Lee Stafford Original Dry Shampoo | Lee Stafford Coconut Spritz | Lee Stafford Mousse | Batiste Sweetie | Fudge Texture Spray

 

Lee Stafford Original Dry Shampoo £5.99

I got this in a 3 for 2 as I wouldn’t normally buy fancy dry shampoo (I love my Batiste) but I thought I’d give this a go! It smells great, as all Lee Stafford products seem to, but I didn’t find it that effective. When comparing it to Batiste it’s just not as heavy duty. You’d have to use a lot of this to get the same effect as a spritz of Batiste. And whilst it’s a finer, less gritty formula with no residue, I still prefer Batiste for my greasy hair situations.

Would I buy again? No

Lee Stafford Coco Loco Coconut Spritz £5.99

I generally go 4 days between hair washes so my hair can tend to get very dry come day 3 and 4. I thought a product like this could give my hair some hydration between washes, but it did nothing. Not a fan.

Would I buy again? No

Lee Stafford Double Blow Mousse £5.99

This was a decent enough mousse. I always use mousse in my roots before I blow dry my hair upside down. My hair is terribly flat otherwise, it still is mostly flat even with mousse tbh. So yes, this was good enough – not sticky and smelt good.

Would I buy again? Maybe

Batiste Sweetie £2.99

I’m sure everyone knows of Batiste. It’s still my favourite dry shampoo, its so effective and reliable and despite having dark hair I don’t have a real problem with white residue; just calm down with the application people and its absolutely fine! I do small spritz’s to the roots and repeat until I’m satisfied. But yeah, I mainly wanted to highlight this new scent. I love it! As you can tell from the name it’s super sweet and right up my street 😉

Would I buy again? Yes, probably my new fave scent from Batiste

Fudge URBAN Texture Spray £6.99

This is one great smelling texture spray! However, I found it a bit heavy and sticky really. You can definitely use it to create volume. But as someone who only washes their hair every 4 days, using this on day 1 hair I’d feel like I needed to wash it asap.

Would I buy this again? Probably not

Phewwww another empties post rounded up! Well done if you read all of that, or even skimmed it 😉 Until next time…

Best wishes, Nicole xxxx

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Empties with Mini Reviews #4

It’s been about 5 months since my last empties post so those empty products have been building up! I finally got round to photographing them and then joyfully tipped them in the recycling bin 🙂 Oh man this is going to take so long to write…

So let’s start with makeup!

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Urban Decay De-slick Makeup Setting Spray

I got this in the Selfridges Summer Beauty Box (omg that’s reminded me to get excited for this years one!) It was a travel size one and I enjoyed using it, I love the effect setting sprays have on my makeup, they mesh everything together so nicely and lessen that powdery, unnatural finish. However, I’m currently using a NYX one that does exactly the same job for me so I wouldn’t repurchase this for the price. I can’t say if it adds any wear time as my makeup generally lasts well regardless.

Would I buy again? No

Collection Sheer Loose Powder – Translucent

I’ve used this powder for years and it gives an awesome finish! It mattifies but gives a glow and really made my makeup last. However, I don’t think I’ll buy again now I have become more conscious of ingredients; there’s some pretty cheap ones in here and if possible I’d like to be avoiding parabens and talc.

Would I buy again? Probably not

NYX Micro Brown Pencil – Chocolate

Love this brow pencil! Having a brush on one end is important for me and I love the thin pencil, as well as it being a twist up so no need for sharpening. The colour range is good and there should be something for most people.

Would I buy again? Yes

No7 Dramatic Lift Mascara

I can’t remember why I picked this up, No7 isn’t usually a go-to brand for me however I am taking more notice lately as they really do have some great products at a good price point. This mascara impressed me; it was really black and volumising. It dried up a while back so I can’t remember if it ‘lifted’ my lashes as such but I know I liked it.

Would I buy again? Maybe (I’m not very loyal with mascara)

Soap & Glory™ Archery™ 2-in-1 Brow Filling Pencil & Brush

I’ve got through one of these before and they’re great! If you can make one of the two shades this comes in work for you then it’s a winner. Easy, quick brows. Very similar to the NYX Micro Brow Pencil except that one has the far superior colour range

Would I buy again? Yes, I already have

Sleek MakeUp Eyebrow Stylist

Since trying the NYX and Soap & Glory pencils this just doesn’t measure up. I really liked it at the time, it’s a lot thicker than the other two but after trying them I’ve found I prefer a thinner pencil as it’s more precise. The shape looks quite similar to the Anastasia Brow Definer tbh… But I can’t say for definite as I’ve not tried it.

Would I buy again? No

Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer

I’ve repurchased this so many times and it’s still one of the best concealers I’ve used. It has parabens but until I can find a concealer that’s as good and affordable then I’ll probably always have one of these in stock for a reliable option.

Would I buy again? Yes

The Body Shop All-in-One Instablur

I didn’t get on with this, it had got so hyped up so I was excited to see my pores disappear from my nose and cheeks but this did absolutely nothing. As a primer, fine, it made a good base for makeup (however it is very silicone-y and came out of the tubes in lumps and spurted everywhere – annoying) but it didn’t demonstrate to me any ‘blurring’. A disappointment and not exactly cheap.

Would I buy again? No

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No7 Early Defence Eye Cream

Not much to say on this, miracles were not worked but I still liked this eye cream. At my age there shouldn’t exactly be much to work on anyway so it’s mainly just about hydration and keeping things young for as long as possible, which is what this range is about. It was pleasant to use and was a good base for makeup!

Would I buy again? Maybe

Superdrug Vitamin E Radiance Eye Cream

The link I’ve given is not to the exact product as it seems that Superdrug have reformulated this eye cream. The main selling point of it for me was that it had SPF 15 in it and not many eye creams do, however this new formula doesn’t appear to contain any SPF. The product was okay, it was a bit hit or miss as to whether it would apply well as I think it reacted badly with some other skincare I used as it would sometimes ball up and flake off my skin which is the most annoying thing when it happens! Although when it applied well it was a very nice eye cream.

Would I buy again? No

Superdrug Simply Pure Micellar Water

Meh, this was okay. But I will refer you to the next product as in comparison that one is much better and more pleasant to use!

Would I buy again? No

Botanics Hydration Burst Micellar Water

This is my favourite micellar water I’ve ever used. It’s gentle, gets off my makeup and isn’t as drying as other formulas can sometimes feel.

Would I buy again? Yes, already got 2 more bottles

Super Facialist Vitamin C+ Glow Boost Skin Serum

As with all the products in this range, this smells amazing! So lovely to use. It’s what I imagine a serum texture to be, a creamy, slightly gel-like consistency. Whilst I enjoyed using it I’m unsure whether I saw or felt any improvement from using it. I was hoping the Vit C would improve some marks but I didn’t really notice any difference.

Would I buy again? Maybe, if it was on offer

Superdrug Vitamin E Radiance Face Cream

This is a very affordable day moisturiser with SPF 15 and has a shimmer to it which makes the skin glow. It was fine and I don’t really have many complaints other than the texture isn’t as smooth as I might ideally like. It feels a bit thick and gritty, possibly because of the shimmery element.

Would I buy again? Probably not

Yes To Carrots Daily Facial Moisturiser SPF15

I enjoyed using this, a majority natural product with some SPF. It was a runny, thin consistency though that’s probably better for summer months than winter as it wasn’t the most moisturising. It’s initially a bit sticky so you need to let it sink in a bit before makeup.

Would I buy again? Maybe

Yes to Carrots Intense Hydration Night Cream for Normal to Dry Skin

Another one from Yes To. I’d argue that it’s not ‘intense hydration’, I still felt my skin was a bit dry and it didn’t quite quench it with moisture. It’s a good but basic night moisturiser and a very affordable natural product.

Would I buy again? Maybe

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Alpha H Liquid Gold

I love Liquid Gold! When I purchased it the first time it hurt because of the price tag so I was praying it actually made a difference. So I was very happy when it did. It’s smoothing and brightening and despite being quite strong I found it gentle. I love how much of a lazy product it can be, you can simply cleanse and then wipe this all over your face and it will act as your toner, serum and moisturiser. I still apply some eye cream though. You can do this as often as every other night. I’ve been without Liquid Gold for months and I’ve now got a supersize 200ml on the way and I can’t wait to have it back in my life.

Would I buy again? Yes, I’ve got one on the way to me

Nip+Fab Glycolic Fix Night Pads Extreme

I love the original Glycolic Pads from Nip+Fab so I was interested to see what these were like. I was a bit underwhelmed as I didn’t find they did anything extra and I hoped the addition of Salicylic Acid would be good for my skin. However I think I should’ve used these in exactly the same way as I had used the original i.e day and night, rather than taking notice of the name. This might’ve given better results. However I found these less hydrating than the originals and that the pads were less soaked with the formula. I may try these again given that in theory the ingredients are good and should be effective.

Would I buy again? Yes

Nip + Fab Glycolic Fix Exfoliating Facial Pads

I’ve talked about these again and again so it should be obvious that I think they’re great. They were the first Glycolic product I ever used and I really noticed the difference to my skin. If you’ve never tried glycolic before I think these are a great one to start off with – not going to break the bank and super convenient with the pre-soaked pads.

Would I buy again? Yes, I have

Paula’s Choice Clear Regular Strength Anti-Redness Exfoliating Solution with 2% Salicylic Acid

As you can see I bought a mini of this before buying the full size so I obviously liked this! Salicylic acid is more effective than Glycolic for spots, redness, blocked pores etc which is what I struggle with more, so after some research I found this. I do think this slightly faded the redness of acne marks on my cheeks and helped to control spots. The results were not miraculous but I do think it made a difference and it has a good formula. Paulas Choice generally seems like a great brand, I love the philosophy of just using necessary ingredients that work; and being cruelty free of course!

Would I buy again? Yes

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Superdrug Pro V Silky Smooth Argan Oil Conditioner and Superdrug Pro V Colour Care Conditioner

If you’re on a budget but want cruelty free products, Superdrug’s own brand products are a reliable choice. The big 400ml bottles are great when you use as much conditioner as I do.  I found the UV Filters one much better than the Argan Oil one. They smelt great, like the smell of a hairdressers salon.

Would I buy again? Maybe the UV Filters one

Yes to Carrots Scalp Relief Conditioner and Yes to Carrots Scalp Relief Shampoo

More from Yes To! Again, good, affordable cruelty free haircare. However the conditioner was not enough for my dry hair. The shampoo was good, lasted me a long time and the addition of tea tree was good for my scalp. Don’t think I’d buy these exact products again though, but I would check out some of their other haircare.

Would I buy again? Probably not

Inecto Naturals Coconut Conditioner

I picked this up from a Savers store as it sounded pretty good. Natural and with coconut oil in it! It made my hair smell great, so coconutty! Once again though, it just wasn’t enough to make me feel like my hair was super nourished so I wouldn’t buy it again. As you can probably tell, haircare is another thing I’m completely not loyal to!

Would I buy again? No

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Lastly, we’re rounding it off with a perfume I’ve finished up!

Britney Spears Believe Eau de Parfum

I don’t think anyone can argue that Britney Spears has a phenomenal range of amazing smelling perfumes for young women and girls. Back in the days of ‘Fantasy‘ filling the school corridors I was among those wearing and loving it. The sickly sweet, vanilla smell and beautiful pink bottle. I also had Curious and Midnight Fantasy which I loved equally. I was a big Britney fan back in the day so when she released perfume I was very excited.

A couple of years back when I wanted a new but affordable perfume I remembered I’d got a tester of Believe in a magazine years earlier and it was really nice; a more ‘grown up’ scent from Britney, not as sweet and vanilla-y but it’s fruitiness ensured I still liked it. It’s a really pretty scent and the link I’ve given details the notes if you’re interested. If you like other Britney scents I feel like you can’t dislike this one even if it is slightly different but in a good, more mature way.

Would I buy again? Maybe, but it’s one I can live without

I say it every time but I really shouldn’t let things mount up to this much, it takes flipping ages to write these posts! I hope you’ve found it interesting or helpful.

Love Nicole xxx

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