EMPTIES | June 2017

I skipped a month or four in empties, and now I’m very sick of containers in my bathroom.. so here we go again.

I know what you’re thinking – candles? Who do I think I am, Zoella?! Don’t worry, I’ve no such delusions. But I felt like mentioning that as of late, I’ve quite enjoyed lighting candles in my bedroom. I don’t know why I like it – ambience, or something I suppose. I picked up the one in the background from one of my workplaces – it’s a limited edition candle by Aroha Love Candles, a local company, and was sold for Matariki. It has notes of pomegranate, lemon verbena and pink grapefruit, but I can also pick up some vanilla and a touch of rose. The purple candle with the ambiguous ‘inspiring’ wording on it was a very strongly scented passionfruit candle (I think). My mama gave me it for christmas, which was lovely, as she normally hates candles.

Then we have a common sight – an empty LUSH pottle. This was for my first pot of ‘Santa FUN. I just use FUN as a shaving cream or to make some fluffy-af bubbles in my bath, but it can also be used to wash your body and/or hair, or mould things. This one smells like jasmine & ylang-ylang, which is a lovely combination and one I find very comforting, particularly in a hot bath in the middle of winter (which would be appropriate if I lived in the Northern Hemisphere).

Look, more LUSH! There’s actually two 100mL bottles of Vanilla Dee-Lite body lotion I’ve used up, but putting them both in the photo ruined the aesthetic, so live with it. As we all know, I love this lotion. It is thin, but still hydrates my lizardy skin – and it smells of vanilla. It’s truly my favourite, even though I go through quite a lot of product with each application. I also have here a wee pot of what was pink FUN – a sample I got in a Kitchen order, and popped in a cleaned-out lip scrub container. The scent would appeal to any small child, I think – sweet and candy floss-like – but it’s otherwise the same as any other kind of FUN.

A few things I’ve given up on are in this empties, including the EOS lip balm sphere in Pomegranate-Raspberry. When I was using it, I bloody loved this balm because it was delicious in scent and taste, but I don’t actually rate the balm itself as none of the ones I’ve tried do anything for my lips. I stopped using this one when I moved on to more effective lip balms, and when I found it recently I noted it’s lost any scent entirely – now it’s just a ball of waxy sadness. Also on this disappointing train is The Healthy Deodorant by Lavanila in a limited-edition Vanilla Snowberry scent. I ordered this mini-size LE on Amazon about christmastime, along with a 7-pack of the regular scents in miniature. This was completely dried out upon opening, and entirely unusable. I should’ve contacted Amazon for a refund, but I didn’t think that far ahead.

Next up is a wee brown bottle I’ll be reusing – it held Hello Tanya‘s incredible cuticle oil, a verifiably magical mix that hydrates my nail beds like nothing else. I have another bottle already, but Tanya said she could use spare bottles back so I’ll recycle this one!

One of the two mini things seen here is the HASK Argan Oil Hair Treatment. I used to love this stuff, but nowadays it’s too siliconey for my hair. I prefer the Wella SP Luxe Oil to smooth and treat my hair – when I remember to use it! The second mini is of the Goodness Every Evening Cream – I got this in my trial pack and it’s a great night cream. This mini size lasted ages and I liked it so much that I’ve bought the full size to use when I finish my current night creams.

 Aussie 3-Minute Miracle Deep Conditioner is a staple in my bathroom, no matter what kind – but I like the Beach Mate or Moisture variations best. I think I’ve mentioned it nearly as much as I have The Righteous Butter by Soap & Glory – a true gem of a body butter. Thick, creamy, sinks in fast, and smells like pink Shirley Temple drinks – it’s basically all I want in life. Sophie gave me this, and since using this up, I’ve already nabbed myself a large tub and another mini.

The final things here are face things – the Hourglass Mineral Veil Primer and the Goodness Every Morning Moisturiser. The primer is weirdly siliconey for the thin texture, and is actually not finished – it fell victim to the old “I’ll save it for a special occasion” plan, and then it began to smell overpoweringly plasticky, and started clumping up in the container – ick. The Goodness moisturiser also isn’t bad by any means; it’s a versatile formula that’s going to be suitable for virtually any skin – sensitised to oily, even dry. I didn’t finish it up because I am lucky enough to have an abundance of excellent moisturisers that are a bit more tailored to my skin type. If I didn’t have them, I’d definitely consider picking up this for a good basic formula of moisturiser.

So that’s it! What’ve you used up these last few months?

December Favourites

Lavanila Deodorant – Vanilla Passionfruit:
Lavanila is a deodorant brand I’ve been wanting to try for a few years now – ever since Esteé started raving about it. Luckily it’s available in Sephora in Australia, and my brilliant and kind friend Sophie offered to pick me up some things while she was in Melbourne. I’m a convert – it’s gentle and non-irritating on my annoying eczema-prone underarm skin, and smells amazing, all day. I’ll note that when it goes on it’s a thick white paste, but I assure you it doesn’t mark or stain any clothes. My trusty Bionsen deodorant has a contender!

Oasis Sun SPF30 Suncream:
As a translucent, milky-white skinned specimen I usually smirk at SPF 30, but it turns out that’s quite a naïve view. I’ve used this as my only suncream, both as day-to-day facial skin protection and as a dedicated sunburn prevention in direct sun. Both ways its excellent, and while I know it’s not supposed to be water-resistant I’ve been consistently and impressively protected, even spending all day sunbathing in the pool.
I do have to say that I’ve not tried too much from Oasis Beauty. However, I’ve definitely heard good things, and I’ve been so enamoured with this stuff that I think I’ve found a new brand to scope out..

Nude By Nature Single Eyeshadow – #12 Quartz:
When a palette I’d been wanting was sold out in Sephora, I asked Sophie to surprise me with anything she thought I’d suit in the palette’s place. She brought me back this shadow from Nude By Nature and holy shit I am so glad. I’d never really looked too far into Nude By Nature, and while I had seen they’d revamped their range and begun bringing out new things, I never looked too closely – my mistake. If this eyeshadow is anything to go by, I’m surprised the whole range isn’t sold out! It’s buttery, hugely pigmented, housed in in gorgeous copper-toned packaging and flatters my blue eyes like few other things do.. what’s not to love?

MAC Studio Fix Powder Foundation:
Okay, so this is far from a new item – in fact, it’s half gone. But this month I’ve had an extra appreciation for my ‘lazy face’ foundation, my MAC Studio Fix powder. I don’t wear a great deal of makeup (I know, what kind of MUA am I?!), and when I do I like it to be able to be done fast. Studio Fix lets me chuck on an even-ish layer of base in a heartbeat, and doesn’t protest when I want to add further powder on top. It settles on my skin pretty quickly at this time of year, and doesn’t suck all the moisture from my skin.


Hello Tanya’s Nail/Cuticle Oil:
Now that I see Tanya on a semi-regular basis and my nails are beginning to bounce back from The Acrylic Experience, I’m making an effort to actually care for them. Hand cream was a basic step, but then Tanya explained that to do my hands justice, I should use cuticle oil too. She’s begun to make and sell her own blend, and it is the TITS. Seriously, you’ve never tried a more nourishing and wonderfully-scented oil, and definitely not one that sinks in as fast as this (without leaving a filmy residue, too). It’s only available in limited quantities, so I suggest you check Tanya out lickety-split; quite aside from the cuticle oil, her expertise is a surefire ticket to snazzy nails.

Real Techniques Blush Brush:
I don’t have the hugest collection of makeup brushes compared to your average MUA, but I definitely have more than enough – especially when it comes to powder brushes. I’m not sure why, but I significantly prefer a more tapered and fluffy brush to apply my powders, and the Real Techniques Blush Brush hits the mark dead-on. It reminds me of the Bobbi Brown Powder Brush in it’s style, but it sheds much less, and weathers a lot better. It’s been working seamlessly with the aforementioned MAC Studio Fix Powder Foundation to give me a finish that’s even, but not too heavy.

Goodness Every Evening Night Cream:
As I mentioned in last month’s Favourites post, I’ve been trialling the Goodness range, from the people behind Trilogy. In that post I professed my love for the Chia Seed Oil, and in this post I’m all about their night cream. Morgan raved about it last year, my friend Nicole is a fan and now I’m jumping on the bandwagon. The chia seed oil base is nourishing and soft without being heavy or reactive, it doesn’t interfere with my various other skincare layers and it smells of honeysuckle. Oh, it also lasts AGES. Seriously. I use this nearly every night and I’m not even halfway through my mini size. I’ll have absolutely no problems paying $24 for the full size.

What products did you love in December?

EMPTIES | The Body/Hair Stuff

I haven’t done an empties post in quite some time, and I’ve built up quite the excess of useless packaging. Just like last time there’s a lot, so I’ll split it up into 2 posts. This one is the body/hair stuff part, and it’s where my fascination with LUSH products from the last year really surfaces, along with a few other cool things.

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LUSH Rub Rub Rub Shower Scrub, 130g
My skin loves and needs a good scrub, but apparently not a scrub made from fine sea salt and lemon juice.. ouch. This is not a friend for sensitive skin, or I imagine for people on a budget – I only got two uses of this pot because its a blue gloop that doesn’t go far before dissolving down the drain.
Repurchase? If I did use this again, I’d think this consistency would be far better suited to a bottle.

Bionsen Spa Minerals Stick Deodorant, 40g
In all the unseen empties hauls I’ve taken previously, there’s a stick of this. That’s because I go through one every few months, and have no plans to change that. I love these sticks so much that I’m going to write a whole article on them.
Repurchase? It’s magical and hard to get, but yes. I’ll pay the YouShop fees as long as I live.

LUSH Turkish Delight Shower Smoothie, 45g
I got this little pot in a gift box of wonderful (mostly discontinued) products I bought myself in the Wellington LUSH store. This lasts a fair while when I smoosh my shower puff into the pot and grab a little bit to fluff it up. At first I wasn’t such a fan of the scent, but then I used it and next thing I knew, I’d bought a full size and another 45g pot.
Repurchase? Always.

Wella SP Luxe Oil Keratin Restore Hair Mask, 150 mL
This came in a pack I bought with a full size Luxe Oil, and it took a long while to use up. It was pretty good, but I had to really choose my moments with it as it had a tendency to weigh my hair down, likely because my hair isn’t in need of too much restoring or repairing.
Repurchase? If the need arose, sure, but  don’t think it will.

LUSH Santa’s Belly Shower Jelly, 100g
I haven’t yet made up my mind on the scent of apple in cosmetics, but this incarnation was certainly fun. It was sour rather than sweet (thanks to the ‘vegan wine infusion’ in there.. what?), and at some points a little too strong for me. Still interesting though.
Repurchase? I’ll have to give it a few sniffs next time it comes out, because I’m still undecided.

LUSH Red FUN, 100g (not pictured)
It turns out that by adding water to FUN and shaking it up, the cornflour settles at the bottom and it becomes a horrific mess. This is what I did, but I did find the red version is bright and uplifting without being brash, so I bought more of it.
Repurchase? Already have!

Origins Modern Friction Exfoliator, 125mL
Origins’ cult-favourite exfoliator is expensive, and not all it’s cracked up to be. Using ground rice, this is quite abrasive, and the gloop it’s contained in is deceptively astringent. I found this way too harsh for my face, so wound up using it to scrub my body just to get rid of it.
Repurchase? I’d rather not.

LUSH Christingle Body Conditioner, 45g
I am a big fan of LUSH’s body conditioners – they’re a lazy-person-with-dry-skin’s dream. This one was probably my least favourite of all I’ve tried, as it left me feeling almost greasy rather than supple. However I’m thinking this could be user error, as I recall using this a lot quicker than I do the other body conditioners I’ve had of the same size.
Repurchase? Depending on price I might.

LUSH Respect Your Elders Soap, approx. 50g (not pictured)
I went to LUSH on my birthday (had you noticed I’d been using a lot of their stuff?) and was given a huge sample of this soap. It smells very much like my favourite Comforter bubble bar, and it’s squidgy and purple. It dries my skin out and doesn’t last very long but I don’t care because it makes me happy.
Repurchase? I intend to.

Wella SP Luxe Oil Shampoo, 150mL
This came in the aforementioned pack. It made my hair so goddamn soft it’s not even funny, and I was a fan. It took forever to get through, too.
Repurchase? I told myself no, but I’m beginning to miss it now..

Dr. Hauschka Lemon Lemongrass Vitalising Bath Essence, 100mL
I bought this when it was near it’s expiry date and heavily reduced when I worked at Dr. Hauschka. It smelled like melted lemonade popsicles and I’m not convinced it actually did anything but I appreciated it.
Repurchase? Not unless it’s as reduced as it was when I got it – it’s not worth $50.

LUSH Jersey Bounce Shampoo, approx. 60mL (not pictured)
This was another very generous sample I was given on my birthday. Pros: smells like lemon sherbet sweets, makes hair defy gravity. Cons: I had to use quite a bit, and the large salt chunks were mildly frightening.
Repurchase? I’m thinking about it. It wouldn’t be used often, and I’m concerned about expiry dates.

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What body/hair products have you used up lately?