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?

Empties: Round One (& Two)

June’s Empties
October’s Empties

Alrighty, so here’s the dealio.
Way back in June, I took a picture of my empty products, intending to blog about it, and in true Lucie spirit, promptly did not. Today I rounded up all my empties I’ve remembered to keep since then, and took a picture of them, too. Thus, this is Empties Post One and also Two.
For those not in the know, ’empties’ posts are when I round up all the containers of products I’ve used up recently/since the last post, take a photo of them and do wee mini-reviews for you, telling you what I did or didn’t like and if I would repurchase it, the cost of it in the full size, and all that fun stuff. I love reading everyone else’s empties, so I’m going to do my own. Here we go!

PART ONE (June 2014)

L-R: VO5 Silky Smooth Elixir conditioner, Johnsons’ Baby conditioning shampoo, and Batiste dry shampoo in the ‘original’ scent.

VO5 Silky Smooth Elixir conditioner – 400mL for $6 NZ (full size)
I bought this from a convenience store at the top of our street when John and I were walking back from a zombie-themed event we were a part of in the Auckland 2014 Big Day Out, waaay back in January. Basically, we were covered in sticky blood, mud, special effects make-up and literal sticks, and we needed to get it all off. My OCD come out in situations where I am unclean – especially my hair – so there was no way either of us would be getting into bed without clearing all that grime off, and having been so grimy for 8+ hours, we used up a good half of the bottle that night. Conditioner is fantastic for getting fake blood off (all types), as well as make-up and dirt. It’s basically a very cheap cream cleanser (that you need to keep away from your eyes..), and that’s all this was.
Would I repurchase it? Not unless I needed to for a similar situation, as my hair products are tailored to what I need for my hair and this isn’t it.

Johnsons’ Baby conditioning shampoo – 200mL for $5 NZ (full size)
I used this to clean my make-up brushes, and nothing more. It was pretty good, I prefer it over the regular shampoo because it leaves my brushes a wee bit softer, I think. I bought this at one of those bucket make-up sales because it was cheap and happened to be the conditioning shampoo.
Would I repurchase it? It is a bit more expensive than the regular, and it’s not enough of a change for me to bother, so not unless it’s super cheap.

Batiste dry shampoo in the ‘original’ scent – 200mL for $15.99 NZ (full size)
Like just about everybody else on the planet, I absolutely love Batiste dry shampoos. It is the best I’ve tried, hands down. I didn’t like this one that much, but only due to the scent. It wasn’t offensive so I did use it up, but let’s just say I should’ve cracked this one open before I sniffed the tropical one (my favourite).
Would I repurchase it? Not at full retail price – I just can’t justify $16 for something I go through so quickly. I got this one at a bucket sale too, where it was like $6, and that’s where I’ll continue to stock up.

L-R: ELF Cosmetics Mineral face primer in clear; EOS balm sphere in Summer Fruit (COUNTERFEIT); Nutrimetics Eye & Lip make-up remover.

ELF Cosmetics mineral face primer in clear – 13mL for approx. $7.50 NZ (full size)
This stuff was alright – I mean, I used it to the end. It’s a silicone-based primer that leaves your skin feeling velvety and lovely. It was decent at holding my make-up in place all day, but not outstanding or anything. Having said that, I liked this a lot more than the Revlon Photoready Perfecting Primer I currently have in my stash (to be honest, I’m hoping it runs out soon) – the ELF one is smoother, doesn’t ball up on the skin and feels significantly more moisturising than the Revlon one does. Also, the pump dispenses exactly the right amount, ad it’s a hell of a lot more cost-effective.
Would I repurchase it? I reckon I will, once I finish my other silicone-based primers up (and assuming I don’t find my holy grail), as it’s a good one for everyday make-up, and when it’s only $7.50, there’s not really any other sensible choice!

EOS balm sphere in ‘Summer Fruit’ (COUNTERFEIT) – 7.09g for $10 NZ (full size)*
When I bought this, it was one of my very first EOS purchases. I’d bought this one off a girl on a Walk In Wardrobe page on Facebook, and another one in Passionfruit from another girl on the same page. The minute I opened this, I knew something was up – compared to the Passonfruit one, this one had no smell, and was very thick and waxy. It melted easily, didn’t nourish my lips and didn’t sit half as nicely as the Passionfruit one does. The packaging even felt different – where the Passionfruit sphere was smooth and even to the touch, the Summer Fruit one was covered in a thick plastic, silicone film, and the edges didn’t match up. In addition, the Summer Fruit came shrink-wrapped, and Passionfruit came carded. After some research, I concluded it was fake. I notified the girl who sold me it and she was super apologetic and lovely that I truly believe she had no idea that the ones she sold  were fake. All the other EOS balms I have are 100% legit though (including the Passionfruit), and now I have another Summer Fruit, which is very much real – it smells and tastes AMAZING.
Would I repurchase it? Definitely not a counterfeit, but assuming I ever reach the end I’ll certainly repurchase the real one.

Nutrimetics Eye & Lip make-up remover – 115mL for $25.20 NZ (full size)
This is something I inherited from my mother’s old stuff, and I suspect it is from many a moon ago, when my aunty was into Nutrimetics. As such, the pricing information I’ve listed is for the current equivalent to this, the Nutrimetics Instant Eyes Bi-Phase make-up remover. In terms of actual product, this did the job, but wasn’t anything special. As with all bi-phase make-up removers I’ve tried, it left my eyes feeling oily and slick, something I hate. While not as bad as the residue coconut oil leaves on the skin (for example), at least coconut oil removes ALL my make-up. This stuff left me with panda eyes the next morning, no matter how hard I pulled at my face (I know, it’s a sin).
Would I repurchase it? No way. It was okay, but for $25 I could buy 2 400mL bottles of my favourite micellar water, and that works infinitely better, and lasts longer!

L-R: LUSH Aqua Marina fresh facial cleanser (sample); Nivea Daily Essentials Rich Regenerating night cream; LUSH Angels on Bare Skin fresh facial cleanser (sample)

LUSH Aqua Marina fresh facial cleanser (sample size) – full size is 100g for $18.90 NZ
This was the wee sample I got from a lovely girl at LUSH when I was deciding what cleanser to get. I later bought the full size and finished that up, so read below for my review.

Nivea Daily Essentials Rich Regenerating night cream – 50g for $12.99 NZ (full size)
Oh man. I convinced my dad to buy me this when I was 17 – a good 3 years ago – and it took me FOREVER to finish. I only started really using it religiously when I first got into skincare mid-2013 (I was a late convert). This stuff lasted so so long, and was alright enough, but it got boring. I now have better night creams, but this was a good starting point.
Would I repurchase it? No, as I have other products I prefer. But I would and do recommend it for those just starting out with their skincare.

LUSH Angels on Bare Skin fresh facial cleanser (sample size) – full size is 100g for $18.90 NZ
This is another sample I got from the aforementioned lovely LUSH employee, and as you can see I did use it up, but I didn’t really enjoy it. It left a slightly oily film on my skin, which as I say, I don’t like. It was also a bit too crumbly for me to easily use, and I wasn’t a fan of the scrub elements – my skin can’t handle exfoliation every single day! This would however be excellent for dry-skinned folks, helping to banish the dry, flaky skin patches and dehydrated skin they may encounter.
Would I repurchase it? No, not my kinda cleanser, as lovely as it smells.

L-R: Natio sensitivity tested & fragrance free facial cleansing gel;
L-R: Natio sensitivity tested fragrance free facial cleansing gel; Clean & Clear Morning Burst shine control facial cleanser; Nivea Daily Essentials refreshing toner

Natio, sensitivity tested and fragrance free facial cleansing gel – 100ml for $19.50 NZ (full size)
This was alright, very gentle (as promised). I liked it, but I was initially thrown off by the fact that it doesn’t really foam. It’s not supposed to, which is fine, but at the time I thought it would. I never felt that it gave me a deep clean, but then again I don’t expect such a gentle product to. This would be good for people with aggressively sensitive skin, but for me it’s a wee bit too gentle.
Would I repurchase it? Not unless my skin suddenly becomes crazy-sensitive, and even then it would need to be really, really bad, as I do have other gentle cleansers now.

Clean & Clear Morning Burst shine control facial cleanser – 240mL for $11.99 NZ (full size)
I received this in a goodie bag from NZ Fashion Week 2013, and it took me so long to use up! It may have felt like forever because I really didn’t like it. The beads were a novelty that wore off quickly, and the actual gel was waaay too harsh on my dry skin. This might be good for hardy skin types prone to oil, but not my skin!
Would I repurchase it? Not at all, it was very hard on my poor dermis.

Nivea Daily Essentials refreshing toner – 200ml for $11.89 NZ (full size)
This is the first product I ever repurchased. I used to go through so much of it that by the time I’d got halfway through my moisturiser I’d used up the first AND this bottle of toner. I liked it at the time and it was fine, but in retrospect I would have steered away if I’d had a little more knowledge as it was quite astringent due to the alcohol content and my skin can’t deal with much astringent use.
Would I repurchase it? Not personally, but I might for if I were creating something like a Skincare Starter set for an oily-skinned youngster.



L-R: Trilogy Very Gentle cleansing cream; Sally Hansen Strengthening nail polish remover

Trilogy Very Gentle cleansing cream – 150mL for $43.90 NZ (full size)^
This was the first dedicated cleansing cream I tried, and I love it. I chose this because it’s formulated for sensitive skin, and it doesn’t contain rose extracts as most of the regular Trilogy line does. I bust out this fella when my skin is reeeally grumpy and overworked/over-product-ed. I use it after removing the bulk of my make-up and it’ll catch those last straggling bits on my face. I have also used it in a pinch as a make-up remover on it’s own, and it’s pretty good. Not super grunty, but you’d not expect it to be, given hat’s it’s in the ‘Very Gentle’ range. It cleanly and evenly dissolves my eye make-up, and doesn’t hurt my skin – win win!
Will I repurchase it? I already have!

Sally Hansen Strengthening nail polish remover – 150mL for $6.00 NZ (full size)
As far as nail polish removers go, this is pretty standard. It’s an acetone-based formula, and does it’s job pretty well – it’s cheap, and often comes on sale at Farmers, so I have no complaints.
Will I repurchase it? When I need more polish remover, I will probably pick this one up as it’s so cheap, and is acetone-based, yet is a reputable brand.


L-R: Natio Wellness body scrub; Sanctuary Spa Radiance exfoliator

Natio Wellness body scrub – 450g for $23.50 NZ (full size)
I bought this about a year ago, and only after a few months ago when I began to use large globfuls of the stuff every time I had a bath, did I manage to use up the last of it the other day in the shower. Holy CRAP this lasts, guys. It’s  excellent value for money, smells pretty good and does what it says on the tub. The sugar granules are a bit larger than I typically like, but the impact of that was minimised when I started using my shower puff with it. It smells vaguely of apricot, but for the most part it’s a general ‘I-am-a-non-offensive-bath-product’ scent. If you need a big tub of body scrub, grab this.
Would I repurchase it? If I actually managed to regularly exfoliate my body I might get it again, but I am currently having a love affair with LUSH’s You Snap the Whip, so I don’t know if I’ll ever go back.

Sanctuary Spa Radiance exfoliator (mini size) – full size is 100mL for $21 NZ
I picked this up at a Boots when I was over in the UK to take advantage of their 3 for 2 offer on mini products (and also I had not brought an exfoliator with me to London and my skin was getting hella flaky). It was pretty good – a nice brown gel with little gritty bits in it that has that non-offensive product scent I just mentioned. It left my skin feeling really smooth, glowy, happy and thankfully didn’t leave my skin with any scent (I hate when things that aren’t moisturisers do that). All-round, pretty lovely. It makes me want to try the range a bit more, especially with all the beauty blogger hype over this brand in the UK.
Would I repurchase it? Unless I can get my Origins one to play nice, I think I’ll purchase this when I run out of my current exfoliator. Worth the price, and effective.

L-R: QVS natural sea sponge; MAC Complete Comfort Creme (sample); HASK Argan Oil

QVS natural sea sponge – $9.99 NZ (full size)
I picked this up in the pharmacy below my doctor’s offices, because I needed a new one and it was a decent size. I had a wee phase where I used natural sea sponges to apply cleanser to my face and lightly exfoliate daily, and I this was as good as any I’ve had before.
Would I repurchase it? At the moment I’ve no need for another sea sponge, as I have a little brush  and a gentle exfoliating pad I bought overseas I use, but I probably will buy another when they eventually reach their demise, as it’s easy to get sea sponges in NZ, and not so much the other items I have.

MAC Complete Comfort Creme (sample size) – full size is 50mL for approx. $80 NZ
I was given this by a lovely girl at MAC Newmarket, in Smith & Caughey’s on my birthday this year. Oh man, this stuff converted me to MAC skincare. Instantly absorbed, smooth and smells amazing. I called it my ‘marshmallow cream’, because it smells of marshmallows and has the texture of what I imagine that American marshmallow spread stuff to be like.
Would I purchase it? As much as I love to support physical stores and employees (and this product), I cannot justify $80 on a moisturiser. I have heard, however, that this may be discontinued, in which case I will order it off the US website and keep it safe until I need new moisturiser, and then I will use it. It translates to be $41 NZ if I order it off the US site, plus shipping. That’s a lot easier to fork out!

HASK Argan Oil – 18ml for $5.50 NZ (full size)
This is my 3rd tube of this stuff – I use a 20c-sized-piece and distribute it through my wet hair every time I wash it, and it lasts forever. This particular tube lasted almost 3 months. I don’t actually know if it makes a difference to my hair, but I like to think so. The ends feels a bit healthier when I use it, so I keep doing so.
Would I repurchase it? At the moment I’m using HASK’s very similar Keratin Treatment Oil thing. I’ve decided I prefer this stuff, so I’ll buy more once I finish my tube on the go right now.

L-R: LUSH Sweetie Pie shower jelly; LUSH Aqua Marina fresh facial cleanser

LUSH ‘Sweetie Pie’ shower jelly – 100g for $7.40 NZ (small size)
I’d been meaning to buy this stuff for years, and 3 days after I finally bought the big tub somebody posted this one, almost full, in a destash. I snatched it up because my tub will last ages and won’t expire anywhere near soon, but this one was due to expire in November 2014, and I could do with another Lush pot for my empties in exchange for a mask! I love this, though it is actually rather difficult to use. I rip off little blobs and squish them into my shower puff to use it, but little bits still fall out and it’s so slippery I drop it if I try to use it as a more traditional gel. I can forgive the texture issues for the beautiful scent though.
Would I repurchase it? I’ve already started in on my big tub, and I have a sneaky feeling I’ll repurchase once I use that one up.

LUSH Aqua Marina fresh facial cleanser – 100g for $18.90 NZ (full size)
Two weeks after I got those samples in the June empties, I bought this. It was lovely, and when I used it my skin was clearer, less oily and never irritated – I felt like a happy mermaid! I used it with my sea sponge (dampened), previously mentioned in this round of the empties, and would rinse it off with my konjac sponge. Moisturising, gentle, and effective. Two thumbs up!
Would I repurchase it? Once I get through my stash of other cleansers, I think I’ll return to this for my morning cleanse.

WHEW. That’s round 1 and 2 finally done! It’s a mammoth, but I have enjoyed writing this and will certainly be continuing to do these posts.
Hope you found this interesting and/or useful – feel free to ask me anything further you’d like to know about these products (or others I’ve used), and I’ll gladly let ya know.

Despedida, honey biscuits!
Lucie x


*Price and size of product given is for the authentic EOS balms.
^I receive Trilogy products as a part of a rewards program with Trilogy through my job, so I did not pay for this product.

DISCLAIMER: All photos are my own unless otherwise stated. None of these products were given to me for review.