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Empties–products I’ve finished using #15

16 Jun

And so we arrive at another Empties, and I have a confession to make. This is basically two Empties in one go because it took me so long to get my butt into gear that I ended up with a second lot of empty products.

Here goes:

Face Stuff:
First, we have the Linné Cleanser, which I think I have spoken about previously. I used this as a second cleanse in the evenings, letting it sit on my face while I washed my body. It’s a nice cleanser but I hate the bottle because once the cleanser gets low it gets really difficult to squeeze out and the bottle cracks. Would I repurchase? Not right now. I’m testing a lot of other things at the moment.
Next up we have the Skin Owl Beauty Whip. This is kind of skincare and primer in one. I thought it was going to be too rich or greasy for my oily skin, but it was actually just very nourishing and felt great. I don’t think I’d get it again, but I enjoyed using it while I had it.
Third, we have the La Mav Daily Brightening Vitamin C Serum. This is a repeat appearance. I use this every morning underneath my moisturiser. It is very light and refreshing, not heavy at all. I love this stuff. I’m already using the next bottle of it currently.
Fourth, is The Beauty Chef Probiotic Skin Refiner. Despite its funky scent, this has now become one of my skincare staples. I start to feel panicky when I’m nearing the end of the bottle. I have this patch of pigmentation under my left eye, and this helps to keep it under control. I love it.
Last on that row is REN’s Glycol Lactic Radiance Renewal Mask. That is a mouthful! This is a quick exfoliating and brightening mask that I would use on occasion. It’s not quite as good as other similar masks I’ve used, but it is also a lot less expensive than those other masks. I don’t actually know if I’d buy it again, as I have a love affair with the versions that sting the pocket a bit more. One day… maybe.
Loitering at the top is a tiny sample of something from Aurelia Probiotic Skincare. I can’t actually remember what it was, but I do remember not being able to get on with the scent of it. There was something in there that reminded me of something from my childhood but like old lady smell? I could never put my finger on what it reminded me of in particular. That doesn’t matter though, because I won’t buy it, will I?
Lucky last is Osmia’s Lip Doctor aka one of the best lip balms ever. I have two new ones in my drawer ready to go (in new packaging, no less!) after I finish up a couple of other balms. I have a problem haha.

In the bottom left corner, there is the Khus+Khus Sans Age Serum. This came in one of my Beauty Heroes subscription boxes some months back. It was a very oily oil if that makes sense? I don’t think I’d purchase it again.
Next up is the Josh Rosebrook Nutrient Day Cream SPF 30. When I first started using this I was super worried that it would be too rich for my skin and break me out. WRONG. This cream is great! It didn’t make me feel greasy and gross, so that’s a win. I’m about to try two new SPF’s so a repurchase of this one will have to wait a while.
Ah, the Honua Aloha Youth Serum. This has become yet another staple of mine in my beauty regimen. I am halfway through another bottle and have another one on its way to me in the next week or so. It’s so light, yet nourishing, and has such a beautiful scent. This will continue to be a regular purchase in the future.
Hang on… Have I written about the Linné Cleanser before this post? I got the second bottle from my cousin as it didn’t really agree with her skin, so I gladly took it. Again, the packaging was an issue, but I didn’t have a problem with the actual product inside which, if I haven’t mentioned before, is a clay-like consistency and feels very purifying without drying the skin out.
I know I’ve definitely talked about the Oskia Renaissance Cleansing Gel before, as have I about the Aurelia Cleanser. Enough said, right?
And also that Ayuna Mask. Man, it was a sad evening when I scraped the last use out of the jar. A repurchase of this is going to have to wait for a time when it doesn’t make my eyes water so much to pay the high price for it.
The last jar there is from Marble and Milkweed and was cardamom-scented butter. I had this for too long because it got lost in amongst all my other body things. I bought it in Melbourne back in 2016, mainly because I’m obsessed with the smell of cardamom. It’s so good. This was a very good balm for dry Winter weather when my skin was feeling particularly scaly, but it was a tad waxy. I don’t think I’d buy it again but I sure did love the smell.

Hair and Shower Stuff:
I finished these Innersense Products months ago. In fact, I think I even included the conditioner in a previous empties, so I’m not sure how I managed to include the same bottle twice? The two sample sizes were the Colour Radiance range, which I didn’t like using as much as the Hydrating range. I’d probably buy that one again.

I finished my eucalyptus scented Kahina Giving Beauty Moroccan Beldi Soap at last. I shouldn’t say at last. I was actually quite sad once it ran out. It’s kind of a weird product but I love it so much. It feels really purifying and comforting at the same time. When I’ve run out of my other shower gels, I will definitely get this again.
Then we have the Activate Body Wash from Linné. This has a charcoal base so was a little terrifying to use the first time I squirted some out in the shower. It has a kind of woody and spicy scent that works both in the Summer and Winter. I would probably get it again but, like the cleanser, the bottle did that thing where it cracked once the product got below a certain level. If the packaging could be improved, it would be right up my street.
Next up is the Briogeo Shampoo and Conditioner. I tried the Volumising Shampoo and the Moisturising Conditioner as I have fine hair, but it had been starting to get really dry and brittle on the ends where it had been bleached for my red hair colour. I’m on the fence about the shampoo because I think it was a bit drying on my hair and the conditioner was no match for my terrible ends on my hair (I ended up just chopping two inches off). But I would give other ranges within the brand a go. I wonder if they have travel sizes somewhere that I could find?

In the bottom left corner is a very sad looking tube of David’s Toothpaste. It’s one of the only more natural kinds of toothpaste that I like. I’ve just thrown out a second empty tube of this and started on my third. It is sulphate-free so doesn’t foam up like regular toothpaste, but it’s pretty close. Of course, it’s more expensive than your normal toothpaste, but I am willing to pay a bit extra as I had been using sensitive toothpaste for a couple of years and it’s about as expensive.
Above that is the Caim & Able Protect Magnesium Body Scrub. I didn’t like this as a scrub because it didn’t feel particularly scrubby. It was just a bit… bitty. I think this perhaps would have been better used as a soak in a bathtub, which I don’t have. I like magnesium as an ingredient in body products, but this was a little bit meh.
Next up is the Weleda Sea Buckthorn Creamy Body Wash. I honestly bought this on a whim because I wanted to know what sea buckthorn smelled like. It’s kind of citrusy and fresh. I’d buy it again and take it travelling as it’s very travel-friendly. It also feels quite nourishing on the skin. In general, I just use cake soap, so a body wash is a bit of a luxury for me.
I also bought The Organic Shop Hand Soap in the Rose and Peach scent on a whim. I needed a change from my usual hand soap and this seemed like an ok choice. It’s pretty pricey and easy to go through a lot, so probably not the most cost-effective product. It did smell delicious though and never dried out my hands. Maybe a repurchase in the future when I’m feeling like I need a luxury hand soap again.
Another body scrub from Caim & Able–the Coffee and Clementine… flavour? This definitely was a lot more scrubby than the previous one I mentioned, but coffee scrub is very messy. Also, as I’m more of a night showerer, it didn’t make a lot of sense to me to use this at night with the possibility of absorbing a little caffeine. I used this rarely and always in the morning, so it probably went a little stale over the months. I’ve decided that maybe loose body scrubs aren’t my thing. This is unfortunate because I have another brand’s coffee scrub in my bathroom on the go now.

Sleep/Mind Stuff:
Well, can we see that I seem to have a bit of a sleep issue or obsession? I won’t bore you with a breakdown of each of the products because I’m sure I’ve mentioned them in some way or other in the past. All you need to know is that I would and have repurchased The Australian Sleep Co’s essential oil blend (probably not the spray or the oil, but don’t quote me), the Max and Me Circle of Protection Body Oil, and the Perfect Potion Balancing Chakra Mist. They are all scent-based decisions. Hardly a night goes by without me using the sleep essential oil in my diffuser. The body oil has a delicious fruity smell and absorbs into my skin nicely, and the chakra spray has a nice gingery scent that I enjoy spraying on my person every now and then. Mmm delicious.

And that, is that. I can’t believe I’ve finally finished!

Until next time, friends. Au revoir. Hope I didn’t bore you too much!


A review: Ayuna Essence

23 Mar

I don’t exactly know how it ended up being March already… Well, I do kind of. The past couple of months I’ve pretty much disappeared into a vortex of work stress and a terrible mood. The kind of mood where you retreat into a more hermit-like existence, not (wanting to or) participating in things because you fear that you will be ungracious and prickly to other people, and that would probably make things worse.

But, luckily I have skincare products that can lift my mood occasionally, like what I’m about to tell you about now.

I don’t think I’ve ever used a mask that has such an immediate effect and noticeable difference to the texture and appearance of my skin over the next couple of days. It is the Ayuna Essence – High Protein Cream-In-Oil Peel. I received it in my November Beauty Heroes Subscription Box.

The first time I used this I was amazed at how my skin looked afterwards. Then, the following morning, my skin was still glowing and looked so bright. It felt so smooth. The second time I tried it, same results. It’s amazing.

I save this strictly for a weekend treat. After cleansing my face, I spread an even layer of this all over my face, not getting too close to the eye area. Then I wait for 20-30 minutes. Next comes the cool part. Instead of washing this off, you rub it off–it’s best to do this over the sink. It comes off in little pills, taking with it dead skin cells and other debris, and leaves behind a light oily residue that you leave on the skin. Any bits that don’t rub off completely can be brushed off with a dry face washer. I like to top it off occasionally with a teeny bit of the moisturiser that came in the box or an oil and then let it complete its magic overnight.



It has an intriguing scent. I’m very weird about smells and the first night I had it on I found it a little distracting. But in the months since, I have grown accustomed to its sweet scent.

I don’t strictly know how this stuff works. All I know is that my skin looks super glowy after I’ve used it, and continues to glow for days afterwards. It doesn’t do anything freaky to my complexion where my skin goes nuts. In fact, my skin has been behaving remarkably well since I’ve been using this regularly. This includes the week or so where I was regularly chowing into small packets of chips and eating all biscuits within my sight and reach in a stress-induced binge.

The Aftermath:


The downside to this mask? I think you can probably guess it’s to do with its eye-watering price tag. It is what I consider to be prohibitively expensive at $145USD. The fact that I’ve used it once a week since November and it still has a number of uses left makes me feel slightly less queasy at the thought of purchasing this in the future.

I’m thinking I might justify it as a birthday present to myself seeing as I’m turning 30 in a few months. That’s as good a reason as any, right?

(PS. Sorry for the quality of the photos. I was using my phone and I still can’t figure out how to take selfies without being horrified by the shape and dimensions of my face. I’ve also had a weird head cold the past two days, which would go some way to explain the nice purple hue that my eye bags currently have.)

Empties–products I’ve finished using #14

21 Jan

Why, hello, 2018. How was everyone’s start of the New Year? I’ve predominantly felt like I’ve been going out of my tree (mood-swings), and I’ve finally figured out it’s probably PMS… Maybe… So yeah, the the year has got off to a rocky start, so I feel like a little purging is what’s needed.

What better to purge than finished products, right?

Shower and Hair Stuff:
Let’s start with the Kahina Giving Beauty Moroccan Rose Beldi Soap, shall we? I bought this and the Eucalyptus one last year from Beauty Heroes when they had a special going on. Each Soap came with a travel size oil and an exfoliating glove. This is basically saponified castile soap and has a very interesting texture and is best used with the exfoliating mitt it comes with. I used it on occasions when I wanted to have a good scrub and a lift to the spirits (more and more frequent these days). I would definitely buy this again. It left my skin feeling clean and refreshed, ready for a pampering body oil or moisturiser afterwards.
Then we have my last bottle of the Nak Colour Masque. I think I’ve used three or four of these since I dyed my hair red. I’m letting this fade out now and going to change to pink in the not too distant future. If the fancy strikes me again to go “improbably red” as my dad would say, then I’ll definitely purchase this again.
Lastly, in the photo, is the Innersense Hydrating Cream Hairbath and Conditioner. These might possibly be the closest I’ve come to finding my perfect shampoo and conditioner brand. This didn’t make my scalp itchy, except when I used it after cheating with a different brand (Ethique, if you’re wondering–probably wouldn’t recommend). It always left my hair feeling really soft and didn’t make it grease up really quickly. I’ve bought travel sizes of the range for coloured hair to see what that’s like.
Not in the photo, because I finished these in the last couple of days while I’ve tried to get my butt into gear writing this thing, are the travel-size Josh Rosebrook Balance Shampoo and Conditioner. I think I bought these to test out, because I’m wary these days of buying full size products in case they don’t suit. This is what happened with these. I found that the shampoo didn’t feel like it actually cleaned my hair. The conditioner was an interesting texture and did feel like it softened my hair, but I don’t think I’d buy either again.

Face Stuff:
On the left there in my craptastic photo is the Tata Harper Regenerating Cleanser. I’ve mentioned before that Tata Harper is what I call an aspirational brand because it’s one that I aspire to purchase at some point in the future without breaking into a cold sweat and hyperventilating at the price. I bought this around my birthday last year in the midst of some kind of existential crisis. I probably won’t purchase it again, purely based on the fact that it is so ridiculously expensive. It was nice, made my skin feel silky soft and fresh, but not $$$ nice, even if it did last several months with regular use, you know? Not to say that curiosity won’t get the better of me at some point in the future and I’ll try one of her other ones. Probably when I’m feeling depressed and extravagant–a period of time that usually coincides with my birthday haha.
On the top in the middle is the Aurelia Miracle Skin Cleanser. I’m now onto my third tub, which I guess tells you that I must enjoy using it. It’s a pretty simple but effective cleanser. I use it in the mornings mostly, as it’s not the greatest at removing my mascara and I don’t want to be faffing around rubbing my eyes in the evening. I think I will try buying the big bottle with the pump next time to save having to dip my fingers into a jar all the time.
Then, the Lilfox Jungle Glow Cleanser and Mask. I did a review on this a while back, and it took me a good six months to work through. I wouldn’t purchase this again as I’ve found other similar masks that I prefer.
Lastly, the One Love Organics Easy Does It Foaming Cleanser. I didn’t use all of this, but was given this when a cousin of mine returned overseas and graciously bestowed me with some of her excess items. This smells delicious and is a gel cleanser that doesn’t dry out the skin at all. I still prefer cream and balmy cleansers over gel, but this was a nice cleanser for sure.

To the left is my second empty bottle of the Beauty Chef Probiotic Skin Refiner which is basically a toner or chemical exfoliator. This smells a bit funky, but I overlook the smell factor because I feel like it actually has refined the texture of my skin to a fairly noticeable degree. I’m working through my third bottle already.
In the black bottles are the Honua Hawaiian Skincare Aloha Youth Serum and Olena Beauty Oil. I believe I’ve talked about these before in a previous empties. I like the serum so much that I have a bottle of it waiting for when I’ve finished my current ones on the go. I’d probably also purchase another of the oil, but I have beauty oils practically coming out of my ears at the moment, so don’t have a need for more. They’re truly beautiful products–simple and effective.
I also have a La Mav BB Cream that I used as my daily moisturiser for a good portion of last year. I’d say in the last 12 months I’ve finally got on the bandwagon of wearing daily SPF in the hopes of staving off any further sun damage and fighting off some patches of pigmentation that have cropped up thanks to age and sh*tty hormones. I’d probably get another one of these, but I did find that it was perhaps a little too moisturising for someone with as oily a complexion as mine.
Up the top is the MooGoo Full Cream Moisturiser. Since I’ve been using SPF moisturisers daily and oils at night, I haven’t had much of a need for the MooGoo ones anymore. Luckily, these can be used on the face and body, and I ended up finishing this one using it as a leg moisturiser. I’ll always have a place for MooGoo in my home, but for now I don’t need more moisturiser.
Last, but definitely not least, on the left is the Skin Owl Beauty Drops PM with Mangosteen. This smelled beautiful and was also a beautiful night oil. Now, the Mangosteen version of this oil is now being replaced with a Maqui Berry one. The brand (as I understand it) could no longer source the mangosteen in a sustainable or ethical manner, so changed to maqui berry, which I think is an admirable thing to do. I have a bottle of the maqui berry one on the go now, and it is equally as beautiful as its predecessor.

Body Stuff:
There are a couple of familiar faces up there, including the Weleda Skin Food and the Australian Sleep Co Oil that I’ve been using since last year. I already have opened new tubes and bottles of these.
On the left we have a small Innersense Harmonic Healing Oil, which came with the Hairbath and Conditioner some months back. I didn’t use this in my hair, but rather on my limbs as a nice body oil in the evening. I don’t think I’d get this again, but it was a pleasure to use at the time.
The big bottle in the middle is the Springfields Vanilla Bean Massage and Body Oil. I came across this in a health food store a long while back, just randomly testing out products as I was browsing around. I left the store and then couldn’t stop thinking about it for weeks or months afterwards. Finally, I figured if I’d been thinking about it for so long, I should track it down and buy it. This has a very soothing scent and I used it in the evenings on my limbs as part of my nighttime regimen. I now have about four other oils that I’m trying to get through, but I still think fondly of this particular oil. I’m glad I tried it.
Tucked in on the right is the Kahina Body Serum. I think I’ve also mentioned this one before. This has a distinct plant-y smell to it, which takes a bit to grow accustomed to, I found. I like it while I was using it, but am more than happy with the other oils I have on the go at the moment.

Random Extras:
Ah, the Josh Rosebrook Cacao Antioxidant Mask. I used the last, almost too dried up, portion of this last week. I found that it smoothed over my skin a lot more easily if I sprayed it with a skin mist. This mask brightens my skin, calms it down and refreshes it, all the while smelling like delicious jaffas. Strangely enough. I don’t actually like eating jaffas, but I do seriously enjoy the smell. I now have another cacao-based mask to use, but I wouldn’t say no to purchasing another of these Josh Rosebrook masks in the future.
Lastly, the Beauty Chef Antioxidant Inner Beauty Boost. I bought this as part of a mini trio before Christmas, as I wanted to see what all the fuss is about. I don’t know if it’s because I didn’t actually drink the requisite dose each time (I was trying to ration it out), or I missed something, but I didn’t notice a massive difference in how I looked or felt. I consume the glow powder regularly, which I have found has made a difference, but I’m not convinced about these Boosts so much. Maybe when I’m feeling extravagant in the future, I’ll fork out for a full size and see whether it makes a massive difference.

Since taking these photographs and also writing this, I’ve almost finished using a few more products, so I should probably be a bit more efficient at these in the future… Time will tell. But that is all for now.

I hope you’ve had a good start to the New Year!

Farewell 2017, Hello 2018

31 Dec

I cannot believe that 2017 has actually come to a close. I’ve somehow lost six months of my memory: big patches are missing and time seems to have flown right on by.

Having re-read last year’s post, I think it’s safe to say that I’m in a slightly better frame of mind than I was twelve months ago. This year hasn’t had any particularly drastic events such as having to move twice thanks to building renovations, then a bathroom ceiling caving in and a mould infestation, nor have my crappy ovaries produced enough larger or more numerous cysts to warrant any surgery for at least another six months, so that’s a win.

Instead, this year has been what I would describe as a year of churning and change. There have been a number of changes at my workplace, which is inevitable, but more particularly in my social life. I’m one of those people who can be adaptable when it comes to certain changes, but also find other changes extremely difficult, especially if it’s within a social structure and when it feels like it’s out of my control.

So, the churning for me has really been my grappling with new and shifting group dynamics. I’m a true introvert, so any new social interaction is fraught with fear, really. However, on the flip side, I have made a lot of new friends this year, reconnected with old friends, and strengthened current friendships.

The churning, too, has been a little bit to do with emotions. I don’t deal well with conflict. I’ve had a few occasions where I’ve felt extremely upset about things but not known how to handle them well at all. I think in 2018 I will try to look for ways to better deal with these kinds of situations.

Further changes have been to do with my body. I don’t know if it’s a combination of getting a wee bit older, the hormone treatment I’m on, or the queasy anxiety going away after the turmoil of 2016, but I’ve put on a couple of kilos. Consequently, my body shape has changed, which now means that I’ve had to replace all, and I mean all, of my bras. I had realised that none of them were fitting and, after a long overdue and illuminating bra-fitting, I’ve seen the light and updated my underwear drawer. Get fitted, ladies. You won’t regret it. Other clothes, though… I now have even less of a clue what size clothing I should be buying. Could someone please standardise womens’ clothing sizes world-wide, please? I could be anywhere from a size 8 to a 12, XS to M. It’s very confusing and frustrating. I also am getting more and more squidgy around the edges, which tells me I should be getting back into pilates (it’s an on-off relationship) to tone things up again and build up some strength.

I’m not one for making resolutions each year, but I figure doing regular pilates and getting a better grip on my emotional health seem like worthwhile things to do in the long term, right?

And, what is my plan for tonight? Well, an early cool shower for one, seeing as it’s muggy as all get out here at the moment. I’ve spent a good portion of the day already listening to the rumbling skies and looking at the ominous clouds outside. I am spending the evening alone, having a pamper session, much like I did last year. I’m sure I’ll be able to catch a glimpse of some fireworks tonight as well, to bring in the New Year.

I think it is time for me to finish this incoherent post. I don’t know why, but things always sound a lot better when I’m composing them in my head.

So, farewell to 2017. Here’s to 2018 and all of its potential. I hope that this next year is filled with wonderful opportunities, love, laughter and, of course, a little fun for you all (and me).

See you in the New Year!

Empties–products I’ve finished using #13

8 Nov

Well, whaddya know? It’s Empties time again!

Face Stuff
I received the Honua Skincare Beauty Products in one of my Beauty Heroes subscription boxes a few months back. I then bought a second box of them because I enjoyed them so much. I’ve even finished the second Aloha Youth Serum, which was a sad moment for me. The second Olena Turmeric Beauty Oil is on its final legs. These have a very calming effect on the skin and, despite the slightly funky smell, are some of my favourite Beauty Heroes discoveries.
Tucked in the middle of the Honua bottles is the Ferns and Moss Organic Face Serum. This was a hand me down from my cousin, so I just used this for a short amount of time. It’s a more viscous oil, which is very nourishing and healing.
I’ve now start my second bottle of the Beauty Chef Probiotic Skin Refiner. I think that this one product is largely responsible for how good my skin is looking lately. Of course there are other elements that contribute to skin health, but I just started using this every night as opposed to every other night, and I’ve noticed a difference in my skin. I have a patch of particularly stubborn pigmentation on my left cheek that is gradually subsiding, which I think can be attributed to this.
I decided to try out on of 100% Pure’s new(?) serums; the Organic Matcha Shielding Serum. This had a kind of sticky texture and, while it felt hydrating on the skin, I wasn’t overly blown away by it. I’m interested in trying out some of their even newer skincare that’s being released, but it’s just a matter of whether I can get easy access to it in Australia.
Lastly, is another bottle of Sunday Riley’s Good Genes . I don’t think I’ll be going out of my way to purchase this one again. I’d bought it as a pair with the Luna Sleeping Oil, and have also run out of that. If I were to purchase another Sunday Riley skincare product, it would be the Luna oil for sure, as that is the one that I tended to notice made the most difference in my skin.

Body Stuff:
Ah, shower gel. Here’s the thing. Should one pay more than a few bucks for shower gel? Both of these were over $30AUD, which is a bit of a stretch, budget-wise. I used both of these more as a weekend treat kind of thing, or, the Cowshed one mainly in the evening when I felt like I could use a little aromatherapy to help wind down. I love the Knackered Cow scent, but the Grumpy Cow one is also good (and probably more apt a description of me). I don’t think I’ll get the REN Neroli and Grapefruit shower gel again as it started to remind me of the smell of dish detergent after a while, but I would definitely consider getting the Cowshed one again if I wanted to treat myself.
The jar there with the unidentifiable label on it is the True Botanicals Resurfacing Moisture Mask. This was another hand me down from my cousin when she moved back overseas and I fell in love with it. It is a serious business mask, so if you have sensitive skin, you might want to tread carefully. It was a mask that I’d use if I felt my complexion was looking a little dull and it needed a kick up the butt to get glowing again. Having seen how much it costs ($140AUD), this is what I would call an aspirational product, and one that I will need to save up especially for at some point in the future.

I’m already onto my second tube of the Osmia Lip Doctor, although I’m sort of rationing it out because I like it so much and don’t want it to run out too quickly. It really feels nourishing on the lips and isn’t one of those faffy formulas that doesn’t stick around longer than five minutes, but rather a substantial amount of time. I love this stuff.
The Moogoo MSM Soothing Cream has a repeat feature in my bathroom cabinet for many years. These days I don’t really use a cream moisturiser at night (hello, oils), and I now use a tinted moisturiser with SPF in the mornings. Thanks to MooGoo making multipurpose creams, I used this up on my legs when my skin got all dry and scaly in the weird weather transition between Winter and Spring. I highly rate MooGoo as a brand. I always have something of theirs at home that gets regular use.
I already have a backup of the Osmia Night Body Oil in my drawers, but I’m not allowing myself to use it until I’ve finished up a few other oils. I start to get overwhelmed if I have too many things on the go at once. It’s a lovely smelling, very relaxing, very moisturising oil. It’s a bit pricey, but I’ll just tell myself I’m worth the occasional splurge.

Aromatherapy Stuff:
Now that I have a diffuser, I’m ripping through a lot of essential oils. My favourite is still the Australia Sleep Co Oil, but I have noticed with this brand that each bottle is slightly different, like the ratios of oils vary depending on the batch. I don’t mind though because it still smells amazing. I did also use up this trio from In Essense, which included a Lavender, Roman Chamomile and Orange Oil. I also had the Aromatherapy Associates Lavender, Manuka Honey and Wild Chamomile blend (as that’s my favourite candle scent) for ages, and finally used it up. The scent didn’t translate in the diffuser very well, but I’ll still keep buying the candle. I also got the Eco. Aroma Dream Drops. This one was very ylang-ylang heavy, which I didn’t enjoy so much so won’t buy it again. My aim now is to find a good quality Lavender oil and keep buying the Australia Sleep Co one.

Hair Stuff:
I can’t remember if I told the story earlier this year about the time I accidentally bought conditioner and conditioner, not shampoo and conditioner. I feel like I have. Well, I’ve finally finished it all of the Seaweed Bath Co Smoothing pair and Volumizing Conditioner. I cheated with the Volumizing Conditioner by using it as shaving cream since I suspect my scalp didn’t particularly like it. These weren’t totally bad products. I just ended up getting tired of using them and so ended up wasting product just to try and finish the bottles.
The Pureology Purify Shampoo was a hand me down from my sister. I only used this once a week, usually before I put my coloured conditioner through my hair. I don’t use any styling products in my hair, so I don’t really get any buildup, but I thought it was good at making sure my hair was ready to take on the coloured conditioner. Will I repurchase? No. I’m still in pursuit of the perfect shampoo and conditioner.

Random Extra Stuff:
Do you ever get smell or product fatigue? Like I mentioned with the shampoo and conditioner and the REN shower gel, I just kind of fell out of like with the BX Earth hand soap. I’m definitely not in a hurry to buy it again, purely based on the scent. Sure, there was no problem with its efficacy, but… the scent.
Friends, I finally finished my last EOS Lip Balm from the stash that I made my mother buy when she went to the States a couple of years ago. It has taken me quite a long time. I’ve recently acquired a new bunch of them (thank goodness). I’ve wanted to see if I can find another brand of lip balm that I love equally as much, but it’s a little daunting, seeing as how my lips are more prone to what I call “lip scabies” since my allergic reaction to my manky apartment/mould incident last year. If a formula is slightly not right or maybe past its use by, my lips get very sandpapery and burny… I’ve bought some different lip balms the last few weeks and none of them are cutting it the way that EOS balms do, or the aforementioned Osmia Lip Doctor, sadly.
Last, but not least there is the Karuna Karma Kit Face Mask Set. It included four different cloth face masks all targeted at different skin issues and types. They were wet, so very wet, with so much extra… juice… that you could spread down your neck and décolleté (and hands, arms, everywhere). Excess serumy stuff aside, I did see a noticeable difference in my complexion after using them. They’re quite pricey and not something I’d buy regularly, but I’d say they are a nice gift option for a loved one, or as an occasional present to oneself.

Honourable mentions must go to another two empty tubes of Weleda’s Skin Food, and the Michael Todd Organics Blue Green Algae Toner. Must. Buy. Again. I also just finished off another Oskia Renaissance Gel Cleanser, which makes me sad.

And that, my friends, is it for this round! I’d better post this before I randomly finish more products and have to tack them on the end again!

Hope you enjoyed this round up of products I’ve recently finished.

Empties–products I’ve finished using #12

14 Aug

I did it again and left it too many months in between empties and now I have a hefty number of products to tell you about.

Hair Stuff:
Ah my trusty red Nak Colour Masque conditioner. I’m on my third (and probably final) bottle of this now. It’s quite potent so does a good job of reviving my colour week to week when I use it. I made the mistake of using it three washes in a row just before I went to the hairdresser last to refresh my hair and the colour did not want to come out.
These small bottles of the Yarok Volume Shampoo and Conditioner have been floating around for a while. I liked these, but I have a feeling that they didn’t leave my hair feeling very manageable and might have made my scalp itchy, like 90% of the hair products I use. I’m glad I got to try them though so I didn’t get the full size and felt like I had to use them. Shampoo and Conditioner is something that I do not need to buy any time soon after a mishap at a chemist in January where I accidentally bought conditioner and conditioner instead of shampoo and conditioner. I then had to go back to buy shampoo, but there was only one bottle there. It’s these fun moments in life that keep me on my toes.

Face Stuff:
Aw man, I miss that Laurel Facial Serum (Sun Damage Repair). I haven’t used it for months but I feel a bit wistful looking at the empty bottle. I think this may be a repurchase item when I actually need to buy another face oil. It smells beautiful and did wonders for my skin.
I wasn’t as big of a fan of the Maya Chia Super Couple Ultra Luxe Face Oil, which doesn’t mean it was a bad product. It had a less viscous texture than the Laurel one, so I guess it didn’t feel quite as luxurious to use? I’m not sure. Definitely not one that I’m keen to repurchase though.
Yet again, I’ve got a miniature of the Sunday Riley Luna Sleeping Night Oil. I used the last few drops of another bottle last night, so now I’m not sure if I want to splash out on the full size, or restrict myself to a mini? Time will tell. I do feel like it makes a difference, but I’m wondering if I should try something new.
I am currently on a self-imposed lip product ban, because coming on to two years ago now, I bought a bulk lot of lip balms from EOS and I’m still finishing the last two off. I currently have about seven balms on the go, which you don’t need to tell me is excessive. EOS lip balms have been a firm favourite of mine over the last several years, but I’m now keen to try a few different brands to see how they stack up to my old beloved.

I see two bottles each of the Acure CGF Repair Serum and the La Mav Daily Vitamin-C Brightening Serum. I think the one I’m missing more at the moment is the brightening serum as I’ve got some stubborn pigmentation at the moment that is hanging around. I love both of these for their light texture that sinks straight into my skin leaving it feeling plump and fresh.
There is also the Sunday Riley Good Genes which was the pair to the Luna sleeping oil that I mentioned earlier. This smells a little funky to me, and I only use it occasionally. It has a slightly tingly feeling to is, so I assume it must be doing something. I have a second bottle of it on the go at the moment.

Moisturisers and Stuff:
OK, let’s go clockwise from the small black bottle up there on the top left, shall we? That is the Kahina Giving Beauty Body Serum Essaouira. It came as a mini sidekick in a Beauty Heroes box that I bought in a sale a few months back (I bought two!). I’ve really got into body oils this past year. Somehow I find them more pleasurable to use than creams. Anyway, this has a kind of planty herbal scent that took a little bit to get used to, but I found it to be a lovely product to use.
I can’t even remember when I bought this Origins Ginzing Moisturiser. A lady I watch on YouTube used to rave about this years ago, and because I’ve decided I need to be more diligent about using sunscreen on a daily basis, thought I should give this ago. This has kind of a strong scent, and it took me a while to get the hang of applying it. I first used to smoosh it in my fingers before blending it into my face. However, because it’s one of those self-adjusting formulas, it would get orange quickly before I’d blended it out. Then I figured out I should dot it on my face first and then blend from there. I don’t think I’ll buy this again, but it was ok while I had it.
The First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream is just one of those basic moisturisers that’s handy to have around. However, I’ve since discovered the Weleda Skin Food, which has blow this one out of the water.
I did a review on this Bottega Organica Illuminate Eye Cream some months back. I don’t think it exists as a purchasable product anymore, so even if I did want to get it again, I can’t. It was a super pricey product, so maybe it’s for the best that I can’t get my paws on it again.
Ah, my trusty 100% Pure Coffee Bean Caffeine Eye Cream. This is my budget friendly but totally amazing eye cream. I am on probably my third or fourth tube of it now. Love this stuff.
I think Weleda Skin Food would hands down (pardon the pun) be my favourite hand/multipurpose cream. (Checking on my Empties #10, I’ve realised that I described it the same way almost verbatim, including the bad pun. So, nine months down the track with the same feedback and more tubes later, I guess it must be that good, hey?). It’s one of those good, thick, nourishing kind of medicinal creams that somehow doesn’t feel greasy either. It also leaves a nice sheen on the skin. A+ product.
The Tata Harper Repairative Moisturiser and Rejuvenating Serum came as a set with a couple of other products. I decided to buy the set as a “small” splurge to test the products. To me, Tata Harper is one of those brands that I aspire to one day be able to buy without getting clammy at the price. I think dryer skins than mine would like the moisturiser, and I think the serum was also good, but I don’t know if I’d want to splash the cash on them at this point when I’ve got cheaper alternatives that do equally as good a job.
I didn’t particularly get along with the 100% Pure Mattifying Primer. It had that weird sort of slippery texture that some silicone primers have. I can’t hang with that kind of texture, and I also feel like it didn’t keep me matte throughout the day anyway. I ended up neglecting this in my drawer and then got paranoid about expiry dates, so this was a pass. However, I do really like the illuminating primer from 100% Pure.

Random Extra Stuff I Forgot About Until Later:
I finished off the REN No.1 Purity Cleansing Balm recently. I’ve used this on and off for a few years. It’s a thick, luxe cleanser, but does sting like a bi-atch if you get it in your eyes. I’ve now got my hands on three other cleansers at the moment so don’t think this will be in my rotation again for a long while.
This Origins Clear Improvement Charcoal Mask has been kicking around in my bathroom cabinet. I used to use this more frequently when my skin and I were on less friendly terms. Nowadays I don’t feel the need so much for this kind of mask and, if I do, I reach for my Josh Rosebrook one instead.
The Eco Tan Winter Skin was a hand me down from my cousin when she moved away. I used this in the warmer weather when I actually had exposed legs. This gives a nice, gradual tan to the skin and is far less risky to use than typical self-tanners. I think when proper summer arrives I might repurchase this so as to save the general public from being blinded by my moon tan.
I’ve had tubes of the Michael Todd Pumpkin Mask every so often over the years. It’s definitely not my favourite enzyme mask so I really only use this on my décolleté. I won’t be actively purchasing it again as I’ve found other ones that I feel are more effective.

Mental Wellbeing Stuff:
Back last year when I used to go to a yoga class, my last instructor had sprayed this Perfect Potion Chakra Balancing Mist in the room during one of the classes. I fell in love with the smell. To me it smells gingery and fresh, but there is also an element of lavender in there. I’ve gone through two now and I’m part way through my third. This is a definite repurchase.
I’ve also been through a number of these flower essences (on the right) from Lotus Wei. I’ve kind of fallen off the bandwagon with these lately and not used my last one frequently enough to notice any difference, but I’m still keen to give more a go. I wouldn’t say these have a ‘pow’ kind of profound effect, but seem to prompt a more subtle shift in one’s mental space. At least that’s how I felt. Off to the left there is one of their anointing oils in Full Bloom. This has a spicy, fresh scent, which I do quite like and might get again one day.
Of course there is a trusty Rescue Remedy in there. I don’t know if this is more placebo than actually effective, but it’s kind of the same result, right? I am prone to getting panicky at times and this at least makes me feel like I can calm down a bit.
Last, but certainly not least is the Australian Sleep Co. Ultimate Sleep Blend Oil. I’m on my third bottle of this and starting to ration it out. I use it at night in my little diffuser and let the scent waft around me while I sleep. I love it and will definitely repurchase it once I run out of it.

Phew… All done!

A review: Lilfox Jungle Glow

8 Jul

One of the latest Beauty Heroes boxes I’ve received in the last few months featured the brand Lilfox. The full sized product that was sent was the Lilfox Jungle Glow Enzyme Cleanser and Mask.

Boasting of organic ingredients including raw honey, maracuja oil, amazonian white clay, and raw cacao, this is a cleanser touted to exfoliate and stimulate the skin with honey enzymes.

This is not for the faint hearted. Also, I believe, this should not be an everyday cleanser. This should probably be treated (ha) as more of a treatment mask. Considering the price–$75USD–you probably wouldn’t actually want to use it everyday.

I said in my review about the Acure Cleanser that I’m in a bit of a slump with regards to cleansers at the moment. I know this is a superficial thing in the grand scheme of life, but Skincare is a thing I find joy in. I’m still yet to find an everyday cleanser that will fill that little hole that’s currently missing in my skincare regimen.

So, this cleanser. It is not one to use to remove makeup at all. This one, I’ve found, is best to use as a second cleanse, and more like an exfoliating mask. I made the mistake when I first got it of using it everyday. My face was not too pleased with this approach. I now use it on occasions when I feel like my face could use a good ‘scrub’ and pep up, much like any other enzyme mask that I use every now and then.

This is kind of a gooey texture, most probably due to the honey in it. It’s like gritty honey, if that makes sense. I find that it spreads better on damp skin and to be gentle, oh so gentle, with any circular motion to scrub the skin.

My face feels super soft after using this and, yes, glowy. After I’ve gone through the rest of my skincare regimen, I feel like a nourishing oil is really beneficial to really give my skin a treat.

Now, will I purchase this again once this one has run out? Probably not. I use a fair few exfoliating masks for a (slightly) cheaper price and I feel they do just as good a job at exfoliating and stimulating my skin. But I will enjoy it while I have it and especially now that I’ve figured out how to best use it.

Who doesn’t love a complexion that glows?