Where have I been Dear Reader? Coping with a bit of a workload at the moment, that’s where. I have a few Rome projects on the go that I can work on virtually. Pity though, as I’d rather like to go back for a few months to Rome. I did manage to trim two of my horses this week and that was a hoot. We’ve had VERY strong winds and Miss Rosie’s mane was flying into her face but that mare didn’t budge. Amazing horse. Saffy was a little less confident in the wind but she now has dainty hooves.

And so to empties, which I haven’t done since February. I’m determinedly making my way through as many products as I can. I’m quite pleased with the amount of stuff I’ve gone through and I’ll review the product and then indicate if I’d repurchase.

Almay eye makeup removers. These were both in a Gift with Purchase. There were 80 pads in both the Moisturizing and Oil-Free containers. I much preferred the Moisturizing pads; the Oil-Free often stung my eyes. The Moisturizing pads are infused with a botanical blend of aloe, cucumber and green tea. I could use one pad for both eyes and the eye makeup was removed very easily. I’d certainly buy the Moisturizing version again but no need as I use coconut oil to remove my eye makeup.

Shower gels. I managed to finish up three – very satisfying. The first one is Lux Shea Butter Exfoliating Scrub, which cost NZ$4.99 for 400ml. I really love the smell of this product – it’s like a thick caramel or maple syrup scent – and it whips up into a creamy lather. Sadly though, it contains SLS and I’ve told you about this nasty foaming agent before. I won’t be repurchasing. The Nivea Natural Oil I’ve also told you about. I first bought it whilst working in Rome and thought it was a body oil. So I used this one in the shower. The scent is delicate and I have another three of these lined up ready to go. But the standout shower gel is by NZ brand, Wild Ferns: Manuka Honey Revitalising Body Wash. Luxurious and oh so sweet honey-smelling! It contains pure Active Manuka AAH (Antibacterial, Antioxidant Honey) 650+ that protects and maintains your skin’s natural moisture balance. I bought this is Levin whilst visiting my uncle. LOVE and will probably repurchase once I’ve made my way through all my other shower gels.

Cleansers. The first cleanser was in my shower for ages. It’s by another NZ brand, Apicare. They make natural active Manuka honey skincare products. The cleanser is called Manuka Sensitive Delicate Face & Body Wash and is free from sulphates, alcohol, colours and fragrance. It contains active 16+ Manuka Honey and Aloe Vera for fragile skin and was an absolute delight to use. So much so, it will become a permanent item in the shower. Repurchase? Hell yes.

I also made my way through a tub of Angels on Bare Skin by LUSH. This is a huge best-seller for LUSH and rightly so. This little tub goes a loooooong way because you just need a pea-sized amount of the ground almonds in this cleanser. Mix with water and you end up with a lovely almond milk type cleanser, which exfoliates as well. Angels on Bare Skin is made from 100% natural ingredients including lavender flowers. It has certainly helped to reduce the redness of my skin and I’m already into my second tub. LOVE.

Hair product. I’m taking ages to get through my shampoos and conditioners. They are all SLS-free I might add. But I did finish up one hair product – LUSH Sea Spray. I’m a total lushaholic; I admit it. Sea Spray is basically a scented styling spray that gives your hair body and volume. The sea salt in this spray comes from the shores of Spain, near Cadiz. I decided not to lug my usual favourite, David Babaii for Wild Aid Bohemian Beach Spray, with me to South Africa, which is why I bought the 100g Sea Spray bottle. It lasted just on three weeks and left me a bit cold. The only LUSH product I’m not raving about. It did the job but was nothing special so I’ll be sticking with David Babaii.

Soaps. Underneath the Almay eye makeup removers (photo below) is a wrapper from a soap by Kiss My Face. The soap was Olive & Honey and it’s paraben and SLS-free. Not tested on animals either and it’s enriched with beautiful olive oil and honey. This was a beautiful bar of soap. It didn’t lather up all that well due to it being SLS-free and the bar itself was too big, so it was sometimes a bit difficult to use. I’m certainly going to purchase more soaps from Kiss My Face. You’ll also see a wrapper from Melaleuca – a wellness company that offers nutritional supplements, cleaning and personal care products, as well as skincare and cosmetics. We use a lot of Melaleuca stuff and the soap I finished up was their White Opal Bar – a French-milled bar with a tropical coconut scent and naturally derived aloe vera and glycerin. My only complaint is I would like the coconut to be more prominent.

Hand creams. I finished up a tube of Nourishing Hand & Cuticle cream by NZ brand, Evolu. This cream contains New Zealand native Harakeke, Kiwifruit, Carrot seed and Vitamin E. I very much like this hand cream but do prefer hand creams from LUSH (such as Tiny Hands). I did find it non-greasy with a subtle fragrance and it did the job of caring for the dry skin on my hands. I wouldn’t purchase it again though mainly because I’m pretty well obsessed with the vanilla and cocoa butter combo that is Tiny Hands.

I also finished up a tube of The Body Shop’s Hemp Hand Protector. It was sitting around in a bathroom cabinet and so became a target of my campaign to use up products. I HATE the smell of this cream but I will admit it’s a very rich and emollient hand cream. I’m also not too keen on the aluminium tube as, towards the end, a crack in the tube opened up and I had to be careful and avoid the sharp metal bit. If the packaging is reconsidered I might repurchase, but for now, it’s LUSH hand cream for me.

Toothpastes. I was a bit sad to finish up a toothpaste by Jason called Powersmile All Natural Enzyme Brightening Tooth Gel with papaya and pineapple enzymes. It’s fluoride and SLS-free, with natural tea tree and neem oils. A fantastic toothpaste and I’ll be reordering it from iHerb. Another toothpaste I went through was an NZ one called Manuka Vantage with pure NZ manuka honey, propolis, Eucalyptus, Peppermint and Aniseed oils. Not so keen on this toothpaste since I found out it contains Sodium Lauryl Sulphate. Boo!!

Makeup. Not doing so well with finishing up cosmetics. I have SO much that it will take some time before I hit pan on items. But I did use up a small size Lorac Multiplex 3D Lashes volumising and thickening mascara in black. Not much to say about this mascara. It was ordinary really and prone to clumping and flaking. Maybe I had a faulty tube and I certainly didn’t notice any volumising going on. Another makeup item I’m actually throwing out, as opposed to using up, is a lip gloss by Australian brand, MOR. The shade is Cassis Noir – the same as the matching hand-cream I have and love. Cassis Noir combines cinnamon leaf, bulgaria rose, black currant and star jasmine in a warm seductive dance. But I’m afraid the lip gloss leaves me cold. It certainly is high gloss but I found it sticky on the lips and I don’t like the dark cherry colour on me.

Sample. And finally, a sample pot from LUSH of their colour supplement in Light Pink. I use the Jackie Oates colour supplement but wanted to try the Light Pink. The idea is you can mix the colour supplement into your moisturiser for a natural tint or use it straight out of the pot as a foundation. Light Pink is for fair skin (as is Jackie Oates) and has that English Rose look about it. But it’s a bit too pink for my skin, which already has a red tone to it. I’ll be sticking with Jackie Oates.


Yeah empties!


Three shower gels used up!


Fantastic cleanser that I’ll be repurchasing.


A lovely shower gel from NZ.


Kiss My Face soap – a newly discovered favourite.


Two toothpastes used up!