I didn’t get through as much in July as I’d hoped. But it’s still satisfying to see empty bottles and containers. Super slow at getting through makeup items I must say.

So what did I finish up?

Cleanser: DermaE Vanilla Bean Cleansing Mousse: Age-Defying Facial Cleanser. I bought this off iHerb and it’s the old packaging you see in the photo. I really liked this cleanser despite the very strong vanilla milkshake smell. Fortified with green tea and sea kelp, it’s paraben and cruelty-free. More like a cream than a mousse, it removed makeup easily and lasted well over six months due to it being very concentrated. A little went a long way. I have a second bottle as it was on special at the time I bought the cleanser.

Clarisonic brush: I’ve been using the Clarisonic Mia for two years now and I’ve noticed such a difference with my skin. Less breakouts; smoother complexion. I use both the deep pore cleansing brush and the one for sensitive skin. Brushes should be replaced every three months and the one I replaced is the sensitive skin brush. To be honest, I don’t really notice any difference between the two brushes.

LUSH Snowcake soap: I picked this up recently when I hauled Christmas in July Lush products. Snowcake comes out at Christmas and mid-year (along with Snow Fairy). This is a luxurious soap that has the most wonderful smell – sort of like marzipan. With rose absolute; berry scented cassie absolute and benzoin oil (great for irritated skin), this soap is very moisturizing and I’ll be first in line when it’s released for Christmas. I like it almost as much as Karma soap (also from LUSH).

Melaleuca Whitening Tooth Polish in Cinnamon. A very interesting taste sensation! I love cinnamon so this toothpaste was very attractive. Ingredients include Papain, which is a natural enzyme from papaya that helps to whiten teeth; Melaleuca Oil for fresh breath; Myrrh to counteract bacteria; and Xylitol, a natural sweetener from fruits and veges. I really liked this toothpaste even though it wasn’t really cinnamon-tasting. I didn’t notice any whitening effect but it certainly was good for my sensitive teeth. But I prefer the Jason Powersmile All Natural Enzyme Brightening Tooth Gel and will go back to this when my current Italian toothpaste is finished.

Deo Nat natural crystal deodorant. I don’t know how many of these babies I’ve gone through over the years. Mind you, one deodorant stick can last for nearly a year. It is made from alum crystal, which is a mineral salt derived from naturally occurring bauxite. Super simple to use: just moisten the crystal and apply. They travel well and I’ve recently found a smaller, travel-size crystal (although it’s a different brand). There are no nasty chemicals or aluminium in these crystals. Perfectly natural; perfectly safe and effective.

Mascaras: How very satisfying – I finished up three. The first one is Almay One Coat Triple Effect mascara in Black. I’m very partial to Almay mascaras. I’m currently using two coloured ones from this brand. The Triple Effect mascara does what it says – gives the appearance of fuller lashes with one coat. The brush takes a bit of getting used to; it’s like a toothbrush but gives great coverage. No clumping or flaking and it’s a rich dark black. The second mascara was a surprising disappointment. It’s from Korres, the Greek brand I love, and is a travel-size Pro-vitamin B5 & Rice Bran mascara in Black. It’s a very dry formula that didn’t do much for the lashes. I didn’t get any volume and it was a bit too natural looking. I will say that the mascara wand was good at separating out the lashes and there was no clumping or smudging. But it’s a meh mascara IMHO. The third mascara I’m 50/50 about – it’s the legendary L’Oreal Voluminous mascara in Carbon Black. So many YouTube beauty channels rave about this mascara. I haven’t seen this particular mascara in NZ; I bought it in Rome last year. Supposedly, it gives you 5 x fuller lashes. Didn’t really do this and I noted that, throughout the day, I seemed to get a touch of racoon eyes. Pigmentation is a lovely carbon black but, after a month or so of use, the brush was getting clumpy and this transferred to the lashes. I also experienced flakiness so, sorry, not a great mascara for me.

Samples. I used up two samples from Paula’s Choice – Earth Sourced Perfectly Natural Cleansing Gel and Earth Sourced Antioxidant Enriched Natural Moisturizer. Never tried this brand before and I’m impressed. The Cleansing Gel is good for an oily combo skin like mine and also ideal for rosacea. 99% natural ingredients and it whips off the makeup easily. It has a silky feel (rather like aloe vera gel) and foams into a low lather with a slight lemony smell. Really effective and pleasant cleanser. The moisturizer is light-weight, absorbs easily and didn’t make me feel oily throughout the day. I also finished up a sample sized toner from Michael Todd True Organics. It’s the Organic Lemon Toner and contains black willow tree extract. This toner is best for oily or problem skin. For the past few months, I’ve been using the Michael Todd range and will do a full review when I’ve finished up the products. I currently use the Organic Cranberry Toner and far prefer it. It has a delightful cranberry scent that leaves the skin feeling very refreshed. The lemon toner was meh in comparison.

Eye cream. Last but not least is my favourite eye cream by Sisley. I have used the Sisley Paris Sisleÿa Eye and Lip Contour Cream for years. This pot I bought at Beautypoint in Rome last year and it lasts for ages. Formulated with moisturizing Padina Pavonica algae extract, licorice, wheat proteins, and nourishing vitamins E and B, this eye cream is emollient and hydrating. It absorbs very well so you don’t feel like there’s a layer of cream sitting under your eyes. As the name suggests, you can also slap some of the cream around the mouth where fine lines can appear. The only drawback is the hideous price of the product. From memory, I paid around Euro 130.00 (NZ$220.00) for the 15ml/ 0.53oz jar. True, you only need to use a tiny amount but I have decided to branch out and try cheaper brands. I’m currently using Nature By Canus (Canadian brand) All Natural Firming Eye Cream with fresh goat’s milk. Not as rich as Sisley but seems to do a pretty good job.

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L-R front row. Clarisonic brush; DermaE Vanilla Bean cleansing mousse; Paula’s choice samples; Michael Todd True Organics sample; Almay, Korres and L’Oreal mascaras; Sisley eye cream. L-R back row. Deo Nat crystal deodorant; LUSH Snowcake soap; Melaleuca toothpaste.

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Yeah! Three mascaras finished up!

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A great cleanser – this is the old packaging.

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HG eye cream for me.

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