Let’s go through January’s trash shall we! Well, I’m including December’s trash too since I spent that month working in Bhutan. Quite satisfying as I’ve finished up heaps and will indicate whether I’d repurchase or not.

Cleansers. Three down! The one I really favour is Himalaya Herbals Gentle Hydrating Face Wash, which I bought in Bhutan. A soap-free, cream-based cleanser that has the most wonderful fresh scent due to the aloe and cucumber. Didn’t leave my face dry at all and the tube lasted around five weeks. Would definitely repurchase this.

The second cleanser is an Italian brand – Clariderma – and I bought this in Rome whilst working there. Somehow it became lost amongst other cleansers but I rediscovered it. A gel-based cleanser with a fruity smell, it certainly worked well to get off makeup. My Italian isn’t great but I think it contains burdock and echinacea. A gentle cleanser that can also be used on the delicate eye area. I’d definitely repurchase again if I return to Italy.

The third cleanser is a bit meh in my view. It was so-so. New Zealand brand, Moreish, offer products based largely on Argan Oil and their Cream Cleanser also contains orange and almond oils. It does the job but I wasn’t really fussed. Nothing special and I wouldn’t repurchase.

Exfoliator. NZ-brand, Evolu, has a great facial exfoliator. I think this is my third tube of their Renewing Facial Exfoliator and the one you see in the photo is the old packaging. I already have a tube with the new packaging and I kind of prefer the old look. Anyway. This exfoliator has jojoba beads with papaya extract to gently slough away tired, old cells and revive the skin. The beads are very gentle on the skin and the manuka, lavender and geranium provide deep cleansing. Will certainly be repurchasing.

Eye creams. I think I’ve found my HG eye cream following my decision to no longer buy the expensive Sisley Paris Sisleÿa Eye and Lip Contour Cream. I’ll tell you about this HG cream in a future post. Meanwhile, I trialled a few other eye creams with varying degrees of success. The first one is by the Aussie brand, Skin Doctors Cosmeceuticals. The product is called Eyetuck and is pretty darn expensive in NZ compared to Oz. It has a proprietary ingredient called Tetrapeptide-5. Whatever. I didn’t find this cream all that great. A bit thin in consistency and not all that hydrating. Wouldn’t repurchase.

The next eye cream I tried was by Solal Technologies, which is a South African brand. The company offers vitamins as well as skincare. I picked up their Hydra Eye Gel on my last visit to Johannesburg. The eye cream was certainly a thick consistency, and I prefer this for the under-eye area, but it was an odd light yellowish colour. Ingredients include algae extract, Mediterranean lavender and hyaluronate crosspolymer (a powerful hydrator). I wouldn’t say I was wowed by this product and I think there are better South African brands, such as Environ.

The third eye cream I tried was the best – a sample-size of Kiehl’s Powerful Wrinkle Reducing Eye Cream. Just the right consistency, creamy and hydrating. I’d certainly consider buying the full-size product.

Finally, I finished up a tiny size sample of Oasis Beauty Green Tea Lip & Eye Cream. Oasis is an NZ-brand that I’m very partial to and I’ve used a full-size pot of this eye-cream before. I remembered finding it a little thin in consistency, so thought I’d trial a sample before committing to another full-size pot. I like this eye cream sure but it doesn’t wow me. It is, however, very cooling and soothing due to cucumber, honey, calendula and rosehip.

Hair products. I finished up another Joico K-Pak RevitaLuxe Bio Advanced Restorative Treatment. I really like this product to restore softness and shine. The smell is great too but….there’s a host of unpronounceable ingredients and this makes me a tad nervous. I decided to finish up this tube though but won’t buy again. Sad. I also finished up a hairspray – Herbal Essence Tousle Me Softly – took me ages as I don’t use hair spray very often. Really like this as well as the funky purple packaging. It has a slight voilet floral fragrance and gives your hair hold without it ending up like a stiff bird’s nest LOL. Certainly will buy this product again just so I have a hairspray on hand.

Shower gels. Two shower gels finished up. Sad to finish up the 250ml bottle of LUSH’s Snow Fairy. LOVE everything about this shower gel from its Barbie-pink colour to the strong candy floss scent. I have another bottle ready to go and await the Christmas in July LUSH product release – bound to be Snow Fairy in amongst all the great products. I also used up St. Ives Oatmeal & Shea Butter body wash. A smooth, creamy consistency with a gentle lather and subtle fragrance. Doesn’t contain parabens or phthalates but does contain Sodium Laureth Sulfate as the second listed ingredient. Bad news. So I won’t be repurchasing.

Body cream. I had to throw out a Vaseline Cocoa Butter body lotion. This is so old and I think they’ve changed the name to Cocoa Glow. I remember when this product was first released – fell in love with the gorgeous cocoa scent – but I always found the consistency too thin for my liking. I far prefer Karma Kream by LUSH. HG status for me and it’s much better at moisturizing the body.

Nail Polish. I bought a Maybelline Express Finish 50 Second Nail Color whilst in Rome. I ran out of whatever I was using for my toe nails and rushed into a supermarket to buy, well anything. Unfortunately, I bought this one: #12 Snow Bunny. Nothing wrong with the consistency of the nail varnish and it certainly didn’t chip. It’s just the colour – it was a bit too icy, metallic white for my liking. I haven’t finished the bottle and, since it’s about 2 years old now, time to throw out.

Face. A few products finished up. One I am tossing as I’m fed up with it and that is the Revlon PhotoReady Translucent Finisher Powder. I like the PhotoReady range and Revlon in general. I initially liked this powder but wasn’t feeling the love after a couple of months. I found it quite chalky and crumbly. I prefer loose powders and I also found that this powder had a touch of sparkle to it – similar to the PhotoReady foundation. A bit too much sparkle for me – I really don’t want to look like a member of the Cullen family LOL. I also think it makes flaws, such as pores, more obvious. So when it decided to crack and crumble even more; I decided it was time to part ways.

The next product I’m parting with is by Aussie brand, Napoleon. It’s the China Doll Foundation in Look 2. When I lived in Oz, I was a great fan of the Napoleon range; still am as it’s available in NZ too. I prefer a full-coverage foundation like Estee Lauder’s Double Wear and China Doll was too lightweight and tended to make my combination skin oily by the end of the day. I just don’t find myself reaching for it, so out it goes.

I also used up another Clarisonic Deep Pore Cleansing brush. My pink Clarisonic Mia is nearly three years old now and I use it about four times a week. I have one more deep pore brush to go, then I might swap back to the sensitive brushes.

Primers. I finished up Rimmel London’s Fix & Perfect Foundation Primer in 001 Apricot. If you have great skin, you could actually use this as a tinted moisturizer. I quite liked the smooth texture of the primer and the nude/flesh tone. It certainly provided a good canvas for application of foundation. I would consider buying this again but need to use up my L’Oreal primer. I also used up a deluxe sample of Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer. OMG. Amazing. Goes on as a liquid but sets to a powder-like finish. Minimizes nasty pores and softens wrinkles. The tiny tube lasted almost five weeks. LOVE.

Moisturizers and serums. I took samples with me to Bhutan to avoid taking full-size products and it also gave me an opportunity to try out new stuff. A new brand for me is Paula’s Choice and I trialled the Resist Super Antioxidant Serum. This is a mult-tasker – it’s great as a primer; it plumps up your skin with antioxidants; and brightens the complexion. I liked it so much, I’ve bought a full-size tube.

I also used up two samples of Kiehl’s Powerful Strength Line Reducing Concentrate. Yeah, wasn’t all that fussed about this. It’s touted as a wrinkle fighter but seemed to lead to break-outs, so no thanks.

I knocked off another sample of Oasis Beauty Apple A Day Moisturizer. Actually, I just used the tiny container and decanted the moisturizer from my full-size bottle. REALLY like this moisturizer with apple extract and SPF25. It’s an excellent base for foundation and seems to really suit my combo skin. I’m into my second tube and will continue to repurchase.

Mascaras. Two finished up, yeah! The first is Revlon’s Grow Luscious in Black. A great mascara. To replace it, I bought Revlon Lash Potion in the funky green, pink and purple metallic tube. Both give good volume and length but I prefer Grow Luscious as it seems a wetter mascara. The second mascara is Almay Intense i-Color Volumizing Mascara in Raisin Quartz. I am partial to Almay mascaras and I like plum-coloured mascaras such as this one. I think Raisin Quartz is no longer available and is replaced by the Plum shade.

Toothpaste. Another tube of Australian brand, Grants, Extra Fresh Natural Toothpaste with tea tree oil, which is good for any form of inflammation. No horrid SLS stuff in this toothpaste; it’s vegan friendly and not tested on animals. I’m already into another tube but want to try out their Cinnamon Zest flavour next.

Hand cream. Late last year, I did a swap with a lovely girl in Croatia. In the package she sent me was a hand cream – Lavera Basis Sensitiv Hand Cream Q10 with organic almond and jojoba oil. Lavera is a German brand known for its 100% natural approach. This hand cream was a delight to use. Very luxurious in texture and the scent was divine. Absorbs quickly and isn’t greasy. The tube doesn’t last all that long though – I think I went through it in three weeks. Thankfully, I can get Lavera products from the NZ Pharmacy Direct website.

Soap. Lastly, a soap that I was very sad to finish up. When I lived and worked in Italy during 2011 and again in 2012, I discovered a wonderful soap I could buy in the supermarket. It’s by Marsiglia and is the milk and honey bar. I went through so many of these gorgeous bars in Italy and now I’ve finished the last one. A subtle scent, a creamy lather and the bar lasts for ages.


Hahaha! You can see Zeph’s paws in the background.