Another month; more empties. So very satisfying! But I’m not getting through much makeup I’m afraid. A few lippies are about to bite the dust but my eyeshadow, bronzer and blush collection just lives on and on.

So let’s ferret through my trash and see what I used up.

Cleansers. I finished up two cleansers. One is a deluxe-size sample from Kiehl’s and the other is from NZ brand, Comvita. The standout by far was the Kiehl’s Clearly Corrective White Purifying Foaming Cleanser. The deluxe-sample seemed to last for ages and just a little bit of the creamy cleanser was needed to get off makeup (not eye makeup though). It’s designed to brighten the complexion and uses white birch and peony extracts. With regular use, the cleanser is said by Kiehl’s to visibly diminish discoloration and dark spots. The scent is a gorgeous soft lavender and the cleanser itself was a delight to use: creamy, luxurious and did not leave my skin with that tight feeling. I would certainly buy a full-size tube if I didn’t have a number of cleansers to use up. I also have a deluxe-size sample of the matching toner and should finish that in a week or so.

The second cleanser is by Comvita and it’s the Gentle Smoothing Cleanser with Manuka Honey (for normal to dry skin). I have combo skin but bought this on the recommendation of a sales person as she said it was good for sensitive skin too. I’ve had a look at the Comvita website and I think this cleanser has been discontinued. If so, that’s a shame as it’s quite good although I think there are better cleansers from NZ brands (such as Oasis Beauty and Evolu). I did like the smell of the product – a sort of peppery smell for me – and, apart from the manuka honey, ingredients included Brazilian bark extract, Macadamia oil and Kowhai extract. No nasty sulphates, parabens or phthalates in this creamy cleanser. I guess it just didn’t wow me; nothing actually wrong with the cleanser as it performed well. It’s taken me some time to get through this product as I lost it somewhere in my bathroom collection of stuff. Maybe if I had used it continuously, I might have felt the love.

Skincare. A bunch of stuff finished up yeehah! All by NZ brand, Moreish. I went through Day Cream, Night Cream, Facial Serum, Eye Gel and Eye Cream. I didn’t finish everything up at the same time so I saved the empty products so I could show you the range. Yeah, well: not overly-fussed about Moreish. Again, there’s nothing wrong with any of the products; I just didn’t feel they were amazing. The Moreish range is based on argan oil and various NZ botanicals. I did like the Day Cream Light as it’s not a heavy moisturiser and the inclusion of wheat germ, avocado, olive and flaxseed oils made this a very soothing product. I’d certainly consider a repurchase on the Day Cream Light but the rest of the range? Not really.

I think I found everything too light, not rich or luxurious enough for me (particularly the eye gel and eye cream). In my mind, this is a range for the younger woman but, in reality, I’m sure any woman could benefit. In comparison though to my two favoured NZ brands – Evolu and Oasis Beauty – Moreish products don’t do it for me and I didn’t notice any real difference in my skin.

I also knocked off a moisturiser I bought in Thailand ages ago. To be honest, I’ve battled my way through this one – stubbornly determined to use it all up. It’s by Putonnam and is called the Gold Herbal Siam Origin Day & Night Natural Moisturizer Cream. I initially liked this moisturiser but, over time, I found the very strong herbal whiff got to me. It’s a bit like the Moreish products too; I didn’t see any visible improvement or change in my skin.

Serum. I finally used up the Antipodes Hosanna H2O Intensive Skin-Plumping Serum. In the last couple of years, I’ve really shifted towards the use of serums and facial oils. Antipodes is another NZ brand that I very much like and this serum is especially good for thirsty skin. Love the smell of this rose and cardamon fragranced serum that also contains Mamaku black fern for cell renewal. Will certainly repurchase after I finish up other Antipodes serums that I have.

Eye makeup remover. I knocked off yet another tub of Almay eye makeup remover pads – the moisturising version, which is infused with a botanical blend of aloe, cucumber and green tea. You get 80 pads in the tub and the cost is around NZ$10-11.00 depending on where you buy them. I took this tub with me to Bhutan and use one pad to remove eye makeup from both eyes. So all in all, pretty good value and the pads work gently to remove all traces of makeup. No nasty stinging of the eyes either.

But…I’m now a bit worried as I saw in Farmers the other day a whole new range of Almay eye makeup remover pads and I’m not sure if the moisturising version is still available. The Almay NZ website seems to show two versions: a gentle formula and a soothing and depuffing version. I’ll probably buy the gentle formula once I’ve finished up the Neutrogena Oil Free eye makeup remover that I’m currently using.

Mascaras. Another two bite the dust. The first one is Maybelline’s Mega Plush Volume Express in Blackest Black. I didn’t like the brush; too flexible and flimsy for my liking. But I did end up quite liking the consistency and performance of the mascara. But….seems I’m allergic to it. I noticed that every time I used this mascara, my eyes watered. So I’m tossing it and wouldn’t repurchase.

The second mascara was my all-time favourite that has, sadly, been discontinued. It’s the Helena Rubenstein Lash Queen mascara in the colour 03 Chinchilla Blue. You can still get all sorts of Lash Queen mascaras but not in the gorgeous blue shade of Chinchilla Blue. I’m not talking bright electric blue; just a subtle light navy blue. I went through so many tubes of this coloured mascara over the years. I bought them in Asia, not sure if Chinchilla Blue was available in Oz; and this was my last tube. How sad. It was a fantastic mascara for plumping up the lashes. I might try the Feline Blacks version once I’ve finished up the mascaras I have ready to go.

Concealer. Another Almay product. You know, I don’t think Almay gets a whole lot of love from YouTube beauty gurus who tend to go for Urban Decay, Too Faced, Nars and Chanel products. But this concealer was a joy. It’s the Line Smoothing Under Eye concealer in Light and the tube lasted for around five months. Very creamy but was never cakey. Just the right shade for my NC15 skin tone and contains green, red and white teas. I will be purchasing this again but, in the meantime, I’m trialling the Maybelline Fit Me concealer in Light. I must say this is a very good product.

Shower puff. Wouldn’t normally show you a shower puff but….I’ve long been partial to The Body Shop shower puffs. They’re a bit pricey at around NZ$7.00 or so. This is the last one I’ll be buying though as I’m fed up with how the puff loses its shape so fast. Basically, a few days after using the lovely pink puff, bits of netting were sticking out and the puff became a lot larger than it was originally. I’m now using a cheap $2.00 puff that is standing up to the task very well.

Toothpaste. Another organic toothpaste without nasty SLS finished up. I really like Aussie brand, Grants, and I’ve been through quite a few tubes of their Fresh Mint with Tea Tree oil toothpaste. The toothpaste I’ve just finished up is by another Aussie brand, Riddells Creek Organic, and it’s their Herbal toothpaste with Myrrh. I quite liked it even though it was a bit of an odd taste to begin with. No sulfates, fluorides or mineral oils in this toothpaste, which is the important thing. I’d certainly buy it again but have another tube of Grants ready to go.

Skin supplement. I’ve always used some sort of skin supplement; usually Imedeen. But last year, I bought two bottles of Procol Collagen. Publicity blurbs say it rejuvenates and helps smooth wrinkles. Quite a pricey product at NZ$99.00 for 90 capsules (but I picked up a two for one offer). Can’t say I see results so I won’t be repurchasing. And a real negative for me is the tablets are HUGE and you take three per night. This is the last bottle so that’s it for me. Think I’ll just stick with my Berocca tablets, which I’ve been taking for many, many years.

Dry shampoo. I decided to try out the Batiste range of dry shampoos and finished up a can of the Wild version with leopard print pattern. I must say the fragrance is lovely – a sort of vanilla musk. The website calls it Oriental. Okay. Very easy to spray in the hair but I do find it leaves a white cast. The secret though is to hold the can a fair way from the hair and make sure to brush out vigorously once the dry shampoo has soaked up the oil. Does have a tendency to leave my hair feeling a bit dry but heck, who wants to wash hair every day. I am now using the Batiste XXL Volume can and don’t like it as much. I plan to try the Cherry one next and basically make my way through the whole Batiste range.

Soaps. And finally, my favourite thing – soaps! I finished up a large slice of LUSH’s Karma soap and you know how much I like the Karma range – Karma Kream, Karma Komba, Karma perfume and the Karma soap. I LOVE the orange flower water and almond oil scent of Karma with its layers of spicy patchouli and cinnamon. We’re not talking old hippie patchouli though; it’s a warm, subtle patchouli. The citrus blast of this soap is great to experience in the morning shower. The soap is creamy and long-lasting. A delight to use.

I also finished up a soap made by Lavish Soap in Oamaru. I had a hard time selecting just a few soaps when I visited the shop last year. I could have bought everything but ended up with a goat’s milk soap and the Almond soap made from sweet almond oil. Another delightful, luxurious soap. The almond scent lasted as I used up the soap and the bar was creamy and moisturising. Thankfully, I can buy online as I’ll certainly try out a few more Lavish Soaps.

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February empties! Zeph was very interested – you can see him in the background.

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Riddell’s Creek toothpaste, Karma soap, Lavish almond soap, Kiehl’s cleanser.

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Moreish products; mascaras; Almay eye makeup remover; Antipodes serum.

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Mascaras and Almay concealer.

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Procol skin supplement.

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Thai moisturiser.

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Comvita cleanser.

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Kiehl’s deluxe-size cleanser.

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Organic toothpaste.

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