It’s been awhile since I showed you all the products I’ve used up. I must say that I love watching YouTube videos of product empties and the little mini-reviews people give on each product. I’ve discovered a number of good products this way.

I’ve finished up quite a bit since my last empties post, so let’s check out the trash shall we?

Hair stuff. I knocked off two more Batiste dry shampoo cans – one in Cherry and the other in XXL Volume. The Cherry can is supposed to have a rich fruity (i.e. cherry) scent. Ah, not really and I thought it was a bit meh. I was hoping the XXL Volume version would boof up my hair and give it some texture. Nah. In fact, neither of these two Batiste dry shampoos wowed me so I’m going to stick with the Wild version and the Blush scent. The smaller cans only seem to last about 10 days, so I recently bought a large can of Blush.

The other dry shampoo I finished off is by LUSH and is called No Drought. It’s in a 100g bottle and is, frankly, better value for money than Batiste. You just need to dust a bit of powder onto the roots and work through. I think when I finish up the large Batiste, I’ll go back to No Drought. It also doesn’t seem to make my hair feel quite so dry and I like the slight citrus smell.

Also finished up is Joico Silk Result Thermal Smoother Styling Spray. What a mouthful. I’m not sure but I think this product has been discontinued. I’m not even sure why I bought it because it’s for coarse, curly or frizzy hair types – and I’m none of these. Probably my hairdresser suggested it for some reason. I quite liked it. It did seem to make my hair silkier. But nothing fantastic. I’m now usingย TRESemme Thermal Creations Heat Tamer spray.

Skincare. I tried out the Yes To Blueberries Age Refresh range. The Blueberries range is for old goats hahaha. I finished up the Intensive Skin Repair Serum; Eye Firming Treatment; and the Deep Wrinkle Nightcream. The whole range is petroleum, SLS, paraben and cruelty free. I quite liked the serum and the other products worked well on my sensitive skin. I think the serum was the standout with blackcurrant and essential fatty acids to nourish and soothe, along with apple to refresh and brighten the skin surface. I really feel it did brighten the skin and will pick up another bottle of the serum. The other two? I didn’t see any difference so won’t repurchase at this stage.

Makeup stuff. Finished up a couple of foundations. The first one is by Innoxa and is the Line Defying Makeup with SPF20 in the shade Linen. This is my second bottle and I love this silky smooth foundation. In fact, the whole Innoxa range is really good. It used to be popular in Australia as I was growing up and my mother always wore a lipstick in the shade Seashell Pink. Innoxa is reasonably popular in NZ thank goodness. A medium to full coverage foundation that glided on easily and wore well all day. Will repurchase.

The second foundation I enjoyed and is by another brand I like a lot – Almay – and it’s the Smart Shade foundation in 100 Light. Yep, really liked this foundation particularly how it adapts to the colour of your skin. It goes on white but then adjusts to your skin tone pretty quickly. It’s a sheer, natural finish but doesn’t really give you full coverage so a concealer is needed for any imperfections. I’ve already bought another tube. LOVE.

I’m tossing out the Smashbox Photo Finish Color Correcting Primer. This was to cancel out the redness in my skin but heck, what a horrid product. Sorry. I LOVE the Smashbox Full Exposure palette and the brand in general but not this primer. It sat like an oil slick on my skin, was too thin in consistency and didn’t cover much at all. It seemed to slide off my skin, so out it goes. I’m now using the Rachel K CC Cream and am very happy with this.

The Za Shimmer Glimmer bottle finally came to an end. Basically, it’s a liquid highlighter with a soft pearl gleam. When I bought this, I used it obsessively – top of the cheeks, browbone, Cupid’s Bow etc. Then I kind of lost track of it and tend to use powder highlighters like MAC’s Mineralize Skin Finish in Soft and Gentle. I would consider buying the Za product again as it was very easy to apply and imparts a soft glimmer.

Mascaras. Two used up and one is being tossed. I finished up the Revlon Lash Potion mascara in black and it gives such great volume and length. Also love the retro-looking, colourful tube. Will certainly repurchase. The next mascara finished up was a second tube of Planters Perfect Eyes in black, which I brought back with me from Italy. It’s a wet mascara compared to Revlon but covers the lashes beautifully. No smudging; no panda eyes. Sad to have finished it up.

I’m tossing another Italian mascara though and I’m surprised it is so awful. When working in Rome, I picked up a great bronzer from the Dr Taffi range so I thought a mascara from this brand would be lovely. Ah no. Did nothing for my lashes and hardly coated them. Not to mention during the day, I’d end up with panda eyes.

Beauty tools. My E.L.F. eyelash curler finally bit the dust. I think I’ve had it about three years. One of the handles cracked and then, whilst using it, the curler basically disintegrated in my hands. I’m tossing up whether to bother getting another one. My current mascara (Essence) is doing a good job of plumping up the lashes. If I buy another one, it will probably be from Shiseido or The Body Shop as I hear they both have great eyelash curlers.

I also finished another Deep Pore Cleansing brush that I use with my Clarisonic. Been using the Clarisonic for three years now; about four times a week. Whilst in Hong Kong recently, I picked up a year’s worth of Sensitive Skin brushes.

Soaps. You know I love my soaps. One of my favourite organic liquid soaps is by Dr Bronner’s Magic Soaps and I’ve been through many 32oz bottles. All the soaps are certified Fair Trade and the bottles are brightly-coloured and text heavy. When you look closely, the text on the label is full of quotes and instructions for cleansing your “mind-body-soul-spirit instantly.” My fav soap is the Almond Castile Liquid Soap but the one you see in the photo below is the Citrus Orange Castile Liquid Soap. There are so many ways to use this soap – body and face wash; shampoo; dishwashing liquid; dog shampoo. You can read about how to use Dr Bronner’s here.

I also finished up another LUSH soap (of course!). I’m not quite sure of its name because the label is too faint. It’s either the Willow Bark or Willow Pattern soap. This creamy soap contained rose oil, Silican lemon oil and rosewood oil and was a delight to use as is any LUSH soap. Certainly would buy it again but I continue to be obsessed with Karma soap.

In Bhutan, I bought a honey and almond oil glycerine soap by Santoor, which is an Indian brand. I enjoyed using a number of Indian products whilst in Bhutan and this soap was creamy and luxurious. It was softly scented and easy to hold.

Skincare. In Hong Kong, I discovered a new brand, Melvita. Well, I’ve heard of Melvita and I know it’s a French certified organic beauty brand. So I was delighted to see a Melvita store in one of the shopping centres and rushed in. I came away with a few things, which I’ll show you soon. But I was given three samples of the Naturalift Youthful Skin Complex for Lips and Eyes. One sachet lasted me about a week and the cream is packed with ingredients such as raspberry and shea butters, and honey and stevia leaf. REALLY liked the way this product performed. I’m quite convinced it softened wrinkles and it’s multi-tasking because you can use it around the lip area too.

Cleanser and toner. Gone is another small sample bottle of NZ brand Oasis Beauty Chamomile Cleanser. I had three or four of these little bottles and they are very handy for travel. Sadly, just as I was about to purchase a full-size Chamomile Cleanser, I find out that it’s been discontinued. It seems that the three separate cleansers for different skin types (Chamomile, Rose and Lavender) have been dispensed with in favour of two cleansers (Cream and Milk Cleanser). I might try one of these down the track but not anytime soon as I have a few cleansers to knock off. I also don’t think the Chamomile Cleanser removed all my makeup. I liked the smell of the cleanser though and its consistency.

I finished up a deluxe-size sample of Kiehl’s Clearly Corrective White Clarity-Activating Toner (another mouthful!). This is the matching toner for the sample cleanser I finished in February. I liked both products a lot, particularly the subtle lavender smell. This range from Kiehl’s promises a lot – brighten the complexion and visibly diminish discoloration and dark spots. Because they were samples, I don’t think I had enough time to really assess whether the cleanser and toner live up to the claims. I am considering a purchase of the full-size products though.

Sleeping aid. From time to time, I have trouble sleeping. Nothing major but I can lie awake for a couple of hours. Counting sheep gets pretty boring let me tell you. I rely on a particular herbal remedy to send me into dreamland – A.Vogel Dormeasan. It’s a liquid herbal tincture based mainly on Valerian. I can’t say it’s a great taste but I scoff it fast.

Perfumes. Readers of another blog I used to have know that I am a perfume addict. My favourite perfume is Fracas by Robert Piguet and I have worn this perfume ever since I can remember. It was created in 1948 and, if you’re interested, you can read my full review of Fracas on my other blog (under the heading Golden Rule #4). I will say it’s not a perfume for the faint-hearted; it’s a strong scent based on tuberose. I have one more bottle that I bought in Rome and once this is finished – I’ll be hitting the panic button as I don’t know where I’ll find it.

I also finished up a tiny sample of Dior’s J’adore. This was a perfume I was obsessed with when it was first released in 1999. I got caught up in the floral scent when florals became popular during the 1990s. I thought it was sophisticated and modern but then became sick of the whole floral perfume thing and went back to Fracas. A sales assistant at a chemist in Christchurch popped the little sample into my bag and I wore it in Queenstown recently. I’m afraid I found it too clinging and sweet.


Lots of empties.


Dr Bronner’s Magic Soap and A.Vogel Dormeasan.


Hair stuff in the background.


Yes to Blueberries.


Melvita samples I picked up in Hong Kong.


LUSH wrapper and Santoor soap.


Foundations and mascaras.


Santoor Honey & Almond Glycerine soap.