Whoa! Not sure where to start to be honest. I haven’t done an empties post in some time, so I have a LOT of stuff I’ve finished up. Let’s ferret through the trash!

Cleansers. I polished off the final bottle of the DermaE Vanilla Bean Cleansing Mousse: Age-Defying Facial cleanser. I like this cleanser despite the very strong vanilla scent. I had two bottles of this American brand cleanser, enjoyed using them but won’t get another one. Why? Because I’ve found my holy grail cleanser. I also knocked off another tube of South African brand, Justine, Balancing Gentle Face Wash for Normal Combination skin. You can read a previous review here. I have one more tube to go, then I’m done with this product. I don’t dislike it but it’s just meh.

I finished up a cleanser and toner from Oasis Beauty. After trying some samples, I bought a full-size bottle of the Chamomile Cleanser and really liked it. But wouldn’t you know it – it’s been discontinued. I loved the subtle smell but it wasn’t effective at getting off all the makeup, so I used it as the first cleanser in a double-cleanse regimen. I also finished their Fig and Grape toner for normal to combination skin. REALLY liked it as it was gentle and didn’t strip the skin. But…also discontinued. I might get round to trying the new range of stuff from Oasis Beauty but, for the moment, can’t be bothered since they discontinued these two items.

Skincare and exfoliators. I finished up a tube of NZ brand, Skinfood, Light Moisturiser. New Zealand has great skincare brands and Skinfood is very good. I really liked this moisturiser as it’s light-weight and contains peach oil, manuka honey, avocado, elderflower and marshmallow extracts. I would certainly buy it again. I also tried out Yes to Cucumbers Daily Calming Moisturizer with SPF 30. This is my first Yes To product and I liked the refreshing feel and that it’s petroleum, SLS and paraben free. I will buy again once I’ve polished off my current moisturisers. I FINALLY finished The Body Shop’s Wise Woman Vitality Serum – I have to admit I’ve had this for quite awhile. I really wasn’t excited by it and I think there are far better products from The Body Shop.

I knocked off more NZ  skincare. Well, one I couldn’t finish up due to the fragrance; WAY too overpowering for me. This was the Linden Leaves Miraculous Facial Oil with organic white tea and organic rosehip oil. Honestly, I expected more of this facial oil. It was hydrating but I didn’t see any obvious results and I really didn’t like the smell of the oil. I’ve not tried anything else from Linden Leaves and, given this experience, I won’t be rushing off to try other stuff.

Another bottle of the Neutrogena Oil-Free Eye Makeup Remover is gone. I’ve been through countless bottles of this extremely effective and gentle eye makeup remover. It never fails. For the moment, I’m giving it a rest as I have discovered The Body Shop’s Camomile Gentle Eye Makeup Remover – talk about a wonderful product. It doesn’t irritate the eyes and it gets off every bit of stubborn eye makeup.

Also gone is Eau Roma Water from LUSH. The 250g bottle seemed to last and last and I’ll certainly be buying another one once I’ve knocked off my rosewater toners. Eau Roma Water contains lavender and rosewater and is a delight to use. Soothing and refreshing.

Finally, a moisturiser sent to me from CroatiaAfrodita Cosmetics Hydra Thermal Natural Mineral Water Hydra Active Concentrate. This is an excellent product containing natural Hyaluron, beta-glucan, aloe vera and jojoba oil. Very hydrating and lightweight.

Oh wait, finally – another brush for my Clarisonic. This is a deep pore cleansing brush head. I’m now using the Sensitive brush heads but either is great for exfoliation. And speaking of exfoliation, I polished off a tub of Let The Good Times Roll by LUSH. This is a facial cleanser that smells divine: a bit like a caramel doughnut with a dusting of cinnamon. I don’t use my Clarisonic on the nights I use this LUSH product. I’m pretty sure it’s now part of the permanent LUSH collection, although I can’t find it on the NZ website. Should I be worried?!

Hair stuff. More cans of Batiste dry shampoo – two cans of Wild with the leopard print and I tried out the Tropical scent. REALLY liked the coconut whiff of the Tropical shampoo but I favour the oriental scent of Wild. The problem with Batiste is that a can doesn’t last all that long; I seem to go through them fast. So I’ve swapped back to No Drought from LUSH. It’s really easy to fluff some of the lemon-scented powder through the hair and it gives good volume. Easier to travel with too.

Two volumising sprays were finished up. Firstly is (or was) my Holy Grail – David Babaii for Wild Aid Bohemian Beach Spray. I say was because it seems to have been friggin’ discontinued. No sulphates, parabens or nasty petrochemicals in this spray and the pina colada scent was fantastic. I’ve been through too many bottles to count over the years but now can’t find it. I’ve seen references on some websites to it being discontinued. If so, this is very sad as it was a great product. I’m currently trialling L’Oréal Paris Elvital Volume Collagen Root Lifting Spray – it’s okay, does the job but not as good as the David Babaii product.

I also used up the Sei Bella Hot Iron Prep Spray from Melaleuca. Not worth talking about, meh.

Body Oil and deodorant. All gone is The Body Shop’s Shea Beautifying Oil. LOVE and already onto another bottle. So many ways to use this delightfully scented oil: chuck it in your hair the night before washing it; use as a body and hand oil; slick a tiny amount onto dry hair for a lustrous shine.

For years, I’ve used a natural crystal deodorant with no aluminium. I saw a spray deodorant from Aussie natural skincare brand, Sukin, and decided to try it. It’s aluminium-free and does have a very subtle, pleasing fragrance (a blend of tangerine, mandarin and lavender oils). I very much liked it and would consider repurchasing but I like the ease and convenience of a simple crystal stick.

Shower gels. It took me about four months to get through a huge bottle of Rose Jam from LUSH. Rose Jam is limited edition and released at Christmas time or Christmas in July. The main ingredient is Rose Absolute from Turkey but it also contains Egyptian geranium oil, Sicilian lemon oil and vanilla. I can’t tell you how divine this shower gel is. When Christmas in July products became available online here in NZ, I snapped up two more bottles. By far my favourite shower gel.

I also finished the last bottle I’ll ever buy of St.Ives body wash. It was the Creamy Vanilla Moisturizing Body Wash and it was indeed creamy with a subtle vanilla scent but….it contains nasties like Sodium Laureth Sulphate.

Mascaras and more. So many mascaras finished up! Another Dr Hauschka volumizing mascara in Black. This is a holy grail mascara for me – great for sensitive eyes, never clumps and glides on like a dream. Only drawback is that it’s expensive in New Zealand (around NZ$47.00-50.00), so I normally buy it off Strawberrynet where it’s a little less expensive.

I also finished up my first ever Laura Mercier volumizing mascara in black. To be honest, I’m not sure of the exact name as it was a gift with purchase thing. It was an okay mascara, nothing sensational. What is sensational is the Essence I Love Extreme mascara in black, which was sent to me by my Croatian blogging pal. In fact, she’s sent me about six Essence mascaras, so I have a good stockpile. I love the fat brush and how it plumps up the lashes.

More mascaras knocked off were Innoxa’s Lash Define in black. I think this was my third or fourth tube. It’s a wetter mascara but I like how easily it glides on and makes the lashes look long. I also used up a deluxe size mascara from Korres, the Greek brand. This was the Provitamin B5 & Rice Bran mascara in black. I’m a fan of Korres but not of their mascaras; I find them too dry and this one was no exception.

I’m tossing a bronzer from Pur Minerals. I’ve had this for ages and I can’t tell you what it’s called as the labelling has worn off. It was a bit too crumbly for my liking and colour payoff wasn’t that good. So it’s tossed along with a Revlon Diamond Lust eyeshadow. Again, really ancient and no idea of the shade. But I can tell you there was an awful lot of glitter happening. No idea why I bought it in the first place.

Soaps and hand stuff. I’ve found a fabulous soap – Fringe Studios Black Peacock bar soap Mulberry Lily. The packaging alone is amazing with a beautiful white peacock against a black background. The Mulberry Lily fragrance is wonderful and the bar is creamy and moisturising. A bit pricey here in New Zealand at $NZ15.00 per bar.

I knocked off yet another bar of my favourite Pearl natural sandalwood soap from Fiji. Although this soap also comes in English Rose and Gardenia scents, I stick with the Sandalwood as I’m a sucker for anything sandalwood. These bars are enriched with 100% pure coconut oil and they have no animal fats or sodium laurel/laureth nasties. The soap bar fits snuggly into the hand unlike another soap I finished off – Castabel Laranja Orange Fragranced Soap from Portugal. My Portuguese mother-in-law gave me many soaps last year and this was one of them. The bar is HUGE and isn’t easy to hold on to in the shower. But who the heck cares because it is the most wonderful soap – creamy and with the most seductive orange blossom smell. Lasted for ages too.

Then we have a bar of Neutrogena Facial Cleansing soap. I don’t actually use this for the face; I just like it as a shower soap. It’s a transparent soap I remember from my childhood, although I think the soaps back then were glycerine soaps rather than the Neutrogena one. I buy a bar of this soap when I see it because it’s gentle and effective.

After two years, I finally finished a small tube of hand cream from Marks and Spencer. This was given to me by an English colleague I worked with in Rome. It was okay and I was determined to use it up. I much prefer hand cream from Neutrogena or Aveeno.

A large bottle of hand wash from NZ natural brand, Ecostore, also bit the dust. This was the Rose & Cardamon hand wash and it’s really lovely. In fact, the entire Ecostore range is pretty good and there are no nasty chemicals. I would probably buy this again but I think that Dr Bronner’s Magic Soaps are better value. The Castile liquid Soaps come in a large 32oz bottle and can be used as a shampoo, body wash, hand soap, fash wash, dog shampoo and dishwashing liquid. I buy Dr Bronner’s from Vitacost and the 32oz bottle costs around $NZ19.50, whereas if you buy it in Christchurch, it can cost $30.00-32.00.

Toothpaste. Yet another tube of toothpaste with no SLS. This time it’s Red Seal Natural toothpaste with twelve herbs and minerals. Red Seal is a New Zealand owned and operated company and this toothpaste is delightful with its mild minty taste.

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