Empties #3

Since my last Empties post (see here), the box I use to hoard my beauty trash has rapidly refilled with all manner of things. My skincare addiction has gotten way out of hand recently, so here we are – a rundown of everything I’ve used up, and some honest opinions about repurchasing…


Clinique Liquid Facial Soap Oily Skin


I’ve had this for ages! I bought this very bottle on the ferry back from France in 2016, the first Clinique skincare product I’ve ever tried. It’s one of their more iconic products, as a liquid facial cleanser that comes in two versions – one for normal to dry skin, and one for combination/oily (obviously, that’s the one I picked up). At first, I quite liked using this, especially in the shower for an easy second cleanse after taking off my makeup. However, I started to notice how tight my skin was feeling – I had that uncomfortable dry and stripped feeling that I now know is detrimental to oily skin and damages the moisture barrier. The oily-skin formula also contains menthol, which is a well-known irritant – sensitive skins beware.

Would I repurchase this? No – it’s far too harsh for me to use as a cleanser, even once a week.

Lush Brazened Honey Fresh Face Mask


Another empty black pot! One pot closer to my free mask – I wish more stores had a recycling/rewards scheme like Lush. I decided to try something other than my usual mask purchase (Mask Of Magnaminty), and after chatting to a lovely guy in my local store I walked out with the Brazened Honey mask – and some cleanser samples. It’s a scrubby and gritty clay-based mask with a limey-yellow colour and strong natural scent (typical of Lush products, of course) from ingredients such as lime, fennel, almond, ginger, honey and loads of spices – kinda like one of those gross juice shots. This was a really nice mask! It wasn’t at all irritating, and the gentle exfoliation from taking it off left my skin ultra-smooth but not dry.

Would I repurchase this? Not before I’ve tried the rest of Lush’s masks, but I wouldn’t rule it out.

Botanics Organic Hot Cloth Cleansing Balm

I wrote a stand-alone review of this last year, and finally got to the bottom of the pot – it lasted a surprisingly long time, and has firmly cemented my love of solid and balm cleansers (expect to see one from The Body Shop my next Empties). This cleanser was super-rich and buttery, melting off makeup without stinging my eyes, and leaving a little bit of residue – I always follow up with a second cleanse or a toner.

Would I repurchase? Definitely! This might be the best value-for-money solid cleanser I’ve tried (so far).

MONU Firming Fiji Facial Oil

When I use this product, I become the human-embodiment of the heart-eyes emoji – it could be my favourite skincare discovery ever, and definitely the best thing I got from Glossybox. I’m so sad that I finished this little bottle – it’s such a gorgeous blend of oils and my skin totally loved it (I swear it did wonders for my spots) as I’ve mentioned a few times on here. Using it felt like a gorgeous spa experience, and when I get around to it, I’m buying the full-sized bottle.

Would I repurchase? Yes! Just need to get past spending almost £25 on face oil…

Lush Tea Tree Water


I’ve had this empty bottle for a while now, but as far as I can remember I really enjoyed this toner. I really prefer natural-feeling toners to those with loads of alcohol or actives in them – toner is what I use in the morning to get rid of any grime, and ones with a spray are great for refreshing the skin in summer. Lush have a couple of these types of product, which are all waters infused with essential oils – the tea tree one being particularly good for blemish-prone skin.

Would I repurchase? Yes, but I might go back to the rose and lavender one first.

Garnier Natural Aloe Extract Toner


A not so “natural” toner, but one I really like nonetheless – Garnier brought out a few different types of these last year, and as per my last Empties, I’ve already used up the rose one. This one was infused with aloe, and was nicely refreshing – I just wish they came with a pump for spraying. That being said, these are priced at around ¼ of the cost of the Lush ones.

Would I repurchase? Possibly, although I think I preferred the rose version.

L’Oreal Paris Pure Clay Blemish Rescue Face Mask

In my last stack of empty products, I went through one of L’Oreal’s original clay masks – the grey charcoal one (Pure Clay Detox), which was pretty good. The line now also includes some snazzy coloured masks, including this weirdly shimmery blue one, targeted at blemishes (although looking at the ingredients, I can only see the inclusion of zinc as far as spot-fighting elements go). I like these masks in jars, because they’re easy to apply and paint on with a brush – as far as helping with acne, though, I don’t think this one was potent or active enough to make a difference.

Would I repurchase? Probably not – I like masks that actually do something, and there’s so many more to try out.

NYX Professional Makeup Matte Blotting Paper


It’s taken me a long time to try out blotting papers – this pack was my first – and they are a true revelation for the oil-skinned, let me tell you. As long as your foundation doesn’t lift right off at first touch, blotting is a quick and easy way to refresh makeup without adding extra layers. I think NYX have a few varieties of these, but I decided to get the OG matte ones. They’re great, with 50 sheets in a pack for only £4.

Would I repurchase? I already have! I also grabbed the tea tree sheets to see how they fare.

L’Oreal Paris Hydra Genius Moisturiser – Combination Skin

I’m trying to get into gel moisturisers, since they seem like an obvious choice for oily but slightly dehydrated skin (like mine). This one from L’Oreal was part of a huge skincare launch and ad campaign, looking very cool in a monolithic glass bottle. The formula itself, sadly, wasn’t as impressive. I liked the scent (that sort of artificial “fresh” smell), but the moisturiser itself was sticky and not that hydrating. Onto the next gel product.

Would I repurchase? Nah, I’ll be giving this one a miss.

Maybelline Lash Sensational Mascara


Do I need to say much more about this? Lash Sensational has to be one of the best drugstore mascaras of all time (as I’ve mentioned many times on here). Naturally, I used up a whole tube of this, and can’t wait to get it again – the only thing stopping me is all of the amazing mascara launches that keep getting thrown at us.

Would I repurchase? Yes.

La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo[+]


Ah tiny tube! This was a sample that I picked up from Feelunique’s Pick ‘n’ Mix service, since everyone raves about it for acne. There wasn’t really enough of it in this tube for me to judge whether it helped my skin or not, but it applied easily and wasn’t at all irritating – I think if my skin gets any worse, I might have to grab the full-size to give it a full road-test.

Would I repurchase? Probably – although the price is steeper than a lot of spot treatments I’ve used previously.

Number 4 Fluoro5 Elixer Restore & Repair Oil


This might be the oldest product on this list – this tiny bottle of hair oil came in a Birchbox ages ago, and only ran out fairly recently (with regular-ish use). I wash my hair every other day, and 1-2 drops of this magic stuff not only smelled divine (like warm lavender and vanilla), but made such a difference to the softness of my hair.

Would I repurchase? YES! I can’t wait to get my hands on the full-size bottle.

Pixi Glow Tonic


Of course, everyone’s favourite acid toner. I’ll be honest, I didn’t finish this on my own – my little sister helped herself to a good amount, and therefore it didn’t stick around for as long as I would have hoped. The scent is quite strong, a perfume-y acidic smell (that I strangely like), and the formula is super effective without being too strong or harsh. As the name suggests, it gives your skin a ~glow~, and until I can get my hands on The Ordinary’s glycolic formula (huge bottle, low price, constantly out of stock) I’ve already picked up another of these mini-sized bottles.

Would I repurchase? I already have.

Emma Hardie Amazing Face Moringa Cleansing Balm

So many cult products in this list! Another itty-bitty sample from Feelunique, this tiny pot of Emma Hardie’s Cleansing Balm lasted a good few applications. There’s a reason why this product is so popular – it is a truly gorgeous solid cleanser with a wonderful moringa scent. The only downside to this delightfulness is the price – I believe the full-sized tub retails for around £47 (ouch).

Would I repurchase? Possibly – it’s a big splurge, and I know that I have several more affordable solid cleanser options.

Nip+Fab Glycolic Fix 5 Pads


I’m a sucker for anything travel-sized and easy to use (mainly because I’m lazy) and so these little pads from Nip+Fab were screaming my name on the shelves of Superdrug. They come in a full-sized pack, too, and are pre-soaked in a glycolic acid formula (not dissimilar to the Pixi toner) – which makes them perfect for trips away.

Would I repurchase? I would, but I’m not going to/ I’ve since tried a similar product from Superdrug’s own line, and those are excellent (and at a lower price point). They don’t come in a diddy pack of 5 though…

Sephora Collection Cleansing & Exfoliating Wipes – Coconut Water

Finishing this pack of wipes was so sad, especially knowing that a repurchase would be very tricky (damn you Sephora, come to the UK already!!!)). I picked these up on holiday in Italy last year, and they were so perfect for the hot climate – refreshing, gentle and deliciously coconut-scented. While maybe not the best for makeup (although, I honestly didn’t wear that much face on holiday), they were so hydrating and lovely to use. I can’t wait to get back to a Sephora and stock up – on everything.


Phew. That was a lot of stuff. I need to stop hoarding, but trying new things (and being able to review them for this blog) is just my favourite thing. Luckily, I’ve already started re-filling the Empties box, so it won’t be long before I get to do another one of these (evil cackle)!

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