Sunday, 30 August 2015

#MissionEmpties Week 01: Getting the Ball Rolling

To mark the inauguration of the #MissionEmpties Challenge, I figured it important to reflect (and/or keep tabs) on the products I've emptied into digestible weekly chunks. Following it up with some unflattering photography of empty jars, pots, tubes, bottles and the like. Just how do you make used up product look good, especially the ones I hacked away at with scissors? You don't. 
In part, this first week has been a little easy. A lot of the products listed here were very much nearly finished up. I just had a few drops and a few uses of each left. This is all my own hoarder fault.

Lyonsleaf Beauty Balm £12.95 / 55ML
This little wonder product is an expert multi-tasker and I've put it to the test in every possible way. It's a thick, soft balm that melts into a lovely, silky oil when heated slightly. I primarily use it as a cleansing balm as it's very gentle and non-irritating on eyes, while effectively removing make-up. I also use it as a moisturiser, its thick balm-texture creates a barrier on the skin to retain moisture. Finally, I use it as a face mask when I need an extra boost of hydration. This product delivers, and it delivers out of the park. Essential.

I suffer with some insufferable frizz. My hair needs moisture from every angle it can get, the most effective of which being conditioner. This is such a nourishing conditioner, it provides my hair with all the essential moisture it needs without weighing it down or becoming lank. The orange scent is so very faint, but lovely all the same. Essential? You betcha! 
I reviewed this very recently here and decided to finish off the few remaining drops I've been coveting. Yes, I still think it's just divine. This oil is great for offering nourishment and moisture while controlling oil. It's extremely lightweight, so it effectively absorbs, while helping to maintain my skin's balance. Effective, repurchase.

Our Tiny Bees Über Balm £7.95 / 45G
Admittedly, a solid favourite of mine. I'm now on my 4th tin of this little delight, and my psoriasis has never been better. It's an all-natural balm made be our hard working bees. It sinks straight into sink, while supplying me with essential, long-lasting moisture. For years I have been using prescribed medications for my psoriasis, more of which were effective, but had a god-awful scent. The Über Balm smells of sweet, delicious honey. Truly scrumptious. Essential.
I fell in love with this product some time ago (full review here), and that love is still going strong. I received a trail version of the cleanser free with the Bee Good Honey & Camelina Facial Exfoliator (review here), and 30ML is the perfect size for travelling, and due to this being a thick, read cream, it lasts bloody ages. The scent it beautiful, and the results are great. I'm left really clean and fresh and very well moisturised. Hat's off, once more. Effective, repurchase.

Makuka Doctor Normalising Facial Oil £19.99 / 30ML
This is a facial oil that I didn't initially get along with (full review here), and still don't entirely get along with. It's truly wonderfully at oil control and balancing/normalising the overproduction of oil. Just a few drop in the evening will do the trick to see you through the following day. However, this thing smells something horrid. I can't get past that. The results are fantastic, sure, but I've really struggled to use this oil up. Effective, don't repurchase.

La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo [+] £15.50 / 40ML
Perfect for reducing the signs of scarring, imperfections, blemishes: I'm on my second batch of this and it has yet to disappoint (full review here). It has a very light, spreadable texture, which doesn't entirely absorb, so I now reseve it for evening use. It has help reduce the appearance of raised marks I have on my forehead and cheeks. Effective, repurchase.

For the longest time, this was my go-to skin saviour for my psoriasis. But it just wasn't enough to see me through the entire day. While its primary use isn't actually to combat skin conditions, its ability to hydrate and moisturise was perfect for my dry skin. It quickly absorbs, so doesn't leave any transfer onto my clothes, and it smells so fresh and divine. Effective, don't repurchase. 

The Natural Deodorant Co. Clean Deodorant Balm £10.00 / 60ML
Featured here is only a 5ML sample I received this week as part of my order from the Peace & Beauty London Samples Mini Box for £5.00. This is now, very unsurprisingly, completely sold old. It's an all-natural deodorant wet balm, that is scooped up and massaged into your skin. It dries near instantly and has a powdery finish. It smells wonderfully fresh, while keeping my body wonderfully fresh all through the day. It is very super effective and I have already purchased the full size. Effective, repurchase. 

This is actually a 30ML trail version I received free with purchase of the Cleansing Vanity for Combination to Oily Skin value kit. I'm glad I didn't part real money with this because this thing stings. It stings hard. For a make-up remover specific to the eyes, I was expecting it to be very gentle and sensitivity-concious. Nope. It hurts. Instead, I used it to remove eyebrow make-up only, avoiding the actual eye area entirely. Avoid.

Given that, I didn't originally consider this product to be tops (full review here), I went back and purchased it anyway. Hello contrary! It is the fastest product I can find for reducing the appearance of blemishes. It tackles redness and inflammation like a boss, and definitely deserves some credit for that. However, the price tag makes me do an audible gulp every time I see it. I just cannot justify this purchase. Effective, don't repurchase.

I must admit that I am already starting to feel the withdrawal symptoms of my usual skincare routine. My skin has become very out of sync, so I have purchased Balm Balm Frankincense Hydrosol Soothing Facial Tonic (£7.99 / 30ML) and Botanicals Organic Hydrating Mist (£15.00 / 100ML) to help boost hydration and help rebalance my skin. 

Of the 11 products listed here, 9 are of the original pledge. Only 38 more to go...

To catch up on my initial pledge list and rules about the self-directed #MissionEmpties Challenge, read the #MissionEmpties MASTER POST.

Friday, 28 August 2015

Burt's Bees Citrus Facial Scrub: It's Like Cake On Your Face, Instead Of In It

Burt's Bees Citrus Facial Scrub is the most scrumptious facial exfoliator I have ever used. It's like taking a delicious slice of rich fruit cake and massaging the sweet, sugary crumbs into your skin. Let's be honest, isn't this what we've always wanted from cake since the dawn of home baking?

I have used all 3 of Burt's Bees exfoliator offerings now, and let me tell you, Burt's are the king of the gentle and refreshing exfoliation. They are very simple natural exfoliators that avoid the use of any microbeads, using ground up nuts and petals as a substitute. 
Cake in a jar. It's indisputable. The Burt's Bees Citrus Facial Scrub is a super thick, super rich cake-like exfoliator that is 99.96% natural. It loses points because it contains fragrance, sadly. To exfoliate, it uses finely ground almonds, oats, pecans and milled rose petals, very gentle, very natural. Yes, it is gentle, yes it is lovely. 

The thick consistency acts like a cushion, meaning I can apply a little pressure while pushing the cake-like texture around my face, without feeling any discomfort. In fact, it's actually kind of nice, like scratching an itch you didn't know you had. So while it is spongy and bouncy, it still has a nice grittiness to it. This is in no way harsh or abrasive, it's completely friendly and soft. 
I scoop up a bite-sized amount of the mixture and combine it with a little water. I also find it's always best to apply this product to damp skin. This helps to really soften up the product, while still allowing the nuts, oats and petals to work their exfoliating magic. At first it might feel a little tough (cue the cake-analogy once more), but once you begin smoothing it into the skin, it will loosen, becoming a lot more manageable. 

In terms of results, Burt's Bees Citrus Facial Scrub is a simple exfoliator, nothing complex here. It's exfoliation powers are mild in comparison to some of the more heavy duty products out there, but it's a wonderful little refresher to help clear your skin, soften and remove any build-up, while providing moisture and nourishment to the skin.

Burt's Bees Citrus Facial Scrub can be purchased from Burt's Bees for £10.99 / 55G Jar. 

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

#MissionEmpties MASTER POST

Every once in a while an opportunity comes along too perfect to pass, and you need to grab that opportunity with both hands, and wash, tone, nourish and moisturise your face with every last drop of product you have in your bloated stash.  I'm talking about #MissionEmpties.
For anyone out of the loop, @hiddenharmonyworld has challenged those of us with overzealous cosmetic collections to empty as many products as we can between the dates of Monday 24th August - Monday 21st September. That means we've already started, but don't fret, there's still time to catch up, support us and join in yourself! For the full post (and rules/ish) go here.

Quite honestly, this couldn't have come at a better time for me, and I am long overdue an overhaul. This is an issue I've been pandering to for a long time, and making this part of a social goal incites dedication, and then some.

Most of the products featured, are very much nearly finished. I have a terrible habit of holding on the the few remaining drops of a product, because it's my wonder/superstar/go-to/fix-all. There never actually comes a time when I finish it off, because I'm waiting for that moment to put it to good use. This list also includes a lot of repeat purchases, subscription box items and products in my current rotation.

Here's is my pledge of 47 skincare, haircare and bodycare products to polish off over the coming month. Yes, you read right. 47. Yes, I have more products than sense. Yes, I know I'm terrible.


  1. Balance Me Pure Skin Face Wash
  2. Bee Good Honey & Propolis 2-in-1 Cream Cleanser (x2)
  3. Bee Good Honey & Wild Flax Daily Moisturiser
  4. Benefit the POREfessional
  5. Burt’s Bees Citrus Facial Scrub
  6. Clarins Instant Eye Make-Up Remover
  7. Clarins Ultra-Matte Rebalancing Lotion
  8. DHC Deep Cleansing Oil
  9. Innisfree Jeju Volcanic Blackhead Out Balm
  10. JOIK Deep Cleansing Facial Oil
  11. La Roche-Posay Effeclar Duo
  12. Lovea Purifying Pink Clay Face Mask
  13. LUSH Enzymion
  14. LUSH Honey Trap
  15. LUSH Imperialis
  16. LUSH Tea Tree Water
  17. Lyonsleaf Natural Beauty Balm
  18. Mádara Brightening AHA Peel Mask
  19. Manuka Doctor Normalising Facial Oil
  20. Mario Badesku Silver Powder
  21. Origins Original Skin Renewal Serum
  22. Origins Super Spot Remover
  23. Origins United State Balancing Tonic
  24. Pure Chimp Super Face Cream
  25. Pure Chimp Super One (Natural Face Oil)
  26. REN Keep Young and Beautiful Instant Firming Beauty Shot
  27. Skin & Tonic London Calm Balm
  28. Skin Food Black Sugar Mask
  29. The Body Shop Camomile Waterproof Eye & Lips Make-Up Remover
  30. Trilogy Certified Organic Rosehip Oil
  31. Yes to Grapefruit Dark Circle Correcting Eye Cream
  32. Yes to Tomatoes Clearing Face Mask
  33. Yes to Tomatoes Daily Balancing Moisturiser



I may have bitten off more than I can chew here. But the list is there, it's ready, and it's being ticked off one product at a time.

Happy emptying.

Saturday, 22 August 2015

Bee Good Honey & Camelina Facial Exfoliator For A Gentler Way To Exfoliate

Bee Good. I love Bee Good. We know this; I find it just darling, and the Honey & Camelina Facial Exfoliator is no exception. This little number is one of the most gentlest and caring exfoliators I've used, perfect for my sensitive skin, on those days when I need to refresh without a heavy-duty polish.

There are just three little words that perfectly match the sensation, the scent and the effects of using this product: subtle, polite and nurturing. Polite? What a choice, right? But it's so courteous to sensitive skins, that I can't help but consider it to be the most well-mannered skincare I've encountered to date.

To exfoliate, the Honey & Camelina Facial Exfoliator uses finely milled lavender petals. These are super, super soft, so as you massage them into your skin, you'll feel nothing but the cushioned lavender roll across your face. You don't need to apply any pressure for the petals to get to work, just massage in circular motions a few times and your skin will instantly be brighter and clearer.

The petals are carried in a wonderfully rich and creamy formula, that begins thick and then starts to thin as you massage away, eventually turning into a milk when it comes to rinsing. I love how plump it feels. It is an insanely moisturising cream that prevents you from becoming dry or irritated. From the descriptions in the ingredients list, the responsibility seems to lie with the Camelina Oil (a flowering common flax), which helps to reduce moisture-loss while protecting and nourishing the skin. My face feels so lovely and supple after exfoliating, which really is something to cherish.

The thing with exfoliation is that it can leave you feeling polished or buffed. Yuck, okay, just yuck. As this is so, so very gentle, it manages to effectively slough off those dead skin sells without over-smoothing my skin. Meaning, I'm clean and renewed, without that shiny/gloss-like finish. This really is made with sensitivity in mind. So much, in fact, that I can use this daily with absolutely no skin qualms. It's so delicate and non-stripping, with the bonus moisturising benefits after use.

The Honey & Camelina Facial Exfoliator isn't going to work miracles, no, it's far too gentle for that. However, it very effectively cleans my skin, clears build-up and leaves me with a much brighter and radiant complexion after use. My skin is balanced and redness is reduced. But these effects are minor compared to some of the meaner and tougher products I've used.

From what I've found, the bigger the portion size I give myself of this product, the better. Sadly, this product only comes in a 50ML sized tube, meaning, I burn through it pretty fast. Come on, you guys. I'd like to see a minimum of 100ML, for the way in which I like to use it. As it thins fairly quickly, it's difficult to spread as far as you'd expect.

The product has a very subtle sweet and delicious scent that's actually quite comforting to smell. It has a warmness about it, absolutely in-offensive, but beautifully delicate like the rest of the product.

This little wonder is just charming. A delight for my sensitivity, leaving me clear and bright, without over-buffing. Brilliant for those days when I want to remove build-up, but don't want anything too strong to do the job. Scoring Effective, repurchase.

The Honey & Camelina Facial Exfoliator can be purchased from Bee Good for £10.50 / 50ML. 

Monday, 17 August 2015

The Not-so-Lovely Ones: Trilogy Cream Cleanser and Blemish Control Gel

I don't like these products. There, I said it. I had a very, very bad experience with both of these things. Admittedly, one of the products was just faulty and can't be held accountable and Trilogy have rectified that by sending me a free Everything Balm (a kind gesture, I know). But these products are bad. Just bad.

As we know, cream cleansers are one of my favourite ways to cleanse, outside of oils and balms. But the Trilogy Cream Cleanser just plain hurt. It left me dry and vulnerable. As for the Blemish Control Gel, well, let alone the struggles I had with getting the product out of the tube, this thing was very slow to get to work.

These products just did not sit with me.

Trilogy Cream Cleanser

At first glance, I thought I liked the Trilogy Cream Cleanser. It's quite light and thin for a cream, which means it spreads a lot easier and further than others. Yet, once it's massaged in, it begins to thicken-up, behaving more like the traditional cream cleansers we have come to know and love. 

Once it gets thick, it gets sticky, and sticky is when it gets to work. It very effectively cleans the skin and picks up grime. I did not like to use this to remove make-up - I'll stick to oils, thank you - but it was effective at cleaning and clearing the skin. Furthermore, I absolutely loved the way this felt on my lips. It was so conditioning and nourishing. So hats off, for that.

But now we get to the faults. In my books, anything that makes your skin feel dry is a fault. This champions in dry. As soon as I've rinsed away the cleanser and towelled off my skin, I am hit with the horrid sensation of dryness. It's a tough old thing to make oily skin feel dry, but my face - specifically my nose - is left with the burning sensation of aridity. It's actually quite painful. Even after using face mists and facial oils, it's honestly quite difficult to replenish that moisture. 

Dryness and irritation. This, of course, then results in my skin over producing oil to compensate. I don't blame my skin for that, actually, I welcome it. Like I said, it's really quite painful to feel dry and in moisture-lust. 

The Trilogy Cream Cleanser can be purchased from LoveLula for £16.50/100ML.

Blemish Control Gel

Let's get the whole, this-product's-packaging-was-faulty thing out of the way first. This product's packaging was faulty. I think the responsibility might lie with the ingredients and I can peg it down to either the Hectorite Mineral or the Xantham Gum, both of which seem to be used as some sort of thickening agent. Possibly crystallising and hardening during temperature changes, causing them to expand and block the passage. 

The nozzle would frequently become blocked. I could relieve the blockage by gently massaging the tube. The trouble is, when you relieve the blockage, it very quickly comes firing out, three times as much product than you intended. So I burned through this thing, and fast. Or slow, if you count that it took ages to actually access it. 

The Blemish Control Gel itself isn't actually all bad. It's a gel, and as gels go, it's not in the slightest bit sticky. When it dries, I can't feel it or see it on my skin. But, it's runny. That's great because you get good spread, but it also makes it a little messy. There's no real accuracy with this thing, so if you want to target particular areas with it, I wish you good luck.

It's a really gentle little gel, I felt absolutely no discomfort when using it. That's a bonus. But it's quite a slow burner. It takes a considerable time to reduce inflammation and even longer to reduce the size of a blemish. Don't get me wrong, it works, but it likes to take its time about it. 

The Blemish Control Gel can be purchased from LoveLula for £12.50/20ML.

Wednesday, 12 August 2015

The Lovely Ones: Trilogy Hydrating Mist Toner and Certified Organic Rosehip Oil

For those of you who read beauty blogs on the regular, these are two little gems that will not have slipped under your radar. Call it saturation, call it exposure, but after all the positive reviews of these things, I just had to try them for myself. Mission accomplished, right?
Trilogy are a natural skincare brand, sourcing the purest of natural plant oils and botanical extracts. They are big on natural beauty, big on animals and big on conservation. We certainly can't knock that. But, most favourably, they are big on rosehip. It's in, like, everything (well, nearly everything).

The Hydrating Mist Toner is a really gentle and hydrating way to tone and moisturise the skin. Follow this up with the Certified Organic Rosehip Oil, designed for dehydration and scarring, and you've got yourself the perfect duo for keeping your skin healthy and revitalised. 

Hydrating Mist Toner

Now that I've segued from traditional astringent toners to their far more kinder cousin mist toners, my skin has been happier, calmer and healthier. I've never looked back since and the Hydrating Mist Toner is certainly a product to keep in your quick-hydration-boost arsenal.

If there is one thing that can be said about this, and the clue is certainly in the name, this is very lovely and very hydrating. After cleansing, I instantly want some moisture on my face to protect me. This is the quickest way to deliver that. Spray, spray, spray, hey-presto! My skin can breathe and relax. It's definitely best as a quick pick-me-up. The kind of thing now, that I would use throughout the day, as opposed to in my real skincare routine. But that's not a bad thing, as it's definitely something to keep to hand.

When it first comes out of the bottle, it is (un)surprisingly wet, but it also (un)surprisingly dries very quickly. Ideally, I'd like to use this to help carry/distil my oil or moisturiser, but as it dries so quickly, there's little chance of that. This is why I think it's more of a through-the-day pick-me-up. As it dries quickly, you don't have to worry about moisturising your face, as you'll look pretty fresh afterwards.

While it says it's a 'mist', it's more than a little fast and fierce to come out. The product itself is really gentle, but it likes to fire out the nozzle in a way that took my by surprise. The toner will shoot straight onto your skin instead of falling quite gracefully like the BLOOM HYDRATE did (review here).

The scent is fresh and light and certainly very mild. It's not at all distinct or memorable, and that's fine. But it certainly detracts from this being an aromatic experience.

I won't knock this thing for it's ability to hydrate, it's certainly good at that. It's just a little weak everywhere else. The ferocity, the scent, the quick absorption rate. It caters more for a handbag than a cabinet essential.

The Trilogy Hydrating Mist Toner can be purchased from LoveLula for £17.50 / 100ML.

Certified Organic Rosehip Oil

Now this oil, this is the oil our faces have all been waiting for. While it's primary design is to combat dehydration and scarring, it's oh so much more than that. It's hydrating, nourishing, soothing, smoothing, calming, revitalising and a super-duper food for the skin.

The Certified Organic Rosehip Oil comes in a small glass bottle with a pipette. The pipette is actually the most functional one I've used to date. It hooks around slightly at the tip to help prevent and oil from coming loose and accidental spillage. Neat!

This is the first ever facial oil I've been able to use that I can wear for an entire day without needing any other cover (other than SPF, if I'm headed outside). That's right. I don't need to use a primer over this to control oil, I can go super au naturel and no need to worry in the slightest.

I'll only use 2-3 drops of this baby to cover my face. It spreads really quite well but absorbs really quite fast. But that's great, an oil that doesn't leave me oily and prevents further oil? It's the perfect restoration for my skin's moisture balance. While it comes out of the pipette all orangey, it doesn't stain the skin in the slightest.

This is absolutely essential nutrition for my face. My skin feels healthier and looks healthier after using it. I needn't worry about dehydration or oil control, I feel comfortable and fresh and I feel very, very nourished.

The Trilogy Certified Organic Rosehip Oil can be purchased from LoveLula for £16.50 / 20ML.

Sunday, 9 August 2015

LUSH Moisturisers: Enzymion and Imperialis - Not Highly Rated

LUSH Moisturisers... I'm still undecided on this one. Do I like them? I'm so unsure. They have some very common traits that seem to feature amongst all of the LUSH Moisturisers. While I have only purchased Enzymion and Imperialis from the line-up, I have tried Gorgeous, Celestial and Vanishing Cream samples. They are heavy (yet somehow watery?), greasy and not very effective. I guess that wraps up the whole do-I-like-it thing then. The answer is no


Enzymion - the one that is designed for oily skin. Its definitely not designed for my oily skin. In fact, the ingredients are so not what my oily skin needs. Ever. The main ingredient is Cocoa Butter. This is a natural emulsifier that is generally used to moisturise and condition dry and irritated skin... What? Sure, it's nourishing and conditioning, but why is this featured as a star ingredient for this moisturiser. If I'm missing a trick here, someone please enlighten me!

Next up, this thing likes to brag about the fact that it includes a whole freshly squeezed lemon in every pot. Again, what? The thing with lemons is, they are highly acidic. These things are generally used to exfoliate and brighten dark marks. The issue being, that due to their high acidity, they are going to disrupt the pH balance of your skin. This results in over compensating oil production!

Why does my oily skin want any of this? It doesn't. Which is precisely why this thing don't work. 

A note on the fact that this moisturiser is super watery. This is never good for me. Sure, that means it spreads great, but it's so thin and watery that it just slips right off the skin. And because it is watery, it just doesn't hydrate. If anything, it leaves my skin feeling dehydrated and exposed. I am certainly not left to feel moisturised with this moisturiser (ho, ho, ho). It's a moist definitely a nothing product.

So we've established that the ingredients are just nonsense, the product isn't moisturising, it's very dehydrating. Could there actually possibly be anything else wrong with this thing? Yes. Of course there is. It doesn't bloody control oil. Surprise, surprise...

As has already been said, the moisturisers are greasy. From first spread, these things are greasy and it only gets worse from there. It both feels and looks greasy, and since it doesn't control oil, I'll become gradually more slick with grease as the day goes on.

You guess it, I couldn't continue using this thing, I hate this thing, I will never be purchasing this thing again.


Imperialis is one for the combination skins, for the skins that can't quite make their minds up and don't really know what they need. I know my skin type, and it's not combination, but I often tend to foray into products aimed at combination because I generally find them a little more hydrating, and this one is hydrating, hooray! 

The thing is, we're now dealing with both Cocoa Butter and Shea Butter, which are both high up on the ingredients list. This means, we're looking at super nourishing ingredients (that's great, no complaints there), but super buttery and oily textures which aren't compatible with my oily skin (that's not so great, definitely complaints there). 

But, you guessed it, greasy once more. It's greasy going on and remains greasy through the day. But there's on key difference between Imperialis and EnzymionImperialis actually makes my skin feel comfortable and hydrated. I like it. It's one my skin sometimes craves.

I tend to use this product before exercise, to keep my skin hydrated without being suffocated and before applying a particularly dry face mask, to make prevent my face from becoming painfully tight afterwards.

It really is quite refreshing, it's fairly soothing, it's nourishing and hydrating and it smells absolutely wonderful. While it doesn't control oil, it's one I use in situations where I'm not entirely fussed about oil control and want to feed my skin with a little hydration.

Enzymion can be purchased from LUSH for £14.50 for 45G. Imperialis can be purchase from LUSH for £13.50 for 45G. Happy moisturising!