A Year of Empties!10:01
Purchased by me/Contains affiliate links
Hey, remember that time I regularly posted empties on the blogs? Yeah, it's a vague recollection for me, too. Probably because it's been over a year since I posted any empties! Of course, I've still been getting through products and photographing the empties, I just lost track of writing about them. So today, I have a monster empties post - a whole year of them. Let's dive in!
- Swan Nail Polish Remover
This is one of my favourite nail polish removers for a few reasons: it's effective, it's cheap (less than $3NZD a bottle) and it doesn't dry out my nails and the surrounding skin or otherwise leave them looking worse for wear. Unfortunately Uncle Bill's, where I used to buy mine from, appear to have stopped stocking it, which has left me on the hunt for an alternative.
- Cutex Regular Nail Polish Remover
I bought this at Uncle Bill's around the time the Swan brand started disappearing off their shelves, and thought it'd be decent given Cutex's standing as a reputable brands. Unfortunately this remover fell flat for me and was horribly drying.
- Beauty Care Makeup Remover Pads
Love a cheap and cheerful Kmart find! These makeup remover pads are about $3 for two packs of 100, if memory serves, and they hold together well during makeup removal without leaving any linty bits behind. I've repurchased these.
- Glisten & Glow HK Girl Topcoat
The topcoat that knocked Seche Vite off its holy grail perch! This stuff dries incredibly quickly, has a nice amount of shine and doesn't cause shrinkage, which was always an issue with Seche Vite for me. I highly recommend it if you're a fan of quick dry topcoats.
- Fudge Urban Dry Shampoo
A nice enough dry shampoo with a light fragrance that does a serviceable job. The nozzle is quite prone to clogging, though, so I won't repurchase.
- Skinlite Make-Up Cleansing Tissues x2
These wipes pop up in Empties posts pretty much every month, so you'll see them heavily featured in this post! I've been using this brand since I was maybe 18 or 19 and they're great. They effectively remove most makeup, including waterproof mascara, without irritating my eyes or skin. Love that I can pick them up for between $3 and $4.50 at Kmart or The Warehouse too.
- Aotea Embrace Spearmint & Hemp lip balm
These lip balms are locally made on Great Barrier Island (the Maori name for GBI is Aotea) and I wound up purchasing them in bulk as last minute wedding favours when we got married there in January 2015. I had a few leftovers after that and really like them - they're moisturising and smell great. My guests had great feedback too!
- MUA Eyebrow Pencil - Blonde
I didn't quite finish this one, because truth be told, I got really sick of it! This eyebrow pencil always felt a bit too soft to deliver enough definition for my tastes, and the softness also made it feel like the product was clumping up my brow hairs. These days I favour pomades and wax & powder duos, so I wouldn't bother with this again.
- Red Seal Zinc, B6 & Magnesium
I've talked about these supplements in several empties posts before as I used them for a bit over two years to help keep my nails strong. I like them and they work well for me without any side effects (as always, you should check with a medical professional before starting any supplements) but I eventually ditched them in October 2015 and subsequently started using Faby Nail Renew. Nail Renew has worked so well for me that I haven't felt the need to start up the supplements again - you can find my review for it here.
- Natural World Argan Oil Conditioner
I've been using this conditioner for years and my hair never gets sick of it. It perfectly balances rich hydration with a lightweight texture, so it doesn't weigh my hair down or cause it to become oily (I can easily get 3 or 4 days between hair washes using this). Will probably repurchase forever and ever and ever.
- I Love... Blueberry Smoothie Exfoliating Shower Smoothie
One of my favourite shower gels, although I think it may be sadly discontinued now! Uncle Bill's (man, I'm a junkie for that store) had this for a few dollars a tube for ages, and I accumulated quite the supply, but this was the final tube in my stash. The blueberry and yoghurt smell was true-to-life, it lathered up well and had fine exfoliating grit throughout to gently exfoliate. RIP I Love... Blueberry Smoothie. You will be missed.
- Nads Facial Wax Strips
These wax strips were pretty meh for me. They did the job, but often seemed to trigger post waxing break outs. I wouldn't repurchase.
- Estee Lauder Sumptuous Extreme Lash Multiplying Volume Mascara
I really liked this mascara and would definitely repurchase! It lengthens, volumizes and holds curl really well, and I didn't have any issues with smudging or flaking.
- Seche Restore
Nail polish thinner that does the job perfectly. Still on my repurchase list - I keep forgetting to get more!
- Skinlite Make-Up Cleansing Tissues x3
- Red Seal Zinc, B6 & Magnesium
- Mum's Secret Soothe & Repair Moisturizing Cream
This was a sample I was given at a baby store once, and I used it as a hand cream. It's a fairly nice product, it has some thickness to it, like a barrier cream and a light scent, but it didn't wow me enough to track down a larger tube.
- Lip Smacker - Gingerbread Greetings
This was an okay scent. I like Lip Smackers a lot for the flavour range and hydration you get for a pretty low price, but I was pretty over this scent by the end. It's a little more saccharine than true gingerbread.
- LUSH Mother Superior Bubble Bar*
I actually thought we'd finished this ages ago but unearthed the final third of the bar while tidying up our LUSH hoard. This Bubble Bar came from the Mother's Day 2015 collection and had a soft floral and citrus scent, tinting the bath water a light blue. Would consider repurchasing if it was rereleased.
- LUSH Snowman FUN
Oh man, I love the scent of this FUN but the plastic wrap packaging is the absolute worst for storing FUN! They were packaged like this in a 2014 Christmas collection gift box (the permanent range comes in plastic tubs now) and if you get any water in the packaging whatsoever - all too easy to do during use! - then the remaining FUN becomes a runny mess. I would repurchase (and did, the following Christmas) but only in the tubs. Snowman FUN smells like blackcurrant and carrot oil, a refreshingly sweet, but not cloying fragrance.
- Skinlite Make-Up Cleansing Tissues
- Blistex Medicated Relief
A very minty, white tinted balm that didn't really seem to deliver more hydration or healing than your standard lip balm. The white tint was really annoying, too, as you couldn't apply blind without risking looking like a toddler let loose with a zinc stick! Wouldn't buy this again.
- Chapstick Hydration Lock*
This gimmicky Chapstick contained a lip balm on either end of the tube with different flavours and apparently different levels of hydration - one for a quick fix and one for lasting hydration. Really, the only difference I could discern was the flavours.
- Herbal Clear Natural Deodorant
I decided to try natural deodorant in the hopes that it would be gentler to my sensitive underarms than highly perfumed, aluminium-laden regular brands. Well, it didn't irritate my underarms. It also didn't deodorize a thing. I may as well have been applying snake oil!
- Manuka Doctor 3-in-1 Purifying Facial Wipes*
Unfortunately I didn't get on with these wipes at all! They weren't great at removing makeup, dried up very quickly in the packet (I actually didn't get to finish them for that reason), and felt abrasive on my skin.
- Nads Brazilian & Bikini Wax
Further evidence that Nads just isn't the waxing brand for me. When they say 'no backing strips required', what they mean is that you're going to be tugging stray globs of bright red wax from your sensitive bits for hours after and questioning your life choices. Do not like.
- Rainbowlicious Buttercream Sugar Scrub
Love love love these scrubs. They're handmade by relatives of a friend of mine and come in a variety of fragrances. They have lots of exfoliating power courtesy of the sugar but they're mixed with lovely hydrating oils, too, so your skin feels really nice after using them. I think I've finished all mine now though :'(
- Ecoya French Pear Mini Madison Candle
Another lovely scent from Ecoya - I'm such a sucker for their candles! French Pear is light and fresh with a hint of juiciness - it won't knock Vanilla Bean from my top spot, but I do really enjoy it and would repurchase.
- ELF Mineral Face Primer - Tone Adjusting Green
A nice enough primer, especially if you like the silicon-based ones, although the green tint is not remotely strong enough to aid with any colour correction. These days I've been favouring lotion-type primers, so I probably won't repurchase this.
- Skinlite Make-Up Cleansing Tissues x3
- Jack Black Intense Therapy Lip Balm- Natural Mint & Shea Butter
One of my all time favourite lip balms! It hydrates incredibly well and very quickly, it's not too shiny and it smells good too. I need to buy more soon, actually.
- TheBodyNeeds Transparent Finishing Powder
This is a really great and inexpensive finishing powder. It doesn't leave a white cast or go cakey and it helps my makeup to last. Have already repurchased.
- White Glo Toothpaste*
Eh. It's just a toothpaste, I didn't notice any special whitening effects. Only including this as it was in one of my Lust Have It boxes.
- Hair&Me Hair Rejuvenation Treatment*
Another one from a Lust Have It box. While I liked the results - soft, shiny hair with no greasy residue - it feels mega gross going on and has to be kept on for 45 minutes. Would possibly repurchase, if I could be bothered.
- Nu-Pore Face Cleansing Strips
These do a good job of unclogging blackheads and are unhealthily satisfying to check for the removed gunk after use.
- Nair Facial Wax Strips
I much prefer these to the NADS facial wax strips as they do a good job and don't break me out. I'm pretty sure I got these cheap as they were discontinued, though :(
- Swan Nail Polish Remover
- Keratinology by Sunsilk Heat Protection Spray
A decent heat protection spray, no complaints here! Would probably repurchase but I'm currently using another brand.
- L'Oreal Hair Expertise SuperSleek Smoothing & Taming Shampoo*
I really like this range! It's sulfate free, cleanses well and delivers shine. Even though my hair is thick and dry/damaged, it gets weighed down easily, which wasn't a problem with this shampoo. Would repurchase - I'm still using the conditioner!
- Aqua Mineral Velvet Touch Hand & Body Lotion - Midnight Magic
A decent hand cream from a horrible company. I was given this as part of a gift set when I went on maternity leave with Patrick. Aqua Mineral/Dead Sea Mineral kiosks were kicked out by Westfield shopping malls across New Zealand in 2014 after numerous complaints about shady sales tactics, including bullying and targeting vulnerable consumers. You can read an article about the mall ban here.
- Designer Brands Twist N Go Instant Nail Polish Remover & Primer*
I liked this nail polish remover initially, but I really didn't get all that much use from it in the end as it wouldn't seal properly and subsequently all the remover evaporated!
- Real Techniques Miracle Sponge x2
My absolute favourite blender sponge, I've been through quite a few and will continue to repurchase.
- LUSH Honey Bee Bath Bomb
This was a nice bath bomb with a light honey scent, although yellow bath water never seems like the best look!
- LUSH Angels On Bare Skin Cleanser*
I really liked this cleanser because it does a good job of exfoliating as well as cleansing and doesn't leave my skin feeling stripped. The lavender scent is very strong, so watch out for that if you're not a fan of lavender. Would definitely consider repurchasing, although I think my current hoard of cleansers would probably protest!
- SOAK Hair Shine Shampoo*
Another shampoo I really liked using and would consider buying a full size tube of. It left my hair soft and shiny, not weighed down.
- Sassy n Savy Hand Therapy - Jasmine*
I really enjoyed using this hand cream, it was super moisturising and a little went a long way. Jasmine isn't usually a scent I would gravitate towards, but it wasn't overpowering in this hand cream and I wound up quite liking it.
- Trilogy Gentle Facial Exfoliant*
A really nice exfoliant that is as gentle as it promises - although still with enough grit to do the job. Would consider repurchasing, it's a little expensive though.
- Natural World Argan Oil of Morocco Hair Treatment Oil
This is another repeat empty and another of my HG products. My hair loves this oil, it hydrates it well and doesn't weigh it down. I've been repurchasing for years.
- Pantene Pro-V Daily Moisture Renewal Shampoo
I like this shampoo, it cleanses my hair well and helps to hydrate it, plus it's often on special at the supermarket and readily accessible. Will keep repurchasing!
- Bourjois 1001 Lashes Mascara
An old favourite which is sadly discontinued! I hoarded a few tubes of this, but I think this was my last one. Probably a good thing as I have several other mascara to get through at the mo!
- Notoriously Morbid Night Kiss Balm - Butchered Toffee & Mystik Spiral
Notoriously Morbid's Night Kiss Balms have taken over the role Lip Smackers previously held for me, with their huge flavour range, all of which are very true to life, and reasonable price of $3USD. They're very hydrating and too collectable for my own good - I have at least fourteen in rotation at the moment. Butchered Toffee was the first one I finished, and I finished faster than I think I've ever finished a lip balm in my life, because it's the most beautiful buttery caramel scent. It smells as if you're stirring a pot of homemade caramel, absolutely divine. I've already repurchased this scent. Mystik Spiral was a mini balm from one of the limited edition Vanishing Cabinet subscriptions, and is white chocolate dipped waffle cone flavoured - so moreish! That particular flavour isn't available in the permanent Night Kiss balm lineup, but it is available in the new Slumber Salves, which are intensely moisturising overnight lip treatments.
- Aotea Embrace Spearmint & Hemp lip balm
- Karen Murrell Moisture Stick*
This lip balm comes with a bit of a luxe price tag at $30, but the incredible hydration it offers is nothing to scoff at. It's light and semi-matte on the lips, so it doesn't look like you're wearing anything and it makes a good balm for layering over, if that's your jam. Will definitely repurchase.
- LA Fresh Travel-Lite Makeup Remover Wipe
I actually can't remember much about this particular wipe, other than that there was only one in the packet so it's little wonder it didn't leave a lasting impression.
- Makeup.co.nz Antibacterial Wipes
These were a freebie with purchase from makeup.co.nz and did a good enough job removing makeup. Nice to get a useful freebie!
- Essenza Fuss Free Naturals Micellar Cleansing Wipes*
I liked these, they're gentle on the skin but the wipes have an embossed texture that really helps to grab and lift at your makeup. Would repurchase.
- Burt's Bees Peach & Willow Bark Exfoliating Facial Cleansing Towelettes*
These do a good job of removing makeup, but they smell like orange Pamol and the heavy fragrance hurt my eyes.
- Skinlite Makeup Cleansing Tissues x5 (2 cucumber, 3 lavender)
At last, we're coming to the end!
- Natural World Argan Oil of Morocco Conditioner
- LUSH Snowman FUN
- LUSH Santa's Belly Shower Jelly
Technically one of Noel's empties, but he kindly let me share :) I was so-so about the scent of this Shower Jelly (apple and wine) but Noel liked it, and we both liked the addition of tiny stars strewn throughout the jelly.
- LUSH 93,000 Miles Shower Jelly
I bought this for Mike as it's supposed to help soothe muscles after exercise (Mike plays football). He didn't think it made a big difference with his muscles, but it got him clean, which is pretty crucial after a game of football, and he didn't mind the scent (eucalyptus and mint).
- LUSH Yummy Mummy Shower Gel*
I was so sad to finish this shower gel, even though I have another bottle from this year's Mother's Day release waiting to be used - I just love it so much! It combines geranium, tonka oil, strawberry and Brazilian orange oil to create a sweet, fresh and slightly floral scent which is just undeniably yummy. If they re-release it, I'll definitely repurchase.
- Skinlite Make-Up Cleansing Wipes x3
- Neutrogena Make-Up Remover Cleansing Towelettes*
I liked these wipes, they removed my makeup really well without irritating my eyes. They are a lot pricier than my tried and trued Skinlite wipes though, so I can't see myself making a permanent switch.
- PHR Recovery Leave-In Moisturiser*
I didn't get on well with this leave-in hair conditioner, it left my hair largely unchanged, albeit becoming greasy much quicker than it usually does between washes. I wouldn't bother with this again.
- Nutrimetics Botanicals Black Cherry Refreshing Shower Gel
This was a nice shower gel, it lathered well and the black cherry fragrance was fairly authentic. The hanging format leaked a lot though, leaving puddles of dark red goo at the bottom of the shower at random intervals, so I didn't really get the most out of it.
- Argania Hair Oil Light*
My hair loved this oil and I finished up the wee sample bottle pretty quickly! It smells lovely and the texture is as nice and light as the bottle promises.
- China Glaze Purple Panic
One of my first ever China Glaze nail polishes which sadly reached the point of no return that no amount of nail polish thinner could save it from. I'd repurchase, but I probably have dupes, so it's hard to justify!
- Kiehls Ultimate Strength Hand Salve*
This is a very effective hand cream with great lasting hydration, although I wasn't so keen on the smell, which was very petrol-y. Worth checking out if you suffer from perpetually dry hands.
- Notoriously Morbid Night Kiss Balm - Day-O!
Yep, another Notoriously Morbid balm! Day-O! was a limited edition banana scented balm from a Beetlejuice themed Vanishing Cabinet last year. It wasn't my favourite scent ever, although it did grow on me and the formula was great as usual.
- Blistex Lip Balm - Tangy Mango Mania
A cheerful little offering from Blistex which I'm pretty sure was limited edition, this balm was pleasant to use and has a flavour reminiscent of Raro Navel Orange juice sachets (if you're a Kiwi like me, you might remember devouring those like bags of sherbert as a kid!). Really yummy, I'd consider picking it up if I saw it again.
- Fyrinnae Pixie Epoxy
Gosh, I almost can't believe I've actually finished a tube of this stuff, it lasted me so long! Pixie Epoxy is a tacky base used in conjunction with a regular eyeshadow primer to maximise colour pay off, sparkle and duochrome effect. If you're a big fan of indie eyeshadows, which generally offer more complex finishes but fewer filler ingredients than mainstream brands, you absolutely need to give it a whirl because the results you get with it are incredible. Although Fyrinnae don't make any promises about it making your eye makeup last longer, I always find that it helps my eyeshadow wear like iron, which was a bit of a revelation after years of creasey eyeshadow on these stubborn oily lids. I've already repurchased and will do so again and again.
- Ulta3 Volume & Length Mascara*
This mascara is an absolute gem, especially for the price. It lifts and curls lashes, delivers volume and separation and doesn't flake or smudge. One of the best 'drugstore' mascaras I've ever used! I haven't seen it in NZ shops yet (mine came from a Lust Have It subscription) or I'd definitely pick up another tube (or two).
- SOAK Hair Revive Conditioner*
I liked this just as much as the shampoo, it's a nice nourishing conditioner that you don't need a lot of to get the job done. Would consider repurchasing.
- LUSH Gold FUN
This FUN is a must for lovers of Honey I Washed The Kids, it smells absolutely divine! Sadly LUSH don't seem to be making the individual scented colours any more, just the tubs of mixed colours, so I don't know if this one will be returning. If it is though, I'd consider getting it again, although it's good to know I can get my fix through the original Honey I Washed The Kids soap and shower gel.
- LUSH Karma Bubble Bar
Karma was one of my first LUSH soaps and first loves from the brand so I was quite excited to try the bubble bar version at last! It doesn't disappoint, yielding plenty of bubbles and Karma's bright, citrusy fragrance comes through strongly. Would definitely buy again.
- LUSH Fluffy Egg Bath Bomb
This bath bomb came from this year's Easter release and I was quite excited to use it because it's bright pink and dotted with a flower! But it was quite a disappointment in the end as it sank to the bottom of the tub and I didn't get to see any of the fizzing effects on the water's surface. Lame. It smelled lovely though - it shares the same scent as the cult favourite Snow Fairy - and made my bath water a nice bright pink. I don't know if I'd bother with it again though, I like a bit of a show with a bath bomb!
- LUSH Milky Bar Bubble Bar
This bubble bar is POTENT - we broke it into thirds to use, and while it's already a fairly small bubble bar, each third still delivered heaps of bubbles. It doesn't tint the bath water either beyond a bit of sparkle on the shimmery cap end, so it's ideal for mixing with colourful bath bombs.
- LUSH Fizzbanger Bath Bomb
A repeat purchase by the boys here - I think this is our third Fizzbanger? It's a great bath bomb, especially if you like a lot of pomp and show, whizzing yellow and blue all over the bath and eventually turning the bath water green. It's not a terribly expensive bath bomb at $7.90, either, so no doubt we'll be getting this again! See it in action on my Instagram.
- LUSH Yog Nog Bath Bomb
I'm SO sad this isn't returning for the Christmas collection this year, the Yog Nog scent is one of my all time favourites from LUSH! In bath bomb form it pairs the lightly spiced toffee scent with a bath melt centre, guaranteed to leave your skin feeling amazing. Fingers crossed it'll be back next year as I'll definitely repurchase.
- LUSH Ladybird Bubble Bar*
This was was a really fun addition to the Mother's Day lineup this year that we enjoyed using. It gives loads of bubbles and tints the water a bright red, and smells sweet with an undertone of peppermint to prevent it being too sickly. I'll look at repurchasing if it returns next Mother's Day.
- LUSH Blackberry Bath Bomb
I know this post has been strewn with limited edition LUSH offerings, but here at last is a permanent item: Blackberry bath bomb. Noel picked this one out a while ago and I must confess I'd always overlooked it in favour of the showier bombs on offer, but really enjoyed it in use. It leans more floral than fruity and tints the bath water a soft purple. The kids loved the 'bang!' message that pops out of the bomb towards the end, too.
- LUSH Rose Bombshell Bath Bomb*
Another one from this year's Mother's Day collection, the 2016 version of Rose Bombshell is markedly different to the previous year's release. This one is bright pink with swirls of green and made for a really beautiful rose tinted bath complete with a smattering of rose petals. I really, really enjoyed it and definitely will repurchase if it returns next year. The 2015 version was one I enjoyed too, but it was a bit more subdued, being cream in colour with no big explosion of colour and effect. Here it is in action on our Instagram.
- LUSH The Experimenter Bath Bomb
Noel received this for his birthday and it was SO much fun to see it streaming rainbow coloured foam around the bath tub. Although one of LUSH's more expensive bath bombs, it's one we'll definitely repurchase as a treat just for the sheer fun of this bomb. You can see it in full effect on our Instagram page.
Phew! Well done if you've made it this far. What have you finished up recently?
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