December 2020 Empties

December 2020 Empties - Helpless Whilst Drying

My December wmpties always feel good to write up, knowing that I managed to finish a bunch of products right towards the end of the year as I head into 2021 with less stuff (let’s not count the new things that made their way in too right?). It also means I can do my yearly review of my spreadsheet and see just how much I managed to get finished up, how much I disliked vs liked etc – it always makes interesting reading, at least for a spreadsheet geek like me. We’ll kick right off and delve straight into my December 2020 Empties.

December 2020 Empties – Makeup

Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in Opal

A lovely highlighter and I can see why this particular colour is a favourite, it’s a very soft and neutral shade that adds just a little bit of glow to the skin, but can be built up to something more intense if desired. I took a look over whether I finished any other highlights in 2020, and I also finished the Wet and Wild Precious Petals one – out of the two, I did actually prefer the Wet and Wild one, although the Becca one was a nice formula. This became my daily highlight once I’d finished the other up, so this mini lasted me from July until I finished around mid-December – probably using on average 3 times a week.
Repurchase? Unlikely, I really don’t purchase highlighters very often and have plenty to use up! I do recommend though if you like soft, neutral colours that have buildable pigmentation.

MUA Pro/Base Banana Blur Primer

I picked this up as I was looking for a cheap primer around summer time and this was in the new in section on Beauty Bay and as an oily skin girl I was drawn to it’s mattifying claims. It was a nice moisturising formula that had a semi-tacky feel. I never got around to reviewing this, but it was fairly good on my oily skin. I found my foundation applied nicely over the top but it also wasn’t a drying silicone formula – it did feel slightly moisturising and added a nice glow under makeup. I normally hate banana scents, and whilst this does have one it’s fairly subtle and doesn’t linger too much. I am about to try the Ole Henriksen banana one out next which came in a set, so I will be interested to see how the different price points compare, this one was really cheap at just £4. If you’re on a budget, it’s worth trying!
Repurchase? Probably not – only as I like testing new primers, but if it fell into my collection again I would use it up

Beauty Pie Lip Oil In Nectar

I kind of used this more like a gloss than a lip oil, I find the formula a lot thicker than lip oil formulas, but was still quite nourishing on the lips – although not as much as I expected. With just a tint of colour this was great on no makeup days for looking and feeling more put together on work zoom calls. Sadly I couldn’t reach the bit that was right at the very end and even after leaving it upside down for a good month it didn’t budge – so I had to sacrifice what was right at the end!
Repurchase? No probably not, I have enough glosses to see me through and wasn’t as nourishing as I’d like from an oil.

Basic Beauty Tools Spongeclean | Review

Sadly this brand is now discontinued, which is a shame as I’d previously worked with them in the past, and this is by far the best makeup sponge and brush cleaner I’d tried and repurchased many times after being sent it in PR. I have one back up left in my cupboard which I’ve just cracked open, but sadly it’s time to start sourcing a replacement.
Please please please leave any recommendations in the comments for great brush and sponge cleaners!
Repurchase? I wish I could!

December 2020 Empties – Fragrance

Jimmy Choo Illicit

This was okay, a very generic fragrance, layered with some fragrances I found a bit too musky for me to tone them down slightly. Wouldn’t purchase.

Burberry Brit Women

A very soft and feminine fragrance, a bit too on the light side for me, good for those who like something subtle

Narciso Ambree

A tiny sample, only managed a single use out of it, very soft and warm fragrance. I think I would like a enjoy a full bottle of this but the size of the sample wasn’t enough to give me a lot to go on it.

Lancome Idole

Another small card sample, this was nice, but there are far nicer perfumes from Lancome I crave being reuited with. Again, too small a sample to gauge a real

December 2020 Empties – Skincare

Pixi Rose Glow Face Mist | Gifted | Review

My second bottle of this, I bloody love this mist whenever I have it and find I run through it by keeping it on my desk for refreshing my face through the day on makeup-free days. Makes the skin look really healthy with oil included but doesn’t leave the skin looking greasy. I love the rose scent of this too, it’s quite subtle.
Repurchase? Yes – but not at the moment, I’m trying to clear down the skincare collection.

Pixi Retinol Tonic | Review

I made an effort to try and get this one finished up towards the end of the year, I ended up still using it too irregularly to see a true difference in my skin, but when I did use it religiously at the beginning of owning it I was able to notice some improvement with the few beginnings of fine lines (oh late twenties, turning 30 hit me like a bus!).
Repurchase? Not at this moment as I find some of the other tonics more suited to my skin type right now, but maybe in future I will return!

Pixi Glow Tonic | Gifted | Review

Surely you’ve heard me talk about this before? I have no idea how many litres I have finished of this over the past few years, but we’ll add another 100ml to the counter! A fabulous glycolic tonic that is strong enough to make a difference, but with enough calming ingredients to also soothe and nourish the skin simulatenously.
Repurchase? Yes, although I’m always well stocked with Glow Tonic!

Ark Age Prepare Moisturiser

I have had this much longer than I should probably admit, when I discovered it half used I decided to try and finish it up. This was a moisturiser aimed at twenties skin in the gear up for ageing. I tended to use this as a night cream as I just found it so heavy on my skin. I didn’t enjoy the texture at all and thought it was contributing to clogging my pores somewhat too, I often woke up in the morning with my skin feeling like it needed a deep cleanse when this was the only product I had used.
Repurchase? No, and it’s discontinued!

Beauty Pie Super Retinol Eye Cream | Review

Whilst using this I didn’t feel like this was doing a massive amount, I didn’t find the formula particularly moisturising and didn’t think it was making any real difference but the product lasted a long while and took a good few months of solidly using it to finish it off. However since I finished it at the beginning of December, I’ve noticed that my under eye area has changed and there’s more lines than what was there a month ago! Current eye cream isn’t cutting it, or this one was working more wonders than I gave it credit for!
Repurchase? I may well do, however I do have a fair few eye creams to get through so I will test through a few of those first and see if I can find something that works. But I am susprised that I feel like I can see a negative difference in a month or so since finishing! 

Fresh Face Essence with Green Coffee

I plucked this out from my cupboard a few months ago as I knew it was a little on the older side as it was from a beauty box and it had never been opened. Intrigued by the idea of Essences I thought delving into my collection was a great place to start. This was more like a thin gel-cream moisturiser with a texture that was lightweight and absorbed instantly on the skin. I tried it in place of moisturiser as well as a layer in a routine and I didn’t think it massively did much, the most enjoyment I got was out of how it felt on the skin.
Repurchase? It’s discontinued – but even so, no!

Superdrug Vitamin E Eye Cream

I found a tiny bit of this remaining in a cupboard and decided to use it up, it only had 3 or 4 uses left over, so I really didn’t get a feel of it enough to comment on. Previously this didn’t belong to me, but it was a lightweight and budget friendly eye cream.
Repurchase? Unlikely, probably best suited to younger skin, I think I need something more intense in my early-thirties!

Garnier Restoring Hemp Sleeping Oil

This came as a magazine freebie and I decided to give it at try, I’ve heard great things about the Hemp range from Garnier, however I no longer buy from them due to their CF being very confusing. I got two uses from this and my skin did feel nice in the morning, however due to getting too much out I did also feel oily. I do think that was a sample application issue that I wouldn’t get with the full size, as it was far too easy to get too much out at once.
Repurchase? No, but if you’re in the market and don’t mind buying from Garnier then this is a budget friendly option that might be worth checking out.

Glamglow Youthmud Face Mask | Review

Another, “shit this is old” find in my cupboard that I decided I should finish up. I guess I had about 4 uses from this in total. Not my favourite mask on the block, not the worst. Certainly wouldn’t be one of my top masks to purchase at it’s price point at a full size product.
Repurchase? nope!

December 2020 Empties – Bodycare

December 2020 Empties - Body Care

Boots Zingy Raspberry and Pomegranate Shower Gel

Discovered this a few years ago and has quickly become my shower gel of choice, and it’s something silly like 90p, I don’t know why I end up purchasing anything else! It’s moisturising, smells nice a little goes a long way.
Repurchase? Yes in future, but I’ve ended up with a basket full of shower gels, mainly from purchasing to top up to get free delivery on boots, so I need towork my way through those.

The Body Shop Ginger Body Scrub

I picked this up from my local outlet, and I believe from research this may be a discontinued item from them. To start I wasn’t keen on the ginger scent at all, but by the time I was close to done I had become rather besotted with the scent of it. It wasn’t as good as my favourite, now discontinued Early Harvest Raspberry which is also discontinued, but it was an effective one none the less with small particles suspended in a gel base.
Repurchase? If I can get my hands on it yes!

December 2020 Empties – Haircare

December 2020 Empties - Hair Dyes and Bleaches

L’Oreal Colorista Bleach x 2

On a bit of a whim I decided to dye the under half of my hair a galaxy rainbow of colours, whilst celebrating drinking prosecco on face time with my sister and brother in law. Normally I’d buy professional bleach but I couldn’t get my hands on what I wanted in the time I was very impulsilvely doing this – I’d seen fairly good results with this bleach in the past and gave it a try. It was okay in it’s lift but made my ends very dry, however it’s been over a year since my last haircut, so, that was to be expected.
Repurchase? Maybe if I’m feeling whimful!

Garnier Olia 4.0 Hair Dye

Another one from the back of the cupboard I can’t really comment on how this applied as I was a bit of an idiot and squeezed in the conditioner instead of the developer and after a few minutes of applying I’d realised what I’d done and add some of the pigment into what I had remaining.
Repurchase? No, overall I also preferred the one I had used previously from Schwarzkopf!

December 2020 Empties - haircare empties

Aussie 3 Minute Miracle Conditioner

Would it be one of my empties without an Aussie shampoo and/or conditioner? Favourite conditioner ever, I’m giving my hair a bit of a break from Aussie as I’ve found my roots seem to be getting used to it, but I’ll be back to this in a few months I’m sure!
Repurchase? Yes, yes, yes, yes.

Alberto Balsam Coconut and Lychee

I picked this up as part of an online supermarket shop as I had ran out of conditioner completely and was looking for something cheap to tie me over for a few days. This smelt lovely, but was absolutely terrible. No idea why it had good reviews, I could barely brush through my hair after using. I ended up using it up as a shaving cream.
Repurchase? Not if I can help it. Note to brain, don’t be tempted again, it’s terrible.

VO5 Heat Protectant Spray

Heat protectant sprays, who knows whether they work or not. This did nothing else to my hair like condition or smooth. it was just a simple heat protector.
Repurchase? Maybe! I have others I’m using up at the moment and need a good declutter in my hair products drawer, so need to make sure I’m at empty for heat protectants before I’m tempted by another!

And that’s a wrap on my December 2020 Empties, I’m already making good progress with finishing some things up in 2021 which is good news as I have a lot of new things waiting to be started that has me all excited. I am also doing a project Pan project this year with some products I’ve found more challenging to finish completely despite best efforts. I’ll be back next week with my yearly empties roundup and stats!

Let me know in the comments what you’re trying to finish up at the moment, or what December 2020 Empties you finished up. Also any glowing recommendations for makeup brush/sponge cleaners are for me to check out too!


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Helpless Whilst Drying




  1. January 4, 2021 / 7:49 am

    You may very well have tried this but Iโ€™ve used Johnsonโ€™s baby shampoo to clean my brushes for years and it works well! Tresemme do a nice heat protector spray, itโ€™s part of their Thermal Creations line I believe. It smells good and keeps hair looking sleek and soft after blow drying/styling ๐Ÿ˜Š well done on finishing Opal too, itโ€™s such a beautiful highlighter and a firm favourite in my collection. Iโ€™ve had my mini for almost four years and there is a dent but Iโ€™m not close to hitting pan haha!

    • rachael
      January 5, 2021 / 2:04 pm

      I’ve become quite good at only using one highlight at a time, so manage to get through them quite quickly now, particularly with ones that are smaller. I’m attempting a project pan one this year with one that’s almost brand new and I suspect that will take the full year to finish off!
      It’s been years since I tried Baby shampoo, I found it worked well on brushes but not sponges – maybe I should give that a try again though!
      i have definitely used that tresseme one in the past, I don’t like their haircare very much in general but remember not minding that!

      • January 6, 2021 / 1:10 am

        Last year when I used one eyeshadow palette per month I paired each one with a different highlighter but I donโ€™t feel guilty about owning the minis from Becca as they still last a good length of time. I donโ€™t use a sponge often but I find the shampoo cleans it well enough.

        • rachael
          January 6, 2021 / 5:08 pm

          Good to know, the foundation I use is really stubborn in sponges – I think if I washed them straight away it might be easier but I leave it until I have none left then do a wash all at once and the full coverage would survive an apocalypse is really difficult to wash out!

  2. January 4, 2021 / 8:55 am

    Wonderful post!!! I love Pixi’s face mists, they are the best!! I always use their glow face mist to set my makeup, and my skin always looks so dewy and healthy!!

    • rachael
      January 5, 2021 / 2:04 pm

      Ooh, I love the Glow Mist too, I would have thought the oil in it would have broken down makeup, next time I grab another I’ll give it a try!

  3. January 5, 2021 / 5:03 am

    All your favorite TBS scents keep getting discontinued :[ I have soooo much skincare I am trying to get through at the moment, I think I bought too much last year.

    • rachael
      January 5, 2021 / 2:09 pm

      Honestly, I think everything I’ve ever properly loved from TBS has been discontinued! I’m thinking about redoing my ensuite, and part of that reason is to give me more/better storage for skincare. That’s when I know it’s become a problem!

      • January 6, 2021 / 4:25 am

        ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚ I love that so much! I’m in a similar-ish situation, totally rethinking the organization in my kitchen solely due to my mug collection!

        • rachael
          January 6, 2021 / 4:44 pm

          My handymen are coming to do my downstairs loo refit next week and I’ve already said, I need to talk to you about rejigging the ensuite and finding out what’s possible. I’m sure he’s going to be like, why do you want to get rid of a bath and put in a wall of cupboards ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚

          • January 7, 2021 / 4:20 am

            Awesome, I mean a wall of cupboards sounds way more useful ๐Ÿ˜€

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