Summer Empties 2017 / Haircare & Makeup

Last year I said I’d never let my empties roll over again, but when I got back from honeymoon the thought of doing some empties was honestly boring, one month didn’t seem so bad as I’d left a lot of my empties for June behind, but one month rolled into two months of products I couldn’t be bothered to tackle and this month my box where everything was kept was on the brink of overflowing so I had to spend some time sorting them out this weekend. Never again, she says for now.

This is going to be a two parter, this one is haircare, nails and makeup with everything else coming in the next post. Let’s jump in as there’s a lot!


Boots Nail Polish Remover Pads
I took these away with me in case I needed to redo my gels with normal polish and then needed to redo my polish as well. I didn’t end up using them whilst away and used a few whilst at home but as always with these they appeared to air dry out before I had chance to use them all.
Repurchase? I’m going to try and remember not to!

Sally Hansen Insta Gel Strips Hooray Ombre (review)
I love these but they’re no longer made, I bought the last 8 packs on eBay and I think because they’re quite old now (they haven’t been made for 2/3 years the strips were a bit hit and miss as some of them didn’t remove from the sticky backing and there was a lot of wastage, I used almost 2 packs to do one set of nails (that’s 40 strips). They look really pretty on so it’s a shame they’ve been discontinued.
Repurchase? Can’t!

China Glaze Atlantis (review)
An old fave that I pulled back out as someone commented on an old post of this and it reminded me as it’s one of my all time favourites which hasn’t been worn in ages. Sadly it was dried out beyond repair so I’ve had to wave goodbye.
Repurchase? If I can, I’m about to stalk eBay but I think it’s been gone for a long time!


Kat Von D Lock It Foundation (review)
I used this all summer despite it not being the right shade for me as I just love this stuff too much! I don’t love the new packaging of this as it was a surprise when it came to an end, I couldn’t tell that the marker that was pushing it up was close to the top. All time favourite foundation.
Repurchase? Yes but not immediately, I have a bit of a foundation and concealer overflow at the moment and need to use some up/throw some out as I’ve got a big storage issue on my hands!

Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Concealer
I love this stuff so much, definitely my favourite concealer for under the eye it just blends so well and feels really light whilst offering good coverage. I now have the brightening pale pink toned version which has finally launched in the UK already on the go.
Repurchase? Already have.

Rimmel Volume Shake Mascara (review)
I reviewed this a couple of months ago and put it down to see if the mascara texture would change over the months and whether it could be reinvigorated (as that’s the whole idea of this product). It didn’t really change in the 3/4 months that I’ve owned it, and I didn’t love the mascara so I’ve decided to declutter it as it’s taking up too much space with it’s fat heavy tube
Repurchase? No

L’Oreal Volume Million Lashes Excess
I never got around to reviewing this, I’ve had it for a long time from a beauty box and it’s been open way longer than it should have been. I decided to try and review it this month and get it used up but the formula had turned already so didn’t get chance. This added no volume at all, and was a spiky rubber wand I just didn’t love.
Repurchase? No

Rosie for Autograph Dream Big Lashes (review)
I got this in a beauty box and it really took me by surprise, this still had a little bit of life left in the tube but it was reaching being 4 months old so decided to declutter as I’ve got enough mascaras going on without worrying about using one which has already expired. This was a lovely all rounder, added volume and length and lasted all day.
Repurchase? Can’t this one in particular has been discontinued.

I decided to declutter some sponges from my collection, I reach for the same ones daily and I’ve also been sent some new ones so seemed pointless having a bowl overflowing with half of them unused. I spoke about all of these in my Sponge Showdown where I reviewed all my sponges in detail and said which were my favourites. But I’m saying goodbye to the Nanshy Sponge, 2 My Little Beauty Sponges and the Beauty Bay own brand sponge.

MAC Prep and Prime Skin Base
I placed a couple of orders on MAC’s website recently and picked this as my sample each time. I like this, but I don’t love it especially for the price, it reminds me a lot of the Makeup Forever Smoothing Primer, but it’s not quite as effective.
Repurchase? No

Essence Make Me Brow (review)
The thing I hated about this product was the brush which I found really scratchy, so when I finished up my favourite from Benefit I put Gimme Brows brush in and finished it up over a number of months. I prefer the colour of Gimme Brow and for how long it lasts (4/5 months on a full size), I’d rather spend the money on a product I love and find easier to work with. Okay if you’re on a budget, but not for me. If I was in a real pickle I’d pick this up again as Essence is available in my hometown but Benefit isn’t – but other than that I wouldn’t bother and might be more likely to try something new.

Natural Collection Brow Gel (review)
I put this to the test alongside Essence Make Me Brow trying to find a budget friendly alternative to Gimme Brow and this was the worst of the bunch. Messy and not good, there was no using this up so I decided to toss it out, it was way too warm and orangey and the formula, and brush were awful.
Repurchase? Erm No.

Makeup Forever HD Powder (review)
Considering this was just a sample size this lasted a long time and was used most days. I loved this powder and it worked really well for me. Somewhere I have a sample of the Ultra HD Powder but it may have gotten lost on holiday as I’ve not seen it since.
Repurchase? Maybe but I’m more intrigued at trying something like the RMCA or Ben Nye Powders.

Rimmel Insta Fix and Matte Transluscent Powder
I picked this up after hearing good things and I thought it was okay, but not great. I liked it but I don’t think it’s as good as their Stay Matte powder in terms of oil control. Whilst this is a white translucent powder it does take a while to warm up and not leave a white cast on the skin as a warning. I never got around to reviewing it like I planned to, but I’ve pretty much said all I’ve thought about it in this paragraph and there’s  not much more to elaborate.
Repurchase? No

I decided to bin off two brushes from my collection, the Real Techniques liner brush, this just gets so clogged up with liquid liner I can’t even do my second eye without having to clean it off it renders it basically useless so it’s gone to the bin. The second is the Elf Angled Blush Brush, I’ve glued this back together so many times and it’s persistent on falling apart and I can’t be bothered for such a cheap brush I’m not precious about it so it can go.

Dr Bronners Magic Soap Citrus (review)
My deep makeup brush cleaner of choice is finally empty. This is becoming increasingly hard to find, I always used to by it in TK Maxx where they’d have bottles and bottles of it without fail, but I’ve been on the look out for 4/5 months as I knew mine was coming to an end and they’ve not had any. Might have to admit that I’ll have to pay full price for it, but for now have a shampoo I hated on my hair doing a good job of cleaning my brushes so I’ll come back to this.
Repurchase? Yes in future

Kevyn Aucoin Bronzer
I’m not 100% sure what product this is, but my friend Molly brought this when we all traded makeup over tapas and cocktails. This didn’t blend well at all, I don’t know whether it’s to do with the sample card or the product was just crap, but it’s a shame as the colour was nice!


Soap and Glory The Rushower Dry Shampoo (review)
This was a surprise hit for me as someone who has had a mostly low relationship with S&G. This is my second bottle of the stuff, this smells great, and leaves no cast to the hair and prolongs the need to wash my hair to 3-4 days instead of 1-2.
Repurchase? Yes

Lee Stafford Coco Loco Dry Shampoo
I never gotten around to reviewing it as I used the whole can in about 3 uses. You needed so much of this to do anything, but even then the effects weren’t wowing.
Repurchase? No

Colab Sheer Invisible Dry Shampoo (review)
My favourite out of the colab line formula wise, i took this mini on honeymoon with me – I’m not sure I used it as I washed my hair every day!
Repurchase? Maybe, not my favourite, not the worst.

Schwarzkopf Got 2 B Rise N Shine Hairspray (review)
So good I wrote a whole love letter to it last year. Another bottle gone, another bottle repurchased. Best hairspray ever.
Repurchase? Already have.

Neal and Wolf Velvet Hair Oil (review)
I put this in my first products I’m trying to use up of the year and managed to get through the last third of the bottle pretty quickly. I love the smell of this, but as an oil I’ve definitely had ones which are more effective. I preferred it as a curl smoother over a nourishing treatment.
Repurchase? No

Oribe Dry Texturising Spray
This was bloody terrible for such a hyped up product, I found it made my hair feel dry, and didn’t add much volume (no more than a dry shampoo would have). Thank god I got this in a beauty box as I’d have been disappointed if I’d splashed the cash on this pricey item.
Repurchase? Noooope

Tresemme Cleanse and Replenish Conditioner
Crap, made my hair very dry, was very annoyed I had 900ml to use up.
Repurchase? No

Aussie Miracle Moist conditioner
Bought by mistake, I meant to pick up the shampoo not the conditioner. Liked it didn’t love it as much as 3 minute miracle and despite the fact the bottle is bigger I had to use more of it at a time as it wasn’t as effective and used it up quicker than it’s more intense sister.
Repurchase? No.

Aussie 3 Minute Miracle x 4
I know I used 2 of these up on holiday as well. My favourite conditioner which I always buy on three for two picking up 2 shampoos and 2 conditioners at a time. Works really well and I use it every time I wash my hair to tame my colour treated dry ends
Repurchase? Yes.

L’Oreal Extraordinary Oil Low Shampoo (review)
I reviewed this at the start of the year and I only managed to finish this up in August. This is crap, honestly crap, it’s a creamy shampoo that you also skip conditioning with – it left my roots greasy and my ends like straw. I ended up using this up as a shaving lotion for my legs.
Repurchase? No

Aussie Miracle Moist Shampoo
I know I used up a second bottle of this whilst away but couldn’t be bothered to drag it back with me. My favourite shampoo  by far, but I’ve noticed after about 6 months it’s starting to not be as effective as it was so I’m giving something else a go this time round and will come back to it when that’s empty!
Repurchase? Yes

Schwarzkopf Colour Expert Omegaplex Treatment
I bought these as they sounded suspiciously like Olaplex (I also bought the conditioner from the same line which was in the past empties. This was rubbish, it did nothing, visibly, physically. Good job it didn’t have the price tag of the real thing.
Repurchase? No

Tigi Catwalk Oatmeal and Honey Mask
I love the shampoo and conditioner from this range so when I saw the mask in my local CCO. I decided to try it out, sadly this may as well have been the conditioner it didn’t add any more moisture or repair as what the normal conditioner would have done. The scent of this was also slightly off, not as nice as the main line.
Repurchase? No

Julien Farel Shampoo and Conditioner
I got these in my Tili Box last time and hated them, I found they made my hair so dry, in particular the shampoo which I ended up finishing as a body wash instead.

Kiehl’s Nourishing Fruit Oil Shampoo and Conditioner
I was so impressed with these the last time I tried them that I almost caved for the full size but this time around I noticed nothing that would warrant spending £40+ on the pair!

Directions Cerise Hair Dye
The Pink hair is back! I went through my yearly identity crisis a few weeks ago and dyed my hair on a whim. I had a part open pot of cerise from last year and decided to use it up (I only intended for it to be pastel pink but I didn’t mix anywhere near the right amount of conditioner in). Cerise is a pretty colour but doesn’t last as well as Rose Red from Directions which is now what I have on my hair, they’re similar in colour but Cerise is slightly more of a true pink where as rose red has a hint of red.
Repurchase? Maybe if I couldn’t get Rose Red from my local store.

Lee Stafford Beach Babe Sea Salt Spray
I tried to use this up this summer and the pump is all clogged up and won’t dispense anything, so it’s got tossed and freed up a tiny portion of my hair drawer.
Repurchase? No

Phillip Kingsley Elasticizer Coconut Breeze
I’ve tried with this product over the years, I really have but I honestly can’t tell what difference it makes to my hair. This coconut breeze edition was slightly better smelling than the original, but it’s never going to be a product I’ll understand the hype over!

I used up a lot of shampoo and conditioner samples this month. I won’t go in to too much detail, but for our wedding we had cottages around the venue where we had a lot of guest who were staying. My parents work away a lot for work and my mum has been collecting these bloody samples for years and we put bags into the rooms with products incase people forgot something (I used my old My Little Box Canvas Bags). She declared she didn’t want any of the spares back (there’s loads) and I’ve been gradually working my way through the soaps, shower gels, shampoos and conditioners.

L’Oreal Elvive Exfoliating Scalp was a magazine sample, this was actually really nice and refreshing. I wouldn’t buy it for myself but Ben gets a very irritable scalp so would consider it for him, at the moment his scalp has been behaving so if in future I’ll try and make a mental note of this. Lastly were a few samples from Beever, they got in touch and said they wanted to send me some shampoo and conditioner… I wasn’t expecting it to be two foil packets of each – it was enough to wash my hair with once, and not enough for me to make a judgement on so thanks for sending, but I can’t say any more than that!


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Helpless Whilst Drying




  1. September 6, 2017 / 8:38 am

    πŸ˜‚ I feel your pain. I now have a stash of several months worth of empties. The CG polish is gorgeous😍 Shame when they discontinue things you love. I still need to try the KVD foundation. I need to test them in store for colour. Is it quite heavy coverage? X

  2. September 6, 2017 / 9:54 am

    So many empties even I felt relieved!

  3. September 6, 2017 / 10:34 am

    It always feels good to declutter and get rid of empties doesn’t it?! I love your pink hair and I hope you manage to pick up the right colour from the brand you’re after πŸ™‚

  4. Yiota
    September 6, 2017 / 11:19 am

    Wow you finished so many products!! I love Aussie hair products, especially their leave-in sprays, I have been using and re-purchasing them, they are lovely to my hair! x


  5. rinkydinkyrhi
    September 6, 2017 / 11:30 am

    Annoying as it is that you can’t see the top of the KVD foundation, it looks so satisfying to see it used up! I bought the Aussie 3 Minute Miracle the other day, I think on one of your previous recommendations, and I love it!! xx

    Rhi |

  6. September 6, 2017 / 4:37 pm

    Tsk tsk! You let this pile up again! πŸ˜› But I hear you, empties posts are so time consuming to prepare.
    The Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Concealer is so good – I like the Neutralizer version.
    Those blender sponges look well-loved!
    I’m in the process of setting aside a whole bunch of brushes to declutter. I keep telling myself to stop buying cheap brushes but sometimes they’re really good.
    That’s so annoying about the Lee Stafford Coco Loco Dry Shampoo – gone n 3 uses! I had a dry shampoo like that once – gone after just one use! Give the Colab VOLUME version a try if you haven’t. I prefer it over the invisible one.
    I’ve hoarded hotel toiletries for so many years, it’s ridiculous. Lately, I’ve passed up on the opportunity unless they smell really good.

  7. September 6, 2017 / 5:24 pm

    Woah, that’s some impressive amount of empties!
    I’ve also got the Orebe sample and unfortunately didn’t enjoy it as much as I wanted to. It’s super expensive and there are so many cheaper alternatives on the market that are doing even better!

  8. September 6, 2017 / 6:27 pm

    I’ve heard SO much about that under eye concealer, it sounds amazing πŸ™ŒπŸ» great empties!

  9. September 7, 2017 / 12:15 am

    I love your blog, these are great tips! Definitely will try out some of these products πŸ™‚ I just started blogging but hope to get where you are at someday!

  10. September 8, 2017 / 2:30 am

    Great job using up so much stuff, especially those little sample bottles! Argh they take me forever.

    Super idea to use up a crappy shampoo/conditioner for shaving legs, LOL!

    And that poor China Glaze Atlantis! It looks fine in the pic πŸ™

    • September 8, 2017 / 7:14 am

      I know when I opened it I was so surprised completely dried out though, poor little baby!

      Yep shampoos get used up as body wash and conditioner as leg shaving aid! Most of the ones I’ve got left now aren’t the nice Luxe brands so I’d imagine most of them won’t get used up for their intended use now!

  11. September 10, 2017 / 8:52 am

    Love this post!! It would be great if you could check out my page too:)xx

  12. serena
    September 17, 2017 / 3:10 pm

    So many empties! Well done πŸ™‚ x

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