The Big Empties Clearout – Part 1

The Big Empties Clearout – Part 1

I’ve neglected my Empties since mid-July and as they piled up I wondered whether anyone was still actually interested in reading and hearing about them but after two reassuring instagram polls, the answer was a resounding yes to them still being featured. I was starting to find the last Ten Empties posts a little boring to put together – whilst it helped me keep on top of the trash, I found sometimes I’d need to post two a week and I felt like for me writing I wasn’t as interested. It was finally when my box was overflowing I decided I had to make a decision on what to do.

So, I decided to film it – however I had a cough and when I came to edit it I was too annoyed watching it let alone to let anyone else. I’ve not had chance to refilm and quite frankly I’m sick of the sight of a giant Primark bag filled to the top with recycling, so I had to get it out the door this weekend! This will be a little less in depth than my normal empties as I’ve finished over 70 products up since July writing about them all was going to take some time. I do still plan on doing this in a different way going forward, but I’ve bought myself some time to decide what to do. So here’s part one – my Skincare, Fragrance, General Consumables and Nail Empties.


Pixi Glow Tonic 250ml & 100ml | 100ml gifted, 250ml purchased
Glow Tonic has been my main go to all year, I’ve used it pretty much as my main tonic and my skin has looked radiant for the most part, I definitely put it down to this. I took a break from this for a few weeks and I could really see the difference of me not using it regularly. I’ve been using these to refill the large pump bottle I was also gifted as it’s very handy for lazy bedside table application. Reviewed here.
Repurchase? I still have a lot of other bottles left, but I would repurchase if not

Pixi Glow Tonic Cleansing Gel | Gifted
This was okay for a gel cleanser, but not my favourite formula in general. Didn’t find the glycolic aspect did much in this product, but I used it up as a quick face wash in the shower. Reviewed here.
Repurchase? No, but I would use it again if I was sent it

Pixi Rose Caviar Essence | Gifted
I like how this skin feels on my skin, it was particularly refreshing on hot summer nights, but it was like using a very light moisturiser. I’m not sure I would purchase it, but I did like using it, it was also good for mixing in with other moisturisers if I wanted to make something feel very light. Reviewed here.
Repurchase? No, but would happily use if I was gifted again.

Pixi Phenomonal Gel Moisturiser | Repurchase
I really liked this, it was light and refreshing gel cream moisturiser which I find really good on my oily skin. It played well with serums and mixing/layering with other products. Reviewed here.
Repurchase? Maybe, it was a little expensive for how quick I went through it.

Mario Badescu Seaweed Cleansing Soap
I use this every time I shower, it keeps breakouts at bay for me and is some kind of skin magic. Not good at removing makeup, a thick creamy formula that the ingredients of my skin are just A+++ compatible. Reviewed here previously. I really, really want to purchase this but I am on a no-buy so need to finish other cleansers off first.
Repurchase? Yes.

DHC Deep Cleansing Oil 30ml
I’m not the biggest fan of cleansing oils and I’ve had this in my cupboard for years, this was okay but found this smelt a little waxy. It melted down makeup well and I’m actually looking forward to finishing up the other one of these which has also been gathering dust. I’m going to take it away with me this weekend coming.
Repurchase? No

Kiehl’s Turmeric and Cranberry Mask
Brightening and exfoliating with rounded cranberry seeds which are quite soft feeling, it’s also a thick clay like base which mattifies the skin also. When I first purchased this when it launched, it was £28, it’s now £36. Reviewed here.
Repurchase? Maybe, it’s price hike is off-putting but I got a lot of uses out of this pot. I have other face masks I need to finish up, but I would consider it in future.

Pixi Double Cleanse
One of my favourite cleansers, it was in last year’s yearly favourites. I like both sides of this clever little pot and my skin seems to be at it’s best when I use this, one side is a cleansing oil which melts down makeup very easily, whilst the other is a cleansing cream which soothes and nourishes. Reviewed here.
Repurchase? Yes!

Carmex Lip Balm
Carmex is my favourite lip balm by far, I love the light tingle it gives the lips which makes me think it’s working! I have a lip balm by my bedside that I put on most mornings and every evening and this was my last one that I finished.
Repurchase? I have one of the squeezy tubes nearly finished, but I will repurchase this in future.

Urban Decay Lip Love
I got this in a beauty box a while ago, it’s been repackaged and discontinued since. I ended up whizzing through this at my old job as it was a blend between a gloss and a balm and as it was completely clear I could just smudge it on my desk without having to get up and about. It was okay, but the honey content did give it a bit of a strange scent.
Repurchase? Discontinued

Boots Cucumber Facial Wipes
I try to buy wipes rarely, and I’ve had these in my cupboard for ages. Normally picked up because they are cheap – but I need to make sure I’m purchasing biodegradable ones in future on the rare occasions I do need something like this.
Repurchase? Not unless they are made biodegradable.

Spacemasks Original
Heating eye masks which are relaxing. Supposedly smells of Jasmine, but I couldn’t smell anything. Relaxing when I was ill and struggling to sleep, but at £3 per use they are a pretty pricey treat.
Repurchase? Maybe as a rare treat


Bluesky Base Coat 10ml
Great budget friendly gel base coat, I use this system exclusively now.
Repurchase? Yes already have

Bluesky No Wipe Top Coat 15ml
I really like this base coat as it requires no admin after and needing to wipe it down. I recommend picking up the 15ml bottles as you get 50% more for only £1 extra.
Repurchase? Yes already have.


Juicy Couture Viva La Juicy Glace 50ml
A lighter version of the original I purchased this around Mother’s Day and it became my go to for work.
Repurchase? Discontinued, can be found on some discount fragrance sites.

YSL Libre
I really enjoyed my sample of this, it reminded me of a twist of Dior Pure Poison which I wore a lot in my teenage years. Would consider buying.

Stella McCartney Stella (Secret Scent Box Subscription – Gifted)
A classic fragrance, thought this was nice – good for autumn. If I saw this cheaply I’d be tempted to pick it up.

Tommy Hilfiger Tommy Girl Sunkissed (Secret Scent Box Subscription – Gifted)
I liked this it was an easy every day kind of scent, quite fresh and summery as the name would suggest.

Paco Rabanne Lady Million Empire
I enjoyed this sample, it does remind me of one of my favourite scents Olympea from Paco Rabanne, but I didn’t like it as much to think about adding it into my perfume collection instead of Olympea.

Dior Joy Perfume
It’s the second time I’ve ended up with a sample of this, I think it’s a nice enough fragrance, but it’s not unique enough for me to spend at Dior prices!

Gallicant Brooklyn 8ml (Sniph Subscription – Gifted)
I really liked the Sniph subscription as the brands they have are really unusual. This was a really nice perfume with some quite unique notes. Fresh and summery I used this mostly through August. I would recommend Sniph if you like to trial more unusual fragrance brands, but prepare for those brands to me more difficult to hunt down online. Review here.

Gucci Guilty & Missoni Woman (Scentaddict Subscription – Gifted)
I was gifted a few months of the Scentaddict subscription from the Fragrance Shop, I had a limited list of perfumes to pick from but they have a much bigger selection online if you were picking as a customer. I preferred Gucci Guilty out of the two, I liked Missoni Woman, but not enough to buy. Would consider buying Gucci Guilty. I’d recommend the Scentaddict subscription if you want to try familiar perfumes, you can add what you want to try to your list so you can decided if they are for you or not before purchasing. Review here.


Beauty Works Sponge
I used to love these purple sponges but have since mostly moved on to a different brand. I started washing my sponges every now and again in the washing machine, this one had a tear in before it went in and came out in halves.
Repurchase? Unlikely, I have a few spare still lingering but like I mentioned I now use a different brand now (Basic Beauty Tools)

Violet Voss Brush Soap
I have had a Violet Voss brush soap before (review here) and I didn’t realise this was a tiny one! I bought it on sale and when it arrived I was shocked that I had spent £6 on this. It’s a good size if you travel a lot but I only managed to get about 30 brushes washed with this before it was gone!
Repurchase? Larger size maybe, this size nope.

Johnson’s Baby Shampoo
I use this to wash brushes and shampoos, easy and cheap thing that I often swap between. I do find the Johnson’s one is better than own brand alternatives that I’ve tried.
Repurchase? Yes at some point

Lifeology It’s Not Just a Shower It’s Therapy Body Wash (Gifted)
I’m pretty sure I was gifted this in Christmas sets last year, whilst this is a body wash I ended up using it on my brushes as I had ran out of things in the cupboard. This was actually really effective so I ended up using it up. As a body wash I’m sure the scent would be lovely too and the other products from the Lifeology have been good that I’ve tried.
Repurchase? Maybe

Wilkinson Sword Eyebrow Shaper 3 Pack
I completely slagged these off when they arrived in a Glossybox at the start of the year, but other than a few awkward eyebrow hairs I’ve used these all year to do my eyebrows. I take it back, I’ll be happy to see them again in any future boxes! These are so easy to do your brows with and get such a precise finish.
Repurchase? Helllllllllll yeah.

Venus Tropical Shaver (3 Pack)
I’ve spoken about these before and some people messaged saying thanks for mentioning that they existed so I wanted to mention again! The non replaceable head packs are so much cheaper than. Whilst I’m trying to cut down on plastic waste, these are so much cheaper for the same heads. The
Repurchase? Yes

General Consumables

When you don’t know how to display them

Tesco Fred and Flo Cotton Wool Pads 
Recommend baby cotton wool as they’re stronger, softer and often cheaper thanks to lack of VAT on them! These ones were good and a nice large square.
Repurchase? Yes

Superdrug 100% Pure Cotton Wool Rounds
Didn’t love these, too small and quite thin, I had to use multiples at a time.
Repurchase? Not if I can help it.

Wilko Baby Maxi Oval Pads
These are some of the best cotton wool ones and they’re always really cheap so I often pick these up as I’m passing through Wilkos.
Repurchase? Yes

Boots Cotton Wool Rounds (Twinpack)
These are moderately better than the Superdrug ones – I used these most for nail polish removal rather than makeup removal and they don’t disintegrate or shred easily, which is good with stubborn glitters.
Repurchase? Maybe

Aquafresh Triple Protection / Oral B 3D Luxe White Perfection /Colgate Max White Shine Crystals
I think when it gets to next year I’m going to stop including toothpastes, I used to include them as I got sent them a lot and I didn’t think it was fair to mention the gifted ones and not compare them to ones I’ve purchased, but it’s been a long time since I was sent a toothpaste, so they feel a bit out of place now. I liked the Colgate Max White, fresh and minty and foamed up well. I liked the Oral B White Luxe, I thought it was quite good at whitening. I didn’t like the Aquafresh, the flavour was fine but it didn’t foam up as well as others and didn’t leave my whole mouth feeling as fresh.

If you made it to the end, please leave a comment so I can personally congratulate you. I might split up my next one into smaller two – it’s definitely longer written out than when I filmed it! Let me know if you’ve tried any of these before and whether you agreed with my opinions or not.


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Helpless Whilst Drying




  1. November 7, 2019 / 7:49 am

    80 products since July?! Your poor sponge, sorry to hear the washing machine damaged it. I’ve heard of people putting their sponges in the microwave with a bowl of something and it’s supposed to clean them and sterilise them to get rid of bacteria, would be such a faff to do though haha. Johnson’s baby shampoo is what I use for my brushes too, it really is so good! Looking forward to your next post/s xx

    • rachael
      November 7, 2019 / 11:30 am

      I’ve never tried the microwave trick as ours broke a few years ago and we haven’t felt the need to replace it yet, about 3 times a year I miss the microwave! The sponge went in with a tear in it in the first place so I think the machine encouraged it out, I think really I should be washing them in a lingerie bag so they’re more protected.
      Johnson’s is a good product that’s easy to get hold of!

      • November 7, 2019 / 5:51 pm

        Microwaves are good to have but not a necessity. A lingerie bag is a good idea x

        • rachael
          November 8, 2019 / 9:33 am

          I think when we have children at some point we will need one again, but I would use it for warming up cold butter most which is an expensive gadget to have just for that use! haha

          • November 8, 2019 / 10:45 am

            Ours mostly gets used to reheat leftover food, and melt butter for baking. It is useful to warm up a wheat bag too but not a must have appliance by any means.

          • rachael
            November 8, 2019 / 11:02 am

            Most of the things we have left over are stuff that we put back in the oven like pasta bakes and lasagne, it’s always funny when people come over and say I couldn’t live without one! We just make sure we’ve got out anything that might need defrosting in the morning!

  2. November 7, 2019 / 10:42 pm

    I have never considered putting my beauty sponges in the washing machine! Sounds like quite a genius idea too but I wonder how many sponges would withstand the test? I do need to get some new fresh sponges though. Maybe when 2020 creeps in.

    My empties bag is quickly filling up too – I put mine in a Zara bag haha!

    Totally agree with you about the Pixi Glow Tonic. I have noticed such a difference to my skin – almost glowy even if I’m not wearing makeup!

    • rachael
      November 8, 2019 / 9:32 am

      So far all shapes and sizes have been okay – this one had a tear in it when it went in, so I think it was encouraged to rip! I did just do a stock up on sponges as my favourite ones were looking to look a little worn, I’ve kept them for when I’ve been lazy and not got clean ones, but I’ll try to avoid them as they’re not giving the smoothest application now!

      That’s so good you’ve found Pixi Glow Tonic good – I know some people don’t think it’s worth it and think the cheaper ones are just as good, but there’s something about that overall formula that my skin likes the best!

    • November 16, 2019 / 7:22 pm

      My empties bag is full too *LOL* procrastinating hard on the empties reviews.

      • rachael
        November 20, 2019 / 1:24 pm

        I have been procrastinating on the second half! Today I plan to finish it off!

  3. November 13, 2019 / 5:34 am

    Ooo I wish I could say I have 80 empties sitting around, that would mean I have 80 less things to try 😛 I really did not enjoy the DHC Cleansing Oil either, I got a sample of it about a year ago and thought it was too thin and funny scented. I like my cleansing oils to have a bit of body, nothing worse than having half of it run all over your hands before you can get it to your face. Seeing your gels reminds me I need to use mine more, I was gifted an OPI set earlier in the year and have not touched them since!

    • rachael
      November 13, 2019 / 1:50 pm

      Haha, I’ve already finished up another 8 products since last week! I always think I’m slowing down with finishing stuff up and then it’s like oh that’s empty, and that, and that! My consumption is definitely a bit scary, but I suppose I’m actually using things and thank god for the few bits of PR I get that keep bills not as high haha!
      The DHC is a bit weird, it’s like an olive oil. I go between phases of normal polish, gel and can’t be bothered. At the minute I’m between gel and can’t be bothered as a phase, my nails definitely grow longer when I have gel on though!

  4. November 16, 2019 / 7:21 pm

    Wahaha I love your comment on DHC cleansing oil. Gathering dust *LOL* I love that stuff! It is one of my most purchased skincare of all time. It is one of those long standing Asian cult favourite product. Been a no. 1 in Japan since the late 90s or longer. People usually hate it or love it though.

    I still have not bought anything from Pixi~~ somehow I always chicken out at the last minute. I need to try it out one of these days.

    • rachael
      November 20, 2019 / 1:25 pm

      I don’t dislike the product that much I find it quite effective, it’s just the smell that puts me off!

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