Saturday, May 21, 2022

Cosmetips X Katie Jane Hughes Beauty Edit

*PR Samples

**This post contains some affiliate links

 

 

A couple of weeks ago I ordered the Cosmetips X Katie Jane Hughes Beauty Edit. I had seen Katie run through the products on Instagram and I loved how all of the brands included were ones I've seen her mention repeatedly. I have a rule about Influencer collaborations now, I try to take the specific person's name out of it and ask myself if I would buy the product(s) if their name wasn't attached to it. I suppose in this case it's different because it's a mixture of different brands several of which were introduced to me by Katie (Glossier, Bodyography, Tower 28, Danessa Myricks). It's ten different brands and eleven full size products with a retail value of £549, all for £115. I had to pay for shipping and customs too so it did work out more expensive but still a lot less than if you were to buy these products individually. I didn't necessarily need any of these products but I have bought both REN products and the Glossier Lip Gloss several times each and I owned ten of the Bodyography Glitter Pigments already so I knew I would love Celestial too. I've been wanting to try Tower 28, Votary and Omorovicza for a long time and I have some Amika hair products which I love, the Curl Cream and Curl Gel. I've never tried Shiseido Skincare or Elemis so I was very excited to have those two products too. It's a lot of money to spend but if you have the budget I really think it's such excellent value.

 

The Edit consists of :

 

Votary Intense Night Oil- Rosehip and Retinoid, 50 ml- £135

Tower 28 SuperDew Highlighter Balm- £17

REN Perfect Canvas Clean Jelly Oil Cleanser, 100ml- £28

REN Ready Steady Glow Daily AHA Tonic, 250ml- £28

Bodyography Glitter Pigment (Celestial)- £20

Elemis Pro-Collagen Overnight Matrix, 30ml- £102

Danessa Myricks Beauty Dewy Cheek & Lip Palette (Dew It Flirty)- £31.50

Shiseido Intensive WrinkleSpot Treatment, 20ml- £90

Amika The Kure Intense Bond Repair Mask, 250ml- £28

Glossier Lip Gloss- £11

Omorovicza Queen of Hungary Mist, 100ml- £59

 

I haven't tried any of the skincare or haircare yet as I'm trying to use what I already have open but I couldn't wait to get the makeup products on my face. I've only used the makeup a few times over the past couple of weeks so I don't have fully formed opinions on them yet, however so far I have been enjoying using all of them. The only one I've tried before is the Glossier Lip Gloss which I have already reviewed in full if you wish to read that post (you can also see it worn alone here). I wanted the main focus of the look to be the Bodyography Glitter Pigment in Celestial (read another post about the Bodyography Glitter pigments here) and the Danessa Myricks palette on my cheeks and lips. The only product I was unsure about was the Tower 28 SuperDew Balm as I already have the Danessa Myricks Dew Wet Balm in Clear. I don't think I need two clear face balms however I love the texture of the Tower 28 one and it's definitely made me sure that I want to try more of their products now. It's a very simple look, I just applied some of the Violette_FR Yeux Paint Matte in Tendre Corail as a base on my eyes and then patted Celestial in the centre on my eyelid and in the centre of my lower lash line and blended it out on either side slightly with another clean finger. It's basically a quick Halo/Spotlight eye. I mixed Tease and Coquette in the Dewy Cheek and Lip Palette on both my cheeks and lips. 

I wanted fresh, glowing skin so I used the Ultra Violette Queen Screen SPF 50+ which I got a couple of months ago and have been absolutely loving. It's ideal for anyone with dry skin or anyone who likes a glow. It's almost like a milky serum and it leaves a radiant finish to your skin, almost like a hydrating primer. I don't know if I'd be able to wear such a glowy SPF in the Summer as I tend to overheat quite easily and I usually go for more mattifying products to combat the hot weather. This is going to be a staple in the Winter when my skin tends to be more on the dry side. 

I also loved this complexion combination of the Auric Cosmetics Glow Lust in Morganite and the bareMinerals Original Liquid Mineral Foundation. I use a very thin layer of the Glow Lust all over and then a thin layer of the foundation working from the centre of my face outwards as it's slightly too dark for my skin tone but I love the finish. The combination of these two products works so well leaving a radiant, medium coverage which is exactly what I want most days. I'd love to know what you think of this look, if it's something you'd wear and if you've tried any of the products I mentioned.


 

 

 
 
 
Bodyography Glitter Pigments in Eclipse, Spirit Quartz, Bubbly, Celestial

 
Bodyography Glitter Pigments in Eclipse, Spirit Quartz, Bubbly, Celestial. Hourglass Scattered Light Glitter Eyeshadow in Foil


 Danessa Myricks Dewy Cheek and Lip Palette in Dew It Flirty, Coquette, Sweet Cheeks, XOXO, Tease

 


Ultra Violette Queen Screen Lightweight Skinscreen SPF 50+

Auric Cosmetics Glow Lust Radiant Luminizer (Morganite)

*bareMinerals Original Liquid Mineral Foundation (Fair 01)

Smashbox X Becca Cosmetics Under Eye Brightening Corrector (Light/ Medium)

*bareMinerals BAREPRO Concealer (Fair/ Light Neutral 03)

*bareMinerals Original Liquid Mineral Concealer (Fair 1W)

Danessa Myricks Vision Flush (Nutcracker)

Glossier Solar Paint Luminous Bronzer Crème (Flare)

Glossier Brow Flick (Brown)

Patrick Ta Major Brow Lamination Gel

Violette_FR Yeux Paint Matte (Tendre Corail)

PÜR Cosmetics On Point Eyeliner (Down to Earth) 

Bodyography Glitter Pigment (Celestial) 

Surratt Beauty Relevée Eyelash Curler

*Lancôme Lash Idôle Mascara Waterproof

Danessa Myricks Dewy Cheek and Lip Palette (Tease and Coquette)

Tower 28 SuperDew Shimmer-Free Highlight Balm

Make Up For Ever Artist Color Pencil (600 Anywhere Caffeine)

*bareMinerals Original Mineral Veil Pressed Setting Powder (Translucent)


 
 
Thanks for reading and please let me know if you'd like to see any particular reviews, swatches or detailed photos.

Emma x

Sunday, April 10, 2022

Lisa Eldridge Seamless Skin The Foundation Review

*This post contains affiliate links
**I was gifted The Foundation but I am under no obligation to write anything about it. As always, all opinions are my own. 
 
 
 
When I first heard that Lisa Eldridge was working on a foundation, I was beyond excited. As someone who has admired her artistry for years, I trusted her more than anyone else to create a beautiful foundation. From what I can tell, makeup artists seem to make the best brand founders and creative directors because they have so much experience in the beauty industry. They work with so many people, skin tones and types and so many different scenarios whether it's makeup for film, television, red carpet or photography. They have also tried every product on the market. It's a wealth of knowledge that I'm sure is invaluable when creating your own brand and your own products.  
 
 
My Skin Type and Preferences
 
After four months of trying it out, I am finally writing my review of The Foundation by Lisa Eldridge. I've been wearing it a lot since I received it in December and I've spent the past few months trying it out in lots of different ways to figure out what combination of products works best for my skin. I should probably preface this review with a short description of my skin type and my preferences just in case there is anyone reading this who hasn't read any of my other reviews. I'm 35 and I have normal/ combination skin. My skin finally seems to have settled after 7 months of ups and downs since having my daughter last August. It was particularly dehydrated this Winter and it finally seems to be back to how it was pre-pregnancy. My main skin "concerns" (not that I'm actually concerned about them) being in my mid-thirties are that I'm starting to see fine lines, more dehydration and loss of elasticity. I also have some pigmentation and redness but I'm very lucky that I don't have anything I'm too self-conscious about. I haven't had any procedures done but I do like to take care of my skin and make sure I keep it well hydrated and protect it from the sun. I think it's important to note these things in a foundation review because having Botox/fillers/facial treatments etc. is going to have an impact on how products look on your skin. I feel it's important to disclose anything like that just so that you're not giving a false idea of what a product can do. That's why I've included before and after photos and close-ups. So that you know what my bare skin looks like and what the foundation looks like on it.  
 
 
The Shade Range

Let's get into the foundation itself first. It comes in 40 numbered shades across five shade categories, Light, Light-Medium, Medium, Medium-Deep and Deep. There are an array of undertones available including neutral, rosy, golden, peach, olive, red, terracotta and different combinations of these undertones too. There are ten sample cards that feature four shades on each. At the moment the four lightest ones are out of stock but they should be restocked soon. You can get one free with a purchase and any additional ones are €3. I love that Lisa decided to do this. Her products are only available online at the moment as her pop-up shop in London was only open until the end of December last year. So if you want to buy The Foundation and you can wait for the re-stock of the sample cards I think that's the best option. From what I have seen on social media Lisa's team are always happy to assist with any queries and if you are looking for help with matching I would suggest getting in touch with her team. To launch your first foundation with 40 shades is a huge achievement as so many long-established brands don't have that many shades in any of their foundations.  
 
 
The Packaging

I could write a whole blog post on the packaging alone. It is, in and of itself, a work of art. The teasers on her Instagram were truly cinematic. It felt as if I was watching the trailer for a film with one of the great cinematographers. The glass bottle and gold lid and pump evoke a vintage feel but the frosted and matte finish combined with the smooth, minimal shape lean towards a more modern but almost retro-futuristic aesthetic. It brought to mind the Denis Villeneuve film, Arrival, for which production designer Patrice Vermette created an oval spacecraft unlike any we've seen in cinematic history. I know Lisa is a fan of Romanian/French artist Constantin Brâncusi and I definitely can see how the packaging may have been inspired by his work if even in a tiny way. The way the bottle lies on its side makes me think of the sculpture, Sleeping Muse. There is no escaping its minimal beauty and I can only imagine the amount of thought and consideration that has gone into its design. It is quite literally breathtaking. 
 
 
The Formula

The formula is described on Lisa's website as "a customisable medium coverage that can be dialed up or down". It is self-setting and gives a soft focus effect. It also contains a mesh-like ingredient that fuses with the skin after blending. The finish is skin-like rather then dewy or matte. It is advised to apply the foundation in thin layers and build up to your desired coverage, you can also use it as a concealer. The formula is cruelty-free, vegan and free from fragrance, alcohol, parabens, talc, essential oils, nylon 12, microplastics, SPF, D6 and D5. It is also suitable for sensitive skin. You can read about the Key Active Ingredients in full on the Lisa Eldridge website, but in short, the formula contains ingredients that are hydrating, elasticising, antioxidant and skin tightening.
 
 
My Experience

When I placed an order in October for some of the new products I got a sample card for free, I paid for a second one because I was thinking I would either match shade No. 1 or No.5 as they are both neutral. Although I have some pink/ redness in my skin I usually choose a neutral foundation as that tends to match my neck better and evens out my skin tone too. I have quite pale skin and freckles so my overall skin tone can look slightly darker than it is. I tried shades 1, 2 and 5 and I could make all three work. However, overall 5 was the best. No. 1 probably matched the lightest areas of my face but when I applied it all over I looked quite pasty whereas No. 5 made me look more healthy and fresh. 2 also worked but just leaned slightly more pink which didn't match my neck as well as 5. I'd usually be the lightest shade in most foundation ranges so the fact that I'm No. 5 in this one should be an indicator that you might be able to go darker than you would think. I will usually always look for the lightest neutral shade so I figured I would be 1 or 5 and I'm delighted that there is a shade for skin tones lighter than mine because that rarely happens as I'm sure is the case with the deeper end too. 
 
It comes housed in a thick cardboard box, the base of which allows the bottle to be stored upright if the side-sitting packaging isn't convenient for your makeup storage. I like the glass bottle too. It's a high-end foundation so I would expect a glass bottle. As convenient as plastic is for traveling, I haven't been doing that much over the past couple of years so glass packaging isn't a factor. As much as I say I don't mind that packaging as long as the product inside is great, I do appreciate such carefully considered and aesthetically pleasing packaging. I prefer a pump as I like how hygienic it is and it disperses just the right amount of product.

I have tried The Foundation with and without primers and powders as those additions can be a big factor in how a foundation performs. I also wanted to be extra thorough and put it through it's paces as it's a high-end foundation so I wanted to make sure anyone spending their money on it would have as much information as possible about it first. The first time I use a new foundation I always like to try it on its own with no primer and without setting it to see how it works alone. The next time I will go in with my usual makeup prep products which include the Auric Cosmetics Glow Lust Radiant Luminizer, Glossier Futuredew Oil Serum Hybrid, Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow Niacinamide Dew Drops or the Lisa Eldridge Elevated Glow Highlighter in Cosmic Rose or Crystal Nebula. As this formula is not too dewy, not too matte, a Goldilocks kind of foundation, how I prep my skin really depends on how much extra hydration I need or how much glow I want. Most days I just tend to use the Elevated Glow Highlighter on certain areas of my face as it's a skincare hybrid formula and gives me just the right amount of added hydration and glow that I like. The key to this foundation is to use it exactly as instructed on the website, in thin layers. I would usually use just one pump all over and maybe go back and conceal or add extra coverage with another half pump or so which is what I did in the photos below. Most of the time one pump will be the perfect amount for the kind of light to medium coverage I prefer. You can build it up too, but again I would use very small amounts of the foundation in very thin layers. This will also help with how well it wears throughout the day.

As I mentioned above, it is a self-setting foundation, and the formula contains Bamboo Stem Extract which according to the website is naturally rich in Silica and "helps absorb any excess perspiration and sebum to give a fresh, soft finish without drying the skin." As my skin has been quite dehydrated recently I have found that I haven't needed to set my foundations as much and I definitely wouldn't set this unless I needed it to last all day (which I haven't needed in the past four months). It completely depends on your skin type but if you have more oily skin you might want to set with powder and if you have dry skin there would be no need. You might just want to make sure your skin is properly hydrated beforehand. 

The first time I applied it I was quite struck by the soft, natural finish. Straight away I thought, this is a foundation that so many people will be able to wear. I remember looking at my skin at the end of the day and I genuinely couldn't believe my eyes. Most foundations become progressively worse looking on the skin as the day goes on but this time my skin looked beautiful. It wasn't coming away from my face or creasing and my t-zone, which is usually quite oily by the end of the day just looked glowing and healthy. It's something that surprises me every time I wear it and it's the quality that makes this foundation one that I think would be the perfect foundation for an all day event or a wedding. It's something that I have never seen before in any other foundation I've tried over the years.

As I mentioned above, I was very kindly and generously gifted The Foundation as a thank you. I had every intention of buying it myself after trying the samples and I will most definitely be buying it myself once I have used up this bottle. At the moment I am using it for days out or events when I want to look my absolute best. To be completely honest, I was so nervous when I first tried out the samples that I wouldn't like it. I kept hoping that it would live up to my wildly high expectations and I am so delighted that it does. In fact it far exceeded any preconceived expectations I had in my mind. It's completely unlike any foundation I have ever tried before in the best possible way. I think it's such a versatile product and I love how inclusive it is in terms of skin tones, skin types and ages. I have seen so many other people rave about it too and it seems to have quickly become a firm favourite in so many people's makeup bags. If you can get a sample card, I would highly recommend it because I strongly feel that this is the most beautiful foundation ever created. 
 
The Foundation is priced at €53/ £44/ $61 for 30ml which is a standard foundation size. 

 



Keep in mind, these swatches are much more concentrated than you would usually apply foundation to your face and they are not fully dry. This photo is more to give some kind of idea as to the difference in undertones. I can wear all of the foundations on the bottom row, some shades work better than others. The Foundation in No.5 is an almost perfect match for the skin on my face and my neck as you can see from the photos below. It's very hard for me to get a perfect match as I have several different shades on my face and neck like most people.

Bare skin in clouded daylight (just skincare)
 
Bare skin indirect sunlight (just skincare)
 
Bare skin/ The Foundation over SPF (Indirect daylight)

Bare Skin/ The Foundation over SPF (Indirect sunlight)

The Foundation over SPF in clouded daylight

The Foundation over SPF in indirect sunlight
 
Close up The Foundation over SPF



Full Makeup with just under eyes set


Products Used:

Ultra Violette Queen Screen Lightweight Skinscreen SPF 50+

*Lisa Eldridge The Foundation (No. 5)

Fenty Beauty Match Stix (Amber)

Glossier Solar Paint (Flare)

Becca Cosmetics Under Eye Brightening Corrector (Light/ Medium)

Pat McGrath Skin Fetish: Sublime Perfection Concealer (L2)

Refy Beauty Brow Pencil (Medium)

Refy Beauty Brow Sculpt

Lisa Eldridge Liquid Lurex Eyeshadow (Liza) 

YSL Beauty Crushliner Waterproof Eyeliner (5 Gris Tempete)

*Lancôme Lash Idôle Waterproof Mascara

*Lisa Eldridge Elevated Glow Highlighter (Cosmic Rose)  

*Lisa Eldridge Enlivening Blush (Dante's Dream)

Lisa Eldridge Enhance and Define Lip Pencil (Muse)

Lisa Eldridge True Velvet Lip Colour (Velvet Intrigue)

Pat Mc Grath Skin Fetish: Sublime Perfection Under-Eye Blurring Powder (Light)

Pixi Beauty Glow Mist

*PR Samples

 

I hope this review was helpful, I tried to make it as thorough as possible even though I can only give my opinion based on my skin tone, type and personal preferences. Please do let me know if there is any other information you would to know. I would love to know if you have bought this foundation or if it's something you'd like to try.
 
Emma x


Sunday, April 3, 2022

Lisa Eldridge Liquid Lurex Eyeshadow

*This post contains some affiliate links

 

You might be wondering why I'm writing a review of the Lisa Eldridge Liquid Lurex Eyeshadows four months after they launched. I wasn't going to, mostly because they kept selling out and the last time I checked, only two shades were in stock (Diana and Lauren). I wanted to write this review anyway because I'm hoping all of the shades will be restocked soon and I know so many people were interested in them when they were released in December. There seems to be a constant need to be reviewing products as quickly as possible and sometimes we need to allow products to integrate into our makeup bag before we form a full opinion on them. This is also the reason I wanted to wait to write a review of The Foundation, which I am working on at the moment, now that I've had the time to properly try it out in numerous different situations and combined with different products. 

Every time Lisa Eldridge teases a new product launch I get so excited to see what she has come up with. I was hoping I would love the Liquid Lurex Eyeshadows because everything LE has created so far has been beautiful. If you follow me on Instagram you'll know that they did not disappoint. 

There are five shades, Bianca, Angelica, Lauren, Diana and Liza. As much as I would have loved all five I decided to get three shades that I thought would work well alone or together and that I knew I didn't have too many of in my collection. 

I bought Bianca, Diana and Liza. Bianca is the palest shade and is described as "a sweet, blushing, minky heather with sparkling notes of silver, pink, green and lavender pearl." I completely agree with this description. It's a mixture between a pink and a cooler lavender with multi-dimensional pearly shimmer. You can see it up close in the photos below but photos really don't do these products justice. I audibly gasped when I first applied Bianca. It was the first one I tried and I wore it alone because it's so beautiful on it's own. 

The next shade I tried was Diana which is described as "a fiery metallic copper with intense Sienna lustre and sparkling red, gold and magenta pearl." You can see in the out of focus photo below, the different pearl colours sparkling in the sun. I love these kinds of warm bronze/copper shades as I always find they bring out my eye colour. 

The final shade I bought is Liza which is described as "an intense charcoal shot through with silvery flashes of stardust combined with a heady mix of magenta, violet, blue, green and disco ball silver pearls." I bought Liza because I thought it would be perfect to deepen the other shades or worn alone as a one and done smoky eye. It's probably the most high impact as it's the deepest shade. 

I tried to include as many different looks as I could in the photos below so you can see how these products can be worn. I've used all of them on their own and combined with the other shades too. They can also be worn as a liquid liner using a thin brush, on top of powder, cream or another liquid eyeshadow, as a wash of shimmer or built up to full opacity. They are so versatile. I wore Bianca and Liza on Christmas Day as I wanted an easy, but sparkly eye look that would pair well with red lipstick (Velvet Ribbon of course). I applied Bianca all over my eyelids and on my lower lash line and then a small amount of Liza along the outer upper and lower lash line and slightly blended up and out to give some depth and smokiness. In the fourth look below I used Diana in a graphic, exaggerated liner shape with full opacity. The colour builds evenly and doesn't get streaky. It almost looks like molten metal on your eyelids.

Over the past couple of years I've tried lots of different liquid eye products from about-face, Danessa Myricks, Violette_FR and the Liquid Lurex are by far the easiest to use. They are incredibly user friendly, not that the others aren't, but I think anyone from beginner to expert will be able to use these without a problem. The way I use them is to apply to the back of my hand and then I take a flat brush to apply and a blend with my usual fluffy Zoeva 228 Luxe Crease brush. I have also applied them directly to my eyelids with the applicator and that works perfectly too, I think I just prefer having more control working from my hand. They do set so you don't have endless play time but you have enough time to apply, blend, finesse and then it sets. And once set, they do not budge! There is no fallout either so it's very easy to apply in a hurry or one-handed. I often do my makeup while I'm feeding my daughter (I have a breastfeeding pillow which means I can use both hands) but it's still so easy to apply these eyeshadows with limited mobility and get a beautiful, seamless look. I've also used them to save some eye looks that have gone awry and they always do the trick. If you want to try sparkly eyes but find loose glitter too hard to work with or if you find cream eyeshadow creases (like me) then these could be what you're looking for. 

The texture is almost something that falls between a liquid and a cream making it easily blended but creamy enough that it stays on your eyelids. The packaging for me is also so well thought out, the applicator is the perfect size if you do want to apply straight to your eyelids and when you twist them closed, the lid clicks so you know it's closed securely and the product won't dry out.  

Hopefully the other shades will be be in stock soon. I am also hoping that Lisa is working on more shades as this formula is too good and I would love to see more colourful shades, jewel tones and even mattes. If you like a shimmery, lustrous eye look that is chic and sophisticated, Liquid Lurex are for you! I genuinely can't recommend them enough.

I'd love to know what you think, have you tried the Liquid Lurex Eyeshadows yet, are they something that interests you? They are priced at €23/ £19/ $27 and are only available from the Lisa Eldridge site.

 






 



Products Used:

Supergoop! Glow Screen SPF 30

Glossier Futuredew Oil Serum Hybrid

*Lisa Eldridge The Foundation (No. 5)

Becca Cosmetics Under Eye Brightening Corrector (Light/ Medium)

Pat McGrath Labs Skin Fetish: Sublime Perfection Concealer (L2)

Fenty Beauty Match Stix (Amber)

Glossier Solar Paint (Flare)

Refy Beauty Brow Pencil (Medium)

Refy Beauty Brow Sculpt

Lisa Eldridge Liquid Lurex Eyeshadow (Diana, Bianca)

Lancôme Hypnôse Doll Eyes Mascara

*Lisa Eldridge Elevated Glow (Crystal Nebula) 

*Lisa Eldridge Enlivening Blush (Dante's Dream, Pink Soap)

*Clarins Fix' Make-Up

Lisa Eldridge Enhance and Define Lip Pencil (Muse)

Lisa Eldridge True Velvet Lip Colour (Velvet Intrigue)






Products Used:

*Lisa Eldridge Elevated Glow Highlighter (Cosmic Rose)

*Lisa Eldridge The Foundation (No. 5) 

*Lisa Eldridge Enlivening Blush (Venetian Red, Pink Soap)

Lisa Eldridge Liquid Lurex Liquid Eyeshadow (Bianca) 

Lisa Eldridge Enhance and Define Lip Pencil (Jazz)

Lisa Eldridge True Velvet Lip Colour (Velvet Jazz)

Fenty Beauty Match Stix (Amber)

West Barn Co. Soap Brows

Glossier Brow Flick (Brown)

Becca Cosmetics Under Eye Brightening Corrector (Light/ Medium)

Pat McGrath Labs Skin Fetish: Sublime Perfection Concealer (L2)

Pat McGrath Labs Skin Fetish: Sublime Perfection Blurring Under-Eye Powder (Light)

Hindash Heroline Eyeliner 

*Lancôme L'Absolu de Noir Mascara

BH Cosmetics Gem On Decorative Face & Body Jewels (Pearly)

 


 
Products Used:




*Lisa Eldridge Enlivening Blush (Pink Soap, Pink Poetry)

















 
Products Used: 








*Lisa Eldridge Enlivening Blush (Dante's Dream, Pink Soap)









Products Used:

Supergoop! Glow Screen SPF 30

*Lisa Eldridge The Foundation (No. 5)

*Lisa Eldridge Enlivening Blush (Pink Soap, Dante's Dream)

*Lisa Eldridge Elevated Glow Highlighter (Cosmic Rose)

Lisa Eldridge Liquid Lurex Liquid Eyeshadow (Liza)

Lisa Eldridge Enhance and Define Lip Liner (Jazz)

Lisa Eldridge True Velvet Lip Colour (Velvet Jazz)

Becca Cosmetics Under Eye Brightening Corrector (Light/ Medium)

Pat McGrath Labs Skin Fetish: Sublime Perfection Concealer (L2)

Pat McGrath Labs Skin Fetish: Sublime Perfection Blurring Under-Eye Powder (Light)

Delilah Cosmetics Brow Line Retractable Brow Pencil (Sable)

Patrick Ta Beauty Major Brow Lamination Gel

*Lancôme L'Absolu de Noir Mascara



 
 

Products Used:

Ultra Violette Queen Screen Lightweight Skinscreen SPF 50+

*Lisa Eldridge The Foundation (No. 5)

Fenty Beauty Match Stix (Amber)

Glossier Solar Paint (Flare)

Becca Cosmetics Under Eye Brightening Corrector (Light/ Medium)

Pat McGrath Skin Fetish: Sublime Perfection Concealer (L2)

Refy Beauty Brow Pencil (Medium)

Refy Beauty Brow Sculpt

Lisa Eldridge Liquid Lurex Eyeshadow (Liza) 

YSL Beauty Crushliner Waterproof Eyeliner (5 Gris Tempete)

*Lancôme Lash Idôle Waterproof Mascara

*Lisa Eldridge Elevated Glow Highlighter (Cosmic Rose)  

*Lisa Eldridge Enlivening Blush (Dante's Dream)

Lisa Eldridge Enhance and Define Lip Pencil (Muse)

Lisa Eldridge True Velvet Lip Colour (Velvet Intrigue)

Pat Mc Grath Skin Fetish: Sublime Perfection Under-Eye Blurring Powder (Light)

Pixi Beauty Glow Mist


*PR Samples



I'd love to know which shade and which look is your favourite. Thanks for reading!


Emma x







Sunday, February 20, 2022

€1000 Worth of Empty Beauty Products

This post contains affiliate links
PR samples are marked with an asterisk*
 

I was going through all of my empty products last weekend as I've been collecting them for 3.5 months now. I usually post them on Instagram with a short caption sharing my thoughts on each product and I thought it would be a good idea to write an 'Empties' blog post too so that I can keep track of the products I've used up and what I think of them. 

I decided to amp it up for the blog post and try something I've never done before which is to add up the combined value of all of the products. Obviously prices can fluctuate and most of these products were bought with some kind of discount because I tend to wait until there is a discount code or sale or offer to purchase anything. I rarely buy full price because I hardly ever have the need. If there was a bit of a price difference between online retailers I took the average price and tried to include links where the product was the least expensive, still in stock and most widely available. 

I also thought it would be interesting to calculate how much money I spent versus how much were PR samples. I found the difference quite surprising. I've been doing a low key "no buy" since December in order to get better use from the products I already have and I have also been enforcing a one in one out rule with products. I'm only opening a new product when I have finished one and have no other similar ones open. This way I'm not wasting anything, I'm using things up within their expiry dates and I'm properly testing every product rather then having three moisturisers open at the same time. 

I'm aware that I have a certain privilege when it comes to doing a no buy because I do get sent a number of PR samples from brands. I absolutely take that into account and that's another reason why I've been trying to exclusively use what I have and not buy anything I don't need. I want to really test out products properly and give honest and thorough reviews. 

Even with the number of products I receive I still buy a lot myself as you'll see with the numbers at the end. I'm going to try to give short reviews of each product as I have a lot to get through.




Uoma Beauty Stay Woke Concealer (White Pearl T1) 5ml, €23

I love this concealer and I can't wait to repurchase it. I have 4 other concealers open at the moment so in following my self imposed rules I can't buy another until I've used all 4 up (or they are expire, whichever comes first) which may take me a while. There are 19 shades so it's not the most extensive range but very inclusive and the Uoma Beauty Say What?! Foundation has 50 shades and one of the best shade distributions I've seen. It's a creamy and easy to blend texture and it's quite pigmented so a little goes a long way. I can't fault this. I've had it for a year and a half and I used it up in that time. The shade I got was in correlation with the foundation shade I got but the concealer is darker. When I repurchase I'll buy shade 0.5 or 0.75. 
 


Refy Brow Pencil  (Medium) 0.06g, €18
 
I was hesitant to try this because of all the hype (which usually puts me off wanting to try a product). But it's genuinely as good as everyone says. It's a twist up, fine, waxy crayon style pencil and the nib is very tiny meaning you can actually draw individual hairs if you like to do your brows in that way. Sometimes I find these kind of brow pencils to be too big or too soft so you get a more blurred look but you don't with this. It's comparable to the Urban Decay Brow Beater and the Delilah Brow Line which I've also enjoyed using. However if I was to choose one in formula and pricing I would repurchase the Refy one again. And that's exactly what I'll be doing once I've finished up the one I'm currently using. 
 



I have mixed feelings about this, I thought it was an excellent setting spray for the look I enjoy which is a bit of a glow to my complexion but I still want my makeup to stay in place. It seems like a contradiction but I think Danessa Myricks has nailed it. When I'm wearing powder products it takes away the powdery look and makes them melt into my skin. I'm torn though because I like having the Urban Decay All Nighter as I feel it sets my makeup like no other setting spray and I also love the Pixi Glow Mist which is a proper glowy finishing spray more suited to drier skin types (it contains 21 different oils). This Danessa Myricks one is almost a combination of those two so in a way it's probably better value. But then there are days I just want All Nighter or Glow Mist depending on the weather, time of year, how my skin is behaving and what products I have used. My Glow Mist is almost finished so I'm thinking I might repurchase this instead this time following my one in one out rule. If you like a setting spray but you still want a glow to your skin, you won't be disappointed with this. It's definitely pricey, similar enough to the Urban Decay All Nighter but I'm sure you could get it at a discount if you shop around. 
 


This is another setting spray I really enjoy using. It works exactly as you'd want it to and it smells like coconuts (not to everyone's taste but I love it). I would have probably repurchased this if it hadn't been for the Danessa Myricks one. There's absolutely nothing wrong with this and it's less expensive so a great option but I think the DM one just tips this off the list for me. 
 


 
This is the second tube of this I have used up. I liked it but I didn't love it. I found it got quite clumpy when I tried to build it up which isn't always a bad thing but it just wasn't my favourite mascara. I much prefer the Urban Decay Perversion Mascara. There are also less expensive ones that I like better. If I was to buy a mascara for in and around €24 I'd buy the Clarins Wonder Perfect 4D which was much more impactful. 
 


 
Another mascara that just didn't do it for me. It wasn't necessarily bad but it just wasn't my favourite. I much prefer the Monsieur Big or even the Hypnôse Doll Eyes that I bought recently. If I was to spend €32 I would buy the Pat McGrath Labs Dark Star or YSL Beauty Volume Effet Faux Cils which both do much more for my lashes then this one. 
 


 
I was given this brush at a press event for IT Cosmetics shortly after they launched in Ireland back in November of 2018. I was so excited to try it out as I'd heard it was a beautiful brush, especially to apply the Your Skin But Better CC+ Cream. It really was beautiful, I enjoyed using it so much until about a year and a half later when I started getting the tell tale signs of a dying brush. It would shed hairs all over my face and it gradually got worse until half the hairs were halfway out of the ferrule and it became completely unusable. I kept it this long because it's a double ended brush and I thought I would keep using the concealer side but I just didn't. It was awkward to store with the larger end down and I ended up finally giving in and getting rid of it. It's such a pity because it applied foundation beautifully. I have less expensive brushes much longer that are still in perfect condition so I was very disappointed, especially given the price. Even more frustrating is that I bought the Love is the Foundation Brush almost exactly a year ago because I had heard great things about it and I saw it was on sale. I'd had it maybe 6 months when the same things started happening and now it's pretty unusable too. I absolutely loved it for applying foundation so once again I was left disappointed. I was actually sent the same brush in PR a couple of months after I bought it so I do have a spare but I'm thinking the same thing might happen again. As much as I love the performance of the IT Cosmetics brushes I just wouldn't risk spending my money on them now after having two bad experiences. 
 


 
This is another brush disappointment. I actually got sent a set of the Rebeluna brushes by Brand Ambassador and fellow content creator Gracey O'Connell. She was sharing the brush sets and I was chatting to her about her favourites and then she offered to send me some to try and I was so delighted to take her up on it. She sent me the 7 Piece Starter Set and a sponge which was incredibly kind of her. I don't actually know what happened with this but not too long after I got it one side must have come away from the glue and it's all sticking up as you can see from the photo. I loved using this, it's a great foundation brush because it's small and flat so it works really well at applying foundation on small areas. I actually bought more of the brushes myself because I loved the ones she sent me so much. I use them all the time and this hasn't happened to any of the others so I'm assuming it was just one of those things that happens. I've actually been meaning to buy a replacement but because I have a few foundation brushes I haven't yet. I do still highly recommended Rebeluna if you're looking for good quality brushes that don't cost a fortune and are excellent at applying makeup. 
 


 
I bought the Brush Cleaning Bundle which includes this and the Microfibre Brush Cleaning Towel when it was on offer for around €45. I had wanted one of the brush towels for ages and I hadn't bought a specific brush cleaner in years so I thought it was worth trying. I love both of these products. I use the towel every single time I wash my brushes. It's so handy I actually don't know what I did without it. The soap is amazing too, I don't think I've ever used anything that has gotten my brushes as clean as quickly and it smells wonderful (clean cotton apparently). The textured side is great for deep cleaning stubborn makeup. I'm someone who is quite vigilant about brush cleaning. Once it's used, it goes in the pile to be washed. I usually do about 3 or 4 days worth of brushes at once. I do have a spot cleaner but I rarely use it. I'm just very careful with my brushes because I've seen how quickly bacteria can grow on used brushes and I don't want that going on my face and ruining the job I've been doing with my skincare routine. As much as I love this brush cleaner, at the rate I wash my brushes, it only lasted me two months and if I was to buy it on its own full price at €32, it works out quite expensive. I don't think I realised the full price when I bought the set and now I'm raging because I know how good it is but I do feel it's expensive for what it is. I think they should sell refills because you could definitely reuse the tin with the rubber side which is actually what I've been doing with dish soap. The regular one is less expensive, €27 and it comes in Sea Salt and Vanilla and Bergamot and Grapefruit scents if you did want to try it at a lower price. Would I buy it again? If I didn't wash my brushes as often or spot cleaned them in between or if it was discounted I probably would. It's also €6.95 for delivery to Ireland which brings the price up to €39. I really love this product but it's too expensive for a brush cleaner that only lasted two months for me. You can actually get one of the regular Spectrum Brush Launderette Bundles on Beauty Bay for €37.50 which is better value if you want to buy both. 




 
I got sent this in PR in late 2019 and I only finished it last month so I'm sure it was expired. I remember buying Bioderma in Paris 10 years ago after I'd been reading beauty blogs for a couple of years and Bioderma was always named as one of those products that makeup artists love and use all the time. You couldn't buy it here so I was delighted to get it in Paris. It's since become available in Ireland along with so many brands that have come out with their own micellar waters but I still think this one is the original and best. However I don't use micellar water day to day anymore. It's just not my prefered way of cleansing. I prefer to remove my makeup with a balm or oil which is why it took me two years to use this up. I mostly use micellar water to clean up my eye makeup if I need to. If anything I would repurchase the small bottle of this as 500mls is more than I would use before it expired. I currently have a 500ml bottle of a Garnier micellar water so I won't be buying one again for a while. However if micellar water is your thing and you haven't yet tried the Bioderma one, it's absolutely worth trying. 
 


 
I received this a while before I started using it because I had several other cleansing gels/second or morning cleaners to use up first. I didn't enjoy using this and I wouldn't buy it again. It's not necessarily a bad cleanser but I didn't like the texture which is quite slippery. Hannah Louise Poston actually reviewed this recently and said the exact same thing about it. It's not an enjoyable experience because of the texture. It's gentle and inexpensive but I just wouldn't spend my own money on it. 
 





This is one of those products that I'd heard great things about for years. Fresh hadn't been available in Ireland until maybe a couple of years ago and I wasn't in a hurry to try this but the cleanser I was using was almost gone and I had a discount code for Cult Beauty so I decide to order it and see if it was worth the hype. Long story short I wasn't crazy about this. It says it cleanses eyes and face but it's a foaming/gel style cleanser and I don't like to remove my makeup with that kind of cleanser. I ended up using this as a second/morning cleanser. I think €35 is too expensive for a second cleanser. It was quite gentle so those claims are absolutely true but it's just not my preferred texture for removing makeup and it's probably my own fault for not reading about the texture before I bought it. 
 

 
This is the second time I've bought this product. I got it after the below cleanser was used up and I hadn't repurchased it yet as it was quite expensive and I didn't want to buy it full price. I got this instead as I knew I liked it and it was significantly less expensive than the Then I Met You one. I really like this, it's an unusual texture almost like a thicker gel but it acts as a balm or an oil would. It removes makeup well but I find I do have to go again with more on my eyes if I'm wearing a long lasting mascara. It doesn't melt it away as easily as it does with an actual oil or balm cleanser. That being said I do find it enjoyable to use and I would buy it again. I like the REN Cleansing Balm too as it comes in the same packaging and removes makeup very well. 
 

 
 
This is one of those products I almost wish I hadn't tried because nothing else seems to compare now. I had read rave reviews of this for a while and I really liked the look of the brand and the idea behind it. It was created by Charlotte Cho, the co-founder of Soko Glam, a website dedicated to Korean beauty products. She moved from California to Korea and learned about the Korean philosophy that skincare should be an enjoyable experience and an investment into our well-being. After launching Soko Glam in 2012, she subsequently got her esthetician license and used her knowledge of Western and Korean skincare to create her own brand, Then I Met You. This cleanser really does give that enjoyable experience. It's described as sorbet soft on the brand's website and that's exactly how it feels. It's one of those skincare products that is pleasure to use. As much as I love skincare and my routine, sometimes it can be a chore and I wish I could just click my fingers and my makeup would be off my face but having this cleanser made me genuinely look forward to removing my makeup because everything about it is a joy. The packaging, the texture, the scent and the result. It has ingredients like grape seed, olive and seaberry oils, rosemary, persimmon and grapefruit and vitamin E. I love this cleanser and I have since repurchased it and I just started using it again after finishing the REN one. It's expensive but I think it's worth it. It's definitely my favourite balm cleanser from the array that I've tried from Emma Hardie, Pestle & Mortar, REN etc. If you can afford it, it's absolutely worth trying. 



 
This is another product I had for a while before I opened and started using it. It's a water activated fruit enzyme exfoliator, a similar idea to the Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant if you've ever tried that. You pour some of the powder out and mix it with some water and then apply the paste to your face. I didn't think I would enjoy this. I don't tend to like fiddly products like this as they require more effort than I'm usually willing to put in but I did enjoy using this even though I do prefer chemical exfoliants usually. I have the REN Daily AHA which is a lactic acid exfoliator and that's what I like to use as it's quite gentle. However I like how old school this feels, like using a facial scrub as a teenager and rubbing your face to get that smooth feeling and later you realise it's not actually good for your skin. This gives you that feeling but it's very gentle and doesn't have those horrible microbeads. Instead it contains rice starch to gently buff your skin, vitamin C to brighten skin tone and calamine powder and allantoin to calm and soothe your skin. Would I buy this again? Yes, I absolutely would. I think it's a great price and I noticed a difference to my skin. It's almost like a quick exfoliator for when you haven't been using a chemical one but want your makeup to apply more smoothly. Is it going to be as good as the Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant? Probably not, but it's also not €59. I found it to be quite gentle on my hormonal skin too which was much appreciated when I couldn't use my lactic acid exfoliator for a while there as it irritated my skin. It's a great option for anyone who doesn't want to or can't spend lots on a gentle exfoliator. 



 
I bought this is the Summer of 2020 as I was suffering from breakouts from wearing my mask all day in work and I was looking for a mask I could use weekly to hopefully help my skin. To be honest, even though I enjoyed using this I just didn't find it did enough to make it worth buying again. Like any Aesop products I've tried it smells amazing but that's not everything. It's a kaolin clay based mask that contains lots of oils like tea tree, evening primrose, sage, lemon and rosemary oil. It also has glycerin for hydration and bentonite clay which is an anti-inflammatory and absorbs excess oil. Maybe it's that my skin needed more targeted treatment but I just didn't find it did much except maybe calmed my skin a little (it did tingle a bit too). For that price I really wanted it to do more so I wouldn't buy it again. I preferred the Dermalogica Charcoal Rescue Masque which I used years ago and loved but I haven't bought since because I hadn't really needed it. I think I will now If I'm looking for a similar mask in the future as it's the only mask of it's kind that I found actually made a visible difference to my skin. 



 
I had read excellent things about this mask over the years but never thought to buy it until I saw it was in the Boots €12 Tuesdays offers. I jumped at the chance to try it because I can always do with a hydrating mask and I was interested to see if it was as good as the reviews say. I was delighted to find it didn't disappoint. The manuka honey locks moisture into the skin and it's antibacterial which helps with blemishes. I probably would buy this in lieu of a separate hydrating and anti-blemish clay mask because it does a bit of both. You can get a smaller 15ml size of this for about €8 if you want to try it first before paying for the full size. I absolutely will buy this again. 
 


 
This is my second time buying and finishing this mask. I really love it. It's quite similar to the Antipodes one in what it achieves for your skin. It comes in a glass jar and the product itself is a sticky consistency like a thicker version of honey but not as sticky if that makes any sense. You apply and massage it into your skin for a minute or two until it turns white and leave on for about 10 to 15 minutes. Just to warn, it does feel hot on the skin once it's massaged in and I've read reviews of people saying it tingles. I know some people won't like that sensation so it's something to keep in mind in which case I'd say the Antipodes one is probably a better option. It's less expensive and you get more in the tube too. I'd happily buy either mask again as I love the process of using this. It also has a genius addition that I've never seen in a skincare product before which is a magnetised lid that the little metal spatula sits on top of so it doesn't get lost. It makes it so much easier to use and it's something I wish other brands would do as it's much easier to store and more hygienic. They have recently released a Honey Potion Plus Ceramide Hydration Mask which I might try next time I buy it as it sounds like an even more nourishing version of Honey Potion. 
 


Glossier Zit Stick 3.5ml, €14
 
I was sent Zit Stick in PR when it first launched and have repurchased it a couple of times since. I'm in two minds as to whether I'll repurchase it again. It definitely worked for me at reducing that red swelling caused by angry spots. It's a salicylic acid and tea treat oil targeted treatment so if you only get the odd breakout this could be a good way of just treating those small areas rather then applying something to your entire face. It's probably the ideal product for someone who only gets blackheads and breakouts the odd time and only in certain areas. Instead of using this I've switched to the Paula's Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHS Liquid Exfoliant which is a treatment for blackheads, acne and clogged pores. I've been using this all over my face because my skin has been more congested over the past year. I feel like it's better value for money too as you only get a tiny amount compares to the Zit Stick. If my skin improves I may switch back but for the moment Paula is my gal. 
 


 
I bought this myself maybe 5/6 years ago and I loved it. I've mentioned this before but just in case there's anyone reading this that may not have read my blog before, the skin around my eye area can be sensitive. I know most people are probably the same but I have found certain eye creams can be too much and I end up with a kind of dermatitis under my eyes or on my lids. I've also had milia in the past so I have to be careful with what I use that it isn't too heavy or too active (I can't use vitamin c eye creams for example). This is a serum so it's lightweight and hydrating and doesn't irritate my eye area in any way. I know some people don't use eye cream and think it's a bit of a scam. Those people are probably able to use their moisturisers on their eye area but most moisturisers are too heavy for me. The skin there is thinner and more more delicate and I just find specific eye creams work really well for me and improve the look of makeup in that area too, particularly concealer. You could probably use this and then an eye cream too as it's a serum but I used it alone as I didn't want to overload my eyes. It contains reflective mica to give the appearance of brighter under eyes, if dark circles are a concern. However you could also use a brightening concealer too. I'd happily buy this again as it genuinely worked for me and if it's within your budget it could be worth trying if you have similar skin to me. 
 


 
I bought this simply because I found it on a website for €8. They must have been trying to get rid of their stock because they no longer offer Pestle & Mortar products. I always use a facial mist before applying my serum as having damp skin is known to help products absorb more effectively into your skin. I also love the ritual of it. I would never pay €32 for a facial mist. I just wouldn't. I would rather spend that money on a better serum or on SPF as a facial mist is one of those steps that isn't all that necessary even though I do love it. I enjoyed using this but I just couldn't justify spending that money on a facial mist. You can buy a 30ml bottle for €15 if you did want to try it without buying the full size.  
 



My heart is a little bit broken by this one. I went to find a link to it for this post and I couldn't find one anywhere. The only place I found it was on Amazon and I refuse to buy skincare from there as I don't know if it's legitimate. I was panicked so I emailed Liz Earle customer service to enquire about it. They replied saying the packaging isn't as sustainable as it could be and they have removed it from sale until they find alternative packaging. I was devastated as I've been using it for years and it's one of my favourite parts of my skincare routine. Thankfully the original Instant Boost Skin Tonic is still available in the 200ml size. The lady who replied to me suggested refilling my old bottle with this but sadly I'd already thrown it out. I have had the original one before which you apply by pouring it onto cotton wool or your hands and then onto your face. I just prefer the spritzer so I'm thinking I might buy a reusable bottle and the original Skin Tonic and pour it into that. I've emailed them with some suggestions so I'm hoping they will bring it back eventually. I'm always happy that brands are thinking of more sustainable ways of creating products and packaging so it's a good thing in the long run.



 
This was my second time using up a bottle of this serum. I absolutely adore it. I think I've realised over the years that hyaluronic acid serums just don't cut it for me and my skin needs different ingredients for hydration. This one is packed with ingredients that work like niacinamide, glycerin and squalane, peptides saccharomyces lysate (a probiotic yeast used to normalise the skin's microbiome, frequently used in anti-aging products) and the 'Long Life Herb' which is a Japanese superfood full of vitamins and minerals, it strengthens the skin and improves tone and texture. This is one of those products that just works for me. I notice the difference in my skin straight away and it makes my makeup look better too. It does everything it claims to and leaves my skin feeling smoother and more hydrated. I've been trying to use up the other hydrating serums I have before I use this again but I really miss it in my skincare routine when I'm not using it. It is expensive but you can get a 30ml for around €42 and the last time I checked the 30ml + 15ml gift set was still available on sale from Boots and McCauley Pharmacy at a sale price. If you're in the market for a hydrating serum I highly recommend getting this smaller size on sale to try out.
 


 
This is the hydrating serum I was using before the bareMinerals one. It's not bad by any means, it's a basic hyaluronic acid serum but for me there's just no comparison between this and the Skinlongevity. It's less than half the price but to be honest I'd rather buy a less expensive moisturiser and spend more on a serum. If I was going to spend close to €30 on this, I'd rather pay an extra €10-€15 and get the 30ml size of the Skinlongevity because I know it does more for my skin. Having said that, if you find hyaluronic acid works well for your skin and you don't want to spend a fortune, this could be a good option.
 


 
Like the bareMinerals serum this is another product that I can see makes a big difference to my skin. It's a 2 phase serum, one side is a vitamin C rich water with 3 types of potent vitamin C and the other side is a lightweight oil that contains squalane, tamarind extract and evening primrose oil. The texture is lightweight but still feels nourishing and it makes my skin look brighter and smoother. I've bought this twice now and I would have bought it again but I was sent another vitamin C serum to try so I'm using that first, although I definitely don't like it as much as this one. Again, it is expensive but both times I bought it with a 30% off discount so it's a bit more manageable and I only use it in the morning so it lasts a long time. If you're looking for a vitamin C serum and you can afford it, this is such a beautiful product and I can't wait to have it back in my skincare routine.
 


 
If you follow me on Instagram you may have seen me mention that my skin had gotten quite bad just before and for a few months after I had my daughter. I had pregnancy acne with a lot of congestion and no matter what I did it just wasn't getting better because it was hormonal. I found my skin was more sensitised and products I used all the time were giving me a reaction. I decided to completely pare back my routine and stop using most actives. I just used a cleanser, hydrating serum and a simple moisturiser. I was so frustrated one day that I went out and bought this because I know it had worked for me in the past. It contains niacinamide to reduce the appearance of spots, salicylic acid and lipo hydroxy acid to unclog pores, glycerin to give hydration and zinc to control excess sebum. I just wanted a one and done product and it's the only thing I found made an actual difference to my skin. I would definitely buy this again if I felt my skin needed it but it's doing much better at the moment. 

 


 
This is another product I used to help my post pregnancy hormonal skin. I got a delivery of this just at the right time when my skin was at its peak breakout stage. It was also quite red from the marks left behind by spots and from being more sensitive then usual. This product was the perfect thing to use as it has creates an optical illusion that corrects redness, it's a lightweight, gel texture that feels refreshing on my skin but it also leaves it feeling hydrated. It also calms and soothes any sensitivity. I would say this would suit anyone who wants to neutralise redness in their skin, is perhaps a bit more on the oily side or for the warmer months when you might want a more light moisturiser. I would definitely buy this if I found myself in the same situation with my skin as it really did work. They also have a Calm-Essentiel Restructuring Oil which I haven't been using for too long but so far I'm finding it a pleasure to use.



 
I was so excited when Ultra Violette launched on Cult Beauty as I had been wanting to try their products for a while. I bought two of their sunscreens last year and loved both but I'll just talk about this one for now. I got this particular one as it's a mineral sunscreen, fragrance free and formulated for those with sensitive skin. It has a slight tint to it, more so to cancel out the white cast a mineral sunscreen can sometimes give the skin. Once it's blended into my skin I didn't notice it. The texture is somewhere between a gel and a moisturiser and it blends in so easily. I found it worked great under makeup too which is always a must for me. I do tend to prefer an SPF 50 which is the only reason I wouldn't buy this again but in the Winter months when I'm not outside as much I don't mind wearing SPF 30. I think the next one I want to try is the Queen Screen Lightweight Skinscreen SPF 50 as it's meant to be a serum-like texture which sounds exactly like my kind of product. If you're looking for a good sunscreen to wear under makeup of in general, I've really been liking the Ultra Violette products so far.
 


 
This is one that I bought last Spring and for some reason I still had it in with my skincare even though it was empty. I was looking for products for sensitive skin when I was pregnant last year as I know sometimes your skin can react to certain things when pregnant so I thought I would err on the side of caution just in case. I really like Paula's Choice as a brand and so I was happy to see they had an SPF moisturiser for sensitive skin. It's thicker than the Ultra Violette one and definitely more of a moisturiser texture but it absorbed into my skin no problem. I'd probably be more inclined to use this during the colder months as I prefer a lighter textured SPF in the Summer. I enjoyed using this and it worked well under makeup. I highly recommend trying it if you have dry or sensitive skin, I would absolutely buy it again.
 


 
I don't want to write too much about this because I already reviewed it in my recent 6 Minute Face article. I tend to prefer potted lip balms at night and a stick or tube during the day as they're more hygienic for when you're out of the house. I enjoyed using this, it worked great under lipstick and my lips felt hydrated. A stick lip balm is always so handy to have and this one is lovely. However I can't see myself spending €27 on a lip balm. I have a few new unopened ones in my collection so I won't need one for a while but I prefer my Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask, it's less expensive and there's more in the tub so I'd buy that instead.
 



I was treating myself to one of the Voya Lavender, Rose and Chamomile Candles and I came across a gift set with their shampoo and conditioner. I was in the market for some hair products and they had 20% off so I decided to give them a try as I hadn't tried many of their products before and I'm always happy to support quality Irish brands. I enjoyed using these, the scents are incredible but to be honest I think I need to stick to products like the Aveda Be Curly Co-Wash for my hair type. They were lovely products but I just have others I prefer as my hair needs a lot of moisture for my curls to be as manageable as possible. I do still want to try their Relaxing Bath & Shower Oil at some point. Their products smell amazing and they make great gifts. If these products sound good to you, you can save money by buying the gift set which is what I did. You can find them on Foxford.com and McGorisks.ie  



 
This is one of those products that was super hyped up and therefore I probably wouldn't have bought it myself. I always have reservations when a product is everywhere on social media like this was. I tried it anyway even though it's meant for long, damaged hair I said I'd give it a go to see what all the fuss was about. I used it and then loosely blow dried and heat styled my hair. Surprisingly I definitely felt this made a difference to my heat styled hair. It seemed more sleek and less frizzy. I don't use heat on my hair often and especially not at the moment as I'm going through some post-natal hair loss. I do think this did what it said it would and as it's not too expensive and I wouldn't use it too often I probably would buy it again. I'm using what I have at the moment first though. If you have longer hair and you blow dry, straighten or curl it, this is definitely worth a try, especially as it's so inexpensive.
 



 
I bought this because I follow Ashley Streicher on Instagram and I love her hair content. She collaborated with R+Co on a line of products so I had to buy them. Well, I bought two, one of them can't be shipped here as it's an aerosol but hopefully I'll get to try it some day. I absolutely love this and I used it all the time on damp hair and also on dry hair to refresh it and add some moisture back in. First of all it smells unbelievable, they actually have this scent in a candle called Stars Align and it has deep palo santo, white cedarwood, smoky tobacco leaf, waterlily and fresh pine needles. Sadly I can't find anywhere that stocks it that ships to Ireland but again, maybe some day. If they made a perfume of this scent I would absolutely buy it. I just find this product works so well for my hair, it has ingredients like vitamin C, hyaluronic acid, vegetable collagen and coconut oil extract. I will definitely be buying this again, but as I mentioned already I'm trying to use the products I have first and I have another leave-in conditioner I'm trying to get through at the moment.
 


 
I bought one two of these last year for my sister and I and we both loved it. I've been trying to leave my hair as natural as possible recently and this product has been great to use on damp hair and then dried with a diffuser on the cool setting. I find it gives my hair volume, definition and moisture and it also smells wonderful, the scent has sicilian lemon, tangerine, eucalyptus, green tea, tree moss and crisp amber. I love how my hair looks and smells when I used this and I would buy it again but I have a couple of other curl creams I have to get through first.
 


 
I bought this at the beginning of 2019 after my hair stylist used it on my hair. I loved what it did and the scent (as you can see scent is of huge importance to me when it comes to hair products). I used it so much in 2019, every single time I heat styled my hair I would used this to finish it off. It's excellent at taming frizz and fly aways and for if I want to slick back my hair too as it makes everything so sleek. I obviously haven't been styling my hair as much in the past two years but once I do I'll be buying this again as I haven't found anything like it and it lasts for ages too. 
 



Body skincare is probably the last thing on my list at the moment. If I get to shower and wash and dry my hair I'm happy. I probably moisturise my body once or twice a month if I'm lucky. So having a body moisturiser that encourages me to use it is a good thing. This is my second bottle of this one and I love it because it's a 400ml size so it lasts for ages, it smells incredible, the pump is convenient and it hydrates my dry skin. There's not much more I can say about this except that I would definitely buy it again.





This is a culmination of 14 weeks of empties. The 36 products totals €1082.50 with €334 worth of PR samples and €748.50 worth of products purchased by me. I definitely didn't spend that amount as most products were bought with some kind of discount. I've had some of these products as far back as 2018/2019 so it's not as though I'd use up €1000 worth of products every few months, I've just been making a concious effort to use up what I have recently. I think I'm going to keep these posts up for the year and track my spending, my PR samples and hold myself for accountable for what I use. I hope you found this interesting, I'd love to know if you've tried any of these products.

Emma x

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