Adventures in beauty: July empties

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Even though this isn’t a full-on beauty blog, it obviously now has quite regular beauty features on it and I’ve been thinking about which of the regular beauty features I see on other blogs I might want to use here. Many bloggers post their empties at the end of the month (of the start of the next). At first, I thought this was a little bit strange-why keep a load of old rubbish? However, once I’d read a few I began to see the usefulness of them as a way of providing a decent review of a product beyond initial first impressions. If you’ve managed to use it up, you must at least have got something out of it and whether or not you would repurchase is a helpful guide as to how good products have been. So Im going to try doing my own empties. I don’t know how long this will last, I guess it depends what I actually empty each month and whether or not I think it’s going to be different enough from the month(s) before.

The first empties are my Mark Hill argan oil shampoo and conditioner. I absolutely love this stuff! The only problem is, it doesn’t last very long-not quite a full month, and that’s without using it every single day as I usually have two or three different shampoo and conditioner sets on the go. To be fair, I do tend to overdo it a little bit with product and nothing lasts very long in my house, but it is at the pricier end of hair care. However, my hair seems to really like Mark Hill products and gets on better with them than anything else. The argan oil ones are my current favourites: I think they make my hair softer and shinier than anything else, and they smell really nice. Unfortunately, it’s quite difficult to get hold of Mark Hill products – I’ve never seen them in Superdrug, and not all Boots stock them. The best one locally seems to be Meadowhall, which has a reasonable range-but I’m not always there, so I don’t always manage to pick up some. At the moment, I’ve replaced these with different products from the Mark Hill range to see whether or not the argan oil products being the best is just in my imagination. Watch this space!

The second empties are the Carex hand washes in bubblegum and chocolate orange (not pictured). I had the chocolate orange in my kitchen and the bubblegum in my bathroom. I’ve also used the cola bottle one and have had friends use the red laces one. These smell absolutely gorgeous, if you like the smell of sweet things! They really do smell of what they’re supposed to. The bubblegum one in particular went down really well with all my friends. I’d definitely repurchase either of these-at the moment I’ve got some Radox hand washes on the go, because they were on offer, but the next time the Carex sweet ones go on offer again I’ll be picking some up. Unfortunately, they don’t go on offer as frequently as the rest of the Carex range, probably because they seem to be pretty popular!

The Boots Simply Sensitive eye cream is a bit of a non-entity. I worked my way through the whole tube, but I don’t think I would repurchase. I don’t know whether or not it was doing anything-but it certainly hasn’t been helping my fine lines/crows feet, which seem to have multiplied in the last few months. Now, I realise that’s a symptom of ageing, and no eye cream can remove those entirely-but the rings around my eyes have been quite present recently as well and although the product was cheap so you might not expect good results, it didn’t really seem to do anything at all. I know the jury is generally out on eye creams anyway, but I’ll keep persevering to see if I can find one I really like. In the past I’ve used the Garnier one, and that was okay. At the moment I’m trying one of the Botanics range.

The Original Source shower gel: cocoa and raspberry flavour sounded right up my street. I do like a luxurious-smelling gel to perk up my shower and cocoa plus fruit seemed to be a winning combination. However, whilst the scent of the shower gel is perfectly pleasant, it is weak as anything. I don’t know about you, but if I want to get something with such heavy duty flavours as cocoa and raspberry, I expect it to pack a bit of a punch and this didn’t do the trick.

The Simple eye make up remover does what it says on the tin really. It’s simple, it does the job. I would purchase again, once I’ve worked my way through a Body Shop chamomile one that I’ve got on the go.

Gillette Venus razors are another product that do what they’re supposed to. They don’t quite have the colour range of my favourite disposable razor (Bic Soleil), and there are only three in a pack as opposed to four or five, but they’re fine. I bought these when they were on offer and cheaper than the Soleil, and I would do so again in the future if they happen to be the cheapest when I’d run out of razors.

The Boots 2-in-1 nail polish remover (which doesn’t seem to be on their website, so maybe they’ve pulled it. It’s still in stores though and is an orangey-colour if you want to know which to avoid) is a product that I would not purchase again and is probably my least favourite of those here. It does remove polish, although no better than other brands (e.g. Superdrug, Sally Hansen, Cutex), it isnt especially kind to nails and you get less in a bottle than in many other brands. The worst thing about this though is that it absolutely stinks. Now, obviously, all nail polish removers have a smell. The nicest smelling ones tend to be the pot ones – Ciate choc pots are my favourite – and are a godsend for glitter removal, and the Bourjois ones smell OK too. However, I don’t really mind the acetone fragrance of a regular nail polish remover. This one just smells vile. I think they were probably trying to go for some kind of a fruity scent, but they failed. Whatever it’s meant to smell like, it smells potent and horrible. Avoid.

The Tesco Pro mouthwash, like several products in this month’s roundup, is one of those air, it’ll do products. It isn’t the nicest tasting or freshest feeling mouthwash over be used, nor is it particularly bad.

Finally, I emptied out a perfume: Dolce by Dolce and Gabbana. This one lasted me several months: I think it was early spring when I started using it, and I’ve used it every day-sometimes refreshing it a couple of times a day depending on whether or not I was at home before going out again. It’s a lovely, floral, fresh scent and I enjoyed wearing it. However, I would not repurchase it, for three reasons: 1) I have a bunch of perfumes that I got in the January sales that I still need to work my way through before even contemplate buying any more. 2) I associate scent very strongly with memory and so I have this thing where I only ever have one perfume on the go at any one time, and once it’s done I move onto the next one and never repurchase again-because I associate fragrances so strongly with different points in my life, reliving a fragrance in day-to-day would just feel wrong! Besides, there are so many fragrances to try, why would you want to repeat something you’d already used? 3) That whole “IVF babies are not real people” debacle. I was already halfway through the bottle when the scandal erupted and there was no way I was chucking out half a bottle of expensive and good scent. However, it does make me question whether or not I would want to buy their stuff in the future, seeing as they’ve not been the most repentant over their ridiculous comments. I’m not always super ethical in my purchases, I have to confess. But there is something about the personal nature of designer products that means they are linked to the person behind them much more strongly than some bland corporate product. Them’s the breaks, D and G!

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