Project Empties #26

Saturday, 31 August 2013

This month's empties consisted of a lot of skincare items - Hydraluron, Ten Instant Lifting Cream, Superdrug Deep Cleansing Mud Mask, Emma Hardie Moringa Cleansing Balm (the HUGE 200ml tub!) and Alpha H Liquid Gold. The majority of these products I loved and would definitely repurchase - some I already have - However, there are two items that I don't think I will be repurchasing. The first being this Superdrug Deep Cleansing Mud Mask. When I used this, I didn't feel like it did anything to my skin, let alone deep cleanse it. I've been getting into using masks more recently and I really like clay masks, so I will be on the lookout for a new one to try. I was thinking possibly the Origins Clear Improvement mask... I also don't think I will repurchase the Hydraluron, as I didn't think this product was as amazing as others seem to find it...

I also finished the Nioxin Shampoo from the System Kit 2, which I am definitely going to repurchase as I have noticed since I have stopped using the Nioxin system and the L'Oreal Studio Secrets Smoothing Resurfacing Primer, which I really liked when I bought my first tub, as it smooths out your skin making foundation application lovely, but recently I have been preferring a primer that has better mattifying and makeup prolonging properties, like the Body Shop one I reviewed recently.

Amount for the piggy bank: £12.00

What did you finish this month?

Thank you for reading. xoxo, Joy

Review: The Body Shop Tea Tree Pore Minimiser

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

From L-R: The Body Shop Tea Tree Pore Minimiser, Partially blended

I ordered this online when The Body Shop had its 40% sale a few weeks back. The Tea Tree Pore Minimiser usually costs £7.50 for 30ml, which I think is fairly reasonable. When I opened the package, the tube was smaller than I thought it would be! Does anyone else find that happens when you order online? I think the packaging is great for travel though, as it's nice and compact. I also like that it's in a tube as it's more hygienic than a tub.

On use, straightaway you get a very strong whiff of tea tree. I personally really like the smell, but if you don't like the smell of tea tree, then this might not be for you. However the smell passes quickly. I only apply this to the places I get oily - forehead, nose, sides of my nose and chin and I find that I need approximately a pea size amount to cover these areas. It's easy to blend in and makes your skin look slightly paler over the applied areas, before settling to clear.

As soon as you apply it, the skin looks matte and feels soft. My pores look smaller and my skin looks smoother. By lunch, I usually have shine and my base usually wears away fastest on and around my nose. But after using this primer, I find that my skin doesn't get that shiny even 7 hours later! I still get some slight shine on my nostrils, but my forehead is fine. My make up lasts so much longer when I use this, which is a god send, especially when it's hot. I've never really been a big fan of primers, but boy am I glad I found this!

What is your favourite primer?

Thank you for reading. xoxo, Joy

Review: Tresemme Platinum Strength Range

Thursday, 22 August 2013

After hearing people rave about the Tresemme Platinum Strength range for months, I decided to pick these up on my weekly shop as they were on offer in Tesco. I bought the shampoo, conditioner and deep conditioning treatment. Before I get started, my hair type is naturally wavy and can be quite dry. My day to day hair care routine is pretty low maintenance and involves very few products and little heat. Every now and again, I will blow dry or straighten my hair but for the most part, I just leave it to dry naturally.

There isn't much to say about the usability of these products. They act like any other - The shampoo lathers well (thanks SLS), the conditioners give your hair lots of slip when applying and they all rinse out easily. These products have the typical Tresemme smell, which is pleasant and not too overpowering.

After using these products, my hair feels soft and manageable, even when my hair dried naturally and without any additional products (e.g. oils, leave in conditioners, etc). I feel like my hair doesn't get as frizzy either. When my hair is styled, I see even better results as my hair is soft, sleek and dare I say it, looks shiny and healthy. I have however found that my hair, especially my fringe, gets greasy quite quickly. And since stopping using Nioxin, I have noticed a lot more hair falling out when brushing and washing it.

The deep conditioner is nice for an extra boost of moisture. I found the consistency to be quite similar to the conditioner and I find I use quite a lot each time. I use this once a week and after use, my hair feels so lovely and soft. I really want to try the Instant Rescue Shots, which are also part of this range.

I'm really impressed with this range, especially as it's so affordable and easy to access (i.e. you don't have to buy online). I'm not convinced that it has repaired 2 years of damage, but it definitely makes my hair feel soft, healthy and swish-able.

Have you tried this Tresemme Platinum Strength range before?

Thank you for reading. xoxo, Joy

Sinful Colors Nail Polishes (Easy Going and 24/7)

Thursday, 8 August 2013

Sinful Colors was released in the UK a while ago and I hadn't heard much about the brand before, but was intrigued as they only cost £1.99 and the stand in my local Boots had so many pretty colours on it. I bought 'Easy Going' a while back, as it is supposedly a dupe of Essie 'Fiji' and then I recently bought '24/7' as the bright highlighter pink colour drew me in!

Easy Going

2 coats of Sinful Colors Nail Polish in 'Easy Going'

Easy Going is a milky, peachy pink colour. I read somewhere that it is a dupe of Essie Fiji. I don't own Essie Fiji, however from comparing swatches online, Easy Going looks peachier than Fiji, which has more pink. The formula is quite runny and thick and I found the formula a little difficult to work with, as when you apply too little to the brush, it looks streaky and if you apply too much, it didn't dry fully.   I've used this polish a few times and I've found that the number of coats required can vary between 1-3, depending on how much you have on the brush. I didn't apply a top coat and I found that the colour dulls a little after a few days. I tried a matte topcoat over the top to compare the dullness to a matte effect and found the dullness doesn't quite go as far as matte, but it definitely loses its glossiness. With a matte top coat, the colour is very reminiscent of calamine lotion! I found this lasted really well on my nails with minimal chipping.


2 coats of Sinful Colors Nail Polish in '24/7'

24/7 is an amazing bright highlighter pink shade. I couldn't stop staring at my nails when I was wearing it! I think this colour is perfect for summer, as it would look amazing with a tan. I found the formula of this to be quite thick and runny as well and on the first coat, the colour was rather streaky. This took two coats to become fully opaque and the polish dried quickly to a matte finish. Even though applying a white polish under neon shades makes the colours pop more, I didn't apply a white polish underneath and have still found the colour to be super bright and neon. I was disappointed as this had chipped quite heavily after two days (N.B. I didn't apply top coat, so that may be a factor in how long the nail polish lasted), but that won't stop me from wearing this colour as I love it.

I would definitely recommend checking out the Sinful Colors nail polishes if your local Boots has a stand. I don't think every Boots does though.

Have any of you tried Sinful Colors before? What other shades would you recommend?

Thank you for reading. xoxo, Joy

Review: Beauty Blender Sponge Dupe

Monday, 5 August 2013

I bought this 99p dupe of the infamous Beauty Blender sponge from eBay (search beauty sponge) and I have fallen in love with using this to apply my base.

Before use, you have to run it under the tap and squeeze a few times in order to get the water distributed through the sponge and it increases in size by about 50%. I like to squeeze out any excess water and give it a shake before use. One disadvantage of this would be that you have to go to the sink before applying your makeup and if you and your family/friends/boyfriend/girlfriend/etc fight for bathroom time in the mornings, this may not always be practical. I imagine you could use a spray bottle of water, but I haven't tried this. When the sponge fully dries, it reverts back to its original size. Don't try to use it when it's dry, like I did, as it doesn't work half as well as when it's wet and it stains the sponge.

I pump out my foundation onto the back of my hand and apply using the sponge and a dabbing motion. The sponge is egg shaped, so you can use the round base for the majority of your face (i.e. the big bits of face like your cheeks, forehead etc.) and turn it over to the pointed section to get in under your eyes, around the nose, etc. If you want to see it in action, I use it in one of my recent Youtube videos. I find that I use more product when using this sponge and it can be a little more time consuming than using a traditional foundation or buffing brush, however I absolutely love the finish it gives. You are left with a flawless base, with no streaky lines or cakiness. I find that my makeup lasts longer when using this and I can get better coverage over my redness or post-acne marks, as you are essentially packing on the pigment into your skin, rather than spreading it out on top. You can also use this with powder, which I don't do regularly, but it gives a similar effect to using a powder puff and is great for setting concealer in place without moving it from the area you have concealed.

It's important to wash the sponge frequently, as sponges can harbour bacteria especially as the sponge gets damp. I usually wash this after 2-3 uses. It's super easy to wash, however I did find that it stains with foundation occasionally.

I am in love with this method of applying my foundation. I would definitely consider investing the £16ish for the Beauty Blender, however for now I am content with my 99p dupe.

How do you like to apply your base products?

Thank you for reading. xoxo, Joy

Review: TEN Instant Lifting Cream

Saturday, 3 August 2013

I had never heard of TEN before, but when my dad brought some of their moisturisers home, I thought I'd give this TEN Instant Lifting Cream a whirl. Fast forward almost 1 year and I am currently working through my second jar of this moisturiser and I thought I would let you know my thoughts about it.

The packaging is nothing to write home about, but I quite like that it's simple and fuss free. I really enjoy using this moisturiser. It's got a light cream, almost gel like consistency and it absorbs into the skin very quickly, leaving my skin feeling soft with an almost satin-like finish. It has a triple hyaluronic acid complex, which I have found to really hydrate and balance out my skin. I find my t-zone gets less oily and I definitely have less dry patches on my cheeks. As I'm only 22, I don't have fine lines or wrinkles, so I can't comment on how well this works to lift my skin. But my skin does feel super soft and hydrated after use.

The only thing I didn't like about this moisturiser is the smell, as it's highly perfumed. I can't quite pinpoint what it smells like, but I'm quite fussy about fragrances in skincare and when I first started using this, I would limit breathing through my nose as I couldn't stand the smell. Eventually you get used to it, however the smell does linger a bit on the skin, so if you don't like fragranced skincare products, this might not be for you.

Have you ever tried any TEN products?

Thank you for reading. xoxo, Joy

Project Empties #25

Friday, 2 August 2013

I have been trying to downsize my product collection for well over a year now, but have never really had much incentive to do so. I recently saw Kat (from Tales of a Pale Face)'s Use it Up challenge and decided that it would be the perfect incentive to use more products up. It involves putting aside a little money every time you finish a product (I have decided on: 50p for samples, £1 for full size products and £2 for high end products). I imagine that it would add up after a few months and it can go towards something nice, which is always lovely!

We always seem to have a tube of this St. Ives Apricot Scrub lying around the house and even though it's super abrasive, sometimes I use a small amount to get some manual exfoliation. It is easy to overdo it with this product, so I think I might be on the lookout for a less abrasive scrub or I will try to use the rosehip seeds that came with my Emma Hardie cleansing balm more often, as when you add them to a cleanser, it gives a similar consistency.

I really enjoyed using the Elemis Tri-Enzyme Resurfacing Facial Wash. It had a lovely scent and had a nice creamy consistency. It works really well with my Clarisonic and leaves my skin feeling as soft as a baby's bottom. I also really enjoyed using this Nioxin Cleanser for hair type 2. I have a full in depth review of it here, if you want to read more about the set I got.

I got this Origins Make a Difference Moisturiser in a store swap sometime last year. I gave in an old moisturiser jar and received this in return. To be honest, I didn't think much of the moisturiser. It was pleasant, wasn't too heavy and had a nice scent. But at the same time, I wouldn't say it was that remarkable. I thought the Clarins Hydraquench Intensive Serum Bi-Phase was nice. It has quite a runny, watery consistency, which I really liked. My skin felt soft and hydrated after use and I'm definitely considering buying the full size version of this along with some of the other products in the range.

Amount for the piggy bank: £6.50

What have you used up this month?

Thank you for reading. xoxo, Joy