February’s Empties

monthly empties

I love collecting my empty bottles and packaging. It makes me feel good about myself – I successfully finished a product and this itself is an achievement worth celebrating. Better yet, is feeling less guilty about buying new products and that at least there’s some space for something new and shiny.

Boots Expert Build Up Removal Shampoo
This shampoo is inexpensive and does what it says on the bottle. It’s not fancy but it does what it’s supposed to do – remove product build up leaving hair feeling like new. I always used this before using a leave-in hair mask. Build up removal shampoos can be quite drying in general but this one is a keeper.Recommended & Repurchased

Garnier Moisture Match Start Afresh Light Softening Cream
I like this dinky tube of moisturiser. I travel a lot between my apartment and my boyfriend’s flat and this is the one product I never forgot to take with me. The small tube is travel-friendly, no spillages and it’s perfect for normal skin. It’s light, freshly scented and made my skin feel baby soft. It’s also dirt cheap as I’ve purchased a new one already for £1.99 (on offer in my local supermarket.) This time I’m trying the pink tube version, which is for slightly drier skins. Wonderful. Recommended

L’Oreal Voluminous Mascara
L’Oreal mascaras are usually winners. They’re not as expensive as other drugstore mascaras and this one is no exception. I love the large bristle brush, I love the carbon colour and I love the volume is gives my lashes. Unfortunately it can easily smudge which ultimately stings my eyes :(

MAC Face and Body Foundation (C1)
This is my favourite foundation ever. At first the £28.50 price tag seems a little steep, but you get a lot of product for your pennies. A whole 120ml. Usually MAC foundations (and most drugstore ones too) come in 30ml bottles. The shade is a perfect match. This is a light to medium buildable coverage foundation. It’s dewy, fresh and does cake in any fine lines. Recommended & Repurchased

The Body Shop Camomile Cleansing Oil
I am a big fan of cleansing oils to remove makeup. They do a great job and this one is no exception. Even Caroline Hirons likes this one. And I have to agree. Good ingredients and not too damaging to the purse-strings. It is a pain to get hold of – my nearest Body Shop is a good few miles away and I can’t justify shipping costs for one item on the website. I’ve since purchased a different cleansing oil from Boots to try but I’m sure one day I’ll return to this. Recommended

Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum foundation
I love this drugstore foundation to bits. Medium coverage and a healthy glow. Also “Ivory” seems to be a good colour match. I am slightly disappointed with the brand overall. The original Healthy Mix got a revamp but the shade range is now too dark and orange, and it’s the same for their Happy Light foundation. The serum foundation is the only one I can wear.

Botanics All Bright Cleansing Toner
After using this entire bottle up, I’m not entirely sure it actually did much for my skin. The natural AHAs in this product provide gentle exfoliation and brightening but it was so gentle it didn’t really help combat my blemish-prone skin. It’s cheap, cheerful and received lots of great reviews. If you’ve got sensitive skin I’d recommend giving this a try but otherwise it simply isn’t powerful enough for anybody with acne scarring like me.

Herbal Essences Dry Shampoo – Naked and Uplifting Volume

herbal essences dry shampoo review naked and uplifting volumeherbal essences dry shampoo review naked and uplifting volume

My fringe needs a good blast of dry shampoo on a daily basis. I am a dry shampoo junkie and proud! And more often than not, I’m not particularly picky or brand loyal when it comes to dry shampoo. I don’t have any complaints as long as it does the job.

Unfortunately, I do have complaints about these two dry shampoos from Herbal Essences. First to meet my wrath was the Naked version. It looks clean, sleek and inviting inside that white aerosol can. The peppermint oil smells delicious but the tapioca starch doesn’t seem to do much of a cleaning job. The product feels very wet on my hair initially and whilst it doesn’t look as greasy as it did before, the Naked shampoo doesn’t seem to have much oomph as a rice starch dry shampoo like Batiste.

Slightly better is the Uplifting Volume version in the orange bottle. The fine mist is lightweight and the citrus scent is lovely. Again, this one also applies quite wet so try not to over do it. But it’s not volumising or uplifting in the slightest and doesn’t deliver on it’s promises. It does however perform better than the Naked version.

Neither of these shampoos will leave you with granny grey chic hair – they’re not white like other dry shampoos. But they just don’t seem to work as effectively. If I had to choose one to buy again, it’d be the orange Uplifting Volume version but I can’t say I’d ever bother repurchasing either. Tapioca starch based dry shampoos just aren’t for me.

Stila Convertible Colours Review & Swatches

Stila Convertible colors review and swatchesStila Convertible colors review and swatchesStila Convertible colors review and swatches(Left to Right – Lillium, Magnolia, Gladiola, Peony and Gerbera)

I posted a quick photo of these gorgeous blushes on my instagram account @whitedoebeauty a couple of days ago. (By the way, you should totally be following me on instgram, you’ll get to see what an horrific geek I am haha). I figuired why not write a full review and include some swatches whilst I’m at it.

I’ve tried alot of cream blushes but Stila’s offerings are by far my favourite, even beating MAC. They look frighteningly bright in the pan but let me assure you, they’re absolutely beautiful applied to the apple’s of your cheeks. They’ll make you wonder why you even bothered with powder blushes in the first place.

There are plenty of brushes that work well to apply cream blushes, my favourite one is the Real Techniques Stippling Brush. When I haven’t got time to fiddle about with brushes, or when I can’t fit one in my teeny tiny travel makeup bag, the best method is to use your fingertips. Just dab and blend using a clean finger.

Convertible Colours are marketed as a multi-tasking product, lips and cheeks. I personally only ever use them on my cheeks but in a hurry they’re a great way to tie your whole makeup look together.

The blushes are so creamy and leave a nice little sheen to the cheek without being sticky. My favourite by far is Lillium. It’s so easy to wear and natural looking. I also love how the outer packaging matches the shade of the blush on the inside. No fumbling around in drawers looking at labels.

They retail for £16 and are available from the Stila website, Boots or Marks & Spencer.

Clearasil – Superfruits Refreshing Pads Review

Clearasil - Superfruits Refreshing Pads ReviewClearasil - Superfruits Refreshing Pads Review

I suffer from adult acne. I wish I didn’t. Hormone imbalances often mean my face is consistently being attacked by deep, cystic acne. A new one pops up almost daily. Or at least they used to. Thanks to Clearasil, I’m beginning to win the war on spots.

I wasn’t too keen on trying these – Clearasil and I aren’t the best of friends. None of their products have ever worked for me, often having the opposite effect and making spots worse. But you’d have to pry the Superfruits Refreshing Pads from my cold dead hands before I’d be willing to give them up.

First I cleanse my face, followed by a quick wipe with one these pads. They have a strong chemical scent – don’t be fooled by the pictures of berries on the tub. The product does contain alcohol which will sting on any cuts or grazes, but it also contains the holy grail Salicylic Acid. This ingredient works hard to fight the spots, reducing them in size by the morning. The pad itself is nothing luxurious at all. Everything about this product – the alcohol, parfum and rough pads – scream “cheap!” However I’ve never used anything as effective at preventing spots as these pads. Ever.

The only downside is that continuous use of these pads morning and night does my skin feel sensitive – I switch up my skincare routine with other toners and only use these in the evening. I follow up with my usual serum and then moisturiser.

And these are such a bargain. Retailing at £4.07 at Boots but even better, I found my tub at Home Bargains for £1.29. That’s probably less than the change I carry in my purse. Absolute steal!

Maybelline Colour Drama Intense Velvet Lip Pencils Review

Maybelline Colour Drama Intense Velvet Lip PencilsMaybelline Colour Drama Intense Velvet Lip Pencils Light it Up Nude Essential berry much minimalist keep it classyMaybelline Colour Drama Intense Velvet Lip Pencils Light it Up Nude Essential berry much minimalist keep it classy

I spotted these lip pencils whilst on a late night chocolate hunt at my local Tesco store. I couldn’t decide which colour to pop in my basket and ended up buying five. Although I’m wishing I had bought more as these short little chubby pencils are a fantastic find.

The pencils are all in beautiful colours and a excellent formula – semi-matte but still creamy and not too drying. Comparisons to the NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencils are obvious – they’re quite similar in finish. Maybelline’s lip pencils tend to wear off without leaving a stain, are smaller and a great low budget alternative. At £4.99 you won’t be horrifically upset if you lost one of these babies on a night out.

They’re lightweight and easy to carry around in your purse or pocket. I like the simple black pencil with the colour swatch at the bottom so I can see what I’m reaching for out of my lippy drawer.

The first shade I have swatched is “Light it Up” – a bright pink toned red. My favourite by far is “Nude Essential.” I’ve already had to sharpen this shade as it’s perfect for trying out Kylie Jenner inspired lips. “Keep it Classy” is a surprisingly deep colour, a pinky plum shade that will suit most skin tones. Next is “Minimalist” which is a sheer wash of nude-y pink on the lips. The pencil is slightly shimmery but this doesn’t translate well on the lips. It’s a great colour for Spring. And last but not forgotten is “Berry Much” – the perfect Autumn/Winter berry shade. It’s deep, dark and great for those who enjoy wearing a bold lip colour.

I highly recommend keeping your lips well scrubbed and moisturised before applying these as they will highlight flaky dry lips. I am a big lip product lover and these Colour Drama pencils tick all the boxes.

L’Oreal Elvive Extraordinary Oil Review

l'oreal elvive extraordinary oil

The problem with living a separate life away from my boyfriend is that when I do finally go to stay at his flat for a weekend, I’m left struggling to pack the right beauty products. I wish I could take them all with me and have everything at my disposal but it just isn’t practical to haul a suitcase worth of hair products for one weekend at the boyf’s.

Which is how I ended up purchasing L’Oreal’s Extraordinary Oil one rainy afternoon at my local Asda. You can often find this oil on offer somewhere, Boots, local supermarkets ect but it retails at £9.99. A bargain for a product that is proud to be ultra versatile and has 6 natural oils – rose, chamomile, flax, lotus, tiara and sunflower. I immediately popped it in my basket as a multi-use item I could have laying around my boyfriend’s flat.

I’ve used it as a hair mask – rubbing a larger than normal amount into my hair 20 minutes before a shower. Honestly? My hair wasn’t transformed into smooth silky hair. There wasn’t much of a difference at all. Maybe it needs longer than 20 minutes to work it’s magic? It did at least make my hair smell lovely.

I mainly use it as a form of heat protection, plus another pump of oil afterwards to put stray frizzies into place. Perhaps I’m a difficult person to please, but I just haven’t been blown away by this product.

The packaging is gorgeous and the glass bottle, although not ideal for travelling, is very luxurious indeed. It does the job, heat protection and smoothing, but it isn’t a game changer. I’d recommend giving it a go if you have dry, parched locks like mine if you can find the Extraordinary Oil on offer (1/3 off at Boots maybe?) just don’t pay full price. There are cheaper products on the shelves that do the same thing.

MUA Luxe Velvet Lip Lacquers

MUA Luxe Velvet Lip Lacquers
MUA Luxe Velvet Lip Lacquers
MUA Luxe Velvet Lip Lacquers

If there’s one product I can’t resist buying into, it’s lippy. So now that MUA have decided to include some new shades in their Velvet Lip Lacquer range, I gave in and bought three. For £3 each, many beauty bloggers are hailing these as budget dupes for the infamous (and practically difficult to obtain) Lime Crime Velvetines. I can’t make any real comparisons between the two products as my Lime Crime Velvetines are still being shipped out. But rest assured that when they arrive it’ll be swatch central in my house.

With the introduction of 4 new nude-y shades, there are 9 in total to choose from. I picked up Halcyon, Funk and Reckless. Swatched on my arm in that order,

Halcyon is the nude everybody will want to get their hands on. It’s one of the four newest released nude shades that were added to the Velvet Lacquer collection and it’s perfect for creating that 90’s Kylie Jenner inspired lip. Personally, I lived through the 90’s and I have no idea why brown lipstick was such a winner then or even now but Halcyon is a wearable warm, pink-ish nude that most people will be able to wear.

Funk is a bold fuchsia pink shade that I wish I had in my collection during the Summer months. I doubt this would’ve left my side. Bright and eye-catching but easy to pull off. It glides on with the ease of a gloss, setting to a matte velvety texture.

Last but not least is Reckless – a classic red. This one is quite a deep shade and it’s perfect for the Autumn/Winter months. Like the previous two shades this lip lacquer lasts for about 3-5 hours depending on your eating/drinking habits. My only issue is that the matte formula is very drying and instead of wearing off the lacquer tends to “crumble” in pieces – either in your food, drink or on your teeth (not a good look!) My suggestions are to use a lip scrub and balm to ensure lips are super smooth and moisturised before application.

Encased in chic frosted glass packaging, they’re smooth, thick and super pigmented. I found that using just one swipe had more than enough coverage. The paraben-free formula might not be perfect, but for £3 they’re an absolute bargain.

Bottom line, would I buy more? No, not really. I need my lip products to last and the crumbling nature of these is a feature that puts me off buying more. But for somebody on a budget, they’re perfect.