Beauty & Skincare
Comments 9

The Beauty Clean-Up #8 (empties) + Year-End Total

It’s my last Empties post of the year so let’s make it count!


+ Would repurchase
– Will not bother again
= Neutral/Indifferent

+ The Body Shop Camomile Sumptuous Cleansing Butter
+ Bioderma Sebium H2O Micellar Water
= Clinique Pep-Start Eye Cream (sample)
It’s Skin Collagen Nutrition Eye Cream (didn’t finish)
+ Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion+ (sample)
+ Hada Labo Super Hyaluronic Acid Moisturising Milk
Innisfree Sebum and Trouble Zero Lotion | Forest for Men
–  A’Pieu Essential Source Hyaluronic Acid Moisture Essence (sample)
Vichy Liftactiv Supreme (sample)

+ The Ordinary Salicylic Acid
+ The Ordinary Ascorbyl Glucoside Solution 12%
= The Body Shop Blue Corn 3-in-1 Deep Purifying Scrub Mask
+ The Body Shop Mineral & Ginger Warming Massage Clay Mask

LUSH Happy Hippy Shower Gel
+ L’Oreal Elvive Extraordinary Oils Shampoo
Avalon Organics Strengthening Peppermint Shampoo (didn’t finish)
– Avalon Organics Strengthening Peppermint Conditioner
(didn’t finish)
Dove Purely Pampering Body Lotion
+ LUSH Dream Cream (Self-Preserving version)
+ Cien Cotton Buds

Skincare and Samples


+ The Body Shop Camomile Sumptuous Cleansing Butter:

Starting with my most recent empty, we have this happy number by The Body Shop! Now, my most favourite is still the one by Clinique, but this one still remains in the good pile as it’s a fail-safe, does-the-job type of product. As far as cleansing balms go, this is definitely one of the more affordable options (there actually aren’t that many unless you look towards K-beauty) and one that I’d recommend if you are just starting out with the double-cleanse method. This balm (or butter should I call it?) cleanses everything off with zero residue and little scent. I particularly like its packaging as it’s travel-friendly unlike some of the other cleansing balms that have big and clunky packaging!

+ Bioderma Sebium H2O Micellar Water:

Okay. I admit I was a bit dubious about the buzz surrounding this but I understand it now. It’s as refreshing as it is effective in removing my makeup if I’m having one of those lazy days of double-cleansing. But most of all, I love it as my morning cleanse! I bought this in a duo pack for a really good price so I regret I didn’t buy more at the time.

= Clinique Pep-Start Eye Cream (sample):

This is a really good basic eye cream in terms of general eye-care; but nothing more in terms of fine lines, extra hydration and dark circles. I did enjoy this sample but it hasn’t quite persuaded me to buy it, especially as it’s not as heavy duty as I like my eye-care routine to be! I much prefer the Clinique All About Eyes over this, which is one of my favourites actually.

It’s Skin Collagen Nutrition Eye Cream (didn’t finish):

[Read review here] I really tried, but trying sometimes means forcing, which also means not really enjoying the product unfortunately. I had stated in the review already how I didn’t really like the scent – too perfume-y for my liking and surprise surprise, this does have fragrance in it. I was getting along okay once I got past the scent, but a few weeks later, I felt that my eyes were getting unnecessarily sensitive, red and a bit dry, hence the discontinuation.

+ Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion+ (sample):

I’ll keep this short: I might actually love this more than the gel version which is one of my most used and most loved product for a long time. This is the second sample of it that I’ve used up. It’s not your typical face lotion – it is really not greasy and would certainly be a winter go-to for me. It’s a no-thrills product that keeps my skin healthy in a simple way.

+ Hada Labo Super Hyaluronic Acid Moisturising Milk:

Aside from Clinique moisturisers being a favourite, this one is also at the top! Even now in the winter, it makes for a great companion in my skincare regime. Super hydrating, balances my skin and easy to include in my routine.

Innisfree Sebum and Trouble Zero Lotion | Forest for Men (sample):

[See September Monthly Favourites] Small samples are always tricky to work with because it’s hard to have a real opinion on a product in such a short time. However, I really enjoyed using this! As stated in mentioned posts, I felt that it really helped when my skin was congested. The scent is also quite likeable for me – minty and cooling but in a really subtle way.

–  A’Pieu Essential Source Hyaluronic Acid Moisture Essence (sample):

Just to clarify – I didn’t hate this product; but given my love for the Hada Labo Super Hyaluronic Lotion and The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid + B5, it was hard to beat. The sample was also not big enough for me to have an overall opinion about this.

= Vichy Liftactiv Supreme (sample):

Again, no real opinion except that it smells nice. It’s such a small sample for a moisturiser and not to mention, hard to squeeze out! Vichy is one of those brands I know of, and always walk past at Boots, but never hear anyone talking about. Have you tried anything Vichy before? Let me know.

Serums and Treatments


+ The Ordinary Salicylic Acid

[See August Monthly Favourites] When I got this, it was in a 15ml bottle, but I’m happy to know that The Ordinary have now upgraded to 30ml due to such positive response! (and suggestion.) Frankly, I’m surprised that I like so much of the brand’s products too, but they have really helped my skin and this is no exception! I used this sparingly when I really needed it and I found that it really helped clear my congested skin and/or control ongoing/onset pimples. I will be buying more for sure. 🙂

+ The Ordinary Ascorbyl Glucoside Solution 12%

[See 6 Months After Using More The Ordinary Products] I’m not as inclusive of vitamin C as a lot of skincare fanatics appear to be, but I’ve definitely been making an effort this year. Whilst at this moment, I cannot compare to any other brands, I definitely think this is the best Vitamin C product The Ordinary has to offer in its entire line. It’s fast-absorbing and easy to include in a skincare routine without being irritable. As well as being a skin-brightening agent during the course of using it, it was good at reducing my blackheads too!

= The Body Shop Blue Corn 3-in-1 Deep Purifying Scrub Mask (discont.):

This is the second pot that I have owned; and whilst it’s not a complete empty, I’m sure that it has gone way past its expiration date! I really love this for when I want to get serious about exfoliation. It feels quite minty on the skin so there is some tingling but after usage, my skin just feels amazing! Smooth, clean, purified. It’s a shame that this has been discontinued.

+ The Body Shop Mineral & Ginger Warming Massage Clay Mask:

They better not discontinue this! I find this to be a really unique mask as although a clay mask, it does not dry down or dry out your skin. I tend not to use masks that dry down as I have read before years ago how moving your face whilst it has dried down can offset premature ageing. I know – I am ridiculous. 😂 I like to use this mask when my skin is feeling a bit rough, or when I have a breakout. It calms my skin and really conditions it to the point of making it soft. It’s an unsung hero for sure!

Body, Hair and Self-Pampering


LUSH Happy Hippy Shower Gel

Meh, I wish I didn’t buy this because it’s really not worth the money. It’s pricey for what it is and for what you get. It’s around the £7.50 mark for 250ml. I actually prefer a lot of the shower and bath products that they sell at the drugstore compared to this! It has a grapefruit scent and does smell quite nice, but I’m disappointed that it doesn’t linger longer or transfer to the skin to give you the whole experience. The hard plastic bottle is not great either for dispensing the product out after you’re halfway through.

+ L’Oreal Elvive Extraordinary Oils Shampoo

What I’m still currently using! (I opened a new bottle recently.) One of the reasons I really like it is for the scent. There’s no chemical smell…it smells more like oils where the scent is more comforting and non-invasive. Secondly, the formula doesn’t feel too chemical either – I find it moisturising on my hair, cleaning it but not stripping it.

Avalon Organics Strengthening Peppermint Shampoo (didn’t finish)
– Avalon Organics Strengthening Peppermint Conditioner
(didn’t finish)

I will talk about these two as a duo! The appeal of buying this was the fact that it’s SLS-free and organic but honestly, I really don’t care for the formula. I don’t mind so much the peppermint smell however it’s not something I’d choose as my hair scent. The problem lies in its ineffectiveness to clean my hair. After I had washed and blow-dried, my hair still managed to be in an oily state which has never happened before! I wanted to wash my hair again. The conditioner is meh – not all that nourishing. To top it off, the hardness of the plastic bottle made it so difficult to dispense that it ruined the whole experience.

On a side note, my mum really despised the shampoo too and said it was so rough and smelt medicinal. So, double thumbs-down!

Dove Purely Pampering Body Lotion

[See November Monthly Favourites] What I’m still currently using. (I opened a new bottle recently.) If you are not a fan of the strong and sweet cocoa scent of the Palmer’s Formula lotion then I think this is a really good option to go for.

I bought this in a trio pack at Costco and I’m finally on my last one!

+ LUSH Dream Cream (Self-Preserving version)

[See review here] I demolished this large pot in two months which, as a person who traditionally doesn’t body-moisturise, is a huge statement that speaks for itself. It’s the only thing that has turned my problematic, eczema patches around to just being comfortable skin. Whilst it’s not a cure for eczema, it has certainly healed a lot of the problems that I was having! Really recommend if you’re in the same boat. I have since purchased a new pot but would love to try out Sleepy or Sympathy for the Skin some time too.

+ Cien Cotton Buds

As effective as cotton buds can get? These do the job and don’t fluff up easily.

A total of 20 products have been cleaned up!

With addition to my previous Empties this year only, here are the results:

The Beauty Clean-Up #2 = accumulated 10 empties
The Beauty Clean-Up #3 = accumulated 13 empties
The Beauty Clean-Up #4 = accumulated 13 empties
The Beauty Clean-Up #5 = accumulated 15 empties
The Beauty Clean-Up #6 = accumulated 28 empties
The Beauty Clean-Up #7 = accumulated 21 empties

The grand year-end total comes to 120 empties! Let’s see if next year I can beat this number. 🙂 It’s a new challenge I will be setting for myself. 

Happy emptying!

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  1. I love using Bioderma micellar water to remove eye makeup & I use it as an AM wash in the winter because my skin gets so dry & flaky. I have tried a few products by It’s Skin, I haven’t been overly impressed by anything I have tried either.

    • Honestly, I was surprised by the near perfect score on YesStyle…it’s like 4.5/5 overall or something. It’s SO fragranced! I really like the brand ethos but the products don’t seem to correspond with it which is a shame.

      Definitely need to get myself more Bioderma soon!

  2. TBS Cleansing balm is great! I didn’t love the scent but it’s really effective. I actually found the tin to be a pain to open…

    Good to know The Ordinary increased their AHA to 30ml. I noticed their BHA was only 15ml when I was doing some comparisons. I’ll have to check the AHA out.

    I’m exciting to try out the Ascorbyl Glucoside Solution 12%! I plan to open it next week after Christmas in case my skin flares up. 😛

    I’ve not heard of TBS Mineral & Ginger Warming Massage Clay Mask at ALL. I’m so curious now. Fingers crossed that they don’t discontinue it on you…

    Sorry about the wasted money on the LUSH shower gel. I guess chalk it up to a lesson learned!

    You did amazingly well with your empties! That’s nearly 1 product every third day. 😀

    I have to do my final empties for the year and then a tally as well… will likely tackle that in January! 😛

    • Maybe I am not that sensitive to scents? I actually don’t smell anything unless I really go have a whiff at it. 😝Oh, actually, there was one time when I couldn’t open mine! But I think this was more to do with me having screwed it on a lil lopsided…

      Oh! I never thought of it that way but it has made me very happy to know that I’ve used that many products! I would never think to have bought that many in a year let alone use that many!!!

      Ah yes, I NEVER see anyone talk about the TBS Warming Mask which is even more the reason why I had to mention it! 😛 I actually discovered it a couple of years ago.

      Ha, I took a gamble with LUSH. Honestly, you won’t see me buying anything remotely fancy for the bath or shower so this is as far as I will go. (If it is even considered luxe LOL.) I am enjoying this shower cream from them lately though 🙂 I will have to share soon on the blog.

  3. I remember 5 years ago being at makeup school and being introduced to Bioderma. So many artists have it in their kit because it works well with such a range of different skin. I love Lush products as well but I have never tried their shower gel. I haven’t really noticed much difference in using a more expensive one or an ordinary. x

    • Oh really? That’s good to know. Bioderma is really something else. I’ll have to try the other ones that they have.

      It has always baffled me a bit in how luxury bath things sell at all. I just couldn’t bring myself to spend that kinda money on something that washes off in seconds.

      • They usually contain the same ingredients as well. If you look at your shower gels, you will probably see SLS (a drying sulphate) with of course water and other chemicals. The difference is usually just the scent and fragrance.

  4. I absolutely love this post. I’ve said it before, but I really enjoy your reviewing style – it’s in depth enough to give me a good idea about the product, but succint enough that I can read entire empties post without getting bored. Found a few new skincare products to try!xx

    • Aww thank you!! Your comment means a lot to me. 🙂 I was actually going to split this post into 2 at first and then thought the second post will be too short so just left it LOL. Happy to know it’s kept you entertained as I know my posts can be long!
      Merry Christmas! xx

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