Monday 4 May 2020

Trimming My Stash - January, February, And March 2020 Edition - Empties And Mini Reviews*

Right, I said that this was going to be an epic post, and after spending the last week or so working on it, it's certainly that. Since I'm now so far behind on my empties posts, I've decided to do a 3 in 1 post to try and get myself up to date again. so this long and rambling post will cover all of my beauty empties from January, February, and March, and April's will hopefully follow in the next week or so. First up January, and a pretty mediocre start to 2020.

Derma V10 Deep Moisturising Hand Pack Argan Oil - 1 x Treatment
Bio Miracle Stardust Unicorn Bubble Mask - 1 x 20g Bubble Sheet Mask
Soap & Glory Thick & Fast Super Volume Mascara - Black - 10ml
The Body Shop Juicy Pear Exfoliating Sugar Body Scrub - 300g

Total - 4 Items

1. Derma V10 Deep Moisturising Hand Pack Argan Oil - 1 x Treatment

I think 2020 is going to be remembered for lots of reasons, most of which are fairly obvious but one of the reasons that I think I'll be remembering it for is it being the year that my hands and nails finally gave up hope!

My hands were already dry thanks to the central heating and the cold and windy winter weather, but thanks to  all of the extra hand washing and sanitising that going at the moment, my hands, and nails aren't looking their best.As you should know from the amount that I finish, I'm a regular user of both hand creams and cuticle oils, but over the last few months in a desperate bid to repair my hands and nails, I've been trying some more intensive treatments, including this hand mask that I picked up in Poundland, from UK based company, Derma V10.

Suitable for vegans, the pack contains two plastic gloves, with a paper / fibre like lining. Each glove contains a lot of milky, white liquid that contains Moroccan argan oil, shea butter and vitamin E.

All you do is pop the gloves onto clean, dry hands, and then just relax as best you can for around 20 minutes, whilst trying to ignore the cold, squelchy feeling that currently enveloping your hands.

After taking the gloves off, as you can see my hands were still very wet, and they were covered in a milky substance that smelled a bit like minty, plastic, and my fingertips were also really wrinkled as if I'd had had a nice long bath - hmm.

The instructions said to massage any excess liquid into your hands, but there was so much of it, it took a good 10-15 minutes for it all to soak in and even then my hands still felt really sticky.

Immediately After Removal

I took a few before and after pictures but to be honest I don't think that you can really see too much difference between the two pictures. In real life though my hands strangely did feel more hydrated, and the problem areas around my cuticles definitely didn't feel as hard or as dry, bit they did feel pretty tacky, and I did feel as though I needed to wash my hands, which to be honest outweighs any real benefit. I actually bought a few different hand masks to try out so I'll try and keep an open mind when I use them, but I can't help but think that that a pair of cotton gloves, and some hand cream, might be a better and more eco friendly option.



I picked these up in Poundland, but Derma V10 as a brand is also available in various other bargain type, and chemist stores such as Savers, B&M and Bodycare for around a £1, and you can also find them on ebay.

2. Bio Miracle Stardust Unicorn Bubble Mask - 1 x 20g Bubble Sheet Mask

Next up a face mask, and one that I received in my last Pink Parcel box that I received way back in November! The least said about the shambolic end of Pink Parcel the better, I kept the faith with them for way longer than I should have, and I like so many others paid the price, literally! Anyways I didn't post an official unboxing but this was one of the items that I received and it combined two of my favourite skin care products, bubble masks and sheet masks.

Bio Miracle is a US brand that is popular in both the US and in Asia. Animal friendly, this mask is also paraben free, it contains green tea, anise, grape, papaya, and apple extracts and it's designed to promote cleaner, clearer skin, by eliminating impurities and increasing hydration.

Immediately on opening the sachet you're greeted with a mass of purple liquid, almost suspended in the liquid is a nice quality paper / fibre mask that is printed with a unicorn design that is barely visible due to the inky purple liquid. The scent is slight fruity but at the same time quite astringent.

Because it's so wet, it's quite difficult to open the mask up, but it's decent quality so I personally didn't experience any tearing. All you do is apply the mask to clean dry skin and then you wait for the magic to happen. The instructions say for best result to rub the mask to encourage the bubbles to form, but in my experience they didn't really need a lot of encouragement!

On Application 

After 1 - 2 Minutes 

After 20 Minutes

The mask felt slightly tingly on the skin, and it was almost quite ticklish with the bubbling sensation, and that only increased as more bubbles formed. it wasn't uncomfortable and like most bubble masks it makes you feel as though it's doing something.

Immediately After Removal 

After removing the mask there was a lot of purple liquid and bubbles left on the skin, so I rinsed the excess off with warm water. After rinsing my skin looked clean and clear, and it felt smooth with no redness or tightness.

After Rinsing 

I'm not going to lie this mask was messy as hell, with purple drips running down my face, and rogue bubbles escaping into my hair. I was actually pretty worried that it would stain and that I'd end up looking like Violet Beauregarde but I just looked like someone with slightly better skin!

Despite the mess and the almost horror movie esq visuals I really liked this mask and I would definitely consider repurchasing it. The only place that I can find this mask online in the UK is from a company called Beauty Bargains UK where it retails at £3.

3. Soap & Glory Thick & Fast Super Volume Mascara - Black - 10ml

The next item is a bit of a rarity for me when it comes to empties posts because it's a make up item. As much as I love make up because I have so much of it, I'm always switching it up and using different things so it's very rare that I ever finish anything. Obviously I should use up more mascaras but who isn't guilty of using one for longer than 3 months - I can't help it i feel guilty for throwing things out that aren't empty - what can I say?

Although 2019 was an exception, just about every Christmas I get some form of gift set from Soap & Glory filled with bath and body goodies, and sometimes skincare and make up. I've had a few of these mascaras now and I think it's a decent everyday mascara.

Featuring Soap & Glory's unique Superfill - false lash effect fillers, Shine Amplifiers, and no flake, 24 hour technology, Soap & Glory claim that this mascara has a no clump formulation, that add super volume, and length to lashes.

On me it adds a little bit of lift to my lashes, they look a little bit fuller, and a tiny touch longer, but they give a more natural look rather than a true false lash effect. It also wears well, with very little smudging or flaking. it's a good workhorse mascara that you could easily wear for any occasion. If you want to know what it looks like on, then it's the mascara that I'm wearing in my December Glossybox unboxing post, and in both parts of my 2019 Glossybox advent calendar unboxing, which you read here and here. This mascara retails at £10 and is available from both Boots and direct from Soap & Glory.

4. The Body Shop Juicy Pear Exfoliating Sugar Body Scrub - 300g

The final item from January sums up 2 of my favourite things, body scrubs, and festive scents from The Body Shop. From Christmas 2019's Juicy Pear range, this is a gorgeous sugar based body scrub that contains community trade, organic sugar from Paraguay, and pear extract from Italy.

I love anything apple or pear scented so this collection was right up my street. Unlike a lot of festive scents it wasn't spicy, there was no cinnamon or ginger just the subtle sweet, tart scent of ripe pears. The Body Shop sugar scrub is already one of my favourite scrub formulations, and when you combine it with such a yummy scent even more so.

This particular scent was obviously a limited edition for Christmas 2019, so it will probably be pretty difficult to find now, which is a shame because I think this scent actually has an all year round appeal. This size of scrub though has a retail price of around £16. Thankfully I managed to get my hands on a few Juicy Pear items in the after Christmas sales so I'll be able to enjoy this lovely fragrance for little bit longer.

Next up February's empties - To be honest I don't remember an awful lot about February or early March but what I do remember is that any attempt at beauty routine went straight out of the window because I barely made it out of bed for more than a few hours a day - damn you stupid virus - So understandably February's empties total, like Januarys, and as you will see March's, was less than impressive.

Baylis & Harding Skin Spa Rosemary, Eucalyptus & White Tea Luxury Cream Wash - 500ml
Beauty Pro Eye Therapy Under Eye Mask With Collagen And Green Tea - 1 x Pair - 3.5g
Primark PS...It's All Good Oil Balancing Facial Cleansing Wipes x 25 Wipes

Total - 3 Items

1. Baylis & Harding Skin Spa Rosemary, Eucalyptus & White Tea Luxury Cream Wash - 500ml

When you've got a cold, a chest infection, or if you're feeling a little bit bunged up, you will do anything to help yourself breathe a little bit easier, and whilst I really struggled a couple of thing that I relied on a lot were steam inhalations and hot showers. Thankfully we are lucky enough to have a wet room and a shower chair so I was still able to have nice warm, steamy showers.

I really found that the steam and the hot water helped no matter what shower product I used but this product in particular seemed to give me a bit of an extra boost.

From British based toiletry brand, Baylis & Harding, this vegan friendly and paraben free shower cream contains extracts of white tea, rosemary and eucalyptus. I've used a few eucalyptus based shower products over the years, and whilst you could definitely smell the slightly antiseptic notes of the eucalyptus and rosemary, the inclusion of the white tea seemed to tone it down slightly and give more of a green, woody scent.

As you can probably guess from the inclusion of the polar bear on the packaging this was also a limited edition Christmas item. I've had a little look online and the only places that I can now find this range online is on Amazon or ebay. 

2. Beauty Pro Eye Therapy Under Eye Mask With Collagen And Green Tea - 1 x Pair - 3.5g

Next up another subscription box item, and something from the August 2019 edition of Glossybox.

From mask specialist, Beauty Pro this is a pair of hydro gel under eye patched. Paraben, lanolin, mineral oil, and petroleum free, these patches are dermatologically tested, and aren't tested on animals. They contains collagen, green tea, aloe vera, and vitamins A and E. Designed to relaxing and cooling, they claim to relieve the effects of tired, swollen and puffy eyes, as well as minimising  dark circles, and improving the appearance of fine lines and dryness on the under eye area.

Each patch was stuck to a sheet of clear plastic film. One side of the patch had a paper / fabric fibre feel, and the other side was covered in a pale green semi solid gel, which smelled a little bit like Elizabeth Arden's Green Tea fragrance.

The shape of the patch fits the under eye perfectly. All you do is apply the patch gel side down, to clean dry skin. On application the patch felt quite cool but it wasn't quite as cool as I'd expected. The patch felt slightly tight on the skin, and once it was applied it didn't move. After 20 minutes it was fairly easy to peel the patch off, and unlike a lot of hydro gel based products there was no stickiness and virtually no moisture remaining.



As you can probably see there is no real visual difference between the before and after pictures, but in real life my skin did feel a bit more refreshed and a little bit more hydrated.

I have to say that I actually prefer a pure hydro gel patches with no fabric side because I find them a little bit more cooling and hydrating but these one are way less messy to use. There is no excess liquid, or stickiness and you can even wear your glasses whilst you're doing the treatment.

These patches come in a pack of 3 pairs for around £4.95 from various retailers including Beauty Pro, Look Fantastic, Amazon, Feel Unique and Fragrance Direct.

3. Primark PS...It's All Good Oil Balancing Facial Cleansing Wipes x 25 Wipes

I can usually say that I've been using these wipes for swatch clean up, and for general hygiene reasons but I'm not going to lie - I probably used most of this packet on my face!

When you're not feeling well and you're all gross and sweaty, rubbing a cool, tea tree based wipe over your face makes you feel clean and fresh again, even it's just for a few minutes. Under normal circumstances using wipes on your face is a bit of a no no, so I hope that the skin care purists amongst you will forgive me.

I haven't been into Primark since before Christmas so I have no idea if they even still sell these but I have one packet left and I can assure that I have no plans to use them on my face, they will be used for swatches and swatches alone.

Finally it's time to look back at March's empties, and as I said like January and February before it, it was another mehhh month.

Primark PS... Nourishing Cuticle Revive Nourishing Cuticle Oil - 1.5ml
Sunday Rain Scrub Away Exfoliating Cubes Charcoal - 150g
Aldi Lacura Healthy Glow Exfoliating Toner 5% Glycolic Acid, Aloe Vera & Ginseng - 250ml
AVON Senses Festive Wishes Winter Apple Cheer Daily Hand Wash - 250ml
Total - 4 Items

1. Primark PS... Nourishing Cuticle Revive Nourishing Cuticle Oil - 1.5ml

Talking about Primark this next item was actually one of the last things that I bought there, way back in December. You can read a full review of it here. I haven't really got a great deal to add to my original review other than to add that I like, it's convenient and it works, it just doesn't last that long, and if you look really closely at the picture above, there is a tiny bit of product still left in the tube that I just can't get it out - hmm still it was only £1 so I can't really complain.
ETA - I eventually realised that it was was possible to twist and pull the brush end out to access the remaining oil - so no waste after all and so it was definitely worth £1.

2. Sunday Rain Scrub Away Exfoliating Cubes Charcoal - 150g

Next up another body exfoliator, and this time it's something from much hyped, vegan brand, Sunday Rain.

From their charcoal range, the tub contained 8 exfoliating cubes each containing shea butter to heal and moisturise, sugar to smooth, and to help retain moisture, as well as naturally derived wood charcoal, which is slightly gritty, to exfoliate, purify and refresh the skin.

The cubes themselves are like pumped up, dark grey sugar cubes. They are a bit softer than sugar cubes though and they have a nice, subtle fresh scent. I found the best way to use them was to slightly crumble the cube, and massage it into damp skin. The were nice and gritty and any excess rinsed away easily with warm water, leaving the skin super soft.

They are a touch messier than a normal tub of body scrub, but because of the sugar base any dark residue dissolves and rinses clean away.

I'm not sure whether these cubes are as economical as a normal body scrub but I do like them, and I really want to try the watermelon version as well.

These retail at around £6 - £7 for a variety of retailers including ASOS, Boohoo, Debenhams, and Amazon.

3. Aldi Lacura Healthy Glow Exfoliating Toner 5% Glycolic Acid, Aloe Vera & Ginseng - 250ml

Okay, lets cut straight to the chase with this one, this particular product has pretty much borrowed its entire being from PIXI Glow Tonic, it isn't really a dupe, it's much more of an out and out copy.The packaging is pretty much identical and the ingredients list is pretty similar too, all be it with Aldi version apparently containing less Aloe Vera extract.

Having used both products I don't think that there is too much difference between the two. The Aldi version smells a touch more astringent, and I did find that it tingled a little bit more, but I experienced pretty much the same results with both products. My skin was more balanced, blemishes dried up more quickly, and any rough patches didn't feel quite as rough.

To be honest I would repurchase both this and the PIXI product - I like them both, and in my experience the results were pretty similar, the only real difference is the price, a 250ml bottle of PIXI Glow Tonic retails at around £18, where as a 250ml bottle of Aldi Lacura Healthy Glow Exfoliating Toner, retails at around £3.99.

I can understand people hating on brands for such blatant dupes (although Aldi have now changed their packaging) but ultimately it's the consumer that benefits. If you can afford to spend £18 on just 1 skincare product that's fine but if you can't then there are cheaper alternatives out there. You pays your money and takes your choice I guess x 

4. AVON Senses Festive Wishes Winter Apple Cheer Daily Hand Wash - 250ml

The final product that I'm going to talk about in this post is a hand wash, and honestly who hasn't used one of these up in the past month or so?

Although I'm not 100% sure about this one's antibacterial properties, this was a lovely hand wash, in one of AVON's festive scents. It had a very similar smell to The Body Shop's Spiced Apple scent from a few years ago - sweet yet tart apple, combined with warming festive spices. It smelled lovely and it didn't feel drying on the skin.

Since this was a limited edition product it's not that easy to get hold of now. I spotted it in a recent sale supplement and tried to order some but unsurprisingly it was sold out, thankfully I have a unopened bottle of the accompanying shower gel, so at least I can enjoy the fragrance for a little bit longer.

So they were my January, February, and March empties, if you have any questions or comments on any of the items in this post then please let me know x I haven't had the best start of the year empties wise but hopefully things will get better from here on it. My April empties post should be up in a couple of weeks or so, and since I managed to get my new fibre broadband sorted I should be able to post a little bit more regularly x Thanks for reading and I will see you soon with a late unboxing and review of the February edition of Glossybox

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