Monday 29 January 2024

Trimming My Stash - January, February And March 2023 Edition - Empties And Mini Reviews* **

Nothing proves more that life gets in the way than this blog post - Already way later than I intended I originally started drafting it way back in December, which worked out fine for most of it, but not for the new year, new start introduction that I'd originally planned, so please forgive me for this probably garbled beginning. This post is the first of four that I'm hoping to get up before the end of February, sharing all of my beauty empties from 2023 with you. I've been debating for a while over which was the best and quickest way to do it, and I've decided to split all of 2023 empties into 4 blog posts, each post focusing on 3 months worth of empties, starting today with January, February and March.

January, a month supposedly of new beginnings and change, or in reality for most of us I guess, the start of more of the same! - I mean I always try to start the year on a positive note and make the odd change but that's not usually how it stays or what actually happens, but I guess that's life for you!

Beauty Pie Renewed Density Anti Hair-Loss Ampules - 14 x 8ml
Stericlens Sterile Saline Spray - 240ml
AVON Advance Techniques Reconstruction Shampoo - 400ml
Jolen Face Wax Strips - 16 Wax Strips
Bath & Body Works Merry Christmas Winter Candy Apple Gentle Foaming Hand Soap - 259ml
Total - 5 Items

My start to 2023, at least trimming my stash wise, wasn't too bad. It wasn't a spectacular start by any means, but it was a good steady month where I managed a pretty respectable 5 items, including 1 festive product, and a few staples.

1. Beauty Pie Renewed Density Anti Hair-Loss Ampules - 14 x 8ml

This first item first made an appearance on the blog in my August 2022 empties post, and whilst you will see it mentioned in a quite few upcoming empties posts, it does now appear to have been discontinued or at least altered.

As I've said on many occasions I don't know whether it's down to illness or medication, but despite taking all of the gummy vitamins in the world, and spending a fortune on hair products, I'm sure that I still lose way more hairs than the average person.

This particular product was just one of my many anti hair loss products that I've tried over the years, and I have to say that these little vials did seem to help. You can read a little bit more about them and my experience with them here, but you just massaged some of the colourless, water like serum into your hair and scalp, and let it do its thing. My hair had more volume and felt thicker, and it looked a bit fuller as well. The biggest compliment you can give a product though, is when you stop using it you really do notice the difference, hence it's something that I've repurchased again and again.

Alas I couldn't justify keeping my Beauty Pie subscription, but my bestie still has hers, and she's been kind enough to place the odd order for me so I can still make use of the member prices. As I say though this product does appear to have been discontinued, or at least replaced by the Renewed Density Anti-Hair-Loss Treatment, which comes in a 100ml bottle and has a recommended member price of £19. The ingredients and description are very similar to these ampoules so I'm hoping that it's just a packaging switch up - I've got one to try so I'll let you know my thoughts when I've used it up x 

2. Stericlens Sterile Saline Spray - 240ml

Now in my previous empties post, I mentioned that 2022 was the year that I rediscovered my love of ear piercings, adding another 3 piercings to my admittedly quite small ears, and something that you need to do with especially new piercings is to clean them, preferably with saline solution.

While the NeilMed spray is by far my favourite. I did buy a couple of cans in a row that had problems with both the nozzles and the pressurisation , so I ended up trying a few other brands, while my anger subsided. 

For the price and the size of the can, this particular one is probably the best value saline spray on the market, but unlike the NeilMed spray it dispenses an awful lot of product at once, the mist is nowhere near as fine, so it tends to go everywhere, and obviously you end up wasting quite a bit as it ends up in your hair and running down your neck, but as I say it is a bit cheaper than the NeilMed version, and again it's pure saline with nothing else added, so I guess it depends on how your going to use it, and what type of piercing it's for.

This 240ml can of Stericlens Sterile Saline Spray retails at around £7.44 on Amazon, and the smaller 100ml bizarrely retails at around £8.48 also from Amazon. Various sizes and multipacks are also available from eBay.

3. AVON Advance Techniques Reconstruction Shampoo - 400ml

If you're a regular reader of my empties posts then you'll know that there are some products that I buy over and over again, and this is definitely one of them. I'm not going to bore you by talking about it yet again, so I'll just say that I love this shampoo and so does my hair. If you're interested in finding out more about it them use the search function in the sidebar and have a little read.

This 400ml size retails at around £5 from both the AVON website, and via your local AVON representative, and if you love it as much as I do, then you can also get a 700ml super size, which retails at around £8.

4. Jolen Face Wax Strips - 16 Wax Strips

Next up something else that you're probably sick to death of seeing on here, so especially since this won't be there only appearance in this post, I'll keep it brief - Jolen Face Wax Strips = A literal holy grail product for me! You can read a full review here x Nuff said!

5. Bath & Body Works Merry Christmas Winter Candy Apple Gentle Foaming Hand Soap - 259ml

Now I'm a huge fan of Bath & Body Works as a brand, and whilst I love so many of their scents, this particular one was one of the first fragrances that I ever tried from the brand, and as a result it has a special place in my heart.

For me the quintessential festive scent, Winter Candy Apple, is fresh, fruity, and spicy. With notes of apple, rose petals, and candied orange, it will definitely appeal to anyone who loves fruity and foodie scents. Teamed up with Bath & Body Works, aloe, shea, and vitamin E, non drying foaming hand soap formulation, and you have a festive bathroom essential.

Alas this one has probably disappeared from shelves now till at least the Autumn but you might still be able to find it, in an in store sale section or on the secondary market.

So they were my January empties, as I say not a spectacular start trimming my stash wise, but a steady foundation and a place to build from.

Alpha-H Liquid Gold Rose Limited Edition - 50ml
Easy Piercing Saline Solution - 50ml
Elizavecca Milky Piggy Carbonated Bubble Clay Mask - 100ml
Bath & Body Works Aromatherapy Eucalyptus + Spearmint Stress Relief Sugar Body Scrub - 368g
Total - 4 Items

Unfortunately I couldn't quite live up to that start in February 2023, and I only managed to finish another 4 items, including a couple of things you've seen before, something new and a limited edition item.

1. Alpha-H Liquid Gold Rose Limited Edition - 50ml

A few years ago you couldn't read a blog or any other form of beauty editorial or content without seeing at least version of this product been talked about and hyped up.

One of the original glycolic acid preparations on the market, this water like toner of sorts which contains 5% glycolic acid, is perfect for brightening and improving the texture of the skin, and I swear by it for helping reduce the appearance of pores, and keeping spots and blackheads at bay.

This particular bottle isn't the original though, this was and I believe still is a limited edition, and contains plant and flower extracts, such as lotus flower and damask rose. It has more moisturising ingredients than the original and it's recommended for people with a drier skin.

Whilst the scent was still quite astringent, it has a slight rose, geranium aroma, and whilst the familiar liquid gold tingle was still there, I personally though found this rose gold version to be a bit more gentle on the skin.

Whilst his version is quite hard to find now Cult Beauty do currently have the 100ml bottle in stock which retails at around £37. If you're a purist though and love the original, the original Liquid Gold is still widely available with the 30ml bottle retailing at around £14.99 from various retailers including ASOS, Space NKCult Beauty and Amazon. You can also get a large 100ml bottle for around £43, for most of these other retailers as well as from Look Fantastic, and M&S and if you fancy saving some money it's currently on offer at Amazon for £34.39!

2. Easy Piercing Saline Solution - 50ml

Next up another saline spray, what can I say I was still mad at NeilMed! I think I picked this particular one up because it was cheap, and I knew it must be decent because it's stocked at the studio where I get my piercings done.

Agin it's just pure saline solution with nothing else added, this 50ml spray actually lasted longer than I thought it would, and it would be perfect for travel or for just throwing in your bag to keep your piercings clean on the go.

I bought this particular bottle from Amazon where it retails at around £6.94.

3. Elizavecca Milky Piggy Carbonated Bubble Clay Mask - 100ml

If you've been reading my blog for sometime now then you'll probably have already realised that I'm an advertiser or influencers dream. If something gets a cult reputation or if everyone seems to be talking about a product, then you can guarantee that I'll pretty much need it, and this was just one of those products.

I don't even think that it was that hyped up over its skincare benefits, it was more for the novelty value, with people turning their faces in fluffy, bubbly clouds that was the true selling point.

You can reads my review here, but I think that after finishing another pot my opinion has changed a little bit. This pot seemed to have a slightly different fresher scent, and I don't know if that was why, or if my skin has changed (probably more likely!) but I didn't seem to get on with this mask quite as well as I did. Whilst it still looked fun, I found the bubbling and tingly feeling a bit more uncomfortable this time round, so much so that I couldn't wait to wash it off, and it left my skin looking pretty pink.

Needless to say I probably won't be buying this again, and it's clear to see that the hype has now well and truly died down because this product is now really hard to find in the UK.You can find it on eBay, and whilst Amazon no longer stock the Elizavecca version there are several very similar looking products in their lists ranging from around £9.99 to £11.99.

4. Bath & Body Works Aromatherapy Eucalyptus + Spearmint Stress Relief Sugar Body Scrub - 368g

Now it wouldn't be an empties post without the appearance of at least one body scrub, and this one was a new one for me. Whilst I definitely have a list of my favourite scrubs, that I'll definitely repurchase, I can't resist trying new ones, and this one if I remember rightly was a sale purchase again from Bath & Body Works.

From their 'Aromatherapy' range, comes a sugar scrub, which contains jojoba oil, in this case essential oils of eucalyptus and spearmint, as well as clary sage extract and safflower oil.

With a chunky, oily brown sugar like appearance, it has the super scrubby texture that I love, but it isn't too harsh or scratchy thanks to the high oil content that leaves the skin both exfoliated, moisturised and silky soft.

On paper this scrub is perfect for me but I just wasn't a huge fan of the scent. If I buy a product with eucalyptus in it, that's what I want it to smell like but for what ever reason, no matter what the brand I always end being disappointed. This scent isn't horrible by any stretch of the imagination it just isn't my favourite. The eucalyptus scent is definitely there but it's covered up by a lot of other things so you just end up with a herbal, green scent, a bit minty, head clearing but not really what I expected. This is definitely a unisex scent and I do think that a lot of people will love it, it just wouldn't be top of my list. There are a couple of other different scents in this scrub including a few lavender based scents though that I definitely want to try.

This scrub now comes in slightly different packaging, and retails at around £18 from NEXT Beauty online, and from Bath & Body Works stand alone stores and concessions.

So not a vintage performance in February, but could I do better in March 2022?

Eclat Advanced Foot Exfoliation Peeling Mask - 2 Socks - 60ml
Ginvera Green Tea Hydrating White Mask - 1 Sheet Mask
NeilMed Neil Cleanse Piercing Aftercare Fine Mist Wound Wash - 177.6g
Jolen Face Wax Strips - 16 Wax Strips
AVON Advance Techniques Reconstruction Conditioner - 400ml
Total- 5 items 

Well, it turns out that I could - I went one better in March and equalled January's total of 5 items, including 3 things you've seen before, something new and an item from deep, deep in my stash!

1. Eclat Advanced Foot Exfoliation Peeling Mask - 2 Socks - 60ml

Something that March usually signifies is that winter is coming to its close and that spring is well and truly on its way, barring the odd rogue snow shower in April obviously! and if you're anything like me that means taking a closer look at what those boots, and fluffy socks have been hiding over the winter months.

I suffer from horribly dry feet and every now and then I love to use one of these masks to get rid of some of the worst calluses. I actually bought this particular one after seeing it mentioned on a Buzzfeed list which surprise, surprise featured predominantly Amazon products!.

You should know the drill by now - the sachet contained a pair of fibre lined plastic socks, cut them open and the socks contained a clearish liquid, which contained lactic and salicylic acids, lots of different alcohols, and oat kernel extract, which had a warm apple like, but slightly astringent scent.

As per the instructions I put the booties on to clean dry feel, and like every other similar product that I've tried they felt pretty squishy. They did feel slightly warm and stingy but nothing too strong or uncomfortable.

The instructions advised to leave them on for anywhere between 60 and 90 minutes, so you've guessed it, I left them on for the full 90! When I removed them my feet were covered in a slightly oily bubbly like solution. After rinsing my feet in warm water they looked a touch pink but nowhere near as red as some similar peels that I'd used in the past.

I initially had really high hopes for this peel, my skin started to feel tighter within 24 hours, and within 3 days the peeling had started, which is by far the quickest time of any previous mask that I'd used! Alas that was pretty much as good as it got, the dry skin peeled off here and there for another 5 or 6 days, and then it stopped. My feet were definitely smoother and less callused but it had barely made inroads into the dry skin on my heels. 

If you have the odd bit of dry or callused skin on your feet, then I would definitely give these a go, but unlike the original article suggested if your heels especially are thick and dry, then don't expect miracles.

That being said these aren't actually that expensive so they are probably worth a try. You can pick these up on Amazon for just £4.45 which is a pretty good price especially if you're a Prime customer (If you aren't though and you're in the UK don't forget you can use my link and sign up for a free 30 day trial!) You can also find them for various prices and multipacks on eBay.

2. Ginvera Green Tea Hydrating White Mask - 1 Sheet Mask

The next product on March's list came from the deep, deep depths on my skincare stash, and to be honest with you I have no idea where I got it from! 

I'm a huge, huge fan of the Ginvera Green Tea Marvel Gel facial peel, and this mask comes from the same brand. Containing green tea, vitamin C, and aloe vera, like so many Asian created masks this one is designed to hydrate, brighten and whiten.

The mask was a nice quality fibre sheet mask, I'm not sure how old this was so it wasn't really surprising that it wasn't the wettest mask that I'd ever used, but at least that made it fairly easy to unfold!

It didn't really have a lot of scent and since it seemed to dry out quickly I had a little lie and chill session for the 15 or so minutes that I had it on.

Despite the lack of moisture in the mask there was a little bit of leftover serum on my skin. I massaged it in an although it felt sticky for a good five minutes or so afterwards, my skin actually looked less red and more even, and my eye area especially looked a lot brighter.

Unfortunately I can't find this mask anywhere online, or I would have definitely considered repurchasing it. Even when it was 'way past its best' I still saw some good results, so if you know where I can buy this or if you can even recommend a reliable stockist of the Ginvera Green Tea Marvel Gel, then please let me know in the comments x 

3. NeilMed Neil Cleanse Piercing Aftercare Fine Mist Wound Wash - 177.6g

So after trying a few other saline sprays, I eventually retuned to my HG product - I talked about this is my previous empties post, so you can have a read and find out just way I rate this stuff so highly. If you have fresh or healing piercings then buy this! 

4. Jolen Face Wax Strips - 16 Wax Strips

Blah, Blah - Love them, I don't want to bore you and talk about them again - repeat to fade...

5. AVON Advance Techniques Reconstruction Conditioner - 400ml

Question, are you one of those people who finishes their shampoo first or do you always end up using more conditioner? If you fall into the latter category then please tell me how that works - I just don't understand it!  I've use way more shampoo than I do conditioner, and again so it's proven, I finished the corresponding shampoo in January and I didn't finish the matching conditioner until March!

I've spoken at length on many occasions about how much I love the products in this range (have a little search if you don't believe me!) so if you've made it almost to the end of this post I'm not going to start boring you even further - lovely conditioner, my hair likes, and even though I'm currently using and loving something else at the moment, I will definitely continue to use and repurchase this product.

This 400ml size retails at around £5 direct from the AVON website or from you local rep.

If you've made it to the end of this post then thank you for your dedication and perseverance in reading this somewhat epic, longwinded post. I know it was long but I think that this is going to be the best way to try and my empties posts back up to date again x 

All in all a solid but not necessarily spectacular start to 2023 what with quarter of the year gone and 14 items down, surely if could only get better in the next quarter? Well, if you want to spoil the surprise then you can have a little look in my sidebar, otherwise you can hang on for my next empties post which should be live soon but in the meantime I'll have some fresh, probably beauty related content up soon x In the meantime though if you have any questions then please help save me from the spam and leave me a comment below, I hope that you all have a great start to the week and I'll see you all soon x 

*This Post Contains Automatic Affiliate, Added Affiliate And Non Affiliate Links
**Prices And Information Correct At The Time Of Publication

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