This post is long overdue as I have accumulated quite the number of non-makeup empties!! Let's start with haircare:
Got2B Guardian Angel Heat Protection Spray
This definitely served me well. I purchased it back in October 2011 and there's still a tiny bit left. I chose it from the numerous options at Boots because it seemed to be well loved in the blogosphere.
Pros: affordable, paraben-free, protects up to 220 degrees Celsius (or so it says).
Cons: it doesn't smell too great and takes such a long time to dry on the hair. That's a good thing because it means there's less drying alcohol in it but I have to wait 15+ minutes after I spray it to use my flatiron!
Bottomline: this is a great drugstore heat protectant if you are willing to wait for it to dry.
I purchased this back in October 2011 as well after it was raved about on every platform known to man. If Angelina Jolie was using it and "couldn't live without it", how could I not shell out for the tiny bottle to have a taste of the miraculous potion myself?
I think when I first used it I absolutely loved it and was convinced that it was working wonders. However the longer I used it, the more I realised that it's just a silicon-based hair serum at the end of the day, not unlike John Frieda's. Sure it had a nicer scent (it smells of a hot guy to me - am I alone in this?) and comes in a fancy glass bottle, but a silicone serum is a silicone serum at the end of the day. I honestly try to stay away from that ingredient because while it does smooth out the hair follicle, it also traps it and squeezes out the folicle's inner hydration leaving your hair dry in the long run.
Pros: scent, fly-away taming capability.
Cons: price, overall long-term damage to hair.
Bottomline: if you're willing to splash out a little extra for the scent go for it, otherwise it's just the same as any other silicone-based frizz tamer out there.
TIGI S-Factor Diamond Dreams Conditioner
I had been eyeing the S-Factor line for YEARS, years I tell you! As you all know it is a tad too overpriced. So when I saw this heavily discounted on gorgeousshop.co.uk, (!LINK!) I went for it! I got this conditioner for around £6 which is all it is really worth in my opinion.
The bottle describes it as being "infused with diamonds, cashmere, champagne and pearls. My ass it is! This conditioner was such a big disappointment for me and I do not rate it at all - especially at that price point! My £3.39 Dove conditioner works a LOT better.
Pros: sweet girly scent, made my hair quite soft in the shower only.
Cons: hard to squeeze the bottle when the it had 20% of the product or less left, way overpriced, didn't do much noticeable conditioning to my hair once I'd towel dried it.
Bottomline: seriously, don't waste your money.
Mandara Spa Tropical Blooms Moisturising Shower Gel
This is an old favourite! It's available in Sainsbury's and is absolutely divine!!!! It smells so fresh and wonderful and I wish I had a lifetime supply of this!
Pros: moisturising, cleansing and ah-mazing smelling!!! Super super affordable too!
Cons: none, except that I wish it was sold in Boots!
Bottomline: I LOVE THIS!!!!!
Nivea Firming Body Oil
This is an old favourite too, but I've fallen out of love with it recently. It's definitely a really good affordable body oil for daily use, but I wish it smelled better and had more essential oils in it and less chemicals. It has a bit of a plastic-y scent to it and I can't say I noticed much firming. My cellulite never went away.
Pros: affordable, moisturising.
Cons: not the best scent.
Bottomeline: it's good to have for now and again uses, but there are much nicer body oils out there.
L'Occitane 20% Shea Butter Hand Cream
This is my all-time favourite hand cream EVER!!!! I just wish it had SPF in it! It smells fabulous and is SO moisturising! I love the vintage-feel apothecary packaging and I have 3 backups waiting in my drawer! As the days are getting longer and longer, I have been mixing it with my trusty Neutrogena SPF 25 hand cream to add some sun protection to this beauty.
Pros: smells lovely, great compact tube that would fit into your clutch too!
Cons: the price could be a little lower.
Bottomline: this is my holy grail hand cream for sure.
Nip + Fab Pistachio Sundae Dry Skin Fix Body Butter
I purchased this back in May 2012 after Barbara from PersianBabe said it was a dupe for Laura Mercier's pistachio body cream. Unfortunately the latter has parabens in it which is why I didn't try it, but I couldn't wait to get my mitts on this paraben-free version! I went from really liking it to not liking it at all and then back to liking it towards the end. The scent was the main reason for that as it got sickly during the summer! My advice is to use this sweet-smelling product in the winter months.
Pros: very moisturising, sweet pistachio smell, affordable.
Cons: I wish it was in a tube and not a pot because it got a little gross after it had been open for a few months.
Bottomline: if you're a fan of pistachio scents, definitely check this out!
Boots Botanics All Bright Cleansing Face Wipes
I purchased these back in September 2012 because I really needed to grab some makeup removing wipes for Bestival!!
It has probably taken me this long to use them up because quite frankly, I hated them. They're very dry and don't really cleanse very well for something that's being marketed as "cleansing". They're better off calling them "wipes that will smear your makeup around your face and remove most of it but certainly not all of it". Ok maybe not - that's way too long and ridiculous but you get the gist.
Pros: affordable, does a very average job of removing makeup.
Cons: hardly "cleanses" the face at all - especially once the packet had been open for longer than 4-6 weeks.
Bottomline: I appreciate that Boots are trying to make a more 'natural' line with Kew Royal Gardens botanics in it, but I would pass - there are far better makeup wipes out there that will actually do the job!
Read The Label Face & Hair Oil
If you read my blogpost back in October 2012 !Link! I came across Daniel Knight and his Camden stall filled with wonderous natural beauty products *swoon*. I was really sad to see this bottle of macadamia nut, golden jojoba and almond oil empty out. I cannot WAIT for my next Camden shopping spree so I can stock up on this.
If you read my MoroccanOil review at the beginning of the post, THIS is a hair oil worth investing in! It's only £5 and is truly nothing but beneficial for your hair.
Pros: gorgeous scent, perfect for both face and hair, super moisturising and beneficial.
Cons: I had to remove the clear plastic top to dispense enough for my hair.
Bottomline: I'd repurchase this in a heartbeat.
Sephora Triple Action Cleansing Water and Soothing Cleansing Milk
I picked these up when I was in Cannes back in June 2012 and I was prancing around Sephora in utter joy *aaah those good old days*! How could I resist testing out Sephora brand makeup removers in cute little travel sizes at €2-€3 each? In my basket they went!
It really disappoints me to say that I really disliked both of them. The Triple Action Cleansing Water was very drying on my skin and I made the mistake of using it to remove my eye makeup. It stung like a mofo!!!! Bad bad bad makeup remover. As for the Soothing Cleansing Milk, I would hardly call it "cleansing" at all. It was rich and creamy but had a very chemical-y scent and really didn't clean my face of the makeup I had on. It also wasn't that friendly around the eye-area either.
Cons: they do not "cleanse" much at all and sting when used around the eye area.
Bottomline: I would only use these as a last resort for taking off makeup. I do not recommend them at all.
Avene Soothing Hydrating Serum
I didn't find this facial serum that hydrating on my combination/oily skin. I have used the bottle up completely and would say that only two or three of the uses in that bottle actually gave me fresh hydrated glowy skin. The rest of the time I was waiting for the bottle to finish up so I can use something else :/
Pros: gentle, soothing to rub over the skin.
Cons: not very hydrating on its own, tad too pricey.
Bottomline: everybody's skin is different, and on mine it didn't do much noticeable good.
Avene Rich Hydrating Cream SPF 20
I purchased this to try out as a daily facial sunscreen since I love Avene so very much, but unfortunately this was not a great choice for my oily/combination skin. This is largely to do with my choosing to ignore that it says "for dry to very dry" skin in black and white on the bottle ^^ What can I say, I just didn't want to shell out £22.50 for the MAC sunscreen!!
This was definitely gentle on my skin and hopefully protected me from any sun damage. At £14.50 it is definitely a good daily moisturiser, just make sure to pay attention to the skin type it's recommended for! Ha you gotta laugh at yourself sometimes :p. In retrospect, I probably would not have purchased it.
Pros: gentle, sweet smelling, reputable hydrating French skincare brand, lasted 4-5 months with DAILY use!
Cons: greasy on oily/combination skin but that is totally excusable as it does say for dry/very dry skin on the bottle!
Bottomline: if you have dry skin, this would be a great reasonably-priced daily moisturiser for you!