Empties No.6

Another few months have passed since my last empties post and I have another little collection of goodies to round up for you...

Origins Make A Difference+ Rejuvenating Treatment

Repurchase?

Already have!

Recommend?

Of course

Why?

I formulation is really lightweight but also very hydrating - perfect for my combination skin.

Ren Mayblossom Cleansing Gel

Repurchase? 

Not at the moment

Recommend?

Yes, for combination skin

Why?

I received these samples from my facialist. They lasted me 2-3 weeks and I really enjoyed using them. The formula is so lightweight yet does a great job. I wouldn't purchase the full-size product at the moment because I am using another Ren cleanser which is more suited to my skin's current needs.

Australian Organics Volumizing Shampoo

Repurchase? 

No

Recommend? 

No

Why? 

I bought this when I spotted it in T K Maxx because I really like trying different shampoos which use natural ingredients and this one was suited to my fine hair. I didn't find it to be as effective as other natural shampoos (even after two washes there was little or no lather) and it was overall, nothing special.

Naked Rescue Conditioner

Repurchase?

Yes

Recommend?

Yes

Why? 

Now this is a natural haircare brand which definitely delivers time after time. This rich and creamy conditioner is one of my favourites.

Bodhi Bath and Shower Therapy in Rosemary Chi

Repurchase?

Not unless I could justify really treating myself...

Recommend? 

Yes

Why? 

This brand is fantastic! I use this product in the shower and it lathers wonderfully, despite being made from natural ingredients, and the aromatic scent is heavenly and lasts for ages!

Kiehl's Ultimate Strength Hand Salve

Repurchase? 

Maybe

Recommend? 

Yes

Why?

After being given this sample in my local Kiehl's store (which was a lovely experience itself!), I couldn't wait to try this sachet. The product is a really effective hand cream and as my hands are definitely much drier recently, I'm considering making the investment...

Kiehl's Orange Flower and Lychee Body Cleanser

Repurchase? 

No

Recommend? 

Yes

Why? 

Another Kiehl's product that I was excited to try. I love the scents of lychee and of orange blossom, plus this contains a hint of Moroccan Rose - perfection! I found the formula to be really runny so I'm not sure how long a whole bottle of this would last but if you have the cash to splash, I would recommend giving it a whirl!

Sainsbury's Cod Liver Oil Supplements

Repurchase? 

No

Recommend? 

Only if recommended by a health professional

Why?

I have only shopped at Sainsbury's a few times but was really impressed with their range of supplements. These cod liver oil supplements were a great price and I thought I would give them a try as I have heard great things about the benefits of fish oils. However, I noticed no difference when taking them or since discontinuing taking them.

Benefit Bad Gal Mascara

Repurchase? 

No

Recommend? 

No

Why? 

I personally think that this mascara is totally over-rated and over priced. Save your money!

Organic Surge Tropical Bergamot Hand Wash

Repurchase? 

Yes

Recommend? 

Definitely!

Why? 

I absolutely adore this hand wash. I love the natural ingredients and the heavenly scent. I repurchased the product in the lavender meadow fragrance which is also lovely.

As well as finishing up some products, I also decided to bin some products that I just couldn't bare to look at any longer...

Lee Stafford Bling Conditioner

I received this in a goody bag at The Clothes Show Live and I have to say, I was thoroughly unimpressed with all of the products that I received.

Purity Face Wash and Exfoliator

I think that Purity are a lovely brand but unfortunately, the face wash wasn't right for me and I am no longer a fan of exfoliators with any kind of 'bit's in them. Since my skin has been so problematic and sensitive, I don't want to use anything to harsh or risk scratching the skin and introducing infection.

Liz Earle Exfoliator and Treatment Mask

I received these products in a Liz Earle set that I ordered from QVC quite a while ago now. For the same reason as I am getting rid of the Purity exfoliator, this one is unsuitable, and I just didn't find the treatment mask to be effective.

Balance Me Lip Salves

Although I quite like Balance Me as a range, I find their lip products far too oily, and when using the limited edition one in particular (luckily this was free with magazine...) I suffered from blemishes around my lips.

Boots Soltan Facial Sun Cream

I am throwing this out because it has been open for over a year and will no longer provide the most effective UV protection, however, it is unlikely that I would repurchase because I prefer SunSense sun protection products which I have found to be much gentler to sensitive skin.

As always, I hope that this post has provided a helpful insight into some of the many tempting products out there.

Origins Obsession

You may have already seen a few reviews of Origins products which have popped up on The Blonde Ethos (although these were last year now), and I thought that it was about time to re-stock.

Since last summer, I have really been suffering with my skin. It has been spotty, oily, incredibly dry and everything in between. At the moment, I am enduring the dryness stage. I have stopped with all prescribed lotions, potions and pills in the hope that just using a few, high-quality, sensible skincare necessities will lure my skin back to a (semi-)normal state. I have finally been referred to a dermatologist so I shall sit in waiting. Really, I want to find out the underlying cause of the problem and am incredibly reluctant to accept any more 'solutions' until that is the case.

Baring in mind my skin's crazy decision to change condition, I went in search of some new makeup last week. I headed straight to Origins and one of the assistants tried to colour match me (no success there, even the lightest shade was too dark!). As we got talking, I found out that one of my favourite moisturisers, Have a Nice Day, has been discontinued. Long story short, I was distraught (obviously; it smells like heaven), but headed into one of the John Lewis beauty rooms to have a full Origins facial to console myself. This is a free service, with no obligation to make a purchase afterwards. 

I was treated with...

+

Dr Andrew Weil for Origins Mega-Mushroom Face Cleanser

+

Dr Andrew Weil for Origins Mega-Mushroom Treatment Lotion/Toner

+

Mega-Bright Skin Tone Correcting Serum

+

Make A Difference Plus Moisturiser

+

GinZing Eye Cream

+

Out of Trouble Mask

+

Modern Friction Exfoliator

and it was recommended that I also use...

+

Super Spot Remover

+

Spot Remover Pads

+

Eye Doctor Eye Cream

Obviously, these all add up to quite a hefty price! So seeing as I still have some of my Never A Dull Moment exfoliator and my Drink Up mask left, I decided to forego the scrubs and masks for now, using my existing ones once a week until they disappear. I also have just stocked up on my Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish which I still love and so will have to wait a while before I can justify purchasing the Mega-Mushroom products (although they were lovely!). So, I opted to buy some skincare bits that I will vow to use twice a day, every day...

+

Make A Difference Plus Moisturiser

I already have smoother skin after using this for a couple of days. I find it really soothing and hydrating; exactly what I was in need of. I only wish that this had an SPF as well.

+

Eye Doctor Eye Cream

As I tend to be pretty generous with my everyday moisturiser, and dabble with the odd eye gel, I honestly didn't realise how dry my eye area was until it suddenly got softer after starting to use this cream. Seriously, the results were pretty immediate and my makeup applies much more smoothly now.

+

Super Spot Remover

This is such a popular product at the moment, receiving rave reviews and I can't fault it either. It did quite literally make any nasty heads of spots disappear as well as removing some redness. Perfect.

I have booked to enjoy another Origins facial after I return from holiday in June, to assess my skin's progress (fingers crossed) and am taking my mum with me so that she can enjoy a well-deserved pamper too!

Origins Never a Dull Moment Exfoliator

I adore this exfoliator. As with the Have a Nice Day lotion, I sampled it a couple of times before purchasing it.

This product smells absolutely divine, edible in fact. The scent is very fruity probably due to the orange, papaya and grapefruit included in the formula. Other yummy ingredients include mango, rose, apricot and mint.

As the name suggests, this product is skin brightening and it definitely does as promised. Before I tried this product I didn't even believe that 'brighter' skin was a thing. I still would find it hard to describe how exactly this is, but this product does it. I find that after using this exfoliator to slough away dead skin cells, my face feels smoother, softer and all of my other moisturising products are able to sink in more and get to work more easily!

The product is a very unusual texture; a very thick gel (after squeezing it out, I have to almost pull it away from the tube) which is surprisingly easy to smooth onto the skin. There are small exfoliating particles in it, made from finely ground apricot and mango seeds which are very gentle. I haven't used an exfoliator in a long time through fear of scratching my problem skin and unintentionally introducing more bacteria but this is far gentler than other products which I have tried. With the addition of water onto the skin, this gel turns into an almost milky consistency which makes it very easy to rub in as well as rinse away.

The suggested method of use is to 'massage over clean, damp skin' before rinsing. However, I often smooth this gel onto my face and leave for up to ten minutes before adding a little water to loosen and massage across my skin. I find that this method really gives the ingredients time to work their magic. Particularly the papaya enzymes which supposedly work by almost dissolving dead, lacklustre skin cells.

I tend to use this product twice a week when I feel like my skin needs a bit of a pick-me-up. This product is even recommended for more delicate and sensitive skin and I cannot praise it enough!

Origins Have a Nice Day Lotion

Whenever my daily moisturiser runs out or becomes unsuitable, I panic. It is a very long and stressful ordeal to find a moisturiser with which I am satisfied. When my skin type unpredictably seemed to change overnight this summer, I decided to start my hunt for some new skincare products.

My main specifications were that it was suitable for combination skin and contained natural ingredients and an SPF.

At this time, I knew very little about Origins products but soon found out that they produce high quality products with natural, scientifically proven ingredients and also have a commitment to protecting the planet. Sounds pretty good, right?

On the advice of an Origins sales advisor, I have sampled the Have a Nice Day lotion a couple of times. I really enjoyed using it but it has taken me a while to commit to making a purchase, probably because of the price. At £32.00, this is at least twice the price of any face cream that I have purchased before.

This moisturiser contains SPF15 which is especially important to me at the moment as one of my prescribed skin treatments can cause sun sensitivity. It is a light formula, perfect for my combination skin and I find that this product goes quite a long way, it only takes a couple of pea sized amounts to cover my whole face easily. I am slightly worried that as the weather becomes harsher, this formulation won't be heavy enough to protect my skin, but for now, it is perfect. It has a fresh, sweet scent of oranges which I love.

Unfortunately, I am not keen on the packaging of this product. While it looks perfectly nice, I have so far found it very poorly designed. The bottle itself is very thick plastic making it impossible to squeeze to help to dispense the lotion. Also, because of the pebble-shaped screw-cap, it is impossible to balance upside down to coax the lotion towards the opening, which I imagine will become increasingly frustrating as the bottle gets emptier. I have a feeling that quite a bit of this product will be wasted in the bottle and that with alternative lighter, simpler packaging, the product may have been slightly cheaper too.

Although I really like the product, I am already doubting that I will repurchase it because of the inconveniently designed bottle. My alternative would have been to opt for the pot of product but I am always concerned that with a tub, the product can easily be contaminated, and with such problem skin already, this is something which I really don't want to risk.

This is definitely the perfect moisturiser for the summer months whatever your skin type but I would particularly recommend this lotion for combination skin.