Empties out the New Year, Part 1

I wanted to finally use up the products I wasn't as keen on in the final parts of 2017 so I could move into the new year with a clean slate (and with clean products!).  While some of these items are old favourites, a lot of them were duds for me unfortunately.

I was able to recycle 7/9 products.

Favourite: Balance Me Congested Skin Serum
It was actually pretty difficult for me to pick a favourite this time around, as I enjoyed a lot of the products here.  However, the Balance Me Congested Skin Serum is a staple in my routine, and I have been using it twice daily for the last year.  I couldn't pass it up for the number one spot!  While some of the Balance Me product range is not perfect (to say the least), this little serum packs a punch.  I get small but regular breakouts due to my mini-pill, but this product really helps maintain a healthy balance for my skin.  Since starting using it I have noticed fewer problem areas, and when I do get a spot, it lasts only a day or two instead of the usual week or so.  I stocked up on loads of samples earlier in the year, and when I run out, I will definitely be buying the full size!

Ingredients: Aqua, Oryza sativa (rice) bran oil, Glycerin, Moringa oliefera (moringa) oil, Aloe barbadensis (aloe vera) leaf extract, Iris florentina (iris) root extract, Papaver rhoeas (corn poppy) flower extract, Abies picea (spruce knot) extract, Anthemis nobilis (Roman chamomile), Lavandula angustifolia (lavender), Litsea cubeba (litsea may chang), Citrus limonum (lemon), Kunzea ericoides (kanuka), Eucalyptus globulus (eucalyptus), Syzygium aromaticum (clove bud), Chondrus crispus (carrageenan) seaweed gum, Sclerotium gum, Sorbitan laurate, Polyglyceryl-4 laurate, Dilauryl citrate, Benzyl alcohol, Dehydroacetic acid, Citric acid, Limonene, Linalool, Geraniol, Citral, Citronellol, Eugenol** *natural pure essential oil **naturally occurring in essential oils ***certified organic ingredient

Least Favourite: Caudalie shower gel
Caudalie is another brand that I have not been thrilled with -- popping up in almost every main (non-green) beauty box, their products have been widely marketed for their focus on using 'natural' ingredients to achieve great results.  While this is true for some of their range (like their grape water, which I actually do love!), they are actually still packed full of not-so-great stuff too.  And don't get me started on their selling in China/cruelty free status.  This shower gel wasn't terrible, but it did trigger my allergies, and sneezing 10 times in the shower is not my ideal.


The Rest:

YesTo Coconut shampoo for Dry Hair:
I love coconuts.  I love my hair smelling of coconut.  What I didn't love was this shampoo.  It did not do much for my hair, and if anything made is lifeless and less radiant than it was before I started using this '98% natural' concoction.  I have been more and more disillusioned by the YesTo brand over the last several months, and I think this was the last straw for me to be honest.  I am happy that a more natural brand is available on the high street, and I hope it helps a lot of people on their journey to a cleaner and greener lifestyle, but from now on I will be staying away.

Ingredients: Water (Aqua), Sodium Coco-Sulfate, Lauramide DIPA, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Glycerin, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil*, Aleurites Moluccana Seed Oil, Avena Strigosa Seed Extract, Morinda Citrifolia Fruit Extract, Hibiscus Sabdariffa Flower Extract, Orchis Mascula Flower Extract, Aleurites Moluccana Seed Extract, Psidium Guajava Fruit Extract, Musa Sapientum (Banana) Fruit Extract, Polyquarternium-10, Tetrasodium Glutamate Diacetate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Panthenyl Hydroxypropyl Steardimonium Chloride, Vitis Vinifer (Grape) Seed Extract, Ascorbic Acid, Diisopropanolamine, Glycol Stearate, Lecithin, Citric Acid, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate, Sodium Chloride, Phenoxyethanol, Fragrance (Parfum), Coumarin, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Linalool. *Certified Organic Ingredient

Imperial Candles wax melts:
Love at first sniff!  I started buying from Imperial Candles over a year ago now, mainly because of the gimmicky 'find a ring' fun.  But soon after using these bad boys I realized my allergies were not triggered at all, which for me is a huge deal!  The company uses soy rather than standard wax, and the scents are always strong but not sickly or overpowering.  My two most recent I have used were Watermelon, and Cranberry and Orange.  While Watermelon was a delicious summery scent that I cannot wait to get ahold of again, Cranberry and Orange had a little too much winter spice for me.

Ingredients: Soy wax, Citral, Geranyl acetate, Linalool, Metyl cinnamate, Limonene. 

Balm Balm Rose Hydrosol:
Another go to product of mine, I got a sample of this amazing floral hydrosol as a top up for my full size bottle that I received in the Love Lula Beauty Box.  I love the lightweight feel of the mist, the delicate smell of rose, and the hydrating qualities of this toner.  When my full size starts becoming empty again, I will definitely be repurchasing the big bottle again -- my only wish is that they did a bottle return or refill program.

Ingredients: Rosa Damascena (Rose) Flower Distillate.

Optiat Lemongrass Lifter Coffee Scrub:
Coffee: yes.  Body exfoliater: sure.  Coffee grounds down my drain: noooo.  The smell of this is honestly lovely, and it really did a great job of scrubbing my skin, making it feel fresh and rejuvenated, and leaving me feeling a bit more energized.  But the downside really outweighs the benefits of this product for me.  Until I can find a way to make sure the grounds don't end up down the drain, I will be refraining from using any other coffee scrubs.  The grounds clog up the pipes, and are a plumbers newfound nightmare, so until I find a product to catch these, it's a no from me.

Ingredients: Arabica Coffee, Brown Sugar, Sea Salt, Shea Butter, Almond Oil, Lime Essential Oil, Lemongrass Essential Oil, Coconut Fruit Extract, Benzyl Alcohol, Dehydroacetic Acid, Benzoic Acid, Sorbic Acid.

Elemental Herbology Cell Plumping Facial Hydrator:
To be completely honest, I was really surprised by this moisturizer.  I have a love/hate relationship with Elemental Herbology.  I really appreciate their dedication to using natural and beneficial ingredients in the formulations, and I like that they offer both full size and deluxe samples on their website.  But some of their products just feel so heavy when they are on that it puts me off.  This 'facial hydrator' is not like that at all though, and it really got on with my semi-sensitive skin.  It has a pleasant but generic face cream smell that doesn't linger very long, and it sinks in very quickly.  Plus my face actually did look more nourished and healthier.   Bonus: it contains an SPF! Will buy again.

Ingredients: Rosa Damascena Flower Water*, Aqua*, Dimethicone, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate (SPF 8), Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter*, Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil*, Cetearyl Alcohol*, Ceteareth-6 Olivate*, Butyl Methoxydibenzoylmethane, Glyceryl Stearate*, Glycerin*, Plukenetia Volubilis (Sacha Inchi) Oil*, Rosa Canina Seed Oil*, Panthenol (Vitamin B3), Soluble Collagen*, Pearl Powder*, Ubiquinone, Royal Jelly*, Oenothera Biennis (Evening Primrose) Oil*, Avena Strigosa Seed Extract*, Paniceum Milliaceum (Millet) Seed Extract*, Malpighia Glabra (Acerola) Fruit Extract*, Lecithin*, Retinyl Palmitate (Vitamin A), PEG-100 Stearate*, Cetearyl Glucoside*, Pelargonium Graveolens Flower Oil*, Oryzanol*, Arginine*, Maris Sal*, Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Disodium EDTA, Maltodextrin*, Ethylhexylglycerin, Tannic Acid*, Phenoxyethanol, Potassium Sorbate, Citral*, Citronellol*, Geraniol*, Limonene*, Linalool*.  *Ingredients derived from 100% natural source.

Herbfarmacy Refining Cleanser:
I wanted to get on with this cleanser so badly, but it just didn't happen.  I wasn't keen on the smell, I didn't find it worked with my skin well, the texture wasn't the best for me (sort of a thick and dense cream), and it just didn't have any visible differences for me.  Maybe the full size has a better consistency and smell, but I have so many other cleansers to make my way through, I think I will probably give it a pass for now.  I have other Herbfarmacy products that I do very much like (like their toner!), but this one won't be making my permanent shopping list.

Ingredients: Aqua (Water), *Chamomilla recutita (German Chamomile), *Prunus armeniaca (Apricot) kernel oil, *Ricinus communis (Castor) seed oil, *Helianthus annuus (Sunflower) hybrid oil, sodium stearoyl lactylate (plant-based emulsifier), *Cera alba (Beeswax), cocoamidopropyl betaine (mild vegetable surfactant), +glyceryl stearate, +glycerin, cetearyl alcohol (plant-based emulsifier), tocopherol (Vitamin E), *Althaea officinalis (Marshmallow) root extract, *Calendula officinalis flower extract, *Aloe barbadensis (Aloe vera) leaf juice powder, *Rosmarinus officinalis (Rosemary) leaf extract, *Pelargonium graveolens (Rose geranium) oil, *Cananga odorata (Ylang ylang) flower oil, lactic acid (from sugar), phenoxyethanol, benzyl alcohol, potassium sorbate (Mild preservative system), *citonellol, *geraniol, *limonene, *linalool, *eugenol (Last 5 essential oil components) * = Organic + = Organic origin Made with 80% organically grown/produced ingredients (asterisked).

Blogger Note: Every product mentioned in all of my posts are purchased with my own money, are gifts from friends or family, or were won in public competitions unless otherwise stated.  However, my posts may contain affiliate links. This will never change my approach to my reviews, nor will it influence how I represent the products I am writing about, as I only choose to represent or work with brands and companies that I 100% respect and trust.


  1. I really agree with you about Caudalie.

  2. I love reading and writing empties posts. One year I did a post on my re-purchases out of 300 odd empties https://bbalm.blogspot.co.uk/2013/09/empties-my-re-purchases.html although there are only 9 there I still buy now.

    1. oh wow! that is a lot of empties!! I will have a read of that now :)


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