Wednesday, 1 November 2017

Beauty | Empties

In all my years blogging there is one style of post I've yet to write, which is surprising considering it's one of my favourite types to read. Every month I pore over these posts, reading with curiosity the details of products my go-to bloggers actually used. Reviews are fantastic and a great source of opinion but I find empties posts to be more of a tell as to which products have been used in their entirety. How often have you seen a blogger chat about a product only for it never to be mentioned again? This is a way to combat that. To give you a glimpse into the products that I use up and either never purchase again or hastily restock when I'm running low. These are recommendations that I live by personally so I hope you enjoy!

Beauty, Empties, The Style Guide Blog

Please keep in mind, being my first empties post this may be a little longer than the usual but I'm hoping it will be a frequent instalment here on The Style Guide Blog. I've kept it to just Beauty Empties this time around and trust me, there are some ride or die products in here (for me anyway!).

Hair Care

Shea Moisture review, Alfaparf Milano review, Empties post, The Style Guide Blog

*Shea Moisture Fruit Fusion Coconut Water Shampoo & Creme Rinse £10.99 at Boots 

I received this a while ago and it took me some time to get through it. Initially I enjoyed using it but I found the scent didn't linger as well as I'd hoped and I didn't get more than a couple of days out of a hair wash (I like to make it to at least 3 at the moment considering the length of my hair). That being said I used all of the creme rinse but found when I ran out I didn't finish the shampoo entirely. Given the price, I won't be repurchasing these products. It didn't offer much in the way of protection or softness for my hair unfortunately.

*Alfaparf Milano Precious Nature Range from £6.99 at various salons

I reviewed this range after I'd been using it for a while here and if anything I'm even more impressed now I've finished all 3 products. The Leave In Protection Spray lasted me the longest out of all 3 products (approximately 6 months, used twice a week) and was a lifesaver as far as I'm concerned. It left a beautiful scent on the hair, very soft and subtle and my hair felt amazing, my colour lasted longer and I got a good few days before even needing to consider washing my mane again. I will repurchase Alfaparf Milano products, most probably the Masque and Spray which I found made a noticeable difference in my hair's behaviour and appearance.

Aussie Miracle Hair Insurance Review, Morrocan Oil Review, Bumble and Bumble review, The Style Guide Blog

Aussie Miracle Hair Insurance £2.19 at Superdrug (sale price!)

This. Stuff. Is. Glorious. This little 250ml bottle of protection and detangler cost me around a fiver when I first purchased it and I was already going to repurchase, imagine my delight when I checked it's availability to link here for you all and it was just over £2 in Superdrug right now!? The 250ml lasts really well and the scent of Aussie products is just gorgeous. This is a leave in conditioner that really feels as though it's working. If you tend to have tangled hair after washing, this is for you.

Morrocan Oil Treatment £32.85 (100ml) at Look Fantastic

Ever come across a hyped product only for it to break your heart in the most unexpected way? I picked this 25ml sample sized Morrocan Oil Treatment up in a Latest in Beauty subscription box on a complete whim thinking that it really couldn't be as good as everyone makes it out to be...
I couldn't have been more wrong. I have never come across a product that does so much for my hair. It is heartbreaking because the price is somewhat tear inducing however the 25mls lasted me about 5 weeks so I would envision you'd get your money's worth with the 100ml. Why is it so amazing? Let me count the ways! It smells phenomenal. The scent lingers as well. Your hair appears more smooth and sleek than ever and I found mine so much easier to style. In actual fact, I didn't have to do much in the way of styling it. Usually, regardless of any other products used, I have to stretch blow dry my hair and straighten it before curling or any other styling. It's coarse, it's unruly and it has a tendency to appear slightly dry and damaged. When I used the Morrocan Oil it's almost as though I had a different hair type for a time! I could literally apply some of this to my wet hair and let it dry on it's own! Unheard of! I couldn't rate this high enough. I've already recommended it to friends, family and people online looking for help in regards to hair issues. It's worth the money and now I've run out I most certainly will be repurchasing.

Bumble & Bumble B.B. Straight Blow Dry £24 at Boots 

I can't remember how this little sample came into my possession if I'm being honest but I used this a few times, gave up on it then decided to finish it anyway (for all there was). When I looked it up for the purposes of this post I did a double take at the price. I won't be repurchasing. Not only is it not worth that kind of price tag, I didn't find it did a whole lot for my hair at all.

Shower & Body

Pears Shower Gel Review, Roger & Gallet shower gel review, The Style Guide Blog

Pears Shower Gel £1.99 at Superdrug

I picked this up on offer during a weekly shop and whereas I did use it up, I wouldn't repurchase. I like my shower gels to feel luxurious, in both the case of their lather and their scent. This offered an ok lather but there wasn't much in the way of scent at all, either in the shower or after showering. It did feel nice on the skin but not enough so for me to be drawn back again unfortunately.

Roger & Gallet Gingembre Rouge £6.33 at Escentual (sale price)

I have been lucky enough to receive samples of Roger & Gallet in previous years and I've stayed pretty loyal to the brand saying as though I've repurchased some shower gels and hand lotions myself since then. This was another repurchase and now I've noticed it's on offer at Escentual through November, it's the perfect time to pick some up. Roger & Gallet have a fantastic range of scents available, though Gingembre Rouge is one of my all time favourites. This shower gel lathers beautifully and smells divine! Have repurchased and will again. Usually in a little Christmas Gift Set. For myself... don't judge!


See by Chloe, Review, Empties, The Style Guide Blog, Fragrance Files

See by Chloe £46+

This perfume has been in solid rotation for the last 4 or so years and it's getting harder to source which breaks my heart a little. This is a perfume that I ask for at birthdays or Christmas because it has become something of a personal fragrance. It's a perfume that my son associates with mum cuddles and even asks to have it spritzed onto his comforter, sometimes even his pillow. It's a beautiful fragrance with notes of bergamot and apple blossom rounded out with stunning florals, as soon as Spring comes around this is the perfume I reach for without fail every year. This will be my 3rd empty of See by Chloe and I'm already sourcing it for my Christmas list this year too. Every now and then you find a keeper in regards to fragrance, this is a keeper!

Nail Care & Polish

Maybelline Super Stay, Maybelline Gel Top Coat, Rimmel Dr Rescue, Empties, The Style Guide Blog

Maybelline Forever Strong Gel Nail Polish in shade Deep Red £4.49 at Superdrug

I am incredibly particular about nail polish. It has to last me at least 5 days with no chipping or shrinkage at the tips, it has to look glossy and mirrored and it has to look as though a pro applied it because the chances of me ever going to get my nails done are slim to none. I have become relatively loyal to this range of nail polishes, having found none better in terms of longevity and gloss since I began painting my nails as a teenager. Every time I'm asked what nail polish I'm wearing, because it's so red and shiny, it's this exact one however I do enjoy a few more of their shades as well. Rose Poudre is a stunning pink nude that I use pretty regularly also. I've lost count of how many times I've repurchased this and I will continue to repurchase it. It's that good and glossy and shiny and RED - the perfect red, not too bright a red so as to appear trashy but not too deep a red that you lose the vividness. A firm recommendation.

Maybelline Dr Rescue Gel Top Coat £3.99 at Superdrug

I've tried a host of different top coats in my time also. I've tried the hyped ones at the very top and some budget friendly ones (usually on the off chance they might do the job) but none come close to this gel top coat. The level of shine it adds to your nail polish is unbelievable. I even had a nail technician ask me what polish was used for my manicure! I hadn't had one... it was a combination of these 3 products and that moment cemented my loyalty forevermore! It's cheap, it's cheerful, it's relatively quick drying, it doesn't cause headaches, it's not overly pungent and it gives the type of gloss on a nail that usually can only be achieved at a nail salon. Out and out winner.

Rimmel Nail Nurse Care Stronger £4.49 at Superdrug 
(forgot to include in photo!)

Similarly, this product has become another ride or die in my beauty rotation. I've tried a fair few nail nurse style products, most recently I gave Rejuvacote a go and all it did was make me regret straying from the Rimmel Nail Nurse. The difference I've found with the Rimmel Nail Nurse is that it's slightly thicker than your usual growth and protection focused nail base, it has a slight pink tint to it with the slightest nod of sparkles. You could absolutely wear this on it's own to give your nails a very natural gloss and they'd catch the light wonderfully well. Does it work? Yes! I have a history of peeling and breaking nails and this improves them so much. Will it ever ensure my nails grow as long as talons? No, but that's more down to health than the product. I've repurchased this as many times as the products mentioned above and together they make up my nail routine, as it has been for the last couple of years. Trust me, these used in conjunction with one another = the perfect at-home mani.


Rimmel Match Perfection, NYX Doll Eye, NYX HD Concealer, Collection Concealer Review, The Style Guide Blog

Rimmel Match Perfection £8.29 at Superdrug
(shade Light Porcelain) 

There are dregs left in there but I'd already thrown a completely empty bottle in the recycling before deciding to do this post. Forgive me - I'm new at empties! This foundation has been a staple in my beauty drawer for 5+ years now and to be honest, even though sometimes I find myself swayed by a new release, this still remains one of the best budget foundations I've ever tried. It applies well regardless of whether you apply foundation with your fingers, a beauty blender or a brush. It's perfect for oily or combination skin. It's one of a few foundations out there that perfectly matches my casper complexion. Medium to high coverage, it evens skintone out incredibly well and it lasts really nicely through the day. I wouldn't necessarily recommend it if you're having a spell of dry skin but hands down one of the best I've used and will continue to use. For the price point I feel it rivals high end foundations easily.

NYX Doll Eye Mascara (volume black) £8 at Boots

I picked this up on a whim over a year ago and have gone on to repurchase at least 4 times in just that space of time. Not because you don't get enough, you get a standard 8g of product, because it's just THAT good. I wear mascara, without fail, most days. I have super fine blonde / ginger eyelashes that barely look as though they exist and I found that a good mascara that makes them really stand out has been almost like the holy grail to try and find. I was blown away when I tried this for the first time. It almost gives the appearance you're wearing very subtle false lashes. It doesn't smudge or crumble through the day and though I wouldn't recommend you sleep in your mascara, you could with this one because it stays put. It's also BLACK BLACK and does exactly what it says on the packaging. As an aside, I accidentally picked up the Waterproof version of this a few months back and don't rate it anywhere near as highly as the Volume version. At £8 it's pretty fair for a good mascara and I will definitely continue to repurchase. If it ain't broke...

Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer £4.19 at Superdrug
(shade Fair 1)

This concealer and I go way back. I'm not even remotely kidding. I've yet to find another concealer that I go back to time and time again the way I do the Collection Lasting Perfection. The shade Fair is perfect for porcelain fair skin and I find it really lifts the under eye area. It doesn't sink into creases as it's a relatively thick consistency which makes it easy to apply. I apply with both finger patting and mini blenders and both work beautifully well. This concealer also covers blemishes really well and only needs a slight bit of powder setting to stay put all day. The only bone of contention I have with this product is that when I go in to my local Gordons Chemist or Superdrug - they're usually out of stock so I find I have to purchase this online quite a bit. It's obviously very popular for a reason! I couldn't honestly tell you how many of these I've repurchased but I tend to pick one up every few months. Another ride or die.

NYX Professional Makeup HD Photogenic Concealer Wand £6 at Look Fantastic
(shade CW01 Porcelain) 

This was actually sent to me as a replacement for a Catrice concealer I had ordered with Meaghers Pharmacy and whereas I was delighted they'd sent me a more expensive item than what I'd ordered I can't say I was hugely struck. If you're brand loyal to NYX then this is a fantastic choice. Is it better than Collection's Lasting Perfection? I don't think so personally but haven't ruled out repurchasing it in the future. It's a good back up to have, even if it is more expensive than it's Collection counterpart.

Skincare & Face Masks

Strap yourselves in for this is when my inner nerd comes out to play...

Matis Paris Skincare, Review, The Style Guide Blog

Ole Henriksen Sheer Transformation Cream, Review, Empties, The Style Guide Blog

Bioaqua seaweed extract sheet mask, review, empties, The Style Guide Blog

Garnier Micellar Water, Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish, Lancome Precious Cells, Review, Empties, The Style Guide Blog

*Matis Response Jeunesse for Normal and Combination Skin Travel Kit £20 at Look Fantastic

This is a brand that was new to me when this sample was sent out and I blazed through the travel kit and honestly, my skin was left thirsting for more. In particular the Hyaluronic Performance Mask, the Hyaluronic Performance Plumping & Moisturing cream and the Essential Lotion Facial Toner were an absolute dream for my skin personally. They slotted in to my skincare routine so smoothly and I thoroughly enjoyed using them. I found my skin's appearance improved during the trial, with no blemishes appearing and my skin appeared glowy and even toned. This got a definite thumbs up from me and I'm just waiting now for the travel kit to come back into stock. Because skincare can be so expensive and a complete drain on your beauty budget, gift sets and travel kits are a much more budget-friendly option to pick up now and again. I would thoroughly recommend this set and will be repurchasing *keeps close eye on Look Fantastic*

Ole Henriksen Sheer Transformation Cream

I picked this as one of my samples in a recent Latest in Beauty subscription box but I had already tried it before so technically it already was a repurchase. I won't however be repurchasing it again. The first time around I used this cream in conjunction with a serum and an oil which came in a pack of 3 Ole Henriksen Wonders and I did notice my skin enjoying the products which is why I then chose to pick up the cream by itself. It thoroughly disappointed unfortunately. It was nothing more than a rich, nice-to-apply facial cream. It didn't improve tone or texture though so if you're looking a more targeted moisturiser, I'd cast my net further afield, saying as though this seems hard to source at the moment too, I'd skip over it to be honest.

*Bioaqua Seaweed Extract Hyaluronic Acid Mask 5pk for £6 at My Scheming Products 

If you know me by now you'll know I adore a sheet mask. A quick blast of solution to help perk up your skin, usually takes 20 minutes out of your routine a week and your skin will be so thankful. At least that's usually the case. I received one of these sheet masks to try. Not a pack of 5 such is displayed on the site. One solitary mask. Wherein you can tell pretty much straight away if a sheet mask is for you or not, I find it can take a couple of trials to really suss out a face mask's strengths and weaknesses. Going on the one I did use though? I wouldn't try another. Certainly not in this range. The slight cotton texture just felt all wrong on my skin. It felt scratchy and not at all nourishing. My skin felt uncomfortable both when I was using the mask and when I initially removed it however, shockingly, did appear smoother and more even toned after use. I do feel though that there are other masks that do it just a little better, without the horrible uncomfortable feeling during use. I won't be repurchasing this personally.

Garnier Micellar Water £3.29 at Superdrug

Does what it says on the bottle. It removes makeup really well. I had bought this a few times but will no longer be repurchasing given the new information that micellar water isn't all that great for your skin at all. If you do continue to use a micellar water for your skin, I'd recommend doing a double cleanse and a good toner to restore ph balance.

Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser from £10 at Boots

This is one of the products that I held off on trialling at all because, honestly, there is no way any product could live up to the type of cult status Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish enjoys. Or so I thought. It does live up to the hype. In every single way. I was so taken aback with this cleanser that I've repurchased twice in the last year, as well as some of the cloths! I'm actually waiting now for Christmas gift sets to be released so I can treat myself because my skin misses this product when I don't have it in rotation. It sits beautifully balanced for a lot of differing skin types and is softly fragranced in a botanical style. It applies really nicely and leaves skin feeling ridiculously soft and supple. My breakouts cleared away to just the odd hormonal spot and on the whole appeared better. Without a doubt a must-have and a star product for anyone to include in their skincare routine.

Lancome Absolue Precious Cells Advanced Regenerating and Reparing Care £150+ at Boots

I happened to be at a Boots Lancome counter some time ago and had picked up a few samples alongside a purchase. This is one of those products you kinda wish you'd never tried because you end up loving it so much and then you look at the price point and die a little inside... In all seriousness, this moisturising cream is divine. It is rich and thick but sinks in wonderfully and skin appears so dewy and fresh after use and it smells angelic. It was a DREAM to use at night before getting in to bed. If I could I would repurchase this in a heartbeat. I fell hard for it. I found it worked spectacularly well for dry patches as well and you can be sure I squeezed every single last drop out of the little sample I had. If you're lucky enough to have a budget that stretches to high end skincare, I would thoroughly recommend this. Pop by your local Lancome counter for a sample and thank me later because just WOW!

Rodial Glam Balm Lip Balm 
revamped as Stem Cell Lip £19 at Rodial

I'm unsure as to why they revamped an already winning formula and though I'd consider purchasing the revamped product, my thoughts today are on the original Rodial Glam Balm Lip Balm. Almost £20 is a lot to pay out for a lip balm but a lip balm this good will stand you in good stead, especially through the winter months. I thoroughly enjoyed this product, I used it fairly frequently and still found I got  at least 4 months out of the sample size I picked up. It is nourishing and plumping, no tingles or unpleasantness and it was just the right consistency for me; not too thick but not thin either. On the back of finishing the original, I would consider picking up the revamped product, I just hope they haven't messed with the formula too much.

That's you all caught up!

Hopefully I'll be back in a month or so with another Empties post for you, if you enjoyed this one. Seen any of your own ride or die products in here? Let me know!

*Some items listed in this post had been sent out to me in the form of press releases and / or samples. These are clearly marked with an * and usually announced in their discriptor ie; ''this product was sent out''. This did not alter my thoughts or opinions on said products and no money changed hands in order to review as is standard on The Style Guide Blog

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