My May Empties

Tuesday, June 14th 2016 Body

May Empties - OGX, Plantae, Madre Labs, Za, Kiehl's, Dove, XO Beauty - Lena Talks Beauty

Another month, another empties post, and this time I’ve finished up some products that I truly loved! I have emptied products from Plantae, OGX, Madre Labs, Dove, Za, Kiehl’s, and XO Beauty. Okay, so one isn’t technically an empty but it’s something I’m throwing out so it counts for this. That’s one haircare item, two skincare, three body, and one makeup tool. Let’s get into it!

May Empties - Lena Talks Beauty-2

Overnight essentials

Wednesday, July 29th 2015 Skincare

Being a single 24 year old who loves a good night out, I sometimes find myself unexpectedly staying the night somewhere, and so I need to have some essentials with me for those nights. If I’m going to be sleeping on a couch or something, the least I need is a well stocked handbag. I generally carry around a lot of beauty
products anyway, so some of them aren’t additional, but I’m going to list them all because they come in handy so often.

overnight handbag essentials

March Empties – Hair, Nails, Lips & Skin

Monday, April 6th 2015 Uncategorised

Another month, another bunch of products used up and ready to be written about! It’s a bit of a mixed bag, with a couple of hair products and nail polishes, as well as a lip gloss and a fake tan. Let’s get cracking!

March empties.52

Rimmel Vinyl Gloss – Keep A Secret
I really liked this lip gloss, and it was a great ‘my lips but better’ shade but unfortunately it expired. I noticed that the smell and texture had changed, and reluctantly tossed it. I searched online to find pricing information for this and it looks like the Rimmel Vinyl Gloss range has been discontinued which is a shame, I have high standard for lip gloss and this met them.

Repurchase? If possible.

February Empties

Monday, March 2nd 2015 Uncategorised

So many empties this month! I’ve really been trying to use up what I have, I haven’t bought any beauty products since coming back from Australia in January, which must be a record for me. February’s empties include body, skincare, hair, and nail related products, from brands including The Body Shop, Sally Hansen, Dove and Lush. Let’s get into it, I have mini-reviews for all of these products

February Empties


Thursday, August 28th 2014 Uncategorised

Today I’ve got more empties! It feels like my last post of used up products was only yesterday, but I’ve been trying hard to get through my stash of samples, so here we are. Prices are correct as of time of writing, and are in NZ dollars at NZ retailers. For samples, I’ve listed the price for full size products.

Benzac, Nivea Naturals, Dove, Trilogy, Lush, Clinique, Oasis beauty empties

My skincare routine

Wednesday, April 23rd 2014 Skincare

In recent years, I’ve found myself becoming more and more interested in skincare. Partly due to neccessity, as my skin has become less ideal, and partly out of pure curiousity. I’m always interested in the types of skincare that other people use, and their reasoning for it, so I thought I would share my routine with you all. For context, my skin is acne-prone, and fairly dry due to the antibiotics I’ve been taking for that acne.

Morning routine: I don’t cleanse, as it can make my skin dry and I don’t feel like it’s needed. I apply moisturiser, which may be either Sukin sensitive facial moisturiser, or Dove SPF 30 moisturiser.  If I’m going to work I don’t wear sunscreen beyond the SPF 15/20 in my foundation/BB cream, even though you really should use 30+ every day. But the nature of my job and life means I spend probably under 10 minutes outside, and that’s well outside the peak burn time, so I don’t think it’s really needed. If I’m going anywhere else, not trapped at a desk far away from windows, I use Clinique Super City block SPF40.

Clinique Super City BlockSukin sensitive skin moisturiser

It’s a physical sunscreen which means it doesn’t need to be reapplied as long as it hasn’t been sweated or rubbed off, this means it’s perfect for wearing under makeup. It can be slightly greasy once the necessary 1/4 tsp has been applied to my face but I apply it in layers and let it sink in for a while before adding other products on top.


 I often moisturise during the day, at the moment I have Clinique moisture surge on my desk which I apply if needed. It’s a nice product but I’m not sure it’s worth the money.

Evening: I have a few variations, so I’ll list them all. If I wear my full foundation and everything I remove makeup with baby oil. It melts all of the make up off perfectly and I just wipe it off with cotton pads. Then I wash my face with Simple face wash and a face cloth.  If I’ve only worn light  make up or none at all I wash my face with Cetaphil  gentle skin cleanser and a face cloth, and follow up with Nivea eye make up remover. Then I dry off with my dedicated face towel that I change regularly. There’s a sign in the bathroom so my BF and brother don’t wipe their hands or use it!

Cetaphil Gentle Skin CleanserNivea extra gentle eye make up remover

Following my cleansing, I either apply Silk Naturals AHA toner by spraying into clean hands and rubbing in, or I apply my Differin gel (0.1% adapalene). I alternate nights with them, as I like them both but using them at once a) would be too dry and b) wouldn’t be that effective as the pH of the AHA toner would make it too low for the Differin to work properly….okay getting into skincare nerd territory here! I really like the Silk Naturals toner as it’s a lactid acid product, which is a fairly gentle but very effective chemical exfoliator. The Differin is a prescription retinoud cream that I got from my GP, and it has worked really well for me. If I have time, after about 20 minutes I will apply Benzac 5% cream* on any pimples I have – it’s a benzoyl peroxide cream which is a very effective pimple treatment. I wait about 15-20 minutes before applying moisturiser after any treatment, to give them time to work.

silk naturals trilogy

FINALLY I moisturise, using either Cetaphil moisturizing cream, Trilogy Rosehip oil or a Nivea Naturals night cream. The Nivea night cream is one I wouldn’t rebuy, as the jar formula is a pain for travelling, plus I don’t really buy into the whole ‘naturals’ thing. I have been using the Cetaphil moisturiser on and off for years and it’s great. It’s fairly thick, unlike my morning moisturisers, but it doesn’t clog my pores or break me out. Rosehip oil is lovely for acne-prone skin and also for dry skin, which makes it a perfect product for me.

If I’m feeling tired/lazy/drunk then I just wipe off the makeup with Simple face wipes, rinse my face and smear some moisturiser on. It’s very very rare I go to bed with my make up on. These wipes are the only kind I’ve tried which don’t sting my eyes or skin.

Once a week or so I do a mask, I have Oatifix by Lush because I had heard a lot about their masks online. It’s nice enough, but I wouldn’t repurchase as it was $18 and I don’t feel like I got a great amount of value. It’s a kind of fun thing to do as a bit of pampering though.

Lush Oatfix mask

That routine sounds really intense, and like it has an excessive amount of steps – and it does take me a while, I’ll admit, but I feel like the results are worth it. My skin is glowing, and is generally fairly clear, I only have 3 or 4 small pimples at the moment. Also, sun protection is important to me, I don’t want to age prematurely or get skin cancer. Most of these products are fairly cheap and available at supermarkets and pharmacies, my cleanser is usually $20-30 depending on specials and is 500mls which lasts a long long time. With the help of Reddit’s Skincare Addiction community and Paula Begoun’s Beautypedia, I’ve been able to get a good routine going without being sucked into too many advertising claims. There are so many myths out there about skincare, and I could rant all day about them, but I’ll leave that probably for another post.

So what do you think of my skincare routine? Do you use any of the same things as me, or have any recommendations? I’d love to hear about it in the comments section.

Until next time,



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