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October Empties – hair, skin, body products

Another month, another round of empties. I’ve been making a concerted effort to finish products, especially some of my many sample sachets that I’ve been hoarding for years. 13 different products isn’t a bad effort in my book. They were mostly skin and body care products, with a few haircare products, and one makeup item rounding out the group. The brands featured include Paula’s Choice, Neutrogena, Maybelline, Lush, and Vaseline. Let’s crack into it!

OGX, Schwarzkopf, Palmolive, Maybelline, Clinique, Far Botanicals, Za, hi-pro-pac, sebastien reviews - Lena Talks Beauty

August & September Empties

I didn’t use up very many products during August, so I decide to save my empties for a combo August and September post. I used 14 different products up, and the majority of them were full size which is a particularly good effort. Hair products feature heavily, because I did a bit of damage to my hair by lightening it significantly. I have previously written posts about a number of these products, and I will link to them if you’d like to read more about them. With each product I say whether I would repurchase them – some of them were sent to me by brands and I marked them with an asterix – so really it’s more, would I purchase them myself. I also answer that question from a perspective of  if I didn’t have a lifetime supply of these products already sitting in my bathroom. The brands I’ve used up include OGX, Hi-Pro-Pac, Schwarzkopf, Sebastian, Palmolive, Far Botanicals, Za Cosmetics, Maybelline, and Clinique.

Australis Banana Powder, Maybelline Color Drama pencil Berry Much, L'Oreal Infallible Matte FX powder lipstick Virgin

Priceline haul – Australis, L’Oreal, and Maybelline

During my recent trip to Melbourne, Priceline was having a 40% off cosmetics sale! Priceline is always one of my first stops in Australia, for makeup, skincare, haircare, and basically every product I want to buy. They have a great range of ‘drugstore’ brands, and include quite a few that we don’t have easily accessible in New Zealand. Makeup is generally cheaper in Australia than in NZ, so I was pretty excited by that! I didn’t actually end up buying a huge amount of makeup because my collection is a ridiculous size (I blame blogging for that), but I did get a few things from Australis, L’Oreal, and Maybelline.

Benefit High Beam - Lena Talks Beauty

Benefit High Beam

A year or so ago, I bought the Benefit High Beam highlighter. I thought it was really pretty, but I didn’t really know how to use it. You can use it by applying it directly to your cheekbones, but I have since developed a different method that I prefer. It gives me luminous skin without being excessively highlighted, even for a day-to-day wear. Keep reading to find out just what that method is…

Lena Talks Beauty - Za perfect action mascara brush

Za Perfect Action Mascara

For a long time, before I really got into makeup, I thought all mascaras were much the same. How wrong was I?! Recently I was given the Za Perfect Action Mascara* and it’s what I’ve been wearing on my lashes most of the time lately. It seems like time for me to review it, and share my feelings about this Za Cosmetics mascara. It offers three effects in one – seperate lashes, wide volume brush, and long stretch fibers – so let’s have a look at how well I think those effects stack up!

paulas choice bha, mac studio sculpt, neutrogena hydroboost SPF 15

July Empties

This month is the first anniversary of when I started doing empties posts! I went through a bit of a walk down memory lane, revisiting old posts and seeing what I thought of products from months gone by. During July I finished, or decided to throw away, a whopping ten products. The number of products coming in really outweighs those, but let’s not think about that! There are four makeup items, three skincare, one hair care, one nails, and one oral health product, so let’s get cracking with the reviews.

May Empties

Another month, another empties post! I’ve managed to use up 10 products over the last month – 6 full size, and 4 samples. I’m pretty impressed with it, and it goes to show what not buying new things and focusing on finishing specific products can do. I’ve been enjoying finishing products, and taking the time to write a post and evaluate whether I will purchase them again. Last month I split the post into two, and I considered doing thatagain this month but it just took so long, so this month I am doing them all together and am just going to attempt to be brief – something that is decidedly not easy for me! I’m still on a no-buy, as I detailed in this post, but for the purposes of this post my evaluation of whether I would repurchase a product is as if I could afford to shop – and as if I didn’t have a ridiculous stash of products as it is.

My everyday face

Lately I’ve developed a bit of a routine with my makeup, for days where I just feel like wearing a bit of makeup, and don’t feel like doing anything fancy. Most of the products I use are fairly affordable, and I think it’s because I don’t want to ‘waste’ my high end products – even though wearing and enjoying them isn’t a waste, it seems to be a unconscious decision. This is probably what you would call no-makeup makeup, although peoples definitions of what that is really seem to vary – I saw a tutorial for that the other day which involved fake eyelashes and ain’t nobody got time for dat on a daily basis! This is a look I wore to work the other day – it’s not ‘photoshoot’ makeup, it’s literally getting home from work, thrusting my camera at my brother and taking photos of my makeup.

FOTD with Maybelline Fit Me Foundation

With the help of Maybelline’s chart, I recently discovered that Maybelline Fit Me Foundation is supposed to be my perfect match. I was sent it to try out and today I’ll be sharing my thoughts, as well as a look that I did the other weekend wearing it. I’ve called this a FOTD (Face Of The Day) but really it’s more like FOTOD (Face Of The Other Day). My skin is dry, and I like to wear a dewy foundation, so this sounded just right for me. I chose shade 120 – Classic Ivory based on my MAC shade being NW20, and luckily it was right! The ten shades available in New Zealand range from 115 Ivory to 310 Sun Beige.

Maybelline NY foundation giveaway

I find foundation, and base products in general, to be difficult to purchase. Walking up to a stand where there are what seems like endless different types of foundation and trying to choose one is a bit overwhelming. To help people like me out with this challenge, Maybelline has created a helpful chart so you can find the perfect foundation or BB cream for you. In addition to that, one lucky Lena Talks Beauty reader will be winning their perfect BB cream or foundation from Maybellline!