March +April Empties

Wednesday, May 3rd 2017 Beauty

Lena Talks Beauty empty beauty product review, skincare hair and body products

March and April  was a bumper month for empties, particularly on the skincare front. Some of that was because I threw out some products that I wasn’t crazy about, and others was because of I have been trying to only use one product from each category at a time. My friend Victoria does that and her good habits have been rubbing off on me and stopping me from turning into someone on Hoarders. This post includes brands such as Simple, Garnier, Neutrogena, Schwarzkopf, Goodness, Palmer’s, La Roche Posay and more!

January and February 2017 empties

Wednesday, March 8th 2017 Nails

Lena Talks Beauty empties post - swisspers, simple, weleda, sebastian, olaplex, palmolive, pure fiji, mac cosmetics, collection cosmetics, paula's choice, innisfree, orly, hk girl

It’s time for another empties post! I didn’t use many products up during January so decided to make it a combined affair with February. Then everything seemed to run out all at once! I’ve been really trying to finish one product before opening another but we all know how hard that is. I have finished skin, hair, body, makeup, and nail items, so at least one from each of the main categories that I blog about. Some are even full size! Now, without further ado, let’s get stuck in. I’ll be linking in the titles to where I have reviewed the products previously.

November and December empties

Wednesday, December 21st 2016 Uncategorised

Cetaphil, simple, trilogy, za cosmetics, burts bees, living nature, the balm,, australis velourlips, stila,

This post is a combined November/December empties post since I didn’t finish many products during November. There’s also a section of the post which aren’t empty products, but they’ve either expired or somehow earned their space in the bin. I was just going to throw them out, but some of them I had never blogged about and wanted to say my piece. This is a fairly makeup heavy post, but there’s also skincare, nail care, and hair care included in there as well.

June and July empties

Sunday, July 31st 2016 Makeup

Batiste, Clinique, Simple, Collection, Trilogy, Rimmel, Lush, The Body Shop, Hask, Neutrogena - Lena Talks Beauty

It’s the start of a new month, which means it’s empties time! I completely forgot to write one for June, which means we have a bumper crop of used up products. There are 4 skincare, 3 body products, 6 makeup, and 2 haircare, most of them are even full size. Products are from brands such as Clinique, Batiste, Lush, Bare Minerals, Bourjois and much much more. Keep reading for my reviews on all of these products. Some of these products were sent to me from brands and PR companies, and those have been marked with an asterix – however my opinion is always honest.

Simple Micellar Cleansing Water

Friday, February 6th 2015 Skincare

Micellar waters have become hugely popular over the last couple of years, and until recently they haven’t been available in New Zealand. Last week Simple launched their Kind to Skin Micellar Cleansing Water, and they kindly sent me a bottle to review.

Simple kind to skin micellar cleansing water


My evening skincare routine

Wednesday, December 3rd 2014 Skincare

In the early days of my blog, about six months ago, I wrote a post about my skincare routine. In that time, my routine has changed a bit AKA become more complicated so I feel like now is the time to update you all on what I use. This is going to be a long post, so settle in as I go over allll of the skincare I’ve been using in the evening. My products of choice seem to change fairly often, but these have been staples for a while now, and I would recommend them. Of course, everyone’s skin is different, but this is keeping my dry, acne-prone skin in reasonably good shape.

Garnier micellar water, cetaphil cleanser, plantae eye cream, paulas choice benzoyl peroxide, hydraluron,


Saturday, October 4th 2014 Hair care

I’ve been making a huge effort to try and use up as many products as possible, so that beauty products don’t take over my entire house. There’s a fair bit coming in between purchases, subscription boxes and products to review, so others have got to be emptied. Today I’ll be showing you what I finished in September, ranging from body to haircare, so lets get started!

Nivea, Pantene, Neutrogena Naturals, Silk Naturals Empties

August Goodie Box

Wednesday, September 24th 2014 Makeup

August was my second month of Goodie Box – last month’s Birthday Box was my first one. On first impression, I liked it more than the July box. There are three full size products, and three that are samples. Four are skincare, one is haircare and one is makeup, which was a good range I think! I’ve been busily using them all, so now I can give you a comprehensive review about what I thought of it all.

August Goodie Box Ecostore Comvita Simple Glamourflage Revlon and Angel


The gym goer’s guide to skincare

Saturday, June 7th 2014 Skincare

On various beauty groups I’ve seen a lot of people asking about how to make sure working out doesn’t ruin their skin. I’m both a skincare addict and also a regular gym-goer, so I’ve decided to give my advice about how I make sure that working out doesn’t have negative impacts on my skin.

The first thing is to never work out with make up on. For starters, when my sweat mixes with make up it looks disgusting, and I don’t want to look even less attractive than I already do when working out. I’ve read on blogs things about pores opening and sweat getting in, but the truth is ‘Your pores ain’t no sunflower’, and they don’t open and close. Regardless, having a mix of sweat and make up on your face isn’t ideal for skin health. I always take a clean face towel to the gym so I can wipe the sweat off, and I don’t want to smear make up on it also.

“But Lena, I wear make up during the day and then go to the gym”, you say? The solution is make up remover wipes! I generally don’t use these at home unless I’m feeling particularly lazy, but they get the bulk of your make up off which is good enough for before a work out. You can put them in your gym bag or leave them in your car, and do a quick wipe, and then you’re ready to exercise. My favourite are Simple Cleansing Facial Wipes, which are gentle yet effective.

Simple Facial Cleansing Wipes

These are my facial wipes of choice – they don’t sting my eyes like many others

With my clean face towel, I try to not put it on the ground or on the seats of machines – I don’t want to be basically wiping my face on the ground, that’s a recipe for disaster with bacteria and dirt all over my face. I mean, the gym is a clean place but still, people are walking all over it. I’m not preciously carrying my towel around, but I’d rather drape it over my shoulders than chuck it down willy nilly. I also don’t really touch my face a lot at the gym for that reason. I’m hardly a clean freak or a germaphobe but I observe a direct relationship between when I touch my face a lot and when I break out.

Once I’m finished at the gym I always go home and use a foaming cleanser in the shower to remove sweat, dirt and any traces of make up. I generally use my eye make up remover as well to get off the last of my mascara. If I’m not washing my hair, I use a face cloth to make sure I clean all around my hairline, because sometimes the sweat can gather there and that’s just gross. From there I just do the rest of my skincare routine, which I’ve written more about here.

Simple Facial Wash and eye make up remover

I hope some of you can find this helpful, even though the tips aren’t particularly groundbreaking, they have been working well for me. Just so I’m clear, this isn’t sponsored or anything, it just happens that the products I use are all the same brand. Most of these tips are relevant for types of exercise other than the gym, such as dancing, or running, so hopefully they’re applicable to a lot of my readers. If you have any great exercise related skincare tips, post them in the comments, I’d really appreciate it!

Lena x

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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