Sunday, 17 June 2018

SPOTLIGHT: May Empties 2018 + Giveaway!...

Well now, May was a whopper for empties! I went through so many products I couldn't fit them all in one photo, so the masks are in a separate pic halfway down the page lol. I managed to clear five bottles of body wash, but before you start thinking I shower 10 times in a day, I must add that I didn't START them all in May - these all had an inch or two left in them at the end of Sydney's long hot Summer, and I decided to concentrate on using them up instead of storing them away to make space for my Winter faves. Also (unbelievably!) I finished off two foundations, so this really was quite a record month...


Avalon Organics Refreshing Lemon Bath & Shower Gel (355ml, RRP $11)
I'd read such amazing reviews of the Avalon Organics range online, so I just had to try it and ordered this lemon gel from iHerb. If lemon is your thing, then you'll be in zest heaven with this gem - it actually contains oils from limes, grapefruit and oranges as well as lemons, plus the number one ingredient listed is aloe juice. It's vegan, not tested on animals, paraben-free and the bottle is made from 100% recycled material. Not quite as hydrating as I'd hoped, and it's a pain to have to order it outside of Oz, but it has everything else going for it! ...
Yes, but I'll try the lavender one next as the lemon is a bit too zingy for the cold weather ha ha ...

Ecostore Coconut & Vanilla Gentle & Nourishing Body Wash (400ml, RRP $8.99)
I tell you what New Zealand is rapidly becoming THE most fabulous source of skin care products.  Absolutely love this range and the fact that I can buy it at Woolworths. The packaging is modern and stylish, it smells delish, and it doesn't dry my skin AT ALL. Cruelty-free and no SLS either ...
I have several bottles in the cupboard, as well as three of the hand-wash - LOVE! ...

Estelle & Thild Fresh Water Lily Hand Soap (250ml, RRP $16)
Added this to my Sephora cart to qualify for free shipping, but I won't buy it again. Sure it's nice enough - made in Sweden and certified organic, but I really didn't enjoy the scent, and it's way too runny to be practical. Lost count of the number of times I depressed the pump and managed to squirt it past my hands and onto my clothing!...

Nature's Own Double Strength Cold Sore Relief L-Lysine 1000mg (50 tablets, RRP $25.99)
A while back I went through a period of recurring cold sores from stress - had 3 in a row so I figured I needed some biochemical support, and these were recommended by a dear friend (thanks hon!). Expensive, but I haven't had a breakout since ...
Yep ...

Nubian Heritage Mango Butter Body Wash (384ml, RRP $14)
Another one that was raved about on iHerb, and I completely understand why - it's ah-mazing. Contains mango, shea and cocoa butter, Vitamin C & coconut oil - incredibly hydrating, lathers like crazy and the fruity mango fragrance is to die for. It only has one flaw - it's SO thick, I can only use it in the warm weather, almost impossible to get it out of the bottle once the temp drops below 20 degrees. No animal testing, fair trade & organic ingredients ...
Absolutely! There are so many in the range that I want to try - all based on traditional African recipes, like Honey & Black Seed, Indian Hemp & Haitian Vetiver, Patchouli & Buriti ...

Sephora Hydrating & Energising Shower Gel (400ml, RRP $19)
Loved this, reviewed HERE - bummed that I can't see it on their website any more ...
Would if I could ...

Swisse Women's Power Ultivite (40 tablets, RRP $33.95)
Went for these mainly because the label said "stress response" - well they sure helped, but they are SO HUGE and with a matte finish, I could barely swallow them...
No, but only because of the above - most multivitamins are large, but I have to go for ones encased in easy-to-slide-down gelatin...

Thankyou Coffee Body Scrub (300g, RRP $14.95)
Love this, love what the company is doing, messy but supernally effective and I adore the smell of it. I'm actually using the empty jar to store one of my other body scrubs - can't stand sachets in the shower ...
Affirmative ...

Thankyou Milk Body Wash - Botanical Lemon Myrtle & Goat's Milk (500ml, RRP $7.99)
Another of my repeaters - my fave from this brand, divine scent, non-drying and one I will be using all year round ...
Sure bet ...


L'Oreal Age Perfect Cell Renewal Night Cream (50ml, RRP $44.95)
A beautiful cream that came my way via the beautyheaven Trial Team. A stunning formulation that's perfect for dry skin, or if you're like me, skin that transforms into a flakey prune once the temperature drops. My bh review of it is HERE, about halfway down the page. Aimed at the 50-70 age market, it's a gem. I reviewed the original formulation back in 2013 (HERE) and this reworked version is even better with the inclusion of Black Truffles ...
Definitely on my must-buy list once I plough through the backlog of moisturisers on my bench ...

Lush Dark Angels Fresh Facial Cleanser (100g, RRP $17.50)
This was #gifted to me in March last year (review HERE) and I put it aside due to the plethora of other charcoal products on my shelf but made a special effort to finish it off. It was well beyond its use-by date, and the only change was that the oil separated out a bit, but it still worked a treat ...
Yes, but I'll have to clear the other products first - because Lush doesn't use preservatives, this baby only has a recommended shelf life of 3 months, and to use it all up in that time, it would have to be my only one ...

Mirenesse Endless Youth Pearly Glow Bubble Cleanser (60g, RRP $39.50)
Most of the Mirenesse products that appear here arrive via their VIP packs, and this one was a pleasant surprise, and the name says it all - soft creamy bubbles that melt away makeup, lovely fresh fragrance, contains centella asiatica, sage, green tea, tea tree & purslane. Mirenesse is a cruelty-free brand, and this particular product is made in South Korea ...
Probably not - it's lovely, but I prefer a gel for Summer and a balm for Winter ...

Sukin Super Greens Detoxifying Clay Masque (100ml, RRP $15.95)
OMG I actually finished a tub of mask! I have about five part-used ones on my bench, but this one I've had for the longest period (about 2 years) so it was time for it to earn a place in an empties post - no change or deterioration in the product though, just as effective as the first application. Gives any clogged pores a scare and draws out the goop, leaves my complexion cool, calm, deeply cleansed and refined ...
After I use up one of the other ones, for sure ...


Goldwell Kerasilk Color Intensive Luster Mask (200ml, RRP $42.95)
I found this in one of beautyheaven's beautoriums, and it was love at first application. It's the palest lavender cream that smells sensational, and given I have a Goldwell Kerasilk treatment every three months, I figured this would help maintain the smooth silky finish, and it sure does that. Only needs to be left on for 10 minutes, but sometimes I sleep in it (with a beanie) to give my tresses an extra conditioning boost ... 
I actually bought the regular one this time around as I'm not so concerned about colour fade now that I'm no longer red/gold ...

Kevin Murphy Shimmer Me Blonde Repairing Shine Treatment for Blondes (100ml, RRP $42.95)
This is the "ash" version of the golden one I reviewed back in October (HERE) - not cheap, but it lasts me around 6 months and gives my locks that bit of extra glisten and gleam without weighing it down ...
I've just had the Kerasilk treatment done again so I'll wait for a month before repurchasing as my hair doesn't need a shine boost at the mo' ...

Olaplex Hair Perfector (100ml, RRP $49.95)
This stuff is so good - everything I wrote about it in my February Empties post (HERE) still stands - can't live without it! ...
Forever ...


Covergirl + Olay Simply Ageless Foundation - Natural Beige (12g, RRP $25.95)
Bought this so long ago I can't remember exactly when, but it was back in the days when I was still trying to find the best colour and finish for my skin. This isn't the one, but I've kept using it as the coverage is 110%, and there have been days when I needed the complete mask-like end result. It's a bit orangey for my complexion, and it always ended up a bit cakey by the afternoon, but I appreciated the SPF28 ...
Nope - see the Maybelline review below ...

Eye of Horus Goddess Pencil - Charcoal Obsidian (RRP $30.00)
Regular readers will know of my passion for this range, and this one was part of a prize I won back in 2016 (HERE) - as a rule, each colour lasts me around 2 years, I love this shade because it isn't black black, more like a graphite so it's not as stark on my old peepers, plus it has tiny little sparkles in it, which incidentally don't irritate my eyes (however do they do that?) ...
I always buy a replacement when the pencil is down to one-third remaining, so I bought one a while back ... 

Maybelline Dream Cushion Liquid Foundation in a Compact - Sand (14.6g, RRP $26.95)
I bought several of these on special when they were relatively newly released because it suits my skin SO well in every department - gave it a whole lotta love HERE ...
I have one more left ...

Rimmel Exaggerate Full Colour Lip Liner - Eastend Snob (RRP $12.50)
One of the best nude lipliners I've tried - this one has lasted me 18 months ...
Already have ...

Face Masks

These aren't in alphabetical order as I've fitted them around the relevant piccie...

Skin Republic Detox Charcoal + 10-Superfood Formula (25ml, RRP $9.99)
First tried this last July, and I have such a stash of sheet masks from a wide range of brands that I'm only just getting around to repeats of the ones I really liked, and this was one of them. Has all sorts of yummy stuff in it including Acai Berries, Chia Seeds, Quinoa and Avocado - deep cleans as well as nourishes. It also fits quite well and stays put, perfect for my multi-masking days (see pic below) ...
Yes although it's a challenge as this amazing company keeps bringing out new varieties that catch my eye ...

Skin Republic 24K Gold Aquagel Under Eye Patch (2 pairs, RRP $12.99)
I do so love these - so cooling, calming and firming. Too expensive to use every week, and I keep hoping they'll be included in one of the Priceline special sales, but no luck so far. They slip and slide around so apply them under another mask, or lie down and chill ...
Yes absolutely ...

LonVitalite C7 Collagen & Gold Lip Mask (Box of 5, RRP $35)
Have already raved about these a few times - LOVE! ...
I need a truckload of these, so yes ...

Skin Republic Volcanic Ash Mud Sheet Mask (RRP $12.00)
Yeah, baby - one of three new mud varieties that came out recently. The others are Green Tea and Pink Clay, which I'm busting to try next. This one is utterly fab - the cloth is saturated with the clay/ash formula so you have to be careful applying it or it gets in your hair, not that it really matters. The flap that covers the nose is longer than others (yay!) and the overall fit is brilliant. The cloth stiffens as it dries (just like a cream mud mask would) and you need to rinse your face afterwards. Results are particularly awesome - my pores looked way smaller, my skin felt super clean and soft, and there was an overall radiance and refinement that I'd like to see permanently! ...
Of course - actually, this one might just overthrow the gold collagen one as my fave from this brand ...

Skin Republic Collagen Hydrogel Under Eye Patch (3 pairs, RRP $9.99)
Revisited these as the cheaper Purederm ones were out of stock at Kmart for almost three weeks. They're so good, and I shudder to think how many I've bought since I discovered them ...
Will always have some of these around ...

Skin Physics Advance Superlift 3D Deep Hydration Lifting Mask (Pack of 3, RRP $59.99)
Excellent product, just wish it fitted better - love that it has bits for my neck (which needs a LOT of work), but they just don't sit right ...
Not unless there is a design overhaul ...

Skin Physics Instant Lift V-Shape Vitality Mask (RRP $14.99)
This slingy thing (pictured above underneath the other mask) is so effective, I would sleep in one of these every night if I could afford it. I swear it firms my saggy chin and jawline and the effects last for around 24 hours ...
Just as soon as they're on special again, and then I'll buy lots ...

Purederm Ginkgo Eye Puffiness Minimizing Patches (4 patches, RRP $3.00)
At $1.50 a pop, these can't be beat - I sleep in them at least three nights every week ...
Yes ma'am ...


I've tried to keep the package lightweight so I can make the giveaway International, so there are only a few faves from May, but I've included some pretty jewellery items to boost the value of the prize ...

  • 1 x Skin Republic Volcanic Ash Mud Sheet Mask
  • 1 x Skin Republic Detox Charcoal + 10-Superfood Formula Face Mask Sheet
  • 1 x Sukin Super Greens Detoxifying Clay Masque
  • 1 x Nutrimetics rose gold-tone Necklace (49cm) and Earrings (6mm studs) set, made with Swarovski Elements
  • 1 x Colette rose gold-tone diamante & faux pearl ring, size L

Here's a closeup of the jewellery - the stones are clear crystal...

All products were purchased by me, and the total value is approximately $95.

And this giveaway is open...
Here's how to enter...
  1. Leave a blog post comment on this page that answers the question inside the Rafflecopter (please note: if you don't leave a comment on this page, you won't be included in the draw!)
  2. Leave your email address inside the Rafflecopter so I can contact you if you win
  3. Follow my blog one way or another from the many choices listed
  4. Only one entry per person, please read the T's & C's inside the Rafflecopter
    This giveaway is now closed 

    Again so many entries, and again I had to disqualify quite a few folks
    as they didn't leave a comment on this page...but...

    Woo hoo! - has chosen the beautiful Cassandra D. as the winner.  
    Congratulations gorgeous! 
    Cassandra please respond to the email I've sent you by
    Thursday 28th June to claim your prize :-)
    Edit: Cassandra has claimed her prize 

    Best of luck to all who enter!

    Take care of you,
    kats xxx


    1. I like to make a bold statement

      1. Good on you Gwendolyn - I just love how a relatively plain outfit can be transformed into something with a Wow factor of 10+ just by adding a few pieces of stunning jewellery x

    2. I dont know that I stick to one thing. It depends on the occasion and some require elegance and others require bold so I switch between the two...I refuse to be put in a box :D

      I love all the body washes. Im using an exfoliating one from OM She at the moment which is lovely. Ive got an orange scented Natio one waiting in the wings.

      1. No boxes here either Fawn - I go against all the makeup guidelines for older gals every day of my life, and I don't give a fig, I just love trying pretty much anything lol!

    3. Kats, you're killin' it with these empties! Answer to the Rafflecopter: I prefer subtle elegance! xoxo

      1. I know Amy! I've had to buy larger plastic tubs to store everything up for the monthly post. I probably won't have another record breaker like this for a while though ha ha. As for the jewellery, I'm not at all surprised by your choice my dear - you have such lovely fine features that go so well with classy accessories ♥♥♥

    4. I'm definitely more subtle elegance with jewellery.

      So many more lovely face masks this month. Your blog really inspires me to treat myself to pamper sessions more often. I got the Sukin super greens clay masque and I'm really enjoying using it! Thanks for the great reviews Kats x

      1. Well this jewellery would be perfect for you Isabel - it's not at all flashy, just pretty. And I encourage you to up the frequency of beauty treats - can never have too much "me" time, and I'm delighted with how my skin is responding to all the mask love I give it xxx

    5. Replies
      1. Delighted to hear it hon - I have a tendency for "bold" just about every day (some might say "out there" ha ha), but I also have moments when I like something simple and feminine. Thank goodness there's such a wide variety to choose from! x

    6. I am definately more on the subtle elegance style..

      1. Lovely to read you Sandhra - thanks for joining in the fun and letting me know your style preference x

    7. Replies
      1. Nice one Umme - understated accessories go with anything hey x

    8. I am subtle.. I like subtle it's best for me

      1. Always a bonus to know what works for you Calvin x

    9. To answer the question I prefer subtle elegance but every now and then I like to get out of my comfort zone and go bold!

      1. Good on you! I go for a mix myself, although I have tendency towards more chunky jewellery, but it pays to be prepared for all situations x

    10. I’ve never thought of sleeping in a beanie. I might try that to prevent knotting my hair up. I’ve seen you rave about the Olaplex before. So many good recommendations , I’d like to try the cushion foundation. And Eye of Horus, I’ve searched that and it is divine. The 24k Aquaeye gel patch is on sale but only til tomorrow. Not entering Kats as I’ve only just won recently.

      1. The beanie works a treat Okatko - I have one that is strictly no frills, no elastic, it's just a plain knitted one that stays on my head all night, and at least doubles the effect of the treatment. I stocked up on a few masks at the Priceline sale - too good to miss! And so kind of you to skip the giveaway this time around, but you're ALWAYS welcome to enter any and all of them hon xxx

    11. Replies
      1. Always a great choice adriis - you can't go wrong with elegant accessories x

    12. Replies
      1. Great answer Rajeeva - I feel the same way!

    13. Replies
      1. Hi va, well it seems that subtle is the most popular!

    14. I am more subtle too but of course it depends on the occasion. Thanks for the lovely post!

    15. I use the style subtle elegance.

    16. Great mini reviews, as always, Kat! I love the Olaplex I won from you a while back too!

      1. Thanks hon - thrilled you're loving the Olaplex, it's something else hey. Which reminds me I must order some more - it's on special at both adorebeauty & ry at the mo' xxx