Project Empties #4

Low buy, no buy, using everything up before you buy new – whatever you want to call it, I’m still on the train and I’m back with another set of empties that I’ve been saving up for a few months now. This one is a little different as some of the products ended up being used for other purposes and not their original intention. Call it weird, but it’s definitely a way of ensuring the bottle is fully empty. And finally, before we head in to the review section, I’m delighted to have discovered that my local Body Shop branch in Middlesbrough have a recycling station for empties, and you can take in any products to be recycled, they don’t just have to be Body Shop labelled items. This is truly excellent news as my kerbside recycling doesn’t include all the types I have here.



As per usual there’s a bit of a theme going on here. Curl, anti-frizz, serum-based, forever seeking the shine that will not be. Both the Frizz No More and the Aussie Work That Curl Serum were both really nice products, reasonably priced and did a good job of sealing in some moisture to my very thirsty hair. The Aussie one also smelled absolutely delicious and I would buy again. The big factor putting me off repurchasing is that the plastic is really hard, and coloured and there’s a pump and a lid which is a whole lot of unnecessary plastic. If someone knows of a wonder-curl serum type product that comes in a glass bottle, hit me up in the comments as I would love to find one.

The conditioner is my kind of weird curveball product as I ended up using it as a lotion for shaving my legs. Even though my hair is frizzy, dry and would probably benefit hugely from regular conditioning, I’m uber lazy and rarely remember to use it, so it basically lived in the shower for months. Until one day I needed to shave my legs and I was like, hmmm, I’ll give it a go. And it worked brilliantly! So continuing my efforts for project empties, I used it all up to the very last drop. I’m dropping all of these three to the Body Shop recycling box and hoping they can make some magic happen to the elements of the bottles that can’t be recycled.



Grab yourself a cuppa and settle in, we know this section is always the biggest. I’m going to start off with the one that I didn’t like and that’s the Caudalie Anti-Wrinkle Face Suncare, SPF 50. I deeply regretted the purchase from the first use and reluctantly used every last drop because I hated it. Super thick, smelled funky and took an absolute age to rub in and it definitely left a white cast on your face for what felt like hours afterwards. I’d read a lot of reviews from people who raved over it and never mentioned any of the above, so I don’t know if they were not being entirely honest or if it just didn’t get on with my face. Either way, I definitely won’t buy again.

Hero products naturally have to come next. I love anything from Pixi and the Glow Tonic Cleansing Gel was yet another discovery that was instant love. Just really nice to use, their products never leave your face feeling stripped or squeaky clean and you can always see the benefits from regular use. Will definitely buy again. The same can be said for the Boots Expert Skincare Anti-Ageing Replenishing Serum Q10+ (wow, what a title!) Super nice to use, definitely budget-friendly and I’m hoping the Body Shop recycling can work their wonders on the pump and lid. The Garnier Organic Soothing Lavender Eye Cream was also nice, but nothing particularly spectacular so I won’t bother buying again.

The pick of the bunch from this lineup is definitely the Bare Minerals Complexion Rescue (I’m Vanilla O2). It’s the second time I’ve used this now for a face base and it’s just super nice to use. Soft, moisturising, feels really silky when you apply, blends in either with fingers, a brush or a damp sponge and just gives you an even glow. I’m pretty lucky with my skin as it doesn’t need heavy coverage of anything and this one ticks all the boxes. I’m currently finishing up another Glossier Skin Tint and then I’ve decided to switch it up to try a new Body Shop foundation. I’ll feedback on that one as I usually opt for the more tinted moisturiser type base, but I liked the sound of it and variety is always fun.


A mask, a cleanser and a first attempt at retinol are up next. The Superdrug Vitamin E Leave-On Moisture Mask seemed to last actual years. It’s only a 100ml tub but I found you only needed a really small amount to get decent coverage and I occasionally mixed it in with my serums/oils which will have extended its life, but it’s definitely excellent value for money and really straightforward to use. Does exactly what it says on the tub, you leave it on overnight for some extra moisture. Budget-friendly, face-friendly, cruelty-free and an all round winner.

The Indeed Bakuchiol Reface Pads were my first foray into retinol products. I’d read some bad reviews where people had tried retinol and their face had nearly fallen off (possibly a slight exaggeration…) and I decided this gentle alternative was a good starting point. What I didn’t like was the single use pads which then had nowhere else to go but the bin. I used them all up. My face didn’t fall off. And I decided to graduate to actual retinol products but more on that soon.

The Valley Mist Cleansing Cream came via Plastic Freedom, a brilliant online shop for plastic free alternatives to so many products. This cleanser lives in a tin, it was only a tenner and it was suuuuper nice! I would definitely repurchase, but next up I have some cleansing bars to try from EcoSoap – again I’ll feed back once I’ve tried them as they seem an exciting contender in the eco warrior/plastic free world. More on that next time.


Next up we have the glass bottles and some super sexy dog hairs stuck to the lid – do I spoil you with my top class, professional content or what?! Glossier SuperGlow – super nice feeling, lasted a good couple of months with day and night usage, the only thing I wasn’t down with? The funky smell. Hard to describe – faint whiff of biscuit mixed in with slightly on the turn oranges, which both combined, when you’re rubbing in near your nose, is not the most pleasant. I got over it to use up the product but for that reason alone I won’t buy again. Shame, because generally I am all over Glossier and have never said no.

And then we come to the retinol. All 0.2% of it in Squalane. My face didn’t fall off (bonus) and I used it all up. The Ordinary really can do no wrong. Budget-friendly, no-frills products that work brilliantly. The glass bottle gets an extra tick for being able to be recycled easier than plastic. The only thing I’m not sure about is the dropper…I guess that might have to be for the bin? If anyone knows otherwise, let me know. I’ve saved the dropper from the Glossier serum and am currently using it for another serum that I got via Plastic Freedom that has an aluminium screw lid. Reusable droppers? Definitely in!



We’ve got a yay and very much a nay for the final segment. The Neutrogena Hydro Boost Whipped Body Balm was super moisturising even though the whipped up texture was kind of odd and took a couple of attempts to get used to it. I liked that it had no scent because these days I’m all about adding my bougie Chanel Mademoiselle perfume to my daily wardrobe and I don’t like it to clash with my body scents – first world problems…! I preferred the straight up body lotion of the Hydro Boost range, but the pump bottle option is not so easy to recycle.

The Coconut Body Butter was an epic fail. I don’t even know if it has a name on it…oh wait it says Dermo Vio. Basically it was 99p, it was a rash purchase and it was absolutely rubbish. It smelled rubbish, it didn’t rub in, like at all, and in the end I used up every last drop whilst chuntering under my breath the whole time about how stupid I’d been to buy it. Will not repurchase. And will not buy cheap body butter ever again. Definitely worth a splurge for the better quality versions.

And there you have it. A massive old round-up of all the empties. Usually at Christmas I end up with heaps of products from people but this year I told everyone about my project empties/reducing single use plastic mission and I got hardly any which is brilliant. I’m still working my way through the make-up and I think it’s a fair comment that anyone would make, that it’s so much harder to reach the end of a make-up product than it is a skincare or hair care one. But I’m keeping going, and only buying new when something is finished up.

For 2020, I’m even more on a low buy, no buy and we’re 6 or 7 weeks in to the year and my buying has been absolutely minimal. I’m packing up all these empties now to drop off at my Body Shop branch tomorrow during my lunch break. How’s your project empties going? Are you low buy? No buy? Let me know and let’s talk.

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