Katie Vibes
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Recent Empties #9

Up until now I've been sharing the occasional empty product on my Instagram. However, due to the size of today's selection, I thought it best to revert back to empties blog posts. And what better way to ease myself back into blogging after a particularly gruelling final semester (Yep, my undergrad is FINISHED - EEP). Hopefully I can get lots of lovely content out to you guys and try and get a bit ahead before my Masters degree - double EEP - begins in September.

I won't go through everything as there's rather a lot but here are some of the highlights...

I finally used up two of my long-standing favourite skincare products, the Green People Beauty Boost Skin Restore* and the Pai Kukui & Jojoba Bead Brightening Exfoliator. I've done a full review of the GP product as I find it works great as a light moisturiser before makeup, but also can add an extra kick to your night time routine when your skin is looking a bit worse for wear. I also really love the Pai exfoliator but for some reason I don't think I have ever properly mentioned it on the blog... Nevertheless, I shall be repurchasing both of these at some point.

I also waved goodbye to a few of the goodies I got to try as a (former) member of the LoveLula Accredited Blogger Programme. Namely, the The Earth Works Cleansing Oil*, MOA Fortifying Green Bath Potion*, and the Madara Active AHA Brightening Peel Mask*. I definitely recommend the latter two - although the bath potion seemed to irritate my eczema, the scent is amazing and you should definitely try it if you don't find you react to essential oils. The Madara AHA mask is a wonderful chemical exfoliant option and I find it to be really effective at sloughing away dead skin cells and encouraging a good glow. The TEWC cleansing oil was good and did the job but unfortunately I found it to be a little heavy for my skin. However, it has a really amazing price point and is a good one to check out if you want to get into oil cleansing.

To avoid this post getting too long, here's a list of everything I've used up this time:
- Terre Verdi Good Oils Cleansing Oil*
- Green People Quinoa & Prebiotics Deodorant*
- Living Naturally Organic Herbal Hair Rinse Conditioner
- Avalon Organics Volumizing Rosemary Conditioner
- MOA Fortifying Bath Potion*
- Green People Beauty Boost Skin Restore*
- First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads (no longer cf)
- Schmidt's Cedarwood & Juniper Stick Deodorant
- Brija Illuminate Eye Balm (not finished - smells a little funky)
- Zuzu Luxe Liquid Eyeliner
- Madara Active AHA Brightening Peel Mask sample*
- Pai Kukui & Jojoba Bead Brightening Exfoliator
- The Earth Works Cosmetics Cleansing Oil*
- Eco Bath London Skin Conditioning Bath Soak (different packaging but I believe this is the same)

Recent Empties #8

Come on guys, do I really need an intro for these things anymore?

Odylique Tea Tree & Herb Shampoo
This will forever be in my empties. No explanation needed (but I will be doing a full review soon). I’m trying to hunt down a cheaper alternative but unfortunately, I think I’m coming to the conclusion that nothing else keeps my scalp as soothed and itch-free, without the need for an ACV rinse. Also, it smells AMAZING.

Green People Quinoa & Calendula Shower Gel*
Green People sent me this a while ago along with the deodorant from the same line. I have done a full review, but in short, I do enjoy this shower gel. It has a really fresh scent but if I’m honest, if I’m to spend this much on a shower gel, then I’m probably more likely to spend the money on something like Bodhi & Birch that lasts about five times as long.

Acure Organics Argan Oil
I bought this argan oil way back when I first started using green beauty; in my first ever iHerb order in fact. I bought it with my hair in mind but actually ended up using it as a straight body oil in a bid to use it up. I also used it on my eczema and my skin actually reacted really well to it. However, I don’t think I’ll be repurchasing as there are other basic oils (like Soil Association certified sunflower oil from eNaissance – love!) that are easier to get hold of and have a similar effect on my angry skin.

Hugo & Debra Naturals Grapefruit Himalayan Pink Salt Scrub
This was a really lovely basic scrub with decent ingredients, a decent price, and decent availability. I got this as a Christmas present from my boyfriend’s Dad who bought it from TK Maxx. The grapefruit was refreshing but not overpowering and the ‘scrubiness’ was just perfect. TK Maxx can actually be a bit of a gold mine for green beauty. I assume he picked it up just because he just saw the words ‘natural’ and ‘vegan’ but damn, he did well. Leave a comment below if you’d like to see a post on the kinds of brands you can pick up!

Herbfarmacy Pure Hydration Serum
I have done a full review on this. I absolutely loved this product the first time around when I received it as a PR sample and this was my repurchase. However, I do think my love has waned and I can no longer justify its price tag. These days I prefer to use something with a thinner consistency and a higher concentration of hyaluronic acid that can be mixed with other serums. I’m now really enjoying this offering from Evolve Beauty. The Herbfarmacy has more of a milky consistency and can pill when used with other products. If you prefer all your products to be organic certified then go for the Herbfarmacy (they are certified by the Soil Association – my certification of choice), but I do find the Evolve to be a lot more versatile.

Hynt Beauty Skin Prep Serum (sample)
I was sent the Hynt Beauty Skin Prep as a free sample when I ordered by Sweet Canyon Palette. It’s a really lovely makeup primer which gorgeous botanical ingredients like algae (it does also contain carageenan though which I need to look into). I’d really consider buying the full size of this, but cannot decide whether I’d be more suited for their SPF version, the Sun Prep. Maybe I’ll try a sample of the later before I make my decision as I’m thinking of making another order for their cult concealer to see my dark circles through the early university mornings this winter.

Harper's Bizarre Bizarre Zombielicious Candle
Harper's Bizarre is my absolute favourite indie vegan candle company. They make the most gorgeous scents and although they’re not all from essential oils, they don’t give me a headache (important) and they make me extremely happy. Zombielicious was another of their limited edition Halloween scents that I bought last year. And, as Halloween is again fast approaching, I’ll soon be stocking up when I see them at VegFest London and/or Cambridge Vegan Fair in October.

Schmidt's Bergamot & Lime Deodorant Stick
This deo has HG status. Full review here. I have repurchased put decided to try the Cedarwood & Juniper scent.

Vedani Botanicals No. 21 Cleanser
Another one of my favourite products that needs no explanation. Full review here (I swear I'm not doing this just to be lazy). I have loads of cleansing oils to use up at the moment but I will be repurchasing in the future.

Botanicals Mandarin & Chamomile Cleansing Melt*
This is a really gorgeous product but unfortunately it makes me a little nervous because of the coconut oil. My skin has reacted badly to coconut oil in the past and so I'm hesitant to try anything bigger than this sample jar. I did enjoy it though and definitely suggest you try it if you have more combo/dry skin.

What have you used up lately?

Recent Empties #7

Yay, back round to my favourite kind of posts. My last empties post was only in January so I am actually really happy with what I have managed to use up since then. Especially seeing so I've used up two more products since taking this photo, which you shall see in the next instalment. This post is also featuring one of the beautiful ABW shopping bags which are my bags of choice when it comes to empties! A slightly prettier way to keep hold of your beauty trash...

Beauty Without Cruelty Super Cover Cream Concealer Pencil in Fair
My absolute favourite concealer. Weirdly, it hasn't really featured much on the blog since I first bought it but I shall keep repurchasing this until I come across something which I like more (which isn't likely). Repurchase? 100x over.

PHB Ethical Beauty All-in-One Mascara in Black
This was my mascara of choice until Zuzu Luxe came into my life (review soon). I was willing to take a chance with this formula even though it contains phenoxyethanol and while I enjoy it, Zuzu Luxe's option is around the same price and comes without the controversial preservative. Repurchase? Maybe, if Zuzu Luxe vanishes from the UK again. 

Sarakan Toothpaste
Just a basic natural toothpaste that you can pick up from Holland & Barrett. I buy either this or Aloe Dent, depending on any offers at the time. I don't really have any strong feelings about toothpaste. Repurchase? Probably, but I do slightly prefer Aloe Dent. 

PHB Ethical Beauty Hydrating Facial Tonic*
This was a lovely toner despite my unfortunate broken packaging which leaked incessantly. It has a wonderful ylang ylang scent and was really pleasant to use. Repurchase? Maybe.

Eden Perfumes No. 72
This is my new favourite natural perfume. Eden Perfumes are great as they create scents inspired by high street brands that are alcohol-free and a fraction of the price. No. 72 is inspired by Black XS by Paco Rabanne. Which, although cruelty-free (I think), tends to bring me out in hives. This alternative is perfect. Repurchase? Already have.

Suti Rejuvenate Organic Face Oil*
I LOVED this oil. I had this sample sitting around in a drawer for ages and I am kicking myself that I didn't try it sooner. It's super nourishing without being heavy and perfect for colder weathers. Repurchase? Definitely shall, but in the autumn/winter.

Myroo Starflower & Orange Blossom Skin Boost Facial Serum*
Another one of my favourite oils! This one is perfect for daytime and under makeup and is definitely light enough for use in the summer. Unfortunately I still have quite the collection of facial oils to use up but I will definitely come back to this one. Check out my full review here. Repurchase? Yes.

Zoya Armor Top Coat
This was okay. Again, I don't tend to have too strong feelings on stuff like this. Repurchase? Probably, because I actually need a new top coat and haven't purchased one since this ran out...

The Body Deli Vital C Serum*
I love brightening serums (especially ones that contain vit c) and this performed just as well as my number one fave, the Andalou turmeric serum. This one works slightly differently in that it's much more suitable for daytime and under makeup as it has a silkier finish. It is however quite a bit more expensive so for now I shall keep to the Andalou. Repurchase? Not soon, but maybe in the future.

Acorelle Perfume
I didn't like this at all. The scent is cheap and sickly. I don't even remember what it's called! I'm not even sure if it is still available. It was a free gift with a Vegan Life mag subscription Repurchase? Never.

First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads
I really enjoy these and although they're not necessarily 'natural', the ingredients aren't bad and they're really effective. I loved these for reducing acne scarring after a particularly bad breakout over Christmas. They're super easy to use and although expensive, definitely worth it. Repurchase? Yes, when the need arises.

What have you been using up recently?

Recent Empties #6

Empties! These are one of my favourite blog posts to write and luckily, I seem to accumulate products ridiculously quickly these days. In addition to these, I also got rid of a couple products that had gone bad. 

YSL Belle d'Opium Perfume
Yay - I'm so glad to have finished this up. After this, I only have one more non-natural perfume left to finish. I do adore this scent though and I really hope that Eden Perfumes come out with something similar that is slightly more natural, vegan, and cruelty-free.

Odylique Gentle Herb Shampoo
Odylique make my favourite shampoos, as mentioned in my 2015 review. I think I may prefer the Tea Tree & Herb incarnation, but the Gentle Herb version is great for those with slightly drier hair that needs a little nourishing. 

Alba Botanica Acnedote Astringent
This was stop one on my journey to clearing my comedonal acne. It was okay, but I was not a fan of the formula. It's very watery but at the same time quite oily and it left a film on my face after each use. I don't think it really did much for my acne and I won't be repurchasing.

Botanicals Lavender Botanical Water*
I use this stuff for everything. I've done a whole post on how much I love it. It was great as a simple facial spritz and also doubles as a lovely linen/room spray for when I want a better night's sleep. I may repurchase this after using up a couple of my other floral waters.

Paula's Choice Extra Strength BHA Exfoliant
Yes, this isn't natural. And frankly, it wasn't worth it. I had heard great things about the Paula's Choice line but I've had much better success with some (very slightly) more natural and (a lot) cheaper products.

Natural Wisdom Vitamin C & Papaya Liquid Enzyme Exfoliator
Didn't really see much difference with this either but I have another sample so will give it another go before making a final decision.

Andalou Naturals Turmeric + C Enlighten Serum
I adore this stuff and again, I've mentioned it many times. It featured in my 2015 review and I have also done an in-depth post for it. It just cannot be beaten for its powers to magically reduce redness overnight. I'm currently using a sample of a similar Body Deli serum but I already have a back-up ready. This has HG status.

Harpers Candles Scary Mary
Not much to say other than I loved this candle and I love this brand. Harpers make some super quirky products and this scent was part of their Halloween collection. Unfortunately, I cannot really describe it for you as I don't remember much about it... I finished this a long time ago! 

OliElla Multi-Action Moisturiser
I loved this for battling and soothing my stubborn dyshidrosis over the summer months. This tin does have a small bit left in it but I made the decision to move on as it has been open forever. I won in it a giveaway over a year ago. I'm pretty fickle when it comes to my eczema moisturisers but I may purchase this in the future.

Phew... what have you used up recently? Have you tried anything here?