Empties #4 + Product Updates

Hey guys!

Confession time: I have had this list of empties written down for MONTHS now, and I just never got round to writing about them oops.

As a result I binned all the empty products, so all images are from google and all rights belong to their respective owners.

If you haven’t read my last empties post, you can view it here.


Dr Brandt Pores No More Cleanser

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I got this in a sample size from May’s Birchbox, and unfortunately it wasn’t for me. I used it after I removed my make-up to get rid of any remaining dirt, which it did quite well – however, it left my skin very dry after.

Repurchase – No

Kueshi Brillo and Volumen Hair Mask

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Update – Again, I had this in a sample size from April’s Birchbox. I LOVED the smell of this (like marshmallows), and it did make my hair feel soft after. I’m not sure how much better it was than normal conditioner, though.

Repurchase – No, normal conditioner will do

John Frieda Go Blonder Lightening Spray

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Essentially, this is just bleach in a bottle. I sprayed this on my hair after washing it and then combed it through. After a few uses you get nice light streaks (in already blonde/brown hair), and after using the whole bottle my hair is considerably lighter than when I started.

Repurchase – No, my hair is at the colour I want after using this

The Body Shop Coconut Body Mist

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After owning this bottle for literal years, I was very proud of myself to finish it up. One of my favourite body shop scents; it reminds me of holidays abroad.

Repurchase – Yes, most likely in summer.

Bare Minerals Original Foundation

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I finished two medium size tubs (the gift set sizes?) of this foundation, in two different shades. This is my holy grail of powder foundations and will always be my favourite.

Repurchase – YES

Lush Montalbano Shampoo Bar

Lush-Solid-Shampoo-Bar-MontalbanoUpdate – I did a product review of this earlier in the year, and someone commented asking how long it lasts. The answer is four months – I used this from April to August. I love the scent of this and it makes my hair shiny and soft, what more could I want?

Repurchase – I already have one ready to go once I have finished my Seanik Shampoo Bar

Manna Kadar Pressed Powder

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Update – I also got this in April’s Birchbox, and all was fine and well until about a month later when it got drier than the Sahara Desert. I would try to swirl my brush in this and chunks of dried powder would fly out, so it went to the bin.

Repurchase – NO


That’s my horrifically late Empties #4!

Originally,

Lexy

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How to be Study Ready

Hey guys!

As promised, I am back after an obscenely long time  with a study post!

I will be sharing how I organise my university study life, and hopefully it might help and motivate some of you (and me in the future when I lose motivation haha)!


Organising your Subjects & Notes

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It’s important to split up your learning into manageable sections, so that things don’t become a muddled mess. You could divide your learning into subjects, sub-topics, or in my case modules.

In order to make note taking for each module easier I bought a 5-subject planner, so I already had the sections mapped out. Alternatively, you could buy a notebook per subject/module, or put everything into a folder with dividers. As long as it’s separated!

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At the start of each section, I have added a full page dedicated to notes. For me this is random things like due dates and email addresses, which don’t fit in with my module/subject.

Now for the best part – decoration! As you can see I like to draw over my letters and highlight each title, making sub-topics within my modules easier to find.

I also assign a colour to each module. I use a pen of that colour to underline important information, and then place any loose sheets I am given in a plastic folder of the same colour. It makes everything easier to group together, and avoids confusion.

Planning Your Time

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I think having a large calendar so you can see what’s upcoming is very important if you want to stay on top of your work. I have three different types of events on mine – University, Other University, and Social, each written on with a different colour (naturally).

University is for my timetable, Other University is for non-timetabled events, and Social is any activity not relating to uni. This gives me a good overview of each week and shows me where I have free time to fit in my work.

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Speaking of work, every time I get an assignment I will write it on a simple To Do List, which I write every week. This means you won’t forget to do anything, and it’s also really satisfying when you can tick everything off!


I hope this post makes sense! I haven’t written a blog post in so long, so I feel it may not make the most sense, but I hope you can at least find something of use in there.

Originally,

Lexy

120 Eyeshadows for £7.99 – Are They Any Good?

Hey guys!

Before I get into the post, I just want to share a little life update. You may have noticed that I’ve not been as active on here as usual – that’s because I’ve started uni!

So far I am loving everything about my course and my new surroundings, which is really exciting! Because I’m soon going to get busy with work to do, my posts are going to be less than usual, but I will make up for it with great content! Maybe there will be some new study posts coming your way *winky face*


Now what you’ve actually clicked on the post for – 120 eyeshadows for £7.99?! You might be thinking, ‘surely not!’. But be assured, it’s the real deal.

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I was doing some browsing for makeup bits on amazon, when I came across the ‘LaRoc Beginners Collection 120 Summer Eyeshadow Tones’ palette. When I saw the price was £7.99 (+£1.99 P&P)*, I clicked on it. When I saw it had nearly 800 reviews at 4.5 stars, I bought it.

*I just looked it up and it’s now on sale for £5.99! Annoying for me, but good for anyone wanting a bargain.

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I waited very patiently *ahem* for the palette to arrive so I could see it in all its colourful glory. The palette itself is made of standard cheap plastic (think Morphe), which retains fingerprint marks very easily.

However it seems sturdy enough and has a good clasp to keep it closed. I’m guessing LaRoc is meant to be a ‘dupe’ for Lorac, but from what I can see Lorac doesn’t do any palettes similar to this.

When you open the palette you have two trays, one on top of the other. You lift the top one out and place it into the lid so you have the full palette, like in the picture above. As you can see you get pretty much every colour you could ask for!

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Onto the most important part, the eyeshadow quality. For the most part, these eyeshadows are decent to great quality. There are one or two duds, but there is so many choices for one colour it doesn’t matter.

In the first picture is swatches of some of the mattes in the palette. In the pan they are incredibly soft (so much so that if you press too hard you’ll leave an indent)! They do go on a bit chalky, but they blend really nicely while keeping a lot of pigment.

My favourite is the white; it is so pigmented and makes the perfect base! One thing to mention is that there can be a lot of fall out, especially on the darker colours, so it could be a good idea to do your eyes before the rest of your makeup.

The palette has a decent mixture of mattes, shimmers, and glitters. In the bottom picture the gold, red, and silver are glitters, whilst the purple and brown are shimmers. I think the glitters are stunning; as with most palettes they apply best with your finger. The shimmers are good also, but not something I tend to reach for in every look.

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Above are some eye looks I’ve done using the palette. Apologies for the difference in colour; they were taken on different days. As you can see the colours blend out nicely and you can create some really great eye looks.

So, is it any good? I would say YES. The price is perfect for a staple piece for your makeup collection, as you can have every colour you need at your fingertips. Are the eyeshadows high end quality? No, but you can easily combine these shadows with a high end palette like I do, and no one would know the difference. I’m so glad I found this palette!


Originally,

Lexy

Yuki Means Happiness – Book Review

Hey guys!

As mentioned in my Revelations & Reviews post, this is the second of two reviews on the books I received from Book Bridgr. A huge thank you to them as well as John Murray Publishers for sending this to me!

The fact that I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review will in no way affect my opinions and thoughts on the novel.

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Yuki Means Happiness by Alison Jean Lester


“Diana is young and uneasy in a new relationship when she leaves America and moves halfway around the world to Tokyo seeking adventure. In Japan she takes a job as a nanny to two-year-old Yuki Yoshimura and sets about adapting to a routine of English practice, ballet and swimming lessons, and Japanese cooking.

But as Diana becomes increasingly attached to Yuki she also becomes aware that everything in the Yoshimura household isn’t as it first seemed. Before long, she must ask herself if she is brave enough to put everything on the line for the child under her care, confronting her own demons at every step of the way.

I set out to read a few pages of this book, and an hour later found myself totally immersed into Diana’s world. She leaves her life and boyfriend behind to move to Japan to take care of Yuki, a Japanese toddler.

I  had never read a book set in Japan before, so it was interesting to learn about Japanese traditions. From the treatment of children, to transport, to infrastructure, a lot of aspects of the culture were referred to. For example, instead of a drainpipe, Japanese houses use a chain to transfer water from the roof to the ground – I thought that was so interesting!

*spoilers below*

Yuki Means Happiness handles a lot of issues, but most prominently it discusses groping and sexual abuse, including in a child. Honestly I found this quite disturbing to read about, as from the cover and blurb of the book there was no way of knowing this was going to happen. For me this ruined the book, as I had set out to read a light book about an adventure in Japan, and this turn in events was not what I was looking to read.

This novel was equal parts heartwarming and heartbreaking, and covered numerous important topics. However, I do think the marketing needs rethinking, as people who are triggered by this kind of thing could be caught unaware.

Rating: 3.5*


Originally,

Lexy

Benefit High Beam and Posie Tint – Makeup Collection #5

Hey guys!

Continuing on with my Makeup Collection series, I will be reviewing Benefit’s High Beam and Posie Tint.

If you missed the previous post in the series, you can find it here.


High Beam

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This liquid highlighter is one of the first products I ever tried from Benefit around two years ago, and as you can see I still have half left! I also have a mini size of this which came in a set with Posie Tint, which is perfect for travelling (and also no where near finished)!

I like the packaging on this; the font is nice and simple and the transparent glass lets you see the shimmery goodness within. The applicator is similar to a nail polish brush, which works fine.

The colour of this highlighter is a pale pink, which isn’t for everyone. However, the formula is pretty great. It applies to the skin as pigmented as you see in the bottle, and can be blended out to give a subtle sheen to the skin. (Top swatch)

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I will admit that I haven’t used this product in a while, as I tend to favour powder products over liquid. I always used to apply this on top of foundation and under a setting powder, which I found significantly reduced the glowing power.

However when I was playing around with this today, I realised that it looks AMAZING on naked skin, and gives an effortless highlight to the cheekbones. If you are a natural makeup type of person, I think this would work very well for you.

Rating: 4*/5

Posie Tint

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Posie Tint is marketed as a lip and cheek stain, with emphasis on the stain. But more on that in a second.

As mentioned earlier this is the travel size, which is really small (and cute) but contains a lot of product as again it is a liquid. I like the reflective pink packaging, and the applicator is almost similar to High Beam, except this brush is slightly harder – I guess so it soaks up less product?

The colour of the product is a pure bubblegum pink. I’m not too keen on this as a cheek colour as I think it’s too light, but would be nice for a fun lip look. (Bottom swatch)

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Now, the formula. I don’t think stain is a strong enough word for what this does. If you think you can apply this to you cheeks and blend with your fingers, then think again. You will have bright pink fingers for the rest of the day!

After a lot of trial and error I have found the best way to apply this to cheeks is to swipe some on a stippling brush, and then blend from there. Not only does this stain, but it dries so fast that if you don’t do some quick blending you’re in trouble.

Posie Tint works a lot better as a lip tint, and gives them a nice pink glow all day. My only issue is that if you aren’t quick enough to spread the product it can be streaky.

As a testament to how much this stains, I can currently see on my arm the swatch I did 6 hours ago that has not faded after scrubbing with a makeup remover wipe and coconut oil. Eek.

Rating: 2.75*/5


Originally,

Lexy

Can You Hear Me? – Book Review

Hey guys!

As mentioned in my Revelations & Reviews post, this is the first of two reviews on the books I received from Book Bridgr. A huge thank you to them as well as Two Roads for sending this to me!

The fact that I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review will in no way affect my opinions and thoughts on the novel.

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Can You Hear Me? by Elena Varvello


“Elia Furenti is sixteen, living in a secluded house with his parents, a life so unremarkable that even its moderate unhappiness has been accepted as normal.
That is until the day the beautiful, damaged Anna returns to Ponte and firmly propels Elia to the edge of adulthood.

But then everything starts to unravel.

Elia’s father, Ettore, is let go from his job and loses himself in the darkest corners of his mind, spending day after day plotting his revenge.
A young boy is murdered, shaking the small community to its core.
And a girl climbs into a van and vanishes in the deep, dark woods…”

If I had to describe this book in one word, I would say: confusing. I spent about 75% of the novel perplexed about what was happening and when.

For a start, the chapter titles lend themselves to confusion. Rather than 1, 2, 3… we got ‘In The Woods’, ‘Truth (1)’, ‘I.’ … and it continued in that bizarre fashion throughout. I finally figured out that the chapter titles with names were Elia’s viewpoint of his current life, whilst the roman numerals were his imagining of what happened the night the girl vanished into the woods, which were interchanging. As for ‘Truth (1)’ and later ‘Truth (2)’, I still don’t know.

As well as this it took some time to figure out when these two different chapter viewpoints were taking place; if the night the girl vanished was at the same time as Elia’s current life, was a flashback, or something that happened in the future. For reference: It was a future event until Elia’s current life catches up, and then it becomes present and then past. Confusing, right?

I was expecting this novel to be a thriller, but really that took a back seat. The story was more about Elia Furenti and how he comes of age during one summer. The novel explores his home life, where he has to deal with his fathers mental illness, as well as his life outside where he works his way through friendship and love. This element of the story was betrayed well, but was not something I was particularly interested in.

I enjoyed this book mostly towards the end, when the thriller element comes into play. Elia’s father Ettore takes a girl into the woods, and you get see what happened to her (or rather what Elia imagines) and what Ettore’s motive is. This was the most interesting part of the novel for me.

I’m struggling to decide if I liked this book or not. I was not very invested in the main character and therefore struggled to be interested in his life. Coupled with the confusion, it made reading it a slightly frustrating experience. That being said, my drive to know more about the girls abduction made me keep picking up this book, and kept me intrigued until the end.

Rating: 2.75*

If you are interested in stories about mental health/illness then maybe give this a try, as it portrays it quite well in my opinion. Unfortunately I was excited for a thriller, which I didn’t really find in this book.


I realise this is my second book review in a row with a sent book, so apologies for that. I have one more review copy to get through and then I shouldn’t be reviewing anything but my own books in the future!

Originally,

Lexy

DIY Lip Scrub

Hey guys!

I was in the mood to do something creative, so after a not so quick browse on Pinterest, I found a recipe for a DIY Lip Scrub that looked fun to try.

Obviously this recipe is not my own and all the credit goes to the person who made it (link here), but I thought it would be fun to document myself making it and share it with you all as a nice first post back!


First the first time in my life, I actually did have all the ingredients for this scrub just lying around my house, so this practically cost me nothing!

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The ingredients for this scrub are Honey, Coconut Oil, and Sugar. As the Pinterest recipe didn’t have any quantities, I went for an equal amount of each.

It’s worth noting that if you want this scrub to be edible then use coconut oil used in cooking – I only had a jar of the cosmetic kind, so my scrub needs to be washed off.

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Then all you have to do is mix it up! I found the consistency of mine to be a bit wet, so I added about a quarter more sugar of the original amount and it was perfect.

This scrub not only exfoliates the dry skin from my lips, but is also really moisturising because of the coconut oil. As an avid liquid lipstick wearer this is a dream!

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All that needed doing now was to put the mixture in a container. I used an empty Lush sample pot, which was the perfect size for the amount I made. I swear my DIY attempts never go this well (even if it was pretty simple)!

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Then because I clearly have too much time on my hands, I decorated the lid with a nail art pen. Lush, watch out.


I can’t believe how well this scrub turned out and I’m definitely going to be making more! If anyone has any scrub recipes or posts then please comment them!

Originally,

Lexy