We all have our little "rules" for when it's ok to buy and use new products and although those rules may not make sense to everyone, the main thing is that they make sense to ourselves. Some people are really disciplined and don't buy anything until they've finished up something else, so the net amount of products really remains the same. I can't claim to be that good; I have a huge stash of things that I can't wait to use, and my excuse is that I don't want to risk running out of something - well, there's no chance that will EVER happen... At any given point I probably have 5-6 hair care items on the go, 6-7 skin care products and as for makeup - well let's just skip that part, BUT I am very good at keeping this modest (hrmmm...) level of products, and I don't open anything new, until I've finished something else. So this month is a great month for me because I have emptied 9 different products, just imagine how many new ones I can finally start to use, happy happy joy joy!
You'll know by now that I usually have at least one dry shampoo in every monthly empties, so let's just get this month's product out of the way straight away. Although I am a big fan of Batiste I do like to try other brands as well every now and then and the Dove Style + Care Dry Shampoo (£4.59) is a good alternative to Batiste. It has the same oil controlling qualities, it adds a nice texture for a tousled look and it has a lovely light and fruity scent, but the biggest difference is that the formula is less powdery so there's less of the white fall out when you massage it in the roots and brush it out. If you're tempted to try a dry shampoo but concerned about the powder, then this might be ideal for you. When it comes to body butters there are not many brands that can compete with The Body Shop and as you probably know they have a wonderful range of sweet, savoury and fresh scents to choose between. One of my favourites is The Body Shop Body Butter in Chocomania (£5), a deliciously indulgent, yummy and authentic chocolate scent which is pure bliss! The consistency is not quite as rich and buttery as a lot of the other body butters but it's still creamy and makes the skin feel very nourished and pampered, so if you're a chocoholic, then treat yourself to this little guilt free pot of cocoa heaven. As much as I like a luxurious shower gel, a shower gel is after all only a shower gel and you really don't need to spend a fortune to get a great gentle, moisturising and gorgeous smelling product, which Radox Berry Burst Shower Cream (£1.99) certainly proves. It has a lovely smooth and creamy consistency that cleanses without stripping your skin of moisture and it smells amazing of warm sun kissed summer berries - budget buys just don't get any better than this.
Herbal Essences Moroccan My Shine Nourishing products, you'll know that my faith in Herbal Essences is slowly being restored and it's thanks primarily to the absolutely amazing Bee Strong range that uses honey and apricot as its main ingredients, both well known for their moisturising properties. I've used the Herbal Essences Bee Strong Mask (£4.79) regularly every week and it's really helped to keep my hair silky soft, smooth and detangled and although it could be my imagination, it also feels as if I have fewer split ends after using this for a good few months. I love the heavy rich golden consistency and the light tropical scent and would highly recommend it if you're looking for a great hair masque on the high street. You may have noticed that for the past few months I've had a fragrance included in every Empties post since I've really focused on finishing up a lot of those bottles with just a tiny little bit left in them, and this month I have a scent that isn't very well known, but that definitely deserves mentioning. If like me you love to flick through glossy fashion magazines, you'll know that DSQUARED2 is famous for its whimsical outfits combining glam rock chic with lumberjack, but what you might not know is that the fashion house also has an interesting range of perfumes. The DSQUARED2 Potion for Women EdP (£36), like the other Potions from DSQUARED2 (available both for men and women) is inspired by alchemy and days gone by when perfumes were blended and created with a specific purpose in mind, and this modern version of a love potion is a very feminine mix of traditional seductive scents like vanilla, rose, jasmine, amber, patchouli and musk. It's a sensual floral fragrance with a slightly green and fresh undertone of blackberries and a nod towards the oriental with the amber. It's a very distinct fragrance and what I call a Boudoir scent with its unmistakeable powdery vanilla notes, in the same vein of Jean Paul Gaultier's Classique. For me this EdP is at its best on cooler days since the ingredients are quite pronounced and on a warm day, they're just a bit too much for me - but if you love warm, feminine vanilla based scents, then this is the one to try!
One of my staple items is the cult classic, Caudalie's Beauty Elixir (£10.95). Not only do I love the aromatic and calming herbal scent of rosemary and mint, but the fine mist is a wonderful and easy way to refresh your skin throughout the day in any climate to add some moisture on the go. I have gone through more bottles of this than I can count, and I always make sure that I have one with me in my handbag when I'm out and about. It's a luxurious little treat that will make you feel special, and your skin will thank you for it, so if you haven't already tried it - add it to the top of your shopping list for next month. I am a firm believer in the benefits of using a serum as part of your skin care routine, and you can find one of the best ranges of serums from the lovely high end French skin care brand Gatineau which offers products for all skin types and needs, in combination with effective anti-ageing ingredients. One of the best serums for my dehydrated skin is the incredibly refreshing Gatineau Aquamemory Moisture Replenish Concentrate (£48.50), which is a lovely Tiffany blue serum with a fresh marine scent in an almost gel like consistency that absorbs instantly into the skin. You only need the tiniest drop under your moisturiser for an immediate intense hydration boost, making your skin feel plump and smooth. The technology behind it is intended to not only add hydration but to help the skin retain just the right level of hydration for your specific skin needs as well. Even though I mainly use the concentrate as a serum, I also sometimes use it as an intense masque, applying quite a few pumps of it on my face, and then letting it absorb naturally over night and in the morning the skin feels perfectly restored and revitalised and I will definitely reinvest in this amazing product again very soon.
Another product that has a firm place on my bathroom shelf is the gorgeous Lush Lemony Flutter Cuticle Butter (£6.50) which I have mentioned several times before so I apologise for repeating myself. This wonderful rich whipped butter is amazing for nourishing your hands and nails, and the zesty sweet lemon scent is so enjoyable that I just can't stop smelling my hands when I've massaged it in. I have used this daily for well over a year and have noticed a big difference on my nails and cuticles; they are stronger and healthier and my nails even seem to grow quicker, although that could also be because of the Sally Hansen Miracle Nail Growth that I use. or maybe these two products just form a nail dream team. Last in this fairly long line of empties is the Seventeen Falsifeye Mascara (6.49) which is a brand I hadn't tried before. I am a very fussy mascara wearer and Falsifeye promised a lot - volume as well as long flared lashes, my absolute favourite look so I was cautiously optimistic when I bought this. Unfortunately this mascara and I never really got on; first of all the wand is absolutely massive so it's quite chunky and with the squared shape it's also a bit uncomfortable to hold in your hand, secondly the brush is probably the thickest brush I've ever seen and because it's also so stiff it's very difficult to reach all the lashes for an even coverage without a lot of smudging, in addition the consistency was very wet and unusually so even towards the end of its life, and last but not least while the mascara might give length to the lashes the volume was definitely missing. As you can tell there were a lot of things that didn't work out, and even though I am open to take a risk with unknown products, in this case it didn't pan out and I definitely wouldn't repurchase it.
So nine items in total in May's empties - not bad if I may say so myself, and since I have actually been really good and not bought very much, you could probably say that I'm on plus this month, although I'm not placing any bets on that it will last into June...