Well, not too long ago the eventful year that was 2017 came to an end - what a year it was! For me, 2017 marked a year of new chapters (I got married!!), new adventures (an interstate move) and new opportunities (exciting new roles at work). It threw many challenges my way but with new challenges, it is an opportunity to learn and grow as a person.
One of the goals that I had in 2017 was to use up more product and with that in mind, I was inspired to write more empty posts throughout the year. I have really enjoyed writing these posts as it gives me an idea of what I have used up, what products I really did love using and also a great way for me to communicate what I thought of products, as I can't review everything in detail. I usually struggle to hit empty with products but I found by trying to create an Empties Post every month, I am more motivated to use what I have already opened more. The end of 2017 was a busy one for me, and I managed to use up a few recurring favourites at the end of the year, discover some brilliant new products and of course use up things that perhaps were not quite for me.
*** Please note that anything marked with a * has been kindly gifted to me with no expectation of a review. I’ve written about it due to the fact it’s well...empty!!
Oribe Gold Lust Repair and Restore Shampoo
This shampoo is amazing. It smells beautiful, is gentle for my sensitive scalp, SLS free AND keeps my looking and feeling healthy and shiny. There is a reason why I have completely converted to the Oribe range - it is just that good when it comes to hair care. I love this shampoo, its pricey but my hair has never looked or felt better or healthier and a little does go a long way. The full size of this lasts me 4 months with daily use and I have and will continue to repurchase - this is a holy grail/ride or die/best thing since the invention of chocolate for me when it comes to haircare.
Oribe Gold Lust Repair & Restore Conditioner
Every shampoo must come with a just as amazing conditioner and the Gold Lust Conditioner is the perfect partner to the Gold Lust Shampoo. This effectively keeps my hair soft, silky, smooth and also plays a part in its shine and health. Like the shampoo, the Oribe Gold Lust Conditioner lasted me a little over more than 4 months, with daily use and I will continue to repurchase as my hair absolutely loves this and has never looked more healthy and shiny. Again, this is quite expensive but I don't think I will ever be without it.
African Botanics Resurrection Cell Recovery Serum*
This product doesn't really need any introduction - it is by far one of my favourite night time serums of all time. It's a real testament to just how much I love this serum as I have now finished my 2nd serum in the past year. It is a holy grail for me and for a more in-depth review, I have written one here.
Koh Gen Do Aqua Foundation Shade 143
When it comes to foundation, I have to admit that the Koh Gen Do Aqua Foundation is so very underrated. As a long time lover and user of foundation like NARS Sheer Glow and Chantecaille's Future Skin - I would say that the Koh Gen Do Aqua Foundation is now one of my favourite liquid foundations that I have ever used. Why? The colour, feel, finish longevity and packaging makes this foundation a stand out for me.
When applied, the Koh Gen Do Aqua Foundation glides on effortlessly on to the complexion. Its texture is quite similar to NARS Sheer Glow and it can be applied via brush or via hands. I find that for an everyday look, I tend to use my fingers for application and for when I go out, I will use a flat brush for a more 'made up' look. The finish that this foundation gives a gorgeous, natural dewy but not too dewy look. Its definitely not matte but it does give the skin that subtle, dewy, natural glow without looking shiny. For me, it is perfect as I generally do not like matte finishes and have stayed away from super dewy foundations in the summer. In terms of weight and coverage, this foundation definitely is a light to medium finish. A little is required for application of the face but for a more heavier look, it is most definitely buildable. I love the fact that this does not oxidise on my skin either. I also love that this foundation doesn't catch on to dry patches and really does just give the skin that flawless, my skin but better look and feel.
I find that this stays on all day when using primer and whilst I may get shiny towards the end of the day, a little powder or blotting never hurt anyone. In terms of packaging, Koh Gen Do have nailed it with the Aqua Foundation. This comes with an actual lid and pump - there is no need to buy any additional extras and there is no fear of leakage when travelling. I don't understand why companies just can't include a pump like this with all of their liquid foundations - it really boggles my mind.
If you have yellow/golden undertones or Asian skin, I would highly recommend looking at the Koh Gen Do range. This, after all, has been created by a Japanese makeup artist and the colours are fantastic for Asian skin - even those yellow based darker shades (a rarity for a lot of Japanese brands!). I sometimes find it really difficult to be matched due to my yellow undertones but the colour range from Koh Gen Do have been perfect for me.
The Koh Gen Do Aqua Foundation can be purchased from Koh Gen Do directly and from Sephora for USD$66 for a 30ml bottle. For those in Australia, this foundation can be purchased from Adore Beauty for AUD$76.
Ausceuticals Vitamin B (Niacinamide) Serum*
I am a huge fan of niacinamide as a skincare ingredient, it works so well on my skin and it really does work wonders to brighten and even out my skin tone. I have often been asked for a recommendation for a well-priced niacinamide serum after my in-depth reviews of Rationale's Niacinamide Serum and The Ordinary's Niacinamide Serum which look at this ingredient on both ends of the scale. After almost a year of searching, I think I have found a fantastic, mid-priced Niacinamide/Vitamin B serum that is potent and has worked well for my skin. This is none other than the Ausceuticals Vitamin B Serum which contains 10% niacinamide, liquorice root extract and green tea.
After using the Ausceuticals Vitamin B Serum on a daily basis for about 3 months, I found that this serum helped to keep dullness at bay, brightening the overall complexion, evening out the skin in tone and texture and overall helped to maintain healthy, glowing skin. I found that the serum was gentle, it didn't irritate my skin as some actives can and it was so easy to incorporate into my daily morning routine.
The other fantastic thing about the Ausceuticals Vitamin B Serum is, of course, the price - it is priced at a fantastic AUD$39 (about USD$30 and they do ship the USA) for 30ml directly from Ausceuticals and has an extremely clean ingredients listing that would impress the clean/green beauty lovers out there as well as those who appreciate active skincare products.
Oribe Après Beach Wave and Shine Spray*
When it comes to hair products OTHER than shampoo and conditioner, I am a little wary (okay, I am just flat out lazy). I don't really 'style' my hair and when I do it usually just includes a little wave. To give you some context as to my hair - I have thick Asian hair which has its pros and cons. One of the biggest cons to my Asian hair is that I find it is SO hard to give it that textured, gritty look and when I wave my hair, the curls tend to fall by the end of the day. To counter this I sometimes find myself using sea salt spray and hairspray to give my hair that texture and hold, however, I do sometimes find that the combination of the two is just too much product for my hair.
Enter the Oribe Après Beach Wave and Shine Spray which gives my hair a little bit of texture, a little bit of hold and a little extra shine. I quite liked using this product as it gave my hair some texture without it looking matte and 'crunchy' that some salt sprays can do. Instead, it gives my hair just enough texture and grit to give my Asian hair that tousled perfectly 'messy' wave and a little extra hold minus the hairspray. It also smells delightful for an aerosol product, like all Oribe products it has a beautiful scent. I have repurchased this!
Sol Janeiro Brazilian Bum Bum Cream
If you love the smell of mango smoothies or the tropics then the Sol Janeiro Brazilian Bum Bum (pronounced boom boom) cream might be the moisturiser of choice for you. This was kindly given to me by the lovely @skinmusings who received it in a Cult Beauty bag. It smells like the beach, summer and tropical sun in a jar and all I really want to do when applying this is to drink a tropical smoothie or a pina colada. Other than its heavenly tropical scent, the Sol Janeiro Brazilian Bum Bum Cream also works quite well to soften and smooth the skin once applied. For me, it works like a body butter in terms of giving the skin a rich boost of hydration but unlike a body butter, it absorbs fast into the skin.
The Bum Bum cream does have some claims of helping to tighten the skin due to the added ingredient of guaraná, however, I honestly don't think it is a miracle cure for sagging skin or cellulite. For me its just a really great body moisturiser, with a scent to die for that work well the smooth and keep the skin glowing. I don't think I would go out of my way to purchase this but the scent really is just delicious.
How did you go with empties in 2017? Do you think you managed to use up more products than previous instead of hoarding and keeping? I would love to hear your experiences in the comments section below.