March Empties

Unfortunately that is not a typo and these are indeed my empties for March. Things on the private side have taken over the past 30 days. Without going into that I’ll only say that it wasn’t all good news and I either wasn’t in the mood to blog or I simply didn’t have the occasion to update my blog as I would have liked. Anyway I have put this behind me and am looking ahead, starting firstly with a new job next week! I’ll be saying goodbye to Champs-Elysees and hello to St. Germain des Pres! I’ve spent more or less the past three years in that area and it will be a nice change working in a little closer to home and on the left bank. Makeup-wise this means I won’t be as close to Sephora (the Champs-Elysees being also the only one with MAC I might add) but I’ll have Citypharma instead.

Here are my empties of last month (March), and hopefully the ones for April (not that many anyway) won’t take another month to appear. There are quite a lot (for me), so a good month all in all.

Dr. Hauschka Lip Balm (4.5ml)
This balm is packed full of natural oils and extracts so expect it to smell as such. It is very comfortable to wear and I’ve used quite a few pots of this in the past and have always preferred the pot to the stick. It is also a good base before you put your lipstick on because it doesn’t leave your lips all slippery and glossy. Because of the packaging (glass jar + hygienic reasons) I keep this in the house only and use it mainly before bed. I normally don’t have a problem with this but we had a particularly cold and dry winter this year and I did find myself needing to reapply with more frequency. There were times when I happened to awake in the middle of the night and felt my lips were so dry that I needed to get up and find the balm. Oddly this didn’t happen when I use Kiehl’s. To me this means either that the petroleum in Kiehl’s acts as a nice barrier or that the Dr. Hauschka gets absorbed a lot more quickly instead of just sitting there. I don’t really know. I used the jar up really fast.

Repurchase? No, but only because I prefer more portable versions, even for ones I keep at home.

Dr. Hauschka Almond Body Lotion (145ml)
This is a heavy duty type of lotion that I put to good use during the harsh winter we had. Smells divinely of almond, not the artificial almond food extract type but one with a real warmth, slightly milky. Consistency is a thickish but spreadable lotion that’s absorbed quickly. I didn’t experience any sort of tightness and saw an improvement to the skin during the period I used it exclusively. This is worth trying out if you have very dry skin and are into organic, natural skincare. I think it may be too much for me in the warmer months, but I really enjoyed using this.
A note about the packaging: this comes in a glass bottle with a pump spout. It’s a little clunky and not very travel-friendly. The pump couldn’t get the last of the lotion out but luckily the top can be unscrewed.

Repurchase? Yes.

La Roche-Posay Toleriane Dermo cleanser (400ml)
Recapping on the Toleriane range from La Roche-Posay, it’s a fragrance, preservative and paraben free skincare range for sensitive skin. Containing no alcohol, lanolin; using 100% thermal water of La Roche-Posay, formulated with a minimum of components to limit intolerance. 
I’ve been using products from this range from August last year (although due to my nature I haven’t really stuck completely with it as I should) and I first wrote about this cleanser in the September Empties post. This pump bottle is the largest size I could find in Citypharma, 400ml for 8.90 euros. Not bad!

Repurchase? Yes. Doctor’s orders aside, I do like this cleanser even if it’s very no-frills (read boring). I prefer to switch moisturisers and all the rest but keeping the cleansing routine rather straight forward. My reasoning goes that whatever beneficial qualities a cleanser claims to have gets rinsed off anyway.
I will admit however that I am tempted by the Eve Lom cleanser. In the meantime I guess I’ll try to incorporate more massaging action when I can.

Astalift Essence (30ml)
This is the serum from the Astalift range, which I blogged about here. Here is what’s printed on the packaging:

Containing a generous amount of beauty components including astaxanthin, this serum brings resilience and firmness to the skin.
Moisturizing ingredients: Astaxanthin, three types of collagens, royal jelly, elastin.

I initially incorporated the essence together with the jelly (as they tend to recommend) but found the two was too much for me. I don’t like putting too much stuff on my face at once, so I decided to skip and replace the jelly with the essence. I liked this in the beginning and thought I preferred the essence as it seemed to deliver the same results but with more ease (pump bottle vs. jar + spatula) but in the end realised the jelly was a better match for me. The essence is a good product but if you’re starting out and curious about the Astalift range, I recommend trying the Jelly Aquarysta first.

Repurchase? No.

Oilatum Natural Repair Face Cream (50ml)
I first tried this around the same time last year I believe, when I purchased mine on a trip to London. It’s one of those no-frills, scentless face products that performs as you would expect. It’s a decent cream, nothing miraculous – they don’t promise to be anyway. To be honest the French brands do this sort of thing much better and I’d stick with my La Roche-Posay which is easier to find and cheaper for me. I also find Oilatum to be slightly more ‘greasy’ than the LRP I use (Toleriane).

Repurchase? No.

Caudalie Zeste de Vigne Shower Gel (200ml)
I bought this with the Peche de Vigne shower gel (November Empties post) when they were 50% off. This is a fresher more invigorating scent as you would expect from the word zest. I do like this range from Caudalie even if they don’t foam a lot. My only gripe is how fast the tube goes, especially when two people are using it.

This was actually my only empty from February. Hence no Feb Empties post and why you’re only reading about it now.

Repurchase? Yes, if I see it on sale. But there are so many other shower products I’d like to try I really am in no hurry to come back to this.

Kiehl’s Creme de Corps (500ml)
This is the Jeff Koons edition which came out in 2011. I think I’ve said everything I wanted to say about the Creme de Corps. It really is a wonderful body cream that lives up to the hype. A very solid and reliable product when you’ve ran out of ideas or wanted to give the scented varieties a break.

Repurchase? I have a bottle of the Christmas 2012 special edition ready to go when I’m done with all the perfumed ones I’m trying.

The Body Shop Deo-dry Deodorant (50ml)
I have this in the floral fresh scent as seen in the picture above, and I also bought this in the blue capped version, an icy, citrusy scent for the Man. Unfortunately while I enjoy both scents a lot, I can’t say the same about the effectiveness. It just doesn’t perform as a deodorant. This was winter, mind and I wore a thin cotton shirt at work with minimal heating and I didn’t smell like flowers. The Man also complained non-stop about it and said he stank and that he would gladly return to aluminum ones health-be-damned once the bottle is done.

Repurchase? Nope.

Hermes l’eau vert Hair Conditioner (sample/travel size)
I’ve used up the shampoo on another occasion. This was a sample, travel size hair conditioner that the Man brought home with him from a business trip. It’s a regular shampoo/conditioner formula, nothing really exceptional. Except that the scent really lingers long after you’ve washed and dried your hair. I was most impressed with this, and fans of the scent will love this. The scent is fresh but does lean slightly on the masculine side.

Repurchase? courtesy of Sofitel, no.

Other empties not shown (the Man threw the bottles out before I had the opportunity to document them):

bliss spa lemon + sage shampoo, conditioning rinse (sample/travel size)
Of all the travel sized shampoos I’ve tried I think the conditioning rinse from bliss left the most impression. It seems to coat the hair immediately in something and leave it softer and more manageable. I don’t know what kind of ingredients it has in it though. A citrusy scent is as always enjoyable and appreciated in the shower.

Repurchase? courtesy of W, no.

Yves Rocher Organic Oats Shower Gel (400ml)
Full review here

Repurchase? No. I stopped enjoying the scent two-thirds of the way through.

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