Spring Cleaning my Beauty Cupboard

*First posted 1 year ago*

I’ve decided to do something positive and have a product Spring clean. Sorting through your skincare and makeup stash was one of my tips in my post 6 Simple Beauty Tips Which Make a Big Difference what a good day to follow my own advice, ha!


This was all of the skincare products I owned and as you can see they are pretty much all over the place, with face, body and hair, old stuff and new stuff all mixed up. After going through everything this is what I learned…

  1. I had so much oil! I could easily just use the same one for my hair and body and a lighter one for my face.
  2. Out of all of those products I only had one face moisturiser.
  3. I found products that had changed consistency or were nearly empty and all of those were expired.
  4. I still had tanning oil from my twenties! o_O
  5. I buy face masks because they are on offer in pound shops and NEVER use them.
  6. I thought I needed to stock up on miceller water and cooling eye gel as I was running low but then realised I’d originally bought them in two’s to save on postage.
  7. I had a stupid amount of body butter.
  8. I’ve rediscovered cruelty free beauty brands I’d totally forgotten about!
  9. I had bits and bobs from various razors and waxing kits that I stopped using ages ago.

I’ve reduced the above to a single crate and the cute wicker basket. The rest is either in the recycling, the bin or my dressing table so I actually remember to use it daily.


Here is all of my makeup, apart from what I’ve thrown out and repeats of the same thing and yeah, it’s still a lot!


Here’s what I’ve thrown out.


A slightly smaller pile, heehee.


Here’s my main big-ass makeup case, my daily makeup case and my travel/wash bag with miniatures and samples in. Here’s what I’ve learned…

  1. Even though I treat my makeup fairly well, there were still spillages and products that felt sticky – eeew.
  2. If it’s really broken, through the damn thing away! You are not Stig Of The Dump or a Womble.
  3. If it doesn’t suit your skin tone or texture and it can’t easily be mixed with something else, then throw it away or swap it/give it to someone.
  4. There are lots of reasons why buying two of the same thing can be a good idea but hoarding the same type of product, or buying several before you’ve even tried if the product works for you is not a good idea.
  5. How many golden-brown eyeshadows and copper-brown toned lip products can one person reasonably own!? Five eyeshadows and eight lip products it would seem ;0)
  6. I still have products I bought before I went totally cruelty free. That was TEN years ago!

As you can see, I still have the big makeup bag but now my little ‘everyday makeup bag’ includes the best of my base, mascara, tools, contouring kit (I missed out the wonderful Pixi contour kit in the first photo) and three eyeshadows and eyelinners that I rotate on a monthly basis. This means that everything is easy to keep track of/clean/sharpened, quickly to hand, and I don’t forget to use all of the lovely colours I own.

I hope this helps with your declutter! Let me know if it has or if you also do some of the bad habits I’ve mentioned.






Ohii Pure Stick Deodorant in Citrus Tea

I started using natural deodorant ten years ago as I couldn’t find any others that were cruelty free at the time. The salt based ones didn’t really work but the solid cream ones worked really well, even in summer. I thought I’d try this charcoal-based one by Ohii in Citrus Tea £10 from Urban Outfitters to deodorise and care for my skin even more. It also has a lovely fresh unisex scent.

  • Cruelty free
  • Vegan
  • Aluminium free
  • Baking soda free
  • Doesn’t leave white marks/dries clear
  • Soothing Aloe

The Ultimate Test and Result

I was having food intolerance related hot flushes all day and night and by 7.00pm I have to admit I was smelling a tad ripe!


The bloke wore this and cycled 6 and a half miles, spent the day in a meeting and cycled the same home and smelled fresh as a daisy!

  • Rating 4/5

  • I would have given it five out of five if it was packaged in glass, rather than plastic (two lids on top of one another as well) or if it was refillable. I also found the labelling extremely hard to make sense of, to the point where I missed the brand name completely!


    Charlotte Tilbury Collagen Lip Bath Review – Well, I wasn’t Expecting That!


    Unusually for a white chick (as far as I know, but it’s complicated) I have a big ol’ pout which I really like but I wish it were more even as my lower lip is a lot bigger than top. My lips are also incredibly dry and dehydrated which causes them to peel or even crack sometimes – ouch! As my eternal quest for more peachy coloured and non-sticky lip gloss continued, I came across Charlotte Tilbury Collagen Lip Bath £25  which sounded glam, plumping and possibly healing.

    After applying a thick coat I felt a cool tingly effect which subsided after about 15 minutes. It’s not very sticky but I certainly wouldn’t want to eat food or go out in the wind without my hair tied back. I mainly applied it to my top lip and as you can see it’s evened them up!

    My face is blotchy because of allergies NOT the gloss btw. After about five minutes a second coat and wow are they pouty! Sometimes when I smile, I get a tiny little gap between my lips on one side but it’s not normally this noticeable.

    After ten minutes you can see (with my head tipped back) the gloss has inflated my top lip but rather unevenly, like it made no difference to that little bit on the right. I can’t see or feel any scar tissue there but I do have a collagen disorder – Hypermobilty Syndrome – so maybe I just didn’t have enough in that area to plump up?


    I’ve been using this lipgloss sparingly as I like the colour and sheen and the feel but I won’t be slapping it on heavy-handedly anymore, that’s for sure!

    I love the glam, glass packaging (easy to recycle) and the little heart applicator is cute but I would have preferred a pointed doe foot applicator instead for more precision. My first attempt at application made me look like I’d been eating apricot jam lol

    As I said, my lips get so dry and dehydrated; everyday they have the texture of crinkled, rough paper unless I apply masses of balms and oils. This gloss made them so soft and healthy for the day, just with one application!

    It’s the most expensive lip gloss I’ve ever bought but it certainly does have an effect and Tilbury’s other glosses which don’t plump are all on the pricey side.

    Rating 5/5 Giving it the benefit of the doubt because of my own wonky collagen



    Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter

    What the brand says….

    ‘The ultimate high gloss, high glow celebrity-skin-filter-in-a-bottle! This was born on the red carpet makeup, inspired by technology, for real life, in real time that looks amazing on-screen or off.

    Smoothing airbrush polymers roll over your complexion for a poreless-looking, creamy finish.

    Glossy Oil is a lightweight moisturising oil that reflects and adds light to your face where you need it.

    Finely milled powders soft focus, makes lines and pores appear smoother which means it only ever looks as amazing in real life, as it does on camera.

    Porcelain Flower Extract is a brightening ingredient derived from a Thai flower with natural antioxidants and anti-inflammatories to enhance microcirculation and brighten skin. 

    Ideal for superstar-lit skin whether you want a subtle glow or a mega-watt complexion.’

    What I want this for…

    As you probably know, I have uneven skin texture thanks to having bad skin into my early twenties and I easily get bags (from dehydration/gluten indulgence) so big they carve two lines into my cheeks. I’m proud of how clear and fairly even toned my complexion is these days but I still need a hand with the overall texture and a little redness sometimes. I like CC and BB creams but find they can either be too pale, making me go from tomato red to an eerie green-yellow or they are too transparent and shiny. I chose Flawless Filter as it offers medium coverage, is available in a surprising amount of shades, and then there’s the whole ‘flawless filter’ part.

    Before purchasing Charlotte Tilbury Flawless Filter £30 I read a lot of reviews; a huge amount said it very good but a few said it was awful but unlike me, they had dry skin.

    The packaging…

    I love the recyclable glass bottle but would prefer a pump rather than the doe foot applicator as it totally fails at applying this type of product and leaves a massive amount in the bottom, which you’d have to tip onto the back of your hand like 1990’s foundations.

    The bigger problem with it…

    Above; before using the product, makeup free in dim afternoon sunlight. Not too bad but not great either. Much worse, in fact when there’s a lot of contrasting light and shadow.

    Here’s me wearing the product. Talk about unflattering – contrasting light! I’ve taken the photo in the same dull afternoon light but it’s still managed to highlight all of my pores, lines and the orange peel effect on my cheeks and even eye bags. Thanks for that Tilbury. I can see how it might work on me in blindingly bright California sunshine but even then, as soon as I went indoors it wouldn’t.

    My conclusion….

    I have to say the coverage is surprisingly good and the realistic skin tone shades meant that number 3 Light/Medium was perfect for me – not usually an easy thing.

    If you have smooth skin but slight redness or dark circles this could be great for medium coverage and added radiance.

    If you are older but have been lucky in the genes lottery this might be incredibly flattering for you.

    If you are like me you really want avoid it, unless you want to use it as a very expensive highlighter.

    On days where I’m very red, I use a full coverage foundation from ELF and I’ve started mixing a teeny-tiny bit Flawless Filter in with it, so my skin doesn’t look as matte and flat with just the foundation. I also use it very sparingly as a realistic looking highlighter on my cheek bones, collar bone and down the front of my shins.

    Rating 2/3


    Your Tea – Tea Face Healing Hydrating Tea Scrub


    Your Tea is a company which sells all kinds of tea, tea accessories and tea based beauty gifts. Tea Face Healing and Hydrating scrub ($24.95) is said to assist with a radiant complexion, healing scars, addressing uneven skin tone and drawing out impurities. It contains all natural ingredients including Rosehip Oil, Patchouli Oil, Jojoba Oil, Ylang Ylang, Cold Presed Coconut Oil.


    I thought this scrub would be messier to use than it actually was but the tea granules stuck together quite well as I scrubbed my skin in circular motions. I leaned back to chill out for 15 minutes to let the oils soak in before removing with a damp flannel and rinsing my face with tepid water. I was impressed with how effective the exfoliation of this scrub was as it left my skin feeling really smooth. It also looking radiant and a lot calmer than before. Some scrubs leave my skin a little red or flushed but Tea Face actually calmed down the redness that I had across my nose and cheeks.


    I decided not to use any moisturiser straight afterward as I loved my skin the way it was! I really like the packaging as it’s easily recyclable and I’m going to re-use the glass jar as I think it’s lovely. It’s important to keep the scrub in the fridge once it’s opened, which keeps it fresh and really adds to how refreshing it feels.

    Rating ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤


    Pure Thoughts Tangerine & Jojoba Whipped Shea Body Butter and Mint & Avocado Foot Repair Balm

    ‘We proudly hold firm to our founding beliefs that natural soap and skincare starts with the very best ingredients, good old fashioned methods and that it shouldn’t cost the earth in any respect! Pure Thoughts range now includes an indulgent collection of products, every one still made by us in our Derbyshire workshop.’ Pure Thoughts.

    Here’s why I respect this little independent brand: No artificial colours or fragrances. No parabens or chemical preservatives. No SLS, SLES or harsh detergents. No synthetic additives or petroleum. 100% natural.

    Pure Thoughts skincare

    Tangerine & Jojoba Whipped Shea Body Butter

    The texture of this is a lot more solid than the the term ‘whipped’ implies, in fact it’s more like a balm. I found it best to warm up the butter between my fingers and to apply it to damp skin to spread it more easily. This butter leaves skin with a slight sheen and a very subtle waxy feel, which I really like. I kept stroking my hands, like a weirdo! The scent is so energising and uplifting I started the day in a really positive mood. £11.95 for 85g (or 2 for £20 until 24/03/2015)

    Ingredients: Shea butter, jojoba oil, tangerine oil, limonene.

    Rating 4/5

    Mint & Avocado Foot Repair Balm

    This balm is very similar to a lip balm stick in texture and it gave the dry skin on my heels and the balls of my feet were given a new lease of life. I’d been on my feet all day and they were aching and a little swollen and a massage with this calmed them right down, so I could get on with my evening. It totally transformed the way my feet looked as well, so I will be using a lot of this throughout summer, before baring my feet in sandals. The peppermint scent is so strong I couldn’t detect any avocado but the fruits moisturising qualities are obviously there. £7.97 for 50g.

    Ingredients: Olive oil, avocado butter, beeswax, castor oil, peppermint oil, Rosemary oil, limonene.

    Rating 5/5

    Chrissie xx

    Monthly Round Up – January

    It has felt to me that January has been in two parts: The first where I was still in a slight Sailor Jerries and chocolate reindeer induced haze and the other where I was constantly taking pictures of gorgeous items then writing posts about them on my new laptop (I’m old skool – I don’t do tablets). I’ve already developed a little callous from clicking my track pad constantly. This obviously means I’m a proper writer now, right?



    I’ve been watching… Gotham as you know I like quirky geek and goth things. So far the series has subtly introduced three well known characters but don’t expect a new character with an origin story true to the comics each week. Gotham is choosing to go it’s own way in that respect. I love that Sean Pertwee (Worzel Gummidge’s son) is playing a rather bad-ass version of Alfred the butler!

    I’ve been listening to… Northern lad Ash Hunter’s debut album Rural Music and even though shoe gazey folk isn’t really my bag, I really the track Grand England it has that ol’ magic of making you feel nostalgic for a place you’ve never been.

    I’ve been sniffing… Lola a perfume by Signature fragrances that is sexy, fruity and sweet thanks to these notes:

    Top: African Orange Flower

    Heart: Jasmine, Patchouli

    Base: Cedar, Rose, White Honey

    This is my personality in a scent basically! I can’t wait to buy one of their beautiful full sized cut glass bottles. The Bloke has also been on their site and is looking at buying a sample (for £4.95) of something he fancies.

    I’ve been writing…For a new website aimed at female bloggers called The Click. This month I’ve written the feature ‘5 Unusual Sources Of Inspiration’ for anyone who’s got bloggers blog or who wants to vary their articles a little. I think I will be playing ‘the album game’ soon myself. I’m looking forward to writing next months article, the content of which I will keep as a surprise.

    I’ve been blogging about…


    Sci Fi Flicks To Watch Out For in 2015

    Teen Films Worth Watching As A Grownup


    Zuzka Natural Rosa Canina Body Butter


    OOTD: Pretty Casual (get the pun there?)

    Home – Not So Neutrals showing how a neutral palette can be interesting.

    I’ve also wrote two summing up posts (one for 2014 and one for why I actually like Winter) which I’m not going to link to on this summing up post, otherwise it might interrupt the time space continuum and generate a black hole in the blogging world, or something.

    Chrissie xx



    Review: ESPA – Treat Optimal Skin ProSerum

    Company Ethics & Info

    Espa is a brand that I really admire, not just for their cruelty-free policy but also for the natural ingredients they use and also the things they choose to leave out.

    No synthetic colours or fragrance, no mineral oil (being derived from petroleum it isn’t renewable), no silicone (which can block pores easily) no alcohol or SLS or SLES which can be incredibly drying and/or irritating for skin.

    Espa optimal skin pro serum

    Product Info & Ingredients 

    ‘This advanced proserum helps brighten and even skin tone, enhance elasticity, firm and protect premature skin ageing.’

    The oil is enriched with omega 3, 6 & 9, vitamins A & E and extracts of turmeric (which boots circulation and also brings down inflammation), white lupin and sunflower.


    Simple, elegant and pretty. The glass bottle has a slight ombre effect but it’s nicely shaded to keep the oil from being exposed to too much sunlight. I was curious as to why there was a little button on top of the lid and pressed it a good few times! Upon unscrewing it I realised it was an incredibly useful dropper.








    My Experience

    The scent of this oil is incredibly spicy and uplifting! Similar to pepper and cinnamon. I’ve been smoothing a few drops of this oil between my palms and patting it onto my face morning and evening as instructed. When I wake up in the morning my sensitive skin doesn’t have any red patches which it can be prone to and has stayed balanced throughout the night.  I need much less moisturiser than I used and my skin looks plumper and more radiant.

    Note after 3 months This has really evened out my old acne scarring and has made a very noticeable difference. I’m delighted!


    £48 for 30ml

    Normally at this point I’d do Good Points & Bad Points but there aren’t any bad points! Yes, it’s expensive but it’s such high quality that it’s reasonable for a luxury serum. If it were cheaper I’d keep applying it as perfume!

    I actually got this product as a gift for subscribing to Marie Claire magazine last month.


    Crabtree & Evelyn Pomegranate Argan & Grapeseed Conditioning Hand Wash

    I kindly received this six months ago from Crabtree & Evelyn but I wanted to wait before reviewing it to show you the extraordinary amount of time it would last. The fabulously shaped bottle (£15) holds 250ml. I only need to use a tiny blob every day and as you can see, it’s not even half way used yet. This is because it’s so thick, foamy & fantastic! It does contain SLS (Sodium Laureth Sulfate) but the pomegranate, argan and grape seed oils are so incredibly moisturising it’s not remotley harsh on hands and is PH balanced.


    Now the pomegranite scent, wow! Since using this I’ve started drinking a lot more pomegranate juice to settle my cravings, haha! The Bloke adores the scent as well, which is a small miracle as he hardly ever likes my ‘smellies’.

    I’m going to take advantage of the 2 for £20 offer on their website as I’ll want another when this eventually runs out and one as a gift for my Mums birthday.

    Spring/Summer Body Bearing Essentials

    Don’t you wish you were one of those kinds of women that sees the first bit of blue sky and sunshine in months and gleefully springs out of bed and then, 30 minutes later leaves the house in the perfect outfit of dress, sandals and sunnies? Yup, me to. By the time I’ve harassed my body into looking bearable (literally), it’s already afternoon and the sun is hidden behind ominous looking clouds.

    Not this year. This year I’m taking action!


    Exfoliating gloves are the business. You can apply as much pressure as you like, they cover the whole area evenly, they prevent in-grown hairs and don’t cause a slippy mess in the base of your shower like body scrubs.

    Exfoliating gloves

    Hair Removal

    I’m on the look out for a really effective cruelty-free waxing kit. Any recommendations? I think it’s the quickest and longest lasting form of hair removal. Plus I get a weird  kick of masochistic pleasure from doing it myself haha!

    If you hate yourself and want to punish yourself severely, then I highly recommend using an epilator. Those wenches on the adds that say it doesn’t hurt – they are lying to you!

    My friend and I have found our at home IPL (intense pulsed light) machines to be affective to the point of thinning, softening and greatly lightening hair but disappointingly only removing around 40% of it.

    On that basis, I’m glad I’ve found the best shaving cream in the world LUSH Dirty Shave Cream.

    LUSH Dirty Shaving Cream

    This is scented lightly with LUSH’s ‘Dirty’ perfume which is a nice idea.  It has the creamiest texture as you can see, so it’s best to rinse your razor often in warm water when shaving. It leaves skin feeling calm and moisturised.

    LUSH Shaving Cream


    If I had a beautiful pale English rose complexion, I’d just go with it and not bother. I actually have yellow under tones to my complexion so I  immediately tan in sunshine but can look rather sallow after months of shade. I also think my features suit a nice tan if that makes any sense, ha! I keep seeing money-off offers for a professional spray tan  but the idea of going to a salon and having a women spraying me from head to toe, while I stand in a tent just sounds hilarious!

    I have had some cringe worthy incidents over the years with wash-off tan though, such as leaving most of it behind on someone’s posh white sofa, tan running down my legs in a rain shower and it going streaky under my arms and then onto my dress after a night out dancing. Major fail!

    Fake Bake Sport Daily Tan

    I like Fake Bake permanent spray tan but it takes a bit of practice to control otherwise you can end up getting blasted full force in the (later, very bronzed) face. I prefer Fake Bake Sport Daily Tan. It’s the most moisturising fake tan I’ve ever used and it actually draws in moisture all day so it never goes patchy. The affect after two days is a medium depth of healthy colour like I’ve been outdoors constantly for 5 days. It also comes in a giant tube, which is great value for money.


    Sun Protection

    Dermatologists say we should use a sunscreen spf of 10-15 everyday to protect skin from the suns rays and to prevent uneven pigmentation and early signs of ageing. I use The Body Shop Aloe Soothing Moisture Lotion as it contains an spf of 15 and is really light and calming.

    Image: The Body Shop

    Image: The Body Shop

    For the rest of me I love using Yaah Organic Hemp Seed Oil Sun Block spf 15. It last for absolutely hours and smells amazing! When I’m wearing this and my skin has been warmed by the sun, I constantly get asked “What’s that gorgeous scent?”

    Yaah Sun Block

    Yaah Sun Cream

    So, I’m all prepared for those bright days, blue skies and mild evenings spent with friends at beer gardens and BBQ’s. Now, where did I store my sandals…