Empties #5

Well, hello there my lovelies! Long time no write, again... When I posted the 'I'm pregnant' post, I was all for getting back into some serious blogging, but then pregnancy (i.e. my laziness) got in the way. No, but really... my pregnancy is going really well, but I am quite tired and hungry all the time (and sometimes in a bit of pain/discomfort), so I'm just not in the mood to write a bunch of blog posts. But no more I say! I really need to kick myself in the butt and be more productive... so here I go, with the first 'real' post after a long, long time - empties! ;)

So, since I haven't been a blogging for a while, these empties aren't fresh (I actually have a full box of new ones to share with you), but still... I thought they're worth mentioning. Plus I know I really love to read empties posts, so I hope you, my readers will also enjoy. :)

Fa Yogurt shower gel (Aloe Vera) - Meh is all I can really say about it. My mom bought it for me, so I used it up, but I'm really not a fan of Fa shower gels or Fa anything for that matter. This shower gel smelled nice, lathered well, but like most shower gels, it dried out my skin (Dove shower gels/creams are still the best). 
Repurchase: NO

Johnson's Baby shampoo (Camomile) - While I wouldn't use this shampoo on a baby or myself (it's really not that gentle, I assure you), I use it to clean my makeup brushes and it does the job (but so will any other shampoo/soap). 
Repurchase: MAYBE (still have a bit of it left in another bottle)

Batiste Dry Shampoo (Cherry) - As a dry shampoo I loved it, because I love Batiste dry shampoos and always have a bottle or two on hand, but the scent was really not my favorite. I'm not a fan of fruity scents, but I don't hate them either... this one however was a bit too sweet and too 'insulting' for my nose.
Repurchase: YES, but a different scent

Aussie 3 Minute Miracle Reconstructor - Miracle? I don't think so... I've mentioned this product in another post before - 'Products that were just a bit meh'. Now this wasn't terrible, it did nothing bad to my hair, but it also didn't do anything noticeably good or useful either. I didn't feel it deeply conditioned my hair or made it super soft and silky... and my hair really isn't that demanding. The scent was nice, kind of bubblegumy, but nothing that amazing that would persuade me to repurchase it.
Repurchase: NO

Prive Daily Conditioner - I bought this off of BeautyBay quite a while back (along with the shampoo that came in a smaller bottle). It had a thick, creammy consistency, a very gentle, natural scent and it did it's job. It just wasn't that amazing for me to repurchase it.
Repurchase: NO

Lush It's Raining Men - A gorgeous shower gel from Lush which I bought solely because the sales lady gave me a whiff of it and I fell in love with the scent. It's hard to describe it and I think a lot of people wouldn't like it, but I'm definitely not one of them. :) It's a sweet, honey, toffe-like scent with a lot of floraly goodness coming through. It was very creamy and not drying, which I love in a shower gel. I'm currently using up my big stack of shower gels, but I might repurchase it some time in the future.
Repurchase: MAYBE

Vichy Purete Thermale 3in1 - I love this stuff! I loved it so much, I used it up amazingly fast. I was in a good phase at the time - cleansing my face twice a day and this was the bomb! It's super gentle on the skin, has a lovely, subtle scent to it and a light, almost milky formula. It did a great job at removing makeup on the face, not so much on the eyes, but I didn't use as a makeup remover, I used it as a simple, gentle, no fuss cleanser. Great stuff... The whole Purete Thermale line has now been revamped and a bunch of new products have been added - some I've already had the pleasure of testing out, some I still intend to. :)
Repurchase: YES

Elizabeth Arden Green Tea Honey Drops body cream - This was a divine cream, but it took me forever to finish it (I'm super lazy when it comes to moisturizing my body). It had a lovely, fresh, green tea scent to it and tiny honey beads inside it which bursted when you pressed them on your skin. You can check out the full review I did on this cream - click! :) I'm interested in a different version of this cream - I think two more are available, a pink and a yellow, lavander and something else? But the more I search the internet the less I can find... I swear I saw different packaging/versions of this cream in one of our stores.
Repurchase: MAYBE

Caudalie Beauty Elixir - I got this mini sized bottle in a Caudalie try-me kit and I fell in love with it. It has a really fresh, almost minty scent to it and it immediately refreshes the skin when you use it (if you haven't heard of it yet, it's like a mist/toner for your face). I love using it after I cleanse my skin and before I put on a cream. I used up this little thing quite quickly and went ahead and purchased the full size as soon as I ran out. Love this stuff...
Repurchase: YES

Lush Rub Rub Rub - I got this quite a while ago, from a fellow Slovenian blogger, Nuša (Moonchild Beauty Blog). Unfortunately this did not work for me. It was quite rough (which I guess it's supposed to be since it's a scrub, but still...) and it dried out my skin. I was a real fan of the Afrodita's 100% Spa sugar scrub, which left my skin sooo moisturized... but this one was just meh. 
Repurchase: NO

Afrodita Yogurt for face and body - I actually have a full review planned for this, so all I'm going to say for now is that it's a really nice product. :)
Repurchase: MAYBE

Cien Nail polish remover - This is not some super awesome nail polish remover, but I mostly repurchase it because it does it's job and I really like the dispenser (you push down on it with a cotton pad).
Repurchase: PROBABLY

Caudalie Vinosource face cream and Hand & Nail cream - I got these two in a try-me kit from Caudalie and it did like them, but they weren't anything to write home about. The face cream was nice, light and with a decent scent (not my favorite to be honest). The hand cream was also really nice, did it's job, but again... the scent wasn't really my cup of tea.
Repurchase: NO

Antipodes Joyful hand & body cream - This was a lovely cream! I used it for my hands only and it did a great job at moisturizing them. It also had a really lovely scent and I enjoyed the packaging as well. :) I got it as a gift when I purchased some other Antipodes products and thank god for that - I probably won't repurchase it purely because the price tag is insane (around 34 €). I mean I liked it, just not so much that I would spend a fortune on it... 
Repurchase: sadly, NO

Lily Lolo mineral foundation (in Blondie) - I probably don't even have to say anything about this product. It's my holy grail foundation and I'm never without it. ;)
Repurchase: ALWAYS

Unique One All in one hair treatment - This was a sample I got at a local hair salon and I really enjoyed it. I ended up buying the coconut version, but used it only a couple of times so I gave it to my cousin. It's a nice, light treatment that doesn't weigh your hair down. It didn't do much for me as far as detangling goes and I can't say I noticed any huge difference in the appearance/feel of my hair.
Repurchase: NO

LipSmacker lip balm (in Raspberry) - A lovely lip balm, quite moisturzing, but nothing too exciting. I had it in my bag/pocket and used it up. Nothing more to say about that. :)
Repurchase: probably NO

Have you or would you try any of these products? What have you been using up lately? :)

I'm pregnant! :)

Hello my darlings! Long time no write, eh? I've been a bit busy, growing a baby and such... which you probably already know, if you follow me on Instagram (I've been flooding it with baby-related pictures). :) I'm currently 13 weeks along and have finally entered the (supposedly heavenly) second trimester. The pregnancy itself was and still is progressing perfectly, so that wasn't the cause for my long absence... it was more me and my body adjusting to the pregnancy. And let me tell you... growing a little human being is hard work! :)

For some fun and perhaps even a bit of educational reading, I thought I'd write down a few things about pregnancy that really caught me off guard or I simply wasn't expecting. :)

The morning sickness

Which is not reserved exclusively for mornings, let me tell you that. I was kind of prepared to be sick at some point of my pregnancy (even though I hopped I would take after my mom and not experience it at all), but when it finally hit me... it was bad, like really bad. I didn't vomit a lot (only once), thankfully, but the nausea was omnipresent. And because I never get sick normally, it was quite a challenge for me. It felt like I was on a boat with a horrible case of sea-sickness... that's the best way I know to describe it. And the worst part is that you need to eat or you get even sicker, but you don't want to eat - just thinking about food or smelling it makes you want to puke. Thankfully that lasted for a good 2 weeks or so (between my 7th and 9th week) and then is stated to wear off. It can still hit me at some days, but it's not nearly as bad as it was.

The cramping, the pain, the stretching of ligaments

At the very beginning of my pregnancy I experienced some truly unpleasant and quite strong cramping, which is perfectly normal, but very unpleasant. When the cramping subsided, the pain in my lower back and abdomen stepped forward. Some days my back would hurt so much, only certain positions (mostly laying on my side with a pillow between the knees/legs) would help. I also bought a heat pad, which really helped when the pain was too bad. And after the back pain went away (for a bit), a new pain showed up - ligament pain. As your body produces a hormone called relaxin, your body starts... well, relaxing and not in a 'oh, I'm so relaxed' kind of way, but more in a 'oh, I think my hip joint is going to fall apart' kind of way. :) Seriously... your ligaments start to loosen and so do the joints in the whole pelvis area and that can hurt... like a bi*ch. :D But it does get better or at least you get accustomed to it.

The metamorfosis

Yes, I did expect my breasts and belly to grow, I'm not that delusional... plus I am a nurse and know the human anatomy quite well, but still... it's kind of shocking at how much and how fast your body can grow/change. At first I was loosing weight and actually loosing centimeters around my waist (due to the nausea and lack of appetite), but then suddenly, a few days into my 12th week, my belly just popped out over night - I kid you not! I woke up and felt my tummy and it was sticking out and feeling harder, not just chubby due to extra fat. :) My breasts started to change quite quickly into my pregnancy, but I haven't notice them grow until a week or so ago. I can still wear my old bras, but I'm not sure for how long...

The constant hunger

Now that my nausea has truly subsided and my appetite has somewhat returned, I've entered a phase when I am hungry ALL THE TIME! It's actually quite annoying to be honest... I wake up and have to eat something right away and no matter what I have for breakfast, I end up being famished an hour or so later. If I try to 'snack' and eat a fruit when I'm feeling hungry, it 'lasts' me for about a minute and then I need to eat something else, something more than just fruit. I'm trying to eat better now that I actually can eat, but it's quite a struggle, because my 'real' appetite has yet to make an appearance and most of the time I eat because I have to, not because I want to or crave something. Hopefully that will change soon...

But... regardless how you experience pregnancy, when you see your baby on that ultrasound and hear his or her heartbeat, you truly just melt into a puddle of love and could care less about nausea, pain, aching breast or any other fun symptom pregnancy brings with it. :)

*Amway ARTISTRY Exact Fit powder

Hello my darlings! Yes I know... another review - I'm on a role tonight, aren't I? :D So, after the beautiful MeMeMe blush, comes another gorgeous face item - Amway Artistry Exact Fit powder. I have to be honest, the first time I heard of this brand was when I was contacted by their PR. I tried to research the product a bit but didn't find much, so these really were uncharted waters for me. :)

The powder (as you can see) is absolutely stunning! The beautiful gold box comes in a black velvet pouch and you actually have to 'assemble' it before first use - you get the box in the pouch and then the refill and sponge come separately. Now, that can be a real plus for some or a real downside for others. 

The refill part is great, because you can re-use the box and just buy the refill when you run out, but the whole 'assembling' part can also be a bit of a pain and make the product feel gimmicky and cheaper than it really is - like the fact that the glue on the bottom of the refill pan doesn't really hold it down as strong as it should. That really made me feel like I have to be super careful with the whole thing or else it might fall out and break (thankfully that didn't happen... yet). There's also a separate compartment in the bottom of the box which holds a sponge. I never use sponges to apply my powders, but I know a lot of women do and would appreciate this aspect of the packaging.

The lovely PR that contacted me also helped me choose a shade that would fit me, but unfortunately I seem to think I'm paler than I really am and so I ended up choosing a shade (Chablis) that was quite a bit too light for my skin tone (I think Chiffon would be the right one). However, I found another way to use this powder - as a highlighter! Because it's a matte formula intended to be used as an all-over face product, it's great to use under the eyes or anywhere else you'd want to highlight but can't/wouldn't want to use a shimmery highlighter. I use it under my eyes, in the middle of my forehead, on the bridge of my nose and a bit on my chin - it works great!

The formula is super soft and doesn't create that powdery look on your skin. I like to use a dense buffing or kabuki brush to apply it. I can also detect a slight scent to the powder, but nothing to noticeable and definitely nothing that would make me want to use it less. :)

I think this is a lovely powder and a great addition to my face routine, but to be honest, for the steep price of almost 50 €, I would expect much more from it. The packaging is nice, but definitely not superb. The refill itself has a much more reasonable price - around 30 €, so when you already have the box, it's a lot easier to just buy a refill.

What are your thoughts on this product, something for you? Have you tried anything from Amway or anything from their Artistry line? 

Don't forget to check out Ina's review of this product on Lovely Little Luxuries