One Monstrosity of an Empties – Dermalogica, Vichy, Lancome, L’oreal, Benefit, Botanics, Balance Me….

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Tell me your thoughts on ‘Empties’ posts;

Personally I love them – It’s basically a glorified rummage through a stranger’s rubbish. A browse through BeautyLymin‘s rubbish yesterday reminded me that my own stash is overflowing. And so the time has come. I have used up a LOT of products since my Hair Care Empties a mere few weeks ago, so I plan on bombing through this lot short and snappy!



Mascaras are my desert item; I’m never without it.

I don’t do falsies/extensions, so I expect my wand to do all the works – volume, lift, lengthen etc. I have a few holy grails (TooFaced Better Than Sex, Dior Show, Benefit They’re Real and Tarte’s Lights Camera Lashes spring to mind), but I’m forever testing out newbies.


Lancome Hypnose Drama

I was a major fan of the original Hypnose formula back in the day. The Hypnose Drama version however, not so much. I was really disappointed with this – I found it incredibly clumpy. The wand picks up way too much formula, leaving you with wet lashes prone to smudging. Nightmare if you’re in a rush and definitely not worth the price.

L’oreal Volume Million Lashes So Couture

I never would have tried this mascara out only for I received it as Boot’s gift with purchase. And I was so impressed! Two coats and my lashes were like falsies – No clumps, zero flakes, long lasting… This is definitely one of my favourite budget friendly mascaras; I’ll definitely be repurchasing. Buy it here! L’oreal are just playing a blinder at the mo with their cosmetics.

W7 Absolute Lashes Mascara

This is the infamous Benefit ‘They’re Real’ dupe available for a quarter of the price. I’m a major fan of They’re Real and so obviously had to test the waters with this one. Aaaaanddd, it’s pretty decent. I still prefer the Benefit version but all in all it’s much of a muchness. I did find the W7 wand quite sore the first time I used it – Not ‘sore’ sore but I could notice a difference between the rigidness of the plastic wands if that makes sense! (Probably not – I was probably just having a moment!)… But the effects are pretty identical – long lasting, volumising, clump-free etc. It’s probably the best dupe out there to be honest. The W7 formula does dry out a lot quicker than They’re Real does, but for a fiver that’s no biggie.  Which leads me to –

Benefit They’re Real

I love They’re Real; It’s lengthening, volumising, long-lasting, and all the rest. The W7 dupe does make me wonder will I re-invest though… But I can’t see me not repurchasing at some stage. It’s my go-to, it gives a natural finish yet ticks all the false-lash effect boxes.


Benefit They’re Real Push Up Liner

Loooovvved this! It’s bulletproof, smudge-proof, jet black, easy to apply, quick-setting; Literally it has it all. HOWEVER! After I finished this one up (in record time) I repurchased asap, and I’m not sure if I unforch got a dud from a dodgy batch, but my current one is woeful – It spits out formula far too thickly and the applicator tip is always covered in gunk from it (which was never the case with Push Up No.1)… You can purchase this liner here.



L’oreal Infallible 24-Hour Matte

Love, love LOVE this. Holy Grail status. I hadn’t used a L’oreal foundation since secondary school, ’til I heard Amelia Liana rave about this one at the start of the summer. And I’ve never used up a foundation so quickly – It’s literally amazing. My skin can be quite dry so I wasn’t sure would this mattifying formula suit, but for the summer months it was flawless. It’s everyone I want in a foundation – long lasting, natural yet flawless finish, medium coverage, buildable; literally it’s amaze.

The only downside to it is the colour range – I was quite lucky and found an exact shade to my skin, but the shade selection isn’t as varied as L’oreal True Match, for example. I also wouldn’t recommend it as a winter foundation for drier skin types – I used it once this month and literally my face was about to fall off for the day it was so dry! I will 100% repurchase, but not til Spring hits.

Bourjois Healthy Mix Gel Foundation

The stunning Alix from I Covet Thee is forever harping on about the Healthy Mix range, and so I had to try out this serum-gel formula as her makeup is always perfection. However, I got this at the start of summer one shade too light, and so I never really got in on it or gave it a proper chance. It’s very light coverage though, and feels super hydrating on the skin. Not the longest lasting, and definitely needs to be set with powder. It gives a lovely glow to the skin though, and is perfect for those wanting a little bit of ‘no make-up’ coverage. Probably won’t be repurchasing this one, mainly because I’ve decided nothing can compete on the drug-store end with L’oreal foundations at the moment so why bother?!


Soap and Glory Concealer

I went through a serious S&G addiction for the first half of twenty fifteen… and bought pretty much one of everything. This concealer has amazing reviews on Boots (see here!), and I did like it; Especially the packaging and the fact the under eye setting powder comes with. However I wasn’t really blown away by it at the same time. I’m still searching for the perfect under eye concealer… I dropped this and broke the packing so it’s being binned… Would I repurchase? Maybe. It’s graaand.

Dermalogica Skincare…


Intensive Moisture Balance

This is a fabulous moisturiser – incredibly hydrating, rich and soothing yet light on the skin – I love it. If you have the cash to spare, it’s worth investing in.

Special Cleansing Gel

This is lovely for a second cleanse, it deep cleanses yet doesn’t dry out your skin. Dermalogica rarely get it wrong so you can chance pretty much anything from their range provided it suits your skin type.

Intensive Eye Repair

Obsessed. This is amazing – easily my favourite Dermalogica product. It’s super rich and feels insanely hydrating on the eye area. I don’t have any fine lines yet around my eyes (thank fuck), so I can’t say whether it reversed signs of aging, but apparently it combats signs of premature skin damage. As an eye moisturiser though it gets five gold stars from me.

Multivitamin Power Rich Recovery Mask

My favourite masks are these balm-type hydrating formulas, as opposed to peel off masks or clay. I’ve already purchased this. Love it. I use it as night cream if my skin is a little bit dull or dry, and it never fails. It’s wonderfully hydrating and radiance boosting. (Plus Queen VB  swears by it by the by!)



All Bright Radiance Balm

Beauty Blogggers world wide have sung Hallelujah over this. I liked it but I think because of the all the praise I had expected fireworks with it. In fairness it is lovely; glides on easily as a moisturiser/primer and gives a gorgeous glow. I mixed this with my base for a luminising effect. It’s pretty much always half price in Boots so for €4 you can’t go wrong.

Microdermabrasion Polish Radiance Youth

This is very gritty so if physical exfoliators aren’t your thing then give this a miss. I left this in my shower and then used it (probably once weekly) after applying Glamglow or the likes to help get rid of the last little bits (fucking Glamglow – imposs to remove!). As an affordable microdermabrasion polish I think it does the job quite well. If you suffer with inflammatory skin conditions (eczema, psoriasis etc) or sensitive/extremely dry skin I’d steer well clear, otherwise ’tis grand!

Balance Me…

Radiance Face Mask

Loved this! Smells divine, skin feels fabulous afterwards, and it’s affordable. What’s not to love? My skin looked super glowy after using this, and I’ll definitely repurchase. You can buy Balance Me online from Look Fantastic. I’d love love LOVE if Boots or somewhere similar started stocking the brand, as I’d love to test out all their range.

Pure Skin Face Wash

I received this cleanser in the July edition of my Look Fantastic beauty box, and used it as step two in double cleansing. It’s a fabulous cleanser; very brightening, smells delicious and deep cleanses without stripping moisture. Balance Me is the perfect brand if you want to invest a little more into your skin care, but aren’t quite ready for high-end prices.

Arom Mantagne Rose Moisturiser

I picked this Arabic cream up earlier in the year in Morocco (Click here to read about Marrakesh!)… This was lovely; it smelled divine and had an almost souffle texture – But not gonna lie, I got pretty bored of it after a week and spawned it off onto my boyfriend. Not much else to say about it really – you’re not gonna track it down too easily anyway!

Face / Body Oils…



This is a Bio-Oil type product, aimed at moisturising and preventing stretch marks. It’s unbelievable… I literally opened this two weeks ago and just like that it’s finished – That has to be a record. I adored it, it’s INSANELY hydrating. I wasn’t using it as a preventative stretch-mark remedy so can’t review it’s abilities on that front, but as a moisturiser it’s amaze. I love using oils after showering as they’re so rich and easy to whack on rather than rubbing in lotions. I’ve a tendency to get very dry skin on the back of my thighs, and this is the best thing I’ve EVER used on it. Literally after two nights my skin was silky smooth. Silderm smells fabulous as well, very herbal. I discovered this only by chance when it was sitting on a shelf at work close to its expiration date, and I’m delighted I tested it as it’s a total gem – I’ll definitely repurchase.

Pixy Softening Body Oil

This is lovely as well, I used it in my bath as well as an after shower moisturiser. I preferred Silderm to it as a moisturiser. though, this Pixy Oil is very thick and greasy. Also I hated the packaging – Very inconvenient to use with wet or oily hands! Probably wouldn’t bother repurchasing this one, although it is very moisturising all the same.

Desert Essence Jojoba Oil

Whenever I do an iHerb haul, I throw in a couple of Desert Essence products as well. You can also pick Desert Essence products up in Down to Earth on Georges Street as well. (Love that place.)  This oil is pretty basic but very effective – I used it on my face, hair and body as a moisturiser.

Monu Firming Fiji Facial Oil

The first I heard of Monu as a brand was when I received this oil in the July edition of my Look Fantastic beauty box. And I’m obsessed and have been singing its praises ever since. This facial oil is magic – I’m in love. After using this for a couple of nights my skin never looked to good. 100% recommend. And it’s so affordable as well for a facial oil. You can read more about it/ purchase it here.



Vichy Pure Thermale Calming Micellar Solution

I’m the ultimate micellar water fan; I use it daily, even if it’s just to take makeup off my hand. This one is lovely, but to be honest I find the majority of them same-same. This is every so slightly more soothing on the skin than the Garnier versh, but not particularly worth the price difference in my opinion.

Normaderm Hyaluspot

This is an on-spot treatment containing hyaluronic acid to create a protective film on skin, and salicylic acid for its antibacterial properties. It’s pretty decent, I rarely used it to be honest but it’s quite mild and not as abrasive as some spot treatments can be. It doesn’t cause the skin to flake or anything so you can use it under makeup should you wish (although it is a little bit sticky!).

Nutrilogie 2 Moisturiser

This is an intense moisturiser for super dry skin. I liked it – It’s soothing, hydrating and non-greasy. I wasn’t particularly blown away by it either; I’m a little bit ‘meh’ about Vichy products at the mo’… They’re grand though, just not very exciting.

Nuxe Micellar Water 

This is gorge, it’s made with rose-water so it smells lovely and it’s super effective as a micellar water. However as with the Vichy Micellar water mentioned above, I’m not quite sure it’s worth any more than the Garner/Simple alternatives. It’s around twenty euro for a 200ml bottle, whereas the other two mentioned are normally under a fiver. It is gorgeous though; If you’ve the cash to spare you won’t be disappointed.

Lancome Galateis Douceur Cleanser

This cleansing lotion is super light weight, but thoroughly cleanses most makeup off. I liked this but personally prefer a creamier consistency in a cleanser so I wouldn’t repurchase. It’s extremely gentle though, and leaves the skin super soft.

The Body Shop Chamomile Cleansing Oil

Holy Grail. You can read my thoughts on this beauty here. I’m obsessed, it’s divine. This was a repurchase and will be repurchased many a time in the future. I foolishly picked up the L’Oreal cleansing oil a few weeks ago in its replacement and it doesn’t compare at all at all. It’s fine, I’ll finish it but I’m dying for it to be done with!

Ren Vita Mineral Active 7 Eye Gel

I got this iddy-biddy sample free with a magazine as far as I recall. I wasn’t really impressed with it though – It doesn’t compare with the Dermalogica Eye Cream featured above, or the likes of my beloved Algenist eye cream. To be honest I’m not that into gel formulas at all – I much prefer an eye cream formulation.


Cocoa Brown Gentle Bronze

Love this! Cocoa Brown is just on fleek with regards to quality, consistency and value. This is a fabulous gradual tanning moisturiser – I’ve switched from my St. Tropez equivalent as this is on par and a fraction of the price. I’ll always repurchase this… Annoyingly I repurchased two of what I thought were these in haste, and realised when I got home they were they tan-free moisturisers. Have yet to try them out yet though.

Nuxe Prodigieux Shower Oil

If y’all follow me on instagram (@thepharmersjournal) you’ll know how highly I rate this! It’s my favourite shower product – It smells divine, and leaves my skin super soft (and with an ever-so-subtle shimmer). In LOVE. This and Soap and Glory’s ‘Whipped Cream’ are my two go-to shower faves.


Original Source Vanilla and Raspberry

This was around two euro and smells like a strawberry milkshake. Not much else to say, i liked it though!

Soap and Glory Heel Genius

I love Soap and Glory body products…. I’m already counting down the weeks ’til their Boots Christmas Star Gift week. Eeeek! This is a lovely moisturiser, not the most hydrating of foot creams but then again when you’re feet are as heinous as mine you can’t be expecting miracles. It smells delicious, as does everything in the S&G range, and is worth a purchase.

Flexitol Heel Balm

Not the most glam of products, but definitely one of the most hard-working! Anything with Urea is amazing for dry, rough skin, and this packs a whopping 25%. If your feet are vom, dose them in this for a couple of nights and they’ll be far more humane at the end of the tunnel.

Macadamia Oil Extract Body Butter

This was another one doing the Blogger rounds a while ago – A super hydrating body butter for next to nothing from Lidl (I think – or maybe Dealz?!)… I loved this; I layered it on damp skin after showering and loved the effects/scent/finish. Definitely worth a purchase.

Cath Kidston Honey Suckle Body Cream

I received this in a gift set of Cath Kinston products about three years ago, and swiftly forgot about it. Only recently I discovered it in my stash and was surprised at how hydrating it actually was. The fragrance was fab as well. Realistically I’ll never repurchase it though!

Ziaja Goat Milk Shower Cream

Ziaja can be quite hit and miss with their products, but their goat milk body line is great. My boyfriend loves this so I always have it floating around in the hopes my Nuxe Shower Oil reigns invisible to his keen eye!

The End. Phew!

 If any of you guy’s are an twitter tweet me (@pharmersjournal) with your own thoughts on these products – I’d LAV to hear from y’all! xx

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  1. I love empties posts! I totally agree with you on the Dermalogica eye cream & Multi-vitamin power recovery mask – amazing products! I really want to try that L’Oreal mascara & Silderm. I’ve never heard of Silderm before – where do you buy it?! xx


    1. Same – I hadn’t heard of Silderm either – I saw major results with it though! Granted I was layering it on like no tomorrow cos it was a freebie but still! I’ve tried to reorder it in to my shop but to no avail – it’s definitely an online job. Or maybe try a maternity/baby shop as its targeted at pregnancy bumps xx

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