A REALLY handy tip to help make your products last longer

Trick Diagram

I learned this trick from a Sprinkle of Glitter vlog in mid-2014, and just realised that I’ve hardly ever passed it on.

But it’s GENIUS.

You know when you’re coming to the end of a tube of moisturiser, or a tube of foundation, or a tube of body lotion?

And you know how you squeeze it and squeeze it for weeks on end, trying to make the most of your money?

And you know how you eventually throw the bottle out, with that niggling feeling that there’s still loads of product still in there?

Well here’s the bad news: there is loads of product still in there.

And here’s the good news: it’s really easy to get it out.

  1. Just grab some scissors – strong kitchen scissors are probably best – and cut straight across the middle of your bottle.
  2. Enjoy the glorious product you’ve just released.
  3. If there’s still loads left (which there will be) shove one half of your bottle inside the other half until it’s vaguely airtight again. If that made zero sense, just look at the lovely diagram I drew for you.
  4. The remaining product shouldn’t dry out, and you can keep using it for weeks on end until it’s actually all gone.
  5. Like actually, all of it. Make the most of that dolla chicas.

I have successfully used this trick on so many products it makes my brain hurt. Estée Lauder Double Wear Light, Vichy Dermablend, La Roche Posay Effaclar Mat, La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo, Factor 50 sun lotion (I was desperate on holiday), and about half a dozen different body moisturisers.

It works. And it saves you money. Do it.

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Summer Empties

Ahhh GUYS. I have missed you. I never expected it to happen, but for the last few weeks I’ve been getting home from a day of writing, and not fancying writing in the evening. It’s weird. It’s not like me. Usually I can spend every waking minute writing and still want to do more. I dunno, maybe it’s my new “no caffeine after 5pm” rule?

Anyway, I’m sorry. I’m back now, and I can’t wait to read all of your posts too – it’s going to be fun catching up with all of you!

Today I’m starting with a Summer Empties post. It would have been a July empties post but it’s been August for eleven days, so that seemed a bit inappropriate. And some of the stuff was from June…

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Rimmel Stay Matte Powder in ‘Translucent’ – I love this powder. It only costs £3.99 and it very much does the job. It makes my makeup last much longer and keeps the oil at bay pretty much all day. Unfortunately, though, it doesn’t fare so well when it’s nearly empty, and you drop it. Shattered everywhere. Thank God Dad fixed up the old vacuum cleaner for me this week…!

Sanctuary Spa Crème Soufflé – I got this stuff for Christmas and it’s beautiful. It leaves your skin moisturised all day but doesn’t make you feel all sticky when it’s first applied, and it smells dreamy. The scent sort of reminds me of orange peel. Anyway, lush. Would definitely repurchase.

Gucci Envy Me Body Lotion – This is from at least five Christmasses ago. I’ve been trying to use body moisturisers every day this summer, as I have so many hauled up that just don’t get used. This came in a set with the ‘Envy Me’ perfume, which is gorgeous but long gone. Anyway, it smells fantastic, doesn’t feel sticky, and my legs and arms felt so silky after using it. Lovely!

Alterna Bamboo Smooth Kendi Oil Dry Oil Mist – One product probably shouldn’t have this many names, but this is nice stuff. I got it in last year’s You Beauty Advent Calendar and initially steered well clear. Having such oily skin and previously greasy hair (bleach does wonders, peeps) I feared anything that defined itself as “oil”, but I was wrong to. This oil mist has a lovely, aromatic scent and detangles my hair before I blow dry it, without making it greasy. Vair nice.

Clarins Lait Démaquillant Velours – This is a lovely cream cleanser – it makes my skin feel soft and plump and clean. Which is ideal, really. Unfortunately I probably wouldn’t repurchase it, mostly because I prefer a facial wash to a cleansing milk now, and this stuff needs a bit of help removing the toughest eye makeup.

Clarins Toning Lotion with Iris – By contrast, I’d repurchase this stuff if I could justify the expense. It makes my skin feel so fresh after cleansing. Love!

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L’Oreal Elvive Fibrology Shampoo and Conditioner – I couldn’t believe it when I first tried the shampoo – it instantly lifted my fine hair and gave it more volume, more than I’ve ever seen a shampoo do before. If you’re looking for a “wow” factor, this is the stuff for you.

A couple of months on, though, the conditioner is disappointing me. It could be the summer weather, but my hair is quite dry at the moment. As this is designed to keep your hair light and fluffy, it’s not really doing the job in terms of moisturising those follicles, so I won’t be buying to conditioner again.

Lush ‘Whoosh’ Shower Jelly – This stuff’s a bit of a mixed bag, but I loved it all the same. The smell and the concept – lemony, zesty and fun – are great, but the execution isn’t that well thought out. In the sense that when you’re using the jelly in your morning shower, trying to lather it up, and it goes shooting out of your hands, your brain isn’t yet sharp enough to deal with that situation. It just makes you rage a bit.

Bomb Cosmetics ‘Pina Colada’ Cleansing Shower Butter – I really liked this. My boyfriend got it for me for Christmas. It smells like the cocktail, which is delicious, and it lathers really well – even in hard water areas. Big fan!

So, that brings the Summer empties to an end for now. No doubt I’ll have more to tell you about by September! What have you been avidly using of late?

Can’t wait to catch up!

Effie xx

Effie’s Empties: The Definitive List of Things I Can’t Stop Using

Day by day, year by year, there are some products which never go out of season. Like a Burberry Trench (I wish) or a Hermès Birkin, a few beauty staples will last you a lifetime. That is, provided they aren’t discontinued. Heaven forbid… 

Here is my list of lifelong obsessions. While foundations and mascaras come and go, these products have remained firm favourites in my cosmetics drawer for many years now. Well, OK, a couple of years. While my skin type and sense of smell has remained static. 

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1) Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturising Gel

For people with oily skin like me, this moisturiser is an absolute godsend. Of the face creams I’ve tried, most are either too thick and heavy, and fail to sink into my already saturated skin, or are so light that they don’t seem to make any impact at all. With this moisturiser, it glides onto the skin, soaks in almost immediately, and, vitally, I can really feel the difference. I’m not left with an oily residue, but my skin is definitely softer to the touch, and after regular use, I think it reduces my skin’s tendency to overproduce oil, especially in the area around my nose. When I’m feeling tired, this moisturiser really feels like it’s penetrating layers of my skin which aren’t normally given that much TLC. For that, I think it’s brill.

2) LUSH ‘It’s Raining Men’ Shower Gel:

OK, I lied, I haven’t been using this shower gel for years. But I have a feeling that I might be, as it smells fantastic and is really moisturising. I also like the idea that though this product has a fabulous scent, I’m not putting as many chemicals and preservatives on my skin as I might be with other shower gels. I imagine it’s the same with products from The Body Shop.

3) Clinique ‘All About Eyes’

I’ve been getting pots and tubes of this stuff for years, thanks to Clinique’s very generous “free gift” purchase rewards. People with oily skin may have to wait a while for this to soak in, but it does what it says on the tin: de-puffs, and sorts out those dark circles, good and proper. I’m not sure I’d ever pay full price for it though. At least not until I develop crow’s feet. 

4) Estée Lauder ‘Daywear’ Day Cream

‘Advanced Multi-Protection Anti-Oxidant Cream’, they say. Along with ‘SPF15’. This cream is designed for normal-combination skin types, but it’s thicker than the Clinique gel, and takes quite a lot longer to soak in. However, on days where I’m not wearing makeup, I like the luxurious feel of this cream – and it smells like cucumber, which is really refreshing and delicious. This is more of an anti-ageing product than a moisturiser, so, once again, I’m not sure I’d pay full price for it at this stage in my life. However, while I’ve got it in my arsenal, I’m loving using it!

5) Chanel Coco Mademoiselle Eau de Parfum

Sophisticated, sexy, and an immediate signature scent. I defy you not to like it.

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6) Tigi Bed Head Colour Combat ‘Dumb Blonde’ Conditioner

This is cocoa butter for the hair. It smells super luxurious, makes your ends feel like silk, and does handy things to your colour to boot. My boyfriend loves it because it makes my hair smell like Palmer’s. Which is always a plus. Not that he goes around sniffing my hair though…we all know that’s quite weird. 

Anyway, my hairdresser tells me not to use this every day, as it contains lots of protein, and too much protein has a rather odd effect on the hair. But, like all good things, if you use it in moderation, it’s faaabulous darling.

Oh, and as a sidenote, you can get it for nearly half price in TK Maxx. Hurrah!

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7) Palmer’s Cocoa Butter

Just look at the squash marks on that label. I have used, used and used this, in several incarnations. It may feel a bit sticky at times, but I love the smell and the moisturising effect so much that I don’t really care. I even go so far as to post this to my German friend every time she celebrates a birthday, because she can’t buy it over in Hannover. This really is a cult product, and I have no doubt that I’ll be buying it for many years to come.

So, girlies, what are your favourite products? What do you re-buy over and over again, unfailingly, every time you go shopping? I’d be really interested to know what everyone else’s beauty necessities are, so please chat to me in the comments below!

Hope your Mondays haven’t been too manic,

Effie xx