Used up: Alpha H, Bumble & Bumble, Rodial & more

Is an ’empties’ post slacking off a bit? Yes, probably. But you know, I think it’s worthwhile when there’s some gems in there – think of this as a mini-review of all these products I’ve used up in the last week or so.

All used up – March Empties – mostly gems!

Left to right:

Elemental Herbology: Velvet Skin winter body cleanser

This is a thick shower gel that’s intended for use in the winter (clue in the name). At a time when temperatures drop and central heating is a daily essential, this product is designed to inject life and softness back into the skin.
It comes with a handy scrubby-loofa thing (technical term), but I hated it.  The gel itself is softening and a little goes a very long way – in fact, this tube has lasted much longer than I would have expected.

Would I repurchase?
No. Only due to the scent though. It has Tuberose and Rose Centifolia, which as you may expect smell lovely and rosy, but the addition of other ingredients (is it the evening primrose? answers on a postcard), mean it smells, well, old.  You might love it though, fragrance is personal like that. But not for me.

Alpha H: Balancing Cleanser with aloe vera

A gentle cleanser with a creamy consistency. It works really well at removing makeup, and isn’t irritating to use around the eyes. I do think it has a balancing effect, as my usually slightly-oily t-zone doesn’t act up as much while using this cleanser.  The aloe vera is soothing, which is a nice addition, so I’d expect this to be good for sensitive skins – however, it’s worth noting that the first few weeks of using this, I did get ‘tingly pores’ at first. I’m not sure of the reason, as it doesn’t contain AHAs or other exfoliating ingredients, but this is something to watch out for if you’re thinking of buying.

Would I repurchase?
Yes. Absolutely. I love this cleanser in the summer especially, so I’m going to be getting more as soon as I’m out of my REN hot cloth cleanser.

Rodial: Glamtox Cleansing Balm

Another cleanser, but this time a balm. This is my third bottle, and it won’t be my last.
Despite the scary name (Glamtox, it sounds horrific, doesn’t it? I don’t want anything with ‘Tox’ on my skin – and yes, botox fans, that includes that I’m afraid), it’s a really gentle and effective cleanser.
It whips away makeup with no bother, can be used around the eyes and emulsifies so easily with water – out of the many, many balms I have tried, it’s certainly the easiest to remove and leaves the least residue.
It seems to impart a brightness and clarity to my skin that nothing else does. I don’t know what wizardry is inside it, and I’m not sure I want to (Tox-fears), but it leaves my face clear, glowing and just darn good

Would I repurchase?
If I had the choice of only using one cleanser for the rest of my days…it would be this one. Woah, nelly. That’s quite a statement… but I’d plead for the inclusion of REN’s Clarifying Clay Cleanser too, just for balance of course.

A tip on this – It’s available in Space NK and the like, but SO overpriced (£50+). Ridiculously so. If you look on QVC UK, it’s around the £20 mark. Still not cheap, but lasts an age.

Bumble and Bumble super rich conditioner

This is a thick, rich conditioner that is the saviour of my dry, oft-coloured hair. The smallest amount, left on for 2 minutes, is like some of the best deep conditioning masks I’ve used. Seriously. This is good stuff. And it smells divine.
Now, here’s the thing… it does have dimethicone in it (a silicone), so that’s not my favourite thing to use on my hair every time I wash, so I look at this as a once-weekly treat, to avoid buildup. It is jaw-droppingly expensive at £20 for 250ml – not cool. That said, the rate I use it at, one bottle can last for 3 months at least – so in terms of value for money, it’s actually not that bad (blogger maths). It’s just hard to justify that to yourself when you’re laying out that cash for a conditioner.

Would I repurchase?
Yes (I say behind gritted teeth). It is my favourite conditioner, and I can’t be without it for too long. Although I am beyond skint at the moment, so I’ll be forgoing it for now and sticking to using my Aveda Brilliant stuff.

Nuxe micellar cleansing water (with rose petals) for sensitive skin

Micellar waters. You know the drill here: oil suspended in water, swept across the face on a cotton pad to remove makeup. 
The market is now saturated with these, and people are still raving about Bioderma (I haven’t tried it, mainly out of utter contempt for hype – I can’t help it, if something’s raved about that much, it just makes me suspicious, rather than intrigued).

Nuxe skincare in general is rather gentle, and I think, rather good (see my past posts!). This is suitable for my redness-prone and sometime-sensitive skin. I don’t use it as a cleanser, and don’t advocate the use of wipes or micellar waters for that purpose, ever – wash your damn face. Water will not hurt you.

Anyway, I use this little rose-scented lovely to tidy up makeup mistakes. My eyeliner skills are a joke, so this gets a lot of use. Also for removing heavy or resistant lip or eye products before I cleanse. 
It works. Not sure there’s much else you can say about a micellar water really, is there.

Would I repurchase?
Absolutely. This is a staple in my routine, and I even decant it into a travel bottle when I’m out and about for those panda-eye rectification moments.

There’s some real gems there, in my opinion. Let me know if you’ve tried any, or even better, can recommend alternatives for the products I’ve ran out of… I could be swayed to try something else for once!



  1. April 6, 2014 / 7:57 pm

    Glad to hear at least someone doesn't mind! 😉
    Seriously Jess, try it. I'm sure if you ask Space NK they'll give you a sample… but it is a game changing cleanser. xxx

  2. April 7, 2014 / 11:53 am

    I like empties posts, I always do them as a video though which is really cheating…
    I loved that Alpha-H cleanser when I got a sample…but I can't make myself hand over that much money for something I would be literally washing away…x

  3. April 8, 2014 / 7:58 am

    Give me that conditioner, now! These are all very expensive products, I'm such a cheapo when it comes to buying stuff like this. I buy the shampoo and conditioner that's BOGOF in Tesco. I'm still not out of my student phase :/

    Corinne x

  4. April 9, 2014 / 6:04 pm

    I know, I know… I'm a fool, spending all my pennies this way. But then again, I have ridiculously awful hair naturally, so I need any help I can get. I reason that one bottle of B&B lasts as long as about 5 Aussie or something! 😉

    I'm going to post some more purse-friendly high st stuff very soon! xx

  5. April 9, 2014 / 6:05 pm

    I love video empties posts though! Always come away with a 'to buy' list at the end of it ha.

    Yeah, that cleanser is lovely, but I don't think it's transformative enough to lay out the money (unless you've got a lot of spare cash!). The Rodial one though, well.. I justify that to myself (way too easily!). 😉 x