I love reading other bloggers’ empties posts and yet I haven’t written one of my own until now, for two reasons:

  1. As soon as a product is finished I have to throw it away. I hate clutter so keeping a drawer full of empty bottles and tubes to get that empties group shot at the end of the month goes against my instincts. And when you live in a compact flat every little space counts.
  2. After years of working with professionally shot, brand new pristine beauty products, retouched to within an inch of their lives, I still struggle to photograph products with a ‘well-used’ look to them. I still prefer to shoot the products as soon as I receive them, before using them properly and squeezing them out of shape to coax out the last drop of liquid.

But it’s time to take the plunge and post my first empties review. How did I get on with these products and would I use them again?

beauty empties with pink lily

Caudalie Beauty Elixir

I’ve loved re-discovering this French pharmacy brand with its vine-inspired skincare and fantastic beauty treatments. I was lucky enough to experience their Vinoperfect Facial in the expert hands of UK Training Manager Angeline Noblanc for a Wedding Ideas magazine review I was writing, and the finishing touch to the facial was a spritz of Beauty Elixir. The peppermint oil scent is quite distinctive so I enquired about the product and learnt that it’s one of Caudalie’s bestselling products worldwide. When I was gifted this limited edition bottle by the brand last summer I initially used it solely in the morning to set my makeup, but as the revitalising scent grew on me it became a morning and evening staple. Just three sprays per application are enough so I’ve only recently come to the end of this 100ml bottle. It’s not essential to a skincare routine but feels like a nice way to end it. I’d definitely recommend this mist and would be happy to use it again.

Beauty Elixir in garden

Tabitha James Kraan Clean Shampoo

This is the most eco-friendly liquid shampoo I’ve ever used: 100% natural, 73% organic (certified by the Soil Association), free of synthetic ingredients and with a bottle made from recycled plastic (and recyclable of course). I received this product in a Soil Association goodie bag and really didn’t expect to be so impressed by it. Not just by its credentials but most notably by its ability to soothe my itchy scalp. I’ve been recommending this shampoo ever since I started using it, and although it’s much more expensive than the shampoos I usually opt for (£25 for 250ml) I will be bringing this back into my beauty arsenal. For now though I’m switching to Earth Kind’s solid shampoo bar.

Tabitha James Kraan clean shampoo

Miller Harris Tea Tonique 

I opened this fragrance bottle ages ago but as I flit from one scent to another it’s taken me a while to reach the bottom of the bottle. This is one of the most distinctive scents I’ve worn: smoked tea, nutmeg, lemon and bergamot. With Miller Harris’ Tea Tonique you can guarantee you’ll stand out from the run of the mill florals. Not once have I come across another person wearing this fragrance yet I’ve only ever received compliments when wearing Tea Tonique (although English people are possibly too polite to say they think you smell weird?). The smokey scent works well for winter or evenings out. When it comes to perfumes I’m a beauty magpie and rarely re-visit the same scent twice as there are so many I want to try. I haven’t had a signature fragrance since Lolita Lempicka in my twenties, so although I’ve really enjoyed wearing Miller Harris’ Tea Tonique, I’ve moved on to The Merchant of Venice’s handy selection of purse sprays.

Beefayre Honey Lily Hand Cream 

I feel like my husband should be writing about Beefayre’s Hand Cream. He’s always borrowing my hand cream as he gets dry hands from playing tennis, and became incredibly attached to this particular one, claiming that it had a nourishing but non sticky consistency that tackled his dry skin. And that it smelled pleasantly of honey and flowers without being sickly sweet. And it’s true it’s one of the most deliciously scented beauty products I’ve used, but I think he felt more bereft than I ever would over a beauty product coming to the end of its life. We literally squeezed the last dregs out of this tube. I’ll have to get him a year’s worth for his birthday.

Beefayre hand cream in a tube on rattan mat

Umberto Giannini Flowerology Super Serum

I wasn’t expecting much from this hair serum, mostly because I’d never used a hair serum and therefore didn’t have any benchmark. But not only has it slotted seamlessly into my beauty routine – just smoothing 8 drops into the end of my towel dry hair before blow drying – the 97% natural formula smooths and protects dry ends for a more groomed result. Very pleasant to use but not a must-have for me.

Umberto Giannini hair serum with citrus fruits

Clinique Moisture Surge Sheertint Hydrator SPF25 

Gone are the days when I’d just blend some under eye concealer where needed and swipe bronzer all over before considering my ‘base’ done. My skin requires a little more nowadays. Even so I rarely go for full coverage, preferring to opt for tinted moisturisers. My favourite so far had been La Roche-Posay’s BB Cream, but then last year whilst working at Clinique I discovered the Moisture Surge CC Cream. It offers higher coverage than other tinted moisturisers, and the Universal Light shade adds a healthy glow. I love the result when used with Clinique’s Buff Brush so I’ve already got a fresh tube on the go.

Mini Bourjois Cream Blush 

Bourjois may be defunct in the UK (RIP) but this French heritage-rich makeup brand will always retain a special place in my makeup bag. My first eyeshadow was a pink eye palette from Bourjois, and my first proper job after graduating and completing an internship at Givenchy was at the brand’s UK headquarters. At the time I was responsible for the mini Bourjois brand, a range of trial-size products aimed at teenagers. I can’t believe I still had a pot of cream blush from the range, it would probably be considered a health hazard, but it smelled fine and was so easy to apply with a buff brush or just with my fingers. Plus its compact size meant it was a constant fixture in my travel bag. Unfortunately mini Bourjois was discontinued a while back, so I’m on the hunt for a replacement. In the meantime I’ll be switching to my Chanel powder blush.

After completing my first empties post I have a feeling I’m going to be sharing more of these reviews so watch this space! What beauty products have you recently finished? Please leave a comment below to let me know.

Features gifted products.


  1. sarahsarsby says:

    I love the Caudalie Beauty Elixir and I also got the cute limited edition summer bottle last year! I used to think sprays were a bit of a gimmick, but this one definitely proved me wrong. I also agree that it sucks Bourjois is being discontinued in the UK because I love the Rouge Edition Velvet lipstick formula

    Liked by 1 person

    • FreshBeautyFix says:

      Hi Sarah,
      I agree the Caudalie spray feels like it’s got more substance than some other mists. No wonder it’s their top selling product!
      I’m so sad that Bourjois has left the UK! But since it got bought by Coty it’s just not felt the same…


  2. Alex says:

    It’s true, Beefayre’s Hand Cream is the best I have used, it is great for chapped knuckles. It is the perfect consistency (I find most too thin) and is neither slimy or sticky. I am sure it smells of honey, not flowers though (otherwise I spent a month smelling of flowers). Wow a birthday present reveal 8 months in advance…..


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