It’s been a little while, but the beauty empties series is back with a little bit of everything. From shampoo and conditioner to serum and moisturiser, here I review the latest natural – well practically all natural – beauty products that together provide a full routine and that are making their way out of my bathroom and into the recycling bin.
It’s been nearly 18 months since I ditched traditional shampoo in favour of solid bars and I love this format. Not that I would turn my back on liquids forever but this option is so compact, easy to use and waste-free – what’s not to love! Oh and the result? Well yes performance is important too. Does it wash my hair? Yes it keeps it looking and feeling clean for the same length of time as other shampoos. Does it do what it says on the tin (or carton)? Promising to gently wash and enhance shine, whilst I wasn’t blown away by dazzling locks this fragrance-free bar did take care of my itchy scalp. And finally is it sustainable? All you’re left with at the end of its life is an empty carton which is one of the easiest materials to recycle. The claim that it lasts as long as 2 bottles of shampoo felt a bit of a stretch but I was probably overzealous with my scalp rubbing. 80g RRP £12.50
This was a spur-of-the-moment purchase in Superdrug on my way to the dental care aisle. Haircare products promising to lighten or take care of blonde locks always entice me to try them out, on my never-ending quest to achieving the perfect blonde shade – which at the time of purchase my hair was far from, not having seen the inside of a hair salon for the best part of a year. From Klorane’s camomile range to Garnier’s lightening spray I can’t resist a blonde enhancer. This vegan conditioner left my hair feeling soft and looking hydrated, with a subtle illuminating effect to my blonde highlights. 200ml RRP £4.99
You’ll struggle to find this one on drugstore shelves or online beauty destinations as this super-size hair & body combo has been developed for hotels to stock in the guest bathrooms. This is a pretty straightforward product in that it cleans your body. I love a multipurpose product but when it comes to haircare I prefer a dedicated solution so it doesn’t irritate my scalp or dry out my hair. What’s most interesting about this item is that the bottle is made of 25% ocean plastic, meaning it contributes to cleaning up oceans and its surrounding areas from plastic waste. With plastics being the most common form of marine debris and killing seabirds, fish, turtles and whales, reusing ocean plastic is one way to reduce human impact on marine wildlife.
For all the beauty of a nourishing cleansing balm or a deep clean scrub, to cleanse my face last thing at night I love the ease and simplicity of a micellar water. Caroline Hirons may not be a fan but I’ve found that a good micellar water (hello French pharmacy cult classic Bioderma Sensibio H2O Micellar Water) does effectively remove makeup. This offering from Evolve Beauty is rich in hyaluronic acid so it leaves my skin feeling suitably hydrated. 190ml RRP £20.00
A true heritage product, Neal’s Yard Remedies has stocked the Rose Toner (formerly known as Rose Water) for decades, and with good reason: balancing, cooling and hydrating, it’s a great follow up to your preferred cleanser before diving into a serum. A great all rounder of a toner and a delight to use for the delicate rose scent alone. 200ml RRP £16.00
At the risk of repeating myself, since discovering Caudalie’s Vinoperfect range back in 2019, the 98% natural serum remains to this day one of my favourites. Lucky me (and the droves of loyal Vinoperfect fans that have elevated this serum to becoming a bestseller), this light yet hydrating milky serum has recently been reformulated for even more impressive radiance-boosting results. Thanks to Viniferine, a Caudalie patented ingredient derived from vine sap, the serum tackles dark spots caused by sun damage, acne scarring or melasma, and promise visible results after one bottle. Result: skin is brighter. 30ml RRP £46.00
To accompany the serum I usually pair it with at least one other product from the Vinoperfect range to intensify the results: whether it’s the essence or the moisturiser, I’ve usually got a duo on the go. This Dark Spot Correcting Moisturiser has been reworked and no longer exists in this form: there’s now a glycolic night cream and a brightening day cream. I used this moisturiser as a day cream for perfectly hydrated skin and a more radiant complexion.
To round off my top to toe beauty routine I’m ending with a supplement. I’m still relatively new to the game but since I started exploring the health and beauty supplement market I’ve always got at least one daily boost on the go. These vegan capsules (which come in a fully compostable pouch) have been developed to ‘support balance and contribute to vitality, while supporting your immune health’. Basically what really got my attention was that the supplements would deliver a boost of energy instantly. They have been my coffee-induced energy-boost substitute and manage to balance noticeable results without the unwanted caffeine buzz. 28 capsules RRP £37.00
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