1st quarter empties are always a good indication of what I used/loved/hated in the winter just gone, and seriously, who can refuse the chance to show off personal trash?
Let’s begin with the Boo!s that I’m glad to be done with.
Bobbi Brown - Extra Bright Advanced Foaming Cleanser
Let this be a lesson for me to always smell out cleansers before purchase. Granted this was a part of a package deal. I can’t even begin to describe the smell, it’s a like funky stale rice cracker smell, but not acrid just powderilly off. Now I wonder if I got a rotten apple since other reviews don’t mention this. It did clean very well, but is slightly drying for me, and I countered that with a few drops of whatever facial oil I am desperately trying to use up (Melvita’s Rosehip Oil).
L’Occitane - Pivoine Flora Shower Gel
While the actual product is quite lovely, and for those who love a floral (peony) scent in the shower, this might be worth your consideration, the packaging design really ticked me off. It looks gorgeous in the shower, but the slant of the bottle means I need to risk spraining my wrists trying to squeeze out the rather viscous gel. I suppose I could have decanted it into a more user friendly bottle, but seriously, shower gel shouldn’t need so much effort.
Melvita - Rosehip Oil (not pictured because I had to throw the messy, icky bottle out)
First of all. I have this in the old packaging, and it sucked ballz! It leaked everywhere and was hard to control the amount that came out. I tried the new packaging at the counter, and still found it sucking ballz! Secondly, I would not recommend this for facial oil beginners. This is a rather thick and greasy oil, and you will likely to be running for your life cursing at every single blogger who went on and on about how much they love to oil. On the body, it’s probably more acceptable to the uninitiated. However, I haven’t used rosehip oil from any other brand yet, so I can’t say for certain if it’s a problem with Melvita’s formula or simply that rosehip oil is just thicker than others.
Crabtree & Evelyn - Lavender Deep Cleansing Hand Wash
I can’t fully describe how much I loathed this. I had C&E points to use up, and just so happen to be out of hand wash, and at the time, this was their only hand wash available. It’s a hand-wash-and-scrub-in-one, with relatively large and none-too-abrasive exfoliating granules (I don’t actually know what the granules are, it felt neither sugar or salt). The problem comes when rinsing off. It Bloody Doesn’t! I’d rinse rinse and rinse some more, wasting waaay to much water, and I’d still find remaining bits of those pesky granules hidden within random crevices of my hands after I’ve dried my hands and have moved on to do other stuff. I don’t think I’ll be stepping into a C&E shop for a long time because of the damned product of torture.
Items that did its job, but didn’t Wow.
Laura Merier - Flawless Skin Oil-Free Foaming One-Step Cleanser
Another product that came in a package deal. I do like a mousse-type cleanser in the morning, since I find it less fussy while being gentler on the skin. Did like this well enough, but I have other mousse cleansers I like better.
Melvita - Fresh Micellar Water
While it did do it’s job, I felt it left my skin slightly dry, and a little tacky. I prefer Bioderma’s and Givenchy’s versions much better. On the whole Melvita has left me underwhelmed. I applaud and support their brand concept, but everything I have tried from them, other than the Feminine Wash, has been a bit of a disappointment.
SKII- Facial Treatment Repair C
On the fence about this one. The C stands for concentrated, meaning it is a concentrated serum full of Pitera (if I remember correctly, it’s supposedly 20x the concentration of the iconic Facial Treatment Essence). If Pitera works wonders for you, this might be HG for you. Pitera no longer seems to work its magic on my ultra adaptive skin, but I do find this hydrated and smoothed my skin well. I particularly liked this as a pre-mask massage serum mixed with some facial oils.
Chanel - La Nuit
Of the three products in Chanel’s Resynchronizing lineup, La Nuit is the only one leaving me with ? face. With the other two, its benefits on my skin are almost immediately obvious, but I just can’t tell whether this does anything at all. It is meant to seal up your nightly routine, and I would say it does do that, but it’s way too expensive if that’s all it’s good for.
Items that did its job, and wow-ed but too expensive to repurchase ;(
Cle de Peau Synactif - Hydratant Nuit
Cle de Peau is ridiculously expensive. The Synactif line is their most prestigious range. Meaning this costs more than my first born, if I had any. I don’t think my brain could have computed if I paid for this full price. I threw a whole wad of vouchers during one of the big annual dept. store sales to take home this precious.
This night time lotion was recommended to me as a hydrating serum, and it made my skin supple, smooth and plump with a little bounce. It lasted me quite a while, even at one point with me using a pump day and night. Sadly, unless I managed to save up a whole lotta vouchers again, I bid this baby adieu.
ReVive - Youth Recruit Eye Serum
My mom and I both managed to snag this as a sampler to the brand, and then I managed to snag it from mom (she’s only uses La Mer around her eyes psh~). The skin around my eyes have gotten drier since I had Lasik over a year ago, but I am very prone to milia build up, so I have found the best solution for me is to use an eye serum under a lighter, typically more fluid eye cream. I do think this worked well and perhaps even boosted my eye cream, but the price is #@&j^... so it’s another adieu.
Jo Malone - Vitamin E Lip Conditioner
The first few times I used this, it seemed to have caused almost-coldsore symptoms to the corner of my lips (something that happens to be every now and then). It sat at the bottom of my Stash-of-Shit-I-Gotta-Use-Up for a long time before I braved it again, and I’m very glad I did. By the end of the tube, I’ve grown to really love how it left my lips moisturized and softened with just the tiniest amount. Alas, I have plenty of lip conditioners I love for a fraction of the price. Adieu!
Khiel’s Overnight Oil (not pictured, bottle being reused)
While this oil isn’t blood-curdlingly expensive, I have a whole armory of other facial oils to use up before I consider a repurchase of this. For me, this is a Goldilocks facial oil. Not too oily, and not too non-oily, sinks in well, leaves skin happy, not overpowering in scent and so on. I think that while squalane is a great beginners facial oil (yeah yeah I know it’s not really an oil blah blah blah), the Khiel’s one is good for those who have gotten over the ick of the concept of putting oil on da face, and are looking to experience a proper facial oil.
Items that are on permanent rotation.
The History of Whoo - Soon Hwan Essence
This is probably my 3rd empty bottle. My skin loves it (review)
O Hui - Cell Power No.1
Same as the above. Loves (review)
SKII - Facial Treatment Essence
I’m actually working hard to use up my (was)out of control stash of this. Pitera products stopped working it’s thang on me, but because I’m a sucker for sales, I picked up a huge package deal of the essence way back when I still loved this. I don’t use this in the step it’s recommended to be in now, but rather a nightly 10min mask (soaking a cotton mask sheet) before I apply my night-regime.
Estee Lauder - ANR Eye Serum Infusion
One of the few eye serums that have me to believing in eye serums. Initially I used it on its own, and felt it was a bit blah, but under another light-ish eye cream, it worked wonders for me. This is my 2nd empty, and I have plans to repurchase soon.
Estee Lauder - ANR
This is not the latest version, which I do have awaiting in my Stash-of-Shit-I-Shouldn’t-Have-Bought-Before-I-Finished-Using-Existing-Shit. I am finding my skin to be adapting to not be wowed as much by this, but it nonetheless makes my skin noticeably supple and plump. One thing I have noticed is that I can’t massage this into my skin with any force, if I do, I’ll go red almost instantly, and the redness might sometimes turn into small blisters on my face. If I use very light circular motions to help the product absorb, then I’m all good.
Estee Lauder - Nutritious Radiant Vitality Essence Oil
EL’s Nutritious line is based on the antioxidant properties of pomegranates, and my skin really seems to like pomegranate extract (however little there might actually be in these products). This oil is a mix of natural and synthetic oils as well as silicones, so definitely not for everyone. It has a very light (almost watery) consistency and was easily absorbed into my skin. It’s more oil-esque than squalane, but also more moisturizing, so I’d also recommend this as a beginner’s facial oil if silicone is not an issue. I don’t really use this on its own, but rather a booster for either a serum or moisturizer (or any step really). The packaging annoyed me though. It’s housed in a cheapo plastic bottle with a dropper. The long slender shape combined with its plastic light weightedness means it was very prone to being tipped over. And the label rubbed off too easily >:(
Sisley - Phyto-Blanc Absolute Whitening Essence
I have a post planned for my headache over this whitening essence treatment, for price reasons. This is an intensive 1-month whitening treatment, that has the treatment divided into four small bottles, one per week. I found this to be effective in lightening my pigmentation, especially any pimple scarring and to a noticeable degree, my sun spots. It was also quite gentle compared to other treatments of the same spirit I have used in the past. I don’t use up 1 bottle a week, I can stretch to around 2 weeks.
Astalift - Jelly Aquarysta
Love this jelleh~ This was a convenient little sample size that I brought with me on my 4-day trip to Seoul, and it held up for a little over 2 weeks with generous twice daily use (review)
Johnson & Johnson - Baby Powder
This is my default dry shampoo. None of the ‘proper’ dry shampoos does anything for me, the only one being relatively acceptable so far is Bastiste, but that runs out all too fast and I don’t really like aerosol products (such a hypocrite since I love a good mousse cleanser). I have dark hair (Asian but dyed) and if I went over board, this will leave my hair looking grey, which I will then comb through with a slightly damp brush then blow-dry, and whoopie! decent looking 2nd day hair (my scalp is very oily and sweaty so a wash every 2 days is my limit).
Refresh Tears - Eye dropsDue to Lasik reasons, I use eye drops morning and night, and anytime in between if my eyes feel dry. Refresh is my favourite since it feels most similar to natural tears. Others I have tried tend to be on the oily side.
Phew~ That was one productive winter!
What was your most recent empty?