Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Empties 2nd Quarter 2014

Where did all the time go? How are we half way done with 2014 already? How did I have the time to finish all this stuff? Seriously, I’m surprised with how many empties I’ve unknowingly accumulated over the last three months, though quite a number of them were already in use from last year.

Let’s begin with the Boos I’m glad to be done with.

O Hui - Eyebrow Pencil in Brown 350
In terms of pigmentation, this pencil is amazing. But that in itself is an issue for me, leading me trekking into Hokuto territory far too often. It’s real downfall is how it tends to clump around pores in that area (that are normally not visible at all), making it look like I’ve drawn a cluster of little brown dots. This did come with an extra refill, which I’m too lazy to find for the time being.

Items that did its job, but didn’t Wow

The Body Shop - Honeymania Shower Gel
I do actually like this shower gel, especially after the nightmare packaging that is L’Occitane from Q1. However, I think in terms of hydrating the skin, I think it’s pretty average, at least less so than L’Occitane ones. It gently cleanses and smells very nice, but that’s it. So in that sense, it’s pretty expensive. Having said that, I did buy a whole bunch of different scents of the shower gel during a clearance sale, so there’ll be more empties of these piling up.

Ettusais - Foamy Rich Mousse
Again, another item that I do like, and it worked very well, I just have other mousse face washes I like better. This mousse is very very dense, think extremely dense hard peak beaten eggs. The density is so much that I found it takes slightly more effort to spread on the face than other mousse washes I’ve tried.

Derm Institute - Anti-Oxidant Hydration Serum
I don’t read about this brand all that often, but my mom swears by their lifting/tightening serum so I thought I’d try them out too. This serum is slightly runny, gel-like in texture and hydrates my skin well, but compared to other serum’s I’ve tried, it doesn’t leave my face as plump and soft.

Wowed but too expensive

Sisley - Shampoo (Frequent Use)
Got this as a membership appreciation gift or something (yay to family members earning me membership points). It’s a very light, clear amber shampoo with an almost honey-like smell. Every time I used it (limited to special occasions), my hair held so much shine and bounce. I’ve never been one to think shampoo made all that much difference compared to conditioner, but this baby has proved me wrong. Sadly I nearly pooped my knickers when I went back to enquire about the price. This small bottle costs around the same as a large bottle of Aveda shampoo, which is itself very expensive.

Estee Lauder - Micro Essence
EL’s answer to SKII’s Facial Treatment Essence. I quite like EL’s version, it’s slightly more viscous than SKII’s, and lacks the funky smell. This softens and adds hydration to my skin, and works well with ANR which I apply straight after in the evenings. It also lasts ages, I got this when it launched sometime late last year in Taiwan, and used generously nightly in the weekday and twice daily in the weekends (for me, lasts more than 2 bottles of 50ml sized ANR). However, I’ve purchased Clinique’s version to try out next, simply because it’s cheaper and comes in Light or Rich options. Will likely repurchase (over SKII) if Clinique’s one does not work out.

On permanent rotation/Repurchase wishlist

RMK - Cleansing Balm
I’m surprised to be so impressed with this. I don’t use this as a makeup remover, rather as a massaging face wash. Washed off with a muslin that’s been under hot water, my face always feels so soft and pampered after (also use micellar after to ensure cleanliness). It has a rose scent that is relaxing and not overpowering (I’m not a big lover of full on rose scents). Each of these tiny samples is said to give you 2 washes, but my SA was kind enough to tell me it can easily last 4. I’ve since gone back and purchased a full size. Cleansing balms are becoming my next obsession, and I’ve a few other samples lined up to try.

Giovanni - Tea Tree Triple Treat Invigorating Shampoo
Got this at Costco dirt cheap. Recently saw it at Sasa, and bloody hells it’s more than 3 times the price, I’m going to have to double check prices of anything I’d want to buy at Sasa from now on. This is so wonderful to use during summer because it gives a slight minty, tea tree zingy feel to the scalp. It’s a very basic shampoo that cleanses well, and I use it to do a first rinse to get all the oils and dirt out of my hair, then do a 2nd wash with a scalp massaging shampoo.

Finally! Finished my final bottle of the older version of ANR. I had such a big stash of this because my sister gave me her’s since she seems to have become allergic to one of the ingredients.

EL - Nutritious Radiant Vitality 2-Step Treatment
The Nutritious line might be my favourite line from EL, and this treatment is amazing for my skin. I like to use this the night before a special occasion, and my skin the next day just glows and is that little bit smoother. The 2-step treatment comprises of a white clay-like mask that is said to detox the skin that you leave on for 5-10 minutes before washing off. The 2nd step is a soft pink gel textured overnight mask that is said to infuse the skin with nutrients, and I like to enhance a generous layer with a few drops of facial oil and call it a night after massaging it in (tissuing off any excess amount that does not fully absorb).

Melvita - Intimate Hygiene Gel
So far, this has been the only product from this brand that I like. It’s very gentle, and certainly works to cut my feminine odor which can get worse in high humidity. However, I haven’t actually tried any other feminine washes, so perhaps I’ll need to broaden my horizons when I finish my little stash of this (damn sales and their package deals!)

O Hui - Cell Power No.1
Reviewed here.

Whoo - Soon Hwan Essence
Generous sample that lasted me about a month. Reviewed here.

THREE - Balancing Lotion
For me, this is a relatively rich toner that almost felt as if it included some amount of essential oils within. Probably a tad too rich for summer use for those who prefer a light toner, but because I’m in an dehydrated AC environment all day at the office, it provides a good balance (aptly named!). I adore the citrus and rosemary scent of all the the THREE skincare items I’ve tried, and this is no exception. Will look into purchasing a full size during the next round of sales or when I finish up my current toner.

Astalift - Jelly Aquarysta
Reviewed here. This is a LE big sized jar, that apparently will no longer be available. This jar lasted me at least half a year.

Chanel - Le Blanc Oil-Gel Makeup Remover
I actually really like Chanel’s oil-gel makeup removers. If you’re a little iffy about trying out an actual oil remover, then this type of texture could be something to look into. It’s lighter in feel than true oil removers, doesn’t need emulsifying, and much easier to travel with. I personally love the one in their top-of-the-line Sublimage line more (one I snag samples of whenever possible), but this is slightly cheaper, and works equally well, just doesn’t leave the skin feeling as pampered. (I’ve just heard that Clarins have something similar so might look into that before I consider repurchasing this)

Sisley - Phyto-Blanc Absolute Whitening Essence
Mentioned this in the last empties post, and 3 months on, I’ve only just recently come to the end of the final vial of the 4-vial/week treatment, mainly because I don’t use it every night since I don’t like to use more powerful whitening treatments after exfoliation for fear of irritating to skin too far. I prefer to take a big break between intense whitening treatments, so this will definitely be up for repurchasing consideration in the big annual end of year sales.

Sofina Beaute - UV Lotion (light) SPF 50+ PA++++
I have a big soft spot for Sofina’s facial sunscreens. They were my first ‘new generation’ sunscreen that is lighter in texture, not grossly greasy and didn’t leave the face looking grey. They also did their marketing right in that they emphasized their sunscreen as a moisturiser, sunscreen and primer in one, which all good sunscreens can be, but back then I was clueless and ripe for being marketed at. This is their first PA++++ sunscreen (they now have a whitening one) and compared to their PA+++ version, it is more dewy, but all current PA++++ sunscreens have that in common.

Daiso - Detergent for Puff and Sponge
If you’re in a country that has Daiso, or you know someone who has access to Daiso, and you have been searching for the one magical puff/sponge cleanser, this may be your answer. It is life changing. They’ve also now come out with a brush cleanser, which I haven’t yet had the time to purchase.

Balenciaga - Florabotanica
This has become one of my favourite scents since its launch. Not an in your face floral or gardenia, the mint within it giving it an edgier, slightly more masculine vibe.

Refresh Tears - Lubricant Eye Drops
Still my go-to drops.

All four diffuser bottles have already been reused.

Zara Home - Home Fragrance in Baies d'Amour and Fleur des Iles
Both fragrances are on the sweet fruity side. If you like Diptyque's Baies then the Zara one might also be up your alley, though it is much more in your face and slightly more artificial than Diptyque's. I personally preferred the fleur one, which was somehow more fruity to me than the baies. Sadly, I believe these were LE, and no longer available when I ventured back for a repurchase.

Muji - Interior Fragrance Oil in Herbal and Citrus
I love fruity scents for the home, especially citrusy ones. The Muji is less citrus than say L'Occitane's Verbena, and more lemongrassy, which I love for the warmer months because I think it helps repel mozzies. The Herbal (to me an almost mint lozenge scent) fragrance is one I'd normally avoid, but together with the Citrus, it's a very comforting and relaxing scent for my tiny bedside table. Sadly, these 100ml bottles evaporate as if I'm chugging them, and lasted only a little over a month. May repurchase only if it goes on sale.

Well, that's a whole load of glass and plastic I need to recycle. What do you do with all your empties?



Sunny said...

Great job, Noodles! That's a lot of empties! I just bought the EL Micro Essence Treatment Lotion in Shanghai, So far, I am definitely feeling an increased level of hydration. Would like to see if it actually makes ANR even better!

38noodles said...

Hey Sunny! Hope you will like the Micro Essence with ANR, though by the end, I preferred the micro essence over ANR since my skin is just no longer loving ANR. Just started on the rich version of Clinique's and it's very very thick, may need to save it for colder weather and check out the light version lol!