These are empties I collected the last few months actually. Prepare for a long post!
1. La Roche-Posay Hydraphase Intense Légère (50ml) – Made in France
I switched from Toleriane to this because I was bored but didn’t want to stray too far. The thing I noticed straight away is that Hydraphase is scented with one of those aquatic smell that hopes to conjure up the ocean. As the name suggests the texture is very light, but perhaps not quite ‘intense’ as I wished it to be. It wasn’t quite enough for the colder months but I think it would make a very lovely summer moisturiser.
The packaging is interesting – the product itself is in a bag that’s contained within the plastic tube. You can see how far you’re going but there’s nothing you can do to squeeze or pump the last bit out unless you’re determined to cut the tube open somehow.
Repurchase? Probably not.
2. Bioderma Hydrabio Serum / Moisturising Concentrate (40ml) – Made in France
For ‘very dehydrated, sensitive skin … generating intense hydration’. You can use this alone or before your moisturiser. I expected a serum like texture: almost runny, clear, half gel half liquid you know. But the texture is more a creamy gel, thickish. It also has a marine type of scent.
I didn’t really like this one and found it lacking in moisturising properties.
Repurchase? No. You’re better off getting the Hydrabio moisturiser, which I suspect has the same formula only less thickener or whatever. The moisturiser is cheaper and I think a superior product. This is not what I expect for a ‘serum’.
3. L’Oreal Eclat Sublime (150ml)
L’Oreal’s cleansing oil, I can’t remember when this one came out but I bought it pretty much as soon as I saw it at my local Monoprix. I use 3 pumps of this to get my makeup off. It has some kind of perfume that I’m not a fan of. It’s quite runny and feels ‘oilier’ than the other cleansing oils I’ve tried. I know that just sounds crazy but I don’t know how else to describe it. I don’t think that orange bottle helped. Performance-wise it cleanses very well, even long and hard wearing eyeliners and mascara. However it does sting your eyes if you get too close.
Paraffinum Liquidum/Mineral Oil, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Ethylhexyl stearate, Isohexadecane, PEG-20 Glyceryl Triisostearate, Aqua/Water, Tocopheryl Acetate, Phenoxyethanol, Parfum/Fragance (FIL B158176/2).
Repurchase? It’s cheap and has excellent cleansing power. But I probably won’t repurchase only because I want something ‘more’. And I really didn’t like the scent.
4. La Roche-Posay Toleriane Dermo Nettoyant (400ml)
Big pump bottle of this cleanser for even the most sensitive skin that I’ve reviewed and used up many times in the past. The proper way to use this is dry as you would a cream or oil cleanser and wipe off or rinse if you prefer.
As I mentioned these empties are a couple of months old. I’ve strayed after finishing this bottle but at the time of writing I’ve returned to using this and I feel it really does help in calming my skin by being a simple product and not demanding too much from it.
Repurchase? It’s really, really boring but it’s still one of the best cleansers out there for my skin.
5. Bioderma Créaline H2O Solution Micellaire (500ml)
What more can I say about this? I didn’t use this as often as I did when I was going through my bottles of oil cleansers but it’s always a pleasure when I do reach for it. However I always, always wash or at least rinse my face afterwards, even if they say you don’t need to. This is my first step in removing makeup.
Repurchase? I’ve finally come down to my last 500ml bottle. I’m not sure if I’ll buy any more after that one is gone, only because I think I’ll stick with oil cleansers from now on.
6. Origins Zero Oil – Pore purifying toner with saw palmetto and mint (150ml)
It says to apply morning and evening after cleansing but I find that this can get a bit drying on my skin if I do it regularly. So I only use this to help prevent spots (when I feel them coming) and to help existing spots go away. It’s quite a strong astringent, smells of mint and feels cooling on the skin. I feel like I o reach more for this in the warmer months.
Repurchase? I have a back up of this that I’m using but I’m not sure if I’ll continue.
7. Dermophil Indien Anti Age hand cream (50ml)
I first wrote about Dermophil here. They have since expanded gradually and have a good sized range of hand creams now, compared to when I first spotted them 1-2 years ago. This tube was purchased in a para-pharmacy and not the supermarket. . I couldn’t find this tube in my local Monoprix for example. The ones I saw there all have a white tube/green cap design. So it seems that they have a different range sold in the pharmacies, keeping it less about beauty and more of a performance product?
Anyway I enjoyed this hand cream (and so did my colleagues -one really loved the scent and said it reminded her of her childhood). What I like is that it gets absorbed quickly, moisturises my hands nicely and the packaging is slim but sturdy. It’s easier to get the last bits out precisely because the cap is thinner and less cumbersome.
Can’t comment on the anti-aging effects, it wasn’t a factor I considered when I bought the cream anyway. I was in a pinch and needed a hand cream and went to a brand I had good experience with and got lucky.
8. NARS Larger Than Life Long-wear Eyeliner in Via Veneto (0.02 oz)
I didn’t like this.
– It is on the soft side which even though is not my preferred texture I can work with. My problem is that they packaged this with a lousy sharpening cap in twist-up mechanism that perhaps works great in theory but lacking in practice. I hated the tiny sharpener and never got the point I would have liked with it.
– It smudged on my hooded lids and wasn’t more long-lasting than other pencils I had.
As with many of the soft, buttery eyeliners, the way that best worked for me was drawing the line as thinly as possible and then gently smudging the edge. Or perhaps you could try using a liner brush directly on the nib and take that to the eyes. But I was very surprised at how quickly I finished this eyeliner, despite dreading using it and rarely reaching for it. It was the fastest amount of time I’ve ever used up an eyeliner. 0.02 oz = 0.59 g … I guess I’d like to have full gram of product instead of the stupid packaging.
Via Veneto is a very nice black actually. I had high hopes for this but am sadly disappointed.
Repurchase? No. I expect nothing short of perfection from NARS at this price point. There are so many other cheaper options out there. Pixi comes to mind.
9. Clarins Eclat Minute Instant Light Lip Perfector in #3
First mentioned here. I haven’t really finished this but the spongy applicator has gotten funky and gunky and I was about to chuck it so I’m including it here as an empty. I have since removed the applicator and can use this with a brush if I want to. I really like the colour of this. I used it layer on top of a tinted lipbalm or a pink lipstick (hence gunky sponge tip) and the Clarins just turns it into the prettiest soft, milky shade.
These are good for low-maintenance, casual days. They are fool proof and easy to apply. If you want to layer them on top of something else, don’t do what I did but use a brush instead to keep the applicator as pristine as you can.
Repurchase? I have an unopened tube in the shade Candy.
10. La Roche-Posay Redermic [R] (30ml) – Made in France
I wanted to incorporate a retinol product and started with this one.* My main concern is uneven skin tone and texture – little bumps here and there (probably clogged pores?). So I was keeping my eyes on improvements in those areas instead of wrinkles. I used this once a day at night, followed with a regular moisturiser. This was during the colder months though. Anyway long story short this thing works but you’ll have to be patient and don’t expect an overnight miracle. I didn’t see anything until I was more than halfway through the tube. Just looking in the mirror after prepping for bed and saw that the little bumps have significantly reduced in appearance and number. Skin tone was also more even.
Good tube packaging and the tip is small so you can really control the quantity. I read somewhere that this is scented. Mine is not perfumed so I don’t know what they’re talking about. Maybe there’s a difference in the formula for different markets? In any case I didn’t have any negative reaction to this product. Here is the link to the LRP USA website.
I remember getting this for 27 euros or thereabouts when Citypharma was doing a promotion. This is apparently quite a pricey product in the USA (or elsewhere outside of France I suppose).
Repurchase? Yes. I started Avène’s Eluage after this tube but prefer the Redermic [R].
* Actually I lied. I started with L’Oreal Revitalift and I will write about that one day.