Welp, been gone for six months. I’m sort of struggling with the blog and my relationship with makeup. I’m sure fellow readers of beauty blogs have come across similar posts elsewhere. I’m not quite at the point of shutting everything down quite yet. Despite the irregular posts and long absences I actually thing about blogging this and that a lot – I just don’t get round to doing it. In terms of my priorities at the moment, blogging isn’t really that high up. Beauty bloggers will know that blogging takes up a chunk of time and while I do enjoy it I don’t want to neglect my family either. Luckily my goal for the blog has never been for money/freebies and the like, honestly just want to share my opinions in hope that it might help someone out there 🙂 So I guess I just want to say that I will continue but do pardon for the lack of posts.
I’ll kick things off with an empties post. I’ve got loads of them, it’s been yonks since I’ve done a post after all. I must admit I’ve chucked a few things away without documenting them. Or rather I should say the photos and notes are gone when my phone got stolen earlier this year. Anyway here’s what I got:
Starting from left to right:
SANA Super Quick Melty Gel Liner EX in 01 Black Chocolate – Made in Japan
Reviewed before, also used up another in the brown chocolate colour. This is the ‘Melty’ version, and I do find that it is more prone to smudging than the older version, their regular formula.
Repurchase? No, not the ‘melty’ ones.
KATE slim gel pencil in BK-1 (0.12g) – Made in Japan
I think this and SANA’s gel pencils share the same manufacturer. SANA is slightly cheaper than KATE IIRC. This is the regular SANA formula, and I bought this from KATE simply because I couldn’t find the SANA one.
Lancome Hypnose mascara in black (6.5ml) – Made in France
My first Lancome mascara and now I know why they are so popular. I remember liking the brush and formula, and that the results were good. However I wished the handle (also the lid) is shaped better – longer and without that odd ‘pinched’ end. I find it hard to hold and grip. In the same photo, the NARS tube is nicely designed (longer and grippy), more user friendly.
Repurchase? Of all higher-end mascaras Lancome’s are probably the most affordable. If there’s a nice set like they do often here (mascara with free eyeliner pencil + mini eye makeup remover) then I might be tempted. Otherwise I’m in no hurry to replace this. I’m repeating myself again here but only Japanese mascaras hold the curl on my straight droopy lashes.
Rimmel Scandaleyes Mascara by Kate Moss in 004 Eye Rock Jet Black (12ml) – Made in England
This isn’t an empty but rather something I need to let go. So this mascara is almost twice the volume of the Hypnose. Unfortunately this was a complete dud for me. The brush is monstrous – too big to wield gracefully. No matter how careful I am I always get mascara somewhere around the eye area. The formula is really wet, which not only doesn’t help avoiding mess but really made my lashes droop. I gave it many chances to work but I really don’t like having to clean up mascara mess every time I use this. It might work better for those with big eyes?
Repurchase? No way.
Here’s a photo comparing the brush sizes of all mascaras mentioned in the post:
NARS Pro-Prime Smudge Proof Eye shadow Base (8g) – Made in USA
Everyone’s favourite e/s base and I agree, it’s a pleasure to use. It’s white but once blended is transparent. Only cons: doe-foot applicator, can’t see how much is left. I retired this when it got more goopy and got patchy when it’s supposed to have been blended in.
Repurchase? A good chance I will because the formula is really nice but truth be told I really don’t like doe-foot applicators so we’ll see. I’m using UD PP now.
Kanebo Allie UV Moisture Gel SPF 50+ PA+++ (60g) – Made in Japan
Full name is Kanebo Allie Excellent UV Gel (Mineral Moist) N sunscreen for face and body. This is a drugstore brand by Kanebo. As the name suggests it’s a gel type sunscreen, very light-weight, non-greasy. Doesn’t leave a white cast on the face and doesn’t smell like sunscreen (although there’s a smell of alcohol). This is also a good product to use as a foundation base. French pharmacy brands are known for their sunscreens but none of them has a texture that’s as light and comfortable as Japanese sunscreens. They really make some beautiful ones (check Jill Stuart, Suqqu and so on), Allie is a favourite and a cheap alternative. I don’t have the ingredients list unfortunately.
Repurchase? Yes, if I have access to this.
Algenist Regenerative Anti-Aging Moisturizer
I think this was a 60ml jar and I’m pretty sure it’s made in the US.
Nothing revolutionary about this moisturizer, which for me was a nice, sort of no-frills (despite its claim) moisturizer that didn’t irritate the skin. Didn’t notice any anti-aging effects either. It’s been months since I’ve used this up and my skin hasn’t gotten worse from discontinued use so at least for me it didn’t do anything on that front. I don’t think this would be enough for dry skin types, perhaps for use during summer. Its texture is more a gel/lotion than a thick cream. Unscented and no parabens, sulfates, phthalates.
Repurchase? No. This is a good moisturizer and I do like it, but there are cheaper alternatives.
Nature Republic Collagen Dream 70 Essence (40ml) – Made in Korea
Picked this up earlier the year in Hong Kong. Nature Republic is a Korean brand, similar to innisfree. This is quite heavily scented (fake aquatic smell) so those with sensitive noses beware. It’s a gel type serum (not runny) that absorbs quickly into the skin. I’m a bit ‘meh’ about this product. Nothing exciting and nothing to write home about. Really unnecessary bulky and heavy packaging. Didn’t notice any change in skin texture.
POD Liquid Detox (150ml) – Made in Australia
Another bottle of this. I’m using the last one of my backups. Finally light at the end of the tunnel. Doesn’t mean I don’t like using this though! Last mentioned here.
Repurchase? I think when the time comes I’d like a break from this.
Second lot of empties, going from left to right and top to bottom. Starting with:
Kose Medicated Sekkisei Emulsion – Made in Japan
I believe this was 30ml? This was part of a special set, like a GWP when you buy a large bottle of the famous Sekkisei Lotion. I really enjoyed using this and do feel that it complements the Sekkisei lotion in that it boosts the brightening results. For me this is a light, summer or day moisturizer. It is lightly scented with the same Sekkisei fragrance. I’m a few uses away from finishing the lotion, so I will elaborate more in that post.
Peter Thomas Roth Glycolic Acid 10% Moisturizer (63m) – Made in USA
The glycolic acid ‘helps exfoliate dead surface skin cells and stimulate cellular turnover’ while the Vitamins A & E act as ‘anti-oxidants (that) help fight free radical attack’.
It took me ages to use this up. I only use this at night and alternate with a regular moisturizer or a retinol one.
This, and the toner from the same range are products that worked for me. The moisturizer can sting a little as well. If you have really sensitive skin, get a sample first and tread carefully.
Ingredient list from official website:
WATER, GLYCOLIC ACID, ARGININE, WHOLE LEAF ALOE VERA, GLYCERYL STEARATE, PEG-100 STEARATE, CAPRYLIC/CAPRIC TRIGLYCERIDE, GLYCERIN, BUTYLENE GLYCOL, SAFFLOWER OIL, EMULSIFYING WAX, DIMETHICONE, SQUALANE, HYDROXYETHYLCELLULOSE, MICELLIZED VITAMIN A, MICELLIZED VITAMIN E, OLETH-2, POLYSORBATE 20, METHYLPARABEN, PROPYLPARABEN, DISODIUM EDTA, DIAZOLIDINYL UREA.
Repurchase? Definitely, I miss these two products but I need to attack my stash before I can.
Narta Protection 5 deodorant
I was so impressed with this deodorant I decided to post this here. I’ve already repurchased and finished the second bottle. It has all the bad stuff some people try to avoid nowadays, but dammit if it’s not the best deodorant I’ve used. I also really like the scent.
Repurchase? I’m going back to this once I finish the Dove sprays.
Batiste Dry Shampoo
I think this is the original one. I have both this and the one from Klorane and I can say the Klorane one leaves less traces of white and smells better (more refined). The white does come off, you just have to work it more.
This smells citrusy and young, but also not unlike a bad room freshener. But Batiste is cheaper and most importantly it works. There are a million scents now, also tinted versions so that might help. Apart from in-between washes, you can use this is to refresh and add volume to your hair. I mostly use this (well the Klorane one which I keep in my locker) after work when my hair smells of food and has gone all flat from the hat we have to wear.
Repurchase? If I find a more pleasing scent, I think I just might.
ettusais lash version up mascara (6g) – Made in Japan
Picked this up out of curiosity – I normally get the bi*ti*ba one and I noticed this also has a comb-style wand (which I love) and wanted to know the difference. Well my curiosity paid off because this beats the bi*ti*ba and is now one of my top mascaras picks ever. Ok so this is technically a masara base, but you can use this alone as well, which in my case is the only way I’ve used it. As a mascara base it’s black and not the usual white, so that’s a plus as well. It has tiny black fibres that attach themselves to your lashes and really lengthens them naturally. There were many instances where I noticed the fibres somehow managed to adhere to the tip of the lashes, making it a lash extension. It doesn’t weigh my lashes down and keeps the curl the whole day. Didn’t irritate my eyes and I’m a contact lens wearer. I really couldn’t be happier with this one. I can’t imagine what kind of results you will get if you pair this with someone like Cils d’Enfer or Eyes to Kill… then again those mascara might weigh the lashes down a bit. Oh well!
Repurchase? Yes! Really impressed with this. It’s cheap too, like 1,050 yen.
Shiseido Benefiance Extra Creamy Cleansing Foam
This is a generous sample size tube I got in a set of mixed Japanese products during the Japan week at Le Bon Marché. This year they are doing Brooklyn. Japanese cleansers foams up a lot. The idea is you should be washing your skin gently with the foam and not your palms. You can buy accessories to help you get the most foam out of your cleansers (powder/liquid etc). I don’t do this out of laziness mainly. Especially in the morning when I’m feeling the rush I really don’t have the patience to generate big, cushion-y foam before I can wash my face. I use a pea-sized amount of this cream cleanser and it’s enough to foam up nicely. It’s creamy and rinses off thoroughly leaving squeaky clean skin. I would love it had I not noticed that my skin felt really taunt and stripped with prolonged use. I simply couldn’t use this twice daily, everyday over a long period of time. So despite being part of the Benfiance range (anti-aging), which I’ll expect to be nourishing and such, it didn’t work for me.
The cream is the same colour as the tube and there were ‘beads’ the colour of pale apricot. However I couldn’t feel them on the face. Oh and this is a scented product. The actual scent is mild but I find the strength can be quite potent.
Fancl Mild Cleansing oil (120ml) – Made in Japan
Best cleansing oil ever. Seriously. If you can get this go for it. I can’t think of a better one out there. Shu Uemura breaks me out, DHC is not bad but it’s basically olive oil, the drugstore ones aren’t really nice.
I bought 2 more bottles while I was in Hong Kong and the sales assistant informed me that they can now be stored for a longer period of time. I saw the use-by date and it’s true. It used to be that you can keep it for 1 year unopened, now it’s 3 years unopened. This is interesting because Fancl always tout their no addictives/preservatives motto. Not sure what’s going on there but it’s good news for people like me who live overseas.
whew!! that’s it for now!