May Empties

I’ve got 10 empties in May 🙂


Estee Lauder Perfectly Clean Multi Action Cream Cleanser (150ml) – Made in Belgium (? I forgot to check)
I originally prepared a separate post to review the Estee Lauder cleanser but I guess I’ll do this here now. First, it smells like fabric softener, like those ‘clean laundry’ or ‘soft cotton’ smell. So sensitive noses beware.
This is a very gentle cleanser, not designed to do any heavy duty cleaning. My eyeliners are hard wearing and it didn’t even budge. Same with my mascara, it kind of just smeared around. I mention this because it blurbed about removing makeup on the back of the tube.
I’m using this mainly in the mornings, as you’re supposed to use it on dry skin and I tend to wash my face in the shower in the evenings. On that front it is gentle and non-stripping and my skin feels supple afterwards and never feels tight, even if I wait a bit before putting the rest of the skincare on. That’s something.
You can also use this as a moisturizing mask, I admit I’ve only done this once or twice and well, it was alright. I see it like this: when used as a cleanser it kind of leaves a film behind and won’t give you that squeaky clean feeling; so if you were to leave it on longer as a mask the clingy film layer that you feel will still be there, but perhaps will be interpreted as a moisturizing, protective layer instead… if you know what I mean…?
I suggest using a face cloth or konjac sponge ff you’re after a less clingy feeling.

All in all I think this is a nice option for those wanting to try cream cleansers or those with very dry skin. It’s not stripping at all.
Repurchase? Unfortunately it’s not really for me.

Kanebo Sekkisei Lotion Excellent (200ml) – Made in Japan
I wrote about this here, check that post if you want to find out what the difference is in terms of ingredients between the Lotion Excellent and the regular Sekkisei. Compared to the regular version, I do feel this one is slightly less watery, and the alcohol is less present and thus more moisturizing. In terms of whitening I’m afraid I can’t gauge if it’s more efficient. All I can say is since using the Sekkisei lotions, my skin tone lost a lot of the dark, sallowness that made me look tired and sort of wilted 😛 Now it’s definitely more uniform. There are still some areas that are ‘darker’ and I still have red scars I want to fade from recent breakouts but other than that I do feel in general it has improved. Sekkisei also claims to curb spots and stuff but my breakouts are hormonal (I know I’m a broken record on this) and those benefits are lost on me.
Repurchase? Personally the regular version is enough for me so I won’t be getting the Lotion Excellent. You could potentially start on this version and then go to the regular for ‘upkeep’.

SONY CP Cosmetics SOIGNE Fierte Concentrate Facial Mask (100g) – Made in Japan
Reviewed here. I returned to using it nightly until it was finished and I really like this mask. Instant pick-me-up and the skin feels so supple like it’s injected with moisture afterwards. It gives a cooling sensation when you apply it so I imagine it will be especially delightful in summer.
The only ‘downside’ I can think of is it’s kind of a pain to remove, there’s the same amount of work as removing a dried clay mask, to give you an idea. Oh and the price. But otherwise this is wonderful stuff.
Repurchase? I’m trying other masks with this as the standard. So if they fail I’m coming back.

The Body Shop Atlas Mountain Rose Body Butter (200ml) – Made in UK
I’ve noticed different body butters have different ingredients. This is one with a nice looking one (at least to me) and a scent that I like. I don’t usually go for rose-scented products but this one is quite alright. I bought two of these at the time because TBS revamped the range and kept it around for good. This was the last of the two. I think I mentioned last time that the texture changes depending on the temperature. It’s hard to spread when it’s really cold, almost like a balm. It’s been quite warm in Paris recently (around 17C) and it’s like margarine. I keep this in a cool and shaded place too.
Repurchase? Perhaps I’ll go with the olive one, just because of the scent. For a change.

Nuxe Reve de Miel Lip Balm (15g) – Made in France
This was the 25th anniversary special packaging from last year 2014. There were two other colours, a teal and yellow.
What can I say that wasn’t said last time? I think it’s a decent lip balm. I only use this at night before bed and I missed it when I didn’t have it. I do think it’s more about ritual and habit though 😛 I got some grittiness in the pot this time, not very pleasant going on but the product itself is not affected. This again lasted about a year. I think this softens the lips but might not provide enough moisture at times, if that’s possible?? I know that when my lips were chapped and flaking this didn’t do anything at all.
Repurchase? Not for a while. I have lots of lip balms to finish including Laneige’s lip mask. We’ll see.

Yves Rocher Spicy Vanilla Shower & Bath Gel (200ml) – Made in France
This shower gel has a ‘formula enriched with organically grown cornflower water’, an ‘ethoxyl free botanical cleansing base’ and is ‘paraben free’. This is a special holiday scent, smells like creme brulée, or maybe sugar cookies. It’s a nice shower gel, didn’t leave my skin feel dry. I mean it’s a shower gel there’s not much I can really write about. Except perhaps I seem to go through this a lot quicker. Perhaps due to the consistence? It’s a gel that flows rather than oozes out, but not super watery. Yeah pretty vague I know.
Repurchase? Maybe if there’s one in a gift set and a scent that I like? I don’t usually go out of my way to a special shop for shower gels.

Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On pencil in Zero (0.5g? 0.01oz?) – Made in Germany
I finished the other end (Demolition) back in January. Zero is a matte black, it’s not the blackest black in the UD lineup. Having terminated the other end, that’s as far as I could go in terms of sharpening. Unless I hack off a portion of one of the caps, I couldn’t keep both caps on securely because there’s not enough room. If you were to put this in your makeup bag it would make a hot mess in there. I suppose I could wrap masking tape on the finished end and do away with one cap. Anyway. Zero is a good black eyeliner. I’m using Perversion now which feels so different – it’s glossier, blacker and a lot softer in texture compared with Zero. I have some wear issues with Perversion which I don’t have with Zero. Zero is more user-friendly.
Repurchase? Certainly a possibility if I’m in the market for a traditional pencil liner. I do like those twist-up Japanese black gel liners though.

Kosé Fasio Smart Curl Mascara V – volume in BK001 (7g) – Made in Japan
Another Japanese mascara that adds fiber to your lashes. I don’t think they branded this waterproof but in any case most Japanese mascaras are very water-resistant and I’ve never had any problems with smearing or anything. This is a decent mascara. I had high hopes for this one but it’s not the best I’ve tried only because sometimes it clumps and the fibers are at times irregular and there were also instances where it irritated my eyes. This is the old version as well so I can’t be sure if I was sent a ‘fresh’ one or the last of the lot – it did seem a little dry even at the beginning. Who knows.
Repurchase? Nah.

Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Capsules Daily Youth Restoring Serum – 60 capsules (28ml) – Made in Italy
Ingredients (found on Beautypedia):
Dimethicone, Cyclopentasiloxane, Squalene, Cyclohexasiloxane, Isostearic Acid, Ceramide 1, Ceramide 6 II, Borage Seed Oil, Linoleic Acid, Linolenic Acid, Retinyl Linoleate, Retinyl Palmitate, Tocopherol, Phytosphingosine, Oleic Acid, Hexadecanolide

Ceramide is (from wikipedia):
“the main component of the stratum corneum of the epidermis layer of human skin. Together with cholesterol and saturated fatty acids, ceramide creates a water-impermeable, protective organ to prevent excessive water loss due to evaporation as well as a barrier against the entry of microorganisms. With aging there is a decline in ceramide and cholesterol in the stratum corneum of humans.”
The article continues with a list of substances known to induce ceramide generation. “It is interesting to note that the substances that can cause ceramide to be generated tend to be stress signals that can cause the cells to go into programmed cell death. Ceramide thus acts as an intermediary signal that connects the external signal to the internal metabolism of the cells.”

I think Paula’s site mentioned that ceramide in beauty/cosmetic products are synthetic or plant-derived. Anyway, enough background info 🙂

These are single-dosed serums, and they are ‘fragrance, preservative and emulsifier free’. You can buy smaller jars with less capsules. The serum has an oily texture and I found one capsule to be too much for my face. I’d be rubbing and massaging for five minutes just to get everything absorbed and by the end of it my face would be really warm from the friction. So I was using half a capsule nightly (evenings only because it has retinol).

This never broke me out or irritated my skin. I feel that it would be more suitable for dry to really dry skin, or more mature skin. Their claims globally pointed to anti-aging, reducing fine lines and wrinkles and such. I don’t feel my skin benefited much at this point, I didn’t see amazing or visible results. Who knows, perhaps it’s done its job but more in prevention. We’ll find out in a month or so.
Repurchase? I don’t want to write this off because I like the short ingredient list, and that it’s fragrance free. It’s definitely something I will reconsider when the time is right.

KIKO Extra Sculpt Volume mascara [not pictured in grid]

This is here because I can’t see myself reaching for this anymore than I am, which is almost never. The brush is too big for the shape of my eyes and I just can’t use it without smearing product everywhere and spending extra time cleaning up. The results aren’t bad though, but I can achieve the same and more with Japanese mascaras. Hence there’s no reason for me to reach for this. I must admit though that it was the packaging that drew me in. It looks really classy and nothing like a 9 euro mascara.
Repurchase? Nope. I like KIKO and this is a really decent product but I think this is the last non-Japanese mascara I’ll use.

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