Astalift

September Empties

Hey I’m slowly catching up! Sorry pics are look a bit sloppy …

septempt

SANA Super Quick Gel Pencilliner EX in Real Black
This was my backup I bought in Hong Kong last year. I used this liner exclusively for a month or so and finished it. Probably the fastest product I used up.

I blogged about this here, here and it was one of my favourites for 2012. Honestly this is the best type of eyeliner for daily use. By that I mean if you’re like me and you don’t have the time to draw the perfect line or that perfect flick in the morning because you opted for that extra 15 minutes of sleep instead; and you just want to finish your makeup and run out the door so you’ll be on time for work. Here you have all the best qualities of a gel liner without the hassle – no brushes, only a convenient twist pencil form that doesn’t need to be sharpened. You just need to make sure the one you’re getting has a really fine tip. The 2mm here is perfect. Any bigger and you might as well opt for a pencil cos believe me, you will want to sharpen a wide blunt tip.

I noticed shu uemura has a similar liner [link to shu USA site] that came out earlier this year. I can imagine it being really good too but the SANA one cost me 9 euros. So there’s that. Another budget one is Kate’s version, which I have heard good things about [link to Kate Malaysia website, perhaps]. I will try to pick that one up next time.

Repurchase? Yes.

Yves Roche Hamamélis Super-soft anti-perspirant deodorant (50ml)  – Made in France
Paraben-free and formulated for sensitive skin. This is one of the products from the witch hazel range at Yves Rocher. The ‘super-soft’ I guess refers to the scent. It has a nice, ‘soft’ scent, which by the way they claim is an ‘allergen-free fragrance’. There are no animal ingredients – the deodorising agent is of botanical origin. They do not recommend applying on broken skin or after epilation.

Honestly, most deodorant that contain aluminium works fine with me and in the end is a matter of scent and whether you like the fragrance or not. I quite liked this, it’s very clean and easy and doesn’t shout that it’s there.

Repurchase? If I run out of new scents to try, why not?

DHC Deep Cleansing Oil (60g) – Made in Japan
This was another product that I planned on writing an independant post on, as part of a review of 3 different cleansing oils I was using (I’m still using the other two so maybe I will write that post). So I’ll be succinct here: The DHC oil is efficient and gentle. No fragrance, it just smelt of olive oil. My eyes never stung when the product or residue got in, I just had blurry vision until I rinsed everything out. I like the pump as well and a smaller size is avaible for those who intend on travelling with it. I picked this up when I saw it at a Monoprix (not my local but a bigger one). I will say that I didn’t see it anymore the last time I was there. I can’t remember how much it cost but it certainly wasn’t a bargain. With so many other brands doing their cleansing oils (like L’oreal, Mixa etc) at a cheaper price I guess it’s hard to compete?

Repurchase?  I did enjoy using this and I will certainly go back to DHC if I couldn’t find a better/more affordable replacement. And easier to find.

July Empties

The beginning of some back blogging … a few empties posts from the last few months. Here are the empties I had for July:

july empties

Yves Rocher Nutri-Sily Conditioner (150ml) – Made in France
Paraben, colorant and silicone free, this is their oat conditioner. Claims to ‘nourish your hair fibre and gives it more volume’, making your hair ‘easier to detangle, supple, silky and shiny’.

Honestly I wasn’t particularly impressed with this conditioner and couldn’t wait to finish it up so I can move on. As I’ve found with Yves Rocher (and The Body Shop or similar companies) their products can be quite heavily fragranced and it plays a huge role in how you experience their products. Somewhere sometime I stopped enjoying their oats scent, but mainly I didn’t find this conditioner spectacular and my hair wasn’t much shinier or more supple. I don’t need volume so I can’t comment on that front but all in all it’s just very average and I wouldn’t go out of my way to use this.

Repurchase? Nope.

Cattier Shampoo for frequent use – with Yogurt Solution (250ml) – Made in France
Cattier is a pharmacy/drug-store brand that does organic stuff. I picked this one up at my local Monoprix. One of their cult products is their pink clay mask, which I have and will review one day … hopefully in the not too distant future.

I got this shampoo because I am curious about this range. The shampoo is 100% organic and it’s guaranteed to be free of paraben and phenoxyethanol (a preservative). It smells nothing of yogurt at all, it’s quite runny though. It has an essential oil type of fragrance that’s not overwhelming at all. The blurb behind the bottle promises ‘light, soft and shiny hair of any types … enriched with wheat proteins to nourish and strengthen hair and make it easy to untangle’. Hmmm seems like untangling hair is a popular concern.

For an organic shampoo it’s not bad at all. This coming from someone who likes big foams when washing her hair. It gives a light foam (more like a mousse really) and it does its job cleaning my hair. I do tend to use a fair amount though because of how runny it is (and wanting more suds).

Repurchase? It’s cheap and efficient … in a pinch, why not? But I like the Melvita shampoo I’m using now a lot more.

Astalift Jelly Aquarysta (60g) – Made in Japan
First review is here and a short blurb in the January empties post. This is a product that I enjoyed using tremendously. It was my second and last jar and I honestly felt I needed to go out and buy a replacement ASAP when I scooped up the last bit. But thanks to my hoarding habit and the Project 2×5 pan I wasn’t allowed to and thus my conclusion now is that while it’s a nice product that made my skin feel so very plump when I was using it, 3 months on my skin isn’t left in a state of disrepair. It doesn’t look spectacular, no, and I still get hormonal spots and so on and I don’t really watch my diet etc but it doesn’t look too shabby either. I mean, it looks normal. I don’t feel like I need this jelly to get my skin back on track. I think if you use a moisturising mask deligently you’ll be ok.

Repurchase? This one is up in the air. All I know is I don’t feel as strongly about this as Shiseido’s Future Solution.

Vichy Idealia (55g) – Made in France
This cream from Vichy is marketed as a universal cream (by that I mean for all skin types) that helps with lines, unifying and smoothening skin tone. I’m struggling with the translation but here’s Vichy’s english website. The AHAs are apparently naturally found in the kombucha (they said so on the french website). Here’s a picture of the cream I took before I used it all up:

vichy

I intended to write a dedicated post on this once upon a time you see. Anyway, it has a floral/fruity scent and the texture is very light. For a while this was the only cream I used both day and night and I remember I was using this on my ski trip and after, when I got that terrible ski goggles tan mark. I thought this cream helped with unifying my complexion within a reasonable amount of time. Meaning it could’ve taken longer if I wasn’t using this. However while I liked all that I didn’t like the perfume and really wished that Vichy didn’t put that in. I don’t mind the scent but it’s just completely unnecessary.

Repurchase? If they made a plain white one with no perfume, yes.

Embryolisse Hydra-Masque (60ml) – Made in France
Said to be for all skin types, providing ‘intensive moisturising and regenerating care’. No parabens.

I haven’t actually finished this tube but this is going out because it’s been more than a year since I’ve had it opened. It contains hyaluronic acid, sweet almond and sesame oils, vitamins etc. Unfortunately I’ve thrown out the box that has the full list of ingredients. I’m pretty sure it has alcohol. I thought this was just alright. I’ve used better hydrating masks.

Repurchase? No.

Caudalie Pulpe Vitaminée Eye and Lip Cream (15ml) – Made in France
This is from Caudalie’s Pulpe Vitamine range, which is their anti-aging skincare range. This little tube didn’t do anything special for me however. I don’t really expect eye creams to anyway.

Repurchase? No.

March Empties

Unfortunately that is not a typo and these are indeed my empties for March. Things on the private side have taken over the past 30 days. Without going into that I’ll only say that it wasn’t all good news and I either wasn’t in the mood to blog or I simply didn’t have the occasion to update my blog as I would have liked. Anyway I have put this behind me and am looking ahead, starting firstly with a new job next week! I’ll be saying goodbye to Champs-Elysees and hello to St. Germain des Pres! I’ve spent more or less the past three years in that area and it will be a nice change working in a little closer to home and on the left bank. Makeup-wise this means I won’t be as close to Sephora (the Champs-Elysees being also the only one with MAC I might add) but I’ll have Citypharma instead.

Here are my empties of last month (March), and hopefully the ones for April (not that many anyway) won’t take another month to appear. There are quite a lot (for me), so a good month all in all.

Dr. Hauschka Lip Balm (4.5ml)
This balm is packed full of natural oils and extracts so expect it to smell as such. It is very comfortable to wear and I’ve used quite a few pots of this in the past and have always preferred the pot to the stick. It is also a good base before you put your lipstick on because it doesn’t leave your lips all slippery and glossy. Because of the packaging (glass jar + hygienic reasons) I keep this in the house only and use it mainly before bed. I normally don’t have a problem with this but we had a particularly cold and dry winter this year and I did find myself needing to reapply with more frequency. There were times when I happened to awake in the middle of the night and felt my lips were so dry that I needed to get up and find the balm. Oddly this didn’t happen when I use Kiehl’s. To me this means either that the petroleum in Kiehl’s acts as a nice barrier or that the Dr. Hauschka gets absorbed a lot more quickly instead of just sitting there. I don’t really know. I used the jar up really fast.

Repurchase? No, but only because I prefer more portable versions, even for ones I keep at home.

Dr. Hauschka Almond Body Lotion (145ml)
This is a heavy duty type of lotion that I put to good use during the harsh winter we had. Smells divinely of almond, not the artificial almond food extract type but one with a real warmth, slightly milky. Consistency is a thickish but spreadable lotion that’s absorbed quickly. I didn’t experience any sort of tightness and saw an improvement to the skin during the period I used it exclusively. This is worth trying out if you have very dry skin and are into organic, natural skincare. I think it may be too much for me in the warmer months, but I really enjoyed using this.
A note about the packaging: this comes in a glass bottle with a pump spout. It’s a little clunky and not very travel-friendly. The pump couldn’t get the last of the lotion out but luckily the top can be unscrewed.

Repurchase? Yes.

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January Empties

Astalift Eye Cream (15g)
Considering that I started the tube in July this item has lasted me quite a while. I haven’t bothered with eye creams before because I’ve used one tube too many that doesn’t do anything – and I don’t mean anti-age/wrinkles/fine lines etc type of promises, just basic moisturising. This eye cream moisturises well, I’ve noticed a difference definitely. And because of this the fine lines around the eyes look a little less intense than they did before. They’re still there mind (I don’t think there’s a cream out there that can erase them) but they look less crinkly. It would also help if I could learn to stop squinting and rubbing my eyes.

Repurchase? Yes

Chanel No. 5 Velvet Body Cream (6g) Sample
Can’t remember where I got this small jar from. I was sceptical but this turned out to be a very nice cream – texture is beautiful, very moisturising and the scent lingers the whole day. Seriously impressed with this, it’s a small luxury that I’ll consider indulging in the future. Something to look out for at the Duty Free when travelling. (more…)

Astalift

I’m supposed to stick with the simplest of skin care, hence the range of hypo-allergic products I’m using from La Roche-Posay. But I can’t help being sneaky because this all gets really boring after a while and I really want to try Astalift. I’ve had these products for a while but didn’t want to post anything until I’ve really used them and I feel that I’m ready to talk about them now.

from Astalift website

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August Favourites

Can’t believe it’s the last day of August! The month just flew by didn’t it?
If I consolidate this and the favourites post from July, give or take I may just have a list of my summer favourites.

MAC Sheertone blush in Gingerly
This blush really grew on me this summer. It is just beautiful on tanned skin. Don’t get me wrong, it looked good on me when I was paler too, but perhaps it leaned a little more tawny. A lovely terracotta colour in the pan it goes on very natural looking, with a hint of rose.
Just as I found Chanel’s Fleur de Lotus works best on lighter ladies, I would say people with med-darker skintones would get the most out of Gingerly. I certainly reach for it more now than before. (more…)