body

October & November Empties

2016octnov-empt

OCTOBER
Steam Cream (75ml) – Made in Japan
Reviewed here and here. 2016 is the year of the monkey. This one has an expiry date of November 29. Anyhow you can actually go through a tin of these rather quickly, especially if you multitask them (I use it mainly on hands and body). I still haven’t really tested it on the face, even though it says it is suitable for all skin types including sensitive. The essential oils and strong fragrance make me a little wary of doing so. To recap, the steam creams have a really glossy and light consistency. It will visibly slide (slowly) if you tip it on its side but it shouldn’t be runny. It’s more like a lotion than a cream. The selling point is that it’s vegan and all natural. But propylparaben is the last ingredient.
This is my third jar. I don’t actually love it that much, I just took advantage of a special offer. Their prices do seem to climb every year though.
Repurchase? No. But I have one last tin to go. Maybe I’ll make a gift out of it.

Klorane Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk (150ml) – Made in France
I’ve tried Baptiste and one from Timotei and Klorane remains my favourite because your hair doesn’t ‘crunch’ up if you overdo it (Timotei) and it doesn’t leave your hair looking grey (Baptiste). The scent is pleasant enough, a bit powdery but not overwhelming or in-your-face (Baptiste). I do like the scent of the Timotei best though but that’s just personal preference.
Repurchase? Yes

Bath & Body Works Ultra Shea Body Cream in Sparkling Limoncello (226g) – Made in ??? [Surprisingly not printed on the tube]
I picked this up during my holidays in the US in summer. It feels like a body butter, kinda reminded me of bliss’. I like these kind of formulas best for the body, and used this without problem right after purchase as it isn’t overly heavy. While it doesn’t deliver the “24 hour moisture” as it claims it’s still very a very decent product especially when you consider the price of these (usually with deals/savings). I really find it comparable to higher end body creams. The only challenge is finding a scent that you like. I’ve noticed the selection is generally on the sweet side, sometimes very fake and often quite ‘loud’. Luckily there are no sparkles in this lemon scented cream. I think the sparkling is there to imply how fresh this smells. Those with a critical nose might complain it smells like Pledge but it really isn’t that bad.
Repurchase? I got 2 more creams in other scents to go.

Lancome Bi-Facil Instant Cleanser Sensitive Eyes (15ml Sample) – Made in France
The classic two-layer eye makeup remover. No irritations with this, quite gentle and didn’t leave my eyes too greasy or dry. Worked pretty well all in all. Smells a little of roses.
Repurchase? This was a GWP but who knows, if I need a dedicated eye makeup remover one day I might turn to this.

NOVEMBER
IOPE Enzyme Treatment Powder Wash (50g) – Made in Korea
Reviewed here.
Repurchase? Probably not. I like that it’s gentle but there are so many cleansers out there to try.

It’s Skin Prestige Crème d’Escargot (60ml) – Made in Korea
This is supposed to be one of the popular cult products with people reporting rapid fading of scars and whitening effect while using it. First things first I don’t like how clunky the jar is. Same story with the Nature Republic cream (scroll down). It’s ridiculous how much plastic is used for the jar:

snail2

It’s as wide and almost as tall as the XL Clean it Zero and wayyy heavier

They made it really hefty as well. This empty jar weighs 275g!! Ridiculous. It’s frustrating for people who just want to haul the stuff back home from Korea. Takes up too much room and weight.
For those with sensitive noses, this is perfumed. It’s quite strong but fades quickly. I can’t compare the perfume side to side but this reminds me of the shampoo Finesse, back in the day.

snail3

Was surprised to see that the jar is sort of bell shaped, hiding more product. I guess my experience with the belif moisture bomb sample scarred me. But don’t be fooled, the beveled plastic makes the container look bigger than it actually is.

Within the first two months of use I noticed:
– whitening effect: I was slightly tanned during my holidays but that faded in an alarming speed.
– complexion is more uniform

As for fading scars, I’m sure it helped but I didn’t get crazy fast results like others did. Maybe it’s a question of age??
I like this cream despite of the scent. I thought this would be really heavy and more suited for winter use but surprisingly it’s well adapted for warmer months and even more humid climate without feeling heavy on my skin, which is on the drier side now that I’m older. It didn’t break me out at all and I’ve had no negative reaction from using this.
Repurchase? Yes. And I actually have the Ginseng version of this at home.

Not pictured above but I also have two pencils:
2016octnov-empt2

Dejavu Fiberwig Lasting-fine eyeliner in Black
I mentioned this here (where you can see a comparison photo of various black liner nibs too). The reason I didn’t reach for this despite having the best staying power ever is because it gunked and clumped my lashes whenever I use it. So much so that it drastically impedes my application of mascara afterwards. My lashes would be all bunched up in crazy ways and it was just impossible to put mascara on properly. I’d have to comb the lashes out first if I even manage to undo the mess, and then try to apply mascara. But no matter how much you comb you can’t get all the gel liner out so each time I use this liner my lashes end up looking funky/clumpy/less lashes than I have. It got so frustrating that I just stopped using it, so sick was I of having to babysit this thing each and every time. And time consuming this was. It’s really a shame cos this thing didn’t budge at all and wore like steel.
Repurchase? No no no.

dollywink

Koji Dollywink eyebrow pencil (with Tsubasa Msauwaka)
This is ancient and was probably in the first lineup of the range. The packaging has changed – they’ve printed some designs on the body of the pencil but otherwise everything else looks the same. I’m hoping the formula is too because this pencil is not too soft and not too hard, it has just the right amount of wax to draw the brows properly. Lasting power is normal. Nothing lasts all day on my brows, but powder tends to go first and then pencils. Oh! I almost forgot. The longest lasting one has to be the little tube of Make Up Forever brow gel thing. But you need to pay more attention and time when using that.
Repurchase? It’s cheap and thus definitely warrants a repurchase.

July Empties

Please bear with me – I’m playing catch-up with my empties post. Since there aren’t many from August those empties will be in the September post 🙂

julyempt2016

Banila Co Clean It Zero Purity for Sensitive skin (100ml) – Made in Korea ?
Lasted around three months, this is a cleansing balm for makeup removal. Like the Body Shop’s Camomile cleansing balm in idea, but with a better texture that instantly melts when you start rubbing so there’s no tugging or harsh rubbing involved. Very efficient at makeup removal, took everything off with no problem. My skin was never irritated nor felt dry afterwards either. A pleasure to use.
Repurchase? Yes, I have the regular version in maxi format to go.

IOPE Ultimate Hydro Cream (50ml) – Made in Korea
Cool upon application so it’s refreshing especially with a light, gel texture. Mildly scented with an aquatic type fragrance. Most importantly it does its job at moisturizing and my skin never felt dry. I really enjoyed this even if it’s not a one-of-a-kind product. IOPE isn’t readily available where I am so off the top of my head I would take a look at Laneige’s (obviously) water bank range, Biotherm, and even drugstore brands like No.7, L’oreal. I feel like I’ve seen similar products from these brands in the past before.
Repurchase? Yes if I come across it again.

Shiseido Medicated hand cream (100g) – Made in Japan
Bought this at the same time as the Kiss Me medicated (reviewed here), which now that I think about it is probably their attempt to make something like the Yu-Be cream. I found the Shiseido more effective. Texture-wise it’s not heavy but provides decent moisturizing. It’s got some kind of moisturizing beads in it. This is a medium strength hand cream I feel, and is not half bad at all. Good for those needing more oommph than a lotion but not anything heavy like the Yu-be. Yu-be is where I like my hand creams to be. The best thing I like about this though is the packaging – it comes in a jar but has a flip-lid opening/closing system so you won’t struggle screwing the cap back on with slippery moisturized hands afterwards. I might decant other creams into this jar …
Repurchase? Nah.

Steam Cream (75ml) – Made in Japan
Used and reviewed in the past. I’m using this as a hand and body moisturizer. It’s more hydrating than the L’Occitane lotions. You really have to like lavender to use this range.
Repurchase? I’ve still got two more jars of these.

Nature Republic Snail Solution 70 Eye Cream (20ml) – Made in Korea
This little tube took me forever to use up, more than six months I’m sure. It’s just a regular eye cream, run-of-the-mill, not better or worse than the average offerings. I felt I could use more hydration TBH but most eye creams like these I’ve tried deliver similar results (ie. not much) and I’ve found in my experience that you need to go to those in jars, and pay a little bit more to get more. Best eye cream (tube or jar) I’ve used those is the one from Astalift. Too bad it seems they’ve pulled out of everywhere outside of Asia.
Repurchase? No.

Kosé Fasio Powerful Curl Mascara Long (7g) – Made in Japan
I wasn’t particularly wowed by this mascara. And I’m starting to think there’s something about Fasio’s mascaras that doesn’t agree with me because my eyes get irritated when I use this. Same thing happened with the last Fasio mascara I used. It must be the fibers or something. I think I will stick with other brands.
Repurchase? No.

A couple of Lush products

I bought a couple of things from Lush sometime ago. I was out shopping for a new shower gel/soap and walked by a Lush and though “It’s been a while since I tried anything from Lush. Maybe I’ll give it a go.” Let’s just say I doubt I’ll be in a hurry to go back.

I didn’t take pictures so you’ll just have to take my word for it but I feel strongly enough to do a post on them.

I bought a few things, Flying Fox shower gel (I bought one of the last big bottles left in the store – so this should give you an idea when this happened), Jason and the Argan Oil shampoo bar and the Fig and Leaves soap. Oh and the Ayesha mask.

lushfig

Fig and Leaves soap looks so promising. From the UK Lush website: “A gentle, mildly exfoliating and sweet soap that protects and comforts. This soap is packed (and wrapped) with figs and their leaves, which not only smell gorgeous, but also gently buff your skin. It’s so mild, it can even be used on the face; your skin is left feeling soothed and softened by fig seeds and aloe vera extract.”

Ingredients:
Rapeseed Oil and Coconut Oil, Water (Aqua), Glycerine, Fig Decoction, Fair Trade Organic Aloe Vera Gel, Perfume, Ylang Ylang Oil, Orange Flower Absolute, Aloe Vera Extract, Titanium Dioxide, Sodium Chloride, EDTA Tetrasodium Etidronate, Sodium Hydroxide, *Benzyl Benzoate, *Linalool Lilial
(* = occurs naturally in essential oils)

In reality however, the soap is really soft and disintegrates really quickly. What was cute before (the fig leaf and bits of fig + seeds in the soap) because a nuisance because the bits don’t melt and they end up in the shower waiting to clog up the drain. The leaf was the worse. The shower looked really gunky afterwards. The smell was nice and I didn’t find the soap drying, but it’s almost like it melts in front of me every time it’s used in the shower. To be honest I didn’t mind it too much because by then I just wanted to finish it ASAP.

lushjason

Jason and the Argan Oil
My first experience with a solid shampoo. I’ve only used this twice and it went into the bin. Why? Because it stains. My hair (black) was stained but I didn’t know, and I went on to stain my pillow case (happened to be dark grey at the time). Now it’s a weird purple in the area where I lay my head and looks like some kind of discoloration. I don’t know if it’s my hair type or what because none of the reviews I’ve read mentioned this. It was also quite stripping on my hair.
Also while I don’t mind the smell, it’s really potent. Before I used it, I can smell it when it’s hidden inside of the bathroom drawer. After I used it the smell lingered and my husband announced he’s not a fan. I felt this bar is all gimmick and no substance. I hesitate to say this because I no longer have the bar to confirm but I *think* there are sparkly glitter inside. Perhaps I remembered wrong…

Ingredients:
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Agar Water (Aqua), Argan Oil, Glycerine, Perfume, Organic Rose Absolute, Geranium Oil, Rose Oil, Sicilian Lemon Oil, *Limonene, Coumarin, Citronellol, Geraniol, Colour 17200

Which leaves me with the Ayesha mask and Flying Fox shower gel. The former didn’t leave much of an impression on me because I have almost zero memory of how I found it. Which I guess is a good thing as it means it can’t be *that* bad. For those sensitive to honey note that it’s the second ingredient.
As for the latter, like everyone else I was a fan of the scent (the Man wasn’t too keen though). Not sure why Lush decided to discontinue it, it seems to be one of their best sellers. Not particularly sad to see it go personally.

All in all I find Lush to be overpriced. While it’s almost always fun to browse in their shops (if that Lush smell doesn’t deter you first) – you get to nudge nudge wink wink at those tongue-in-cheek names, play at the freshly mad mask bar, order some cut-to-order soaps to go – it gets a bit old and gimmicky in about 5 mins. But I’m not someone who’s partial to organic ingredients when it comes to skincare and beauty. And I’m not in their demographics anyway.

June Empties

Enlight-4

Bifesta Cleansing Express Eye Makeup Remover (145ml) – [can’t find the fabrication country]
Here’s a link to the official website in English. It contains moisturizing ingredients and vitamins. I’ve used this before. It’s a double-layer remover that you shake before use. Very efficient at removing all types of eye makeup.
Repurchase? I use oil makeup removers now (and double cleanse) so a separate remover is a little redundant in my regime. But I definitely recommend this remover.

Biologique Recherche Lotion P50 (150ml) – Made in France
You can read about my thoughts on the BR lotions here. This lasted me 3 months with twice daily use, so the same as P50V. I still have a backup bottle of this but I’m going to take a break from acids because of my IOPE bio essence – I feel I should use that as my first step after cleansing and thus it’s not ‘compatible’ with an acid toner. I don’t feel ‘right’ applying P50 after the essence. Anyway! This will be a chance to see what P50/Bio essence does.
Repurchase? TBD (more…)

May Empties

I’ve got 10 empties in May 🙂

mayempt

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’. (more…)

March Empties

As usual I’ll get the finished hair/body samples out of the way first:
Enlight1

Nothing new to write about here. I’m almost done with all the samples, I think I’ve only got body lotions and cream left afterwards. Oh and soaps but I’ll get to those later.

Here’s the real deal for March:

Enlight1(1)

John Frieda Full Repair hydrate + rescue Deep Conditioner (250ml) – [unknown]
“With Inca Inchi Oil” it says. This ingredient appears in the middle of the ingredient list. First six ingredients: Aqua, Ceterayl Alcohol, Dimethicone, Behentrimonium Chloride, Cetyl Esters. Parfum.
You leave this on after shampooing for 2-5 minutes before rinsing off. My hair feels soft and silky after using this but we all know it’s the ‘cone. Smells nice but it doesn’t last on my hair. If you don’t mind ‘cones this is nice once in a while. I was using this almost everyday as a conditioner substitute and that was perhaps too much …
Repurchase? Nah.

Steam Cream (75ml) – Made in UK
I’ve had this for too long; left it at work for use mainly as a hand cream so that’s perhaps 1-2 a day, if that. However this is a multi-purpose cream that you can use for the face, body and even hair (just a tiny knob). I’ve used this once on the face but it was bad timing – I still don’t know what broke me out. Anyway you can read all about the cream on their website where they explain how the cream is made, why it’s steamed and the ingredients and so on.
I finished the rest of my jar using it as a body cream. I didn’t feel it so much when using on my hands but must say that I was impressed how quickly this was absorbed. And I mean I felt the cream has really sunk in, almost like my skin drank it up. It was moist and supple afterwards, and it lasted for a while.
This has lots of essential oils so if you have sensitive skin (or a sensitive nose! smells ) just be aware of that:

steam2
Repurchase? I didn’t think I would but yes, and I have. There was a promotion going on at the moment (2 for 26.95 euros, 1 is usually 17.50 euros each). Interestingly these are cheaper in Japan where they also come in a mini size and have more designs.
… I have since received my new jars and these ones are made in Japan. Also the best before date is very short – I have a few months to use them up, whereas when I bought the old one I had 2 years?! Ingredients are the same.

Yves Rocher Apple Delice Silky Body Cream (150ml) – Made in Ireland
Pretty happy to use this up in such a short time. This was part of my small 2015 holiday haul. This has a nice texture and smells like apple tart. The only reason I rushed to finish this is because of the scent – it’s comforting and more suitable for winter; probably too heavy for summer use. I used the same logic when I decided to save the Bronze Goddess souffle for summer. Anyway this has a nice formula and if Yves Rocher makes this in a different scent (they probably do) I wouldn’t mind buying those.
Repurchase? Yes (more…)

January Empties

Argh am so late with this but work’s been busy and I haven’t had time to take the necessary photos 😦

I’m trying to empty my drawers so you’ll start seeing a lot of sample-sized products. Little bottles I saved and intended to use on short trips and holidays, but I finally admit that I just don’t travel often enough to use them all up in a reasonable amount of time.

thisworks-hair

this works revitalizing shampoo & conditioner (30ml)Made in China
General observation: product in little bottles appears to be a lot thicker than in regular packaging (for all beauty brands).

“Infused with essential oils to restore silky texture and shine”
This shampoo cleans very well, every time I rinse it off, I hear my hair squeak. The conditioner doesn’t add a lot of moisture/nourishment considering how well the shampoo works. Thus I conclude that this is a shampoo more suitable for oilier hair. I wash my hair daily and this shampoo can sometimes feel a little stripping when used over a longer period of time. It has a herbal smell. Stings the eyes terribly if the product does get into them (both me and the Man can attest to this). Like really sharp pain.
Repurchase? Nah this is not for me.

shower gels

L’Occitane Verbena Shower Gel (30ml) – Made in France
This shower gel didn’t feel any special. The smell is very fresh, I mean it’s verbena. Otherwise not much to write home about. It’s not thickened up though comes out of the bottle easily.
Repurchase? I don’t know how much this is but I don’t think it’s worth splurging for. The scent bored me quickly. (more…)