Clarins

December Empties

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Kosé Medicated Sekkisei Lotion (360ml) – Made in Japan
I’ve stopped keeping track of the number of bottles I’ve gone through since rediscovering it a few years ago. This bottle lasted me four months.
Repurchase? Always.

Hadalabo Gokujyun Medicated Skin Conditioner lotion (170ml) – Made in Japan
Mentioned in my last skin regime update here. This was my first product from the Hadalabo Gokyjyun range. This medicated version has a alcohol/medicinal smell. It’s nothing offensive though and I was never bothered by it. I’m not sure this did anything for my skin, I reckon it would be more suitable for younger acne-prone skin type who aren’t necessarily breaking out from monthly hormones fluctuation. Usually blemish control products tend to be drying but I never felt that with this. The Gokyjyun range are formulated with hyaluronic acid and the world ‘gokyjyun’ pretty much means ‘extreme moisture’. This medicated range is a relatively new member and I think is an interesting range to try if you have problem skin. The only challenge is perhaps locating it, I got mine online from alphabeauty (not affiliated).
Repurchase? I will try the Premium Rich one next. (more…)

June Empties

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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…)

October Empties

There were no empties in September hence no post. October (and November) are the big months!

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Nuxe lip balm (15g) – Made in France
This pot lasted me a year even with nightly use, so it’s a bargain. Comes in a heavy glass pot so not that great for travel. Texture-wise, some reported granular (and consequently doubles as an exfoliator) but my pot was never gritty, the balm was always smooth to the eyes and to the touch. I read on a French community review site that it becomes gritty with time – the honey hardens and the grittiness goes away with the heat generated as you apply. So nothing to worry about really. But if you’re concerned, go to a place where there’s high volume turnover (like Citypharma haha). Or get this year’s limited edition ones to be sure.
This is a cult product everyone raves about but honestly I didn’t have any miracle ‘it happened overnight’ episode when using it. It really wasn’t as magical as everyone claims it to be. Maybe my expectations were too high after all the raves but I can’t deny that it’s a nice, solid lip balm.
Before Nuxe I was using Kiehl’s, which was decent and not half bad. I then tried Jack Black towards the end of the Nuxe pot and thought that was quite wonderful. (My ranking of these would be Jack Black, Nuxe and Kiehl’s). I wasn’t going to repurchase Nuxe with so many other balms at home BUT:
– they came out with new packaging, limited edition colours …
– since not using it I find myself missing it at times
– the matte finish is actually quite nice
I guess the bottom line is I am quite fond of it. I use this pretty much exclusively before bed and I always work whatever amount I apply into the lips. If you don’t it just sits on top and stays there til you remove it. Which some people like I guess?

Oh and this exists in stick format but in my experience, whenever there’s an option, the pot ones always perform better. Same thing for the Dr. Hauschka lip balm, which is a similar product and also gives a matte-ish finish as far as I remember.
Repurchase? Yes, even if it’s a bit over hyped.

LIERAC Sensory Exfoliant with 3 White Flowers (175ml) – Made in France
Reviewed here.
Might be a bit heavy for summer but it’s amazing during the winter months. Some particles trail behind in the shower during use, I kinda wish it would all dissolve completely.
Repurchase? Not in the near future. I still got 2 other scrubs to go through. Plus it’s quite spendy.

Origins Zero Oil (150ml) – Made in USA
Full name is Zero Oil Pore purifying toner with Saw Palmetto and Mint. It has a variety of essential oils contains denatured alcohol (third ingredient), which together with the mint gives you that slightly astringent feeling. This is actually my second bottle (you can read my thoughts on the first empty here) – my friend bought me two when I only wanted to try one. It claims to ‘reduce shine and remove excess oil’. I used this mainly in the summer, when I felt spots coming. Can’t say if it’s effective, I feel a bit meh about this even if my skin didn’t react badly to it. There are a lot of better toners out there so unless you like that tightening feeling, perhaps you should look elsewhere. Spelling it out: sensitive skin stay away.
Repurchase? Nah.

SANA Super Quick Melty Gel Liner EX in 01 Black – Made in Japan
The ‘melty’ is a newer version of the quick gel liner and I prefer the older one actually. I no longer have the original to compare the ingredient lists but the melty contains shea butter and I do feel that it is softer than the older one. Unfortunately this change in texture also means that it smudges easier on my hooded lids.
Repurchase? I bought a few at the same time so I will go through those but I’ll go back to the ‘original’ or switch to KATE if I couldn’t get my hands on those.

Heroine Volume & Curl Mascara in 01 Black (6g) – Made in Japan
You read this often here: Only Japanese mascara keeps the curl of my straight lashes.
Some western brands hold the curl, but never as well as a Japanese mascara. My lashes continue to look like they’ve just been curled even at the end of a long day. They are also harder to get off comparatively.
As for the Heroine mascara, curl-holding aside (10/10) it’s actually a rather average mascara. It doesn’t give dramatic volume and was kind of clumpy. I didn’t like the shape of the brush.
Repurchase? No.

Clarins Gentle Exfoliator Brightening Toner (125ml) – Made in France
This is a mild toner with AHA and has a slight floral scent. I’ve never used an AHA toner before and it pricked the skin slightly in the beginning but before long I didn’t feel anything with continued use. I used this only in the evenings.
Not sure about this one. I thought I saw a difference in the beginning but then my skin condition changed when I started Adapalene so it’s really hard to say how effective this was. I can only say that it didn’t do anything bad to my skin. IMO it’s worth looking at for someone with sensitive skin, and it will make a nice introduction to the world of AHA toners for others who want to try one without jumping straight to something like Alpha H.
Repurchase? Maybe.

Bifesta Cleansing Express Eye Makeup Remover (145ml) – Made in Japan
Bifesta is a range by Mandom Corp that focuses on cleansing and makeup removal. This eye makeup remover was voted best in the cleansing category by the Japanese cosme website in 2012.
I really enjoyed using this. It’s gentle, scentless and effortlessly takes everything off. Never stung my eyes nor gave me a bad reaction. At 6 euros a bottle this is amazing. Makes me feel stupid paying top dollar for other eye makeup removers where this one does just as good a job for a fraction of the price.
Repurchase? A big yes.

La Roche-Posay Toleriane cleanser (200ml) – Made in France
Another recurring product. This is the last bottle for a while until I finish up my POD cleansers.
Repurchase? Next year perhaps.

10 Empties

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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.

Ingredients: (more…)

Project 2 x 5 Pan Update #4

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I’ve finally hit pan!! Yes!! I accomplished this back in July actually, just before going away on a weekend. I know documented this with glee when it happened but I couldn’t for the life of me find that first picture. Anyway, the product I’ve finally hit pan on is the Sofina powder foundation, which was reviewed in depth/death here. It’s a good foundation that performs particularly well in summer. I’m still hoping I can hit pan on one of the blushes by the end of the year (it will be either the NARS or the Chanel) but they are just so resistant. Here are the most used products from where I left off last, meaning you get July to September! I’ll do October and November together.

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Foundation
Sofina Primavista – PAN!!

Primer
Sofina Primavista Multicover Base
This really helps on those hot summer days.

Highlighter
Clarins Instant Light Complexion Perfector
Also used in June.

Clinique AIrbrush Concealer in 04 Neutral Fair
This was something I bought just before the ‘no buy’ (ha-ha) that I finally opened and used when I binned the Cargo. I thought it has visible shimmer but it actually doesn’t, and just brightens the undereye area. I really like this product.

KIKO Perfect Eyes Duo Highlighter Pencil
Great nifty product – on one end a matte beige shade to highlight just underneath the arch of the brows and the other, a shimmery champagne to highlight the inner corners of the eyes. I know I’m on no-buy but this is a really good idea and it’s cheap and I can’t resist.

Eyeliner
SANA Superquick Gel Pencilliner in EX Real Black
This is when I opened my backup and pretty much started using it every single day.

Clinique Cream Shaper in Egyptian
Still going strong.

(more…)

And so I Caved …

As I confessed in my previous Project 2 x 5 Pan update, purchases were made when no pans were happening. And even though they are allowed (most of them being limited edition products), I still feel kind of guilty about them. Here are the items that successfully seduced me since I started the project. Most of them are LE:

From: MAC Strength collection
Item: Poised blush (satin)
I had high expectations of this when I placed the order and from reviews thought it’s a brown-brown blush. When it arrived I was disappointed – it reminds me of Gingerly and I am looking for a more unique shade that I don’t have dupes of. I have since been converted because it looks very natural on the skin. I have a few MAC blushes but only one other in the same satin formula (Her Blooming Cheek, a fuschia) and with this one I finally saw the subtle sheen and shimmer it imparts.

Having said that Poised isn’t that much of a unique shade in my collection:

Makeup Project 2 x 5 Pan – Update #1


First update: No pans yet, *sigh*

I was trying to limit myself to the same products so I can use them up quickly but sometimes you just get bored and want a little variety. I wanted to do the update on this last month but didn’t get round to finish it. Combining Jan & Feb, it’s actually interesting to see the change in product choices.

It’s tough, this project. I’m starting to wonder if I haven’t bitten off more than I could chew? Perhaps I should’ve done one of those “XXX Days No Buy” instead for my first time, just to build my confidence.

…….. Then again since I have bought something doing a blatant ‘No Buy’ and then buying something is actually worse.

[I got the LE MAC blush in Poised (part of the Strength collection) a few weeks ago and then just today, the LE Bobbi Brown cherry gloss. I didn’t break any of my own rules (“LE is ok”) but still I feel guilty about this, especially since Poised left me a little disappointed. But more on this in another post.]

Doing a Project 10 Pan can feel a little stagnant but I just need to focus. I feel tempted to take advantage of the 20% off sephora.fr offer … I couldn’t count how many times I’ve been on the site and put things in the trolley, entered the code, stared at it and then closed the browser. I don’t really have something that I absolutely, must buy, not even staples because I already have backups. Plus I know they do the 20% off thing from time to time so I’ll just wait for the next one.

I still look at beauty blogs of course but thankfully none of the Spring collections screamed at me. Still I went to the department stores to see all the collections in person and left pretty much contented that I have no lemmings (apart from that darn sold out sheer cheery blush stick from BB, and maybe the new Healthy Mix blush from Bourjois – it’s so new they don’t have a tester in place yet but in the pan it looks a beautiful coral colour, a unique shade in their blush collection, it resembles nothing else at all).

Most reached for products in January: (more…)