Clinique

November Empties

It’s almost Christmas so it’s about time I post the November empties before it gets embarrassingly late *ahem*. Days are dark and bleak and I’ve given up waiting for the sun for the photos.

novempties

Kiehl’s Creme de Corps (500ml) – Made in USA
This is the Kenny Scharf edition which came out in 2012 (!). Took me a almost year to use this up but then I wasn’t using this much in summer. The Creme de Corps is something I can always count on. I sway between this and Alveeno usually. CdC is richer but I like that they are both unscented.
I’m not going to buy anymore LE packaging for these kind of products (face/body care), Much as I want to it’s silly to keep this empty bottle around.
Repurchase? Yes.

Clinique Airbrush concealer – 04 Neutral Fair
This little twist-pen lasted me a looonnng time, even with daily use. I bought a new concealor as a replacement but ran back to this when I just couldn’t get it to work on me. It comes in 3 shades. Clarins’ version (the pen, not the tube which is a lot thicker in texture) is quite close and also comes in 3 shades only but is worth a look to see which is the best for you.
Repurchase? Yes, HG material!

La Roche-Posay Toleriane Soothing Protective Skincare (40m) – Made in France
Yup another tube of this.
Repurchase? Probably, when I’ve got nothing else at home or need something that I’m sure won’t irritate my skin.

La Roche-Posay Serozinc (150ml) – Made in France
Gave this product a second chance (this is a repurchase) and can confirm now that it does absolutely nothing for me.
Repurchase? No.

Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Mascara (sample) – Made in France
Always a pleasure to use.
Repurchase? Yes.

POD Liquid Detox (150ml) – Made in Australia
First reported here. Not sure what’s the status with POD. I thought they are gone but somehow you can still get their products – just recently I received an email that gives 20% off here (not affiliated). The official POD website says ‘coming soon’. So who knows.

Reading what I wrote in that link I haven’t experienced any stinging this time around at all. Perhaps my skin has adapted? Has it lost its potency? I’m still not sure exactly how effective it is in delivering its promises. I still get blemishes (they are hormonal) and the ‘hormonal bumps’ while reduced, is probably due to the topical medication I’ve been using and not this cleanser. I don’t think it has ‘dramatically’ reduced those imperfections. I don’t want to write it off completely and since I have two more of these to go through I’ll keep reporting.
Repurchase? We’ll see.

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Ten Current Favourites

I was originally going to call this ‘2014 Favourites’ or something along the line, then realised the products I mention are permanents and aren’t dependent on the year. Which could be misleading for those searching for 2014 releases.

I stopped doing the monthly favourites cos a lot of the times it’s whatever shiny new toy I happen to have my paws on, plus some staples. It wasn’t really honest, like I was doing it for the sake of doing a favourites post. And it got boring for everyone.
So now I’ve decided to do these only when I feel like I have used/tried/like ’em enough to share. Ten is a good number, and I feel that a lot of what you’ll see are at the top of the categories list.

10faves

1. Too Faced La Creme lipstick
This was the biggest discovery of 2013. I’ve never tried Too Faced before, kind of ignored it really because I lumped them with Benefit (similar packaging vibe) and I’m not a huge fan of Benefit. Prejudice/judging a book by its cover etc etc. This lipstick surprised me. I loved Spice, Spice Baby so much I went back and bought a second one (Naughty Nude). They are just so creamy and so comfortable to wear. Pleasant lemon pie scent. Great colours, nicely opaque. Spice, Spice Baby is a great everyday colour and it’s the lipstick I’m counting on to be my first used up lippie. I’ve never used a shade so often. I took it on my holidays, wore it to a wedding. Love it.
I’ve started paying more attention to this brand on the strength of this lip formula. The Pretty Rebel eye palette (LE but still available on Sephora US website) is nicely put together. (more…)

July & August Empties

Another month of silence on the blog. In my defense I’ve started a new job, returning to the kitchen since my two years’ of rest working at the front. It’s quite challenging for everyone involved at the moment since the place is one of the newest openings in the city that’s gathering a lot of buzz in the industry. All eyes are on us, and we’re doing crazy hours across all sections. There are still a lot of wrinkles needed to iron out and we’re tackling them as we go.

Since I’m back in my whites, I no longer wear base makeup (they just melt) or colour makeup (inappropriate) and limit myself to eyeliner and mascara. My makeup playtime is now limited to my days off, and even then I’m so tired I usually just want to stay home and don’t see the point of wearing a full face of makeup.

Having said that though, I still try to read blogs and new releases and have my eyes on a few items coming for Fall/Winter. In the meantime, here are my combined empties for the last two months:

aug-emtpies

Glysomed Hand Cream (150ml) – Made in Germany
This is the perfumed version, housed in a tub that lasted me for quite some time. I kept this at home, usually around the kitchen. I paid perhaps 9 euros for this. As mentioned in the June empties post where you’ll find the unscented tube version, I really like their formula and budget-friendly pricing. They are my go-to and never disappoints. I should add this to my holy-grail page. Here are the first 10 ingredients:
Aqua, Glycerin, Cetearyl Alcohol, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Octiydodecanol, Petrolatum, Dimethicone. Sorbitol, Sodium Cetearyl Sulfate, Phenoxythanol.
Repurchase? Yes!

Avène Cleanance Spot Treatment (0.25g) – Made in France
Cleanance is the acne treatment range from Avène. I got this on a whim, thinking I could use something like that in my makeup bag. It never left my dresser. Anyway from the back of the box:

Targeted at oily, blemish-prone skin, this spot treatment is ‘formulated to help eliminate skin imperfections’ and is ‘drying and purifying’.
For drying, ‘powders and clay’ to help absorb excess oil; Glyceryl Laurate (patent) regulates its over production
For purifying, Key ingredients reduce bacteria growth
For exfoliating, BHA known keratoregulating ingredients help reduce skin blemishes.

They recommend applying 2-3 times a day and warn that it may cause a tingling sensation which never occurred to me. It is odorless and the tip is colourless so it goes on invisible. I will say however that you can’t apply foundation on top of the areas where you spot treated. It just doesn’t go on smoothly and you’ll see straight away the areas where you have the Cleanance.

I actually quite like this little pen which surprisingly worked well on me. I apply this maybe morning (if not wearing foundation) and in the evening, rather generously. It’s efficient in reducing redness and calming a blemish before it gets to be big and angry. I had a look at the ingredients and the first 5 are mostly waxes and oils. So who knows why. The only thing I’ll say is that it doesn’t come with much product and I went through the pen rather quickly. I paid 7.25 euros for this so it is actually rather expensive for what you get. On the beaute-test website it’s one of those YMMV products.

Repurchase? I’ve just bought another to confirm its effectiveness. We’ll see.

Kate slim gel eye pencil (0.12g) in BR1 in BR1 brown – Made in Japan
I used up one of these last month in black. Click here to read what I wrote. In one word: love.
The brown is obviously more subtle, just quietly defining the eyes. I do prefer black in general but brown is a nice change. This is a warm, mid-toned milk chocolate brown. The darkest brown eyeliner I found is Armani’s Smooth Silk Eye pencil waterproof. The ones that used to be LE.

I’ve read that Hourglass recently came out with their version of these type of pencil gel liner. These ones from Kate (and SANA, and apparently shu’s as well) contain 0.12g, or 0.004oz. Hourglass’ is 0.002oz. I don’t know how they compare as I won’t be getting the ones from Hourglass, all I can say is it’s way too pricey.

I’ve been wearing these type of gel pencil liners for a while and have had good experience with the ones I’ve tried. I admit from time to time they transfer a little to just under my eyes but 99% of eyeliners do that on me, and most of the time they perform really well and are the least smudging/transferring liners I’ve used. YMMV of course.
Repurchase? Yes

Fancl Mild Cleasing Oil (120ml) – Made in Japan
Reviewed here.
Repurchase? Yes, I have received 2 more backups!

Clinique Cream Shaper in Egyptian (1.2g/0.04oz) – Made in Germany
Laura Mercier Kohl Eye Pencil in Brown Copper (1.2g/0.04oz) – Made in Italy
These are more purges as I rarely reach for them now that they are nubs. I’ve had these for years and in a way am glad I can finally ‘move on’. I really like the Cream Shaper formula and have one ready to go in the same shade. Black Diamond is also a nice alternative.
I love the colour of the Laura Mercier pencil but it didn’t perform as well as I want it to. Good for smudging out for a smokey eye look but if you want a clean line and for it to stay that way, you might be disappointed.
Repurchase? Yes; No.

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.

2x5-07

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…)

Project 2 x 5 Pan – Update #3

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The post you’re about to read was written 3 months (!!) ago. Somehow it was never published and was sitting there all this time. Between then and now, I’ve got a Nintendo 3DSXL (damn you Animal Crossing and Luigi) and have been kept very busy. Now that the weather is getting cooler, I’ve also started knitting again. I’ve just completed a scarf for the Man in fact! All this to say really, that I’m bummed to have neglected this blog for so long. I’ll quickly publish this old post nonetheless and write some new ones to compensate my absence.

Beginning of my intended post for June:

I’d like to address the lack of empties post for June – simply put, there were none. I thought I would have a few but they’re all going to be in the July post. I did use up (yet another) Yves Rocher shower gel. This one was the witch hazel, the Hamamelis whose delicate scent I really enjoyed. It was also very creamy and nourishing. I don’t have a photo of it because the bottle was thrown out before I had a chance to take a snap. Anyway, moving on.

Project 10 pan is still going even though (once again) I have indulged in more LE items. They were Chanel Taboo & Pygmalion Coco shine. Can you blame me?

Honestly this must be the most lenient pan project ever documented … Here are the most used products during the last 2 months:

2x5-05Foundation
Lunasol Skin Fusing Powder Foundation & RMK powder foundation
The Lunasol is the one on the left. I don’t have the name for the RMK one unfortunately. They are both ancient to be honest, purchased when my complexion was much paler. My neck is still much paler than my face and these lighter shades helped with unifying.

Once again I’m reminded of how amazing the foundations from these two companies are. Especially Lunasol – this is their first generation of their Skin Fusing powder foundation and it still blows me away. The shade I have above is OC03, and 103L for RMK. It may look like it in the picture but there is no red in the RMK, it’s just darker than the Lunasol. I’ve been carrying the RMK one in case I needed to touch up during the day.

The dip in the Lunasol happened this month. (more…)

Project 2 x 5 Pan – Update #2

First up: No pans.

Second: I should admit upfront that I’m hopeless at this and confess that I have made purchases doing the project, which defeats the purpose doesn’t it?

Having said that I must also point out that had it not been my commitment to this project and the self-imposed ‘ban’ (albeit broken) I would have caused much greater damage to my wallet with ‘unnecessary’ purchases. Because of the project, I at least kept my promise to not buy any more eyeshadows. You will not believe how many times I’ve been tempted to buy another quad or palette. The new Birds of Paradise Dior quint for example (I like the green one more) is sooo beautiful; And I almost bought the smashbox photo op eye palette on Sephora because I know I like the formula and it’s a good deal.

I’ve become an expert at the pretend-shopping-cart game: Whenever a sale of 20% comes up (= tax free on the inflated prices here in France) I go on the site and fill my basket up with everything my heart desires, look at the final price, apply the coupon code, and proceed to eliminate items until I’m left with the ‘minimum’. And then further consider whether it’s worth it and if I don’t already have something similar at home. Most of the time I end up closing the window and breathing a sigh of relief, having conquered the shopping demons. I am also thankful that the Sephora website doesn’t stock everything they have in store, and Sephora itself doesn’t get every single makeup releases. The Lancome ‘In Love’ ones with Emma Watson are only available in Lancome counters, for instance.

So… to reiterate, the tally for makeup pans since January, still at 0.

However, I have the 5 skincare pans to do as well. This is good news because I have finished 3 products in March. Which means that I have only 2 products to go before my skincare pans are done. Have I bought skincare products during the project? But of course, I bought two creams (on sale). This means I’ve only got 1 pan, doesn’t it?

*sigh* ……

Despite my failures, I’m not giving up. I guess this means the project will continue indefinitely until the end of the year, and will primarily act as a reminder to restrain myself more than anything.

Lets look at the most reached for makeup products in March:

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…)