The Body Shop

May Empties

I’ve got 10 empties in May 🙂

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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…)

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November & December Empties

Happy New Year everyone! Got some nice skincare empties here in the last months of 2015. I still haven’t gotten round to posting my skincare regime and it’s constantly changing. Must get this to the top of the to-do list in 2016. Anyway first up the empties in November:

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Bouclier Bio ConcentrĂ© DĂ©tox de jour (50ml) – Made in France
This is a random face cream I picked up at Citypharma. I have never heard of this brand before but the ingredients are no-frills and straight forward, just a little more than 10 ingredients. Housed in a glass jar, it’s paraben-free and is targeted for sensitive and/or couperose skin. My skin has become a little on the drier side and I’ve really enjoyed using it. The texture is quite thick (a ‘real’ cream) but it’s really moisturizing and nourishing. Literally saved my skin when it got extremely dry suddenly from the frequent long-haul flights I did in early 2015.

Here are the ingredients:

aqua (water), aloe barbadensis leaf juice*, simmondsia chinensis seed oil (jojoba seed oil)*, glycerin, coco-caprylate/caprate, caprylic/capric triglyceride, glyceryl stearate citrate, cetearyl alcohol, oleic/linoleic/linolenic polyglycerides, butyrospermum parkii (shea butter)*, cera alba (beeswax), tocopherol, xanthan gum, parfum (fragrance), sodium hydroxide, benzyl alcohol, dehydroacetic acid, linalool, citronellol

It’s marketed as a day cream but I also use it at night. Because of its texture I’d say it’s more suitable for drier skin types and a cooler climate. Normal skin will like it in winter. It may look and feel a bit heavy for some but I do think LRP’s Toleriane left me looking more greasy afterwards. My skin just seems to love this stuff. There’s fragrance listed but honestly I didn’t detect any scent. Probably just for masking or neutralizing?
Repurchase? Yes! I bought a pack of 2 (bigger savings) and am using the second one already. Am curious about other creams from this brand now.

Chanel Hydra Beauty Micro Serum (30ml) – Made in France
Here’s the blurb pulled from the US website:

This water-light serum delivers a revolutionary infusion of hydration: 24 hours of continuous moisturizing benefits, leaving skin deeply replenished, smooth and glowing with youth.

THE BREAKTHROUGH
CAMELLIA MICRO-DROPLETS:
Patented micro-droplet technology delivers the purest form of Camellia Oil Extract, exclusive* new Camellia Alba OFA**, to infuse skin with exceptional hydrating and plumping power.

CAMELLIA ALBA PFA***:
This remarkably pure HYDRA BEAUTY ingredient, created by Chanel scientists, stimulates skin’s natural ability to restore and retain moisture for a smooth, radiant appearance.

BLUE GINGER PFA:
To protect the benefits of Camellia Alba PFA, Chanel revealed one of nature’s most powerful anti-oxidants, Blue Ginger PFA. This exceptional ingredient acts as an environmental shield, blocking and neutralizing free radicals to help reinforce the complexion.

*International patent application.
**OFA: Oleofractioned Active.
***PFA: Polyfractioned Active. An ultra-pure, ultra-powerful ingredient created through exclusive patented Chanel technology.

On the French website it’s also suggested that these micro-droplets house the extract and keeps them in a ‘pure’ state until they are released upon application. Anyway this serum doesn’t get a very favourable review on Paula’s Beautipedia (overpriced, contains alcohol, not that special etc). But I really enjoyed using this and my skin felt ‘plumper’ after use. Not sure about the 24 hours/glowing with youth claims but it didn’t irritate my skin at all and my skin seemed to have liked it to the last drop.
The texture is like a gel, definitely not runny. 1.5 pumps is ideal but I struggle to get half a pump so it’s either one or two depending on how generous I feel on that day. It is fragranced so sensitive noses/skin types beware. I love these kind of packaging – see-through airtight bottle with the piston going up as the product is used. The biggest con is the price: at 81 euros it’s something to buy at Dutyfree or when the promo codes are just right.
Repurchase? It’s on the wishlist

The Body Shop Atlas Mountain Rose Body Butter (200ml/192g) – Made in the UK
I’m not a regular user/fan of the body butters from TBS, I think the only one I really liked was the olive one. It seems to me the texture varies with scent, like the fruitier ones are lighter. Don’t quote me on that though. Generally I prefer thicker ones for the body.
I can’t remember why I bought this (and TWO of them to boot) since I’m not a crazy rose lover either. But the texture is nice, thick enough but not balmy and easy to spread. The scent is sometimes quite sharp to my nose but otherwise this is one of the better roses in the mass market out there for sure. Apparently this used to be hard to find – oh that explains why I bought two! – but it’s been repackaged as part of a new line-up of TBS fragrances and looks to be here to stay. Can’t vouch for the EdT but if you are a rose lover looking for a body cream, definitely check this out.

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Repurchase? I still got the backup.

Shiseido Perfect Cleansing Oil (40ml, deluxe sample) – Made in Japan
This is a good cleansing oil, up there with the best Japanese cleansing oils I’ve tried. I like this more than shu uemura (but I had bad experience with them in the past). It’s efficient, emulsifies easily and rinses off completely without leaving a film nor stripping the skin. It’s lightly scented, like the fragrance from The Skincare range. This never gave me any problems, no irritation/breakouts.
I can’t remember where this came from, probably a GWP somewhere, but the nice thing is the pump unscrews and thus I can reuse this and transfer my other cleansing oil inside for when I’m traveling.
Repurchase? Definitely worth considering in the future after I go though my Fancl and softymo. I’ll buy this within a heartbeat if I have nowhere to get the Fancl.

Empties in December: (more…)

Autumn Empties +

IMG_0038The first part of this features recent empties while the bottom half is a salvaged post dated probably early 2015 😛

Fancl Mild Cleansing Oil (120ml) – Made in Japan
This is a special limited edition packaging I got at the beginning of the year. I mentioned somewhere before (oh it was the Empties Galore post) that they have a much longer shelf-life now than before. I think it used to be that unopened, you can keep them for 1 year after date of manufacture. Now it’s like 3 times longer. I don’t know that this all means because their slogan has always been no preservatives etc. I didn’t notice any change in the formula however, so who knows.
This is still my HG cleansing oil. But! I’ve noticed cleansing oils being rather similar and generally good performers once you’re at the mid to high range (price-wise). I’m using a sample of the Shiseido one and it’s also really good. The only thing is the relatively smaller size. You go through this a lot faster than others. I think this lasted me maybe 2.5 months.
Repurchase? I have one more backup.

Kotoshina Face Lotion Brightening – Green Tea (30ml) – Made in France
This deluxe sample came in as part of the Japan skincare/beauty set I got at Le Bon MarchĂ© end of 2014 (part of the Japan month. This year they did Brooklyn, I must say it was a disappointment). I’ve never heard of Kotoshina before (leads to official website, Japanese) but they are a Kyoto based company that specializes in green tea, and their products use the famous Uji green tea from the area. Skincare products are manufactured in France. The details of this lotion (in Japanese and 1 line of English on the right) is here. Housed in a glass bottle, this lotion is certified 100% organic (European) and smells quite strongly of green tea – ingredients are: water, aloe extract, glycerin, perfume, glyceryl caprylate, camellia sinensis leaf extract, camellia sinensis seed oil … and many more herbal/flower essential oils. This is a very watery lotion and I’ve used this with a cotton pad. I really enjoyed using this actually and find the scent soothing. It lingers a little after use. It did seem to brighten the skin after use. Obviously sensitive skin beware as it’s chocked full of essential oils and extracts. It’s 4200 JPY for 150ml on the website, which is about 30 euros? Not cheap then.

Ok I just found the leaflet that came with the beauty set and it seems this usually comes in a spray bottle, although you can use it on a cotton. It hydrates, protects brightens.
Repurchase? I wouldn’t mind at all but it seems to be only available in Japan? (more…)

The Body Shop Chamomile Cleansing Oil & Cleansing Balm

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[Spoiler: If you have to pick one between the two, go with the balm.]

I’ve always wanted to try a cleansing balm. Not the Eve Lom kinds, more Clinique Take the Day Off. [Actually I wouldn’t mind trying the Eve Lom types too but I can’t imagine doing that in the morning when I’m always in  hurry – yes, I know what some of you are thinking but I’d rather get a few more winks than wake up earlier than necessary ha ha :P] Unfortunately Clinique’s pricing is super marked-up here (like MAC and Lauder stuff) and I’m mot willing plonk down my money when I know I’m being gouged. After 2 years of wanting to try it, I still haven’t gotten my hands on the Clinique balm. At this rate I don’t think I ever will.

Anyway when I started reading good things about the Body Shop Chamomile balm I decided to give that a go instead. I also picked up the cleansing oil in the same range since people seemed to like it too and you never know, you just might hit gold right?

Well. No. (more…)

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.

(more…)

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…)