mascara

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…)

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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.

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.

Holiday Mega Haul

There’s a good reason for the lack of updates – I travelled to Hong Kong without my computer, and to compensate the freed up time spent a bit too much time (and money) at the makeup counters.
Here is the haul, in all its glory:

1. SOFINA Primavista Liquid Foundation UV
2. SOFINA Primavista Multi Cover Base UV
3. SOFINA Primavista Powder Foundation UV
4. Giorgio Armani Waterproof Smooth Silk Eye Pencil in black and brown
5. Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Waterproof Mascara in black
6. Astalift Essence
7. Astalift Jelly Aquarysta
8. Astalift Eye Cream
9. Muji eye pencil sharpener
10. EOS lipbalm in lemondrop
11. YSL Pure Chromatics in #8
12. KOJI Dollywink Volume mascara in black
13. SANA Gel Pencilliner EX in black
14. Prada Infusion de fleur d’oranger eau de parfum
15. Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Silk Eyeshadow in #20 & #24
16. Diorshow New Look Mascara in black
17. Chanel Joues Contraste in #69 Fleur de Lotus
18. Jo Malone Sweet Lime and Cedar Cologne
19. Maybelline Clear & Smooth pressed powder
20. Kanebo Media pressed powder
21. YSL Glossy Stain in #2
22. lunasol powder brush
23. RMK blush brush

Ok. So. They are purchases accumulated over a reasonable period of time. I’ve left out stuff like hand creams, random drugstore lip balms, skincare and sheet masks, but the reviews will be here when I get round to finish the products. I think I’ve exercised quite good restraint with this lot.
I’ve found prices in Hong Kong to be cheaper in general than in Paris. With the exception of the YSL quad – which I could’ve got cheaper here and is therefore my only real regret, everything else is either not available in France or more expensive. Buying Armani was a real pleasure in Hong Kong. The EtK shadows for example are HKD260, on sephora.fr, it is 37.50 euros… so 10 euros of difference.

I haven’t tried every single one of the products. There are a couple that I’m already using (and love) and I will do a write-up on those as soon as I can. I will start with either Armani or Chanel.

These aren’t all the items I brought back with me though – I will do a little surprise post somewhere down the road 😉

Daily Routine

1. Chanel Purete Mat Shine Control Powder
2. Bobbi Brown eye shadow in Saddle (61)
3. Bobbi Brown long-wear cream shadow in Shore (35)
4. Bobbi Brown long-wear gel eyeliner in Black Ink (1)
5. SANA light yellow undereye concealor
6. Make Up Forever Brow seal
7. Maybelline Colossal waterproof mascara

Wedding Makeup

I got married earlier in the year, and after some deliberation I decided to do my own makeup. Why? Well …
1. My wedding was small and pretty casual (I chose not to wear a wedding dress)
2. I wanted to look natural and like myself (an enhanced, polished version of course!)
3. Budget and timing – yup, finally realised how much people are charging for bridal makeup.

I figured this would be a great excuse to splurge on products that I can keep afterwards too. The only things I bought for the day were foundation, mascara and lip gloss. Here’s the list of products used: (more…)