September 2018 Empties

I am not gonna say I can’t believe it is the end of September because it was a busy month for me and a lot happened and I got less active on the blog and all social media and I begin to think I should call my blog Daniela’s empties now as that’s mostly what I get to at the moment but here we have another monthly empties post.

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Skin

Oh K! Coconut Water fibre face mask. I liked this mask as it hydrated without leaving heavy residue or sticky yucky but I can imagine it wouldn’t give much to a person closer to dry skin as well as  I can imagine getting a mask with similar product for cheaper.

Skin Chemist Aqua Repair Facial Serum was something I received in Alice Davis Hart box for Allboxedup and to be honest, I still didn’t expect much from it but this thick oil-free gel surprised me at how well it hydrated, even though aloe vera was almost at the end of ingredients. Although I try to press out of the tube as much as I can, I am rather lazy to cut it to get every last bit but I did cut the tube with this one so it says something even if it doesn’t contain hyaluronic acid.

DHC Alpha Arbutin White Mask. This was a thick paper sheet that didn’t stick to the face very well and somewhere between 15 and 20 minutes started falling off my face completely. Although it would be impossible to get rid of Dark spots after just one use, my face did look fresh afterwards.

Avène Cleanance Mat mattifying toner. As alcohol is the third ingredient, I am having no illusions why it works well as a mattifying toner or claiming it’s for everyone, however it doesn’t make my skin feel right or like all water was sucked out like drugstore toners so I wouldn’t mind having this as my morning toner again.

Eucerin Dermo Purifyer cleanser is a soap-free gel that is based on 6% ampho-tensides. Loved it as my second and mornig cleanse although now that weather got colder or when my skin feels a bit stripped, I prefer something creamy in the morning.

Klairs Supple Preparation Facial Toner was really lovely and hydrating and just by the sample I would like to buy full size in the future.

Pretty Athletic Recovery Boost Cell Repair serum. In my eyes this was just oil although very runny but it took ages to sink in, I divided it to two uses (around 1 ml per use) and it was basically still there feeling rather oily when I went to bed one hour after my skincare routine, I wasn’t willing to add any moisturiser. I have to admit though that when I woke up in the morning, my skin felt genuinely restored and some old breakouts that never really came to head on my jawline felt calmed and soothed.

DHC Extra Nighttime Moisture seemed quite rich and greasy at first but most of it absorbed after around 20 minutes, still leaving a lot of sheen.

Benton Aloe BHA skin toner was a sample of the toner. I have a full size but I used this as it was getting close to expiry date. If I’m not mistaken, it contains 0.5% BHA (in form of salicylic acid), aloe vera juice, snail secretion filtrate and hyaluronic acid. I use it as my evening toner and so far I am still unsure whether my skin got better because the hot weather finished or this product or combination of both.

Elemis Balancing Lime Blossom Cleanser was just as any other cream cleanser to me. It had quite creamy texture so squeeze tube instead of bottle would be better.

Body

The Body Shop Mango shower gel was beautiful, one of my favourite from TBS. Unfortunately, I got only three uses from this one as my husband opened it while I was visiting my parents.

The Body Shop Fijian Water Lotus shower gel, body lotion and eau de toilette. This was in old packaging and I wanted to use it up before it expired and I bought a set of shower gel, body lotion and eau de toilette (I had two more sets to go). I have to say that the fragrance didn’t impress me although was okay for everyday use. I loved the lotion though – it was light and runny but I felt moisturised enough and more for my needs.

Little Aurelia Sleep Time Top To Toe was a sample from Aurelia’s children’s range so I used it on my younger daughter when we ran out of her body moisturiser and I used it for hands once. As it is a night time moisturiser, it doesn’t sink in immediately but leaves slightly greasy layer which is good for my daughter. The scent is relaxing and although not subtle, not so strong to offend senses. We know Aurelia is way out of my budget but it was lovely to try. The small dark glass container is great for decanting products for travelling.

Crabtree & Evelyn Pomegranate argan and grapeseed ultra-moisturising hand therapy was just the perfect handbag size in 25 ml and the pomegranate was a dream, I couldn’t stop sniffing on it every time I used it. The cream itself for me was somewhere in the middle – it moisturised well bit it wouldn’t nsave you much if your hands are extremely dry but it isn’t something that would fully absorb within a minute on my hands.

Crabtree & Evelyn Summer Hill ultra-moisturising hand therapy was the same as the above mentioned, just the scent was of meadow flowers.

Avon Far Away Bella body lotion. I love Avon’s Far Away fragrances and this one is no exception, however I don’t much prefer body lotions matching to the fragrance although this one didn’t feel unpleasant.

Yves Rocher Yellow Peach shower gel. YR shower gels rarely disappoint me and this was another great one – the gel washed well without being too drying and the peachy scent was amazing, it lingered a little after somebody had shower and I could always tell when somebody used it.

Hair

Klorane Ultra gentle conditioner with oat milk. I don’t know but somehow I don’t feel the love I wanted to for this oat milk range as I don’t find it nourishing enough.

Salon Science Reglosse Smoothing Serum is oil gel serum that I wasn’t sure about until I found the right amount to apply which basically meant that instead of one pump recommended in directions, I needed around 5 but I really liked nice defined curls on my fine hair. I wouldn’t mind buying again.

Klorane Color Enhancing shampoo with pomegranate. Unlike the oat milk shampoo, I found this one gentler and loved the pomegranate scent.

Dr Santé Argan Hair Mask with argan oil and keratin is great mask and the  best mask I bought for € 1.60 by far. It was the only hair mask they had in village minimart where my parents live but I already plan to stock up, if I see it again when I’m visiting. It is like a butter and worked well for mine as for my daughters.

Philip Kingsley PK Prep Perfecting Spray was a sample I used again as a detangler/light leave in conditioner for daily use and I liked its scent and it worked well on hair.

Salon Science Thickening Serum I was happy to see go even if I use it up. It didn’t give much to my hair and it seemed to me like it was a bit more difficult to detangler my hair.

L’Oréal Paris Elvive Phytoclear Anti-dandruff. I already had a sample of this before and like I wrote before, this is one of those L’Oréal shampoos I wouldn’t mind buying as it smell quite nice, not over perfumy and left my scalp feeling comfortable.

Make Up

Essence The Velvets in Mr. Mocca Bean was described as velvety soft and longlasting eyeshadow but longlasting it wasn’t. Although it was an intense dark brown great for smoked eye, outer corner or to line the eye, it always melted only after a few hours, so when it smashed on the floor, I didn’t try to save it.

E.l.f. Hydrating Under Eye Primer. I think this might be good for someone with dry under eye area but although I am 37 and ageing is showing now, I didn’t feel like it’s doing much for me, maybe because I have oily skin. It wasn’t unpleasant though and considering low price I wouldn’t say I won’t buy it again, even though I wouldn’t use it daily on my skin as it contains mineral oil, silicone and titanium dioxide, so it might be clogging pores easily and I also wouldn’t use it if you’re prone to millia in that area.

 

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What I Used Up in August Part 2

Hello again with the second part of my empties. Still a lot of samples, travel size and some that I left behind when I visited my parents last Christmas. I thought it would be shorter but I finished some stuff I didn’t expect to, so here we go.

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Skincare

COSRX One Step Original Clear Pads were one time rather hyped and I would say they are a great gun to fight congested skin without overdrying this type of products causes. The ingredients list is good as always with COSRX and there isn’t really nothing bad I could say about it because even if it doesn’t stop me from having my hormonal breakouts, it helps their healing. I am a cosmetic slut so I want to try what many other brands offer but I wouldn’t mind coming back to these at some point.

The Ordinary Advanced Retinol 2% was the old version of their Granactive Retinoid. Although I think that Paula’s Choice 1% Retinol Treatment gives better results, it is also 7x more expensive so you can’t beat that price.

Organic Surge Brightening Hot Cloth Cleanser was one of the items I forgot to take and I regretted it as it is a great hot cloth cleanser, in fact, for me, it is the best I’ve tried so far. You can rely on it to remove the whole face make up.

Garnier SkinActive Moisture Bomb Super-Recharging Antioxidant Gel-Cream Night was love I developed graduated. I love the feeling at the initial application when it touched my skin and it felt like I splashed my face with water. What I didn’t like in the summer heat much though was that later I could feek there silicone in it as it felt a bit like when you apply dilluted silicone primer but using a fan did help and now I can actually say I really love it. I would say you get a lot of music for little money, because it really hydrated well, especially on my neck and decolletage was a big difference after using it so yes, it is a great budget option.

Avon Anew Clinical Infinite Lift Dual Eye System is not something, I can recommend. I didn’t notice much difference on my aging hooded eyelids and the “cream part” didn’t work well as I saw my lines getting deeper, if I used this only. If I used other cream on top, the results were good. So this one is more like serum than something that would save your eyes from wrinkles so might be suitable for late 20s and early 30s with oily skin.

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Cleanser gelee milk. I can imagine some people would like it as a morning cleanser as it isn’t supposed to be washed off but I used it as the first cleanser when I wanted to remove suncsreen or face make up after getting home but didn’t want to continue with the full skincare routine yet as it plumped up the skin. It wasn’t good to remove eye make up as it wasn’t very effective and it stung my eyes.

COSRX Aloe Soothing Sun Cream contained SPF50 broad spectrum and although thicker consistency, it didn’t feel heavy gave relatively matt finish on my face. I usually just left out moisturiser when using this. Over all a very good sunscreen and I wouldn’t mind buying it again.

Nivea Double Effect Eye Make Up Remover is together with Garnier 2in1 Express Eye Make Up Remover my favourite. Quick, effecient without rubbing eyes too much even on waterproof make up. As it is more widely available than Garnier one and often only for £1.50, it is winning at the moment for me.

Vichy Minéral 89 was a great hyaluronic acid booster before serum. The 50 ml lasted 2 months of everyday morning and evening use. Although some people reviewed it as sticky, I did experience no such a thing with this clear gel and I am one of those who love it for sure. I like that it is in glass bottle as it is easily recyclable and they now sell more travel friendly 30 ml bottle.

Vichy Double Glow Peel Mask was a pink, lightly scented AHA gel mixed with volcanic rock which was basically like powder so the physical exfoliation was very gentle. I left it on only for 5 minutes and my skin got baby soft.

Origins Clear Improvement was a 15 ml sample that lasted 2 1/2 uses. Black charcoal mask left my skin soft and clean. It did dry out but my skin didn’t feel dry when I removed it. I can imagine the new version of this mask with honey works like a treat.

Urban Veda Daily Purifying Facial Wash was almost as refreshing for summer, loved the eucalyptus and wild mint in it. I had a full size toner from the purifying range before and I loved it.

COSRX Low pH Good Morning gel cleanser was a lovely gentle non drying gel, I can smell a bit of tea tree but otherwise nothing else.

Pyunkang Yul mist toner, moisture serum, ampoule and cream. The single use sample set contained lightweight products giving dewy, moisturised complexion, great for that Korean glass skin effect although I would prefer something with more matt finish for daytime.

DHC face wash powder was one of those love at first use. I thought it would be slightly abrasive but in combination with water it created the creamest facewash that felt amazing.

Klairs Gentle Black Cleansing Oil was lovely to use, I had only sunscreen to remove the day I used it so cannot really comment on make up removing qualified.

Bodycare

Superdrug Foot Nourishing Sock Pack tea tree and peppermint  were worth the 99p I spent on it. I left it on much longer than recommended 20 minutes (in fact, I put it on my feet when I went to bed and pulled it off when I woke up some time in the night) and it softened my soles nicely.

Superdrug Deep Action Spot Clearing Body Spritz is one thing I would list as no 1 necessity for summer. It contains high level of salicylic acid to blitz body acne, it cost around £2 and it works. I already have another bottle.

Crabtree & Evelyn Citron, honey and coriander was fairly reasonable mini. It wasn’t a cream that would sink immediately but still not something you couldn’t apply during the day. I like the scent. I have a set of many 25g tubes with different fragrance so won’t need to repurchase any hand cream for a bit but I am not sure whether I would look specifically for this brand, maybe if it was on offer.

The Body Shop Strawberry Body Sorbet was a light body moisturiser with a nice strawberry fragrance. Its curdly texture might not be everybody’s cup of tea plus I am not sure it is much moisturising.

Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula bust cream is one (if not only) of my forever repurchase as long as I can. Love it for 10 years and continue.

Haircare

Garnier Fructis Anti-dandruff 2in1 shampoo was good when I fancied something with SLS. And it was cheap. But I still think Nizoral and Neutrogena T Gel were my all time anti-dandruff shampoos although I didn’t have them for ages.

L’ORÉAL Elvive Extraordinary Oil Low Shampoo is a cleansing cream I bought for my daughters but I also used it a few times as a refresh for my hair as my hair gets very dry in the summer and it worked well even for my fine hair, although I made sure I didn’t rub it into my scalp. Of course, just like all L’Oréal product it’s very perfumy but I don’t mind that as much in hair products.

Salon Science Hydrasoothe Cooling Spray is something I can recommend for summer as it gives a light cooling sensation to scalp and also provides some hydration to hair if sprayed All over.

Bumble and Bumble BB Hairdesser’s Invisible oil Heat/UV Protective Primer was a lovely travel size that was great to use if you wash your hair in the morning. I don’t use much heat on my or my girls’ hair but I loved this as a UV shield. It contains grape seed oil, sweet almond oil, macadamia oil, coconut, argan and safflower oil as well as tiare (or gardenia) extract. I wouldn’t mind buying full size.

Revlon Uniq One Lotus Flower hair treatment should have 10 real benefits but I am still unsure after using this 9 ml size which lasted me 2 uses.

Philip Kingsley Moisture Balancing shampoo was a clear, gentle shampoo that was a bit runny and as PK make shampoos for daily use, hair will get oily more quickly.

Make Up

Collection Bronze Glow mosaic got used only a couple of times in I don’t how many years I have it because it makes me orange whether I used it as a bronzer or tried as a blush.

Illamasqua Hydra Veil was a hydrating gel and also made non-greasy, slightly tacky surface, trasy for the application. I liked it a lot.

Yves Rocher exfoliation shower gel in organic raspberry. Love shower gels from YR. I like the idea of real fruit seeds although it doesn’t give a thorough body exfoliation, at least it can ca used more often.

Paula’s Choice Ultra-light Daily Hydrating Fluid with SPF30 was a light runny lotion. Great for oily skin but I did notice some pilling, especially on my neck but not more than with any other face SPF.

What I Used Up in August, Part 1

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Welcome back to my blog and it is an empties post again as I am now more devoted to using up my stash than looking for something new.

I spent August with my family as usual so this is going to feature many products especially in travel mini and sample size but also there were many products that I left at my parents’ on its last leg when I was there for Christmas. Because of that, I decided to break this month’s empties into two parts with the second part coming at the end of the month.

Skincare

Paula’s Choice Clear Anti-Redness Exfoliating solution with 2% Salicylic Acid. I love this product although it didn’t prevent breakouts in this heat but the week I got them was not as horrible as the last month, the zits stayed relatively small, with the exception of one they looked more like a small cluster of congested skin from sweat and subsequent dirt stuck on my skin (sorry for the detailed discription but that’s the reality of oily skin). It helps quick healing and fading red marks. I intend to buy full size or at least travel size when I reduce all the acids in my stash (and basically the whole my stash).

Skin Republic Anti-Spot & Pore Refining sheet mask contained the typical witch hazel and tea tree combo and I could also smell it when I opened the sachet. There were some PEGs and the mask felt slightly richer although it sank in fully however it worked well (I squeezed pimples prior to the mask) and they were almost fully healed the next day, no leftover puss coming out or causing pain, neither any new pimples on my chin.

Avon Anew Hydra Recovery Overnight Mask was a product I liked. It was basically a light gel with encapsulated hyaluronic acid, shea butter beads and plant ceramides. I really liked bursting the beads while massaging the mask into my skin. Not sure it provides the 48 hours hydration it says it does but my skin was nice and plump in the morning. I have too much stuff in my stash to repurchase next year and Avon shift their products quickly so we’ll see whether there will be a chance to repurchase.

Bio-Essence 24k Bio-Gold Gold Water was something I developer liking for. After I ued seven skin method with Mizon’s first essence, this one didn’t feel quite as hydrating but in this heat was great because the runny gel consistency sank in quickly without residue so it was ideal for layering skincare in the summer. And although my acne was as usual, I did notice after a few weeks of use that my pores and skintone looked bit better. At first it felt luxurious to put golden flakes on my skin but I had to be careful I massage the water properly as it happened to me a few times that I found golden dots on my face during the day.

Africology Purifying Cleansing Gel really delivered on the promise of not being drying and I rather liked massaging it into my face before washing off but there were days when I really didn’t feel good about its strong scent after essential oils even though I usually like them. It had a good small pump so the 25 ml lasted me two weeks of twice daily use but the lid on the pump was a real pain to remove and with wet hands completely impossible because it was so tight so if it is like that on full size, I would be angry opening it. What I see as a plus though, is a glass container.

Vitamasques PomegaPomeg sheet mask was exactly what I like in the summer – light, hydrating, almost watery. The fit was great and I wouldn’t mind trying more from the brand if the price was right.

DHC Pore Cleansing Oil was a one use sample I received with a DHC order. The oil felt very pleasant to use, there was just a very slightly scent of orange peel and emulsified well. I used it on a day when I didn’t have make up just sunscreen so don’t know how well it works for that, especially eyes.

Pyunkang Yul skincare sample set is great for travelling as it contains toner, serum, ampoule and cream. Moisture Toner was a watery toner, greatfor hot summer. Moisture Serum was a runny milky lotion that I applied before the Ampoule which was like a sticky oil gel but was still good for me even in hot weather. Moisture cream didn’t feel greasy but after the layering, especially the ampoule, took some time to sink, it kind of felt like after a richer sheet mask.

Urban Veda Daily Radiance Facial Wash. Can’t fully judge a facial wash from two uses but good point is that it didn’t dry me out. It doesn’t contain fragrance as per se but the patchouli and cedar oils it does contain give it a strong perfumy scent which is slightly offputting to be tempted to buy a full size.

Dr G Wrinkle Snail Mask Sheet is my favourite sheet mask this summer as it does what it says without leaving heavy residue and the plant-derived cellulose sheet is a really good fit for my face.

Jurlique Herbal Recovery Advanced Serum. After a bit of disappointment with their rosewater, I really liked this antioxidant gel serum with niacinamide and over 18 botanical extract. Although some sun spots I have didn’t vanish, my skintone got better and 15 ml lasted surprisingly long.

Elemental Herbology Facial Detox Purifying Facial Mask is what my oily skin appreciated this summer. It feels deceivingly smooth and creamy when applied but you quickly feel pulling and drying. It regulates sebum so well that I used it twice a week because I suffer from extreme oiliness in heat but as it is one of those masks that sucks the moisture out, I wouldn’t recommend it to other than oily skin type and if you’re older than 30 using a sheet mask or a light hydrating mask afterwards is also a good idea. The mask also goes a long way because the 15 ml I had provided 5 full face applications with jawline and upper part of neck.

Garnier SkinActive Moisture Bomb Tissue Mask was a revisit. It is interesting to have a break from a product you like and then come back to it after trying many others. I still like it and I think for a European brand sheet mask is still one of the best (although made in China).

Bodycare

Elemis Skin Nourishing shower cream was really lovely creamy and soothing even on hot days but the fragrance in had was definitely not my cup of tea and as I like having fragrance I enjoy with my body products, this was a big minus point even though it was a great product otherwise.

Grace Cole Nectarine Blossom & Grapefruit  body wash was another 100 ml from a gift set I received. Fragrance wasn’t bad but nothing special and although I can’t say I don’t own anything made in China, I really can’t see a reason to buy a shower gel from China.

Avon Solutions Cellu Break 5D anti-cellulite lotion. No I don’t believe a lotion could solve cellulite but I know this type of lotions does make my skin firmer. What I also liked about this one is that even though this one was more like cream than a lotion, I felt the cooling effect a few minutes after the application.

Skinyoga Coffee Body Scrub. Do we have enough of coffee scrubs? This one was great for morning, woke me up and smelled like it would make a good cup of coffee. The thing is that you can make your own coffee scrub and this one has pretty simple ingredients to replicate – coffee, coconut oil and sesame oil, so if you’re willing to pay £32 for a 200g full size, it is your choice. Another big con is that your shower or bathtub is so messy after using this that you have to clean it with bleach.

Forever Aloe Moisturising Lotion was another sample I used for a family sleepover at my sister’s. It was kind of average, without any fragrance but my skin felt moisturised well.

Haircare

Dove Advanced Hair Series Oxygen Moisture shampoo and conditioner were targeted for fine, flat hair which is partially a description for my hair. I like Dove as a brand and although the clear gel shampoo wasn’t nourishing like their normal range, it cleansed hair well without overstripping. The conditioner was a bit lighter but you would expect something like that for fine hair and I think that if your level of hair ends is not the level of mine, this duo is enough to maintain your fine hair lovely. Not bad but still don’t feel like I am gonna run to the shops to buy full size because I can’t live without it (although I wouldn’t mind to buy at good price when my hair stash is low).

Tresemme Heat Defence Styling Spray took a very long time to finish as I barely use heat on my long, fine and curly damaged hair, basically only when I needed to use a hairdrier when I was pressed for time, as my hair take long to dry in winter and I also used it as a detangling spray a couple of times and it worked well for both purposes as it kept my hair silky soft and didn’t make them heavy or greasy. The pump also worked well for me and I liked its spray lock.  I would easily buy this 300 ml bottle again.

Paul Mitchell Express Style Fast Form cream gel was great for styling curly hair without leaving them a greasy mess or giving hard crunchy hair.

Avon Advanced Techniques Supreme Oils shampoo worked well for my sun parched hair and I felt the oils in it when I massaged it into my hair. Definitely not something you use for hair that gets oily easily.

Dr Santé Macadamia Hair Reconstruction and Protection conditioner was something I found in the village supermarket where my parents live. Unfortunately, I didn’t see much results although it sounded good being without parabens and mineral oils and besides macadamia there was keratin in it. It cost around €1.50 so it wasn’t such a big loss.

Make Up

Freedom Pro Mattify Primer was basically paraben and silicone and once I spread it, I couldn’t see any mattifying effect. I used it a handful of times and now it’s been sitting on the shelf for around two years so it’s been declutterer.

This Works Perfect Legs Skin Miracle was like a tinted moisturiser for legs.  I could put it in bodycare but as I see it just as a make up for legs, that’s where I think it belongs to. 10 ml was enough for 1 application if used for both legs. If I’m honest, I didn’t see it coverage skin imperfections and once massaged in, I could barely see one shade difference even if applied quite heavily, more of the tint stayed on my hands, it took a lot of time to sink and if my legs touched some fabric, it got stained. It’s not a product I would look for but I gave it a benefit of doubt as I had a sample and all I can say is that I am still not tempted to buy such a product. I think I have also a full size from a beauty box so I will try to find it other home.

July 2018 Empties

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Skincare

Dr. G Wrinkle Snail Mask is one of my favourite because it doesn’t leave sticky or greasy residue but leaves the skin smooth and moisturised, and kind of stretched but in a good way. I definitely recommend it to oily dehydrated skin.

B. Pure Micellar Water wasn’t the best micellar water. In fact, it reminded me why I used dedicated eye make up all the time and wasn’t that excited about micellars. This one wasn’t good for eye make up and if I used waterproof make up, it did nothing at  all. Although it stated that it is a no rinse formula, I found it left a slightly sticky residue. It is cheap but it’s a no from me.

Lavera Hydro Effect Serum was mentioned in my May favourites. It was lovely light milky lotion like serum that spread easily and with once a day use lasted me over three months. It contains anti-pollution complex so I liked using it as my morning serum. I would lie if I said that it caused some massive positive transformation but it was very pleasant to use.

Garnier SkinActive Moisture Bomb Multi-Protecting Hydrating Mist SPF30. I liked using this spray as an SPF top up over make up, however I would recommend to shake it properly before each use because especially when the can was full, it was kind of spitting the liquid what looked like white dots around my face but I gently patted it over my face and didn’t have much problem once it was half gone.

Bioré Deep Pore Charcoal Cleanser is an SLS based cleanser and although it didn’t leave me feeling tight and uncomfortable, I could tell it was more drying as my skin managed layering skincare better despite the hot weather. Still, it has some hint of menthol so felt refreshing this time of the year. Another con is that using it always left my sink messy and grey. Now that I started using Eucerin facial wash, I can actually feel the difference and I think me and drugstore facial washes should probably part our ways forever.

Superdrug Clearly Youthful Resurfacing Night Serum (not pictured because my daughter liked the bottle for her “experiments”) was from a range that was discontinued I think last year. It is full of active ingredients like salicylic acid, lactic acid, glycolic acid and red algae extract but also include tetrapeptide, phytoprotein and polyglycan that all have some anti-ageing and moisturising properties. It was like a dry oil gel. I really liked it when I started using it and saw benefits mainly in clearer, brighter skin but it seemed to me that my skin got used to it and although it was still good, I didn’t see such results as before. I bought two bottles of this when it was on sale and I know I probably should use the second bottle as soon as I can, but I want a bit of break from it so that when I start using it again, I will see better results again.

B. Vitalised Vitamin Facial Spritz was a great addition in the summer, great size for handbag perk me up. It contains vitamin C, caffeine and hyaluronic acid and when you spray it, smells like a lemonade. I also like to spray it on my Armstrong and back of my hands as I can see the benefits in softer skin with daily use. Like I said, nice to have in handbag but I kept it in the fridge when at home to keep it cold in this heat. Might repurchase but I want to try the chamomile one first.

Vita Liberata self tanning night moisture mask. I used this for my legs and 10 ml sample was just enough for three applications after which I saw no difference in colour, sadly. Instead of biscuits, it smelled of raisins or dried figs.

Monu Skin Moisture Rich Hydrating Mask was a creamy mask I used to use after my clay mask. Although this mask is for dry skin, it did okay on my face and didn’t break me out. I stopped using it on face once the weather got as it felt heavy and I used it up as a hand and foot mask instead. I was surprised how many uses I got from this 30 ml sample tube. It had a light flowery scent. Still, I prefer plumping effect from hyaluronic acid more and don’t intend to repurchase.

TimeBomb Smart Balm eye cream was a good moisturising cream. Several months ago, before the winter finished, I was using Avon Anew eye cream but it didn’t seem to be enough and I noticed lines around my eyes go deeper so I decided to switch my eye moisturiser and this one did the trick as the lines went back to original state within a few days.

Mario Badescu Cucumber Cleansing Lotion was a 29 ml sample of a lovely toner for summer. It has alcohol but doesn’t feel drying like a toner from a drugstore and it was pleasure to use. I am not saying I’m gonna rush to make an order for it with Beautybay but I certainly won’t mind buying it in the future.

Mario Badescu Enzyme Cleansing Gel was a non-foaming cleanser and it was an absolute pleasure for me to use as a morning cleanser. I love how it felt on my skin and its clear scent. It contains papaya and grapefruit extract to gently cleanse and exfoliate without overdrying. It says it removes make up but I never used it for that but enjoyed using it in the morning immensly and if I didn’t have a full size in my stash already, I would have made an order with Beautybay for that.

Bodycare

The Body Care Dream Unlimited is an aquatic fragrance that I like using for every day in the summer. Unfortunately, like all TBS fragrances I’ve tried it doesn’t last long. I don’t think I will repurchase.

Soap & Glory Heel Genius foot cream had that typical S&G fragrance and it did soften my feet which now are bare in sandals or slippers but for a cream that claims to contain AHA, I don’t much difference in results in comparison with other foot cream. On the other hand, it doesn’t feel greasy and sinks in more easily than most other foot creams so for that and the scent it is a possible repurchase (most probably in a set like this one).

Avon Planet Spa Herbal Steam Bath with cedar and eucalyptus. You would think by the name that it is a bath product but it is a body cream. To be honest I was disappointed with it because I expected it to be a cooling body cream, just like when I sometimes add few drops of eucalyptus oil to my shampoo in the summer but this is just an ordinary body cream that takes time to absorb and feels heavy in this heat. Really happy to use it up and forget about it.

Soap & Glory Hand Food was a lovely handcream – it had the typical S&G fragrance again, although not heavy, it took a few minutes to absorb and it kept my hands nice and soft. I will most probably buy some gift bundle of S&G soon.

Soft & Gentle 2 in 1 shower and shave mousse was a great product I used in shower on shaving day. It claims to have balanced pH for intimate skin with prebiotic complex and although I am not a chemist, I did find it gentle everywhere I used it to shave and my skin never felt irritated. It had a light, clean fragrance. It was a great buy and I will definitely buy it if I see it in the shop again.

The Body Shop Piñita Colada shower gel is kind of 50-50 for me. When I got it out of bottle initially, it smells like a coconut and pineapple summer, unfortunately, once it štarte mixing with water, it All stars changing into a smell of plastic although my bathroom still smelled like piña colada afterwards. Also, the bottles TBS shower gels have are a bit difficult to get the product out when they’re full so but I guess it’s good because the size of shower gel three people use in two weeks in our house, took three weeks to finish. Not sure whether I would repurchase this particular one but I know some kind of TBS shower gel always finds its way to me (and there are still quite a few in my stash).

Ladival DNA Repair After Sun I liked when I started using it but I think it was mostly because I don’t burn as much as I always avoid being too long in the sun (or at least as much as mother of younger children and somebody’s working in the children’s playground, especially without an SPF) and because it wasn’t greasy. However, I would prefer something more cooling and hydrating, plus despite it’s claim it doesn’t leave a residue, although it does sink in quickly, I found it left me feeling sticky so I would like to try something different next time.

Super Beauty Raspberry & Cranberry body scrub was the right gritty consistency for body scrub and the scent of cranberries always made me want to drink juice😁  Lovely product and would like to look for more from the brand.

The White Company Seychelles hand cream. I think the White Company is better as a homewear company than a cosmetic company. The scent of their products is kind of old fashion and I wouldn’t buy the handcream myself if it wasn’t in a beauty box.

Elsa’s Natural Deodorant Stick in Ocean was another brilliant deodorant from the set I bought at the beginning of the year. It contains peppermint and tea tree so was great to use in the heat we had this July. It lasted well but I did reapply on very hot days when I was more active, probably because of that and also because it melted easily now, it lasted me one month instead of the usual two.

Balmi lip balm was a nice minty balm without being too waxy, spreads on lips evenly and moisturising enough, although I don’t suffer from chapped lips. I don’t like the packaging though because it keeps opening in my make up bag and smears around.

Haircare

Superdrug Coconut Oil for hair and skin was fragranced and I used it as a pre-shampoo mostly for my girls but occasionally for myself as well. Recommend, if you have long curly hair with dry ends. Not sure whether this wasn’t limited edition and I would repurchase this particular, but I will get some coconut oil soon again for sure.

Dr Organic Hair Rescue and Restore Organic Hemp Intensive Conditioning Hair Mask (again, not pictured because my daughter decided it would be a great trinkets container) made my scalp nice and hydrated but you need to use a generous amount as it soaks into hair easily and I didn’t see a dramatic change in my hair.

Oriflame Nature Secrets Burdock & Grapefruit anti-dandruff shampoo and conditioner were okay as hair products and I think they did work to some extend for my scalp as I didn’t have much dandruff and my scalp didn’t feel itchy these days even though the summer as the sweating season makes my scalp feel like hell – sweaty, dirty and itchy. Still, I don’t feel like I want to repurchase and I am not even sure whether Oriflame still sell them, to be honest.

Make Up

Freedom Pro Studio Priming Water was a gift from a friend. I used it to prime my face before mineral foundation as it soaked quickly and didn’t make the powder cling on my skin making the application patchy or making my skin feel suffocated like a silicone primer. I still had around a quartet of a bottle left after a year of use so I used it up as a refresher for my arms and legs in the heat.

Soap & Glory Sexy Mother Pucker in Candy Queen didn’t feel like a very sticky lipsgloss which I liked and I also liked the tingling plumping formula because it made me feel like when I massage my lips with my toothbrush (cheapest and in my opinion the best lip scrub). At the beginning I wasn’t keen on fine glitter in it but I got used to it and I liked using it especially in the summer. If I bought it on its own, I would look for something without the glitter but otherwise I wouldn’t mind having it in a gift set again.

MUA clear mascara. I used it to fix my eyebrows after applying a shadow, so what’s left now is a brownish colour. It was £1, lasted ages and worked for what I used it for, so no complain.

Sainsbury’s Acetone Free Nail Polish Remover remover napolish well and wasn’t overly drying. And cheap. Won’t be surprised if I buy it again.

 

 

 

 

COSRX One Step Original Clear Pad

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COSRX One Step Original Clear Pad is a product I read and heard a lot about and although not the most expensive cleansing pads, as a person on budget, I was still hesitant to spend £15+ on cleansing pads as there are many cheaper options providing quite satisfactory results. But I kept lusting for them and when Asian Beauty Plus had promotion on COSRX products, I got them for around £10.99.

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If you read my blog ever so often, you might know I have oily skin and battle mostly hormonal adult acne, so looking for affordable and effecient acne treatment is kind of my thing, so considering many beauty blogger said they don’t suffer breakouts since using these pads made me want to try them (not to mention I loved everything I’ve tried from COSRX so far). If you, by any chance, haven’t heard of them, COSRX  One Step Original Clear Pads are disc shaped double sided pads soaked in a facial toner to “gently wipe out excess oil an and keep the complexion clear, refined and well-balanced”.

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Ingredients:

Willow bark water, butylene glycol, glycerin, betaine salicylate, 1, 2 – hexanediol, arginine, PEG-60 hydrogenated castor oil, panthenol, allantoin, ethyl hexanediol, orange peel oil, tea tree leaf oil, sodium hydroxide, sodium hyaluronate.

As toner pads, you should use them after cleansing, swiping embossing side across the face first, following with softer smooth side the same way.

My experience:

Although the packaging looks large, the size of pads is standard and comparable to other pads of this type. The pads are generously soaked, so I am not surprised that some bloggers cut them in half to double the usage time, I however want to avoid any crosscontamination and I think 70 pieces of pads are still good for the price. I also find the scent pleasant – it is a mix between orange peel and tea tree oil so I assume it is because of those ingredients.

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If you tried any COSRX anti-acne products, you know they treat acne gently, without drying out skin and these pads are no exception. They actually feel rather moisturising probably because of willow bark water being the first ingredient and glycerin the third.

It definitely works well for the spots, to the point when I thought “maybe I will finally be spotless” but towards the end of the month that one week came when a spot, ripe to be squeezed looked at me in the mirror calling my name and I picked and I squeezed and then more came. However, using this every evening also helped healing without big dry patches (although I use mineral powder foundation now that it’s hot, it doesn’t cling that much). I also noticed that red scarring after breakouts faded fairly quickly but then I use retinol and acid serums (not all at once but one evening acids, other retinol) in the evening. Still, I think that if you can keep your hands off your pimples so that you wouldn’t spread the infection, this one is good at managing an occasional breakout or if the cause of your acne is congestion but it doesn’t prevent hormonal breakouts.

June 2018 Empties

Welcome back to my blog, nice of you to call. June came to the end and I know you read this on many blogs, but I really can’t understand where did the month go. I have another bag of empties although a bit less full than usual this time, it was not an empty a day month, especially skincare was somehow difficult to empty, as I had also weeks when I didn’t use any sheet mask, so I didn’t have any new skincare empty for the first two weeks.

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Skincare

Nature Republic Real Nature Mask Sheet Cucumber and Tomato seemed to leave slightly less of the residue than the other masks from the series, however I do prefer more watery sheet masks.

Garnier SkinActive Moisture Bomb Super- hydrating Antioxidant moisturiser 3-in-1. There is a lot I like about this moisturiser – it was light but nicely moisturising, contained antioxidants from amla and pomegranate and although the SPF is only 10, it is UVA and UVB, so at least something, in case it happens when you’re so in rush in the morning, you forget your sunscreen. I think my hydration level in skincare is pretty good lately and it continued with the use of this moisturiser (besides other products in my skincare). It is cheap (with 1/3 off it is around £5) and works just the way I want, I would have no problem to repurchase this again.

Manuka Doctor Apiclear Purifying Face Mask was a great kaolin mask to sooth and treat breakouts, I even wrote a review about it. It is pricey, but the brand is always on offer somewhere so I recommend to at least try.

Mizon Water Volume EX First Essence feels like water but when you apply on face, you know it is not. Might not feel enough sa one of the steps for drier skin routine but for me it was perfect summer and seven skin method product.

Bodycare

Avon Planet Spa Revitalising Body souffle with ginseng was first open in winter but because of its light texture, I decided to use it up when weather’s warmer. It doesn’t have an extra fragrance and liked how it felt when massaged into body however it left on some residue that is not that visible until I had shower the next day and parts of body where I didn’t sponge looked a bit like when you apply white calamine lotion or sudocrem.

Yves Rocher Cerisier en Fleur EdT. Cherry blossom is my favourite fragrance and this is no exception although as this is eau de toilette, it didn’t feel that long lasting and I used it up in two months with daily use (and with the help from my daughters who also liked it, I noticed).

Yves Rocher Cerisier en Fleur shower gel in travel size had a beautiful intense cherry blossom fragrance. I gave it to my daughter when she went for four day school trip in Spain and she brought around half back. It created a lot of bubbles and the whole bathroom smelled beautiful after shower.

Yves Rocher Candied Orange & Almond shower and bath gel. Just like the hand cream I finished last month, I was a bit disappointed by the fragrance – didn’t smell much of orange, more just almond oil which I am not saying is unpleasant but it is not my kind of scent and reminds me if heavy face creams from the 80s.

Yves Rocher 2 in 1 firming moisturiser did contain parabens (as usual) but I really loved how soft and  smooth it made my skin so I certainly wouldn’t mind buying again.

CeraVe Reparative Hand Cream was certainly one of my favourite hand creams – it seemed thick and made my hands lovely soft but it absorbed quickly so it was good to use during the day.

Bellamianta Self Tanning Tinted Lotion was the biggest self tanning disaster in my life. I am not a swearing kind of person but this made me swear and pissed.  Putting dark brown staining water into a tube is nothing but a very idiotic idea. I was supposed to go to wedding next day so I didn’t want my legs look like a transplant from Morticia Adams body (I am a trousers kind of woman) in a dress so wanted to use it to give some colour to my lower limbs. After removing the foil seal and a bit of dried product, it still didn’t want to go out so I pressed it ever so slightly holding the tube upside down and it just exploded into my face and many places around me. I spent the next half an hour to scrub it off my body and face. Unfortunately, the product really sinks in as quickly as it promises and in the daylight the next day I looked like a flipping dalmatian. I just sealed the tube as tight as I could and it went to the bin, never have I ever finished with a product so quickly and definitely.

Mitchum Advanced Control 48hr Protection unscented promises no white Marka which it delivered at that was it for me, as I didn’t find this spray to be working well for me neither as an anti-perspirant or deodorant, especially last few days when it was hot. Still, managed to use it up but I didn’t find any pleasure about it.

Patisserie de Bain Cranberry & Cream shower gel and hand & body lotion (forgot to put that one in picture but it looks the same as the lotion). I didn’t expect to like this scent as I did, especially the shower her that smelled like cranberry sweets. The lotion was a bit of mix of cranberry and coffee to me but still great and I used it in two weeks as it also doubled as a hand lotion and I used it also as a foot lotion and although I didn’t expect much, after two week of nightly use, my feet got finally got better after the failed Primark foot peel and going out in sandals and flip flops left my feet rather dry and rough (but not peeling).

Cien Sun Kids SPF50+ provided only UVA protection and I wish it didn’t feel so sticky  (I used it only on body) but haven’t burnt (or even got a tan for that matter), even when I spent the whole day outside on my children’s sports day last week.

Haircare

Bed Head TIGI Beach Me was a gel mist and what I loved the most about it is that it was great for defining curls without leaving it crunchy. In addition, it had a fresh aquatic fragrance. The only peeve is that it lasted only a little bit over two weeks.

Bed Head TIGI Beach Freak moisturising detangler spray was another favourite of mine and basically sunshine in a bottle for hair (including amazing scent, I simply love those fragrances that TIGI use) but again, with all the hair in our family it didn’t last longer than the Beach Me gel and I actually finished both on the same day. Don’t have budget to repurchase (as Latest in Beauty sold out, unsurprisingly and economically, I need something bigger) I will wait for some end of summer sales.

Natural World Charcoal & Mint Rebalancing hair mask was more of a scalp mask than for hair as it was more cooling and quite light than providing nourishment for the hair. As a scalp mask, I would buy it again.

Dr Organic Hair Rescue and Restore Hemp Oil Restoring Hair and Scalp Treatment sounds complicated but it was a light foam I applied to my scalp and hair. It didn’t have any styling properties and I don’t think it restored my hair to the thickness before my second daughter but it did make my scalp more comfortable and less prone to flaking, without heavy residue.

TIGI Bedhead Beach Bound is supposed to be a colour protection spray for hair. It has a delicious scent like all TIGI products but I am not sure whether it really does something for my hair as 100 ml doesn’t go long on my long hair. Not sure I would repurchase but I am using the contained for home made spray detangler.

Dove Intensive Repair shampoo and conditioner were both great and nourishing with that typical Dove scent. I have a lot of shampoos at the moment but this is definitely something I would happily repurchase.

Make Up

Rimmel London 9-in-1 Skin Perfecting Super Makeup BB cream is an item I am decluttering. It is in medium so I thought I would like it in the summer but it is too orange and it feels a bit greasy on me although mattifying is one of its 9 promises and every time I try to blend it, it goes slightly patchy, like it is difficult for it to cling on my skin. It applied a bit better with mattifying primer but my skin looks more Orange then that even colour correcting powder can’t correct it enough. I also suspect that every time I used it for 2-3  days in a row, my skin got a bit congested and I got some breakouts although not big but outside my chin area where I usually have them. I have been trying to use it for well over a month and I just lost my patience with it.

Rimmel London Super Curler 24 had a bent bristle brush. It did what it says but I often got smudged eyelids and it seems to me that in comparison with other mascaras, this one dried more quickly than usual. Also, past 4 hours mark, I often found my mascara melting, maybe because of warmer weather but we can’t say that temperatures in the UK are extreme.

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Current Skincare

It’s been around two years since I did a post like that and as I am currently quite happy with the state of my skin (touch wood), I decided to write about my skincare. I am not saying, I am using the best products but I think I am doing best with what I have and as I am trying to use up my stash. I am on the budget most of the time and I think most people are (my most viewed post checked over and over again is actually about a £2 Superdrug’s bacne spray).  For the reference, I am in my mid thirties with oily skin, prone to hormonal breakouts usually around the jawline. I have been battling acne since I was ten but in comparison, one week a month I suffer from painful ugly jawline is much in my opinion much better than constant breakouts all over the face I used to have as a teen and in my early twenties when everyone was giving me advice about not “picking on pimples”.

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Morning routine

I know it is not recommended to usr foaming facial wash but I love the fresh feeling they give me in the morning, especially in the summer and nowadays there are many that don’t strip away. I am currently using Bioré Deep Pore Charcoal cleanser which is admittedly an SLS based wash so I definitely wouldn’t use on other than oily skin but is cheap, not too harsh in comparison with the most SLS cleansers and has a slightly minty feeling that is refreshing in the hot weather.

As I know by experience that despite good night clean, a lot of gunk is created and stuck on my skin in the night, I like using ordinary toner without active ingredients like acids and also preferably without alcohol, applied on a cotton pad, swiped around face and neck (and there is always a lot of dirt on my neck). Also, everything I use on my face, I use on neck and wipe the excess on the back of my hands.

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As I found out adding essence step provides light but necessery hydration that improved my skin, I never forget about this step anymore and at the moment, I am using Mizon Water Volume EX First Essence. It seems watery and some people would say it’s not enough but to me it is ideal for summer and is the weather seems too hot, I apply three layers of it and then just serum and sunscreen, leaving out the moisturiser and still getting smooth and plump skin.

Because the essence usually contains hyaluronic acid and I also don’t want to overload my skin, I use one serum, preferably with antioxidants or anti-pollution complex. For me at the moment it is Lavera Pre-moisturiser Hydro Effect Serum. I then apply my eye cream and follow with a light moisturiser, mostly with an SPF at this time of the year. I just used up Garnier Moisture Bomb Super-hydrating Antioxidant moisturiser with SPF10 broad spectrum and I really liked it.

COSRX Aloe Soothing Sun Cream is a great moisturiser sunscreen for oily skin with light, non-greasy texture that sinks in easily. I also apply it on my neck and chest where regular sticky and greasy body sunscreens often cause me breakouts.

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Evening routine

If you reading my blog (or any beauty blog for that matter), you probably know, double cleansing is the way to go.

First cleansing is supposed to clean sunscreen and make up. Many of those contain some part of oils, so it is better to use oil based cleansers which disolve all of the above easily. My favourite method are hot cloth cleansers or balms that I remove with a warm damp cloth. At the moment though, I am trying to use up a micellar water I have as the first cleanse. I stil prefer eye make up remover for my eye make up as most cleansers don’t feel very comfortable on my eyes or I don’t find them very good at removing mascara and eyeliner.  Cream or balm cleansers are also good to use as  second cleansers to actually clean the skin to prevent congestion and to help to following skincare penetrate into skin better. Especially if you’re oily, do the double cleanse, as since I have been doing a proper double cleanse every day, even if I don’t have make up, I don’t suffer from congested breakouts like I used to in the summer. As usual, I prefer facial wash as the second cleanse again.

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Two to three times a week, I use a mask after the second cleanse. On Tuesday, it is some kind of peeling/brightening mask, for me now, it is Vichy Double Glow Peel Mask. On Thursday or Friday, I like using clay based masks to control sebum, cleanse pores and give some kind of relief to my skin.

I am a toner kind of girl and always have been and evening for me calls for an acid toner and at the moment I use COSRX One Step Original Clear Pads (I am getting a review of them ready soon). Because I also use other active products in my evening routine, I prefer the toner to be gentler.

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After the toner it is the essence part and it is again one to three layers of Mizon Water Volume EX First Essence. While I wait for the essence to sink, I pat my eye cream in with my ring fingers.

I used to use quite a bit of sheetmasks and I loved the hydration level they gave me when I started using them but but the last few months I noticed, my skin feels better, if I used just once a week, sometimes even leave it out completely.

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At the serum stage, I am using acid based four times a week and three times a week it is retinol. On the night I use retinol, I apply sleeping mask before bed instead of night cream. If I feel like my skin is more sensitised, I use Klairs Blue Calming Cream and seal with Manuka Doctor Replenishing Facial Oil.  At the end of my routine, I use the Body Shop facial roller or if I use a sheet mask, I tend to use it while having the sheet mask on to aid the absorbtion. As I mentioned before, if I feel the weather is too hot for me to bear a night moisturiser, I finish my routine at the serum stage.