Yes, look at that - it's a whole bunch of products covering makeup, skincare, and nails! Without further ado, let's dive straight into them, shall we?
Makeup products: Chacott Cosmetics Loose Finishing Powder, Apivita Lip Care in Blackcurrant, and Covergirl Trushine in Blushberry
Let's start with makeup, since it's usually the easiest to describe. I used up an Apivita Lipbalm, a super-ancient Covergirl Trushine in Blushberry, and a sample-sized Chacott Cosmetics Finishing Powder. The Apivita Lip Care Lipbalm was reviewed before on my blog, and I liked it then, and I still like it now, even though I've finished. The Covergirl Trushine is an old favourite of mine - I probably still have a few backups of it lying around in my stash. (I went on this crazy Trushine-buying spree when I found they were going to be discontinued.) In my, like, second post on the blog (when it was just a baby blog), and in my signature Asian undertones blogpost, I'm also wearing that same Covergirl Blushberry Trushine in all of the photos. So yes, was a fan then, still a fan now. Why, oh why, oh why did it have to get discontinued?
Anyway, moving on. The Chacott Finishing Powder is something like MUFE's HD Powder, in that it is silica-based, which would explain why I liked it and used it up, because I'm a huge fan of MUFE's HD Powder, but somehow I don't think the Chacott version is totally silica. It's silica and other things, although I'm not too sure what, because my sample vial didn't come with the ingredients list. It was white just like the MUFE powder, and goes on transparent when dusted on lightly. I used it much like I used the MUFE powder, or for that matter, any silica powder, which I've explained in this post before. But basically, I use it like a setting powder, after my sunscreen and skincare but before my makeup, in lieu of foundation (I don't wear much foundation because of my acne). So, I liked it, but I didn't think it was particularly unique. It is a viable alternative for those who find straight up silica powder spheres I think, because it's less whitish and stark in shade.
Skincare products: Alpha Hydrox 10% Enhanced Cream, DHC Spot Therapy, Bioderma Sensibio Eye, and Kitoko Kalani Acne Ampoule
Next, come the skincare! I used up an entire tube of DHC Spot Therapy, a vial of Kitoko Kalani Acne Ampoule, a tube of Bioderma Sensibio Eye Cream, and an Alpha Hydrox 10% Enhanced Creamm. The DHC Spot Therapy was part of my haul when I visited Japan a few years back, and since then, I had been using it on an on-again-off-again basis. It was alright, it seemed to help, but not spectacularly. Anyway, eventually I used it up, feeling "meh" about its efficacy. The Kitoko Kalani Acne Ampoule, on the other hand, is something I really liked. What you're seeing is one vial, but it actually comes in a set of 10 vials. One vial lasts me about 3-4 weeks, so I guess if you have less acne than me it's conceivable that a box will last you a year. I really liked this because it has a good amount of salicylic acid and tea tree oil, both of which are good at reducing inflammation, and fighting that nasty P. Acnes bacteria. It also didn't sting my skin or do anything weird like that. I bought mine from Beaute Spring, but I suppose you can get it at various Asian Sasa-like shops that sell it.
I also used up the Bioderma Sensibio Eye Cream. This was also a purchase I made, and it's a nice, basic eye cream, that worked well under makeup. It's not the richest or thickest of creams, so it's probably suited towards the early 20s younger market (where you need light hydration but don't want anything too thick or waxy-feeling). In that sense, it was a pretty good eyecream - not a standout, but good nevertheless.
Lastly, the Alpha Hydrox 10% Enhanced Cream was one that I used up. It's a fantastic product, although probably not for sensitive skins. It has 10% glycolic acid, which is an AHA (hence the brand name, Alpha Hydrox, I suppose), and it really works to slough off all those dead skins. The thing is, it does sting if you have 1) very sensitive skin, 2) have open wounds on your face (say, a pimple that burst - and yes, that was from personal experience), or 3) skin that recently underwent some treatment that may have contributed to (1) or (2) (say, microdermabrasion, lasers, or some other treatment). But I find that when used on fairly unbroken, less-sensitive skin, it worked really well to generally help my skin maintain a level of clearness and overall skin health. It's marketed as an anti-aging, anti-wrinkle product, and it will fulfill that function perfectly due to its exfoliating benefits, which reveal newer skin underneath, but honestly, glycolic acid has really strong science behind it backing its skincare benefits, and anyone can benefit from exfoliation. This product is cheap enough, and I bought mine off iHerb (since I'm not a US resident and thus don't have access to Walgreens), but I do think that as long as your skin can tolerate AHAs, or acids in general, and as long as you are in a position to use it, it's definitely worth a try. I really need to do a proper review for this - it really deserves a two-thumbs up from me, and I actually have backup jars of this on hand! (What, you didn't think I was going to order just one, did you?) The only thing is - if it's your first time using this product, go slow, especially if you've never used an acid-based product before. It can sting and cause redness, but your skin does get used to it. I recommend a patch test, and using it at intervals (say once a week), before gradually increasing frequency if you find your skin works with the product.
Nail products: Gelous Advanced Nail Gel Coat, and Sally Hansen Megashine Top Coat
Lastly, but not least, my nail top and base coats. The base coat is a longtime favourite of mine, Gelous Advanced Nail Gel Coat, and the topcoat is also one of my longtime selections, Sally Hansen MegaShine Top Coat. The good thing about Gelous is that it's a good combination of all the desirable base coat traits - it does help to prevent staining, my nails feel stronger with it on, and it dries pretty fast. Sally Hansen Megashine dries fast - not as fast as, say, Seche Vite, but it comes with correspondingly less shrinkage. The lack of shrinkage is what I liked best about Megashine, as I often see that very fast-drying topcoats often have major shrinkage. So I guess that is the trade off with Megashine. Still, it has a nice shiny finish in quick enough time, so I'll take it. I've been buying both Gelous and Megashine for awhile now, and I'll probably keep buying them until they are discontinued (knowing my luck, that is just waiting to happen...).
So that's it - these are my empties thus far! I'm actually pretty proud of my progress - I really need to chronicle my empties more, if you guys are interested in reading these posts! What have you been loving and using so far? Do share your thoughts with me!