Mega Empties Post Part 2: Masks, Serums, Essences, Sunscreens, Eye Cream and Makeup

Thursday, June 22, 2017

This is my epic empties post part 2 (part 1 was written a few weeks back), and yes, we're going to do a quick-hits rundown of what I liked, what I didn't like, and why! And yes, there are some products I didn't like in part 2, unlike in part 1 where everything I did actually like. Which ones? You'll find out!

Yes, I am indeed capable of using up my massive stash of skincare products!

Today's post will focus on sunscreens, serums and essences, masks, sleeping masks, and exfoliating products, as well as the lone eye cream. Basically we continue from part 1 and cover all the product categories part 1 did not.

Instagram post of all my empties!

Well, we've got a lot of products to cover today, so if you're ready, let's get started!

Empties Eye Cream Nuxe
Eye Cream empties: Just the lone Nuxe Eye Cream

I have just one eye cream empty, the Nuxe Anti-Fatigue Moisturizing Eye Cream. It worked pretty well as a thick, emollient eye cream - which is just how I like my eye creams - and it does help to moisturize the skin. I liked this overall, and I think it's generally a solid eye cream. I vaguely recall thinking it was a tad perfumey at first (Nuxe products sometimes can be) but eventually I got used to it.

Empties Sunscreen Avene Enavose
Sunscreen empties: Avene and Enavose

I have two sunscreens that I've also used up, an Avene Very High Protection Spray with SPF 50+, and an Enavose Sunbrella UV Mist SPF 45, which I reviewed here a log time ago.

Let's talk about the Avene sunscreen first. The Avene sunscreen is clearly a favourite of mine, and has probably already appeared on my empties posts quite a few times. I do review quite a few sunscreens, but I tend to gravitate towards buying this one because 1) it's cheap, and 2) it works. And I know that it really does work, because way back in 2012 I had to stand out in the sun for 4 hours or so for some work duty, and I used this very same sunscreen on my face (applied once in the morning but didn't reapply), but not my body. And my body got burned (check out the tweet below), but my face was fine - very mild redness.

On a side note, check out the old school twitpic link! This was back in the day when you couldn't upload photos directly to Twitter. So anyway, since then, I've more or less been using this fairly consistently. I do try out other sunscreens now and then, and while some of them are also good, the price of the Avene sunscreen can't be beat. Unfortunately it's a bit oily and thick, but given that it holds up really well, I'm happy to keep using it.

The Enavose Sunbrella UV Mist SPF 45 was one of those products I wanted to love but couldn't. Wanted to love because it was quite lightweight, and comes in a nice spray bottle that's convenient to carry and apply. But, the sunscreen formulation itself is not stable (when I reviewed this way back when, I wasn't aware of it, and a reader had to kindly point it out - so thanks, informed reader!). I ended up using this for travel, to reapply sunscreen when I needed it - I figured although it wasn't that stable over time, I would be reapplying anyway. But otherwise, I probably wouldn't recommend that anyone buy this - sunscreen really needs to be stable, if not the protection it offers could be compromised.

Empties Serums Essence Etude House Payot Cellnique
Serum and essence empties: Etude House, Payot, Holy Snails, Cellnique

Now we have some serums and essences and things like that, and I have some products here which I liked, and some I didn't. Let's go through each of them

First, the Etude House Moistfull White Mela Perfect Serum. I like brightening products, so I was pretty excited to try this. I think it was a decent serum, but nothing to scream about. On the plus side, it absorbed quickly, didn't feel sticky, and had the brightening ingredient within the top 5 ingredients in the ingredient list (I recall it being niacinamide, if I'm not wrong). On the other hand, it was kinda perfumey, and also it had alcohol within the top 5 ingredients (i.e. alcohol could be there in fairly significant amounts). Since I was pairing this serum with a heavier moisturizer and my Avene sunscreen, I figured my routine could handle the addition of one serum with alcohol. I probably wouldn't rebuy this, though. Etude House does have other better skincare products I would purchase first.

Next we have the Payot Elixer Purete, which is meant to treat acne skin. This I really did not like at all. Firstly, alcohol is really high up in the ingredients list. Secondly, I didn't quite see any ingredients in significant amounts that were specifically meant to target acne skin - no BHAs, acids, retinols, anything. So right off the bat, I felt this was a little dodgy - it was a basic hydrating serum with a good amount of alcohol inside, but I highly doubted its claims of treating acne. However, since I was suffering from an acne outbreak at the time, I decided to give it a whirl. I figured the tiny 30ml bottle wouldn't last long, and at least I would get to see if it really helps my acne, right? Spoiler alert: I felt it neither helped nor worsened my acne, but I also didn't like the product enough to continue using it. Like the Etude House Mela Perfect Serum, this was quite perfumey, but unlike the Etude House Serum, there wasn't a good ingredient that was high up the list for me to forgive the alcohol content. In the end, I couldn't quite finish this product, and just decided to get it out of my routine. So, it's not really an "empty", but it's a product that I'm throwing out.

And, we have Holy Snails Shark Sauce, which is quite the cult product among the Reddit kbeauty community. I bought mine off her store, because I was so curious to test it out after all the raves. The ingredients looked pretty nice too - if I recall niacinamide is the main ingredient here, although the product also included some other very nice supplementary ingredients. When I tried it, it did hydrate my skin, wasn't overly sticky, had a nice skinfeel, layers nicely with my other skincare products, and has a solid ingredients list. So this is something I would consider rebuying at some point. Also I love the tiny nozzle dispenser packaging - I feel like it keeps the product more hygienic.

Lastly, we have the Cellnique Intense Hyaluronic Acid Serum. This was a pretty nice, decent product, and I don't have that much to say about it. My mum used it too and found it decent. Neither of us hated it, but neither of us liked it that much either. I'm kind of on the fence over whether I would rebuy this - I think it's generally alright, but pretty pricey.

Empties Masks Exfoliants Laneige Enavose Elizabeth Arden Cure
Sleeping masks, masks and exfoliators empties: Laneige, Elizabeth Arden, Enavose, and Cure

We also have sleeping masks, masks, and exfoliators!

First up, the Laneige Water Sleeping Pack. This is actually the second jar I used up, and my thoughts on the product haven't changed since my previous empties post featuring this product. Basically, I found this to be a decent, if basic moisturizer with a lightweight feel, and instead of using it as a nighttime treatment (I prefer to use my harsher retinoids and acids at night), I use this as a daytime moisturizer. And why not? The light feel makes it pretty functional as one. I would happily use up any other jars I have lying around at home, but I'm not sure if I would repurchase given that it's essentially a somewhat expensive basic moisturizer. I feel like I could get other nice lightweight day moisturizers for cheaper. Nice texture and skinfeel, though.

Next, we have the Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Boosting 5 Minute Facial, which I've reviewed before. This is a combination of a mask and serum (you apply the mask first, wait for it to foam, rinse it off, then apply the serum). I personally preferred the second serum step to the first, mainly because I didn't really like the inclusion of menthol in the rinse-off mask, and the corresponding tingly feel the mask had. Also, the exfoliation was a bit too gentle for me (although those who like their exfoliants very mild might like this). I passed it on to my mum, who also found it a bit too mild for her as well, so it isn't just that I've been slathering so much acid on my face that I have too high an acid tolerance! So while I used it up, I don't know if I would repurchase, because I just tend to prefer stronger exfoliants.

Next, we have the Cure Natural Aqua Gel, which is a pretty famous peeling/gommage-type exfoliant. I'm honestly not too much a fan of these peeling-type exfoliants, because my favourite type of exfoliator is an acid one (preferably something really strong, like glycolic acid). So in the case of the Cure Natural Aqua Gel, where there is no actual exfoliant (in the sense that there are no acids or physical exfoliants), the exfoliation only happens when you rub the product off your skin - along with the balls of product, some skin comes off too. But the skin that comes off is really incidental, so it's again a case of "exfoliation not strong enough". I didn't see much effect with this and passed it on to my sister, who loved it - I guess seeing the sheets and balls of product rolling off the skin really convinced her the product was working. I wouldn't rebuy this (or any other gommage-type exfoliator for that matter, since I love my acids too much) but my sister totally did.

Lastly, the Enavose Black Tea Quench Mask, which I reviewed a long long time ago in 2012, when I didn't even do ingredients-based reviews for skincare yet (yes, those were some dark times for my inner skincare nerd). But, before you get horrified - this is not the same jar of mask from 2012! My mum actually "stole" the jar from me, used it up, and liked it so much that she bought another. So this is the second jar that my mum has used up. It's a nice simple moisturizing mask, and easy and fuss-free to use. It's a good basic, I suppose, but doesn't have that many bells and whistles.

So that's it for the second part of my mega empties post! I am still working on using up more products, so expect more empties posts!


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  2. Interesting post as always! I used Nuxe eye creams too. Although it did (and promised) only few things other than decently moisturizing my eye area, I really like it. I agree with you with the perfumey scent. It smells so nice, though, I don't mind at all. I am currently using other eye creams, but I know at some point I will return to the Nuxe eye creams.

  3. Hi Jerlene,
    First of all, I wanted to say thank you for recommending the Avene Sunscreen, it has been efficient on me (I tanned but didn't burn so it is a success).

    I have a question about dry oil sunscreen : do you think it is as efficient as the creams ? Does the matter (cream, oil, milk) affect the effectiveness of the sunscreen ?

    With Regards,



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