Skincare Empties! Serums, Essences, Moisturizers, and All That!

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

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Another few months have passed, and with that more empties! Yes I have been trying to use up my products instead of just accumulating them (because truth be told as a beauty junkie you do accumulate a LOT after a short period of time). Anyway over the past few months, I (with a little help from some of my family members) have managed to accumulate quite the literal pile of products. Behold! My empties!

As usual, I wait for months until my empties pile up to the high heavens before it occurs to me to do an empties post, LOL

Since these are a lot to get through, they're going to be split into two parts - skincare, and makeup. We'll start with the skincare first. Basically every face product you can think of - lotions, essences, creams, masks, eye creams, are all in this post. Except sunscreens, because they're grouped with makeup this time round (mostly just to prevent this post from getting too long).

Alright, let's get to it!

Empties Mists Lotions Toners Shu Uemura Vichy Hada Labo
Toners, Lotions and Sprays

First up, toners and lotions and sprays! The Hada Labo Hydrating Lotion you've seen before in a whole bunch of previous empty posts, so I won't bore you with how much I adore Hada Labo lotions in general. The other two are new - the Shu Uemura Whitefficient Whitening Lotion that I reviewed in 2015 (so yes it did take me 3 years to use it up - what can I say, I do have a large stash of beauty products). This I found pretty alright, not a standout but not terrible. It does have a stable form of Vitamin C, and also some alcohol. The La-Roche Posay Serozinc is also a product I've written about before - I, uh, basically expressed skepticism that it would work as an anti-acne spray (which was the way it was advertised at the time). I did use up a bottle of it, and although I did like it (I do like face sprays in general), I couldn't really discern whether this one was particularly geared towards helping my acne or not. It certainly didn't make it worse, and otherwise worked very well as a face mist. I'd use it again.

Empties Moisturizer Curel Vichy Face Shop
A lot of moisturizers this time!

Now we move on to various moisturizers! First, the Curel Moisture Gel, which really does feel more like a serum/essence-type product than a creamier moisturizer per se. I actually really really liked this, and it's a pretty inexpensive brand too, so would totally buy again. You may recall I also liked the Curel Sebum Care Lotion from an older empties post, so between this Moisture Gel and the Lotion, I'm starting to get a really good impression of Curel products in general! It sort of has the same vibe as Hada Labo - not much scent, textures are light and products are hydrating, and the range is inexpensive. Would definitely rebuy.

Next, we have the Nuxe White Brightening Moisturizing Emulsion, which wasn't bad as well, and worked pretty well, but I do recall having a pretty strong scent. The Vichy Normaderm Mattifying Anti-Blemish Care also was't bad, but it's sort of formulated much like the rest of the Normaderm line - which is to say, the textures are formulated to be thin, and the products are scented, and sometimes there is alcohol in the product. But overall, if you're looking for an acne range for oily skin that's easy to use and has a light skinfeel and doesn't leave any residue on the skin, this is a good range to check out. As you can see I got the product in in 2016, from this IG post.

As you can tell, I also got it along with the Nuxe BB cream (which was sadly too dark for my NC20ish skintone) (Source)

Another moisturizer I've used and liked for the most part is the La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo, which I've reviewed before and mostly liked. I used this as a moisturizer, and I found that it was very cosmetically elegant and sat well under my other makeup and sunscreen products. The scent is quite strong - it basically has the "La Roche Posay" floral scent, but otherwise I don't have too many complaints.

We also have the Histolab Acnex Science Acrive Cream, which is one product in Histolab's rather extensive Acnex Science skincare range, which is supposed to target acne. You can actually see the entire Histolab Acnex Science skincare range in this really old throwback IG post from 2015(!) - and it basically consists of the entire works - cleanser, toner, lotions, moisturizer, spot treatment, the list goes on. Anyway, this product primarily has niacinamide as the anti-acne ingredient, which is a fairly common blemish ingredients among kbeauty brands, so if you like niacinamide you might want to give this a shot. The cream itself was not bad, actually - it had a thicker feel on skin, and smelled vaguely herbal, but it worked well as a moisturizer that didn't aggravate my acne. Would use if it wasn't so expensive, like, say if it was on sale.

Yup, this was the original set I got (Source)

Also an empmty is The Face Shop Blanclouding White Moisture Cream, which I got in 2015, according to this super old IG post. I kind of really like the branding - it's very evocative of both a brightening effect that's going to make your skin fair like a cloud (?), and of the product shielding your skin from the sun like cloud cover. In any case, I don't have any particularly strong views on this - it's a nice white cream, not too heavy but not particularly lightweight, and not bad overall. No particularly strong brightening effect, however.

The Face Shop Blanclouding Cream when it was new! Source

Last, but certainly not least, we also have the Dr Ci Labo Aqua Collagen Gel Enrich. This one had a billion and one ingredients, but it wasn't bad - it was a nice gel moisturizer with a lot of pretty nice ingredients, including collagen of course (if you're into collagen skincare). Although I'm personally skeptical of collagen in skincare, the formulation as a whole is pretty nice. The brand is a bit on the expensive side, but the product is good. My mum ended up stealing this from me, so I guess that makes two of us.

Empties Serums Essences Vichy Origins Atorrege
Serums and essences!

Next are various serums and essences. The Vichy Ideal White Essence has been reviewed on my blog before, and basically the product isn't bad - it does have some pretty interesting and novel brightening ingredients - but it does have alcohol. While this is formulated to give the product a lighter skinfeel, if you have very sensitive skin then the alcohol content might be a bit high. When I used this, I found it to be alright, but I did follow up with a thicker moisturizer after. Also reviewed before is the Vichy Aqualia Thermal Dynamic Hydration Serum, which I really liked the last time I reviewed it. As of now, my views are still the same. This is a very good serum for basic hydration, and I would be happy to use it again. Also for hydration, is the newer Vichy Mineral 89, which I've reviewed on my blog too). However while both are good hydrating serums, I slightly prefer the Dynamic Hydration Serum because it layers better with other skincare and has less of a tendency to ball up and peel off. Wow, that's a lot of Vichy serums, huh? I guess I must like the brand more than I think!

The rest of the serums are non-Vichy ones, haha. One of the ones I really liked is the Atorrege AD+C5 EX Brightening Essence, which I did a little mini-review-of-sorts for on my Instagram post here. Basically this is a classic vitamin C serum - it has vitamin C, water, and alcohol (to enhance penetration). Some might not like the alcohol, but it's a fairly common feature in Vitamin C serums (because Vitamin C can be difficult to penetrate the skin otherwise). I also like the brown dropper bottle, it's one of the best ways to package Vitamin C (which could also be volatile to exposure to air and light). This product isn't cheap either, but It's a good Vitamin C serum, and I would rebuy if it was within my budget.

The Atorrege AD+C5 EX Brightening Essence when it was still new-ish (Source)

The Origins Original Skin Renewal Serum is also a product I've reviewed on my blog previously. I found this to be a fairly simply-formulated serum (it's mostly water, silicones, and some of the plant oils and extracts Origins is famous for including in its products), and I thought it was a decent, non-oily serum that absorbed fast. I do personally find this particular serum a little bit overpriced for what it is though. That said, the Original Skin Retexturizing Mask that I reviewed together with the serum is still in my skincare rotation, and I do quite like it. Origins tends to be a fairly hit-and-miss brand for me however - some products are really nice, and some are kind of meh.

Last - but also not least! - is the Porcelain Face Spa Sebum Control Essence. According to this IG post, I actually got ahold of this bottle in 2016(!). Anyway, although this is a Sebum Control Essence, it has a very nice hydrating feel, and also contains hyaluronic acid. It actually, if I recall, didn't seem to contain too much in the way of acne-fighting ingredients, so it actually works as a general nice hydrating essence. I liked this, although it was kinda expensive. I'm not sure if I would rebuy at the price (especially given how small the container is), but I would be happy to receive this as a gift.

Empties Eye Cream Moisturizer Loreal Skin Food

And with that, let's move on to - well this is actually a random shot of products I forgot to include, haha. There's an eye cream, a moisturizer, and a face mask. The eye cream is the Skin Food Premium Grape Cell Eye Cream, which is a pretty nice eye cream. It's on the more thick and emollient side, so it's great if you're in a cold climate or have very dry skin. This tube is all cut up and used up now, but I was using this as my to-go eye cream for traveling for awhile, because it works well in cold climates (as you can see from the photo below - and yes this is from 2015. Man, IG has all the receipts, haha).

The Skin Food Grape Cell Eye Cream is very emollient, so I was using it as my to-go eye cream for traveling

The L'Oreal Revitalift Filler HA Cushion Cream is also a product I've reviewed on the blog before, way back in 2016 (are you starting to see a pattern here?). This is a good basic moisturizer, and I found that it gave me no problems, either with my acne, or in terms of layering with other skincare, so I basically just used up the entire jar. The fragrance didn't bother me that much once I got used to it. It's pretty basic, so I'm not sure if I would rebuy it again, but I certainly wouldn't be mad to use it again. Sometimes you just want a basic moisturizer that does the job.

The Body Shop British Rose Fresh Plumping Mask is a really nice mask, and I got this when it was released in 2016 in ye olde days. It's a lightweight gel-like mask, and really hydrates skin. It's also supposed to be "vegetarian"/"vegan" (the brand's language, not mine) mask, meaning that there aren't any animal-derived ingredients inside. This is the type of mask that can be used on all skin types. My mum also totally stole this from me and ended up using it way more than me, so you know it's a pretty nice mask. I'd use it again!

Empties Mask Environ
Environ Intensive Revival Mask - has glycolic acid to exfoliate skin

Alright, and our last skincare empty for the day! This is the Environ Intensive Revival Mask, which the brand bills as it being a "facelift in a jar". Why? Because it has glycolic acid and lactic acid inside! As you might be able to guess I am a huge fan of this mask (as I am with anything glycolic acid). The mask is pretty creamy in terms of texture, with lots of emollients (I'm guessing they balance out the bite from the glycolic acid somewhat?) and basically you apply it to your skin, let it sit for a few minutes, and then rinse off. It's definitely not as effective as actually doing a chemical peel in a doctor's office, but for an at-home product, it's really good. I would totally get this again.

So, that's it for the skincare empties I've used up over the past number of months, and a really long summary of how I've found each of them! There's another post on makeup empties coming soon.

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