It’s been almost 5 months since my last skincare empties post, so you can imagine the mountain of
trash products that I have piled up dying to be reviewed. So let’s not waste anytime and get started!
Lovely enough to repurchase
While I might not repurchase all these immediately, I would never say no to using them again, and would highly recommend suitable ski types giving them a try!
- Activist Skincare Custom Hyaluronic Acid Serum* – I love the bespoke aspect of this serum, the variety of beneficial ingredients, and how lovely it felt on the skin. It does a bit of everything: hydrate, protect, smooth, and anti-aging. I’m trying to finish up some of my other serums so I can add this back into my routine. Full review here.
- Crabtree & Evelyn Pear & Pink Magnolia Body Souffle* – The texture of this is so decadent I could cry. It’s the perfect balance of nourishing without being heavy, and the fact that I actually finished the jar speaks to how much I enjoy using it. I got bored quickly with its somewhat generic floral scent though, so if I do repurchase this I’ll probably pick up another fragrance.
- Klairs Midnight Blue Youth Activating Drops – This was my second bottle, and now my skin is missing it dearly. I love the water-like texture, simple ingredients, and how it improves my skin’s texture and tone. Definitely repurchasing this one. Full review here.
- Marc Jacobs Highliner Matte Gel Eye Crayon in Earth(quake) – My go-to smudge-proof eyeliner. I prefer the dark brown shade for a softer look, and Earth(quake) gives just enough definition to the eyes without being too harsh.
- Nuxe Reve de Miel Face Cleansing Gel – A nice and gentle foaming cleanser that has a sweet floral to it. I rather enjoyed using a travel sized sample of this, but I don’t think I love it enough to commit to a huge ass bottle.
- Oskia Renaissance Cleansing Gel – Another beautiful cleanser, this is a cult favorite for a reason. Its gel-to-oil texture feels lush on the skin, and it uses enzymes to provide gentle exfoliation.
- Oskia Super 16 Serum – This is very similar to the Activist Skincare serum above, but with more focus on anti-aging. It has a beautiful texture and a subtle floral scent that elevates the usage experience. Another great all-around serum to have in any routine if you like bougie products (yes it’s expensive af).
- Shiseido Essential Energy Moisturizing Gel Cream* – I typically don’t like gel moisturizers but this one provided noticeable results: smoother and more refined skin. It’s also hydrating without being heavy, making it a great choice for oily skin folks. If I do repurchase, I’d get the Moisturizing Cream version instead.
- SK-II R.N.A. Power Airy Milky Lotion – This is a lighter, non-gel version of their classic RNA Power Cream, so no pilling whatsoever! It’s surprisingly hydrating and leaves a soft velvet finish. My skin also looked brighter and smoother while using this, so there’s a good chance I’ll be dropping $$$ on this in the future.
Also lovely, but not my cup of tea
Objectively I don’t think they’re bad products at all, some I even really enjoyed using at one point. But for one reason or another, I won’t be repurchasing any of these myself.
- Activist Skincare Cleansing Balm* – If you’re into eco-beauty, this cleansing balm is a great option. “Clean” ingredients aside, it emulsifies beautifully and rinses clean without requiring a wash cloth. I’m pretty picky with cleansing balms though, and would prefer something scented, which is why I’m passing on this one.
- Avene Thermal Spring Water – Good for extra hydration between routine steps, but my skin just likes La Roche Posay better. Honestly if you like water in a can, you can’t go wrong with either one.
- iUNIK Propolis Vitamin Synergy Serum* – While it has a lovely ingredient list, it didn’t do much for my skin other than some basic hydration. On the bright side, it’s affordable and has a lovely texture, so it might be a great option for younger folks.
- iUNIK Rose Galactomyces Essential Toner* – Same verdict as the serum: nice all around, but nothing special.
- Klairs Midnight Blue Calming Cream – This used to be one of my favorite Klairs products, but this time around I just didn’t love it as much, maybe because my skin is more resilient now? But if you have sensitive or easily irritated skin, this could be worth checking out. Full review here.
- Korres Yoghurt Nourishing Fluid Veil Face Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 30 – I won this in Rowena‘s giveaway, and it’s one of the few Western sunscreens I actually enjoyed using. It’s hydrating without being heavy, and is the only base that works with the finicky Marc Jacobs Shameless Youthful-Look 24H Foundation. I personally prefer higher UV protection, but if you’re ok with SPF30, this is a really nice option.
- Live Botanical Aer Fresh Complexion Cleanser – With apple amino acids as the only surfactant, this is one of the best cleanser formulas I’ve come across, and it’s truly gentle on the skin. This would’ve been a holy grail morning except that its claim of a sweet tea scent was barely noticeable. But if you don’t care for fragranced products, you’ll love this one!
- Nars Satin Lip Pencil in Rikugien – I actually like both the shade and the formula of this lip pencil. It’s a universally flattering dusty rose shade that doesn’t accentuate lines and feels hydrating on the lips. I wish it was more pigmented though, and there are just too many similar shades out there for me to ever buy this again.
- Original Human Kalahari Melon Facial Serum* – This feature oil is meant to balance the skin, and while I appreciate its great ingredients, I didn’t really love the usage experience. It smelled of herbs (not my favorite scent) and was a bit too heavy. If you have drier skin and aren’t picky about scents, you might like this one.
- Peter Thomas Roth Potent-C Power Serum* – One of the better vitamin c serums I’ve tried. It has great ingredients and doesn’t irritate my skin like ascorbic acid, but sadly I didn’t notice any significant improvements. I still think it’s one of the better vitamin c formulas and worth checking out, it’s just not for me.
- Smashbox Always Sharp Waterproof Kohl Liner in Sumatra – My old favorite. I lost track of how many of these I repurchased, but now I prefer the Marc Jacobs fineliner. The auto-sharpening feature of this is pretty convenient, but each pen barely lasts me a few months, and I only wear makeup on weekends!
- Vichy 3-in-1 Micellar Solution – Bought this in Amsterdam because I ran out of makeup remover while traveling, and for a micellar water, it does a decent job of removing non-waterproof makeup. However, Bioderma Sensibio is still the hg micellar water for me.
Sorry, but no
Take these rants with a grain of salt, since your mileage may vary.
- Omorovicza Thermal Cleansing Balm – So many people rave about this, but for me it’s a pain to wash off because it doesn’t emulsify and requires a washcloth (my bad for not reading the descriptions clearly). It does have a nice texture, but I didn’t find that this cleansed better than other balms, even with a washcloth. Not worth the high price for me.
- Minon Amino Moist Moisturizing Mask (box of 4) – For a mask targeted towards dry and sensitive skin, it’s not very hydrating nor soothing. It also didn’t adhere to my face very well. Hard pass.
- Tammy Fender Bulgarian Rose Water* – You can find rose water for a fraction of the price, not to mention this did nothing for my skin. Next.
- Naruko NRK Alps Edelweiss Soothing & Calming Mask (box of 5) – I thought these would be comparable to the My Beauty Diary Alps Edelweiss Ultra Repairing Mask, but they didn’t even come close. While the latter instantly nourishes and soothes dry, irritated skin, the Naruko one did little except hydrate. Pass.
- Shiseido Anessa Essence UV Sunscreen Aqua Booster SPF50+ PA++++ – How a sunscreen manages to be oily and drying is baffling to me, but this one does it. One of the most disappointing sunscreens I’ve tried to date. Avoid like the plague.
- Neocell Ceramides Skin Hydrator* – I’m a big fan of the brand’s collagen powders, but these supplements were very meh. Asides from vitamin c, I’m very iffy about the benefits of the other extracts in this.
- SK-II Facial Treatment Cleanser – I love SK-II but omg this was so drying! I checked the ingredients and it actually looks decent (for a cleanser), so I’m not sure what the issue was. Hard pass.
And that concludes this ridiculous roundup of empties! Just curious, do you prefer I keep sharing my empties on the blog like this, or would you prefer Instagram stories/highlights whenever I finish a product?
Happy Friday and I hope you all have a great weekend!