Beauty empties #15: Lumene, Paula’s Choice, and Erno Laszlo
This empties post is more than a month overdue, so be prepared for a ton of mini reviews. Get your tea/coffee/wine (no judgement!) ready!
The really good
These products really wowed me either in their usage experience and/or their results, and I’ve either repurchased them or plan on doing so, as I’d love to have these beauties in my routine!
- RapidLash Eyelash Enhancing Serum
This really does make my lashes longer! However if you stop using it your lashes will go back to their original length. Currently on my second tube and will keep repurchasing this.
- Christophe Robin Regenerating Shampoo with Prickly Pear Oil*
One of the few non-personalized shampoo I really enjoyed using. This lathers well and leaves my hair airy yet silky at the same time. Would definitely consider purchasing this one in the future!
- Tunemakers Concentrated Moisture Lotion
Reviewed here. Despite its water-like texture it hydrates just as well as the Klairs Supple Preparation Toner, plus it has a much shorter ingredient-list and no fragrances. The whole Tunemakers range is excellent if you want simple + potent formulas.
- Cosrx BHA Blackhead Power Liquid
An excellent yet gentle BHA toner that I could use daily on my t-zones without irritations. I love the texture of this too, it’s so much more elegant than Paula’s Choice 2% BHA Liquid!
- True Botanicals Renew Pure Radiance Oil*
Reviewed here. Ok now that it’s gone I really miss it. It’s definitely one of the most potent oils I’ve used, but it comes at a steep price. Worth it though if you have the $$$!
- Prof.TK TPGS-VE Rejuvenating Serum
This brand needs to expand outside of Taiwan because I adore this serum! It’s ultra calming and repairing, but feels like a light hydrating serum. I credit this to my skin’s super fast Picoway laser recovery! It’s also excellent on days I’ve overexfoliated!
- Klairs Midnight Blue Youth Activating Drops
Reviewed here. Repurchased many times already, this is a great anti-aging booster to add to any routine. My skin just looks and feels better whenever I use it regularly.
- Ole Henriksen Hygge HydraClay Detox Mask*
One of my least drying clay masks, this deep cleanses the skin without stripping it try. I also loved the super creamy texture, it really was a hygge moment when I used this.
The good to average
These didn’t quite wow me like products in the first tier, but I still enjoyed them enough and would be open to repurchasing in the future. Ranked in order of repurchasing likelihood!
- Pyunkang Yul Mist Toner
Reviewed here. I like how simple the ingredients were, making it ideal for layering between skincare steps. May repurchase this one again!
- Tunemakers Licorice Root Extract
Reviewed here. This was great for dabbing on breakouts to get rid of the redness! I’d also mix it in toners if I needed an anti-inflammatory or calming boost. A good product to have if you’re into DIY concoctions.
- Haus of Gloi Pumpkin Butter in Honey Love
I’ve been getting into indie beauty brands lately, and this was such a gem. The texture is super rich and lush, great for winter/dry skin folks. Honey Love is a LE scent, but honestly it’s not that great. Go with one of their bestseller scents instead!
- Lumene Nordic-C Brightening Hydra-Oil*
Reviewed here. A gorgeous bi-phase oil, this one moisturized well without feeling heavy or sticky. Not the best oil I’ve tried, but like the essence, the value is great.
- Paula’s Choice Antioxidant Pore Purifier*
A lightweight antioxidant serum with salicylic acid, this is a lovely option for combination/oily skin. I liked it, but I don’t love it.
- Lumene Nordic-C Glow Boost Essence*
Reviewed here. This has a nice blend of antioxidants + hydrating + brightening ingredients at an affordable price point. Not the most effective brightening product I’ve tried, but the value is good.
- Althea Petal Velvet Sunaway SPF50 PA++++*
Reviewed here. A mineral sunscreen with a beautiful matte + pore-blurring finish. However the potentially-photosensitive essential oils in the list are a concern, though I haven’t noticed any particular issues after finishing the bottle. I’m kinda torn between the incredible finish and the blah ingredients with this one.
Thanks, but pass
These are products I definitely would not repurchase for one reason or another. Some of these are actually decent, but some, a complete nightmare.
- Zym Nourish Facial Serum*
Reviewed here. This is a 20% vitamin c (ascorbic acid) serum in a fermented green tea base. Vitamin C products usually don’t do much for my skin in terms of brightening, but this one actually did make my skin a bit brighter. It’s pricey though, and it oxidized before I could finish the entire bottle (around the 1.5 month mark).
- Erno Laszlo Pore Refining Detox Double Cleanse*
Reviewed in my cleanser roundup, I enjoyed this one and its super gentle exfoliating actions from fruit enzymes. But for the price there are much better options out there.
- Givenchy Noir Interdit Mascara*
It had an adjustable want that you can set to bend at different angles for ease of application, and it did a good job of separating my lashes, but not much in the volume or length department.
- Momotani Clear Cleansing Lotion*
A Japanese micellar water with rice extracts and rice bran oil. I mainly used this to remove sunscreen and super light makeup, and it works well for that purpose. The texture was a bit too oily for me, so I’m not a fan.
- Neutrogena Oil-free Eye Makeup Remover
An old favorite of mine, I do like how affordable it is and it gets the job done without irritating my eyes. I feel like the formula has changed though and it’s not as effective anymore, so I won’t be repurchasing.
- Oskia Renaissance Mask
It has a beautiful texture and formula, and the results wowed me, as in “Wow, I spent this much on a mask that does absolutely nothing!“. I much prefer the Renaissance cleanser.
- Skin Aqua Tone Up UV Essence SPF50 PA++++
Avoid Japanese sunscreens with the words “tone up” or “brightening” on the label unless you enjoy major white cast. For that reason alone this was a total dud for me.
- SK-II R.N.A. Power Essence
I adore their FTE and Aura Essence but this was such a useless product, it did absolutely nothing. Hard pass.
- Lancome Hypnose Drama Mascara
Clumpy, wet, basically everything I hate in a mascara formula. Used this once, it gave me serious cockroach legs, so I stopped and now it’s all dried out. Ah well.
- Dejavu Fiberwig Mascara
Hauled this during my Tokyo trip because it had a “#1” label on it. It’s supposed to elongate your lashes with these little fibers, but the formula was a bit too wet for me and just ended up making my lashes look messy. No thanks.
Whew, what a relief to finally throw these empties away! Let me know if you’ve tried any of these or if there are any you’re curious about!
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