Empties #7: March 2014

This month I tried to clear out a lot of the sample/travel size items that I have been accumulating – whilst I love having them available for holidays, I don’t actually go on that many holidays so I definitely had to downsize a bit!

1. Simple Cleansing Facial Wipes
2. Biore Cleansing Oil Cotton Facial Sheets

Cleansing facial wipes are a gym essential – I cant bring myself to exercise with makeup on! The Simple wipes are very nice; they are a good size wipe with no sting, and removes makeup easily. I used to love the Biore ones because of how wet and effective they are, even with waterproof mascara, but now I’m a little frustrated with its small sheet size; it takes a few sheets to wipe my whole face so it’s quite wasteful and expensive that way.

3. Dermal Bee Venom Collagen Essence Mask
4. My Beauty Diary Bulgarian White Rose Mask

These are by no means the only facial sheet masks I’ve used this month; somehow I remembered to keep the wrapping for these. I love sheet masks and am not too fussy about what brand or type as I don’t find them to be so different in terms of efficacy, so these worked well.

5. Dior Diorskin Nude Compact in 030 Medium Beige
Got this sample from the Dior counter and have been using it on the go in my small Z-palette – I do like this; the powder is very smooth, feels light on the skin, but does not look powdery. Would consider purchasing.

6. Cosmetika Compact Powder in 302
A powder I received from a subscription beauty box that I didn’t use much; the texture is quite hard and dry, plus it got ‘bumpy’ after a couple of uses. Throwing it out because I won’t be using it any more.

7. Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Plump Perfect Ultra Lift & Firm
8. Astalift Whitening Cream
The Elizabeth Arden cream is meant to be an all night repair for face and throat; for nights that my skin feels extra dry this came in very handy – slap on a good amount of this cream before bed and wake up to very well hydrated skin. The Astalift cream paled in comparison – it’s not bad, just nothing outstanding except for its orange tint.

9. Murad Essential C Day Moisture SPF 30 in 3 Hydrate/Protect
Quite like this; this has a faint citrus scent, and absorbs very quickly into the skin. I find that it worked very well under makeup even on a hot day!

10. Shiseido White Lucent Brightening Cleansing Foam
11. Sulwhasoo Snowise EX Whitening Water
12. Dior Addict Eau Delice

A few items that I’ve been using at the gym; not too many thoughts on them because all I want is get clean, smell good and go home/out quickly.

13. IOPE Super Vital Extra Moist Softener
14. IOPE Super Vital Extra Moist Serum

Mentioned these in a post recently. Bought a trial set of IOPE items to try; unfortunately the scent was too overwhelming for me so I didn’t really like most of them. The serum was not bad though. Won’t purchase.

15. Sensodyne Pronamel Daily Toothpaste
16. Watsons Nail Polish Remover

A couple of mundane but must have items. Sensodyne is my favourite toothpaste brand; they don’t taste too strongly of mint like most other brands, so that’s a big plus for me, and my sensitive teeth feels good with them. I’ve finished so many bottles of the Watson’s nail polish removers – mainly because they’re so cheap and does the job fine.

So that’s it for my empties this month! So I cheated a little bit with the facial sheet masks and all the mini/travel size bottles, but I have a few bigger bottles that I am almost done with and I can’t wait for them to be on next month’s post! Have you used up any items this month?

Empties #6: February 2014

After the massive clearout of 26 items in January, this months’ empties look mighty small in comparison! But after counting them, I guess it’s still a healthy amount. Honestly I’m surprised that I still have empties after clearing out so many last month! Yay!

1. Organix Hydrating Macadamia Oil Conditioner
A rather thick hair conditioner; I think it’s pretty average – I can’t use it regularly as it makes my hair oily and weighs it down. Used twice a week only at the ends of my hair, my hair feels softer and more manageable, but anything more turns it into an oily mess.

2. Urban Decay All Nighter Makeup Setting Spray
My favourite makeup setting spray! This is the only makeup setting spray that really worked for me; I find that it really helps my makeup last through the day, even in Singapore heat! Will repurchase!

3. L’Oreal Total Repair 5 Shampoo
I actually really like Loreal’s shampoo but I don’t often buy them. Maybe they’re just not as visually attractive on the shelves. I really enjoyed this shampoo – I feel my hair is more manageable with less tangles after using it.

4. Laneige Snow BB Soothing Cushion in No21 Natural Beige
I really wanted to try this and was so excited when I received a sample, but was so disappointed; this did not stay put at all even on my very dry face – by mid day it was clearly gone, and messed up the rest of my makeup as it shifted around. If I powdered my face, I could see it clearly breaking down in patches as the BB cream “migrates”. Not pretty. Will not purchase.

5. Caudalie Eau De Beaute Beauty Elixir
Reviewed here. Not a fan; will not repurchase.

6. Loccitane Mom & Baby Balm
A rather thick and oily body balm; I’m neither a Mom nor a Baby, but because of my intensely dry skin I was recommended this. I do find that it soothes my skin when they are going through a “cracked and insanely dry” phase, but it’s also too heavy for regular use even for my dry skin.

7. Neogence Extremely Off-Heads Serum
Initially I did not like this because I didn’t think it made a difference. But I wanted to use it up so I’ve been using it every night for over 2 weeks. One day, my mum suddenly asked if I’ve had facial treatments because “your black heads are gone”. OMG. I haven’t used anything lately that’s targeted at black heads, so it must be this! I’ll be getting the full size to make sure.

8. Mario Badescu Herbal Hydrating Serum
I really adore the texture of this – it’s gel like, and feels cooling on the skin plus not sticky at all. Will look to purchase full size.

9. Lancome Visionaire Advanced Skin Corrector
I already own a full size bottle of this before receiving the sample – I would say, try to get a sample first before purchasing the full bottle, as this broke me out badly initially. I’ve learnt to prevent breakouts while using this – alternating this and never 2 consecutive days of using this.

10. Watsons Nail Polish Remover
Another bottle down! I’ve lost count of how many of these that I’ve used up. Affordable and works just like any other more expensive brands.

11. Bausch + Lomb Renu Fresh Multipurpose Solution
Not empty but expired. I don’t wear lenses daily, so I rarely finish a full bottle of solution before they expire.

12. Daiso Detergent for Puff and Sponge
I used to love this and stocked up before I discovered the Make Up Store Brush Cleaning Soap; then I realised that this was stripping out my brush hairs, making them really dry and scratchy. I’ve since stopped using this for my brushes with natural bristles. Will not purchase after I finish my stash.

13. The Face Shop The Rice Ceramide Lasting Moisturizer
Did not finish this item actually; but it has expired so it’s time to throw out. Was way too watery and not moisturizing enough for my liking.

14. Caudalie Makeup Remover Cleansing Water
Reviewed here. Not a favourite.

15. Beauty Buffet Charcoal & Cyress Facial Mask
16. My Beauty Diary Black Pearl Mask
17. Leaders Hydrogel Eye Therapy Patch
I use facial cloth masks regularly but never remember to keep the packaging. I did remember with these 3 this month, though I definitely use lots more in a month. I find that cloth masks dont really differ between brands in terms of efficacy, so I usually just opt for the cheapest. I really like the Leaders Eye Patch; slimy in texture and feels really good and soothing.

Again, not many makeup related items. I’ve been clearing out my stash in other ways lately – by giving and selling some makeup away. I’m really happy at how my stash is shrinking to a more reasonable amount as the months go by – I no longer have 5 bottles of creams that will expire in 2 months, nor a stock of 10 face washes. It’s still a huge amount and way more than an average person, but they’re getting more manageable.

I’ve found writing on empties so therapeutic – because of my wanting to write these posts, I feel less of an urge to buy and hoard new products. I don’t know if anyone can understand this, but this is how I feel. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this post as much as I’ve loved writing it!

Empties #4: December 2013

The last empties post for 2013! I think 2013 really just ran past in a blink. This month’s empties is actually for a shorter period, because I had to write this post a week early since I was going on holiday, plus I really wanted to throw away all the empties before the year is up! So here we go!

1. Garnier Ultra Dolce Shampoo
Bought this during my Italy holiday. I think it’s good for a clarifying wash – it gets all the gunk out of my hair, but I find it too drying for daily use.

2. Dove Beauty Nourishing Body Wash
Quite a good body wash; very creamy in texture and feels quite moisturizing. Also very affordable and smells quite nice. Will repurchase.

3. Australis See Ya Later Nailpolish Remover
One of the worst nailpolish remover I have ever tried; I had to use so much energy and remover! Massive fail. Will not repurchase.

4. Vichy Purete Thermal Demaquillant Integral
One of the older style cleansing milk. Now that I’m used to cleansing oils and micellar waters for removing makeup, somehow cleansing milk never feels quite clean enough. Won’t repurchase.

5. Essential Damage-Care Nuance Airy Shampoo
This is actually quite a good shampoo if not for its smell – it makes me think of liquid antibiotics! I feel nauseous every time I used it. Otherwise, it makes my hair quite smooth. I won’t be repurchasing, as I can’t bear the smell.

6. Kiehl’s Mightnight Recovery Concentrate
I love this oil! Mentioned it here. I will definitely repurchase!

7. Biore UV Bright Face Milk SPF 50+ PA+++
Really enjoyed this; this feels really lightweight and did not break me out. I find it also even out my skin texture a little, and I love the high SPF in it.

8. Watsons Nail Polish Remover
Another bottle bites the dust! I seem to be running through my nail polish remover quite fast. This is really affordable and removes nailpolish quite easily. It’s also acetone free. Will repurchase.

9. Eucerin DermoPurifyer Hydrating Care
Like the serum that I threw out last month, I really did not like this. This was not hydrating at all and I ended up using it on my legs so I won’t waste it.

10. Avene Thermal Spring Water
I started using thermal spring water after toner and before moisturizer after watching this korean beauty show, Get It Beauty, showing its benefits. I spray this on a cotton bud before wiping my entire face. It feels refreshing, but I haven’t really seen any real impact on my skin.

11. Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Purfying Cream Cleanser
Mentioned it here. I think it’s an alright cleanser – it doesn’t really do much, but it’s not awful and doesn’t dry out my skin. Won’t repurchase.

12. Mamonde Total Solution Smart Moisture Cream
Received this as a gift-with-purchase. A gel-texture moisturiser that feels really good on the skin. I love how smooth it makes my skin feel, without being oily. I’d love to buy the full size but can’t find it anywhere!

13. ELF Eyelid Primer
Reviewed here. A well loved item!

14. Maybelline Pure.Concealer Mineral in 01
An okay concealer; it works fine for undereye circles but doesn’t really cover blemishes very well. The staying power isn’t great though.

15. Dr Ci Labo BB Perfect Cream
Quite a thick cream and feels slightly heavy but it does have quite a good coverage. Color was a bit too light for me. Won’t repurchase.

16. Shiseido White Lucent Intensive Spot Targeting Serum
17. Narciso Rodriguez for her perfume

A couple of items that I didn’t really pay attention to. I kept them either in my work or gym bags because they were travel size and convenient.

18. Pupa Multiplay Triple Purpose Eye Pencil in Black
Mentioned this here. Love this! Will definitely repurchase.

And that’s all for my empties in December 2013! Surprisingly there are even more empties this month! I wish everyone a great new year, and may 2014 be a fantastic year for all!

Unboxing: Vanity Trove Nov 13

Hi everyone! It’s been a while since I’ve subscribed to beauty boxes; I used to have it delivered every month for more than a year, but stopped early this year as I found the offerings to be less and less attractive and the samples were also smaller and totally not worth it.

However, Vanity Trove recently had a revamp – such that you can pick what samples you want! Depending on how fast you are, for $25 a month, you can actually get a couple of full size products. Plus, they add new items every week and there is an option to subscribe only whenever you want it so you don’t have to commit to a box every month. So I was pretty keen to give it a go again!

So what’s in my box this month?

  • Fancl Aging Care Mask – Full Sized
  • Fancl Aging Care Essence 18ml – Full Sized
  • Elizabeth Arden Visible Whitening BB Cream – 7ml
  • Elizabeth Arden Visible Whitening Smoothing Cleanser – 15ml
  • YSL Le Teint Touche Eclat Illuminating Foundation in B30 Beige – 5ml
  • Benefit the POREfessional – 7.5ml
  • Batiste Dry Shampoo – 30g Travel Size
  • Watsons Bird’s Nest Whitening & Firming Facial Cream – 2g Sachet
  • Kerastase Elixir K Ultime – 3ml

I’m pretty happy with my box this month – a full size Fancl essence which retails at about $78; I’ve never tried anything from Fancl so I’m excited. I’ve always wanted to try out the YSL Le Touche Eclat foundation and I’m happy it came in a good sample size in a tube. I have also never used dry shampoo before so I’ll be looking forward to test it out. I think, just the above-mentioned 3 products have already made me happy about my beauty box this month and I will be enjoying testing out the rest of the box!

Have you subscribed to any beauty boxes and what do you think of them?

Empties #2: October 2013

This is only my 2nd empties post but I am loving this! It feels weirdly good to know that I have been using up the things that I bought, rather than just hoarding them. Now I know that I have put them to good use! Without further ado, let’s see what I have used up this month and some quick thoughts!

1. Garnier Clean Sensitive Gentle Facial Cleansing Wipes
Bought a few packs of these when it was on sale. I like it; I only use cleansing wipes before my gym session, and this is really convenient and removes makeup quite easily. I do find that it doesn’t clean my waterproof eye-makeup thoroughly, but I haven’t really found a cleansing wipe that can. It’s not too dry or wet. Would repurchase.

2. Essence Pureskin Anti-Spot Toner & Powder
A really cheap toner that does its job. I found regular use to be too drying for my dry skin, but if I just used this for a few days before my PMS, my hormonal breakouts seem to less severe.

3. Darlie Double Action Enamel Protect Fluoride Toothpaste
4. Watsons Nail Polish Remover
Not much thoughts on these 2 items; bought the Darlie toothpaste because it was on sale – it’s okay, the smell and taste is not too minty which I like. As for the nail polish remover, it’s cheap and I think it does its job quite efficiently – have already repurchased!

5. Alpha-H Balancing Cleanser with Aloe Vera
6. Lancome Maqui Blanc Miracle Liquid Foundation
7. Shiseido Benefiance WrinkleResist24 Eye Contour Cream
A few items that were not that memorable. I used the cleanser in the gym, and carried around the foundation just for ’emergencies’. I brought the eye cream on holiday and had a bit left.

8. Rimmel Glam’Eyes Professional Liquid Liner in 001 Black Glamour
Not a fan – I received this free with purchase of other Rimmel products so I actually have a few of these stashed away. I find the wand to be too flimsy and skinny to draw a line, and deposits too much so it takes too long to dry.

9. Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Gold Ultra Restorative Capsules
Talked about this in my last empties post as well – favourite serum/oil!

10. Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat
The worst smelling top coat ever but also the one that gives the best results! I really love how shiny and long lasting this makes my nail polish looks, but I’m now looking for something else because the smell of this always gives me a headache.

11. Clarins Shaping Facial Lift Lip-drain Serum
As my age gets nearer to the big 3-0, I’ve been looking around for products that prevent parts of my body from sagging. I don’t really know if it works but I do like its thick creamy texture – I don’t think a small tube like this would show results so I have already bought the full size.

12. L’Occitane Dry Skin Hand Cream
Reviewed here.

13. MAC Navy Stain Powerpoint Eye Pencil

I loved this – I went through a phase of rocking a navy blue eyeliner. It glides on very smoothly without tugging on my eyelids. Sometimes I just blend it out with another black eyeliner for a dark blue smokey look.

14. Okuma Cover Control Concealer in 01
This is actually not used up – I loved it at first, but I think the product is now ‘spoilt’ as it goes on a perfect shade and then oxidises very quickly to a dark orange-tone, which didn’t happen when I first bought it. Weird.

And that’s it! I said good bye to 14 products this month! I can’t wait to see what else I can use up for next month!