Empties #34

petek, januar 17, 2020

A gel cleanser I use for second cleansing after oil. It's cheap and it does the job. I've recently tried Cerave Hydrating Cleanser which is better, but this is so easily accessible compared to that one.
Repurchase: Done.

I've used this religiously for several months if not over a year, but I saw zero result, which sucks because I read only good reviews before buying it. There was no reduction in lines nor did it prevent them from getting deeper. As a plus I can say that it feels like water and it's very easy include it in any type of routine. 
Repurchase: No.

I finished this a while ago and have since moved to other vitamin C products, however, this was my first such product and I did everything wrong with this one, so it's hard for me to say it's bad. I was using it wrong for a long time (didn't apply it first or after AHA/BHA and I didn't wait for at least 15-20 minutes before applying other products) and after I realised my mistakes, it was already old. I got it because I heard it lightens old spot marks, which nothing helps me with including strong AHAs and despite consistent use this did nothing. But it is a nice vitamin C because it's like a dry oil that's not heavy or greasy on the skin. It's also more affordable than a lot of other vitamin C products.
Repurchase: Not sure yet, I like Eucerin's a lot more, but this is more affordable and maybe I should give it another shot, the right way this time.

I just breezed through this one and was shocked to see it was empty because the packaging is consistently dispensing the desired amount, so I had no indication it's running low. It's so far the best sunscreen I've found in our drugstores for still an affordable price (not that I've tried many), though at 10 € it's not that cheap. It's better suited for normal-dry skin because it's a heavy, rich formula when you apply it, but it sets in about 5 minutes to a decent dry to the touch finish. I could apply a lot of it and it was not greasy, nor did it pile. It's not as nice as Asian sunscreens which are much lighter and fast-absorbing, but it's easily accessible (just not in winter apparently, when they sell the rubbish anti-age version instead).
Repurchase: Yes.

MIXA Cica-Cream
First I was using this for my elbows and feet where I have very dry, rough skin and it worked well on my elbows, but it wasn't enough for my feet. In recent months I've started using it on my face because my skin became so dry and flaky, nothing helped and everything else absorbed in minutes leaving my skin dry again. For a couple of days I was applying this in a very thick coat, then reapplied every two hours after it fully absorbed and it really helped a lot. My skin is currently still dry, but not nearly as much as in those couple of days and I still use it when my cheeks are rough as the last step in my night routine. I hate the packaging though, it doesn't feel full even when new and it gets really hard to get the product out later. When I cut it, I still had a ton left. 
Repurchase: Yes, I have an extra tube that I'm already using.

This boasts with the 2.5% retinol content and though I found it suspicious it caused no reaction on me considering I just went straight to high percentages from almost nothing, I assumed my skin is more hardly than others because I can't even feel 30% AHA for example. But when after using up the 10 ml bottle of Artnaturals, I switched to the weaker The Ordinary 1% in Squalane and saw my skin got drier and flaky, the only conclusion I can draw is that this doesn't have the percentage of retinol stated, at least not in this form. Obviously I have no idea if it's true and reviews of this are generally so good, but I can't explain it any other way or at least I'm not knowledgeable enough. It's a light serum that would fit any skin type, it's not sticky, it doesn't pill when you apply other skin care over it, so the texture is nice, but it was like I was using nothing.
Purchase: I don't know. Great reviews for this are confusing to me now.

On paper this is a great all-in-one because it contains a form of vitamin C (sodium ascorbyl phosphate), hyaluronic acid, niacinamide, retinol and Q10. I liked the texture of this, it's a very light orange serum that absorbs fast (under a minute), so it's great for layering and it has a nice orange-ish scent. I only had it for a week or two (this is a sample, 5 ml), so I didn't see any results.
Purchase: I still don't know.

A light moisturiser that I think would suit oily skin too, since it's more like a lotion-cream consistency. One sample didn't last me nearly as long as the serum did, so I can't say much. It contains retinol, vitamin C, hyaluronic acid, safflower oil and green tea extract.
Purchase: Probably not, I prefer Beauty of Joseon.

S&G's scrubs are my favourite because most are quite harsh and that's the way I like them. I don't like this one as much as Flake Away, but it was another great one. It has the same fragrance as Mist me Madly spray, which has a type of vintage scent that won't appeal to just anyone, but from reviews I gather it's overall quite liked.
Repurchase: I'll stick to Flake Away, but these are so hard to get now that Boots International is gone.

L'OCCITANE 20% Shea Butter Hand Cream
I loved this one because it's almost as rich as the original and it smells like their discontinued L'Occitane Vanilla fragrance (the old-old one from 2007-8). L'Occitane's 20% shea butter creams are the best thing I found for truly dry hands.
This smelled amazing, like the name says it's a neroli scent, while I'm not sure I spotted any orchid, but it was a great rich floral scent. The formula is one of L'Occitane's light version which isn't as impressive as the 20% shea butter ones, but these are still nice for the scent alone.
Repurchase: Maybe Vanilla Bouquet, but I'm mostly sticking to the original.

Pumpkin Cranberry Cider
This is a very old LE, though BBW tends to repeat their scents a lot every season. BBW has the best anti-bacterial gels for my liking, I love it when they are heavily scented almost like a perfume and these are exactly like that. This one has a fruity cinnamon scent and unlike 99% of cinnamon stuff here, this actually smelled like the real deal.
Repurchase: If only these weren't so hard to get for a reasonable price for us outside USA, but yes.

L'OREAL Elseve Extraordinary Oil Nourishing Shampoo
My all-time favourite because it's the only drugstore shampoo that leaves my hair like I just used some conditioner. It leaves that silicone smooth feeling that my tangy, dry hair really needs. I've gone through many bottles.
Repurchase: Done.

PANTENE Intensive Repair Shampoo
My second favourite shampoo. It's doesn't leave my hair quite as smooth as L'Oreal, but it's close. An excellent formula for dry hair.
Repurchase: Done.

PANTENE Pro-V 3 Minute Miracle Intensive Repair
Every Pantene conditioner I've tried so far has been great, this is no exception. To me it's the same as the Intensive Repair conditioner in the white tube. It leaves my hair nourished, feeling smooth and somewhat softer.
Repurchase: Yes if it's cheaper than the conditioner.

One of my favourite ever treatments. This is a hydrating conditioner/mask that I've been using for years now and I can always rely on it when it comes to nourishing my very thick, coarse, dry hair. In last year I rediscovered the Reconstructor from this line and together they are like magic for bleached, coloured, coarse-feeling (protein deficient) hair.
Repurchase: Done.

A protein treatment that you use under the Bonding mask. I always used this right after bleaching my hair. At first I thought that it works the same as Joico K-Pack Reconstructor, but it not as amazing when it comes to truly coarse hair that has zero softness. Still I enjoyed using it together with the mask when my hair wasn't in a very dire state. The annoying thing about it is that I have no idea how much it's still in the packaging and of course it ran out exactly a day after I made a big hair care order.
Repurchase: Yes.

A violet mask for counteracting yellow tones, but it's much weaker than Subrina Colour Refresh in Diamond Blonde, therefore only appropriate for very light blondes. However, it didn't deal with yellow tones not even with my lightest hair, which granted still aren't super blonde. The formula is a nice one, enough for my thick hair even though it doesn't feel thick or heavy.
Repurchase: Yes.

This was my second try of the famed Elasticizer. The first time I was very disappointed by it, especially considering the price. The second try was better, my hair did feel a bit healthier, still it's not that special compared to Joico K-Pack. It's mostly castor oil, which is said to promote hair growth, though I don't know if the science supports it. It's a very popular product, but I'm still not completely sold on it.
Purchase: Probably not.

Before discovering Pantene I'd say this is an ok hair mask, one of better ones in the drugstores for dry hair, but post-Pantene, this has nothing on it and it's more expensive. Positive side about this treatment is that you can use it on dry hair as a leave-in conditioner and it's actually very decent, albeit the results don't last very long on my hair. It smells like Casali bananas or some other candy bananas, which is not my favourite scent, but I know it's the type people love.
Repurchase: No. I might try the macadamia one, but I doubt it's as good as Pantene.

This is richer than the conditioner, though the overall result on my hair is still very similar, but for someone with less thick hair, the conditioner and 3 Minute Miracle versions are maybe a better choice.
Repurchase: Yes.

My all-time favourite moisturising mask, though Moroccanoil Intense Hydration is similarly brilliant. This is sadly discontinued, but there are some new masks in the Nutritive line. This mask made my hair feel like "normal people hair". I know it sound strange, but the thing is that my hair has this thick, less pliable, non-soft texture and Kerastase Nutritive products were the only one that gave my hair that silky, light, flowy feel. Obviously if your hair has that average soft, thin texture you really don't even need to think about this mask because you'll get the same effect from a cheap Pantene conditioner, sadly I need to spend more if I want people to not describe my hair as prickly or like I always have a ton of hair spray on.
Repurchase: It's discontinued, but I'd really love to try the new Magistral version for thick hair.

I've been using this protein treatment for many years with some pauses. I usually start using it right after cutting my ends and it keeps them fresh longer as well as less prone to breaking, so I can go without a haircut longer. It just works, but not immediately and it doesn't reverse damage (nothing does, obviously). This is a product that gives long-term results, as it makes the hair stronger, so it doesn't snap off at the ends, which is the reason people complain their hair just doesn't grow. This kind of gives you a feeling the hair grows faster and you get the desired length faster. It's a light lotion that to me feels like nothing, so it's a product I can use in my routine that's full of layering.
Repurchase: Yes.

BALEA Beautiful Long Wunder Serum
This was my favourite cheap thermal protection. It's a silicone serum like any other, so it tames the hair and gives shine, but it was lighter than Orofluido, Moroccaoil and the likes. I liked that it was so cheap and easily accessible.
Repurchase: It's sadly discontinued, as a replacement I have Langhaar Mädchen which is cheap and similar enough, but this was better.

MOROCCANOIL Color Complete Protect & Prevent Spray (mini)
This is a great multipurpose product that prevents blonde colour from turning brassy/yellow (protects any colour from fading), plus it acts as heat protection, UV shield and it's hydrating, so a leave-in conditioner. It's very light, I'd prefer if it felt a bit oily, but I think it would fit most hair types.
Purchase: I don't know, I'd prefer their other products, several of which I have high on my wishlist.

I've tried most of the shades from this (Red, Orange, Purple and Magenta, the two left are Warm Brown and Cool Brown), but I've used this shade most. It's a classic purple mask for neutralising yellow tones, but this one is much stronger than others I've tried, so better suited for me since I'm a dark brunette going blonde, however, since it's purple it can't deal as effectively on orange tones, obviously, but it's not useless like other shampoos and masks I've tried. It's so strong though that you have to be very careful on very light hair because it can tint it blue-grey in seconds when used straight from the tube without diluting the shade with a clear mask. 
Repurchase: Done.

L'OREAL Excellence Crème
03 Ultra Light Ash Blond, 9.1 Natural Light Ash Blonde and 8.1 Light Ash Blonde
Another batch of these. I've already talked about 9.1 and 8.1 extensively before, but 03 is a new shade to me. I used it for toning my lightest hair, which still isn't quite level 10, but close. I tested four shades on individual strands before colouring and this was the second strongest light shade when it came to dealing with yellow tones, but it was beaten by Subrina. All three are the renewed version, so they don't come with the serum anymore, but with a shampoo, which is a change I'm not fond off. Formula is still great since it leaves my hair in nice condition.
Repurchase: Yes to 9.1 and 8.1, I still have some spares, for 03 Subrina's shade 80/8 or 1080 is better.

218 Silver Blond
I gave this so many tries, every time I bleached my hair I did a strand test if this will tone. It fails miserably compared to L'Oreal 03 and Subrina 1080, all are meant for the same level hair (10). I think I'll just throw it away. Ironically I got it because reviews praised it as a shade that tones any yellow and brassy tones.
Repurchase: No.

SUBRINA Butter Colour
1080 Ice Blonde
Subrina is praised for their cool blonde shades, in particular 80/8 or 1080. I had this in my stash for years, but only now gave it a go because I finally reached a decently light blonde shade, though I'm still very golden under it instead of pale yellow. It's the strongest toning shade I've tried and it can deal with level 9 yellow hues as well as golden on level 8 to a degree, but not orange. So if you're looking that will give you a very cool looking blonde shade, based on my experience so far Subrina appears to be strongest. Formula of this is like a very thick, rich hair mask, it truly feels buttery as the name says, but it didn't leave me with the same feeling as L'Oreal does, maybe it lacks some extra proteins, though my hair was pretty coarse even before I coloured, so disregard my review of the formula, especially since overall feedback from other users has been that it leaves the hair very soft and nourished.
Repurchase: Yes, I'm also going to try something else from my huge stash.

Butter Colour 1080 on the lower 2/3 (it's meant for much lighter hair though), L'Oreal 9.1 on top. This isn't the best picture because the lighting conditions were terrible and my background created a green cast. I didn't feel I taking better pictures yet. The back is super orange because I couldn't reach well and it's neither well bleached nor coloured, but right now I'm don't feel like fixing it, since this already took me a week to do (together with hair care routine of course, overnight oil treatments).

I'd detailed my experience with this and posted results in the latest new it. Basically I had to bleach this one out. The colour was warmer out of the tube than the back of the box indicated, but results looked nice regardless. There were several things that pissed me off about this one, but intense staining of everything is definitely at the top.
Repurchase: No.

This was nothing special, a light and fast absorbing hand cream for when my skin wasn't very dry. The packaging is adorable and it smelled nicely like peaches.
Repurchase: No.

The only spot product that works for me apart from The Ordinary Salicylic Acid. They aren't miraculous, at least most of the time, but they can help diminish the spot and prevent it from becoming a raging volcano that would normally take days to heal. My spot healing routine includes these, COSRX BHA Blackhead Power Liquid and Etude House sheet mask Snail.
Repurchase: Done.

THE FACE SHOP The Solution Mask Sheet Madecassoside has been a godsend when my skin was insanely dry, as was PAPA RECIPE Bombee Whitening Honey Mask. Both are intensely nourishing and the Bombee one brightest too as an extra bonus. I've used several of ETUDE HOUSE 0.2 Therapy Air Mask Snail recently when my skin was not just dry, but also spotty and I use this to heal & tone down inflamed spot - works like a treat. MY BEAUTY DIARY Natural Key Series Facial Mask Black Pearl is another of my favourites, it's lighter than the rest, but still moisturising and its main plus is the brightening effect. HADA LABO TOKYO Anti-Aging Facial Sheet Mask was a decent moisturising mask, in fact it's the best we can get in our drugstores. I've just recently posted about YEAUTY Eye Pad Mask Deep Hydration, which also impressed me for something that's available in our drugstores. A detailed review of THE BODY SHOP Tea Tree Anti-Imperfection Peel-off Mask is here, but overall I did not like it. TONYMOLY Earth Beauty Bubble Mask Sheet is black mask just for the lower part of the face and it produced a very fluffy, yet rich foam. It didn't do anything to help clear out my pores, but that foam was such a delight to use.
Repurchase: Yes to The Face Shop (though Etude House Madecassoside is almost the same), Papa Recipe, Etude House Snail, My Beauty Diary Black Peral, Hada Labo Tokyo and Yeauty. 

CERAVE Moisturising Cream
I did not expected this to be so thick based on reading the ingredients list, but it's like Nivea or similar cream and it was perfect for my very dry skin. It's the thickest face moisturiser I know, thicker even that Mixa Cica, but that one proved to be more effective, still this came in very handy when I most needed a rich moisturiser.
Purchase: I'm tempted, but at the same time I have no idea if it was this that also broke me out or was it something else. 

Have a great day!

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  1. I actually recently picked up the Garnier banana hair mask and want to see how it compares to The Body Shop one that I love!! Interesting to see that you prefer the Pantene one to it as well. Great empties post as usual!
    Charlotte / Charlotte's Picks

    1. I had the conditioner version of The Body Shop Banana 10 years ago and I remember not being very impressed, though I'm still tempted by the mask version and even more by the Shea Butter one. I'm sure Fructis is brilliant on most people's hair, at least based on reviews, but my thick, coarse texture needs a bit more and Pantene works best for me from the drugstore selection :)

  2. I have a different Garnier mask, the macadamia one, I believe. It works fine, especially as a leave-in treatment. As for the sheet masks, I have some of those Beauty Diary ones, but I don't think I've tried the black pearl one yet.

    1. I was thinking about getting the macadamia one, since it's meant for very dry hair. I just hope it's not the same as Banana, but actually more nourishing. I've tried a few My Beauty Diary masks, but I love these most :)

  3. Im also using the Balea erfrischendes Waschgel.
    my skin feels so good now. and also the make up looks more natural on my perfect skin.
    tina wimpernverlängerung

  4. Skrbnik spletnega dnevnika je odstranil ta komentar.