Empties Vol. 15: Revealing my favourite skincare brand

August 22, 2020

Hello friends!  It seemed like such an awfully long time that I sat down and wrote about beauty on this blog.  The past few months have gone by in a blur… you’d think that when I’m working from home all day everyday, I’d have more time to blog, take pictures for IG, etc.  Instead, I’m taking baby Leyton out for walks 2x a day, marvelling at his gorgeous melt-your-heart smiles, letting him drool all over me.  I’m loving it all!

My hands being as full as they are, I kinda let my empties bin overflow.  I finally picked my lazy bum off the playmat last weekend, and shocked even myself how many items there are!  Obviously I have been working on many of these long before Singapore went into Circuit Breaker (which is our take on the shutdown), so it does not fully reflect the change in lifestyle, although I will try to bring you through the highlights to the best of my ability!

Skincare empties

Numbered: 1 – La Prairie Platinum Rare Cellular Night Elixir*, 2 – La Prairie Line Interception Power Duo*, 3 – La Prairie Skin Caviar Essence-in-Lotion*, 4 – La Prairie Cellular Eye Essence Platinum Rare*, 5 – La Mer The Moisturizing Matte Lotion*, 6 – La Mer The Revitalizing Hydrating Serum*, 7 – Sisley Paris Phyto-Blanc Le Concentre*, 8 – Clarins Water Comfort One-Step Cleanser with Peach Essential Water, 9 – Good Molecules Niacinamide Brightening Toner*, 10 – The Body Shop Tea Tree Oil, 11 – FANCL Mild Cleansing Oil*, 12 – Sulwhasoo Bloomstay Vitalizing Water*, 13 – Kose Sekkisei Lotion, 14 – THREE Clearing Foam*, 15 – Skin Inc Hyaluronic Acid Serum*, 16 – Est Lab Lumiwhite Brightening Serum*

Due to the overwhelming quantity, I will not be going into each item individually this time.  Instead, I want to draw your attention to the best and worst of every category, as well as anything that I feel pressing need to highlight.

The biggest achievement in this round of empties is that I finally settled once and for all that the most luxe skincare brand in my opinion is La Prairie. It is unequivocally the best not just in terms of pricing, but in every way possible – packaging, texture, scent, sheer bliss factor. My skin loved the Platinum Rare Cellular Night Elixir [reviewed here] and I almost wept when I finally used up the last drop.  Another favourite was the Line Interception Power Duo [reviewed here]… my skin just looked so much smoother and plumper from using this stuff!

Another luxe brand that I used to love was La Mer.  I have tried almost all of their skincare, and whilst I am still a devout supporter, I think I have outgrown the brand.  I enjoyed every last drop of the Moisturizing Matte Lotion [reviewed here], but it just did not provide any visible improvement in all the signs of aging.  The Revitalizing Hydrating Serum was great when I first tried it [reviewed here], but 3 years later and with a 2nd baby fresh from the oven, I found it broke me out instead.  I really struggled to get through this bottle.

The most surprising empty here is the Sisley Paris Phyto-Blanc Le Concentre [reviewed here].  I received this in January this year, got hooked on it the moment I tried it, and simply couldn’t stop using it until it was completely gone!  My skin was visibly more even toned, more luminous and looked happier whilst I was using it, and I miss it badly.

I recently fell in love with Clarins Water Comfort One-Step Cleanser with Peach Essential Water, which is a kind of micellar water cleanser that removes eye makeup like a dream, without stinging!  Ever since I started having eyelash extensions, I couldn’t use my usual Chanel bi-phase oil makeup remover anymore.  And all other non-oil eye makeup remover just couldn’t cut it for me, except this.  I received these 2 deluxe sized bottles as GWPs and will be repurchasing soon.

The good folks at Good Molecules sent me a generous care package just before Circuit Breaker, and I immediately put the Niacinamide Brightening Toner to work, and emptied it in months!  It is great as a last step of cleansing to remove the very last trace of impurities whilst putting the bounce back to my skin.  I found it helped keep my acne under control as well.

Hair & bodycare empties

Numbered: 1- Aveda Damage Remedy Intensive Restructuring Treatment*, 2- Goldwell Just Smooth Shampoo & Conditioner*, 3- Ryo Hair Loss Treatment*, 4- Klorane Soothing & Anti-Irritating Shampoo with Peony*, 5- Grow Gorgeous Intense Thickening Hair & Scalp Mask*, 6- Josh Wood Everything Hair Mask*, 7- The Body Shop Strawberry Clearly Glossing Shampoo & Conditioner*, 8- Kanebo Body Lipid Wear*, 9- Clarins Stretch Mark Control, 10- Clarins Exfoliating Body Scrub, 11- Avene XeraCalm*, 12- Crabtree & Evelyn Citron Hand Wash*, 13- Sabon Shower Oil*, 14- The Body Shop Pink Grapefruit Shower Gel*, 15- Mio Skincare Shrink to Fit Cellulite Smoother*

From this massive basket of hair & body care empties, the one product that I really enjoyed was the Aveda Damage Remedy Intensive Restructuring Treatment.  This is a 5minute hair treatment mask, and it really works!  It is devoid of heavy silicones, and does not need to be kept on for a long time.  Regardless, it detangles, leaves my hair feeling smoother and shinier.  Much love!

Another gem was the Mio Skincare Shrink to Fit Cellulite Smoother that I received from a Lookfantastic box.  This stuff really works to erase the look of my orange peel cellulite thighs and it does not stink!

Kanebo is better known as a skincare brand, so it was surprising when they released this Body Lipid Wear.  Without sounding overly crass, I actually found this body moisturiser even more appealing than their skincare line which uses the same lipid technology.  It is silky to the touch, lightweight enough to use even in the most hot humid weather, and yet still soothes & moisturises the skin beautifully.

There are a couple of Clarins body care products here that I consider to be staples.  The Clarins Exfoliating Body Scrub is hands-down the best body scrub that I have ever used, the natural bamboo powder is incredibly fine and feels incredibly luxurious on the skin.  It is also gentler on the environment compared to other synthetic scrubs.  It complements the Stretch Mark Control Cream beautifully, the latter I consider a staple for any pregnant mummy or anybody undergoing weight loss.  Clarins recently updated the formula and packaging, so you should definitely check out the reformulated version if you are in danger of stretch marks.

The one item here that I really did not like was Ryo Hair Loss Treatment.  This was a highly raved Korean drugstore brand best loved for hair loss concerns.  I started using this shortly after giving birth and was hoping it would help with the postpartum hair loss.  Instead, I found it caused MORE hair to fall off!  It also did not leave my hair feeling smoother, but made it coarser and more tangled.

Makeup empties

Numbered: 1- Kiko Long Lasting Eyeshadow Stick, 2- Victoria Beckham Eye Ink Mascara*, 3- Estee Lauder Little Black Primer, 4- Dior Diorshow Maximizer 3D Triple Volume Plumping Lash Primer, 5- Shiseido Full Lash Serum*, 6- Heroine Make Eyelash Serum*

I have not been wearing much makeup for the past few months, but these sticks have been following me for a long, long time.  Truth be told, I should have thrown them out years ago, because you really should not be using any liquids / creams around the eyes for longer than 3 months.  The Dior lash primer was a great disappointment, it was perhaps the worst lash primer I have ever tried.  It goes on clumpy, and does not keep my mascara from running or smudging.  In contrast, the Estee Lauder Little Black Primer [reviewed here] is a repeat, and this is probably my very last stick so I need to restock soon.  I did not see any improvements on my lashes from the Shiseido Full Lash Serum, but it was the first one that did not sting my eyes so I kept trying to go back to it without much success.  The biggest hit is the Kiko Long Lasting Eyeshadow Stick.  I LOVE this so much, it outperforms all the other designer brands I’ve tried, it is a dream to work with and stays on without smudging nor fading all day.

There are plenty of products here that I have not touched on today, either because they have been talked to death before already, or I just did not feel very strongly for them one way or another.  If you have any questions, please feel free to ask away in the comments below!

Products marked with an asterisk (*) above were provided for my consideration.  Regardless, all opinions expressed here are my own honest, unbiased views.

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