Mid-year achievements… Empties Vol. 7
This is an extra-bumper issue of Empties post… not only did I manage to finish up more products than ever, it is also a 2-part special! As I was going through my photo archive recently, I discovered another empties post that I had photographed but never got around to blogging about at the end of last year. But since I am already working on this one, let’s just call this post Vol. 7, and have Vol. 6 come in a few days or whenever I get the chance to work on it. Now, are you ready to get down to business?
This 2nd quarter of the year has been a terribly busy one, as I have been working on emptying up a tiny mountain of products. Many of these I started on way back, and then earlier this year I resolved to be more consistent with my skincare products, partly to give my skin less stress from constantly switching up routines, and also to make greater headway using up what I have before they expire. I’ve actually enjoyed more of the products here and am sad to see them go.
- Chanel Gentle Biphase Eye Makeup Remover is a staple, I go through a bottle every 4-5 months
- Su:m37 Secret Essence* is Korea’s equivalent of the famed SK-II Facial Treatment Essence. It has the same slightly thick, tacky watery texture that absorbs well, and leaves my skin feeling plumped and hydrated. I actually prefer this one as it smells much better, and feels gentler and more luxurious on my skin! Perfected after 365 days’ of rhythmic fermentation using natural flow of light and sound, distilled from 80 different natural plants, Su:m37 Secret Essence brings skim back to its natural vitality.
- Su:m37 White Award Micro Clear Toner* is one of the most hydrating and soothing whitening lotions I have ever used! It clears off dead surface cells and impurities that clog the skin, but feels so gentle it does not strip my sensitive skin of its natural barriers.
- Orbis The Cleansing One* is a rather thick cleansing oil and does not smell so great. Does the job well, does not leave my skin feeling greasy nor cause breakouts, so I can’t complain. But I have about 5 other cleansing oils still to go through in my stash, and this one just does not make the cut for me.
- Estee Lauder Re-Nutriv Ultimate Lift Regenerating Youth Treatment Lotion* is the one item from this luxurious line that I would highly recommend everyone to start with! It is hard to get excited over lotions in general, but this one made me feel like a princess overtime I use it. Reviewed here.
- The Body Shop Tea Tree 3-in-1 Wash Scrub Mask* was mainly an exfoliating cleanser to me. I use it 1-2 times a week in the mornings, and I love the refreshing tea tree sensation. Full review here.
- Clinique Pep-Start 2-in-1 Exfoliating Cleanser* is another exfoliating cleanser with fine synthetic beads. Does the job well, does not irritate my skin nor leaves it feeling dried out. But because I’ve had this for so long, I ended up using it on my neck every other day, and it worked great!
- Fresh Sugar Coral Tinted Lip Treatment* was my constant companion in the office. I would slather this one every hour while working away at my desk. I love the smell, the tint it leaves in lieu of lipstick, and buttery feel on my lips…. just heaven! Now that this is done, I’ve already replaced it with the new Candy Tinted Lip Treatment.
- Shiseido Ultimune Power Infusing Eye Concentrate* was my daytime eye treatment for many months, and it served me well! When I first received this, I found that I needed to layer it with another eye cream, but lately I’ve it sufficient on its own for daytimes when I am applying eye makeup. Full review here.
- Dior One Essential City Defense* is my 2nd bottle and I’m sad that the last drop is gone. It has so many protective qualities, and is so lightweight and comfortable to wear. I love that it does not leave a white cast despite a high SPF50 PA++++ rating. Full review here.
- Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Complete UV Waterlight Lotion* is a fraction of the price of the Dior, and performs accordingly. Though very lightweight, it still feels a little heavy underneath all my makeup. I’ve taken to wearing it on my arms instead, because lately I’ve noticed spots appearing on my arms, so am putting all my extra bottles of SPF to work. Even on my arms, I can feel a slightly tacky sensation for at least a good 10-15 minutes.
- Sulwhasoo Snowise Brightening UV Protection* is a luxurious one with a slightly richer texture. I’ve tried wearing it on my face before and liked it, but as it has been very humid lately, I prefer a more fluid texture for products going to my face. Instead, I’ve taken to wearing this on my neck, and it also serves as a soothing/softening cream. Full review here.
The only major disappointment in all my empties this round is this Omorovicza Instant Plumping Mask. I purchased this about a year ago from the local distributor, and somehow never got around to opening it up until recently. The jar was sealed tight, but when I opened it, I found the contents curdled up with a layer of oil floating on the top. I didn’t know what it was supposed to look like (definitely NOT this!) and went ahead and applied it to my skin anyway. That was a really bad idea, because it stung me so badly, I had to rinse it all off right away. After I googled all the youtube videos and blog photos, I realized it is not supposed to look like this. There is no expiry printed on the box/jar, and surely a year isn’t all that long if the product was fresh at the store, as most products have a 36-month shelf life. It cost me SGD350 and binning this makes me weep, so I’m probably never going to buy another Omorovicza product if I can help it.
Hair & Bodycare:
- Phyto Phytodensia Plumping Shampoo & Mask* is the latest offering from the specialist haircare brand, promising fuller healthier hair. To be honest, I didn’t notice new hair growth, although I’ve been blamed to have rather thick head of hair to begin with. I did experience faster hair growth though. But I’m not crazy about this pairing because it doesn’t leave my hair feeling soft and smooth.
- Frei Ol FigurOl* is a great drugstore body oil that doesn’t leave my skin feeling oily! I have been massaging it on my fatty bits, and it does make those dimply cellulite look somewhat smoother, but I’m not sure if it actually made me slimmer (nothing does really!). Personally I prefer this over Bio-Oil though, just saying.
- Crabtree & Evelyn Lavender & Espresso Body Wash* is one of the brand’s recent scents. The smell is very light, perhaps lighter than usual, which can be good for those who abhor heavily scented products. Cleanses as well and as gently as any of them, I will always enjoy having some Crabtree & Evelyn in my bath!
- Clarins Hand and Nail Treatment Cream is one of my favourite hand creams, and I have ALOT of them. This was a limited edition scent from last year, which smelled fabulous to me, and I use it throughout the day, everyday. I’ve already gotten a replacement!
- Clarins Brightening Body Veil* is part of their recent bodycare releases. This is a pampering body lotion that best serves those with dry and sensitive skin. I love that it comes with SPF20 as I use it in the daytime, but it can get rather heavy in the hot summer months.
- Urban Haircare Argan Oil & Keratin Shampoo & Conditioner* is from Israel and helmed by an impressive #girlboss. But much as I wanted to fall in love, this is sadly not for me. It leaves my hair looking limp and flat, and the keratin made my hair feel stiff.
- Goldwell Kerasilk Control Rich Protective Oil* is a rich oil, a tiny bit goes a long way! Now that my hair is a short bob, I apply just a pearl-sized drop to the ends as a last step after blow-drying. But previously when my hair was much longer and damaged, I would apply more liberally to the bleached sections. Does not weigh the hair down, and still protects and nourishes. Great stuff!
- Goldwell Kerasilk Reconstruct Blow-Dry Spray* is a personal favourite, this is my 2nd bottle. I love pretty much everything from the Kerasilk range, you can read all about it here. A heat-protector is just so useful as I blow-dry and use a straightener practically everyday. Need to restock asap!
- Chanel Le Blush Creme is quite honestly not my favourite cream blush formula. I’m glad Chanel discontinued them, and turned to the Sheer Colour Sticks instead. This one has long expired, and started growing stuff on the top, so it has got to go.
- Urban Decay Subversion Lash Primer is a deluxe sample I had stashed somewhere before and have been using for a long time. It does a great job at preventing my mascaras from smudging, though I found it also tended to clump my lashes. Not a big deal because I just comb my lashes out afterwards, and it could also be due to the formula drying up. In any case, it’s one of those things I’m not particularly fussy about, and I have now moved onto another brand.
- Clarins Supra Volume Mascara* gives the most vavavoom lashes in a single coat! They were not kidding when they named it Supra Volume! But it does come at the expense of clumps, right from day 1. And it does not quite help keep my lashes from doing the downward dog. It also smudges on my oily eye area, so a lash primer is a must.
- NARS Smudgeproof Eye Shadow Base is every bit as good as everybody claims. And it lasts a LONG time. Too bad about the packaging… when will NARS change? This one is already the “improved” version and over time it still turns unspeakably sticky and gross. There is nothing quite like this formula though… I may have to restock soon.
Congratulations on making it through this laundry list of empties! Did you have a reaction to anything mentioned here today? If so, I’d love to hear it! Stay tuned for the next Empties Vol. 6 (yes we have to do a bit of backtracking now) coming up hopefully soon.
Some of the products discussed here were provided for my consideration, and are marked with an asterisk beside their names (*). Regardless, all opinions expressed here are my own honest, unbiased views.