For reasons I will hopefully talk about eventually, I have been on a serious kick of trying to finish up everything I own and have essentially stopped buying new things as well while I try to get through my drawer of backups. So that means I've got a tonne of empties for you. I'm also trying to run through my makeup and work out what's not essential. I don't know if I'm going to do something like a declutter post - lord knows I love a good declutter video on YT but I'm sure sure how well it would translate to a blog post? But anyway I'll have my makeup, hair & bodycare empties in another post because these get too long really quickly.
Since we started dating I've got my boyfriend onto using micellar water so we've gone through quite a bit of it. I bought the baby Bioderma with the intention of refilling it and using it for travel but I can’t seem to get the cap off for the life of me, so may that be a warning to you if you wanted to do the same. Bioderma is a classic so I don’t think I need to say any more about it. I think the Garnier Micellar Water is great and since it’s a lot cheaper than Bioderma it’s what my boyfriend has been using. I also really like their 2-in-1 Express Eye Makeup Remover as bi-phase ones like this are always better at taking off waterproof eye makeup. This is a great affordable option and after I finished this one up I repurchased it.
As for the proper cleansers, I wasn't much of a fan of the Boscia Detoxifying Black Cleanser. It’s a runny gel but I found it quite difficult to spread around the face without adding a little water, but adding too much means it emulsifies too early. It also warms up when it comes into contact with water which is kind of fun but not really a selling point for me. I got sick of using it on my face after a while and I put it in the shower to use on my décolletage. The Boscia Makeup Breakup Cool Cleansing Oil on the other hand, was a pleasure to use and I'd happily pick up a full size if we could get it over here. It's a light green oil texture and it removes makeup with ease and doesn't sting the eyes. The same, of course, goes for the Emma Hardie Moringa Cleansing Balm. This one is a cult favourite despite the packaging being rubbish. I finished my first tub quite a while ago, but it still lives up to my fond memories and I loved using it again. It's on the pricey side but it's a beautiful product if you want to splurge.
Going from left to right, let's start with a couple of masks. First up is the Nuxe Clarifying Cream Mask, which is quite a nice, gentle clay mask that I think would be ideal for people with dry skin as I found it didn't really dry down the way a traditional clay mask does. It takes forever to finish up a mask though so I'm in no rush to repurchase, but if you're dry and like a clay mask now and then this could be one to try.
I picked up a trio of Elemental Herbology masks quite a while ago now which contained minis of the Facial Detox (clay), Facial Glow (exfoliating) and Facial Souffle (hydrating). I ended up getting rid of all 3 because I'd used about 3/4 of each tube and I decided I'd had them for too long and it was time to go. The clay mask wasn't life changing, but I don't really believe that any clay mask is, and I wasn't in love with the exfoliating mask either as it was both chemically and physically exfoliating (i.e. it contained little beads or granules). I don't do much physical exfoliation as it is, but I especially don't have a need for it in a mask as I'll generally just put it on and then wash it off without moving it around my face like I would with a cleanser. Plus when you're washing it off at the sink it's a pain in the ass because there's always a couple of little beads left hanging around. The hydrating mask was quite nice though, and if you got it in a tube like I did instead of the glass pot the full size comes in, it would be quite good for travel as it sinks into the face without leaving a film or any greasy residue so you could low-key mask on a plane without drawing too much attention to yourself.
I think there's a La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo+ in every one of my empties posts, and now that my boyfriend uses it too we've gone through two tubes. I personally think he needs something more hydrating as well but skincare isn't really one of his top priorities. Any, we both love it and will keep repurchasing it. I didn't care for the REN Bio Retinoid Anti-Ageing Cream because I didn't see the same results that I saw with the Indeed Labs Retinol Reface which is less than half the price. Plus I found it didn't sink in very well and I didn't like the smell either. I think the marketing of the Origins Ginzing Moisturiser is a bit over the top but despite that it's a nice lightweight gel-cream that did the job just fine. I won't rush out to pick it up again but it's nice enough. The Caudalie Vinoperfect Radiance Serum was a bit of a snooze, and as with the REN product, I didn't really notice any difference when using it.
The same, very disappointingly, goes for the Chanel Sublimage Le Fluide which you'd expect to deliver something spectacular at $357 for a full size bottle. This was a 5ml sample, making it theoretically worth $35 and I just didn't notice anything while using this. Fortunately I didn't pay for it, and nor would I because there are far, far better products out there with a much more realistic price tag. I've used a mini of the Antipodes Joyous Protein-Rich Serum before and I really enjoy it. Not sure why it's called a serum when it's definitely more of an oil, but I love a good oil at night and I found that my skin was always really soft and well-hydrated in the morning. It's got some good antioxidants in there too so I think it's a great mid-priced option.
Of the 5 of these the only one I really liked and would repurchase is the Missha Safe Block SPF 30 (they have an Australian website but I bought mine on eBay). It's a lovely, lightweight gel textured SPF that sinks in easily, doesn't interfere with makeup and doesn't leave a white cast or really have anything negative about it at all. The Alpha-H Daily SPF50 was thick, slightly tinted cream that I found to be on the greasy side and a bit too heavy for me under makeup. It'd probably be better suited to people with drier skin than me. Although I don't think the colour made much difference I prefer my SPFs not to have a tint at all so that was another minus. Not sure where I got this La Roche-Posay Uvidea XL SPF 50 sample but it was decent but not life changing. Probably worth considering though as it's quite affordable for an SPF50 and LRP make some good ones.
I had high hopes for the Mecca To Save Face SPF30 Eye Cream. I thought it was an excellent idea to include SPF in an eye cream because so often we're told not to put products near our eyes (which I do anyway because I live dangerously) but if we skip the eye area when it comes to SPF that delicate skin is going to be the first to get damaged. However, in practice I didn't love this as an eye cream because it wasn't hydrating enough, and I didn't love it as an SPF either because it has a rollerball applicator which I don't think dispensed nearly enough product. The point of SPF is protection and if you only put a really thin layer then it's not going to do its job and you'll think you're protected when you're not. And finally, I mentioned this Shiseido SPF when I got it as a sample from Sephora and it has an insanely strong white cast and it's terrible and I didn't even finish it, I just don't want it anymore.