Jessica Bialkowskibeauty

Trash Talk: Empty Products

Jessica Bialkowskibeauty
Trash Talk: Empty Products

Once again, I have finished up a whole bunch of products and I feel like this is probably the best way for me to review things so I hope you guys like these posts and find them helpful!

Cleansers & Toners

The Nude Perfect Cleansing Oil is a really lovely cleanser that melts away makeup and doesn't strip the skin. For whatever reason the pump dispenses the tiniest amount of product, so I always had to use quite a few pumps but despite that it still lasted me a really long time. If you're looking for a cleansing oil and prefer pump bottles over balms in pots, this is a really nice option. The Caudalie Gentle Cleansing Milk was okay as a morning cleanser or second cleanser in the evening for me. I don't really love cleansing milks as I find them too thin and I just prefer a thicker, creamier texture, so this one was no exception and I didn't love it. The La Roche-Posay Toleriane Dermo-Cleanser, however, I was so impressed with that I bought the full size. For the price I can't think of a better creamy cleanser that I've tried. It has a sort of jelly-cream texture, doesn't foam or strip the skin and doesn't leave any residue when you wash it off. I really, really recommend this.

As for toners, I've talked about how much I love the Pixi Glow Tonic before, this was my second bottle of it and I still think it's one of the best options on the market for a gentle, daily AHA exfoliant. I was really excited when La Roche-Posay finally released Serozinc onto the Australian market - more than just an average thermal spring water in a can, this contains anti-inflammatory zinc sulfate. While it's not a life changer, I enjoy a good facial spritz and not only is this a simple but effective one and I love that it has a really fine mist and a continuous spray - it's the little things. I got the Thursday Plantation Tea Tree & Witch Hazel Toner as a gift with purchase from Priceline and I didn't see anything alarming in the ingredients list so I started using it. I prefer my hydrating toners to be in a spray bottle so I decanted it but when I sprayed it on my face I had to make sure I didn't get any on my lips because it tasted just awful. Apart from that it's a decent toner, but it wasn't really anything special either way. As for the Antipodes Ananda Antioxidant Rich Gentle Toner, I feel like this took forever to use up. While it's a nice product, it also didn't wow me enough to make me pick it up again.


So Indeed Labs' Retinol Reface was my first foray into the world of retinol and I loved it. Not only did I see results with no irritation but it's also really affordable. I'd like to try some more expensive (and probably stronger) retinol products in the future but as I don't really have the money for extravagant skincare purchases at the moment, I picked up another tube of this and I'd really recommend it to anyone wanting to give the ingredient a go. The Estee Lauder Perfectionist CP+ Serum is probably targeted more towards mature skins but I still really enjoyed it. Back when Lauder reformulated Advanced Night Repair, they also reformulated this to make it CP+R and I picked up the original version on sale. It's packed full of antioxidants and peptides and I found it really helped to smooth out the uneven texture I'm prone to getting around my chin.

I quite enjoyed the Una Brennan Vitamin C+ Glow Boost Serum and found it pretty hydrating too, so it was really good for the mornings, but as we don’t have access to this brand in Australia I won’t be getting it again. Initially I assumed this sample of the Murad Rapid Pigment Lightening Serum was also a Vitamin C product (probably just because the packaging is orange) but it’s actually mostly a glycolic based exfoliant. Regardless, I quite liked it, but it seems to be impossible to find outside of the US so that's a no-go as well. Indeed Labs' Snoxin was a bit of a snooze for me. It's full of peptides and is meant to diminish wrinkles but as I'm lucky enough not to have them yet (touch wood!) except for a few fine lines under my eyes there's not much to notice. Perhaps someone with more mature skin would enjoy it though.

Eye Cream, Moisturisers & SPF

I finished up two eye cream samples from Caudalie, the SOS Morning Eye Rescue and the Polyphenols C-15. feel like eye creams take FOREVER to get through, and neither of these were especially life changing so I wouldn’t repurchase either of them. I also used up a sample of the Caudalie Moisturising Sorbet which is a really lightweight, almost mousse-textured moisturiser and although I enjoyed it, it didn’t impress me enough to buy it again.

I suppose the Dermalogica Barrier Repair is more suited to people with irritated/sensitive skin, which isn’t me. It’s got a thick, silicone texture which is really unusual for a moisturiser. I think it could work really well for people with skin conditions like eczema, for example, but it didn’t really do much for me. The Estee Lauder Revitalising Supreme Global Anti-Aging Cream is a nice, thick moisturiser that contains a range of good ingredients including antioxidants, but I’ve mentioned before that I prefer to spend my money on anti-ageing ingredients in my serum over my moisturiser. Lauder tends to target a slightly older demographic than me, and perhaps when I’m in that age bracket (with the disposable income to match) I’d buy something like this, but for now I’ll just enjoy the sample and move on.

The Tarte Maracuja Oil was nice and it didn’t break me out, but I’d prefer to buy a product formulated with a combination of helpful oils and ingredients rather than a product that is literally one ingredient. Although I suppose that probably appeals to people who are into the more natural/organic thing. While I did really enjoy the La Roche-Posay Anthelios XL SPF50+ while I was using it, the Mecca one is my favourite. I also don’t think I need SPF 50 day to day as I work in an office and there is definitely a textural difference when you go from 30 to 50. Although much, much lighter than a traditional SPF, the Mecca one basically feels like a moisturiser. I do like having a 50 on hand during summer as I tend to spend more time outdoors, so I might pick this up again or something else from the LRP range. 


Like Snoxin, Nanoblur by Indeed Labs was also a snooze. It’s just a basic silicone, pore-filling primer type thing and they don’t do it for me. I didn’t actually finish this I just didn’t want it anymore. I’d heard the Innoxa Skin Perfect Pore Vanishing Cream was a great primer for oily skin, but I just found it to be average. I probably would have kept it around to finish it but it separated on me so it was time to say goodbye.

Sorry to be such a downer, but none of these mascaras were exciting enough for me to repurchase them. I remember Tati raving about the Physician’s Formula Organic Wear mascara but it was SO wet that it would smudge all over the place by the end of the day so I just gave up after a few tries. The L'Oreal Miss Manga was pretty good, but it has one of those flexible joints in the wand which I completely don't get the point of. I found that the wand bends when I tried to pull it through my lashes which meant it was harder to apply and I was much more likely to get it all over my face. The Urban Decay Perversion also smudged all over the place, and I found the Make Up For Ever Smokey Lash too dry, and I hated the shape of the wand. The best of the lot aside from Miss Manga was the Tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes which I did really enjoy. I'm just not really loyal enough to any mascaras enough to repurchase them, especially high end ones.

A product I DID enjoy and would repurchase is the Anastasia Brow Wiz. There's something about the spoolie on this that's really nice, and the colour was great and it can't be beaten for convenience. I'm still working my way through my Dipbrow Pomade which is far, far better value for money when you break it down to cost per use, but before I'd moved into my new place I was staying at my boyfriend's a lot and it was much more convenient to only have to pack this instead of my Dipbrow plus a spoolie and a brush. I also really liked the Grown Alchemist Vanilla & Watermelon Lip Balm, and as you can see, mine was pretty well loved. I won't be picking it up again as I have a million lip balms already, but I did really enjoy it.

Hair, Hands & Body

Let's let this mini Batiste Dry Shampoo represent the several cans that I actually finished because it's much easier to photograph. Although I prefer the Co-Lab formula because Batiste definitely builds up when you use it too many days in a row (guilty) and it does leave a white cast in my dark hair, I've still got love for it and it's always on sale. I'm not that great with hair products as I'm too lazy for heat styling and don't usually notice much of a difference, but I did like the Bumble & Bumble Hairdresser's Invisible Oil. I've got another mini in my backups stash and I'll definitely use it but it didn't change my life. I did, however, really love the Living Proof Perfect Hair Day 5-in-1 Styling Treatment. Sephora had it as a 100 point perk when I was in Hawaii back in October last year and I think I picked up 5 of them by the end of it so I'm very glad I've got backups as Mecca doesn't stock the whole Living Proof range yet. I can just use a pea-sized amount of this in my hair after I wash it and it'll air-dry more smoothly and that's all I really look for.

I liked the Nuxe Reve de Miel Hand & Nail Cream but I have a million hand creams so there's no need for me to repurchase it. I really didn't like the Dr. Haushka Hand Cream though, I remember hating both the texture & the smell so that's two thumbs down from me. I finished up one of the million Bath & Body Works hand sanitisers I bought, this one's in sweet cinnamon pumpkin. I'm obsessed with cinnamon/pumpkin smells and this was amazing, although it's taken me forever to use up as I only used it when I remembered to. I've got a bunch of other scents ready to go though. I liked the Lush Ro's Argan Body Conditioner quite a lot, and I really enjoy the concept of moisturising in the shower because I'm so lazy with body moisturisers, but I do think this is really expensive for a shower product. I'm no connoisseur of foot products so I don't have any particular thoughts on the Clarins Foot Beauty Treatment Cream except that it was decent and I enjoy Clarins skin & body products so I'd use it again.