Skincare Empties vol. 43
Staying at home and shopping my own stash definitely contributed to finishing the products I already own vs using new stuff constantly. I scaled back on the number of PR samples I accept to allow myself to fully appreciate what I currently have and I feel like this approach is less wasteful as well. As usual, today I’m sharing mini-reviews on the products I finished in the last few weeks.
1 // Naturopathica Manuka Honey Cleansing Balm* ($62) – This rich balm smells so good, I want to eat it! The formula is more oily and waxy than an average cleansing balm and you may need a washcloth to aid removal, but it gets the job done and leaves the skin soft. It is also very gentle and soothing, so I even used it when my skin was irritated.
Repurchase? Probably not, but it’s a decent alternative to conventional cleansing balms, especially if you’re into wellness-focused, naturopathic brands.
2 // Sulwhasoo First Care Activating Serum EX ($84) – This serum is one of my favorite skincare splurges! I occasionally receive it as a gift from the brand, but since I use it almost daily, I have to constantly replenish my supply by purchasing my own bottles, too. It has a juicy, gel-like consistency and instantly quenches the skin with moisture. Most noteworthy visible results can be described as “youthful glow”. It’s kind of hard to put into words, but it basically gives my skin that plumpness, radiance, and healthy tone that makes young skin look young.
Repurchase? Yes! I’ve been repurchasing it for years.
3 // Fresh Black Tea Firming Overnight Mask ($92) – This mask turned out to be one of the most impressive products from Fresh. It really does transform my skin overnight, and I love seeing how smooth, soft, and moisturized my face looks in the morning. This is my fifth or sixth jar, and probably won’t be my last.
4 // Peach & Lily Glass Skin Refining Serum* ($39) – I wasn’t sure what to expect from this serum what I got it, but the brand promised me glass skin so of course, I had to try it! The glass skin effect is definitely temporary and only lasts as long as it takes the jelly-like serum to absorb, but it did serve its purpose to moisturize the skin and help brighten some faint discolorations. Don’t let the simple packaging fool you, the serum actually has some very nice ingredients, including Niacinamide, Adenosine, Madecassoside [from my favorite skin-soothing CICA], peptides, antioxidant-rich botanicals, and four molecular weights of Hyaluronic Acid. The ingredient list is very short and contains minimal fillers, only enough to improve the consistency and spreadability of the product and protect the botanicals.
5 // Algenist Elevate Advanced Retinol Serum* ($98) – I can’t say I’m loyal to any particular retinoid and usually switch from one to another as soon as it’s finished. I also don’t think my skin needs a tret prescription just yet, so I’m just trying the derivatives to find the one that works best for my skin. Did I like this serum? Sure, it even made my favorites list more than once. I probably wouldn’t purchase it again though, just because I don’t want to stop trying new ones.
6 // Sulwhasoo Concentrated Ginseng Renewing Cream* ($240) – I didn’t want to fall in love with such an expensive product but here we are. It’s absolutely magical, and for the price, it better be, right? I used it as an overnight treatment and it totally transformed my skin in a matter of days. The glow is hard to miss, it’s like my skin goes on secret vacations while I sleep and gives me a mysterious wink in the morning when I stare at my reflection in disbelief. What I see is soothed, plump, well-rested, mega-moisturized complexion, and the skin always genuinely looks better than it did the day before. Sulwhasoo just might be my favorite k-beauty brand of all time.
Repurchase? If I could, I absolutely would, but it’s way out of my budget, unfortunately. Maybe if I spot it on clearance at least 50% off.
BATH & BODY:
7 // R+Co Television Perfect Hair Shampoo* ($32) – Technically not a PR sample, but I still marked it as such because I paid next to nothing for it thanks to the discount provided by the brand. That aside, I wasn’t totally impressed. This shampoo was touted as a do-it-all hair perfector, but it didn’t perform any better than a much cheaper drugstore counterpart. Some luxury hair care products are absolutely worth it and deliver stunning results, but from my experience, this one is not. My hair felt drier, scalp began to itch, and there was no change in shine and volume. I finished this bottle anyway because I didn’t want to be wasteful, but definitely not buying from the Television line again.
Repurchase? A very firm no.
8 // It’s a 10 Silk Express Miracle Silk Conditioner* ($24.99) – It’s a 10 has very lovely products, but their conditioners and masks are especially good. I’ve tried all of them and they all worked wonders so instantly detangle the messiest knots and soften my hopelessly overprocessed fine, flat hair. Can’t go wrong with these.
Repurchase? Yep, I’m sure I will get more someday after I finish my current supply of haircare.
9 // John Masters Organics Lavender Rosemary Shampoo* ($19) – Now, speaking of good haircare, this shampoo did wonders for both my hair and my scalp. It soothed the itchy scalp while also giving volume to the roots, leaving the ends alive and moisturized without stripping them. I didn’t even need to use a conditioner with this one – it was that good.
Repurchase? Maybe. I’ll add it to my list of splurges.
10 // LAVANILA The Healthy Underarm Detox Mask* ($26) – It’s a neat concept to have a product that can help remove antiperspirant buildup from your underarms so you could switch to a natural deodorant sooner. That buildup is real and it does get pretty thick unless you constantly exfoliate, which I don’t. I like this mask but I feel like it has very limited use. I enjoyed it while it lasted, but not sure I need another one.
11 // Lalique Amethyst ($135) – One of my favorite vials that I received from Scentbird! Amethyst smells like a sexy blackberry pie – it’s naughty and mysterious, but at its essence still a sweet, comforting, berry pie. I love it and considering splurging on a full-sized bottle to add to my perfume collection.
Repurchase? I think I will!
Have you tried any of these? Do you have any noteworthy empties this month?
*Indicates PR samples.