Once again I have made another long hiatus from my blog and didn’t post anything for quite a while. This is mostly because of my job which is going back to normal that we knew of before the pandemics. I have been busy, but I have also been diligent when it comes to emptying skincare, so here are my May, June and July empties. And for those who do not know how it looked like at the beginning of 2021 skincare stash decrease project, here is the link and here is my last April update.
Deviant Cleansing Concentrate – This is hands down the best cleansing balm I have ever tried. And trust me, I have tried a bunch: kbeauty, western, cheap, expensive, name it, I have probably tried it. If I knew I would be able to afford buying this cleanser for the rest of my life, I would immediately take a life-time subscription to it. That is how I love it! Not only I could nominate it for this month’s favourite, actually this cleanser could be my every day, every month and every year favourite. With the texture that is out of this world, the specific scent, the ultimate softness it gives to the skin, it is the best balm cleanser I have ever tried. When I think of it, I do not honestly know how to describe the texture since it is so soft, velvety, melting like the finest butter you have ever come across. And it does flawlessly what it is supposed to do and that’s cleansing your face, removing all the dirt, makeup, spf, off. I have used it as a first cleanser of course, but every time I had few minutes for myself, I left this beauty on my face for 10-15 minutes as a mask and I enjoyed every second of it. I do not have to say I will definitely repurchase it.
First Aid Beauty Pure Skin Face cleanser – If I remember well, I got this 30ml cleanser in one of Advent calendars. I was using it in as a second cleanser in my night-time routine and as my morning cleanser. It is very nice cream cleanser that doesn’t foam too much, it is not aggressive or drying, the skin doesn’t feel stripped or tight. It is washed off easily, however it does burn a bit if it comes in contact with the eyes. It is a decent cleanser, but I was using it at the same time as my beloved Allies of Skin Silk amino cleanser, so this FAB cleanser wasn’t so exciting as the other one which was a real treat. I do not think I will repurchase this.
Klavuu Pure pearlsation revitalazing cleansing foam – This cleansing foam is creamy and thick when squeezed out of the tube, but it transforms easily into nice, soft foam. This small tube lasted for quite a while since you need only a small amount. It is easily spread, it is effective. Although its ph is leaning towards higher values according to the other reviews, I didn’t experience any tightening or drying effect. I liked it, but I didn’t love it, so I will not repurchase.
Cleansers – 3 empties
Rovectin Skin essentials activating treatment lotion 15ml – At first, I wasn’t so satisfied with this lotion, since I had a feeling that it did almost nothing to my skin, but with each use, I kind of grew into it. It is really viscous, sometimes it can feel a bit tacky on the skin, but the level of moisture it provides to skin is really nice. It is packed with different humectants and moisturizing factors like sodium hyaluronate, glycerin, pantenol, but also with some other good ingredients like niacinamide, allantoin, etc. The skin feels and looks fuller, plumper, healthier. I dare to say it can easily stand by my favorite hyaluronic acid toner, Hada Labo. I currently use my second 15ml bottle, but I will definitely buy a full size bottle.
Earth Recipe Energy boosting toner – If you liked Whamisa Deep rich toner, you will definitely like this one or you will even like it better than Whamisa. It is thick toner, it really has a lot of viscosity to it. Sometimes I felt like I was dealing with a serum instead of toner. Even with the thick consistency, it is still easy to apply and quickly absorbed. The skin is replenished, nourished. It has a herbal, almost medicinal scent, but it is not overwhelming and it disappears within few minutes. So, the scent is there, but not it is not perfumed and I guess this scent comes from all the herbal extracts with which this toner is packed. A little goes a long way and it took me more than a year to empty it. It should be emptied within 12 months after opening, but I didn’t notice anything wrong with it even after 15 months. I will come back eventually to this toner after I decrease my stash.
Primera Water organience 15ml – I opened this 15ml bottle long time ago so I must admit I didn’t use this toner consistently. It is not completely watery, it has a bit body to it. It has a nice herbal scent. Its inci list contains some ingredients like houttuynia cordata, artemisia which have calming effect on the skin and soothe the irritations and redness. And that’s how this toner really is: calming and soothing. I can say that I liked it, but honestly do not know if I will revisit it.
Josh Rosebrook Hydrating accelerator – I enjoyed in every single drop of this wonderful hydrating mist. It is absolutely beautiful and smells heavenly with its herbal, floral scent. It provides excellent shot of hydration, refreshes the skin perfectly, but also has the soothing, calming effect on the skin. The spray / nozzle is great, it makes a perfect mist. It is expensive, but for me it was worth every single penny I paid. I was using it in both of my routines under serums and moisturizers as I felt it improved absorption, but also I was using it during the day for hydration boost and refreshment. I would like to repurchase it, but for some reason Cultbeauty is no longer shipping it to my country.
Toners and mists – 4 empties
Pixi Glow tonic – Since I read so many raving reviews about this acid toner, I simply had to buy it. However, it didn’t live up to my expectations. I cannot remember for how long this bottle was dragging around my bathroom, but it was there for around 2 years. I managed to empty half of the bottle and than I noticed some tiny bits of something that looked like threads, so I threw the rest into the toilet. This toner contains 5% of glycolic acid, it is mild acid toner which is suppose to remove impurities, cleanse the pores, but also is suppose to hydrate and soothe the skin due to the aloe in it. It didn’t cause any bad reaction to my skin like redness, sensitized skin, but on the other hand, to be honest, I didn’t see too much results of it. My skin wasn’t so smooth, soft, shiny like it usually is after the use of some other acids like Alpha-H Liquid gold (which does have higher concentration of AHA than Pixi Glow tonic and thus is much more potent). I probably expected too much from this toner or maybe expected something it is not supposed to do due to the low concentration of AHA, but still I’m not happy with it. I satisfied my curiosity, but will not repurchase it again.
Paula’s Choice 10% azelaic acid booster – To tell you the truth, for the most part of my experience with this tube, I struggled to find a good spot for it in my routine, actually to find a good purpose in general. Although I’m in my 40’s, I do not have many issues with my skin like redness, acne, spots. It was only by the bottom of this tube that I realized how amazing this product was. It was during my PMS that I got a volcano on my cheek, it had a size of bigger middle European country. This happens to me once in maybe 7-8 months. This booster almost destroyed this volcano in 2 days. It calmed down the redness and made the acne almost invisible (at trust me, it was pretty prominent). I was speechless!! Now I’m thinking of buying the travel size of this booster to have it always handy, although that’s not economically smart investment.
Oskia Super C-Smart Nutrient capsules – This is the last oil-based vitamin C serum that I used. Before finishing Oskia, I emptied Garden of Wisdom and Medik8. This serum is really an excellent one, works great in brightening the complexion, but also nourishes the skin at same time being oil-based serum. Although it is oily, it is absorbed nicely. The packaging itself is pretty interesting: the serum is packed in the heart-shaped capsules containing the quantity that is sufficient for one application. Before I bought this serum, I read tones of reviews and some people were complaining about the capsule that contained too much of product, which is honestly a mystery to me, since I find that these capsule contain just enough serum for one application. From time to time, I even felt like it wasn’t enough for one use for whole face. The serum is nicely absorbed, leaves the skin so smooth and velvety and not oily. The price tag is high, but a part of it is probably due to this packaging. Although I didn’t plan to repurchase it immediately, I got it in SpaceNK vitamin C box I couldn’t resist to (see below).
Klairs Midnight blue activating drop – This was the first peptide serum I have ever tried and I have already written about it in my empties when I started my blog. This is one of my favourite peptide serums. The serum itself is very thin, watery and runny and it is very difficult to handle if you apply it directly from the dropper (which I do not do anymore). When applied, it is almost immediately completely absorbed. My face feels and looks firmer and brighter. It evens the skin and makes it supple. Although it is serum, it should be used as a first step of the routine, so the peptides act directly on the cleansed skin. It has a blue hue which comes not from some colorant, but from guaiazulene (derived from chamomile) which has calming effect on the skin. Although with its 20ml only, it is on a pricey side, I will repurchase it for sure, since I really like this serum.
Acids & active treatments – 4 empties
I’m from Mugwort essence – This is my favourite mugwort essence, together with Hanyul artemisia essence. It is thick and viscous, but not tacky. It provides an instant relief to the skin while moisturizing it deeply. It is soothing, calming, has a distinctive herbal scent that acts therapeutically on me, it really has a calming effect on me. I would repurchase this immediately if it wasn’t for my essences stash which is pretty big.
Essences – 1 empty
Bring Green Artemisia calming ampoule – I finished this serum in a blink of an eye. I recently opened it and it was love at first touch and application. Just like other products that contain mugwort / artemisia, this serum has that distinctive herbal scent and as such, it has a therapeutical impact on me. The serum itself is rather thick and it is a tad difficult to get it out of pipette, but on the other hand, it has really nice slip and glides easily on the skin. It provides immediate relief and deep moisture. I was so heavily handed with this serum and it didn’t last a long time, but I enjoyed in every single drop / use of it.
Neogen Serum in oil drop White truffle – Although this is 50ml serum, I went through the bottle rather quickly since I was using it both in the morning and in the evening, using around 2 pumps for one application. If you read carefully these short reviews of my empties, you might have noticed that I used frequently the same products in the morning and in the evening which is something I didn’t often do before. I think it has something to do with the season as I tend to simplify my routines during summer. Going back to this nice serum, I quite liked it. Contrary to its name, it is not oily at all. I would rather say that it is lightweight watery serum, perfect for summer. The serum has nice slip to it, it is spread easily and absorbed nicely leaving the skin glowing. The skin is moisturized, but also nourished, probably due to the truffle oil which is nourishing ingredient. This is probably first skincare product I tried that contained truffle oil which is more frequently mentioned in recipes than in the products’ ingredient lists. Although truffles do have a distinctive scent which is not everybody’s preference, this serum doesn’t smell of anything (or at least I didn’t notice it). I liked the serum and I might go back repurchasing it in the future.
Serums & ampoules – 2 empties
Cerave Moisturizing lotion for dry to very dry skin – I bought this moisturizer after testing a smaller quantity that was sent to me by my friend. In the beginning, it wasn’t quite clear for me how this kind of light texture can be appropriate / enough for the skin type this product is intended to. This lotion is really light, not greasy or heavy, it is massaged easily into the skin and absorbed nicely and quickly and it nourishes well the skin. It contains 3 types of ceramides that are excellent for protection of skin barrier. I used in the morning and in the evening, under the makeup, under my sunscreens, before retinoids, combined with some facial oils which turned out to be an excellent combo. In the winter, I used it as a last step of night routine and I mixed it with The Ordinary’s squalane. I had a 237ml bottle which lasted for very long time, it is inexpensive, efficient; for me this is an excellent product and I will definitely repurchase it.
Missha Time Revolution Night repair Probio ampoule cream 7ml – I wasn’t using this cream long enough to be able to assess its effect when it comes to anti-aging, wrinkle reducing, skin elasticity improvement what the description of this cream claims. It is very thick cream, I dare to say it is balmy, but not heavy in any way. It is very moisturizing and nourishing and leaves nice dewy finish to the skin. Being thick and balmy, it feels like it forms a protective layer to the skin, so I honestly think I would not be able to use this during summer, since it is a thad too rich for me and my skin. However, I think I could really enjoy using this moisturizer in the winter and in full size to be able to test other claims.
Anessa Perfect UV sunscreen spf50 PA++++ 60ML – I have already mentioned this sunscreen in my 2020 skincare overview, as something that marked my past year when it comes to skincare. I still love it. I will just repeat what I have already said. Texture, absorption, the way it feels on the skin and works under the makeup, protection, everything about this sunscreen is just perfect. It has beautiful texture, glides nicely on the skin, it is not drying or greasy, it is just perfect! The skin is velvety once it is absorbed. It has a minimal cast which disappears pretty quickly. I have also tested it on the beach and it provides sufficient protection. I have already bought a back up bottle and I will keep on buying this perfect sunscreen.
Caudalie Crème solaire spf50 25ml – I got this sunscreen in Asos beauty box. It is on a thicker size, but it is spread easily and elegantly. It leaves a white cast for 1-2 minutes, but then it is nicely absorbed into the skin leaving the skin dewy which I personally like. Although it looks heavy and greasy, it went well along with my makeup and didn’t interfere with it. However, this would definitely work better for drier skin type. Since this was a 25ml tube, I emptied it quickly and didn’t manage to test it on the beach since I emptied it some time in May. It did not disappoint me, but then again it didn’t either wow me, so I do not think I would repurchase.
Klairs Soft airy UV essence – I had one tube of this notorious sunscreen whose spf became a subject of lots of skincare discussions few months ago. I was quite disappointed when it turned out that its spf is around 19 instead of 50 declared. This reveal resulted in refunds for all clients who purchased this sunscreen (at least I got refund for tubes I purchased on Ebay). Still I didn’t want to throw it away and I kept it my stash thinking I would use it for my hands. However, I was contacted by a girl who doesn’t mind the fact the spf is not 50 and so I gave it to her.
Moisturizers and sunscreens – 5 empties
23years old Aquabab modelling mask – This packaging contained the raw material for 4 uses / masks + 4 spatulas for mixing and applying. The ball that you mix your mask in is actually bottom part of the packaging. One of the mask components is jelly-like and the other one is powdery (white powder). When you mix them, the beads change the color and turn darker, so the mask gets light, pale green kiwi hue. You get the substantial quantity of the mask, I would say it could even suffice for 2 applications, but then again there is a question of how to keep it fresh till the next use, so I slapped on all the quantity each time. Its application is somewhat tricky and challenging since I really struggled to apply it. I tried some other modelling masks (like Dr Jart’s) and those were much easier to handle. Since it wasn’t easy to spread the mask on the skin, I didn’t succeed to apply it evenly. Compared to Dr Jart’s, this mask is much more dripping of the skin and it looks pretty slimy. It is recommended to keep it on around 20 min, but I usually kept it for more, around 30 min, since it was still wet after that time. I didn’t manage not even once to remove this mask in one piece. Nevertheless, the effect on my skin was pretty amazing: the skin was hydrated, so soft and smooth to touch and it looked like I applied some makeup, it was so even and brightened. I was definitely wowed with it. And I must admit it was always fun playing with it. To demonstrate it, this is how I looked like while I had the mask on 🙂
Algenist Alive prebiotic balancing mask 10ml – I got this mini 10ml mask in last year’s SpaceNK birthday gift, I opened it and forgot about it. This mask is good, it is kind of fun to see how it changes color and turns from baby blue to light pink when you massage it on your skin. It is easy to apply and I put both thinner and thicker layers. It is a bit challenging to wash it off, but I solved this issue by using my cleansing clothes for removal. It clears the skin, especially the T-zone, as well as blackheads on and around the nose. I didn’t notice any spectacular effect on my skin, or anything special that some less expensive clay mask wouldn’t do either.
Wash-off masks – 2 empties
Versed The Fix emergency eye mask – I was using this eye mask as my morning eye-cream. It is lightweight gel that is easily spread. The instructions say that you can wipe it off after some time, but I always kept it till complete absorption. It soothes, brightens, depuffs my eye area, while working well under my makeup. I already have a back up tube, but I’m using now another eye serum.
During last 3 months, I used up: 3 cleansers / 4 toners & mists / 4 acid & active treatments / 1 essence / 2 serums & ampoules / 5 moisturisers and sunscreens / 2 wash-off masks / 1 eye-cream or eye-mask/ 5 sheet masks.
Total empties (May/June/July) – 22 empties + 5 sheets masks
YTD Total: 30 empties + 7 sheets masks
However, I wasn’t disciplined at all when it comes to buying habits during last 3 months, so I splurged again on skincare. To my defence, the SpaceNK box was really a bargain (not in a sense that it is cheap, but in a sense that those 6 products cost “only” 95 GBP). The saving was huge. I also bought quite a lot of sunscreens, but I do use them a lot. So, this is resume of what I bought: 3 cleansers / 5 acid or active treatments / 10 moisturizers and sunscreens / 1 facial oil
Unfortunately as you can see, all this splurging on skincare cancelled all the efforts I put into decreasing my stash. Even worse, some of products categories grew in quantity.
So, at the end of July 2021, here is the summary of my cosmetic stash:
- 17 cleansers (3 in, 3 out)
- 12 toners and mists (4 out)
- 30 acid & active treatments (5 in, 4 out)
- 19 essences (1 out)
- 6 serums / ampoules (2 out)
- 2 emulsions
- 27 moisturizers and sunscreens (10 in, 5 out) – this was total flop!!
- 4 sleeping packs
- 10 facial oils (1 in)
- 20 wash-off masks (2 out)
- 3 eye creams and eye masks (1 out)
- 74 sheet masks (5 out)
During last 3 months, I used up skincare products in value of 389,04 USD or 352,73 EUR
YTD total: 569,78 USD or 509,29 EUR
So till next time, stay healthy and beautiful as you are!