Skincare Empties – Tried, Tested… But Trusted? #2

I’m very overdue with my empties. I need to take out the trash though, I’m in the middle of moving, and if I bring empty plastic bottles into the new apartment that’ll be the last nail in my hoarder coffin. It’s getting comfy in there. Seriously, it’s scary.

On that note, and just to give you a heads up, the theme that permeates this post is “I would consider repurchasing if I didn’t already have 871539 unopened ones in my stash”.


Let’s start with Elemis: I finished up a tub of the Pro-Collagen Marine Cream SPF 30, and a deluxe size of the regular cream (with no SPF). The texture is very pleasant, as is the sea salt scent – but the fact that the full size products come in jar packaging, the formula contains way too much fragrance, and that its price point is near 100€ makes me not want to repurchase it.

Next is the Origins GinZing Refreshing Eye Cream that I used as a face moisturizer because tomayto tomahto, they’re the same thing. This one had a lot of mica in it that gave the skin an extra shine- and it was nice enough, except for the fact that it didn’t work well underneath some primers and foundations. But it’s expensive as a face moisturizer (it’s only 15ml) and I have no time or patience to pretend an eye cream is special enough to warrant an extra step in my skincare routine. Plus, jar packaging. Boo. Repurchase? No.

I also used up the Simple Water Boost Hydrating Gel Cream, that I’ve reviewed here. Long story short, it’s not an exciting formula, but it does the job well, and it’s good for sensitive and oily skin types. My husband loved it, he finished the bottle for me. Repurchase? Probably.

I used up my last two travel sizes of the Clinique Super Defense SPF 20 moisturizer. I’ve mentioned them before – I love the formula, but I only bought the travel size version because it comes in a squirt tube instead of a jar. Repurchase? I would if I could.

Last but not least, some Ecooking products: the mini size of the Day Cream, and a full size of the Eye Cream, both reviewed here. I like the brand and enjoyed both products, and if I was to repurchase any of them I’d likely go with the eye cream (although it does tend to foam up when used with other serums).

Serums & Treatments

There are two hyaluronic acid serums in this post: Sarah Chapman’s Skinesis Intense Hydrating Booster that I’ve reviewed here, and Medik8’s Hydr8 B5. Hyaluronic acid has become so common in moisturiser and serum formulas that I just don’t see the point in repurchasing a serum for that ingredient exclusively. Plus, I have enough in my skincare stash that I wouldn’t need to repurchase them even if I felt the need to.

And I could leave it at that but I want to make it a point to really recommend NOT buying the Sarah Chapman booster because I’m just that mean. Honestly though, it’s not poorly made nor did I have a bad experience with it, but for the price it’s a really lacklustre formulation. Look for something else if you’re interested in trying Sarah Chapman, and buy The Inkey List’ Hyaluronic serum if you really feel like you need one.

I’ve finished the Ecooking Vitamin C serum that I’ve reviewed here and I would potentially repurchase – after going through the panoply of vitamin C products I currently have in stock.

I’ve also gone through three retinol serums. There was some trial and error in finding out which type of serum I prefer, and the one I would repurchase is The Inkey List Retinol serum, reviewed here. The Ordinary’s version is oil based – I can’t stand my face feeling greasy, ended up using it on my body – and the Indeed Labs Retinol Reface is (or at least feels like it is) silicone based, which makes layering serums/moisturizer harder because the product piles up.

Now for single use/tiny sample products I finished up:

  • I tried the Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Alpha Beta Extra Strength Daily Peel treatments. These are exfoliating pads and they were a bit too strong for my taste – my skin felt itchier than comfortable, and I didn’t notice a big enough difference for the suffering. Repurchase? No.
  • Very similarly to that last product, I received the Goop Glow Glycolic Acid disk in a goody bag from Cult Beauty and I’m embarrassed to admit I enjoyed the product from the woman who sells vagina smelling candles more than the equivalent from a board-certified dermatological surgeon. When it comes to repurchasing, I’d prefer Goop Glow‘s option to the Dr Dennis Gross Daily Peel. It felt more comfortable on my skin (not as strong, I guess) but the results were more obvious – my skin was positively glowing. Yes, I’m dumbfounded as well.
  • I went through the sample of the very appropriately named “Drying Mask” from Mario Badescu. It was good for 5 uses and they should use this stuff to drain out rivers. I have combination skin and usually don’t have an issue with clay masks, but this one left my skin extremely tight and dry. Honestly, how oily would you have to be? Repurchase? No.
  • I haven’t tried many undereye masks yet, but one thing that annoys me is that they keep sliding down my cheeks. The Hydra-Bright Collagen Eye Restoring Pads from Avant are no different. I believe these are gimmicky products that do nothing a good moisturizer wouldn’t do (eye patches in general, not just Avant’s). Repurchase? No.
  • I enjoyed the Erno Laszlo Hydraphel Skin Supplement, and although I’m not sure I would repurchase this one specifically, I learned that I enjoy these essences/fatty waters. It’s an extra step in a skincare routine, but a pleasant one.


The Shiseido Perfect Cleansing Oil is the best oil based cleanser I’ve ever tried. It changes into a milky formula when in contact with water and is completely dissolved by it. So you get the makeup removing benefits of an oil with none of the hassle – no greasy residue, no left over residue, and it’s a safe option for sensitive skin types. Repurchase? I already did.

The Simple Moisturising Facial Wash is pretty good for the price point. I would say it’s good for normal to combination skin, since it can be a bit drying despite the name, but it does a decent job at removing makeup and it’s gentle enough for sensitive skin. I’ve actually used up two bottles of this already. Repurchase? Likely, when I run out of cleansers.

I did enjoy the First Aid Beauty Face Cleanser more though. It’s more expensive than the Simple cleanser, but I think it removes makeup better and it’s even less drying. It’s just not as easily accessible to me. Repurchase? If I can get my hands on it.

The Ritual of Sakura Body Scrub is a dense, thick sugar body scrub. Because it’s sugar the grains get smaller and smaller as you rub them in the shower, so it’s not too rough against the skin – but it left behind a very heavy, greasy film that I could live without. Repurchase? No.

I used up 3 mini sizes of shower gels and wouldn’t repurchase any of them: the Elemis Frangipani Monoi Shower Cream felt nice but my husband said it smells like naphthalene, the Mio Sun-drenched Body Wash has a citrusy scent and a gold shimmer, and both instantly disappeared as soon as you rinse it off of your skin, and the Mio Clay Away Body Cleanser seemed like a nice idea in theory, and I tried to use it as a mask on my back acne, but I saw no real difference and would rather stick with a more intense clay mask (maybe that Mario Badescu one would have worked wonders on my back, too bad I only thought of it now).

I’m done! Finally, I can throw all of these empty containers out.

Feels good to write a post again. I’m consistently inconsistent with updating this blog, and it’s the third year in a row I’m ignoring the blogsphere on the busiest time of the year. This time the excuse is that I moved (still in the process, actually). I’m determined to come back this holiday season though – I’ve indulged in a few limited edition collections that I should post about before they sell out. Even if it’s a quicker and shorter review, you wouldn’t mind would you? Better that than nothing. At least that’s what I’m telling myself.

2 thoughts on “Skincare Empties – Tried, Tested… But Trusted? #2

  1. So glad you are back blogging again! I’ve seen your posts these last few days but it’s been so hectic recently I couldn’t stop by. So many empties you collected! I never tried the Shiseido Perfect Cleansing Oil, but I feel curious to try now. Thank you for sharing and I’ll try to catch up with all your posts these next few days.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much! Yes, I finally got a bit of time and tried to pump out the backlog of posts as fast as I could. I recently went to Paris and I knew I wouldn’t have time to do it while I was out. I’m also really late in keeping up with my reader feed, I’ll be coming to your blog to get updated too 😀 The Shiseido cleansing oil does not disappoint, I’m using my backup and loving it.

      Liked by 1 person

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