Sunday, September 13, 2015

Empties Update: September 2015

Another month, another Empties Update! Earlier this week I was thinking about how I sometimes feel like I don't go through my beauty stash quickly enough, but I was brought back down to Earth when I took a look at my past Empties posts. I'm actually really glad that I started doing these, because it not only gives me insight to how much I'm actually using, but I'm also able to look back to them as a reference for when I'm looking to repurchase things that worked well for me! I was cleaning out my skincare storage containers, and I realized...I only had ONE essence left. How does a kbeauty junkie end up in a situation like that, right? I'm normally not one to do "hauls" of any kind, mostly because I don't have the funds to do so, but I was able to buy a significant amount of stuff on RoseRoseShop recently for a great price, and pick up some favorites as well as some fun things to review for you guys in future Empties Updates!

So let's get right into it! As usual, I've separated the Empties into sections so you can skip by any you might not be interested in!
1. Beauty Protector: Beauty Wash
I'm a major fan of the Beauty Protector line of hair products, so when I saw that they also came out with a body lotion and body wash, I immediately bought them with my Birchbox points. I still haven't tried the body lotion yet as I'm so overloaded with moisturizers I can't imagine ever getting through them all. However the body wash went almost immediately into my shower. Unfortunately, this body wash didn't work very well for me. Aside from the amazing scent that Beauty Protector is known for, it didn't seem like it was worth the price for the lack of results. My skin didn't feel any smoother or more moisturized, and I actually felt like it started to irritate my skin. It might be the amount of perfume that's in this product, but it's not something I would repurchase when I can get better washes at the drugstore.

2. It's a 10: Miracle Leave-in Lite
This is a holy grail level product for me, second only to the Beauty Protector leave-in Conditioner. I got a sample of this in a Birchbox, and later got another one in a New Beauty TestTube, and it's really fantastic for fine hair. It's hard to find a leave-in product that doesn't leave residue on my hair or weigh it down, so this product is like gold to me. It has an amazing scent that lingers in my hair for a long time, and does a fantastic job detangling as well as protecting my hair during heat styling. I've repurchased this 2 times already and will continue to do so!

3. Shave with Benefits: Mint and Eucalyptus Shave Foam
This shave foam came in a past Kloverbox, and I'm always looking for shaving foams that are as moisturizing as a cream. This one has a really lovely scent, but that's kind of where it's positives end. I needed at least 4-5 pumps of this stuff just to cover one leg, and even then, once the bubbles in the foam started to pop- it didn't leave a film behind to actually shave with. It seemed a bit too watery, so I ended up knicking myself quite a few times while using this. I think it might be a decent alternative if someone is looking for an organic, natural shaving foam, but it's got a pretty high price tag for such a mediocre product. 

4. Esthetic Cosmetics: Mayo Hair Pack
I don't stray from my usual hair products very often, so many of my older Memebox hair products have stayed in "storage" for quite awhile. I made a pact with myself that would start using them more often, and my first thing was the Mayo Hair Pack that originally came in the Dirty Girl box. I used this as a deep conditioning treatment- not daily, but 2-3 times a week. It doesn't really smell like Mayo thankfully, but the scent is almost non-existent. When you do get a slight whiff of something, it's kind of sour...not pleasant. I like hair products that smell really nice, so that was a let down for me. In terms of performance, I saw absolutely no difference when I used this. I even used it concentrated on the ends of my hair (where my hair is the most damaged) so I could keep track of any improvements, and there were none. Not something I would repurchase, and not something I would even recommend using. It was more of a waste of time than anything.

5. Mise En Scene: Perfect Repair Hair Treatment
This hair treatment was on my favorites of 2014 list because when used as a daily conditioner, it has done a fantastic job keeping my hair sleek and moisturized without making it greasy- which a lot of hair treatments will do for me. I absolutely love the scent of this treatment, and a little really goes a long way! This is my last tube though, and rather than buying more (which I considered!) I think I'm going to bang through some of the other conditioners I have in my stash!
1. Benefit: Roller Lash
This has quickly become my absolute favorite mascara. I know a lot of people were either blown away by this mascara, or weren't super impressed, but I honestly can't see how everyone wouldn't love it. It reminds me a lot of Benefit's "They're Real" mascara, however I think this does a much better job at curling and lengthening the lashes. I have since bought 2 full size tubes. This mascara does it all for me: Curling, lengthening, volumizing, no clumps, and doesn't get all over my eye on these really hot Summer days. The brush is also managable enough to reach right to the root of my lashes, which is important to me especially because I have blonde lashes!

2. Dr. Brandt: Pores No More Primer
Dr. Brandt is a popular brand in the Western world, no doubt, but I honestly don't understand the hype with this product at all. It did a decent job priming my face, but I don't think it masked my pores very well, nor do I think it works any better than my less-expensive drugstore primers. Maybe I'm missing something considering how many people hype this stuff up, but I wasn't that big of a fan.

3. Skin79 Absolute Total Diamond BB Cream
I don't have a TON of experience with different BB creams, and that's because once I started using this one, I rarely venture out to try any others. I've been wearing this exact BB cream for years now, and It's still one of my favorites. It manages to not only give me a natural look and not look or feel heavy, but it also has medium coverage that will instantly even out my skin tone and dull the look of angry red breakouts. It doesn't completely "dry" in the same way a foundation would, but more-so gives a dewy finish. While I like that appearance, I do occasionally want a more matte look- so topping this with a translucent powder does the trick. I'm quite sure this is probably not the best BB cream out there, but it's one of my favorites for my skin, and pretty affordable if you buy it on ebay through a trusted seller!

4. Holika Holika: Olive Lip and Eye Makeup Remover
I'm not going to pander on this one: it's a standard makeup remover. It did the job as well as the other Korean branded makeup removers, but it wasn't anything remarkable or stand-out. If you're in need of a decent eye makeup remover and don't want to spend a lot, this is a pretty good one to have on hand.

5. Innisfree: No-Sebum Mineral Powder
FAVORITE! Seriously this stuff is the bomb! There was a time when I avoided using powders in general because they settle into fine lines and make the skin look cakey and unnatural. However I discovered a translucent powder by Too Faced that I was obsessed with and made my skin look amazing. The downfall was it cost an arm and a leg for a tiny container. I tried the Innisfree powder and to my surprise- it works JUST as well as the Too Faced one. Not only that, you get more powder AND it's a ridiculously low price. I will say that this doesnt' keep me completely oil-free all day, but it does a great job setting my makeup and making my skin look flawless without the cakiness or unnatural finish. You might need to reapply halfway through the day to stay oil-free, especially in the Summer, but I still really, really love this powder.

6. Benefit: The Porefessional Primer
I always seem to have a bunch of tiny sample size tubes of this floating around in my makeup drawer, so I thought I'd use one or two of them up to make room for some new products. This is another product that I find is a bit over-hyped, however I do think it works quite well in comparison to other brands (like the Dr. Brandt version.) Porefessonal does do a great job blurring the huge pores on my nose. I like to use a cheaper primer on my face and then take a bit of this one and apply it to my nose and the areas where my pores are very apparent. I don't think it works miracles, but it definitely helps if you suffer from crater-sized pores like I do!

7. Pure Smile: Mix Fruits Snail Lip Treatment
This is another favorite of mine, although I do prefer the Honey flavor/scent over the Mixed Fruits. What can I say about this lip treatment? It's cheap, and it WORKS. that's all that needs to be said. I apply this right before I head to bed because it's ridiculously sticky and thick- I wouldn't want to use this as a regular lip gloss or anything. Regardless, I leave it on all night and remove it when I wake up, and I can feel the difference in one day. My lips become so much smoother and softer! I have yet to find a lip treatment I like more than this one!

8. Malin+Goetz: Mojito Lip Balm
I got a few of these lip balms from various subscription boxes, and I was using this one after my Pure Smile treatment ran out. I wouldn't call this a "lip balm" as it's more of a thick, clear gloss. It has a light mojito scent- a little citrusy while being slightly minty as well. It smooths on and isn't as sticky as the Pure Smile lip treatment, but it also doesn't feel as moisturizing. I do think this balm did a great job keeping my lips in good shape while I was waiting for my new snail lip treatment to show up, but it's a bit on the pricey side so I most likely wouldn't purchase it again. 
1. Mizon 8% AHA Peeling Serum
Many of you might already be aware of my obsession with AHA/BHA acids and how much they've benefitted my skin since I began using them regularly. I first heard of this serum through my insanely gorgeous best friend Sample Hime , who also happens to be somewhat of a kbeauty guru. I trust her opinions so I immediately grabbed this from RoseRoseShop since they do free shipping on Mizon products. I'm currently on my second bottle because I loved it so much! You really only need a tiny amount of this serum to do the job. It makes my skin look so smooth and glowy! It does have a bit of stickiness to it if you apply too much or don't allow it to fully absorb, so keep that in mind! Some people use this once or twice a week, but my skin is pretty receptive to acids and I use this daily with no issues.

2. Tosowoong Snail Essence
I am a massive fan of Tosowoong products in general, and I don't think that they get enough love. They're not widely available on many kbeauty websites, however they do have an official ebay store with free shipping on most items and affordable prices. This snail essence is what I've been suggesting to anyone that has been missing the Benton SnailBee Essence in their life. (Many people loved the essence but stopped using after contamination issues) While the Tosowoong essence doesn't have bee venom, I have found it to be incredibly soothing and moisturizing, and seems to do a very similar job in terms of acne control to the Benton essence. I would high recommend giving it a try, as well as other Tosowoong products if you come across them!

3. Ladykin: Vanpir Dark Repair Cream
Ladykin is yet another kbeauty brand that I am absolutely in love with, but is also hard to find. Even more so than Tosowoong. It's such a shame because their products are not only packaged beautifully, but they're also insanely effective and high-quality. Even their hand lotions have made it to my favorites lists! This cream touts a pair of vampire fangs on a sleek black jar, and if that wasn't enough, the cream inside is incredibly rich and moisturizing. While I have oily skin, I still found that this cream did an amazing job moisturizing without over-doing it, even though it is rich texture-wise. I also loved how even and bright my skin looked after using this. I would love to get my hands on more at a reasonable price, although I still haven't come across many websites that I trust that carry the brand.

4. Heart Face: Ultra Pore Care Sleeping Pack
This was a product that was received by many people in past Memeboxes. I know that it was either greatly loved or greatly disliked by a lot of people, so I was very interested in giving it a try. I'll say right now that this is not empty, but about 1/4th of the way full. I used this sleeping pack for a couple of months and actually thought it was pretty standard. It was pretty good for oily skin as it was a thicker gel-like formula. However the strong rose scent was very off-putting to me, not to mention I noticed I was getting random breakouts and I couldn't figure out why. My face cleared up shortly after I stopped using this, so while I can't be sure, I'm attributing the skin irritations to this product. I didn't want to risk trying to finish it off, so in the empties box it went! 

5. Ladykin: Phytoplan Broccoli Wrinkle Radiance Power Ampoule
Another stellar product from Ladykin. This ampoule smells amazing, is a milky, creamy consistency but still blended and absorbed into my skin with ease. I cannot tell you how soft and smooth my skin felt after using this! I don't have any deep wrinkles on my face so I can't really talk about how well it works in that department, but I know I already miss this ampoule! If I ever see it available in my price range I'm scooping up a few so I will have backups!

6. The Skin House: Dr. Clear Magic Toner
This is another item from my Memebox stash that sort of sat around for awhile. I'm not a fan of "mist-on" toners, as I don't feel like they can really do their job when they're applied that way. I like to put toners on my face with a cotton round and make sure that they get to every spot on my face. I started using this toner by spraying it directly onto a cotton pad, but I noticed I was wasting a lot of product doing that. I ended up just sucking it up and misting it on my face and using clean hands to spread it around evenly. While I greatly dislike the application, I think this toner did a pretty good job of keeping my skin clear and balanced. I don't think it's a remarkable product, nor one that I would search out to repurchase, but if you happen to have troubled skin and this is sitting around in your stash, definitely pull it out and give it a go!
1. Mizon: Collagen Power Firming Eye Cream
I cannot tell you how long I have been using this freakin' eye cream. And for the record, this is NOT a cream, it's a serum. I have no idea why it's called a cream. You need such a small amount of this product to completely cover your lower and upper eye area, that one tube would probably last 8+ months. I'm not even kidding you, here. This tube is still about 1/3 full, and it's after months and months of nightly use. Why did I stop using it? Because it really didn't seem to do anything outside of moisturizing. I didn't notice any firming or de-puffing. I didn't notice any changes to my fine lines. It kept the skin moisturized, sure, but not much more than that. I got tired of using it and decided to move on.

2. Purederm: Collagen Eye Zone Patches
I did a full review of these eye patches before, but I have since joined the church of the hydro-gel patch. What I love about these Purederm patches is that they're insanely inexpensive on ebay. I can grab a couple packets and have them on hand for when I run out of my hydro gels. The downfall of these is that they dry out much faster than a hydrol gel. They're good when you're in a rush or only have 10 minutes or so to spare. For me, I like to wear my eye gel around all morning long and really get some moisture going! I've actually been using these on my nasolabial folds as sort of a preventative spot treatment and they've been excellent for that purpose!

3. Botanic Farm: Salmon Egg Hydrogel Eye Patches
I received these hydrogels from Memebox as part of a selection of Botanic Farm items that they wanted me to review. I was a little unsure of how I would feel since I stock up on inexpesive hydrogel patches and these were quite a bit more expensive. I have to tell you though- these are probably some of the best eye gels I've ever tried. I'm not sure what kind of magic potion is in here (fish eggs apparently?) but after one or two uses I started noticing my eye ares was less puffy, dark circles were diminished, and my skin felt moisturized and soft. If you're looking for a pampering eye treatment or one that will genuinely do what it claims, these are definitely something to think about picking up!
1. Cosrx: Acne Pimple Master Patch
If I could shout from the Mountaintops how amazing these patches were, I would devote my life to doing so. Seriously- if you have acne, there is no reason why you shouldn't have a package (or 10) of these on hand at all times. There are a lot of companies out there with "acne patches" but none of them have come close to working as well as the Cosrx patches do. Essentially, these are little circle patches that are made from the same material as wound care bandages that hospitals use. These not only pull out all the gross secretions from a blemish, but they also heal and soothe the affected area and keep dirt and oil away from the area so that it can heal more quickly. I have even used these on cystic acne and they've helped them go away in record time. An absolute necessity in my stash!

2. Burts Bees: White Tea Facial Cleansing Towelettes
I regularly use cleansing wipes. Sometimes when I'm lazy at night I use a makeup removing wipe followed by a cleansing wipe. However I used a cleansing wipe every single morning to wipe off my sleeping pack and spot treatments, as well as any sweat, oil and residue my face has produced while I sleep. There is a school of thought that says you shouldn't cleanse your face in the morning because it's when your skin does all of it's regenerating. While I do use a cleansing wipe first thing in the morning, I do NOT cleanse my face with a regular cleanser in the morning. So far it's worked beautifully for my skin, so if it's not broke don't fix it!
Now I wrote my little summary of cleansing wipes under this product because if I'm being honest, I don't have a whole lot to say about these. the pH is under 6 (I don't remember the exact pH but I check them before using them to make sure they fall into range with what my skin likes) but I did find some of the ingredients in these wipes to be a bit irritating to my skin. There was a burning sensation after using them, but not really any irritation. I wouldn't pick these up again, but they weren't terrible.

3. Yes to Cucumbers: Cleansing Wipes
I'm usually a fan of "Yes to" products, especially their cleansing wipes, but I wasn't in love with the cucumber variety. These are supposed to be soothing and gentle on the skin, but like the Burt's Bees wipes, these also made my skin burn a bit after use. They didn't cause any visible irritation, but I don't really trust anything that makes my skin burn for no apparent reason. Passing on these in the future.

4. Yes to Blueberries: Cleansing Towelettes
Interestingly enough, while I wasn't a huge fan of the Cucumber wipes I really loved the blueberry ones!
This full size package came in a past PopSugar box, and not only do these smell absolutely amazing, they really do a fantastic job cleansing without any burning sensation or irritation. the towelettes themselves are large enough to cleanse my entire face thoroughly, and are well-saturated. I would absolutely repurchase these- and I probably will considering how hard it is to buy face wipes from Korea. Most of them are not cheap, and since they're so heavy- they cost quite a bit to ship. Having a quality western alternative that isn't too expensive is always a plus!
I think this round of Empties was overall a pretty positive one! With the exception of a couple unremarkable products, there was almost nothing here that I absolutely hated- which is shocking considering what high expectations I tend to have for beauty products! If there is anything in this group of products I would suggest you run out and buy, it would be the following items:
1. Benefit Roller Lash
2. Puresmile Snail Lip Treatment
3. Mizon AHA Serum
4. Botanic Farm Salmon Egg Hydro Gels
5. Cosrx Acne Pimple Master Patch

These were the stand-outs this month, for sure! 
Until next time! <3
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All thoughts and opinions in this blog post are genuine and belong to Harlot Beauty. No monetary compensation was received, although goods and/or services may have been provided and accepted for purpose of review. Post may contain affiliate or referral links.

8 comments:

  1. Whaaaat! I didn't know not using cleanser in the morning was a thing, but then again I've used acne face washes twice a day once I hit puberty and never gave it much thought. This is LIFE changing stuff! How did you arrive at this regimen?

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    1. Hi Nancy!
      I know, crazy stuff right?? It's interesting that you brought this up, because I am just starting to notice that not many skincare/beauty bloggers follow this regimen, although I learned of the idea through celebrities! Salma Hayek says she never washes her face in the morning, and Mally (she is a makeup artist and also has a popular makeup line!) also wrote in her book that she doesn't wash her face in the AM, either! I recently found out that Michelle Phan also follows this routine. I you do a little googling, I'm sure you can find lots of others!

      The basic idea behind this is: if you cleanse your face well enough before bed, you shouldn't need to do it again in the morning. You skin is regenerating itself and producing needed oils to replenish itself, and when you use a harsh cleanser in the morning, you're essentially stripping your skin of all the good stuff it was producing while you slept!

      However, I personally SLATHER on skincare products at night since I'm kbeauty obsessed- and that includes a sleeping pack/spot treatments etc. So of course I need to do some sort of cleansing when I wake up. While many celebrities suggest simply rinsing your face with water in the morning (in the shower or out) I personally use a mild, low pH cleansing wipe and gently wipe it over my face to remove residue from my spot treatments/sleeping pack etc. Then I apply my under-eye hydro gels, take my skincare supplements and drink some water. Once I'm in the shower I skip right over the cleansing process and just allow my face to be rinsed with water! Once I get out of the shower I use my regular skincare products for the day (toner, moisturizer etc) and that's it! I do a thorough cleanse at night to remove makeup, dirt, oil etc but so far I've been doing this for years now and it's made a huge difference in my skin! :)

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    2. they must have dry skin. my face, regardless if I put products on it at nighttime, is an oil slick in the morning. I can't imagine not washing my face in the am!!

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    3. I can't imagine not washing either...I know my sleeping packs feel sticky until the morning and I'm always so happy to get that feeling off. Maybe I'll try out the cleansing wipe tip sometime though, I've collected half a drawer full of em now but rarely use them @.@

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  2. I've found Ladykin products, including the vanpir cream, reasonably priced on yes style. They can be a bit slow with delivery though, have you ever used them?

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    1. Oh that's great awesome!! I actually purchased a BB cream from yesstyle MANY years ago but I don't remember my experience with them or how longit took to ship etc- I'm happy to know that they sell Ladykin, though!! Thank you for letting me know!

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  3. I've been inspired by your empties posts but I don't go through my stuff nearly as fast as you! Youre gonna be 60 and look 30! I use micellar water (no rinse cleanser) as a face wash in the mornings and oil + low pH cleanser at night. I agree with you on everything. Tosowoong needs more love, the YesTo Bluberries wipes are awesome, the Mizon 8% AHA has completely changed the texture of my skin for the better and those Salmon Eye gels are magic.
    I'm hoping I'll get that Innisfree powder soon :) Great post!

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    1. haha I think I tend to go through a lot because I have such a massive routine- I try to cut it down but I feel like if I have so may products I might as well use them before they expire! LOL :) It's awesome to hear that some other people also do a lighter cleanse in the morning! Even though I have oily skin, it really seems to help! I also agree Tosowoong needs SO much more love!! I would love to see your thoughts on the Mizon AHA- I've been lovin git too!

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