July and August 2012 Empties

It's time again for another empties post and I have amassed a number of used up products to quickly review today. Silly me forgot to take a group photo of all the products but the pile is quite large. As usual, the majority is skincare but I assure you sooner or later the makeup products will show up!

I finished off a number of facial cleansing products these past two months. The Sonia Kashuk Eye Makeup Remover is highly raved about so I thought I would give it a try. I think it does the same job as Target's Up and Up eye makeup remover and I'd rather purchase Target's version as it is cheaper. Both are effective at removing all traces of eye makeup but the price difference is the only reason I prefer Target's. The Clinique Mild Liquid Facial Soap was part of the three step skincare which I used years ago. Whilst I hate the three step system, the mild cleanser is decent. It's not drying and is a no frills cleanser. I really like the pump dispenser as it makes morning cleansing a breeze. The Lancome Creme Radiance Cleanser was part of a gift with purchase and I used it for my skin a few times before it became my brush cleanser. The thing that bothered me the most about this cleanser is the strong fragrance. Usually I can stand fragrances but this fragrance, while pleasant, was extremely perfume-like and I couldn't help but think that I was damaging my skin in some horrible way. This worked very well as brush cleanser as most foaming products do. I also used up my Softymo White Cleansing Oil which effectively removed all my face makeup but is not a repurchase as the scent was bothersome. There was a slight tinge of citrus in the scent but the underlying notes of oil, chemicals, or what have you, were unpleasant. This oil is quite thick and I prefer more watery cleansing oils.

I also went through quite a few moisturizer samples which were mostly lackluster. The Philosophy Hope in a Jar was an extreme disappointment and if you read my previous review, you know that I hate it. It has the most foul odor I have ever smelled in a skincare product and it made my normally oily skin flaky and dehydrated. I highly urge you to stay away from the product. The Body Shop's Seaweed Mattifying Day Cream is a decent product, not amazing but not bad. The Murad Oil Control Mattifer SPF 15 has a glue like consistency and smells like tea tree oil. It's a great product when used on it's own for no makeup days. I did not try it under makeup as the consistency made it difficult to smooth onto the skin. The Willa Clear Face Moisturizer has a liquid texture, making it great for oily skin. It absorbs easily and the scent is reminiscent to a natural or organic product. I would recommend the Willa moisturizer to young people looking for a basic product to hydrate the skin.

Recently I've been taking better care of my hair and the Kerastase Elixir K Ultime hair oil definitely helped moisturize my locks. The price for the full size is hefty and the bottle is huge so I think I'll be sticking to Josie Maran Argan Oil instead. The Shiseido Ultimate Sun Protection Lotion For Face and Body SPF 60 PA+++ (what a mouthful!) traveled with me on multiple trips and lasted me many uses despite the small size. This sunscreen has a liquid consistency and sinks into the skin beautifully. I absolutely love this sunscreen as much as the Shiseido Extra Smooth Sun Protection Cream and highly recommend both. The Boscia Luminizing Black Mask was an okay product that I don't think did much for my skin. It merely peeled off the surface layer of my skin and some small hairs. Exfoliators do a more effective and gentle job in my opinion. The Lancome Visionnaire serum was a product I didn't see myself loving at first but I enjoyed using it. It made my skin plumper and brighter but I think the brightening can be attributed to the iridescent shimmers in the formula. Due to the presence of light reflecting particles, I don't think my skin is actually benefiting enough for me to shell out the retail price for this serum.

The Bath and Body Works True Blue Spa Paraffin Hand Lotion smelled amazing but as some of you might know, I'm not a fan of the brand and no longer set foot in the store. Considering the ingredients they use, the prices are too high and their cult following is due to their marketing strategies. The Dirt. Sow + Reap Luxe Salt Scrub was a super teeny sample but I absolutely loved the scent and texture of the scrub. It was very nourishing and the oils did a great job at moisturizing my body. If the price was lower, I would definitely indulge in the full size. I made a body scrub out of fresh lemon juice and sugar and it's working very well for me so financially I'm not ready to shell out for a pricey body scrub. The Philosophy Vanilla Birthday Cake Shower Gel was last year's Sephora Beauty Insider birthday gift so most of you probably have tried it. I'm not a big fan of sugary sweet smells so this was just an average product for me. It was nothing special and so far I'm not impressed with Philosophy's products. Again, a whole lot of marketing for subpar products! The one makeup-ish product I have to share is the Lancome Cils Booster XL mascara base which separated my lashes nicely but failed to hold a curl. It is paramount that mascaras hold my curls since I have such short lashes so this primer was a failure. The YuBe Moisturizing Skin Cream was another product that failed to meet my expectations. It is greenish yellow, thick cream that has a strong Asian medicinal scent that just didn't 'wow' me enough to consider buying the full size. Lastly I finally finished up a Burt's Bees Lipbalm which, as you can see from the tatty packaging, has been in my possession for years. It is a good, no frills and inexpensive lipbalm that soothes the lips. I like it but I prefer Softlips since it has the SPF 15 in the formula.

Check out the video below to hear more of my thoughts on each of these products!

Have you tried any of these products? What are some of the products you finished recently?


  1. Agreed about Philosophy products. My mother uses their retinol product, which she absolutely loves but that's probably it from them. Man, really good marketing though. If I just read their bottles, I would think they're nothing short of miracles in a bottle.

    I've tried the Lancome Cils Booster XL lash primer and I loved it. Until I realized it was making my lashes fall out, then it was time for it to go :(

    Dying to try the Soniah Kashuk eye makeup remover! Still waiting to finish my lancome one I was gifted.

    Great post!

    1. I've only tried a few things from Philosophy but did not like anything at all.... At first I thought it was just my skin but many readers have expressed similar negative experiences so I think the brand is just hyped up.

      I used the Lancome Cils Booster XL on and off so I don't think my lashes suffered too much. I can get much better results with several coats of my favorite Maybelline One By One Waterproof :)

      Lancome Bifacil is my favorite eye makeup remover! I think it does a great job and it has a faint scent which is nice (probably not great for the eye area though).

  2. Oh Target's Up and Up is a good eye makeup remover? I need to check that out. There's a Target right by the rear entrance of my new school! Maybe then I can take the expensive bi-facil off my wishlist! I'm trying to amass enough used products to try out an empties post of my own.

    1. Yep, Up&Up's eye makeup remover gets the job done. While Lancome's Bi Facil is great, I don't think it's worth the extra money (unless you're making the big bucks). Looking forward to your empties posts :)


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