100 empties challenge part 1

To combat my never ending desire to purchase and try out new beauty products including skincare, makeup, hair & body etc, I wanted to start participatinb in the 100 empties challenge which means that I’m on low/no buy mode effective immediately unless I use up 100 items. 

Today I wanted to kick off the challenge by posting my first 5 empties (travel size items need to count towards 1/4 or 1/3 depending on the size). Among these empties, I actually will only be repurchasing the beauty blender solid cleanser only after the challenge ends 🙂 None of the rest are irreplaceable. 

5 done, 95 to go!


July beauty empties part 1 with mini reviews – feat. Livingproof, the Ordinary & more

Almost August?! Am I wasting my life on things that I know I will regret later on? It’s really a scary thought and sometimes I wish I could just avoid thinking about it. Well at least I’m keeping my beauty trash so I know where my beauty investment went.

First up are a few hair & body products. I love the Livingproof perfect hair day dry shampoo! I don’t mind its unique scent that exist in almost all livingproof hair products and it doesn’t make my hair stiff while tackling the greasiness with my second-day hair. 

Korres makes some of the best body products. This shower gel will foam up nicely upon using a wet shower sponge and I didn’t care for it until I tried some other similar foaming bath gels, and realized how much better this works and feels. Korres also has a lot of interesting and pleasant scents. I never thought I would start to have preference with body wash but I’m glad I discovered Korres.

Nozzles are a big disappointment when it comes t drugstore hair sprays and this Dove one did not stand out. The nozzle was malfunctioninh when I only used half of the bottle and I will not repurchase this.

Next up are two skincare products. One costs a bit over $5 and the other costs 10 times more yet I’m loving the more affordable products at least 5 times more! I’ve finally used up my first Ordinary skincare product: the niacinamide 10% & zinc 1%. My verdict: it’s well worth the money. I have acne prone skin that’s oily around t zone. This product when layered with the 2% retinol has helped clear my face and keep oil at bay.

I’m really grateful for the different approach the Ordinary brand has taken in educating consumers the targeting skin concerns of main skincare ingredients. Now I feel I’m less likely to be fooled when I got overly excited by all tyese miraculous names of most skincare products such as “instant brightening, firming &  lifting, dark spot correcting” etc. I’ve been using the Niacinamide 10% consistently since summer began. I now need to worry about when I can use up all the other high-end skincare serums I’ve bought. I don’t think I will replace all my skincare products with the Ordinary products but I am going to incorporate some of these into my skincare routine. 

The much more expensive skincare product is from Kate Somerville. I know it’s supposed to be a great brand also based on a lot of research but honestly I’ve not fallen in love with any of its products that I’ve tried and I probably will not be purchasing a new one in the line in the near future. If you have a favorite from this brand, let me know. 

 Lastly, I’m getting rid of a liquid/cream bronzer from Tarte. It’s messy to use and the packaging is cheap as the tube started to crack around the opening and products started to gather around 😦 disappointed by this product from Tarte. 

Oh and I forgot to include a short living mascara from Mally beauty. This mascara only had a month of good use. When I first opened it, it was too wet and would clump my lashes. Then it started getting a lot better, for about a month, then gradually dried up and created clumpy lashes again. So not a fan. Another disappointing makeup product.

3 skincare products that give you a perfect summer GLOW

Who doesn’t like a glow in the summer time? Did you know that you don’t always need a blinding highlighter to get a glow, but instead can achieve a natural with-in-glow from some simple skincare products? Well I didn’t really believe that until a few weeks ago when I started using these 3 skincare products. They are:

Olay Pro X Spot Fading Treatment ($31, 1.3 oz)

Olay Pro X Spot Fading Treatment Review

I bought this a while ago when I was getting a few different pigmentation treatment products to try out, and this was one of the more affordable choices. I started using it about 5-6 weeks ago in the morning. While I didn’t really notice significant improvement to skin as it was supposed to be tackling, my skin was so glowy even after applying layers of matte sunscreen, primer and foundation. For a while I thought it was my skincare regime that was working miraculously and got so excited. Later when I realized it was actually from this serum, I had mixed feelings as you can imagine. For one, I know my skin isn’t really glowing from within. On the other side, I’ve found a great summer morning serum that adds natural sheen (not shimmer, not glitter) all over your face and it doesn’t ball up under make up. I’ve since repurchased another bottle so I have it at hand for the entire summer.

Mario Badescu Vitamin C Serum ($45, 1 oz)


This is still from an affordable brand, but it’s a pricier product within the brand. Vitamin c products come in so many different forms, some are powder (i.e. Clinique), some are dissolved in solution with sillicone so has a slippery texture (i.e. Ole Henriksen Truth Serum), some are of a stickier formula (i.e. Drunk Elephant c-firma). This serum from Mario Badescu is more of a liquid serum, very runny, not sticky at all, but does take 30-40 seconds to get absorbed into the skin. It might feel a bit oily for those with combination skin, but after it is absorbed, it dries down and can be worn day and night (recommended for night use). When I was using it as my first step of skincare routine in the morning, my face gave a pretty glow, and it lasted quite a few hours. When I applied it at night, I can still see the improvement to my skin tone the next morning when I wake up. It’s a decent product and it should work for every skin type except for those with very oily skin.

Tata Harper Resurfacing Mask ($58, 1 oz)


This is the most expensive product out of the three, but since it’a mask and you are only supposed to use it a few times a week at most, a jar can last you a long time, so I still think it’s worth it. I was hooked to it when I was using a sample size jar for the first time. Tata Harper skincare products have a spa smell and feel. It felt like a thick layer of gel with pleasant smell, and I didn’t think it would give me any immediate results and I was so WRONG. After washing it off after 15-20 minutes, I can see some immediate improvement to my nose, t zone area and a glow all over my face, which lasts about 20 hours. The last time a mask was able to achieve a visible result was from Sisley and it was way more expensive than Tata Harper. It’s interesting how both brands that I reacted so well to rely mostly on botanic ingredients and I used to think these ingredients are only pleasant to use but are not powerful enough to treat skin symptoms. I am glad I’m proved wrong and natural ingredients with the right formula can be very effective!

Do you have any skincare products that you love to use in the summer time? Please share in comments as I’d love to learn!

The Ordinary 7% Glycolic acid is back in stock

If you’ve not yet heard of the Ordinary brand (under Deciem), where have you been in the past few months 🙂 If you have, you’re probably aware that one of their best sellers the 7% Glycolic acid toning solution (which is considered a dupe for Pixi Glow Tonic or other more high-end acid toners) has been out of stock for months everywhere. I’ve been wanting to try it out and just placed an order on the official site. You can read more about it and place an order when you are ready before it goest out of stock again here.