Recent beauty empties (high-end & drugstore) – skincare & makeupย 

How is it possible that it’s already June?! Well I guess the empties sort of help me track time. Here are the products I’ve used up recently with mini reviews.

First up is the Caudalie Premier Cru Eye cream. If I rank all the eye products I’ve tried in the past five years, it is definitely up there in top three with its anti-aging tesults and although it’s by no means a cheap product, it’s still more affordable than my other two holy grail eye creams. You can see my recent blog post here where I shared more detailed thoughts around it.

  • Repurchase? ๐Ÿ‘

Caudalie Premier Cru Eye Cream Review

Next up is another high-end European brand Natura Bisse. I’ve tried a few products from this brand and none disappointed. This tolerance toner is so pleasant to use with its extremely high quality sprayer (best I’ve used in the market) that produces the finest mist all over the face. It smells herbal but not overwhelming. I was blown away when I first tried it but as I got less impressed overtime as I didn’t notice other results beyond the pleasant feeling after applying it and the hefty $50 tag is not particularly inviting.

  • Repurchase? Maybe. I plan to reuse the bottle just for that amazing nozzle but will not repurchase it this year.

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Next up is an eye makeup remover from Loreal that’s not available in the US, and it’s a shame as it’s probably 5 times better than the regular Loreal makeup remover you can get at CVS here. It’s sold in Asia, Australia and a lot of other markets. It’s great but not amazing and given its not sold here, I’m in no rush to repurchase it.

  • Repurchase? Not in the US

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In comparison, the bottle below is the Loreal remover sold in the US and it’s a regret purchase together with the Sephora makeup remover as they are not as effective in removing makeup.

Then here comes the unavoidable batch of meh products from trying out new things and I will not be repurchasing them.

  • Clinique pepstart moisturizer – this is a bit tacky
  • Erno Laszlo eye cream – it’s not bad but it’s not as good as my favorite eye creams
  • Clarins extra firming cream (I used up both the day version and the night version) – the scent is too strong and no skincare product should smell like fragrance to me so it’s a big turn-off for me. The day cream also doesn’t sit well under makeup and balled up on me a few times.
  • Rimmel eyeshadow stick & Revlon lipstick: nothing special
  • Maybelline big lash mascara: it can be clumpy when you apply a second coat and if I was looking for more lengthening result I need more than one coat. Will not repurchase this. There are so many better options out there.

Lastly, here is a candle that I initially liked but end up decluttering as the smell is just too strong and overly sweet for my taste. img_2498

March 2017 beauty empties & new opens – skincare, hair, body, makeup

All these empties seem to offer some sort of solid indicators that March did exist as I simply can’t believe it’s almost April.

P.S. I try to post mini product reviews on Instagram and here is my Instagram ID: skincarejunkie_03 

First up are some hair & body products that I’ve used up and opened.


The three hair products on the right are good, but not amazing. The 3-minute miracle hair mask is my favorite conditioner in the Aussie series though. The other hair masks in the same line are not moisturizing enough for drier hair ends.

I’ve used up the water activated body gel lotion from Curel. It’s an interesting concept as you are supposed to apply it on damp/wet skin, and it did help with dry skin but it’s just a bit too messy for my taste. The Clarins oil on the other hand, feels wonderful on the skin. It gets absorbed instantly, is not greasy at oil and smells divine! I probably will repurchase it.


I wasn’t impressed with the AHA/BHA toner from Corsx that I bought per some Korean beauty blogger’s recommendations. It did not produce any results on my skin. I would rather buy something that’s a bit more expensive but bring visible improvement to my skin.

This natural green powder sample from Pereicone MD tastes awesome! I guess I just had really low expectation for such a green healthy drink mix. It reminds of the flavor of Naked green smoothie.



  • The Goldfaden MD brightening exlir felt like a dupe for the Drunk Elephant c-firma day serum and it got me interested in this brand that I’ve not heard of in the past.
  • The Bobbi Brown radiance boost mask feels like an average exfoliator and was kind of meh.
  • I heard good things about the Clarins hydrating serum and I’m glad I tried the sample first as I was so turned off by its strong scent (floral scent), and I will never purchase the full size product. Clarins products are not so consistent for my taste, hits & misses here and there.
  • The ItCosmetics eye cream is nice, very thick and creamy. But I’ve not been convinced yet buy its skincare line.

I’ve also used up or getting rid of a few eyelash products and mascaras below (you are supposed to replace your mascaras every 3 months for hygiene purposes).

Rapidlash does work but you need to continue to use it to maintain the results. The Kiss Me mascara & mascara remover tubes on the left are among the best drugstore-type Japanese mascara products. The mascara holds up curls so well and is 125% water proof so it’s better to be used with its own mascara remover.

February empties -skincare, food, foundation etc.

As usual, I will share with you my thoughts on most of the empties and whether I will repurchase them or not.

  • Garnier micellar water

It’s great! The Koh Gen Do cleansing water is my favorite in the category as it’s  very effective at taking off makeup yet feeling extreme lightweight. With the Garnier one, sometimes it leaves a very thin layer of film on my face. But it does a good job of taking off all my face makeup and the price is unbeatable.

Repurchase? Already have.

  • Derma E firming cleanser 

It’s a gel cleanser that feels cooling on the face. I didn’t expect the cleanser to have any firming effect to begin with so this didn’t fail me.

Repurchase? Maybe in the summer

  • Yogi detox tea really works to help cleanse your digestion system.

Repurchase? Already have.

  • Hair, skin & nails gummies

Repurchase? Probably no although I will continue to take the vitamin pills.

  • Lancรดme TIU 24 hour foundation 

This is my 2nd empty bottle. This is a medium to full coverage foundation with a matte finish. I like it better in hot weather when my skin feels more oily and needs foundation with great lasting power. It’s a bit dry in the winter as I’ve discovered lately. It probably will remain on my staple foundation list for a while. 

Repurchase? Not now, but probably in the summer.

  • After using up the Lancome foundation, I’ve opened the most expensive foundation I own and I hate to say that I really like it. It’s the silky cream foundation from a high-end/luxury Japanese brand Cle De Peau Beaute that’s sold in Saks, Neiman Marcus, etc. It’s a $120 tube (yikes).

This is also a medium to full coverage foundation with super long lasting power. It doesn’t look dry or cakey and stays put on my face for 12+ hours when used with a primer and powder. The incredible feature that sets it apart from other high-end foundations is that it somehow makes your makeup look even better and more natural after your T zone starts to get a bit oily. As its name suggests, it has a “cream-like” smoothing effect and holds everything together even with the excessive oil on the face. I actually like how my makeup looks in the afternoon more than the initial look, which almost never happens with my other foundations.

I like and use a lot of affordable makeup products, and this is probably the biggest indulgence I reward myself with ๐Ÿ™‚

  • If you’ve read my previous empties, you know I’m a big fan of Blue Diamond almonds and I’ve finished 2 cans. They are nutritious and tasty!

Repurchase? Yes!

  • The box below the almond cans is a variety chocolate box from the high-end Japanese brand Royce. It’s a popular chocolate brand in New York and their chocolates are very creamy, not as sweet and packaged very carefully as most good Japanese brands are.

Repurchase? This variety box is a bit overpriced at $27. I probably won’t repurchase this box per se but will continue try out other Royce chocolate snacks.

  • The Exuviance mask

It was a gift with purchase from ULTA and I’m glad I didn’t pay for it. It smelled like rotten vegetables and felt dry and weird on my face. I took it off after 2 minutes as it was just too unpleasant.

Purchase? 100% NO

  • EOS hand lotion (the pink oval jar)

It was okay and smells nice. It’s no rich enough for winter time.

Repurchase? Probably not.

  • Ulta foam wedges

I bought these one-use wedges for my laze days when I run out of my beauty blenders in rotation and don’t feel washing them. I wanted to show you the dirty ones as they soak up so much products. Even when they turn yellow as in the photos, they still will not give me full coverage with my full coverage foundations.

Repurchase? NO.

Beauty empties & makeup declutter – mascara, concealer, moisturizer, eyecream

Today I wanted to try something new and am writing my mini reviews of the empties or products I’m decluttering as text overlay on the photos. Let me know if you like it or not. Thanks for stopping by ๐Ÿ™‚

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The Algenist moisturizer is a high-end product but I was off by its unpleasant scent and its flat jar packaging (it is said that a moisturizer will lose its potency after being exposed to air for too long which is what a jar opening will do). It’s okay but not nourishing enough for winter.

The Shisedo eye cream is the best in its price range for someone who starts to notice signs of aging around the eyes, but not a particular effective true anti-aging eye cream. 

I’m not going to repurchase any of the two above in the near future as I’m trying out other eye creams and moistures which seem to be better for my skin concerns.

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