100 empties part 2 – travel skincare & makeup empties 

I think I’m probably the last person on earth to know that the 100 ml restriction with travel liquid is applicable to a SINGLE item, not the total volume of all one’s items. For the longest time, I only dared bringing foil packet samples when I travel as I just couldn’t get everything adding up to below 100 ml!….

This is the first international trip I had after I learned about the actual truth with travel liquid and I was beyond excited to bring so many travel size products. I wanted to share with you what I brought on my trip and my reviews on these.

This is also my part 2 of 100 empties post series. I am on low/no buy of beauty products until I hit 100 empties. For travel size products, 3-5 count as 1 depending on size. I’ve used up 3 more items. Total as of 8/19: 8 done, 92 to go!


  • Bareminerals vital power infusion

I was pleasantly surprised by this serum as BareMinerals has only recently launched its skincare line. This serum comes out very watery and lightweight. But somehow it provides intense hydration that you can feel immediately upon application. I used it at night after the Shiseido serum below and I don’t need to use a cream afterwards.

Repurchase? Not in the near future as this is probably better suited in colder weather for my combination skin.

  • Shiseido power infusion concentrate

I’ve heard a lot of good reviews on this concentrate and I was very impressed. This is an extremely lightweight concentrate that is recommended to use prior to other treatment as more of a base serum. It gets instantly absorbed into the skin that I tend to overuse it a lot! It has a pleasant GreenTea like refreshing smell that I miss after using mostly scent free skincare products. It helped keep my sometime problematic skin at bay.

Repurchase? Yes! I will definitely be buying the full size bottle. It’s good to use as the only serum in the morning and layer with other serums at night for my combination skin.


  • Peter Thomas Roth anti-aging gel cleanser


Let’s forget about the anti-aging claim. I don’t buy it for a second that any cleanser that stays on your skin for the shortest amount of time can help with your aging concern (beauty brands can we just not try that gimmicky name again?). However, ingredients do matter so you don’t irritate your skin and the cleansing experience matters as well as it’s the first and probably one of the most enjoyable steps in one’s skincare routine. This cleanser has good ingredients, a very pleasant non-overwhelming fruity smell, is of medium weight and turns into liquid nicely upon mixing with water, so it sort of hits all the good points with a cleanser. However, I find it just a tiny bit too thick for my combination skin in summer time. I think those with normal to dry skin will like it a lot.

Repurchase? No. It’s a good product but just not the best for my skin type.


  • The Body Shop almond milk & honey shower cream


I bought this during my trip and I don’t like it. If you read my reviews above and think that I just have a low bar for scent as I like both the scent of the Shiseido serum and the PTR cleanser, you’re wrong. This scent seems to be popular judging from people’s reviews. However, this is too sweet and overwhelming for my taste. It almost feels artificial to me. As a shower cream, it’s hydrating enough, but I also don’t feel as if it helps clean my body thoroughly.

Repurchase? No and I don’t think I will buy any Body Shop shower products based on this experience.


  • Supergoop lip balm with SPF 35
  • Akar lip tint

I used the Supergoop lip balm during the day as it has SPF (yes your lips need SPF too) and the Akar lip tint at night. I like both. The Supergoop lip balm has a sunscreen like note of scent, which is sort of inevitable if you want the protection. It is a thicker gel, so it provides a decent level of hydration while it wears nicely under a liquid lipstick.

The Akar lip tint has a nice fruity scent and is insanely hydrating that lasts a few hours on your lips. It also adds a subtle healthy tint to your lips.

Repurchase? They are both good products but I don’t think I will buy any new lip products before I use up my current stash of products.


  • Olay pro retinol eye treatment


Based on my recent experience, Olay has quickly become probably the only drugstore skincare brands that doesn’t disappoint. I’ve used so many eye products including those with hefty price tags. While I still love and use these in my collection, I was very happy with adding this Olay eye cream to my morning skincare routine. This is not too heavy and layers nicely with eye makeup, and does help with treating dry, fine lines under the eyes.

Repurchase? Maybe in the future. I still need to go through my other eye creams first.


  • Nars creamy concealer in Vanilla

This is the travel size tube and I was surprised how dry this has become as I probably opened this about 5 months ago. I guess that means the shelf life of this concealer is only around 6 months as I used to like it when I first tried it.

Repurchase? No. I have other concealers and if I have to try another one from Nars, it will be the round jar matte one that everyone was raving about.


  • Shiseido urban environment sun protection cream SPF 40 for face & body

Shiseido is one of my favorites brands and it makes reliable sunscreens. This one is relatively new and is not my favorite sunsccreens from the brand. It has an overwhleming typical sunscreen scent and it will leave a white cast over your face. I use this on my arms and it offers solid sun protection.

Repurchase? No.

  • Coola classic sunscreen white tea moisturizer SPF 50

Unlike the Shiseido sunscreen, this one has a much nicer scent and feels light weight and non-greasy on the face despite its claim of SPF 50. It leaves a quite unnoticeable white cast over the face, and is one of the better sunscreens I’ve tried this year. The coola brand also uses organic ingredients that are mostly extracted from plants, which is another plus.

Repurchase? Not in the near future as I have a lot of suncreens to go through in my collection and I also have found a holy grail sunscreen from Elta MD that I plan to repurchase again and again 🙂

Thanks for stopping by! Let me know what’s your favorite beauty item you usually bring with you when you travel.


May product empties & reviews – Eve Lom, Estée Lauder, Shisedo

Hi everyone! May was a very rough month for me and I probably will be moving soon so product empties come at a good time as I need to clean out my beauty stash. 

It’s funny that most products I’ve used up this month are in white packaging and white containers actually are used quite often in more high-end products to deliver a more luxury feel. 

So do these live up to their high-end packaging? Here are my mini reviews. 

shisedo urban environment sunscreen  
regenerate whitening toothpaste

I love this! I’ve tried 5-6 sunscreens from Shisedo and this is by far my favorite for everyday use all year along. I have sensitive, combination skin and it is truly nongreasy and does not irritate my skin at all. The SPF 42 is sufficient for daily use as its name “urban environment” suggests, and it dries down instantly on your face so it works great under makeup

It is a chemical & physical combo sunscreen so you have to apply it 15-20 minutes before you go outdoors and there are chemical ingredients that shield your skin from sun.

The one thing I’d like to point out is that as it still has physical sunscreen ingredients, it is not colorless and will make your skin tone a bit more fair but it definitely does not add a crazy white film layer to your face as some physical sunscreen does.

  • Eve Lom cleanser

It is a staple in my beauty collection and it’s a makeup remover that also exfoliates and softens your skin. You can check out my detailed review of this cleanser here

Another staple in my hair and body collection. It’s a French hair care line and this shampoo is fantastic! It removes all the buildup from your scalp including the annoying dandruff, spray residue, oil, and leaves your hair so clean yet non-drying. It’s gentle yet powerful. It also helps with hair loss if you use it consistently. 

One thing that I don’t like about it is its ingredient list as it has paraben and other preservatives and some other high-end hair products from Phyto for instance are more natural. 

  • Estée Lauder eye mask

I was not impressed. In fact my under eye area feels drier if I don’t take these off within 10 minutes. I don’t think they are bad eye mask I just haven’t been wowed by any eye mask products. If you have tried any that you like, please let me know!

  • Regenerate & Blanx whitening toothpaste 

I’ve heard great things about both brands (regenerate is sold in UK and Blanx is an Italian brand). I think these are good toothpastes but as I had to pay a lot more for these to be shipped to the US and the results are not life-changing, I don’t think I will repurchase them soon. Again I haven’t seen dramatic results from any whitening toothpastes so if you have any favorites, let me know!

Hope the reviews are helpful!