June 2017 Skincare empties – high-end & drugstoreย 

If you are interested to see what I think about these skincare items and whether I will repurchase, please keep reading ๐Ÿ™‚

My skin: combination & acne prone with concerns around aging and enlarged pores. 

First up are two facial mists from Mario Badescu and Tarte.

This is the second time I’m trying out the Mario Badescu rose water facial toner. I didn’t like it the first time as I feel it didn’t do much to my skin and the sprayer is not great. I’ve come around to like it better this time. I started spraying it onto cotton pads and then applying all over the face after cleansing and it’s a good toner (esp. for the price) as the final step of my cleansing routine. 

  • Repurchase? Maybe/Likely

I didn’t like Tarte rainforest of the sea mist. It has a very strong citrus scent that’s too much for my taste. The sprayer squirts our large drops of water which makes it an unpleasant experience if you plan to directly spray it onto the face.

  • Repurchase? No 

Next are a few cleansing products including the Bioderma micellar cleansing water, Shuumuera cleansing oil and First Aid Beauty radiance face pads



The pink version of Bioderma micellar water (catered towards sensitive skin) is my favorite micellar water at the moment. It removes face makeup instantly without leaving any film on your skin or overdrying it. I tried the Garnier micellar water in the past which is supposed to be a dupe for this and I don’t think it’s an exact dupe in terms of how your skin feels afterwards although the Garnier one on its own is pretty good as well for the price. 

  • Repurchase? Yes, already did

The cleansing oil from Shuumuera is good but I’m trying out two other cleansing oils so will not be repurchasing in the short term. I don’t like the First Aid Beauty pads as much as I thought I would.  It’s supposed to exfoliate your skin and make it glow. I don’t think the results are convincing enough while they stung my face a little bit. 

  • Repurchase? No

Next up are three face serums including two vitamin C ones. Unfortunately I will not be repurchasing any of these. The Truth Serum from Ole Henriksen used to be a favorite of mine but I didn’t have much experience with vitamin C products back then. Now I start to develop my own taste for vitamin C ingredients and formula and this serum feels too silicone heavy, and is not potent enough.

  • Repurchase? No.

Next up are two trial size products from SKII and Elizabeth Arden


The SkII facial treatment essence continues to be a holy grail product for my skin type as it really helps balance out the PH level and reduces the chance of breakout. 

  • Repurchase? Yes, already did

The Elizabeth Arden prevage line is an expensive anti-aging line under the Brand that’s particularly popular in Asia. While this moisturizer with SPF did help with brightening the skin, it’s a bit too heavy for the summer time, and the strong fragrance is a turn off for me.

  • Repurchase? No

Lastly are two new opens from Shisedo & Missha. You will see them in my next empties post ๐Ÿ™‚

April 2017 favorites & emptiesย 

Today I wanted to share some of my recent empties and favorites including some of my all-time favorites.

First up is the NUXE lip balm in a jar. This is the most nourishing lip balm I’ve ever used. I started using it when multiple lip balms did not work on my traumatized severely chapped lips from wearing a raved up NYX lingerie liquid lipstick (that’s a horrible liquid lipstick for my lips and I probably will stay away from NYX for a while). It’s significantly better than the hyped up Glossier dotcom lipbalm (another regret) as it provides hours of hydration and wears well under liquid lipsticks or lip pencils.

  • Repurchase? ๐Ÿ‘


Next up is a hyped up dry shampoo that actually lives up to my expectation. It’s the Livingproof perfect day dry shampoo. This is the best dry shampoo I’ve used (I’ve tried at least 9-10 dry shampoos). The scent is not overwhelming. It makes my roots feeling clean for at least 8 hours. The white cast disappears quite quickly as you comb through your hair after you spray it. It’s just such a pleasure to use! When I’m feeling extra fancy, I will pair it with the R+Co volume spray and Caudalie hair oil. I love it so much that I’ve started exploring other Livingproof hair products. I now understand why it’s most popular hair brand in the East Coast now.

Repurchase? ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ



Next up is the Burt’s Bee body lotion. I don’t like it. It takes a lot of effort to sink into the skin and with its moderate hydration results, it’s not worth the effort or time. The scent is also nothing impressive, more artificial than natural despite its claim on using mostly natural ingredients.

Repurchase? No


A $2 brow pencil from ELF and it is great! I don’t even remember when and where I picked it up but I’m so glad I did. It’s extremely easy to work with as it’s pigmented, soft and smooth. The packaging is not great as it tends to fall apart gradually but it’s okay as the pencil doesn’t last more than 3 months for me. The only downside you need to be aware of is that the color might not be as long lasting so I usually pair it with a clear brow gel and then I have great natural looking brows for an entire day!

Repurchase? ๐Ÿ‘


Lastly, here are a few empties that I’ve used up more than once, which are among my staples. I usually rotate them through my routine instead of using these consistently so I can still find room to try new products. If you are interested to see reviews of individual products, follow me on Instagram where I post reviews on a regular basis: skincarejunkie_03


March 2017 new empties – skincare, hair, food, misc

I am constantly testing new skincare products and sometimes I forget how I felt about certain things in the past. That’s when empties posts come in handy. I hope they might be helpful to you too! 

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

First up are two high-end skincare products from Kate Somerville & Sulwhasoo. I have used up probably 85% of these and I’m getting rid of them as they’ve passed the 12-month expiration date since they were opened last year. I’m not in love with any of these two products. I bought the Kate Somerville d-scar scar diminishing serum to treat my acne scars (I have a soft spot for all acne treatment products as I’m suffering from adult acne from time to time). 

The main ingredient is a trademarked peptide that’s beneficial for the skin cell renewal process. However, the squeeze tube and its metal ball applicator make it hard to use on a daily basis. If you don’t remember to wipe away the cream residue on the metal ball, the next time you use it, you will see a lot of disgusting yellowish dried cream balling along the rim of the applicator.

At the $48 price tag for a 0.66 oz tube, I’d expect more thoughts into the packaging. For that reason, it did not make it into my daily skincare routine and it did not work on my acne scars when I was using it occasionally. 

A lot of people swear by the high-end Korean skincare brand Sulwhasoo. The prices in the US almost double those in Asia, which is why I only got the overnight mask that’s on the affordable side of this line to try it out. If I like it, I will buy more in Asia. For its price ($52 for a 4-oz tube), it’s not a bad product but I’ve realized that this line does not fit my skin type and I will not be purchasing any more products in the same line. 

Unlike the Kate Somerville serum, I was testing out this mask consistently. I initially used it as an overnight mask as it suggests but it made my face so greasy and shiny in the morning which I don’t like. I then used it as a regular wash-off mask and take it off after wearing it for 30-40 minutes, and it’s better. It is a very hydrating mask so it did help when my skin was experiencing dryness in a few areas occasionally in winter time. If you have dry skin, I think you will love it. But for my combination skin, this is simply too rich and I think it might have contributed to some breakouts due to the thickness of the cream. 


Next up are a few travel size skincare products and a Japanese baking soda toothpaste that I paid over $25 (hmm not sure what I was thinking on that one…).


From left to right are:

  • Clarins uv protection sunscreen – it’s a running fluid texture, and is not greasy once it skins into the skin and it wears well under makeup
  • Elizabeth Arden prevage anti-aging serum – I’ve not formed my opinion around this yet. It is supposed to be very effective to brighten your skin and even your skin tone but I feel it’s a bit too oily for my taste. I actually have the full size serum too so I will share my thoughts once I open up that one. 
  • Shisedo white Lucent serum – feels great, very lightweight, and gets absorbed by the skin quickly. 
  • Bumble & Bumble hair thickening spray – my first hair thickening spray. This actually works and the results last all day unlike the R+Co one I’m currently using. But it’s still a hair spray so you will feel it in your hair. It does its job. I might repurchase this later.
  • Japanese baking soda toothpaste – hmm it gives your mouth a slightly salty taste rather than a minty taste most of the toothpastes do, which I don’t hate. It does clean your teeth pretty well but I don’t think it’s worth the $25+ price tag. It probably is a lot cheaper to buy it in Asia though. 

Next up are some samples and the Shisedo cotton pad empty bag. Let me start with the Shisedo cotton pads – they are amazing! They are thicker and softer than any cotton pads I’ve used. Whenevet I use them, I feel I’m giving my skin the gentlest care and best treatment it deserves. While this will not be the only cotton pads I keep at home as they cost $10 per bag which I used up within 30 days, this is now a staple in my stash as I’ve not yet found a better alternative. 

I was surprisingly disappointed in the Loccitane almond body concentrate as I’ve heard nothing but great things about it. But I don’t care for its scent or feel and I will not be purchasing the full size product. 


Above are two foaming cleansers that I feel are almost identical in texture and results when I apply them over the face. I like both and I’ve purchased the full size one of the Origins checks and balances foaming cleanser since. 

Next up are some staples including my favorite snacks. A quick note on the organic shampoo I bought at Whole Foods: it’s okay. I will not be repurchasing it.


That’s it for this post. Thank you for stopping by ๐Ÿ™‚

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.

March high-end skincare haul – feat. Drunk Elephant & Natura Bisse

The Drunk Elephant glycolic night serum is a repurchase, you can find my full review of this product when I compared it to the Sunday Riley Good Genes here.

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

This night serum is part of a Drunk Elephant set that’s in a lovely pull-out paper box. Isn’t it cute? I’ve tried the vitamin C serum before (the small bottle in an orange cap) and it’s solid but not irreplaceable. I will share another brightening serum in my empty post that is a dupe for the c firma that I like it a bit better. I’ve not yet tried the B-hydra gel before and will share my thoughts if I end up liking it.


The other high-end item I purchased is an eye cream from Natura Bisse. I bought it after I was blown away by a sample I tried a while ago. It’s probably the most effective anti-aging eye cream I’ve ever used but also the most expensive eye cream. All the dry lines and fine lines under my eyes were gone when I was using a sample of this eye cream so I thought it might just be worth it (or not). I am currently using another high-end eye cream that I love and it’s less expensive than the Natura Bisse one so I might just switch between the two.

 

2017 first beauty empties – skincare, hair, makeup

In my monthly empties, I usually share with you my thoughts on products that range from skincare to hair, body & makeup, and let you know whether I will repurchase the products.

  • My skin type: combo oily in summer, combo dry in winter, acne-prone
  • My hair type: oily scalp and dry hair ends
  • Product usage pattern & preference: affordable makeup & hair products (indulge in certain categories), high-end skincare

Eyes: Revive moisturizing renewal eye cream 

This eye cream is amazing if you have dry, fine line concerns under the eyes! It’s on my top 3 eye cream list for the results it delivers. It’s an expensive eye cream but a small jar goes a long way. I highly recommend it if you don’t mind investing a bit more in skincare.

Repurchase? Yes! I already bought a second jar.


Makeup remover: Lashfood instant eye makeup remover 

I don’t remember why & where I got this as I’ve never heard anyone talk about this product but I’m so glad I bumped into this! It’s extremely gentle, will never sting your eyes, gives you a spa-like treatment with a pleasant smell and texture, and is very effective at taking off makeup (I don’t use it for waterproof mascara though).

Repurchase? Yes after I use up my other makeup removers.


Face: Sunday Riley Luna Oil & Good Genes

Good genes is indeed a good facial treatment but it smells awful. For that reason I’m a still at fence about it. The Luna oil on the other hand is magical! I use it when I have breakouts and the Luna oil helps clear up my skin a lot faster. The trick is that you have to pad and massage the oil into your skin until the blue color disappears. This step alone made a huge difference for me on how Luna oil performs. It is also an anti-aging product.

Repurchase? Yes for Luna oil, maybe for good genes (only because I heard Luna oil works even better when used with Good Genes, not sure about that).


Face: Moisturizers, serum & cleanser

The only two items below that I might repurchase are:

Avene Hydrance cream: it’s very rich but not greasy and is great to use under makeup in the winter time

Caudalie creme sorbet: it’s very lightweight, smells and feels delightful on the skin and can be a good moisturizer in the summer time

Makeup declutter:

The Estรฉe Lauder sumptuous mascara is great at volumizing and holding the curls. Repurchase? Yes, if I remember it after I go through my other mascaras

The Colourpop eyebrow pencil is too pigmented and waxy for my taste and I prefer a more natural brow pencil. Repurchase? No.

The wet N wild eyeliner pencil and the Kardashian bronzer both have unnatural shimmering effect and I’m just throwing these out. Failure.

Kate Somerville exfoliator

It’s good if you let it stay on your face for 2-3 minutes before rinsing it away. A gentle exfoliator. Repurchase? Maybe 

Perricond MD cream: I am not a big fan of this entire skincare line after trying out multiple products. They are just okay and definitely not worth the price tag in terms of results. Repurchase? NO

Alterna caviar hair conditioner: it’s just okay. Did not provide deep hydration on my hair ends and is not worth the price. Repurchase? NO


More hair:

I have already repurchased the John Frieda subtle lightening shampoo. I dye my hair and this is the first hair lightening product I’ve tried and it actually worked. It helped keep my roots at a lighter and brighter color. The OGX flat iron spray is nothing unique.

Bath & Body Works Candle: This scent is too subtle for me. Repurchase? No


The Trader Joe’s facial cleansing pads are horrible. They are extremely harsh and I ended up using them on my feet… Stay away from them.


Sorry this turned out to be such a long post. Hope you might find it helpful and thanks for stopping by!