Hands & Nails | Makeup | Skincare

Monthly empties: September 2015

October 7, 2015
Products used up during the month of September
Products used up during the month of September

Happy October, guys! I have a bundle of skincare and makeup products, plus a few other home bits, that I used up this past month. I have both hits and misses here, some American products, some Korean products, and some cruelty-free products. I’ll quickly talk through what I thought of each one!


First up, some skincare.

Andalou Naturals Aloe + Willow Bark Pore Minimizer ($12.95 for 6 oz.) – This is a toner I wanted to try as it’s formulated for acne-prone skin. Andalou is definitely one of my favorite brands, and while this product isn’t terrible, it’s probably my least favorite I’ve tried from them. It includes camphor and peppermint, and stung my skin each time I used it. Cruelty-free. Verdict – wouldn’t repurchase.

Clarins Bright Plus HP Gentle Renewing Brightening Peel (review) – This is an exfoliating AHA treatment that Clarins has since discontinued and replaced with the Exfoliating Toner (which is possibly a very similar if not identical product – to be determined when I’m able to compare ingredients). I really, really loved this and would definitely like to try the toner in the future. It was very gentle and actually moisturizing, but also effective at smoothing skin and even calming breakouts. Verdict – a favorite.

Paula’s Choice Resist Hyaluronic Acid Booster Serum ($45 for 0.67 oz.) – This is made to either be used on skin as a serum or be added to other skincare products to increase their hydrating properties. I liked this, I thought it gave my skin some added plumpness, but it wasn’t a miracle worker. It’s more expensive than it might seem at first glance because it doesn’t contain a full ounce of product, and I felt like I ran out kind of quickly. Cruelty-free. Verdict – good enough.

Banila Co. Clean It Zero ($10-20, review) – This is a lightweight cleansing balm (or sherbet) that removes makeup. It works, it’s lovely to use, and it emulsifies with water and rinses cleanly. It’s just not the easiest to get ahold of since it’s Korean. Verdict – would repurchase.

Ceutical Plus Aqua Collagen Moisture Cream ($25.50 for 1.7 oz., review) – This, again, isn’t the easiest cream to get ahold of because it’s from a Taiwanese brand, but it’s a pleasant facial cream. It has a very smooth texture and doesn’t feel sticky or greasy at all, and it seems to leave a protective barrier on skin until it’s washed off. I particularly enjoyed using it in combination with the more watery Aqua Collagen Lotion layered underneath. Verdict – nice.

LUSH The Sacred Truth fresh face mask ($7.95, review) – This is one of my favorite masks from Lush, and both brightens and hydrates skin. It’s really balanced and though it’s technically supposed to be great for aging skin, I suspect a lot of people would benefit from it. Cruelty-free. Verdict – much loved and repurchased.

Tony Moly Bbo Bbo Lip Balm ($10) – This was sort of an impulse purchase from Sephora this past winter when I didn’t have a great lip balm on hand. I purchased the blueberry scent in the purplish lip pot, but there’s also a honey scent in a bright pink lip pot. I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised by how well this worked. It’s really a nice one to have on hand as long as you don’t mind dipping your finger into a jar. The scent is light and pleasant, as well. Verdict – impressive.

More skincare
More skincare

Here are a few more skincare products.

The Face Shop sheet masks ($1.50-2/ea) – I used three of these this month, including the Acai Berry, Aloe, and Kelp formulas. These are nice! I’m currently working on a more comprehensive review of all of the formulas I’ve purchased. Verdict – very happy with all three.

Innisfree Green Tea Balancing Lotion ($17) – This is a resealable sample packet that I received with my Innisfree order. It’s a lightweight lotion perfect for layering under a cream, from the Green Tea line. I thought it felt nice on skin and had a pleasant, light scent, but didn’t necessarily stand out in an exceptional way. Verdict: enjoyed it.

LUSH Dream Steam toner tab ($2.95, review) – This is a great occasional treat for skin that seems to clean out and hydrate my face. You drop the tablet into hot water and steam the skin with it for a few minutes, and is a great pre-treatment before a mask. I remember to buy one or two every once in a while. Cruelty-free. Verdict: a favorite.


Just a couple of makeup products.

Maybelline Volum’Express The Falsies washable mascara ($7-8, review) – Love this mascara. It smudges a little on my when I wear it for a long day, but it otherwise looks great on my lashes. Verdict: often repurchased.

SOHO cheek brush – Have these brushes been discontinued? I definitely bought this particular brush on clearance at Walgreens so I’d be surprised if it still exists. I own a lot of mediocre affordable brushes and I’m kind of on a slow mission to weed out the not-so-stellar ones. This one sheds, doesn’t feel very soft on the skin, and is generally so-so when it comes to the shape. Verdict: wouldn’t repurchase.

The extra bits
The extra bits

Finally, a couple of home products.

Bath & Body Works Tokyo Petals 3-wick candle – I really, really enjoyed this candle. It’s an “iced sake & cherry blossoms” scent. It definitely has a fresh, almost sparkling quality due to the sake, a bit of delicate floral, and a hint of berry. It’s a very clean and pretty scent, and the throw was nice.

South of France Orange Blossom Honey liquid hand soap – The South of France hand soaps are really affordable, and I’d never tried one before. This one smells like straight up honey, which I grew to like more over time than I did straight away, and it has a wonderful texture and lather. It’s sort of on the runny side so it doesn’t clog up the pump much, and it doesn’t dry skin out. I think my boyfriend liked it even more than I did, so I eventually bought another scent for the kitchen. Unfortunately my nearest natural food store seems to have recently stopped carrying this product entirely – what gives? Bed Bath and Beyond still carries it, though… I just don’t make it there as often. Cruelty-free. Verdict: loved it.

Have you tried any of these? Did you finish any great products up recently?

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    1. I do not, I actually have some stores accessible to me in NY that sell Asian skincare. I’ve been curious about Memebox, though! Have you tried them?

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