I actually didn’t expect to be writing another empties post because, A: it’s time consuming and B: it’s time consuming. Now that Autumn is technically over, now is the time to share with you what skincare products I used up this season. Also now is the time because I don’t want to keep hoarding empty containers in random beat up boxes any longer 😬
💬 How many skincare or beauty products did you manage to use up in Autumn? Did you remember to properly recycle all the containers?
Heimish – All Clean Balm*
This was actually photographed in the thumbnail of my previous empties blog post, but I had a scoop of it left so I decided to leave it out of the final edit. I’ve used several cleansing balms and none of the have ever disappointed me by not living up to my expectations, so it’s not often that I come by a cleansing balm that stands out as particularly unique or above the rest in terms of effectiveness. However I believe that this Heimish cleansing balm rightfully deserves all the hype surrounding it – simply it’s fantastic!
The most desirable characteristic of this product is the texture. It does of course feel like a balm but it also has a texture which resembles sorbet. It’s softer than the top rated Banilla Co. cleansing balms – not that these are hard to work with, they are just more compacted into their containers. This Heimish balm is easy to scoop out of the tub. I also like that it has a flip lid which is less fiddly to close when you have the product on your hands. The scent is gentle and it removes all traces of makeup. On average it costs $15, which is a fraction cheaper than other leading Korean cleansing balms.
Gruum – Kyra Gentle Face Wash*
If your skin isn’t too fussy then this is a good gel type cleanser for removing just the right amount of excess natural oils from skin. All I will say is that if you have sensitive skin then this may not be for you as it contains eucalyptus and lavender extracts – both of which make my skin itch, especially if used consistently (daily).
If you have combination skin that doesn’t get easily irritated, this is an affordable and simple face cleanser which you may like to consider if you’re switching to Vegan cosmetics. It also cruelty-free, made in the UK and made from 96% naturally derived ingredients. My brother finished this off for me and he is considering buying it from Gruum’s website through their saver subscription plan. Quote from my brother in East/South London slang: ‘That face wash was a banger’. Translation: The face wash was a great, a hit.
UpCircle – Face Mask*
Its a non-drying detoxifying mask made from the fine powder of discarded olive stones. The mask mimicks the functions of a clay mask, but without the tight drying sensation with crumbling throughout wear. Using it once per week helped keep my pores healthy. Even if the pot only contains 60ml of product it lasted for 6 or 7 months. I love the scent of it, I’d can only describe it as a delicate powdery scent. I’d happily repurchase this with my own money. It’s a feel food product not just because of the impact it has on skin, but because its sustainable, Vegan and cruelty-free.
The Face Shop – Rice Water Bright Light Cleansing Oil
This cleansing oil is commonly found on K-beauty websites which serve international customers; mainly because it’s cheap for a cleansing oil and its been around for quite some time now. When you first get into K-beauty this is one of those products that always pops up in the ‘best sellers’ section on the likes of YesStyle, Amazon and some small European K-beauty online stores. It’s also a common find in Korea as The Face Shop is a roadshop (highstreet) brand found everywhere – in train stations, shopping centres, shopping districts, town centres and even inside some Supermarket chains.
This cleansing oil is popular for brightening dull combination and oil skin types. Personally I rarely notice the brightening effects of any rice skincare product, therefore I can’t confirm this oil’s brightening effects; yet I noticed how soft and supple this cleansing oil made my skin feel at each and every use.
It didn’t appear to have a negative effect on my pores and the light formula was gentle enough to leave skin feeling hydrated, but still breakdown makeup and other impurities. The only issue I had with this cleansing oil was it made my eyes sting. Even if I’m cautious about not applying it near my eyes it always stung and made my eyes water once emulsified; apparently I’m not the only person to have pointed out this fault.
IRÉN – Clearer Days Anti-blemish Serum*
This Japanese serum can be used on it’s own or in tandem with up to three of Iren’s serums. I wanted to maintain the concentration of blemish fighting ingredients in this serum, so I used it on it’s own more often than not. In my initial review of this serum I mentioned how it did a good job at helping avoid breakouts and heal existing spots a little faster than compared to using no acne/blemish products at all. I still stand by this statement, although I don’t think this serum is as effective as a green tea or mugwort serum for example.
I just think the blend of ingredients are complex. It would been better to focus on one or two powerful antioxidants. Regardless, I think it’s great that this serum focuses on anti-inflammatories like mangosteen and adds in a dose of Niacinamide to fade old blemishes, not just new ones.
In conclusion, it’s not worth the $35 price tag for 15ml.
Rating: ⭐⭐1/2 out of 5.
Benton – Cacao Moist & Mild Serum*
On a whole Benton have some highly beneficial products for balancing combination and oily skin types and many people praise their fermented anti-aging products too. Although the performance of this serum fell flat for me. I understand that it’s intention is to provide lightweight and fast absorbing hydration to skin types like mine which aren’t dry, but can experience inner dehydration if not cared for correctly. Therefore understandably this serum doesn’t provide an intense serge of hydration, its just a boost of moisture with Hyaluronic acid and smooths out minor textural issues – that’s all.
For this reason I don’t know they someone who need this serum. They already have a matching toner to this serum which you could layer even more thinly and get the same effects. To me it appears to have been created just for the sake of having a duo you could use together, but don’t necessarily have to used as a pair to be effective. Does that make sense?
Be Plain Cicaful Ampoule*
This ampoule was one of most sold ampoules at OliveYoung this year. With natural, clean and basic skincare becoming increasingly popular its no surprise that so many people have been snatching up this ampoule. Cica provides relief to sensitive skin whilst the other key ingredients target skin repair. Many online consumers who tried this ampoule mentioned how they were using it to take care of maskne and repair skin that has become irritated, sore or weakened by wearing face masks/coverings that caused friction against skin.
At first all I noticed was how it rapidly replenishes moisture, then after more uses I observed how it made my skin look and feel more comfortable – i.e. less redness and inflammation, plus my spots healed faster when used 4 times over 2 days. I finished this bottle within 2 months, so I’d say it’s wiser to get the larger bottle if you can and if you intend to use it as your main serum.
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐1/2 out of 5.
Secret Key – Rose Floral Softening Toner*
For the most part I was impressed by this rose toner. It does exactly as the name suggests by softening skin beautifully with 97% Damask Rose Flower Water. It’s super lightweight and the residue isn’t too greasy. The only issue I had personally was that it made my face itch a little – this isn’t a fault of the product, my skin is just sensitive to rose extracts is high concentrations.
I converted the contents of the original bottle to a spray bottle so that I could use it to soften and hydrate my body as I don’t like to use body lotions that often. I had no issues with using it on my body and the 248ml of product lasted for several months. Another plus point is that its cheap. I’d like to try the milk version next time.
The YEON – Liquid Cream Toning7 Radiance Liquid Cream*
I won this liquid cream as part of a review event in Korea. I was so excited when it arrived because it was one of the first review opportunities I had gotten for Instagram content. It was nice to be chosen as a foreigner in Korea, as I could be one of the few people to review the product in English and the opportunity wasn’t open globally. Initially I really liked this liquid cream, it was hydrating enough to cut back on the amount of toner and moisturiser I typically use and it gave my skin a radiant glow that my base makeup didn’t give. The milk proteins in this liquid cream are for nourishing drier skin types and illuminate dull skin types, which I found to be fine for my oily skin too but then Summer came around.
Korean summers are so humid, I had to stop using this liquid cream. My skin was becoming too oily and I was getting breakouts. I’d say for any skin type this product is better suited for using in Autumn and Winter, also possibly early Spring if Springtime in your country isn’t warm. Other than that I wasn’t keen on the slight alcohol scent, but it doesn’t appear to contain alcohol (strange). If you want to try this as a slightly cheaper alternative to the somewhat comparable Laneige Cream Skin Refiner, I advise that you use it appropriately according to season.
Bellflower – Heartleaf Houttuynia Treatment Serum*
Heartleaf works well for my skin which is why I specifically selected this treatment serum upon arranging a collaboration with Bellflower last Autumn. This serum is hydrating and the texture is fairly lightweight with just the right amount of stickiness. It did bring relief to my sensitive skin thanking to the Heartleaf extract (44,000ppm), Centella Asiatica extracts and Rosemary leaf oil.
The only thing I disapproved of was the high alcohol content. I understand that alcohol is typically used to preserve natural ingredients in skincare, but this strongly smelt like alcohol with the ingredient being placed 4th on the ingredient list. I couldn’t get past the smell, so I gave this to my brother to finish the remaining half of the bottle. He didn’t experience any issues with it either.
Rating: ⭐⭐1/2 out of 5.
Dear Klairs – Fundamental Eye Awakening Gel*
I’ll get straight to the point, this is one of my favourite eye gels. It softened, brightened and de-puffed my under eyes with it’s caffeine and red bean extracts. It’s very hydrating and refreshing to use in the morning. Most greatly of all it doesn’t take too long to absorb, so it won’t disturb the placement of your foundation or under eye concealer if you wish to apply any.
Even if I really like this product I like the Dear Klairs Fundamental Nourishing Eye Butter a tad more, so I gave this gel version to my Mum to finish as she could get more use out of it that me, considering I had 3 eye creams opened at once. It was hard to part ways with, but I’m glad it didn’t just sit on a shelf expiring. Wishtrend actually sell both Dear Klairs eye products separately or as a duo. Why would you need two eye creams, you ask? – The gel type is more suitable for daytime use due to its high glycerin content, whereas the viscous butter type is best for use overnight. Some people even like to layer both depending on the season, their skin type and/or the severity of their under eye wrinkles or fine lines.
Coxir – Black Snail Collagen Cream*
From experience I’d say that the snail mucin creams I’ve used don’t differ much. They all have a slimy texture which is fantastic for restoring skin’s elasticity overnight and leaving dry skin flake-free during the colder seasons of the year. The only points that made this cream different from other snail and collagen creams I tried, is that it also contains black beans which are rich in Vitamins A + C and proteins. The pot is small, however a fingernail sized amount is more than enough to cover your entire face. It’s an affordable snail product so I’d used it again in the near future.
Franz – Everyday Essence*
In all honestly, I didn’t think much of this essence the first week I used it. I thought it was perhaps because this essence is intended for use alongside their Microcurrent Facial Dual Masks (which may I add are way too expensive to use as often as Franz suggest). After a few weeks I did notice the long-lasting hydration benefits of this essence as we progressed further into Winter (January of this year).
For a Hyaluronic Acid essence this seems pricey, especially as I know of a Hyaluronic Acid Toner Essence which costs 1/3 of the price of this one from Franz. I suppose the $60 price tag is justified knowing that it also contains ceramides and multiple sources of antioxidants. Plus Franz is one of those brands who bring dermatology clinic grade skincare to a home environment so that everyone and anyone can access it.
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐1/2 out of 5.
💬 Should I continue to do empties posts? They won’t be on a monthly basis, more realistically by season.
Disclaimer – Products marked with an asterisk were gifted in exchange for honest reviews. All opinions expressed are honest and my own, and have therefore not been influenced by any brand or company in association. Some links embedded throughout this post are affiliated.