I decided to continue doing empties post :) It makes it easier for me to tell you about the things I’ve been testing instead of making separate reviews for each product. It’s why I’ve been falling behind, and why you’ll see me using X product on Instagram but never telling you about it on the blog. In the current rate I’m buying and using products, it’s just impossible for me to give you a full detailed review on every single thing. This way I can keep it short and leave the detailed reviews to products I actually have a strong opinion about. And if you have any questions about any of the empties, ask me in the comments below or shoot me a message! I would also love to hear your experience if you’ve used any of the products mentioned.
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Toners and serums that combine both AHA and BHA seem to work best for me. So when it came down to try something from COSRX I didn’t lean to any of their other acid toners and serums that gets raved a lot. I was a bit unsure if this would even work with only 0.1% salicylic acid and 0.1% glycolic acid, considering that I normally reach for anything around between 5-16% AHA. But I thought that it could work as gentle pH balancing toner if all failed
However, it does also contain 10% water from willow bark and apple fruit, which naturally contain these acids – we just don’t know what percentage.
This toner seems to have some restrictions on where it ships to on iHerb, but you’ll also find it on Wishtrend, Amazon, eBay, and many other K-beauty retailers. In Sweden, you can get it at SkinID, which is where I got my first bottle from. I’ve also ordered from eBay but had to pay a pricey customs (though the price was so low!). So it wasn’t really worth it.
Despite that low percentage of active acids that we know of, I got pleasantly surprised at how well it worked. Maybe even better than some of my stronger exfoliators., It’s gentle yet powerful at the same time. No stinging on application, and note that it’s also fragrance-free which we like. The debate is still on whether you should be using a lower strength acid every day or a higher strength 1-3/week. I’m still unsure. I’ve read reviewers saying that it does nothing, but in my case, I could see a difference in my skin when I wasn’t using it.
It’s not an overnight fix, but within a week I saw that it smoothed down a lot of bumps I had on my forehead. Not to mention, treated my fungal acne on my decolletage. I could also use this every day without my skin reacting to over-exfoliation. As summer is closing in I want to cut down on the high strength exfoliators that I use and only use this one. I’m one of those who’s skin gets very breakout prone in the spring and summer. My skin doesn’t handle heat and dehydration very well. So it’s hard for me to ditch all acids for summer as that’s one thing that helps my pores and skin stay balanced. Overall I’m having a great experience with COSRX products and will definitely be trying out more stuff from them!
Repurchase? Already have!
Klairs | Rich Moist Foaming Cleanser
I already did somewhat of a detailed review in my empties/newbie cleanser swap that you can read about here. Shortly after publishing it I actually used it all up. I really wanted to like it, but in the end, it was just another cleanser that didn’t do a better job than another. Not to mention that it stung my eyes. For some reason, Klairs has been my least favorable Korean brand that I’ve tried. Everything I’ve tested from them so far has been a disappointment. I was expecting more. Nothing I tried gave me the urge to repurchase.
I got two bottles with my order and I ended up selling this one and the oil cleanser on Swedish eBay to give it a more loving home. The fact that I couldn’t be bothered using up the products I essentially got for free, tells you a lot of how I feel about it. But I know a lot of people love Klairs based on reviews!
Repurchase? No. I know of other foaming cleansers at a cheaper price, closer to me, that does a similar and better job.
R+Co | One Prep Spray
When I got a flat iron for Christmas I was like, oh sh*t, don’t I need something to protect my hair? So I looked up what kinds of heat protectant products R+Co had, as I’m very into trying most of their products. I also liked that I could buy this in a travel size to test it out first.
After fiddling around with it, I personally came to realize that heat protectants and primers in spray-form don’t give the evenest protection. Not to mention, that they are not very cost-friendly as I managed to finish this guy within two weeks! Okay, maybe if I had only used it as a heat protector it might’ve lasted longer. But to evenly coat the hair you need to spray a lot.
I don’t have anything bad to say about the formula of R+Co’s One. It smells of their most popular scent “Relative Paradise”, which is my favorite. They even turned it into a perfume!
However, I couldn’t sense if a primer is a must before other styling products? But I liked the versatility of it being a primer, heat protectant, detangler and reactivator all at the same time. However, the price put together with the generous amount you need to use makes me ponder on if it’s worth it? As my hair is getting longer, I do feel like I need a product like this to save me from split ends. Though looking at how quickly this type of product gets used up, the price should be lower – or at least offer a jumbo size of this thing!
Repurchase? Maybe. There has to be way cheaper primer/detanglers that work just as good?
First Aid Beauty | Ultra Repair Face Cream
*Forgot to include it in the picture.
I got this when FAB launched in Sweden as I had just finished up Paula’s Choice Calm moisturizer (for normal to oily skin – review here) and wanted to try something else. The ingredients in this seemed good and calming for the skin. It’s for all skin types, but mainly sensitive skin. I thought it would suit me as it does contain some silicone – silicone-free moisturizers feel tacky on my skin – and also had ingredients I know my skin likes, like licorice root extract, squalane, and colloidal oatmeal.
But I’m going to get right into the chase: The ultra repair face cream did not work for me. It’s not a bad moisturizer. It’s just not for my skin. It felt great on the hand, but on the face, it dried to this slightly sticky finish despite the silicone. If you’ve followed my blog, you know I like my moisturizers to feel like skin when I touch it. Sometimes blending it with an oil helps, but ideally, I’d like one that I don’t have to do that with. I would love to find a moisturizer where I can just apply and go.
Paulas Choice | Resist Barrier Repair Night Cream
This is my second empties bottle actually. While I’ve discussed it a few times on Instagram, it has only been mentioned briefly in my 2016 favorites here on the blog. Surely it deserves its own post after 1 year of usage? But that’s the thing, the longer I use something the less urge I have to write about it. I originally bought a sample for my boyfriend as I wanted to sneak in some retinol into his skincare now that he’s approaching mid 30’s. The PC for men night cream is the exact same formula, only it comes in a tube instead of a pump. I thought the cream would feel too heavy for me, but I ended up using it more than he did! And eventually we purchased the Resist as it has a pump, and both of us use it dearly. It helps my boyfriend with his flaky skin, and I use it as a nourishing non-heavy night cream.
Repurchase? Two times already! But for summer I’ll go with a retinol-free night cream or try Verso instead. But I have a feeling I’ll come back to this one.
Madara | TIME MIRACLE Toning Mist
I’ve already written a more detailed review of this one which you can go and check out here. In short, my opinion hasn’t really changed since then. It took me some time to use it up because I didn’t want to use it daily as it contains alcohol. Would this one contained any kinds of butter or oils to counteract, then I probably would feel more okay with using it. Nonetheless, I’ve grown out from simple floral waters. Unless it’s pure rose water, I want my toners/mists to have more oomph in them. (read: exfoliation or vitamins)
Repurchase? No. And no to any other Mádara products, they are just not suitable for my skin.
Paulas Choice | C15 Booster
Another one that probably deserves its own dedicated blog post, but to save time and energy I’ll bring it up here on my empties.
I waited a year and a half for the EU version to come out. I remember contacting Paula’s Choice about it and they said it would come out at the beginning of 2017. Well, it took about 6 months more as it launched in the fall instead. The new version, which is also supposed to replace the US-version, is kind of hefty in the price. Every new Paula’s Choice launch has resulted in increased prices, what’s up with that?! So I had to wait until I could get at least 20-25% off for me to justify buying it.
I don’t remember exactly what’s different with this formula? All I know from experience is that I really like it! It’s the first vitamin C serum that made me see and feel a difference within a week.
I also notice when I am not using it. It makes my skin soft and helps fade post-inflammatory pigmentation. However, I’ve found acids to be much better at that. So I guess vitamin C is more like an antioxidant boost for the skin, strengthening it to reduce aging.
I have but one issue with it. It contains castor oil. I haven’t located if it truly is this serum. But it feels like when I use it daily for a couple of weeks my skin starts to show signs of clogging and gets these tiny bumps. Like I said, not really sure if it’s this serum that’s causing it. I’ve since then tried using it for 3 days in a row and take a few days break. By doing this I haven’t had this problem. But could be just a coincidence before or the weather. Other than that, the PC C15 booster it has become a staple in my beauty routine.
This has new look from 2018.
Repurchase? Yes, already have! But I will try to find something without castor oil.
InstaNatural | Day & Night Serums
I wrote about these two just recently in my iHerb Haul. I’m running somewhat behind so that’s why they appear in my empties so quickly!
I found this duo to work very well with my skin. I found the retinol serum to work the best, but if I can get two serums for this the price of this value kit, who am I to say no?
Though I liked the retinol serum the best, it had the ability to dry out my skin or cause the effect of over-exfoliation when used in conjunction with acids.
The vitamin C serum didn’t feel as brightening and effective as Paula’s Choice or l-ascorbic acid-based ones. Nevertheless, it was a good introduction to vitamin C and is why I bought it.
Repurchase? Yes, I could see myself do so.
L300 | Hyaluronic Renewal & Bright & Firm Night Cream
If you don’t live or have any connections to Sweden you can skip this brand review as it’s only available here and I’ll be writing this in Swedish.
Under vintern har jag testat nattkrämerna från L300 då jag såg att de hade hela 7 ceramider – och inte bara en som vissa märken använder sig av och ändå marknadsför sig i plural.
Förvisso gör L300 lite det med sin Bright & Firm-linje när de säger peptider, när de egentligen handlar om en peptid. Men hursom, så vart alla krämer en hit med min hy! Dessa två funkade så bra att jag kunde även använda dom under dagen (iaf under vintern).
Det är inte så stor skillnad mellan dessa mer än att ena innehåller en peptid och den andra lite fler former av hyaluronsyra. Min absoluta favorit vart ändå Hyaluronic Renewal. Jag vet inte, har fått för mig att den hade lättast konsistens och var återfuktande utan att kännas smörig. Så den har blivit min alternativa nattkräm mellan PC’s Barrier Repair. Jag rekommenderar starkt att ta en titt på L300:as nattkrämssortiment om du lider av känslig hy men även för att ha en neutral, återbyggande och stärkande kräm när huden strejkar av överexfoliering, utorknad eller andra orsaker.
Återköp? Redan köpt Hyaluronic Renewal nattkräm som nu kommer i en ny förpacking, men med samma gamla innehåll.
L300 | Fresh Face Gel Cleanser
Denna har jag haft sedan sommaren 2017 (bevis här) men det tog lite tid att använda upp då jag haft den hos min pojkväns fars lägenhet som vi besöker ca varje helg.
Jag har lite svårt att bestämma mig för vilken L300 ansiktstvätt är min favorit, och plannerar att göra en jämförelse i framtiden. Gillar man gel-rengöring och har normal/kombi till lite fetare hy så rekommenderar jag denna starkt. Känns väldigt mild mot huden och ska ha ett pH runt 4.9-5 enligt L300 själva. Jag tror jag gillar denna mer än ACOs simpla rengörings gel då denna innehåller lite mer fruktbindande ämnen. Att den är i tub kvittar mig, att få ut det sista kan vara svårt i vare sig tub eller pump.
Vad jag gillar med denna, i jämförelse med de andra tvättarna från L300, är att denna funkar riktigt bra som kroppstvätt i duschen också! Det pratas mycket om pH när det kommer till ansiktsrengöring, men väldigt lite fokus på pH är det när man rengör kroppen. Och att hålla ett relativt lågt pH gäller inte bara ansiktet. Så en bra ansiktstvätt kan och bör användas för att rengöra kroppen, så som hals, bröst, axlar, rygg och armar.
Återköp? Absolut. Om inte som ansiktstvätt så blir det som kroppstvätt!