Empties #42 - Mateja's Beauty Blog

This is just a travel size. I disliked this when I first got it – the reason was TO’s retinol. Now I like it much more. It has a lot of coverage (medium-full), looks nice on the skin (almost always), has a ton of nice ingredients and an SPF 50. It suits my skin more when it’s dry, but I wear it in the summer heat too. 

Repurchase: I got the full size in a new shade Fair Ivory.

One of my favourite foundations. It looks great on the skin – it’s light, looks natural-invisible, finish is a natural semi-matte one and it looks nice over pores, as it somewhat fills them up a bit, therefore provides a very smooth base. But I don’t use this in the winter when my skin is drier. Despite the name, this isn’t a typical matte foundation for oily skin. This is the old lightest shade in drugstores here, which is a smidgen too dark for me and I usually wear shade 100. 

Repurchase: Done. 

One of the best formulas for my skin. It’s natural, fresh and has medium coverage, which is enough for me. My skin is dry, so obviously I love such formulas that don’t look matte.

Repurchase: Done, this time in a new shade 50,5.

A serum with a medium-strength amount of retinal, comparable to 0.2-0.5% retinol product, but with less irritation potential and it’s supposed to work quicker. Those few retinol products I’ve used produced no results and I see no anti-ageing effect from this one in terms of reducing lines or sagging, but I like to comfort myself these at least slow down appearance of signs of aging. It’s a bright yellow lotion that has that colour due to retinal. I never experienced an irritation or redness, so it’s an easy product to use for me and layer. 

Repurchase: I got the stronger 10 version I’m currently using now and my skin looks nice.

I use this every day. It contains 0,5% Beta-Glucan and Madecassoside, so this is a skin barrier repairing

product. It’s a very light serum that absorbs quickly and is easy to include in the routine.

Repurchase: Done.

So far this is the only vitamin C product I’ve seen fading pigmentation. I’ve also love Eucerin’s one, but those vials are so small and I used them for far less time. It has 10% Ascorbyl tetraisopalmitate, a stable version of vitamin C I like most. Fading was so slow I didn’t see it until I saw comparison pictures between a few months, but it lightened a lot of the sun damage from last year. It’s a slightly oily serum that leaves a glow on the skin, but it’s a light product that can be layered. I’m currently using the drugstore, weaker Afrodita version, which has a similar texture and the same version of vitamin C.

Repurchase: Yes, but I also enjoy the cheaper drugstore version.

BALEA Milder Reinigungs Schaum

A nice cheap cleanser I can get in DM. It’s more suited for my dry skin that Waschgel I used before, the mousse is fluffy and does the job of being a second cleanser, or an individual cleanser when I don’t use makeup. The smell is like Nivea and strong.

I’ve been using this for a few years every day and I credit it as the product that helped fix the texture of my skin. It’s a light toner-serum product with 95% ferments (galactomyces) and rest are niacinamide, hyaluronic acid, panthenol, allantoin, adenosine and a handful of fillers.

Repurchase: Yes.

ECOOKING Peeling Mask

The only AHA mask I actually like. The Ordinary 30% AHA does nothing on me, but this finally felt like something on my hardy skin. For that same reason I think it will be too much for most or at least only for those used to strong acids. Small pot lasted me a long time because I’m very forgetful when it comes to acids and I only use them when something is wrong with my skin.

Repurchase: Yes.

This looks good on paper, as it contain Biotinoyl Tripeptide-1. I didn’t get any result from this apart from my lashes becoming even more stubborn to curl. It’s a light serum that didn’t irritate my eyes and can be used under a mascara.

Repurchase: No

L’OCCITANE Immortelle Overnight Reset Oil-in-Serum

I love this serum so much. Every time I use the testers, my skin looks and feels so nice. But it’s so expensive and it has nothing impressive in it. No vitamin C, retinol, bakuchiol, ceramides, niacinamide,… It’s just has immortelle oil that might be somewhat anti-ageing. And it has adenosine, so it’s something. I can’t justify buying a product at such a price that has nothing of note in it, but I sure enjoy my good skin days when I have testers. 

Purchase: I’d love to own it, but it’s too expensive. 

CV Vitamin C Enzym Peeling Puder 

I did not like this at all. Name says it all and you mix the powder with a bit of water, then apply it in circular motions and wash off. It’s insanely drying. My face felt stripped of every bit of moisture after use and fingers couldn’t run smoothly over the skin. It had no visual effect on my skin and it wasn’t as effective as a scrub as Skinfood Black sugar one. 

Repurchase: No.

These are mini sheet masks that are used with UFO, a light-emitting, sonic-vibrating, heating device. There’s plenty of essence in these, more than an average sheet mask, so after one treatment with UFO, I squeeze the rest of the essence from the packaging on the sheet that’s on UFO and do an extra treatment or even two. My skin is always much softer after these and nicely hydrated. UFO helps that massive amount of essence absorb so much quicker. I don’t see a difference in effect between these two versions and while I had concerns they break me out, it turned out not to be the case. Recently my skin has had a dry spell and I realised these are the best thing in my stash for properly hydrating my skin and it fixes it in one go. 

Repurchase: Yes.

A nourishing lotion that leaves the same silky smooth film on the skin as the hand cream (which I really enjoy using) and it’s an excellent formula for dry skin. Formula is medium thick lotion and for my preferences it absorbs fast enough, but it’s not in minutes. However, I find that Nivea’s lotions have a better cumulative/long-term results.

Repurchase: Maybe, but I repurchased Nivea’s Souffle to replenish my empty stash and it’s so good. 

EVELINE COSMETICS Extra Soft BioArgan Manuka Oil Face and Body Cream

I liked this a lot. Formula is a classic cream that absorbs fairly quickly and is nourishing enough. This has a nice ingredient list as it has argan oil, honey, oats, hyaluronic acid, ceramides, cholesterol and that’s before preservatives and fragrance that are allowed at only 1% concentration, though the main ingredient is mineral oil. It also smells nice, very similar to the super expensive L’Occitane Almond body cream.

Repurchase: It’s likely. I might be distracted by something new and shiny, but I really liked this.

ORIFLAME Scents & Moments Shower Gel

Paradise Sunrise

This is supposed to smell like grapefruit, but to me it smelled like mango, so a softer juicy-fruity sweet scent. Formula is nothing special, but overall ok. I like the smell of Soft Cuddle based on the scented page in the catalogue. 

Repurchase: They are expensive for the amount and how quickly I used it up, even when they have discounts.  

AFRODITA Natural Vanilla Cream Oil Shower Gel

I wasn’t a massive fan of this. Formula was ok, creamy, but nothing outstanding. The scent didn’t sit well with me, though it’s a pretty basic vanilla. I prefer their lavender shower gel.

Repurchase: No.

DOVE Nourishing Secrets Restoring Ritual 48h Anti-Perspirant 

Coconut & jasmine flower

My usual anti-perspirant that I’ve been using for years. It smells like coconut, but I don’t even notice the scent anymore. It leaves white marks, but I find these stick deodorant the most effective kind.

Repurchase: Done.

A liquid, strongest Olaplex that is applied before n.3. I find this combination works considerably better than just n.3 and I like the way the Olaplex routine (0 + n.3 treatment + n.4 shampoo + n.5 conditioner + n.6 leave-in) improve the condition of the hair. I saw they finally improved the packaging by adding a spray, since the nozzle with a tiny hole is painfully slow and ineffective at distributing the product. I just unscrewed the bottle and poured it on the hair.

Repurchase: Done.

OLAPLEX No.5 Bond Maintenance Conditioner

It’s not the most amazing conditioner in terms of visible results, but it’s thick and good enough, though I much prefer the mask n.8. I find this an essential product in my routine, since I bleach my hair.

Repurchase: Done.

JOICO K-Pak Liquid Reconstructor

A protein leave-in I use regularly. I stopped using it for a while and I noticed my hair started breaking more, so now I don’t want to be without it. It’s very light and doesn’t have an immediate visible effect in terms of making my hair more nourished and less frizzy, but like I said it has a long-term effect. One 300 ml bottle lasts a long time.

Repurchase: Done. It’s now in a different packaging.

KÉRASTASE Chronologiste Essential Balm Treatment

I hated this for a long time, but then used it with an acid rinse (1 tea spoon of citric acid in 1 litre of water) and it became a huge favourite. It leaves my hair crazy soft and feeling great, plus the effect lasts for days. It’s not the best at taming my frizz, but only Moroccanoil Smoothing mask makes a difference. This smells like Miss Dior Cherie without the obnoxious patchouli.

NATURE BOX Repair Mask with Avocado Oil

A silicone-free drugstore mask I actually like. It’s nourishing enough due to shea butter high on the list, but it doesn’t reduce frizz.

Repurchase: I prefer Pantene, but it’s nice if you want something silicone-free.

GARNIER Color Naturals Crème

9.1 Natural Extra Light Ash Blonde

I use this shade for toning. This formula completely replaced L’Oreal Excellence for me. For one they are half cheaper, since L’Oreal’s price surged over the years, shades are pretty much the same, formula is ok and as much as I love that L’Oreal conditioner they add in their boxes, I now use Joico K-Pack Reconstructor and Intense Hydrator right after colouring. I swap the developers with a weaker 3% one, since I’m toning and not lifting the hair colour. I use the unused developers from these boxes for cleaning (1 part dish soap + 1 part hydrogen peroxide developer + sprinkling of baking soda for removing stubborn stains on fabric). The conditioner size added to the boxes is pitiful, with only 22 ml. I use mostly 9.1 (I’ve used up a few boxes so far) and I buy 8.1 as a just-in-case if I don’t manage to bleach all that well.

Repurchase: Done