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The last time I got around to showing you the skincare bits I finished was back in October in my End of Summer Empties. The plan was actually to do it quarterly, like a seasonal thing, and here we are, only six months later. Guess we missed a whole season, but I am just going to use the pandemic as an excuse for that.
That also means that you need to sit through quite a huge bag of trash, but I promise I will try and keep this as short as possible and divide it into categories, so you can focus on the parts you are most interested in. Most of the products mentioned already have a dedicated review up on this blog, so if the information provided is not enough for you, I will link all my reviews at the individual product should you want to learn more.
The first category is already a non-existing one. I don´t know how that happened, but I ended up not finishing any cleansers in the last six months. As I did keep washing my face, the only explanation here is that I have too many of them open at the same time, something I need to work on before they go off!
Toner/ Face Mist:
First the usual disclaimer: No, this is NOT an essential step in anyone’s routine, you can totally do without it. (You can read here about the difference between toners, essences and the likes)
I personally do enjoy them, which is why I have finished quite a few, the first one being the dear Klairs Supple Preparation Unscented Toner (180 ml/ 22,95 €, full review here). It contains humectants, Centella Asiatica and even a copper-peptide, but given that it is a toner probably not in high concentrations. It is lovely in texture and hydration, but I prefer the Purito Centella Unscented Toner over this one, which is why I will not repurchase.
One that I reached more for in the evenings is the Good Molecules Niacinamide Brightening Toner (120 ml/ 14$, full review here). The Niacinamide, Licorice Root Extract and Arbutin in this one make it great if hyperpigmentation is your main concern, as it will support a routine trying to reduce it, and I think it has a lovely texture and is great value for money, so I can see myself repurchase it at some point.
The Kicks Thirsty Skin Hydrating Face Mist also contains Niacinamide and is one that I picked up in Sweden, kicks is like their regional Sephora – really nice, but nothing that I will go out of my way to repurchase.
And the last one in this category is the Instytutum Flawless Hydra Mist (100ml/ 45$, full review here). Now this one has an amazing fine spritz and is hydrating and lightweight, an absolute pleasure to use. It is however just a hydrating face mist at a hefty price tag, so it won’t get repurchased.
Moving on to the next category, which is, as usual, the largest. What can I say – I do love serums, I tend to layer them and as a woman in her 40s I make sure to use them all the way down to my boobs (read more about serums and their role in your skincare routine here).
First The Ordinary Buffet + Copper Peptides (30 ml/ 28,90€, full review here), one of The Ordinarys more expensive items. For me however it is worth the price tag as it offers Copper Peptides as well as overall hydration, so it has already been repurchased.
The next one is The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% (30ml/ 5,90€, full review here), a staple for summer when my skin still gets oily around the t-zone. The zinc helps with that and reduces inflammation, while Niacinamide is just an all round helpful ingredient. Has been repurchased numerous times.
Then we have the Wishtrend Pure Vitamin C 15% with Ferulic Acid (30ml/22 €, no dedicated review), one of the many that were tested on my hunt for the perfect Vitamin C Serum. This one is really nice, not irritating at all, but started oxidizing a little more than two months after opening, which meant that for the last third of the bottle I was probably not getting the full benefits. This is actually common in Vitamin C serums and should absolutely not put you off this one, but for me means that it is not the one – the search continues.
From a recent sponsored video with Function of Beauty skincare I had this serum (35 ml/ 49$, you can read about that here) that I used up. The serum itself was really nice, but not 49$ nice if you get what I mean, although I have to say the packaging, this twist-up pipette, is outstanding.
Another hydrating serum that I admittedly use for its self-tanning capacities rather than the hydration is the Tan Luxe Super Glow Face Serum (30 ml/ 43 €, full review here). Yes, pricey, but for me the perfect pick me up to prevent my more yellow complexion from looking too sicklish, which is why i already repurchased.
Autumn is the season when I focus on undoing any pigmentation left over from the summer, so it isn’t that surprising that I have two versions of the Good Molecules Discoloration Correcting Serum (30ml/ 12$, full review here) in here, the old and the new one. The main difference is that the bottle in the new one is dark and that Good Molecules reformulated using 2% Tranexamic Acid rather than the undisclosed percentage in the older version. It is hard to tell if that reformulation had any effect on the impact on my skin as pigmentation is incredibly hard to treat and requires a lot of patience, but as Tranexamic Acid should be used at 2% and the texture is lovely, I can see myself repurchasing it in the future.
Another product with Tranexamic Acid is The Inkey List Tranexamic Acid Night Treatment (30ml/ 15€, no dedicated review), the texture sitting somewhere between a thick serum or a light lotion. It also contains 2% and has a nice feel to it, but slightly smells like barbecue sauce. Depending on where you stand in terms of food that can be seen as a good or a bad thing, but I admit it made me prefer the Good Molecules version.
Then there is The Inkey List Ceramide Night Treatment (30ml/ 15€, full review here), meant to repair your skin barrier. I really enjoy this cream for summer, wouldn’t count on it for the colder months though as it is very lightweight, more of a lotion than a rich cream, so I might repurchase when it gets warmer.
The Inkey List Q10 (30 ml/ 5,99€, full review here) is similar, a hybrid between a richer serum and a lightweight lotion. It is a great option for people that don’t get along with Vitamin C due to skin sensitivities, but still want antioxidants. This is already my second bottle and I will eventually repurchase.
Speaking of Vitamin C, here is the pixi Vitamin C Lotion (50 ml/24$, full review here), which actually contains 3 different kinds of Vitamin C, the original L-Ascorbic Acid as well as two derivatives (I have a blog post on Vitamin C and its derivatives here). I liked it when it was a little colder, but I still wanted to focus on reducing hyperpigmentation, but to be honest I won’t rush out to repurchase this one.
And lastly the cream to go with the before mentioned face mist, the Instytutum Flawless Hydrafusion Water Burst Cream (50ml/ 65$, full review here). It is a lovely texture, I adore the color and the cream is beautiful for my combination skin in the warmer months, but … not 65$ beautiful. Nothing wrong with spending that much on a skincare product that you love, but I rarely love a moisturiser that much, so no repurchase.
I didn’t finish any eye creams, they always seem to last forever despite being so small, but I did finish a face oil, something that doesn’t happen too often either.
This is the pixi Overnight Retinol Oil (30ml/ 24$, full review here), and I semi-cheated because I did not use it up on my face, but on my neck and decollete. For my face I use Tretinoin, but everything south of my chin immediately reacts with dryness and irritation to that (I have tips on introducing retinoids here and more information on the different types of retinoids here). I still want to get the retinol benefits there though, and this oil is strong enough to give some results, but not so strong I get irritation. And, to be completely honest, neither the texture nor the scent of this oil makes me want to cover my face in it, I really don’t enjoy many oils for that purpose.
Speaking of texture, let’s move on to sunscreens, another category where the texture can be a deal breaker, at least when you attempt to wear it daily. And sadly the Purito Centella Unscented SPF 50+ PA++++ (full review here) did live up to the texture claims, but not to the protection ones. So yes, I used it up, no I will not repurchase, at least not until the promised reformulated version will be released. Same is true for another brand that I purchased and used up, but am not going to give you my thoughts about because they, opposed to Purito, did not handle the lack of protection in their product nearly as well – Keep Cool Soothe Bamboo Sun Essence.
Back when it was still warm enough to get my legs out I also used up the Reviderm SPF 50 Invisible Sun oil spray (200 ml/ 38 €, no dedicated review). Reviderm isn’t a brand that you hear much about online, but one that I have used quite often in the past already. It features a mixture of different organic sunscreens, both older ones like Octocrylene and Avobenzone, but also the newer generation like Uvinul A plus and Tinosorb S, so I am pretty sure you get amazing protection from it. I think it is great for the body, providing protection as well as a lovely glow and hydration, but is pricey if you plan on using it for the beach – I go through that amount in a little less than a week when I am on holiday.
For hair I have my trusted Olaplex Conditioner (250 ml/ 24€, full review here) – I showed you the corresponding shampoo in the last empties, somehow I finish my shampoo bottles much quicker than my conditioner ones. Both have since been repurchased, as I trust them to keep my bleached tresses alive for years now.
A new discovery, yet also already repurchased, is The Inkey List Hyaluronic Acid Hair Treatment (50 ml/ 11,45€). I reviewed the majority of their hair and scalp treatments last summer, but this is the only one that really works for me, so I already repurchased.
Then a random one, the Langhaarmädchen Summer Care Conditioner (250 ml/ 5€, no dedicated review). Langhaarmädchen is a German start-up that sells exclusively in DM, a German drugstore, and I picked up the conditioner and shampoo on a whim almost two years ago. Lovely, affordable, but sadly this version was limited edition – I loved the scent.
Sticking with DM, this is the Alverde Eye Brow Gel Blonde (6ml/ 4€, no dedicated review). Alverde is an “all-natural” brand exclusive to DM, and this eye brow gel has been my favorite for more than ten years now. For me it rivals the way more expensive ones by Anastasia Beverly Hills and the likes that I have tried at a much better price point, so yes, already repurchased.
As for mascara I have two – mascara is one of the few things that I am pretty strict with expiration dates, so six months equals two mascaras. The first one is the Maybelline Total Temptation one (8,6 ml/ 8,75€, no dedicated review), which is okay, I think, but will not get repurchased. The second one is the L´Oréal Architect False Lash mascara (10,5 ml/ 9,95€, no dedicated review) in waterproof. I turned to waterproof mascara for the winter, when going by bike wearing a face mask made it necessary. I never thought that could happen, but when I started breathing harder, my breath would go up, freeze on my lashes and then, when I got inside, would melt and smear down my face. Now that it isn’t as cold anymore I will go back to a non-waterproof version though as they are way easier to remove.
And lastly, two tubes of the prorelax Conductive Gel (100ml/ 7,50€, no dedicated review) that I use instead of the original NuFace gel with my NuFace device. And no, because that question will most certainly pop up in the comments, I have not made a blogpost about microcurrent devices in general and the NuFace in particular, but I promise I will eventually. When I first purchased the Nuface, their gel was around 4 times that much, but they dropped the price recently so it is around twice as much as the prorelax version. It might be going back to the original now, as that one is the one they did the studies with, which could potentially influence the results – we will see.