As someone that is enthusiastic and experimental when it comes to skincare and makeup, I have a tendency to accumulate a lot of products. In a effort to be more mindful and financially responsible, my sister and I began texting each other our “empties” whenever we finished a product in our collection. It served to motivate each other to use what we have. Plus, after finishing something entirely, it is easy to form a thorough opinion about it.
Today, I am going to let you in on my trash. This is what I have used up from January of this year to the beginning of June. A few items are not used up but have expired or just didn’t perform well. I’ve split everything into four categories: 1) Basics 2) Did Not Work for Me 3) Okay 4) Good 5) Great/Will Repurchase. To prevent writing a novel, I will only provide reviews from the Great/Will Repurchase category as well a few products from the other categories. Please feel free to ask in the comments below if you have questions about any of the products I don’t review.
Did Not Work for Me
The Clinique cream blush and the lipstick were not empty but just extremely old that I had to toss them. Looking back at this photo, I realize I shouldn’t have placed the lipstick in this category. In fact, I really enjoyed it in the past, and it has a lot of sentimental value. This lipstick is a collaboration between Poppy King (of Lipstick Queen) and J. Crew from 2011. It was inspired by the beautiful J. Crew catalog girls that sported these soft coral red lips with equally effortless low buns and/or tousled hair. At that time, I wanted to encapsulate their laissez faire but gorgeous attitudes. Not quite red, not quite orange, Poppy King was the PERFECT color that was universally flattering; many blogs even tested it with women of different skin tones. As expected, it sold out quickly online and in stores. After calling the J. Crew customer service line and multiple stores, my search was seemingly hopeless. Finally, I called the J. Crew in Malibu, and to my absolute delight, the saleswomen told me that they had unexpectedly found three tubes in their stockroom that morning. YES. I was tempted to scoop up all three. In a moment of restraint, I purchased two lipsticks…leaving one for a lucky soul to be just as elated when she finds her Poppy King. I remember that months following, Poppy King was the only lipstick I wore. It didn’t matter what outfit I wore or how fancy or unfancy the occasion was; I proudly wore it and it brought me so much joy. The sheer but slightly glossy texture was my kind of perfect.
So you see, Poppy King doesn’t really belong in the “Okay” pile does she? With all this reminiscing, it makes me think that I really need to find a duplicate lipstick as Poppy King. Does anyone know of one?
FYI, those pore strips are such a guilty pleasure. Clear my pores please! Also, the Too Cool for School Egg Cream Mask is wonderfully hydrating and soft/thin that it adheres to the face very well.
The above section has some of my favorite favorite items (emphatic repetition intentional). With the exception of the La Roche Posay sunscreen, I have repurchased EVERY. SINGLE. ITEM. This is easily a peek into my top shelf.
- Dr. Teal’s Foaming Bath: Taking a bath is self care and my way of unwinding on the weekend. The ones from Dr. Teal’s have lots of aromatherapy scents such as lavender, eucalyptus and spearmint (my favorite), and Pink Himalayan, which has pleasant citrus essential oils. They comes in foaming bath (LOTS of bubbles), bath salts, and shower gels. Plus, they’re around $5. I use them exclusively for my bath.
- May Coop Raw Sauce: This is a definite K-beauty favorite! Made with maple tree sap, this essence helps the absorption of following products and boost hydration. More viscous than water, it absorbed into the skin easily. This really made a big difference in moisturizing my skin especially in the wintertime, and it did increase the effectiveness of serums. The Raw Sauce plus the Sunday Riley Luna Oil is my PM killer combo.
- Sunday Riley Good Genes: This lactic acid AM and PM treatment made a noticeable difference in smoothing and softening the skin. During AM use, however, a broad spectrum high SPF sunblock is a must due to skin sensitivity with use of alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs).
- Sunday Riley Luna Oil: This really popular oil comes with a lot of rave reviews. Prior to the Luna Oil, I’ve never used retinol oil. Upon first use, I woke up the next morning with MUCH softer skin. With continued use, I did notice improvement in skin texture, fewer breakouts, and smaller pore size. It did not speed up the healing process of active breakouts when they did occur. Because this product does chemically exfoliate and encourage cell turnover, a good SPF is also necessary for this one. The Luna Oil is one of my favorites out of everything shown here in this post. Because of its strength, I would recommend getting a sample of Good Genes and Luna Oil prior to purchasing.
Great/Will Repurchase (cont.)
- Tata Harper Honey Blossom Resurfacing Mask: This was one of my first natural skincare products. Its green jar feels quite luxurious. The mask itself has a jam-like texture, tingles when applied, and works gently for softer skin. This one smells like honey. The honey blossom version is limited edition but I linked the regular resurfacing mask, which is the one I am trying out right now.
- La Roche Posay Sunscreen: I spoke about this (as well as other favorites) at length here. Short summary, very lightweight and absorbs quickly. This one was my second bottle. I am waiting to repurchase, because I have been testing other formulas.
- Glossier Balm Dot Com: I use this petroleum jelly-like balm daily for my lips and as a preparatory step before matte lipstick. It’s good for daily use but not quite nourishing enough for severely dried, chapped lips. It can also be used for dry patches, cuticles, etc. I may have the rose scented one in the next Trash Talk…
- Kiss Me Heroine Make Mascara: A Japanese mascara that my sister got for me on her trip, I was not impressed initially. This wet formula lengthened my lashes but did little for volume. Little did I know, this one is for length and curl. After drying out for two weeks, it did a great job with lengthening AND volumizing. The best part, it did NOT smudge or flake after a long day of work. This can’t be said of the the other mascara empties.
- K-Palette Real Lasting Eyeliner: Another Japanese gem from my sister! Mind you, prior to this one, I’ve used exclusively drugstore felt tip liners. It took practice to apply this brush tip liner but it did a great job at staying put. It does not come off or ball up when you fill in the liner. In addition, it has a pretty fine tip for precision. Now, I use only brush (not felt) tip liquid liners.
In all, I finished thirty eight products:
- 3 eyeliners
- 3 mascaras
- 1 cream blush
- 1 cream eyeshadow
- 3 foundations
- 1 lipstick
- 2 liquid lipsticks
- 3 contact solutions (2 regular size, 1 travel size)
- 2 makeup remover wipes
- 2 cotton rounds pack
- 1 micellar water
- 1 brush cleanser
- 9 sheet masks
- 1 pore strip pack
- 2 foaming baths
- 1 face cleanser
- 1 face mask
- 1 essence
- 3 serums
- 1 moisturizer
- 1 sunblock
- 1 lip balm
I hope this motivated you to attend to your own products that may have been hanging around your vanity. Did you enjoy this new series? Would you like to see a Part 2?