Empties #13

It’s time for a new portion of empty products…
Skincare and Makeup Products

Rituals Mild Eye Makeup Remover – That is a gentle makeup remover that effectively takes off mascara and eye makeup without irritating my eyes and I’d repurchase it;
Simple Micellar Cleansing Water – One of my favourite micellar waters, it’s mild, it’s good at removing the major part of my makeup and is suitable for sensitive skin, as well;
Shiseido Ibuki Gentle Cleanser – I already have a full size of this one because it’s a fantastic face wash that cleanses my skin but also leaves it hydrated;
Eucerin DermoPURIFYER Toner – That’s a brilliant toner that contains 2% Lactic Acid, I really need to get a new one because it’s great for combination skin. It’s oil-free but hydrating and exfolaiting at the same time;
Clinique Moisture Surge Face Spray – I always carry a mini of this one when I travel because it’s refreshing and hydrating, especially in the summer;
Balea Aqua Hydrating Serum – My favourite budget moisturising serum, so lightweight yet delivers a good amount of hydration to the skin;
Shiseido Ibuki Refining Moisturiser – The whole Ibuki range is simply amazing, I wouldn’t say this is my favourite moisturiser but it’s lovely;
Rodial Dragon’s Blood Hyaluronic Moisturiser SPF 15 – Another really nice face cream that also has SPF but it’s so pricey that I don’t think I’d repurchase, considering there are so many amazing moisturisers out there;
Rodial Dragon’s Blood Sculpting Gel – This is a gel that really gives visible results but then again, it is too expensive and I had issues with the pump;
EOS Pomegranate Raspberry Lip Balm – I don’t find these balms to be the most moisturising ones but I enjoy using them;
L’Occitane x Pierre Hermé Paris Miel Mandarine Lip Balm – What an amazing scent, not too sweet or overpowering, simply divine, also, I love the brand’s lip balms;
La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo (+) Unifiant – I used this product almost every day on its own or before foundation, it’s brilliant because you get the skincare treatment but also tinted cream with pretty good coverage, will definitely repurchase;
Essence Camouflage Cream Concealer – There’s just a little bit left but it’s already dry, I think it was a beautiful affordable concealer duo that I used under my eyes and around the face and I didn’t need another concealer when I was travelling, this one was enough. Sadly, I think, they no longer have it on the shelves;
Bourjois Healthy Balance Face Powder – I don’t remember how many of these I’ve used up, it’s one of my favourite powders that mattifies the skin but still leaves it looking radiant;
Dior Addict Milky Tint in 286 Milky Plum – Glosses aren’t my favourite lip products but using up one means I loved it. This gloss is actually quite unique, it’s has a milky finish that looks creamy and not too shiny and all the shades are really flattering. Plus, they feel hydrating and plumping. I have a full review on them here.


Body and Hair Products

Original Source Green Banana and Bamboo Milk Shower MilkOriginal Source have some wonderful body washes, their scents are always interesting and I really enjoyed using this shower milk;
L’Occitane Aromachologie Relaxing Shower Gel – I need a bigger size of this one, it’s so lovely, the scent is so relaxing and 100% natural. The body wash is made with essential oils and feels incredibly soothing;
Clarins Moisture Rich Body Lotion – For some reason Clarins body products and their scents always remind me of comfy hotel beds after a long day of walking around lesser known places, is that strange? Probably but what I mean is that this lotion gives me some kind of comfort and it’s soothing, it feels really hydrating and I sometimes used it as a hand cream, as well;
Moroccanoil Treatment – This cute mini is perfect for travelling, luckily, I have a couple more because I really like this oil, it’s lightweight, smells divine and makes my hair shiny;
Lilly Oil-Based Nail Polish Remover – The best nail polish remover, nourishing, takes off nail polish easily and the only negative is that you can’t find it in many countries.

Sachets

Kiehl’s Cucumber Herbal Alcohol-Free Toner – I’ve heard so many positive reviews on Kiehl’s toners that I feel like I want to try all of them but unfortunately, this one stings and burns my skin and makes it look red. It feels really soft after that, though but I don’t think it’s my type of toner. However, I’ll be trying out more;
Balea Aqua Sheet Mask and Balea Active Charcoal Sheet Mask – I already shared with you how much I love these sheet masks in my Budget Skincare Stars post;
Philosophy Renewed Hope in a Jar – It has a nice subtle scent and feels hydrating but I think it broke me out which is a shame because I really liked the texture and the feel of the cream;
Clinique Pep-Start Hydroblur Moisturiser – Being a huge fan of Clinique moisturisers and the Pep-Start eye cream, I had high hopes for this one and even meant to get the full size straight away. Luckily, I got this sample first because to me, it feels like a silicone primer, doesn’t give me much hydration and I find it pretty hard to apply it evenly.

These are my recent beauty empties and I see that I really miss some of the products already.

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Budget Skincare Stars

A couple of weeks ago, I shared with you some of my favourite affordable makeup products, you can see the blog post here. Then I thought it might be nice to talk about a few lovely budget skincare items. We all love to invest in face care but that doesn’t mean that drugstores don’t offer some beautiful choices.

Last year, Simple Kind To Skin Micellar Water finally came to Norway and it immediately turned into my favourite affordable cleansing water. It’s very gentle yet effective in removing makeup, feels refreshing, soothing and non-sticky. I always wash my face after removing makeup with micellar water but I like that this one contains Niacinamide (Vitamin B3) because it’s anti-inflammatory, improves the appearance of enlarged pores, works against dullness of the skin, fine lines, hyperpigmentation and redness.

The past couple of years have been quite successful when it comes to finding really good hydrating serums at the drugstore. However, my favourite one must be the Balea Aqua Hydrating Serum. It is a brilliant facial serum that contains hydrating and soothing ingredients like Hyaluronic Acid and Vitamin E and leaves my skin moisturised without feeling sticky or greasy. The texture of the serum is quite light and runny but the bottle comes with a pump that is comfortable to use and also hygienic. It takes a few seconds to fully absorb but there is no residue left and my skin feels refreshed and soothed. I’ve already used up 3-4 bottles of it and I’ll keep repurchasing the serum. I have to say, I don’t think it would be enough if you have really dry skin but for me, it’s working very well. I also love the fresh scent.

Applying a facial oil is one of my favourite steps in my evening skincare routine, so when I learned about the Alverde Wild Rose Facial Oil more than a year ago from my mum who loves it, I got one for myself and I’ve already used up almost 3 bottles of it. It’s meant to be suitable for dry skin but I have to say, this oil never broke me out or made my skin greasy. It doesn’t feel heavy, it’s quite light and I’d still apply a night cream on top. The oil has a lovely subtle rose scent, it’s vegan and contains ingredients from certified organic agriculture like Jojoba Oil, Almond Oil, Peach Kernel Oil and Apple Seed Extract. The brand is also known for the fact that their products are free from silicones, mineral oils, synthetic fragrances and dyes.

Sheet masks are really popular at the moment but they can be very pricey. I was pleased to find a beautiful hydrating mask and also a purifying one that won’t break the bank. They both come from Balea, the moisturising one is from the same range as the face serum. First of all, I have to say that Balea sheet masks seem to be a bit smaller than the rest of the masks I’ve tried but they are somehow the only ones that manage to cover my huge nose. Balea Aqua Hydrating Sheet Mask contains Algae Extract, Almond Oil and Rosehip Oil, feels like a moisturising gel, it’s cooling and soothing. The mask doesn’t move around the face once it’s on and it’s quite comfortable to wear. I like using it when my skin is a bit dry and dehydrated, the first time I tried it, I was surprised how radiant and nourished my skin was on the following day, thanks to such an affordable sheet mask.

Balea Active Charcoal Sheet Mask is part of one of the newest ranges of the brand and I might need to find the rest of the products, too. The mask contains Salicylic Acid and Zinc which is great if you have blemish-prone and oily skin. It does heal spots quicker than usual and it doesn’t make my skin feeling dry or stripped. I really really like this sheet mask.

As a person with combination skin, I love using clay masks a couple of times a week. When the L’Oréal Pure-Clay Masks were released last year, I’ve been a fan of all three, now they’ve expanded the range adding more skincare products which I can’t wait to try. Here I’m showing only one of the face masks but you can read my review on all three here, in case you haven’t already. What I love about this Exfo Face Mask (Glow in the UK) is that it doubles up as an exfoliant, as well, it’s easy to wash off and makes my skin look smooth and glowy.

There are great drugstore options on the skincare shelves sometimes and I’d be really happy to know more about some of your finds.

The Floral Perfume That Surprises


Another fragrance review? Well, it seems that everyone in my family is currently rediscovering some perfumes and falling in love with ones that aren’t newly launched but worth a mention.

I love roses, rose water and skincare infused with it but somehow I’ve always thought that rose scents are too mature for me and even heavy. That’s why I wasn’t particularly interested in Valentino Donna EDP when it launched a couple of years ago. But when I was picking up a perfume for my dad about a week ago, I saw the beautiful bottle on the shelves, felt the gorgeous scent and purchased it.

Inside the studded heavy glass bottle the magic happens while accords of Italian Bergamot meet Bulgarian Rose, Iris Absolute, Patchouli, Leather and Vanilla. It is a floral scent but not one you’d expect, it is a powdery fragrance but not your typical one. Valentino Donna EDP is a surprise for the senses, it’s feminine, soft, leathery, modern. As it dries, the rose becomes more prominent, the scent is elegant, balanced, delicate. You may think it’s quite challenging to wear rose scents but this one is quite easy to wear while still remains unique.

There are notes in Valentino Donna EDP that remind me of La Vie est Belle but without being so sweet.
The longevity of the fragrance is amazing and I think it’s a great choice for spring and summer.

Donna is a classic like a Valentino gown but it’s also vibrant and fun. Don’t be afraid to take a look at this perfume just because you don’t like floral or powdery scents. Valentino Donna isn’t too overwhelming and is different from any other floral fragrance.

Not for Me #3


I haven’t done a blog post with disappointing products for over a year which means I’m quite careful with what I purchase and use. But sometimes beauty regrets happen and I wanted to share my recent ones with you.

Beauty Formulas is a brand I don’t usually see people talk about but there are products from them that I really like. It is no secret by now that I’m not the biggest fan of wet wipes but I always carry a pack with me when I travel. I saw these affordable Australian Tea Tree Cleansing Wipes that claim to “remove excess oil, dirt and makeup” and because I like using skincare products with Tea Tree Oil in their formula, I picked them up. The wipes are not too wet which isn’t a problem, considering I’ve used almost dry ones (oil-infused) that removed makeup really well, the scent is medicinal and people who don’t like Tea Tree smell wouldn’t love it, I personally don’t mind it. The towelettes feel refreshing indeed and that’s it. They don’t remove makeup and I was really surprised by that. I expected them to not take off mascara properly, for example but my foundation is still on my face after using the wipes, as well. If you’re looking for refreshing wet wipes for your face, maybe you will like these but if you need them to remove makeup, you will be disappointed. I’ve heard their Argan Oil ones are very good, so perhaps I need to try those instead.

I forgot that I still had this Boots Tea Tree & Witch Hazel Refreshing Jelly Moisturiser, I already mentioned before that I didn’t like it but then I decided to give it another try. Sadly, the results were the same, it didn’t mattify my skin, I got many blackheads after using it and it’s not even that moisturising. I’ll stick to the face wash from the same range, it’s quite refreshing and non-drying.

It wouldn’t be a lie if I say that the past year has been the hardest one in my life, so far. I won’t go into details but it’s been terrible and one day I saw a large patch of grey hair on my head. Honestly, I don’t know if it all appeared by once or not because I just didn’t have the time and didn’t even come to the idea of seeing myself and how my hair looked back then. But I already take good care of my hair, I think and one more step like colouring added to the routine, still seems hard to me. So when I saw this L’Oréal Magic Retouch Instant Root Concealer in Dark Brown, I had to try it. I love L’Oréal hair masks and many hair products from their professional range and I had high hopes for this one. Basically, you shake the bottle, hold it about 10 cm away from the hair and lightly spray the roots. Then you allow it to dry, it’s suggested to wait a minute and grey hair should be covered. First of all, I find it hard to use because of the thin nozzle that sprays such a strong flow and I just can’t control where I’m applying the product. Also, it doesn’t feel cold like a dry shampoo, it’s actually freezing. I’m not sure about the colours either, my hair is pretty dark but Dark Brown looks almost black on me. The worst part for me is that it never dries and makes my hair greasy and sticky, the colour transfers onto clothes and hands even hours after application, so if you have any recommendations for a similar product, please leave them here!

Shiseido Ever Bloom EDT


When I first see or hear Shiseido, I can’t help but relate them to skincare. I’ve been loving their Ibuki range in the past few months but somehow their fragrances have always been neglected by me. And now I realise that it’s been a mistake. Because Shiseido Ever Bloom EDT is now my go-to spring scent.

The stunning glass bottle is in the original shape but this time in frosted pink and white and captures the Shiseido vision of inner beauty, delicacy and femininity.

I don’t usually go for powdery floral scents but this one is so much more than that. It’s fresh, clean, a bit fruity and has this subtle elegance that makes it graceful but still everyday appropriate and youthful.

Shiseido Ever Bloom EDT is composed of two accords: Radiance and Presence. The radiance accord, the outer circle, is luminous and bright with notes of Cyclamen, Peony and Osmanthus. The presence accord, the inner circle, is tender, addictive and sophisticate, formed of Orange Blossom Absolute, Gardenia and White Musk. Together they create a radiant and pure white floral fragrance.

For me the EDP and EDT versions of the fragrance are quite different and I much prefer this one. Unfortunately, it doesn’t last too long on my skin but I still think it’s a divine scent.

If you like soft floral scents and even if you don’t like delicate sweet and powdery ones, go give Shiseido Ever Bloom EDT a sniff. It’s beautiful, elegant, clean and can be worn by ladies at any age.

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