Tag Archives: clinique

Empties #17

As we’re approaching the end of the month and the year, here’s another portion of empty products.

Skincare and Makeup Products

Zdrave Acne Stop Micellar Water – This one was too fragranced and not that effective, won’t repurchase but I like other products from the range;
Estée Lauder Double Wear Long-Wear Makeup Remover Wipes – They are oil-infused which makes taking off makeup quite easy, they feel a bit more dry and at first I didn’t think they could remove makeup that well but they actually do. I like taking them away with me when I travel;
Avène Cleanance Cleansing Gel – One of my favourite cleansers, it’s gentle but purifying, it’s soap-free and mild. I’d recommend it if you have combination or oily skin and you struggle with blemishes sometimes;
Zdrave Acne Stop Cleansing Gel – I actually have a full review on these two cleansing gels here, this is another amazing budget soap-free cleanser;
Clinique Pep-Start 2-in-1 Exfoliating Cleanser – I love Clinique but this range is such a hit and miss. Sadly, this was a disappointing product for me and I ended up using it as a body polisher. It just didn’t do much for my face, plus, because of my skin issues at the moment, I’m trying to avoid cleansers that contain sulphates;
Zdrave Acne Stop Lotion – Sadly, this one contains alcohol but I quite liked it because of the Salicylic Acid. It calms my troubled skin and I already have a second bottle of it;
Armina Bio Organic Chamomile Water – Floral waters are a huge love of mine, they make my skin soft and hydrated. Chamomile water is also very good for me when my eyes are tired or a bit red, I soak two cotton pads and place them over my eyes for some minutes. It’s been helping us with our cats, as well, especially with one that is blind and needs his eyes cleaned once or twice a day and everything else is too harsh and drying. So, this is not only a skincare gem, it’s simply great to have it at home;
Pixi Skintreats Glow Mud Mask – That’s a great skincare find for me, need a full size now because I love how quick and easy to use it is and I don’t need hours to wash it off, as it doesn’t get so dry and tight like most mud masks do;
Argiletz Laboratories Pink Clay Face Mask – A lovely purifying but also hydrating face mask perfect for my troubled skin because it doesn’t dry it out. Too bad it didn’t last that long but it’s definitely a nice one and I’d repurchase or try some of the other clay masks from the brand;
KICKS Drink Up Instant Moisture Mask – This is the second tube I have from this mask because it’s lightweight but hydrating and sometimes I need a bit more moisture because of the Differin I’ve been using for a month or so. The brand’s face masks were initially sent to me to try, so if you want to read a full review, here’s a link to it;
Balea Aqua Hydrating Sheet Mask – I’m seeing so many different reviews and opinions on this face mask but I personally love it. It’s cooling, hydrating, comfortable to wear and it’s very affordable. I’ve stocked up on it, as I can’t find it in many countries;
Dr. Jart + Clearing Solution – Really enjoyed using it because it calmed my blemishes without drying my skin out. There were about 10-15 ml of the solution left in the sachet which I used as a serum afterwards, I just decanted it into a glass bottle with a pipette and used it at night when my skin looked a bit spotty;
Purederm Deep Purifying Black O2 Bubble Mask – The sensation was strange, it wasn’t that nice and I didn’t see any results. Too bad because Purederm have some really nice products;
Balea Beauty Effect Eye Gel-Pads – They feel cooling and hydrating thanks to the Hyaluronic Acid, they’re fragrance-free and I’d love to use them now, actually;
L’Oréal Revitalift Laser Renew Eye – Applicator feels great in the morning because it’s a bit cold, it’s comfortable to dispense the amount of product you need and feels firming after a few weeks of using it;
No7 Beautiful Skin Overnight Revitalising Eye Balm – Too bad it’s an underrated brand because they have some amazing skincare products and this is one of them. It’s moisturising but it’s also really nice if you’re having tired eyes, it feels soothing and a bit cooling;
Balea Vital Eye and Lip Contour Balm – I didn’t use this one around my lips and the range is actually suggested for more mature skin but some of the products are lovely and I wanted to try more. I like to use this balm during the colder months because it makes the skin under my eyes much softer and hydrated;
Bioderma Sébium Pore Refiner – I have mixed feelings towards this product but I feel like I just can’t make it work for me. There’s a post with my thoughts on it here;
Eucerin Sun Fluid SPF 50 – Well, Eucerin products are simply lovely, I still haven’t found an item from them that’s disappointing. I’ve been having a lot of problems with finding a sunscreen that doesn’t clog my pores and luckily, this was one that didn’t cause more issues for my skin;
Weleda Skin Food – A must-have in every home! Great ingredients list, fantastic soothing and nourishing properties, cult product that doesn’t need any further explanation;
MAC Instacurl Lash MascaraMAC mascaras are sometimes terrible on my lashes but when they’re good, they simply rock. This has been a favourite for months, it’s my second tube of it, I don’t have a third because I found even better ones (one is from MAC again) but one day, I’ll be surely going back to this one because it gives me great separation and curl;
Estée Lauder Sumptuous Extreme Mascara – You can tell I love well-separated lashes, as this is another volumising and separating mascara. It’s really long-lasting and doesn’t smudge and this was probably my third tube of it;
Aura Correct Me! Concealer – A lovely budget concealer that I’m quite sad I didn’t get a back up of. It has medium coverage, it’s creamy and works just as well under the eyes or around the face. Need to repurchase;

Hair Products

Bochko Lavender Baby Shampoo – I’ve been testing out so many new haircare products that I can’t finish up any but I’ve been loving this baby shampoo, it’s sulphate-free, makes my hair really soft and shiny, has a delicate scent and I now have to stock up whenever I’m in my home country;
Kérastase Aura Botanica Gentle Aromatic Shampoo and Kérastase Oil Mist – Both of these products are repurchases and the latter is not featured on the photo because I just used it up but I have to say, Aura Botanica is one of my favourite haircare ranges and I’d rather leave you my reviews on every single one of the products from the line here;
Alverde Fig Body Butter – This was part of a set of three mini body butters and I grabbed it first because I love fig scents. Unfortunately, it doesn’t smell like figs to me, at all but it’s not an unpleasant scent. Also, Alverde body butters always have nice texture and hydrating properties, so I’m happy that I could try it;
Rituals The Ritual of Dao Bed & Body Mist – Another mini from a set. I use Rituals mists only to spritz our bedsheets with because they’re a little bit different from most bed mists, they don’t actually smell of Lavender (which I love but sometimes I like to switch it up a bit) and I think it could be a nice change.

These are all my recent empties and I feel like next time I’ll be featuring some cute minis from my beauty advent calendars that I’m already so excited to start opening!

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Clinique Fresh Pressed 7-Day System with Pure Vitamin C 10%

Autumn and winter are incredibly charming and magical but when it comes to our skin, they aren’t that kind to us.

It’s quite unusual for me to review a skincare product only a week or two after using it but since Clinique Fresh Pressed System has two variants – a 7-day and a 4-week packs and I couldn’t justify the price of the bigger one, here I’m sharing my experience with the Vitamin C powder cleanser and booster duo.

I got the Clinique Fresh Pressed 7-Day System in the summer but started using it just a couple of weeks ago. I noticed that my skin got quite dull-looking, I’ve been going through a lot of stressful days lately, I’m still trying to tackle the clogged pores situation from July and overall, it’s just all been too much. So, I decided to try the system and I also stopped wearing makeup except for mascara and lip products. I do this for 7 to 10 days sometimes, it was recommended by a specialist and I feel like it helps a bit with my skin issues.

What I was hoping to see as a result from the Clinique Vitamin C pack was a brighter complexion, radiant-looking skin and just even-toned, healthier and smoother skin. I love the idea of keeping the ingredients fresh in their packaging, so I was quite intrigued by this concept.
It’s actually really simple to use, it’s a two-step system, I got 7 sachets of the Clinique Renewing Powder Cleanser with pure Vitamin C and one 7-day vial of Daily Booster with Pure Vitamin C 10%. The latter is still going strong because I use it only once a day, as I don’t want it to interfere with the Differin Gel I’m using in the evening.

I used the powder cleanser each morning by pouring it into a wet hand and then adding a bit more water to work it into lather. Then I massaged it over my face and left it on for about a minute so that the Vitamin C could fully unlock its potency. At the end I just rinsed it off.
It sounded a bit more complicated with the booster but it actually wasn’t. The only issue I had with it was that the cap wasn’t really stable, not sure if I got a bad one or it’s the same with all but the cap has a significant role. At the beginning, you should leave the cap on and remove the foil that is on top. Then it’s time to firmly press twice the inner bulb. You hear a sound which proves that the Vitamin C powder is released into the emulsion. You can’t see it but you feel it. After that you have to shake 15 seconds (you should do this before every use, as well) to combine the powder with the emulsion. Make sure you hold the cap, otherwise, it gets messy and you lose quite a bit of product. Then you remove the cap and mix 2 drops of the booster with your regular moisturiser and apply it morning and evening. Like I said, I use it only in the mornings and I’m still using it two weeks later. It’s suggested not to apply it on its own, as it’s a booster, so I wasn’t brave enough to use it without mixing it with my day cream, especially because of my skin problem at the moment.
The serum has a slight metallic scent but when I add it to my cream, together they smell like orange juice which was quite unexpected for me.

Vitamin C is an ingredient that easily oxidises when it’s exposed to air which can make it ineffective, so the idea of keeping it always fresh sounds great. With this packaging Clinique tries to take the freshly pressed juice concept and turn it into a delivery system of fresh Vitamin C for your skin.

I wasn’t really sure if I could see major difference in the way my skin looked and felt just a week after using a skincare product. The first couple of days didn’t show any changes and I was a bit disappointed. 7 days are simply not enough to see huge results. And I have to tell you, if you use products with Vitamin C regularly, you probably won’t see any results. But after my basic skincare routine in the last months and the hyperpigmentation I’ve been dealing with, I can say, I noticed a difference. 7 days after using the powder cleanser and now over two weeks after using the booster (there’s definitely a lot more product in the vial even if you’re using it twice a day) my hyperpigmentation has faded a lot quicker than it normally does. My skin looks brighter and radiant and I can see it because I’m not wearing any makeup at the moment.

The downside is that some areas of my face got pretty dry and I don’t really need another drying product, considering Differin has been enough for me already. I also can’t report anything on the smoothing and reducing lines front because the time is simply too short to be able to see lifting and firming effect.

Overall, I liked it because it made me look healthier, my skin looks brighter and more radiant now and this is what I needed. If you haven’t used Vitamin C on your skin, you’ll probably notice a difference after 7 days like I did. But if you love your Vitamin C serums (usually the concentration there is higher), I don’t think there will be any visible changes. Also, 7 days are simply not enough if you expect a smoothing, tightening and firming effect.

So, it all depends on what you’re looking for. I’m happy with how much brighter and healthier my skin is looking after using the Clinique Fresh Pressed 7-Day System but I wish it didn’t dry it out that much.
Have you tried the Clinique Fresh Pressed 7-Day System?

Empties #16

I’ve used up some beauty products again and I thought I’d share with you a bit more on them.

Skincare and Makeup Products

L’Oréal Micellar Water for Sensitive and Dry Skin – I got a big bottle of this one, hoping it would be very good, especially considering it’s meant to be suitable even for sensitive skin. Unfortunately, it stings my eyes, it’s tough to remove mascara (although I try not to use micellar water around my eyes) and it leaves some residue on the skin. I always wash my face after taking my makeup off but it’s just not a pleasant feeling;
Clarins Anti-Pollution Cleansing Milk – This, on the other hand, is really mild yet effective and simply lovely to use. It has a beautiful and delicate scent, it doesn’t irritate my eyes, feels soft on the skin and the mini was great for travelling;
Avène Cleanance Cleansing Gel – One of my favourite cleansing gels at the moment. It’s soap-free, it’s suitable for blemish-prone skin, it can be used on both, face and body and you can read more details on my experience with the product here;
Avène Thermal Spring Water – This summer has been so hot and I really like it but it’s been a bit too much for my skin. This thermal water is not only cooling but also soothing and refreshing. I’ve used up more than 4 bottles of it in the past few months and now I’m halfway through a huge one that would probably be the last one for the season. I just don’t seem to reach for thermal water sprays in the colder months or at least not so often;
La Roche-Posay Serozinc – Another mist but this time specially designed to help healing blemishes and mattifying the skin. I’ve mentioned so many times that I love this product, it’s been featured on my blog multiple times and I will keep repurchasing it;
Balea Active Charcoal Sheet Mask – This is my favourite affordable sheet mask for days when I need ingredients like Salicylic Acid and Zinc. It’s lovely to use, it helps reducing the redness caused by blemishes, it also heals them a lot quicker and I always try to have a few of this sheet mask in my skincare stash;
Origins Flower Fusion Raspberry Sheet Mask – The Flower Fusion Sheet Masks are still not mentioned much in the community but in case you’re curious about them, I shared my opinion and experience here. The Raspberry one is probably my favourite of all because it’s perfect for my combination skin, it’s really refreshing and contains vitamins and antioxidants;
Superdrug Simply Pure Hydrating Serum – This is one of my favourite budget-friendly hydrating serums although there’s another one I like just a little bit more. This is my second bottle of it, I think I purchased about 5 when I was in London simply because I can find it only in the UK. My skin is hydrated, plump and radiant when I’m using this little gem;
Eucerin DermoPURIFYER Day Cream – I haven’t talked about this cream in a long time but it still must be the one that holds the record for being in Empties posts the most. I can use it in the summer or winter and it will still be effective. It’s soothing, hydrating without being greasy, absorbs quickly, regulates sebum production and I’d recommend checking it out if you have oily/combination and blemish-prone skin;
Estée Lauder Revitalising Supreme + – This is just a beautiful product. The mini of 15 ml is great for travelling but it actually lasts a really long time. The cream visibly makes the skin look smoother, more radiant and firm. Sometimes it can be a bit too rich for my skin but mum has dry skin and she absolutely loves it;
Nuxe Rêve de Miel Ultra Comforting Night Cream – Another product that is actually mum’s but I occasionally steal and use when my skin is very dry and dehydrated. The texture is rich, so I don’t use a lot on my combination skin but it’s still enough to make me look more fresh on the next day. It feels nourishing and leaves the skin plump and soft, I also love the scent because it’s nice but not too overpowering;
Vichy Dermablend Corrective Resurfacing Active Foundation 16HR and Fluid Corrective Foundation 16HR – Both of these are great for covering acne or scarring, redness, blemishes. I’m happy I had the chance to try both although the first one is too thick for me, it’s just heavy and difficult to work with on my skin, it feels more like a mousse and the shades look a bit too dark. The fluid one is a foundation I’m thinking about getting full size of because it’s really easy to use, it has great coverage although I don’t usually wear such high coverage bases and it just hides everything I would want to hide when I have bad skin days;
Dior Forever Cushion – I love Dior Forever range, the Forever fluid foundation is my all-time favourite foundation, it’s brilliant and I can talk about it for days. Its cushion for came in handy during my travels, it has different texture but it’s still long-lasting. You can read more here but the only thing I didn’t like is the fact that it didn’t last very long. It’s quite pricey and I like that you can purchase a refill but I wish it lasted longer;
Maybelline Lash Sensational Mascara – I think this is a second tube of this mascara I’ve used up although it’s not my favourite one. And that is simply because the formula is too wet for my taste. I don’t hate it, I quite like it because it makes my lashes fluttery but there’s just something missing;
Bourjois Volume 1 Seconde Mascara Ultra BlackBourjois have amazing mascaras and this is great one, it gives me volume, separation, length and it’s super black;

Body Products

Lancôme La Vie Est Belle Shower Gel and Body Lotion Travel Duo – I love the fragrance, I have several of its variations and this mini duo was part of a set along with the perfume. The whole bathroom remained fragranced with this beautiful scent every time I used the two products and I really enjoyed the experience;
KICKS Lemongrass Sugar Scrub with Argan Oil – One of my favourite body scrubs. In case you want to read more about it, take a look at this blog post;
Yves Rocher Cranberry and Almond Body Lotion – This body lotion was part of the brand’s Christmas collection last year and it took me a long time to use it up because I always seemed to find myself applying other body moisturisers. Not that I didn’t like this one but it can be a bit too light sometimes when my skin is more dry and dehydrated;
Clinique Mineral Sunscreen Body Lotion SPF 30 – This is my second bottle of this sunscreen, I loved using it every summer morning when I had to go out in the garden and take care of the kitties we adopt. Most of them have health issues and summer is the best time to enjoy some outdoor activities with the little cuties. This sunscreen is physical, so I don’t need to wait for it to work after 20 or more minutes. I just apply it and I’m good to go. The only thing I don’t like about it is that it stains my clothes a bit;
Alverde Calendula Hand Cream – I picked up this hand cream randomly one day because my hands felt really dry and I was passing by a drugstore. It ended up being pretty nice, I love calendula products because they are very soothing and also antiseptic. The tube is quite small, so it’s also great for the handbag;
L’Occitane Pivoine Flora Hand Cream – Another miniature hand cream. I love L’Occitane hand creams and Peony scent is my favourite along with their Cherry Blossom one because they are delicate and feminine. The texture of their creams is lightweight but nourishing and absorbs quickly while the fragrance lingers around the whole room around you.

These are my recent empties and I hope you’re having a beautiful Sunday!

August Favourites

This is probably my first monthly favourites post that includes only skincare products! Ok, one of them can be seen as both, skincare and makeup item but as I’m still trying to find a way to bring back my skin to its normal condition, I haven’t been using that much makeup lately.

When you’re not really sure what’s going on with your skin and feel like crying, the key word must be “calming”. I’ve mentioned in my previous blog posts that I had a bad reaction to sunscreen and in addition to that, the high temperatures caused me blocked pores, so I’m dealing with something like a rash/sun allergy and still can’t seem to be able to tackle that. Not even the topical antibiotics have helped, so far.

My skincare has been quite minimal these past few weeks. I don’t want my skin to get even more stressed out and as much as I’d like to use acids a few times a week, the only two I’ve been reaching for are Salicylic Acid and Lactic Acid. To gently exfoliate my skin, I’ve been relying mostly on this budget-friendly Zdrave Acne Stop Enzyme Peeling Mask. Enzymes provide a bit softer and lighter exfoliation but still unclog pores, even out the complexion and remove dead skin cells.  Enzyme exfoliants have anti-inflammatory properties and are suitable even for sensitive skin (not always, sadly but that needs a bit more time to be discussed). This mask contains Papaya and Pineapple Enzymes and soothing ingredients such as D-Panthenol and Vitamin PP. I use it a couple of times a week, it’s very easy, I cleanse my skin and then apply a thin layer of the mask all over my face and neck, avoiding the eye area, leave it on for about 5-10 minutes and then simply wash it off with lukewarm water. My skin feels fresh, soft and smooth afterwards.

In this blog post I shared with you my current favourite soap-free cleansing gels which are both affordable, as well. I love the Avène Cleanance Cleansing Gel for Face and Body (this is a new bottle, I’ve used up a couple already) because it calms my skin, doesn’t leave it feeling tight and I love it as my morning cleanse. It contains Zinc Gluconate to calm the irritation and Avène Thermal Spring Water to soothe my troubled skin. If you have oily/combination and blemish-prone skin, I’d highly recommend giving this one a go.

There a couple of mists that I’m using at the moment as toners but also as facial sprays during the day. The Serozinc from La Roche-Posay is an old favourite of mine, I use it to heal blemishes quicker and to mattify my skin without drying it out. It’s once again soothing and calming and I’m incredibly happy I can now find it in my home country. My love for floral waters is no secret by now but a couple of months ago, I tried the Damascena Juniper Water for the first time in my life. It has a delicate natural scent, it feels very soft on the skin and it tones oily skin, prone to imperfections. I love how refreshing, calming and still purifying it feels. The only downside is the actual spray but these waters seem to always have such harsh sprays, so most of the time, I’d saturate a cotton pad and swipe it all over my face.

I received this miniature Clinique Chubby Stick Moisturising Lip Colour Balm in Super Strawberry as a complimentary gift with a purchase, it’s a very popular product from the brand and I’ve been carrying it around with me all the time. The rosy colour brightens up my face without being too obvious, it’s sheer and has subtle sheen that looks very pretty. The formula is fragrance-free and contains Mango Butter and Shea Butter, it’s really nourishing and soft on the lips. I love Clinique and their lip products and skincare, this is a combination of both and it’s simply amazing.

Simple and soothing, these are the words to describe my August favourites and I’m hoping for better luck with my skin in September. Hope yours is doing muuch better than mine!

Sephora Italy Haul | Summer 2017

This past week has been absolutely incredible! After about 14 months of all sorts of issues, I finally felt truly calm and happy. Not sure how long it would last but I’m going to enjoy it while it’s happening.

During my stay in Italy, I purchased a few things from Sephora in store and also placed an online order that was supposed to wait for me after I came back home. Sadly, it was cancelled and I still have no idea why but it would have been nice if they answered their phones.

But let’s focus on the positives. The Caolion Pore Purifying O2 Sparkling Soap has been on my wishlist for a very long time, so I got the mini version of it to try. I didn’t get the full size because two of the ingredients (Shea Butter and Coconut Oil) aren’t the best for my skin but my hopes are high because of the Charcoal, Tea Tree Leaf Oil and Hyaluronic Acid in it. The soap is supposed to be purifying and exfoliating in a gentle way and to remove impurities while balancing sebum production.

I felt like purchasing all the sheet masks but I remembered I still had so many at home, so I only got two. The first one is from Skinfood and it’s the Blueberry one, it’s made to illuminate dull skin. The second one comes from Dr. Jart+ and it’s their Dermask Micro Jet Clearing Solution Sheet Mask that should improve the tone and texture of blemish-prone skin.
I also picked up a trio of minis from Dr. Jart+ that contains the Water Drop Moisturiser, the BB Cream SPF 45 and the Dermaclear Micro Water. The set is great for travelling and I’ve heard many positive reviews on all three products, so I’m very excited to try them out.

I’ve been meaning to purchase the Clinique 2-in-1 Exfoliating Cleanser for over 6 months and somehow I never did. But when I saw it again the other day, I just had to add it to my basket. I still haven’t tried it but I really like some of the other products from the range, so I hope it will be just as good.

As you may see, I adore travel sets and miniatures, so it was only natural for me to get the This Works Can’t Sleep Kit. It contains their famous Deep Sleep Pillow Spray and Stress Check Roll-On that is still new to me but I simply love the calming scent of the pillow spray.

I believe Becca just launched at Sephora Italia, so I was pretty happy to see this Opal Glow on the Go Kit. I haven’t tried anything from the brand but this duo is perfect to get to know their liquids and powders. The set contains minis of the Shimmering Skin Perfector Spotlight and the Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed Highlighter both in the shade Opal.

If you find yourself in Rome and wonder which Sephora to visit, let the Termini one be part of your choices. I went to at least five of their boutiques and all had something different but the only one that had Hourglass was at the Termini station. I was really surprised because I didn’t know this and when I saw the stand, I just had to stand still for some seconds. Then the swatch perty began and I picked up their Ambient Lighting Blush in the shade Mood Exposure. It’s one of those rosy plum shades that looks like a blusher and a bronzer at the same time. The texture is incredibly soft and finely-milled, blends seamlessly onto the skin and has a beautiful sheen that makes you look glowing and healthy. For me, this is a very pricey powder and I’ve been thinking about purchasing one for a long time, so when I got the chance, I took it. I still need time to decide whether it’s life-changing because I love my Max Factor Creme Puff Blushers, too but it’s definitely a treat and a gorgeous present for someone that would appreciate it.

Speaking of treats, here’s a fantastic one. My boyfriend surprised me with a Tom Ford Soleil Blanc Body Oil which will now forever remind of our beautiful time in Rome. The oil is lightweight and non-greasy but leaves the skin nourished and radiant-looking. I always think it’s best to apply oils on damp skin but it works on dry skin just as well. Soleil Blanc is the ultimate summer scent, warm but light, sultry, floral, sensual… I’ll be featuring this product more on the blog soon for sure.

And because I needed a summer fragrance that is a bit more fresh, I went back to an old favourite of mine. Moschino Fresh has joyful citrus notes, exotic ylang-ylang, juicy raspberries and a floral heart. Many people say it doesn’t last long on them but at the end of the day, I can still feel it on myself and the longer I have it on, the better it smells.

These are my purchases from Sephora for now, I hope the issue will be soon fixed, so that I can finally get my hands on some of their online exclusives. Fingers crossed!