Cindy’s Empties – Pt. 1

Hey everyone! I’m coming at you with part 1 of a gigantic empties review today. It’s eternally long, so let’s just dive in.

Curology: I’ve been using this for about 7 months now and have seen a massive improvement in my skin. I haven’t had a single breakout in the last 2 months and I haven’t had a significant breakout in the last 5. Really remarkable. The nice thing about Curology is that the formula is custom made for you by a dermatologist who looks at your pictures and works with you to discuss your skin concerns. 10/10 would recommend.

Lancome Energie de Vie Pearly Lotion: I finally finished this off! I did a full review in my September favorites last year (here) and I still love it! It lasted nearly a whole year of almost daily use.

Thayers Witch Hazel: A tried a true cult classic. Love! Took me about 6 months to finish off the bottle. This toner isn’t drying and definitely does the job of evening out skin tone and keeping oiliness at bay, which is a must for my combination skin. I haven’t repurchased since I am going through some other toners at the moment, but will definitely restock once my toner stash decreases.

Avene Eau Thermale: I fell in love with facial mists after using this. It is just a gentle spray that does what it says on the can: reduces redness and soothes sensitive skin. I give my face and neck a once over whenever I come out of the shower before my skincare routine, before and after derma rolling, and whenever my skin just needs a little pick me up. It’s an affordable luxury that just adds a bit of extra pampering to your routine.

Caudalie Vinosource Crème Sorbet: This was a lovely moisturizer from one of my favorite French brands. Pros: it was light weight yet creamy and moisturizing. Cons: the bottle is quite small for the price. I finished it off almost a year ago and haven’t repurchased. I still quite like it, but there are more affordable moisturizers of better quality that I have found.

Caudalie CremeExfoliante: This was a heavy duty exfoliant, which I have found I don’t like all that much. It definitely did it’s job, but I prefer a more gentle exfoliant or a chemical exfoliant. If you like rough ones, this one is for you. It’s thick and creamy and jam-packed with exfoliating bits.

Caudalie Mousse Nettoyante: Caudalie’s gentle foaming cleanser is just that: gentle and foaming. I liked it a lot as it was quite gentle and did the job without stripping my skin. I wasn’t a massive fan of the instant foam – it reminded me of hand soap. But other than that, it was quite good.

Caudalie Lotion Tonique Hydratante: A nice moisturizing toner. I wasn’t particularly blown away by this, but it did what it set out to do: moisturize. I actually liked the Thayers Witch Hazel a little more since it did basically the same thing for half the price. If you’ve got a few extra bucks for a toner, I’d recommend this one, though. It lasted a good 6 months and I enjoyed using it.

Caudalie Reservatorl Lift: This was a sample moisturizer I got from somewhere (Cult Beauty maybe?) and it was quite generously sized. As a more oily-skinned person I didn’t love it. It was very thick, very creamy, and very oily, which just didn’t sit too well on my face. I also wasn’t a massive fan of the scent. Definitely won’t buy a full size. If, however, you are more dry-skinned, I think you’d quite like this one.

Glamglow Supermud Activated Charcoal Treatment: This thing is potent! I got it when my skin was having a particularly bad time last summer. It does really work, though the scent is incredibly strong. This was the smallest size and it went down fast. The product does tend to dry out in the can, so be sure to properly close the lid and use in a speedy manner. It’s a great allover mask for just sucking all the nastiness out of your pores or as a spot treatment for particularly stubborn spots overnight, which is how I primarily used it.

 

Phew! That was part 1! Keep an eye out for parts 2-4 which will be coming your way soon!

 

— Cindy Liu

Cindy’s Summer Evening Skincare Routine

 

After a much-needed hiatus I am back with my evening skincare routine! For the summer months, I’ve streamlined it (and I really mean streamlined) down to a few light-weight essentials. To begin, I’ve got the ever-annoying combination skin that tends to veer oily, so moisture, contrary to popular belief, is very important.

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I start off with the Khiels Ultra Facial Cleanser, which is just a basic face wash. However, it has squalane in it, which makes it more moisturizing than your average cleanser. It also does a pretty fantastic job at removing makeup, although I prefer pre-cleansing with a cotton-pad soaked in micellar water first.

Next I apply one and a half pumps of my Curology formula. I’ve been using it for about six months now and it has made a massive difference. I rarely break out now, and if I do it’s because of travel or bad diet habits (cheese is so good, y’all, but so bad).

Every other night I’ll use The Ordinary retinoid 2% emulsion. It is not the best retinol I’ve ever used, but it does its job and it is hella affordable, so definitely will continue to use and repurchase.

Before moisturizer I dab on a bit of the Khiels Creamy Avocado Eye Treatment, which is one of my favorite eye creams. I use my ring finger, since it is the most delicate, and use light inward strokes.

My current go-to moisturizer is the Khiels Skin Rescuer (there seems to be a Khiels theme emerging). It is light but super moisturizing and very safe for sensitive skin. I don’t usually have super sensitive skin, but I like this one because it is light-weight and gentle on sun-burned skin–which I try to avoid, but sometimes life happens.

My lips are perpetually chapped, so I like to slather on a ton of lip balm before bed. For the last 6 months I’ve been using the Glossier balm dot com in mint non-stop (and the tube still isn’t finished!). It has such a refreshing feeling and really gets the job done. I wake up with a smooth and flake-free pout.

I top everything off with a spritz of the Mario Badescu Rose Water, which is heavenly and just the perfect thing for hot summer nights.

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My summer-time treats are the Glow Recipe Watermelon Mask, which is so extremely amazing, and the Fresh Brown Sugar Lip Scrub. The mask is moisturizing, exfoliating, fragrant, and glow-granting. I love this stuff. Just a spatula full will do the trick. My skin drinks it up right away and in the morning it is plump and glowing and smooth. Miracle worker! The lip scrub is an amazing physical exfoliant. It isn’t rough at all because the sugar particles will start to dissolve and it is super moisturizing while it sloughs away dead skin. Sometimes I feel like I don’t even need lip balm after using this scrub, but I just like the Glossier one too much.

And that is it! My super-simple, hydrating summer evening skincare products. Which of these do y’all use and which do you want to try?

-Cindy