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

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Brand Focus: Origins Empties Review

Welcome back! Today I’m sharing my thoughts on the skincare brand Origins. I tried out the products below for a couple months and now have many thoughts and opinions. Keep in mind, everyone has different skin types, and these are what did and didn’t work for me. If I disliked one of your favorites, it’s probably because we have different skin! Just as “background” for these, I have combination skin, somewhat prone to breakouts, and rather sensitive. The list below is listed in the order I used them.

Let’s dive in!

Checks and Balances Frothy Face Wash – This wash was incredibly bland. It smelled, felt, and looked like white laundry detergent. I’m surprised I actually used up all of it. It does a good job of cleaning, but it left my face feeling squeaky and stripped. I wish I’d liked it, especially since it promises to balance out your skin, but it just didn’t sit right with me. Perhaps this was due to the fact that I have sensitive skin, which did not react well to the cleanser. I guess it really didn’t make a good impression as I forgot to save the bottle, and so it’s not in the pics!

SuperSpot Remover Blemish Treatment Gel – I don’t generally like spot treatments, and this treatment reminded me why. I actually ended up returning it, which is why it is not in the pictures. This was PAINFUL. Very painful. I thought it’d be similar to the Kate Somerville EradiKATE spot treatment, which I keep in the cabinet for the days when I have no other choice but to use it. However, this Origins spot treatment was a lot harsher and not that much more effective. If you have less sensitive skin, go for it. But if your skin is anything like mine, steer clear!

Zero Oil Pore Purifying Toner – This was probably the worst of the bunch. Mostly because I discovered that I am allergic to tea tree oil. So my dislike of the product is not entirely the product’s fault. It is a VERY strong toner, which I don’t really like. Like I said, my skin is pretty sensitive, so it did not react well to the strength of the toner, which left me rather raw and red after a quick wipe with a cotton pad. Additionally, the tea tree oil gave me a rash on one of my cheekbones, which thankfully disappeared soon. If you like strong toners and tea tree oil, this would be for you, but personally I didn’t like it as much.

Original Skin Essence Lotion with Dual Ferment – Moving away from the more negative reviews, this lotion is quite good. It smells very refreshing and has a lovely texture. It is very moisturizing and brightening, which I LOVE. It’s comparable to the Lancome Pearly Lotion (read my review of that here), which I definitely prefer, but it is still an excellent lotion.

GinZing Refreshing Scrub Cleanser – I mostly liked this scrub. It smelled very refreshing, kind of citrusy, but not overpoweringly so. I kept this in the shower to help wake me up in the mornings. It was gentler than the Face Wash and had little round beads in it for exfoliating. These beads were the one part of this that I wasn’t a fan of. They felt a bit like plastic and would cling to the skin and not wash off. No matter how much I rinsed my face and wiped it off, I would still find a couple beads sticking to my face. The beads were round, and therefore not abrasive, which I liked, but unfortunately stuck to my face too much.

Clear Improvement Active Charcaol Mask to Clear Pores – As far as masks go, this one is not bad. It is a simple charcoal mask that you spread on and wait to dry. I will say, it is not as effective as the Caudalie Instant Detox or the Glamglow Supermud, but it does the job. It is comparable to the L’Oreal Purifying Clay Mask.

GinZing Refereshing Eye Cream to Brighten and Depuff – This is probably my favorite item I tried from Origins. This is a creamy yet light eye cream. It’s like the Fresh Rose Eyecream and the Kiehls Avocado Eyecream had a perfect baby. It also is brightening and smells divine. I completely forgot to save the tub of it, so it is not in the pictures, but it is linked and you should run – not walk – to go get yourself some.