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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Monthly Favorites: September 2017

It’s that time of month! Here is our very first Monthly Favorites. Let’s just dive right into the skincare, makeup, and miscellaneous items that have impressed us in September:

Skincare

Tatcha Rice Enzyme Powder: This exfoliating scrub has been go my go-to for a good while. I had been experimenting with some others, but I kept find myself returning to this when I wanted effective exfoliation without stripping my skin. This is a dry powder to which you add a couple drops of water to create a creamy and light mixture. The best thing about it, I think, is that the powder melts into the water, preventing you from over-abrasion and making sure your skin feels clean but moisturized.

Soap and Glory Peaches and Clean Cleansing Milk: I just discovered this on an impulse Target run, and it is absolutely amazing. I’ve only been using it for the past two weeks, but I know this will be one of my holy-grail makeup-removing cream. It removes makeup brilliantly, including waterproof mascara! It is incredibly moisturizing so that your face doesn’t feel stripped or oily afterwards. But the absolute best part of it is the SMELL! It smells exactly like fresh, white peaches; not an artificial peachy scent, like the Haribo Peach Gummies (which I am a little addicted to), but a true peach scent, as if you were rubbing a peach all over your face. Sounds weird. Smells divine.

Lancome Energie de Vie Pearly Essence: I tried this essence when it just came out a couple years ago and I was initially quite unimpressed, but recently I decided to give it another go simply because the reviews were stellar. This time around I LOVE it. First of all, it is incredibly hydrating, but in a plumping way, not an oily way. You can see the difference almost immediately and a little goes a very long way. It is quite viscous and spreads beautifully. Second of all, it makes such a great canvas for makeup, helping foundation sit better.

Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser: I’ve always had a weakness for Glossier packaging so when I bought this, it was definitely for the cute bottle and the stickers. However, I was pleasantly surprised at the gentle effectiveness of this cleanser. I have sensitive skin that always seems to sting whenever I wash my face with water I’m not used to (aka Waco water). This cleanser took care of that problem immediately! It’s soothing on the skin, cleans effectively, and smells slightly like roses. Come for the aesthetic, stay for the value!

Glossier Balm Dot Com: From someone with perpetually dry and cracked lips (not to mention a slight chapstick addiction that I need to deal with), Glossier’s Balm Dot Com is the perfect solution. It’s hydrating, long lasting, and rejuvenating. I dab a little on my lips before I go to sleep and then rub whatever’s left on my finger onto my cuticles. The result? Super smooth lips. And cuticles. I got it in the rose scent, so it has a slight pink tint, which is perfect for days I don’t want to wear makeup, but also need a little extra color.

 

Makeup

L’Oreal Lash Paradise – Waterproof: This is an amazing mascara for being drugstore. It is very volumizing and lengthening without being clumpy at all. I may even like it better than my holy-grail Burberry Cat-Lashes. It is not a dramatic mascara that screams “Look at my lashes! They are fabulous!” Rather, it is a very natural but effective mascara for the “why yes, my lashes are naturally this fluffy and full.” I’m in love with this.

Becca First Light Priming Filter: This is amazing. Absolutely floored. As you can see I’ve used half a bottle already and it’s only been a month and a half. At first glance it looks odd, since it’s a kind of iridescent purple. Originally I thought it was a fluke, but I was convinced by another blogger to try it out. I’m so glad I did! It looks like an Instagram filter on bare skin and makes matte foundations glowy without losing the anti-oil aspect. It evens skin tone and is perfect for those no-makeup days when you want your skin to breathe but look amazing. It is so moisturizing and smells so good as well. I would recommend this to any skin type. It is the best primer I’ve ever tried.

Glossier Lip Gloss: I promise I don’t have a Glossier habit (or do I??). I impulsively bought this lip gloss one night, thinking I’d regret leaving my trusty matte lipsticks as soon as my hair started getting stuck in the shiny gloss. While I wasn’t a fan of the 2000’s drippy-lip look, I was pleased to find that this lip gloss, while it’s glossier (heh, heh…) than your normal balm, it’s not insanely shiny and doesn’t make you look like you licked your lips a billion times. It goes on pretty glossy but in a few minutes dries to a nice dewy finish. I don’t have to reapply super often during the day and it’s perfect either over another lipstick or on its own!

Marc Jacobs Highliner Gel Eye Crayon Liner: Although it has a mouthful of a name, this eyeliner is an easy, no hassle essential in my everyday makeup. I have oily skin, which means most of the time, my eye makeup ends up transferring down my face during the day. I’m sure it looks great on some, but the goth panda look isn’t for me. This Marc Jacobs eyeliner stays put, come rain, sweat, hurricanes, you name it. It glides on super smoothly has great pigmentation. Even though it’s slightly on the pricey side, it’s worth it.

Miscellaneous

Niall Horan – Too Much to Ask: I’ve been listening to this so much. One Direction was my guilty pleasure for a long time and now their solo albums have been fantastic and unique. Too Much to Ask is very nostalgic and lovely and perfect to listen to alone on a rainy day.

Sezane – LADP Wrap Dress: I’m in love with this dress that I daringly purchased from Sezane, which is my new favorite store. It’s an online, French boutique that sells the most beautiful and most well made clothing. I’d been looking for a true wrap dress and a red dress (both trends that have been big this summer and are carrying into the fall), and this checked both boxes. It fits beautifully and I get so, so many compliments. Additionally, it was created in collaboration with L.A. Dance Company, run by one of my favorite coreographers. In short, this is the perfect little-not-black-dress.

Maison Margiela – ‘Replica’ Jazz Club: This fragrance is, in the words of a dear friend of mine, my “sexy perfume.” It is technically a men’s perfume, but I ADORE it. It has notes of tobacco, whisky, and leather, making it the dream fall scent. Anytime I need a mood or confidence booster, I spritz a little of this. It is quite strong, so one or two spritzes is enough, and it lasts all day long.

Well, that wraps up this month! It is rather a long list, but hopefully you found it inspiring. Comment below if you were impressed by these as well! Thank you so much, again, for visiting. Let’s dive into October!