I actually started drafting this post on the first week of Raya when I finally got an off day, but I didn’t manage to finish this and I’ve been either playing catch up at work or going visiting every night (until today I’m still trying to understand why I had so many houses to visit??) so here I am, in mid-July, talking about all the things that I’ve finished up throughout the past 3 months. (Longgg post ahead)
I do these posts because I want to know what works for me and what doesn’t so that I can make better shopping decisions in the future. Seeing how much I use up also shows me how long it takes for me to finish something and hopefully prevents me from buying backups or stocking up on a type of product because “I might run out of it” (I am super guilty for doing this with lotions)
From this post onwards I’m also going to be including the price of these items so that when I look at this post at the end of the year I can look at how much I had spent on all the things that sucked and remind myself to stop impulse buying when I’m at Watsons/Guardian. You may think oh it’s just Watsons it’s not Sephora or MAC but no… when you think “oh this is cheap” you buy a lot of other things because they’re all “cheap” and when the cashier says “So that’s $87.50” you’re like where did my money go????
If you’re reading this on the lookout for something to try, keep in mind that I have:
- combination skin (oily T-zone, sometimes dry af cheeks),
- pores that are constantly clogged, and
- possibly sensitive skin, because a lot of products break me out and they’re the painful kind of breakouts not just closed comedones
This month I’ve used up S$165.89 worth of products and decluttering S$41.14 worth of products. This amount is based on what I paid for these items, i.e. samples and gifts are S$0.00 and the cost of items from beauty boxes/sets are calculated as “price of box / no. of items” instead of price per ml.
This quarter I didn’t finish any makeup items which clearly shows how slowly I use up makeup even though I wear makeup at least 5 times a week. I’m not really surprised since I finished two big ticket items in the previous quarter (a lipstick and a foundation) and nothing else was close to being finished back in March. I am, however, getting rid of three lip products as they have all gone bad.
Colourpop Satin Lip in Echo Park (S$8.57) was a little drying for my lips but nothing too terrible. The smell was chemical-y from the get go but one day I opened it up and it smelt bad. I haven’t even had it for a year.
Colourpop Ultra Matte Lip in Perky (S$8.57) was horrendous. It was so drying that I couldn’t even wear it for more than 20 mintues because I felt like I was going to damage my lips if I wore it for a full day. I tried combining it with less drying liquid lipsticks but it still felt uncomfortable. I noticed one day that it actually started to separate and when I opened it the smell was super nasty. I bought this and Echo Park back in November, which means these fellas only have a life span of about 4 months in this climate. Ridiculous. Never repurchasing Colourpop liquid lipsticks.
One of my Clinique Chubby Sticks in Mega Melon (S$24) had gone bad – I brought it to Europe with me and it didn’t do its job at all. It got flaky and smelt pretty waxy and I decided it was time to let it go. This has taught me to not buy backups of something that I love unless I’m really low on the one I’m currently using. Serious heart pain having to toss this.
H&M Gently Does It Cleansing Wipes (S$4.90) | These were so good. Saturated up till the last piece, which rarely happens for wipes in this kind of packaging. It’s so much cheaper than the Simple wipes and it removes my makeup just as well. I’m currently trying to wean off wipes but if I need some in the future I’d buy these again.
Swisse Micellar Water (S$8.15) | I was drawn to this because it had a short ingredients list and I couldn’t get it in Singapore (I got this in Australia). There is a cucumber smell since it has cucumber extract, but after a while I got used to it. This removed my makeup as good as the Bioderma and Garnier one. If I could find it here at this price I would repurchase.
Guardian Cotton Wool Pads (S$1.53) | They get the job done. I have 2.5 packets to go, not purchasing any cotton wool anytime soon.
SKINCARE – FACE
Chanel Hydra Beauty Micro Serum (Sample) | This saved my skin in Europe. My skin is infamous for suddenly becoming drier than a damn desert in Europe even in early summer let alone this year’s absurdly cold spring. This serum isn’t too thick so my skin absorbs it quickly and I can do two thin layers if I really need to. Back home this keeps my skin nice and hydrated even when I use a tiny amount. This shit is not cheap though – on the Chanel website the full size is USD$110!! – so I’ll just stick to these travel sized samples I sometimes get.
Chanel Hydra Beauty Gel Creme (Sample) | This reminds me more of a more cream than a gel, and it’s one of the few cream moisturizers that doesn’t break me out. It’s a little thick so if you have these samples you should cut the tube in half because there is so much product in the corners that you can’t squeeze out. I think after I cut the tube I used it for at least another week. In a cold and dry climate it works very well but in this humid country I don’t think it’s really worth buying since other cheaper moisturizers I’ve tried work well too.
Innisfree The green tea seed cream (Sample) | I got this as part of a welcome pack together with a serum, an eye cream and a sheet mask. I think I got maybe 3 uses out of this. It broke me out pretty badly, the kind of pimples that were super inflamed and they hurt. Would not purchase.
Innisfree The green tea seed serum (Sample) | I don’t remember anything about this serum except that it also broke me out. Would not purchase.
Chanel Sublimage La Creme Yeux (Sample) | The eye cream that makes my panda eyes bearable. This claims to plump the skin and reduce appearance of dark circles and I agree it fulfills those claims. I don’t know why the full size is in a tub because this packaging is so much more sanitary and practical. A little really goes a long way – I use literally a pinhead of product. Going to be sad when my samples run out because I don’t want to buy the full size, I’m afraid it will expire before I’m done.
Innisfree Bija Cica Balm (Sample) | This is a very recent addition, I got this on Tuesday in a trial kit that Innisfree was giving out. I’ve been curious about the claims of this product so obviously I ran to the nearest store when I found out they were giving the kits out to members. This is supposed to be for 1 use but unless you are using it all over your body or you have a really, really big face there is way more product in here. I used it 6 times, so there’s no way that I’m using it incorrectly – my face would have been a mess if I slathered all of this on for 1 use. So far so good, but I’m going to continue using the other 3 samples before I decide if I should buy the full size or not.
Shiseido Ultimune Power Infusing Concentrate (Sample) | I have two more samples of this so I’m going to continue to test this out because I’m not too sure what this actually did for me. The consistency is thicker than the other serums and it doesn’t really feel like it’s being absorbed into my skin. Maybe I’m using too much? Will update when I’m done with the other 2 samples.
LipHop K Mask Vita C Skin / LipHop K Mask Vita F Skin / LipHop Black Cheers Rice Nourishing Facial Mask (S$1.93 each) | Got these when Guardian was having the 3 for 2 promo. They were ok, nothing special. My skin felt hydrated afterwards but the next day it was back to normal. Would not repurchase any of these.
My Beauty Diary Platinum & Pearl Brightening Mask (Gift) | This had two pieces, one for the top half of my face and one for the bottom half and part of my neck. It had earholes so that the mask didn’t fall off, and my chin area looked a little firmer when I took it off. Of course, that result was temporary. The interesting thing was that it didn’t do much for my face but it made my neck look much brighter! I’m torn about this because I had a few huge pimples on my face soon after I tried this (no surprises there), but my neck looked great for like a week or so. If there’s something just for the neck I would be super down to try it.
Royal Skin The Animalian Mask Fox (S$3.92) / SNP Beijing Opera Aqua Mask (S$3.90)| I tried these for the novelty. The SNP one had so much essence I could spread it all over my body twice, but not sure what good it did. Both were fun masks but I wouldn’t purchase them again because I didn’t see any changes to my skin.
HEMA Self Heating Face Mask (S$2.61) | I bought this in Amsterdam out of curiosity because I had never heard of a self-heating face mask before. It is the strangest thing. It’s supposed to be a clay mask but it has a very smooth texture and isn’t very thick. The instructions say that I have to apply it to a wet face so the mask gets more watery and doesn’t dry down like how other clay masks do. The self-heating thing is also weird. The mask heats up when it reacts with water, so after you apply it on your face the sensation fades after a few seconds, but when you wash it off parts that you touch get warm again. I guess it would feel nice in colder weather, but there’s no reason for any heating mask here. Skincare wise, it did nothing for my skin unlike other clay masks. Would not repurchase.
Nature’s Bliss Hydrating Gel Face Mask in Lychee & Pomegranate (S$1.48) | This had a very unique consistency. Appearance-wise it reminded me of kelapa parut with santan. The smell of lychee was nice, even though sometimes it felt a little overpowering. This is definitely not a 1 use sachet though, so ignore the instructions to use up the entire packet for 1 use. I kind of regret doing that, because it wasted so much product. This mask is supposed to slowly be absorbed into your skin, so the mask slowly disappears, but when you apply too thick a layer your skin might not be able to absorb all the product. I have another one in a different scent that I’ll try using multiple times. If they were sold here I might repurchase.
Forgot to take a photo Innisfree It’s Real Squeeze Mask Green Tea (Sample) | I think the green tea line just doesn’t work for me. Got some serious pimples, would not purchase.
Simply Bye Eye Bag Hydro Gel Eye Masks (S$2) | These were probably trying to imitate the high-end gel eye masks but my goodness this was terrible. Felt incredibly heavy, were very uncomfortable (to the point that I woke up to peel them off and fell back to sleep immediately), and the next day I saw more wrinkles under my eyes instead of less. Dark circles still prominent, no difference. Such a waste of $2. I didn’t bother using the 2nd set because I don’t want to screw up my undereye area again.
Bath & Body Works Cup of Warmth Lotion (S$6.63) | I bought this in Malaysia when it was on sale for RM$19.90 (usual price 65??? Or some kind of absurd price) because it reminded me of the old school Body Shop Almond milk lotion. It’s not the exact scent but close enough to make me feel nostalgic. I got a little sick of the smell towards the end of the bottle, but people that stood close enough seemed to like it (the mat thought I smelt like chocolate). As a lotion it did great. My legendary dry patches were tamed and my skin was always soft. I was quite surprised it did so well, I expected it to perform kinda meh like the VS lotions. If there was a scent that wasn’t this strong, I might repurchase another B&BW lotion in the future.
Bliss High Intensity Hand Cream (S$5) | Claims to be high intensity, but my fingertips felt dry after I use this too often. Go figure. Bliss products aren’t cheap either, I got it at $5 cause it was on sale. The smell is nice, but not worth repurchasing.
Healthy Care All Natural Paw Paw Balm (S$8.47) | What on earth is this product?? Who approved this?? It was tough to work with – it was a little too thick to squeeze out of the tube properly, it didn’t spread very well on my skin which meant that I had to use a lot of product on one area, but then it just sat on top of my skin and didn’t even moisturize my dry patches. Because of how oily the balm was, the tube became pretty oily since I was switching hands trying to squeeze the product out. The packaging also says that the balm is harder or softer depending on the climate, which makes me go ‘wtf’ because I live in a tropical climate so if the balm is so tough to work with in this heat, how insanely difficult will it be like to use this in the winter? Can you even squeeze it out of the tube then? Overall a huge miss and I’m super disappointed since I thought it would be a more natural alternative to my other lotions.
Balance Me Super Toning Body Polish (S$4.62) | Claims to be like a spa treatment and the smell is certainly very ‘atas spa product’. However I feel like I had to use a lot to feel like it was actually scrubbing something, and since it’s not cheap I won’t buy the full size.
Soap & Glory Smoothie Star Body Buttercream (S$7) | This was a great lightweight lotion. The smell isn’t really for me, but it did the job. Would not repurchase because of the smell.
Liese Blaune Creamy Foam Colour (S$17.90) | This is my go-to when my white hairs get out of control. It’s so much easier to use than the cream hair dyes. The pack comes with two bottles, you mix the liquids in both bottles together, screw the pump cap on and you’re good to go. The hair treatment included is also insanely good, my hair is incredibly smooth for about a week afterwards. The only setback is that you have to use all of the product at one go, so it’s a bit of a waste for me since I really only need to touch up my roots. Liese has since brought out a cream dye that can be kept for several uses, I might try that out in the future and hope to the heavens that it’s better than the Cielo version (which started fading away after a week and became a hot orange mess).
RICH Pure Luxury Rejuvenating Argan Oil Elixir (S$9.90) | I am so glad this is finished. I really didn’t see any improvement to my hair with this product. It didn’t tame my frizz either unless I used it before and after blowdrying my hair, and even then it wasn’t that great. The smell is much nicer compared to the rosehip oil I’m using now, but if we’re talking about synthetic oils I’d rather buy the Hask hair oil that is much cheaper and showed results.
Keeko Coconut Oil Pulling in Lucky Dip (S$41.29) | I’ll be writing a separate post on this because I have many thoughts and things to say about this fella. The final verdict – most likely will not repurchase due to price
Pearlie White Chor-Rinse Antiseptic Mouth Rinse Plus (S$12.90) | I’ve mentioned how I have a real love-hate relationship with this fella in my last empties (more hate than love) and my feelings about it remain the same. I don’t have to use it anymore since the dentist has given me the clear for my wisdom teeth stitches, and I am definitely not using this again unless forced to.
I’m mostly left with full size products now (masks aside), so it’s going to be tougher for me to use things up for the 2nd half of the year. But I’m glad that I’ve used up a lot of smaller items so that I don’t have to lug all these samples with me when I move next year. I’m hoping to finish up 20% of what is remaining, fingers crossed that I’ll succeed!