Empties from April, May, most of June, and more

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Life happens and before I know it, almost three months have passed by. I’ve switched completely to a whole Biologique Recherche routine now (with some small additions of cleansers and sunscreens from other brands), therefore most of these empties I don’t repurchase. But here are my thoughts anyway.

  • Clinique Take The Day Off

This balm cleanser is brilliant at removing sunscreens for me (I rarely wear make-up). I liked how simple and no-fuss it is. I liked its texture, too – soft, easy to remove. I would repurchase in a heartbeat if I didn’t know it has plastic (polyethylene). I also realized that Caroline Hirons x Pixi Double Cleanse and Farmacy Green Clean also have plastic. Farmacy Green Clean made my skin strangely uneasy even before knowing this fact, so that’s a hard pass. I’m using up the Double Cleanse but will avoid. Currently Alkimi Cleansing Melt is a win for me.

  • May Lindstrom Skin The Pendulum Potion

Gorgeous scent. I think I like this scent the most out of all May Lindstrom products I tried. Neither too floral nor fruity. Felt a bit like honey and camping smoke. Really, really beautiful. I liked using it after sauna, it usually left my skin really soft and plumped without drying. But this cleanser is too expensive for me to use only once per week. It’s supposed to be used up quicker. And I’ve come to accept that my skin is not the biggest fan of oil cleansers. A bit too messy for my taste and most importantly, I have to work too hard to remove it. I prefer gentler approach and therefore cleansing balms are my go-to nowadays.

  • Kypris Cleanser Concentrate

Another one that made me feel strangely uneasy, probably because it was gritty and I’m not a fan. Expensive and I didn’t enjoy using.

  • Ren Evercalm Gentle Cleansing Milk

Many people swear by it and I don’t belong to that group. I wanted to have a gentle morning cleanser and thought this one could be it, but my preference for a morning cleanse is one with the ability to be washed clean with water and no washcloth needed. This one left residue on me if I only splashed it off with water. I guess it would work well if I used it for second cleanse in the evening with washcloth, but I already have my favorite cleanser for that purpose. What I did was turning it to hand wash after I brushed my teeth and before starting my actual routine.

  • Omorovicza Moor Cream Cleanser

I was interested in this brand but somehow none of their products quite worked for me. I actually tried this sample only once and forgot about it. It was a bit gritty if I remember right. Don’t think I will purchase the full size because I’m a bit wary of fragrance, eucalyptus leaf oil, and peppermint oil in combination.

  • Avène Thermal Spring Water

I bought this one since I started using sunscreens regularly and changing my cleansing method. I would apply cleansing balm, massage to lift up sunscreens and dirt, spray this on Shiseido cotton pad, spray my face lightly, then use the cotton pad to remove everything (I learned this method from Liz Alaska). Removing sunscreens is gentle enough for my skin like this, and I don’t feel like changing anytime soon. Repurchased and went up to the biggest bottle.

  • iS Clinical Warming Honey Cleanser

This is my chosen morning cleanser. It’s gentle but effective enough with papaya enzymes and honey. I know many people like the Cleansing Complex better, but that one has both glycolic acid and salicylic acid. Even if it’s mild, I don’t want to risk using it when I have acids in other parts of my routine. I have the feeling that fruit enzymes and honey suit me better. And it has green tea extract, too!

  • Votary Toning Serum – Lemon and Neroli

It was very nice to use together with other Votary oils (probably not Intense Night Oil), but I stopped using facial oils altogether now. Would recommend if you use oils and want to boost their absorption.

  • Jordan Samuel Skin Hydrate Facial Serum

I used this one when I was using retinol and my skin wasn’t at its best. I don’t think retinol is for me. Currently I only use Biologique Recherche serums, but I might try this serum again at some point together with other Jordan Samuel products. Maybe.

  • Oskia Super 16

I loved this serum. I feel like Oskia has the best formula and technology out of all the green beauty brands I’ve tried so far. It works. Maybe Kat Burki as well but I haven’t tried this brand. Oskia and Jordan Samuel Skin are certainly the brands I would look at if I wasn’t using Biologique Recherche.

  • Dr Dennis Gross Hyaluronic Marine Dew It All Eye Gel

I liked this eye cream a lot when I tried it. It actually didn’t feel like gel texture to me, more like very light cream. Didn’t irritate, not drying. May come back to it.

  • Kate Somerville Oil-Free Moisturizer

I mixed in Vintner’s Daughter when I used this because it didn’t feel moisturizing enough otherwise.

  • Tata Harper Clarifying Moisturizer

I liked it when I used it together in a whole Tata Harper routine. But I’ve been steering away from too much essential oils and don’t see myself coming back.

  • Kypris Pot of Shade Heliotropic SPF30

I liked this sunscreen when I used it back then and brought a sample with me to Vietnam. I still think it’s a good one, just that it still left a bit of a white cast and didn’t set quick enough for me. I liked it, but now I have something else I like better.

  • Bjork & Berries White Forest Body Wash

Wasn’t impressed. I didn’t like the smell and thought it was a bit hard to wash off if my memory serves me right. And while having it, I kept thinking if there are birches that are not organic?

  • Kiehl’s Rice & Wheat Volumizing Conditioning Rinse

This Kiehl’s shampoo and conditioner combo totally turned me off from Kiehl’s. They made my hair so dry and stripped and I even started having dandruff while using them. I still suffer the aftermath till this day. I have the feeling that they have very good marketing, their products are inoffensive, but honestly “not earth-shattering” as Caroline said. A friend asked me about their SPF50 (I think) and I wouldn’t use it either, because it has homosalate, octocrylene, and oxybenzone.

  • OGX Kukui Oil Conditioner

My favorite shampoo and conditioner, made my hair so soft and smooth and light. Too bad they’re not available in Finland anymore. Most likely I will get them from Sweden later on, currently testing other stuffs.

  • Jo Malone Orange Blossom Body & Hand Wash

I think I talked about this before on my insta stories. The first three ingredients are Aqua, SLS, and Parfum. Its scent was nice enough but still too strong for me. And the liquid was so thick and hard to pump out. Not ever again.

  • MV Organic Skincare Hand Rescue

Tried using it up but didn’t enjoy. I’m not a fan of sandalwood scent. It was functional as a hand cream, but wouldn’t be moisturizing enough or gentle enough if my hands got dry or sensitive.

  • Oskia MSM Supplement

This is one from Oskia that was not for me. Too big to swallow and I didn’t notice positive changes while taking it. Manage to get through but not going to buy (I got this one as gift with purchase).


March empties 2018

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Votary Clarifying Facial Oil – Clary Sage and Peach. Tata Harper Restorative Eye Cream. Josh Rosebrook Hydrating Accelerator. The Beauty Chef Collagen Inner Beauty Boost. Clinique Take The Day Off. Oskia Renaissance 360. Oskia Nutri-Active Day Cream. Pestle & Mortar Hydrate Moisturizer. Darphin Aromatic Cleansing Balm with Rosewood.

I was quite busy at the end of last year. Preparations for Christmas and my trip to Vietnam totally ate up my time. That was rather unexpected, I felt as if it hit me in the face. Then I went to Vietnam, then after that trip I had another trip to the North of Finland to ski and see the Northern Lights. When I finally got back and felt settled again, I didn’t feel like writing much about skincare anymore. In fact, I left most of my skincare stash in Vietnam, and gave away a bunch when I got back to Finland. I still use skincare products of course, but the craze is pretty much over I guess. What a relief. I know I will still spend a lot of money on skincare, but it feels better to be in control rather than letting desire take the reins.

Although it’s already half-way through April, I feel like I want to write about this batch of empties from March.

  • Votary Clarifying Facial Oil – Clary Sage and Peach 30ml

Votary is a brand I have good impression about. They gives off a feeling of luxury and graceful but approachable, they have quality products, and they pay attention to details. They will treat you with care and respect.

I wanted to like their products. Sadly, they are not for me.

This particular oil is for compromised, oily, blemish-prone skin. My skin is not particularly acne-prone, there was a long period of time when my skin was clear. Then I started using contraceptive pills, and when I got off it, hormonal acne went rampant. I chose this oil to bring back with me to Vietnam, when the weather was humid and just as expected, my skin became totally oily instead of combination like when I’m in Finland.

To be honest, my skin when I was in Vietnam was a total mess. It was so oily and acne kept popping up. Nothing worked. The humidity was crazy.

My problem with this oil is that, despite it being lightweight, it wasn’t fast-absorb on me. Even when I used mists to help with absorption, it didn’t make much of a difference. I assume that if you use their Toning Serum – Lemon & Neroli, or use an acid toner before applying this oil, that would make a good combo. I did try applying their toning serum first then apply oil, and did like it. I only had a sample of the toning serum though. It was expensive and by the time I finished the oil, I didn’t feel compelled enough to purchase the combo. At the moment, I gravitate more toward traditional serums and moisturizing creams.

I ordered directly from their website with a discount code from Caroline Hirons.

  • Tata Harper Restorative Eye Crème 15ml

I was in quite a fever with Tata Harper products last year. In a way, I’m glad I’m not anymore. Because even when they don’t exclude themselves of retailers’ sales events, their products are still expensive after discount.

This eye cream lasted me so long. I needed very little each time. In the end, I used it as my hand cream. It sounds wasteful, but it’s not. Anyone using green beauty products know that you should them up as soon as possible. I had to try to use it up before it went bad.

The product itself was lovely. It had beautiful texture which absorbed quickly. It didn’t sting my eyes, which was important because I have watery eyes. It erased fine lines, which was nice even for a short while before you smile again.

I don’t repurchase because it’s expensive and I’m toning down on essential oils (especially for eye area). Plus it took too long for me to finish. Nowadays I only want to purchase products which I know I will use consistently and will be able to finish them.

Back then I bought this eye cream from Content Beauty with 20% from their summer sale in June.

  • Josh Rosebrook Accelerating Hydrator 120ml

A cult product for many people and I could understand why. It produced beautiful mist. It felt refreshing, soothing, softening, hydrating on skin. Its scent was interesting, hard to describe. The more I used it, the more I liked it.

I didn’t repurchase because I wanted to try other mists/toners, but if there’s one that I feel like repurchase the most, this is it.

I got this one from Content Beauty with 15% off.

  • The Beauty Chef Collagen Inner Beauty Boost 500ml

This was a repurchase but I kept forgetting to drink it. At some point I felt like it went bad, so I didn’t finish the bottle.

Not going to purchase again. I’m with the people who say that if you have the budget for it, go for it. But remember it’s a supplement, it doesn’t replace anything – you still need to eat well, drink well.

  • Clinique Take The Day Off sample

I got a sample from Emotion by Sokos and loved it as sunscreen remover. So effective and easy to use. I bought the full size.

  • Oskia Renaissance 360 sample 2ml

This moisturizer is for anti-aging and brightening. I don’t know if it was because it has SPF8, I found it hard to blend to skin. Additionally, I like moisturizer and sun protection to be separate, and this one has only SPF8 (despite zinc oxide at 4th in ingredient list, weird), I didn’t feel like I would spend so much on its full size.

I got this sample from an order from Cult Beauty.

  • Oskia Nutri-Active Day Cream sample 2ml

I loved this one. It was hard to find a light but moisturizing enough moisturizer for combination skin (or sometimes oily but dehydrated), and I’m so glad I found this one. My skin felt supple, soft, properly moisturized and protected when I used this. No hesitation, I purchased its full size.

Don’t know where I got this sample. Probably from an order from Niche-Beauty.

  • Pestle & Mortar Hydrate Moisturizer sample 3ml

This is a very nice moisturizer, too. I went with Oskia instead mostly because I liked that one’s texture better, it was exactly the kind of texture that I looked for. This one’s texture was not heavy, just ever slightly heavier than Oskia’s. And I was quite into Oskia’s products in general, my skin seemed to love MSM, so I went with that one instead of this.

This one has Green Tea Leaf Extract that I like, but I’m not a fan of Lemon Peel Oil and Lavender Flower Oil. Oskia’s Nutri-Active Day Cream has Parfum and Shea Butter, but I’m okay with it as long as I feel the formula is good. I mean, for such a lightweight cream, I wouldn’t have expected it to have shea butter high in the list (6th) at all.

This sample must be from my purchase of Hyaluronic Serum directly from Pestle & Mortar.

  • Darphin Aromatic Cleansing Balm with Rosewood 40ml

This one is like an under-the-radar, under-rated emulsifying cleanser. I really liked it that it could emulsify, and emulsify well. Its scent was gentle and reassuring.

I didn’t repurchase because I’m trying to figure out the best way to cleanse my skin without stripping it – I’ve started using sunscreen more regularly and finding it hard to get the balance. This one cleansed well but I’m not sure if it’s the best one to remove sunscreen, and for the second cleanse I feel I might like cream or milk cleansers better. It might find its way to me again at some point as a morning cleanse, who knows.

I got this one from lookfantastic when they had a 1/3 off price on Darphin products.

September empties

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The Body Shop Seaweed Deep Cleansing Gel Wash. The Body Shop Seaweed Oil-Control Gel Cream. May Lindstrom The Honey Mud. Tata Harper Refreshing Cleanser.

All the plans I had for Sunday were pushed to Saturday, so here I am writing on the 1st of October.

  • The Body Shop Seaweed Cleansing Gel Wash 125ml

This is one of those things that are with me for a long time, it’s become a habit to use them over and over again without checking to know if they’re really suitable.

I started using this cleanser when I didn’t know anything about skincare and didn’t read labels. When I ran out of it, I was thinking of repurchasing. At the store though, I checked its ingredient list (actually for the first time ever) and realized it has SLES as the second ingredient – right after Aqua/Water. Needless to say, I didn’t repurchase.

  • The Body Shop Seaweed Oil-Control Gel Cream 50ml

The ingredient list didn’t scream out anything too bad to my amateur eyes. I did repurchase it, because it doesn’t irritate my skin and is good at oil-control. When I use it in conjunction with hydrating toner, mist, and oil, it’s moisturizing enough. It’s not an exceptional day cream that could wow me or anything, but it’s familiar and comfortable. And sometimes that’s all I need.

  • May Lindstrom The Honey Mud (sample)

I got this sample from Naturelle during their 1st year anniversary recently, but I’m not sure if they still carry May Lindstrom line or not. I mean, usually when something is out of stock, they would only mark it as out of stock and the products would still be available for you to see. Now I can’t find anything from the brand anymore and its name is not there either. The Pendulum Potion was released globally about a week ago and Naturelle didn’t mention anything about it. I guess it’s safe to assume we won’t find May Lindstrom products there anymore?

Anyway, there are other places in Finland that still carry the brand, like Liinun and Jolie, so we could still try things out. I haven’t had any experiences with these two, but we’ll see.

Back to this sample. As usual, I’m in forever search for the perfect cleanser, something that’s gentle but effective, something that’s not physical exfoliator or requires washcloths, something that’s no-nonsense, easy to use, but still enjoyable. The Honey Mud seemed to tick the boxes. People said they enjoy The Honey Mud more as a mask because of its thick texture, but when I was at Naturelle, the girl there added a bit of The Jasmine Garden to it and the mixture spread out easily and smoothly. It looked pretty nice and I wanted to try.

The Honey Mud smelled like chocolate pudding to me. It wasn’t too hard to spread on skin, especially on damp/wet skin. I found it a bit hard to get the right amount right off the bat though, since if I double-dip with wet fingers then that would make the product in the pot turn milky. I know double-dip is bad, but I haven’t gotten the habit of using spoon to scoop products out. That’s why I prefer tube or bottles with pump because it’s hygienic and I have better control of how much I would get.

Then I felt this cleanser left a bit of residue on skin after cleansing. It reminded me of the Plié cleanser from Jordan Samuel. I got the idea from reading and watching here and there that it was a layer of moisture and should be fine to be left on skin, and I could wash it away with washcloth if I like. I don’t like to feel cleanser residue on skin and I don’t want to use washcloth, so there’s that.

After seeing it in action at the store, I was so sure I would buy the full size. Now when I’ve tried it on my skin for a couple of times, I’m not so sure anymore. I’m thinking of sending email to May Lindstrom customer service to ask a couple of things, maybe then I will know better how to play around with her products to suit my specific preferences.

  • Tata Harper Refreshing Cleanser 125ml

I might have bought this again if it wasn’t so expensive. It has some sort of apricot smell to me, which I didn’t know I would like but I did. It’s gentle enough to use even when my skin is sensitized. It’s also effective to remove dirt (not make-up. or maybe it does, I can’t confirm because I don’t use make-up). Honestly, it’s hard to tell if there’s anything about it that I don’t like. Maybe willow bark? But I’ve decided to not use BHA toner frequently anymore so this might actually be good to have. The texture could be a bit more cushion-y for my taste, but then that would be too nitpick-y. I can’t find anything bad really, I think it’s the closest to my imagination of a perfect cleanser. I mean, it’s even contained in a green frosted-glass bottle with a pump! Its price though, hm… Maybe I will repurchase when there’s a good deal around.

This is the first Tata Harper product that I finish. I got it on 11th July from Cult Beauty. I used it quite often, almost twice a day everyday. Lasted me about 2.5 months.

August empties

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Jack Black Intense Therapy Lip Balm SPF25 Shea Butter and Vitamin E. Kypris Elixir I 1000 Roses. MV Organic Skincare Rose Soothing & Protective Moisturizer. Tata Harper Clarifying Moisturizer.

I figured I won’t be able to write this post on the 31st so I might as well do it now.

  • Jack Black Intense Therapy Lip Balm SPF25 Shea Butter and Vitamin E 7g

I think this one is my second tube? I got to know about Jack Black lip balms from Jen frmheadtotoe a couple of years ago. It has become my daily lip balm for day-time use ever since, just different flavor each time I buy a new one.

I would be wary of putting shea butter on my face, but on my lips is fine. This lip balm is nourishing without being sticky. It also has SPF25, which is certainly a bonus point. I should put SPF on my face as consistent as for my lips (still working on that).

I got mine from lookfantastic last May. Already repurchased.

  • Kypris Elixir I 1000 Roses 14ml

This oil is in my Hall of Fame. I got it in Caroline Hirons’ Box of Dream (her collaboration with Cult Beauty) last Christmas. It took me a while to finish this small bottle, simply because I only used it sparingly in fear of it running out.

I use many oils and this oil stands out for giving me the most wonderful glow. It makes my skin soft and supple, and most importantly my skin looks healthy (which explains the glow) after a night of using it.

It has amazing INCI (CoQ 10, Rosehip Extract, Rose Oil, Seabuckthorn Berry Extract, Cranberry Seed Oil – to name a few). It’s incredibly nourishing, which actually could be a downside for me sometimes because my skin doesn’t always need that level of richness (whiteheads say hello). Other than that, it’s perfect in my opinion. Too strong rose scent maybe? But I like the smell of rose, it never bothers me.

I find it work best for me in this routine: I cleansed with May Lindstrom The Pendulum Potion after sauna using Emma Hardie washcloth soft side, then spray with a mist (I’ve been using Tata Harper Hydrating Floral Essence, but any mist should be fine I think – May Lindstrom The Jasmine Garden comes to mind), then Kypris 1000 Roses, and finally Tata Harper Rebuilding Moisturizer. Lush.

No repurchase (yet) though because I’m going through many oils right now, and its price… However, I do have a sample as gift with purchase from a Content Beauty order, yay ~

  • MV Organic Skincare Rose Soothing & Protective Moisturizer 15 ml

It’s a nice moisturizer – creamy and smell of rose, mattifying and nourishing at the same time. I already bought the larger size, but I think I will wait until winter rolls around to start that bottle. It’s currently a bit too rich for my skin (summer and now transitioning to autumn). I think it has the potential to perform to its best on my skin during colder months.

Ah, I also use it when my skin is sensitized.

I bought mine from Cult Beauty.

  • Tata Harper Clarifying Moisturizer 10ml

I mentioned about this moisturizer in my June empties and my opinion hasn’t changed since. I would use this when my skin is a bit spotty or when I feel a spot might turn up. It’s gentle yet effective. When I use this, Paula’s Choice 2% BHA will only be used as spot treatment and not for whole face. I feel that Tata Harper products in general work better together, in this case ideally I would pair it with Hydrating Floral Essence and Replenishing Nutrient Complex (which is now Retinoic Nutrient Face Oil).

This is a deluxe size I got as gift with purchase from a Content Beauty order in early July.

July empties

Odacité Rose + Neroli Hydra-Vitalizing Treatment Mist. Tata Harper Replenishing Nutrient Complex. Tata Harper Rejuvenating Serum. Tata Harper Restorative Eye Crème. Tata Harper Clarifying Mask.
  • Odacité Rose + Neroli Hydra-Vitalizing Treatment Mist (50ml)

I bought this one because my Omorovicza Queen of Hungary mist was running out at the time, and I like rose and neroli.

I think I said somewhere already that I realized the mists never smell like I thought they would. It didn’t smell like rose although rose flower water is the second ingredient. It smelled more like neroli, which was kind of weird considering it’s the 3rd to last ingredient. My impression overall was that it smelled like… deep water.

Its pump didn’t produce fine mist. The advantage of that was that I didn’t feel the need to spray much, yet it covered my whole face and was certainly really hydrating. On the other hand, it wasn’t quite a joyful experience.

I don’t sound very positive… All things considered, it actually wasn’t bad. I liked the miron glass, the liquid itself did the job. It simply wasn’t what I expected with the smell, and the pump could be improved to give out finer mist.

I got this mist from Content Beauty in early May. I ran out of it in early July, so roughly two months of use.

Not going to repurchase, at least not in near future, because I have a thing with mists and like to discover new.

  • Tata Harper Replenishing Nutrient Complex (sample – 1ml)

I got this sample from Tata Harper’s pop-up store at Stockmann.

Caroline Hirons said that it was slowly replacing her Clarins Skin Beauty Repair Concentrate in times when her skin was sensitizing. I was over-exfoliating my skin recently, and I found that it wouldn’t be able to replace the Clarins oil for me personally, but it was still a nice oil. It would work specially beautifully with other products from the range.

I already purchased its 10ml size, roll-on version from Content Beauty when they had 20% off going on.

About a week ago, it was renamed to be Retinoic Nutrient Face Oil.

  • Tata Harper Rejuvenating Serum (sample – 1ml)

I got this sample also from the pop-up store at Stockmann, when they gave me a mini-facial and since then I’ve been a convert (I used to not be so impressed with Tata Harper products before).

I liked it like most of Tata Harper products, and I think I could use it during the day. The reason I didn’t buy its full size was because I’m using way too many oils at serum stage at the moment, I want to finish them before bringing more to the table. I also wanted to get the limited edition, but of course it was more expensive and I had to show some restraint.

  • Tata Harper Restorative Eye Crème (sample – 0.5ml)

From Stockmann again, of course (people should really go there to try Tata Harper products and get samples).

This eye cream, like Caroline said, erases fine lines like a dream. I liked to use it during the night and get that effect in the morning when I woke up. Fine lines would appear again during the day after some laughs, but I think that’s just how it is. I read from somewhere that eye creams generally only hydrate the area so that fine lines and wrinkles won’t be so obvious, they won’t reverse time.

Another thing I liked about this eye cream was that it was gentle/non-irritating and didn’t give me milia. Those were the problems with other eye creams I tried before.

Already purchased the full size, also from Content Beauty in the same order with the Replenishing Nutrient Complex (20% off).

  • Tata Harper Clarifying Mask (sample)

This sample I got from Naturelle. I was told that I can ask for it to be delivered to me.

The mask had a thick and grainy texture. Its smell was not as enticing as most of other Tata Harper products, but it wasn’t too unpleasant either, and I remember it dissipated quickly.

My skin felt smooth and clean but not tight afterwards. I’ve been having two little bumps on my chin, they’ve been refusing to become heads for weeks, but they seem to start giving in now (yay!). Probably the Resurfacing Mask I used yesterday also helped.

I purchased the full size today from Naturelle because their 20% sale was still going on.

June empties

Mahalo The Unveil. Paula’s Choice Resist 2% BHA. Clinique Fresh Pressed Vitamin C cleanser and booster. Tata Harper Clarifying Moisturizer. Dr Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Peel Original Formula.
  • Mahalo The Unveil (50ml)

I love this balm-to-milk cleanser. It’s green (literally), it smells wonderful, and it works beautifully on my skin. Doesn’t need a flannel, which is a plus for me because flannel in general feels a bit too harsh on my face (I still use flannel, but I try to keep it to minimum). Every time when my skin felt a bit rough, I would reach for this cleanser. Clean, fresh, smooth, supple skin after use. I also felt like massaging whenever I used it. When in doubt, go for it.

The only thing is, I realized that between a balm cleanser in a jar and a milk/cream cleanser in a bottle with pump, I would choose the latter. Because of convenience, I guess. It’s just my preference, there’s nothing wrong with the product really (I love it!). Together with its price (70€ at Naturelle), I decided to not repurchase.

Other products from the brand, I would definitely love giving them a try though, e.g. the Rare Indigo and the Bean Mask.

I bought The Unveil on the last day of March and it barely made it to June. Roughly two months of use for me. Given, I used it a lot, some days twice a day, and quite heavy handed too.

  • Paula’s Choice Resist Daily Pore-Refining Treatment 2% BHA (88ml)

This is my replacement for Clinique Mild Clarifying Lotion. I’m so glad I found it after so much pain with the Clinique MCL discontinuation. It works incredibly well and no irritation. I wonder why they go with “pore-refining” in the name though. To me BHA is mostly about preventing and treating acne, which I personally find it to be more important.

I bought mine from lookfantastic in December last year. I’m not entirely sure but I think I started using it right after receiving, because all other acid toners I tried at the time would irritate my skin. I used it every morning, so roughly 6 months of use.

Already repurchased.

  • Clinique Fresh Pressed Renewing Powder Cleanser with Pure Vitamin C, and Daily Booster with Pure Vitamin C 10% (sample)

I’ve been trying to insert more vitamin C to my routine, which proves to not be so easy. I’m concerned about packaging (light-proof, air-tight, so that it will not oxidize too quickly), and I want something not sticky and non-irritating.

When Caroline Hirons introduced about this duo, I was interested. I was going to some stores to see it, but never proceeded to purchase. Then one time when I was in Stockmann, a staff came to ask if I needed help, and I said I was looking for the Fresh Pressed. She showed me where it was, introduced me about it, and gave me two samples to take home to try. Oooh nice. I wish more stores would be more quick and willing to give out samples.

All in all, I liked the powder cleanser and already purchased from feelunique utilizing their 15% discount code. The booster, I liked it in the sense that it’s not picky and you can mix it with any moisturizer. I still found it to be sticky though. I might want to try it again at some point. For now, not yet.

  • Tata Harper Clarifying Moisturizer (sample – 1ml)

The Rebuilding Moisturizer might not be my favorite, but this one is totally right up my alley. Jessica Parker-Palmiero – a Tata Harper representative – was here in Finland, she gave me a mini-facial at Stockmann when they had a Tata Harper pop-up store in conjunction with Naturelle. It totally changed my conception about Tata Harper products, and I’m pretty much a convert now.

Back then when I was considering between Rebuilding and Clarifying, I went for Rebuilding because I was afraid the combination of Clarifying and my daily BHA would be too strong. But Jessica said it should be fine, and the Clarifying is indeed very gentle. It’s also much more skin-balancing than Rebuilding to me.

I got this sample from a purchase with Content Beauty. I already purchased the full-size (from Cult Beauty, they had 20% off for their 9-year anniversary), now waiting for it to arrive. Can hardly wait!

  • Dr Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Peel Original Formula (sample)

I was wary of glycolic acid after some bad reactions from some toners before when I tried to find an acid toner replacement for Clinique MCL. To my surprise, this worked very well?! My skin felt smooth, refined after use. I’m so in conflict. Good that its price is high so I’m safe (for now). I already dread for the time when I crave for both AHA and BHA in one toner with good action and result.

This sample was from a purchase earlier with Cult Beauty.

May empties

Muji cotton pads. Omorovicza Queen of Hungary mist.
  • Muji Unbleached Cotton Pads

My skin doesn’t like anything rough. As in, literally rough, like muslin cloth. It’s generally tolerable with all the cotton pads, but I still want to reduce friction as much as possible.

The one I see in every lists everywhere is Shiseido Facial Cotton, which is also the one I can’t seem to get here in Finland. Next in line is this Muji one, so I got it.

For the good part, it’s really soft. There are quite many pads, too – 180 pieces.

For the bad part:

. I feel that it’s too thick. Consequently, I had to use products more generously on it so it could be properly soaked for me to use.

. It leaves lints on my face.

I tried to get it in January. Muji Europe back then didn’t have it. In combination with shipping and customs, it was crazy expensive on Rakuten. So I got it from Amazon.

Repurchase: no.

  • Omorovicza Queen of Hungary mist

I don’t really know how to define the smell of this one. It may sound weird, but I could only think of it as “not quite smooth”.

When I first got it, the spray didn’t work well at all. Imagine someone spitting on your face, that’s how it was. So even though it was in my hand from December last year (from Cult Beauty + Caroline Hiron’s Box of Dream), I only started using it after January Labs Restorative Tonic Mist and May Lindstrom The Jasmine Garden were totally gone. I thought of changing the bottle.

Then I got lazy and tried again with its original bottle. Much to my delight, it worked just fine.

The spray gave out really fine mist, like drizzle. It was nice, but I think because of that, I tend to use it more than needed in order to get my face fully covered.

It softened my skin on good days. On days when my skin wasn’t in its best condition, sometimes I was a bit hesitate of using it.

I used up the bottle quite fast, roughly 1.5 months. I liked the spray but not the smell, and I don’t think it’s the most gentle mist for my skin either. Not going to repurchase.

April empties

OGX biotin & collagen conditioner. May Lindstrom the jasmine garden. Leahlani champagne serum.
  • OGX Biotin & Collagen Conditioner

It took me quite long to go through this bottle, I don’t even remember when I bought it.

I got to know about OGX initially from Caroline Hirons (no surprise here). I can’t seem to find the video anymore, but in that she talked about the Kukui Oil one (black bottle) and how it made her hair feel like wind flowing through (I rephrase here). Sold. I have a lot of hair and it’s quite thick, so anything that makes it feel lighter is absolutely welcome. So yes, I really like that OGX Kukui Oil and it did feel really lightweight as Caroline described in her blogpost.

I came to this Biotin & Collagen one (purple bottle) because although I have a lot of hair, I felt like I was losing a lot of it too, and my hair didn’t look as healthy as I wanted it to. One of my friends mentioned it could be because of the water here in Finland, but while I don’t rule that option out totally, I think I should take other things into consideration too, like my health and what I use for my hair.

Do I like this OGX Biotin & Collagen? Not as much as the Kukui Oil. I prefer the smell of the Kukui Oil, and that one makes a difference on my hair. This one, not so much. I may still repurchase though, because I don’t want to put too much thought into this. Plus, SLS-free products that work well and don’t break bank are hard to come by. At the same time, I keep my eyes open for new options.

I usually buy OGX hair care products from K-Citymarket.

Oh yeah, one more thing. Its package is cute and unique, but it’s quite hard to get the stuff out when it reaches toward the end. I put it upside down when it happens, but it’s still hard because I run the risk of getting too much product out. Not fun.

  • May Lindstrom The Jasmine Garden

I knew about May Lindstrom The Jasmine Garden from Caroline Hirons (duh!).

Even before I got it confirmed, I had noticed that May Lindstrom doesn’t do sales. Offers and giveaways yes, sales no. Naturally, when Green Soul Cosmetics had a sale going on for May Lindstrom products before they stopped carrying the range completely, I jumped at the chance. I got The Jasmine Garden at 48€ (I don’t remember its price before the price increase, maybe 70-ish? It’s currently 81€ on Naturelle – should be the same price across the board in Finland).

Ever since I got it since September last year, I’ve used it every single day in the morning. One of the reasons I bought it was because I love jasmine and expected it to smell like jasmine as its name suggests. It doesn’t. I thought I was spraying perfume on my face, I was totally caught off guard. It has a very strong smell; if I could describe it in three words, that would be: cocoa, watery, floral (unspecified). I grew to like the smell over time, but it wasn’t jasmine to my nose at any point. And I never liked it when I happened to spray a bit too much, it’s too strong.

On paper, I would be head over heels with this Jasmine Garden. Jasmine, rose, ylang ylang, what else could I have asked? But in reality, I was more impressed for the wrong reason.

One thing I could give it the credit for is its design. Miron glass is the best protection for the product, and the spray gives out the best mist I’ve known – not too fine, not too drippy. Just need to be a bit careful of the cap, since it’s quite loose and you could break the bottle if you grab it mindlessly.

tophcam said that people who don’t like May Lindstrom products most likely are people who don’t get it. I would have to politely disagree. I’m one who sees skincare as self-care, I treat skin gently with love, and I’m willing to spend money on it for the joy of it. At the same time, it has to work for me. I’ve tried two May Lindstrom products so far, and neither of them lived up to my expectation. They are okay, but I want them to give me some “wow” and “oomph”, especially considering the price. They don’t really work for my skin, they could be there and not be there and I barely see a difference.

I remember reading some May Lindstrom interviews and instagram posts, and I think she would agree that if her products don’t work for some people then it’s okay too. I wanted to like it but if it didn’t happen then it simply didn’t happen. Skin is so personal and you have to listen to what your body tells you.

With that being said, I think May Lindstrom is a wonderful person and I’m glad her products could help so many people out there. The Blue Cocoon is still in my wishlist, I will just not repurchasing this spray.

  • Leahlani Champagne Serum

Another product I got to know from Caroline and bought from Green Soul Cosmetics (same order with The Jasmine Garden).

Not anyone’s fault, this is another one that looks good on paper (lavender, chamomile, and rose geranium – oh dear) but didn’t really work for my skin. I used it most nights, and I could hardly tell what it did. Many people swear by it though, so it might be just me.

I have many oils I’m interested in trying, so most likely this one will not be repurchased, at least in near future.

This month’s empties are mostly okay but not very positive, but I’m still glad I tried them out. I’m also glad they ran out so I could move on to other hopefully better things.

This post comes before the end of the month because I think I won’t be able to do it next week, and I’ve looked around and don’t see any more things that could be used up by then.

I have a couple new things that I might want to talk next time. Nothing is certain yet though because blogging is not my priority. Sometimes I feel that bloggers are not given enough credits and taken seriously while they work hard for their content. I’m not talking about myself, I don’t even consider myself a blogger. Real bloggers though, they have my respect.

March skincare empties

March skincare empties
Clinique mild clarifying lotion. January Labs restorative tonic mist. Ren Omega 3 Optimum Skin Oil. The Body Shop seaweed clarifying night treatment.
  • Clinique Mild Clarifying Lotion

This is my most beloved toner (salicylic acid). It’s strong enough to keep acne at bay, it’s gentle enough to not irritate my skin. It leaves my skin soft after using. My heart was broken to pieces when it was discontinued. I refused to use the new one (one, because I’m petty like that. two, because it’s not worth it.) and went on a craze to find new replacement. I ended up with Paula’s Choice Resist 2% BHA Daily Pore-Refining Treatment.

I wish I paid more attention at the “similar products” section on Caroline’s blog post, it could have saved me so much money and heartaches. I still have Nip+Fab Glycolic Fix Extreme Night Pads (the conclusion here is that my skin doesn’t like glycolic acid), so if you live in Helsinki and want to have it, let me know and I will give it to you. If you don’t live in Helsinki and want to have it, let me know anyway and I can send it to you for free, you just need to pay for shipping fee (I will send via Posti, I’m not sure but the cost might be high though – because, Finland!). I gave First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads to Oanh and last time we talked it wasn’t suitable for her skin either, so you can ask for it too.

Oh yeah, I finished this Clinique mild lotion only now because I was afraid of using it up before I managed to find a replacement. I simply didn’t feel safe without it. Now that my skin seems to get along well with Paula’s Choice toner, I could finally bid Mild goodbye.

  • January Labs Restorative Tonic Mist

After finishing up Clinique moisture surge face spray, I bought this mist at the end of May last year. I used it every single day in the morning. When I first used it, I still remember how surprised I was for how smooth my skin felt. I will consider buying it again. Not right now though, because there are other mists I want to try and use up first.

I bought mine from Cult Beauty.

  • Ren Omega 3 Optimum Skin Oil

I have combination skin and this oil is the only oil serum I use in the morning daily. It’s light, not greasy, and works well with my day moisturizer (The Body Shop Seaweed Oil-Control Gel Cream). Caroline said it smells similar to a light citrus, to me it smells like omega 3 oil.

I use it every single day. I bought this one from Green Soul Cosmetics, and the current one I’m using from feelunique (I go with whichever has the best offer in combination with other products I want to buy at the time).

  • The Body Shop seaweed clarifying night treatment

This is an old one because I literally just used one drop per night on my nose. I don’t remember how I came to use two different moisturizers on my face… Anyway, at night, I used to use this one for my nose and other moisturizers for the rest of the face. Recently, in the morning, I use the seaweed day gel for nose and this night gel for the rest of the face. That’s how I was able to finish it.

It sounds complicated but it works for me. If I feel my skin is on drier side then I will use this gel for the rest of the face (except my nose) in the morning. Otherwise, I will use it only for my nose at night.

It’s a simple moisturizer and suitable for my skin. I don’t have to think when I use it. If my skin happens to have some reactions somehow, I know it won’t be from this.

I buy this from The Body Shop stores in Finland.

  • another thing I tried which wasn’t skincare-related but beauty-related was Rahua Voluminous Shampoo and Conditioner.

I got them as samples which went along with an order from Content Beauty. the shampoo, in particular, made my hair feel stripped and stung my eyes. in combination they were not too bad, but considering their price, I think I will stick to my OGX.

Most of the products I use are from Caroline Hirons‘ recommendations. I got to know her about two years ago (from a post titled The best things about being in your 40s), and it changed the way I approached skincare dramatically. I went from reading her blog occasionally to becoming an avid reader and following all of her channels – Instagram, YouTube, and twitter. In a way, I was even happy when my old phone died, because then it meant with a new phone I could watch her Insta stories too. And the more I read/watch other bloggers, the more I appreciate her.

This blog of mine is simply a way for me to write about my personal skincare journey, how I feel about certain products/brands/companies, and I hope at times I will be able to give you some tips on how I navigate purchasing skincare products in Finland (which sometimes poses to be a challenge for me and what I learned from it). I used to write on facebook, but I’m drifting away from it these days. If you want a delightful and informative read with broader range of everything skincare, please do hop over to Caroline’s blog. I strongly recommend.