Part one was posted in June but consisted of empties accumulated before we moved from Gothenburg to Kalmar in January. They were not really empties from 2019 but I wanted to record them for my own benefit. This post consists of products I have used up between January – October, a new pile of empty products to reminisce about. I as a consumer will share my thoughts on the products and our time together. Why did I buy it? Will I repurchase? If not, why?
For reference I am almost 38 years old and I have dehydrated combination skin. I have no sensitivities or allergies.
In the background of some of the photos you will notice my dirty towels. Apologies. The purple one is a wonderful hair turban that a dear friend gifted me for my birthday a few years back (she made it herself!). It is a true treasure. The grubby white one is a small face towel that was used to remove a clay face mask. Not the best backdrop but it will have to do.
First up we have a bunch of cleansers. I use one cleanser in the morning and two in the evening including a balm or oil to remove my makeup.
Elemis Nourishing Omega-Rich Cleansing Oil
Stats: It’s an oil cleanse in a 195 ml plastic pump bottle, priced at 470 SEK.
Thoughts: I needed a makeup remover (first cleanse) and had heard great things about this oil. I enjoyed using it but it was not L O V E, if you know what I mean.
Repuchase? I prefer using a balm cleanser to remove my makeup and will most likely stick to that. I might consider buying it again in the future if I crave trying an oil again.
Emma S. Melting Cleansing Balm
Stats: A semi transparent cleansing balm in a 100 ml tube. 230 SEK.
Thoughts: This product was quite newly released when I was on a hunt for a new makeup remover and I was excited to try it. The usage was enjoyable enough but it had one big flaw. When applied on the eyes it made my mascara a full on mess and extremely difficult to remove. I use a tubing mascara and the balm somehow made the mascara very sticky and everything I was suppose to dissolve and remove instead stuck to my eye area and I had to use a micellar water to remove it.
Repuchase? Nope. It did not do the job.
Farmacy Green Clean Makeup Meltaway Cleansing Balm
Stats: A solid cleansing balm in a plastic jar. 90 ml sold for approximately 400 SEK.
Thoughts: The smell is divine. The texture is perfect. If you can’t tell already – I loved using this balm. It smells like fizzy (sour) candy and it removed my makeup beautifully. No stinging of the eyes did or making a gluey mess of my mascara. It became an instant favourite.
Repurchase? I want to badly. I just wish it were a tad cheaper and sold through a Swedish retailer. It’s not a deal breaker but it did push me to try another brand when I finished this jar. Spoiler – I don’t like the new cleanser and I will repurchase Green Clean next time for sure. But next time I will use it a bit more sparingly to see how long it lasts for. I do not want to repurchase this too often.
Pixi Rose Cream Cleanser
Stats: Described as a comfort cleanser with Rose and Chamomile Flower. It’s a pale peachy pink mud cleanser in a tube. 135 ml priced at 279 SEK.
Thoughts: I have enjoyed another mud cleanser by Pixi previously and was keen to try the rose one. It became an instant favourite. I love to use this as a second cleanser in the evening or as a single in the morning. I enjoy the smell, the texture and it does its job.
Repurchase? Notice the two empty tubes in this post? I can confirm that two more tubes are already in use as we speak (a bit excessive but practical, one lives permanently in the shower) and I think I will buy another one when those are empty.
Pixi Glow Tonic Cleansing Gel
Stats: Described as an exfoliating cleanser with Moisclean (?) and Glycolic Acid. It’s a gel cleanser in a tube. 135 ml priced at 279 SEK.
Thoughts: This was another newly released product when I was on the hunt for a new cleanser. You apply it to damp skin and massage for 30 seconds. I used it primarily in the mornings and it was fine, it cleansed my skin but I felt no additional benefits. My feelings ended up lukewarm. I think I prefer cleansers that are applied to dry skin and the gel texture is not a fave.
Repurchase? No. This cleanser works fine but it’s not for me.
Moving on to essences and serums. I use 1-2 in the morning and the evening. Hydrating serums are my jam.
“Buffet” Multi-Technology Peptide Serum by The Ordinary
Stats: 30 ml in a glass dropper bottle for 179 SEK.
Thoughts: I purchased this mainly because I wanted hydration and it sounded like a nice concoction of goodies for the skin. I enjoyed using it a lot and my skin did too. After I used up my first bottle I immediately picked up another one, that is why there are two empty bottles in this round up.
Repurchase? I have not done it yet. I stopped buying it when I read somewhere that peptides should not be used with acids including vitamin C. I use vitamin C most mornings and other acids in the evening, so if I buy it again I will have to see where I can squeeze it in. I think I will give it a go soon.
Hyaluron-Filler Concentrate by Eucerin
Stats: These 5 ml bottles were part of a larger kit containing 6 bottles. It is described as a concentrated anti-wrinkle serum and is priced at approximately 300 SEK (for a total of 30 ml).
Thoughts: A bottle was in my last empties post, you can find it here, and there is no need to repeat myself too much. I did not like it but I did not want to waste the product so I used them all up.
Nordic-C Glow Boost Essence by Lumene
Stats: A vitamin C and hyaluronic acid essence in a glass dropper bottle. I used up two full size 30 ml bottles during this time period and another one is soon empty. This product is often sold with a discount but currently the standard price point seems to be 289 SEK.
Thoughts: It was in my last empties post and it is sill a staple of mine. It is my main vitamin c product and a great layering hydration boost. I use it in the morning and often layer another serum on top before a cream.
Repuchase? Hell yes, I will keep this in my routine. As before, I try to buy one when there is a discount since I use it so frequently.
Multi-Molecular Hyaluronic Complex by NIOD
Stats: 15 ml glass dropper bottle with a watery serum. 345 SEK. It is also sold in a 30 ml bottle.
Thoughts: Since I did not enjoy my previous HA serum by The Ordinary I wanted to try something new. So I put this on my wish list last Christmas and I got it as a gift. A small amount went a long way but the watery consistency always made me use too much product despite my best efforts. The product was ok but I did not enjoy the smell at all, it was a bit funky.
Repurchase? Most likely no. At this price point I would have to like it way more in order to repurchase.
Rose Caviar Essence by Pixi
Stats: 45 ml plastic tube containing a serum-like essence with rose and grape seed oil. It’s sold for 399 SEK.
Thoughts: I had been eyeing this for a while and not being to sure of it’s place in my routine. But after trying it, a friend had a tube, I realised it was a lovely hydrator and a pleasure to use. I love the smell, the look and the feel of the product. I layer this on top of more watery serums both morning and evening.
Repurchase? I already have another tube in use and I still love using it.
Next up we have three mists. I use hydrating mists after cleansing and before serums both in the morning and evening. I also use priming/finishing mists on occasion when doing my makeup.
Hyaluronic Plumping Mist by Balance Me
Stats: 179 SEK for a 30 ml glass spray bottle.
Thoughts: I received this as a gift with purchase and I enjoyed its fine mister. The product itself did not wow me in any way. The smell was not too inviting either.
Repurchase? I do not think so.
Nordic-C Glow Refresh Hydrating Mist by Lumene
Stats: 50 ml plastic spray bottle sold for 129 SEK. It also comes in a 100 ml bottle. It’s hydrating and contains vitamin c.
Thoughts: I got this from a friend whose sensitive skin reacted to it. I love it. The mist is super fine and it feels lovely on the skin. I use it after cleansing in the morning, before my Glow Boost Essence, also by Lumene.
Repurchase? I already have another bottle in use. I think I will buy another one after that but we will see. I have got another hydrating mist (Pixi Milky Mist) that I want to use up before I buy another one. The Hydrating Accelerator by Josh Rosebrook also intrigues me and I might try that before repurchasing the Glow Refresh one.
Fix+ by Mac Cosmetics
Stats: 100 ml plastic spray bottle priced at approximately 200 SEK. It’s a finishing mist aimed to be used over makeup as a last step.
Thoughts: This is an old bottle. Fix+ was a cult product way back and I used it to set my makeup, make my newly powdered face feel a little bit more worn in. This past year I’ve used it primarily to wet my brushes when applying loose pigments.
Repurchase? Maybe. I enjoy it. It’s a practical product to have when doing makeup. I have some similar finishing sprays I will use up before but I might go back to Fix+ someday.
I use cream moisturizers every day and I vary the type depending on what my skin needs (it’s very seasonal). I usually have one for daytime, to be used under makeup, and a heavier one for night.
Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA by The Ordinary
Stats: A cream aimed solely at surface hydration in a plastic tube. 30 ml for 69 SEK. I’ve used up two tubes.
Thoughts: I heard good things about this cream online and got it for Christmas last year (I accidently got two tubes). Luckily I really like it! It’s a great basic last step (or before sunscreen). I have used it all year except during the harshest winter months when my skin needs something more heavy duty.
Repurchase? I already have. I only need a tiny amount each morning and it’s great value for money. I think this product will be in my routine for quite sometime.
Renewed Hope In A Jar Dry by Philosophy
Stats: 60 ml plastic jar for approximately 500 SEK. A lightweight cream moisturizer marketed as refreshing and refining.
Thoughts: I was sold this cream by a shop assistant a while back when I was on the hunt for a slightly heavier cream for night time. Philosphy is not I brand I normally choose but I decided to give it a go. And I really like this cream. This jar is my second so I obviously liked it enough to buy it again.
Repurchase? Maybe. It’s lovely but for that price my love will have to be deeper for me to stick to it for the long haul. I will try some other brands for a while and see where I land.
Vital Balm Cream by Josh Rosebrook
Stats: A ceramic jar containing 45 ml. A pale blue solid balm sold for 859 SEK. It contains aloe vera, plant butters, oils and herbs.
Thoughts: I bought this last winter when I panicked. My skin freaked out for the first time when the cold hit and nothing I put on it retained its moisture. So I ended up buying this extremely expensive cream on a whim. But it saved me and my skin loved it. It worked well under makeup and the jar lasted all through the winter months. After that I still had some left and I used it on nights when my skin felt a bit extra needy. The balm turns a bit oily on application and a small amount spreads easily all over the face.
Repurchase? It hurt my soul to pay this price but I recently bought a new jar in preparation for winter. I’ve used it on a few harsh days but only time will tell if I enjoy it as much this time around. We shall see.
Sunscreen is a must for me and I am quite picky. Most sunscreens disturb my makeup and since I have combination skin that is an issue even before I put spf on. A priming product with spf is an appealing concept for me.
Urban Defence Complexion Primer SPF 30 by Urban Decay
Stats: A smoothing silicone primer in a 30 ml plastic pump bottle. I do not know the price since it has been discontinued.
Thoughts: This was not my first bottle but sadly it will be my last. If it was still being made I would happily buy it again and again. A smoothing primer that does not pill and has a high spf, what is not to love? I’m so sad it’s discontinued.
Repurchase? I wish I could.
Instant Glow UV Primer SPF 30 by Lumene
Stats: A glass dropper bottle containing a serum-like primer that leaves an oily glow on the face. Sold for 299 SEK.
Thoughts: My aim was to replace my UD primer, to find another one with spf that worked well on my combinations skin and under makeup. I enjoyed using this product but it was not a perfect match for my skin type. It made my makeup slide around a bit too much.
Repurchse? Most likely not unless my skin becomes drier.
Ultra Light Daily UV Defence SPF 50 PA++++ by Kiehl’s
Stats: 60 ml plastic tube for 445 SEK. High protection sunscreen including UVA. It’s marketed as a lightweight formula.
Thoughts: This is not the first time I’ve used this product. I repurchased it again after I heard someone talk about how well it worked under makeup, so I gave it another go. I should have known better. It just does not work under makeup for me. I have to remember this over time so that I do not buy it again to fill that role.
Repurchase? I say nay.
I’m aways glad when I manage to use up makeup items. It’s so satisfying because it’s so rare.
Mineralize Skinfinish Natural in Light by Mac Cosmetics
Stats: Plastic powder compact with a small mirror in the lid. The powder is pressed and the compact contains 10 g. It is prized at 315 SEK.
Thoughts: Firm favourite. I’ve used this for many years. Previously I’ve used it as a setting powder, but nowadays I mainly use it as a finishing powder or it’s main purpose in my life – as a touch up. It provides a slight coverage, which is perfect for retouching my makeup after a day at work. It takes care of shine and tones town any redness.
Repurchase? I have another compact in use right now. It fills a purpose and I have not found another product to take its place.
Infinity Filter in Light by Linda Hallberg
Stats: A loose setting powder in a plastic jar with a sifter. 9 g for 279 SEK. It is not completely matte, it gives some luminosity, and adds some coverage.
Thoughts: I really like it. I used it as a setting powder in the mornings and enjoyed the finish it gave.
Repurchase? I have a few other powders I will use up first but it’s on my shopping list. I think it will be my only loose powder moving forward.
Lasting Perfection Ultimate Wear Concealer in Fair 1 by Collection
Stats: British brand that I stocked up on last time I was in London. Standard plastic packaging with a wand. Price and amount of product unknown. I remember that it was cheap and that I bought at least four.
Thoughts: This is great. Perfect colour for me and it provides great coverage and wear. Easy to blend. If I’m ever in the UK I will buy some more.
Repurchase? Most likely but not in a while. I have another one (my last) in use right now and I notice that it’s drying up quite quickly. Stocking up on makeup items has its downfall.
Eyeshadow Primer Potion “Anti-Aging” by Urban Decay
Stats: A plastic tube with a wand containing 10 ml of product. A beige but quite transparent primer. 235 SEK.
Thoughts: Before I bought this I used the “Original” version from UD for some years. When it stopped being what I needed it to be fellow beauty lovers recommended I try the anti-aging one. The first thing that happened when I opened the product was that the wand broke. I used it up anyway and I liked it well enough.
Repurchase? I have another tube in use so I did repurchase one, but I think I will not do it again. I have quite oily lids but my eyeshadow does not hold all that well using this primer. I will most likely try another brand next time.
Lash Power mascara in “Black Onyx” by Clinique
Stats: 6 ml mascara for 235 SEK. It is a tubing formula that is to be removed with warmer water.
Thoughts: This is my love. Clinique is not usually a brand I buy from but this mascara is the best one I have found for me. I need a tubing mascara because everything else smudges on me. The brush is slim and small and makes the application effortless. It does not add much volume or anything but I enjoy the look.
Repurchase? Oh yes, I already have. Until I find an option that will rival it’s qualities I’m not in the market for another mascara. This is the one for me.
Perfect Eyebrows tinted brow gel in “Dark” by IDUN Minerals
Stats: 5 ml fiber-infused tinted brow gel for 179 SEK.
Thoughts: I colour my eyebrows on occasion to darken them. But usually I forget, so for everyday makeup looks I like to use a tinted brow gel to darken them. I was on the hunt for a cool darker brow and I had heard good things about the IDUN one. I liked it ok. The colour was good and it worked fine but the hold was no match for my stubborn brows.
Repurchase? Most likely not. I’m currently using a version from H&M that I prefer.
That’s all folks! Since this post sums up such a long time period my thoughts and comments are in some cases written down many months after a product was used up. My aim is to do these more frequently but life got in the way this time around.
To sum up this edition of The Used Up there are twelve products that I would repurchase and out of those eight already have been. Three maybes, nine no’s and the one sad “I wish I could”. I enjoy trying new skincare and staple makeup items (foundation, mascara etc) but I love sticking to what I love even more.
Thanks for reading!
In the beginning of the month I selected my Monthly Arsenal and posted it to Instagram. I had picked a selection of eyeshadows, blushes and other face products to evaluate in the first month of my makeup audit. When choosing I picked items that I rarely use and I felt that these would be perfect to evaluate first, since surely I would have few warm fuzzy feelings for them, dislike them even, and have a great run of discarding these unloved items. Alas, I was wrong. So wrong.
For eyes I had singled out a wide variety of shades and finishes in order to have a lot of options to play with. The arsenal included five of my numerous Sleek Makeup palettes complemented with a set of six duochrome toppers in the shape of the Aurora Glow Kit by Anastasia Beverly Hills. I love using duochrome shades both as effect toppers and as inner corner highlights. A good duochrome makes my heart beat faster. The eye palettes I chose contained shades I was drawn to this time of year including some brights for more punchy looks. For the cheeks I chose one contour, two highlighters and eight blushes of varying finishes. This is how the month went down..
Let’s start with the Glow Kit. I am very drawn to this palette but I did not use it as much as I thought I would. I mainly used Eclipse, Helia and Lyra as inner corner highlights and Spectra was used as a topper on one occasion. I like these shades well enough to let them get another shot in Round 2 (where similar items will be compared) but I suspect I have some similar shades from other brands. Both Eclipe and Lyra have glitter in them and that is not my favourite thing. Also, these shadows smell a bit weird, but I think they have been doing that all along. Something to think about….
Another palette I’m drawn to, the Ultra Matts V.2. The dark, moody and mainly muted colours are alluring. This specific palette was an important source of matte shadows this month and I used it a lot. I was expecting to dislike many of the shades but no, the mattes performed very well and were a pleasure to use. If the palette had included a taupe as well it would have been even more useful. The shades are quite unique and since they performed well I have to give it a Round 2. Most used shades were Flesh, Paper Bag, Villan, Dune and Maple.
A New Day was another frequently used palette and the shade Carpe Diem was a solid favourite used for many looks as a crease colour. Happy, Let It Go and Don’t Worry were also staples. The other shades were a little lacklustre and this palette is a contender to depot. But before engaging in that hassle I need to compare the nice shades to what I have that is similar. So a Round 2 is in order to seal its fate.
Del Mar is such a pretty palette with its muted, dusty pastels and that bright yellow. I find the colour scheme very appealing and inspiring. I especially loved using Ushuaia, Puro and Siesta. Zoola and Ibiza Rocks were fun to use as well. I regret not using the greens but I never felt like it for work. The shades I did not enjoy was Loco, Pearl and San Antonio. Another palette that will make it to Round 2.
Another one I had low hopes for but enjoyed more than I thought I would, Supernova. I have not used the blue shades and most likely never will. The green (Aurora) is an interesting shade and the day I wore it I was very pleased with the combination. Umbra, Corona and Meteor are stunning shades and they will surely be depotted unless they have too many competitors in Round 2. This is a palette that I am sure I will depot if I decide to keep any of the shades.
I’m conflicted about Rio Rio. This palette as a whole does not entice me. I enjoyed some of the shades, like Ipanema, Tropics and Legron. But some shades I dislike and the composition of the palette does not work for me. I use the shades as singles and combined them with other palettes. As with the other palettes I suspect I already have multiple similar shades. But this palette will not be kept in it’s entirety, that’s for sure.
Face products are a lot of fun to use, especially blush. In this category we have the first item to be discarded in the audit. The Blush by 3 palette in Lemonade by Sleek Makeup. The cream shade (Macaroon) had gone off and when I wore the other two shades (Icing sugar & Pink mint) I disliked them on me. They looked off, and I think heavy shimmery blushes might not be my jam.
The Face Form palette (also by Sleek) did get quite a lot of wear time this month despite the fact that it contained a shimmer blush. I loved the highlighter and the contour shade, not being my optimal shade for the cheeks, worked as a lovely crease shadow. The shimmery blush was not a favourite but it did it’s job.
My other highlighter, the soft pink Play It Proper (MAC) was also a big surprise. I thought it would be an easy cull, but no. It provided an unique sheen and I loved using it for work. This product is old, from the Chen Man Love & Water collection from 2012. I bought it when my collection was smaller and that specific MAC collection was alluring. I have not used it much but after this month I think it deserves a new life, a life where it is appreciated and used. But since it has been used so little over time I have to put it through Round 2 in order to keep it.
Most used on the blush front this month are the muted matte shades from MAC, Buff and Pink Cult. They are nice staple shades that look good with most looks. I also used the more vibrant shades East (matte by Make Up Store) and Supernova (shimmer by MAC) a few times. I enjoyed them all, surprise surprise, and another lot for Round 2. And that was it, those were all the items from my Makeup Arsenal October.
In the beginning of the month I had a main plan to post my daily makeup looks to Instagram. That plan evaporated since I almost always deemed the pics of poor quality. There is not much light in Sweden right now and I have been trying to sneak in some quick photos mainly in bathrooms (during the week) and in natural light whenever possible, but it’s been hard. For November I will try to be less judgmental of the quality of the photos and post more frequently.
Despite that I’ve had a lot of fun this month playing with makeup…and here are a few more looks in varying light.
To sum up this month of my makeup audit; It is no secret that I have a hard time letting things go. I attach to things emotionally and on top of this I fear that if I let an item go I will regret it later. When I sat down to evaluate this month’s audit candidates I realized I basically could not let anything go, not straight away anyway. I’m sure I do not adore all of these items but I think I need more “evidence” in order to let them go.
So please bear with me in this process, a process I think will evolve over time. As you have noticed all items in this audit will be sent to Round 2 except one. One! Round 2 is clearly vital in this process, for me, and when items with similar purpose will be pitted against each other it will hopefully become clear to me how much I have and what needs to go. Let’s see….
Thank you for reading! (If anyone made it this far, I applaud you!)