• Makeup,  Skincare

    The Used Up 2020:1

    Time to go through all of the makeup and skincare items that were used up by me during the first half of 2020, January-June. A whopping total of 30 items, whereas half of them are makeup items. I’ve been making a conscious effort to use up basic makeup items before buying a replacement and I must say it is very satisfying to see them actually empty.

    For reference I am 38 years old with a combination skin that is dehydrated. I get the occasional breakout and can get quite shiny during the day. My skin rarely reacts badly to products and I have no allergies.

    Cleansers

    I managed to use up a total of six cleansing products during this period. The Rose Cream Cleanser by Pixi (135 ml, 279 SEK) has been a favourite for a while as my first cleanse in the morning and second cleanse in the evening. It has been a continuous repeat repurchase for me and even though I still love it I have not bought another one since finishing my last tube. I’m trying to find a cheaper option since I go through them a bit too quickly for my liking.

    I’ve always been interested to try the Renaissance Cleanser by Oskia (100 ml, 410 SEK) since it’s been held in high regard by many content creators in the beauty realm. So I finally bit the bullet. It’s a more pricey item but I did enjoy using it a lot. It had a lovely formula and my skin felt nice after using it. But the product did not last as long as I wanted it to do to justify the price. I might repurchase in the future but it will probably not be a recurring product in my cabinet.

    Then we have my usual micellar water – Sensibio H20 by Bioderma (500 ml, 179 SEK) – in a larger bottle this time. I still use this very infrequently but I like to always have a bottle at hand.

    The Squalane Cleanser by the Ordinary (50 ml, 99 SEK) was an attempt to replace the Pixi cleanser. I enjoyed this product well enough but it ran out really quickly. It’s cheaper by the ml but I felt I needed more product to cleanse the whole face than with the Rose Cream Cleanser.

    The purchase of the Gentle Cleansing Melt by Evolve (120 ml, 299 SEK) was an attempt to find an option for my favourite cleansing balm, the Green Clean Cleansing Balm by Farmacy (you can read my thoughts on it here). I’m trying to find an option that lasts longer and has a lower cost per use. No luck with the Evolve one sadly. It had a honey-like texture and was not as easy to spread over the face as the balms I’ve tried before. Also it was not as efficient in removing my eye makeup as I would like and the jar was used up rather quickly. It is not a bad cleanser by any means, but is not what I want or need. I would not repurchase.

    Toner & mists

    I’ve written about how I’ve been using the Glow Tonic by Pixi (250 ml, 299 SEK) as staple almost on automatic due to it being marketed so well. I have nothing bad to say about the product but I felt it was time to try something new. So after finishing this bottle I did purchase a glycolic acid toner from The Ordinary instead.

    The Hydrating Accelerator by Josh Rosebrook (60 ml, 289 SEK) has also been fronted as an amazing product in the beauty community for a while. So naturally I was intrigued. I put the product on my wish list for Christmas and my wish was heard by my husband. I do like the product, it smells nice and felt hydrating. The mister was lovely as well. But I did feel like I went trough the bottle way too quickly compared to the cost. The bottle is quite small so naturally it is used up more quickly, but the price for that small bottle is the deal breaker. However, when looking at the Alice & White website (where I purchase Josh Rosebrook products) whilst writing this post I notice that they do not carry the 60 ml bottle anymore. There is a 120 ml bottle though and it is priced at 399 SEK. That is better value for money and since this is a more luxury brand with an focus on ethically sourced ingredients and sustainable packaging I think the price is warranted. But what I’m not sure of is if I need it in my routine. Right now I’m using a mist from Lumene that I like and I’m unsure if I will buy the Hydrating Accelerator again. We shall see..

    Essence & serums

    I am not surprised to see two Rose Caviar Essence by Pixi (45 ml, 399 SEK) in this post but since I use this product twice daily as a hydrating layer. But this is specifically one of those products I’m keeping my eye on to see how many I use in a year. At least four I suspect but it could be more. We shall see when the year is over and THE TRUTH WILL BE REVEALED!. Since I replace this so frequently I try to buy at at discount but I’m unsure if it is worth it all in all. Maybe.

    Another staple is the Nordic-C Glow Boost Essence by Lumene (30 ml, 289 SEK). The situation is the same with this one, I go through these quite quickly and try to buy and even stock up when there is a discount. I still enjoy it immensely and use it every morning under the Rose Caviar Essence.

    The Granactive Retinoid 2% Emulsion by The Ordinary (30 ml, 129 SEK) was my first attempt at adding a vitamin A product to my skincare routine. This specific formula did not wow me in any way and I was a very inconsistent user due to not enjoying the consistency too much. So I can’t speak on its actual function due to that. I will most likely try other vitamin A products moving forward and who knows, I might try this again in the future.

    Moisturizers

    The 24K Eye Elixir by Pixi (9,3 ml, 349 SEK) was an attempt to replace my favourite (and pricey) eye cream from Grown Alchemist. It was fun to try something new but it is in no way a replacement. The formula is completely different, the Pixi one being a serum in a roller dispenser and the GA one is a light cream in a pump bottle. 24K Eye Elexir feels cooling as I roll it under my eyes and leaves the area feeling hydrated. But the product does not give me the moisturized and comforted feeling that I enjoy. It might be more suited to someone who gets puffy under-eyes and can get more benefits from this formulation and applicator.

    Vital Balm Cream by Josh Rosebrook (45 ml, 889 SEK) made its first appearance in my life in the winter of 2018 when my skin acutely needed something heavier to survive the harsh weather. The cream saved me and was a joy to use. So the following year, last winter, I made the decision to repurchase again but I did so a bit prematurely. The weather never got to the same harsh point and I think my skin could have managed with something less “powerful”. I do enjoy this cream and it can last quite a while if one is mindful when using it, but it is so very expensive. Again, I think the Josh Rosebrook products warrants the price set but I do not think my skin needed all that expensive goodness this time around. The coming winter months might require a heaver cream again, but this year I think I will try another brand and see how I fare.

    Another recurring product, one that I took a break from and then went back to, is the Hydration Rescue 24H Replenishing Balm by Lumene (50 ml, varying between 149-199 SEK). I stopped enjoying it suddenly and suspected they had reformulated it. After using other products for a while I purchased it yet again and somehow went on to enjoy using this cream once more. I use it as my nighttime last layer and I love the consistency, the smell and how it makes my skin feel. A good basic light yet moisturizing cream that is just enough for me. The price is great and a jar lasts quite a while.

    Base makeup

    Two face primers were used up and I have not repurchased any substitutes. Not due to me not liking them, but rather me wanting to use up all the primers that I own and evaluate what functions I actually want to have in my stash at all. This tube of Makeup Forever Step 1 Redness Correcting Primer (30 ml, 420 SEK) is not the first I’ve used up but rather my second or even third. I love this hydrating and colour correcting primer. I have quite a lot of redness in my face that I like to subdue so a green corrector definitely fills a purpose in my daily routine and it feels good to know that this one works well for me. I might purchase again in the future but I wish to explore some cheaper options first.

    The Hydra Veil by Illamasqua (mini sample, gift with purchase) is a lovely primer. I have bought this in a full size previously and it’s a nice hydrating product. Adding something hydrating right before applying my foundation really improves the end result for me. But I must admit I prefer a tube to a jar.

    The Ultra HD Invisible Cover Foundation in “Y215” by Make Up Forever (30 ml, 475 SEK) used to be my favourite “skin like” foundation until I repurchased it and the colour was reformulated. It was suddenly a lot more pink than yellow and did not suit me anymore. I need a neutral shade or one that leans yellow to combat my redness and this sadly does not do the job anymore. I do like the formula still, it really looks amazing on the skin.

    Loose Mineral Foundation in “Suede” by Cailyn (425 SEK) is another old staple. This is my second jar and the colour is lovely on me. However I do not really use loose mineral foundation on a regular basis anymore so I will not repurchase anytime soon.

    The Viva La Diva conclealer in “1 Pure Light” (3 ml, 89 SEK) was an attempt to find a replacement for the other empty concealer in this post, the Lasting Perfection Ultimate Wear Concealer in “Fair 1” by Collection (price and amount unknown) that I used to buy in bulk when in London. Both are very cheap concealers and sadly I prefer the one I can not get a hold of anymore. The Viva La Diva is not my favourite. It has a smell that puts me off and the colour is not a good match for me, too dark and pink. The one from Collection is a great shade that really does the job of brightening my under eyes and adds extra coverage wherever needed. A creamy product where a little goes a long way.

    Mascara & brows

    Yet another empty staple product is my go-to mascara – Lash Power mascara in Black Onyx (6 ml, 235 SEK) by Clinique. It’s the one I’ve found that smudges the least and it has a lovely small brush. This past year I feel that is has started to smudge more but I do not know if it is an illusion or if they have done something to the formula. I’ve also tried the Flutter-to-Full version of Lash Power (9 ml, 280 SEK) and it does nothing for me. I have very straight and long lashes. There is no point in any fancy mascara effects. Nothing lasts on my lashes anyway.

    The Brow Perfector in “Espresso” by H&M (4 ml, approximately 80 SEK) is a quite new favourite that I have repurchased and use daily. However, just last week I learned that it has been discontinued. It really makes me sad because it was a lovely affordable option with an ok hold, a nice cool dark brown colour and a small brush. A great product all in all. I’m a bit bummed that I will not be able to buy another one when I run out of the one in use.

    The Sigma Tint + Tame Brow Gel in “Dark” (about 150 SEK) was another attempt at finding the perfect tinted brow gel and sadly not a product for me. Bulky packaging and the product itself was too watery. It smeared everywhere way too easily.

    Finally we have the Blueberry Eyebrow Fixing Gel in “Transparent” by Lumene (5 ml, price unknown) that I purchased at a sale and that has since been discontinued. The brand has a similar product but I do not know if it’s the same formula in new packaging or a new formula altogether. It was an ok product, nothing amazing. I am keen to try another brow gel from Lumene if they have a coloured option that would suit me.

    Miscellaneous makeup

    Kiko makes some great eye shadow sticks. This is my second shade that I have used up, the Long Lasting Stick 8 Hour No-Transfer Eyeshadow in “05 Rosy Brown” (1,6 g, 69 SEK). My favourite shade of the two was not this one but “38 Golden Taupe”, a similar but slightly different shade. That gem was used up two years ago. But both shades were great all over the lid and up in the crease, no primer needed, and serving as a base that was perfect to tap a shimmering shadow on top of. Creamy enough to be easy to blend but set down well enough to not crease extensively. And that is a great feat since I have very, very oily eyelids. I really want to repurchase “38” in the future, I miss having this type of product at hand.

    Eyeshadow Primer Potion “Anti-Aging” by Urban Decay (10 ml, 270 SEK) is ok but I do not think it’s my perfect one. As mentioned, I have seriously oily eyelids and most things crease on me at some point. This is my second tube I’ve used up and I have since tried another brand (Spoiler – it sucks!). I might purchase the UD one again in the future because I did enjoy how easy it it was to blend shadows over it, before it was completely set and therefore really popping the pigment.

    Most of my lip liners are by MAC and they really benefit from being used together with this lip primer, the Prep + Prime Lip by MAC (14 g, 185 SEK). It gives a smooth and hydrated base that I’ve also found beneficial when using a matte lipstick for a lighter application. The primer has a more balmy finish and I do prefer that over using a more glossy product. I have actually repurchased this since running out, but I did wait a while to be sure that I really missed having a lip primer at all. And I did.

    The last item of this post is actually a lipstick – the Fantastick lipstick by Linda Hallberg (26 g, 199 SEK) in “Goldstone”. Not every day one finishes a lipstick! This is an easy to throw on shade of warm pink that doubles as a cream blush. The formula is glossy in finish, a bit balmy in texture with lots of pigment. I did repurchase this specific shade and use it almost every week, but I do wish the shade was a bit more rosy, a bit more brown. A bit more like my lips but intensified. Not sure I will repurchase again.

    Wow, that was a lot of products. I’m really enjoying summarizing my consumption in this way. Highlighting what items I really use, what I actually like and why. Skincare items are naturally what I go trough most often and I love keeping track. For me, skincare is more a means to an end, unlike makeup that is a life-long passion. My skin is my canvas, the base for my makeup, so naturally I want to take good care of it. And I cant deny that I enjoy using nice skincare and trying new products, but it is not one of my interests so to speak. So spending just enough on skincare is a goal. Just enough luxury, with a little newness and pretty packaging from time to time, combined with a focus on establishing a core of values adapted to my skincare needs and preferences.

    I look forward to summarize the yearly stats after the New Year, but until then..

    Thank you for reading!

  • Makeup,  Skincare

    The used up 2019:3

    This post has been a long time coming but I’m glad to complete it. It’s a great way for me to keep track of what I use over time, how long frequent use items last and my opinions on them. I’m trying to build a staple skincare wardrobe with some core functions and therefore I’ve been actively using up what I have and evaluating what functions I would like to replace.

    I’m going to go through skincare and makeup products that were used up by me between October and December 2019. Naturally this means I started using most of these before October, they just reached their final destination during this period. Twenty products in total.

    For reference I am 38 years old with a dehydrated combination skin. My skin rarely reacts badly to products and I have no allergies.

    Skincare

    Cleansers

    Two cleansing products were finished during this period. I use the Rose Cream Cleanser by Pixi (135 ml, 279 SEK) as a first cleanse in the mornings and as a second cleanse in the evenings. It has become a bit of a staple and I keep on repurchasing. I had two tubes in my last empties post and I’ve probably used up a few during 2020. However, I’m evaluating how quickly I go through a tube compared to the price. I have a feeling it is used up fairly quickly.

    Then we have a micellar water – Sensibio H20 by Bioderma (250 ml, 100 SEK), another staple. I’ve been using it less frequently lately but still for the same purpose – a quick removal of eye makeup when I’m tired or when I have a lot to remove that my other cleansers did not completely take care of. It works well for me and does not feel drying or irritating to the eyes or immediate eye area, but worth noting is that I do not use it every day. I keep repurchasing since it is a safe bet for me. I have not felt a need to try and replace it.

    Mists

    The Hydrating Milky Mist by Pixi (80 ml, 279 SEK) is another recurring favourite and I still like the product itself but sadly not the packaging. I’ve had consecutive mister issues with this one. They usually start out fine and then after a while instead of a fine mist it just start squirting. So I’m a bit fed up with this product now. This specific bottle took some time to use up due to me disliking spraying it on my face. I will most likely never repurchase this product again.

    Nordic-C Glow Refresh Hydrating Mist by Lumene (50 ml, 129 SEK) is another fave. I use it in the mornings after cleansing, before I apply the Glow Boost Essence you will se further down in this post. Since finishing this bottle I have repurchased and I’m in the midst of finishing that new bottle.

    Serums and creams

    Niacimide 10% + Zinc 1% by the Ordinary (30 ml, 69 SEK) is what I prefer to use to make my larger pores look nicer and make them less prone to congestion. If it works that is. I used too feel like it did make a visible difference but I’ve been such a irregular user that it is hard to tell to be honest. I have repurchased this serum and will continue to evaluate its role in my skincare routine.

    This was my first try using the Marine Hyaluronics by the Ordinary (30 ml, 129 SEK) and it felt a bit meh as a hydrator. Also it’s a bit too watery for my preference, which makes it way to easy to use more product than needed. I enjoyed trying this product out but I doubt I’ll buy it again.

    A firm favourite hydrator however is still the Nordic-C Glow Boost Essence by Lumene (30 ml, 289 SEK). As I’ve mentioned in previous posts I wish the price point was lower since I go through these quite quickly but I have yet to find another hydrating essence/serum that I like as much. So I keep on buying it when there is a discount. I use it in the mornings and often layer another hydrating serum on top before finishing off with a cream. This kind of hydration sandwich have done wonders for my skin, hence why I’m so fond of this product.

    Rose Caviar Essence by Pixi (45 ml, 399 SEK) is on par with the Lumene essence. A favourite that I wish was less expensive per use. I am working through another tube as we speak and try to use as small an amount as I possibly can to make it last longer. I use this over more watery serums/essences both in the mornings and evenings.

    Age-Repair Eye Cream “Tetra-peptide & Centella” by Grown Alchemist (15 ml, 620 SEK) is another repurchase. It’s quite expensive but the tiny bottle lasts at least 6 months for me so I am justifying it for now. I also make sure to repurchase when I have a 20% or more discount code or something similar. I hydrates the eye area in a lovely way and it does not disrupt my eye makeup, which is the issue I have with so many other eye creams. I use it twice a day.

    Masks

    Nutri-Recharging Purifying Peat Mask by Lumene (75 ml, 299 SEK) is a mud mask that I used so infrequently that I can not say much about how well it works. What I can say is that enjoyed using it and I have nothing negative to say about it. The mask does not dry down completely and when removed the skin felt nice and happy. This mask does not seem to be on the market anymore so a repurchase is not in the cards.

    The Body Shop British Rose Fresh Plumping Mask (75 ml, 195 SEK) was a gift and part of a kit I received a few Christmases back. I must say I really enjoy masks by Body Shop and would like to try more. Not sure a plumping mask is the highest on my priority list when buying replacement masks but I would consider repurchasing it sometime in the future. Right now I am trying to use up all the masks I own and evaluating what specific functions I wish to have at hand as part of my skincare arsenal. I think a purifying mask and an hydrating mask is top priority to begin with.

    Makeup

    Face and base

    The Blendercleanser Solid from Beautyblender (28 g, 169 SEK) is a soap bar in a plastic container that I use for cleaning my makeup sponges. It is very practical to use on an everyday basis, but I would prefer to be able to buy the soap as a refill. I do repurchase this whenever it runs out.

    Veil Mineral Primer (30 ml, 700 SEK) by Hourglass was a splurge I made in Liberty London when the brand was not easily available in Sweden. I did love using this primer and it made a lovely canvas to apply foundation on. It has one major flaw and that is the very very steep price. The smoothing effect it gives does not really warrant the high price tag.

    This mini Strobe Cream by Mac Cosmetics (30 ml, around 100-150 SEK I think) was a spontaneous purchase when I visited the MAC Pro store in Stockholm a few years back. I was in there to check out their new synthetic brush line and saw this mini and was catapulted back down memory lane. Back to a time when this was a cult product and I loved using it mixed with my foundation or as a shiny primer. After having finished this tube I must say I enjoyed it well enough and I wish to have something similar in my collection to mix and add sheen with, but I’m probably going to try another brand.

    I’m very pleased that I have managed to finish off three foundations. I love the feeling of using up products like these. I’ve had several foundations on the go parallel to each other because I have enjoyed trying out new products. But moving forward I will stick to a more streamlined team. They run the risk of expiring or drying out and I even though I managed to use these three up before that point, other base products were not so lucky. A waste of money to be honest.

    Lumene have been a favourite for foundation for some time now and the first thing I did when the brand was new to me was buying one of each foundation type they had just to try. The Glow Foundation by Lumene (30 ml, 169 SEK) was very hard for me to love due to it being a really poor shade on me. I chose the lightest shade at the time (0, Light Ivory) and it was a tad too dark on its own and almost made me look a bit muddy and gray in the face. I did manage to use it mixed, usually with a paler shade of a heavier foundation to get a lighter formula. This specific product seems to have been discontinued and replaced with other glowing base products.

    The Lumene Blur Foundation (30 ml, 189 SEK) in 0 Light Ivory was my baby however. I loved the finish and the shade. It could be used sparingly for a light base or more heavily for a perfect canvas. It was my favourite foundation and when I ran out I bought another one. But somehow they had changed the shade from a light yellow tint to a more pink leaning shade. So I do not love it anymore since it looks slightly off on my face. Lumene has since then reformulated their foundations yet again so I do not think these specific shades and formulations exists anymore. But I’m hesitant to purchase another one before I am able to go to a store and swatch the shades IRL, but we shall see. I’m using up the tube right now so I’m good for now.

    Last up we have the Matte Foundation from Lumene (30 ml, 169 SEK), also in 0 Light Ivory. This was a very nice matte formula and it did not feel too dry or cakey in any way (mind you, I do have combination skin). The scenario is the same with this, I might repurchase if I can sample the shade range beforehand.

    And a powder by Soap and Glory bit the dust as well, One Heck of a Blot mattifying powder (9 g, £ 12). I stocked up on this lovely product when I was in London a few years back and after this one I have but the one left. I can highly recommend it if you like a translucent pressed setting powder and can get your hands on it.

    Eyes

    The Heavy Metal glitter eyeliner in Spandex by Urban Decay (7,5 ml, 230 SEK) was a well loved product. It finally dried up but there was not much product left when it did. Its final performance was at a dear friend’s wedding in October. It’s a very wearable product and I would consider repurchasing this specific product and shade again. But I have a couple of H&M glitter eye liners that I need to use up first.

    The final product of this empties post is no surprise, it’s the Clinique Lash Power mascara in Black Onyx (6 ml, 235 SEK). My go-to mascara. It’s the only one I’ve found that does not smudge on me and has a small enough brush to easily use on both my top and bottom lashes.

    To summarize I managed to finish up 8 cleansers, 5 face mists, 11 serums, 1 eye cream, 4 face creams, 3 primers with SPF, 2 masks, 2 face primers, one eye primer, 3 powders, 1 concealer, 3 foundations, 2 mascaras, 1 soap cleanser, one glitter eye liner and a brow gel. 49 products in total for skincare and makeup in 2019. If my calculations are correct, then that is around 13 000 SEK worth of products for my face that I used up. Some items were presents and some were bought at a discount, but that number is definitely worth noting. That’s an average of 265 SEK per product I use. An average of around 1100 SEK per month on consumables. Products that in many instances are replaced continuously.

    I’m planning on doing these posts bi-annually so that I can keep track on how much I spend, mainly for skincare or other frequently replaced makeup items but also to keep track of my long-term thoughts on items used. It’s been very interesting going through the numbers and thinking about how to spend my money in the future.

    Thanks for reading!

  • Makeup,  Skincare

    The Used Up – 2019:2

    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.

    Repurchase? Never.

    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!

    Sofia

  • Makeup,  Skincare

    The Used Up – 2019:1

    I highly enjoy reading about products that other people have used up and their thoughts on said products. In the past I have documented my own empty products more sparsely via Instagram but since I now have the possibility of being a bit more in depth with my documenting (since I have a blog these days) it will be a task I look forward to continuing in this format. I, as a consumer, sharing my thoughts on some products and our time together. Why did I buy it? Would I repurchase? If not, why?

    I had accumulated a lot of empty products, mainly skincare, before we moved from Gothenburg so I sat down and documented everything before discarding them. However, this was in January! I’ve had very little time since moving to spend on the blog so this post have had to wait a little longer to be created. I personally don’t mind but hopefully my notes will be enough since I do not have any of the packaging left.

    For reference I am 37 years old with a combination skin that is dehydrated. My skin rarely reacts badly to products and I have no allergies.

    Skincare

    Cleansers

    Purifying Gel Cleanser by Glo Therapeutics

    Stats: Purifying cleanser with salicylic acid, glycerin and yucca that should be massaged onto wet skin for 60 seconds.  It comes in a 200 ml pump bottle.

    Thoughts: This cleanser was introduced to me by a friend who gifted me a bottle for my birthday. I liked the smell and how my skin felt after using it. I used it primarily in the mornings whilst in the shower and it felt like it cleared up my skin just a little bit extra, left it smooth. It was en enjoyable experience.

    Repurchase? This was my second bottle. The first one was a gift, as mentioned, from a friend and the second one that same friend helped me purchase at a salon. When it was empty I felt an urge to try other products and moved on. No hard feelings.

    A quick google search later and it seems the company has rebranded itself and products are now marketed under the name Glo Skin Beauty. They still offer a Purifying Gel Cleanser but I do not know if it is the same formulation. I might try something else from the brand in the future. Who knows?

    Sensibio H20 Make-up Removing Micelle Solution by Bioderma

    Stats: Micellar water for sensitive skin, a quick cleanser and remover of makeup. This was a 250 ml bottle but various sizes are available. Price point for this size is as of today 95 SEK.

    Thoughts: When this cult classic became available in Sweden naturally I wanted to try it. I use it for a quick removal of eye makeup when I’m tired or when I have a lot to remove. Also I use a tubing mascara (the only type of mascara that does not smudge on me) and I find that this specific micellar water is excellent at removing it.

    Repurchase? This was not my first bottle and will not be my last. I always have a bottle on the go. I love that it does not sting my eyes nor does it feel drying around the eyes. I have tried other similar products and so far this is the one I prefer.

    Daily exfoliants

    Glow Tonic by Pixi

    Stats: 5% Glycolic Acid Exfoliating Toner. I used up a 250 ml (regular size) and a 40 ml (mini from a kit). Price point for the regular size is currently between 239-299 SEK.

    Thoughts: I use it in the evening after cleansing as a mild exfoliant (when I remember to use that is). It is in my routine because it has a cult following and I follow that hype. Seriously.

    Repurchase? My skin is happy and it looks nice but it’s hard to pinpoint what product does what to be honest. But I like the idea of doing some light exfoliation on the daily and then doing some more intense cell sloughing with a mask here and there. So yes, I have repurchased it and probably will again and again. The marketing machine works!

    Overnight Glow Serum by Pixi

    Stats: “Concentrated Exfoliating gel” with alpha hydroxy acid. A 30 ml serum in a dropper bottle with a price of 320 SEK.

    Thoughts: Bought it since I enjoy other Pixi products. However, I disliked the consistency and how it felt on my skin. I used it primarily in the evenings but to be honest since I did not enjoy using it I was very inconsistent in my usage. I finished the bottle however. Good girl!

    Repurchase? Not bloody likely. For an exfoliating fix I would prefer using a face mask now and again rather than this serum form.

    A spot of hydration

    Hyaluron-Filler Concentrate by Eucerin

    Stats: This 5 ml bottle is part of a larger kit containing 6 bottles. It is described as a concentrated anti-wrinkle serum. Price is approximately 300 SEK (for a total of 30 ml).

    Thoughts: I bought this because Caroline Hirons did a Eucerin overview and made it sound interesting to try. But I did not fall in love with this product as I had hoped. I was anticipating some serious hyaluronic acid action and ended up not liking the smell or the texture. It did nothing for my skin.

    Repurchase? It’s simply not for me. I will use up the remainder of the bottles but I’ve been avoiding using it daily since I do not care for it and I will naturally not consider it in the future.

    Glow Boost Essence by Lumene

    Stats: Essence with vitamin C and hyaluronic acid from the Valo range. This was a 15 ml mini that I got in a kit. It has the same dropper bottle as the regular size available on the market. The regular size is 30 ml and the price seems to vary a lot online and I can find it for 209 – 289 SEK.

    Thoughts: I first picked this up because the word “essence” drew me in. Now it’s a staple of mine that sinks in quickly and makes my skin feel nice and hydrated. I love the smell too. I use ut to layer hydration and it does a fantastic job.

    Repurchase? Hell yes, I always have a bottle on the go. Since I repurchase quite often I try to buy one when there is a discount because I run through quite a few bottles yearly.

    Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 by the Ordinary

    Stats: 30 ml hyaluronic acid and friends in serum form, in a dropper bottle. 89 SEK.

    Thoughts: Intrigued by the Ordinary I needed to see if this could be my new HA fix. Sadly, it is not my new favourite to use for extra hydration. It does not sink in properly into my skin and it started to pill when I layered other products on top. It did not make my skin feel hydrated, more like the opposite.

    Repurchase? What do you think? No.

    Hydrating Milky Mist by Pixi

    Stats: Mist with hyaluronic acid and black oat (?) for a “quick hydration”. 80 ml is currently priced at 223 – 279 SEK

    Thoughts: Another one from the Pixi train. I love layering hydrating products so that is what I use this mist for, both in the morning and evening. I love to spray it on straight after cleansing in the morning or after cleansing/Glow Tonic in the evening. Then I add serums and the combination works well for my skin. I also love the smell BUT.. my more recent bottles have had sprayer issues. The mist is fine for a while but then it starts to squirt in your face. We shall see if this issue continues but it’s starting to put me off the product quite a bit. That would be a shame..

    Repurchase? This product has been a staple in my skin care routine for quite a while and I have one on the go and a back-up ready. The sprayer issue will determine its fate.

    Treatment and moisture

    Precious Oil by M Picaut

    Stats: Seabuckthorne, lipo peptides and apricot are highlighted on this 30 ml dropper bottle. It’s an anti-aging serum and is priced at 699 SEK.

    Thoughts: Swedish brand M Picaut was getting some rave reviews in the beauty community and I wanted to try it for myself. As with most oils I used it mainly in the evenings. It was nice and I liked using it, but my skin does not NEED it if you know what I mean? At that higher price point it felt a bit excessive and my combination skin does not care for oils all that much in general.

    Repurchase? Might do yes, if my skincare needs change due to drier or more needy skin.

    Niacimide 10% + Zinc 1% by the Ordinary

    Stats: “High-Strength Vitamin and Mineral Blemish Formula”. A serum in a 30 ml dropper bottle for 69 SEK.

    Thoughts: I think I bought it due to what it said on the packaging about its effect on pores and impurities (I have very visible pores) when I was browsing the The Ordinary shelf at my local H&M. I use this serum primarily on my larger pores, in the center of my face, in the evening. I see quite a bit of difference in my skin texture if I use this regularly. My pores just looks nicer.

    Repurchase? Already have.

    Age-Repair Eye Cream by Grown Alchemist

    Stats: “Tetra-peptide & centella”. 15 ml pump bottle for the slight price of 620 SEK.

    Thoughts: Sadly (says my wallet) I think it’s very nice and I learned just how much I like it when I stopped using it for a while. It’s moisturizing but not greasy and it looks great under makeup. One bottle lasted me more than 6 months.

    Repurchase? It’s a bit too expensive for my taste but I have caved in and bought a new bottle. I really like it and will make an effort to repurchase only when I have a discount code.

    Hydration rescue 24H Replenishing Balm by Lumene

    Stats: This is a moisturizer from Lumenes Source (Lähde) series and a 50 ml jar is 159 – 199 SEK.

    Thoughts: Lumene does some great products and I appreciate their price point. The words “Hydration Rescue” combined with “Replenishing Balm” sold it to me. I love this as a night time moisturizer and in the winter I use it in the daytime as well.

    Repurchase? I already have a new one in use.

    Disclaimer – future me can report that I am not sure I am as smitten with the product anymore. My new jar feels different, the product not the jar itself, and I am not enjoying it as much as before. Reformulated maybe?

    Makeup

    A rare sight.. empty makeup products

    Airbrush Flawless Finish Skin Perfecting Micro-Powder by Charlotte Tilbury

    Stats: Pressed powder in the shade 1 – Fair that is currently not available through Swedish retailers. I bought mine in the CT Covent Garden store in London but there are British online retailers that ship to Sweden and it currently retails for 34 GBP.

    Thoughts: Reviews were rave and I listened. Now I can say that I too love this product. It’s a super fine pressed powder in a beautiful slim rose gold case. I use it for setting my liquid foundation/concealer in the morning and I adore the finish it gives.

    Repurchase? I have not yet but I most likely will. I wanted to use up some other powder products first and recently (since writing my initial notes for this post) I have purchased a contender from Nabla. It is a similar product in a slim compact and it has gotten great reviews. I think I will purchase the CT powder again in a few months and use them side by side to get a better opinion on how they compare.

    Legendary Brows by Charlotte Tilbury

    Stats: It is a tinted brow gel. I used the shade Super Model which is a cool dark brown. The availability is the same as for all CT products and it retails for 18,50 GBP.

    Thoughts: When I was at the CT store I willingly let the makeup artist sell me things, including this. I love how small the brush is but I was not wowed by the effect or colour payoff as to warrant the price point. It was ok but not amazing, if you know what I mean.

    Repurchase? I’m testing out cheaper options and they are performing well so most likely not. 

    Blur Foundation by Lumene

    Stats: I have the shade 0 (Light Ivory) and the tube is 30 ml. It’s marketed as medium coverage and retails at 169 – 189 SEK.

    Thoughts: I do not remember when I first bought this or why. I had probably read a nice review or two. I really enjoy using this foundation and it is my preferred one at the moment. I have been mixing this shade with a newer shade (00), especially in the winter, to get a better match to my skin tone. It is a staple in my makeup wardrobe. It can be used sparingly for a lighter coverage or built up for more coverage.

    Repurchase: I already have and will certainly continue to do so as long as it keeps working for me. A tube lasts quite a long time and I enjoy using it a lot. The price point is nice too. If I will continue to mix it with another shade will be up for evaluation since I feel like the shades have been tweaked over time. I’m not so sure I will need both moving forward, but watch this space.

    That was all for this round! Since nearly six months has passed since I took these photos I have naturally accumulated more empty products. So a round two will appear in the near future.

    Thank you for reading!

    S