Another year has passed and it is time to do the second and last instalment of the Used Up. In this post I will go through all of the makeup and skincare items that were used up by me during the second half of 2022, July through December. In those six months I managed to finish a total of 12 items and out of those only 4 were makeup products. As per usual I’m not including all beauty consumables in this bi-annual post. Categories not included are body care, nail care, haircare or any type of SPF (unless it is a skincare/makeup item that just happens to have SPF in it). I still prefer not to track those categories in any way.
I want to highlight some things about my skin that can be useful to know before reading my opinions on these products. I have dehydrated combination skin and I am noticing my skin changing a lot because of ageing (I’m 41) so I am slowly adjusting my routine to its evolving needs. I still get the occasional breakout and can get quite shiny during the day. My skin rarely reacts badly to products and I have no allergies.
Let’s dive in!
My current routine: I use a cream cleanser or something similar in the morning before skincare/makeup and then I use two cleansers in the evening. One oil/balm as a first step in removing makeup and/or sunscreen and then I go in with a second round with the same cleanser that I used in the morning. I usually have 2-3 cleansers in action at any given moment.
Let’s start with a recurring favourite. I purchased the Golden Amber Probiotic Cleansing Balm (125 ml, 399 SEK) by M Picaut shortly after it was released and this was my second tube. I love everything about this product I will for sure keep on repurchasing it.
This tube of the Glow Mud Cleanser by Pixi (135 ml, 279 SEK) is the first time I tried it but I do have another one in use now. I enjoy using this specific cleanser in the shower. I massage it in on damp skin and wait 30 seconds, as instructed, and then use a cloth to wipe it away. I find it effective yet never drying. I am really bad at exfoliating my skin as frequent as I could/should (i.e would benefit from) and this cleanser somewhat picks up some slack in that department. The tube lasts me a good while and I see this as a staple product at this point.
Then we have one bottle of Bioderma Sensibio Make-up removing micelle solution (250 ml, around 100 SEK). This was a staple product for a while, last mentioned in The Used Up 2020:2, and it took me two years to use the last bottle up. I practically stopped using it on my face on a regular basis and only used it to remove the odd pigmented lipstick or arm swatches of the more stubborn kind. I might repurchase someday for that purpose but I am not sure at this point.
Toner & mists
My current routine: I always have a hydrating spray that I use after cleansing but before serums. Sometimes I use a toner as a complement, either a hydrating one or an exfoliator. In the evenings I also like to use a more nourishing spray (with oils) as a last comforting step.
The Hydrating Water (100 ml, 349 SEK) by M Picaut was what I chose to pick up when I realised I could not get my favourite hydrating mist by Josh Rosebrook anymore. The Swedish reseller at the time never did restock it. I do like this M Picaut product, it does its job well, but not as much as the Hydrating Accelerator by Josh Rosebrook. The glass bottle does make me a bit nervous as well. It is quite heavy and I’m always a bit wary about dropping it in the bathroom and ruining the sink or the tiled floor. The bottle can be repurposed as a vase though and will save this bottle for that purpose. I have bought another bottle of the Hydrating Water and it is currently in use but when I run out I will pick up the Hydrating Accelerator again since I just found it at a new (to me anyway) Swedish webshop – Caeleste.
The Collagen Tonic by Pixi (100 ml, 179 SEK) was a spontaneous purchase in 2021. But I did enjoy using it a lot more than anticipated and swiftly purchased a new bottle when I ran out. The tonic smells lovely and make my skin feel nicely hydrated. I use it as an essence, applied and patted in with my hands and then I layer serums on top. A hydration sandwich! I have another bottle in use currently. I have continued buying the smaller bottles but the product is available in a 250 ml bottle as well.
Essence & serums
My current routine: I like to use a hydrating serum 1-2 times a day and it is a core item. I also dabble with more treatment focused serums but I’m more irregular with those.
This is no surprise. Another bottle of the Hyaluronic Super Serum (30 ml, 359-495 SEK) by Acasia. This is my third empty bottle this year, see my initial post The Used Up 2022:1, and I nearly finished a fourth one before 2022 was over. I still use it morning and night and I have nothing bad to say about it. I will buy a new one soon.
Moisturisers & oils
My current routine: I use a variety of creams depending on what my skin needs. In the morning after serums I like to put on a basic moisturiser before adding SPF and/or a primer. I have lighter and heavier creams (I’m using the term heavy lightly here – I have combination skin after all) and adjust the combination according to seasonal variations like the climate outdoors/indoors. For daytime the goal is to have a face base that does not pill or look patchy when I apply makeup on top. In the evening I like to use a more robust and comforting cream since I do not need to worry about the makeup bit. I use an eye cream both morning and evening and the main goal is to hydrate the skin without stinging my eyes or melting my mascara. I use oils sparingly but I like to have one on hand for facial massages or as an extra comforting layer when my skin needs it.
Let’s start with a rather new favourite. I initially purchased the Rose Quartz Supreme Rich Cream by M Picaut (50 ml, 749 SEK) to use as a night cream but I also use it in the daytime during the autumn/winter months. You can read a bit more about my thoughts after finishing my first bottle here. I have another one in use right now and I will repurchase when I run out. I really really like it.
The Lait-Crème Concentré (75 ml, 269 SEK) by Embryolisse is a newer acquaintance as well. I say newer since this is my first tube but I did buy it as far back as December 2020. It lasted me two years and during those years I used it in two different ways. Initially I picked it up to be used as a moisturiser during the colder months. So that first winter I did use it for that purpose. Then I started wearing the Rose Quartz cream by M Picaut during the day the following winter and have continued on with that ever since. So I tried using the Embryolisse cream more like a hydrating primer and my skin loved it. I apply it over whatever skincare I am wearing as an extra priming step before makeup. It does contain perfume and it has a distinct scent, but oh how I adore that scent. For anyone interested the product can be found in a perfume-free version as well but in a 100 ml tube.
I wrote at length about these in my last The Used Up post, including swatches. It’s the HD Studio Photogenic Concealer (3 g, 109 SEK) by NYX in the shades Alabaster (CW 00) and Green (CW12). I like working with this formula and use them every time I do my makeup. Alabaster under the eye and Green as a targeted colour corrector or as a mixer for other base products to make them a shade closer to my skin tone. I have repurchased both shades and consider them as staples. But I must say I am a bit keen on trying similar products from other brands during 2023, just for fun. It is always fun to try new things and compare them to old favourites.
Mascara & brows
No one is surprised to see the Relevée Mascara (6 g, 320 SEK) by Surratt Beauty in this post. I switched to this in mid 2020 and have used it ever since. As mentioned in previous posts I do not think it’s the perfect tubing mascara since it does smudge a bit on me. A bit more than I enjoy. But I’m still not overly keen on searching for a new one just yet. I have another tube of Relevée in use at the moment and after that, who knows?
Moving on to another product by Surratt, the Expressioniste Brow Pomade (5 g, 350 SEK) in Clear. I love this brow product. It does exactly what I want it to do, keep my brows in place without leaving them feeling stiff and looking crusty. The pomade is undetectable once it is dry and this is the only brow product that has managed to put my brows in their place so to speak. The packaging was previously the same colour and design, albeit a slight difference in size, as the Relevée mascara. But when I repurchased the brow pomade last time I noticed that Surratt had made the wise decision to differentiate them. The brow pomade is now in an oil spill coloured tube and it is so much easier to tell them apart.
2022 empties wrap-up
As I now wrap up the year of 2022 in numbers I also want to take the opportunity to look even further back and compare those numbers with the previous three years. I did the same thing at the end of 2021. Below you can see the numbers from 2021, 2020 and 2019 in brackets where applicable.
To summarise this year I managed to use up:
- 5 cleansers (9, 11, 8)
- 1 toner (1, 1, 0)
- 1 face mist (3, 3, 5)
- 3 essences/serums (8, 8, 11)
- 0 eye creams (1, 2, 1)
- 4 face creams (2, 5, 4)
- 1 oil (1, 1, 0)
- 0 masks (2, 1, 2)
- 0 spot treatments (1, 0, 0)
- 4 concealers (1, 4, 1)
- 2 colour correctors (1, 0, 0)
- 1 foundation (2, 2, 3)
- 2 powders (1, 2, 3)
- 2 mascaras (3, 4, 2)
- 2 brow tamers (1, 4, 1)
- 2 eye primers (1, 1, 1)
- 1 lipstick (2, 1, 0)
- 1 eye liner (0)
That is a total of 32 skincare and makeup products compared to 40 in 2021, 55 in 2020 and 49 in 2019. The value of these products (if they were to be purchased at full price) is around 10 000 SEK (the same as 2021 and compared to 13 500 SEK in 2020 and 2019). So 2022 consisted of fewer yet more expensive items on a whole. All of these specific items were not purchased in one year and some were gifts from friends/family and many were bought with a discount. Obviously I have loads of items, mainly makeup, that I will never use up and that will never end up in a post like this. I’m not doing these round-ups to track how much I spend but rather to highlight to myself the “worth” of the products I actually use up in one year. It shows how I spend my money on certain consumables and it gives food for thought. The average cost per item is 250 SEK and spread out over 12 months it lands at approximately 835 SEK per month compared to 1100 SEK per month in 2020.
I’m glad that I’ve found so many core favourites over the years. Products from varying price points that do their job so well that I buy them again and again. It is also very satisfying to know that I use up most of the skincare items that I buy before they go bad. The only area where I could improve my usage is masks. I own some lovely masks but I am not in the habit of using them very often. In 2023 we will see an accumulated heap of empty masks I think, several years in the making.
Thanks for reading!