Time flies and it is already late November. I took the pictures for this post way back in July but never found the time to sit down and write the thing. But better late than never! In this post I will go through all of the makeup and skincare items that were used up by me during the first half of 2023, January through June. In those six months I managed to finish a total of 16 items and out of those only three were makeup products.
Categories not included in this post 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.
As per usual I want to highlight some things about my skin that can be useful to know before reading my thoughts and opinions on these products. I have combination skin with a tendency towards dehydration. I’m 42 (soon anyway) and naturally I’m noticing my skin changing a lot due to ageing. So I’m slowly adjusting my routine to its ever evolving needs. The occasional breakout happens but it is more and more infrequent these days. But I still get quite shiny during the day and my makeup “melts”. My skin rarely reacts badly to products and I have no allergies.
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.
Only recurring favourites this time around. The Golden Amber Probiotic Cleansing Balm (125 ml, 399 SEK) by M Picaut solidly made its way into my heart and I repurchase it again and again. I have nothing bad to say about it and it still feels very luxurious too use. The smooth honey-like texture and warm and comforting scent is a joy to massage onto my face. It does not sting my eyes or leave any residue after removal. I have a tube in rotation at this moment.
The Glow Mud Cleanser by Pixi (135 ml, 279 SEK) was new to me in 2022 but I have continued to buy it regularly since then. I still mainly use it in the shower in the morning and massage it on damp skin and wait 30 seconds, as instructed, and then use a damp cloth to wipe it away. Only a small amount is needed and the tube lasted a nice while. I do not find it drying but I also never use it more than once a day. So I do not have any experience with using it twice a day, even though it does say on the packaging that you can use it morning and evening.
Toner & mists
My current routine: I always have a hydrating spray on hand 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 mist (with oils) as a last comforting step.
Nothing new under the sun when it comes to mists either. The Hydrating Water by M Picaut (100 ml, 349 SEK) was what I chose to pick up when I realised I could not get my favourite hydrating mist by Josh Rosebrook anymore since the Swedish reseller at the time never did restock it. I did repurchase the Hydrating Water once more after that, and that is the empty bottle in this post, but then I found the Hydrating Accelerator again at the Swedish webshop Caeleste. I like the M Picaut mist well enough but it is just not my fave. Right now I’m buying from Josh Rosebrook again.
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.
Let’s start with the new item in this lineup, the Hyper Real Serumizer by MAC Cosmetics (30 ml, 760 SEK). I picked this up quite close to the launch since I was intrigued and I managed to get a nice discount (I also bought the accompanying cream) to ease the pain of this hefty price. MAC is not a skincare brand in my eyes so for me this was a bit too steep a cost. However the product was lovely and the packaging gorgeous. The scent was a bit more than I was used to but I quickly got used to it, I even enjoyed it. I have nothing bad to say about this serum except the big disclaimer – it is too damn expensive for 30 ml. Those 30 ml did not last me as long as I hoped for even though the serum left my skin feeling nicely hydrated it was nothing revolutionary. I would consider buying this again if it was around 450-500 SEK. But not for 760 SEK.
The next product is a recurring favourite. Two bottles of the Hyaluronic Super Serum (30 ml, 279-495 SEK) by Acasia. I used it twice a day and I have only nice things to say about this serum. I am currently using something else, something new that intrigued me, but I’m sure I will buy the Acasia serum again in the future. It’s a nice staple for me to revert back to.
The final serum is a recurring product as well but one that I use more and more infrequently these days. Last time I had an empty bottle of Niacimide 10% + Zinc 1% by the Ordinary (30 ml, 69 SEK) was in the first half of 2021. I still use it whenever my skin is prone to breakouts and I usually apply it over the affected area in the evenings. But since my skin is becoming less prone to breakouts with age, and even though I have another bottle in use right now (because bought two by mistake once), I do not see myself buying another one when the one I’m currently using runs out. I do have another specific spot treatment product that is sufficient for my breakout needs.
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.
The Rose Quartz Supreme Rich Cream by M Picaut (50 ml, 749 SEK) is a firm favourite at this point. I use it as mainly as a night cream but I also use it in the daytime during the autumn/winter months. I repurchase as soon as I run out or run low if I can catch it in time. My skin really loves it!
My current routine: I do not have one. I use masks very infrequently but usually I like to have a lineup of a hydrating one, an exfoliating one and a deep cleansing one. I like to use an overnight mask when I have one.
The Hydra Lagoon Overnight Mask by M Picaut (50 ml, 729 SEK) was a product I thought I would adore. I had heard so many good things about it (from people I trust but who have different skin types from me) and it was even designed as an overnight mask which I love as a concept. But it never really worked well for me. I found it to be sitting on top of my skin and not really sinking in, leaving my skin feeling less than hydrated. Because of that it did not work well as an overnight mask for me – it would be a bit messy, almost sticky and dry at the same time. To add insult to injury I did not use it up within its proper shelf-life so it started to smell off. I persisted and used it up anyway but it was not a nice experience. That last bit was totally my fault, but simply put this mask is not for me. It is for someone else with other skincare needs. I’m glad I tried it but I will not be buying this again.
Moving on to the Botanical Collagen Mask by Pixi (45 ml, 299 SEK) or Collagen Plumping Mask as it is also marketed as. This little treat has a nice scent and is designed as a leave-on mask so I gladly wore it overnight. It worked very well as a little hydrating treat and my skin loved it. I can see myself purchasing this again in the future.
The Exfoliating Peel Mask by M Picaut (50 ml, 399 SEK) and I did not have the best relationship. The blame is mine though. I was very infrequent in my use and never really paid attention after using it until the end of its life. Then my opinion was that I liked it, but I am sure that if I had paid more attention earlier I would have enjoyed it a lot more. It was mild yet effective. So the product made no big impression on me but I will consider it in the future when I need to purchase an exfoliator. It deserves a second chance.
Zero Zit by Pixi (10 ml, 339 SEK) was a long-lasting little trooper. That tube lasted me around 2 years. I patted this on top of blemishes and it dried them out nicely or made them develop faster. The gel was transparent and did not leave a film that was noticeable to the eye or pilled when touched. When I ran out I wanted to repurchase but it was nowhere to be found. So I currently have a similar product from another brand but I do not like it as much (it pills). The product has since then become available again and I would absolutely consider buying it in the future.
Lets round this post off with some more recurring items. You can find my thoughts on these two concealers in this 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 have enjoyed using this formula for a while they were part of my everyday makeup routine. Alabaster was used under the eye as a corrector for my not-very-dark under eyes. Green was and is used as a targeted colour corrector or as a mixer for other base products to make them a shade closer to my skin tone. Both of these have been repurchased many times but nowadays I only buy Green. Alabaster was a tad too dark and peach for me so I’ve stopped buying it. I am currently enjoying trying new concealers and looking for a good replacement to use as a under-eye brightener and/or corrector. The green one is not perfect but it is a proper key item for me. It is a bit difficult to blend if I use it on its own, so I tend to mix it with other base products. I would love to try green correctors from other brands in the future but so far I’m still using the NYX one.
There we have it! Six months worth of empty products. It is very apparent to me that I tend to stick to things (and brands) that I enjoy and play it a bit more safe with my skincare these days. I like what I like and I stray from gambling with new stuff. But here and there I manage to sneak in something new at least.
Thank you for reading!