Empties 2014

Saving empties for posts is excruciating -- hats off to the many bloggers out there who are blogging about empties. Yes, we go through products here at the Land, but certainly not the kind the kind we'd blog about: they are mostly staple products that we use daily. I rarely change my skin care products (apart from seasonal changes), and my skin is on the sensitive side that I shy away from most samples (unless it is a product I am really interested in trying or had tried before). 

These are new (to me) products I tried during the entire year of 2014. If anything, let this post be my future reference in case I want to repurchase any of these products.


Biore UV Aqua Rich
I bought this from my trip to Asia last year and promptly used the whole thing in a matter of two weeks or so (the bottle is so tiny!). This has the basic Asian formula for sunscreen: film former + alcohol + sebum absorber + chemical and physical sunscreen combo. It leaves a matte finish despite the claim of being "aqua rich." I find this drying, but in the sweltering heat, it worked wonder and even more wonderful as makeup base. Probably won't repurchase for Northern climate/weather.

Hada Labo UV SPF50+ PA +++ UV Moist Emulsion
Purchased this from Asia and have been repurchasing this via various sellers in Amazon. The bottle is tiny (why are Asian sunscreens only come in 50 mL bottles?), I go through this thing about once every other month if not sooner. This is my now staple sunscreen product. This liquid "shake the bottle before apply" formula features chemical & physical (Octinoxate, Uvinul A plus and zinc oxide) sunscreen in a heavy silicone base. I put this last after my skin care and never bother to wait before piling on foundation on top. It is unscented, does not contain alcohol, has dewy, cushiony finish on the skin. Probably not suitable for normal-oily/oily skin.

Hada Labo UV SPF50+ PA++++ UV Creamy Gel
Don't let the "creamy" part fool you, this is an alcohol-based gel chemical sunscreen. It goes on water-light but yes, the alcohol is a dead killer for me. I used this up as arm/leg sunscreen. Very nice if you don't mind the alcohol, but I generally won't recommend this due to the drying effect.

Hada Labo UV SPF50+ PA +++ UV Whitening Emulsion
The consistency, formulation and performance of this "whitening" sunscreen is the same as the sister "non-whitening" UV Moist Emulsion. Practically interchangeable, I don't notice any whitening effect -- immediate or delayed-- whatsoever from this sunscreen.

Mentholatum Sunplay Superblock SPF50+ PA++++
Physical/chemical combo sunscreen in a liquid formula, not unlike the Hada Labo Emulsion. This one is the one I tote around in my handbag as touch-up sunscreen as physical sunscreen kicks in right away to provide block in an instant (v.s. chemical sunscreen that needs time to absorb to be effective). 

As a side note, sunscreen containing high percentage of zinc oxide tends to exacerbate dryness but I found that if you have a good base skin care that is quite occlusive/emollient, this shouldn't be a problem.

Cleanser and Toner

LRP Toleriane Dermo-Nettoyant
I try this one against Avene Gentle Skin Cleanser (still using this one) and I found LRP version to be a bit more drying and stinging, especially to peeling skin (post retin-A initiation, which I usually lay-off during summer months and re-start in the Fall). This is a no-go for me. Cleansing-wise, I think it does decent job removing your non-waterproof makeup, so long as you use a washcloth to remove it and double cleanse after.

Paula's Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid
.. was a staple product but now I switch to her Resist BHA liquid line (same strength), which has a less-tacky finish compared to this one. 


Lifeline Recovery Night Moisture Serum with Stem-Cell Extract
A thin, yellow liquid (almost bright), smells like yoghurt that was beyond its past-date. Ugh! Was this product still ok? -- especially when the web review said the serum smells good. Should I even use it? Used it anyway, liberally over cleansed face & neck. Fast absorbing with tightening sensation, but not moisturizing at all. Within a few minutes, I got red, itchy patches on my skin. Nuff said, I washed my face and ditch this sample.

Perricone Formula 15
A thin, yellow-beige liquid that spreads nicely thin, leaves matte, dry finish after a few minutes. The tightening effect was immediate and it felt tingling, which was not a good thing for me: it left about 2-3 welts which disappear throughout the day, but welts are still welts!
The scent was initially herbaceous turned meaty/protein-ey (aka ick!) which did not dissipate. I followed with moisturizer per website's suggestion. I didn't notice any diminishment in my "eleven" or fine lines around my eyes, but their study is based on 4-week treatment. Alas, this sample only lasted me 2-3times of facial + neck application. Based on the welts alone, this one is another ditch for me.

NeoCurtis Bio-Cream PSP
A nice, real-deal cream that was immediately comfortable on the skin with that after-glow effect; however, it, again, left welts around my face, also redness on my cheek. After about 3-4 hours, my face started to feel tightened but looked greasy at the same time. WTH?? In any case, I used the eye cream version from this same company with great result -- highly recommended from my derm's office. I'm not sure what to make of this sample try out but judging from the price, I probably won't get this product anytime soon.

Caudalie Vinexpert Firming Serum
This nice-smelling serum has a liquid thin consistency. It felt immediately tightening but not moisturizing (my skin ached for a drink of moisturizer after this serum). It did not irritate the skin, surprisingly! but probably won't purchase this as the effect was only temporary.

Chantecaille Flower Infused Cleansing Milk
Pleasantly rose-scented cleansing milk, but the sample so skimpy, it was barely enough to do a double-cleanse. It left my face super soft. It did not irritate my skin and the texture was thick enough to dissolve silicone-based makeup + sunscreen -- it felt cushiony & somewhat cocooning. Very impressed!

Chantecaille Bamboo and Hibiscus Exfoliating Cream
The thin cream smelled like yoghurt + some herbaceous stuff. I applied this on DAMP skin (if not the product can be rather draggy) and kept on massaging for 1-2 minutes. It contained small scrubbing particles "bamboo powder" that was quite gritty (not the smooth, soft sphere kind), reminiscent of Philosophy Microdelivery Peel (which uses diatomaceous earth). I really hope they use bamboo powder for the sake of environment. Afterwards, my face felt smooth and tight but pink all over (red on the neck) similar to chemical burn (or maybe mechanical abrasion?). A no buy for me.

Chantecaille Nano Gold Energizing Cream
I don't know if my sample was an old one and the product has separated but this thick cream looked like a gold emulsion (with visible gold oil separating from the cream). It went on smoothly and since it was so thick, a little goes a long way. This balmy cream absorbed quickly and leave non-tacky finish. I don't like the gold microglitter, eventhough it may be real gold because it does glint and transfer everywhere. It gives an illusion of brightening.. if I squint. Not irritating, no redness, blotchiness, maybe slight itchiness that dissapears.

Kate Somerville Dilo Oil
This is one sample I really enjoy. Tt does what facial oil supposed to do, which retains hydration in the skin, it smells good, and leave a minimally "greasy finish." It does not react with my skin, certainly a great addition to regular moisturizer.

Chantecaille Bio Lifting Neck Cream
Minimally scented but one thing that made me toss this sample faster than I opened it is the inclusion of alcohol in the formulation. It does have a little bit of tightening effect, again due to alcohol and film-former, but a big no for me.

Chantecaille Retinol Intense in Marine Nanospheres
A nice, rather thin cream but not significant amount to produce/see any result -- of course, samples are intended to see if the skin would react before purchasing the full-size product. I didn't get any reaction from this cream but the price point is quite prohibitive for the scanty amount of retinol it contains.

Best Face Forward Natural Serum Oil
This one is a worthy addition to my skin care routine. The sample size is quite generous that I was able to use this for a full two weeks with great result. I will do a separate review/comparison of this with Sunday Riley Juno.

Have you used any of the above products?

1 comment:

  1. woohoo! i love empties. I like that chante cleansing milk sample too. and i liked the bamboo thingy as well... i think i have some of those other chante samples around too but I havne't tried them