Jane's Empties: Fall 2017 Edition

Jane's Empties: Fall 2017 Edition

I’ve been hoarding empty packages for a while now (much to my family and boyfriend’s dismay), so welcome to Jane’s Long Overdue “Empties” Post. I’ve gone through a mix of skincare and hair products, with a smidge of makeup. I've got 10 empties to share with y'all today. Without further ado, let’s get down to business.

Skincare

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Banila Co Clean It Zero Purity (100ml - $25 at Sokoglam, $23 at Amazon)

This is the first cleansing balm I ever tried and it was with this product I began my double-cleanse life. For that, it will always have a special spot in my heart. Like many things, just because it was the first, doesn’t mean it was the best. I chose the Purity (green tub) version of the Banila Co Clean It Zero line because I figured it would be non-irritating, being that it’s free of mineral oil, fragrance, and parabens. In terms of my skin, it did a decent job of cleaning but it would ALWAYS cause irritation and dryness to my eyes. I was careful to avoid my eyes when I realized it was an issue, but whenever I washed off the balm, my eyes would still sting. I’m still not sure what the culprit was, and I know a lot of people LOVE the Banila Co balms, but I feel like there are just better cleansing balms out there.

Rating: 3/5

Scale: 

1 - Epic fail.
2 - Doesn't wow me and isn't effective.
3 - Meh. Not horrible and not amazing.
4 - Very nice. Would repurchase until something better comes along.
5 - Holy grail, would recommend and repurchase.

Repurchase? No, unfortunately not.

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Heimish All Clean Balm (120 ml - $19 at Ohlolly, $18.45 at Amazon)

This is my holy grail cleansing balm and there’s a reason for its rising cult-favorite status despite being around for a year or so. Everything I hated about Banila Co’s Clean It Zero Purity is not an issue with the Heimish All Clean Balm. This balm is more moisturizing, gentle, absorbs more easily, and contains no fragrance. It has more nourishing ingredients such as shea butter and donkey milk which makes application super silky smooth - this stuff melts into your skin like no other. My eyes don’t get irritated when I use this either which was reason enough for me to make the switch. Heimish ACB also contains more product than Banila Co. - with 120 ml per tub compared to 100 ml. My only gripe is the packaging. It’s a twist off cap with an inner lid to separate the product from the twist off cap. The issue I and many others had is the inner cap doesn’t shut completely, leaving a small gap for air. Thankfully, Heimish renewed the packaging recently and the inner lid is now in a pull-up type (sorry I don’t know how best to describe these things) so I don’t think packaging is an issue any longer. I also appreciate that Heimish listened to feedback and made the change so quickly!

Rating: 5/5 would recommend.

Scale: 

1 - Epic fail.
2 - Doesn't wow me and isn't effective.
3 - Meh. Not horrible and not amazing.
4 - Very nice. Would repurchase until something better comes along.
5 - Holy grail, would recommend and repurchase.

Repurchase: Yes, a million times yes.

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Biore UV Perfect Milk (40 ml - $10.44 at Amazon

This is another holy grail for me. I love love love Biore’s UV Perfect Milk in the lil’ blue bottle. This is my first time using a chemical sunscreen and my oily skin loves it - it’s mattifying but not drying. It’s lightweight and absorbs quickly, leaving no white cast after rubbing it in. The texture also makes it suitable as a primer as well. There’s no added fragrance (do you see a trend here?) and has PA++++/50+ sun protection against both UVA and UVB rays. It does contain alcohol, but in this case I don’t consider it irritating or drying (it’s also pretty rare to find an Asian sunscreen without alcohol or fragrance). The sunscreen is waterproof as well, though reapplication is still needed throughout the day. To me, this sunscreen checks all the boxes and it's absolutely perfect.

Rating: 5/5

Scale: 

1 - Epic fail.
2 - Doesn't wow me and isn't effective.
3 - Meh. Not horrible and not amazing.
4 - Very nice. Would repurchase until something better comes along.
5 - Holy grail, would recommend and repurchase.

Repurchase: I bought a 2 pack of 40ml bottles well over 6 months ago and it has lasted me this long. I’m currently on the 2nd bottle and I will definitely repurchase.

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Nature Republic Bee Venom Mist Essence (50 ml - $10.90 at Nature Republic)

I first tried the Nature Republic Bee Venom Mist Essence when Nature Republic was at Beautycon LA. Elizabeth and I both picked up this product - it was our first bee venom product. I was intrigued by how bee venom combats acne with its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. This product is a mist essence which layers a very fine mist of bee venom when sprayed. I love it and have felt a difference in my skin with use; it leaves it feeling clean and soothed. I feel like it sanitizes my skin in a way. This essence also contains salicylic acid, which we know is commonly found in acne treatments due to its function as a BHA exfoliant that works below the surface level. Overall, I find this essence to be a quick, convenient, and effective product. I spritz it all over my face, mostly in the mornings when I’m in a rush to layer all my products before heading out the door.

Rating: 4/5

Scale: 

1 - Epic fail.
2 - Doesn't wow me and isn't effective.
3 - Meh. Not horrible and not amazing.
4 - Very nice. Would repurchase until something better comes along.
5 - Holy grail, would recommend and repurchase.

Repurchase: Already have and will continue to!

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Mini: Belif The True Cream Aqua Bomb (25ml or 50 ml - $22-$38 at Sephora)

Elizabeth had been singing a song of high praise for Belif for the longest time. I, on the other hand, just barely hopped on the Belif bandwagon. I received a mini of Belif’s The True Cream Aqua Bomb with my Sephora Play box a few months ago. It is is probably the only thing I even remember receiving from a Play box; that’s how much of a game-changer it was for me. The cream is a blue gel cream which provides a cooling effect once you apply it. It hydrates immediately upon contact. I’ve looked for a dupe of the Aqua Bomb just because the price tag is a little much for a constant re-buy. I go through this stuff pretty quickly if I’m using it every night. I’ll let you all know once I find a dupe (right now I’m enjoying CNP Laboratory Soothing Gel Cream).

Rating: 5/5

Scale: 

1 - Epic fail.
2 - Doesn't wow me and isn't effective.
3 - Meh. Not horrible and not amazing.
4 - Very nice. Would repurchase until something better comes along.
5 - Holy grail, would recommend and repurchase.

Repurchase: I’ve collected a few more 10ml sample sizes to last me for a good while. At least until Sephora’s Spring sale, when a little birdie (Elizabeth) tells me they sell the full-size Aqua Bomb in a special set.

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HadaLabo Gokujyn Hyaluronic Acid Cleansing Foam (160 ml - $9.30 at Amazon or check your local Asian supermarket!)

I bought this cleansing foam when I first started getting into Asian Beauty, and I found it at my local 99 Ranch Supermarket. After doing research on low pH cleansers, I realized how important it was to have a low pH cleanser in your routine and I was lucky to have already subscribed to the low pH life. This product is an inoffensive and no-frills cleanser that gets the job done - it cleans and doesn’t strip your skin. I don’t notice it being particularly hydrating but it definitely isn’t drying, and it foams up nicely. It’s not the most interesting or innovative product but it’s like that one dependable friend - it’s always going to be there for you.

Rating: 4/5

Scale: 

1 - Epic fail.
2 - Doesn't wow me and isn't effective.
3 - Meh. Not horrible and not amazing.
4 - Very nice. Would repurchase until something better comes along.
5 - Holy grail, would recommend and repurchase.

Repurchase: If I was in a pinch and didn’t have time to buy another cleanser, I would run to the store and grab this one.

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COSRX Galactomyces 95 Whitening Power Essence (100 ml - $14.62 at Amazon)

I’m going through so many firsts in this post. The COSRX Galactomyces 95 Whitening Power Essence is the first ever product I used that falls into the “First Treatment Essence” category. Let’s take a quick aside and discuss FTEs.

First Treatment Essences are one type of product that we haven’t really delved into on our blog, it’s a specific type of product made from fermented ingredients. It’s purpose is to be used as the first treatment and first hydration step after you cleanse (I know, it’s weird, we always say toner comes after cleansing and now there’s an extra in-between step?). But the thing with first treatment essences is they are so fluid and water-like, they absorb even more quickly than toners. Popular ingredients include Pitera (fermented yeast, found in the famous SK-II FTE), saccharomyces ferment filtrate, and galactomyces ferment filtrate. These are the first ingredients listed in these products and always should be. Thus all you’re putting on your face is a by-product of fermented stuff - but it works so well. FTEs are rich in amino acids, vitamins, and minerals that your skin will just suck up willingly. They are meant to nourish, brighten, and plump your skin while providing an extra boost of hydration before your next steps.

The COSRX Galactomyces 95 Whitening Power Essence, despite it’s unnecessarily long name (which used to be something even worse) contains 95% galactomyces ferment filtrate which is a yeast by-product of fermented sake. It also contains niacinamide (brightening), sodium hyaluronate and glycerin (hydrating), panthenol (moisturizing), and allantoin (soothing). Honestly, this is an affordable dupe for MISSHA’s First Treatment Essence ($49), which in turn is a dupe for SK-II’s Facial Treatment Essence ($180). I think this is a great introduction to fermented products for newbies. It is virtually odorless, and just makes the skin more comfortable, calmed, and smooth to the touch. When I wasn’t using any other brightening products in my routine, all of my positive skin changes could be attributed to this little guy. He will always have a special place in my heart.

Rating: 4.5/5

Scale: 

1 - Epic fail.
2 - Doesn't wow me and isn't effective.
3 - Meh. Not horrible and not amazing.
4 - Very nice. Would repurchase until something better comes along.
5 - Holy grail, would recommend and repurchase.

Repurchase: Yes, but I have a few other FTEs I’m trying out.

Hair Care

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It’s A 10 Miracle Leave-In Product (4 oz - $18.52 at Ulta)

So far, I’ve bought 2-3 bottles of this stuff. It’s my favorite leave-in product ever: it detangles, smooths, shines, and protects hair from heat. I use it whenever I wash my hair before I comb through it, and even on days where I don’t wash my hair if I decide to style or curl it. I love it so much, but the price kind of kills me for the amount of product you get. You can find it from $14-$18 for a smol 4 oz bottle. Ingredients in this product include panthenol, sunflower seed extract, green tea leaf extract, silk amino acids, and citric acid (Vitamin C). I’ve let my hair grow out lately (it’s past my lower back) and I just go through this stuff like crazy. If anyone knows a good dupe for this - either Asian or Western - please let me know. My wallet and I are begging you.

Rating: 4.5/5

Scale: 

1 - Epic fail.
2 - Doesn't wow me and isn't effective.
3 - Meh. Not horrible and not amazing.
4 - Very nice. Would repurchase until something better comes along.
5 - Holy grail, would recommend and repurchase.

Repurchase: I’ll buy it until I can find I decent dupe.

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Living Proof Control Hairspray (3 oz or 7.5 oz - $14-$25 at Ulta)

This is without a doubt my HG hairspray. I can’t say enough about it. I was the girl with slick straight hair that never curled, no matter how hard I tried. A couple of years ago for Dapper Day at Disneyland (where everyone dresses cute and vintage), my friend Stephanie introduced this hairspray to me, and Elizabeth showed me to how I should use it for maximum results. All of a sudden, my hair magically curled and STAYED CURLED, without any crunchy feeling. It wasn't just Disney magic; this stuff is amazing. My current routine is to spray my hair with it before curling with my Beachwaver, and again after curling. My curls stay all day and when they do fade at the end of the day they turn into a nice natural-looking wave. Now, I use the Control Hair Spray exclusively from Ulta (tan bottle). I don’t know what’s different about it but there is a difference from the black “style lab” control hair spray bottle - my curls don’t last as long with it. I’ve found the perfect hairspray for me and I pray it never gets discontinued.

Rating: 5/5

Scale: 

1 - Epic fail.
2 - Doesn't wow me and isn't effective.
3 - Meh. Not horrible and not amazing.
4 - Very nice. Would repurchase until something better comes along.
5 - Holy grail, would recommend and repurchase.

Repurchase: Forever and a day.

Makeup

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Colourpop No Filter Concealer in Tan 50 (4 g/ 0.14 oz - $6 at Colourpop

Now for our first makeup review. It’s no secret that Elizabeth and I LOVE Colourpop (If you don’t know, now you know). Upon its debut, I was stoked to try their first foray into foundation: the No Filter Concealer. I went crazy and tried a few different shades, since they’re only $6 that was enough to enable me to find the right shade. (For reference, I’m about NC 42-45 in Mac, warm, yellow undertones). YO. Once I found my shade, (Tan 50) I bought 4 of these concealers and that’s STILL cheaper than one tube of Tarte’s Shape Tape. This concealer is creamy, crease-free, and FULL COVERAGE. If you don’t believe me, head to YouTube and look for reviews. Your skin will look flawless and you really won't need a filter with this concealer. I use the concealer all over my face; I use Golden 40 or Deep Beige 45 under my eyes and Tan 50 on the rest of my face. I’ll probably need to change it up now that it’s Winter and I’m not getting as much sun. The only downside is the small amount of product in each tube and how Colourpop tends to sell out, but it’s cheap enough to stock up every now and then (only $30 for free shipping and Colourpop runs deals quite often). However, shoutout to Colourpop for continuing to produce quality makeup that doesn’t break the bank.

Rating: 4.5/5

Scale: 

1 - Epic fail.
2 - Doesn't wow me and isn't effective.
3 - Meh. Not horrible and not amazing.
4 - Very nice. Would repurchase until something better comes along.
5 - Holy grail, would recommend and repurchase.

Repurchase: Already have (in bulk) and will continue to.

I just realized that my first empties post contains a lot of my Holy Grails. Now, I don’t love all my products this much, but I guess there’s a reason why I emptied these. What have you used up this Fall and what are some of your Holy Grail products? Let us know in the comments below!

Stay Dewy,

Jane

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