Empties: (mostly) Asian skincare & beauty

Makeup and skincare empties

Since my first blogpost about my project pan, I’ve been keeping all beauty and skincare products that I’ve used up in a little box. My pile of empties has grown large enough to finally go through them and give you my opinion on the used up products.

Looking at my empty product pile, most of it is asian skincare and asian beauty products. I bought quite some Japanese skincare and beauty products in March. Which means that I’m seeing the first empties of my Japanese skin care and beauty products haul.

Skincare empties

skincare empties (from left to right: Sekkisui, Blythe, Petitfee, Caroline Hirons x Pixi, Hada Labo
From left to right: Sekkisui, Blythe, Petitfee, Caroline Hirons x Pixi, Hada Labo

Hada Labo travel set

Type: Japanese skincare
Details: AHA moisturizers and skin cleansing

Review: I bought the same set on my first trip to Japan and have been a fan of Hada Labo skincare ever since. So on our trip to Japan this year, I didn’t bring any skincare with me because I knew I could get this little gem at any convenience store in the country. I believe this set is supposed to give you about a week’s worth of skincare essentials, though in my experience it lasts a whole lot longer than that. The set consists of a Toner, Lotion (a.k.a. moisturizer), cleansing oil (not pictured – forgot to keep it) and a foaming face wash.
Is part of project pan? No.
Score: 5/5.
Would repurchase? Yes.

Sekkisui travel set

Type: Japanese skincare
Details: AHA moisturizers and skin cleansing

Review: Honestly, this was an accidental purchase. I misread the name and thought it was a skincare set of the famous Sekkisei brand. But after some research, I found out that Sekkisui is actually the cheaper version of Sekkisei. Both are owned by Kosé and this also explains why their packaging is very similar. Just like the Hada Labo set, this includes all your skincare basics. Sekkisui has some pros and cons compared to Hada Labo’s travel set to me. For one this one is fragranced, which can be a dealbreaker for some people. On one hand, the lotions absorbed faster into my skin than HL. But unlike HL, Sekkisui is fragranced. I found the scent to be powdery and pleasant at first but by the end I grew really sick of the smell.
Is part of project pan? No.
Score: 4/5.
Would repurchase? No. It’s a great product but I still prefer Hada Labo.

Blithe Crystal Iceplant Pressed Serum

Type: Korean skincare
Details: Moisturizing and soothing serum with fermented ingredients

Blithe Crystal Iceplant Pressed Serum

Blithe review: I was looking for something better than Laneige’s water sleeping mask. Since I have combination to oily skin, I enjoy the lightweight gel texture of Laneige but I wanted something more hydrating. Blithe’s Serum ticked all the right boxes for me. I really loved this lightweight formula and the cooling effect was especially enjoyable during the hot summer months. Even Bart – who’s idea of skincare is…well, non-existent – enjoyed the cooling effect of this serum on his dry patches.
Is part of project pan? No.
Score: 5/5.
Would repurchase? Maybe. If I feel like treating myself.

Pixi + Caroline Hirons double cleanse

Type: European skincare (Influencer collab)
Details: Cleansing oil + cleansing cream all in one container

Review: If you’re into skincare, no doubt you’ve heard of Caroline Hirons. With her background as a professional aesthetician and her no-nonsense approach to skincare products, she’s pretty much skincare royalty on the internet. When she collabed with Pixi – I’ve used and loved Pixi’s glow tonic in the past – it really catched my attention. Especially since Caroline is quite adamant about double cleansing and abhors make-up wipes, I was interested to see what her perfect cleanser would look like. Unfortunately, I didn’t care for this product at all. Even though it did do what is says on the tin, I didn’t like the application of the product. The cleansing oil felt way too greasy and the cleansing cream was just not my cup of tea. I prefer something a lot lighter. My guess is that this product is meant for drier skin than mine.
Is part of project pan? No.
Score: 2/5.
Would repurchase? No.

Petitfee Gold & Snail hydrogel eye patches

Type: Korean skincare
Details: Gel eyepatches for the undereye area with gold and snail extract.

Review: I bought this at a time when I was suffering from dry eyes as I noticed my undereye area was also not feeling that great either. To be honest, I just wanted any kind of gel eye patches to perk up my undereye area. Having never tried snail extract skincare before, I was intrigued. I used the patches every morning before applying skincare. The cooling sensation of the patches, was enjoyable but I couldn’t stand to keep them on for long. Apart from the initial feeling, I didn’t notice any benefits from the gold, nor the snail extract. To be honest, I do think gold as a skincare ingredient is more of a fancy gimmick and doesn’t really do anything beneficial.
Is part of project pan? No.
Score: 2/5.
Would repurchase? No.

DHC lip cream – Aristocats Limited Edition

Type: Japanese skincare
Details: Hydrating lip balm

Review: I’m a simple woman: when I see cats, I click purchase. No, but seriously, I’ve heard great things of DHC’s lip balm and when I saw this limited edition version featuring Marie from The Aristocats, I couldn’t resist. By the way, if you’re into fandom cosmetics, you have to visit the It’s Demo stores in Japan. They’ll usually have some cute Disney/Sailormoon/…themed limited edition cosmetics. This lip balm is indeed very nourishing and quite thick on the lips. I like using it as a lip prep treatment in the morning or before bedtime.
Is part of project pan? No.
Score: 5/5.
Would repurchase? I already have.

Beauty empties

Beauty empties (from top to bottom): DHC , Heroine Make, Clarins, Rituals
From top to bottom: DHC , Heroine Make, Clarins, Rituals

Clarins Instant Light Lip Balm Perfector – Rosewood and Coral

Type: tinted lip balm

Review: I loved the formula of these lip balms. They are really nice and hydrating plus the tint is just the right amount of colour to give you a more put together look than a regular lip balm. They do have a bit of a sweet taste to them, which I didn’t mind but might throw other people off. The only issue I had, is the small size of the tube. Since the bullet is so thin, it has a tendency to slant towards the inside of the tube and smear at the edges of the tube. Next to that, I have small lips so for me the thin bullet was not so much an issue. If you have fuller lips, application might feel a bit awkward. As to colours, the rosewood was definitely more suited to my skin tone than the coral.

Is part of project pan? Yes.
Score: 4/5.
Would repurchase? No. Even though I enjoyed the product, I think you can get similar products for a better price.

Heroine Make mascara – Volume and Curl, and Long and Curl (waterproof)

Type: Japanese mascara

Heroine Make mascara: I prefer asian mascara to western mascara. Not just because of the formula but I have the impression that the brush is smaller or the curve fits better. With Western mascara, the brush always looks so intimidatingly big and I’ve poked myself more often than not. I don’t know, maybe it’s because I’m half Asian and Asian mascara suits my eye shape better? Either way, next to Fairydrops, this is my favourite mascara brand. Application is easy, the formula really lifts and curls. I LOVE this mascara. One caveat though, it’s a hell of a job to get the waterproof version off! I don’t think I’ll ever purchase the waterproof version again – though I heard Heroine Make has brought out an easy removal product specifically for their stubborn waterproof mascara.

Is part of project pan? No
Score: 5/5.
Would repurchase? Yes. I will never not repurchase this <3.

Rituals – Elixir d’Orient (red), Victoire d’Ambre (gold), Oasis de Fleurs (light green)

Type: Perfume

Rituals perfume (from left to right): Elixir d’Orient, Victoire d’Ambre, Oasis de Fleurs
From left to right: Elixir d’Orient, Victoire d’Ambre, Oasis de Fleurs

Review: I bought these travel size bottles as an indulgence on my birthday. I wanted to try some new fragrances. There was also a fourth bottle (Nuit à Marrakech) but I gifted it to my father because the smell was a little too masculine to my taste. I’m pretty rubbish at describing scents, so I’ll leave you some links to Fragrantica for each scent.

I finished Victoire d’Ambre in my first empties post and it’s still the one I liked the most. Pity that it was limited edition but at least I enjoyed it to the fullest. Elixir d’Orient was next, this one was spicy, incense-like and quite heavy. I’m glad I finished it during winter as I don’t feel like heavy scents are suited in spring. Oasis de Fleurs was my least favourite of the bunch. It was’t so much fresh as soapy. Perfect for spring but not my thing.

It wasn’t hard to finish these up as the scent dissipated relatively fast, with the exception of Victoire d’Ambre.

Is part of project pan? Yes.
Score: 3/5.
Would repurchase? No. But it has awakened my interest in trying out other scents than I typically would.

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