Some time last year I decided to strip my skincare routine to the very basics of washing, toning, moisturising, and occasional peeling and masking. It was not so much out of boredom/ for fun, as it was because I didn’t have the money to spend on anything extra. One could argue that skincare is not a necessity at all, aside from basic hygiene and sun protection. One would be right, but one would also be wrong.
In September I restated my empties. I’ve lost count to the amount of products I finished for my #100empties challenge, but it’s been more than one hundred, of that I am sure. Felt like a fresh start – and also felt like increasing the number to 365. So, #365empties.
Here’s what I finished in September.
Body Respect Aloe Vera Cleansing Gel
(That’s a bit of tobacco stuck to the pump if you’re wondering. Eww, a smoker, etc. etc.)
To be honest, until recently I’ve been fully prepared to give this Oriflame Optimals Seeing is Believing Eye Cream if not a fully negative, then a lacklustre review at best. Yeah, an eye cream. Sure, better than nothing. Meh, comes in glass, good.
But then one day I’ve been awake for more hours than it’s decent to be awake for, and my eyes were burning and feeling very heavy inside my skull. I took out my contacts, washed my face, half-arsedly applied some moisturiser, and then decided that I need to go in with an eye cream as well.
That was a very wise decision, because my eye area felt instant relief. It was a very cooling, refreshing, ever so lightly tingling (in a good, absolutely non-burning way) sensation. For a while there it didn’t hurt to blink.
Now, I can’t tell you how long the effect of Oriflame Optimals Seeing is Believing Eye Cream lasted, because I went to bed and promptly fell asleep for once.
Other things I’d like to tell you about Oriflame Optimals Seeing is Believing Eye Cream:
The packaging is cute, and the colour is nice, and I love the fact that it’s glass – but mate, it’s not convenient. I have no problems with creams in jars. Unlike many, I do not feel squeamish about possible contamination or something. It’s just that the jar of Oriflame Optimals Seeing is Believing Eye Cream is pretty small, and the glass is slippery, and it requires certain finger dexterity to maneuver the product around, especially as you reach the last few uses.
The jar will last you a long while.
Oriflame Optimals Seeing is Believing Eye Cream often appears in Oriflame catalogues with a good discount. I recommend that you wait for the discount, because the product is not worth its full price.
In short: Oriflame Optimals Seeing is Believing Eye Cream is great at cooling and moisturising the eye area. It will help fight puffiness, and I am inclined to agree with its claims to brighten the eye area, if only a little. It will not do much else, however. If fine lines are your problem, you need a heavier artillery.
That said, I’m on my second (maybe third) jar of Oriflame Optimals Seeing is Believing Eye Cream, and I plan to repurchase.
Spoiler alert. 😛
Some months ago a local make-up shop was running an additional discount. Hence why I ended up hastily buying three products – all of which ended up not to my liking. Granted, I read reviews and looked up swatches, but… meh.
So what is it about Bourjois facewash and Bourjois makeup remover that I did not like?
Let’s start with the facewash.
Bourjois Fresh Cleansing Gel
The scent of Bourjois Fresh Cleansing Gel is a rather typical Bourjois fare, which I really hope they will eventually update. Did you know that I gave up on their blush after three uses for the sole reason of this scent? I hear it dissipates with time – I certainly didn’t catch it in the shop on tester products, but sweet Jesus mother of GOD, do you have to use such a scent? A lot of people complain about the ‘dated’ scent of L’Oreal lipsticks. Well, Bourjois blush arguably has it much worse.
But back to the Bourjois Fresh Cleansing Gel. The scent in Bourjois cleanser is less pronounced than in the powder products. The cleanser itself is a blueish transparent gel. You don’t need a lot to cover your face. Leaves skin feeling fresh, but freshness quickly migrates into tightness. After a few uses I felt like it just zaps moisture from my face. It also left me quite red-faced. And by red-faced I don’t mean some redness around the nose after being too active with a washcloth around there or something. By red-faced, I mean genuine beetroot red, forehead, cheeks, chin, everything. It would give a very slight burning sensation as well. Both the redness and the feeling would go away quickly, but I really wasn’t in the mood to use this product any longer after that. Currently I use it to wash my hands. I tried to wash my make-up brushes with it, but it’s not suitable.
A note on the packaging: The lid on the Bourjois Fresh Cleansing Gel tube is simultaneously difficult to open (save yer nails) and hard to keep closed. Something about the plastic being easily disturbed, I gather.
Bourjois Express Eye Make-up Remover
I have used Bourjois Express Eye Make-up Remover on my entire face. It’s a bi-phase liquid that you need to shake before using. I’ve always loved these types of products, because for some three weeks in primary school I was a chemistry nerd, and some things stuck. Watching liquids separate and then mix and then separate again has a calming effect on me.
So yes, Bourjois Express Eye Make-up Remover is a transparent blueish bi-phase liquid. Though it is a non-oil, it does leave just a bit of a filmy residue in its wake. Of course, it easily goes away after all the other cleansing steps. It is okay at removing makeup. Just okay. Which is why I would really like to dispute its waterproof make-up remover claims. None of the products I currently use are waterproof, yet Bourjois Express Eye Make-up Remover, stated as an ideal cleanser for waterproof makeup, still has trouble with some of them.
The packaging is a plastic bottle with the classic Bourjois topper. I’ve always found these things very cute and wanted to own a bottle for the sake of that top alone. Well, it’s got both form and function – I’d wager it would be very hard to open the bottle if the ball wasn’t there. However, the plastic is still rather flimsy, and one of the links holding the topper to the rest of the packaging broke after about two weeks. I could still close the bottle, so the product wasn’t exposed.
Of the definite good things about Bourjois Express Eye Make-up Remover I would like to point out that it never irritated my eyes one bit. After one stares at the monitor for 16 hours whilst wearing contacts and full-face makeup, one’s eyes are bound to be just a touch sensitive, you know. However, Bourjois Express Eye Make-up Remover doesn’t add insult to injury. No pain, no tingling, no burning. For that alone I am considering repurchase. That, and the price is kind. It’s a big bottle, and it doesn’t cost a fortune, even considering the local economy. I guess I would just have to keep in mind that it might not do well with actual waterproof mascaras and eyeliners.
Any make-up removers and cleansers you swear by? Do share in the comments.
Welcome! to the first ever Outgoing! post on Armour and Warpaint. It’s just an empties post, nothing revolutionary, but from now on I’ll try to keep up and do these at the end of each month. I go through so many products, it’s ridiculous. There’s really no need for me to keep a mountain of empty bottles and tubes in the living room. Especially these days.
Two AVON Planet Spa Neck and Chest Serums
AVON Planet Spa Dramatically (?) Firming Neck and Chest Serum with Colombian Coffee Extract and AVON Planet Spa Heavenly Hydration Uplifting Neck and Chest Serum with Mediterranean Olive Oil
These two are virtually the same from where I stand – there is a difference in the scent and in packaging, but here the distinguishing characteristics end for me.
Both serums are a transparent liquid. The consistency is runny, so the pump in the packaging is very handy. I needed at least two pumps to cover my neck, decolletage, and chest. Both AVON Planet Spa Neck and Chest serums spread well and absorb really quickly, leaving no sticky residue in their wake. Although I can say that they provided additional hydration and made skin very smooth to the touch, I noticed no firming and definitely no ‘uplifting’ properties whatsoever. So if you want an additional boost of hydration for your decolletage, this might be the product for you. Everything else – look elsewhere.
I believe these particular AVON Planet Spa products have been discontinued, but I’ve seen the Colombian Coffee Extract Neck and Chest serum crop up recently, so maybe there’s still some stock left.
Bourjois So Laque! in Rouge Diva 11
This is a terrible horrible abominable nail polish, and you must never ever buy it. It is a complete waste of money, especially considering all the other amazing cheaper alternatives on the market. Even though it’s not a jelly, it kinda behaves like one. To get it fully opaque you’d need three coats. Three amazingly long-drying coats. Not to ruin this one until it dries fully is almost impossible – it seriously takes ages to dry. And once it’s dry, it will chip in about, I don’t know – twelve hours? I don’t know if this is the entire range or this shade in particular, but I don’t want to pay another fortune to find out.
I have to say that I have what looks like an old range of So Laque!, so maybe with the release of the new one they updated the formula. There are many complimentary reviews out there, but for me Bourjois So Laque! behaved badly from the start.
I painted my nails in the morning. Here it is in the afternoon.
It is worth noting that on my toes it behaved exactly the same. I found two huge chips the next day. On feet, people. Where polish goes to survive the nuclear war.
Oriflame Love Nature Hydrating Face Scrub with Aloe Vera
While it didn’t do damage to my skin, it did feel rather harsh, no matter how gently I’d press when massaging my face. In terms of exfoliation I also can’t praise it. Not the worst, but overall quite mediocre.
Delia Cosmetics Dermo System Soothing Face Toner for All Skin Types
My first skincare product from Delia. This is an okay toner. I can’t vouch for ‘soothing’, but certainly not irritating. A tiny bit on the drying side. I would be inclined to buy it again, but unfortunately its scent is too harsh for me.
Gojo Showerfresh Refresh! Hair and Body Gel
My father picked this up from Lord knows where. The skin on my body is very thin and sensitive, so I decided to use this as a hand soap instead. In that quality it performs well. A pleasant scent, not overly drying.
Dr Sante Cucumber Balance Control Face Cream
I will be writing a detailed post on Dr Sante Cucumber series eventually, so just a short note here: While this is not a bad cream by any means and I might purchase it again, it simply did not provide enough hydration for me. I am the proud owner of oily but sensitive and constantly dehydrated skin. If you’re just oily and just sensitive, then you will like this product a lot. If you need additional hydration, then this alone will not be enough.
Another thing: When in the jar, it has a pretty recognisable ‘cucumber’ scent. However, when you apply it on your face, it smells like if you’d push your face in a bag of freshly dug out beets. I have no idea why it does that. The sensation doesn’t stick, though. It’s only during the application.
Viorica Cosmeplant Anti-Dandruff Shampoo
Viorica product reviews in English will have a very small audience, but I don’t give two shits and this shampoo is getting its own post later on, because it saved my life. Rather a dramatic statement, but I’ve been going through this phase of terrible scalp irritation. It would react to everything, so in a fit of despair I just started buying every shampoo available on the local market. This one was the second or the third one I bought, and after first use the irritation was gone. Since it’s very cheap, and the list of ingredients* is very generic, I thought it was a fluke, and after a use or two decided to try another shampoo. BAM – itchy scalp again. So for a while there I could only use this to wash my hair. Gradually I was able to switch to other products, and currently use one that is less harsh on the hair shaft, but I try to keep this one in my bathroom at all times and use it a) if I feel my scalp acting up again; b) as a clarifying shampoo. I will buy it again and again, and I hope they never change the formulation. Wouldn’t mind it being a touch less aggressive, but don’t want them to fix what’s not broke. I love it so much, I’d add it to soup.
* Worth noting that it contains no colorants, parabens, silicons, and paraffin.
Oriflame Nature Secrets Exfoliating Shower Gel with Energising Mint and Raspberry
First things first, this stuff smells amazing. It also has some exfoliating particles, so it’s a bit of a gel-scrub. Nothing too serious, though; do not expect mega-scrubbing action. I enjoyed using it, but as I mentioned before, the skin on my body is very thin and very sensitive, and this shower gel dried it out a lot. It is a common problem for me, however, so I wouldn’t blame it on the product.
I believe Oriflame has slowly been discontinuing their Nature Secrets line, but if you love fresh scents and don’t have problem skin on your body, then go for this one. It’s very refreshing.
Sto Retseptov Krasoty Hair Balm with Sea Buckthorn for Dry and Damaged Hair
‘Smoothing and regeneration’ are two of this hair conditioner’s promises. Overall a pretty generic hair conditioner, that does not however fail at its job. You just need to keep it on your hair longer – washed off immediately it doesn’t do much.
I bought it because I needed a hair conditioner and had very little money – and Sto Retseptov Krasoty is a very budget-friendly skin and hair care line. I also really liked its scent. I have this really odd relationship with sea buckthorn-scented products. I love them, but sometimes there’s the undercurrent of something sickeningly sweet.
I’m a master of recs, aren’t I?
I’d probably purchase this one again if I had little money and needed a hair balm.
Oriflame Activelle Cotton-Dry Antiperspirant
I’ve written a full review of this line in a separate post, which you can read here. This is yet another finished product from the line. As mentioned in the original post, I would be buying this again when on offer.
Oriflame Optimals Body Firming Lotion
I will be reviewing the Oriflame Optimals Body line in a separate post, but for now I can say this: When I used this lotion on my less problematic areas (arms and legs, for example) – I felt the firming effect quite extensively. Used on the rest of my body, the effect is minimal. So if you don’t need extensive action in skin firming department, then this product will do you good. Any other case – skip.
Three Mascaras – Two Oriflame, One AVON
Giordani Gold Luscious Volume Mascara
My favourite of the three, I am very sad that this mascara was discontinued. It gave black, long, voluminous lashes, all in one coat. When I applied two coats, it was all drama, all the time. Very sad to see it go.
The One Lash Resistance Mascara
Another discontinued product I believe, but here I can certainly see why. The brush is weird, it gave little volume, it wasn’t fully black, and it would run in about… two hours? And what didn’t run, would crumble in another three. Despite these two points, The One Lash Resistance mascara was very hard to remove. Resistance indeed. However, there were two positive things about this Oriflame mascara – it separated the lashes beautifully, and it also gave great length. I’ve been complimented on the length of my lashes nearly every time I’ve used this product.
AVON Big & False Lash Volume Mascara in Blackest Black
My least favourite of the three. I used it for about a week, and then let it go. If anything, it made my lashes look worse. They kept sticking out in all weird directions. Brushing through was difficult, because the formula would freeze your lashes and make them very hard to brush through. As you can deduce from that, applying more than one coat was nigh impossible. Though it’s not grey, it is certainly not ‘blackest black’. Also, it gave no volume what so ever.
I always like to give some benefit of the doubt – so perhaps my tube was faulty? Have you ever used this product? How did you like it?
Shea Moisture SHAVE African Black Soap Shave Butter Creme
Unfortunately I cannot comment on the product’s scent, because the jar I had was very old and smelt a bit on the rancid side. However, it did not diminish the qualities of this product. Very similar in consistency to a body butter, it spread well and made shaving very smooth and quick. Plenty of hydrating properties here – if you are so inclined, you can easily use this as an in-shower body moisturiser. Shea Moisture is only available on the grey market here, so I don’t know if I ever encounter this product again. If I do, however, I will repurchase. Highly recommended*.
* It bears noting that I have only used this to shave various parts of my body. I have never tried using it on my face, as I have no need for that.
Starlooks Lip Sugar
Received in one of the Lip Monthly bags back when I was still subscribed. Felt pretty much like brown sugar suspended in oil, but the list of ingredients is a little more complicated than that. Overall a good non-drying lip scrub that I have at times found a bit too soft. You can definitely use this generously.
Three Oriflame Handcreams
I’m writing a huge overview post of all the Oriflame hand creams I’ve used so far, so keep your eyes open for that. 😉 The three above are either limited edition or discontinued. P.S. I Love You was a Valentine’s Day special release, and remains my absolute favourite, especially in terms of scent. Eco Beauty came a close second – and I’d say it was more nourishing.
Oriflame Nail File
Perhaps an odd thing to include in an empties post, but Oriflame nail file is one of my favourites. It doesn’t damage the nail no matter what direction you file. Very gentle on the nails. However, it does a good job on gel nails as well. Keep in mind that it wouldn’t last as long – perhaps three-four uses only.