July Empties, Failed Empties, and New Additions

It’s the start of a new months so it’s time for another (really long) empties post! Is anyone else upset about how quickly summer is slipping away?

Items I Used Up

Let’s Cure Pure Skin Basic Skin Exfoliator – Will Repurchase
Full review here. This is a simple but functional pH adjusting toner with just enough hydrating properties to make my skin feel normal again after cleansing. I purchased the CosRX AHA/BHA toner as a replacement because I was curious about it, but I’m missing the Let’s Cure one already.
Purchased through Avecko. It is also available on Memebox.

Whamisa Organic Flowers Toner Refresh – Maybe Repurchase
Full review here. I used this toner as a first essence and love its delicious licoricey smell! I haven’t repurchased yet because I can’t decide if I want to keep using this one or to give the Deep Rich version a try.
Purchased through Testerkorea.

CSM Rosehip Oil – Will  Not Repurchase
This is a random brand rosehip oil I bought last winter. It worked well as a face oil and I also used it to oil cleanse every once in awhile. When my skin is most irritated, I find that removing makeup/sunscreen with oil and then wiping off (this oil does not emulsify at all, FYI) with a warm towel is the best course of action to prevent further irritation. Maybe one of these days I’ll finally figure out how to do a proper OCM cleanse! I will probably repurchase rosehip oil again, but I’m not loyal to this brand.
Purchased through Amazon.

Kuramoto Bijin Komeyu Rice Oil Serum 
I’ve been absolutely obsessed with Kuramoto Bijin since reading Ana’s post about the brewery and range of products! This is a lightweight rice-bran-oil-in-sake-essence serum that sinks into the skin beautifully and offers a light layer of hydration. It functions similarly to the 2Sol Deep Silky Moisture or the Neogen Dual Layer Cera Oil (which is still my favorite of the three). If it were easier to source and/or came in a bigger bottle (I finished off the 30ml bottle in probably less than 15 uses) I would probably repurchase.
I purchased this with Ana’s assistance. It is available on Rakuten Japan (search for: 蔵元美人 コメ油美容液) but you will need a forwarding service. I use Tenso, although it is somewhat confusing).

Skin Aqua UV Super Moisture Gel
Full review here. This is like a thicker, sebum-proof, stickier version of the Nivea Sun Protect Aqua Gel, but with a higher PA rating. It’s been my go-to sunscreen this summer, but truth be told I’m pretty excited to go back to my less-thick and less-sticky Biore Aqua Rich Watery Gel once things cool down a bit.
Purchased from Rakuten. It is also available on Amazon and Ebay.

Lookatme Jelly Sunscreen 
By now, this sunscreen is notorious for its lack of actual sun protection. As a result, I ended up using this up on days when I didn’t leave the house but wanted some protection from sunlight peeping in from the windows. I liked how lightweight it was but didn’t actually like the gel-like texture very much (I am very much not a fan of gel-creams) because it my leaves my skin feeling parched once it fully dries.Definitely not a repurchase nor something I would recommend to anyone else.
Purchased through Amazon.

What I Gave Up On

Sometimes, you have to admit defeat and move on with your life. I started trying to Konmari my life a few months ago, tossing away and donating a TON of clothes and shoes, but am only very recently starting to consider what items in my skincare stash to purge. These are the 4 items I tossed because I don’t enjoy using them and as a result, holding on to them brings me the opposite of joy.

W.Lab Centellaca Reset Cream
I’ve written about this cream before. It’s way too light for my skin, despite its generous silicone content. I tried using it as a body gel, but even then it didn’t do much and left a tacky finish on my skin I didn’t like. Goodbye.

Goodal Anti-Wrinkle Want Night Sleep Cream Pack  
This is a very occlusive product and has all the makings of a good sleeping pack but it produces a light, burning sensation when I apply and consistently gives me tiny breakouts around my nose. There’s also something about the texture and scent that seems really plastic-y to me, that doesn’t sit well. Honestly, I probably should have destashed this ages ago but I kept trying to make it work since it has worked for so many other people.

Chosungah22 Wonder Milk 
I actually quite like this product. Despite its watery texture, this Wonder Milk is actually very moisturizing. It should have been perfectly suited to my (very dry) skin yet, as you can see, I’ve barely made a dent in the bottle. Something about the milk-like appearance and milk-like packaging made me not want to use it, I think, and so I kept not using it until it expired. Boo.

Kose Sekkisei Lotion  
This is a cult favorite Japanese products renowned for its whitening (brightening) powers. I used this for a week and just couldn’t get over the high alcohol content. I don’t always have a problem with alcohol (I prefer my sunscreens to have alcohol) but this lotion stings upon application and is actually pretty drying. There are so many good lotions out there, it doesn’t make sense to keep trying to make this one work.

July Purchases

I had a semi-successful no-buy in June, and so I did some hauling in July. These are the new items I will be working into my routine:

Stratia Skin Fortify Oil 
This is a very emollient and nourishing blend of Camellia Seed Oil, Borage Seed Oil, Perilla Seed Oil, Squalane, and more. Something about the heat of summer makes me really not like using moisturizing creams so I’ve been relying on face oils to finish off my PM routines. I really love that this blend is essential-oil free because certain EOs (ie lavender oil) break me out and others I really just don’t enjoy the smell of. Super excited to give this a try!
Purchased from Stratia Skin

Acure Organics Marula Oil  
This was an impulse purchase from Whole Foods. Acure has been very hit (Moroccan Argan Shampoo & Conditioner duo are great!) and miss (the Sensitive Facial Cleanser is BULLSHIT) for me, but I like Marula Oil and this was cheap.
Purchased from Whole Foods. It is also available from Target and Acure’s Website

Ohui Snow Vitamin Brightening Softener and Emulsion  
I don’t know much about these products but a friend of mine who swears by Ohui products insisted I try these. Ohui is a bit higher end in the Korean skincare world than I usually venture into, so I’m excited to give these a try!
I have no clue where to get these. Sorry. 😦

Dr.Ci:Labo Aqua-Collagen-Gel Enrich-Lift-Ex
Dr.Ci:Labo is a brand I have been eyeing for a long time. Yes, I know it’s a gel cream, but it’s a gel cream with squalane, ceramides, dipotassium glycyrrhizate, α-lipoic acid, coQ10, beta-glucan, niacinamide, resversatrol, and pretty much every extract and amino acid in the world. I’m curious to see what this little jar of cream does!
Purchased this as part of a set with the VC100 lotion from Amazon JP. It is also available on amazon and Dr.Ci:Labo’s USA site

Astalift Cleansing Oil 
This is an bright orange, mineral-oil-free, cleansing oil with astaxanthin, squalane, and royal jelly. ‘Nuff said, right? Unfortunately it is HEAVILY scented. Will need to see if I can get used to the scent.
Purchased from Rakuten

Dr.Ci:Labo VC100 Essence Lotion
These came with the collagen gel. It’s a toner that contains a bunch of different Vit C derivatives, AHAs (glycolic, lactic, and malic), plus a bunch of amino acids and extracts.
Purchased this as part of a set with the VC100 lotion from Amazon JP. It is also available on amazon and Dr.Ci:Labo’s USA site

AprilSkin Mummy Mud Masks
I’ve already reviewed these masks here. They’re dry/sensitive-skin friendly, low-mess, and great for summer.
Purchased from Petaluma & Co. They are also available from Memebox and Jolse

CosRX AHA/BHA Clarifying Treatment Toner  
I got this pH adjusting toner to replace my Let’s Cure toner. So far, I haven’t noticed a difference in effectiveness (this is lower pH) but holy hell does this sting my eyes! I also miss the hydrating properties of the Let’s Cure Toner.
Purchased from Memebox. Also available on Jolse and Cupidrop. You can use TopCashBack to get an extra 8% cash back on all Memebox purchases.

Pony Effect Sharping Brow Definer #Ash Brown 
I bought this after reading Mary’s rave review. I haven’t tried the Anastasia Brow Wiz pencils, which these are supposed to be a dupe for, but after having these for a few weeks I find myself reaching for them more frequently than for my beloved Shu Uemura Hard Formula pencil. They don’t require sharpening and the tip is super thin, so it’s just more convenient to use! The Ash Brown is more gray than brown, IMO, which is perfect for me. Eyebrow products that are too brown or too warm toned never look natural with my skin tone and hair color.
Purchased from Memebox. You can also use TopCashBack to get an extra 8% cash back on all Memebox purchases.

I’M Meme I’m Eyeliner #EL02 Matte Brown 
In my 26 years of life, eyeliner is something I still haven’t quite figured out. After trying to figure out liquid eyeliner pens I’m back to pencils. These are OK. I like the shade but they smear on my lids after a few hours (should I be using a primer?). Also, does anyone else have a problem with their lashes getting in the way of eyeliner application? I have thick-ish lashes and while I can apply either above the lashes or below the lashes, there’s always this awkward white space where the roots of my lashes are. Help me out in the comments if you have any tips or suggestions!
Purchased from Memebox. You can also use TopCashBack to get an extra 8% cash back on all Memebox purchases.

SNP Bird’s Nest Aqua Eye Patch
These are a repurchase. I use these under my eyes and on my forehead (like you do with frownies). They’re convenient to throw on for a few minutes in the mornings.
Purchased from Memebox. Also available on RoseRoseShop and EbayYou can also use TopCashBack to get an extra 8% cash back on all Memebox purchases.

Jayangyunmo Anti-Hair Loss Conditioner 
I bought this to keep at my SO’s place because he doesn’t have hair conditioner. My hair dresser keeps telling me I have oily hair (I really don’t think I do?) but I’m taking her advice and giving oily haired products a try. So far I’m liking the weird purple color of this conditioner!
Purchased from MemeboxYou can also use TopCashBack to get an extra 8% cash back on all Memebox purchases.

And that’s all. Phew!

I’ve done a lot of thinking around consumption and waste, especially around skincare, and in the next couple of months want to make efforts to refine and simplify my collection. I don’t think I’m ready for a full-on-Konmari-style-detox with my skincare wardrobe just yet, but I’m working my way to that point. There have been a lot of products I really enjoyed in the past but never repurchased due to being distracted by new, shiny things (that frequently haven’t worked as well), and there are a lot of types of products I keep buying, despite knowing they likely won’t work for me. For August, I’m planning to stay on a no-buy or low-buy to use up my summer/spring-time products, and then in September, focus on stocking up on items that will serve me well into the colder months.

Disclaimer: This products featured in this post were all purchased by me. This post contains an affiliate links. Purchasing an item through an affiliate link does not add any cost to the customer but does help support this site’s upkeep.

3 thoughts on “July Empties, Failed Empties, and New Additions

  1. The Acid Queen says:

    Yaaaay, I hope you like Fortify! And re: your description of Chosungah22 Wonder Milk – I know what you mean. I have an Iope product that I really like, except it’s called a serum and it’s actually a thick emulsion, so I never use it because when I’m in my serum step, I’m like, “Iope? Nah, it’s a cream” and then forget it for my cream step. #ABprobs


  2. NYC_DogRescuer says:

    I am obsessed with the entire Jayangyunmo line, which is huge because I generally don’t care much about my hair at all. I do have slightly oily hair, and I don’t think it did anything for that, per se, but nothing has ever made my normally flat and thin hair as healthy looking as this shampoo, conditioner, and treatment. I hope you’ll enjoy it! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

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