February 2016 Empties and Non-Empties

Fotor_145909847329186New round of empties and non-empties!

Miracle Skin Transformer Face 5-in-1 tinted skin enhancer broad spectrum SPF 20 in Medium (deluxe sample) – once you get past fancy (and a bit gimmicky) name it’s really tinted moisturizer with SPF. Some also like to call it BB cream. Whatever. I like products that combine (matte) tint and sun protection, as those are two things I need/want on my face the most (aside from concealer, but that’s entirely different story). Miracle Skin Transformer attends to both of those. Tint is a bit lighter than my skin needs, but since the product is so sheer it’s not really noticeable. It does blurs skin imperfections pretty well and looks natural. SPF 20 is a bit lighter than I like, but for the days when I don’t have too much of sun exposure it works. Doesn’t look shiny, so I can skip setting with power. That’s great in case I need to re-apply, because re-applying cream on top of powder is seriously messy business. Overall, I like it. The only thing I don’t like about Miracle Skin Transformer is the price. CoTZ Face sunscreen offers double the SPF for half the price. You may notice that I refer to CoTZ a lot when talking about tinted sunscreens. That’s because it became a baseline for me. So far I haven’t found anything that works better for me.
Miracle Skin Transformer is also supposed to be priming and hydrating your skin (5-in-1, remember?). I never applied anything on top of it, but I may work as a primer (and that would be one advantage it has over CoTZ Sunscreen. You cannot put anything on top of that one). “Hydrating” is one thing where Miracle Skin Transformer fails miserably. It actually make any dry and/or flaky areas more noticeable.
This little tube lived in my bag for a while in case I need back up sunscreen. It seems I never use back up sunscreen, so I had to take it out of my bag and place on the bathroom counter to actually use it.

Paula’s Choice RESIST Hyaluronic Acid Booster (deluxe sample) – it’s a clear serum that turned out to be much thicker than I expected. It was so this that it was hard to pick it up with a dropper. I was wondering if anything was wrong with my sample, but a few people, including Lyn of Brutally Honest Beauty, mentioned that they experienced the same issue. Hyaluronic acid is supposed to be great for dehydrated skin, so I had high hopes for this Hyaluronic Acid Booster, but I was disappointed. It’s moisturizing effect was barely noticeable. I tried using larger amount of product, but that caused problems with adsorption. The excess of products just sat on top of my skin. I usually have much better experience with Paula’s Choice products. After I ran out of Hyaluronic Acid Booster I started using Paula’s Choice Resist Ultra-Light Antioxidant Concentrate Serum (which also contains hyaluronic acid), and it works much much better for my skin.

Paula’s Choice RESIST C15 Super Booster (deluxe sample) – I already mentioned this serum in August Empties post. At the time I have mixed feelings about it. After going through second deluxe sample, I can add that while it does make marginal difference for my skin, but it really works best in conjunction with other products and has some potential for causing irritation. I have another deluxe sample of this serum and I will use it up eventually, but it’s not something I would purchase in full size.

Paula’s Choice RESIST Intensive Wrinkle Repair Retinol Serum (deluxe sample) – reviewed here.

Goodal Phytowash Yerba Mate Bubble Peeling (foil sample) – I got two foil packets of this in curated K-Beauty Birchbox in January. I’m a bit skeptical about current K-Beauty trend, but it doesn’t stop me from trying Korean beauty products here and there. I managed to squeeze (pun intended) two uses out of the foil packet by transferring whatever was left after the first use into a small jar. I must say I didn’t expect to like it, but I kind of did. After both uses my skin seems refreshed and was adsorbing moisturizer I applied afterwards much more willingly that it normally does (for me those two things are indicator of who well scrub or peeling works). An odd thing I noticed about Goodal Phytowash Yerba Mate Bubble Peeling is that when I first washed it off my skin felt very moisturized, but five minutes later it felt very dry, not dehydrated like it does most of the time, but dry. Moisturizer corrected that in no time, but it feels much better if I use moisturizer before my skin turns into Sahara desert. Which exactly what I did second time around.
There was some talk online that Goodal Phytowash Yerba Mate Bubble Peeling contains ingredient “known to state of California to cause cancer”. Apparently, subscribers who live in California (the only state where disclosure of such ingredients is mandatory) and who got this product r were informed of this by Birchbox. I did some research on this subject and I believe that this ingredient is Yerba Mate itself. Yerba Mate is a source of a beverage popular in some regions of South America. The said beverage is linked to oral and some other forms of cancer. There is a link between temperature of the beverage and probably of developing cancer. (All this information was obtained from Wikipedia). Bottom line, I don’t believe this product presents danger, but of course that’s something everyone has decide for themselves.

Dr. Brandt Microdermabrasion Skin Exfoliant (deluxe sample) – physical exfoliant are not my favorite products. I feel that chemical exfoliation works better for my skin and if I do go for physical exfoliation it’s usually in form of cloth or a sponge (which is better for the environment and my budget). So this is not something I would’ve bough for myself, but I got in a subscription box (boxes, actually, because somehow I ended up with three of these samples) and my curiosity prompted me to give it a try. Dr. Brandt Microdermabrasion Skin Exfoliant turned out to be pretty fine -textured, but still a little scrachy product with a bit annoying (for me) fake lemon scent. As far as actual exfoliation, it did as well the face sponge I normally use (which is much cheaper). I did use up the sample, but I definitely will not purchase a full size. Plus now I’m not sure what to do with the remaining samples. I will like them better as hand scrub.

Caldrea Body Wash in Aloe Water Apricot (deluxe sample) – I got this from Birchbox ages ago and I’m happy to finally have used it up. It’s a clear body wash that smells like apricots. Nice, but unremarkable.

Suki Even-Tone Brightening Serum (full size) – I picked this up at a sample sale at my old job, and the only good thing I have to say about this serum is that I paid fraction of it’s price. I was a bit wary of its high alcohol content, but decided to give it a try anyway. Suki Even-Tone Brightening Serum is a thick cloudy liquid of brownish yellow color with strong acidic smell. I used this serum nightly for two weeks, but didn’t notes promised skin bighting or any other improvements. Instead I noticed worsening dehydration (which my skin is already prone to) and slight irritation. So I stopped using it. It was a few months ago. I really have no idea why I haven’t tossed it before now.

Revlon Bold Lacquer Mascara in Blackest Black (full size) – this mascara came from either Beauty Box 5 or Walmart Beauty Box. I like the intensity of color and the fact that it didn’t make my lashes stick together. I didn’t like the fact that it didn’t do much length and volume of my lashes. I hated the fact that it smudged every time I though about touching my face (or at least it seemed so). There is still fair amount of product left in the tube, but since it was open for way longer than recommended 6 months, I’m going to trash it.

This is it for February round of empties and non-empties. Since it’s so late in a month, March one should be coming shortly.

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