It's been a while since I have done an empties post! With work being quite busy and the move early this month, its been a little hard to take the time to write all about the things I have used up over the past few months. Having looked at my empties - serums seem to have a heavy focus, especially of the hydrating variety! However, there are a few other skincare bits and pieces as well as new holy grail product in the mix.
I have said it a few times in the past, but I really do enjoy both reading other's empties posts and writing my own as it allows myself to know what products myself and others have really enjoyed using, or products that are on regular rotation in daily routines. This particular version of empties contains products that I really have made the effort to use consistently. Some of these I have written about before in other blog posts and others are products where a review is pending! Overall, I have really enjoyed many of these products and it's probably why they have all been used up! Read on to find out more about my March/April empties.
Please note, anything marked with a * has been kindly gifted to me by the brand without the expection of a review or write up. Products with a ^ have been given to me by my place of work for my own personal use and general well being (my eczema was getting a little crazy). I have simply included these products in this post because...well...its empty and as always, all opinions are my own honest opinions.
Eau Thermale Avene XeraCalm A.D Balm^
If you suffer from eczema, I highly recommend that you look into the Eau Thermale Avene XeraCalm range. In terms of maintaining and relieving the itch, this cream is like a gift from the gods. It's so damned good in every way possible, from its effectiveness to just how it feels on the skin. In the past, I have tried a range of different products, ranging from creams, balms to oils and everything from medicated to all natural. I have found that there have been a handful of products that have been great at keeping the discomforting itch at bay but quite often these products were quite heavy in texture, extremely expensive or very hard to get. Nothing ever seemed to be that 'perfect' product and to be honest I never expected to find it as eczema, as with all conditions are personal and vary from person to person.
I was recently introduced to Avene's XeraCalm A.D Balm at work and to perfectly honest, I was completely sceptical of the product when I was first encouraged to use it. Surely nothing could be that good when it came to soothing and helping to calm the eczema itch. Well, those thoughts were debunked quickly as I started to notice a difference in my skin within a few days of using the XeraCalm Balm. My skin no longer looked dry or flaky; in fact, it looked less irritated, the redness was reduced and my skin was well on its way to looking 'normal' again. Not only was my skin healing but when using the balm, I found that my skin definitely felt less itchy and uncomfortable. Whenever I had a flare up, the balm seemed to soothe the area and I didn't feel the need to scratch.
However, the biggest selling point for me was the texture. Never had I used a cream that not only helped to relieve and calm my itch but also didn't make my skin feel heavy, oily or greasy. The Avene XeraCalm A.D Balm was that perfect in between for me, it is heavy enough to nourish and strengthen my damaged skin barrier but it is light enough to comfortably apply to my skin on those warmer days. Even though it is called a 'balm', I found that this was a slightly heavier cream that feels rich upon application but sinks into the skin and replenishes and nourishes the areas that need it most.
I think this cream/balm is an absolute godsend and I don't think I ever want to be without it. It is an absolute holy grail for me when it comes to maintaining my eczema and my skin has never been better. The Avene XeraCalm A.D Balm comes in a 200ml size can be purchased from Avene USA, Boots UK and Priceline and Chemist Warehouse Stores in Australia.
Jane Scrivner Skincare Bioluronic Buzz 2000 Smoothing Hyaluronic Hydrator*
The Jane Scrivner Bioluronic Buzz 2000 is a hydrating serum that is absolutely jam-packed with hyaluronic acid - 2000mg in every 135g bottle to be exact. I absolutely love using this in the evening, as the hydration it provides is so long-lasting. It can withstand environmental factors such as constant airconditioning and heating - things that can easily suck out the moisture in the skin. When using this in the evening, I felt that the plumping and lifting effect from the burst of hydration lasts well into the morning, leaving me with a lift in the complexion when I wake up. In terms of texture and consistency, this serum doesn't sink into the skin as easily as some of the other serums/gels I have used in the past and it leaves a little bit of a 'film' after application. However, once layered with another oil or cream over the top this 'film' disappears immediately and what I see is an instant plumping, lifting and hydrating effect on the skin. It's ingredients are the following:
Aqua (Water), Hyaluronic Acid, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride*, Propanediol**, Salix Alba Bark, Aloe Barbendensis Extract, Sodium Bicarbonate, Boswellia Carteri Extract, Phytic Acid***, Benzyl Alcohol****, Spilanthes Acmella (buzz button) Flower Extract.
* from coconut **from corn sugar ***plant origin ****naturally occurring in essential oils
What makes this serum even more enjoyable is perhaps the larger than average sized pump bottle that this comes in. One pump dispenses a large amount of serum which is a perfect amount for the face, neck and décolletage, making it a great product for those who are very heavy handed with their hydrating serums (that is me!) and like to use it everywhere else. There is no doubt that for the amount that you get, this hydrating gel/serum is well worth the money. It is a fantastic hydration and a product I thoroughly enjoy using due to its capacity to not only inject some moisture into my skin but also keep it there when I need it most.
The Jane Scrivner Bioluronic Buzz 2000 can be purchased directly from Jane Scrivner Skincare online for £59 for a 135g pump bottle.
DrGL Skin Repair
I have spoken about how much I adore this little serum and how I am adamant it is made from unicorn tears as it works to heal my skin lit no other. PIH marks are gone, as this little beauty helps to heal those dreaded pigmentation spots caused by pimples (and in my case picking). Using plant stem cell technology, the liquid gold in this little green bottle works to repair and heal the skin in a record amount of time. I find that my PIH and scarring disappear so much faster when using this and I don't think I could ever be without this. Ever. My skin just loves this that much and I love the rapid results that I get from using this.
I usually use this to spot treat on any blemishes or on areas that I have been naughty and 'picked' at. When applied on a fresh blemish, I find that it overnight, it has already started to heal and diminish, redness is absolutely reduced. However, the real magic with this happens with areas that I have attacked or are in the healing phase. Within a week of constant use, the area in which I have spot treated has healed significantly. Depending on the scarring, I find that within 2-3 weeks the area of pigmentation has almost disappeared or has lightened significantly. Usually, around the 5-6 week mark, traces of PIH have completely disappeared and the area of skin looks like nothing had ever erupted. The sheer efficacy and speed in which my skin heals with this little bottle of magic astounds me and is the reason why I will continually purchase this again.
DrGL's Skin Repair can be purchased directly from the DrGL website for SGP$118 for 10ml.
Mabel + Meg Lumilixir*
The Lumilixir Serum by Mabel and Meg Mabel one of those hydrating serums with a little extra oomph. With active ingdrients such as hyaluronic acid and Vitamin C, this serum does not only work to hydrate the skin, keeping is plump and taut, it also works to give the skin a brightening and glowing effect over time. I find that this truly an amazing serum underneath makeup, as it hydrates and plumps out the complexion with minimal pilling. Skin looks healthy, hydrating and glowing when using this underneath a moisturiser. The thin, viscous texture of this serum, sinks beautifully into the complexion, both working to smooth and plump. It is one of the best hydrating serums I have ever used when wanting to use underneath makeup.
What I love about this hydrating serum is that it plays nicely with other products - working well with other skincare products as well as makeup. There is never any pilling when I have used this and I find that it absorbs so well into the skin that it feels like nothing once it has dried down.
Mabel + Meg's Lumilixir Serum can be purchased from Mabel + Meg directly and comes in both a 20ml and 30ml size at GBP £29 and GBP £39 respectively.
LILFOX Miami Amazon After Dark Melty Jungle Cleansing Balm*
I absolutely love a good cleansing balm and I find that the green beauty brands are excellent at creating luxurious delights which evoke all the senses. The LILFOX Miami Amazing After Dark Balm is no exception - this cleansing balm is luxurious in feel, with the balm melting into a beautiful oil once warmed into the skin. I find that it melts off makeup and leaves a really hydrated, fresh and clean complexion after washing off. This beautiful pinky/purple hues balm works wonders to both nourish the skin as well as cleansing it thoroughly to remove the day's makeup and buildup with its beautiful and exotic mix of oils and butters. Its ingredients are the following:
A.murumuru (Murumuru) Butter**, H.annuus (Sunflower) Oil*, P.edulis (Maracuja) Oil* + C.oleifera (Camilla) Oil* (Infused With H.sabdariffa (Hibiscus)*, R.spp (Rosehip)*, S.alba (WhiteWillowBark*), O.oleifera (Babassua) Butter*, Ceterayl olivate + Sorbitan olivate (Olive wax), M.indica (Mango) Butter*, T.grandiflorum (Cupacua) Butter**, R.comunnis (Castor) Oil*, Lecithin (Sunflower/Non-gmo), Hydroxystearyl Alcohol + Hydroxystearyl Glucoside (Derived from Castor Oil and Sugar), Coco Glucoside (Coconut-Based), T.ferdinandiana (Kaduku Plum) Extract , S.alba (White Willow Bark) Extract*, V.amazonica (Amazonian Lily) Extract, N.sativa (Black Cumin) Oil*, R.officinalis (Rosemary) Antioxidant Extract, Proprietary Essential Oil Blend Including: Rose Geranium, Rosemary, Bergamot*, Ylang Ylang*
*Certified Organic **Wildcrafted
The scent of the Amazon After Dark is truly stunning (as with all Alexis' concoctions) - it is a unique, sensual and slightly sexy floral scent that is truly indulgent. It is one of those balms where it becomes an absolute treat to use after a tough day at work or if you need a little TLC, making it the perfect start to a skincare ritual. You find yourself looking forward to using it once you have it due to its sensory experience. In terms of washing this off, this does become a milk once water is applied to the balm but I find that I do need a cloth to wash this off fully. This is to be expected with cleansing balms that are packed with nourishing oils and butters.
Overall, I loved the scent of the Amazon Balm and the way it left my skin feeling afterwards. This is definitely a cleansing balm which I will consider repurchasing later on down the track. The Amazon After Dark Melty Jungle Cleansing Balm can be purchased directly from the LILFOX Miami website for USD$68 for a jar of 50ml.
5YINA Autumn Grace Hydrolat
As far as hydrolats and natural face mists/toners go - 5YINA possibly make some of the best out there in terms of unique scent. I have had the pleasure to try 3/4 hydrolats in the 5YINA range and each and every one of them has been an absolute delight to use. The Autumn Hydrolat has been a permanent fixture in my travels, handbag and at work over the past few months. This beautiful mist has kept my skin feeling cool, fresh, calm and rejuvenated whilst on the go and its scent is just intoxicating. I love to use this to set makeup, to refresh the skin (office aircon anyone?) and to help calm my skin in the heat. What I think makes this particular hydrolat/mist so special is the unique blend of ingredients, making it so much more complex and intricate than most of the other mists I have seen on the market. The Grace Autumn Hydrolat takes advantages of soothing and healing ingredients such as rosehip, calendula and chamomile whilst adding elements of Traditional Chinese Medicinal herbs such as Chrysanthemum, Reishi and Oolong tea. Its full ingredients are as follows:
Rosa Ssp (Rosehip) Distillate*, Calendula officinalis (Calendula) Distillate*, Verbascum densiflorum (Mullein) Distillate*, Matricaria chamomilla (Chamomile) Distillate*, Hamamelis virginiana (Witch Hazel) Distillate, Vegetable Glycerin, Centella asiatica (Gotu Kola), Morus alba (Mulberry) Leaf, Chrysanthemum morifolium (Chrysanthemum) Flowers, Schisandra chinensis (Schisandra) Berries, Camellia sinensis (Oolong Tea), Lycium barbarum (Goji) Berries, Ganoderma lucidum (Red Reishi), Glycyrrhiza glabra (Licorice) Root, Leuconostoc Ferment Filtrate (Radish Root) Extract, Salix nigra (Willow) Bark Extract, Osmanthus fragrans, Squalane (Olive), Silver Citrate, Citric Acid, Michelia champaca (Champaca) CO2 Extract.
The 5YINA Grace Autumn Hydrolat has been an absolute joy to use on a daily basis over the past few months and I would definitely repurchase this and any of the other 5YINA Hydrolats out there. My skin loves the fresh and revitalising feel that these mists give and I always get a compliment when using this on a flight. These are a must-have for any frequent traveller!
The 5YINA Grace Autumn Hydrolat can be purchased from the 5YINA online store for USD$45 for the perfect 50ml travel size.
The Evolve Organic Beauty Hyaluronic Acid Serum 200
This little travel size of Evolve Beauty's Hyaluronic Serum has been most handy when I was travelling at the end of last year/beginning of this year. This hydrating serum reminds me a little of Jordan Samuel Skin's Hydrate in terms of texture and consistency. The Evolve Organic Beauty Hyaluronic Acid Serum boasts 200mg hyaluronic acid per full-size 30ml bottle and prides itself on being 99% natural in the way of ingredients.
I found that it worked quite well to hydrate and plump the skin when applied and the results definitely would last throughout the day. I found that it sat relatively okay with most makeup, with some pilling occurring in a few instances. This serum is another perfect hydrating serum for those who are really into their green beauty. The formulation of this will make most green beauty advocates happy and better still, this does what it is supposed to do - hydrate the complexion. Its ingredient is the following:
Aqua (Water), Rosa Damascena (Rose) Water*, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice Powder*, Punica Granatum (Pomegranate) Fruit Extract*, Glycerin, Amorphophallus Konjac Root Powder, Sodium Hyaluronate, Sodium Levulinate, Sodium Anisate, Sodium Dehydroacetate.
*ingredients from organic farming
I did enjoy using this serum but I think I already have cumulated a number of favourites and unfortunately I did not love this enough or found it special enough for me to repurchase again. There are other serums that I think I enjoy using more and whilst this is effective, it just didn't wow me. The 30ml bottle of the Evolve Organic Beauty Hyaluronic Acid Serum can be purchased directly from the Evolve Beauty website for £30.00.
Have you had any recent empties? What did enjoy using the most? I would love to find out more in the comments section below!