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Saborino Morning Face Mask

Saborino Morning Face Mask  390yen
Are you a type of person who tends to hit the snooze button to sleep extra 5 minutes...becomes 10 minutes..end up with15 minutes, then start running around trying not waste a second in the morning? Well, I am. I have never been a morning person in my life, and I am always running late. So, I had to try out Saborino Morning Face Mask to see if it does what it claims.

Saborino Morning Face Mask does everything from cleansing, exfoliating, moisturising, creating a perfect base for makeup. How attractive does it sound for not-a-morning-person like me?

I got a smaller size that contains 5 sheets, they have a bigger one that comes with 32 sheets (which they claim contains 304ml of lotion!!) as well. Usually I struggle to take one sheet mask out of this kind of bag, but surprisingly this one was very easy for some reason. It might be due to the material of the mask, which is thicker than typical sheet mask I would say.

You're supposed to stretch the mask to fit on your face, but I didn't find it too stretchy. I placed it on my face, then realised they have very small holes for eyes, and they are very close to each other. Though my eyes aren't the biggest in the world, they did't fit in to the holes. I liked the fact it hugs the jaw and neck with the extra parts on the edges if that makes sense...

It felt very refreshing and soothing on the skin. You're supposed to leave it for one minute, which I did. It gently exfoliates the skin, while moisturising and nourishing. I removed the mask, and pat the remaining lotion on the skin, and put foundation on top to see if it really does work as primer too. Unfortunately my foundation didn't go on as smoothly as I was expecting, and it made me reassure that I prefer following my usual morning skincare routine than using this mask only.

I love the concept and how easy it is to take one mask out off the package, but for me it didn't do what it claimed to do. However, it's very popular among Japanese girls at the moment, which means it works well for them! Give it a go if you are a lazy girl, you might find it a lifesaver in the busy morning ;)

Integrate Beauty Trick Eyebrow

Integrate Beauty Trick Eyebrow  1,080yen*
Before I start my review on Integrate Beauty Trick Eyebrow, let me apologise for not being able to update my blog for ages. It had been hectic until the middle of July, now everything's settled down and I am finally able to sit and work on my blogs...though I still have more than 500 unedited photos...

Anyway, moving on to the review! I was given this product to review last month, and I was impressed with the quality of 1000yen palette! Integrate has always been one of my favourite drugstore brands -their Beauty Filter Foundation is simply brilliant, and Matsuiku-Mascara makes my lashes look unreal. In that context, no wonder why this palette wowed me.

The left shade is a beautiful none-shimmery cream shade that is perfect for a natural highlight. It looks very natural when applied on the nose and the brow bones. You know sometimes beauty bloggers / YouTubers put a shimmery highlighter on the tip of their nose which honestly looks very strange, THAT never happens with this kind of highlighter.

I use an eyeshadow brush to apply the highlighter, or you can use a sponge applicator to make it more intense.

2nd from the left is a contouring shade, and is my favourite shade out of four. It's a little bit ashy but not muddy -and again it's not shimmery either that makes contouring very natural. You can use this shade to fill in the sparse areas along with the next shade, which is the 3rd one from the left.

The right shade is ideal to draw the end of the brows if you're missing the part -like me. It is not too dark and intense, which means you never end up with that horrible 'instagram brow'.

This is the finished look of my brow! It's pretty impressive to achieve this look without help of a pencil, especially the end part of it. My brows are kind of chopped off and I need to draw 1/3 of it and I usually use Brow Pomade from Anastasia or an eyebrow pencil. The main reason is because it's easier to draw a thin line with those products, whereas eyebrow powder can look blurry sometimes. But this powder is intense and pigmented enough.

It's compact, and does fit into the smallest makeup bag I own. Plus it comes with a brush which is not the best quality every but at the same time, not the worst either. I appreciate the brush to use on the go especially when it's super affordable...!

By the way, do you know what Japanese girls are trying to achieve by using this product? Did you think it would be a sculpted and defined face like western girls are? Actually, Japanese girls are all about a small face. Just like they are always trying to get slimmer no matter how thin they actually are, they are aiming to make their face look smaller by the beauty gadgets, skincare products and makeup techniques. In Japan, defined cheek bones do not represent beauty, but a small face does! So what 'Trick Eyebrow' means is that it does the trick to make your face look smaller ;)

Charlotte Tilbury K.I.S.S.I.N.G Lipstick

Charlotte Tilbury K.I.S.S.I.N.G Lipstick / Penelope Pink  $32.00
I finally found my perfect nude. Though I'm not a bold-lipstick-kind-of-girl at all, I had been struggling to find a perfect nude shade for my skin tone. I have a tiny nose that my friends always make a joke about and a rather big mouse, so it looks a little unbalanced when I wear a bold lipstick as you might be able to imagine. I've never been a big fan of blue-toned pink on my lips either, it makes me look so '90s. Oh, and I don't like a frosty nor super matte finish.... Now you know fussy I am when it comes to a lipstick.

But K.I.S.S.I.N.G Lipstick in Penelope Pink from Charlotte Tilbury satisfies me fully. The shade is perfect, the finish is beautiful, the scent is divine and the packaging is to die for. What more can I ask for?

First I thought to get Bitch Perfect, simply because I liked the name better. And of course I liked the shade too. But I realised it could look a little too pinky and bright on my lips, so I decided to get Penelope Pink instead -which was a smart move of me, well done!

Penelope Pink is such a beautiful nude with a hint of orange, whereas Bitch Perfect is a brighter coral pink. It glides on the lips very smoothly which feels pretty comfortable on the lips. I often forget the fact I am wearing this lipstick, and accidentally wipe my lips with a napkin.

As you can see, it's not a matte finish but not too glossy or sticky. I really love this kind of texture when it comes to a lipstick, because I cannot stand a matte lipstick that dries my lips out as I have naturally dry lips. As mentioned above, this lipstick is very comfortable to wear and I notice myself reaching for it several times a day.

Another thing I LOVE about this lipstick is the scent. It smells similar to the lipsticks from MAC but not as strong in my opinion. It might put you off if you hate the scent of vanilla, but I personally love this scent and you only smell it when you apply the lipstick.

So, where to buy their products from when you're not in the UK? I got mine from Beautylish.com that offers free shipping on orders over $100. Their price is cheaper than Net a Porter, another website you can get their products from.

Now that Charlotte Tilbury launched new shades from her new range Hot Lips, I will definitely purchase some in the future once I am able to justify myself for getting another lipstick. I"m eying up on Super Cindy and Kim K.W. Which shade is your favourite?

Hada Labo Shiro-jyun Brightening Sorbet

Hada Labo Shiro-jyun Brightening Sorbet
Summer is finally here in Tokyo and I cannot be happier! Although we're in middle of the raining season technically, it felt like summer last weekend. If you're thinking of switching some of your skincare items to something summer-appropriate, why not try the new addition to Hada Labo Shiro-Jyun series launched a couple of months ago called Brightening Sorbet?

The formula with a brightening ingredient tranexamic acid will calm down inflammation -which is known to encourages melanin to grow, and prevent dark spots. Its cooking and refreshing texture is kind of innovative, and I find it very enjoyable to use.

It comes with a spatula which I usually don't like but with this product it's necessary. As you can see the texture is like a solid oil, so if you dig your fingers into the jar directly, you will end up with the moisturiser under your nails which can be irritating.

Once it's applied, it starts melting by the warmth of the skin. As it contains menthol, it gives a very refreshing and cooling feel to the skin which would be very nice when your skin is burnt after a long day out on the beach or something. It also contains Witchhazel to tighten the pores, Saxifrage to moisturise and Edelweiss to calm the skin.

The scent surprised me more than the texture to be honest -because usually Hada Labo products are unscented, but this product has a very nice floral scent to it. It's definitely floral but not too heavy or sweet as you might expect from the word 'floral', it's more like a fresh and clean scent.

I usually apply a small amount on my palm and rub my hands together to melt it a little bit, but if you want to cool down your burnt skin, you might prefer to apply it directly to the skin.

I like how moisturising yet not greasy this moisturiser is. It's perfect for normal to combination skin, but might be a little too light for dry skin. You can store it in the fridge to make it even cooler! It's such a lovely moisturiser for under 1,500yen ;)

Is beautyblender worth the hype?

beautyblender $20.00
I don't think I need to write an in-depth review about this cult beauty product, because you all are aware it's one of the best selling beauty products in the world and there is a possibility that you are fed up on hearing about it. But I thought to write a quick post about my thoughts on the REAL beautyblender -what make it so special that spending $20 on a makeup sponge doesn't seem to be such a bad idea.

I have used some makeup sponges in the past. I like applying my liquid foundation with a brush, but I definitely need a sponge to make sure the skin looks flawless, without any streaky lines or patchiness. I've tried some Japanese ones including Tofu sponge, Dior one and Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge. For years and years I've heard beautyblender is the best sponge ever, but I couldn't justify myself for spending that much money on a makeup sponge. It's not even a brush, it's a makeup sponge, think about it.

But then, I finally got fed up on using crappy makeup sponges that didn't satisfy me at all. I decided to purchase beautyblender online, as it's not available in Japan. I bought the one comes with a mini size of the solid cleanser, because I heard someone washed her beautyblender with a shampoo or something that completely ruined the texture. I thought it would be safer to get the cleanser too.

The sponge expands quite a lot when it's damp. And this is when I realised the biggest different between the dupes and the real beautyblender. It's elasticity. That is it. Everything else is the same -it looks identical to the sponge from Dior that I used to use, but the texture is completely different.

The one from Dior was very hard and didn't change the texture at all when damp, whereas beautyblender becomes softer and much more spongy once it soaks up water. The key here is that you must wet it properly. I squeeze my beautyblender at least 6-7 times under running water, so that it's completely wet. Then pat dry with a towel then with tissue paper as well, otherwise it feels too wet on the skin.

It's so bouncy and soft on the skin, and does blend everything seamlessly. As mentioned earlier, I apply my liquid foundation with a brush (my favourite is Sigma Flattop Kabuki) and basically bounce this sponge all over my face. Then apply concealer, blend with a brush, then bounce this little black one again. When I want more coverage on my pores, I add a bit of my foundation over the cheek and dab the beautyblender. It blurs my pores completely and it never looks dry or patchy.

Overall, this sponge does wonders for sure. I have no idea if elasticity of the sponge is connected to its blending ability, but it does do an amazing job. I cannot go back to Miracle Complexion Sponge from Real Techniques anymore, and I do not mind spending $20 on a sponge at all.

My last note is about the solid cleanser. I first thought it would be ridiculous to buy a bar soap just for a sponge, especially when the soap is more than $15 or so. But now I am not against the idea as much as I was before, because it's pretty good actually.

Mine is a mini and the tin didn't come with the soap itself, so I keep it in the lid of the plastic package of beautyblender. It smells of lavender which is lovely, though I wish the scent was a little more stronger and lingering. It's a little awkward to swirl the sponge on the soap, but it lathers well and keeps the sponge nice and clean. The great thing about this sponge is that it lasts forever. I have used this solid cleanser multiple times in the past 2 months, but it looks exactly the same size as when I bought it. Which means the full size solid cleanser would last for months or possibly for a year if you take a good care of it!

If you haven't tried the REAL beautyblender, give it a go. In my opinion it's better to get one beautyblender than getting 10 dupes.

Recent Empties -Haircare and Bodycare

Every Colour Treatment in Grey
I colour my hair every 3 months to maintain beautiful ashy brown. It gets yellowy and brassy after a week, so I'd always used purple shampoo and conditioner to reduce the brassiness. But it didn't work as much as I wanted it to do, so I switched my purple conditioner to this one. This is not a tinted hair treatment, it's more like a rinsable hair colour. I picked grey instead of purple to maintain the ashy tone in my hair -and it does wonders to my hair. I apply it all over my hair once every two weeks, and put the hair up and leave it for an hour to two. You are supposed to rinse it off after 5-10 minutes, but I leave it as long as I can. It makes my hair look super ashy but not too green or grey. They have various colours you can pick depending on your hair colour, such as red, pink, blue, green and purple.  I of course repurchased and am currently using my 2nd tube.

Fearful Hard Keep Oil Spray
I've used up about 5 of this spray. I always get this small tin rather than the big one because it's handy to have in your handbag. It doesn't make your hair crispy at all but hold everything in place. I use it to  smooth fluffy hair, or lock everything in place when I wear my hair up. It smells lovely, and works really well. I repurchased another tiny tin, and then finally got a big one recently to use at home.

KEBELO Clarifying Shampoo 
I got it in my lookfantastic beauty box which is one of the best beauty boxes I've ever tried. This clarifying shampoo is very intense that you are supposed to use once a month. I use it once in every two weeks to clean my scalp, it's refreshing and soothing. I like the subtle grapefruit scent as well.

L'Oreal Extraordinary Oil Hair Mask
I LOVED this hair mask! It smells divine, and makes my hair feel so smooth without weighting it down. It's affordable and effective. There is no reason not to repurchase!

TRESemmé Perfectly (un) Done Sea Form
I got it as a freebie when I got ELLE magazine in the UK last year. I didn't expect it to be good at all, but it was actually impressively good. I take the foam on my palms, rub them together and lightly apply it on my hair focusing on the roots and sides around my years where I want the most volume when my hair is still bump. Once it's completely dry, you'd notice your hair is voluminous and kind of squeaky and tangly. It doesn't sound so good now that I described as squeaky and tangly, but believe me it does give the most natural volume. I use leave-in treatment in conjunction with this product though, to minimise messiness.

Bath&Body Works Hand Soaps
The only hand soaps I use are the ones from Bath&Body Works. I have at least 5 in stock no matter what. (For those who are wondering where I get them from, I usually buy them from Rakuten or Mercari) Lemonade one was OK, it smelt more like watermelon than lemonade. I LOVE Black Cherry Merlot very much that this was my 3rd or 4th bottle. I'm not a big fan of cherry scent usually, but this one is just heavenly.

Soap&Glory Clean on Me
I always want the bigger size, but my luggage is always overweight that I pick up this mini size instead. I simply love the smell of this shower gel, it's not overpowering but good enough to boost my  femininity. I have one more bottle to go, and will be repurchasing tons when I'm back in the UK -which is very soon!

Soap&Glory Breakfast Scrub
It's SO old that it might have been off. It's now a part of the smoothiestar range, but it used to be just Breakfast Scrub. This is the best smelling body scrub ever, that I hope they never stop manufacturing.  It smells like maple syrup, brown sugar and vanilla. It's also a very good body scrub that gets rid of dead skin cells without scratching the skin. The only downside is that it stings when my skin is a little sensitive, because it contains salt. I wish they would switch it to sugar, so that you can use it on damaged skin too.

Jo Malone Peony&Blush Suede
This is my signature fragrance for sure. I now have the big bottle and I cannot get enough of it. It's even more expensive in Japan than it is in the UK which is ridiculous, but Jo Malone is definitely the queen of fragrance. This scent is a mixture of femininity and masculinity. Who would come up with an idea of mixing peony and suede? Genius.

I hope you enjoyed it! One more empty post to go!

Popular Japanese Drugstore Makeup Removers under 1,000yen

I feel bad whenever I get asked by some followers to recommend them some Japanese drugstore products, because I don't use Japanese products much unless they're given. I only have a couple of products I can recommend, such as RAFRA balm cleanser and Love Liner. So I came up with the idea of doing 'Popular Japanese Products' series on my blog, to give myself an opportunity to try more Japanese products, and you guys get to read my reviews at the same time. How efficient!

Today's theme is 'makeup remover'. In Japan, micellar water isn't as popular as it is in the western world and I guess the reason is because Japanese people hate rubbing their face to remove makeup. Asian skin is said to be thinner than western skin, thus we are prone to pigmentation caused by friction. And also it simply irritates sensitive skin. You would be overwhelmed by the number of cleansers displayed if you visited Aintz&Tulpe's basement floor where they have skincare products. I had no idea which one to pick, but I managed to choose 3 popular makeup removers to compare.

To test how they remove makeup, I used these products. From left, Mis"el Ady Liquid Eyeliner aka one of the hardest liquid eyeliner to remove, Kesalan Pathalan Smooth Lips, Nudestix Magnetic Eye Color and Anastasia Brow Pomade.

Shiseido Senka Perfect Watery Oil  980yen
Their face wash Perfect Whip became popular more than a decade ago, and still is one of the most popular cleansers. I used to be a heavy user of the face wash until I became more fussy about skincare products in my mid-twenties. It was my first time to try out their oil, and I must say I was pretty impressed.

The consistency is pretty watery as the name suggests. The top ingredient on the list is mineral oil, which I believe most of you hate. I self-studied dermatology to get to know more about skincare when I was into natural and organic beauty products, and I believed mineral oil was bad for your skin, but also found information that claims mineral oil back in the day contained impurities and irritative, but nowadays impurities are all removed from the oil and nothing is wrong with using the oil on the skin. It's completely up to you what to believe, but I don't care too much about it because my skin doesn't hate it anyway. To cut the long story short, I just wanted to mention that it contains mineral oil.

The good thing about this cleanser is that you can use it with wet hands. Normally you need to apply cleansing oil to completely dry face with dry hands to dissolve makeup, sebum and dirt. But this one can be used in the shower, when both face and hands are wet. How convenient.

It instantly removed everything besides the eyeliner. See, I told you this is pain in the butt to remove it! Apparently this cleanser contains 'mascara remover' which makes it easy to remove waterproof mascara. Well, it didn't remove the waterproof eyeliner though.

I love the floral scent which isn't too overpowering at all. The texture is very smooth just like normal cleansing oil, and it rinses off quickly with warm water. No need to use muslin cloth, Japanese oil cleansers are designed to be removable with warm water.

It leaves moisturising feel to the skin, which is perfect for dry skin yet not too heavy for combination to oily skin. A bonus point is that it contains hyaluronic acid too.

Softymo Super Point Makeup Remover  647yen
This remover was recommended by Sami from Makeup Wasteland when I mentioned Mis"el Ady Liquid Eyeliner would never come off completely. This gel consistency eye-makeup remover is neutral just like your tears, which makes it less harsh to your eyes. The thick formula removes your eye makeup instantly that you don't need to rub your eyes which is the most sensitive area of your face.

As you can see, it's pretty thick. If you put this cotton pad directly to your eyes, it might go into your eyes and causes irritation. I make sure the makeup remover is soaked completely into the cotton pad, then place it on the eyes and leave it for a couple of seconds without rubbing.

Sami mentioned it would remove the eyeliner easily, but for some reason it didn't work as good on me. It could be the combination of the eyeliner and my skin -no idea what that means but hey, something could be wrong with my skin- but it takes two cotton pads to remove my makeup on one eye.

It's fragrance-free which is suitable for sensitive skin, and it's also oil-free that's perfect for those who hate the oily residue some eye-makeup remover leaves on the skin. Hyaluronic acid and provitamine B5 protect your lashes. I use it to remove my eye makeup only when I'm wearing heavy makeup but it does shorten the makeup removal process which I appreciate.

Bifesta Bright up Cleansing Sheet  550yen 
Bifesta is famous for their micellar water -which I believe is the most popular drugstore micellar water- and this is the face-wipe version from the same series. They have 3 different types of makeup wipes you can choose depending on your skin type. I picked up 'Bright up' one which contains AHA and moisturising vitamin C to clear up the complexion. There are 'Moist' and 'Enrich' ones as well.

It was very hard to capture how wet the wipes are, but can you see the small pool around my finger? It's pretty wet which reduces friction and irritation caused by the harsh material. I like how soft the wipe is, it's not irritating at all on the skin which is always a plus.

Another good thing I must mention is that this packaging is genius. The most annoying thing is that when you try to take one wipe, another comes with it and you have to put it back in. Worse is that the wipe gets dried out the next day -and the worst case scenario is the whole pack gets dried up. Bifesta's makeup wipes never do that. This genius packaging allows you to take only one wipe each time. Also the lid is actually plastic, not a sticker that loses stickiness after 3 uses.

The wipe is 15cm x 20cm which is pretty big. Use on dry skin start from wiping the whole face gently. Then I fold it and sandwich my eyelashes to remove my mascara, then wipe around my eyes even more gently. Because it's pretty wet, it's not harsh on the skin. It removes not only makeup but dirt and dead skin cells, which is of course a plus.

So, I placed a wipe on the skin covering the half of the area I put makeup on, and waited for 10 seconds. Then, gently wipe the skin off trying not to rub the skin.

You can see the only product it removed completely is the lipstick. The traces of brow pomade and eyeshadow are visible although the other two I mentioned earlier completely removed them. As for the eyeliner, words are not needed to describe how disappointed I was. I added 10 more seconds to the test after taking this photo but it didn't make a big difference.

I don't think this is a perfect makeup remover to use on its own, but in combination with other cleansers, I actually find it convenient. I usually remove my makeup and cleanse my skin at the same time with RAFRA cleansing balm. It does remove my makeup very well but sometimes I have panda eyes after rinsing my face. That's when it comes in very handy. I fold the wipe into four, then remove the makeup left around my eyes using the edge. It works better than using the eye makeup remover with a cotton pad because it's thinner and edgier. I also use it to remove a part of my makeup in the morning when I screw up. I don't recommend to rely on it, but it's handy to have for sure.

Phew, I wonder why my posts are freaking long all the time. I wonder if there is someone who's read it all, but if you did thank you so much and hope you enjoyed!

Recent Empties -Skincare

I had been accumulating empty products since December without paying attention to the magnitude of the situation. My big bag was full of empty products...actually it was overflowing. I finally took photos of them and started writing a blog post on my Japanese blog, Beau Tea Time, and realised nobody would read it if I tried to fit it into one post because it would be too long.

So I decided to write 3 separate posts about my rubbish.

Soap and Glory Peaches and Clean
I believe Peaches and Clean have changed its packaging and formula a couple of times in the past. I heard the 1st one was amazing, and then they changed the formula and made the package smaller, which was rubbish, so they changed it again and that is the one sold at Boots right now. Mine is rubbish one I believe -it's smaller and didn't do much to my skin. But I loved it. The realistic scent of fresh peach is always refreshing to use, and the texture is just perfect to use in the morning. The only downside is the pump. As you can see I still had 20% of the product left in the bottle but the pump stopped dispensing and it was paint in the butt to remove the pump and shake the bottle in the shower. I will definitely repurchase the newer version when I come back to the UK this summer.

RAFRA Balm Orange Yuzu&Honey 
RAFRA is my favourite balm cleanser. It's better than EVELOM and CLINIQUE, I absolutely swear by it. I much prefer the original version to this limited one. The scent is too subtle that it didn't WOW me at all, and everything else is exactly the same as the original -no point of buying the limited one.

Boots Botanics Hot Cloth Cleansing Balm
Danielle from Famous in Japan kindly sent it to me when we did a parcel swap a long time ago. Unlike Japanese balm cleansers, western balm cleansers are pretty oily that you must use a muslin cloth to remove them. I personally am not a big fan of rubbing my skin with a cloth, especially around my eyes where I already have terrible pigmentation, but those oily balm cleansers remove makeup like magic. The cleanser itself is very good quality for the price point in my opinion, and I would repurchase it if I didn't mind using a cloth along with it.

The Body Shop Chamomile Cleansing Butter
It was my 3rd jar of this cleansing balm, and I felt like they've changed the formula. Maybe it was just me, but it felt a little oilier. I usually do not use a cloth to remove this cleanser because it rinses off perfectly without it. But this one left an oily residue on my skin which was uncomfortable. It might be good for dry skin, but having combination skin I wasn't a big fan of it. I might not repurchase it anymore.

ansage Arti Wash 
I used up this lovely face wash from ansage, which is called Arti Wash because it contains Artichoke extract. I liked it very much because it didn't strip off the natural oil on my face, and left my skin feel super smooth and refreshed. It's a very basic face wash I must say, but I really enjoyed it and would like to repurchase if I have an opportunity.

Kiehl's Calendula Deep Cleansing Foaming Face Wash
It took me more than 6 months to use up this bottle because a tiny bit goes a long way. It's a perfect cleanser for normal to combination skin in my opinion, as it leaves enough moisture while removing excess oil and dirt on the skin. It didn't remove my makeup at all, so I was using it as a morning cleanser and it worked perfectly. Definitely worth the price tag, and I will repurchase it for sure in the future.

Esteé Lauder Cyber White HD Lotion
First I thought it contained too much alcohol because it smelt and felt like pure ethanol,  but surprisingly it did not irritate my skin at all -it was actually very refreshing and I loved how it makes my skin feel. Despite the fact it contains alcohol, it did not dry out my skin either, and made my skin soft and supple. I loved the scent as well -just like other skincare products from the brand, it smelt divine. I am not sure about the whitening effect to be honest, but I enjoyed this lotion very much.

Kiehl's Ultra Facial Cream 
This cream is super unique. It's such a basic cream far from trend and fashionability that I first thought was too boring, but no other cream works like this product. It's got no scent and the packaging looks pretty boring. It's not a kind of face cream that excites you. But whenever my skin feels dry or unstable or too sensitive, I switch my day and night cream to this one. It's THAT reliable. I am kind of freaking out that now I'm out of this. I will definitely repurchase it -maybe at duty free in July- because this is one of the best face creams I've ever used.

Clinique Superdefense Age Defense Eye Cream  
Although I was using it every single morning before makeup, it took me a year and a half to use up this tiny tube. It's slightly tinted but not enough coverage to hide my dark circles. I loved the fact it had SPF20 to protect my eye area from sun damage -because I already have tiny dark spots there and I wanted to prevent more spots. The only downside is that it separates towards the end, it was really messy by the time I finished the tube.

Elemis Hydra-Balance Day Cream 
Thanks to lookfantastic beauty box for introducing this cream! First of all, the scent of Neroli is absolutely beautiful. Secondly, the texture is very creamy and moisturising which is perfect in a colder month. Made specially for normal to combination skin, this cream leaves enough moisture on the skin without being too greasy. I was using it during winter before makeup. Though I never skipped a step of blotting an excess oil of the cream with tissue before applying a foundation primer, I did't feel this cream was too heavy for my combination skin. It might be a little too rich during a warmer season, but I really enjoyed it in winter.

Just to clarify -tatcha is not a Japanese brand, it's an American brand inspired from Japanese culture. Their branding, concept and packaging are absolutely beautiful that I was very impressed -it's capturing the essence of Japanese culture very well. But now I've used up 3 of their products, I am not sure if they are worth the price tag.

One Step Camellia Cleansing Oil was raved by Caroline Hirons, and she said 'this oil is too luxurious to remove makeup' and recommended to remove makeup with a cheaper makeup remover, and use this oil to cleanse the skin. I liked this silky oil too because it wasn't oily at all, yet left my skin lovely and supple.

Deep Brightening Serum is something I was a little disappointed with. It's not a bad product at all, but I simply didn't think it was worth $185.

Clinique All About Eyes 
A very basic eye cream that I would be happy to receive as GWP or something, but I don't think I would dash to the counter and buy another jar of it.

Esteé Lauder Advanced Night Repair SR Complex II
You all know it's a magic serum, don't you? It plumps up the skin instantly that you can see the difference in the morning when applied this serum the night before. I'm not keen on the smell -it's rare for an Esteé Lauder product not to have an amazing scent, but I can handle it especially because the result is fantastic. I just started using my 2nd bottle and I don't think I can live without it. I need 5 backup bottles!

Vitality8™ NightRadiant Overnight Creme/Mask 
This cream (also from Esteé Lauder) was nice but nothing special in my opinion. I've tried 3-4 different types of Esteé Lauder face creams but this one was my least favourite. It smelt lovely and felt nice on the skin, but I didn't feel like it was moisturising as it claimed. Apparently this cream would give nutrients to your skin, but I didn't see any positive nor negative difference after using it for a couple of months. I wouldn't repurchase it again, they have better face creams!

I believe you're super tired from reading my crap...but thank you! 2 more posts related to empties are coming up soon so stay tuned :)

Real Techniques Deep Cleansing Gel

Real Techniques Deep Cleansing Gel  $8.99
I am not complaining here, but nobody told me Deep Cleansing Gel from Real Techniques was THIS good. Actually, I hadn't heard beauty bloggers/ YouTubers talking about this product much until I specifically searched for some reviews.

Whenever I purchase Real Techniques' products, I always order on iHerb.com because it's very cheap. Well, I believe the price is the same as RP in the US, but it's much cheaper than buying them on eBay or even from Boots in the UK. Real Techniques is an American brand apparently, which is why RP in the US is cheaper than what it is in the UK. iHerb offers pretty reasonable shipping rate, and it arrives within 3-4 working days from the states which is pretty good, so I shop there quite often. If you're interested and new to iHerb.com, you can use my referral code 'FQS584' to get $5.00 discount on your first order.

Anyway, I just purchased this cleanser because I was running out of my Dr, Bronner Magic Soap and was looking for something better to cleans my brushes with. Magic Soap works amazingly and I love how clean my brushes get after washing them with the cleanser, but it stinks. It smelt OK at the beginning, but as it gets older the smell changed slightly and I just cannot stand this weird smell anymore. I love Real Techniques' brushes, so I thought, why not?

The packaging is slim and pretty. The only thing I don't like about it is this lid. They should have made it with a pump rather than this type of lid, because the texture of the cleanser is pretty thick sometimes it doesn't come out. Every time I use it, I have to shake the bottle so that the cleanser comes down to the lid otherwise nothing comes out. Also with this lid, it's hard to control how much product to dispense.

The texture is pretty thick like I mentioned. I usually use it with Sigma Spa Express Brush Cleaning Glove. This glove is well handy that it makes me want to wash my brushes! I apply a cherry-sized amount on the glove, wet a brush with warm water and swirl it on the glove. I often wash 3-4 eyeshadow brushes together to save time and use of cleanser. You might struggle to distribute the cleanser evenly on the brushes at the beginning because of the texture of the cleanser, but once it's lathers up it should work fine.

The best part of this cleanser is the scent. I've read / seen some reviews on this product in the past but nobody -or nobody that I remember- mentioned how great it smelt. It smells very unique that I've never come across any cleansers smell like this. It smells like tea. You know tea-scented fragrance like Au the Rouge from BVLGARI or Penhaligon's Lothair...this cleanser has got a similar note which I believe is tea. The scent is pretty weak that it won't leave the lovely scent on the brushes once they're dry, but it makes the washing process even more enjoyable.

I'm going to show you how clean this brush would get with the cleanser and the glove. It's Sigma Flattop Kabuki which is my favourite brush to apply liquid foundation with. It's unbelievable how flawless it makes my skin looks!

As you can see, it doesn't lather up too much when the brush is dense. It creates loads of bubbles when I wash something like eyeshadow brush and blush brush, but buffing brush, kabuki brush and concealer brush are always harder to create lather with.

This glove has two sides by the way, one side shown in the photo above is for smaller brushes such as eyeshadow brush and concealer brush, and another side has bigger bumps designed to be used for bigger brushes. I personally like this side of the glove for some reason for any brushes -I feel this side cleans brushes better and quicker.

After swirling the brush for about a minute, I rinsed it with warm water and dries quickly with a towel. You still can see that the foundation is stained in the middle section of the brush, which I tried my best to get rid of but I assume it's stained. It didn't come off no matter how many times I washed it afterwards.

I still think Dr. Bronner's soap cleanses the brush better, but considering how great it smells Real Techniques is a winner in my opinion. Magic Soap leaves such a disgusting scent on the brushes which is a very big matter to me. Deep Cleansing Gel from Real Techniques cleans the brushes efficiently and quickly enough, and the pleasant scent motivates you to wash them regularly. The packaging looks pretty and the price is affordable. I will definitely repurchase it once I've run out of the current bottle. It's definitely worth trying if you're looking for a good brush cleanser!