Skincare enthusiasts will be well versed with that peculiar little thrill experienced when finally coming to close finishing a product. Maybe you let out a sign of relief because it didn’t quite meet your expectations and you can’t wait to get started a shiny new alternative (don’t lie, I know you have one lined up ready to take its place!) or perhaps you’re just a tiny bit devastated that a certain product is no longer going to feature in your routines. Maybe you’re just ambivalent about it altogether.
Regardless, one of my favourite posts to savour, whether in blog format or over on Instagram are empties. I find them to be incredibly useful as usually they are snappy quick-fire reviews. Here are some products I’ve (satisfyingly) finished recently:
Purito Fermented Complex 94 Boosting Essence* £19 ($24)/150ml
This toner brimming with rice ferment extracts, green tea extract as well as niacinamide occupied a prime spot besides my bathroom sink and lasted well over a year with generous twice daily usage. My little tip is to always have a hydrating toner next to your sink so that you can splash some onto your damp face, post cleansing. Cleansing is one of the harshest and most stripping steps in your routine and as soon as you’re finished cleansing, you need to rehydrate. I really enjoyed having this toner in my routine and whilst there is nothing revolutionary about it, it’s affordable, not heavily fragranced, deeply hydrating and didn’t impart any tackiness. I also really loved the mild brightening effect delivered by niacinamide. The truth is, even if you’re using the best acids and retinols but your skin isn’t hydrated, you’ll never achieve that glow you’re after. No one quite does hydrating toners like the K-Beauty realm, so do yourself a favour and include a hydrating toner like this one in your routines. You can thank me later.
Earthwise Beauty Yasuni Balm £ 81 ($100)/30ml
This highly nutritive, essential oil free balm happens to be one of those empties that breaks my heart a little…except I have a back up, haha! If you follow me, you know I’ve professed my love for this balm time and time again (read my dedicated blog post here) but let’s reiterate shall we? Yasuni is a lightweight balm, made from a myriad of fruit oils (cacao, burriti, kokun, raspberry, marula and cranberry as well as cupuaçu and tucuma butters).It’s highly absorbent and has worked wonders for firming and re-texturising my skin, Here’s the beauty of Yasuni, though; despite being formulated for oily skin types (and it certainly does a fabulous job of keeping acne at bay and has a slight mattifying effect), as a someone with dry skin I felt it totally shines through in my own routines and I love its nourishing properties.
A.Florence Skincare Balm to Milk Cleanser+Makeup remover £33($40)/ 120ml
I’ve had this travel-size cutie for some time now, well before it underwent a reformulation. The old formulation never did string my eyes but Tina, the founder, decided to change things up slightly to specifically avoid this problem reported by a few customers. Can we all take a moment to appreciate this responsive brand taking on board customer feedback? Bravo
A.florenceskincare are nailing it as a brand. If my wildest dreams came true and I were to ever formulate a skincare line, this is exactly how I would want it to look like: effective, well-researched, nutrient-dense formulations, made from high quality ingredients that are responsibly and ethically sourced whilst still remaining affordable. You absolutely need to be on the look-out for their fabulous 20% off sales, usually on Boxing day. They sell out within hours; a testament as to how wonderful this brand is!
This cleanser is a delight to your senses, citrusy with hints of floral (owing to blood orange, may chang, ylang ylang and cedarwood essential oils) in a base of babassu, rice brand and perilla oils as well as pink clay and zeolite. This balm effectively removes all makeup and SPF leaving you with a clean smooth and moisturised canvas. My favourite way to use it? As a morning mask, apply and jump in the shower and totally revel in the ambrosial scent of this exquisite cleanser.
A.Florence Skin Barrier Restoring Oil £33 ($40) /20ml
Another gem from this brilliantly executed skincare line that I recommend to all skincare bloggers…and frankly to anyone with skin. This serum has saved my over-exfoliated, irritated skin overnight on countless occasions with its high content of skin building ingredients (think cholesterol, ceramides, phospholipid and botanicals extracts of marshmallow, dandelion, calendula, plantain and arctic oat) This is a medium weight oil with an incredibly soothing scent, a bit like a hug in a bottle and your skin will love this calming, anti-inflammatory serum when it’s sensitized.
Femmue Lumière Vital C* £88 ($108) /30ml
Vitamin C is an ingredient I always recommend to people of all ages (it’s a great antioxidant, it’s ultra brightening and promotes collagen production which means plump and firm skin in the long run) The problem is the pure form L-Ascorbic (which studies show to be the most effective kind) is often very irritating and can cause some people to break out. Enter vitamin C derivatives. Femmue Vital C is a vitamin C derivative serum (Ascorbyl Glucoside) with hydrating and brightening ingredients such as hyaluronic acid and liquorice root extract. I’m really putting my skin to the test these days with Tretinoin (Vitamin A) and this serum worked perfectly well and never caused any irritation. Plus look at this gorgeous packaging!
Ultimately, I do think you can get better value serums that function similarly so despite all the plus points, I’m not rushing to repurchase.
Moss skincare Potenci Intensive Dermal Repair Hydrating Emulsion* £119 ($145)/30ml
This is a total powerhouse of a serum that truly accomplishes so much. Potenci came in my life at a particularly difficult time personally, where just washing my face felt like a chore. I only used this magical serum and nothing else over a period of at least 2-3 months and although I cried my eyes out 20 million times a day and barely slept a wink, my skin looks miraculously glorious and radiant, as though I was diligently taking care of it. There’s no better review that I can write for Potenci, other than this humble statement. Moss skincare is a brand that marries technology, efficacious ingredients and green botanical goodness; a triple threat in my opinion. While it is on the pricey side, this serum tackles signs of ageing, promotes rejuvenation and repair and is chockfull ingredients such as ceramides, antioxidants and peptides. Therefore I am quite confident in saying that many will enjoy this as a singular serum in their routines. I’m much more of a maximalist personally and let’s face it; skincare is somewhat of a hobby so I like using a myriad of serums in my routines. Whilst I’m not itching to repurchase this, I can hand on heart recommend it to anyone wanting one effective serum in their routine.
Naturallogic Luna Mask £63($78)/60ml
Every self-respecting green beauty enthusiast will know of this decadent, opulently creamy and highly sought-after seasonal mask. It actually takes half a year to make it and is the actual embodiment of indie skincare craftsmanship at its very finest. Luna contains homemade seasonally crafted red wine (last year’s batch was an organic, artisan Barolo, Montepulciano and Chilean red wine), raw local honey, raw cacao, strawberries, raspberries, macadamia, jasmine, honeysuckle and vanilla. I’m especially picky when it comes to assessing masks, they need to deliver instantaneous results otherwise I’m not interested. And boy does Luna deliver! It manages to be hydrating, nourishing and brightening all at the same time. Although you’re not meant to use this for more than 60 minutes, I’ve often left it on for hours on end whilst the naturally occurring probiotics, fruit enzymes, antioxidants and brightening compounds work their magic to give me impressive results. A sad empty, except of course I have a new one in my skincare stash. I’m completely under the spell of Luna and it’s one of those masks I will always come back to.
*denotes gifted product