Empties and New Products: Mini Reviews What I've Used Up and Replaced

I love watching and reading empties posts. I know some content creators find “old school” blog posts boring, repetitive, but I’m always fascinated by what people truly use up and would they recommend or repurchase. Using up products – especially makeup takes time, even if your stash is on the smaller size. One of my favorite Canadian Youtubers, ttsandra, came up with the great concept of empties & showing what’s she’s using next after finishing a product. That’s what I’m going to do today, I hope you enjoy the post – even if you’re not a big fan of empties!

*This post contains PR samples marked with an asterisk (*),
all thoughts my own and honest.

Empty products and new products haul | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog @laurantaina
Empty products and new products haul | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog @laurantaina

Cleansing Oils

I finished three cleansing oils: Whamisa Organic Flowers*, Kahina Oil Cleanser* and Origins Gentle Energy*. I think I gave Origins a lukewarm review on Instagram, but the more I used it the more I started to enjoy it. Pump is sold separately, which is slightly annoying. Even more annoying is trying to pour out oil without the pump, so I do recommend purchasing the pump. I had similar experience with Kahina (review here) - okay at first and later started to appreciate it more. I love a good medium weight cleansing oil that emulsifies and rinses clean.

Whamisa was a total disappointment, I wish I had used up this bottle quicker just to get rid of it. If 1st cleanser doesn’t remove my makeup properly, it’s not my cup of tea. I think I would repurchase Kahina, but I have a backup of THREE Balancing Cleansing Oil, which is my all-time favorite. I also want to use up some other oils I have going on: Tata Harper*, Senja Cosmetics* (not pictured, review here) and Josh Rosebrook. Tata and Senja I’m enjoying a lot, but would skip repurchasing Josh.

Empty products and new products haul | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog @laurantaina

Eyebrow Pencil

I’m was so over this Dior Brow Styler brow pencil, I’m glad it’s finished and I can move on. There was a moment of first impression love, but I won’t be repurchasing, not this or Anastasia Brow Wiz. I’m currently working my way through It Cosmetics Brow Pencil*, but I don’t think it’s “Universal” color is working for me, I also prefer a thinner pencil. Rouge Bunny Rouge’s Long-lasting Brow Liner (review here) will be my repurchased go-to pencil for travel or lazy mornings. For everyday purpose I’m still reaching for my Viseart Structure brow powder palette.

Empty products and new products haul | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog @laurantaina

Contour Color

Surratt Grisaille, ah how I already miss you. The perfectly smooth powder, buildable pigmentation and perfectly cool but not ashy undertone for my skin tone. There is some product left, but I don’t want to ruin my brushes by scratching those corners. Right now I’m enjoying my Tom Ford Terra Bronzer and Iglot x JLO Freedom System contour shade (I think this is in Cocoa, the lightest shade), but I do plan to pick up Grisaille asap.

Mascaras

I think all of these mascaras were good, but not extraordinary. Korres Drama Volume shade 02* was a very nice and natural plum-brown (featured here), which I would consider repurchasing if I ever got tired of black mascara. It Cosmetics Superhero* is a favorite of many bloggers, but to me it was too wet and I don’t like the shape of the packaging. Clinique Long-lasting Mascara is a good classic, rinses off with warm water and often on sale. Inika Long Lash* I liked (review here), but then I discovered Lily Lolo’s Natural mascara* (white tube, review here) and it won me over in an instant. Currently using up my SUQQU Eyelash Mascara* (review here), which I will most likely repurchase.

Empty products and new products haul | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog @laurantaina
Empty products and new products haul | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog @laurantaina

Moisturizers

Kora Organics* one was very nice and light-weight, I would purchase it for Summer time (read more). Henua Recharging moisturizer* and DP Vitamin Rich Repair Cream* (review here) were excellent, now I’m almost done with INARI Artic Water Cream. DP Dermaceuticals and INARI creams have become my Holy Grail moisturizers alongside with January Labs Nutrient Day Cream (sadly no longer sold on Cult Beauty!). I think I’m going to get a new bottle of INARI but first I’m testing something new, most likely Kiehl’s Calendula cream*.

SPF

Another empties.. another Innisfree Eco Safety SPF50 (read more). I’ve already repurchased this (not pictured, it’s at my boyfriend’s) and will do so until the end of time. Alga Maris SPF30* is the perfect sunscreen spray for the body (review here), I’m sharing a new tube with my boyfriend. For the face I’m currently using up Mádara Face and Body SPF30 (review here), which I will certainly repurchase. I’m also giving a go to Kiehl’s SPF50*. I rarely stay away from my physical SPFs, but Kiehl’s seems promising: light and non-irritating.

Empty products and new products haul | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog @laurantaina

Facial Oil

Max and Me I am the Light is one of my favorite oil serums or facial oils to date (one of the products I’d first purchase if I lost all my skincare). Their Enchanted oil is also wonderful (review here), perhaps better suitable for more reactive or sensitized skin. Right now I’m using my second (or third?) bottle of I am the Light.

Eye Cream

Tata Harper’s eye creams are painfully expensive, but this small bottle of Restorative Eye Creme* lasted me a good 6 months or so. I was devastated when I ran out of this press sample and I’m 90% sure I’ll purchase a replacement from the new reformulated line. Right now my under eye area and flakey from retinol, my first aid of choice was Kiehl’s Avocado Eye cream*. This one is a press sample, but I’ve bought and used 2-3 jars in the past. A little goes a long way with this cream and it still feels pleasantly thick and protective under the parched eye area. I sometimes use Kahina’s oil roller-ball* as well, but Tata Harper’s eye cream is certainly the best for anti-ageing.

Do you like Empties Posts? What’s the latest product that you’ve replaced?

Disappointing Products and Thoughts Why Bloggers Only Give Good Reviews

I don’t think I have done a post focusing on product disappointments. I’ve tested plenty of items that are not for my skin type (dry, dehydrated) or the right shade, I tend to pass those on. Same with items that just aren’t my cup of tea. But today’s lineup are honest disappointments: products I wanted to love, but underachieved for me. This isn’t bashing the brands, many of them I love. If these products work for you, great, maybe you can leave some tips for me below!

This post contains press samples: all marked with an asterisk (*).

Disappointing Products | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog @laurantaina

Why all the GReat reviews?

With empties there are plenty products I rather would not re-purchase, but I’d say that most product reviews on the blog have good to great reviews - or at least suggestions who would prefer them. Why is that? It takes hours to style, photograph, edit, type and re-read blog posts, so I prefer to focus on items when a) I have something to say b) enjoy writing about it.

I’m often quick when I judge products and can quickly tell if something isn’t working for me: those products I usually give to friends and family or repurpose (as body creams, shower gels etc). I admit, I am a snob. If a drugstore eyeshadow palette doesn’t meet my standards, I just don’t even bother mentioning it. But when something comes from a brand I like and doesn’t meet the expectations? It’s going to be here today.

*Klair’s Gentle Black Deep Cleansing Oil

Overall I like Klair’s, they are pretty affordable K-Beaty line with some gems, such as the toner and soothing cream. I had heard good things about this cleansing oil and I was hoping to find a wallet friendly opinion. The pump bottle is ok and there isn’t any offensive smell, but this oil simply doesn’t remove my eye makeup effectively enough. When I use a cleansing oil/balm on my eyes I expect to look like a panda and rinse/wash cloth clean. I have to use a separate makeup remover for mascara or use the oil twice before moving to second cleanser.. So this is a pass for me.

*Lily Lolo Eyeshadow Base

Again, a product I had heard good things about. I had my doubts of using a creamy eyeshadow base for my hooded lids and unfortunately my suspicions were right: this eye primer creases. It creases quickly and I see little to no point why there are two pigments in this eyeshadow base? Shouldn’t you just get one that matches for you the best? For very dry, non-hooded lids this may work.

*Lily Lolo Volume mascara (black tube)

I loved the Lily Lolo mascara in white tube and this was supposed to be the volumizing one. I’m 100% positive the white tube is more volumizing and thickening while the black tube gives some definition and separation. If you love to mascara just “be there” but not really show up, like a “no-mascara mascara”, then maybe this is the formula for you. Not for me, I stick with the white tube (review here).

Disappointing Products | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog @laurantaina

Shiseido ControlledChaos Mascara Ink

I love everything about this mascara: the wand, how it builds, chic packaging - except it smudges under my eyes. I had received the bright blue shade in PR, which I loved and had no problems with, so I eagerly purchased the black shade for review. Unfortunately the black was a complete letdown, I can’t touch up my under eyes several times a day.

*BYBI Prime Time Exfoliator

I recently read a review praising this exfoliator.. and I dare to disagree. The formula is too stiff, you have to squeeze the bottle very hard to get any product out. The exfoliating particles are sparse and a common ~coin-size amount isn’t nearly enough for proper manual exfoliation. Only use if your skin is very sensitive, but I still think there are better alternatives on the market.

Hourglass Arch Brow Liner

After several sponsored Youtube videos and a trip to Swedish Sephora, I was excited to try Hourglass’ new brow liner. The packaging: beautiful. The tip size and shape: excellent. Unfortunately the formula is way too stiff, not very pigmented and the roll-up side of the pen shakes and feels flimsy. While I think It Cosmetic’s alternative is too thick for similar precision, it beats Hourglass by being user-friendly. Despite the stiff formula, I ran out of this brow liner under 5 weeks.

Disappointing Products | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog @laurantaina

BYBI Baby Balm Bronze

When I saw that BYBI was coming out with makeup I rushed to TwistBe store and bought myself one. I don’t use much bronzers, but I love the Babe Balm and BYBI as a brand, so I was excited.. only to discover this bronzer is sheer - very sheer and has little to no base color. Just golden shimmer. I don’t get this at all. Could work as a cream highlighter for tan to deep skin tones, but wouldn’t you like more base color? I would use this as a lip balm if it wasn’t so glittery. (EDIT: I later read this is meant to be a highlighter after all? I will pass this to someone with deeper skin tone)

Origins Ginzing Peel-Off Mask

I was kindly gifted this mask after it didn’t work for a friend (hi Nastia!). I was a bit afraid of the “peel-off” aspect (the mask dries down and you can actually peel it off vs washing), but I like Origins a lot and decided to give it a go. Firstly, the scent is overpowering and offensive with menthol, made my eyes water. Secondly, when the mask has set it literally hurts to peel it off. Didn’t notice any skincare benefit and looking like a bronze tin man while the mask sets felt stupid. I can’t recommend this to anyone..

What product has disappointed you lately? Do you get along with any of the above? Let me know!

Origins Blooming Bold Lipsticks Review and Swatches

*Lipsticks gifted for consideration. Thoughts my own & honest.

Origins is a well-known skincare brand. So far I don’t think they have released any makeup-like products, except for a tinted sunscreen. Blooming Bold lipsticks are the first color makeup to Origins line and today I’m very excited to review the formula and 5 shades for you!!

ORIGINS Blooming Bold Lipsticks Review and Swatches | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog @laurantaina
ORIGINS Blooming Bold Lipsticks Review and Swatches | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog @laurantaina

Origins Blooming Bold Lipsticks

These lipsticks are advertised as long-wearing with bold, rich and full-coverage coloraturas that will condition and hydrate lips during the day. Available in 24 shades varying from a vast amount of neutrals, nudes to some brights and deep, vampy colors. No other animal ingredients, except for cruelty-free honey and beeswax. Priced $20 / 20€ at Stockmann.fi

Packaging

I like the bullets of these lipsticks a lot, I just I wish there was just an added feature of luxury like a click sound or a magnetic closure. The lipsticks still feel weighty, not cheap at all. The floral pattern on the bullet is pretty nice, but the best feature is the pattern color which indicates each lipstick shade. I love it when lipstick shades are clear and easy to detect, especially if you have more than one from the same range.

Texture and Finish

I feel the formula of Origins lipsticks is excellent, but not 100% even all across the range. It might be just this shade, but I feel that 21 Wild Flower bleeds in the cracks of my lips. Not severely, but I would wear this particular color (like most red lipsticks) with a lip pencil lining and perhaps underneath for more longevity. 24 Black Tulip behaves strangely as it’s much more sheer than the rest I’ve swatched. You need to do a couple of swipes to build intensity and it still doesn’t look as intense as the others.

Otherwise the formula is smooth, pigmented and opaque. Just one swipe and you get beautiful, opaque intensity and color. The Origins Blooming Bold lipsticks feel moisturizing on the lips - usually lipsticks of this kind slide everywhere, but Origins colors won’t slip or swipe away by themselves. The finish looks and feels creamy, natural, non-matte. No staining.

Swatches

04 Petal Blush - a blush nude pink

07 Velvet Vine - a brownish dark maroon

13 Crimson Calla Lily - a vibrant fuchia

21 Wild Flower - a blue based red

24 Black Tulip - a sheer, blackish cherry

ORIGINS Blooming Bold Lipsticks Review and Swatches | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog @laurantaina

04 Petal Blush

ORIGINS Blooming Bold Lipsticks Review and Swatches | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog @laurantaina

07 Velvet Vine

ORIGINS Blooming Bold Lipsticks Review and Swatches | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog @laurantaina

13 Crimson Calla Lily

ORIGINS Blooming Bold Lipsticks Review and Swatches | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog @laurantaina

21 Wild Flower

ORIGINS Blooming Bold Lipsticks Review and Swatches | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog @laurantaina

24 Black Tulip

ORIGINS Blooming Bold Lipsticks Review and Swatches | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog @laurantaina

Final Thoughts

Overall Origins Blooming Bold Lipsticks are a winner for me, but I’d recommend to see the colors in person as there is a vast range of nudes and deeper shades for most skin tones. The lipstick formula is among the best I’ve tried in a little while. What I’ve played at the counter the shades seemed to swatch opaque, except for the 24 Black Tulip. It’s still a very pretty shade I wear a lot. I’m very excited to see if Origins will extend this line, I’d especially like to see mascaras or base products in the future.

Have you heard about Origins Blooming Bold Lipsticks? What is your favorite shade out of these 5?