Mega Empties Post (Spring 2019): Makeup, Skincare and Fragrance

I’ve been accumulating empties in my closet since last Fall I think.. Sorting and photographing them seemed such a drag and I kept putting off the tedious peace of work - which I found quite fun in the end! Cara was helping me out, curating and sniffing the piles. I decided to do these empties in more discussing style vs listing products and their good/bad points. I hope you like this format, feel free to leave any product specific questions in the comments!

Gifted items are marked with *.
Contains affiliate links.

 Copyright Laura Loukola
 Copyright Laura Loukola
 Copyright Laura Loukola
 Copyright Laura Loukola

Skincare EmptieS: Products I Enjoyed

By the way, I tried to affiliate link most of the products - if you decide to click and purchase, thank you for your support! I love Ben&Anna Deodorant Sticks*. I have one in my bathroom, in my partner’s closet, travel pouch.. Still loving the product and how you can recycle the cardboard packaging. I run out of these too quickly though, so I might purchase a similar deodorant in a jar form next.

My other favorites are pretty clear: anything from January Labs, Innisfree Perfect UV Protection Cream Triple Care sunscreen and Mádara’s SPF30 for face and body*. Innisfree and Mádara I’ve already repurchased because I run out of sunscreen so quickly and I always need a couple of them on hand. The January Labs Daily Brightening Tonic and Revitalizing Day Cream I’m going to repurchase asap, but in the meantime I’m testing a couple of other toners and creams for review. January Labs creams, toner and cleanser are still my die-hard, holy grail, best of the best favorites. The Restorative Tonic Mist* was an older one, I have a small backup and I hope the mister is better. I could live without this, but if you’re a mist fanatic I recommend keeping and eye on the mist.

I also loved the THREE Balancing Cleansing Oil, my beloved Kypris Antioxidant Dew and Esse R6 serum*. The Esse R6 is one of the very few serums I’ve enjoyed as much as I’ve liked Kypris - except the price per/ml is pretty high with Esse. Nuxe Rêve de miel lip balm is something I always have on hand. I’m already 2/3 done with my next pot. The de Mamiel lip balm was also lovely, but it started to smell odd before I had finished it. The texture is more oily than balmy and for my chapped lips I think I prefer the cheaper Nuxe Rêve de miel.

 Copyright Laura Loukola

Cure Natural Aqua Gel is a classic and I’ve gone through several bottles. I’m now testing the V10+ version of this peeling gel and it’s just as nice, more pricey but in a convenient small tube. NUORI mist went off too soon, but otherwise I’d love to get another one. May Lindstrom the Honey Mud, Exuviance Eye Cream, ATOCLASSIC Real Tonic Essence* I might get another one if I’m in the mood. BYBI’s Supercharge Serum* is a product I still recommend (full review here), but personally I prefer more luxury, complex facial oils. CCS Foot cream hasn’t heard of any luxury, but is excellent for chapped feet. I’ve seen my Mother using this for years and my foot therapist has recommended me to use a foot cream regularly, so this has been my go-to. Lush Fairly Traded Honey shampoo smells awful to my nose, but I’ve noticed it makes my hair silky soft, so.. might repurchase for travel or my bf’s apartment.

 Copyright Laura Loukola

Skincare And Hair The “Mehh” Pile

These products were not bad, but disappointing in a way that I wouldn’t run/jog/walk to repurchase. I had especially high hopes for the African Botanics Cell Recovery serum, but despite using the whole bottle I found little to no effect on my skin. The ingredients list is very lovely and some of my Instagram friends swear by African Botanics, but if the bottle is £132 for 30ml (I did get it cheaper by subscribing to the Boxwalla) I expect more results or even something.

I do think most of you who don’t need a heavy moisturizer might enjoy the Whamisa Organic Flowers Nourishing Cream* (review here) - I did too, but in the end I just wanted to use it up. The same happened with the NUORI oil*, but overall I enjoy the brand. Patyka* or Clarins didn’t do anything to me and as per usual I couldn’t stand the smell of the Aurelia cream. Bravura London is a brand that offers simple skincare solutions and affordable chemical exfoliants. I felt this toner was going bad, I never touched it since discovering the Biologique Recherche P50 toner.

 Copyright Laura Loukola

Finally, the Josh Rosebrook Vital Balm Cream which was the biggest disappointment for me.. I love Josh’s skincare philosophy and his line, Vital Balm Cream sounds divine but in the end it was a more solid cream with an odd smell. I find that his oilier Advanced Hydration Mask works better for me as an overnight treatment - and is cheaper too!

 Copyright Laura Loukola
 Copyright Laura Loukola

Empty Makeup and Fragrance: What I loved

I’m partly proud and partly sad I finished my Jo Malone English Pear and Freesia perfume. Proud: a perfume takes some time to finish (and it was on the older side), yet sad: it’s a gorgeous scent, especially for Summer and the last days I wore it I kept getting compliments. Sigh, might need to repurchase.

ADDICTION Tinted Moisturizer and Skin Care Foundation - I did a full review about the renewed version of the foundation, which I sadly disliked. While I loved the original Tinted Moisturizer I think ADDICTION has also repackaged and possibly re-formulated this as well, so not repurchasing for now. My THREE Shimmering Glow Duo was going strong but searching my archives I found out it was 3 years old. That’s too long for a cream product - I decluttered this and purchased a new one. The Shimmering Glow Duo is still my favorite cream highlighter (talk about dedication!).

SUQQU Brow Mascara in Khaki I already repurchased, the Clinique brow pencil* lacked a spoolie but I will restock on this as well as the Lily Lolo Mascara*. Love, love love. As well as the Rouge Bunny Rouge Genesis Original Skin primer (great if you struggle with pores) and Rouge Bunny Rouge Pristine Light Light Corrective Eye Primer (tacky, heavy, but very good). I’m waiting for my bank account to allow me and restock on some Rouge Bunny Rouge items (this primer, eye primer, Diaphanous powder)… I know I have a lot of makeup to use up, but these items are irreplaceable!

Also: this Maybelline nailpolish remover (Acetone Free formula) is the bomb. Cheap, easily available in Finland, takes what it says on the tin: takes off nail polish gently and quickly. Doesn’t damage my nails. Will repurchase again and again.

 Copyright Laura Loukola
 Copyright Laura Loukola

Empties: Mascaras

I think with mascaras were going the old fashioned way and giving them some number ratings, which I’ve checked from my spread sheets. Left to right:

MAC Extended Play Gigablack Mascara – Worth all the hype, very nicely separating and curl keeping mascara that doesn’t smudge on me. Easy to remove with hot water. 4.5/5

Heroine Make Volume and Curl mascara – My cheap and chic Japanese version for MAC Extended Play, except that Heroine Make’s non-waterproof formula is still more waterproof than many Western competitors. The wand is my liking, easy to apply, but not much volume. 5/5

dejavu Lash Knockout Mascara – This brush was humongous which made mascara hard to apply. No much volume, an okay “no makeup” makeup style mascara. 3/5

Estée Lauder Sumptuous Extreme mascara – I purchased this mascara after enjoying the Multi Effects by EL, but again the large wand was not for my liking. The formula was also very wet, which made the mascara smudge easily. 3.5/5

Estée Lauder Pure Color Envy Lash Multi Effects mascara* – Excellent mascara for building up some volume or length depending which side of the wand are you use. Lasts well, but easy to take off. 4/5

Lily Lolo Mascara* – My surprise love from the green beauty scene! Nice wand, formula medium dryness, good for building up some volume. Will get a new one. 4.5/5

 Copyright Laura Loukola

Makeup Empties. The ‘Mehh’ Pile and Dislikes

A couple of these items were a purge. That Lancome Juicy Shaker was simply old, grimy and I think the Gressa lip balm had expired as I purchased it from a sale (this shop no longer carried the brand). Too bad, Lavish was a beautiful metallic pink and I would’ve loved to wear it more. The RMS Buriti Bronzer was also getting funky - I rarely wear a shimmery bronzer so this didn’t get the love it deserved.

Then a couple of concealers: YSL Touche Éclat.. yeah I dunno, I guess the shade 2 was too dark for me highlighting. Rouge Bunny Rouge Luminous Skin Wand was a good, light and hydrating under eye concealer, but the clicker kept dispensing too much. Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage in SC-2 never really worked for me, I kept mixing the two colors without ever getting the shades just right. I love the concept, but not a product for me as I can pinpoint conceal quicker with other products.

And finally the setting spray and makeup mist I both disliked. Urban Decay All Nighter did nothing for me and the MAC Fix+ bottle leaked on me again and again. Wouldn’t repurchase these two, I far prefer my KICKS Matte Setting Spray* and Beauty Blender Makeup Mist*.

 Copyright Laura Loukola

Final Word and What Would I Repurchase First

What I would repurchase right away would be the Kypris Antioxidant Dew (again), January Labs Toner and Cream, Esse Serum R6, Rouge Bunny Rouge Eye Primer, Lily Lolo Mascara, CCS Foot Cream and Jo Malone Perfume. Other must-haves such as NUXE Rêve de Miel, THREE highlighter duo and THREE Cleansing Oil plus both sunscreens (Innisfree and Mádara) I already have repurchased and in my stash. Oh, and same with Ben&Anna deodorants!

Total count of used up products: 50. Fifty! And as I’m typing this I’ve already added 5 new products to my empties paper bag… more about those next time! What have you last used up?

Spring Beauty Favorites 2019 - Makeup, Skincare and Fragrance Loves!

You know it’s a favorite when you reach for it immediately - over shiny new things, over expensive treasures. When I started planing this post it only took me a minute or two to gather these products. Some of them I’ve already reviewed on the blog while the others deserve much more attention. I think I have a good mix of skincare, makeup and fragrance here - including new and older products. Enjoy!

Spring Beauty Favorites 2019 | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

Makeup

I was kindly gifted Rouge Bunny Rouge Light Corrective Eye Primer*, but I didn’t do a separate review as it took me months to decide do I dislike or love it. I find out it’s the latter, but it took me several tries to get it work for me. This primer doesn’t blend too easily and sets immediately: if you don’t work fast it may look patchy. For me this creates a perfect canvas for eyeshadow and corrects any eyelid discoloration. For under the eyes I’ve been testing the IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye Concealer*, which is worth its legendary status. You need a miniscule amount and the coverage is very good - for me this works also as a spot concealer.

Spring Beauty Favorites 2019 | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog
Spring Beauty Favorites 2019 | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

For eyes I’ve been loving Chanel’s Ombre Premier cream eyeshadows (814 Silver Pink and 838 Ultra Flesh (LE)). I do love the old formula as well (don’t see too much difference there), but I think they have discontinued Illusion d’Ombre line, sadly. Tweezerman Lash Curlers* for Round Eyes have been life-changing. I can use the regular ones as well, but Round Eyes seem more comfortable. The curl and hold they give is excellent! Trust me.

Finally I gotta mention Kora Organics Rose Quartz Luminizer* and Clear Luminizer* for highlight. I’ve done two posts on Kora’s Luminizers: Rose Quartz is reviewed here and new shades here. So easy to use, perfect consistency. To finish my makeup I’m liking the Kicks Setting Spray* (matte). Kicks’ house brand is pretty good and I find I prefer this setting spray to Urban Decay All-Nighter.

Spring Beauty Favorites 2019 | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog
Spring Beauty Favorites 2019 | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

Skincare

Klairs Rich Moist Soothing Serum* is like a better, less expensive version of the Clinique Dramatically Different Hydrating Jelly. It’s packed with sodium hyaluronate and natto gum to hydrate, plump and quenches thirsty skin. The formula has some floral and fruit peel oils, so if you’re very sensitive you might check the INCI or patch test before applying.

Summer is coming (hopefully soon) in Finland and I’m testing body products for reviews. So far my favorites have been quite inexpensive finds, which is great. Skin Treat is a KICKS exclusive brand and they have expanded from their body scubs to Bright Renewal AHA & PHA Exfoliating Treatment*, which is a light mousse that you can apply your acne-prone body areas, such as back, tights etc. Skin Treat Instant Firming Body Serum* is a very light moisturizer that supposedly firms, but I like it as a décolleté and arm moisturizer as it sinks in so quickly and I can dress right away. Before I go to bed I slather on some Flow Cosmetics Refreshing Peppermint Food Butter* on my feet, give them a little massage and put on wooly socks. The peppermint scent is so fresh and invigorating, but doesn’t disturb my evening routine.

Spring Beauty Favorites 2019 | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

Fragrance

I’ve been a fan of Jo Malone’s scents for a good couple of years and she finally launched in Finland last Autumn. English Pear and Freesia cologne is my original favorite from her. This bottle of mine is rather old and almost empty, but since it hasn’t turned I’m trying to use it up. Spring weather and English Pear and Freesia go well together, even on cloudy days it brightens up my mood without being sickly sweet. I find colognes very subtle on me, but I’ve still received compliments while wearing this perfume.

What have you been loving lately?

*Products marked with asterisk(*) have been gifted for consideration.
My opinions are honest and my own. This page utilizes ad links to support this blog.

Rouge Bunny Rouge ENCHANTING BLOOMS Tinted Luxe Balms Swatch & Review

I’ve always been a fan of Rouge Bunny Rouge lip products. In one of my early blog posts I reviewed the Rouge Bunny Rouge DAZZLING SIP Tinted Luxe balms** in Pinch of Nude, Sip of Pink and Specks of Cerise. Sadly, these three shades got discontinued when RBR revamped their Tinted Luxe Balms and came out with the ENCHANTING BLOOMS collection. My sadness was short lived as there are now more beautiful shades available that promise skincare benefits with a pop of color! These products were kindly sent to me, I hope you enjoy the post!

Rouge Bunny Rouge ENCHANTING BLOOMS Tinted Luxe Balms | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog
Rouge Bunny Rouge ENCHANTING BLOOMS Tinted Luxe Balms | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

Rouge Bunny Rouge ENCHANTING BLOOMS Tinted Luxe Balms

RBR Tinted Luxe Balm is advertised as intensively moisturizing anti-age lip treatment that promises to plump and smooth fine lines in daily use. They call it a ‘balm’ but the product is also a dewy finish lipstick available in 7 colors. DAZZLING SIP in Pinch of Nude is now called Heavenly Honeysuckle and you can see swatches in my previous post. €29 for 3.5g / 0.12 oz.

Ingredients

POLYBUTENE, HYDROGENATED POLYISOBUTENE, C12-15 ALKYL BENZOATE, OCTYLDODECANOL, CANDELILLA CERA (EUPHORBIA CERIFERA (CANDELILLA) WAX), OLEIC/LINOLEIC/LINOLENIC POLYGLYCERIDES, POLYETHYLENE, CERA MICROCRISTALLINA (MICROCRYSTALLINE WAX), MICA, AROMA (FLAVOR), HYDROXYMETHOXYPHENYL PROPYLMETHYLMETHOXYBENZOFURAN, PENTAERYTHRITYL TETRA-DI-T-BUTYL HYDROXYHYDROCINNAMATE, BENZYL ALCOHOL, LINALOOL, TOCOPHEROL, CI 77492 (IRON OXIDES), CI 77891 (TITANIUM DIOXIDE), CI 15850 (RED 7 LAKE), CI 77491 (IRON OXIDES), CI 42090 (BLUE 1 LAKE), CI 15850 (RED 6), CI 19140 (YELLOW 5 LAKE), CI 45410 (RED 28 LAKE)

The formula of these lipsticks is very similar to the original Tinted Luxe Balms, except there is more pigment in most colors. I think RBR’s description is very accurate, except I was sceptical of the “anti-age” benefits of these lipsticks. I guess it’s how you label anti-ageing, in general I’m not a fan of the word. Tinted Luxe Balms have a patented active complex from sunflower oil that promises to plump, improve elasticity and also smooth fine lines. I looked into these polyglycerides (fatty acid molecules attached to glycerin), which are an Ecocert approved technology that is non-sensitizing, non-irritating and a greener replacement for lanolin, wax and silicones. I couldn’t find studies, but the manufacturer does promise these effects. I doubt any lip product except for injections can bring back lost volume (=size), but smooth and nourish for sure.

My lips are in a fairly good shape, I don’t have lines that would bother me - but I also haven’t used these lipsticks for 4 weeks of daily use. However, I do like to replace my lip balm with these lipsticks - especially with the old Pinch of Nude (now Heavenly Honeysuckle) as it’s almost transparent, very nourishing and feels like it “sinks in” the lips instead feeling waxy on the top.

Rouge Bunny Rouge ENCHANTING BLOOMS Tinted Luxe Balms | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

Wearing ENCHANTING BLOOMS Tinted Luxe Balms

Compared to previous Tinted Luxe Balms these have more pigmentation. The feel is hydrating and smoothing, perhaps more slippery than RBR’s other lip products. They remind me of SUQQU’s Extra Glow Lipsticks, which are also designed mature lips in mind. SUQQU is richer in texture, which makes lipstick slipping and sliding more noticeable: RBR has some transparency which you can build with extra swipes. The site says that Tinted Luxe Balms are delicately scented, but I haven’t paid any attention to the fragrance - if you’re sensitive to scents I think these should be okay.

I find it slightly hard to compare RBR lipsticks as they are all very good, same packaging and I use them interchangeably. The Sheer Lipsticks feel less moisturizing, less shiny compared to Tinted Luxe Balms while Color Burst Lipsticks are more opaque. All of them glide beautifully on the lips. The wear time isn’t very long, these do move if you eat or drink and there’s no stain left behind. However these lipsticks are a pleasure to reapply.

Swatches

Rouge Bunny Rouge ENCHANTING BLOOMS Tinted Luxe Balms | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

Captivating Camellias - Light caramel nude with peachy undertones

Mysterious Magnolias - Cool/neutral toned soft pink

Amazing Anemones - Bright, translucent cherry red

Playful Primrose - Cool toned vibrant pink

Poised Peonies - Darker wine/cherry red with cool undertones

Lovely Lilacs - Cool white based violet

Rouge Bunny Rouge ENCHANTING BLOOMS Tinted Luxe Balms | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog
Rouge Bunny Rouge ENCHANTING BLOOMS Tinted Luxe Balms | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog
Rouge Bunny Rouge ENCHANTING BLOOMS Tinted Luxe Balms | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog
Rouge Bunny Rouge ENCHANTING BLOOMS Tinted Luxe Balms | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog
Rouge Bunny Rouge ENCHANTING BLOOMS Tinted Luxe Balms | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog
Rouge Bunny Rouge ENCHANTING BLOOMS Tinted Luxe Balms | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

Overall thoughts

Again, Rouge Bunny Rouge is winning with their lipstick formula. I don’t find nudes as flattering on me as the juicy, vibrant reds and pinks, but I’ll likely use all shades because of the comfortable wear and lip pampering benefits. I fear RBR is discontinuing their Sheer Lipsticks (they are now on sale!), but the Tinted Luxe balms wear just as lovely. Rouge Bunny Rouge is one of those rare brands that doesn’t release massive collections every season, but put the effort and elegance in all of their products, producing only very best. I would never purchase a mere lip balm this pricey, but with this lovely color and finish I do recommend Tinted Luxe Balms.

If I had to pick a favorite.. Amazing Anemones is very lovely and my usual style, but so far I’ve used Lovely Lilacs the most! What’s your favorite shade? Have you tried Rouge Bunny Rouge?

Rouge Bunny Rouge ENCHANTING BLOOMS Tinted Luxe Balms | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

**These products were kindly gifted for me. My review and thoughts are honest and my own.