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.

Valentine's Makeup Look feat. SUQQU's Spring Collection 2019

In Finland, Valentine’s is actually called “Friends’ Day”, so we don’t often celebrate it by giving extravagant gifts or going out on dates. We usually just exchange cards or flowers, but that’s about it. Personally I don’t tend to celebrate anniversaries so Valentine’s is a good time to go out with my partner or have a cozy stay-at-home date. Sometimes we even celebrate White Day (for fun), which is a Japanese custom: on Valentine’s women give men chocolate, on White day men treat women with presents. Today I wanted to create a glowing and romantic makeup look to go with Valentine’s theme - or any day when you feel like wearing some pink hues. Gifted products are marked with an asterisk(*). Enjoy!

SUQQU Valentine’s Day Makeup | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog
SUQQU Valentine’s Day Makeup | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog
SUQQU Valentine’s Day Makeup | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

Makeup Routine: Base

I don’t wear a primer for this look, but feel free to adjust if you need to conceal enlarged pores or add any extra glow to your skin. SUQQU’s Nude Wear Liquid is a light foundation that wears beautifully on it’s own, leaving my complexion feeling and looking radiant. I apply a couple of drops from the pipette on my face and apply with a firm foundation brush that doesn’t suck a lot of the product but spreads the foundation evenly. This way you don’t use a lot of product, but even out the face. If you have redness, start from the centre and blend towards the perimeter of the face.

Although the skin appears almost wet or like Korean “glass skin” with this foundation, it doesn’t separate or move during the day! I find it setting enough on its own and lasting pretty good on my dry skin. Read SUQQU Nude Wear Liquid full review here. If you have oilier skin, press some translucent powder on the T-zone, but leave the cheeks bare.

SUQQU Valentine’s Day Makeup | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog
SUQQU Valentine’s Day Makeup | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

Pinpoint conceal any blemishes with a semi-matte concealer that sets on its own to avoid over powdering. I dab some salmon/peach corrector from Bobbi Brown to the darkest part of my inner corners, under eyes and near the lash line. Since we are using pinks, I don’t want any natural redness be emphasised around my eyes. I apply NARS Radiant Creamy concealer on the top of the corrector and quickly set with a translucent or a luminous powder - my pick would be Rouge Bunny Rouge Diaphanous (review here) or La Mer original powder (d/c). If you have creases under your eyes, make sure to remove creased foundation/concealer with a cotton bud before setting. A damp mini Beauty Blender is excellent for this step.

SUQQU Valentine’s Day Makeup | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

Makeup Routine: Cheeks

I use a powder brow color to trace my brows for this look. Powder lasts long but looks softer and more diffused, which suits this look. I keep my brows as straight as possible, combing the brow hairs up with a tinted brow gel. As long as you keep things natural and soft, you’re good.

Next, add some color to the cheeks with SUQQU Shimmer Liquid Blush 102 TSUYASHISO*. The pump gives a fairly generous amount of color, so start with 1/3-1/2 pump. I dab a couple of dots on the top of my “apples” of the cheek, blending towards my ear. I find this easy to do with fingers, but a dense synthetic or white goat hair brush would do as well. 102 TSUYASHISHO is a very sheer color, so you might want to do another layer or a powder blush on the top. I also dab some cream highlighter on my cheekbones, nose bridge and cupid’s bow with my ring finger.

Makeup Routine: Eyes

SUQQU’s newest permanent(!) Designing Color Eyes palette 12 GENKOUAKANE* is just perfect for this occasion with its bright pinks and glossy shimmers. I will do a separate post reviewing SUQQU’s two new palettes, don’t worry, there will be swatches!

I press the watermelon pink (1) on my mobile lid, making sure I get it near the lash line. I press the brown (2) to my outer corner and blend towards my crease with a small, fluffy squirrel hair brush. As I have hooded lids, I bring the shadow a little higher than my crease, so some shadow is visible when my eyes are open. I trace my lower line with the brown shadow and a pencil brush. Next I pick up the light pink (3) with a clean pencil brush and press an accent to the highest point of my eye, also in the inner corner. If your eyes are not hooded, you could highlight the brow bone as well. Finally I pick up this gorgeous mint green (4) and fluff it to the inner part of my eye. The unusual placement for the green makes the look very fun and interesting. It’s not too visible in every angle, so the final look isn’t too bold.

If you want to bring more attention to the eyes, draw a winged eyeliner near the lash line. I leave the inner corner blank for more wide, eye-opening look and do a small wing. If you have oilier eyelids try a sharp brush with gel liner (NYX and Bobbi Brown make excellent ones). After curling my lashes (always, always curl your lashes!) I brush long-lasting Heroine Make mascara to my upper lashes and Korres Plum Brown* mascara to the lower lashes. Using a color mascara (red, brown, plum) gives a nice detail to the look, a soft impression while the black liner makes the lashes look thicker.

SUQQU Valentine’s Day Makeup | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

Last But Not Least: Lips and Perfume

Last but not least, lipstick! I apply fuchsia SUQQU Creamy Glow Lipstick EX-02 KAN BOTAN* from the bullet, pat it once with a tissue and apply another layer. Read my 5 Best Tips for lasting lip color in this post.

For my perfume, I’ve chosen Tom Ford’s Velvet Orchid. It’s a glamorous floral scent that I’d also describe as strong and mature. It has an unique character with notes of honey and rum, without being overly sweet to my nose. The base notes are warm with suede, vanilla and sandalwood - to name a few. Great for a night out or a romantic date, balancing the light and playful makeup. Like most Tom Ford scents, this perfume lasts on me for the whole night.

List of Makeup Worn

SUQQU Designing Color Eyes 12 GENKOUAKANE*
SUQQU Color Ink Liquid Liner 01 Black*
Heroine Make Mascara
Korres Mascara Brown*
Viseart Structure Brow Palette

SUQQU Nude Wear Liquid
Bobbi Brown Corrector
NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer
La Mer Powder (original, discontinued)

SUQQU Shimmer Liquid Blush 102 TSUYASHISO*
Kora Organics Amethyst Highlighter*
SUQQU Creamy Glow Lipstick EX-02 KAN BOTAN*

How did you like this style of post? What do you plan wearing makeup-wise on Valentine’s Day, if you’re celebrating one?