Out with the Old, In with the New
It's been a good while since I've featured new beauty products on my blog and the simple fact of the matter is that I just don't buy a lot nowadays. In fact, my last haul was posted all the way back in November! Understandably, being out of a job made it difficult to indulge, but even now that I'm back on a steady income, I've had other financial priorities and it's only just now that I've had enough new products to warrant a whole post. Buying a lot in one go isn't how I like to shop either and as someone who, for the majority of the time, will use up products before buying new ones, I was inspired by my blogging bestie Jess of Little Henry Lee and her Beauty New and Old posts. Rather than simply showing you the new products that I've bought, I thought I'd also talk you through the old products that were replaced and why I didn't repurchase them; I think that makes things a lot more interesting too. With skincare being the easiest to finish, that's mostly what this post is made up of and apart from a couple of makeup bits that haven't been replacements for anything (they'll be featured in a different post), this is pretty much all that I've bought this past year. I'm pretty impressed, if I say so myself! There are some products that have blown me out of the water, while others not so much, so we've got a bit of a mixed bag here!
Out: NUDE Perfect Cleanse Omega Cleansing Jelly
In: Origins Original Skin Makeup Removing Jelly with Willowherb
The NUDE Perfect Cleanse Omega Cleansing Jelly was one of my all-time favourite first-step cleansers and last year when I tried to repurchase it, I discovered that the brand were no longer stocked at Mecca (or even Sephora in the US) and hadn't been active on their social media since 2016. They just mysteriously disappeared! I even contacted Mecca as to what happened, but given their response, I really don't think they even knew themselves!
It was the first time I'd ever had a product (or in this case, a whole brand!) I love be discontinued and though I did try to find a replacement, there was just nothing else that compared. Then, at the beginning of the year, the Origins Original Skin Makeup Removing Jelly with Willowherb was released and after hearing Kate of Kate La Vie rave about it, I became curious and went into Mecca and asked for a sample, so I could try before I buy. I ended up absolutely loving it and went ahead and bought the full size just last month.
A jelly texture that transforms into a milky emulsion, it has the exact same type of formula as my beloved Perfect Cleanse only without the beautiful scent. Scent in skincare is absolutely not important to me though and I even went off Origins for a while due to how highly fragranced their products are. Fortunately, there's no heavy scent in Original Skin (there's a slight sweetness when you rub it in though) and I'd say even sensitive skin types would find this gentle enough. The willowherb in the cleanser is apparently meant to help brighten the skin's complexion, but that's also something that's unimportant to me, so I haven't really paid attention or noticed anything in that regard. All I look for in a cleanser is that it removes makeup, dirt and impurities without that awful stripped and tight feeling because to me, anything that's going to treat the skin is better being left on as opposed to washed off. In any case, this is a really beautiful product and after having not tried a new cleanser in over two years now, it's been a welcomed change in my skincare routine and yes, it does fill the Omega Cleansing Jelly-shaped hole in my heart!
Since Glossier still don't ship to Australia and I didn't feel like using a US mail forwarding service again, when I finished using up their Super Pure serum, I decided to try The Ordinary's counterpart, Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%. Niacinamide works to calm blemishes, balance sebum levels and clear congested complexions, and essentially, they're the same product at very different price points (Super Pure equates to $38 AUD while Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% is a mere $9.90!). In saying that, Glossier don't state the percentages of the ingredients in their serums (apparently it's a "secret" or whatever), so I can't really make a conclusive comparison, but out of the two, I prefer Super Pure. While The Ordinary may be in for now, it'll definitely be going back out because I really do not like this at all.
Not only do I find Super Pure more effective, but the texture is also more pleasant (I've always found The Ordinary serums to be quite tacky) and sits much better under makeup. For the longest time, I couldn't figure out why my foundation was pilling around my temples and eyebrows (at first, I thought my skin was super dry, but it was totally fine when I wasn't wearing makeup, so I knew that couldn't actually be the case) until I eventually figured out that it was possibly The Ordinary's Niacinamide and decided to experiment by not using it one particular morning. Low and behold, my foundation didn't pill, so I've now resorted to using the serum either at night or on the weekends when I'm not wearing makeup. I realise that my primer and foundation combination (I've been sticking to the same one to try and use some products up) may have had something to do with it, but to me, a serum worth its salt should layer well under any makeup product.
This is the third serum I've now tried from The Ordinary (you can read about the other two here) and I have to say, I really haven't had that much luck with them. They aren't terrible by any means, I think it's just that since I've always gone for more expensive skincare, I'm used to more intelligently formulated products and my expectations are a lot higher. I do, however, understand that affording luxury skincare is a privilege, so while I'll no longer be buying from them (the more I've looked into the drama, the more I'm put off by that too), I do appreciate that they're able to fill a gap in the market where people have easy access to good skincare ingredients. For me - and regardless of the pilling - I just don't think The Ordinary Niacinamide adds any value to my skincare routine and overall, I'm left feeling quite underwhelmed. I will repurchase Glossier Super Pure at some point, but for the time being, I'm in no rush.
The Drunk Elephant Lala Retro Whipped Cream is something I've been meaning to talk about for months; so much so, I'm now onto my second tub! It’s hard to come up with new beauty posts when as previously stated, I don’t buy a lot of it nowadays and I actually bought my first tub all the way back at the end of last year. After reading so many wonderful reviews, I couldn't help but give into the type of this one and I began using it around mid-January when my Glossier Priming Moisturiser Rich ran out (you can ready why I didn't like it enough to repurchase it here). I had been on the quest to find my holy grail nighttime moisturiser for years and finally, the search is now over.
Said to be "inspired by the face creams your grandmother would have used" (hence the "Retro" in its name), I don’t ask for much from my moisturiser other than it lock in my serums and hydrate my skin, but given my dehydrated skin type, I was keen to try something a little more potent. It’s infused with a blend of six antioxidant-rich oils to heal and renew; plantain extract, which promotes firmness whilst evening skin tone; fermented green tea to fight ageing and inflammation; and lastly, sodium hyaluronate crosspolymer to hydrate, smooth fine lines and wrinkles, and even stimulate collagen formation. What more could you ask for in a moisturiser?!
At 29 and with no signs of visible ageing just yet, these benefits are more like preventative measures for me, but as the saying goes, it’s better to be safe than sorry and I can honestly say this is the best moisturiser I've ever used. Last year, I went through a real rough patch with my skin during the cold winter months; it was dull and lacklustre, and my foundations applied horribly, none of which I experienced at all this winter just gone. Dare I say, I even consider my skin more on the normal spectrum now!
With a beautiful creamy whipped texture, it's housed in an airless tub to prevent light exposure and therefore, the active ingredients aren't going to break down. It's not the cheapest of products and understandably, I was hesitant on dropping $88 on a moisturiser, especially when I'd usually think that much money is better off being spent on a serum instead. But even with its extortionate price tag (this was the only bad thing I read about it!), one whole tub lasted me seven months using it every single night (I use about three quarters of a pump as I find a full one a bit too much) and given just how impressive Lala Retro Whipped Cream is, you truly get your money's worth. All of Drunk Elephant's products are formulated without the “Suspicious 6” (essential oils, drying alcohols, silicones, chemical screens, fragrance/dyes and SLS), meaning they're suitable for all skin types. I've even read that oily-skinned people really enjoy it too, so no matter what type of skin you have - be it oily, dry, dehydrated or sensitive - I think this is a wonderful moisturiser everyone can enjoy.
After a few months of taking a break from the pill last year, my skin returned to its horrible acne-prone state and having a spot treatment became essential to my skincare routine again. Similarly to The Ordinary's Niacinamide serum, I also had a pretty underwhelming experience with their Salicylic Acid 2% Solution, so once I used it up, I couldn't wait to replace it with something new. After hearing Alix of I Covet Thee rave about the La Roche-Posay Effaclar A.I. Breakout Corrector, I decided this would be the next spot treatment I try given our similar skin type and the fact that I've always loved her taste in beauty. In saying that, this unfortunately, doesn't really do much to combat my breakouts either (this goes without saying that there was nothing wrong with Alix's recommendation; we all have different skin!), so once I've used this up, I'll be on the hunt for yet another spot treatment!
Effaclar A.I. Breakout Corrector's main ingredient is niacinamide, and there are also others to help purify and regenerate. I'm not sure why I don't get along with this product, especially when I've been a fan of Effaclar Duo [+] for many years, but this doesn't shrink my blemishes overnight like I expect any good spot treatment to do and just isn't as effective as I thought it would be. I'm thinking of returning back to the Origins Super Spot Remover Blemish Treatment Gel, which I remember giving me great results and I guess this is was one of those instances where it pays to stick with what you know!
For one reason or another, shower oils aren't that easy to come by and I really wish they were more of a thing because they're my favourite type of product to shave my legs with. Not only do they provide an incredible slip for a really close shave, but they're wonderfully nourishing and feel absolutely luxurious unlike your traditional shaving creams and gels. I've been using the L'Occitane Almond Shower Oil for many years and just a few months ago, I discovered Kiehl's had their own version, the Crème de Corps Smoothing Oil-to-Foam Body Cleanser, so I thought I'd switch things up and try something new for a change.
The differences between the two are really quite minor - they're both very sweet-smelling and have the same sort of viscosity - but it's still enough of a difference to make me want to return to the L'Occitane oil once I'm done with this. While I did try out the Crème de Corps oil in-store before I bought it, I'm realising now after more consistent use that I prefer the smell of the L'Occitane (the Kiehl's oil has a weird sort of after-smell; it's not unpleasant, just something the L'Occitane oil doesn't have) and something that was hard to test in-store was how the oil felt. As I mentioned, they do have the same sort of viscosity and I hardly think it'd make much of a difference to many people, but as a beauty enthusiast who notices these things, I find the Almond Shower Oil ever so slightly thicker and I much prefer that for shaving. Don't get me wrong, it's not a bad product, just when I compare the two, I know why Almond Shower Oil is the fan favourite (it's the cheaper one too!). I'll happily continue using Crème de Corps until it's empty and similar to my Origins Super Spot Remover, I suppose sometimes you have to try something new in order to make you appreciate what you've had all along!
Kérastase Resistance Ciment Thermique was a product I had used and loved for years, but as you do being a beauty blogger, sometimes you get bored and you feel like switching things up. Not only that, but as a product you apply to damp hair and is then activated through heat styling, I realised that this product wasn't for someone who lets their hair air dry 99% of the time. There'll be one or two instances in winter where I'll need to blow dry my hair, but for the most part, I'm far too lazy for the blow drying life!
Having really enjoyed using R+Co's Bel Air Smoothing Shampoo and Conditioner this past year, I thought I'd venture into their styling products and give the High Dive Moisture and Shine Crème a go. Made for hair that favours moisture over hold and for polished textured looks (my hair is very thick, dry and frizz-prone), it's formulated to smooth and seal the hair, moisturise, soften and drown out frizz. You work it through towel-dried hair to then either let air dry or blow dry and it also doubles as a leave-in conditioner, so you know it's seriously heavy duty stuff. In fact, too much of this product can make things look and feel quite greasy, so even with my thick hair, I only need to use the tiniest pea-sized amount.
R+Co have a cool fragrance concept for their products and the fragrance of the High Dive Moisture and Shine Crème is called Serious Gaze; a bright oriental composition made up of juniper berries, blood orange, rhubarb, leather accord, violet and dark woods. I absolutely love it! In case you don't know that much about them, R+Co are also vegan and cruelty free, and I'm loving having their products in my haircare routine.
As much as I love my Glossier Balm Dotcoms, they aren't something I use outside of the house because you need your fingers to apply them, and for my makeup bag, I want the convenience and hygiene of a lip balm stick that I can apply straight to the lips. I was using the Aesop Protective Lip Balm SPF 30 for a while, but I found the formula quite grainy and the botanical fragrance too strong (to the point where I could taste it!), so I decided to toss it and look for something new.
Then came along the Clinique Pep-Start Pout Perfecting Lip Balm and it was everything I had been looking for and more! Lip balm stick, no overpowering fragrance (in fact, it's fragrance free) and super cute packaging - yes! Providing instant hydration with just one swipe, I've absolutely loved using this over the cool winter months and it'll completely get rid of that dry, uncomfortable feeling. As I wanted something to wear underneath lipstick, I have the Clear shade, though it is available in three others if a wash of colour is something that you're after. I absolutely love the way it wears both on its own and paired with a lip colour, and I can see this being a handbag staple for a long time to come.
MAC Studio Finish Concealer was one of the first high end beauty products I ever purchased. I think I must've bought my first pot back in 2011 when I had just started blogging, so to say I've been a loyal fan for years is an understatement! When it came to covering up acne and hyperpigmentation, this was the concealer I always turned to, but after a few years of working my way through my last pot and finally using it up (as a heavy duty concealer and as someone who no longer suffered with acne, finishing it was such a huge accomplishment for me!), I decided it was time to try something new.
The NARS Soft Matte Complete Concealer received a fair amount of hype last year and while I find most new releases uninspired nowadays, this was the first time in a long time time that I had felt genuine excitement over a new product. I've always been a huge fan of NARS bases and praised by those with a similar dehydrated skin type to mine, I couldn't wait to give it a go myself. I've been using it for about two months now and I can safely say that the hype is well and truly worth it. Applying it with my fingers to warm the product up, I use it to cover spots, hyperpigmentation, redness and even dark under eye circles. I was told by a Mecca sales assistant that it would be too drying for under the eyes, but I actually don't find this to be the case at all and I think it blends in beautifully anywhere on the skin. To me, it's almost like a full coverage version of Glossier Stretch Concealer (one of my favourites) in how easily it blends and not only is Custard the perfect colour match for me, but for a product with "matte" in the name, it doesn't look flat or one-dimensional on the skin whatsoever. While MAC Studio Finish will probably always hold a special place in my heart, NARS Soft Matte has now become my new go-to high coverage concealer (Studio Finish could sometimes be a little drying, especially in the winter) and when bloggers still rave about a product over a year after its launch, that's when you know it's a good one.
Have you replaced any old products with new ones recently?