We are well into the new year. I can’t believe that January flew by already. Honestly, the older I get, the harder it is for me to grasp the concept of time. Since this month is all about starting afresh, it’s only right that I throw away all the trash that I’ve been hoarding, and finish up all the products that are close to the end of its life.
Turns out, I managed to finish up quite a lot, which I am pretty cuffed about. My resolution this year is to use up as much of my stuff as possible and get the most out of everything. And to buy less beauty products in general, so that I can use everything fully. I have this bad habit of getting bored of the item halfway and switching to another. Hence, I have to so many half-empty bottles lying around.
So a disclaimer: Any product I feature in my empties mean that they are relatively good products. I usually will give away products that don’t suit me, sell them off and try to find a good home for them.
Here are 5 staples that everyone needs:
This is a CULT product from South Korea, sort of their take on cleansing balms. The Clean It Zero line features a solid sherbet cleanser that you scoop out with a spatula (that’s provided). Upon contact with the warmth of your skin, it melts instantly into a thin oil that obliterates makeup. It’s amazing for waterproof eyeliner and budge-proof liquid lipstick. This Purity version is the best one they offer, in my opinion because it isn’t mineral oil based. It contains hydrating oils like argan oil and evening primrose oil plus a bunch of plant extracts, making it the ideal choice for people with sensitive skins like me.
Once your face is an oily, streaky mess, you just add water to emulsify the oil into a milk and then rinse. The product rinses clean, which is CRUCIAL for me as I have oily, acne-prone skin. I won’t recommend the other Clean It Zero formulas because I find them overly fragranced and have a more potentially skin-irritating ingredients deck. But this one, I do recommend.
For my skin, however, I tend to prefer straight up oil cleansers. Midways through my Clean It Zero tub, I realise that I didn’t enjoy using it to remove my face makeup, simply because the texture was too thin for my liking. It felt like I was tugging at my skin, even though it removed makeup decently.
Hence, I went back to my tried and true. This is my third bottle of this stuff and I can’t tell you how much I love this oil cleanser. It’s thick and plush, almost the texture of honey. It spreads onto the skin effortlessly, without any tugging, so there is almost a blanket of emollience separating your hands from your face. This formula is olive oil based, with honey to add moisture (it’s also a great antibac) and charcoal to draw out impurities for a deeper clean. I LOVE this cleansing oil. It removes makeup so well, whilst still leaving the skin balanced and completely purified.
So, I used this to remove my face makeup and reserved the Clean It Zero for my eyes (mostly so that I won’t run through this cleansing oil so quickly).
I got this on a whim. Mostly due to my obsession with charcoal. The texture is a strange, thin, black gel that lathers decently. Once you rub the gel onto your damp skin, it instantly warms up. Most people might find this gimmicky and horrible in a tropical climate like Singapore, but I find it comforting. It heats up for about 10 seconds. It gets pretty hot too, I might add.
I use it as a second cleanse, but it does remove makeup well enough. I just prefer to cleanse my skin rather than remove makeup. This is a relatively small bottle, you think “only 150ml?”, but don’t worry! It lasts literally forever. You only need a small amount to clean your whole face and this bottle lasted me almost a year. Midway I got bored using it and was frustrated with the nozzle constantly getting clogged with charcoal, but once I scraped the dried charcoal off and used it again, I realised how much I really liked this cleanser. The ONLY reason I wouldn’t repurchase is the price.
I wiped this tub CLEAN. I am so deeply, enamoured by this simple tub of moisturiser. Again, this is a Japanese brand that mainly uses rice and sake as their signature skincare ingredient. This formula contains rice bran oil, sake and other soothing ingredients to calm and balance the skin, whilst still injecting it with a shit ton of moisture. The texture is my favourite part of this cream. It appears to be a hefty cream but melts into the skin beautifully, not at all greasy. For my oily skin, it’s just the perfect amount of supple moisturisation, without being clogging and overbearing. I can’t tell you how much I look forward to putting on at night.
My only qualm is that it’s a pretty small tub for the price and I ran through it pretty quickly, considering that I only used it as a night cream. That is the ONLY reason I would hesitate to repurchase.
This is the older packaging but this powerful clay mask is now housed in a different tub. It’s enhanced with zinc to help mattify and soothe the skin, while the clay sucks out all the gunk in your pores. This one doesn’t play games. It is often referred as the dupe to Glamglow masks (that are extortionately expensive). I personally think it’s more powerful that that. If you have sensitive skin like me, the initial application will feel as if your skin is burning. It’s a sign of activity because once it dries and I’ve washed it off, my skin isn’t red and aggravated. Instead it’s noticeably clearer and calmer, albeit in need of a moisturiser.
It’s rather difficult to wash off as it clings to the skin like super glue and it is a tad too drying to be used frequently. Despite that, I enjoyed using it and it’s godsend for when your skin is breaking out. It works great on blemishes and clogged pores. Plus it’s heaps cheaper than the Glamglow counterpart.
I would recommend all 5 of these and they are ALL staples. Everyone needs a good oil cleanser to breakdown makeup, detoxifying cleanser, soothing moisturiser and purifying mask.
I’m trying a new skincare routine this year and will definitely keep you posted on any gems I find.
My quest for the PERFECT skincare routine continues!