One of my beauty resolutions for 2016 is to be diligent about using up more makeup, and also to moisturise every day. I tend to skive off on "those" days, and a course of tetracycline (for acne) has left my elbows feeling dry. Another one is to work on getting rid of my acne and - this is the most important one - to arrive at a face care routine that does not break me out. You can see a bunch of anti-acne products among my empties here. Did they work? Find out.
Scroll down for the beauty products I used up in December 2015 and my thoughts on each.
Schwarzkopf Gliss Liquid Silk Gloss Conditioner
Used for CO-washing. Had some slippage and was therefore easy to massage into the scalp. Decent; not greasy but definitely not drying.
Repurchase? Another fragrance from the range.
Phyto Scalp Stimulating Elixir
You apply this to the scalp, wait for 10 minutes and then wash your hair. I love Phyto, and used this on a clear scalp, but now I notice I have flakes. I'm not sure if they are the result of this or just super-dry weather.
Repurchase? Not right now.
Philip Kingsley Elasticizer
Brilliant stuff! This is another pre-shampooing treatment, but boy - where DID my frizz go afterwards? You apply this on the length of the hair, keep in on for a while and then wash. One tube had enough for my long hair.
Kebelo Enriching Masque
A post-shampoo deep conditioning treatment. I got these samples in my LookFantastic boxes. I needed both sample tubes for ONE use. Sadly, I don't think they did much. It was one of those products that sit there and mooch around instead of doing either good or - God forbid - harm.
Face masks and packsMissha Aloe Sheet Mask
A gentle sheet mask that calmed my irritated face ravaged by harsh acne treatment.
Repurchase? Once I reach the end of my sheet mask stash.
Sisley Express Flower Gel Mask sachet
I love every Sisley mask I have tried so far, and this was no exception. It was beautifully hydrating on my flaky skin.
Repurchase? If only it was not so spendy.
The Organic Pharmacy Enzyme Peel Mask
Contains papaya and Vitamin C. It was not a peel-off mask despite the name and was a right pain to remove.
Face careNeutrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash
My HG face wash, with 2% Salicylic Acid. Worried it was all too harsh, I weaned my face off it in October and moved to a moisturising creamy wash and - bam! My face is literally an explosion in a fireworks factory. Ran to my derm who told me to get back to the face wash pronto.
Repurchase? Already have a couple of bottles in stock.
Dr Brandt Overnight Resurfacing Serum sachet
This was my attempt to introduce retinol into my skincare. I got two uses out of this sachet, but my face said it was a bit much and told me to stick to mild spray-on moisturisers for now.
Repurchase? Not now.
Accessorize Flawlessly Smooth Primer
Reviewed here. Not a fan; there are far superior, mattifying primers out there. This is too siliconey and runny and does not keep me matte for a decent length of time. Worst of all - it pills on me unless I limit the quantity to a smidgen, which does not help with oil control.
Arcona Magic White Ice
My first Arcona product. I had expected this to be a cooling face mousse with "crackle" ice effect, like Dr Scholl's foot ice. Contrary, it was a thick face cream - I suspect, with possible comedogenic effects.
Dr MJ BeeTox Control Cream
The term "control" in Korean skincare means acne and oil control. I liked this light-textured face cream. However, it actually vapourised. I closed the jar properly after each use and only used a little, but it dried up in what, 10 days?
Etude House AC Clinic Daily Toner
I used this to mix a little Aztec Indian Healing Clay. On the whole, I prefer Apple Cider Vinegar for the clay, but this did well at a pinch.
Repurchase? No, my skin does not like toners.
Estee Lauder Clear Difference Targeted Blemish Treatment
Salicylic Acid-based. This is a clear gel that you apply directly on the pimple. The gel dries and helps dry the pus within the pimple, but, of course, new pimples keeping coming, thanks to bathing in contaminated flood water in the first week of December.
Repurchase? Not now, my derm has put me on tetracycline and clindamycin for three weeks and I will be on Accutane if the thing does not clear up.
Paula's Choice Skin Perfect 2% BHA Liquid
Another Salicylic Acid-based product. This is a mild liquid that you apply all over the cleansed face before either moisturising or applying stronger spot treatment. It controls oil very nicely and makes my face feel soothed.
Repurchase? Already did.
Hand careNuxe Hand and Nail Cream
I am yet to come across a Nuxe product I did not like. This was lovely and rich for the dry weather.
Repurchase? Not now, there is a swarm of hand creams to wade through.
L'Occitane Cherry Blossom Hand Cream
Cherry Blossom. That should sum it up. This cream smelled divine. I only got a 10ml sample, so it was over all too quickly.
Repurchase? Once I make a dent in my hand cream stash.
Bath & BodyBeessential Original Honey Hand and Body Cream in Moisturising Lavender
Reviewed here (PR Sample). I used this as an all-over body moisturiser. It was lovely and rich for the dry weather, and the fragrance was mild and soothing. I love lavender, thankfully, and it does not irritate me.
Repurchase? Not right now; too many body lotions to go through first.
ActivBod Feel Great Shower Concentrate
This came in the Bath & Unwind Beauty Box. I loved the smell and feel, but the product I am talking about next will always be my number one body wash.
Molton Brown Body Wash in Orange and Bergamot
Every Molton Brown body wash is just SO amazing, other brands barely register in my mind. Molton Brown is the only body wash I will repurchase. Luxurious, indulgent, decadent, pampering, heavenly... I cannot even think of adjectives.
Repurchase? Yes, but I prefer Pink Pepperpod, Black Peppercorn and Coco and Sandalwood fragrances.
Life Jump Start Body Lotion and Body Wash sachets
This duo came along when I went travelling. Nice and invigorating for the morning.
Repurchase? Read the paragraph above this one.
Arran Aromatics All-Weather Moisturiser
This is a special Wimbledon edition I picked up from SW19 this Summer. I have fallen in LOVE with Arran Aromatics hand creams and moisturisers. The products are harm-free and are handmade in Arran Island, Scotland.
Repurchase? Yes, please!
Chocolate Sun Cocoa Glow
I get a lot of "You don't need fake tan". But I like it on my legs - it gives them a subtle glow when I wear dresses or skirts. This was a natural, harm-free tan that smelled of chocolate and the tan itself was almost unnoticeable. I prefer this to St Tropez, Vita Liberate, Xen-Tan, Tan Worx and the rest.