Face Masks

Love It Or Leave It? Empties #3 – Skin Care

Remember my new years resolution to use up my skin care stash? Yeah, that’s been going pretty well. So well in fact that I have a huge amount of empties, mainly because I’ve been using up all of my samples. In order to keep this post a reasonable size I decided to split it up into two parts. First up we have skin care, followed tomorrow by body, hair, and makeup.

As a side note, you may also have noticed that the format of my empties post has changed slightly. I used to call them “Trash or Treasure?” but decided that those were too harsh of categories. Just because a product doesn’t work for me doesn’t mean that it is total rubbish. “Love it or Leave it?” sounds much nicer. I also added a third category “Like it” for things that were pretty good but didn’t quite manage to knock my socks off.

Makeup Removal

Yes to Blueberries Cleansing Facial Towelettes

Full Size: 25 ct, $5.99
Verdict: Like it

I still really like the scent of these but for some reason this particular batch was much drier than the one before. This resulted in there not being quite enough moisture to take off all my makeup meaning I had to use two wipes. In addition, I’ve decided to only use makeup remover wipes if I absolutely have to because they just don’t seem to be able to get 100% of my makeup off. I’d still like to have one of these pack on hand for emergencies because they’re simply the best makeup remover wipes I’ve found.

Yes to Cucumber Hypoallergenic Facial Towelettes

Full Size: 10 ct, $2.99
Verdict: Leave it

In contrast to the Yes to Blueberry wipes, I didn’t like these ones at all. They weren’t very moisturizing and didn’t do a good job at removing makeup. They were pretty much useless for waterproof mascara. They may be nice to just freshen up you skin but they are utter rubbish for removing makeup.

bebe Young Care 3in 1 Pflegende Reinigungstücher (Nourishing Facial Towelettes)

Full Size: 25 ct
Verdict: Like it

The cloth of these were a bit rougher than the Yes to Blueberry wipes but they did a good job at removing even waterproof makeup. This brand doesn’t exist in the US but I’d get them again if I’d need facial wipes while in Germany.

Beauty Fixation Make Up Remover

Full Size: 24 applicators, $5
Verdict: Love it

These were great for getting rid of mascara smudges. The price is a bit high. I can get similar products for slightly cheaper at the drugstore but they’re so convenient that I will make sure to always have something like this on hand.

Cleansers & Masks

I’m not sure why I grouped cleansers and masks together but when I took the pictures it must’ve made sense to me.

Suki Exfoliate Foaming Cleanser

Full Size: 4 oz, $32.95
Verdict: Love it

I’ve posted before about how much I like this exfoliator. It smells great and is gentle in contrast to some other exfoliating products. I’m not sure quite yet if I would repurchase because I want to try first how well an acidic toner works for exfoliating.

Murad Refreshing Cleanser

Full Size: 6.75 fl oz, $32
Verdict: Leave it

This is a creme-to-foam cleanser. There is really nothing special about. I found the classification as a “refreshing cleanser” quite misleading because it sure as hell isn’t what I would consider refreshing. I wouldn’t repurchase it.

Korres Greek Yoghurt Advanced Nourishing Sleeping Facial

Full Size: 1.35 fl oz, $45
Verdict: Like it

This is an overnight hydrating mask. It did do a pretty good job at hydrating my skin but I found it a bit sticky after application. It just kinda sat on top of my skin and didn’t really absorb all that well so in the morning there was a bit of residue left. I would potentially repurchase this but it didn’t impress me enough to spend $45 on the full size.

Eye Cream

Supergoop! Advanced Anti-Aging Eye Cream Broad Spectrum Sunscreen SPF 37

Full Size: 0.5 oz, $45
Verdict: Leave it

I didn’t really care for this eye cream. I appreciate that it has a high SPF but the result was quite a tick creme that didn’t absorb all that well, was a bit too heavy for the delicate eye area, and left the white cast that’s typical for sunscreen. Not a good look.

Benefit Cosmetics – it’s potent! eye cream

Full Size: 0.5 oz, $32
Verdict: Love it

One of my favorite eye creams. Perfect for nighttime use to give the eye area some good nourishment. I still have so many eye creams to use up (including another sample of this one) but I would purchase a full size in the future.

Murad Instant Radiance Eye Cream

Full Size: 0.5 fl oz, $68
Verdict: Leave it

I didn’t care for this eye cream at all. It had a weird, grainy texture that didn’t feel at all nourishing. In addition, it didn’t do anything for my dark circles even though it makes extraordinary claims about it. Definitely will not be repurchasing.


Dr. Jart+ Ceramidin Liquid

Full Size: 5 oz, $39
Verdict: Leave it

One thing I liked about this treatment was how little I needed. Just a few drops were enough for the whole face and this tiny bottle lasted me a couple of months. I didn’t really feel, though, like it helped moisturizing my skin so I won’t be repurchasing this.

AHAVA Dead Sea Osmoter

Full Size: 1 fl oz, $60
Verdict: Like it

There were so many things I liked about this serum. It smells amazing, makes my skin feel super moisturized, and absorbs quickly. Unfortunately, whenever I would massage this in there would be little balls of product rubbing off. I did some research and apparently this happens when there is a lot of silicone in the product which doesn’t absorb into the skin (nor should it). The silicone is what fills in the pores and wrinkles and makes them look smaller. I’m not necessarily against silicones in skin care products but I just can’t deal with it peeling off like that.


Clinique Youth Surge Age Decelerating Moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF 15

Full Size: 1.7 oz, $52
Verdict: Leave it

I’ve had this sample for a while and never could get myself to use it up. It’s just so thick and heavy. I finally pushed through it and used up the rest and I’m so happy that it’s finally gone.

Dr. Jart+ Ceramidin Cream

Full Size: 1.6 fl oz, $48
Verdict: Leave it

Similar to the matching liquid I didn’t really find this to be as moisturizing as I would’ve imagined. It’s really just average in my opinion.

AHAVA Time To Hydrate Essential Day Moisturizer Normal to Dry

Full Size: 1.7 fl oz, $39.50
Verdict: Like it

This moisturizer is pretty light weight which makes it absorb really well and it smells amazing (like all AHAVA products). It does a pretty good job at moisturizing. Not sure yet if I would repurchase, though. It didn’t blow me away.

Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentré Nourishing Moisturizer

Full Size: 2.5 fl oz, $28
Verdict: Leave it

This is supposed to be a miracle product that can do everything from removing makeup to being used as a mask. Since the sample was so tiny I only ever used it as a moisturizer. There wasn’t anything special about this creme, nothing that would make it deserving of the miracle title.

BENTA BERRY G-1 Moisturizing Face Cream

Full Size: 1 fl oz, $22
Verdict: Leave it

Another moisturizer that was just average.

bareMinerals Purely Nourishing Moisturizer — Combination Skin

Full Size: 1.7 oz, $28
Verdict: Leave it

Aaaand another average moisturizer.

Phew, that was quite a list of products to go through. I’m really happy to be making progress in reducing my skin care stash and using up all these samples. Even though I travel quite a bit nobody needs that many moisturizers.

Check back tomorrow for my hair, body, and makeup empties.

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Murad – Blackhead & Pore Clearing Duo

Lately my skin has started to clear up and the only imperfections I have to deal with are some very persistent blackheads on my cheek and chin. They show up as unsightly pumps on my skin and I haven’t found a good treatment yet that works to get rid of them. That’s why I ordered the Murad Blackhead & Pore Clearing Duo.

Fast-acting 2-step treatment helps reduce blackheads and seal pores for the ultimate protection against pore-clogging impurities

  • Extracts stubborn impurities from deep within pores
  • Reduces the formation of blackheads by an average of 58%
  • Volcanic Mineral Clay and Shikakai Extract detoxify, drawing out dirt and excess oil, to purify pores
  • Oxidation Reversal Complex targets sebum oxidation, a leading cause of blackheads, and the buildup of cellular debris
  • Pomegranate Seed Oil acts as an astringent, tightening pores and refining complexion

The Blackhead & Pore Clearing Duo consists of two products: the Blackhead Remover – an exfoliating mask – and the Pore Refining Sealer which is claimed to counteract the cause of blackheads, sebum oxidation.

Murad - Blackhead & Pore Clearing Duo

Step 1 – Blackhead Remover

The Blackhead Remover is a tick paste that contains exfoliating granules. The instruction state to apply the paste to areas with blackheads and leave on for 10 minutes. During this time the paste will dry. After that you exfoliate by adding warm water to the mask and massaging it into the skin. Lastly, you rinse the mask off with more warm water.

Murad - Blackhead & Pore Clearing Duo - Step 1 v2

I apply a good layer of this mask to my chin and cheeks and any other problem areas that may suffer from breakouts. While the mask dries it gets pretty cold which feels kinda weird. The exfoliating part is probably my favorite. I feel like my skin gets very clean and smooth. The granules in this mask are a bit rough so this product might not work for someone with more sensitive skin but for me it’s just right. I also wouldn’t use this mask more than once a week for fear of irritating my skin.

Step 2 – Pore Refining Sealer

The Pore Refining Sealer is a light serum that you apply to your face immediately after using the mask and again 12 hours after initial treatment to prevent the formation of new blackheads. It sinks into my skin pretty fast but it makes it feel a bit dry. The Pore Refining Sealer contains salicylic acid so that may explain why. I also apply a moisturizer after this step to counteract any dryness.

Murad - Blackhead & Pore Clearing Duo - Step 2

I’ve only used the Blackhead & Pore Clearing Duo a few times but the results I’ve seen are pretty good. The day after using this treatment my skin clears up and most of the bumps on my cheeks go away. Unfortunately, they tend to come back after a week or so but I think that with continuous usage once a week this product can help me keep them in check.

I’ve also started to use the Pore Refining Sealer by itself once a day in order to prevent the formation of new blackheads. I was afraid that this may lead to excessive dryness but so far I haven’t had any problems. As far as I can tell it has helped prolong the results I achieved using the Blackhead Remover.

I haven’t had any negative reactions to using the Blackhead & Pore Clearing Duo. The exfoliating granules in the Blackhead Remover may be a bit too rough for those with sensitive skin but they are very effective at deep-cleaning the skin. The Pore Refining Sealer may feel a bit drying at first but I found it to be less harsh in that respect than some other acne treatments. Even with continuous use I haven’t had any problems with it over-drying my skin but applying a moisturizer afterward is important.

Overall, I would recommend the Blackhead & Pore Clearing Duo to anybody fighting with extremely stubborn blackheads.

What treatments do you recommend to get rid of those pesky blackheads?

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Murad – Intensive-C Radiance Peel

I received this sample of the Murad Intensive-C Radiance Peel with one of my last Murad orders and I’ve been very excited to try it. I haven’t been getting enough sleep lately and it’s been taking a toll on my skin. It’s been looking tired, dull, and ashy. This face mask claims to fix just that.

As part of the Murad Environmental Shield line of anti aging skin care products to combat Environmental Aging, Murad Intensive-C Radiance Peel is a home face mask designed to restore skin from environmental damage caused by sun, smog and stress. Use this antioxidant facial one to two times a week to instantly brighten and restore skin by exfoliating away dark, damaged cells and infuse skin with antioxidants and moisture.

  • Glycolic Acid exfoliates to accelerate turnover of dark damaged cells, removing dullness and improving skin texture.
  • Vitamin C and Indian Fig protect against free radical damage while enhancing skin clarity and luminosity.
  • Myrtle Extract supports collagen production to boost youthful resilience and elasticity.

Sounds promising, right?

Murad - Intensive-C Radiance Peel

This mask has the consistency of a moisturizing cream. It applies as a thin layer that almost instantly starts to soak into the skin. After 10 minutes almost all of it has been absorbed and instead of washing it off the instructions state to remove the excess with a moist, warm wash cloth.

Murad - Intensive-C Radiance Peel - consistency

I applied the mask to clean skin and left it on for 10 minutes. First of, this product smells amazing just like the rest of the products in the Environmental Shield line. It has a slight orangey scent that is very pleasant. While the peel was doing its job I felt a slight cooling sensation and it tingled a bit but not uncomfortably so.

I followed the instructions and removed the excess product with a wash cloth. To round up the pampering I applied the Murad Essential-C Night Moisture.

I could definitely tell a difference in the overall appearance of my skin. After using this mask my skin felt soft, plum, and nicely moisturized. It went from ashy and tired to glowy and healthy. This mask didn’t cause any breakouts, quite the opposite. The next morning most of those little bumps on my cheeks had vanished.

At $49.50 for 1.7 oz this mask is definitely not cheap. However, you only need about a dime size amount for your whole face so the full size would last for a good while. I really like the results so I think it’s well worth the investment. I think this mask will become a staple in my beauty routine.

What do you think of the Murad Intensive-C Radiance Peel?

GLAMGLOW – Youthmud Tinglexfoliate Treatment

A few months back I was really unhappy with the state of my skin and decided to take charge of my skin care routine. Since then I discovered face masks as a great addition to my beauty rituals. I like to use face mask when I’m in the mood for a bit of pampering. Combined with a good book and a hot cup of tea they make for a very relaxing experience.

At $69 for 1.7 oz the Glamglow Youthmud Tinglexfoliate Treatment falls in the high-end range of face masks. Considering the hefty price tag I was excited to see a deluxe sample available as a bonus point perk for Sephora Beauty Insiders and added it to my last Sephora order.

“This mud mask leaves skin noticeably radiant and glowing. It works with the body’s natural moisturizing collagen to provide gentle resurfacing exfoliation and helps to leave skin smoother, brighter, and softer. While providing tighter skin texture and tighter pores, it provides a more youthful appearance and absorbs impurities without removing natural oils.”

GlamGlow - Youthmud Tinglexfoliate Treatment

This past week I was finally able to try it out.

This mud mask is formulated with green tea leaf extract which gives it a nice green tea smell. It actually contains real pieces of tea leaves which at first really threw me off. I thought that there was something wrong with the sample I received because it looked more like some pieces of plastic got into the product. Once I read up on it and figured out what it was it made sense. This seems to be one of those products that start with a great idea but are lacking in execution. Most of the tea leaf pieces are HUGE but they are few and far between. This makes me think that they don’t really do anything as they aren’t distributed evenly all over your skin. I would find the claims about it much more believable if the pieces were a lot smaller and evenly mixed into the mask. As it stand I think it’s more of a fun (or weird?) marketing gimmick.

Once I got over the green tea leaves, I applied the mask to my face. I didn’t really need to apply a very thick layer. However, the green tea leaves took up a lot of volume of the product which resulted in me probably using more than I thought I did.

The instructions say to leave the mask on for 10 minutes. During this time period I felt a cooling sensation. In addition my skin started to tingle as one can expect going by the name of the product. This wasn’t too unpleasant but a little painful around my nose area. Fortunately, that sensation went away after a few minutes and was replaced by a tightening feeling as the mud mask was drying.

GlamGlow - Youthmud Tinglexfoliate Treatment - Application

After the 10 minutes I followed the instructions and removed the mask by adding water and applying a circular motion to my skin to exfoliate. The mask contains tiny pumice pieces to aid with that. The pumice crystals weren’t too rough on my skin but I could see how it might be too harsh for people with sensitive skin.

The results of this mask were ok. My skin felt soft but firm and I could tell that it helped with some of the blackheads on my nose. However, the results weren’t earth-shattering. I couldn’t tell a difference in the size of my pores on my cheeks (my problem area). Instead I developed some more blemishes over the next few days. Now, I’ve been experimenting with a few different makeup products so I don’t want to blame my skin’s reaction on this mask. On the other hand, I didn’t think that this mask really helped to fight my blemishes either. At this price tag I was expecting more but the overall result was just “Meh.” Nothing I couldn’t achieve with a cheaper product. I will be using up the rest of the mask but I don’t think that I will repurchase.

Have you tried the Glamglow Youthmud Tinglexfoliate Treatment? What did you think of it?

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