This review contains PR samples° and affiliate links* I’ve used up so many products these past weeks that I decided it’s time to work my way through the empties basket and share my final thoughts on a number of K-beauty and indie beauty goodies. So, here is the first group of products: my beauty empties April 2021!
I love empties videos and blog posts on social media from other creators and always feel a bit wistful that these types of “classic” beauty content genres seem to die off, with so many creators going for dramatic “reaction videos” or “drama tea” style videos. I myself sometimes forget to keep my used up products and so don’t always have enough material for a blog post. However, so far I have really been good about emptying especially K-beauty products in 2021, and my empties basket is literally overflowing.
Today’s group of beauty empties is not all that I have stored in that basket – I just felt overwhelmed discussing too many products in one post and thus putting off writing this very article. That is why I decided to take the pressure off by doing this bit by bit, basically splitting the empties over a few weeks. I won’t name this post “empties post number one” or similar, because then I would feel pressured to make this some sort of consistent series. Listen, my brain is a weird thing, and I just sometimes have to trick it to keep creating without feeling overwhelmed or pressured!
These April 2021 beauty empties were mostly used up recently, and many of them I’ve had for a while. I actually used them all pretty consistently, but they just seemed almost impossible to get empty, especially that Cosrx toner! One of the products I went through crazily fast, however, and I’m still confused as to why it emptied so quickly?! Well, I have thoughts on that one product anyway…
Ok, without further ado, let’s dive into my beauty empties April 2021!
My Beauty Empties April 2021 – Toners
So far, 2021 has been the year of toners for me for some reason! Well, toners and essences – I’ve reviewed so many on my blog lately, and also been sent quite a few as PR. So, you would think that they are piling up on my vanity, but the truth is that I tend to also empty them pretty quickly. I love to layer different toners in one routine, it just feels right to combine different textures and ingredient mixes that way. And this finished K-beauty toner trio was just *chef’s kiss!
1. Rovection Cica Care Purifying Toner
You may remember my big Rovection roundup post a few months ago, where I reviewed most of the popular products from this Korean beauty brand. If you read that review, you also may remember that I wasn’t too impressed with the Cica Care Purifying Toner, especially due to it being fragranced despite claiming the line being fragrance free.
Well, guess what – I ended up loving this toner after all! I can’t even tell you why my skin suddenly started adoring the toner after feeling quite meh about it at first, but for some reason, it started to become irreplaceable in my morning routine. I think it was due to my maskne issues – breakouts around my mouth and chin area while also suffering from sensitivities – that the Rovection Cica Care Purifying Toner shot up from indifferent to favourite status. It’s a watery and lightweight toner with a low amount of acids, which seems to soothe and ever so gently exfoliate my skin. This is a great pick if you have oily to combo skin that suffers from redness, and I also believe that the renewed version of this toner now is fragrance free!
I would totally repurchase this toner – who would have thought?! You can find the Rovection Cica Care Purifying Toner at Yesstyle* for currently around 20$ for the huge 260ml bottle, at Wishtrend* for 24$,(use my code “Ulrike15” for an extra 15% off), or people in Germany can also purchase this at Amazon DE* für 26€!
2. Cosrx Propolis Synergy Toner
I wrote a full review article on this popular toner, so I really don’t need to say too much here. Basically, I love this one – it’s lightweight, yet super hydrating, seems to calm down my redness issues and also help with hormonal breakouts. It’s an ideal toner for oily to combo skin, and since it is packed full with humectant/water grabbing goodness, even dry skin will love this. And, it last forever! Truly, it took me ages to finish this, even though I used it almost daily throughout autumn and winter.
The toner is fragrance- and alcohol-free and contains propolis extract, one of my favourite K-beauty ingredients. Propolis is a great ingredient for anyone struggling with acne, oiliness, sensitive skin, and even hyperpigmentation issues. It won’t magically heal your skin, but you will see improvements in texture and notice its anti-inflammatory properties over time.
You can purchase the Cosrx Propolis Synergy Toner at Yesstyle* for around 16$ for the 150ml bottle, at Stylevana* for only around 15$, or at Amazon* for 27.99$ – you can also find a smaller sized sample version on Amazon!
3. I’m from Mugwort Essence
There will be a detailed review post featuring the I’m from Mugwort range on the blog in the near future – similar to my reviews of the I’m from Fig range and the I’m from Rice products, but I’m still waiting on my Mugwort Cream shipment, so for now, let’s just briefly discuss the I’m from Mugwort Essence, which I emptied pretty fast actually.
This is a “one ingredient” style essence featuring mugwort extract. The one ingredient is in quote marks, because of course there are other ingredients involved in creating the single extract. I spoke about this before, for instance in my recent review post about the Missha Red Algae Treatment Essence. However, there is no doubt that this essence is all about the mugwort – a traditional Korean healing plant often consumed as tea, also common here in Europe and used as both a healing herb as well as in cooking and even spellcasting.
The I’m from Mugwort Essence was a beautiful addition to my routine, simple but valuable as a skin calmer, redness soother and great helper whenever breakouts plagued me. It’s great for sensitive, acne-prone skin, since it has that awesome talent combo of being anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial at the same time. Be a bit careful during hay fever season, as mugwort actually is a common pollen allergen, and there may be issues when your body is already in pollen-fighting mode. I was fine last year, but it really depends on your personal allergen reactions, so just be mindful of cross allergies. The essence is fragrance- and alcohol-free (it does smell of the mugwort herb, of course) and really is just so fuss-free, I use it as an extra layer before any thicker toners on days when my skin feels sensitised and inflamed.
You can purchase the I’m from Mugwort Essence at Yesstyle* for around 36$ for the 160ml bottle, at Wishtrend* for 40$, or Germans can also find this at Amazon DE* for around 42€, or at JUUI* for 37.95€, a lovely smaller K-beauty shop.
My Beauty Empties April 2021: Exfoliators/Actives
There is actually only one active under my beauty empties April 2021, and it’s a good one guys! In fact, it’s one of the best ones out there, and a clear repeat empty!
1. Geek & Gorgeous Cheer Up Liquid Exfoliant
Listen, I realise that at this point in time you people must get sick of me raving about Geek & Gorgeous, the ingredient- and science-based indie skincare brand based in Hungary. But what can I do if they keep producing amazing, near flawless products?!
This bottle of Cheer Up is my second one already, and I’m hoping to get my hands on number three soon, since this is my second favourite liquid exfoliant after the Geek & Gorgeous Calm Down Peeling with PHA.* Cheer Up contains 6% Mandelic acid and BHA, so it is perfect for oily combo skin, the two acids working in unison to refine rough skin textures, clean out gunk-filled pores and combat excess sebum.
Mandelic acid is a gentler AHA than glycolic acid, and it is also the only AHA that has lipophilic (i.e. oil-loving) properties, so it works extra well if you have oilier skin that is easily inflamed when using actives. The Calm Down peeling liquid does tingle a bit when I use it, which is normal with acids, but otherwise feels very gentle. And effective – I always notice a wonderful glow to my skin when I use this, and my pores seem less visible overall. All Geek & Gorgeous products are free from any fragrance or alcohol.
You can purchase the Geek & Gorgeous Cheer Up exfoliant directly from their online shop* – the 100ml bottle retails at 28€, and there is also a 30ml trial size for 10€.
My Beauty Empties April 2021: Serums
I am on the verge of emptying a number of serums, but for now it’s only one that made it into my beauty empties pile for April 2021!
1. I’m from Ginseng Serum
I had been so curious to try the I’m from Ginseng Serum, since a couple of skinfluencers seem to really love it. Ginseng is such a great ingredient for anti aging – I gave an overview of its benefits in this review of the Beauty of Joseon Ginseng Water. Beauty researcher and K-beauty expert extraordinaire Odile Monod had already hinted at the quality of the ginseng extract used in this serum probably not being comparable to what you would get in a luxury hanbang brand such as Sulwhasoo, but I was more than willing to take this into account when trying out the more affordable I’m from product.
Well, I have to say – I wasn’t wowed. Few Wishtrend brand products ever disappoint me, but honestly, the Ginseng Serum kind of did. I mean, it’s an adequate enough serum if you are just looking for basic hydration, which it delivers, but for the price I kind of expected…more? Maybe some smoothing or plumping action, or that wonderful inner glow you can get from ginseng products? This really just…hydrated. And, well, I also needed noticeably more product for one use than with other serums. I finished this up so fast, I was actually surprised!
So, final verdict: meh. I wouldn’t repurchase this to be honest, and am not sure why my experience was so lacklustre given how many people love this. Oh well, this may just be a classic case of YMMV, your mileage may vary! It does look pretty in its bottle, and it isn’t a bad product, just not amazing, you know. If you are still keen to try the I’m from Ginseng Serum, you can find this at Yesstyle* for roughly 27$ for the 30ml bottle, at Wishtrend* for 29$, and German/EU peeps can pick this up at Amazon DE* for 29€ or at JUUI* for 29.95€.
My Beauty Empties April 2021: Moisturisers
I’m always so proud when I finish a moisturiser, as it seems to take so long for me to “let go” especially of a good one. And both of these used up K-beauty moisturisers were very good indeed!
1. Klairs Fundamental Water Gel Cream
The Klairs Fundamental line has been such a hit for me, I’ve adored every product that I’ve tried so far. There is a full review of the Water Gel Cream on the blog, so make sure to click on that link to get my detailed opinion plus yummy texture shots.
Because with the Klairs Fundamental Water Gel Cream, it’s all about that delicious, custardy, runny gel texture! I instantly got myself a second pot of this when I was on the verge of finishing my first, and that one is now also half empty. So, you can tell I truly do enjoy this gel moisturiser, which is best suited for oily to combo skin. Dry skin will not find this moisturising enough, I would say. I do go through the jar rather quickly, which is maybe the only slightly negative about it given the price – but then, it is a larger size than regular moisturisers!
2. Cosrx Hydrium Moisture Power Enriched Cream
This lovely, minimalist cream took a while to finish, and I tended to grab for it whenever my skin was stressed out or unbalanced. I reviewed a whole range of Cosrx Hydrium products and liked most of them, with the cream being one of the best ones no doubt. It just provides such smooth, easy to absorb moisture, it’s fuss-free and simple in a good way. This product is fragrance- and alcohol-free, and overall very gently formulated, so I think it’s a great choice for sensitive, dehydrated skin types, and also quite fairly priced. Again though, I would say it’s best suited for oily to normal skin, and might not be enough for dry skin.
My Beauty Empties April 2021: Eye Products
It sometimes amazes me how fast I can get through an eye product. But then, I do use them dilligently every morning and every night, and have been since my 20s. Eye products are such a touchy subject in the beauty community lately, with many people claiming that they are unnecessary and just a money grab. But for me personally, I absolutely need them for my sensitive eye area!
1. Klairs Fundamental Eye Awakening Gel
Another product from the Klairs Fundamental range, this eye gel and I needed a bit of time to warm up to each other. I wasn’t 100% sure if this would be enough for my eye area, and indeed it works best for me when layered under a thicker cream such as the equally wonderful Klairs Fundamental Nourishing Eye Butter.*
In the end, I did really like the Fundamental Eye Awakening Gel, both as a layering product as well as a standalone choice in the mornings. The gel is light and works well under makeup, plumping the eye area and depuffing it noticeably with continuous use. This contains so many goodies, among them humectant glycerin, green tea extract, invigorating caffeine, and anti aging peptides meant to firm and tighten skin. Given that the dispenser bottle also contains a whopping 35ml, I also think this is very fairly priced indeed, and it did last me a long time! I’m kind of mad at myself for not taking more pics of the product, because together with the Klairs Eye Butter this would be worthy of a full review. Oh well, maybe I’ll repurchase this soon, unless other eye products get in the way!
If you are interested in purchasing the Klairs Fundamental Eye Awakening Gel, you can find this at Yesstyle* for roughly 26$ for the 35ml bottle, at Wishtrend* for 25$, or EU/UK peeps can also buy this at Skinsider UK* for 24£. Wishtrend also sells a set of the Klairs Eye Gel and Eye Butter* with a 10% discount for 44.10$. Oh, and you can use my affiliate code “Ulrike15” for an extra 15% off your Wishtrend order if you like!
My Beauty Empties April 2021: Cleansers
Again, I am super close to emptying a bunch of cleansers soon-ish, but for now, it is only one cleanser bottle that I managed to finish. And, it is definitely no coincidence that this has been one of my cleansing faves of the past months!
1. Rovectin Skin Essentials Conditioning Cleanser
I already raved about this cleanser in my Rovectin brand overview article, and my feelings haven’t really changed much since then. If you are looking for a hyper gentle, low pH cleanser that is pretty affordable, then this is a top choice in my eyes! It’s probably one of the absolute gentlest, less irritating foaming cleansers I’ve ever tried, it doesn’t even sting in my eyes when I use it, and the foam is just so soft.
When it comes to cleansing powers, I would say the equally gentle, non-foaming Geek & Gorgeous Jelly Joker is a bit better equipped at removing simple makeup and sunscreen, but for a second cleanse, morning cleanse or one step cleanse with no makeup and easily removable sunscreen, this works absolutely fine. The Rovectin Skin Essentials Conditioning Cleanser uses non-stripping surfactants and is free from any alcohol or fragrance, a great choice for very sensitive skin (personal sensitivities should be double-checked, of course!). I really, really like this one, and the only gripe I have with it is that I feel I went through the bottle weirdly fast, maybe because it doesn’t foam as aggressively as other cleansers and thus I tended to use more for one cleanse.
You can purchase the Rovectin Skin Essentials Conditioning Cleanser at Stylevana* for currently only around 15$ for the 175ml bottle, at Yesstyle* for also around 15$, at Wishtrend* for 17$, (15% off with code “Ulrike15”), or at Stylekorean* for 15.30$.
Let me know in the comments: What products have you used up so far this year? Have you tried any of my beauty empties April 2021?
Take care guys, and stay safe – don’t forget to follow me on Instagram and Facebook for all the latest K-Beauty and skincare news, and check out my other reviews, e.g. my review of the Missha Time Revolution Red Algae Treatment Essence, one of my absolute K-beauty faves of the past weeks!
°PR Sample, kindly provided by a brand or shop – I am not obligated to write this blog article, was not paid for the article, and my opinions are entirely my own.
*Affiliate Links, meaning I earn a small commission if you decide to use the link to purchase an item. This does not raise the purchase price for you, and it helps me and my blog to grow – so, thank you for supporting me in this way!!!