1 Jan 2015

Skincare and Makeup Regrets 2014: Product Empties that I'll Not Repurchase

My skincare addiction starts around the year of 2014, where I slowly moved on from local drugstore brands into Taiwanese and Western ones found in SASA Malaysia, and subsequently onto Korean shop brands like Nature Republic, Innisfree, Tony Moly, The Face Shop and so on.

So, my much belated 2014 product empties is only meant to discuss products I think are a complete waste of money, something that I want you to think twice before buying. Of course, skincare is a very subjective thing and I am not saying that these are hells, but maybe my personal experience with them will help you to narrow down your choice and avoid those that might displease you the way they did me.

Below are products I finished in 2014, not products I opened, so some of these were opened in 2013 and may have been discontinued.



Aqualabel Moisture Emulsion RI love the Aqualabel Moisture Lotion R, which is a Japanese toner-type product. I got this instead of the cream because the cream is much smaller and expensive, without any tester or online review available. However, this is my first and last bottle, because this emulsion is again far from being impressive. It is really milky, gooey and thick for my liking. Maybe it suits Japanese weather way better than Malaysian one. Or maybe it is just my skin that doesn't enjoy sticking or hard-absorbing lotion.

Dr. Wu Extreme Hydrating Cream with Hyaluronic Acid
Dr. Wu used to be a brand that I adore a lot, from its minimalist yet elegant packaging to its use of simple yet scientific researched-backed ingredients in all its skincare line. It is sort of like "guaranteed" to work on you, and in fact has received lotsa raves across the internet. I got this jar from SASA warehouse, but now regretted the purchase. Guess I shouldn’t have spent money on a cream that is nowhere close to my skin type. This cream is immensely heavy and will retain its shape even if you flip it upside down. It is so heavy to spread on my skin, not to mention letting it absorbed. Only extremely dry skin can love this. It is not bad, it is just too skin-specific and expensive. Not a repurchase.

Hada Labo Hydrating Face Wash
I have no idea why, but this hydrating face wash in my opinion is less agreeable with my skin than the arbutin whitening one. It is quite creamy, but produce smaller and less bouncy foam than the arbutin whitening face wash, and could be a bit harsh and hot on my skin. I have repurchased two to three times and they always disagree with my skin, so I wouldn't make any more repurchase, although I might repurchase the arbutin whitening one in the future.

Hada Labo Hydrating Makeup Remover
Hada Labo was the brand I loved a lot prior to my journey into skincare brands outside local drugstores. And it is always my fav brand in the local drugstore, I have a lot of trust in Hada Labo products. So, when I was looking for a makeup remover for my sunscreen (when told that I have to use a makeup remover to remove sunscreen), I opt for this. I have purchased at least 3 bottles of this, but still couldn’t convince myself to like it. It leads me to dislike makeup remover as a whole… until I discover my holy grail Nature Republic Jeju Sparkling Cleansing Water. This makeup remover is a water-based cleansing oil that is quite slippery. It can remove light makeup but not heavy one. The downside is that this will grease up on your face, and can be quite hard to remove with your normal foam cleanser. I hate how it leaves my skin feeling “oily” or “not properly cleaned”. It is a product that is nowhere near a proper cleansing oil or a gentler and refreshing cleansing water. Hada Labo makes excellent toner (lotion), sunscreen, cream but maybe not makeup remover.

Hada Labo 3 in 1 Intense Hydration Perfect Gel
I was looking for an intensive hydrating cream, after had enough with the gooey Hada Labo Hydrating Milk. And then this was released around the time I needed a nice hydrating gel cream, so I just grabbed one despite the price (RM 89). This is an essence, sleeping mask and moisturizer all in one . It contains ceramide to deeply repair and hydrate, collagen to trap and lock in moisture, and three types of hyaluronic acid to provide different level of hydration for skin. It looks all good but... gosh this stuff stings my skin like hell!!! It is very intense indeed - intensely moisturizing and irritating at the same time. It is not really hydrating, but very moisturizing. I guess those with damaged skin barrier will adore this but for someone with healthy skin barrier like mine, honestly this is too harsh for me to handle. I normally do not react to 95% of things I put on my face, but this product is one of the 5% exception. I guess it is mainly because of the ceramide in there, as well as the formulation and texture. Definitely not a repurchase, didn’t even finish it.

Hada Labo UV Moist Emulsion SPF50+++
Please take note that this is the older version Hada Labo white bottle sunscreen. This is just an average performing sunscreen, somewhat gentle, somewhat milky. I like the renewed version better hence not repurchasing. It has been discontinued as well.

Holika Holika Pig-Nose Clear Blackhead 3-step Kit
This is super popular nose pack or blackhead pulling strips in 3 steps – sebaceous filaments softening, then pulling and pores tightening. However, this thing does absolutely nothing to my tiny blackheads (sebaceous filaments). Just nothing. Nothing gets pulled out, maybe just a lot of hairs and a few blackheads. 80% remained there. Useless, and dump.

Neogence Mineral UV SPF30+++
I enjoy quite a lot of Neogence products, as you can see in my review of Neogence sleeping mask, a product I think perform better than Laneige Water Bank Sleeping Mask. But this stuff, is twice more expensive than normal sunscreen, but performs 20 times worse than normal sunscreen. It smells disgusting, literally disgusting is the only word I can find to describe it, and in the ingredients list it says “perfume” is added. Seriously, what kind of perfume produces this disgusting chemical cosmetic smell? And then it leaves white cast, serious white cast that lingers. And after using it for a few weeks (I am trying not to waste it here), I start to develop headache. Not sure is it because of the smell, or the ingredients, I feel headache that starts once I apply this, and last for the entire day. The headache improves when I realize that this sunscreen is the cause behind it. No, this is too bad. Never repurchase. In fact, I did not feel like using any more Neogence sunscreen after this.

Senka Perfect Whip
I know a lot of people love this. It is cheap, it is creamy, a little goes a long long way, and it is satisfying foamy. But, I think this is quite stripping, and without a foam maker you can’t make the “satisfying” rich bouncy foam. So, yeah, it is OK, but not impressive. I prefer Nature Republic Aloe Vera cleansers – both foam and gel variety of it.
Tsubaki Head Spa Shampoo & Conditioner
Actually, Tsubaki products are not bad, they are on the above-average range, for the price. If you have normal scalp, and dry hair, you will flourish with tsubaki. As for me, a girl suffering from scalp eczema, this tsubaki is too nourishing for my scalp. The golden head SPA shampoo and conditioner set are the ONLY shampoo set that calms my scalp issue after I came back from Canada. I have tried Dove, L'Oreal Elvive and L'Oreal Paris sulphate-free shampoo, as well as Clear, Head & Shoulder and all those but none work. None. You can see my detailed review here. But, after using 2-3 bottles of this, my hair feels sooo dry that I need to stop. This head spa can deep cleanse your scalp, soothe and calm it from external aggressors but will at the same time dry out your hair. The conditioner is basically obsolete, even Dove one performs better. The shampoo is good, but unless if you use a nice conditioner or have oily hair too, then you’ll definitely not stop by this pair.


That's all for my 2014 product empties. These are mainly Taiwanese or local Malaysian drugstore brands. I haven't dived into much Korean skincare brands at this moment, hence there isn't much to share but  I hope that some local girls who are indecisive over any of the products or brands mentioned above could get some insights and advises from my personal experience shared above.

Finally, my poison could be your remedy and do take my words with a grain of salt. Always patch test and try out the samples before buying. That's all I have to say, wish you guys a nice day ahead! See you in my next review!


[Disclaimer] This is NOT a sponsored review. Products are purchased with my own money. All copy right of contents and images in this article is strictly mine.
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