[Empties] – Banilaco, Biore, Elizavecca, HadaLabo, Kicho, LJH

Mini Reviews of My Winter Empties!

It’s been a while since my last proper empties post! And this winter I went through quite a few favourites, which have already made their way back into my routine. 

It takes me a while to get through my products, as I often have a few of the same step in rotation or testing out a new product. But I eventually do make it through, and here are the 6 I finished this winter. What I love about the 6 empties that I completely used up this winter is that you could build a full skincare routine with them! It’s got the cleanser, the toner, the moisturiser and the suncream. It’s only missing that foam cleanser element. 

Anyway onto the mini reviews of the products!

BanilaCo – Clean it Zero

This is a fan favourite and classic of a lot of K-Beauty routines. This is a balm cleanser that I use in the first step of my PM routine. This is also the product that I decant to take travelling as I find it less messy than oils. Starting out as a solid balm it turns into oil on the skin. It’s a simple balm which emulsifies easily and cleanses even stubborn lip stains and eyeliners. I also find this very affordable and easily available.
Looking at the ingredients it contains mistle-toe, raspberry and papaya. But with my cleansers I’m not looking for these extras, all I want is a simple product which works effectively. And fortunately this one does that!
This does contain mineral oil, so if you’re sensitive to mineral oil do not purchase this balm cleanser.
I won a supersize version of this in a Christmas giveaway, so it will feature again in my routine. But I’m working through my oil cleansers currently! It does come with me on the rare occassions I make it to the gym. And you can see the mini pot feature in my “Asian Beauty and Fitness” skincare routine. I am very tempted to buy the sample set which contains the radiance and purity versions, but this year I’m trying to be more responsible and work my way through my current stash!

Elizavecca – Milky Piggy Carbonated Bubble Clay Mask
Elizavecca Bubble Clay Mask

This is probably one of the best known clay masks, for it’s very instagrammable effects. The bubbling effect is gimmicky but I do like the fizzy sensation on my face. I use this before I shower, as I find it messy to wash off over the sink. Though this is the same for most masks that I’ve used. This product works really well for my skin, I find I’m less oily and my skin feels softer after using this. I only used this at most 1-2 times a week, as otherwise it could get drying for the skin.
I haven’t repurchased this, as I want to try other clay masks out there which can help with acne.
You can read the full review, and see the selfies I took with it on, here: Elizavecca Milky Piggy Bubble Clay Mask Review.

Rohto Hada Labo – Super Gokujyun Hyaluronic Acid Lotion
Hada Labo Lotion

A staple of my routine, and for good reason. This is a lightweight hydrating toner which my skin drinks up. Packed full of Hyaluronic Acid, I’ve found that this has added the hydrating layer that my skins been missing before I discovered Asian Beauty. It also, I feel, boosts the effects of my sheetmasks. I apply a thin layer of this before I sheetmask and my skin is always more plump and happy afterwards. The sharp-eyed among you may notice that the bottle in the pic isn’t empty, and it’s not. I re-filled this recently with the refillable bags that you can buy. Which not only is more cost-effective but better for the environment! I’m also trying out the premium version of this toner currently, and I do find it’s slightly thicker in consistency and heavier on my skin. I’d even be tempted to call it a hybrid toner/serum due to this.
For first time users of this it does have a heavier consistency than watery toners. That’s normal.
You can read my full review, and see more pics of the actual product here: Hada Labo HA Lotion.

LJH Tea Tree Essence
LJH Tea Tree 90 Essence

As someone who is acne-prone and with red skin, this is a must for my routine. It’s very light, has a watery consistency, and absorbs very quickly into my skin. It comes with a dropper for application, and I use two drops to cover my entire face. I use this both in the morning and the evening, that’s how much I value it. This product doesn’t have immediate obvious effects, which can be annoying for those who want the instantaneous results (who doesn’t). But I have found over the months of using this my skin has had less redness, I’ve had less breakouts and it’s hydrated. The best way to see the effects of this essence was to stop using it. When I didn’t have it in my routine for 2 weeks I did notice it’s absence. It’s well known by most that Tea Tree is a great ingredient for those with acne-prone skin, and this is my preferred product for it. It is expensive though, I stock up when HKC Plaza has a sale, but worth it for my skin.
I’ve already opened another bottle and there’s a back up in my skincare stash. This is a staple of my routine, and looks to stay that way for the forseeable future.

Kicho – Sheep Oil Cream. Lanolin & 8 Berries
Kicho Sheep oil Cream Lanolin and 8 Berries

This was sent to me by BNT News, I’m one of the BNT Girls and on occasion will be sent products for review. The Kicho Sheep Oil Cream is my favourite product that I’ve discovered through this partnership. Not only is lanolin great, and I think under-rated, as a moisturising ingredient. But I fell in love with the mild fruity/herb scent of this cream, and it was a joy to put on at night. It had a creamy texture, but sunk into my skin easily and didn’t sit on the surface which can happen with heavier creams. The more I used this cream, the more I liked it. It didn’t break me out, kept my hydrated and brightened my skintone slightly. It was the heavy hydration though which made this my go to cream, and if I didn’t have 5 creams in my stash I would go search this out on ebay to repurchase.
Full review here: Kicho Sheep Oil Cream full review.

Biore – Aqua Rich Watery Essence

Biore Aqua Rich Watery EssenceSuncream is the most important part of my AM routine, even though I work in an office and barely see sunlight in the winter months. This is from Japan, and every time I go I make sure to pick up a few bottles of this. The reason that I love this suncream is that it’s cosmetically elegant. Not only does it not leave a whitecast, but I find that it also works well as a primer for my foundation on the days I don’t have time to use primer. It’s not sticky and has a lightweight texture, which is perfect for those who don’t like the greasy feeling some suncreams have. Now is it effective? It’s got an SPF of 50 and PA++++, and I trust it’s been through testing. I don’t have any fancy scientific equipment at home to see how truly effective it is, but I’ve not gotten sunburnt yet! 
Have already got this back in my routine. 

And that’s it for the Winter Empties! Happily these were all products that I enjoyed using and had beneficial effects for my skin. 4/6 are already back in my routine, and that’s what I call a good thing. There were also a ton of sheetmasks, but I don’t keep the packaging for these. Follow my instagram @mapletreeblog for my mini reviews of those.

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