My big move to Boston in late July meant massively decluttering my possessions. Most would find this task tedious, but I find it incredibly satisfying. Sorting out my overflowing bathroom was a feat. The first products to go were the empties that I’d been hoarding for potential blog posts. Then, it was time for the expired products that had seen better days. Finally, the unloved beauty bits that did not impress. I got rid of so much that I moved with just two suitcases and three small boxes worth of possessions.
Here’s a look at some of my old favorites that didn’t survive the brutal declutter. Maybe one day I’ll get around to repurchasing them but for now, I’ll stick with what I’ve got in my medicine cabinet.
Powerful Face Masks
My foray into Korean beauty hit an all-time high three years ago when I studied abroad in Seoul. Since then, my interest has somewhat waned. That being said, there are some awesome products I still wish I had in my collection.
The LANEIGE Water Sleeping Mask was once my go-to winter face mask whenever my skin was feeling parched. It has everything I love. Gel-like texture? Check. Sinks into skin rapidly? Check. Lightweight? Check. Crazy hydrating? Check. It also gives off a cooling sensation after application, which is especially satisfying during the hot, humid summer months. You really can’t go wrong with it! It has stellar reviews for a reason.
Since running out of my tub of Innisfree Jeju Volcanic clay mask, I’ve searched far and wide to find a suitable replacement. I haven’t. This remains, hands down, the most effective clay mask I’ve tried. Ever. Those pesky, ever-present blackheads on my nose and chin were practically wiped out when I used this mask regularly. Nothing I’ve tested since has lived up to it and I’ve tried loads of cult favorite lay masks. Trust me, you need to try this!
The skincare market is rife with products that claim to transform your face. Anti-aging, pore minimizing, etc… But sometimes it’s best to choose products that don’t really do anything. The Philosophy Purity Made Simple face wash is one such product. If you’re in the market for a fuss-free gentle cleanser, definitely check this one out. It might not be great at removing makeup, but it doesn’t dry out or irritate my skin, which is more important.
I might be cheating a bit here by adding the Body Shop Chamomile Oil Makeup Remover to the cleanser category, but I use it as both a gentle cleanser and a makeup remover. The Philosophy face wash sucks at removing makeup, but this oil cleanser melts your makeup right off. Even stubborn waterproof mascara proves no match against it. As far as cleansers go, this one is hydrating and gentle. Plus, it’s great for giving yourself a mini face massage!
Effective Makeup Removers
Bioderma Micellar Water, the “OG” micellar water that started the whole micellar water craze, is a blogger favorite for good reason. I’ve tried its supposed dupe, the Garnier one, but I have to say that the Bioderma is far superior. Removing makeup has never been easier! One or two cotton pads is all it takes to remove even the most stubborn waterproof makeup.
Everyone seems to absolutely hate makeup wipes. I never understood the hate but I also don’t use them as the only way to remove makeup. I personally think that they’re a perfect first step just to get the first layer off. I always go back with a cleansing oil or micellar water. Usually, I stick to drugstore brands (the Garnier ones were my favorite), but on my last trip to Europe I picked up the Sephora Coconut Water Cleansing & Exfoliating Wipes when I ran out of my mini Bioderma. They are so, so much better than any other makeup wipe I’ve tried! Gentle, non-greasy and surprisingly hydrating.
Acne Clearing Toner
Since my teens, I’ve struggled with acne. And I don’t mean the tiny-pimple-here-and-there-once-a-month kind. Scarring cystic acne plagued my skin for years and still does to this day. Now, it’s relatively well controlled with a combo of prescription acne pills and birth control pills. Whenever my acne flared up I brought out the big guns, the Clinique Acne Solutions Clarifying Lotion. I rarely used this all over my face. I find it too abrasive and irritating. What I did was soak a cotton pad or Q-tip with the toner and only apply it to active pimples. A fair warning, it stings a bit after application, but the amazing results are worth it! I found it helped reduce the size of pimples dramatically and cleared my stubborn acne in half the time.