Happy Lunar New Year! | Thoughts on Cultural Appropriation

Happy Seollal! Happy Chinese New Year! Happy Lunar New Year! (Depending on what you celebrate and how you call it.) It’s one of the biggest holidays of the year here and I hope you are enjoying the festivities, if you are celebrating at all. Read on for some thoughts on Seollal vs Cultural Appropriation.

Over here in Korea, we usually celebrate by observing some ancestral rites, bowing to our parents (or in my case, parents in law) and sharing food. In my family, we usually eat beef ribs and zucchini and fish fritters, plus rice, soups and traditional kimchis and side dishes (반찬). Some families choose to give money to their younger children (in white or colourful envelopes, rather than red ones). Sometimes, we play some traditional Korean board games.

If you are familiar with Korean culture, you may already know that for occasions such as these, some people in Korea (mostly children) choose to wear a hanbok, a traditional Korean dress that is different from the Chinese cheongsam and the Japanese kimono.

In my case, I put on my navy blue hanbok dress (생활 한복) which I usually whip out for more formal events such as Seollal, Chuseok, weddings and the like, and chucked a cardigan on top. An actual hanbok would be too formal for my liking and may not fit my big white person body. There’s also a little traditional good luck charm called norigae (노리개) dangling from one of the ties, with three separate tassels, the number 3 being a lucky number in Korea. Just for reference, red is not really a lucky colour here, I just like the contrast.

My family loves it when I wear it and all other feedback that I have received from Koreans I meet and talk to has been positive, to the effect that they say they are happy for my showing respect and reverence for their culture.

But this year, it got me thinking.

I have been married to my Korean husband for a long time now – we’ll be celebrating our 10th wedding anniversary this year. We’ve been in Korea for over five years.

I am conversationally fluent in Korean and study Korean every day to keep improving. Went to language school for 9 months. Yes, I do struggle with literature, films, slang, technical terms, business Korean, but I can have conversations in Korean, I can go to government offices by myself to sort out paperwork, I can go see a doctor, I talk to my boss and coworkers in Korean every day, I can explain English grammar in Korean to my students to help them understand, I can comprehend K-dramas and children’s books.

I try to engage with Korean food and culture, I cook Korean dishes and eat them, I make kimchi with the in laws (김장), and all the rest of it.

So really, I would not think of myself as someone who does not engage with their host culture.

And yet. In spite of how much I have a personal dislike for woke culture and SJWs, I cannot help but feel a bit guilty and as though I am culturally appropriating whenever I wear the dress.

I would really like to know this time: What does cultural appropriation mean to you? Is it a Real Thing to you? Where does it end, where does it start?

For example, you may remember this girl in the US who wore a cheongsam to her prom.

Looking forward to talking to you in the comments.

© 2021 The Empties Diaries All Rights Reserved

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Get to Know Me: Minimalist Goth | OOTD | Mini Style Journey

This is another post inspired by talking to fellow blogger Jarilissima over on her blog, where she noted that I don’t really talk about myself much and in response to which I penned this post about how we cut my pixie: Get to Know Me: Cutting a Pixie Cut @ Home. Let’s do another get to know me post, but this time, more of a personal style evolution one.

By the way. How do you take photos of yourself without cringing?? I am so not used to it and just have no idea what to do with my dangly limbs. I read somewhere that you’re supposed to do something with your hands but if iI try that, I just look like a praying mantis. Plus, how do you take photos indoors? I just have no clue. Any pointers welcome.

I would love to know from you, too: How has your style evolved over the years? What factors (internal/external) have influenced your personal style as time went on? Let me know in the comments.

As a teenager, I always loved goth style and alternative culture, the movies, the books, the comics, horror everything, metal and industrial music. I did not have much money to spend on myself and my mum refused to let me wear what I wanted LOL so I looked really stupid for my entire youth. As a young adult I just got so busy, I was working full time while completing my degrees in the UK and Australia (also full time) and I never really took the time to take care of myself. Probably did not look too refined then either.

Then I got married, worked stupid hours in several jobs, helped put my husband through graduate school, we moved to Korea… And suddenly I was in my late twenties and realised I’d put myself last all this time. 😶

Now that I am in my thirties, I feel so content and settled and am transitioning back to goth as I finally have the time to think about what I like. I’ll still wear colour especially for work but I feel best and most powerful in all black.

Overall, I am most partial to corporate and minimalist goth styles, preferably with bold glasses and thin gold jewellery – but no glitter or sparkles. During the week, I like a full face of foundation, highlighter and cat eyeliner, but on the weekend, I tend to go for a bare face as my skin is much better than what it used to be.

The dress pictured comes with a separate sleeve and is made from a thick jersey material with prominent seams across the bodice. It makes me feel like a sexy android / robot and I am so in love with it!

It is a little cold for Seoul winters though, so I wore it with 150 denier tights plus knee high boots. Chuck two thin long cardigans on top plus a padded vest, add a kimono coat and a scarf so big, it really could double as a blanket, and Bob’s your uncle!

My bag of choice is this backpack, which is actually a laptop bag and comes in super handy as I am not a dainty-handbag-kind-of-girl. I like to bring everything but the kitchen sink and especially when I go to cafes to study on the weekends, it is just the best as it holds all of my note books, laptop charger and pencil case.

For body jewellery, I have had a tattoo and a couple of piercings which I have since had removed or that I have taken out, however the ear piercings have stayed on. Allow me to reuse a few pics from my previous post.

My tragus, forward helix and industrial bar piercings are probably my favourite ones among the bunch and I still want to get more, plus I am thinking of getting my belly button re-pierced. It is getting to be a bit of an addiction.

I am so curious to hear from you! Style is such a personal, individual thing. Hope you enjoyed, let’s talk soon.

© 2021The Empties Diaries All Rights Reserved

Get to Know Me: Cutting a Pixie Cut @ Home

The other day, as I was talking to Jarilissima over on her blog in her comments section, she pointed out that you don’t actually get to see much of me on the blog save for occasional appearances of my face in product reviews. And it got me thinking.

I don’t know, I find the whole selfie culture a little too narcissistic and I don’t like plastering my face / likeness all over the Internet except for functional purposes such as reviewing skincare. Same goes for my social media, which at this point consists only of Facebook (are LinkedIn, WordPress and YouTube considered social media? Not counting them as such in this instance).

Image Source

The things I upload on the Internet are usually meant to serve a purpose, be it informational, educational, or to make people laugh by sharing tidbits from my life e.g. conversations with my husband, things I overhear on the street, hilarious things that my students say or do, etc. I try not to make things about myself but rather, be of service.

At the same time, I guess having a better idea of the person doing the reviews can help humanise the whole experience, so here’s a little slice of me. If you think I should do something else, or go back to reviews only, let me know in the comments! Constructive criticism is always welcome.

I still want this post to be of use to someone, though. Today then, let me talk a bit about what it’s like cutting a pixie cut at home.

Cutting a Pixie Cut at Home

You may think that my pixie is a result of Corona measures, but that’s where you’re wrong! 😄 My husband has been cutting my hair for 3-4 years now and he has really improved his skills as the years have gone on. He is not a hairdresser – he brews beer for a living – however he has always been really hands-on and good with his hands too.

He noticed that every time I would come back from a local hairdresser, I would look a trifle deflated because I would always look a little too manly – as opposed to androgynous (my preferred look). He decided to help out by trimming off bits and bobs and adjusting the shape a little.

By the by. This is in no way, shape, or form meant to crap on Korean hairdressers. Pixie cuts for women are notoriously difficult to get right, plus my hair texture is completely different from that of Korean women’s. Where Korean women tend to have straight, thick, sometimes coarse hair, I have fine, wavy hair – and plenty of it – plus lots of cowlicks. They probably don’t get a whole lot of people like me, that’s all.

So over time, the Mister went from adjusting my haircuts to cutting all of my hair. It was a natural transition. The below is not meant to be a tutorial – just a description of what we do / he does.

Each cut is a little different but generally speaking, it’s a tad shorter around the ears and back of the head, and a little longer on the crown and the fringe. Sometimes I’ll wear my hair in a side sweep, but most of the time nowadays, I like it a little mushroomy like my favourite comic book heroine, Tulip O’Hare, of Preacher fame. Preacher is, by the way, my all time favourite comic book! If you like comics that are super fun – more so than most films I’ve watched, exquisitely drawn, but also make you think and take on new perspectives, Preacher is the one for you.

My girl crush – Tulip O’Hare.

Get your tools ready… 🛠 ⚒ ✂

This is what we use:

  1. alligator clips – to keep hair out of the way
  2. regular hairdressing scissors – for cutting larger swaths of hair (black shaft)
  3. eyebrow scissors – for trimming and thinning out delicate sections (pink handles)
  4. thinning scissors – for thinning out larger sections of hair (plain metal scissors)
  5. brush (I use a TangleTeezer) – to detangle the entire head of hair within 10 seconds and brush out
  6. plastic comb – not pictured because it is clean but looks so grubby?! 😅
  7. optional but recommended: a barber’s cape

Cutting that Hair

We cut my hair last night, and I asked the Mister to take photos of the process… however he is currently Going Through Some Stuff and was in a rather grumbly/sad/angry mood… so he just went ‘NO’ and cut my hair. Perhaps I’ll get him to take photos next time?

Here’s what he does:

  1. Very important: He only cuts my hair dry. When it is wet, the texture changes completely – no point cutting it then.
  2. We also usually cut my hair in the bathroom as it tends to be easiest in terms of cleanup.
  3. A bar stool is great for this as it is a bit taller than a regular chair. Better for posture.
  4. First off, he clips longer sections of my hair out of the way using the orange alligator clips shown above, and using the regular scissors, starts by trimming my hair near the nape of my neck.
  5. Next, he moves up a couple of centimetres and trims the hair around the back of my neck.
  6. Then, he makes me turn sideways and cuts the hair around my ears, one ear at a time.
  7. The hair on the crown of my head is next, he tends to use the metal thinning shears for it. At this point, you need to be a little careful so as to leave the crown a little longer to maintain balance overall. If the crown turns out too short, it’s too easy to veer into mullet territory (unless that is the look you’re going for, of course).
  8. Once the crown is done, he cuts the bangs in the front. This is a crucial step and if this is something you’re doing at home, you may want to be very, very careful as face framing hair is what people notice first. He usually uses the little eyebrow scissors (pink shaft) only on my fringe.
  9. At this point, we are pretty much done and gather my ends to be thrown away. We clean and wipe the bathroom floors, then I’ll jump in the shower to shampoo and condition my hair or perhaps use some hair vinegar.
  10. Once I get out of the shower, I will towel dry and blow dry my hair lightly, the Mister comes back for a last look and makes tiny little adjustments where needed.

Just to give you a better idea, these are some before and afters:

Now it’s your turn.

Did you get a Rona Cut this year? Have you ever cut someone else’s hair?? Let’s talk in the comments!

© 2021 The Empties Diaries All Rights Reserved

Quick Brand Overview: Dr Jart+ | Vital Hydra Solution (essence, sheet mask, moisturiser, gel moisturiser, sleeping pack)

Last year, Olive Young was having frequent sales, like pretty much any brand that is considered ‘non-essential’, I guess. Especially when it comes to more premium-priced brands like Dr Jart+, I am guessing that consumers are more sensitive to pricing nowadays.

In a way, it’s good for consumers I guess. We get to try more premium brands at less premium prices; plus, brands like The Inkey List and The Ordinary have probably helped alert the masses to the fact that high prices do not automatically equate efficacious products and vice versa.

So today, here are my thoughts on a selection of Dr Jart+’s lineup of their Vital Hydra Solution. Spoiler alert: I quite like the range, in spite of the disgusting scent and overall steep prices! All of these are empties at this point and I feel it appropriate to look at them in one go. Let’s get into it.

Vital Hydra Solution Biome Essence

I have previously written about my thoughts in more detail over here: Review: Dr Jart+ Vital Hydra Solution – Biome Essence | Microbiome Skincare – Hype or the Real Deal?, but just to reiterate my thoughts: This is a slightly viscous hydrating toner or essence that’s nice to have but not a must. There are better and cheaper hydrating toners out there, though I will have to say that this is a really nice one… as long as you can get over the fact that it ever so slightly smells of rotting meat or unfiltered period blood. If you have ever smelt one of those absorbent period panties you’ll know exactly what I mean.

By the way, do you want me to review reusable period products at some point in the future? I have tried menstrual cups as well as period panties and I Have Thoughts. You know I like my TMI rants!

Vital Hydra Solution Sheet Mask

This, too, has been reviewed in the past, right over here: Review: Dr Jart+ Vital Hydra Solution (sheet mask) but to recap, I actually really liked this mask. It was deeply hydrating and soothing and made my skin look nice and fresh and clean throughout the next day. I tend not to like too many sheet masks, so the fact that I rate this highly is somewhat unusual for me.

It did not even have that disgusting smell, which I found weirdly out of line considering all products in the range have it but I am not complaining by any means. It does contain alcohol which I usually try to avoid like the plague but in this mask, it totally works for me.

In recent times, I have been ok with using some fragranced products and some products containing alcohol, and this is definitely one of them, surprisingly.

Vital Hydra Solution Biome Water Cream & Vital Hydra Solution Biome Moisture Cream

Biome Water Cream

These are some really nice gelly creams that I think I would have loved using in my early 20s when my skin was super acneic and I did not use a proper moisturiser because I could not find a texture I liked then, prompting my skin to produce even more oil… ah, the sins of youth.

These would have been just perfect just then as they were very nicely hydrating. The water cream is more of a light gel cream, whereas the moisture cream is an opaque white cream that really is more of a light lotion. They absorb similarly quickly and the texture is remarkably similar as well, don’t let the colouring fool you. In terms of efficacy, they are the same. They are watery moisturisers that hydrate very well.

There are a couple of drawbacks though.

  1. I think you can easily find cheaper options, e.g. Illiyoon’s classic ato lotion: Review: Illiyoon – Ceramide Ato Lotion & Concentrate Cream (Gift Set) | Korean Skincare Products that Work
  2. They really are a bit pricey for what they are: Basic moisturisers.
  3. The SMELL. Ugh. Same as the Biome Essence – it smells of rotting meat scraps or menstrual juices.

Biome Vital Hydra Solution Biome Night Therapy Mask

I have yet to find a sleeping pack that impresses me.

This one basically acts like a very slightly thicker version of the aforementioned moisture cream, but not by much. I don’t find it more hydrating than the latter. As my skin is dehydrated, I do prefer much thicker products at night and this just didn’t do the trick. I always had to layer lots of moisturisers underneath it to get the desired effect and was happy when I finished it.

Until I find a sleeping pack to suitably impress me, I’ll be loyal to my beloved Uriage moisturiser to really lock in all those lotions and potions (mini size featured here First impressions: Uriage Xemose Cleanser & Cream | If your skin likes to Freak Out, do consider this Bland Duo. I know I will., lasts a long time – I got the full 400ml size a long time ago and it lasts and lasts, hubby loves using it too on itchy spots). Trilogy’s Rosehip Seed Oil is iconic too as seen in my Best of 2020 post. Nothing can beat those two!

Final Thoughts

I actually like all products that I talked about today however I do not see myself repurchasing any of them in the future. As mentioned, I find them far too overpriced, they are all nice but in a basic way – there are a lot of products out there that deliver comparable or better results at a fraction of the price, and last but not least, the omnipresent abominable smell that can be found in all of them but the sheet mask.

© 2021 The Empties Diaries All Rights Reserved

Colour Makeup Empties plus Decluttering – Lipsticks, mascaras, eyeliners, eyeshadows, highlighters, eyebrow fixers and pencils!

We moved house in the middle of last year so as to be closer to the hubby’s work. In preparation for this, I ended up chucking endless amounts of clothes, kitchenware, skincare, and of course makeup.

We are only two people living in a studio, we don’t collect things of any kind, I in fact pride myself on my minimalist lifestyle – and yet, the amount of stuff we had accumulated! It was rather shocking. Anyone feel shocked everytime they move?!

Here’s what I chucked or used up in the runup to our big move:

Essence Cream Highlighters in Prismatic Hololighter and 3D Dewylook

Golly, these were such let downs. Both of these were super soft and I found application tricky, as they tended to remove foundation whenever I would try and blend them into skin. They also would never dry down nor settle on skin. Now, I prefer dewy finishes by default, but I do like my cheek products to adhere, too, and go smoothly over existing foundation.

The 3D Dewylook is basically Vaseline in stick form. It removed any base product I tried it with, and just made me look sweaty rather than highlighted.

The Prismatic Hololighter, while undoubtedly pretty, removed base makeup too. I tried mixing it with foundation and then dabbing it over foundation, but that just dulled the effect of the holo highlight, basically rendering the point of the highlighter pointless.

I did not in fact use up either and ended up chucking them long before using them up.

Woodbury – Extrasia Eyeliner in Pink Beige

Last year, I was trying to experiment with my makeup a little during quarantine. My default is a glowy foundation, black cat eyeliner, lashings of mascara, combed through eye brows and highlighted cheeks; if I want to go really crazy, I might apply some nude lipstick or gloss.

I decided that I wanted to try colouring in my waterline with a white or flesh coloured eyeliner for a more wide awake look, and settled for this one. However, I found it hard to draw lines with this one, be it on my waterline or on my upper lash line. The pigment just would not transfer from the stick to my eyes. For a while, I would mash the eyeliner between thumb and index finger and use it as a cream eyeshadow/primer, but sometimes my lids would look slightly streaky.

I also chucked this one before finishing it up.

Heroine – Long & Curl Mascara in Brown and Black

I have really come to love these Heroine mascaras! They often go on sale for ₩10,000 or less, are super pigmented, stay on and on, and make lashes look naturally fluffy, voluminous, and long. They hold a curl! The only downside is that you need a bi phase eye make up remover – micellar water or water based cleansers won’t cut it. Oil cleansers might do the trick but I’d still recommend a separate eye makeup remover as these mascaras just stay on an on.

Personally, I prefer black over brown. When I was a teen, I’d always hear that brown mascaras were better for blondes as they supposedly looked less harsh and more natural, but I find the black one much, much cuter on myself.

Maybelline Hypersharp Eyeliners in Burgundy, Khaki, Blue and Black

As mentioned above, I have a signature make up look that I always fall back on. Colourful eyeliner, for me, is an easy way to add colour into my routine – I just cannot do blushes or colourful eye shadow looks, as I find that they tend to look loud and garish on me personally.

I loved these eyeliners as they went on easily despite being very pigmented; they stayed on all day and the colours were just beautiful. The black was a proper black, the green was an understated khaki that veered into green-grey once on the lids, the burgundy shade was a deep, wine-y cherry red when applied, and the blue shade was the most vibrant, beautiful colour of all that really made an impact.

I would happily repurchase any of these, though I cannot see them in the shops right this minute. Especially with the rona going round, eye makeup has taken centre stage and these eyeliners made it easy.

Pony Effect Unlimited Cream Shadow in Future Proof

This is a beige glittery-shimmery cream eye shadow. Supposedly, these stay on and on but I find that the staying power of it is really not great at all. It blends out a little chunkily, too. I recommend layering or mixing this with some sort of powder or eye primer, and use it sparingly, as it tends to gather in chunks if you use too much. Thankfully, powders and primers dim the sparkle of this shadow, which I find much too glittery for my personal liking.

I will continue using it but the formula is not my favourite. These do not hold a candle to other cream eyeshadows such as my favourite, Maybelline’s Colour Tattoo Shadows.

Essence lipsticks & glosses, Revlon Fire & Ice, Sampar Lip Oil, Wet & Wild lipsticks

Do you ever look at your makeup… the shades you buy and the shades you actually use… and then you start seeing a pattern?

In my head I am this cool chick who wears extravagant lip colours, but it’s not what I am in real life. Reds, blues, dark browns and purples just really don’t go with my complexion and colouring. Sometimes you have to face the facts.

In real life, I like and wear transparent lip glosses and neutral, MLBB, pink-brown-beige, tea rose shades. So basically, everything outside of that range had to go because I just was not using it. If you want my thoughts on any of these in particular, let me know.

Dejavu Fiberwig Mascara & Lasting Fine Brush Liquid Eyeliner

I got these as a set which I considered a great deal at the time in terms of value for money. Sadly, I would have been better off with my Heroine mascara and Hypersharp liners (see above). Both of these flaked and smeared on my lids despite me priming them. Take my words with a grain of salt though, as I have been using eyeliners and mascara since I was 15 (so 17 years ago now! lol!). My standards might be simply a bit too high at this point.

Eyecrown – Aurora Fixer & Etude – Keep my Brows Fixer

I mentioned this Eyecrown bad boy briefly in my Best of 2020 post, but since it is technically an empty, let me mention it again over here. I really like brushing my eyebrows – sometimes I’ll use eyebrow pencils for a more defined look – but I always like to set my eyebrows in place, pencilled in or not. I have some pictures of myself where I look good… except for my brows, which look wonky and out of place as some strands are all over the place! I don’t want to repeat such instances and that’s where fixers like these two come in handy.

I liked the Etude one too and it is in fact much better value for money. I am planning in trying it one more time once I finish my current Aurora fixer because I like the finer brush better on the Etude House wand. However, I will have to say I like Aurora’s formula as it is quite a stronghold fixer without being a tad crunchy like Etude House.

Brow Lash Ex Waterstrong liquid eyeliner in Black

Wow, just wow. I do not remember the last time I used a liquid eyeliner this bad. First off, the nib is huge – I am talking 2000s scene kid huge. Getting a fine line is nigh impossible. I guess I could excuse that – with what the rona and face masks and all, it’s ok to go a little heavier on the eye makeup – but what’s worse is that this one starts smudging immediately as you draw it on. I did not even know eyeliners could migrate and travel this fast, it’s almost as if it was designed that way. The skin around my eyes is pretty taut and tight, and yet the pigment migrated from my upper lid down to my lower lids in what can only be described as an emo half moon. Huge pass.

Essence Eyebrow Pencil in Strawberry Blonde

Honestly, when it comes to eyebrow pencils, my expectations are kind of low. This one went on ok, blended ok when brushed through – its only drawback was that the shade was just much too warm for my neutral (?) skin tone.

・Final Thoughts:・  

It’s always good to let go of stuff – ideally, through using things up – and Marie Kondo’ing everything in your life that’s not serving you well. It also tells you what not to buy, and where you might be overspending. By sharing these empties and discards, I hope I was able to help you make better purchase decisions for yourself.

© 2020 The Empties Diaries All Rights Reserved

Best of 2020

Products I could not stop Buying This Year

As a consumer on a budget, with stupidly finicky, problematic skin – dehydrated, acne prone, probably starting to age soon as I progress through my thirties – there are not that many products out there that I love enough to keep buying them. Let’s keep it short then – here are my top products that I kept repurchasing this year!

Skincare

  • Neutrogena Deep Clean Cleansing Lotion: If you read my post on adult acne / my Korean dermatologist’s visit (Visiting a Korean dermatologist for Adult Acne), you might have noticed that my doctor recommended refraining from mechanical stressors as well as stripping cleansers and over exfoliation. Indeed, he recommended a cleansing lotion, as opposed to a cleansing oil. I trialled several cleansing lotions and this Neutrogena offering came out on top. Fragrance free, spreads easily, cleanses gently yet thoroughly, with skin feeling soft, soothed and refreshed. [not pictured]
  • Uriage Xemose Syndet cleanser: This is the cleanser of my dreams. Soothing yet thorough; briefly reviewed here: First impressions: Uriage Xemose Cleanser & Cream | If your skin likes to Freak Out, do consider this Bland Duo. I know I will.
  • Some by Mi 30 Day Miracle Toner: This is an acid toner that brightens skin, hydrates, fights and prevents acne. I cannot say enough good things about this toner. I thought it gimmicky at first due to the silly name but man oh man, what a powerhouse.
  • Hada Labo Gokujyun Premium lotion: This is the product that I credit for looking relatively line free. Keeps skin plump, hydrated and takes 5-10 years off your age by giving you baby skin. An absolute miracle worker. More detailed review here: Review: Hada Labo Gokujyun Premium Hydrating Lotion a.k.a. My HG hyaluronic acid skin saviour
  • Illiyoon Ato lotion: Technically a body lotion, you can use this on the face, too, which is how I used it. It’s non-sticky, absorbs quickly, light yet nourishing and deeply hydrating. Superior value for money and one of the best moisturisers I have ever used in my entire life. Review: Illiyoon – Ceramide Ato Lotion & Concentrate Cream (Gift Set) | Korean Skincare Products that Work
  • klairs Soft Airy UV Essence: This is a chemical sunscreen, which my skin seems to tolerate a lot better than physical ones. It feels like a light lotiony moisturiser going on, cooling – great in summer especially, ZERO white cast, hydrating, soothing, and appears to smooth out skin texture. An absolute superstar of a sunscreen. I strayed a couple of times this year and always ended up coming back to this one.
  • Trilogy Rosehip Oil: This is how I imagine a good retinol is supposed to work (I have yet to find a good drugstore retinol, by the way): It smooths out fine lines and acne scars, leaving you with glowy, youthful, healed up skin that looks rested and baby bottom plump. Other brands or variations won’t do. It has to be Trilogy’s 100 % rosehip oil or nothing. Review: Battle of the Rosehip Oils (Trilogy, Aromatica, Life-Flo)
  • Dr Jart+ Brightening Solution sheet mask: Sheet masks are like fast food to me. I crave them constantly, yet feel disappointed once I am done consuming/using them. The only one where I see real results in terms of brightening, soothing, redness reduction and healing is the Brightening Solution sheet mask offering, whose praises I previously sung over here: Honest Review: Dr.Jart+ Dermask Brightening Solution (sheet mask) – The Skin Saviour that I always Come Back To

Makeup

  • Heroine Make – Long and Curl Mascara in black: This mascara stays on and on, never flakes or crumbles, for fluffy, natural looking lashes. A separate eye makeup remover is a must.
  • Heroine Make – Smooth Liquid Eyeliner in black: The eyeliner from the same brand is a winner, too. Super black pigment, great staying power, razor sharp brush nib that makes getting your eyeliner flicks right nice and easy. I have used liquid eyeliners daily since I was 15, so believe me when I say that I do not recommend liquid eyeliners easily, and yet I love this one.
  • Dr Jart+ BB cream in 001: I keep trying other foundations and BB creams and always come back to this one. Great colour match, full coverage yet looks natural, hides imperfections, adds a youthful lit-from-within-glow, blurs fine lines and small scars like no other. Have to stop raving now. (Reviewed in full here Review: Dr Jart+ Dermakeup Rejuvenating Beauty Balm in 001 Light (Silver Label))
  • Eyecrown Aurora Fixer: This is a clear eye brow gel. The hold of this one is pretty strong but not crunchy. This didn’t irritate my facial skin as many eye brow products tend to do. I also love the very subtle holographic flecks of shimmer dispersed in this gel that are not visible, yet manage to lend your brows some depth and definition. You can use this on naked as well as pencilled in brows.

Hair & Body

  • Yves Rocher hair vinegars (various scents): These hair vinegars remove product buildup, soften hair (even more so when used after a conditioner) and make it smell incredible. This is a product you didn’t know you needed until you try it. (Briefly reviewed here: Haircare Empties feat Biosilk, Life 40, Yves Rocher, Tsubaki, Colab)
  • Colab Dry Shampoo (various scents): These dry shampoos make my hair look and feel fresh all year round, be it during those hot, sweaty, humid summers we get here in Korea or during hat/beanie season in winter. (Quick review in the same post: Haircare Empties feat Biosilk, Life 40, Yves Rocher, Tsubaki, Colab)
  • Aveeno Daily Moisturising Lotion: Like so many, I hate moisturising below my neck, and yet it sometimes becomes necessary during winter once those shins start looking a tad flaky. This is the only body lotion I can tolerate on myself. Fragrance free, non-greasy and sinks into skin immediately, this is an absolute delight.
  • Nuxe Reve de Miel hand and nail cream: This is a light yet nourishing hand cream with the most beautiful scent, it’s almost like perfume.
  • Nivea creme: My husband is a craft beer brewer with notoriously dry, chapped hands due to having to touch water and sanitisers, and this is the only cream he’ll use – the original in the blue round tin. He goes through those bad boys like water, too.
  • Nuxe Reve de Miel potted lip balm: I purchased this years ago (at least 2 years?) and still have half a pot to go so technically, it is not a product I kept repurchasing throughout 2020, but had I emptied it, I would have. Unbelievable value for money. I use it every night before I go to sleep and wake up with soft, plump lips. I am still pining for Nivea’s potted lip balms that they had maybe some 6 years ago now, they were lush! Nuxe Reve de Miel allows me to forget Nivea’s offering.
  • Burt’s Bees stick lip balms (various flavours): When it comes to stick lip balms, Burt’s Bees – not Nivea, not Chapstick – reigns supreme, in my opinion. Grapefruit and Honey are the MVPs in their line up.

© 2020 The Empties Diaries All Rights Reserved

Review: Mediheal – Peelosoft Bubbl Eraser Pads | Not for the Faint of Heart, nor for the Dry of Skin

One of my favourite guilty pleasures is going into a chemist (Lalavla, Olive Young, LOHBs) and prowl down the aisles. Time and again, I will fall prey for gimmicky products, cutesy packaging or interesting colour palettes. Today’s Bubbl Eraser Pads fall square into the gimmicky product trap category!

I originally got these as I figured that they’d be great for taking on trips where waterless products would be preferable. You might be able to tell that I got these prior to the ‘rona, and now that it has been a good year since I purchased them, I guess it is time to write up a quick little review.

Continue reading “Review: Mediheal – Peelosoft Bubbl Eraser Pads | Not for the Faint of Heart, nor for the Dry of Skin”

Review: Nair – Sugar Wax (Candy Apple) | A Great At Home Waxing Kit for when you’re on a Budget, Plus, TMI alert

I’ll admit it: The older I am getting, the less time do I spent on defuzzing myself, mainly because I have realised that my body hair, being light blonde and soft, is not as big a deal as teenage me thought it was. Whereas I used to shave myself top to bottom in secondary school and during my college years every other day, I started to spend less and less time from uni onwards. Growing up is so liberating!

I have gone from shaving, to depilatory devices that gripped and ripped out individual hairs (which only led to ingrown hairs en masse), to professional waxing…. back to shaving for underarms, bikini area and legs once or twice a week, plus waxing for the legs during the colder months every 6 weeks or so. What’s your hair removal routine like? Do share in the comments!

Side note re: bikini area. 🚨🚨🚨TMI alert! If you’re easily scandalised, stop reading here.🚨🚨🚨

I do like to leave a little landing strip, which I believe is called a French bikini line… or is it a Brazilian??

…Just because being completely hairless down there freaks me out a bit as I’d like to look like a grown woman, rather than an 8 year old paedo victim…

Which makes me wonder… How do the cool kids wear their *valley girl accent* ~vajayjay~ these days? When I was growing up, it was definitely cool to be completely, um, free of any hair. That’s what I used to be all about, too.

However, with all those movements towards body acceptance, etc (anyone remember the trend of dyeing your armpit hair??), I have a feeling that perhaps it’s ok to get yer merkin on?? Anyone in the know??

Now, on to Nair’s Sugar Wax. Today’s review is therefore only applicable to removing longer leg hair. As you can see, I loved it enough to repurchase a couple of times, actually! Let’s get into the review.

Continue reading “Review: Nair – Sugar Wax (Candy Apple) | A Great At Home Waxing Kit for when you’re on a Budget, Plus, TMI alert”

Perfume Empties feat Demeter | Sweet Baby, Powdery Musk, Baby Powder; Penhaligon’s | Luna; Lush | Lust

The older I am getting, the more wary I am of using fragranced products on my face. At the same time, I am more and more interested in using fragrance to smell nice and adjust my mood – go figure hehe!

Just for reference, I no longer put fragrances on my bare skin, instead preferring to spritz them on my clothes. It’s a trick I learnt from a supervisor a long time ago. Plus, I am trying to reduce potential irritation and sensitisation by not putting fragrances anywhere on my skin.

You may think that the fragrance or oils could potentially damage my clothes, or that spritzing them on clothes as opposed to skin, where the fragrance can react and develop with your body’s heat, may have some less than pleasant effects or consequences, but so far this has worked really well for me! No staining, no damage to clothes, nice scents all around.

I know that literally every site out there tells you to put perfume on your pulse points (temples, elbows, back of the knees, behind your ears, between your breasts) but honestly applying perfume to my clothes works so much better for me personally. Any other clothes spritzers out there??

Let’s get back to the review at hand. Here are my thoughts on Demeter’s Baby Powder, Sweet Baby, Powdery Musk, as well as niche brand Penhaligon’s Luna and Lush’s Lust perfume (solid version).

Let me know your favorite perfumes in the comments! I am currently seriously considering getting Lush’s Sikkim Girls (a woodsy, spicy oriental) but at ₩170,000 for 80ml, it is a little on the expensive side. Any sexy perfumes you’d recommend? My other favourite is Dior Hypnotic Poison (a vanillary spicy floral oriental) but that does not seem to come in much cheaper and does not seem to be available offline anyways.

I have reviewed other Demeter and Lush fragrances in the past, see my other reviews here:

Continue reading “Perfume Empties feat Demeter | Sweet Baby, Powdery Musk, Baby Powder; Penhaligon’s | Luna; Lush | Lust”

Haircare Empties feat Biosilk, Life 40, Yves Rocher, Tsubaki, Colab

Photo by Francesca Zama on Pexels.com

Back when I had long hair, I never used to care much about what my hair looked like, how I could style it, what/if I could do to make my hair look happier and healthier, etc. I either had it down in a side part, or I had it in a pony tail… THAT’S IT.

But ever since I sprung for that radical pixie cut following a hodgepodge of colours on my head (preceded by my agreeing to being a hair model… yeah, I looked a mess, all my hair had to go), I have become very aware of the quality and cut of my hair, and have been super into styling and treating it a number of ways. The irony!

Today’s little cluster review is about a few random hair products. Hope it helps you make better, more informed decisions!

Continue reading “Haircare Empties feat Biosilk, Life 40, Yves Rocher, Tsubaki, Colab”