What’s that smell?! Skincare and makeup which smell bad (to me)

During my journey of trying new products, I have come to know what I like and what I don’t like in products. One of the things I despise is if a product has an overpowering and unpleasant scent, whether it be by added fragrance or naturally derived. I wouldn’t say that I’m super sensitive to scents but if something smells bad, I’m not going to keep using it, regardless of how effective it is.

The following products I have ceased to use because of this. Just because I don’t like the smell of these things, doesn’t mean that the product is awful. If you like any of the products I am listing, please don’t take it personally as in the end it’s all just skincare and makeup! I also won’t be going into too much detail about the product since I don’t like them. Ok let’s go!

I’m Pro Ampoule Pad – Wish Formula

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What is it?

It’s a cotton pad soaked in ampoule containing ascorbic acid as well as other antioxidants which help with brightening. The texture of the pad is supposed to provide a gentle exfoliation as well.

Ingredients(cosdna analysis)

It smells like…

Soy sauce. I mean I love eating soy sauce but I don’t want it in my pores. I don’t know if I got a bad batch or what. After some quick googling, it looks like some people have experienced a funky smell as well but they haven’t described it to be specifically like soy sauce. I don’t understand the expiry since it’s in Korean and both dates have passed already. If it is indeed expired, I am thoroughly annoyed since this is from an actual k-beauty store. I really didn’t pay any attention to how it performed since I couldn’t get past the smell. My husband has also used it and the smell lingered even after he had applied moisturiser.

Price: $4.90 AUD each from boniik.com

Pop Blush – The Face Shop

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What is it?

A powder blush which I bought in the shade Neutral Pop.

It smells like…

Chemicals. Straight up chemicals which doesn’t dissipate after application. It isn’t very pigmented and feels dusty when I apply it to my cheeks. A big dud on performance and smell. Cute packaging though, the flower imprint and packaging is similar to Clinique’s Cheek Pop blushes.

Price: $8.99 AUD from eBay *

Ultra Moisturising Sun Cream – Kicho

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What is it?

A chemical and physical sunscreen which contains lots of plant extracts in a moisturising formula.

Ingredients – (cosdna analysis)

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It smells like…

Apples and something else in a brand I will be be speaking about next. The scent has been described as “delicate” and “fresh” but I don’t find it to be either. Fragrance is the third last ingredient but it might have been in the top three because I found it to be strong. The sunscreen itself applied nicely. It was moisturising and sunk in quite well. But you could still smell it after application. I also didn’t like this sunscreen because it made my face itch a bit whenever I sweated. It gets pretty humid in Sydney so it’s normal for me to sweat and I didn’t enjoy feeling further discomfort ,and I knew it was from this because I tested it a few times just to be sure.

Price: $42 AUD from lilacandberries.com

Huxley essence and oil trio – Secret of the Sahara Light and More, Essence like oil and Essence grab water

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What is it?

Serums, each with their own characteristics. The Light and More is an oil, Essence like oil is a thick essence and the Essence Grab water is a hydrating serum.

Ingredients: cosdna analysis below

Light and More
Essence like oil
Essence Grab Water

It smells like…

The scent of Huxley products has been described as a “fresh rose bush” but I have never smelt a rose bush quite like this one. The star ingredient in their products is the prickly pear which is a cactus. I have no idea what this smells like. The scent is very strong and perfumed, gives me a headache. The products I have in the trial sizes were duds in performance. The dropper is useless, doesn’t dispense the serums properly. My skin doesn’t feel any different after application. But my opinion around this is probably masked by the smell. I actually didn’t even bother using the oil. I also just noticed that alcohol is pretty high on the list for all three products. Alcohol in an oil is a bit odd.

Huxley is atheistically pleasing, there is no denying that but that’s where it ends for me.  Pretty glad that I bought these mini sizes as a taster, I would’ve been pretty annoyed if I was stuck with a full sized bottle of any of these.

Price: $35 AUD from nudieglow.com (they have updated the pack since with a fourth serum)

Black Soybean Milk Pudding Sleeping Pack – Botanic Farm

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What is it?

A sleeping pack which contains fermented black soybeans as well as milk protein and cacao extract. This pack is supposed to help brighten, hydrate and help with signs of ageing.

Ingredients – from sokoglam.com

Water, Cyclopentasiloxane, Butylene Glycol, Niacinamide, Betaine, Cyclopentasiloxane, Hydrolyzed collagen, Lactobacillus/ soybean Ferment Extract, Theobroma Cacao Extract, Gardenia Florida Fruit Extract, Glycine Soja Seed Extract, Monascus Extract, Milk Protein, Carthamus Tinctorius Flower Extract, Glycerin, Urea, PEG-240/ HDI Copolymer Bis-Decyltetradeceth-20 Ether, Polysorbate 20, Dimethicone, Dimethicone/ Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, PEG-60 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Caprylyl Glycol, Dimethiconol, Sodium Hyaluronate, Adenosine, Aminomethyl propanol, Sodium Polyacrylate, PVM/ma copolymer, Maltodextrin, Carbomer, Disodium EDTA, Phenoxyethanol

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It smells like…

It has been described as smelling like chocolates, delicious enough to eat…well I beg to differ. It smells like a biscuit or something, but not in a good way. It’s hard to describe it, all I know is that I don’t like it. It’s not as unpleasant as some of the other things I’ve spoken about but still not great. The product itself actually stings my face upon application and makes my face feel like it’s suffocating. The stinging does subside but by this time, I’m already stressed and my face is left smelling like a weird biscuit. Stressing out before bed is not something I enjoy doing. I have used and currently use acids in my routine and none of these have compared to the stinging and distress I experienced with this sleeping pack.

Price: $30 AUD from eBay *

Amazonian butter lipstick – Tarte

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What is it?

A hydrating lipstick in a creamy formula. It contains amazonian butters.

It smells like…

Mint. Very minty and I hate minty lip products. It contains heaps of ingredients, one of which is peppermint oil. I bought the shade Park Ave Princess and it’s way too light for my lips. The packaging is pretty and I like the idea of it but the smell is a big no no. I can’t even tell you how it performs since I’ve only tried it twice and have removed it momentarily each time. I’ve tried other lipsticks from Tarte including their Color splash hydrating type and I really love that one!

Price: $24 AUD from tartecosmetics.com

Hi fi shine ultra cushion lipgloss – Urban Decay

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What is it?

A comfortable lipgloss which is supposed to plump and hydrate the lips.

It smells like…

Mint. Here we go again. Peppermint oil strikes again. I received this mini size in a Mecca Beauty Loop box and while I like the colour, I hate the smell. It makes my lips tingle, I guess that’s when the plumping effect is happening. But I can’t stand the minty smell. Can’t get past it and don’t particularly want bigger lips anyway. I’m all about comfort and this does not feel comfortable at all. It’s probably a big reason why I haven’t found a favourite lip gloss yet.

Price: Free – Part of beauty box (Mecca member benefits)

Final thoughts

As mentioned at the start, if you enjoy any of these products and don’t mind their scents, then that’s awesome. I enjoy other stuff from the brands I mentioned (except for the Face Shop and Botanic Farm since it’s the first product I’ve tried from the brand), so I’m not dismissing the brand at all, just these particular products 😦  They didn’t work for me and I wouldn’t recommend them to anyone.

Please note: links in this post marked with an * are affiliate links. They provide me with a small commission, if you should choose to use them for a purchase, without any extra cost to you 🙂

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Skincare I’ve used up (March 2018)

Since starting my exploration into asian beauty I quickly accumulated a lot of stuff over a short period of time. I wanted to try everything so I kept buying and used parts of each product.

I eventually calmed down and started to focus on really understanding how my skin responded to each product and to do that properly, I started to concentrate on using them up. This also helped my (already crammed) beauty area as well as my wallet.

I like watching and reading other blogger’s empties videos and articles. I find that it’s a good way of seeing if they really liked the product or not. I find them to be way more useful than a haul or first impressions. With skincare, first impressions are pretty unreliable unless it causes an obvious reaction to your skin.

The products which I will be talking about were tolerable to my skin and decent enough for me to use up without any irritation or breakouts (no more than usual). I won’t be going into too much detail because this post will be super long. I will elaborate on some of these products in seperate posts.

Shu uemura Skin Purifier nutri:nectar

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I wrote a full post on this a couple of months ago here.

What is it?

Its a cleansing oil which you use to remove makeup and the first step in a double cleanse. It has a soft floral scent and its texture is unique since its in the form of an emulsion. It effectively removed my makeup without leaving a residue.

Ingredients: copied from my post:

ethylhexyl palmitate, acqua, glycerin, caprylic/capric triglyceride, hydrogenated starch hydrolysate, propanediol, peg-20 glyceryl triisostearate, sucrose laurate, sucrose palmitate, sodium methyl stearoyl taurate, salicylic acid, tocopherol, sodium hydroxide, linalool, citronellol, geraniol, ganoderma lucidium extract, isopropyl lauroyl, sarcosinate, isopropyl myristate, dicaprylyl ether, dicaprylyl carbonate, euterpe oleracea fruit extract, butylene glycol, maltodextrin, hydrolyzed opuntia ficus-indica flower extract, citric acid, perilla ocymoides leaf extract, magnolia liliflora flower extract, sodium benzoate, phenoxethanol, potassium sorbate, ethylhexyglycerin, parfum.

Would I repurchase?:

No.

I had received this as a gift from my partner and I would not buy this for myself. It is way too expensive for what it is. The product itself is fine, nothing wrong with it, but other less expensive balms and oils do the same job. It does remove makeup really well and with ease if compared to a cleansing balm but not that much more to warrant its price.

Lee Gee Haam Vita Propolis Ampoule

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What is it?

It’s an ampoule serum which helps even out skin tone and gives your skin a glow amongst other benefits. It has 50% propolis extract as well as other ingredients which I love such as Centella Asiatica and Niacinamide. I usually apply this after my essence and before moisturiser in my skin care routine.

Ingredients: from glowrecipe.com:

Propolis extract, Portulaca Oleracea Extract, Hippophae Rhamnoides Fruit Extract, Panthenol, Rosa Centifolia Flower Water, Niacinamide, 1, 2-Hexanediol, Ethyl Ascorbyl Ether, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Bark/ Twig Extract, Centella Asiatica Extract, Carbomer, Arginine, Spirodela Polyrrhiza Extract, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Adenosine, Sodium Hyaluronate. 

Would I repurchase?:

Yes.

A product like this might not seem “necessary” but for me, I liked how my skin felt and looked whenever I used it. Layering it with other skincare was fine and it did not make me breakout. It also gave me a nice subtle glow. My only gripe is that its so small, 15ml. You only need a couple of drops but its still quite tiny for the price. I bought it from ebay and I think it was around $20 AUD.

Cosrx Acne Pimple Master Patch

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What is it?

It’s a clear patch which you apply onto any active pimples. These pimples can either be already open or still closed/almost ready to erupt. I suffer from hormonal breakouts so this has always been my saviour. I put the patch on before I go to bed and in the morning, the pimple is less angry and noticeably flatter. Its a one time use product for each patch and its pretty gross when you peel it away, but cool.

Ingredients: From stylestory.com.au

Cellulose gum, Styrene Isoprene Styrene Block Copolymer, Polysobutylene, Petroleum Resin, Polyurethane Film, Liquid Paraffin, Tetrakis Methane

Would I repurchase?:

Yes.

I have continued to repurchase this over and over, from many different sellers. Its such a great product and for around $6 AUD you get 24 patches in each pack, which I think is totally worth it.

Su:m37 Miracle Rose Cleansing Stick

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What is it?

A cleansing stick used as the second step in a double cleanse. It lathers and foams nicely and has a soft rose scent. The stick also contains real rose petals which gently exfoliate your skin. It also has a low ph of 5.5 and leaves my skin feeling moisturised. Even though coconut oil is the third ingredient, it doesn’t irritate my sensitive skin. I love its packaging, in the stick form, because its great for travel and easy to use without any mess.

Ingredients: From stylestory.com.au

Glycerin, Water, Coconut Oil, Myristic Acid, Palmitic Acid, Stearic Acid, Potassium Hydroxide, Betaine, Lauryl Betaine, Camellia Oil, Rosa Centifolia Flower (0.5%), Pelargonium Graveolens (Rose Geranium) Flower Oil, Rose Flower Oil, Castor Oil, Green Tea Seed Oil, Sunflower Seed Oil, Olive Oil, Apricot Seed Oil, Ylang Ylang Flower Oil, Lime Oil, Orange Peel Oil, Lemon Peel Oil, Basil Oil, Origanum Heracleoticum Flower Oil, Saccharomyces/Rosa Damascena Flower Extract Ferment Filtrate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Butylene Glycol, 1,2-Hexanediol

Would I repurchase?

Yes.

I was about to repurchase this recently but found that its sold out everywhere! Then I read some posts which indicated that it may have either been discontinued or reformulated. Which is really annoying! Its such a popular product as well. If and when it does come back, I will be buying it again.

Neogen Real Fresh Cleansing Stick – Green Tea

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What is it?

This is also a stick cleanser used in the second step in a double cleanse. Green Tea is the hero in this product and I adore anything with green tea in it. It has real green tea leaves scattered in the stick which also provides gentle exfoliation while you cleanse. Sounds really similar to the rose cleansing stick right? The concept anyway. Just like the rose stick, its packaging is the same, handy for travel, messy free etc. With a ph of 5.5-6, its just as gentle as the rose stick. The rose stick felt a hair more moisturising though.

Another similarity is that coconut oil is once again third on the ingredients list and doesn’t irritate my skin.

Ingredients: from sokoglam.com

Glycerin, purified water, cocos nucifera (coconut) oil, palmitic acid, stearic acid, lauryl betaine, betaine, camellia sinensis leaf(0.3%), camellia sinensis seed oil(0.1%), camellia japonica seed oil, olea europaea (olive) fruit oil, helianthus annuus (sunflower)seed oil, limnanthes alba (meadowfoam) seed oil, oenothera biennis (eveningprimrose) oil, tocopheryl acetate, citrus aurantifolia (lime) oil, ocimum basillicum (basil) oil, cananga odorata flower oil, citrus limon (lemon) peel oil, origanum heracleoticum floweroil, citrus aurantium dulcis (orange)peel oil, fragrance.

Will I repurchase?

Yes.

Even though I liked the extra moisturisation from the rose cleanser, I would definitely buy this again. It is a good alternative to the su:m37 cleanser if that did get discontinued or became impossible to buy. I just really like stick cleansers 🙂

Pyunkang yul Moisture Cream

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What is it?

A face moisturiser which is good for both sensitive and combination-oily skin types. It is fragrance free, lightweight and easily absorbable into the skin. I read somewhere that it also cools down your body temperature so its especially great in summer and humid climates. I applied it as my final step in skincare before sunscreen and makeup. I appreciated how moisturising it was without any stickyness or oilyness. Its star ingredient is Coptis Japonica Root Extract which is known for its nourishing and anti inflammatory properties.

Ingredients: from beautyandseoul.co.uk

Coptis Japonica Root Extract, Butylene Glycol, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Polyglyceryl-3 Methylglucose Distearate, Cetyl Ethylhexanoate, Butylene Glycol Dicaprylate/Dicaprate, Isohexadecane, 1,2-Hexanediol, Cetearyl Alcohol, Glyceryl Stearate, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Sodium Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Polysorbate 80, Glyceryl Caprylate

Will I repurchase?

Yes but not for awhile. There are still loads of moisturisers I want to try out and I don’t like this one enough to repurchase just yet. My biggest gripe is the packaging, I despise jars for creams (yes I know its common for moisturisers). Its also not great for travel because its glass and has some weight to it.

Pyunkang yul mist toner

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What is it?

It’s a toner in a mist form which you can use to hydrate your face anytime or as toner after cleansing. I really liked to use this spray for both purposes, especially when I felt too lazy to pat toner onto my face or find a cotton pad. The spray is really fine so it felt pretty relaxing to mist on the face.

Like the moisture cream, the star ingredient is also Coptis Japonica Root Extract.

Ingredients: from beautyandseoul.co.uk

Coptis Japonica Root Extract, 1,2-Hexanediol, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, Sodium Hyaluronate

Will I repurchase?

Yes.

I have a few products from this brand and I respect its minimal ingredients list. Will definately buy this again once I’m through with my other ones.

Have you tried any of these products? Let me know if you have and whether you would repurchase any of them.

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