The Purgatory of Meh

I like skincare, I like makeup, and I like shopping.  Combining the three of these (along with having fun playing with new stuff so I can share it with all of you) means that I go through a lot of skincare and cosmetic products.  That also means that I test a lot of things that don’t rate a full post on the blog – they aren’t either really useful, really interesting, or really terrible.  Sometimes I get things that turn out to be not so great for my skin type, or not a great color for me, or I get a gift with purchase that I’m just not into.

I spent good money on these things, so I feel too guilty to throw them away, but I also don’t like them enough to use them – or they don’t work for me well enough for me to use them. So what’s a girl to do?

it’s just traumatic.

Those products end up in a fabric bin on top of my vanity that I call the “Purgatory of Meh”.  I keep them on the off chance that my skin suddenly changes in such a way that they’ll work for me, or that one of my friends will say to me, in an off-hand way, “man I really wanted to try that” or “I couldn’t find a bottle of that”.  And then their time will come!

…but until then, here is what is living in the Purgatory of Meh.

Mizon Toners: Rice Wine White and Mojito Pore Punch

mizon_tonersThese toners are utterly adorably themed, and I was so happy with the Mizon AHA/BHA toner that I figured “Why not give the other ones a shot?” once I didn’t really have a space in my routine for a pH-adjusting toner.    The first is the Rice Wine White Toner, which is supposed to have a brightening effect on the skin.  I didn’t expect it to be particularly moisturizing, which is good, because it wasn’t.  Unfortunately, it also didn’t do that much for me in terms of brightening either – at least, not in comparison with all of the products in my routine that contain galactomyces ferment, which my skin apparently really likes.  The second is the Mojito Pore Punch, which is supposed to even out skin and minimize the appearance of pores.  This one really wasn’t moisturizing, which isn’t surprising given that it’s for pore reduction and sebum control, which appears fairly frequently with oily and combination skin.  Again, though, it didn’t really do much for me in comparison with products that I was already using – BHAs, AHAs, and my prescription medication.    Neither of these products were awful, they just weren’t as good as other things I’ve found.

Goodal Refine Pore Cleansing Toner

goodal_poretonerThe Goodal line is part of the Clio brand of products.  I have two of the Goodal sleeping packs, both of which I like, and I know that Tracy (fanserviced) really likes a number of their products, so I was excited to try this out.  Unfortunately, this toner seems to have quite a bit of alcohol in it, and I found it drying and not particularly useful for me.  Maybe if I wasn’t using a prescription face cream with tretinoin in it it wouldn’t be as unusable, but as it is this is just sitting around.

Arrahan Oriental Medicine Su Peeling Gel

arrahan_peelinggelThis product came in a Memebox a long time ago, and I haven’t ever used it.  It is literally still in the box. That isn’t due to the ingredients or the fragrance or anything that I would normally have against a product, but is just because it’s a gommage peel.  If I’m going to be doing physical exfoliation on my face, I’m going to use a Konjac sponge or a face scrub, not a gommage peel. I just don’t find them particularly effective – and I always worry that they aren’t washing away as cleanly as I’d like.

So many sheet masks!

innisfree_sheetmasksI actually have nothing against the Innisfree I’m Real sheet masks, but now that I’ve used their skin clinic masks I’m not likely to ever go back to the more pedestrian stuff. Plus, with my discovery of Lovemore and My Scheming silk masks, which are a lot more comfortable to wear and have a better fit, I’m also not likely to go back to the Innisfree regular masks even if I’m not aiming for specific treatment ingredients.

etudehouse_sheetmasksThat box of Etude House masks was actually my intro to sheet masks and Asian beauty and skincare in general.  I have the same issue with these regular Etude House masks that I do with the regular Innisfree.  There’s actually not anything wrong with them, it’s just that I’m so much happier with the ones I mentioned above that the regular Etude House doesn’t cut it anymore.

Secret Key Angel Moist Wrap Steam Cream

secretkey_steamcreamThis is another product that I got in a Memebox.  I actually really like the idea of a steam cream – the steaming process theoretically makes it a little more airy, a little less oily and heavy, and therefore slightly more suitable for someone with skin that you could run a lawnmower off of. It might actually be more suited to me now that I’m using tretinoin and have dry skin.  Unfortunately for this particular product, I’ve actually already found another steam cream that I like better – the Skin Ceramic Donkey Cream and Argan Oil Steam Cream.  So again, this has been relegated to the Purgatory of Meh not due to any real defect in the product, just because I’ve found something better.

Ladykin Elmaju Broccoli Super Brightening Cream

ladykin_broccoliThis product didn’t make the cut, again, not because it broke me out or was irritating or had bad ingredients, but because it leaves an incredibly strong white cast.  In fact, the only day I was able to wear this product outside of the house was on Halloween, when it was acceptable to be overly pale.  And even then, people noticed. It was kind of awkward.

Skin1004 Centella Asiatica Ampoule 100

centella_ampouleCentella Asiatica is supposed to be helpful for “trouble care” (aka acne), marks like post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation or skin discoloration, and general calming properties. As far as I was concerned, I might as well have been patting water onto my face. My skin just doesn’t react to centella asiatica at all – I get a much better result from tea tree, and so that’s what I’ve been using pretty exclusively ever since.  Instead of using this product, I stick with the LeeJiHam Tea Tree Essence 90.


It’s unfortunate that these things didn’t work for me, although I hope to use them to enable folks around me to have more fun with skincare. But until that happens, they stay in that fabric box, condemned to uninspiring and mostly forgotten (until I go “why the hell is my desk so cluttered? Ohhhh…. right”). Do you have a Purgatory of Meh? Or are you more efficient at….ahem… rehoming the things that don’t work well for you?

3 Replies to “The Purgatory of Meh”

  1. Have you ever tried the Su:m37 Amazing Peeling Smoother? I use it as a gommage peel, and holy crap, it’s like a real-life Instagram filter. (Yeah, you’re supposed to put it on a pad and just swipe it across your face, but that didn’t seem to do anything, so one time, I started massaging it, and it totally acts like a gommage peel.) I grabbed a whole lot of samples. Just thought that might change your mind about gommage peels. 🙂
    (Wonder how many times I can say “gommage peel” in like three sentences.)

  2. Honestly, I’ve never found Etude House’s sheet masks very appealing. They just don’t seem like a “skin care brand” to me, so it’s hard to take their sheet masks very seriously & buy them expecting good things.

    I’ve tried the Innisfree It’s Real ones and I guess they’re ok for the price, however they seem to have a high consistency of alcohol. :/ I think many people would be happy to try them, though, so if I were you owning so many sheet masks I don’t need/like, I’d actually host a giveaway! 😀

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