The pile of empty bottles and jars were spilling over in my bathroom cabinet and frankly getting kind of gross, which means it’s time for another empties post featuring 25 products from skincare to makeup to body/hair care! Yes it’s been a productive 3+ months indeed.
As always, I will be ranking these products and categorizing them by how much I enjoyed using them and the likelihood of repurchasing. Let’s get started!
Repurchasing %: 90+ because these are friggin awesome!
- Activist Skincare Hyaluronic Acid Serum* – Full review here. While my first formula wasn’t bad, the second one was really nice, and I didn’t realize how nice it was until it was gone *cues dramatic music*. Whereas my skin was healthy and stable while using this, it’s been going through a shitstorm ever since I finished it. Coincidence? Perhaps, but I’d rather not take chances. 95% repurchasing after I finish my serum stash.
- Bumble & Bumble Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil – Smells amazing, and does everything you’d expect from a hair oil (soften, defrizz, add shine) without weighing my fine hair down. Plus it also provides UV protection! I definitely prefer this to the Moroccanoil Hair Oil, which I find a bit too heavy. 100% repurchasing.
- Bumble & Bumble Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil Protective Primer – My favorite heat protectant/detangling spray. It has the same lovely scent as the oil, and keeps my strands from frizzing up when I use heat tools, and doesn’t make my hair crunchy like other heat protectants do. Already repurchased.
- Curology (4% azalaeic acid + 4% niacinamide + 0.05% tretinoin) – Reviewed here and here. A staple and anti-aging powerhouse in my routine. While I won’t be subscribing to this particular prescription combo again as I find it just too strong for my skin, I still love the bespoke factor and overall potency of the product. Already subscribed with different formula.
- Instytutum Eye Cream – Full review here. My holy grail eye cream that I can’t live without. I’ve noticed that my fine lines are no longer noticeable, even when I smile, so that’s friggin’ AWESOME in all caps. Yes it’s that good. Already repurchased.
- La Roche-Posay Thermal Spring Water – I’ve been dabbling in a lot of different mists lately, and in the end I still prefer this no-frills one. It’s soothing, affordable, and my #1 pick for adding hydration between layers of my skincare routine. Already repurchased, though I’ll also be testing out the Avene one to compare.
- La Roche-Posay Cicaplast Baume B5 – Reviewed here and a 2017 skincare favorite, this thick soothing balm is a must have in my stash. It might not be the most fun or even elegant product to use, but it’s saved my skin on countless occasions that complaining about it would just be plain ungrateful. Already repurchased.
Repurchasing %: 30-89 because clearly I have conflicted feelings about these
- Andalou Natural 1000 Roses Moroccan Beauty Oil – I really liked this initially as it was affordable, had a beautiful scent, great ingredients, and a nice texture. However the laws of diminishing returns were strong with this one, as I was dreading using it towards the end. Also, who thought a pump bottle was a good idea? The oil is so thin it goes everywhere! 30% repurchasing because there are way too many oils I want to try.
- Bioderma Sensibio Micellar Water* – So gentle, effective, and easy to use! While not as luxurious as an oil or balm, this was much missed on days when I felt lazy or when my skin was extra sensitive. Of the 3 versions I tried, this worked best for my skin type. 80% repurchasing.
- Dior Creme de Rose Lip Balm – I must have bought at least 4 of these as this was a favorite of mine for many years. But it’s on the pricier side and I eventually got bored of it. Is it still a great lip balm? Absolutely. Maybe after a year or two I might start missing it again, but right now? 60% repurchasing.
- First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Instant Oatmeal Mask – I really enjoyed this mask, it performed as claimed and had a comforting oatmeal scent to it, but ugh why does it come in such a small tube?? I feel like I had to be extra stingy with this mask, otherwise I’d finish this after like, 3 uses. 75% repurchasing during sales.
- Instytutum Cleansing Milk – I tried a sample of this and quite enjoyed it. It was gentle, effective (for a morning or second cleanser), and had a pleasant scent. However I just wasn’t thrilled about it like I am about the eye cream. 50% purchasing.
- Re:p Bio Fresh Mask with Real Calming Herb – I actually enjoyed this mask, but I’m royally pissed off at Sokoglam for selling this to me within 6 months of its expiration date without disclaiming it on their site. Shady much? As a result I couldn’t even finish this in time. WTF. 0% repurchasing from Sokoglam, but 50% repurchasing elsewhere.
- Skin Actives Every Lipid Serum (ELS) – Such a fantastic skin repairing oil with ceramides and fatty acids to restore a damaged moisture barrier. This would be a 100% repurchase if it had a nicer texture or scent, but alas we can’t have it all. 70% repurchasing.
- Smashbox Always Sharp Waterproof Kohl Liner – Another longtime favorite of mine. I loved how this automatically sharpens whenever you close the lid, but my God I was going through one every 3 months, and I don’t even wear makeup that often! Proof? It was featured in my last empties post! Plus, Marc Jacobs came out with a fine-tipped version of my HG Highliner, so it’s time to say goodby to this one. 30% repurchasing during sales.
Repurchasing %: 0 because no…just no
- Bumble & Bumble Save the Day Daytime Protective Repair Fluid – This product confused me. Is it a leave in treatment? A heat protectant? Am I only supposed to use this during the day? What is the meaning of life? Either way, this made absolutely no difference for my hair, so good riddance.
- Hylamide C25 Stablized Vitamin C Booster – I’ve yet to try a vitamin c serum that I really liked, and this was no exception. It had an oily texture which I found off putting, and as all vitamin c serums before it, made no difference to my skin. You will not be missed.
- Kose Suncut UV Protect Gel SPF50+ PA++++ – Eh, this was a very mediocre sunscreen by all standards. So mediocre, that I don’t remember much about it except that there are definitely better options out there.
- La Roche-Posay Substiane Eyes Depuffing Replenishing Care – The good thing is that it came in a tube and didn’t give me milia. The bad thing is that it didn’t give me much else either, and it definitely didn’t help with the puffiness. Plus it was hella expensive!
- La Roche-Posay Toleriane Double Repair Moisturizer – Full review here. Eh, this wasn’t a bad moisturizer, but for me it just wasn’t moisturizing enough. If you have normal to oily skin, you might enjoy this, but otherwise skip as there are better options out there.
- Naruko AMPM Super Triple HA Hydrating Souffle* – Full review here. As a face cream, it was too rich and broke me out, but as a body moisturizer it’s not bad. However, as there are both better face creams and body creams out there, this gets a definite no from me.
- Nioxin Scalp Treatment 4 – This claimed to help with thinning hair, but nope, definitely didn’t notice any increase in volume while using this. The foam texture was interesting though, and actually made it easier to massage into the scalp. Shame that the product itself is a dud.
- Rituals Ritual of Sakura Magic Touch Body Cream* – I really liked the sweet floral scent, but I found the texture a bit thick and hard to spread. I do think this is a nice products, but now that I’m a diehard fan of the Living Botanical Oceania Body Cream I won’t be purchasing any other body moisturizers.
- Viale Supreme Repair Cream* – This is actually a lovely moisturizer, but then the brand goes ahead and doubles the price without reason or explanation, and ignored my messages inquiring about this. Their actions and poor customer service left a bad taste in my mouth, so no, I will not be purchasing this.
- Viale Supreme Daily Moisturizer* – Same as the repair cream, which is a real shame as the product itself is really nice. Is good customer service and transparency too much to ask? (Apparently yes)
Even as I was putting together this post, I’ve added 2 more products to the empties stash, so expect to see another long list in 3 months! I’m on a beauty no-buy right now, so hopefully these empties post will get shorter as time goes on. I miss my minimal routine, but then I also like trying new stuff and it’s a constant struggle. Please tell me I’m not alone in this!
Anyways, let me know if you’ve tried any of these products before and what your thoughts were on them! Hope you guys have a great weekend!