When I’m not working on my articles for the Strategist, I’m near constantly binge-watching beauty videos on YouTube. I don’t know why I like them so much, but there’s something undeniably therapeutic about watching strangers buffing and blending while they tell you about their day.
One YouTube theme I’m particularly attracted to is the segment in which bloggers share their “empties” — products they’ve used so often and love so much that the containers are bottomed out. And while almost all beauty videos send me into a state of sheer euphoria, there’s something especially satisfying about seeing tangible evidence that someone loves a product so much that they’ve used every last drop of it. After months of diving into the world of “empties,” I decided to start hoarding my own completely finished products so that I could bring a little bit of YouTube culture to the Strategist. Here are a few products of mine that, over the last few months, I’ve managed to use every last bit of.
It’s a good thing that I bought three of these last time I was in Japan because running out sends me into a spiral. This serum — which, unlike other tea-tree serums, isn’t terribly concentrated and harsh — reduces redness and inflammation in ways no other has been able to accomplish for my skin. I blow through these like it’s my job (which, I guess, it is?).
I just finished my Bioderma micellar water and am sprinting to get another one. I don’t know what it is about this product, but not only does it take all of my makeup off, it actually does a great job of soothing my skin, especially after a night out. I used to double-cleanse (take off makeup with an oil cleanser, then cleanse with a foam cleanser after), but I found that that practice was making my skin super dry and dehydrated. This fixes that: Since I’ve incorporated this Bioderma micellar into my routine (pre-cleanser), my skin has felt even more supple and rejuvenated.
Now, as a person who suffers from serious eczema, I’m hesitant to try any scented products on my body in the shower. But there was so much hype around Glossier’s Body Hero campaign, I felt the need to try it out. I actually ended up really loving this product — the scent is almost fruity and playful, and I love how the oil emulsifies into a soapier texture as you wash, hydrating and cleaning. I don’t use this on my legs (my most severe eczema area), but I wash the upper half of my body with it daily. And I will be repurchasing!
I bought the mini-version of this cream at the Sephora checkout line (my weakness) before a vacation and I’m addicted. Again, I wouldn’t say this is a product that actively fights against eczema, but it smells incredible and is slightly shimmery — giving your body this really nice, subtle glow. In the winter, that little bit of shine to my body makes me feel so much more confident when I’m going out.
This mask is damn expensive, but she does the most incredible things to my skin: intensely brightens, tightens, and just generally provides an extra level of radiancy that I simply don’t have on a normal day. If you’re in the market for a pre-going-out mask that will make you look glowy and smooth, this is the mask for you. It also provides your skin with the perfect, velvety canvas for makeup. I will literally cut the bottle open and scrape what is left of it when I’m nearly out.
I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, the fact that I’ve been using P50 for almost six years now says a lot about how much faith I have in the product. I’m constantly trying out new stuff, so my loyalty to this product does speak volumes. It’s brutally expensive, but when it comes to combating redness, uneven texture, and hyperpigmentation, this chemical exfoliant is unmatchable. I immediately repurchase every time the bottle runs out, about every three months.
Full transparency: I got sent this product, and when I first saw it, I was like, What in the hell is a hair perfume? Ya’ll, I tried it out and it’s quickly become a part of my everyday morning routine. First of all, I’m addicted to the smell. It’s this really nice, rosy, patchouli scent. But what I love most about it is that it provides my hair with this shine and hydration without causing any oiliness, something I’ve found quite difficult to achieve.
Basically, my hair used to be kind of dry and frizzy, so one day I decided to cut it all off, and the texture completely changed. Now it’s super oily and flat, and I have no idea what to do with it. I randomly picked up this conditioner from Lush in my subway turnstile, and I was floored by how good of a job it did at conditioning my hair without making it feel heavy or oily. I have repurchased this girl about three times.
I was once complaining about my oily-ass hair to my co-worker who told me to drop everything and try this dry shampoo. I did as I was told and I’ve never looked back. It promises to get rid of shine and boost volume, and she does exactly that. I have one of these at my desk at work, at home, and a mini in my purse. Devastated to have it run out.
Okay, guys, my life has changed since I first started using this lip and cheek color from Tata Harper [editor’s note: Joanna Goddard is also a fan]. What I love most about it is that it provides this nice, healthy glow while also being totally universal, meaning you can put it practically anywhere on your face. Almost every day, I apply this product to my cheeks, lips, and eyelids. It gives my face a lovely and cohesive (but still subtle) warmth. I love, love, love this product and have it in various shades — the one I actually just ran out of is Very Naughty.
If I’m not wearing the Tata Harper on my eyelids, I’m almost definitely wearing this. I love a glossy lid, and this Eye Vinyl from Milk provides the perfect amount of shine while also giving your eyes this nice, pinky shade that looks so pretty, even after it sets in and the extreme glossiness fades. This is an immediate repurchase for me.
This has long been my favorite foundation, and running out of it always makes me a little uneasy. I’m not a major foundation girl, but I do like having some coverage when I’m going out at night. First of all, I love Nars’s foundations because they almost always have my exact shade, which — because I have both red and yellow undertones in my skin — is something I tend to struggle with. Another thing I love about it is that a little bit goes a long way — just a drop tends to give me exactly the coverage I need. That goes to show how much I really use it, too, because she’s all gone now.
Okay, so before anyone drags me for including Kim K.’s contour stick, I’m aware that the reason why this is an “empty” is because there’s actually not that much product in it to start with. Having said that, I love how thin the stick of this product is, because it allows you to really chisel your angles. I don’t die for the highlighter, but I do end up using the contour side almost every time I go out. I also LOVE the brush that comes with it.
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