Recent Beauty Empties

What better way to review a beauty product than to use it up before sharing your thoughts? When products don’t work for me at all, I’ll either give them away or use them in a different way. For example, I’ll use a face cream on my body/hands if it’s not the best fit for my skin type. Most of the time, however, I finish only the products that I like–and likely repurchase them before I run out.

These are the beauty items that I recently finished. Some are fairly new, while others I have used for a long time. They are all products that I would absolutely recommend trying (especially during the current sales, since some of them are on the pricey side).

Josh Rosebrook Serum Spray

A hybrid between a hair treatment and a styling product, the Serum Spray was one of the best products I tried in 2019. Despite the fact that I have only been using this once or twice a week, I ran out of it in only two months. I will admit–I spritz this quite generously–almost soaking my hair in it.

It makes my strands more manageable (like a lightweight leave-in conditioner), shiny, and silky while allowing my natural texture to shape itself. The result is soft, frizz-free waves that do not require hot tools. A kind of messy, but not sloppy bed hair a la Gisele. For me, it is impossible to use too much. The more I spritz, the softer my hair becomes, leaving no sticky, heavy build-up. My new bottle is already on its way. You can shop it here.

Pai Light Rosehip Cleansing Oil

Over the past few months, I used up two large bottles of Rosehip Cleansing Oil*. This oil does a great job breaking down all makeup and sunscreen effortlessly and has a rich, comforting texture that works well for massaging the skin until all product has been lifted off. If you are familiar with the Pai Rosehip Oil, this has the same scent, which is lovely.

In contact with water, the oil turns into a milky texture that rinses off quite well with water. I use it as a first cleanse to remove makeup and sunscreen, and I like to follow with a gel cleanser. I read several reviews stating that it leaves absolutely no residue on the skin, and while I agree that I can’t “touch” any residue, I feel the need for a second round with my evening exfoliating cleanser. It may be the slightest amount of residue, but I can feel it. It’s still one of the best cleansing oils I have tried in terms of performance and ingredient quality.

I appreciate that it comes in a large bottle (145 ml/4.9 oz.) because I use a cleansing oil daily and often in large amounts. If you are interested in trying it, but not sure whether it is right for you, I would recommend picking up the deluxe mini size that just came out for the holidays to give it a try (check out the mini here)

Indie Lee Active Oil-Free Moisturizer

During the past year, Indie Lee has taken over my shelves. A few of their products are a bit high in fragrance and do not match my skin too well, while others have become staples and have been repurchased multiple times.

The Active Oil-Free Moisturizer was one of the best discoveries from 2019 because it helped my skin when I could’nt use much else (remember the severe irritation that I experienced earlier this year? This was the product that helped the most). Once I switched to this simple, soothing, oil-free moisturizer my skin was able to repair itself without being constantly irritated by more active-rich products.

I still use it every single day after cleansing and after spritzing my hydrating toner, before I apply my face oil. If you need a simple, lightweight, water-based moisturizer to add a hydrating layer during the colder months, I highly recommend giving this one a try, especially if you have delicate skin. Find it here or at The Detox Market (code LILLY10 saves you 10% at The Detox Market, though they are currently having a 20% off sitewide sale–no code needed!). It also comes in a travel-size, which is perfect for a first try and for traveling.

Indie Lee Daily Vitamin Infusion

Not to confuse with the Daily Skin Nutrition (which is a moisturizer), the Daily Vitamin Infusion is an oil formula. The texture and feel of it are very similar to plain squalane, which is the first ingredient in this blend. Also present are other vitamin-rich oils and two types of ceramides.

This has been the occlusive layer that I finish my skincare routine with. After I have hydrated and moisturize, I seal all of it with a layer of this oil. What I like the most about it is that even if I apply it generously (it’s been cold and dry here, and my skin needs extra love), it still does not feel “suffocating” to the skin. It feels light but replenishing at the same time.

Interestingly, it contains coconut oil, but hasn’t caused any of the issues that I have experienced with coconut oil on my skin before. That was actually my biggest concern when I first tried a sample. I have gone through 3-4 bottles, and I have never experienced breakouts from it. If you like squalane oil, I would consider this the perfect “upgrade”. It does not contain any fragrance and I find it perfect for my delicate skin. You can shop it here.

Yüli Halcyon Cleanser

Many of you are already familiar with this Yuli face cleanser that I have been using and raving about for several years. Though I have added another wonderful cleanser to my routine (which I use exclusively at night because it is a stronger exfoliant), I still love and use the Halcyon cleanser every morning. I keep repurchasing it because it is my favorite water-soluble cleanser. If I could use only two skincare products, they would be this cleanser and squalane oil–gentle, but effective basics.

As a light gel-emulsion, it does not strip the skin, but provides mild exfoliation that decongests clogged pores. Unlike most cleansers, which should be quickly rinsed off the skin because they can be irritating, Halcyon can also be left on the skin for a few minutes as a gentle mask. It contains fruit enzymes and clay, so it helps to dislocate dead skin and excess oil.

This year, I had the chance to try the limited edition, rose-infused version* of Halcyon, which was delightful. I honestly could not notice a significant difference in the performance of the original formula compared to the rose-infused formula, but given the opportunity, I would recommend trying the Rose Haclyon because the scent is refreshing and calming. You can find it at Yüli here or at Ayla.

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*gifted/PR sample