Empties vol. 54

pr sample affiliate links

Rating the beauty products I finished earlier this year plus mini reviews!

Empties vol. 54

I used to do monthly empties posts, but as my beauty collection grew, I found myself finishing fewer and fewer products because I was constantly trying brand new releases. This year I’m taking a conscious step back and really trying to give everything a fair shot. It means doing my best to use up the products that left a good first impression, so I can share proper thorough reviews with you all. Sometimes, two-three weeks of testing is really not enough, right?

Rating the beauty products I finished earlier this year plus mini reviews!


1 // MDSolarSciences MD Advanced Hydration Creme ($76) – Not too heavy but intensely nourishing, this overnight moisturizer can work for a wide range of skin types. The formula boasts a number of good ingredients: fatty acids, THD [stable form of Vitamin C,] tri-peptide complex, Niacinamide, squalane, and a number of plant extracts, including mushroom extract. I love how it contains all the supplementals that complement a retinoid serum, or you can just use the cream on its own and still get the moisturizing, skin-smoothing, brightening and antioxidant benefits.

Do you need this? It makes a good companion for a retinoid serum. I wouldn’t say it’s a “must have” if you want to use it on its own.

2 // Bloomeffects Tulip Dew Cream ($49) – Another lightweight moisturizer for oily and combo skin. I received it from Boxwalla by mistake instead of another product, and instantly fell in love. This brand is known for their botanical formulations that highlight flower extracts, hence the name. This particular moisturizer has a gel-cream texture that melts into the skin and covers it in a barely-there moisturizing veil that feels breathable even on a hot day. Noteworthy ingredients include 3% pumpkin seed extract to boost skin elasticity, 2% niacinamide for hyperpigmentation and skin firmness, 1% vitamin E for skin barrier support, and a lot of different antioxidants, including proprietary Dutch Tulip Complex, to protect the skin from free radical damage and pollution. It felt so luxurious to use and I’m sad that it’s finished. This moisturizer left my face with a beautiful healthy glow and I loved how easily spreadable it was – a little product went a very long way.

Do you need this? “Need” is a strong word, but it’s one of the few botanical products with so many oils that actually worked for my combination skin in hot weather. If you are looking for a “clean beauty” moisturizer for oily skin, this is the one to try.

3 // I’m From Licorice Calming Cream ($28) – Licorice is one of the few botanical extracts that have been scientifically studied and proven to improve the skin – it’s known to help fade post-acne marks, and soothe redness and irritation. This moisturizer contains a whopping 58% Licorice Exosome and 100 million Licorice flavonoids, and it’s easily one of the best calming products I’ve used so far. The formula is lightweight but very moisturizing, and I could always count on it when my skin was acting up. It helped soothe hormonal breakouts, minimize the scarring discoloration, and just keep my skin calm in general. At this price, this product is a real steal and I’m surprised it’s not more popular.

Do you need this? If you struggle with acne and want a solid non-medicated moisturizer to complement your topical treatments, I can’t recommend this cream enough. Amazing formula that delivers a high concentration of its best ingredient.

4 // Korres Black Pine Sculpt + Lift Serum ($65) – Korres makes fantastic body care products, but their skincare was a hit and a miss for me. The Black Pine line is an exception because every product I tried was exceptional. It made my skin feel plumper, firmer, and more resilient, and wore well under moisturizers, sunscreen, and makeup. It also has a faint honey-like fragrance that always added to the experience for me. Note: this serum currently comes in different packaging.

Do you need this? This serum will be a real treat to those with mature skin. If you aren’t looking for skincare with strong acids and just want something to make the skin look healthier and more radiant, this serum is worth trying. Plus it comes beautifully packaged, so it will make a nice gift.

Rating the beauty products I finished earlier this year plus mini reviews!


5 // Living Proof Perfect Hair Day Triple Detox Shampoo ($36) – This shampoo was meant as a once-a-week clarifying treatment and it took me a very long time to finish. So long, in fact, that it got discontinued! Living proof has a new formulation out that I am currently trying, and it’s just as good. This shampoo helps remove all product buildup, pollutants, and even harsh metals from the hard water – everything that might dull your hair and affect the scalp. It’s like a breath of fresh air every time I use it, my hair and scalp both feel light and clean. The formula is supposedly color-safe, but I think it washes out the color at the same rate as my other shampoos.

Do you need this? This shampoo works well for weekly maintenance and to remove all buildup from the hair, especially if you use styling products often. If you have fun-colored hair, it will not sufficiently protect the dye from washing out.

6 // Act + Acre Cold Processed Stem Cell Shampoo ($42) – Very gentle daily shampoo with H2-Grow Complex, Caffeine, and Hyaluronic Acid that claims to protect hair follicles from damage, moisturize the scalp, and promote healthy hair growth. It’s really hard to tell how a shampoo can do all of these, but it did make my hair feel 100% clean without drying out the skin, so I can attest to the moisturizing claims. I also tried the conditioner from the same line and it just didn’t work for me so I tossed it halfway through. A conditioner has one job – to condition – and it literally didn’t. There was zero difference in the way my hair and scalp felt when I used the shampoo vs using it alongside the matching conditioner.

Do you need this? The shampoo is perfect if you have fragile or color-treated hair and sensitive scalp. It is also often sold out, because it’s that good. Skip the matching conditioner.

Have you tried any of these products? What’s your favorite skincare product that you recently emptied?

*indicates PR samples

This post features products received for editorial consideration and may contain affiliate or referral links. Information on this blog represents my personal opinion and is intended for entertainment purposes only. For more details about my product review policy, copyright, and information about affiliate links, please refer to Disclosures & Content Use page.