Empties and New Products: Mini Reviews What I've Used Up and Replaced

I love watching and reading empties posts. I know some content creators find “old school” blog posts boring, repetitive, but I’m always fascinated by what people truly use up and would they recommend or repurchase. Using up products – especially makeup takes time, even if your stash is on the smaller size. One of my favorite Canadian Youtubers, ttsandra, came up with the great concept of empties & showing what’s she’s using next after finishing a product. That’s what I’m going to do today, I hope you enjoy the post – even if you’re not a big fan of empties!

*This post contains PR samples marked with an asterisk (*),
all thoughts my own and honest.

Empty products and new products haul | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog @laurantaina
Empty products and new products haul | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog @laurantaina

Cleansing Oils

I finished three cleansing oils: Whamisa Organic Flowers*, Kahina Oil Cleanser* and Origins Gentle Energy*. I think I gave Origins a lukewarm review on Instagram, but the more I used it the more I started to enjoy it. Pump is sold separately, which is slightly annoying. Even more annoying is trying to pour out oil without the pump, so I do recommend purchasing the pump. I had similar experience with Kahina (review here) - okay at first and later started to appreciate it more. I love a good medium weight cleansing oil that emulsifies and rinses clean.

Whamisa was a total disappointment, I wish I had used up this bottle quicker just to get rid of it. If 1st cleanser doesn’t remove my makeup properly, it’s not my cup of tea. I think I would repurchase Kahina, but I have a backup of THREE Balancing Cleansing Oil, which is my all-time favorite. I also want to use up some other oils I have going on: Tata Harper*, Senja Cosmetics* (not pictured, review here) and Josh Rosebrook. Tata and Senja I’m enjoying a lot, but would skip repurchasing Josh.

Empty products and new products haul | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog @laurantaina

Eyebrow Pencil

I’m was so over this Dior Brow Styler brow pencil, I’m glad it’s finished and I can move on. There was a moment of first impression love, but I won’t be repurchasing, not this or Anastasia Brow Wiz. I’m currently working my way through It Cosmetics Brow Pencil*, but I don’t think it’s “Universal” color is working for me, I also prefer a thinner pencil. Rouge Bunny Rouge’s Long-lasting Brow Liner (review here) will be my repurchased go-to pencil for travel or lazy mornings. For everyday purpose I’m still reaching for my Viseart Structure brow powder palette.

Empty products and new products haul | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog @laurantaina

Contour Color

Surratt Grisaille, ah how I already miss you. The perfectly smooth powder, buildable pigmentation and perfectly cool but not ashy undertone for my skin tone. There is some product left, but I don’t want to ruin my brushes by scratching those corners. Right now I’m enjoying my Tom Ford Terra Bronzer and Iglot x JLO Freedom System contour shade (I think this is in Cocoa, the lightest shade), but I do plan to pick up Grisaille asap.

Mascaras

I think all of these mascaras were good, but not extraordinary. Korres Drama Volume shade 02* was a very nice and natural plum-brown (featured here), which I would consider repurchasing if I ever got tired of black mascara. It Cosmetics Superhero* is a favorite of many bloggers, but to me it was too wet and I don’t like the shape of the packaging. Clinique Long-lasting Mascara is a good classic, rinses off with warm water and often on sale. Inika Long Lash* I liked (review here), but then I discovered Lily Lolo’s Natural mascara* (white tube, review here) and it won me over in an instant. Currently using up my SUQQU Eyelash Mascara* (review here), which I will most likely repurchase.

Empty products and new products haul | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog @laurantaina
Empty products and new products haul | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog @laurantaina

Moisturizers

Kora Organics* one was very nice and light-weight, I would purchase it for Summer time (read more). Henua Recharging moisturizer* and DP Vitamin Rich Repair Cream* (review here) were excellent, now I’m almost done with INARI Artic Water Cream. DP Dermaceuticals and INARI creams have become my Holy Grail moisturizers alongside with January Labs Nutrient Day Cream (sadly no longer sold on Cult Beauty!). I think I’m going to get a new bottle of INARI but first I’m testing something new, most likely Kiehl’s Calendula cream*.

SPF

Another empties.. another Innisfree Eco Safety SPF50 (read more). I’ve already repurchased this (not pictured, it’s at my boyfriend’s) and will do so until the end of time. Alga Maris SPF30* is the perfect sunscreen spray for the body (review here), I’m sharing a new tube with my boyfriend. For the face I’m currently using up Mádara Face and Body SPF30 (review here), which I will certainly repurchase. I’m also giving a go to Kiehl’s SPF50*. I rarely stay away from my physical SPFs, but Kiehl’s seems promising: light and non-irritating.

Empty products and new products haul | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog @laurantaina

Facial Oil

Max and Me I am the Light is one of my favorite oil serums or facial oils to date (one of the products I’d first purchase if I lost all my skincare). Their Enchanted oil is also wonderful (review here), perhaps better suitable for more reactive or sensitized skin. Right now I’m using my second (or third?) bottle of I am the Light.

Eye Cream

Tata Harper’s eye creams are painfully expensive, but this small bottle of Restorative Eye Creme* lasted me a good 6 months or so. I was devastated when I ran out of this press sample and I’m 90% sure I’ll purchase a replacement from the new reformulated line. Right now my under eye area and flakey from retinol, my first aid of choice was Kiehl’s Avocado Eye cream*. This one is a press sample, but I’ve bought and used 2-3 jars in the past. A little goes a long way with this cream and it still feels pleasantly thick and protective under the parched eye area. I sometimes use Kahina’s oil roller-ball* as well, but Tata Harper’s eye cream is certainly the best for anti-ageing.

Do you like Empties Posts? What’s the latest product that you’ve replaced?

Makeup Using Only 5 Products Challenge

Can you do your makeup routine using only 5 products? I was tagged by the lovely Erika from NUDE blog to do this challenge. The timing was perfect as I had tested this look a week earlier when I had a sudden appointment (aka a friend in need texted me haha) and I needed to rush out within 5-10 minutes. So I’m recreating you this look which I find light, chic and modern - plus perfect for any age or skin tone to wear! (PS: Say hi to my new maine coon kitten, Haku!)

*This post contains ad links that help to support this blog.
PR samples are marked with an asterisk (*)

Makeup Using Only 5 Products Challenge | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog @laurantaina
Makeup Using Only 5 Products Challenge | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog @laurantaina
Makeup Using Only 5 Products Challenge | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog @laurantaina
Makeup Using Only 5 Products Challenge | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog @laurantaina

one: Base with Chanel Les Beiges Gel Touch Cushion

I chose this Chanel cushion as it’s very lightweight, natural and glowing foundation that’s also quick to apply. I designed this look to be easily done in a rush and cushions are perfect for that. Chanel Les Beiges Gel Touch Foundation glides on smoothly with my pink Beauty Blender*, but you can also use a cushion puff. I dab the foundation all over my face using the Beauty Blenders long side. I usually don’t need to touch up this foundation, but if you’re on the oilier side you might grab the compact with you for reapplications. For carrying and storing my Beauty Blender I love the Defender case*.

TWO: Conceal with NARS Soft Matte Concealer in Vanilla

This NARS pot concealer is my go-to when I’m layering my concealers or need to get out of the door asap. Usually I apply a liquid concealer, set with a powder and dab Soft Matte Concealer to the darkest areas to build some coverage. Today I’m using it alone with my IT Cosmetics Complexion Perfection Brush #7*, which is their bestseller. I can see why, it’s a very nice brush although the double end drives me nuts. I make sure to add concealer on darkest area near inner corner of the eye.

Makeup Using Only 5 Products Challenge | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog @laurantaina
 Copyright Laura Loukola

Three & Four: Dior Diorshow Brow Pen and SUQQU Brow Mascara

The only brow pencil I had at hand was this Dior one, which I’m trying to use it up. I wish the formula was more waxy and it had a better spoolie. I make sure the tails of my brows are filled, same with any possible gaps. Then I brush my brows upwards with my favorite SUQQU Brow Mascara in Khaki. The hold is good, but my brows don’t feel “crunchy”. This is my second tube and still I’m love!

Makeup Using Only 5 Products Challenge | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog @laurantaina

Five: Bobbi Brown Crushed Lipstick in Ruby

I was going to do a bright red lip, such as the Charlotte Tilbury Tell Laura, but I find that dark or bright reds need a lip pencil. Of course you can skip the lipstick and just use a pencil, but I find applying from the lipstick bullet much faster. My choice was the Bobbi Brown Crushed Lipstick in the shade Ruby, which leaves a beautiful matte stain on the lips.

Makeup Using Only 5 Products Challenge | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog @laurantaina
Makeup Using Only 5 Products Challenge | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog @laurantaina

Finished Look with Only 5 Products!

I hope you liked this challenge. Today I didn’t use my lipstick as a blush, mascara as a brow gel, lip balm as a highlighter or other “tricks” if you’re in a pinch. I love the fresh look of red lipstick, brushed up brows, glowing skin and no mascara. I know mascara may be “must” item to most of you, but I highly recommend you’ll give this look a try. Just select a complimentary red, orange or a red-pink shade that has blue undertones - your teeth will look whiter and complexion fresher. Make sure to check out Erika’s blog! I’m tagging Charlotta, Shireen, Jenny and Lily.

Which 5 products would YOU use?

Beauty Empties May 2018

I have this feeling I rarely finish products, but somehow I've accumulated another pile of empties. Tbh there's another pile in my closet I used up while typing this post. Rambling aside, it's time for the classic review which items I'm glad I'm done with and which are worth of repurchasing!

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Mahalo The Petal Mask

At first I wasn't sure if this mask was worth the splurge - you get a lot of product, but the price tag is high. I decided to use this mask more regularly "to get rid of it" and the more I used it the harder I fell in love. Excellent for many skin concerns, hydration, brightness and overall pampering. Beautiful scent, honey-like texture and pink color. I will definitely repurchase! Full review here.

Mahalo The Unveil Cleansing Balm

Beautiful green cleansing balm that looks like a matcha desert and smells like lime tart. This cleansing balm is 100% eco but emulsifies when you add little water, rinses clean without a washcloth. I found the Unveil much too nice to remove makeup, so I still used this for 2nd cleanse. As much as I liked it I am not rushing to repurchase as there are a ton of lovely cleansing balms to try. But if you're ever fancied the Unveil, I'd say give it a go. 

Rouge Bunny Rouge Milk Aquarelle Foundation

One of my favorite foundations! I had this bottle over a year I think so the formula started to turn into more thick consistency and was hard to get from the bottle. Still I decided to scrape most of it before opening up a new bottle. The texture of the new foundation was much more liquid and obviously performed better. Still loving this to the bits, read full review here.

Dior corrector pen

Very fluid concealer in a click-pen style packaging. Excellent for adding brightness to under the eyes and correct the darkness before applying concealer. This pen is now discontinued, but I heard the new one is the same with a bigger applicator.

Lancome Monsieur Big Mascara

Just as good as everyone raves - gives you the va va voom lashes and volume without smudging all over. What I disliked about it was the very thick wand as I tend to easily poke myself on the upper eyelid. I'm intrigued to try the waterproof version if it holds the curl even better. Full review here.

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Heroine Make Volume and Curl Mascara (film type)

One of my favorite mascaras ever. Inexpensive, smaller and slightly curved brush. Unlike the name suggests it doesn't build very much volume, but adds some thickness while separating the lashes and holds the curl for hours. If you don't immediately fall in love with this mascara - let it dry for a week or two, then it's perfect!

Rouge Bunny Rouge Brow Expert Gel*

I very much liked the RBR brow gels (brown and un-tinted) I reviewed here, I tried to scrape every last bit of this tinted version. Perfect small brush and it gives natural separation and hold to the brow hairs, without making them feel "crunchy". I'm not rushing to repurchase this as I've felt madly in love with the SUQQU brow mascara (review here) as it has stronger hold.

Pur~lisse Blue Lotus Cleanser*

It was an okay basic milky cleanser for morning or 2nd cleanse, but I got tired of this after a while. I have cleansers I prefer, such as the January Labs Gel Cleanser (review here), so I ended up using up Pur~lisse as a body cleanser and for shaving.

Rituals Shower Foams and Shower Mud

I love Rituals shower and body products, but the Hammam range wasn't my cup of tea. Eucalyptus isn't my favorite fragrance and I found the shower mud way too messy. The Sakura scented gel-to-foam body cleanser was excellent and I'm looking forward to get a bigger size!

OUAI Repair Shampoo and Conditioner

I gave in to the OUAI hype and purchased myself the Repair range shampoo and conditioner. These bottles lasted me for ages, almost a year and a half! That's why I'm so picky of my shampoo/conditioner purchases, they last forever with my short hair style. Despite my constant heat styling these did repair my hair and make it healthy looking over time. Any magical shine and smoothness didn't happen, but I'm open to try more from the range.

Illi Anti-Age Cleansing Oil

One of my favorite cheap and chic cleansing oils! Bang for your buck and removes makeup with no problem. Read full review here. Full review here.

Max and Me Enchanted Facial Oil

One of my biggest first world problems is choosing my favorite Max and Me oil.. I just can't. I enjoyed every drop of Enchanted: how it relaxed my senses, made my skin plum, moisturized and glow. Now I have a backup of the I am The Light oil. If I had advice choosing between the two: pick the one that resonates with you more. Read full review here.

Innisfree Eco Safety SPF50

My one any only Holy Grail sunscreen. I've used about 20 tubes of this during the years. The newest formulation has a slightly more white cast, but nothing that would annoy me. Excellent protection, long lasting and physical SPF. What is not to love? Read more here.

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Anything caught your eye? What's the latest product you've used up?