Back again with another 5 empties (a fully finished product)! I have a bunch of empties this month, but am still keeping these posts to 5 products to keep them short, so you’ll likely be seeing them a little more often than usual for a bit. That said, I’m super excited to take a good look at what I thought of the products I’ve finished and whether or not I’d buy them again.

Laneige Cica Sleeping Mask  – I’ve talked about this in 3 favorites posts now because I love it so much. My last jar lasted me from before January 2020 until now, so for me, it’s 100% worth the $34 price for the jar (especially if I can get it on sale). I only use this mask twice a week when I use my AHA toner, and it really helps with any potential irritation that comes with using an exfoliator. It also makes a huge difference in taming the redness in my skin that I really don’t have any anymore. I already had a replacement because this is one of the only products I know I can’t be without, but I will absolutely get another jar in 2022 when I finally run out again.

Cover FX Dewy Finish Setting Spray – I mentioned this in my 2020 and 2019 favorites and, like the Cica mask, I already had a backup because I love it so much. This is my HG setting spray that I’ve been using for years, and something really incredible would have to come out for me to switch. It’s alcohol-free, it really does add dewiness which I can never get enough with, and it’s so much less drying than other setting sprays I’ve tried. And yes, I do already have a backup for my backup that I’m using now.

CosRX AHA/BHA Clarifying Treatment Toner – Unlike those first two, I will not be replacing this. For me, it just didn’t do anything, and even though it’s “only” $19, I really want every step in my skincare routine to be an effective one. It’s supposed to be a very gentle exfoliating toner/prep your skin for other chemical exfoliators, but I really didn’t notice a difference after using it for over a year. I don’t think this is a worthwhile step in my skincare routine, and so not only did I not replace it, I didn’t get anything else to sub in for this step.

Dr. Jart+ Tiger Grass Cream – I love this product for when I’m having any skin issues, especially when I’m testing something new and have a reaction. This always helps calm my skin down quickly, and it’s so nourishing. I also have really loved using it for my super dry winter skin. When we used to be able to travel, I loved having some of this with me because it’s perfect for after a flight or long car trip to help with dehydrated skin. That said, as much as I love it, I am testing a few heavy-duty creams right now, so I won’t picking up another bottle unless it beats out the ones I’m trying. I will report back in a future post!

Living Proof Restore Smooth Blowout Concentrate – I really enjoyed using this, and it does exactly what it promised – gives really smooth, shiny hair when you blow dry it. I personally like the Bumble and bumble Bb.Repair Blow Dry better for that purpose, and I’m currently working through a bunch of hair styling treatments, so I won’t be repurchasing this.

I’m loving reviewing my empties, and it’s great to see that I actually am using the things I love and getting through things I don’t. There will likely be another empties post next week too because I already have a bunch to review – let me know if you’d rather see more things in between!

2019 Skincare and Hair care Favorites

Best skincare discoveries in 2019:
I have a ton of tried and true favorites that I’ve used every day for years (comment below if you’d like a detailed post on that!), so instead of going through each category, here are my favorite discoveries in skincare this year.

Good Molecules Niacinamide Brightening Toner – This toner is my favorite skincare discovery of 2019! It has made my skin clearer, brighter, and less dry. It’s also $14 for a huge bottle. I’m so happy Beautylish sent a free sample to me in one of my orders because this was the #1 product that changed my skin for the better this year.

Krave Beauty Kale-lalu-yAHA – After trying a bunch of other chemical exfoliants, this is the one my skin responds the best to. It keeps my skin from getting congested, and it always looks so much brighter and glowy the morning after I use it. I only use it twice a week, but I can tell a huge difference if I forget to use it when I travel.

The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid 2% Emulsion – I wasn’t expecting anything too crazy for something under $10, but this has done great things for my skin. I was having trouble with wrinkles forming on my forehead and around my mouth and using this twice a week has totally gotten rid of them. It didn’t cause any purging or redness either, so I’m super excited to have found this.

Fresh Lotus Youth Preserve Dream Night Cream – My friend Vera recommended this to me when I was looking to replace the reformulated Clinique Moisture Surge (which I had used for ten years!). She was right in that it was exactly what I was looking for. It’s incredibly moisturizing without being oily, and it smells amazing. I’ve already gone through a full jar in 2019 and repurchased another and can say for sure that this will be a staple for me for many years to come.

Krave Beauty The Beet Shield – My favorite sunscreen was discontinued earlier this year, so I had to look for a replacement. Since I already loved the Kale-lalu-yAHA and had heard great things about the Beet Shield for dry skin, I decided to try it. This sunscreen blends in so quickly, leaves no whitecast, and doesn’t dry out my skin like many others do. I can also confirm it works – I used it for a week in Las Vegas and two in Florida without getting any color on my face.

Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse Multi-Purpose Dry Oil – This is hands down the best body moisturizer I have ever found, and I have tried dozens at this point. It sinks in so fast, is lightweight and not greasy, and keeps my skin moisturized for days. I can also mix it in to my other moisturizers super easily if I want an extra boost. I usually get incredibly dry skin in the winter to the point of being itchy all over, but haven’t had that problem at all this year thanks to this dry oil.

Best hair care discoveries in 2019:
In 2019, I bought a few too many Sephora Favorites Hair sets and got a bunch of hair related gifts with purchase. This led to me having over 50 hair products to try this year. My favorites of the bunch are:

Bumble and Bumble Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil Shampoo, Conditioner, and Primer and the While You Sleep Damage Repair Masque – This line and the mask are magic for my hair. Together, they keep it looking shiny, soft, and frizz-free without weighing it down. Plus, it smells amazing and compliments all the perfumes I own vs overpowering them (like DryBar products can do). I only use the mask about once every 3 weeks, and that’s been more than enough to keep my hair feeling great.

Ouai Wave Spray – I had decluttered this years ago for feeling sticky and not doing much for my hair, but now that I have it back in my collection, I have no idea what I was thinking. It works incredibly well after I curl my hair to give it some texture and beachiness without making anything crunchy. I do think it works much better because I now have shorter hair, but I can definitely say it works better than the other wave sprays I tried this year.

dpHUE Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse – When dry shampoo and other products have built up in my hair, this rinse does such a great job getting it clean again. It doesn’t leave my hair dry or overly stripped. It was particularly useful after my engagement shoot and wedding when I had what felt like gallons of hair spray in my hair. It got it all out super quickly, and my hair felt exactly the same as before.

Tangle Teezer – I own a ton of hair brushes at this point, and I thought that it didn’t make a huge difference what you used. This brush totally changed my mind. I love how compact it is and how it fits in my hand, and I can use it with wet or dry hair with limited breakage. The best part for me is that I have some waviness in my hair when it airs dries, and this brush doesn’t straighten them out at all.

Next up – brushes and lifestyle favorites!