I’m actually amazed that I’ve managed to use enough stuff up to write an empties post! None of this is makeup, of course, since I have too much of that to use any one thing up completely, but I’ve got some empty hair, body, and skincare to discuss/rave about.
The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%
My first empty bottle from The Ordinary! I’m not 100% sure if this stuff works, but there’s a suspicious correlation between me using this and my skin becoming A LOT more clear. Between this, and using Benzoyl Peroxide on individual problem areas, I’m pretty much acne-free! While I knew that Zinc was a common spot-fighting ingredient (I’ve used the Serozinc toner from La Roche Posay), I hadn’t heard of Niacinamide before. It’s also known as Vitamin B3, so while you probably get enough of it from food and drink, you can also apply it topically. It’s an anti-inflammatory that works on blemishes and pigmentation, helping to both heal the skin and prevent any further problems.
The serum formula comes in one of The Ordinary’s distinctive dropper bottles, so it’s easy to apply onto the fingers first or to dropper directly onto the face (which is what I do). It’s a little sticky and doesn’t fully dry down so I wouldn’t advise using this in the daytime under makeup. It’s not a completely targeted treatment and has a low risk of side-effects, so I like to apply this to my whole face to help with overall skin health. Since this is also water-based, any oils or thick cream products will have to go on, or else the serum can’t get to work. The Ordinary’s products are really great for incorporating into existing skin routines and layering up, but it’s always best to change one thing at once to check for any reactions.
I bought my first bottle back in March, and it’s pretty much empty now at the end of June – I’ve already re-ordered a bottle from ASOS, resisting the temptation to order 10000 backups since they’re only a fiver each (!!!). The Ordinary is also stocked on Deciem’s website, Beauty Bay, and Cult Beauty. If you suffer from spots and other nasty blemishes, give this serum a go and see if it can turn things around for you too (and it’s so worth a try at £5.00 for 30ml)
Lush Twilight Shower Gel
On the (slightly) less affordable side of things is this shower gel from Lush. I got this teensy bottle as part of a Lush gift at Christmas – the Twilight scent is a limited seasonal thing, so I was terrified of using this up (it was sat unopened in a drawer for a few months). Once I did finally open it, I fell in love and immediately wanted a huge bottle.
I don’t know if the Twilight scent is for everyone – it’s a very sweet but heady blend of lavender, tonka, and ylang-ylang intended to help you relax and settle down for the evening. The gel itself is a gorgeous deep purple shade that lathers up beautifully and feels really luxurious. I’d love to switch my Radox or Dove out for this as an everyday wash, but the price is perhaps a little steep – the medium-sized 250g bottle retails for £11, and only around Christmas time, so, unfortunately, I have to wait another 5 months to restock (very sad times).
Lush Mask of Magnaminty
Another Lush favourite, but this time it’s an OG fave that I’ve talked about before on here. I love the Mask of Magnaminty so much, I’ve started buying the huge pots because I just know I’ll keep going through them. As someone with oily/spotty skin, this is such a refreshing mask that doesn’t leave you feeling greasy or overly “hydrated” (re: those masks that leave a weird/heavy residue behind).
This mask has a thick texture due to the blend of honey, clay, and peppermint (which also give it its scent), with seeds and ground aduki beans to add exfoliation when taking the mask off. My skin always feels smooth and cleansed after using this, but not tight or dry in the slightest.
The self-preserving edition of this mask comes in three sizes – 125g/£6.50, 315g/£11.50, and 600g/£18.95. I picked up the 315g pot since the largest size isn’t available at my local Lush store (totally would get it if I could though). It takes a good couple of months for me to get through a pot of this stuff, with twice-weekly applications. I wouldn’t use it more frequently than that, as too much physical exfoliation can be potentially damaging to the skin. Pick it up online here, or in-store.
OGX Brazilian Keratin Smooth Shampoo
After finishing uni and moving back home, I had to get used to shampooing my hair with whatever Mum had picked up with the shopping. I’ve successfully converted everyone to Aussie, however, I found that Miracle Moist just wasn’t doing it for my hair. So, I decided to splash out a little more on shampoo and try out the various ranges from OGX – their price points are more upmarket than, say, Alberto Balsam. Still, the shampoos and conditioners from OGX are widely available in Boots, Superdrug and some supermarkets.
I didn’t really know where to start, but this one promised to smooth and soften my hair (hell yes) and it smelled bloody amazing – a combination of coconuts and cocoa butter. As for my hair-washing experience, I found that this lathered up well and therefore not much was required, even with my thick and hedge-like tresses. It rinsed out easily and didn’t leave me greasy or with that overly dry and stripped feeling (all I can ask for from a shampoo, tbh).
For what could be considered in the upper bracket of drugstore-end, I think this is a cracking shampoo and I’m sad to have gotten to the end of it. I’m currently trying out a couple of others from OGX, so they may well turn up in another future empties post…
OGX shampoos, including this one, are available here for £6.99 each (for 385ml).
L’Oreal Pure Clay Glow Scrub
Next time I see this in a shop I am 100% repurchasing it. It’s featured in my evening skincare routine pretty much every single night since I bought it. As part of L’Oreal’s Pure Clay range, which includes those three clay face masks that everyone went mad for, three different face washes were introduced, packaged in large tubes. The red version is more of a scrub, with a gritty texture rather than a foaming one, featuring red algae among other skincare ingredients.
I use this product as a second cleanse, after removing my makeup with coconut oil, to clarify my skin and make sure it’s completely clean. Spreading it all over the face as if it were a clay mask, I let it dry for a few minutes before wetting my hands and going in with a gentle scrubbing motion on the cheeks and chin. I then wash it off with a face cloth and continue with the rest of my routine – toner, serums etc.
I really think this has been a vital part of my skin’s dramatic improvement over recent months. I’ve been really strict about sticking to double-cleansing and the gentle exfoliation from this scrub is perfect for a deep clean and encouraging the skin to renew itself. The only downside to this product is that there’s a slight gritty residue that lingers after washing – it’s best to let your face dry and then dust off the remaining particles.
The 150ml tube is £5.99 RRP, but there’s always loads of offers on at Superdrug and Boots (it’s actually £3.95 here while I’m writing this!).
That’s it for all the empty bottles and tubes I had lying around! It’s all pretty much positive stuff, probably because I (mostly) carefully research things before buying them. I’ll try to collect stuff as I use it up going forwards, and hopefully I’ll be able to do another one of these posts.