2020 Empties Vol 2

How is it July already? The year is flying by and I am going through beauty products almost as quickly. Currently, my bag of empties features a couple of fantastic face cleansers, nourishing hand formulas that have made the constant washing less stressful on the skin, a few body care finds that have really impressed me, the most indulgent moisturizer I‘ve ever put on my face, and, as always, face masks! Enjoy!

Vivant Mandelic Acid 3-in-1 Exfoliating Cleanser

If you’re looking to achieve a smoother, more even toned complexion, and refine the look of pores, this cleanser magically tackles all the above. The foaming and mildly gritty gel is packed with Mandelic Acid, an Alpha Hydroxy of larger molecular weight than Glycolic Acid which makes it a gentler option for those with sensitive skin. It’s also packed with antioxidants such as Japanese Green Tea, Kiwi, White Grape, and Honey. I apply it to wet skin in the shower, massage in, leave it on for a minute, and then rinse. It’s the only in-shower rinse-off face care product I’ve discovered that delivers visually remarkable results to skin in the most dull state. $40 (8oz) dermstore.com

Ranavat Luminous Ceremony Cream Cleanser

Were I asked to make a sweeping statement about the beauty industry, I’d say there just aren’t enough ‘firsts’ anymore. When I tried Luminous Ceremony last year, it was a ‘texture first’ the moment I squeezed the gorgeous tube. It’s a creamy balm that works both on dry and wet skin (my preference is on dry), melts away pigment, grime, and oil to deliver a truly luminous outcome. The luxurious formula consists of only a handful of ingredients, the star of which is Manjistha Extract, the Ayurvedic plant considered “the apex of superfoods.” Elevating the ritual to royalty level is its subtle and completely intoxicating aroma: Damask Rose. $42 beauty-heroes.com, credobeauty.com, thedetoxmarket.com, ranavat.com

PCA Skin Pore Refining Treatment

Rarely do I complain about my combination skin unless, of course, it’s hazy, hot, and humid and my T-zone is an oil slick by noon. My pores become congested even sooner. I’ve found PCA Skin Pore Refining Treatment works best as a spot treatment for my T-zone (Give it 20 minutes or so). The creamy mask highlights Mandelic Acid as a chemical exfoliant alongside Papaya Extract, Rice Powder, Pumice, and detoxifying clays: Kaolin and Bentonite. It draws out impurities and sloughs away dead cell build up to reveal smoother, glass-like skin and significantly less visible pores. $60 (2.1oz) dermstore.com

Erborian Milk & Peel Mask

If the PCA Skin tube above sounded great but you’d like to go lighter on the budget, check out the Erborian Milk & Peel Mask. This creamy mask has a Kaolin Clay base and is infused with Sesame Milk, an anti-inflammatory compound rich in amino acids and minerals. If you’re new to enzymatic exfoliation, the formula digests dead cells from the surface of the skin and deactivates within five minutes. If you do leave it on longer, you won’t turn red nor burn. It rinses off easily in the shower (you may need a washcloth if sinkside) and leaves your skin feeling super smooth. $32 (2.12oz) ulta.com 

Kat Burki Nutrient-C Eye Cream

Of all Kat Burki’s eye treatments (yes, I’ve tried them all), the Nutrient-C Eye Cream is hands down my favorite. The creamy formula spreads like a dream, absorbs almost instantly, and provides a comfy moisture cushion to tired looking eyes. Since I gravitate toward eye creams that aren’t not too rich and that can be worn day or night, I raced through this bottle in record speed. Ingredient highlights include the brand’s proprietary KB5™ Complex (Arnica, Gotu Kola, Lavender, Calendula, Chamomile), Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate (a stable and water soluble form of Vitamin C), Neem Seed Oil, Reishi Mushroom, Green Tea, Caffeine Extracts, and Vitamin E. Absolutely love the stylish bottle with pump dispenser but struggled to get every last drop out. Category: splurge worthy. $90 (15ml) spacenk.com, net-a-porter.com, katburki.com

In Fiore Énergisant Oriental Cream Concentré

The In Fiore Énergisant Oriental Cream Concentré is without a doubt the most decadent and effective moisturizer in my skincare arsenal. It’s a surprisingly lightweight cream that is packed with glow boosting plant extracts such as Hawthorn Berry (natural source of Niacinamide), Iris Root, Chinese Litchi Seed, Osmanthus Flower, and Jujuba Fruit. Part of the ‘Made in Japan’ range, this luxurious moisturizer combines the proven efficacy of Traditional Chinese Medicine with the latest in skincare innovation. I prefer to use it as a night cream, give myself a facial massage when applying it, and let the double encapsulation technology time release the skin fortifying ingredients overnight. I look super fresh by morning. $225 (30ml) infiore.net

Omorovicza Deep Cleansing Mask

In my humble opinion, with regard to face masks Omorovicza can do no wrong. It is also one of very few brands that translates its high-end spa aesthetic to an at-home treatment effortlessly. The Deep Cleansing formula purifies the skin with healing waters and mineral rich muds from Hungary’s thermal Lake Héviz. It’s a fantastic balancing mask, which I find falls between Silver Skin Savior (decongesting and resurfacing) and Ultramoor Mud (deep cleansing with anti-aging perks). This classic formula is rich in anti-inflammatory Humic and Fulvic Acids, making it a great option even for those with skin conditions like psoriasis, eczema or rosacea.  $125 (50ml) omorovicza.com

EltaMD UV Clear SPF 46 Tinted

I promise a post on my favorite daily sunscreens later this month. In the meantime, a preview of sorts: this is my most reached-for tinted SPF because it is oil-free, feels weightless on the skin, combines both physical and chemical filters, and offers completely natural appearing sheer coverage with a satin finish that has my skin looking radiant and rested. Did I mention in addition to providing broad-spectrum UV protection, that it contains anti-aging ingredients such as Niacinamide and Sodium Hyaluronate? Most days I simply apply a Vitamin C serum under two pumps of my UV Clear for the quickest and most effective skincare routine the most serious minimalist should embrace. $38 (50ml) at dermstore.com, skinstore.com

Westlab Cleansing Bath Soak

I discovered Westlab Cleansing Bath Soak while seeking something small and not too random that qualified for free shipping when I was placing a lookfantastic order (you guys do it, too… right?). This British brand of bath soaks is pretty amazing and while I am unable to restock this particular formula, I have fallen into a Westlab bath salt obsession ever since. The next time I see this Himalayan Salt Minerals gel, I’m buying three more. For now, I am enjoying the various salt soaks, Zen and Mindful in particular. The gel was $2.99. The bath salts are $8 at lookfantastic.com

Skinfix eczema+ foaming oil body wash

I know I’m going to repeat myself but here goes (again): I find little joy in unscented face and body care products. Especially an unscented body wash. Luckily, this skinfix find has had my skin feeling clean and hydrated and hasn’t caused dryness or irritation. I find it especially great during the summer when I shower more frequently, which often results in annoying dry, itchy patches. I can’t address the accuracy of claims about healing eczema since I don’t  struggle with the condition. The fragrance free gel does lather to create just enough scentless froth to rinse away any trace of sweat, dirt, or sunscreen. Truth bomb: a bit pricey. $24 (12.5oz) sephora.com

MyKirei by KAO Nourishing Hand Wash

Recently launched by the Japanese brand group KAO is the MyKirei three-piece shampoo, conditioner, hand wash collection. I absolutely loved the hand wash and I really liked the shampoo. The conditioner? Just okay. Each product is packaged in an environmentally friendly (albeit a bulky looking thing that resembles a floating device) upright pump dispenser that uses 50% less plastic than traditional packaging. The silky hand wash is infused with skin softening Sake and Yuzu Fruit Extracts and leaves the hands feeling nourished even for The constant (OCD level here) washer. I’m holding on to my pump for when the refill option is back in stock. $18 (300ml) amazon.com

Goldfaden MD Hands To Heart Hand Treatment

When you are applying hand cream as often as you likely are these days, it’s best to get the most out of the treatment so many consider optional. Having finished multiple tubes of GoldfadenMD Hands To Heart, I can assure you it’s one of the best hand creams out there. It’s lightweight and quick absorbing yet it keeps the skin moisturized between washes. What makes this particular formula stand out is the range of ingredients many associate strictly with face care. Hands To Heart bumps up its moisturizing properties with anti-aging ingredients such as Red Tea Extract, Niacinamide, Sodium Hyaluronate, Retinyl Palmitate, and CoQ10. There is a lightweight citrus scent that barely lingers. Two very moisturized thumbs up. $35 (3oz) dermstore.com, skinstore.com

Weleda Pomegranate 24h Roll-On Deodorant

It’s not easy for me to exit Whole Foods without picking up the Weleda Pomegranate deodorant. The tart pomegranate scent is crisp and refreshing, one I much prefer over the brand’s other options (like Citrus or ‘Men’). The liquid takes a few minutes to dry, so get ready for a bit of a learning curve, especially if you’re switching to a formula that is free of aluminum. It keeps me fresh all day long but it’s worth the mention that this is not an antiperspirant. It’s my go-to during long-sleeve weather but I don’t reach for it on hot summer days when sweating is unavoidable. $7.99 amazon.com, feelunique.com

Pacific Shaving Co Caffeinated Shaving Cream

This is the best grooming drugstore find and I owe this discovery to an unsolicited PR mailer (thank you!). The thick and creamy formula gets super frothy on damp skin and has the freshest clean spearmint scent. There is also a healthy dose of skin energizing Caffeine Extract, which is positioned right between Glycerin and Organic Aloe Leaf Juice on the inci list (so you are definitely not just getting a smidgen). I really enjoyed this one immensely and can’t recommend it highly enough. It looks like Pacific Shaving Co has its own store on Amazon (where I’ll be getting the Pre-Shave Bamboo Scrub next) and you can find the Caffeinated Shaving Cream in a larger 7oz tube for $7.99 on target.com.


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