Staff Picks: Third quarter empties

I NEED to review my beauty stash every few months. It keeps me from buying more stuff, and gives me something to look forward to in my next shopping trip! As tempting as it gets sometimes, I've been trying my best not to open any new products while I currently have something in circulation. I end up feeling guilty about not being able to use them up before they expire. 

Fully using up or "emptying" a product takes some effort but I've honestly gotten addicted to the high of it! If you find yourself in need of motivation to hit pan, or just need a quick review of what we've used up, check out what we at the PV team are finally clearing from our vanities!


Den: For the first time in my life, I used up an entire bottle of toner! My dry skin fell in love with Human Nature's Hydrating Face Toner from the first time I patted it on. I never thought that it was possible for a toner to be so moisturizing, so this has been a fave first layer of hydration. I very badly want to buy a new bottle of this but I have other toners that I need to use up first, so love will have to wait!

Most of the CosRX Acne Pimple Master Patches were actually used up by my husband but having this in my stash actually makes me feel somewhat excited about getting pimples. (Editor: What??? - Liz) Not even sorry - peeling it off and ogling at the collected junk is just so satisfying, so I already stocked up on backups.

The Nuxe Nirvanesque Smoothing Cream is actually from the PV Wanderlust kit, and I'm pretty impressed by how much product that little 15ml tube contained! I enjoyed using this as a night cream, partly because the pleasant scent was very relaxing. I'm a bit ashamed to say that I don't even remember how long the Blistex Daily Conditioning Treatment has been sitting in my vanity but the pot really does take forever to use up. Nothing works half as well for saving chapped, flaky lips so I'd recommend for all matte, liquid lip lovers to get themselves a tub. Finally, the empty that I feel the most for is this sample vial of Guerlain La Petit Robe Noir Intense. I'd been looking for a scent that suits me for so long, and I have fallen so hard for this. Please please please let me know if you spot this on sale!


Tellie: So giddy to finally be able to participate in this Staff Picks! And with tumataginting na foooour items, whoot! I picked up the Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair sometime last year, when the PV girls did the Estée Lauder challenge (because I didn't wanna feel left out in Korea, haha!). I love this serum. It does feel very enriching and my skin feels pampered/less stressed with it. I was also able to empty out my Coyori Oil and Lotion, though not at the same time. I was able to figure out that the oil had a bigger impact on my dry skin, though both skincare items are at least good, I'd say great. Lastly, it's not fully empty, but I'm shucking my 3-month old Heroine Make mascara because I've grown up now~


Nina: Since I don’t wear makeup on a daily basis and only started a little over a year ago, I've never fully used up any products before… until now. I swear, I saw my life flash before my eyes when I found that my tube of Benefit’s Porefessional was empty, and. Call me dramatic, but this is the only primer (and pore minimiser) that I trust (at the moment). I love how it makes my skin look so smooth, especially in photos. I’m definitely going to have to get another tube this weekend. I can’t and won’t put any makeup on my face without it!

Claire: My heart broke as I squeezed out the very last drops of Estée Lauder Micro Essence and Advanced Night Repair. The duo has done wonders for my skin; making lines and blemishes less apparent, minimizing oil production, and improving skin texture. My makeup also oxidized a lot less! I'm not sure I'll purchase it anytime soon because of its considerable price tag, but at least I now know it does work for me if all else fails.

I'm on my third CosRX One Step Pimple Clear Pad tub; this and the patches are automatic repurchases for me. The Face Shop's Jeju Aloe Vera Gel was good, but I have a lot of other AVGs to work through, haha! Etude House's Real Art Mild Cleansing Oil removed makeup excellently, but was difficult to wash off and broke me out. I ended up finishing it off by using it as a cleanser for brushes and sponges. The L'Oreal Infallible Setting Spray was my first foray into makeup mists, and it was so-so. It performed much better when I decanted it into a container with a finer spray. I'm on the lookout for something better. Suggestions are welcome!


Marielle: In an anti-hoarding frenzy, I've decided to finish up my Tony Moly Floria Nutra-Energy Emulsion and my Nature Republic Argan 20 Real Ampoule. The former has become a staple as the quick-absorbing emulsion formula goes under just about anything, be it makeup or other skincare products. I am even able to use it while my skin is flaring up. (FYI: I have a backup bottle of this, and I'm already on it!) The latter, on the other hand, has been in my drawer for the longest time. I was afraid it would be expired already, but luckily the formula was still perfectly fine. The lavender scent actually makes me nervous about triggering a skin irritation, but I haven't gotten any bad reactions.


Crystal: I'm proud of my ability to empty products, but this month I'm extra proud to empty a foundation! Estée Lauder Double Wear is a great everyday foundation because it has full coverage that lasts pretty long but doesn't feel heavy on the skin. I also emptied three Philosophy products this month: a cleanser, an eye cream, and a vitamin c powder. I've been a loyal user of Turbo C Booster for years and I've lost count of how many bottles I've used up. It really does help brighten my skin! The Purity Made Simple cleanser is already my third emptied bottle, and is my favorite makeup remover/cleanser especially for lazy nights when I don't have time to double cleanse. Eye Hope eye cream is a basic eye cream that just helps hydrate my undereye area yet absorbs easily on my skin.

Moving on, I emptied 3W Clinic Collagen and Gold Essence, which I find to be very meh but I just used as a medium to dilute my vitamin c powder. I also used up a Clinique All About Eyes Serum deluxe size. I couldn't tell if it helped de-puff my eyes but I enjoyed using the cold rollerball. Another empty is a mini size of Benefit Porefessional, which is really great for blurring pores and keeping oil at bay. My last empty is Gahui Moist Up Water Mist, a basic facial mist that I use to help my makeup look less powdery.


Kim: 4 empties, 2 losers, 2 winners. Like their cleanser that I finished in the last empties post, this Shiseido Ibuki Moisturizer is too underwhelmingly basic for its price tag. It's a little too rich for my oily skin and takes a while to absorb so I never really used it in the mornings because it made me look like a grease ball. The V&M Acai + Mulberry Underamour that I picked up from BeautyMNL turned out to be a bad pick, too. I picked it up to aid in my quest for #kilikiligoals but it did NOT deodorize, brighten, nor moisturize my underarms as it claimed to do.

The Ordinary's Advanced Retinoid 2% though is A+++ skincare. I've done a comprehensive review of The Ordinary products, and I thank this particular product for helping me win my battle against adult acne. It will forever be on my to-repurchase list, same as the Savannah's Shea Exfoliating Salt Scrub. It took me 5 months to finish this giant scrub tub despite richly slathering it on twice or thrice a week. It gives me soft, baby smooth skin that lets me skip on the lotion. It also helps me keep ingrown hair in check especially after waxing sessions. For P325 at Beauty Bar, this big tub of scrub is very sulit!


Gett: I wanted to finish the samples I've accumulated, so I have mini sizes in my empties!

Skincare-wise, I’ve mostly finished products up because they were underwhelming. These are the IOPE Moistgen Emulsion and the Holika Holika Lazy & Joy Ceramide Capsule Cream (but I will keep the container because Gudetama!) The Simple Soothing Eye Balm is good but it doesn’t suit my needs anymore, :( I really liked the Etude House sample of Honey Cera emulsion though! Love the scent, love the texture. Overall reminds me of honey but absorbs easily on the skin and doesn't feel sticky. I’ve also finished the Clio Microfessional Lip & Eye remover. Great at removing eye makeup, but won’t repurchase simply because I prefer wash-off oil cleansers.

For makeup, I’ve finished up a sample of the Peripera Peri Ink BB (which was part of a set). It’s too pale for me so I just mix it up with a darker base. Just really wanted to finish it because sayang. I’ve loved the great oil control of the Aritaum Pore Master Sebum Control Primer, and will definitely repurchase. Finally, the Heroine Make Volume and Curl. I’m a record on repe-pe-pe-peat on how much I love this mascara. I already have backups so yay!

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Stacie: It's been a while since I last showed my empties, which is why I have a pile of stuff I have finished and hit pan on. Recently, I have been using purely samples for my skincare routine except for the CosRx BHA Skin Returning A-Sol, which I have repurchased twice already! I am on my third bottle and I feel like my skin cannot live without it. It gently exfoliates and keeps the oil at bay while lightly hydrating my skin. It's amazing! I also loved the IOPE Moistgen sample kit, so I am actually on my second set! Not included in the photo is the eye cream, which I also love. These are super hydrating and did not irritate my skin at all.

I have also finished this gel pump bottle of the Nivea Sun Protect Water Gel, which I believe is only available in Japan. I use it as everyday body sunblock. It's light and non-sticky and does not smell like sunblock.

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Also in the photo is the IOPE Trouble Clinic sample kit, which I also enjoyed. This is not as hydrating as Moistgen but more effective against breakouts. The empty tubes are Maybelline Lash Sensational, Etude House Fresh Cherry Tint, and The Face Shop Designing Eyebrow pencil.

I have hit pan on my Etude House Lovely Cookie Blusher in Grapefruit Jelly. It actually has a larger pit now than at the time I took this photo. I have also finished up my CosRx Make Me Lovely Cushion. This one is okay but a bit too pink and light for my liking.

Have you emptied any products lately? What do you do to get through your collection faster?