I'll be the first to admit I don't finish most of my beauty products before they expire. Try as I might to streamline (or practice restraint while shopping), self-control and discipline don't come easily for me it comes to beauty. I inevitably end up accumulating more than is humanly possible to use.
That said, there are exceptions to this rule: certain skincare, hair, and makeup products I consistently finish like clockwork. These beauty staples are the ones I buy again and again, using them up (enjoying the sweet satisfaction that comes with beauty product empties) and restocking as soon as I possibly can. Below, find the eight products I always finish and will absolutely continue to buy.
As big as I am on lip products (my lips are perpetually chapped), I find it almost impossible to get to the end of a balm. Maybe it's because I almost always misplace it before I can use it up, or because I'm distracted by new formulas with shocking frequency. That is not the case, however, with Eve Lom's Kiss Mix.
This perfect balm is buildable, so you can sweep it on for a touch of moisture and shine, or layer for more concentrated hydration. It leaves a cool, minty feeling and a plumped appearance every time. I use the Kiss Mix Colour in Demure, a soft pink shade that adds the right amount of natural color.
I've professed my love for this foundation stick many times over the past few years. I pray Hourglass never stops making it because, at this point, it is an integral part of my beauty look. After applying an oil or cream moisturizer (depending on what my skin feels like), I'll apply the foundation just where I need it—I like a no-makeup makeup look most days. Or, if I'm hoping for more coverage, I swipe the formula down the bridge of my nose, across my cheekbones, under my eyes, and then blend.
The finish is always light and matte, allowing the dewiness of my moisturizer to come through. I've probably gone through about five of these sticks since Hourglass first launched the product, and I don't plan on editing it out of my beauty lineup anytime soon.
Along with the inevitable satisfaction of finishing a beauty products, with this particular formula, there's a twinge of pain as well. Not because it hurts my skin, more my heart (it's pricey). But, it's worth every last penny. It took me a while to get on board with SK-II's cult-favorite essence, but since I've added it to my routine, there's no going back.
Though it's included in this roundup of empties (I just finished off a mini size last week and had a fresh one waiting in the wings), the product lasts a surprisingly long time, even if you use it every night. I recently came across an 11-ounce iteration at Costco, so perhaps my next restock will keep me going for a while.
I could douse my face with this every day, multiple times a day. But I don't, because I'm always running out—even when I use it sparingly. I've gone through just about every size—the largest for my beauty cabinet, the smaller one for my travel bag, and the sample size to keep in my tote for midday refreshes. No matter the amount of ounces I invest in, I eventually work my way down to the very last drop. I love that it's breathable yet still deeply moisturizing. It's the ideal cure-all for dryness or tired-looking skin.
I apply just a few drops to my face most mornings, whether or not I'm wearing makeup that day (it goes beautifully under the Hourglass Vanish Seamless Foundation Stick for a dewy finish) and let it work its magic. My face remains moisturized and soft throughout the day and I've noticed visible improvements in my skin's texture and tone over time. Lastly, I'm obsessed with its delicate saffron scent—it's something I look forward to each morning.
I'm incredibly low-maintenance when it comes to hair and Ouai's Wave Spray has been my go-to styling product since it was first released. Over the past few years, I've used it to style a lob, bob, shoulder-length, and long hair (and everything in between). I have naturally wavy hair and a few spritzes of this formula makes my air-dried hair look intentional and put together, but still undone. When I travel, I even use it as a light hairspray to keep flyaways in place. I have a few bottles in varying sizes around my house and never travel without one.
After years of experimenting with pricey cleansers, I revisited this drugstore favorite and haven't wanted to switch it up since. It's incredibly gentle, never irritates my sensitive skin, and always gets the job done. Cetaphil—this gentle daily scrub in particular—will forever have its place in my skincare lineup. It offers the right amount of exfoliation so that it improves my skin's texture without being abrasive. As soon as I begin getting low, I reorder more so I'm never without it.
Last but certainly not least, Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Concentrate is another product I've had the pleasure of recycling multiple times. It was one of the first true grownup skincare products I introduced into my routine and I haven't gone a day without it since. While I always like to tailor my line-up to whatever is going on with my skin, this product serves a variety of needs. It's a fool-proof nightly go-to without overcomplicating things.
Have your own batch of empties? Here's how to recycle your beauty products.