We’re big fans of the YouTube Beauty Community here at The Everygirl. We’re constantly talking about our favorite creators, their best looks, and buying pretty much everything they recommend. The YouTube beauty world is honestly what we have to thank for some of the biggest trends in beauty—we’d never be baking our undereyes or curling our hair with straighteners or using men’s post-shave balm as a primer if it weren’t for the beauty YouTubers who taught us how.
Alongside the various techniques YouTube has taught us, the phenomenon of the ever-so-popular “empties video” has truly taken over our subscription feeds. Every beauty YouTuber has made an empties video (if not five), and everyone who even knows just a glimpse of beauty YouTube has seen one. The concept is simple: show everyone what’s in your trash and talk about if you loved it, if you’ll buy it again, and how long it took you to use up.
So being the beauty-lovers we are at TEG HQ, we decided to create our own empties series. Every month, all of our editors will share a few of our own empties—from skin, hair, and makeup products to candles and vitamins and home items—and give our unfiltered review on each of the products. Some of them we’ll love and need to repurchase ASAP … and some we’ll celebrate finally finishing them up. If you’ve ever wondered what our absolute favorites (and not-so-favorites) are, this is the right place to be. It’s finally time for our trash cans to shine!
Let me start with this: I am naturally very, very pale—not in a cute way, in an I-have-the-flu way. Because of this, I have tried literally every self-tanner you have ever heard of. I have tried expensive ones and drugstore ones and of them all, this is absolutely, hands-down my favorite way to tan my face, and I NEVER HEAR ANYONE TALKING ABOUT IT. Anyone who self-tans knows that your face fades first, so I spray this on after cleansing, and it magically turns my face into the most natural-looking fake tan I have ever seen in my life. It's better than the Isle of Paradise Tanning drops, it's better than whatever you're using now—it never looks muddy or overdone, but makes you look like you truly spent the afternoon in the sun. This is probably my 10th bottle and I will always re-purchase it. This is in my top five favorite beauty products, no questions asked. Spraying a clear water on your face and it turning into the perfect, even tan sounds too good to be true, but I promise, it is not.
To reiterate, I have tried every self-tanner you have ever heard of, and this is my fourth bottle of this bad boy and I already have another one purchased. I like to look as dark as possible without looking clearly artificial, and this one hits the nail on the head. It's super long-lasting and makes me the perfect just-got-back-from-vacation tan I've ever witnessed—and it's the most scent-free one I've ever tried. This one is also my go-to before big events—I can put it on at night and wake up the next day knowing that I won't look crazy or need three showers before I'm an acceptable color, which puts it at the top of my list. This line is truly incredible. (I've tried the Purity Bronzing Mousse as well, and found that this one is darker).
I remember when The Ordinary first came out and I was absolutely shooketh by the fact that everything was seemingly under $10. I immediately bought everything I could and this miracle liquid was (and still is) my favorite product they make. Doing a chemical peel at home sounds dicey, but I actually really love how my skin feels after this. You spread a thin layer all over your face (it's BRIGHT red so you look like your face has been turned inside out, and yes, it is alarming), wait 10 minutes, and then rinse. After rinsing, my face is so smooth it could give Hitch a run for his money.
I've jumped on the double cleansing bandwagon in the last year, much to my own annoyance, because when I finally get around to washing my face at night, I am so tired I could collapse in place. But I genuinely think the benefits of the ol' double cleanse outweigh the interminable length of my nighttime routine. I've tried tons of cleansing oils and a lot of them sting my poor, sensitive eyes or make my face feel a bit grimy. This Maelove one is like a beautiful breath of fresh air. It's really gentle going on and makes my face feel so utterly soft it's basically kitten fur. I follow it up with my Avene Cleansing Gel and I feel like the Queen of Double Cleansing.
When I first picked up this brow gel, it quickly became my holy grail. I love the color selection—nothing is too grey or too warm—and it adds just the right amount of volume and hold to the brows. I love that it doesn’t make my brows sticky or clumpy either. I don’t naturally have thick brows (somehow the only parts of my body that aren’t ~thick~ are my brows and hair—rude), but I love the look of brushed-up, model-esque brows. It took a while to get through this, but I’ve since found a cheaper and better brow gel at the drugstore!
LOL, I bought another one of these when I was halfway done with the bottle because it’s truly my favorite body care product of all time. I’ve gotten my mom, my grandma (who has strictly used just Dove pink soap since the beginning of time), my friends, and even my ex (his next GF has so much to thank me for) onto this body moisturizer. I use it while my hair conditioner is setting, and it makes your skin soft without feeling greasy. I pat my skin dry when I get out of the shower, and if I really want to glow, I’ll go in with a body cream.
I wear eyeshadow pretty much every single day, and I’m always on the hunt for the best eye primer. Right now, my favorite is the Urban Decay Primer Potion (an oldie, but a goodie!), but this comes in as a close second, especially considering the price. Because I use primer every day, it’s very easy to go through the product, so I love having this budget option in my arsenal!
How I feel about eye creams is how I felt about toys as a child: I'm really into one until a shiny new one comes along. I have tried many eye creams in my life, and this is the first one to ever reach empty status. Of all the eye creams that promise to brighten (my Keurig knows how much I need help brightening the under-eyes), this one packs a secret ingredient (spoiler alert: it's banana powder). Add in super ingredients like vitamin C and collagen to reduce signs of aging, this eye cream truly packs a powerful punch (and smells amazing). It's my favorite cream to put under makeup because it instantly soothes and hydrates, so I have one last little drop I'm saving for a special occasion before I head to Sephora for my next tub (it will also be the first eye cream I purchase twice!).
Living in the south, I spend most of the year either (a) covered in sweat or (b) reworking my beauty routine to accommodate for potential sweat. It’s just a fact of life that I have come to accept. Yes, I did get a little pampered during my four-year stint in Los Angeles where humidity doesn’t exist and no one knows how to drive in rain (aka the faintest sprinkle), but now I am back in the boob-sweat belt of the United States and embracing my future as a dewy drenched princess. All of this to say, it’s hella annoying that for my eight-week “winter” (yes, the air quotes are strong y’all) reprieve, I have to spend it dealing with my scalp freaking the f*ck out. This isn’t some little sprinkle of dandruff that your Dad’s old bottle of Head and Shoulders can take care of. This is full-blown-chunks-of-my-scalp-coming-off-nightmare. That’s why every night during fake winter, I say a little prayer of thank you to the goddess above that Kristin Ess blessed my world with a scalp line that is affordable, conveniently located at Target, and smells amazing. This is my second year using her magic scalp potions and after trying other methods with limited success, I always return to her line. TYSM KRISTIN ILY.
This face cleanser is like that really good looking guy on Tinder that you had big hopes for. Everything starts off great and by date two you’re already mentally packing for the exotic summer vacay you’ll take together while convincing yourself the weird memes he sends you are endearing … and then by the end of date four when he cannot remember what you do for a living, you text your roommate begging her to call with a fake life emergency because if this date lasts a moment longer you simply can’t continue with life. When I started my journey with this cleanser I loved it. Most oil cleansers come in a tub with a spoon that doesn’t make for ideal shower application, so for packaging Shiseido nails it. But with every pump, I was less impressed. By the time it was over, I was relieved to toss it in the recycling bin and move on. It works fine, but for $34 I want to be blown away and simply put: it was lackluster and lasted forever. I already ordered my old faithful to replace it: Clean It Zero.
Despite being married, I have a whole host of secret-single-behaviors that I still get to partake in thanks to my husband working an incredibly daunting job. If I’m being dramatic and exaggerative (hello, it’s me so OF COURSE I AM), I’ll say they are my greatest joys in life—but please do not relay that to my pets, aforementioned husband, friends, family, etc. One of these behaviors is expensive candle hoarding. When Anthropologie has a sale, I buy this candle in Costco-level bulk. I convince myself it’s affordable which is a real loosey-goosey argument but oh well. I burn them year-round, in every room, and like the aspiring bougie bitch I am, I consider it my signature home scent. I just finished off my last one and am already waiting at the window for the UPS guy.
There are very few (beauty-related) things that bring me more joy in this life than a good face mask. It's the little things, guys. I impulse-bought this one, but, when trying to decide which mask to use, kept coming back to it. It has a scent I think is pretty calming and always makes my skin look and feel great. I'm already missing it, so chances are good that it'll get repurchased VERY soon.
Everyone warned me about the Chicago winter but up until recently it really wasn’t “that bad.” Once it started getting consistently freezing, however, I switched to a new moisturizer and it has made such a difference to my wind-battered face (courtesy of a walking commute).
I instantly noticed my skin feeling and looking healthier, plus any product that has “with soothing oat” on the label I am definitely buying.