Empties Review | Ep. 2

Empties Review | Ep. 2

It’s been a couple of long, humid, and sweaty summer months (even though summer only officially started a few weeks ago) so I haven’t been wearing even my usual no-makeup-makeup-look on a regular basis. It makes sense, then, that the only products I’ve been finishing lately are skincare- and haircare-related. I’ve collected all of the products I’ve finished recently for the second episode of my empties review, and I’m excited to say that all of these products made the re-purchase list. Now, if only my bank account will allow me to do just that.


Bumble and bumble Repair Blow Dry serum – $16-32, Sephora.com

bumble and bumble repair blow dry serum

I was so excited to get this little guy as a sample in my Sephora order, but I wasn’t sure how long such a small amount of product would last. As it turns out, this half-ounce tube lasted nearly six months! Granted, I don’t blow-dry my hair that often, but even when I do, I need to use a teeny tiny amount to get the job done.

The results are impeccable – I truly notice a difference in the silky-smoothness of my freshly dried hair and it adds a nice texture for styling without making my hair feel greasy. There are few things I can’t stand, but being able to tell I have a thick, sticky, yucky product in my hair is the WORST. (Okay, dramatic, but still. It’s not exactly a good feeling.) Plus, knowing my hair has an extra layer of heat protection for good measure lets me blow-dry with a clear conscience. I give it a 5 out of 5.

Eva NYC Mane Magic 10-in-1 Primer – $12, amazon.com

eva-nyc mane magic

Wow oh wow oh wow. I cannot think of enough good things to say about this product. I was pleasantly surprised to find this in one of my ipsy GlamBags, and testing it out made me even more excited to spread the word about it! When I was in high school, I had the longest hair. Like – I desperately needed a trim and a deep conditioning treatment, but I didn’t care because my only goal in life was to be Rapunzel (also I wanted a pet chameleon). I also have very fine strands of hair, so that made tangles my kryptonite.

After discovering the magic combination of “It’s a 10” hair conditioning spray and a WetBrush, I thought all of my problems were solved. But I was living a lie! I didn’t know how amazing my hair could be until I doused my hair in this incredible nectar for the first time. My hair was silky smooth, my ends stayed thick and intact, and glossiness (not brassiness) was at an all-time-high.

To make things better, Eva NYC’s business philosophy is aspirational for all #girlbosses. From their website: “Eva NYC represents the duality found in real women. We stand for a community that embraces a (beauty) lifestyle that is unregimentedfun, and free.” What more could a girl ask for?? I give it a 5 out of 5.

Luseta Beauty Volume Reviving Dry Shampoo in Potpourri – $16, amazon.com

Lustea Potpourri dry shampoo

I really hit the jackpot in the incredible hair products category. This dry shampoo also showed up in one of my ipsy GlamBag and I was apprehensive at first. After being tragically disappointed by the Living Proof Perfect Hair Day dry shampoo, I thought the Batiste line of dry shampoos was the only one for me. But, I’ve always said I’ll try anything once, so I gave this one a shot on one of my I-should-probably-shower greasy hair days.

And OMG wow. The smell? Wow. The de-grease factor? Wow. The messy bed-head texture? Wow oh wow. Also can we talk about how this scent is named Potpourri? Like the bowl of weird-looking dried leaves and branches that sits on your grandma’s toilet? But, hey, I’m not one to question a good thing.

Add to it Luseta’s brand mission to make hair products that are natural and cost-conscious and this dry shampoo is a winner, winner, chicken dinner in my book! I give it a (surprise) 5 out of 5.

Murad Clarifying Toner – $20.97, amazon.com

Murad Clarifying Toner

Several months ago, my face decided to turn into a slime ball grease station. When I wore makeup, my forehead felt like I had doused it in baby oil. Not in a good way. I know some people are really into the dewy finish look, but the only satisfaction I felt was getting to see all of the oil get absorbed when I used blotting sheets.

Finally, I had enough and decided to take a look at my skincare routine. My supply of First Aid Beauty’s cleanser, serum, and moisturizer had pretty much run out, so I was using random samples of cleansers and moisturizers I had gotten in ipsy GlamBags and Sephora orders. So, I did some research and decided to test out this “blue” collection of oil-control products from Murad.

This is actually the first time I had ever used a toner, so I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. I’ve used astringent, but this toner works a little differently. It’s tingly and cooling (though I’m not sure that’s the intended effect) and can be quite drying if you’re not careful. At first, I was using it all over my face, but once my cheeks started getting super patchy I decided to re-think what I was doing.

It certainly gets the job one, but the price of the collection is a little off-putting so I give it a 4 out of 5.

Murad Oil-Control Mattifier – $39.50, amazon.com

Murad Mattifier

This product still perplexes me a bit. It doesn’t specifically say it’s a moisturizer, but it’s categorized under the “Hydrate & Protect” section of the collection, so it’s hard to tell whether it’s meant for hydrating or protecting. It does have SPF, which is never a bad thing, but the one thing that’s hard for me to get past is its consistency. It kind of feels like that goo we used to play with in elementary school that’s slippery until you smack it really hard, and then it gets really firm and tight. This moisturizer (?) comes out of the tube like any other lotion-y product, but when you go to apply it to your face, it gets really thick and hard to spread around. It almost feels like you’re pulling at your skin, which is not exactly beneficial if you’re worried about early onset wrinkles.

I also feel like it has such little product for such an expensive price tag. If I hadn’t been desperate to find something to help my oily skin, I don’t know that I would have splurged on this item. It gets the job done, but come on, Murad, can you give a girl a break? I give it a 4 out of 5.

Elizabeth and James Nirvana White dry shampoo – $14-28, sephora.com

Elizabeth and James Nirvana dry shampoo

If we’re going to talk about an expensive product, though, I have to mention this dry shampoo from my favorite Olsen twins’ brand, Elizabeth and James. I think I bought this as a #treatyoself on my birthday and I’m not sure if it’s the price tag or the ingredients or the fact that I get to experience one of Mary Kate and Ashley’s own creations, but this dry shampoo is luxury.

It smells like heaven and does an amazing job at refreshing oily roots. The price makes it a less-than-once-in-a-while splurge, so I’ll have to stick to Batiste or Luseta for my everyday greasy second-day-hair, but man oh man is this product nice. 5 out of 5 (because anything less would be a disgrace to my favorite twins).

Quip toothbrush and toothpaste – $5-65, getquip.com

quip toothbrush:toothpaste

I don’t normally consider myself vulnerable to advertisements. Granted, the only reason I tolerate the Super Bowl is because of the commercials, but rarely do they ever convince me to actually buy something. This is where quip has changed that sentiment for me.

I kept seeing quip’s toothbrush and toothpaste campaigns pop up on Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter… even BuzzFeed featured it in multiple posts. At a certain point (after I ran out of toothpaste and my toothbrush head looked like a toilet bowl brush) I decided my curiosity had been peaked so I relented. I decided to give it a whirl and went for the $65, year-long refill option with replacement brush heads, batteries, and tubes of toothpaste sent straight to your doorstep.

And let me tell you. This is just about the greatest thing since sliced bread. I’ve been using an electric toothbrush for about 3 years now – a bulky, expensive Sonicare one that was really hard to clean properly and seemed to lose its efficacy over time. The research that shows electric toothbrushes are more effective than manual ones is hard to shake, but I just wasn’t completely satisfied with the one I had.

When I got this one in the mail I was so excited to test it out and I cannot think of enough good things to say about quip. It’s the same shape and feel of a normal toothbrush and the white part suctions to any smooth surface (like a bathroom mirror) and doubles as a cover for traveling. The vibration even has little pauses that tell me when it’s time to switch sections of your mouth for proper cleaning time. Plus you can’t really deny the added peace of mind knowing you have the right tools and products to keep your pearly whites pearly and white. Definitely a 5 out of 5.

(PS – copy and paste my code “kaiti51876273639” to save $5 on your first quip purchase!)

Clarisonic Mia 2 Replacement Facial Brush Head in Radiance – $27, amazon.com

Clarisonic Mia 2 brush head

Another piece of technology that changed the game for me is the Clarisonic Mia 2. No matter what brush head is on it, this little face-washing genius makes cleansing so much better than just using my hands. It takes washing my face to the next level and I can tell it really gets down deep to make sure my pores are dirt-free.

That being said, I don’t think this brush head is exactly what I had in mind when I read the “radiance” brush helps even skin tone and reduce dullness. “Reduce dullness” = exfoliation, right? Not so much. The bristles aren’t stiff at all, which is nice for all the minor sunburns I’ve been getting lately (thank you, summer), but not so much for when it starts peeling.

I love a good exfoliation, and for me this just doesn’t get the job done as some of the other brush heads available. I’d still probably repurchase it for the winter months when I don’t need as much of an intense exfoliation, but for the summer it’s just not cutting it. 4 out of 5.


Have you tried any of these products? Have you recently run out of any products of your own? Leave a comment and let me know!

Note: I may receive a small commission if you make a purchase from some of the links in this post. I understand that might make some people uncomfy, but just know all of my opinions always have been and always will be my very own. Like the fact that I think mustard is a government conspiracy to thwart the condiment industry and I AM NOT AMUSED.

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