July Skincare Empties

It’s honestly been AGES since I’ve done an empties post… so rather than go on for an hour about my (literal) trash, I figured I’d break this out into segments to keep it manageable. In this post, I’ll be discussing all the skincare I’ve gone through (probably in the last ~6ish months).


Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser – Used it for YEARS. I’ve gone through tons of these, but this will probably be the last time I buy it (unless I can’t get ahold of the Cerave cleanser for some reason). It’s a good, basic cleanser, I just now prefer the Cerave one over it.

Cerave Hydrating Facial Cleanser- My new favorite drugstore basic cleanser. Affordable, gentle, will probably use forever.

Curology Cleanser- Not my favorite. It’s fine, and it came with my trial size Curology treatment. Wouldn’t repurchase.

Second Cleansers (Oils/Balms):

Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Oil– A staple for me. I’ve had a couple pumps bust on me at this point, and it doesn’t travel well (it leaks sometimes). Love the formula and the feeling, but switched over to a cleansing balm because it travels/lasts better.

Drunk Elephant Slaii Makeup-Melting Butter Cleanser– Lifetime favorite for me. I think this is the third or so I’ve purchased and gone through. Love it as a first cleanse.


Son & Park Beauty Water – Good but not great. Used it up, enjoyed it, but not likely to repurchase.

Paula’s Choice 2% BHA– Holy grail status for me. Incredible product, lasts FOREVER, super gentle on the skin, amazing for blackheads, whiteheads or oily skin.

Simple Micellar Water– Just fine. A decent AM gentle cleanse, OK getting off eye makeup, but nothing to write home about.

Lotion P50 1970- Fantastic product. Annoyingly difficult to get ahold of… I had to order it online through some random spa in the Philly area. Smells awful but will probably repurchase because its one of the best liquid exfoliants I’ve ever used.

Eye Creams:

Freeze 24/7 Anti-Aging Eye Serum– This came in one of my beauty subscription boxes. Sorta surprised I ever finished it- I honestly didn’t really like it. Only used it at night because it pilled up under concealer/makeup. Not a fan, will not purchase. Also HELLA expensive for reasons I can’t understand.

Drunk Elephant C-Tango Multivitamin Eye Cream– An all-time favorite of mine. I’m generally not a big fan of eye creams (overpriced moisturizers that don’t do anything your serum/moisturizer couldn’t do), but I do really enjoy this one. As you can tell, I’ve been trying others out, but I’ll probably come back to this one.

First Aid Beauty Retinol Eye Cream– Good but not great. Didn’t see too much of a change from using the Drunk Elephant one, but I’m typically a much bigger fan of retinol so I was hoping to like this more. In all honesty, it’s a pretty good affordable option.

Nuria Defend Eye Cream– Another so-so one. Didn’t love the way it laid under makeup, but was fine for use at night.

Vitamin C Serums:

Drunk Elephant C-Firma Day Serum- Holy grail Vitamin C serum for me. Will repurchase forever, until I find something I love more. Hasn’t happened yet, and I’ve been using it for years 🙂

Peter Thomas Roth Potent-C Power Serum– I liked the creamier formula of this (felt more like a moisturizer, whereas the Drunk Elephant is a much runnier consistency). But if I’m being honest, this started to smell like Gouda (yes, the cheese) after a few weeks. Not sure if that’s normal, it went bad, or was already bad when I opened it, but it was definitely weird.

Rael Beauty Good Chemistry Serum– Fantastic, especially for the price point. See my DEEP dive of a review (including a discussion of every ingredient in the formula) here.


Curology Custom RX Treatment- AMAZING. $40 for a custom treatment product can’t be beat, especially when you are talking high-potency retinols. My personal formula includes 4% Niacinamide, 0.1% Tretinoin and 2% Azaelic Acid. I highly recommend checking out my full review of the products here. I tried it for 30 days, and even show before/after pictures!

Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Serum (Fragrance Free)– The perfect “starter” serum for someone in their teens/twenties looking for an affordable, accessible product. If you are serious about anti-aging, acne, or other skincare concerns, there are better products on the market, but I highly recommend this one for “beginners”.

Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair– Chock full of antioxidants, and a good product. But too expensive for what it is (in my opinion). It was gifted to me, so I used it up, but it’s unlikely I’ll be purchasing it.


Sunday Riley CEO Glow Oil- LOVED this. Not really sure how they keep the vitamin C stable when its in a clear jar with a dropper that exposes it to light and air, but I really liked this, especially after a day in the sun. Nourishing and left my skin glowing. On the pricey side.

Sunday Riley UFO Face Oil– I liked it, but it doesn’t make a ton of sense to me. You’d think people who are looking for a salicylic acid treatment would typically be avoiding super-oily/heavy products. I have skin on the drier side, so I enjoy this, but I would steer clear if you are on the oily side.


Drunk Elephant Protini Polypeptide Cream– Another holy grail product for me (yes, I love Drunk Elephant Products). The packaging is innovative, the formula is amazing, and I will repurchase this over and over and over!

Augustinus Bader The Cream– I hate that I loved this. It was really good. Full disclosure- it was gifted to me by the brand. And I squeezed the daylights out of this tube to get every last drop on my face. It’s just HELLA expensive (like more then $250). You can see my full blog post on the product here.


MD Solar Sciences Mineral Creme– Saw Hyram talk about this, and immediately ordered it from Sephora. I absolutely LOVE the formula. It’s slightly tinted, and the texture is whipped and moussey, and somehow feels like the cult-classic Benefit Pores no more primer. Wears well under makeup, and also makes your skin look fantastic on its own. Super bummed it isn’t sold at Sephora anymore.


Peter Thomas Roth Blue Marine Algae Mask– Discontinued, but VERY LOVED by my husband. Linked my favorite alternative, the cucumber detox mask.

Make-up (misc):

BeautyBlender Make-up Sponge– A cult-classic for a reason. Still overpriced compared to the Real Techniques sponges, but I’ll splurge on these when I see them on sale.

Milk Hydrogrip Primer– Loved this. Already found a dupe for waaaaay less though.

Hope this mini-review of all of my trash is somewhat helpful, if not entertaining.

Until next time,

Amanda Kennedy

Follow along on IG: @amandadev4

This post may contain affiliate links. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links, however, I only share products I know and love. 

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