Beauty Empties 2

Renaming my empties posts as such because a quarterly schedule is the only thing I can commit to for now.

But who am I kidding? We’re one shimmy away from June and I’m only posting January to March empties today. But still! Do or do not—there is no try. So, let’s do this.


This’ll mostly be skincare since I didn’t finish up any makeup during the first three months this year, but I rarely finish makeup anyway. I’ll probably end up leaving my eyeshadows to my grandchildren.

I also took these photos using my iPhone since I was too lazy to bust out my DSLR, that heifer. I hope this all works out.


I bought The Body Shop’s Tea Tree Squeaky-Clean Scrub as part of a set that had the same faceialwash and their famous tea tree oil. It took me a while to finish all these. I bought the set hoping for a miracle because my acne at that point was so bad. I was grabbing everything that had tea tree in it, praying that I’d find a miracle product.

When I used the tea tree line, I had so many other products open that I was using the face wash, the scrub, and the oil independently, so I thought they weren’t working. My bad, because the trio worked. I just had to use them at the same time.

But even though I said they work, every person’s skin reacts differently. I’ve read other people hail the tea tree oil as Houdini in a bottle, but it didn’t keep the acne off my face 100%. Using the trio together twice a day just helped keep my existing acne at bay. It didn’t flare up. It wasn’t as annoying. Obviously it’s not the miracle product I was hoping for (but to be honest, it’s probably futile to keep hoping), but I would recommend the trio for people who just want to maintain their acne-prone skin and aren’t looking for HG products.


If Human Nature, for whatever reason, decides to go public, you bet your ass I’m going to be there for its IPO. I love this brand so much. I’ve tried most of their skincare products, and I’m excited to try their makeup.

The Human Nature Acne Defense Facial Wash is the thing I kept beside my sink for the times I was too lazy to make it to the shower area to wash my face. I know the ways of the Slob.

This was also one of those I-hope-this-a-miracle-in-the-making products, BUT AGAIN, I used it sporadically. It definitely worked on calming down pimples, especially when I paired it with the Human Nature Acne Defense Gel. I would definitely repurchase this again and use it more regularly to really appreciate it.


Trusty ol’ Eskinol. An old friend. Been around since my mom’s acne years. I really, really love seeing dirt on the Eskinol-soaked cotton pad even after I’ve washed my face. I feel like I always dodge a bullet when I use Eskinol.


I bought this on way back to Manila from Seoul, and I FINALLY finished it even though it’s only 45ml. When I went to South Korea a year ago, I bought so many products to feed my growing fascination to try a bajillion-step skincare routine because, hey, if it worked for the Koreans, why shouldn’t it work for me? I set out to buy essence and emulsion and lotion and serums and eye cream and facial butter and other things I didn’t understand, but let’s buy it anyway in the name of self-improvement!

I quickly learned that it’s unwise to go ham on my oily, acne-prone, moisturiser-only face with layer upon layer upon layer of product. I was double cleansing and slapping on essence then lotion then emulsion then oil then eye cream. Too much of a good thing is too much. I basically freaked my face out and boy, it started a revolution. I stopped layering because I was breaking out horrifically and went back to my toner-moisturiser combo. This essence had to fall in line while I finished all the other moisturisers.

Since I have oily skin, I’m very attracted to “balancing” products. I think Beyond’s Organature Balance Essence was a pretty good moisturizer that made my face feel less oily.  From what I know, essences are supposed to be used before you put your heavier moisturizer, but I saw no problem with using this alone. The gel-like consistency made it feel very lightweight and refreshing on my skin.


I ran out of my favourite Human Nature Balancing Facial Toner so I had to work with this guy. To be honest, I don’t remember if my skin improved after using this. It was more of a pantawid toner until I could get my hands on my Human Nature usual again. It was okay, nothing special, just another toner.

Celeteque is one of those brands that people with sensitive skin would usually choose, but again, everyone’s skin reacts differently. I know people who had negative skin reactions using Celeteque products, which doesn’t mean the brand or the product is deceptive or ineffective; it just means their skin is suited for something else. I would still recommend the Human Nature Balancing Facial Toner over Celeteque toners any day.


Had I known about facial mist when I still had dry skin, I think that would have improved the look of my made-up face, but mists weren’t popular when I was growing up. And now that I have oily skin, I don’t see the need for it.

I picked up the Innisfree Green Tea Mineral Mist in Seoul. It wasn’t part of my shopping list, but Innisfree was having a 1 + 1 deal, and I’m weak against those. End of story.

This mist isn’t a setting spray. It just helps give you that dewy look most Koreans prefer. And I sort of achieve that look anyway if I just wait a couple of hours for my makeup to settle. Plus, I get oily after a while, so the dewiness + oiliness isn’t the best combo.

But admittedly this mist was quite refreshing, especially on a bare face. I also started using it all over my body whenever I felt hot last summer. It didn’t make my skin feel sticky at all. My skin absorbed the formula quite well. I don’t really have anything negative to say about this mist, only that I don’t think it’s a skincare must-have if you live in a country like the Philippines. In countries like Korea where autumn and winter are harsh and dry, I think mists definitely come in handy, especially if you have dry skin. But here where it’s hot and humid, you can live without mists. That’s it. Cold and dry climate plus dry skin: mists good. Warm and humid climate plus oily skin: mists meh.


If I had to describe my scalp in one word, it would be Arrakeen. It’s so fucking dry. It’s the bane of my existence. I’ve tried so many anti-dandruff shampoos and conditioners, but I still struggle with flakes. And it’s so inconvenient because my wardrobe is mostly black and dark blue. I didn’t want to wash my scalp with vinegar and baking soda or lather mayonnaise all over it, so I was determined to find another solution.

I was massaging my face with my Human Nature toner a few months ago when a thought formed inside my head: If going organic and all-natural worked well for my face, why don’t I go that way for my scalp, too? Lightbulb moment. Luckily there’s a Zenutrients shelf in Landmark, one kembot away from my office, where I picked up their Tea Tree Scalp Care Shampoo and Scalp Treatment Conditioner. Tea tree and scalp care and homegrown brands, three of my favourite things.

And these two together? My scalp had never been happier. The shampoo and conditioner have a whopping total of eight ingredients between them. Eight. And I can pronounce all of them. I figured all the chemicals that were in non-organic hair products were just adding to the build-up on my scalp and irritating it. When I went organic, I feel like I gave my scalp a chance to breathe and just live its best life simply. Thank you, Zenutrients.

Right now I’m using the Avalon Organics Tea Tree Mint Scalp Normalizing Shampoo with the Giga All Natural and Herbal Scalp Conditioner (I LOVE THIS), but when those two run out, I’m going to run to the nearest Zenutrients kiosk and filling my life again with their tea tree scalp care line.


I know of the Simple Skincare brand because I see a lot of people rave about the Simple Cleansing Facial Wipes. Tried them, didn’t like them. Nothing can beat the Biore Cleansing Wipes at this point.

I saw the Simple shower cream just when I ran out of my body wash, so hey, how serendipitous. This shower cream isn’t spectacular, but it did make me realize that I prefer creamy liquid soap over gel ones. They make my skin feel a tad bit more moisturized.


Whenever I think of Dial, I think of dishwashing soap. This was my thought everyday when I used this body wash. I did really like this body wash, though, because it smelled refreshing, just like coconut water.


You know how you didn’t like something when you were younger, but when you got older you realized how great that thing really is? That’s my relationship with coconut. Hence, this other coconut-smelling body wash. Dove made this beautifully fragrant body product, and even though I haven’t repurchased this yet since I’m trying something else right now, I always take a whiff of this whenever I see it in the grocery store.


I don’t know how many bottles of this I’ve used, but I know I’ll be using more in the future. I think the Derma Sense line for acne-prone skin is one of the best things Safeguard has done. I’m a big fan. If you suffer from bocne (body acne?) and you haven’t found something that works gently with your skin, try this!


Do you get excited over Johnson’s baby products, too? I’m 26 now, but I still love their baby lotions, their baby oils, and their baby colognes. I really like this gel lotion. It was very lightweight and pleasant on the skin. The cooling sensation only lasted for a second, but I always leave the house feeling chill AF.


If I ever find myself in the US again, I would definitely go to Bath & Body Works and haul their candles and lotions on sale. NAIA is the only place I know where to get Bath & Body Works, and the price of anything sold in any airport is jacked up. I loved the smell of this Country Apple lotion. It definitely had a kick to it, but it wasn’t cloying. I just wish it came in a more malleable squeeze tube because I wanted to scrape the inside clean. Bath & Body Works lotions don’t feel luxurious, but the scent lingers for a long time, long enough for you to forego perfume and just walk around with a spring in your step.

Have you finished any good products lately?


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