Culture Desk Empties

Completed by Culture is a series where the beauty-loving culture editors dish on the products they’ve managed to finish.

From Origins to Glossier, a myriad of used-up skincare and makeup items are scattered across a table. Our staff delves into which empties they loved, and others they wouldn’t use again. (Staff Photo by Elaine Chen)

If you’re as beauty-obsessed as we are, you probably know that it’s actually really hard to finish a product, especially if you’re constantly trying new things. But when you find yourself using up a particularly enchanting eyeshadow or an especially glow-boosting serum, you know you’ve found yourself a real gem. Read on to see what the gals of WSN’s culture desk have latched onto and used ‘til the very last drop. 

RMS “Un” Cover-Up
Complexion perfector.

I almost didn’t want to publicize my love of this product because I wanted to keep it all to myself. Luckily for you, I’m a pretty magnanimous individual. Acne and I just celebrated our seventh anniversary, but armed with this dreamy blend of pigment and coconut oil, I manage to trick people into complimenting my problematic skin with words like luminous, glorious and you-almost-blinded-me-with-that-glow-are-you-the-sun. It has just enough pigment to cover up my redness and hyperpigmentation while somehow looking like I’m not wearing any base products. Whenever I hit the bottom of this tiny pot of this gorgeous, glowy skin goodness, I panic and run over to the closest natural beauty store and snatch up another one. — Carol

OUAI Texturizing Hair Spray
Multi-purpose volume booster.


It’s not hair spray, it’s texturizing hair spray. I got this bottle as a sample from Sephora and not only does it make my hair smell amazing, but the amount of volume and waves it gives me makes it seem like I took longer than five minutes to do my hair. Working well with the wind, this product doesn’t make me feel like a mess running around the city. Tamed yet tousled, you’ll never know I’m on day two without a shampoo. — Bella

Glossier Boy Brow
Ultimate brow shaper.

I’m a sucker for Instagram ads. Those behind the algorithms that collect and use my personal data for commercial purposes are sitting somewhere feeling very smug. My purchasing of Glossier’s Boy Brow is an Instagram ad success story. I have never had my eyebrows professionally done and I’m not about to start now, so I look for products that make it look like I know what I’m doing when it comes to eyebrow maintenance. Boy Brow makes it oh so easy. A few upward strokes of this brow mascara along the length of my eyebrows and they not only look completely filled in but stay put all day long. The money spent on Boy Brow pays for both convenience and keeps my brows on fleek, which is why I keep going back every time my tube runs empty. — Calais

Fresh Cannabis Santal Cologne
Best all-day scent.

Ever since a salesman in Union Square recommended this to me on my first visit to NYU, it has been my signature scent. I like how it’s both cozy and evocative, and not too flowery or earthy — the perfect unisex cologne. It starts out with patchouli and melts into the skin, releasing notes of plum, bergamot and vanilla musk. Smoky and sultry with a touch of sweetness, this woodsy scent is my ideal day-to-night fragrance. — Lauren

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