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The 9Lives team hasn’t been in an office space for a while now, which means we don’t have as much time discussing our favourite beauty products like we used to. So last week we decided to jump on a quick Zoom call and chat about our favourite empties. You know them well – it’s the product that you use until the very last drop has been used, after which you proceed to cut open the bottle or tube just to find that the product is, indeed, empty.

Marié: Optiphi Classic Hydration Tint

R930 for 50ml, Optiphi

Optiphi Classic Hydration Tint

Einde verlede jaar het ek op ‘n velsorg-reis met die Optiphi Classic-reeks gegaan. In my tienerjare het ek baie gesukkel met ‘n slegte vel en aknee. Ná jare van medikasie het ek besluit om nooit weer oormatig baie produkte op my gesig te gebruik nie en net die broodnodige produkte te gebruik wat my vel bevogtig, skoon maak en beskerm terwyl ek van werk na ‘n musiekvertoning gaan. Ná die velsorg-reis met die Classic-reeks, het ek die oomblik toe dit op my lessenaar beland het, gespring op die geleentheid om die Optiphi Classic Hydration Tint te probeer.

Die Optiphi Classic Hydration Tint is ‘n 3-in-1 produk vir die persoon wat “on the go” lewe en funksioneer. Dit is ‘n bevogtiger met ‘n hoë SPF is en dien ook as ‘n ligte BB-cream. Waarom gebruik ek hierdie produk tot die laaste druppel, waarna ek tog maar probeer om net daardie laaste bietjie uit te druk?

Dit is eenvoudig, maar tog sterk. Dit behandel gedehidreerde vel en help om pigmentasie en daaglikse UVA-bestraling te beveg. Die Optiphi Classic Hydration Tint is die laaste basiese noodsaaklikheid wat ek nodig het om my eenvoudige velsorgroetine te voltooi.

Liezel: Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Cleansing Oil

R585 for 195 ml, Takealot

Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Cleansing Oil
My life changed when I discovered oil cleansers. The decadent scent, the nourishing feeling on your skin, the fact that it melts away makeup like a dream without the need for vigorous rubbing and scrubbing, and then that satisfying transformation when you add water to turn the oil into a light, milky formula that rinses off easy as pie.
I recently pumped out the last bit of my Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Cleansing Oil, one of my absolute favourites. It’s not cheap but oh man does it work a charm. It cleanses without stripping the skin, with Omega 3, 6 and 9 and Vitamin E to actually reinforce your protective barrier. I can definitely recommend it.

Elené:  Benzaderm Daily Deep Cleaning Gel

R199 for 120 ml, Clicks, Dis-Chem and leading pharmacies nationwide

Benzaderm Daily Deep Cleaning Gel
Ek is 100% seker ek het al vir byna die hele span meer as een keer laat weet dat die Benzaderm Daily Deep Cleaning Gel my lewe verander het. My vel is geneig tot swartkoppies en dit kan so moeilik wees om ‘n produk te kry wat regtig mense se porieë lekker reinig en op dieselfde tyd nie jou vel te erg uitdroog nie.
Hierdie gesigwas tree ook op as ‘n gesigskrop en daarom kan jy dit lekker invryf en ek los dit selfs ‘n minuut of twee op my gesig net om die volle effek te kry. Na die was is my gesig sag en omdat die produk salisielsuur bevat, beveg dit ook swartkoppies en verwyder dit dooi selletjies, wat ‘n baie gladder voorkoms verseker.

Nina: Optiphi Active Facial Cleanser

R782 for 150ml, Optiphi

Optiphi Active Facial Cleanser

There is no shortage of reasons why I love most of Optiphi’s products. Their Active range, focused on niche products, which target specific skin concerns, has been amazing in combatting acne prone skin and flair-ups. I recently also tried their Introductory Professional Treatment kit and the results were amazing. A sample version of this version was also included in the kit as it has multiple functions: a cleanser, toner and gentle exfoliator.

A little goes a long way with this product and the somewhat steep price point is completely justified by its multi functionality and the number of washes I got out of it. It contains Salicylic Acid which calms the skin and provides exfoliation, while minimising the red spots left behind by pimples. Though this product very much qualifies for this empties round-up (I have unscrewed the top multiple times), I still manage to scrape little drops out which I then apply as a spot treatment. This helps to minimise the very angry glare of a pimple and gently heals without the need to pop and leave scars behind. Would definitely recommened.

Eden: Simply Bee Heel Balm

R145 for 125ml, Faithful to Nature
Simply Bee Heel Balm
We’ve all gotten strange gifts in our time, so when I got heel balm as a part of one, I brushed it off as a, “women like body products. Give them body products,” sentiment. Paired with two other Simply Bee products, their body butter and body scrub, the heel balm felt out of place. 

I instantly started using the body butter and body scrub, while the heel balm gathered dust on my shelf. I really enjoyed using the two other products, so I decided to give the heel balm a chance. I initially used it for its intended purpose, which is to restore dry, cracked heels, which was nice, but nothing out of the ordinary. 

It was only when I left it on my nightstand one night that I discovered how amazing and versatile this product was. Because it’s made with five all natural ingredients (beeswax, sweet almond oil, shea butter, propolis and tea tree oil) I started using it as a lip balm and it worked amazingly well. 

I tend to get really bad eczema on my hands, that few products in the past have helped with, but this heel balm soothes it almost instantly. I also later started using it as a makeup remover, and this is when the heel balm really blew my mind. I don’t know if you’ve ever tried to successfully remove waterproof mascara, but it does not budge! 

The Simply Bee heel balm has become the new coconut oil in my life. Dry skin? Heel balm. Battling with eczema? Heel balm. Your man acting up? Heel balm. 

The Simply Bee heel balm is available for purchase on the Simply Bee website, and Faithful to Nature for R145 for 125ml. So not only is this product a game changer, it’s an absolute steal as well! 

Ansumi: Faithful to Nature Bamboo Charcoal Soap with Rose Geranium

R35 for 100g, Faithful to Nature

Faithful to Nature Bamboo Charcoal Soap with Rose Geranium

As someone who could never define my skin as either ‘dry’ or ‘oily’, I have always struggled finding a product that creates the perfect balance for my skin. I have gone back and forth between ‘my skin is too dry’ and ‘now my skin is too oily’ and the struggle has been real. 

A while ago one of my good friends told me about a product on Faithful to Nature’s website: the Rose Geranium infused Bamboo Charcoal Soap, and it has proven to be the answer to my confused skin epidemic. Since 2 years ago I decided to go with a more natural approach when it comes to my skincare routine, as well as my diet and overall health. This soap is the perfect combination for my skin, made up with plant-based oils like hemp, olive and castor to nourish your skin. Rose Geranium essential oils have been known to tighten, brighten and remove dead cells from the skin, and it didn’t disappoint.

Since I started using this product I have seen a significant change in my skin. Gone are the days where I wake up with prune-dried skin just waiting to turn oily by noon, and hello to a tight balanced face with a more natural glow. 

Do you have any products that you use until the last drop? Let us know about your empties in the comments below. 


The girl with the sleek cut that can shop up a storm in a second-hand store. I love a good story, and I love it even more if it is told well. Don't like my blazer? Don't care. Looking to be impressed? You should see me fly a drone.

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