Happy Wednesday, as we hit the middle of the working week, I want to talk about a category of product that can give life back to the face even when the week takes it’s toll. Today I want to talk about the GOSH Giant Blush, which I own in two shades. I bought both of these from Superdrug, although they seem to be discontinued from their store. However, you might be able to find these elsewhere online, so I want to review these nonetheless.
As I just mentioned, I own two shades, which are ‘04 Passion‘ and ‘06 Pink Parfait‘, respectively. ’04 Passion’ is a warmer coraly-pink, which I’ve been reaching for a lot throughout the summer time. While ‘06 Pink Parfait‘ is a cooler toned pink, which I love to pair with my cool-toned makeup looks. It’s quite unlike me to gravitate towards a cream-based blush, but something about these really caught my attention and I can’t quite pin on the reason.
‘04 Passion‘ on my pale skin gives that warm sun-kissed flush of colour, which I’m loving for the summer time at the moment. It gives my pale complexion a little bit of extra life even on my sallow days, and as someone who doesn’t really contour or use bronzer, I really depend on blush to give life and give some definition to my face at the same time.
‘06 Pink Parfait‘ is what my skin looks like when I’ve been out in the cold and that nip brings the colour to my skin. I really enjoy pairing this shade on days I’m using the GOSH Eyelight Trio in ‘002 Fairytale‘ which is a cooler-toned trio. I definitely see myself grabbing for this shade more during the winter and spring, but it still has its place in my makeup routine during the summer.
The packaging itself while called “giant” and by extension, chunky, it does fit nicely in conventional plastic makeup drawers. As you can see photographed above, they fit nicely laid down next to each other in my cheek drawer, next to the E.L.F. All Over Color Stick, and I have no issues opening or closing the drawer.
If you prefer to store your makeup in the infamous IKEA Alex Drawers, they are able to stand upright in the drawers with no issues closing the drawers, so storing these blushes is very simple and straight forward.
When it comes to the application themselves, I’ve tested them in a couple of ways. I first tested these blushes out by swiping dots on the cheeks and blending out from there. As you can see from the swatches above, they apply very pigmented when swiped, so I found it was a bit of a struggle to blend them out without a very mild trace of the initial dot.
The second method I’ve tried and the one I’ve stuck to since, is using a stippling brush to tap onto the dome of the blush to pick up colour, then tap and blend onto the skin from there.
It was trying out this method that helped me figure out a role for my Real Techniques Stippling Brush, which otherwise sat on display for a long time unused. It’s not dense enough for me to blend out foundation, but it has the ideal ratio of density to flexibility to blend out cream blush really nicely. These are my power-duo in my makeup routine right now.
As the blushes are quite pigmented, one of my go-to methods for correcting it is to take my setting powder and my EcoTools Retractable Kabuki Brush and set the blush down, allowing the pigment of the setting powder to tone down some of the blush.
It’s a fairly long-lasting blush, but it does fade a little bit over the course of a very long day. So I do over-apply the blush a little bit in anticipation of this. However, if I’m going to be going outside before the pigmentation has a chance to settle down, I will use the method I described above to help correct it.
I prefer to not set the blush with a setting powder if I can, as I find it removes some of the sheen that gives it that ‘lit from within glow’. I also like to pair the E.L.F. All Over Color Stick in ‘Spotlight‘ to highlight, which I’m testing out as my only highlighter right now.
Overall, I’m pretty happy with these blushes, and if they were still available, I’d get the shade ‘02 Shy‘ which looks like a more plum shade, which would be perfect for autumn and winter. I’m really surprised I was won-over by a cream based blush, but so far I’m enjoying my experience. I’ll be keeping an eye out for how they work in the autumn and winter time, but if you do have access to them, I suggest looking into them.
Thank you for taking the time to read my blog post, it means a lot to me to receive your support. I hope you are happy and healthy, and I’ll speak to you again soon.
Happy Monday, as we greet the new week, today I’m talking about a slightly less interesting cosmetic product… Blotting papers. I know, they’re not the most glamorous or exciting, but for anyone who struggles with oily skin of whatever severity will understand the struggle it is to control excess sebum. There are two major ways to tackle them, mattifying powder, or blotting papers. Both using the same approach but with different application. At the moment, the blotting papers I’m using and want to review today are the Superdrug Deep Action Mattifying Shine Control Papers.
I use both methods described above: mattifying powder compacts for the days I decide to wear makeup, and blotting papers for my no-makeup days. I reviewed my current mattifying powder recently, The Saem Saemmul Pore Cover Pact, and it feels apt to review my alternative oil-control method.
First and foremost, Superdrug’s own-brand products, including the blotting papers photographed above, are cruelty-free, so immediately these are an appealing option, and you can see the logos on the back of the packaging. The packaging also details briefly how to recycle the remaining packaging: the card is widely recycled, although the plastic film-sleeve is not currently recyclable.
This also leads to the product’s claims, which are also photographed above. I will also quote them below for your convenience:
“Deep Action Mattifying Shine Control Papers instantly absorb excess oil from the skin’s surface while leaving behind a trace of translucent mattifying powder for a smooth, shine-free finish. Ideal for everyday use.”
I’m inclined to agree that these are great for everyday use, as they sit in my desk’s drawer in one of my partitions with my other everyday desk essentials. It talks about leaving a trace of translucent powder on the skin, which I find to not actually be the case. From my experience, my skin feels mattified after using the sheets, but afterwards there’s no obvious trace of the powder.
My skin is smooth to the touch, but I don’t feel any trace of the mattifying powder. I consider this a positive overall: I use this on my no-makeup days, and that’s usually because I don’t want to put any layers of makeup or unnecessary cosmetics on my face so my skin can have some time to breath. So while the claim is untrue from my experience, overall this is a really positive thing for me.
The sheets themselves left be a bit underwhelmed at first: I had previously used the Boots Skin Clear Oil Absorbing Sheets, which were better presented and smoother quality sheets. So my immediate first impression wasn’t positive. However, as time has gone by, my expectations have shifted and I’m not bothered by the sheets anymore. They do their job really well, so while they’re not as fancy as one of their competitors, the key part is their ability to do their intended purpose.
I typically use two sheets per application: one for my nose/cheeks and chin, and a separate one for my forehead. My T-zone is the oiliest area of my face, so I focus my attention on those areas as that’s where my skin tends to feel the most congested and sluggish once my oily skin symptoms kick in. I sometimes use the second sheet along my jaw, but it’s not as oily so I don’t need to touch up there as often.
Overall it does the job I need it to do, so ultimately I’m happy with this product. It’s not an exciting category of skincare, but I wanted to review these for anyone who might be Googling the product. I do this a lot when shopping as well, so I want to help anyone else who might do the same thing as me and will appreciate the insight. I will definitely consider repurchasing these in the future, although I’m not loyal to any specific blotting papers, so long as they’re from a cruelty-free brand.
Thank you for taking the time to read my blog post, it means a lot to me to receive your support. I hope you are happy and healthy, and I’ll speak to you again soon.
Happy Friday, as we greet the weekend, I want to talk about a skincare product that I’ve been trying out for a little while. Specifically, this is the Soap & Glory The Fab Pore Daily Micro Smoothing Moisture Lotion, which I’m using as part of my night time skincare routine.
Soap & Glory a little bit confusing when it comes to their cruelty-free status, but they do have a section on their FAQ page which states:
“DO YOU TEST ON ANIMALS?
We understand that animal testing is a key concern for a growing number of consumers and at Soap & Glory, we can confidently state that all of our formulations are safety and efficacy tested on people. (Although you might argue about that if you’d seen the condition of some of their feet. YEEEESH. )
At Soap & Glory, we uphold very strict guidelines through our regularly audited manufacturing partners that uphold the ‘no animal testing’ policy. As well, we are fortunate that our biggest retail partner – Boots The Chemists- upholds the very same standards by funding through an organisation called FRAME, which is the FUND for the REPLACEMENT of ANIMALS in MEDICAL EXPERIMENTS) in an effort to eliminate reliance in the industry on animal testing That said – and because we feel it necessary to be transparent and to educate EVERYBODY- it’s important for you to know that no retailer or manufacturer can categorically state that ‘none’ of their raw materials or ingredients have –at some time in the past- been tested on animals. The majority of individual raw materials used in cosmetics today have been through some kind of animal testing process.
At Soap & Glory, we absolutely do not test our formulations on animals, however we can’t say that each and every ingredient that goes into them has not, at some point historically, been cleared for human use, by animal testing. We hope this answers your question. If you need any more information about animal testing, we’d suggest you contact Colipa, the European Cosmetics Directive association, via www.colipa.eu.”
This for me leaves them in a weird grey area when it comes to their status, as they seem to be going really out of their way to acknowledge the historical nature of animal testing on individual ingredients, and it feels like a diversion. By this I mean, they don’t mention to what extent are they regulating the companies helping to formulate and test their products and ingredients. So interpret at your own personal discretion. I’m personally undecided, but as I bought this before actively going cruelty-free, I’m allowing myself time to research more into the brand’s status.
So what is this product? As the very long name suggests, it is a moisture lotion, and is aimed at oily or combination skin. Part of the name includes “micro smoothing”, which implies to me that it’s meant to help with gentle micro-exfoliation, to help maintain a smooth skin complexion, so that was intriguing to me. It’s likely what drew me in in the first place. It’s this skin treatment aspect that encouraged me to include it in my night time routine, so it can get to work on my skin while I sleep, with no interference from stress, my makeup or other factors.
As far as the packaging goes, it’s a simple soft plastic tube with a hard plastic twist cap. The cap twists off with relative ease, where there’s a small hole to squeeze the product out of. The soft plastic tube is really satisfying for me, as I’m the kind of person who works from the top end of the tube and work my way down. I love how this shows the progress I’ve made, and looks much more appealing to me than squeezing from lower down the tube. Do you do this as well? Or do you squeeze lower down?
The box the tube comes in doesn’t specify in detail what you can and can’t recycle, so check your local recycling for what they accept and take it from there. I will definitely be able to recycle the box, but I’ll be checking my council’s recycling policy for plastic recycling, as I’m concerned I won’t be able to recycle much of it.
The packaging doesn’t feature many claims, although I will feature the instructions in case you’re curious:
“Every morning and evening, massage The Fab Pore Moisture Lotion onto clean and scrubbed skin. Follow with your sunscreen (every morning) and eye cream.”
I want to say off the bat, that I really appreciate that Soap & Glory encourage positive skincare habits with the mention of using sunscreen and eye creams, particularly the former. It’s really important to look after your skin, and sunscreen is a vital skincare step.
As I use this only at night time, I don’t use sunscreen immediately after this product, but of course, I do apply an eye cream as part of my night time routine. I use this on the oiliest areas of my face, which are my nose, forehead and chin. I use a separate moisturising product on my cheeks and jaw as they’re not as oily and respond better to products not tailored for oily skin types.
The formula itself is a creamy-gel green texture, although the light green colour doesn’t leave a tint of any kind on the skin itself. It’s really easy to smooth over the skin, but the only issue I find is that it doesn’t take a bit longer to sink in areas like the rounded areas of my nose. It’s because of this that I don’t use it in my day time routine as well, as I have other moisturising products that don’t require as much time to full absorb into the skin. On flatter areas of the face like the forehead, this isn’t an issue, but it’s not universally quick-absorbing on my skin.
My skin does like the moisture it provides though, so while it’s not the right fit for a fast routine like my day time routine, it is fine for my night time routine where I do set aside time to really make sure I wind down and prepare for bed.
The only thing I really raise my eyebrow at is the “micro smoothing” part of the name that I pointed out towards the beginning of the post. While I think it’s a fine moisturiser and does its job, the name feels misleading for me. I typically see my skin get congested after 2-3 days since my last shower/mask/exfoliating session, and I don’t find this moisturiser has helped relieve my skin or extend that period.
So if you’re looking at this product thinking it’s going to help with clogged pores, skin congestion, and other symptoms like it, I can’t say this will do the job. I don’t typically expect a moisturiser to do that anyway, but as it is part of the name, I do think it’s important to be transparent about it. If you’re looking at this product as a generic moisturiser, this is worth considering. From my experience it’s one I’d use at night time exclusively, but this does also depend on how your skin reacts to the formula.
Overall, it’s a decent product, although it has a slightly misleading name from my experience. I don’t plan to repurchase it as it’s not exceptional enough for my skin, but if you find yourself in a pinch or just eager to try a product from the brand and can look past the misleading name, it is worth considering. I suggest waiting for a sale or offer, as I do see Soap & Glory included in Boots’ sales marketing.
Thank you for taking the time to read my blog post, I hope it was helpful. If you have any questions that I didn’t quite answer for you, please don’t be afraid to ask. Otherwise, I hope you are happy and healthy, and I’ll speak to you again soon.
Happy Wednesday! Today I want to talk about a Korean product that I’ve been using for a little while now, which is The Saem Saemmul Pore Cover Pact. I’ve been using it exclusively as my mattifying powder, so it spends a lot of time moving between my vanity, my desk or my makeup bag. I don’t remember exactly where I bought mine from, but it was most likely from eBay, and was definitely before I went cruelty-free.
I had this product stashed away for quite a while, as I was previously working through the Rimmel Clear Complexion Clarifying Powder, which was featured in my most recent Project Pan. Like Rimmel’s products, at the time of writing, The Saem is not 100% cruelty-free, as they do sell in mainland China. So with this immediately in mind, I will not be repurchasing this product until their status changes, but I will be using it up as I want to avoid waste. This is a product I bought before going cruelty-free however, so if you’re wondering how this ended up in my collection, this is why.
The packaging is a cute minty-green which behaves conventionally like other powder compacts or BB cushion compacts. The top half acts as a lid, and requires a reasonable amount of effort to pull up, and so far haven’t had issues with the lid popping open. I haven’t had reason to doubt it’s ability to keep the powder secure while in my makeup bag, while traveling, etc, so that’s a positive in my books. While the packaging is like a conventional BB cushion compact, it is still fairly slender, and doesn’t take up a lot of space in my makeup bag.
Inside, there’s a clear plastic divider that let’s the BB cushion puff sit inside without having contact with the powder in the bottom half. This is where the packaging becomes more like a powder compact than a BB cushion compact, as instead of a hard plastic divider, it’s a plastic sleeve than can be taken out of the compact entirely. Whether this is preferable I think really depends on whether you’ll use the BB cushion puff that comes with it. For me: the clear plastic is fine as I don’t use the BB cushion puff for applying powder products, so I can take the puff and sleeve out, and keep the puff as a replacement for applying foundations on the rare occasions I wear it instead. If you do use BB cushion puffs for applying powder, then you may find that a hard plastic divider is preferable instead, but I’ll leave that to you decide for yourself.
As far as claims go, I’m going to quote Jolse’s product page as it includes English translations and official-looking claims, which are as follows:
“1. Sebum and oil controlling pact
Sebum control powder prevent greasy skin and darkening by controlling excessive sebum.
2. Light weight and smooth fitting to the face
Fine powder helps skin look smooth and clear without dryness.
3. Skin protection effect
Caring pores clogged with excessive sebum and calms down irritated skin.”
Some of the translation is a bit awkward, so I’ve corrected the spelling mistakes, but left the wording alone. The first claim is fairly straightforward and anticipated, but I assume by “darkening” they mean preventing blackheads caused by clogged pores from excess sebum. I don’t know if this is exactly what they mean though, so I’m going to address it without assuming it as the intended meaning.
The second claim is one that appeals to me a lot as I do have oily-sensitive skin, emphasis on the former. So my skin tends to feel quite congested or uncomfortable easily, so I like to use mattifying powders to give my face some relief from that uncomfortable-oily feeling. I especially like powders that feel lightweight on my skin, as that feels more luxurious and relaxing. It’s the kind of quality of life benefit that I like from basically all of my makeup.
The third claim is one that I find a little bit unusual, as makeup having skincare benefits are very difficult for me to measure. So when I consider this claim, I’m going to be consider it more from the perspective of “does my skin feel more irritated and congested”? That let’s me monitor the product within standards that I can quantify appropriately, particularly as my skin is both oily and sensitive, so I do have to juggle two very difficult skin types at the same time.
As far as the product goes, it’s a pure white compact that doesn’t leave any white cast or lightening effect on my skin. This for me has been both a positive and unfortunately not the rescue I’ve wanted. In the case of the latter, I tested a mineral face powder that was too dark for my skin, and it was one rare situation where I hoped the white powder would help lighten the colour. It doesn’t do this at all. In normal circumstances, this is absolutely a positive as I want to be able to touch-up with the powder as often as needed throughout the day and not worry about gradually lightening my face as the day goes by.
As I’ve said, the powder is white, but I don’t find it leaves any whitening effect. If you have a dark(er) skin tone, I can’t say for certain if it will or won’t have a lightening effect on the skin, so if you can find a blogger with a darker skin tone reviewing this product, I think their input would be particularly valuable. I do have very pale skin, so I can’t provide any helpful input in that regard.
The powder itself is very fine and applies beautifully onto my skin. I prefer to use my EcoTools Retractable Kabuki Brush, which is my go-to brush for face powders, as it gives me a lot of control over how much product I pick up and where I place it. I don’t like to use powder or BB cushion puffs for powder products as I find they apply it too heavily on my skin. With my kabuki brush, it applies a really nice thin layer, that really makes the claim about being lightweight true for me.
It is very silky on the skin, and does help minimise my pores, although they don’t vanish completely. I notice the difference most on the pores where my nose and cheeks meet, where they’re particularly large, and they do look less noticeable thanks to this powder.
The lightweight texture is particularly ideal as this is what I use to touch-up my face throughout the day, so it doesn’t leave the skin feeling clogged or weighed down under a layer of powder.
As this is what I use to touch-up, I won’t be surprised if I work through this product relatively quickly. Using only my kabuki brush to pick up the product, the pattern of the pan is already showing through with only a week’s use. I don’t know if this would happen as quickly with the powder puff that comes with the product. It’s because of this that I expect to hit pan fairly quickly, although it may take some time to use up the entire pan in spite of this.
I do find myself inclined to agree that it doesn’t make the skin look dry, as I can touch-up 3-5 times a day and my skin doesn’t look cake-y or dry. I don’t want to push my skin to its limit, but it is nice to know that I can keep my oily skin under control and not look like I’m wearing a few layers of makeup.
Overall, I’m really impressed by how compatible this product has been with my skin. My only gripe is that The Saem is not 100% cruelty-free, or I’d repurchase this as my go-to long term mattifying powder. Until that changes, I will be experimenting with cruelty-free options, but I wanted to put my thoughts out there for anyone isn’t pursuing a cruelty-free cosmetics routine.
Thank you for taking the time to read my blog post, it means a lot to me to receive your support. I hope you are happy and healthy, and I’ll speak to you again soon.
As the new week rolls in, it means it’s the first full week in my new place. The weekend for me was one of unpacking and getting new furniture, which meant a trip to IKEA with mum. This was also the opportunity to get hold of my recent YesStyle order that I forward to my parent’s address. So I want to haul this with you guys, as it’s always fun to share what’s caught my eye to a point that I committed to purchasing them.
So I ordered this package back in late May, and it took exactly a week for it all to dispatch. It then took just under 2 weeks to arrive at my designated address, which is the longest I’ve waited for a package. I made sure to fulfill the £30 minimum order for free premium shipping, which means it can take between 7-14 days to arrive. This is the only order of mine so far that arrived on the latter end of that time period. As far as I’m concerned, this isn’t a problem, as it still arrived on time.
My order is made of 5 items this time around, feature 2 clothing pieces, one accessory/bag piece and 2 makeup items. I paid a total of £33.12 in total, but used one of my member coupons to reduce the price from £37.17. Typically I focus my order around one product I was intent on purchasing and this time around I wanted to replace my wallet/purse. The previous one I’ve owned is about 4-5 years old, and is starting to look a little worse for wear. Some of the decoration is breaking off, and the coin pocket is also starting to come apart. So I had a look on YesStyle’s site to see if any specific wallets stood out to me.
The order itself came in a plastic delivery bag, with the items wrapped around each other, split into three different packets. The first is one clothing piece, following by the second. At the core of the package were my makeup items and the wallet, so I will go through them shortly in the order that they came wrapped in.
As far as the packing of the package goes, I was expecting it to be packed inside of a hollow plastic cut out, which I’ve received before in a recent YesStyle haul. However, it’s nice to see less plastic used overall as I’m not 100% certain my local council will accept the plastic for recycling.
The clothing items are contained in separate plastic sleeves, which are secured with transparent sellotape. The makeup products and the wallet arrived wrapped together in bubble wrap, that was also kept shut with transparent sellotape. None of the products appear to be damaged either from the warehouse or during transit, so I’m quite pleased with the condition they arrived in.
The first item of clothing I picked up is the Striped Long-Sleeved T-Shirt from DEEPNY, in in the navy blue and white combination. I adore stripes, and have a lot of striped clothes in my closet, so my attraction to this product isn’t surprising to me in the slightest. The block of white on the sleeves really stood out to me, and minimises the monotony of the pattern. This is one that will probably be kept away for while, as it’s currently a warm and humid summer here in the UK. So unless the temperature drops, this is one I expect to pull out when autumn arrives. It’s a little creased from being in transit, but I’ll iron it when I’m ready to wear it.
The second item of clothing I bought is the Cutout Shoulder Tie-Neck Blouse from Frigga. The product page features the wine red first, and honestly, it was tricky to settle on one colour. There’s wine red, navy and white, and I love all three colours. I settled on navy in the end, because it looks like it would be the most versatile with existing closet. However, I could see myself wearing all of the colours. I’m looking forward to trying this on and seeing how I feel about the cutout shapes, and if I do like it, I’ll look at getting the other two colours if they’re still available.
The vertical lines of the circles is also really cute, and adds some dimension to the blouse without looking overwhelming. The photos on YesStyle’s product page linked above show how delicate and cute a look you can make with this blouse, so I’m curious to see if it’ll look good on me as well. I don’t wear short sleeves often, but the humidity definitely puts me in a situation where I am wearing them, so I wanted some variety in my closet.
I can see myself pairing this with a pair of jeans, and probably some sandals for that delicate, cute and summery look. My closet is still scattered in bags, suitcases and boxes at the moment, so I plan to put this blouse to use when I find where all of my clothes are.
Moving to the focus of my order, I picked out the Faux Leather Long Wallet from Natalis. This was available in a handful of shades, but it’s typical of me to go for black. The other available shades were grey, pink, blue and light green. I love the rounded edges and cute faux-clip clasp, which is actually a button mechanism.
The wallet has a lot of room for cards, including a specific pocket for ID, which for a lot of us is probably a driving license. The coin pocket in the centre also has more card slots on the the left side.
Flip the coin pocket over and the right hand side has even more card slots, so if you’re like me and have a lot of loyalty cards, reward cards, etc, you have a lot of room to store them separately. The pocket unzips from the three sides not attached to the body of the wallet, which will make unzipping to access coins more flexible than a coin pocket that only unzips from the top.
Having moved all of my cards, loyalty cards, gift cards, coins, etc into the wallet, I’m overall pretty happy with the sheer number of slots. I still can’t quite close the wallet, probably due to how I’ve folded and stored receipts, but otherwise it’s a really good size.
Now we have makeup items. The first is a purchase in preparation for a future gap in my makeup collection. I regularly use brown liquid eye liner as part of my everyday makeup routine, so when I saw the Chica Y Chico One Kill Eyeliner on my wishlist, I quickly bagged the shade ‘#2 One Kill Brown‘. I currently have the NYX Epic Ink Liner in the brown shade on the go, and I’m not sure when I’ll use it up. Since I needed to meet the £30 minimum spend, I decided this was as good a time as any to get a backup ready.
It’s going to remain in my backup drawer of my new Alex drawer set in my office, but I will of course review it when the time comes that I open it up.
Lastly, I couldn’t help but pick up a lip product. I picked out the Karadium Air Mouse Velvet Tint in the shade ‘04 Photogenic‘ as my first product from the brand. I’ve wishlisted a lot from the brand that would potentially appeal to me, but I have a soft spot for lip products even if I’m not as brave with lip products as I want to be.
The shade itself is a bit strange. While it looks more on the warm side in the tube and swatched, when I cleaned the swatch away with a makeup wipe, the undertone leans much cooler. I plan to play with this lip product for now and see how it wears, how it pairs with makeup looks, and so on, but I wouldn’t be surprised if I bench this for autumn. It definitely looks like it leans into the warmer, earthier vibes that I like to go for in the the autumn based off the swatch.
Of course, I will review the product once I have consistent experience with it, so I hope you’ll give it a read when that eventually gets written up and published.
This concludes my latest YesStyle haul. I hope this was entertaining to read, I definitely had fun sharing these purchases with you. I hope you are happy and healthy, and I’ll speak to you again soon.
As the end of the week greets us again, I want to talk about a travel/sample size product I tried out recently. This is the Ren EverCalm Gentle Cleansing Milk, which I took back with me during the weekend leading up to my husband and I’s recent move.
I had finished up using the L’OREAL Skin Perfection Purifying Gel Wash as part of my recent project pan, and so while I was packing to spend some time with my family before the move, I decided to pull out one of the cleansers from my sample drawer. If you’re curious what else is in my sample drawer, many of the products from my sample stash posts are still in my collection, and if any stand out to you, I have written first impressions on them just like I’m doing today.
So as you can see, the travel size tube itself is on the petite size, fitting comfortably in the palm of my (admittedly small) hands. It’s extremely convenient for travel, and that’s the key reason I picked this out when I did. I can fairly confidently make little tubes like this one last at least 2-3 applications, sometimes more, so I knew I was covered for my brief trip to see my family.
As my tube is potentially outdated, I want to include a quote from Ren’s product page for this product:
” A gentle cleansing milk with a multi-action formula that fights environmental aggressors, increases skin resilience and minimises the signs of irritation and sensitivity that can lead to visible premature ageing.”
Bearing in mind I’ve only got enough of the product to use it a couple of times, the longer term claims like preventing premature aging, increasing skin resilience, etc, aren’t things I can really measure in the 4-day period that I incorporated it into my skincare routine. So I’m going to address it’s ability to function as a cleanser, where there is a brief description on the back of the tube which are as follows:
“Gently removes dirt, pollution and make up. Skin feels purified, calm and soothed. Minimises the feeling of sensitivity. Combats the signs of premature ageing.”
I’m being a little critical here, but the two quotes I’ve provided here ultimately aim to say the same thing, but go about it in slightly different ways. But what the second paragraph includes that I can compare my experiences to are the claims about the skin feeling purified, calm and soothed.
Before I get side-tracked, this little travel size sample is simple and easy to work with: a small soft plastic tube with a hard plastic cap that you twist off. The packaging of the full size product is a bit different, which if you are curious about it, I suggest you visit the product page I linked above. You can also find Ren in Marks & Spencer’s, if you’re from the UK and looking to see this product first-hand.
The travel size packaging is fine for the purpose of travel, as while the hole you dispense the product from leaves the product exposed to the air, you’re not expecting to keep it exposed for more than a few applications. If you tend to use milky cleansers as part of your everyday routine, then you can expect to only leave it exposed for a few days, which is the case for me.
The formula itself is a gel-milky formula that’s easy to dampen and smooth over the skin. While the product doesn’t have any artificial fragrances, there is a floral scent that I assume comes from the ingredient list, featuring floral extracts like mandarin orange, sesame seed oil, sunflower oil, fennel fruit extract, among others.
If you’re curious about the full ingredient list, the product page I’ve linked above is useful to check out. I’m not a big fan of the strong scent, but it’s not one that is aggravating for my nose, skin or stomach, so ultimately this is a matter of preference. I can understand that for some, the floral scent gives a luxury feel to the product, so I advise opening a tester in-store if the option is available to you, and see how you react.
As a cleanser, this would be typically what I use as the first step in preparation for getting ready to shower, where I wash away any excess oil or residue on the skin before I apply my current face masks. However, my routine was a little mixed up while away from my own home, so it ended up being an in-shower cleanser. I also didn’t take my facial cellulose sponge with me on my trip, this is one I washed off with my hands and with the help of the pressure of my shower head so there was no remaining residue.
My skin did feel clean and satisfied, although it’s not one I’d personally use to remove makeup. I prefer to use micellar waters for that task, so I’m speaking from a perspective of preference. I don’t have any experience using this cleanser to remove makeup to adequately comment on its ability to remove makeup.
The full size product is £20.00 for 150ml, and for me personally, that’s not worth the money. The cleanser itself is fine and great for using a few times a week, but ultimately, I prefer gel-based cleansers for my skin’s needs. So spending £20.00 on a formula I’m not 100% in love with isn’t the right choice for me. If you have a drier skin type and can get hold of a sample or a travel tube like this one, I suggest giving it a try and take it from there. Trying this cleanser has made me curious to try more from Ren even though they have a more mid-high end price tag, so I hope I get a chance to try more of their products.
Thank you for taking the time to read my first impression, it means a lot to me to receive your support. I hope you have a relaxing weekend, and I’ll speak to you again soon.
Happy Wednesday. The day after the move, today I have some time to round up my progress on the products I picked out for my Pre-Move Project Pan, which I detailed in my post here. As this was a project pan intended to give myself a goal before my move, I wanted to discuss my progress and talk about how things went.
All of the products with the exception of one were photographed on the June 8th, which is when I traveled home to see my family, and decided that was a good time to create a cut-off point. Any I didn’t use up by that point I will be continuing to use up, but as far as the goal goes, that’s when the ‘end date’ is.
Products I Emptied:
The first product I emptied, is the Superdrug Simply Pure Gentle Eye-Makeup Remover, for sensitive skin. I finished this the following day on the 25th of March, and it really felt like my goal was on a roll. The motivation really kicked in from this point, and is a product that I did feel a bit upset to use up. I have reviewed the product, so you can read my comprehensive thoughts there, but this is a product that overall I really enjoyed.
Moving in to May, I also emptied the Superdrug Optimum PhytoHydrate Anti-Dehydration Birth Water Micellar Water. I emptied this product on May 5th, so there was a small gap in between the previous empty. Another product I’ve reviewed, this is one that I was quite eager to use up. This is another one of those products where it’s not a bad product, but because I did have sensitivity to it on my eyes, I wanted to move on to a new micellar water that is potentially good for both my face and my eyes.
One more skincare item I used up before the cut-off date I described above is the Super Facialist Rose Hydrate Intense Moisture Mask. This is a product where I reached a point where I couldn’t squeeze any more out of the tube, and I decided I didn’t want to create a mess in my bathroom if I cut it open, so I emptied it officially on the 14th of May. I really enjoyed using this face mask, so it was an empty that left me feeling a bit conflicted. Like the others, I have also reviewed this mask, so if you’re curious what my experience was, don’t worry, I’ve documented it.
Moving to makeup, I did use up the MUA Brow Define Micro Precision Eyebrow Pencil. What little product you do see photographed above, doesn’t quite draw onto the brows anymore, so as far as I was concerned, that’s ’empty’. I expected to use this up a lot sooner than I did, as it was one that I finished up on the cut-off day, where I had expected to use it up at least a week or two sooner. For the £2.50 price tag, I’m really impressed by how long this lasted in my makeup routine, and as MUA are cruelty-free, I will absolutely be considering this pencil as a contender for my go-to brow pencil.
Almost An Empty:
The Tony Moly AC Control Whitening Emulsion is a product that I’ve used for over a year, and was just lasting and lasting in my skincare routine. The progress made doesn’t look like a lot, and that’s because up until a week before the move, I was only using one small pump for my entire face. Once I started using an extra pump to apply a slightly thicker layer all over the face, that was when I saw progress really speed up. The extra product per application doesn’t make a dramatic difference, but it was enough extra moisture that my skin did appreciate it. Especially while spending time at my parent’s over the weekend, where the air is drier in their house, my skin did particularly appreciate it then.
The day of the move itself, I used this up getting ready in the morning, so while I didn’t empty it by the cut-off date, it is now emptied. I have reviewed this product as well, so if you’re curious, I encourage you to read it. At the time of writing, Tony Moly aren’t 100% cruelty-free, but once they are, this is a product I’d reconsider buying because it lasts so long on my skin.
The It’s Skin Aloe Relaxing Emulsion is so close to being emptied, that I think it qualifies. I think it’s going to be emptied by the end of the week, although I’ve only kept what remains in the plastic travel bottle that you see above. The glass bottle it originally comes in is very heavy even as empty as it was, so I wanted to be able to get rid of it before the move.
Of course, I’ve reviewed this product as well, so you can read my thoughts on the product there. It’s Skin is on the Boots website, however, I’m not sure if the brand is 100% cruelty-free. So if the brand does intrigue you, this is information I think is worth having.
One more skincare item I nearly emptied is the Bioré Baking Soda Cleansing Scrub, which came back with me over the weekend after nearly finishing it up. I have a couple of applications left if I had to estimate, so I feel like it qualifies for this category. It’s at a point now where it’s getting harder to pour out the powder so eventually I’ll just twist off the cap for the final application. I really enjoyed this product as part of my in-shower routine, but it’d definitely be too messy if you planned to use it over the sink. It does intrigue me to try other products like it though.
Products I Didn’t Want to Travel With:
When I talked about the L’OREAL Skin Perfection Purifying Gel Wash in the original Project Pan post, I described how I wanted to focus on using this up in its entirety, but as time went on throughout the allocated time period, the integrity of the cap, specifically how it bends when you open and close it, made me nervous to travel with it. I decided to use up as much as possible before traveling to spend time with my family, and the progress I made is what you can see photographed above.
I used this only when preparing my skin before applying masks for my shower routine, so this is a product I used every other day. For the two and a half month period I set for this project pan, it was quite impressive how little progress was made, as bizarre as that might sound considering my intention was to use up as much as possible. While I won’t be giving L’OREAL any of my money until they are 100% cruelty-free, it is promising for me to see that their products have the potential to make the pennies stretch.
Another product I parted ways with is the Rimmel Clear Complexion Clarifying Powder, which I made quite a lot of progress with. The powder was already in pieces when I started, so I had no intentions of traveling with this product, but wanted to make the most of it during the time before the move. Progress is tricky to measure because it’s in so many pieces, but ultimately, I’m proud of myself regardless as it was one that was limited to only being used at my desk.
Initially, I didn’t think this would be added to this section, but the Fashionista Pressed Powder Compact Style Icon is one I ultimately made a decision to finish using before traveling home, because while much of the pan is still very much in the pan, it did have the habit of breaking off into chunks as the layer got thinner and eventually broke off the pan. This was fine for the most part, but as I revealed more and more of the pan, the frequency of this happening increased. So I decided to call it quits on traveling day, and I’m proud of myself for the progress made.
It was a really nice skin tone match for me, considering the brand is no longer publicly available on Superdrug’s site or in their stores, where the norm at the time was to feel left out in terms of options for my base products. This is still true for me with a lot of brands, but it’s much less common than it used to be, as someone on the really pale end of the skin tone spectrum.
Progress So Far:
The product I forgot to photograph with the others, is the Essence of Beauty Lilies & Freesia Fine Fragrance Body Mist, which I set aside as my only fragrance during my allocated project pan period. As you can see, there’s still some left, and if I hadn’t misplaced it at my parents for just under a week, I think I would have just about emptied it. I photographed this separately, but as I didn’t use it while at my parent’s as it was hidden away in my bag, the progress is still at the same pace as everything else.
I plan to continue using it exclusively as my fragrance, as I’m really enjoying the scent. I think in future, I’ll use a similar process for the next fragrance I use and experiment further.
Lastly, the one product I didn’t have serious intentions of ‘using’ up, is the GOSH Brow Kit, which I added as a fun incentive to see just how much I use in the two and a half month period. In the original post, I had just hit pan with a small sliver of silver pan visible. I’ve made a lot of progress since then, but there’s still so much left to use. My plan is to use up the darkest shade if possible, then move on to the next brow powder to use shades in sync with each other, so I plan to extend this product to my next project pan.
Which gives away my plans right? I plan to do seasonal project pans from now on, setting 3 month periods to split up the year where I’ll pick out products I think I can realistically use up. The first section will be starting in July, where I’ll take what remains of June to pick out products to include in the July-September period. Like I said above, the brow product is going to be pulled forward, and my intention is to take any products I don’t finish in my set period to be pulled forward as well, so I can really detail what my cosmetics habits look like.
Rounding off the end of the working week, I want to talk about one more first impression from my sample drawer. I have two of the Tony Moly Panda’s Dream White Hand Cream sachets, and since I’m between hand creams at the moment, I figured now was a good time to try them, and of course, I want to share my experience.
At the time of writing, Tony Moly is not a fully cruelty-free brand, but I’ve had these little sachets in my sample drawer for quite some time now. I talked about these in my Sample Stash way back in 2016, where I curated the various different samples. While the versions of South Korean brands aren’t tested on animals, as they do sell in China, they create separate versions for the Chinese market. So while I am trying product out, I won’t be considering buying from the brand until they are fully cruelty-free.
As the text on the back of the sachet is all in Korean, I don’t have any claims to quote. But I will compare the performance against what I like from a hand cream and take it from there.
First and foremost, I think the concept of the panda packaging is adorable. While I’m not a huge sucker for packaging, I do appreciate the unique concept they’re working with for the Panda’s Dream line.
The formula is a heavier cream, which I would describe as being medium-heavy in terms of consistency. One sachet had enough to spread over both hands, which is nice as it let’s me test on both hands and for traveling, I can reliably depend on one sachet for each application. It does leave the hands feeling a little bit slippery like a lot of heavier and more emollient hand creams do, so this isn’t a super convenient formula for me as I spend a lot of my time using a keyboard and mouse. My hands do feel smooth once it fully absorbs, which takes up to a few minutes depending on how thick a layer you apply.
It does have a mild white cast when first applied, which I assume is part of the “white” aspect of the name. It does fade very quickly however, so it’s not something you should feel too concerned about so long as you apply it a few minutes before you need to go out, or whatever situation that you want your hands to look presentable.
The big factor that I was really disappointed by, is the strong floral perfume fragrance. For some this won’t be a problem and really makes the hand cream more luxurious, but for my sensitive nose, this gave me a headache and was nauseating. I planned to use both sachets, but the intrusive fragrance has put me off entirely for opening the second one. It’s a shame as I want to have products from Tony Moly to look forward to when they hopefully one day become fully cruelty-free, but sadly this isn’t one of them for me.
Thank you for taking the time to read my blog post, it really means a lot to me to receive your support. I hope you have a wonderful weekend, and I’ll speak to you again soon.
Happy Wednesday! As I’m getting closer and closer to moving day, I wanted to write a quick haul that I made this time last week, and talk about my thoughts for each of these products. It likely doesn’t need explaining, but all of these are products I bought myself. I didn’t have any specific plans to buy any of these products with the exception of one, which you can probably guess which it is. Without further ado though, let’s jump in with my pre-move haul.
Starting with The Body Shop, I picked up two full size products that were part of a ‘buy one, get one half price’. I went into the store with the intention of just using up as much of the loose change in my wallet as I could, as my recent taxi trips from the train station to my apartment after visiting my family left me with more change than I knew what to do with.
A body care product I forget to buy and make a habit of using are body scrubs, particularly as it could help speed up the healing process of my body acne. I specifically picked out the Shea Exfoliating Sugar Body Scrub, as the scent was really gentle for my nose (a bigger factor than I wish it was), and the texture is a nice mixture of grainy yet creamy.
I gave a lot of the other body scrubs a sniff from their ‘try me’ jars, and a lot of them had really strong scents that weren’t nice for my nose, but this is one that was more on the subtle side.
Out of curiosity, I picked up the Fuji Green Tea Scrub Shampoo, which I plan to use periodically like a clarifying treatment for my hair. One of the initial concerns with a scrub for the hair is the risk with leftover scrub being left behind in the hair. The assistant I spoke with explained to me that this scrub lathers up and she didn’t have issues with leftover residue even though her hair was on the thicker side, just like mine. I figured this was going to be fun to try out nonetheless, so I plan to review this in the future.
Both of these jars are products I don’t plan to open until after the move, but I wanted to pick them up while I had the motivation to.
A little less exciting, but the assistant I spoke with about the Fuji Green Tea Body Scrub also prepared a couple of sample tubs, which have the Fuji Green Tea Refreshingly Purifying Shampoo and Refreshingly Hydrating Conditioner. I plan to try these out the next time I wash my hair (as of the time I’m writing) so I can decide if I want to replace my current shampoo and conditioner with these hair products, although I will wait to [hypothetically] have the full bottles to review them, rather than write a first impression off of these samples.
It really impressed me that the assistant offered to provide the sample, instead of my asking awkwardly. I appreciate it went sales assistants recognise that a lot of customers aren’t necessarily going to spend money on a full size product and that samples can bring in great returns. As someone with social anxiety, it feels better to have someone politely offer to provide a sample, than find a way to ask and wrestle with my own mind on how to appropriately bring up the question. I’m always really grateful to receive samples, and even if I don’t write up posts on those samples, I do keep notes of my experiences so I can refer to them later when I am looking to fill a gap in my routine.
A pre-move purchase that I jogged my own memory for, is the Superdrug Fruity Toothbrush Holder. I will be staying with my parents the weekend leading up to the move, and staying with them to be at the apartment ahead of the movers to let them in to the new apartment, and one of the things I kicked myself for last time was keeping my bag and toothbrush clean while I traveled.
As someone who brushes their teeth twice a day, it’s rare for my toothbrush to be dry in time for when I pack it away, and it grosses me out to have my toothbrush dripping freely inside my bag, suitcase, etc. So when I was just casually looking through the makeup, hair care, etc sections in Superdrug and saw these on the top shelf of the cosmetics tools section, I made sure to pick one up. While it will be rare for me to use a toothbrush holder often, it’s the sort of thing that should realistically last me years.
The main reason I took a trip into town was the pickup some health items from Holland & Barrett. While I was browsing and trying to look for the specific bottle I needed, I was quite predictably distracted by the beauty displays. Being a tad impulsive, I picked up three shades of the Burt’s Bees Tinted Lip Balms. I currently have the Beeswax Lip Balm in my desk drawer at the moment for touch-ups, and have seen the various flavours in-store at my local Boots, but I haven’t seen the tinted lip balms in-person before. So it made me excited and I decided, rather than kick myself later, I’d pick them up and try them out. I’m not sure if the formula is anything like the beeswax formula, but I’m curious to try them all out and review them in the future.
The three shades are ‘Pink Blossom‘, ‘Hibiscus‘ and ‘Red Dahlia‘. ‘Pink Blossom‘ in my mind, is what I’ll keep in my handbag during the spring and summer, as it appears to be a soft and light pink based off the shade of the tube.
‘Hibiscus‘ based off the shade of the tube seems like the most universal shade for me, as it appears to be a medium pink, which I like to reach for year-round.
‘Red Dahlia‘ looks like a deeper shade, looking more burgundy, so I can see myself using it in autumn and winter. However, all three of these shades will be judged properly once I open them and try it out for myself. But based off my first impression based off the packaging, those were the thoughts that ran through my head when I looked at them in-store.
Thank you for taking the time to read my blog post. It means a lot to me to receive your support. I hope you are happy and healthy, and I’ll speak to you again soon.
Happy Monday! In an attempt to do a little more purging before the move (which is next week!), I found myself with a golden opportunity to try a couple of sample size hand creams after using up the SOFNON Tsaio Calendula-Lavender Repairing Hand Cream. So today, I want to talk about my very limited experience with the Tony Moly Banana Hand Cream, which I had a single sachet of in my sample drawer.
At the time of writing, Tony Moly are not considered cruelty-free, because they do sell in mainland China. While the versions you can buy out of South Korea will not have been tested on animals, because of how China currently handles cosmetics being imported into their stores, many people, like myself, rule out brands who sell physically in stores.
As this is a sample sachet, it means I only had enough product to use it once. I’ll be blunt: the idea of a banana scented hand cream does not appeal to me, especially as my nose can be so hit or miss with scents of any kind. The product calls itself a hand milk, but at best, the scent smells of banana milk, while the formula itself inside wasn’t quite so milky.
What little text there is on the packaging is mostly in Korean, and since I cannot read it, I don’t have any claims to go through with you this time. So I’m going to set some basic expectations of my own:
Ideally, I want a hand cream to be able to provide adequate moisturisation to help maintain soft and supple skin. I especially want a cream to absorb quite quickly, as I work at my PC, and I hate making my mouse and keyboard grubby. While I can tolerate some scents, it’s typically best if cosmetics don’t have a scent at all, especially not artificial ones. To sum it up simply: I want a hand cream that’s nourishing and minimalistic. It doesn’t need fancy bells and whistles, metaphorically speaking.
As far as the formula goes, the thin sachet squeezed out small portions of a solid-cream. I’m not sure if this is indicative of the formula when it comes out of the full packaging, but this is what I had to work with. While it had a lightweight solid and creamy form out of the sachet, once I started spreading it over my hands, the warm of my hands helped to melt it into my skin, where the ratio of solid to cream became creamier.
It was easy enough to smooth over the skin, and absorbed fairly quickly. Over the back of my hand, it absorbed to leave a slight friction over the skin. For my palms though, it maintained a slightly slicker feeling. I’m assuming that, because it’s quite warm and humid here at the moment, my palms of my hands are just sweatier than normal, which made the formula absorb a bit more slowly on my palms. This is purely speculation on my part though.
The banana milk scent I mentioned earlier really hit me when I first opened the sachet, but it did fade quite quickly after applying the cream on to my hands. It has come back randomly throughout the night but it’s brief and very infrequent. To be honest, I’m not sure if I’m just imagining it, or if the lingering heat just brings the scent back.
Towards the end of the night, my hands are feeling a need to be moisturised again, leaving the cream only effective for a few hours. Like my hand creams, it’s only so resistant to water, so if you frequently wash your hands (doing dishes, using the bathroom, etc) you will need to touch up your hands often. This is common for me with a lot of hand creams.
Overall, it’s a decent little hand cream based off my limited one-time experience. As Tony Moly aren’t currently cruelty-free, I won’t be considering the full size version. In the hypothetical situation that they are, I would pass on this product simply because of the scent. While it’s not nauseating or uncomfortable for me, I simply prefer to avoid hand creams with strong scents in general. The performance is average, and is one I’d use throughout the day to touch up for general upkeep of my hand’s moisture levels. If you happen to really like the banana milk scent (maybe it’s nostalgic for you?) or you don’t need an intensely nourishing hand cream, this is worth looking into if it’s still on the market.
Thank you for taking time to read my blog post, it means a lot to me to receive your support. I hope your working is starting off on a positive, and I’ll speak to you again soon.