Beauty Without Fuss

Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Body Shop Colour Crush Eyeshadows

As spring has allegedly sprung, I thought I'd break out some colours on the blog - well it makes a change from sludges and reds, I guess!  The redeveloped Colour Crush Eyeshadows from the Body Shop have been on counters for a little while now, they're really pretty and I've actually been impressed with the texture, so I thought it was about time they made an appearance.

As you can see, I was sent quite a collection, here we have:
Top row: Sweet Pea, Boyfriend Jeans & Berry Cute
Middle: Grape Expectations, Berry Cheeky & Blackcurrant Affair
Bottom: Golden Girl & Caramel Flirt

This is a really nice set of colours, they're fairly pigmented, and are soft and velvety in use, I've not experienced much fallout with them, either.

I've swatched them here with my finger over bare skin, so you can see how pigmented they are in normal use - the colours are brighter over a primer, of course, but I know a lot of my readers don't use eyeshadow primers:

Bright, eh?  And even brighter with a primer!  My picks from this set of shades would be Grape Expectations, and Golden Girl (as a highlighter), and possibly Blackcurrant Affair, but that's just me.

The shadows last quite well, but if you wear them on bare skin they will fade rather quickly (within a couple of hours).  At seven pounds per shade, they're fairly bargainacious too ...

The Fine Print: PR Samples.

This post: Body Shop Colour Crush Eyeshadows originated at: Get Lippie All rights reserved. If you are not reading this post at Get Lippie, then this content has been stolen by a scraper

Monday, 29 April 2013

What's in my makeup bag?

It's not very sexy as makeup bags go, is it? However, it's large, strong, and squishy, which is all I really ask of my cosmetic carriers, frankly.  Anything too rigid means I won't be able to fit some things in.  I don't, in all honesty, carry a lot of makeup around with me, but these are the basics that I can't bear to be parted from:

Clockwise from the bottom:
Clarins Instant Light Lip Perfector in 06 Rosewood Shimmer
Illamasqua Generation Q handbag mirror
Bare Minerals Correcting Concealer in Medium
Gwdihw First Aid Skin Balm
Clinique Even Better Compact makeup in 04 Creamwhip
Aftelier Perfume sample Tango
Bare Minerals Soft Focus Eyeshadow Brush
Bliss Handcream in Blood Orange and White Pepper
Jo Malone London fragrance in Lime, Basil & Mandarin
Orange Blossom lip balm
Bobbi Brown Pot Rouge in Pretty Powerful Pink
All for Eve crystal nail file

Not a huge amount, really - and, I've just noticed, there's a distinct lack of eye products, really.

A closer look:

I use the eyeshadow brush to apply the Bare Minerals concealer, it gives a soft application, and blends as you go, which I really like - there's nothing worse than a too heavy application of concealer, as that tends to actually draw attention to flaws rather than deflect it.

I like the Gwdihw First Aid Balm for those little accidents that happen during the day, paper cuts, scrapes, bites and stings, it's really good and very healing, I've not been without my pot since it arrived. Cheap and cheerful, but all-natural, and there's a whole host of different balms on the website, I really like the cuticle balm, and the pineapple lipbalm too.

Aftelier's Tango perfume.  I carry this everywhere with me.  When I need an evening-time top-up of fragrance, this is what I'll be wearing. Smoky, mysterious, sexy and just plain gorgeous, one day I'm just going to splash out and buy a full bottle.

I carry the Even Better compact around with me as it's more portable than the bottle (the finish of which I actually prefer, to be honest), but it's extremely useful for top-ups, if I'm wearing a foundation that day that hasn't lasted the distance.  If I get to three pm and my foundation has disappeared (it does happen), I use this to fill in any patches.

The Bliss Handcream, is rather basic as handcreams go, which is fine by me, as I'm not plagued with particularly dry skin, but this has an amazing spicy orange scent which I really love.  It's a limited edition every Christmas, and I was very put out this year that they only released it in this mini-size. Morons.

I carry the Lime, Basil & Mandarin round with me in case I need to top up my fragrance during the day.  I've been wearing a lot of terrible fragrances recently, which luckily haven't lasted too long, and I use this to hide the last lingering bits of them later on ...

I love the scent of orange blossom, and in this random lipbalm I picked up in a pharmacy in Paris, it makes an unusually scented lipbalm.  Not sure, entirely, that the scent works in a balm, but, hey, it's unusual and I like it.  I think.

The Bobbi Brown Pot Rouge is a limited edition in an extremely wearable shade, it's rather pale on my lips, but it's great for adding a little pink colour to my cheeks when I'm having a pale day.

The Clarins Instant Light is a "my lips but better" shade that I carry around, just in case ... stupidly named (it's about as shimmery as ... hmn ... well, let's just say it's NOT SHIMMERY, shall we), but it gives a polished look that won't clash with any eye makeup looks.

And that's it!  It usually has a couple of lipsticks in there too, as I just add whatever shade I'm wearing on the day to the bag, but these are the staples that never move out of the bag.

So, what do you carry around with you on a day-to-day basis?

The Fine Print: Mixture of PR Samples and purchases.

This post: What's in my makeup bag? originated at: Get Lippie All rights reserved. If you are not reading this post at Get Lippie, then this content has been stolen by a scraper

Sunday, 28 April 2013

Lipsticks of the Week: Soft Reds


It's been a red kind of week, but I couldn't face my usual bright "in your face" kind of shades, so softer, gentler, easier-wearing kinds of reds (and a pink) have dominated my look this week:

From left to right we have:

Revlon Colourburst Lip Butter in Red Velvet - I've largely ignored the Revlon Lip Butter hype, as the colours have all been too pale and milky for me up till now.  This is a gorgeous soft red, easy to wear, and comfortable on the lips.  It's about the only shade from the range I'd wear though.
Lanolips Apples - You might remember this from my post last week.  Please don't stand on your lanolips tubes, peeps.  This is a conditioning balm, and I own the full set of colours, I'm a bit of a Lanolips addict.  This is the brightest of the lot, I think.
Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Lipstain in Romantic - hate the taste, love the shade

Jouer Tinted Lip Enhancer in Shiraz - This is another conditioning balm with a hint of colour, it has a slighly floral taste, but leaves my lips in great re-hydrated condition, it's a really lovely shade, too.
Clinique Chubby Stick Intense in Plushest Punch - It's pink.  I know.  But it's gorgeous. Shut up.
Lipstick Queen Saint in Wine - Possibly my most-used lipstick of the year so far.  Gives the lips a gorgeous blood-red stain.  Love it.
Clarins Instant Smooth Crystal Lip Gel in Crystal Plum - Not sure this is blue enough to be a real "plum" shade, but it's a soft sheer, clear red on the lips, with a highly fruity scent that is extremely reminiscent of Lancome Juicy tubes.

Swatches (in same order as above):

Whilst I can classify all of these (except Plushest Punch) as a soft red, you can see some of the differences quite clearly here: Red Velvet is a slightly deeper red with hints of blue, Apples is a sheer bright red, Romantic has more of an orange hue, and Shiraz definitely has hints of wine in there.  Plushest Punch is, well, pink! Wine appears browner on the skin, but the natural colour of your lips counteracts this, and it's definitely a red in wear, and Crystal Plum is definitely a sheer (and extremely glossy) red.

So, what've you been wearing this week?

This post: Lipsticks of the Week: Soft Reds originated at: Get Lippie All rights reserved. If you are not reading this post at Get Lippie, then this content has been stolen by a scraper


Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Rock Face and Rugby, A Match Made in Heaven?

****DISCLAIMER: This article contains sport, references to sporting personalities, and possibly even images of men in shorts sport. Be warned.**** Oh, and it's been written by MrLippie ...
Ever since Jonny Wilkinson burst into the national consciousness of England in 2003, there's been a slowly increasing awareness that rugby players are not always the rugged bastions of semi-Neanderthal manliness that they have often been portrayed as. This was further promoted with the appearance of the perma-tanned Gavin Henson on various "celebrity" shows, although it could (and should) be argued that he took the whole image-conscious look to the extreme.
So, when Bath Rugby Club recently announced they had teamed up with Rock Face for Men as a new sponsor, it hasn't raised as many eyebrows as it might have a few years ago - although those who don't follow the sport might well be surprised! Now, what sort of brand chooses a rugby team to be their new "faces"? Would it be a brand going down the uber-macho route, or were we looking at one which was aiming at sophistication, charm and wit? Going for the stereotype or something more left-field? Given that this was the first time I'd heard of a skincare brand associating with a specific rugby team, I was willing to bet it would be the former.
A brief look at the brand intrigued me - the packaging for all of their products is very straightforward - no garish attempts at being eyecatching, no attempts to look ridiculously sleek - just a simple glossy design, white and muted green, with a stylised mountain panorama. Each of the products has a different slogan on the front, but again, it's not in your face at all. You can read it if you really want, but half the time they'd just slide past your consciousness (as did the fact that they all have German subtitles - I only noticed that 3 weeks after I bought it!). So far, so good.
The first product I trialled was the shaving foam - naturally! The gel is coloured to match the packaging - the muted green - and it fluffs up nicely. It actually feels smoother than a lot of the competition, and spreads across the face without feeling too soapy. The only minor downside is that, being fluffy, it is surprisingly difficult to catch all of it with a razor! A quick wipe across the face with a towel solves that fairly swiftly, but definitely advisable to spare a quick glance in the mirror to make sure none of it is escaping into your ears or round the back of your neck....
After the foam, I gave the Face Scrub a try - now, I'm always a bit wary with these, after my first experience with them a few years ago left me wondering whether my cheekbones were exposed to the elements - but this was pretty good. Lightly scented (v.faint citrus, as with the rest of the range), with an almost Pacific Ocean colouring, it cooled and lathered up quite well, without feeling too gritty or feeling like just another moisturiser. Not bad. I was left looking a bit peaky and pink afterwards, but only to be expected - didn't damage me too much!
Onto the moisturiser - again, it's nicely done. Doesn't leave you feeling oily or greasy, rubs into the skin quickly, and you don't feel like there's something hanging around on your face for hours afterwards. Handy!
The last product I trialled was the Shower Gel. Nice, cooling, with the citrus aroma that doesn't linger too long, it does leave you feeling fairly fresh without the blast of menthol usually necessary to achieve the same effect! I'm quite happy with it, overall.
The overall impression I garnered from the range - both packaging and actual content - was that it goes a long way to achieving the "no fuss" status it aspires to. It's a great market to aim at, as so many guys these days are conscious of their appearance, but have no intention of letting grooming eat into their routine - I, for example, have an aim of being out of the flat and on the way to work within 30-45 minutes of my alarm going off, and I look at suspicion at anything that interferes with that goal - much to Get Lippie's despair....

On the flip side, how do Bath Rugby club feel about their new sponsor? We were lucky enough to spend a weekend in Bath (beautiful city, by the way) and went along to the Rec to sound it out whilst watching a game. Geoff Binding, the Business Development Manager, was around for most of the afternoon whilst we took full advantage of the hospitality, and filled us in on a bit of the background. "Rock Face are a great match for us, as they're a national brand gaining visibility and with a genuine desire to build a partnership with the club. The players have found out that there's a big box of Rock Face products behind my desk and I keep on getting harassed to hand it over."
Ben Williams - Centre
Ben Williams, Bath Rugby centre, said: “Rock Face offer no-fuss, great products – we’re out in all different types of weather when we’re training, and even the forwards need to look after their skin, so it’s great to be associated with these guys.”  
But what about the image and reputation of being a rugby player? Was that a worry at all?
"The great thing about rugby is that it’s always been full of lots of different characters. Looking back, you have the likes of Gareth Chilcott and Jeremy Guscott, who have pretty different images in the public eye, but were both fantastic rugby players. There are different views on what a rugby player can get away with these days, but I think so long as his performances on the field are up to scratch then there isn’t really a problem.”

Fair point. In a rugby-mad city like Bath, a little thing like a partnership with a skincare brand isn't going to affect the view of the club - it's all about what happens out on the pitch. In that respect, Rock Face is probably the best brand they could've teamed up with - it's not over-egging the image - it's all about getting the job done with a minimum of fuss. 

Prices are extremely reasonable for the quality and range from £2.99 to £4.99 (from Waitrose and Sainsbury's) but if you want to buy online, enter the code "GETLIPPIE" at the checkout at and you'll get your products on a great 3 for 2 offer.  We spoil you guys.

You can find out more about Rock Face and Bath Rugby Club here.

Editors Note: I got asked for more player pictures, never let it be said I'm not obliging:

Dave Attwood - Second Row

Stephen Donald - Fly Half

Dan Hipkiss - Centre

Guy Mercer - Back Row

Anthony Perenise - Prop


The Fine Print: We had complimentary tickets to the match, but products were bought at our own expense.
This post: Rock Face and Rugby, A Match Made in Heaven? originated at: Get Lippie All rights reserved. If you are not reading this post at Get Lippie, then this content has been stolen by a scraper

Monday, 22 April 2013

Kodo Incense Ceremony With Odette Toilette

To my intense dismay, having enjoyed many a scented adventure through Odette's work, I was unable to attend the Kodo Incense Ceremony arranged by Odette Toilette last week. Luckily, however, the lovely Callum Bolt was able to take my place at the ceremony, and here he gives us a fabulous round-up of his experience:
Last week, what was supposed to be another dull day at the library ended with one of the most memorable evenings I have had in quite some time. Odette Toilette and Fornasetti Profumi were hosting an evening of Kodo (an ancient Japanese incense ceremony) with junior master Souhitsu Isshiken Hachiya in Conran’s gorgeous shop in South Kensington Unfortunately Ms Lippie was unable to make it so I leapt (almost literally) at the chance and soon I was packing my books away and heading for what promised to be a quite incredible evening. 
After draining my glass of champagne and discussing with some others what we expected from the ceremony (none of us were quite sure), we sat cross legged on the floor and Odette opened the evening by briefly talking of how she had come to learn of Kodo by chance in a book she had read some years ago. We were then introduced to Souhitsu, junior master of Shino-ryu; a school of Kodo that has been continuously passed down the generations for over 500 years (Souhitsu’s father is the 20th master, and he will eventually become the 21st).
Souhitsu began by performing the Kodo ceremony himself in silence. The delicacy with which he handled the tools, and the absolute precision of each gesture, were utterly hypnotic. On a wooden tray there was a small pot, decorated with Chinese paintings, and filled with ash that hid a burning piece of charcoal. Also on the tray were a selection of utensils and a small paper packet containing the incense bark. The ash was pressed into a cone shape with something resembling a fish knife, then with a little white feather any loose ash was dusted away. Souhitsu then made 50 lines on the slopes of the cone which represented the 5 elements of Chinese philosophy: wood, earth, water, fire and metal. This done, a tiny square of glass was placed on top of the ash, upon which Souhitsu put the incense that would be gently warmed. Then he took the pot in his left hand, while holding his right over the ash in order to check the temperature, and leant forward and inhaled the scent.
Once the ceremony was been completed, and we were all captivated, Souhitsu began to speak. (I must mention the incredible lady who was able translate for Souhitsu so effortlessly that I almost forgot that he was speaking Japanese.) He instantly proved to be a charming fellow - warm, funny and very knowledgable. We heard of how, in Kodo, they do not ‘smell’ the incense but rather ‘listen to’ it using all of the 5 senses in order to appreciate absolutely the subtleties of the scent and the effect it has. He went on to tell us of the importance of our sense of smell: though we have become a culture obsessed with sound and vision, our noses hold the key to our more primal instincts. He used the example of a cavemen needing to be able to sniff out prey and predator in order to survive.

Next, we are given a brief lesson on the importance of incense in ancient Japanese aristocratic seduction. Around 1000 years ago, Souhitsu tells us, men and women would not look at each other’s faces and because of this men had to get creative. They would write haikus, scent the paper with their finest incense and post them to the lady (or ladies) that they desired. This made the process of courting a rather drawn out affair - especially as, if the lady didn’t like your poem, or thought that your incense smelled horrid, then she would simply not reply. Even when the the the lady did reply, there had to be a long exchange of letter before the pair could finally meet, which they had to do in the lady’s home. In the dark. In fact, so strict were the rules about not being able to see each other that the gentleman had to leave before the sun rose in the morning, because of this the incense used to scent the clothes became hugely important. They were judged almost entirely on their scent, and therefore it had to be good.
Souhitsu then spoke a little on the art of Kodo itself. Kodo, literally meaning ‘the Way of Incense’, is not something that can ever be learnt but is a lifelong process of learning. Souhitsu spent a year living in a temple with a priest in the mountains in order to begin to master the art of Zen (becoming ‘nothing’ through meditation), but said that it takes decades to truly be able to experience it properly. The state of Zen is integral to Kodo as you must be experiencing nothing but the incense, allowing it to conjure images, memories and emotions freely. (Souhitsu, apparently, is often reminded of the rice fields near his grandparents when he used to visit as a child.) Kodo began during the Muromachi period when an aristocrat asked for all of his incense to be classified and evaluated, during the course of this process the ceremony took shape. It soon became very popular throughout Japan, being used by almost everyone from the Samurai who performed the ceremony before battle to the aristocracy for whom it was a fun game. The incense is most often described in terms of taste: sweet, salty, spicy, sour and bitter

Finally, it was time for us perform the ceremony. Once again Souhitsu prepared the incense by placing it on the hot ash, and then passed it around the room for each of us to smell. There were two different barks which he told us were both “completely different”. When the first incense made it’s way to me I was surprised - this was not the church-like smell that I had been expecting, but something altogether more subtle, softer. Firstly, there was the familiar scent of hot charcoal and ash but once I had disregarded them I discovered a beautiful fragrance that made me think of blonde woods, and reminded me slightly of being in a sauna (so perhaps I wasn’t able to disregard the charcoal as successfully as I had hoped.) The second did indeed feel different. This bark was brighter and had a brilliant saltiness to it. One lady said that it made her think of the sea, while someone else was reminded of the woods and animals such as deer. Souhitsu was careful to be incredibly diplomatic telling us that all of our responses were correct, and that his impression of the first bark was that of a beautiful sunny day with blue skies and not a single cloud in sight.
And with that, it was all over. I could have happily spent several more hours listening to Souhitsu talk of his art - his knowledge of the history of Kodo was fascinating and as a speaker he was brilliantly entertaining. Odette was back to thank Souhitsu and make not-so-subtle hints that he should come back to the UK soon (which I sincerely hope he does.) Then it was time to head home, with a rather-handsome incense box courtesy of Fornasetti Profumi and Nippon Kodo.
You can find out more about the amazing events put together by Odette Toilette here.

The Fine Print: Get Lippie and Callum Bolt bought and paid for the tickets involved for this event.

This post: Kodo Incense Ceremony With Odette Toilette originated at: Get Lippie All rights reserved. If you are not reading this post at Get Lippie, then this content has been stolen by a scraper

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

I want to: Smell Like a Hug ...

 For all that I love my avant garde niche perfumes (and I do), there are days when all you want to do is smell loveable, the olfactory equivalent of a quick snuggle on the sofa.  For those days, all you need is musk, for musk is the scent of skin and so these are the products I pick:

I'm a big fan of layering my scents, so I start with:

Philosophy Amazing Grace Shower Gel

A softer scent in the shower gel form, than the rather sharp scent you get in the eau de toilette form, this is a gentle, almost flowery form of musk that is, in it's slightly laundry-soap kind of way, rather loveable in itself.  I have a hard time keeping my bottle away from MrLippie.

Khiel's Original Musk Body Lotion

Not all hugs are innocent, are they?  So I follow Amazing Grace with a light slathering of Kiehl's Original Musk Body Lotion, for that little hint of naughtiness under the light and bright musk scents I'll be following this up with. I can't speak for the formula's moisturising properties, as I don't use body lotion as a rule, it's generally something I only use for layering scents with.  That said, this is a nice formula, and I used it for scenting my skin on my wedding day (layered underneath L'Artisan Perfumer's Safran Troublant).

Body Shop White Musk Perfume Oil

Most definitely not the spray eau de toilette!  I find myself using this as an anchor to many floral fragrances, and occasionally as a perfume in it's own right.  It moisturises the skin somewhat, and allows your fragrance "proper" to have something to grip to, moisturised skin holds fragrance better.  In it's own right, this is soft, powdery and rather delicious, and it helps give a sensual base-note to whatever you apply afterward.

Which is (in this case):

 Serge Lutens Clair de Musc

 A bit of an overlooked fragrance from the Serge Lutens line, this sweet, fragrant hug-in-a-bottle reminds me of childhood cuddles from my female relatives.  It's not ground-breaking, it's soft and gentle and rather lovely.  Longevity isn't the greatest, which is why I like to layer it.  This was this close >.< to being my wedding fragrance ...

The Fine Print: Mixture of samples, purchases and gifts.
This post: I want to ... Smell Like a Hug ... originated at: Get Lippie All rights reserved. If you are not reading this post at Get Lippie, then this content has been stolen by a scraper

Monday, 15 April 2013

Beauty Blogger Problems ...

1)  Not having a laptop for three weeks will severely curtail your ability to post regularly.

2) Getting a new laptop with a vastly different keyboard layout will severely curtail your ability to write cheeo  ochersn coheerentlee proper.  Innit.

3) Forgetting where your camera cable is will severely curtail your ability to post photos.

4) Standing on samples kept in your jeans pocket will make your bedroom look like an episode of Dexter:

Found my cable.  It was where is usually is.  I am an idiot.
 Still, Lanolips Apples was (is?) such a lovely colour!  

5) Coming to the end of a six month spending ban is surprisingly stressful - WHERE DO I START OFF BUYING ALL THE THINGS AGAIN????

6) Use of the phrase "chemical free" in a press release is still fricking infuriating. It induces rage. Oh, and I will never feature a product if a PR suggests that I am "jumping on a bandwagon" for picking up on the fact that it's a nonsensical phrase.

7)  I'm getting tired of being asked to write articles for brands so that I can potentially "win" products to try.  Why do companies do this?  I don't mind not getting samples, but I don't want to spam my own blog with articles about products that I've not tried just on the off-chance that I'll win something.  What do readers think about these kind of articles?

8) Ditto "guest posts" from brands and or SEO agencies.  I don't read 95% of the press releases I'm sent (even the ones for the products I do feature!), so I'm not going to use the blog as a place for you to publish them!  How do readers feel about pre-written features from brands, rather than written by myself?

8a) Let's not even discuss that both of the above are attempts to boost a brand's SEO at the expense of my own, shall we? It's a con, and I'm not interested, I'm afraid.

9) Feeling guilty that I've just whined about getting emails at all. Sorry!

10)  Trying co-washing was a big mistake. Dear hair, I'm very sorry.

Now, what have I missed, and, does anyone know how to get bright red lanolin stains out of carpet? 

This post: Beauty Blogger Problems ... originated at: Get Lippie All rights reserved. If you are not reading this post at Get Lippie, then this content has been stolen by a scraper

Sunday, 14 April 2013

Lippie's Lust List #4 - Elemis Luxury Cleansing Cloths

I fupping love these.  And yes, I'm aware a facial cloth is an odd thing to have on a "lust list", but bear with me.  At a fiver each, they're not massively cheap, but they're huge, and soft, and give a wonderful cleansing experience.

Somewhat thinner (but not by much) than a regular face cloth, and much bigger in size than my Washi cloths, these really are the most luxurious cleansing cloth on the market right now.  I like them so much, after trying the one that came with my sample of the Elemis Collagen Cleansing Balm, I immediately rushed out and bought eight more, so I would never be without one!  Increasingly, I find muslins too scratchy for my elderly and sensitive face, and these are a perfect replacement.

Yes, I went out and bought face cloths in bulk.  You may think that's sad, but my face is happy!

You can get them from Time to Spa at £10 per pack of two.  

The Fine Print: Purchases, after an initial PR sample.

This post: Lippie's Lust List #4 - Elemis Luxury Cleansing Cloths originated at: Get Lippie All rights reserved. If you are not reading this post at Get Lippie, then this content has been stolen by a scraper

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Aurelia Miracle Cleanser Review

I'm a firm believer (rightly or wrongly)  that if you get your cleansing routine correct for your skin, then it doesn't really matter what moisturiser you chuck onto your face afterwards, you can use olive oil, or lard, or whatever, and it will be fine.  

I can, of course, only base this on my own personal experience, but I spent years labouring under the misapprehension that I had extremely dry, yet very acne-prone skin. It turns out that the foaming cleansers I was addicted to - which gave me that "squeaky-clean" feeling I thought was correct - were very much to blame for my red, scaly and spotty complexion, and I discovered the cure when I was given a cream cleanser and a hot cloth to try, which helped clear my spots up in a couple of weeks.  Then, when I discovered oily cleansers, I dropped foaming and cream cleansers for good! It turns out that your face shouldn't feel "tight" or "squeaky clean" after cleansing because this means your skin is being stripped of vital oils, and oil-cleansing helps keep your skin in balance.  Certainly, since I swapped to oil-cleansing exclusively, I've not been plagued with acne since, and I get maybe three or four zits a year, instead of that many a week. Nowadays my major problem is ageing alongside redness and sensitivity, which I suspect was caused by my decades of using the foaming equivalent of paint-strippers on my face.

Well ... I say I dropped cream cleansers for good, but a couple have sneaked back into my rotation recently, this one: Aurelia Miracle Cleanser, and another from Elemental Herbology which I'll tell you about next week. Aurelia is a new British brand, which promises that all their products are: "free from synthetic fragrances, parabens, mineral oils, silicones, sulphates, propylene glycol, phthalates, GMO, PEGs, TEA, DEA and are never tested on animals" All of which is a good thing as far as this beauty-blogger is concerned, frankly.  Their "miracle" cleanser is a light, almost whipped cream consistency, rather strongly  aromatic with eucalyptus and rosemary, but also contains chamomile and bergamot, and is packed with probiotics and peptides besides.

I can find some products which are packed with too many essential oils an irritation, leading to reddened under-the-skin spots, and occasionally they can over-stimulate my skin as well, causing a itchy "tight" sensation, so I approached this product with care after sniffing it. I needn't have worried.  I find this exceptionally calming and soothing on my skin, leaving it feeling soft and supple and - most importantly - less pink after I've used it.  I don't really use it for makeup removal, I find the scent a little too much for night-time use, so stick to balms or oils for makeup removal, and use this for a lighter, more refreshing cleanse in the am.  I apply it to dry skin, massage for a minute or so, then remove with a dampened bamboo cloth which is included in the pack.  I really like it, and my skin does too.

The full ingredients list is:

Aqua (purified water), Dicapryly carbonate (coconut-derived cleanser & emollient), Cetearyl alcohol (vegetable based thickener), Glycerin (vegetable glycerine), Cocoglycerides (emollient from coconut oil), Butyrospermum parkii (shea butter), Glyceryl stearate (natural glycerides & thickener), Cetearyl glucoside (corn sugar emulsifier), Rhus verniciflua peel wax (berry wax), Theobroma cacoa (cocoa butter), Kigelia Africana fruit extract (Botanical Kigelia Africana ), Hibiscus sabdariffa flower extract (Hibiscus flower), Adansonia digitata fruit extract (Botanical Baobab),Lactose (probiotic bifidoculture milk extract), Lactis proteinum – (probiotic protein), Bifida ferment lysate (probiotic culture), Schinziophyton Rautanenii kernel oil (Botanical Ubuntu Mongongo oil), Panthenol ( Pro-vitamin B5), Sodium ascorbyl phosphate (Vitamin C), Rosmarinus officinalis leaf oil (Rosemary essential oil), Citrus aurantium bergamia peel oil (Bergamot essential oil), Anthemis nobilis oil (Chamomile essential oil), Eucalyptus globulus leaf oil (Eucalyptus essential oil), Xanthan gum (natural based stabilizer), Sodium stearoyl glutamate (naturally derived emulsifier), Tocopheryl acetate (Vitamin E), Benzyl alcohol (preservative), Dehydroacetic acid (preservative), Citric acid (fruit derived pH regulator), Limonene*, Linalool* 

 I think, for the ingredients, and for the thought that's gone into these products, Aurelia is offering quite a reasonable price-point, to be honest.  This cleanser costs £34 for 125g, and I've already purchased a full-size Cell Repair Night Oil to go alongside, after trialling a mini-bottle of it that arrived with my cleanser sample.  I'll most likely give the moisturiser a go after I've finished up my last jar of Kate Somerville Goat Cream ...

The Fine Print: PR Sample.
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