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Monday, 6 March 2017

Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Oil

Clinique Take the Day Off cleansing oil is a staple of my routine, and frankly, I'm really embarrassed that it's taken me till now to review this product!

I have sensitive skin, and this, coupled with a rather, um ... magpie-like ... approach to collecting skincare can cause occasional problems.  However, Clinique Take the Day Off oil has never, ever caused me a problem. Unencumbered by essential or mineral oils, or even, weirdly, any oils at all (the short ingredients list is full of oil-like ingredients, but of actual oil in the formulation; there is none), TTDO is a silky-feeling cleanser that removes every single scrap of makeup and sunscreen without ever stripping, or irritating the skin. And it is deliciously inert, unfragranced, and just a great choice for sensitive skins because of it.

Whilst I don't use it every day, where it becomes invaluable in my collection is when I'm introducing new products into my routine.  As I have sensitive skin (I think I might have mentioned it once or twice over the years), introducing a new product into an established routine can be traumatic, so I have a couple of products that I fall back onto, ones that I know never irritate.  And I use those religiously alongside any new product to ensure that any results (good or bad) come directly from the product I've changed, rather than the routine itself.  I also have an SOS skincare routine for those times when my skin is just being irritable, and TTDO oil has made it into both those routines. Other products that I rely on for testing purposes include La Roche Posay Serozinc, and Murad Hydro-Dynamic Moisturiser, and the SOS routine is different again.  For a product to make both lists is very, very rare.

 Clinique Take the Day Off oil is both gentle on the skin, and a powerful cleanser. It takes off almost all makeup just in one cleanse, and emulsifies beautifully.  Also, it lasts almost forever, I've had a bottle on the go ever since the launch, and only recently had to buy a backup. I can't imagine life without it.  At around £19-£22 for a big 200ml bottle, it's a bit of a bargain too.

The Fine Print: PR samples and purchases

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Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Pixi + Caroline Hirons Double Cleanse #PixiPretties Collection

Right. I've started this "review", like, fifteen different ways now, and they were all a complete bag of utter shite.  I'm out of the habit of blogging at the moment, admittedly, and I can't deny it, but there's no way for me to write a "proper" review of this anyway. She'd squash me. The truth is that Caroline is a friend of mine, and Pixi Double Cleanse  is going to sell BAJILLIONS of units regardless of anything I have to say (as it should) because a) it's fupping brilliant and b) Caroline is also fupping brilliant.  So, I'm just going to say whatever I want.  No change there, really, but anyway ...

Caroline has been talking about making a skincare range for the best part of a decade now, and I know that she has turned down any number of offers to work with other brands.  She chose Pixi over them, because they gave her the freedom to put precisely what she wanted into the jars, and she believes in their integrity as a brand.  Personally, I don't get on well with all of their skincare products (but what I do use, I love) having sensitive skin, but they're an excellent, mid-priced range, that cater for a range of skin-types and conditions without overselling themselves.

Double Cleanse is gorgeous.  I'm not a huge fan of overly-scented products, and I react to products that are filled with essential oils, so discovering that both the "solid oil" and cream sides of the container are completely unscented, and not full of essential oils was a delight.  The jar is bifurcated, containing 50mls each of a silky balm that melts instantly on contact with skin, and a rich cream cleanser that feels wonderfully hydrating on skin.  The balm will destroy any makeup it comes into contact with without stripping the skin, and the cream is ...

... well, I'm not usually a huge fan of cream cleansers tbh, preferring to use them only when my skin is irritable, or irritated, and then usually in conjunction with my other "SOS" skincare products (which I haven't needed much recently), but when I have used this one I've found it rich and creamy, and wonderfully soothing, and very much like the much-missed Clarins Extra-Comfort Cleansing Cream (the one in the jar, not the less-good reformulated one in the tube), so I'll give it a pass on this occasion.

I've had my jar for a couple of months now, and it's been the cleanser I've reached for again and again and again in that time, and it's brilliant, but I do have a gripe with the packaging.  Whilst having both cleansers in the one tub is actually a brilliant idea, it's not ideal if you have a marked preference for one kind of cleansing over another.  I'd buy a full-size pot of the balm cleanser in a heartbeat, you don't need much, and it's fabulous, but I'm definitely not using the cream side as much (I'll be honest, I don't always cleanse twice, because I'm a lazy bitch), and the sides of my jar are uneven as a result. I will not finish both sides of the jar at the same time A little bird* did tell me at the official launch last week that this pot may end up being the "travel" size, which would be a perfect use for the current packaging.  I just hope that means that full sizes of both cleansers are on the way.  Fingers crossed!

 Pixi + Caroline Hirons Double Cleanse costs £24 and is available from both Pixi Beauty and Marks & Spencer.

* Actually quite tall, really.

The Fine Print: PR samples and purchases

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Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Votary Cleansing Oil

I love discovering new brands, and browsing around Liberty a good few weeks ago, I was intrigued by Votary Cleansing Oil.  From the colour of the bottle - a pleasing bright green, that stands out so beautifully from the white and pastels of many other skincare brands - the gorgeous rose-gold label, Votary looks different to many other skincare brands, and it has a slightly different ethos too.

Designed by makeup artist Arabella Preston, the Votary website has this to say about cleansing (and I quote it here in full because I couldn't agree with it any more if I'd actually written it myself):

‘You’ve been told that clean skin should feel stretched and tight. That’s simply not true. Massage this natural oil into your skin, and follow it with a hot flannel for a fantastic way to cleanse your face and remove make-up. It leaves your skin feeling clean, soft and plumped."

Skin should not feel taut, or squeaky after cleansing.  Ever.  It's a hard habit to break though, and initial trials of oil-based cleansing are often abandoned by people who claim that their skin feels "coated" or "unclean" afterwards, when in fact they're actually so used to having their skin stripped and dehydrated by (usually) foaming cleansers, that they no longer know what healthy and hydrated skin really feels like!  I spent years thinking my skin was both dry and acne-prone when in fact what was happening was that I was stripping my skin so much that it was flaking off because the foaming cleansers I favoured were just removing the oils my skin needed, and spots were just being caused by the inflammation caused by the harsh chemicals.

Discovering oil cleansers - my first was Origins Liquid Crystal, long discontinued now, but held in high esteem here, even now - was the saviour of my skin.  So I am delighted to have Votary in my rotation now.  It's a slightly viscous oil that spreads easily over the skin, and is particularly suited to massage. It smells delightful (lovely when you have a hot flannel over your face, and are inhaling the steam before you start to remove it), and has an exceptionally short ingredient list; Sunflower, Apricot, Jojoba, Grape Seed, Rose Geranium, and Chamomile oil, essentially.

It does remove makeup, but I like it as a second cleanse for it's nourishing and massage-worthy qualities.  One thing you do need to know about the formula is that it absolutely, postively, totally does not emulsify, and so can only really be properly removed with a cloth.  Luckily, Votary Cleansing Oil provides a generously sized and luxurious cloth in the box. It costs £45, which I'm aware is a high price, but with such a clean ingredient list, it's not really a surprise that it's on the expensive side.  The bottle is a generous one, and you don't need much to cleanse your whole face and neck - I've been using mine 5-6 times a week (mostly as a night cleanse, which is why you don't see it so much on my weekly skincare posts - I'm too lazy to document my skincare twice a day) and I've probably used about an eighth of the bottle so far, if that, so it lasts and lasts.  I think I've probably got at least another 5 months or so usage in there, anyway.

An investment purchase then.  But if you don't invest in your skin, no one else will.  You can find Votary in Liberty Beauty Hall, or at their online shop.  If you care about your skin, Votary will care for your skin.

The Fine Print: Personal purchase.

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Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Pixi Skintreats Nourishing Cleansing Balm

I'm slowly working my way through reviewing (almost) the entire Pixi beauty skincare range, and this week it's the turn of Pixi Skintreats Nourishing Cleansing Balm.  A gently rose-scented balm, this is great for makeup removal, and leaves skin soft and cleansed after use.

A mix of almond oil, coco butter and shea butter fortified with vitamin E, this is a very soft balm, which is slightly grainy from the shea butter. It melts really easily on the skin, and provides more than enough slip for a good massage.  It's rather bland, and slightly "thinner"-seeming than more essential-oil heavy balms, and as such, I prefer this for a first cleanse rather than a second. You won't necessarily need a second cleanse with it, but sometimes I do like to follow it up with something richer.  It dissolves makeup quite easily, even the heaviest of full-coverage foundations, and copes well with  eye makeup too - I still prefer to use a separate eyemakeup remover, personally, but my approach to mascara and eyeliner is possibly a little more ...ah ... theatrical than a lot of people's.

Full list of ingredients:

Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter, Cetearyl Isononanoate, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Glyceryl Behenate, Cetearyl Olivate, Sorbitan Olivate, Glyceryl Stearate, Glyceryl Cocoate, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Lecithin, Tocopherol, Cetyl Alcohol, Benzyl Alcohol, Fragrance.

This is a big 90ml tub for £18, and as such, I don't mind throwing a huge glob of this onto my face to remove my makeup.  I'm really impressed with the Pixi Skintreats range so far, they're reasonably priced, don't make any outlandish and unverifiable claims for changing your life, and do what thy tell you they're going to do very well indeed.  They're hard to beat.

The Fine Print: PR Sample

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Monday, 12 October 2015

Pixi Skintreats Glow Mud Cleanser

I've been very impressed with the Pixi Skintreats that I've tried so far. It's a well-priced range of good, not too confusing basics, that perform well, and do what they are supposed to without patronising or bewildering the customers.  Glow Mud Cleanser is a great product from the line, being a clay cleanser that doesn't strip or dry out the skin.

It contains aloe, which gives the formulation plenty of slip when you're applying it, and it also contains glycolic acid, which has a slight exfoliating effect too, so this is  particularly good for oilier or congested skins, as it will help with clearing spots when it is used regularly.  My skin has been a bit hormonal recently, the changes in the weather and the advent of central heating becoming a necessity in the flat,  and my skin doesn't really know what to do with itself as a result. So it's pumping out oil like there's no tomorrow. It'll settle shortly (it does this as we head into winter every year), but I'm finding this great for clearing zits as they begin to appear.

You can also use this as a mask, just apply it as you normally would, and leave it for five or ten minutes or so, before rinsing it away. This allows the glycolic to stay in contact with the skin more, so it gives a deeper exfoliation effect if you leave it in contact with your skin than you would with a cleanser normally. You'll get the familiar "glycolic tingle" when you're using this, but if you have sensitive skin, I personally wouldn't follow it with any form of acidic toner (including Pixi Glow Tonic tbh), as this might lead to irritation and redness if you overdo it.  You'll need to use a sunscreen after, as you would with any glycolic acid product.

I don't use this every day - my skin is normally clear, and it is pretty sensitive most of the time, but for those days when I need something a little more ... powerful ... than a balm cleanser, then this one can't be beat.  Best of all, it's only £18, and you can find it at Pixi, at Cult Beauty, and Marks and Spencer!

The Fine Print: PR Sample

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Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Zelens Z Pure Cleansing Liquid Balm


I'm on such a cleansing kick at the moment, it's not even funny. Luckily there are some amazing cleansers around right now, and from some great brands too, so I'm actually quite happy about this!  I've been dying to try Z Pure Cleansing Balm, from one of my favourite brands; Zelens, since before it was released, and I eventually gave up waiting for my promised sample a while ago and just bought myself a bottle, something I am wont to do on many occasions. It was £50 well-spent though, and I'm glad I cracked.  But then, with Zelens products, I usually am.

A clear liquid, reminiscent of the Alpha H Liquid Laser Oil I featured recently, this has a slightly sticky gel texture initially that quickly melts into an oil on the skin, and then emulsifies into a milk in contact with water. This is a beautifully refreshing cleanse, perfect for first thing in the morning, thanks to its gently minty shiso-infused scent. 

It's not so minty that you can't use it at night though, and it is a fantastic oil for massaging. It stays on the surface of your skin without sinking in for the longest time, and it prepares you beautifully for any night-treatments you might be using too.  Whilst it will remove makeup (something it does it very well, actually), at this price point, you're best off using it after you've removed your makeup, which will allow the skin-loving perilla oil - which is one of the main ingredients in the formula -  to nourish your face, rather than just have it pushing makeup debris and leftovers around your skin.

I remove it with a hot cloth, rather than emulsify with water and rinse, but it is easily removable either way. It doesn't leave a greasy residue, or dry your skin out, you just have soft, perfectly clean skin, ready for anything you care to throw at it afterwards.  Z Pure Cleansing Balm, alongside the aforementioned Alpha H Liquid Laser oil, and the Oskia Renaissance Gel I also reviewed recently are the three main cleansers I have in my rotation at the moment. Let me tell you that it takes a massively good formula to take me away from my beloved solid balms for any length of time, and these ones are very, very good indeed - I've not looked at a solid balm in months! 

Invest in a good cleanser, and your skin will thank you for it, is my particular philosphy.  Zelens Z Pure Cleansing Balm is worth every penny.  Mine came from SpaceNK, where it cost £50.

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Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Alpha H Liquid Laser Cleansing Oil

As well as being on a bit of a lipstick kick at the moment, I'm currently obsessed - and I do mean obsessed - by cleansers.  Having recently discovered, and loved, Oskia Renaissance Cleansing Gel, I am currently using that and this Liquid Laser Cleansing Oil in semi-permanent rotation.

Another oil-gel-based product, the Liquid Laser range is suitable for older, or duller skins, but is mainly targeted at the surgery-shy over-45s.  Despite not being quite in that bracket yet, this is still a joy to use.

Lightly reminscent of lavender with a hint of citrus in smell, this is a sticky gel that melts on contact with skin to form an oil. This lends itself incredibly well to a bit of facial massage on application. It's a great nighttime cleanser, but I'd use it after you've done your makeup removal, now I come to think of it.  It will remove makeup, but it's a bit of a waste of a lovely product, actually.

Designed to lighten pigmentation, the formula contains white mulberry, cucumber and hibiscus to soothe, and I find it doesn't redden or irritate my sensitive skin.  It emulsifies beautifully, requiring only a few drops of water to form a milky cleanser that is easy to remove from your skin, however you prefer (I prefer to emulsify and then use a hot cloth personally, but it is whatever works for you):

All in all, a bit of a winner.  I'm a bit in love with the Liquid Laser range generally at the moment, but I'll tell you more about the rest of the products another time.

What are you cleansing with these days?

The Fine Print: PR Sample

The Even Finer Print: We're not featuring full fragrance reviews on Get Lippie at the moment owing to illness - please see The Parosmia Diaries for more.

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Monday, 16 March 2015

Oskia Renaissance Cleansing Gel

Long-time readers will know I don't always see eye-to-eye with gel-based products, usually finding them a little too harsh (many gels have an alcohol base, which my skin doesn't always appreciate.  Gin, on the other hand ...) for my stupidly sensitive and extremely prone to redness skin.  So I approached Oskia Renaissance Cleansing Gel very warily.

I needn't have worried, for this is a delight, not actually being a "gel" in the traditional sense at all, more like a soft oil-based balm.  It is deliciously scented with rose in a way that even my poor, tortured nose can detect, which I really like. However, Oskia products always smell delightful, I recall being happily surprised by the scent of their Micro-Exfoliant balm (sherbet lemons!) the first time I used it.   In this way, Renaissance Cleansing gel does not disappoint.

The peachy pink "gel" softens into an oil texture when massaged over dry skin, it provides great slip,  and is good for a quick massage.  It's quite a light-textured oil, and slightly sticky in use, however,  when warm water is introduced it emulsifies into a light milk, and that makes it very easy to remove from the skin with a cloth, or it is easily rinseable through splashing, if that is what you prefer.  I don't use this for makeup removal, preferring Renaissance as a morning cleanse, but I think you'd need a separate eye makeup remover with this one.

Oskia contains MSM, a sulphur-containing compound which helps with skin healing, and the cleanser further contains pumpkin AHAs, and vitamins b2, A, C, & E, alongside Starflower oil, so leaving the gel on your skin for a few minutes before rinsing will allegedly give a brightening effect, I've not tried this, as I habitually am running short on time in the mornings, but the ingredients are nourishing and good for a mild exfoliating effect, even though they will only be on your face a short time.

I'll be investigating more from Oskia, this I can tell ...

The Fine Print: A CEW Product Demonstration evening sample.

The Even Finer Print: We're not featuring full fragrance reviews on Get Lippie at the moment owing to illness - please see The Parosmia Diaries for more.

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Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Vita Coco Coconut Oil

Okay, I admit it, I love luxury beauty products.  Anyone who has ever had even a slightly cursory glance through some of the posts on this blog will have noticed that.  £250 bottles of perfume, £35+ lipsticks, £50 eyeshadow palettes, £100+ skincare, all are abundant on Get Lippie and I'm not going to make any apologies for that.  I like what I like, and I feature what I like too, and that's the real luxury of a blog!

That said, I also like a bargain.  I know, inconceivable! But, I've been cleansing with coconut oil for a while now - I've tried the RMS raw coconut cream, which I like very much btw - and a couple of others sold for facial cleansing purposes too.  So, when I spotted Vita Coco Coconut Oil in my local Tesco for less than £4 for a massive jar, I thought I'd give it a go, and see if I could spot the differences to the similarly-sized £38 pot from RMS.

There isn't much difference, in all honesty.  The RMS is lightly processed, which removes some of the scent, and it has a slightly smoother consistency as a result, but as the oil starts to melt from the very first second you  put it on your hand, this isn't a big deal, really.

Vita Coco Coconut oil is entirely raw, and organic.  It's best to do a hot cloth cleanse with this, to make sure you're removing everything from your skin, and to prevent oily residues, but I genuinely can't see any difference to my skin between using this and using a pricier coconut-oil product. Coconut oil contains lauric acid (also found in breast milk), which is beneficial to skin, and the lack of essential oils, which can be irritating particularly to sensitive skins, is great too.  

I find it non-irritating even on inflamed  and reddened skin, and it's a an excellent makeup remover as well.  Careful round your eyes though - a separate eyemakeup remover will always be your friend - but it can remove even waterproof mascara, if you are careful.  It gives excellent slip, and is perfect for facial massage as a result too.

You can also use this as a moisturiser, a mask, a hair mask, a hair styling product, a lip balm, a cuticle oil, anywhere you'd use an oil normally, you can use this.  Oh, and apparently, you can cook with it ...

But, if you don't like coconut (and my parosmia does mean that on bad smell days  it is "wrong" to me - slightly burned-seeming - but that's definitely my stupid nose, not the product), you're out of luck. 

The Fine Print: Purchase

The Even Finer Print: We're not featuring full fragrance reviews on Get Lippie at the moment owing to illness - please see The Parosmia Diaries for more.

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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.

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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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