It took me a little longer than expected to come back with a new instalment in this series focusing on what's on my skincare shelf. I hope you don't mind, as I wanted to be able to give my full thoughts on the products I used! Hopefully this will be helpful if you want to discover something new or had your eye on any of these bits.
Bioderma Hydrabio H2O Micellar Water | £10.80 | I decided to switch it up and try the hydrating version of my favourite micellar water (well, that's a bit of a lie; it was on offer and the original Sensibio edition was sold out!) I honestly didn't notice much of a difference with this, though I never found the original harsh or stripping to begin with. It removes my makeup effectively and is gentle on the skin, just like water. I tend to use this when I'm wearing light makeup or just want to remove any lingering makeup, especially around the eye area.
The new additions
Elemis Pro Radiance Cream Cleanser* | £34 | This is a really lovely cleanser that is mildly expensive, but you do get a LOT of product in there! It's a nice, lightweight moisturising morning cleanser with ylang ylang, moringa and acai, but you can actually use this to remove makeup too. You massage it in, leave it for a minute and then remove it with a warm, damp cloth. This is actually really effective! I usually find cream cleansers don't work so well for removing makeup unless it's very light and you're not wearing waterproof liner, however (maybe because you're letting this one sit on the skin and dissolve the makeup before you wash it off) this works nicely. It's not something I'd use on a smoky eye after a night out but if you don't like oils and want something that feels fresh on the skin, then check it out.
Comfort Zone Essential Face Wash* | £22 | For me, this cleanser was ok. I get that it's an 'essential' cleanser so intended to be basic and functional, but there are products that just do the job and I get more excited about than with this. It's one I'll use up but wouldn't buy myself afterwards. It's a gel-cream cleanser (that leans more towards being a gel) with 77% natural ingredients and I use it in the morning. It leaves things soft, clean and doesn't strip my skin but it's just not something that knocked my socks off.
La Roche-Posay Hyalu B5* | £37 | This hyaluronic acid serum is definitely on the pricey side for La Roche-Posay, however I do think it's still worth checking out. My one niggle is the packaging; it is a little more premium (the bottle is glass, not plastic) but the design isn't great for the consistency of the product! It's way to gloopy to dispense properly with this dropper. However, I do like the texture because it's gel-like and lightweight so absorbs nicely - it also doesn't feel sticky on my skin. It hydrates, plumps and calms my skin so nicely and I saw results instantly. I think pretty much any skin type would enjoy the light hydration of this product!
True North De-Stressed Night Cream* | £46 | This is definitely a little 'up there' in price for what is: a simple, no-frills product, but it does do the job for me. The formula is rich but not greasy, it's unscented and deeply nourishing. My skin is hydrated and smooth by morning and I know this gentle cream will be a favourite when the colder months come back around. When I don't want to use a targeted treatment or oil then this is just a good product that works for my skin.
Stripped Skincare Spearmint & Lemon Bamboo Exfoliator* | £12 | I'll keep this short because, despite being a fan of this brand's makeup removers I reviewed in my last affordable beauty post, I didn't love this exfoliator. I think it's a cool idea for someone who wants something all-natural and vegan, but having the exfoliating particles suspended in the oil makes this a bit fussy for me and it's not quite as effective as other methods on my skin. I'd rather stick to an acid on a day-to-day basis with the occasional micro-exfoliation scrub when I really need it.
Antipodes Halo Skin Brightening Mud Mask* | £26.99 | I've been using this once or twice a week for the past several months. It contains antioxidants like grape and kiwi, as well as mineral mud. It does harden on the skin, however I don't find that it sucks all the moisture out or anything like that! I do think it has a nice deep-cleanse effect too. Whilst it's not hydrating, I find that my skin feels nice and soft after use. In terms of it's brightening effects, I do definitely notice my complexion looks healthy, fresh and more 'alive' after use. Whilst it's not as much of a favourite of their Manuka Honey mask, I did really enjoy this one.
Sand & Sky Brilliant Skin Purifying Pink Clay Mask* | £39.50 | I've tried a couple of things from this brand, which is stocked at Beauty Bay, but I think this is my favourite. This is a really effective mask for once a week when you want a seriously deep cleanse. It also has a bit of exfoliation in there, so leaves my skin looking fresh and bright, as well as clear. I really love that this comes with a mask brush, as I have semi-long nails so don't like dipping my fingers into a pot. It isn't too aggressive for my skin, though I can definitely 'feel' it working, so it might not be great if you're very sensitive. Overall, this is a winner for me, though if I have one criticism, it would be that the pot seems quite small for the price.
Elemis Pro-Collagen Overnight Matrix* | £69.96 (as part of a set) | For some reason this is insanely extortionate but you can get it in a QVC set (which actually comes with a bunch of other products I love!) for way less, which I would happily buy myself once this is finished. This is an interesting product to describe because it has the texture of a cream but acts like an oil on my skin (which makes sense because the ingredient list is largely comprised of natural oils). However it does dry down nicely and doesn't make my skin look or feel greasy. If you're after a product with amazing results: look no further! This plumps and smooths my skin so it looks fresh, healthy and just all-round great. I was recently a bridesmaid at a friend's wedding and this is the product I used the night before because I just knew it would give me my best skin!
Sanoflore Essence Merveilleuse Regenerating Anti-Aging Night Oil* | £45 | I really wasn't as bowled over by this oil as I wanted to be. It has squalene, along with essential oils and it absorbs nicely so avoids the issue of having that layer of oiliness sitting on the surface of my skin. I just didn't see any significant effects from using this, other than a little bit of hydration which I can get with much more affordable products. I do have a moisturiser from this brand too so hopefully that's more of a hit with me!
Stripped Skincare Rosehip & Mandarin Moisturiser* | £16 | After abandoning the Sanoflore, I decided to test-run another Stripped Skincare product. This is billed as a moisturiser, however as always with oils, I do prefer to use this overnight when my shiny face isn't on show! Rosehip generally works really well for my skin - as well as hydrating, it can help to even the tone and texture of the skin. This also contains a blend of moisturising, calming and healing essential oils. I really like this product! It comes in at a very affordable price point and I know it will be a favourite during the winter months. It's not the fastest-absorbing oil in my collection, but I guess that's what you're paying for with the more expensive options on the market. It's lovely and smoothing, plumping my skin nicely and just improving its quality overall.
Rodin Olio Lusso Jasmine and Neroli Face Oil* | £60 (15ml) | I have mixed feelings about this product, as it really is lovely, but it's also £60 for what is essentially a mini! I love the packaging and the aesthetic of this brand and you don't need a lot of product, but I am still a bit iffy on the cost. The product itself is great for when my skin is just a bit tired and the texture is very lightweight, so you can use this every day. It's soothing and hydrating, leaving my skin lovely and soft after use. I also love the scent of this (though it might not be the best if you're sensitive to fragrances in skincare) - it's nice and calming, which also makes it perfect to use before bed.
Stripped Skincare Peppermint Lip Balm* | £4.50 | I'm not a huge fan of lip balms that come in a pot like this, as you have to rub your finger over the surface a lot to warm the product and get some off, which seems like an extra faff to me and not the most hygienic thing in the world. It's hydrating, light and oil-like on the lips and I do like the peppermint, but I just have lip balms I prefer to this. If you're looking for a natural option, this might be something for you, but I'm just not in love.
Neutrogena Visibly Clear Light Therapy Acne Pen* | £19.99 | I posted about this as part of Neutrogena's campaign for the product and, as promised, I'm back with a proper blog review of it. I was definitely dubious when I was sent this to try however, after a bit of Google research, I discovered light therapy is very much legit for a variety of skin concerns. This actually also comes in a mask version, but for me (as someone in my mid-20s with combination skin who gets the occasional hormonal or lifestyle-related breakout) the pen works really well as it just targets the odd blemish. This is another product I used in the days before the wedding because I had one or two spots I needed gone by the big day! You simply turn this on and leave it on the offending spot until the device bleeps. When I have a breakout, I use this on any particularly large spots in the morning and evening and it really works for me! Even after just a day, I notice large, sore spots are considerably reduced and less angry. It's great for just helping move things along when you need your skin clear as quickly as possible.
The ones I'm using up
Mario Badescu Facial Spray with Aloe, Herbs & Rosewater | £11 | This is a product I've loved for ages and I actually received a backup of it from Beauty Bay in a PR package, so I thought I should focus on using this one up. It's super affordable and it does the job for me! It gives my skin lasting hydration without feeling heavy or sticky. It also feels so nice and calming, which is why I reach for it so much.
Caudalie Vinosource Moisturising Sorbet* | £23 | This is a product I'm using up because it's getting a little old and I did get a backup in PR that I'll open at a later date. I do think I underestimated quite how much of this is left! I still have quite a way to go but I'm glad I cracked this open again now because the cream-gel formula is perfect for the summer. It's hydrating (with Caudalie's own grape water infused in the formula) but very lightweight. If you have combination or oily skin and just want to deal with hydration without caking on a nourishing cream - this is perfect for you!
Embryolisse Smoothing Eye Contour Care* | £25.49 | I really like this eye cream - I think it's a little pricey compared to the other products I have from this brand - however it does what I need it to. It has a light cream texture so is very hydrating without being heavy and greasy around the eye area. It definitely de-puffs things for me, which is my main goal when I apply an eye cream (as my dark circles won't shift, no matter what I do!) It contains Vitamin A, Vitamin E and Hyaluronic Acid. Since taking the photos for this post, I've actually used this up entirely.
Trilogy Cream Cleanser | £23.50 | I was actually sent a bunch of mini products in sets by the skincare brand Trilogy and the one I immediately had to go out and buy in the biggest bottle of it available was this cream cleanser! I'm not using this up because I'm 'over it' or anything like that, I've just had it a while and want to enjoy it before it takes a turn. It's very light on the skin and doesn't sting my eyes so can be used to remove light makeup, though I have this primarily as a second cleanser. It isn't overly oily but leaves my skin feeling soft, smooth and hydrated after use. This is formulated with rosehip (Trilogy also does an amazing oil) and aloe.
Which skincare products have you been reaching for lately?