Happy New Year to you all. I hope you had a lovely festive period and a wonderful NYE. The New Year is here and I am really looking forward to 2017, as I know lots of exciting things are happening. Including my Sister’s wedding, a family holiday for my Mom’s birthday and two of my best friend’s have babies due this year. So 2017 is already looking great!
Anyway, enough rambling. For the month of January every single post is going to be about high street / affordable products. I am sure we are all a few pennies lighter after Christmas time, so I am going to keep all of the reviews and recommendations about high street products, this is going to including skin care, makeup, body and bath products, hair, brand specific reviews and lots more.
I am going to start by talking about the first product I use in my skin care routine and that is cleansers. I have one oil, two creams, two balms and one micellar water.
The cleansing oil that I would recommend above all other high street cleansing oils, will come as no surprise to regular readers of the blog. It is the Body Shop Camomile Cleansing Oil. Oils are an unusual way to cleanse, to people who have never used oils before, as they really do feel so different to any other type of cleanser. You quite literally take a few pumps of the oil and rub it all over your face to break down any makeup you are wearing, and it really does feel like you could be putting Olive Oil or any other type of cooking oil on your face. However; it is so effective at breaking down make up and then you remove it with a flannel. Some oils are more effective that others at doing this and I would say the Body Shop oil, especially for the price point, is one of the best I have used. It is £10 for 200ml, whereas a lot of high end oils start around £23.
Cleansing Oils would always be what I reach for, for my first cleanse to remove my makeup, but after doing so, I like to use a cream or balm for my second cleanse. I would never use a foaming wash, as these strip the skin. They are particularly targeted at oily skinned people, to remove excess oil, but what they actually do is encourage the skin to produce more oil, as the wash completely strips the natural oil from the skin. So I would still, even for combination and oily skinned people, recommend a cream or balm cleanser, you just need to pick more carefully which ones and avoid shea butter if you are oilier as this is harder for the skin to break down, so can cause further break outs.
My favourite two cream cleansers are both from Boots. The first is the Soap and Glory Ultimelt Purifying Hot Cloth Cleanser. This is a gorgeous thick cream, that you almost rub into the skin like a moisturiser and then remove with a warm flannel. I like to, if I have time, really massage this into the skin before removing it and it leaves my skin feeling so nourished. I love to use it all year round, but in particular I notice a real difference when using it in the colder months. It is £10 for 100ml and you get a muslin cloth with it.
The second cream cleanser I love is the Una Brennan Superfacialist Rose Hydrate Cleanser. This is also a white cream that you rub in to dry skin and then remove with a flannel. The consistency of this cleanser is a bit thinner. It still feels like a moisturiser, but a much thinner one. This is another cleanser I find myself enjoying in the colder months, as it is very gentle on the skin. This product is made with Shea Butter, so maybe avoid this one if you are naturally more oily. This cleanser is only £7.99 for a whopping 150ml.
The next two are balm cleansers, which I would use for either the makeup removal stage or for my second cleanse. The first one is the Sanctuary Spa Warming Cleansing Butter. This comes in a tub and is a thick balm consistency. You just need to scoop a little out and massage into your dry face. The product then melts down into more of an oil and then you remove with a warm flannel. I would not try to remove eye makeup with this one, I would stick to a separate eye makeup remover, as it doesn’t do a great job and stings a little, but for the face it is lovely. This also contains Shea Butter. It is available from Boots and costs £12 for 100g.
The second balm is from No7 and it is their Beautiful Skin Melting Gel cleanser. This is definitely in between a gel and a balm, as it is much thinner than your typical cleanser balm and it comes in a tube, but it isn’t foaming at all. You would still apply it in the same way as a balm, all over a dry face, massaged in really well and then remove with a warm flannel. I really love the way this cleanser makes my skin feel, so soft and clean. I again, wouldn’t use this for eye makeup removal, I would stick to a separate remover for that. This product is £9.50 for 150ml, but I always wait for the No7 money off voucher they do and use that to purchase it.
As for micellar waters, I am really not a big fan at all. All you are doing is rubbing the makeup around your face on a cotton pad. So I would never go out of my way to recommend this way of cleansing. However; I do find them useful as backups for really late nights, rather than reaching for them as a regular thing. I have tried a lot of different ones, and find most of them are particularly inefficient at removing makeup. However, there are a few I do like. My favourite, is a more recent purchase and it is the Garnier Oil Infused Micellar Water. The usual price is £5.99 but it is regularly on offer and can be bought from a range of places including supermarkets.