*opens lid to trash can* *walks to the other side of the room* *tosses in products, one-by-one, scoring some pretty sweet 3-pointers*
1. Clarins – EXTRA-COMFORT ANTI-POLLUTION CLEANSING CREAM
The rebirth of Clarins’ Extra-Comfort Cleansing Cream, a cult classic. In my opinion, I think this one is just as good, but I know a lot of people prefer the original. The original cleansing cream was packaged in a jar, and I must admit, the old packaging was far superior… this cream is just way too thick to be housed in a squeeze tube. As you can tell from the picture, I’ve squeezed the absolute hell out of it*. This cream is great for a second cleanse using the hot cloth method, of course. I don’t think it would have an issue taking makeup/sunscreen off (first cleanse), but using something special like this for that purpose would be a waste, as there are much cheaper makeup annihilators at the drugstore. You get 200 mL of product here, which will last you a LONG time if you’re using it for a second cleanse only (great value for money). I would repurchase this, but I have a lot of second-stage cleansers to go through as it is, and a lot on my to-buy list, so it will be a while before this particular product shows its face in my routine again.
* Since this photo was posted to Instagram, I’ve cut open the tube to scoop out the remaining product, of which there was a lot.
2. Klorane – SHAMPOO WITH OAT MILK
I found this shampoo at Shoppers Drug Mart *waves to Canadian readers* in a clearance bin for $2.50. They sell Klorane on the shelves at SDM, so this was probably old stock they were trying to get rid of. The expiration date on the bottle was stamped for mid-2016, so it was a pretty lucky find. Other short-haired individuals would probably love this stuff – it smells awesome, lathers well, and cleans short hair thoroughly without leaving it feeling stripped. If you have long hair and don’t like washing it daily (I have to wash my hair every day as it is very oily), you would probably have to use quite a bit of the stuff per wash to get your hair feeling clean enough to make it last a couple days before washing it again… and I know it’s painful when you have to use a lot of an otherwise expensive product in just a single use. I would buy it again for sure, or I’d try another shampoo from their line.
3. Dermalogica – MULTI-ACTIVE TONER
I was hooked on this stuff in high school – it’s the first spray-on toner I ever tried. It smells awesome and feels nice when it’s sprayed on. Having tried dozens of spray toners since, this one is just average compared to some others, but that wouldn’t stop me from buying it again. It smells identical to Kate Somerville’s new Nourish mist and has a nicer inci list in my opinion. I tested the KS product on the back of my hand when I was in Sephora a few months ago, and it dries sticky – the Dermalogica one does not. And I think the Dermalogica one is cheaper per mL. So if you were thinking of getting Kate’s toner, maybe consider this one instead!
4. Nuance by Salma Hayek – MARIGOLD CLEANSING FACIAL OIL
My friend Dana, @bijousmere on Instagram, sent this product to me in a swap we did. It’s a “meh” product, in my opinion. It doesn’t smell particularly great, but it does what it’s supposed to for a first cleanse, and it emulsifies and rinses clean. One thing that annoyed me about this is that the plastic cap for the bottle seemed to crack and break off all by itself (which is why it is cap-less in the photo). Whenever I see cracked lids or other packaging mishaps on products in pictures on Instagram, I always think how did the person manage to do that? But I didn’t do anything (squeezing, dropping) that would cause the cap to break. So now I *get it*. And I’m ticked off by it. 🙂 You can’t buy this in Canada, to my knowledge, but I wouldn’t buy it again anyway.
5. Paula’s Choice – CLEAR ANTI-REDNESS EXFOLIATING SOLUTION – REGULAR STRENGTH
I wanted to test this out to see if it was any better than the 2% BHA Liquid*, but I didn’t like it at all. It had an odd vinegary scent*, left an undesirable finish on the skin (a dry tackiness, if you can even imagine that…), CREATED a couple blemishes, which is the exact opposite of what these kinds of products are intended to do, and it has defective packaging – see below.
* Side note 1: this review is for the REGULAR STRENGTH version of this product – apparently the EXTRA STRENGTH version is the exact same product as the 2% BHA Liquid. Why Paula’s Choice decided to create a new name and packaging for an existing product makes no sense to me. The 2% BHA Liquid has a twist-off cap and a rubber stopper top that allows the product to be poured out easily. The CLEAR LINE iterations of the BHA liquid have defective flip-top caps that leak. When you tip the bottle to dispense the liquid, it leaks from within the cap and down the sides of the bottle. Bizarre. When I was using this I removed the ENTIRE cap and then just flipped the bottle directly onto a cotton pad instead.
* Side note 2: none of Paula’s Choice products contain fragrance (added “parfum” or essential oils), but some ingredients just smell yucky by nature.
6. Alpha-H – LIQUID GOLD
The cult classic. A very low pH glycolic acid solution. Alpha-H suggests using this on its own, a few times a week, to dramatically exfoliate the skin overnight so you’ll wake up looking breathtaking. They don’t want you to put anything over top of it because apparently that would interfere with how the product works. Well, from a scientific standpoint, that’s a load of bollocks. Do you know how difficult it is to change the pH of the skin after applying something as acidic as this? Extremely. Almost impossible, actually, if you are just using skincare products to try and accomplish such a feat. And that’s not to say Liquid Gold is bad or anything. It’s actually quite good… it isn’t the greatest thing since sliced bread, but it’s good. I just don’t like the way they recommend to use it. If you want to put products over it, do so. I like soaking my skin in it before applying an exfoliating or resurfacing mask, as this really boosts the power of the mask. I bought the bottle shown here from Lookfantastic in a special offer set for pretty cheap. I’d buy it again if I could get it as cheap, but for now, I’m not really missing it much in my current routine.
7. Sisley – EAU DE CAMPAGNE BODY LOTION
Eye-wateringly expensive (duh, it’s Sisley), but really good stuff. Feels silky on the skin, dries to a smooth finish, and smells awesome – woodsy, green, and powdery. This lotion would pair beautifully with Chanel No.19, as the scent is very similar. The sample packet here was a gift from Dana (@bijousmere on Instagram). I’d buy this if I won the lottery… but for now, I’m good with Neutrogena and Clarins.
8. Molton Brown – ORANGE & BERGAMOT BODY WASH / OUDH ACCORD & GOLD BODY WASH
My boss brought me back around a dozen travel-size Molton Brown body washes from Duty Free when she went to Europe – the Orange & Bergamot one pictured here is one of them. The other is Oudh Accord & Gold, which was a gift from Dana. Let me start off by saying that all of the Molton Brown body washes and body lotions are beautiful. They are the perfect luxury gift for a lover of bath products. Orange & Bergamot smells exactly like the Emma Hardie cleansing balm, so if you love that scent you will love this. Oudh Accord & Gold has actual flecks of gold in it for Christ’s sake. You need this if you love oud notes in perfume. A definite repurchase.
9. Avène – EAU THERMALE (THERMAL SPRING WATER)
See my previous post, Using Skincare Products Correctly!, to read my thoughts on aerosol thermal water. Avène, in my opinion, is the best of the bunch.
10. Lady Speed Stick – FRESH INFUSIONS SUMMER CITRUS ANTIPERSPIRANT
Yes, LADY Speed Stick. I think men’s deodorant/antiperspirant is absolutely vile. Everyone should use women’s deodorant. Usually I will just buy whatever is cheaper when I’m restocking – it tends to be Lady Speed Stick or Dove. I’ve tried using stick deodorants from natural brands, and they always give me rashes. I’m looking at you, Tom’s of Maine. And if you’re a man reading this and worried about smelling womanly, there are plenty of gender-neutral scents.
11. Kiehl’s – CRÈME DE CORPS, SOY MILK & HONEY WHIPPED BODY BUTTER
Misnomer – nothing about this soufflé-like cream smells like soy milk or honey. This is straight-up buttery, coconut cake frosting. Despite being unnecessarily expensive (the 340g jar will cost you about 60 bucks), this is one of my all-time favourite body moisturizers. It’s definitely something you buy for yourself as a treat.