Where has 2018 gone??? I swear it seems like only yesterday that we welcomed in a fresh new year. Now, here we are, in the middle of February and I realise just how late I am with my empties for January. My January empties is probably one of my most impressive yet as I have used up a whole bunch of full-size products - not only in skincare but in body care and makeup too! Read on to see what I have used up in the last month!
***Please note that anything with a * has been kindly gifted to me without the expectation of a review. The reason as to why I am writing about these products, quite simply comes to the fact I have used it all up!
Skin Better Science Rejuvenate Smoothing Daily Treatment Cream*
Skin Better Science is a cosmeceutical brand that prides itself on its use of actives. Sometimes cosmeceutical products can be a little much for the skin as they can contain more active ingredients that the skin might not be used to. The Skin Better Science Rejuvenate Smoothing Daily Treatment Cream is a great introduction to those who are looking in to getting started with a more active skincare routine, or simply just want a moisturiser with a little more oomph. The Daily Treatment Cream contains high tech, patented peptide technology that helps the skin appear more radiant, plump and hydrated whilst also creating a lightweight and moisturising barrier for the skin. For me, the Skin Better Science Daily Treatment Cream is definitely one of the best moisturisers I have used for various reasons.
The texture of the Daily Treatment Cream is light and it sinks into the skin beautifully keeping the skin nourished, plump and soft. I found that it really did work well to smooth out the skin's surface and whilst it does contain silicones in its formulation, it doesn't have that tacky silicone feel. It feels very natural on the skin and not at all congesting. Due to its smoothing capabilities, I also found that this works incredibly well underneath makeup. Once applied, I discovered that that makeup and primers just glide effortlessly over this moisturiser. I have never experienced piling when using this and it really gives the skin a great base due to its smoothing and radiance properties. For those curious, its ingredinets are the following:
Aqua/Water, Glycerin, Isododecane, Dimethicone, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Cyclopentasiloxane, PEG-16 Macadamia Glycerides, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Dipeptide Diaminobutyroyl Benzylamide Diacetate, Palmitoyl Tripeptide-5, Palmitoyl Dipeptide-5 Diaminobutyroyl Hydroxythreonine, Tetradecyl Aminobutyroylvalylaminobutyric Urea Trifluoroacetate, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Extract, Cetearyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Cetyl Alcohol, Polyisobutene, Caprylyl/Capryl Glucoside, Glyceryl Stearate, Alcohol Denat., Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/VP Copolymer, Sodium Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Sorbitan Oleate, Ceteth-20, Steareth-20, PEG-75 Stearate, Disodium EDTA, Magnesium Chloride, Citric Acid, Sodium Hydroxide, Ethylhexylglycerin, Hexylene Glycol, Caprylyl Glycol, Phenoxyethanol, Mica, Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891).
Other than its formulation and how it interacts with other products, I also absolutely LOVED the packaging of this moisturiser. Not only does it look elegant (rose gold and navy is a winning combination), the airless packaging pump itself is easy to use and hygienic. Simply twist to 'open' and pump to dispense product, this is a gold standard for me in terms of how a skincare product should be packaged. Finally, the performance of the Skin Better Science Daily Treatment Cream is everything I would want in a moisturiser and more. I feel that this not only locks in the rest of my skincare routine, it is gentle enough to be used every day and night and the formulation is simple enough to be able to mix with other actives. However, don't be fooled in its simplicity, the addition of peptides help to maintain and enhance skin hydration, firmness and plumpness, giving it enough oomph to be in a class of its own.
The Skin Better Science Daily Treatment Cream is a cosmeceutical product and is only available at selected retailers. It's RRP is USD$120 for 30ml.
Jordan Samuel Skin Hydrate
I probably go through one of these every 6-8 weeks and I continuously purchase this product. It's truly a testament to how much I adore Jordan Samuel Skin's Hydrate and I simply can't live without it. If you haven't tried it, I recommend that you do give the range a good chance. It hasn't disappointed me yet. For a more in-depth review, have a read here.
Hydrate can be purchased directly from Jordan Samuel Skin's website. It retails for USD$29 for 30ml or USD$72 for 120ml.
hop & cotton The Foam Party*
I love oil cleansers but I also have learned that I enjoy foaming cleansers just as much, especially ones that do not dry out the skin. When Ee Ting from hop & cotton formulated a cleanser for me, a version of The Foam Party - I was not disappointed. This cleanser was formulated especially for me and took into account things such as how much it foamed, textures, scents and of course performance. My customised formula was the following:
Aqua (water), sodium lauroyl methyl isethionate, glycerin, propanediol, stearic acid, cocoamidopropyl betaine, sucrose cocoate, methylpropanediol, betaine, polyquaternium-7, PEG 150 pentaerythrityl tetrastearate, polyacrylate crosspolymer-6, caprylyl glycol, sodium phytate, lactic acid, phenylpropanol
What I adore about this cleanser is the fact that it removes excess oil gently from my complexion without stripping it. After I have rinsed this off with water, my skin feels incredibly clean, balanced and soft. It is a really gentle formulation that just foams ever so slightly and has no scent whatsoever; making it perfect to use at any time, even when my skin is feeling super sensitive. In terms of makeup removal, I wouldn't recommend using The Foam Party on its own as it is most definitely a morning cleanser or a second cleanse.
The beautiful pale pink plastic packaging makes this look gorgeous on any vanity and the added benefit of a hygienic pump dispenser makes the hop & cotton Foam Party Cleanser the perfect travel companion. I absolutely love how this cleanser leaves my skin feeling after cleansing that I have already (and will continue to) repurchase.
To have your own foaming cleanser formulated for you, go to the hop & cotton website and fill out your skin quiz, prices for this beauty start at AUD$58.
hop & cotton Brilliant Cream*
This is another hop & cotton formulation which was concocted especially for me according to the skin quiz that I submitted to Ee Ting and the hop & cotton team. I thoroughly enjoyed using the cream as it felt light, fast absorbing and extremely hydrating with each and every use. I also loved the fact that this gave my skin a brighter, glowing complexion due to its careful formulation. The Brilliant Cream isn't like any ordinary moisturiser - it is meant to be an all in one product. Acting as a serum, mask, eye serum and moisturiser in one, the hop & cotton Brilliant Cream is meant to help simplify a skincare routine and each formulation is customised for its intended user. My specific formulation contains a blend of concentrated vitamins and antioxidants to help promote an even skin tone, working to brighten the skin and reduce the occurrence of blemishes and prevent signs of ageing. My customised formulation was as follows:
Aqua (water), propanediol, niacinamide, coco-caprylate, ethyl ascorbic acid, c13-15 alkane, glycerin, methylpropanediol, tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate, betaine, tocopherol acetate, sodium acrylates copolymer, palmitoyl tripeptide-5, lecithin, allantoin, arginine, tocopherol, bisabolol, caprylyl glycol, sodium phytate, phenylpropanol
In the time that I have had the Brilliant Cream, I have used it both day and night, over time I found that I actually enjoyed using this in the evening more as I can really see and feel the results in my skin. When using this in the evening, I find that when I wake up my skin looks visibly brighter, even, plump and hydrated - a great way to start the day I think! On days where I do have blemishes, I find that this moisturiser helps to also soothe and calm down and angry looking inflammation and I find that this moisturiser allows the skin to breathe and not feel congested. When using this I always do try to keep it simple (the brand's philosophy is that less is more), and I find that using the moisturiser on its own is more than enough! It's a great product to invest in for those who are looking to really simplify their skincare routine and are far too lazy to apply layers of serums, masks etc. Overall, I really enjoyed using this - it is perfect for lazy days or when you need to travel light.
To have your own special moisturiser formulated for you, go to the hop & cotton website and fill out your skin quiz and the hop & cotton team will formulate a bespoke creation for you.
Dr Levy Switzerland 3 Deep Cell Renewal Micro-Resurfacing Cleanser*
This cleanser is a fantastic cleanser to use once or twice a week for slightly deeper clean due to the fact that this formulation contains all sorts of acids that assist with exfoliating the skin. I really enjoy the thorough and deep clean that this cleanser gives the skin, and the beautiful glow afterwards is an absolute bonus. For a more in-depth read on this cleanser, read about it here.
Purchase the Dr Levy 3 Deep Cell Renewal Micro-Resurfacing Cleanser from Cultbeauty for £39.00 for 150ml.
h is for love Kinu Glowing Skin Balm*
My skin just GLOWS with this. Literally. This made the rounds during the festive season due to its delectable scent, skin nourishing abilities and of course that beautiful glow that this gives off. Kinu (which means silk in Japanese) is a luxurious, golden body balm that is made from gorgeous ingredients such as jojoba, coconut, rosehip and Kalahari seeds oils and contains a mica that gives it a beautiful luminous glow on the skin. The beautiful feel of the ingredients that Bee, founder of h is for love has concocted and put together is such a delight and I am SO glad I have been introduced to the brand via the Boxwalla Beauty Boxes.
When applied, this gorgeous whipped Kinu balm melts into the skin and absorbs effortlessly, I find that my legs and arms are so nourished, smooth and glowing. Due to the light reflecting mica, it almost works like a 'foundation' for the body as the light reflects off the skin, making the skin look flawless. I absolutely loved applying this on my legs when wearing a shorter dress/skirt and heels as it was incredibly flattering. Oh, and did I mention how delicious this smells? The scent of this is light and is reminiscent of honey and citrus. It's not overbearing but it is so enjoyable to inhale. Out of all the body balms I have used, Kinu by far has been my favourite. In terms of finish, its scent, how it nourishes the skin to how it effortlessly absorbs makes it such a winner. I am so sad that I won't be able to repurchase this as Kinu was a Boxwalla x h is for love exclusive from October's Boxwalla edit from last year. It is truly such a beautiful product and is yet an another amazing discovery from Boxwalla.
For more exclusive treats from green beauty brands, subscribe to the Boxwalla bi monthly beauty subscription here. Each and every box is of fantastic value (the upcoming edition is defibately worth checking out!) and prices start at USD$49.95.
Hourglass Ambient Lighting Bronzer
Hourglass rarely disappoints and whilst I liked this bronzer, I feel that I loved NARS Laguna more. That's not to say I didn't enjoy using this though. I felt that the colour of this bronzer sometimes looked a little muddy on me instead of giving my skin a sun-kissed glow. I had to be a little bit more careful when applying this and to not be too heavy handed with my brush. It could quite simply come down to this particular not colour not suiting my skin tone and the way I have applied this. The powder itself is beautiful in texture as it is so finely milled. The bronze mixed with the ambient lighting powders does give a bit more of glow without being a disco ball. I will be trying this again but in a different colour, this time round as I did enjoy the texture of this powder and I absolutely love the Hourglass quality.
What products have you used this month? Do you have any favourites? Let me know in the comments section below.