Superfacialist by Una Brennan Rose calming creamy cleanser review

nice big chunky tube

nice big chunky tube

What can I say. It’s £7.99 for 150ml. (Plus it’s always on some kind of offer in Boots, making it a great budget buy.) It’s a lovely creamy cleanser with a great consistency that turns a little more milky as it’s massaged in. It leaves my skin feeling fairly normal, although I do have to moisturise quite quickly afterwards. There’s nothing much to worry about in the ingredients list, it takes everything off bar the most stubborn eye make up and wipes off with a hot cloth leaving nothing behind. So far so good, right?

Nothing to see here, move along...

Nothing to see here, move along…

But -oh, the smell. Never a fan of rose at the best of times (unless you count Sisley Black Rose oil, which smells exactly like a rose should), this just smells synthetic and overpoweringly of Nana’s knicker drawer. It smells to me like every cheap gift set of ‘rose’ soaps you were ever given as a teenager multiplied to infinity. Maybe it’s because I’m a florist, and I’m used to knowing what certain floral smells should be like, and this is just too much. The rosewater in the ingredient list wouldn’t account for the scent alone, which is clearly the ‘parfum’ listed halfway down.

UB Rose

It’s such a shame. I have a lot of love for Una’s Vitamin C skin renew cleansing oil (which also has a strong scent, but this time of orange peel, which I can tolerate, especially as I really like the cleanser), but I find myself holding my breath while I use this so I don’t have to smell it. The majority of reviews I have read disagree with me -people seem to love the scent. I realise that it’s horses for courses and there will be smells I adore that other people hate (Aesop, I’m looking at you…) but if the fragrance was toned down just a little bit, I think it could easily be one of my go-to cream cleansers, especially when I want to use something less expensive in the day-to-day as it’s a does-what-it-says-on-the-tin kind of product. As it stands: computer says No.

How have you got on with the Superfacialist range? Am I just being (literally) too sniffy?

Rose Hydrate Calming Creamy cleanser is available at Boots HERE for £7.99

Info: Purchase

ESPA Optimal Skin ProCleanser review

ESPA are one of those brands that if I was forced to choose, I would happily spend the rest of my life using only their products. In my opinion they are consistently the best at facials and I cannot WAIT to get back to the OneSpa in Edinburgh, which is where I have spent some of the most blissed out days of my life.

Gorgeous miracle stuff

Gorgeous miracle stuff

Their ranges are great for more mature skin that are seeing the first to middling signs of ageing.

I’d been meaning to buy this cleanser ever since it was used on me at my last ESPA facial at The Grove.

If only this were in smell-o-vision

If only this were in smell-o-vision

 Possibly I love this so much because it positively honks of Moringa seed -it’s a pretty convincing double of Emma Hardie’s Amazing Face balm, scent wise. There are notes of citrus and jasmine too, and it has a gorgeous smelling, unctuous texture.

It’s not as balm-y as EH – this is a slippier gel type consistency which is full of little jojoba micro beads which are supposed to exfoliate as you cleanse. I’m not sure that they do to any noticeable extent (I would use a separate exfoliator anyway) but the sensation is lovely on the skin. There are pumpkin enzymes in here too lifting away dead skin cells and altogether leaving everything a bit more radiant than when you started.

Bead working magic

Bead working magic

I massage this into dry skin for a couple of minutes and take off with a damp hot flannel. My skin feels soft, hydrated, comfortable, and looks even coloured and healthy.

Being ESPA there are no nasties in the ingredients list, just natural plant carrier oils and essential oils.

It’s a bit spendy at £30 for 100ml, but it’s not an everyday cleanser for me, this is one I’d pull out when I was going full-on Spa-Night in the bathroom and wanted the full sensory experience from every product I used.

Brilliant stuff this -worth every penny. Have you tried it? What did you think?

ESPA Optimal Skin ProCleanser is £30 for 100ml and you can buy it HERE

What you need to know: Purchase.

Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish Orange Flower and Chamomile review

I’m just going to put this out there -I’ve never got on with the original C+P despite absolutely everyone telling me that they wouldn’t be without it and that they would throw themselves from a precipice should it ever be discontinued bleh bleh bleh.

I put far more effort than was needed into trying to figure out just why my skin hated it so much; it would go bright red and sting after even the most gentle cleanse. In the end I gave it to a friend and accepted that my skin will never get along with eucalyptus.

Orange Flower and Chamomile

Orange Flower and Chamomile

Then I had a chat with a lovely lady at Boots in Westfield a while back, who assured me that this (typically limited edition with orange flower and chamomile) would be a better match for my skin as it had absolutely no eucalyptus in it (I’ve had a good look at the ingredients list -everything else is exactly the same -how odd that just the one ingredient made my skin want to fall off.)

And -who knew!- My skin now LOVED it, and I finally could join the rest of the population in swooning about C+P.

It eventually migrated to the back of the cleansing shelf (yes, I have such a thing), and I only thought about it the other day when I saw the set of 3 C+Ps in John Lewis which made me immediately want to buy the lot.

So I dug out my (nearly depleted) bottle and gave it another go, and it is as good as I remembered.

Creamy goodness

Creamy goodness

I think the thing that people love so much about the formulation is that it’s fairly grippy -you have to work it into the skin quite firmly so you have time enough to give yourself a really good facial massage while you’re cleansing, and when it comes to wiping off with the muslin (shmuslin -I use a flannel), it doesn’t leave behind a film that you need another cleanse to get rid of. My skin feels calmed, soft and ready for serum when I’ve used it.

Now I just have to resist the lure of the limited edition trio…

Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish in all its various forms starts from around £14 for 100ml and is available HERE.

Info: Purchase

Alpha H Balancing Cleanser with Aloe Vera review

God love you, QVC and your occasional insanely bumper value days where I got a huge bottle of Liquid Gold, 200ml of this cleanser and an eye serum FOR LESS THAN THE PRICE OF A NORMAL BOTTLE OF LIQUID GOLD. *brain quite literally explodes*

I love Liquid Gold more than I love my cat (sorry, Lester) but I’ve never fancied anything else in the Alpha H range, possibly because the packaging seems so…meh.

Alpha H Balancing cleanser

Alpha H Balancing cleanser

I know exactly how fickle and ridiculous that makes me sound but I mean: look at it -it looks like a supermarket own brand that you’d walk straight past.

Well, more fool me, because this stuff is amazing. I don’t know how I shoved it to the back of the cupboard, because now I’ve used this again it’s going straight back into rotation.

Lovely stuff

Lovely stuff

It goes on as a lovely light, non greasy cream that has a very faint scent -the nearest I can think of is my much-beloved Superdrug vitamin E hot cloth cleanser (which I’ve just looked for online and have gone into freefall as it’s not listed as stocked anymore….Gah). It’s got plenty of slip and it takes everything off, then comes off easily with a one-two with a hot flannel. The greatest thing about this cleanser though, is how my skin feels afterwards. Comfortable, supple, hydrated, soft…the superlatives keep on coming. Its blurb says that it ‘repairs a stripped and impaired acid mantle’ and I think, given the way this makes my skin feel, that it’s probably true, thanks to the Aloe and Vitamin E.

This one has just gone back to the top of the shop, and I’m going straight back to QVC to pick up 2 bottles of 200ml for £30, which is a saving of £20 (if bought from the Alpha H website).

Sometimes the best things really do come in underwhelming packaging, don’tcha think?

Info: Purchase