Lush Coalface Cleanser ($10.95 for 3.5 oz.) is a solid bar that has licorice root as its main ingredient (supposed to help the skin “heal naturally”) and powdered charcoal to exfoliate the skin. The first noticeable characteristic of this product is it has a distinct smell. I couldn’t quite tell you what it is, but I know some find it unpleasant–it’s kind of like out in the woods, around the campfire kind of scent. I’m not one of them, but it’s not a scent that I’m going ga-ga over either! Regardless, the scent doesn’t linger–it rinses off as soon as the product does.
I find Coalface to work really well at reducing acne breakouts. It’s great for oily skin, especially because it can be a little drying on the skin. If you find it drying, make sure to follow-up with a good moisturizer or try a toner. Coalface gives me that “squeaky clean” feeling at the end, which is not really my bag, but often I follow with Sweet Japanese Girl so that “squeaky clean” feeling is minimal. The product lathers up really well, and the gritty charcoal powder bits are rough enough to really get your scrub on.
Overall, I really like this product, and it’s definitely part of my shower time routine! Have you tried Coalface?
Here’s the ingredient list… Continue reading →
LUSH Sweet Japanese Girl Cleanser ($10.25 for 1.2 oz.) is quite possibly my favorite LUSH product of all-time. It’s a “facial massage and exfoliation bar.” I don’t really say it’s a massage bar (though you could, since it’s grooved), but I love it for how it hydrates skin with a buttery goodness feel while gently exfoliating. I prefer to use mine at the end of my shower, so my skin is warmed from the hot water; this product just melts into the skin. I rinse with splashes of warm water, then gently dab my face dry at the end. My face feels moisturized and so, so smooth. Just ridiculously silky soft!
Ingredient List: Fair Trade Cocoa Butter (Theobroma cacao), Shea Butter (Butyrospermum parkii), Palm Kernel Oil (Hydrogenated palm), Ground Almonds (Prunus dulcis), Ground Aduki Beans (Phaseolus), Coconut Oil (Cocos nucifera), Lemon Oil (Citrus limonum), Juniperberry Oil (Juniperus communis), Tea Tree Oil (Melaleuca alternifolia), *Citral, *Limonene, Perfume,.
LUSH Angels on Bare Skin Cleanser ($9.95 for 3.5 oz.) has been my go-to morning cleanser lately, because it’s a mild exfoliating cleanser that’s perfect for both sensitive skin and everyday use. If you’re new to Lush, this might be a little more adventurous product type than other products they offer, just because it feels very natural/organic.
It’s sort of a gummy roll of product, which you take a pea or two peas-sized dollops out of. You add a little water, then rub it between your hands until it starts to break down into almost a paste consistency. Then you apply it like your usual cleanser–gentle, circular motions. Rinse, then pat your face dry, and you’re all done. Of course, you can choose to follow up with toner and/or moisturizer if you so desire.
Angels on Bare Skin includes the following ingredients: Ground Almonds (Prunus dulcis), Glycerine, Kaolin, Water (Aqua), Lavender Oil (Lavandula hybrida), Rose Absolute (Rosa centifolia), Lavender Flowers (Lavendula hybrida), *Limonene, *Linalool, Perfume. The Rose Absolute is supposed to tone, while the Lavender Oil soothes your skin. I list the ingredient list so you can see what’s in the product, but also so you can have an idea as to why this product has a shelf life of a mere three months. This is not a product to stock up on! That huge chunk of product in the photo will surely last me at least three months!
The scent of Angels on Bare Skin reminds me of going out in the woods or a field–it’s not that compost heap “natural” smell or anything, but more like the invigorating scent of nature. I don’t mind it, though I know a few are put off by the scent of this. I don’t feel this removes makeup 100% (especially not eye makeup–hello, it does have ground almonds in it, aka not going near my eyes), so I prefer to use something else in the PM or else I’ll use something else to remove makeup, then follow-up with this cleanser in the PM.
Overall, I recommend trying this product, because it’s worked well in recuperating from my silicone-based break out. It hasn’t caused any additional acne, and I believe it has helped in reducing inflammation of those stubborn pimples (thus, making them appear less red and making me feel less self-conscious!). I’ll be posting more about my favorite Lush skincare products soon!
Origins’ Modern Friction ($37.00) is a super citrus-scented exfoliant that uses rice starch to help slough off dead skin cells. You might remember I posted about this product a few months ago, as I bought it for my younger sister after she fell in love with the difference it made on her hand (she tried it in-store). Being a beauty addict, I figured she couldn’t have all the fun, so I had to get my own jar to try, too!
The product leaves me a little torn, because sometimes I find it seems too acidic that my eyes tear/sting a little just from the scent (because I definitely don’t use this near my eyes–at least not deliberately!). I think I must be particularly sensitive to an ingredient in there that causes that problem, so it probably isn’t something the average person would experience. Also, I do find it can be too harsh/abrasive when used dry (I find myself having to use water to soften it a bit). Origins says it is “nature’s gentle dermabrasion,” but it doesn’t feel that gentle to me. I love to exfoliate–and I have a whole slew (err, bin) of exfoliants and scrubs for face and body–so I’m no stranger to the feeling!
But on the other hand, my skin feels ridiculously smooth and instantly brightened post-use. The product is designed to be used over dry, clean skin two to three times a week. They do mention to use it over damp skin if you have more sensitive skin. After you’ve rubbed the product in, work it into a lather with a splash of water, then rinse. It really can be an amazing product to help soften, smooth, and brighten skin, so I definitely suggest stopping by your local Origins’ counter/store and getting a sample if you can.
It’s easy to use, but I know a lot of people are going to be put-off by the packaging, which is a large 4 oz. tub of product, which you scoop out product of. It’s just not the most sanitary way of doing things, so be sure to wash your hands before using to minimize contamination. Personally, I wash my hands thoroughly before I start my AM/PM skincare regimen, so it’s not a huge deal, *but* the jar contains so much product you’ll have this on-hand for at least a year. You just don’t need much to get the job done (especially if you use it with water rather than just dry). So while it helps stretch out the product’s cost, it is longer than I’d like for this kind of product. I do think this is a product better off in a tube and sold in smaller sizes (obviously at an equivalent price).
Overall, I still use the product regularly, but I wouldn’t say it’s my holy grail, just because it’s a bit harsher than I’d like on my skin in particular. The results definitely make it worth checking out, and like I said, I still find myself using it periodically, because I love the way it makes my skin feel afterward. If you find it’s too harsh for your face, it does work just as excellently as a body exfoliant, too!
See more photos… Continue reading →
Shiny skin got you down? You should check out Philosophy’s Never Let Them See You Shine line. The line is a trio of products, consisting of a primer ($20.00), a cleanser ($20.00), and a scrub ($20.00).
The primer feels smooth, velvety – it sinks into the skin and helps keep your makeup looking fresher all day. The primer both mattifies and keeps oil away throughout the day, which allows you to reduce the shine and oily appearance on your face. My skin is pretty normal, but on occasion my forehead might get a touch oily. I found this never happened when I wore the primer.
Let me tell you about the cleanser and exfoliating scrub! Continue reading →
Last week, when I shared with you what I kept in my shower, I briefly told you of the merits of MAC’s Volcanic Ash Exfoliator ($19.00). It’s such a great product that it deserves its own, official review. Volcanic Ash is both a foaming and exfoliating scrub, which makes it different from the typical exfoliator (most do not have any foaming action). The exfoliants the product use are the volcanic ash and sugar crystals. The volcanic ash is from the island of Vanuatu, and it contains minerals and sulfur from “deep within the earth.”
While all that fancy-speak may or may not be marketing (or some combination of marketing and truth), one usage and the results speak for themselves. The exfoliators dissolve as you gently massage it into your skin, and when you add a little more water, the cleanser will foam up. I personally like that they dissolve, because it helps you time your cleansing; plus, you don’t get little grains or beads stuck on your face post-use. The only downside of the product is that it is a messy/dirty product in the sense that it is black ash that you put on your skin, so it’ll turn your face a dirty gray/black. This in turn makes it difficult to wash over the sink sometimes. I tend to use mine in the shower, because then I don’t have to worry about dirtying up my sink area. It’s really a minor point, because after a few usages, you get pretty good at rinsing and not making a mess.
I love this product so much, I wish I could use it everyday, but alas, you are only supposed to use it one to three times per week. You can use this product on your face or body, which makes it a multi-tasker. To be honest, I love it too much (and it’s sold out everywhere near me), I save it for my face. It’s a good-size tub of product (4.5 oz), but if I started using it for my body, I’d go through it much too fast. I really hope MAC brings this back and makes it permanent–it could be such a cult product, I know it.
Bottom line, this stuff makes your face feel soft as buttery silk. Get it if you can get your hands on it! (C’mon, $19? It’s a total steal!)