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Eve Lom Morning Time Cleanser


Eve Lom Morning Time Cleanser

Eve Lom Morning Time Cleanser ($60.00 for 125ml) is a quicker, almost like a lightweight, version of Eve Lom’s signature Cleanser, which I reviewed earlier here. Unlike the original, this one doesn’t require such a regimented cleansing routine: you don’t need to rinse multiple times, and there’s no nuslin cloth required. The idea is that you don’t need quite as heavy of a product in the morning as you would in the evening (to get rid of the daily dirt and grime, as well as makeup). The brand advises to warm a dab of cleanser between your hands and massage onto dry skin with circular movements, then leave on for two minutes, and finally rinse with water.

I think of all things to note with this product is the scent: it does not have mass appeal. I’m in the “I like herbal” scents camp, so overall, it’s tolerable, and I’m not bothered by it–but I probably have a much higher scent tolerance than others. So long as I can’t smell it for the rest of the day, it’s not a deal-breaker. I want to describe the scent as cloves, fruitcake, and grapes over a lightly medicinal backdrop. I only notice the scent when I’m applying it, but it doesn’t linger once I’ve rinsed the product off.

The consistency is thick and not quite greasy but there’s a oiliness that gives it good spreadability; feels almost like what you’d expect out of a mask product or slightly less thick compared to a balm. It’s not as thick or as heavy as the original Cleanser, but it’s definitely thicker and less viscous compared to your typical gel cleanser. There are papaya enzymes in the formulation, which help to gently exfoliate the skin (and this seems really, really mild, so it also seems in line with being appropriate for daily use). The Morning Time Cleanser does not have any small grains (which the original version has).

It does what it advertises: it’s a gentle, lightweight cleanser that refreshes the skin and leaves it feeling soft and ready for the next step in your routine. I wouldn’t recommend it as a substitute for the original Cleanser if you wanted it to remove heavier things like makeup, because what I noticed when I was using it was that it had a tough time cutting through sunscreen. I’ve been playing tennis in the morning, which means I don’t take a shower and get into my morning skincare routine until post-game, but I slather on a generous helping of thick sunscreen. This cleanser and that sunscreen (Shiseido SPF 55 Face Cream) were like oil and water: turned it to sludge and just did not want to cut through it at all.  On the other hand, Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cleanser, which is also a gentle cleanser, cuts through the majority of it with little effort.

On days when I didn’t play tennis, I used this and enjoyed the way it made my skin feel. It always left my skin feeling almost lightly moisturized, which was such a lovely effect when I used this during the early spring.  While it was nice to use, there wasn’t enough about it that would make me repurchase it at this price point.  I’d rather leave more room in the budget for serums, creams, and the like, rather than a cleanser that’s not on the skin for very long and gets rinsed off.

The packaging is nifty: it comes in an opaque squeeze-tube, but the cap locks and unlocks the cleanser, so a dollop of cleanser will be squeezed out of a single hole if you twist it one way. It makes for a much more travel-friendly cleanser! Note, however, that when you lock it in place, it will push out additional product, so it’s best to lock it back into place and then swiping what’s been squeezed out for use.

Ingredients

HYDROGENATED POLYDECENE, CETEARYL ALCOHOL, SODIUM COCOYL GLUTAMATE, LANOLIN OIL, STEARYL ALCOHOL, CETEARETH 20, PHENOXYETHANOL, PAPAIN, CHAMOMILLA RECUTITA (MATRICARIA) FLOWER OIL, HUMULUS LUPULUS (HOPS) EXTRACT, EUCALYPTUS GLOBULUS LEAF OIL, EUGENIA CARYOPHYLLUS (CLOVE) LEAF OIL, EUGENOL, LIMONENE, HELIANTHUS ANNUUS (SUNFLOWER) SEED OIL, ETHYHEXYLGLYCERIN, DAUCUS CAROTA SATIVA (CARROT) SEED OIL, DAUCUS CAROTA SATIVA (CARROT) ROOT EXTRACT, BETA-CAROTENE, ASCORBYL PALMITATE.

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Eve Lom Cleanser Review


Eve Lom Cleanser

Eve Lom Cleanser ($80.00 for 100ml) is the brand’s iconic product, and there are numerous raves for it, so I was very curious to try it. It’s supposed to cleanse, tone, and exfoliate by using a “powerful blend of Egyptian chamomile, hops, clove, and eucalyptus oil together with cocoa butter.” It purports to remove “even the most stubborn makeup and eye makeup.” It comes with a muslin cloth that’s intended to be used (in fact, a key piece to using this product) alongside the cleanser.

For someone who loathes to spend time in the evening on their skincare routine, this is not the product for you. Just stop reading right now, because this is a cleanser for someone who has made their night time skincare routine a ritual and enjoys it. Eve Lom instructs you to massage the cleanser onto face and neck, then soak the muslin cloth in hot water, press the cloth against the neck for a few seconds–and repeat up to three times–before working the muslin cloth against the skin in small, circular movements to remove the cleanser. The brand recommends rinsing the cloth in cool water and pressing against the skin as a final step. It doesn’t take twenty minutes (think three to five), but it’s not a thirty-second cleanser, and it really needs a couple of minutes to do its job effectively.

Within all the instructions, there is talk about the hot cloth opening pores and the cold cloth closing pores. I was peeved with this, because pores do not open and close like a door. The way heat, or a hot cloth, and steam works is that it actually loosens any build-up and makes it easier to remove. I haven’t yet read anything about what cold water will do (since you can’t close your pores) other than feel refreshing. This is a common myth, but I hate seeing it on a skincare product, particularly from a brand that wants to create simple, highly effective products to market. (I don’t think I’d categorize this product as all that simple, given the extensive ingredient list and routine.)

Using this product really does feel like you’ve brought the spa home with you, both because of the slower, more methodical approach to cleansing, but also the general consistency, feel, and post-cleanse results. It has a thick, waxy consistency, like a balm, but it does spread easily enough (I’ve actually come across some body balms that feel like a tub of cold butter, which are a pain to spread). There are tiny granules in it, and these feel lightly exfoliating on the skin when you actually start removing the cleanser, but they do make applying to areas like the eyes less palatable.

The warmth of the cloth against the skin helps to melt the cleanser, which in turn seems to help it breakdown your makeup without having to scrub. I was skeptical, but it actually removed all traces of makeup wherever I applied it.  I just never liked the way it felt on the eyes, so I wasn’t exactly getting it on my lash line, you know? I ended up using a cotton swab dipped in makeup remover for removing along the lash line. Once you’ve rinsed off the cleanser, skin feels soft, smooth, and there is a feeling of very light hydration (I imagine from the oils and cocoa butter). I have read a few customer reviews from oily-skinned folks that skip moisturizer as a result.  I had no problems with breakouts, dry spots, or the like while using this over three weeks.

It has a very distinct scent of cloves, fruitcake, and grapes, with an overall medicinal flavor. The scent doesn’t linger or overwhelm, but it’s there. I’m more tolerant of scents, particularly ones that aren’t just a big blast of perfume (think Lancome), so I’m not bothered by it, but it was a little off-putting when I first started using the product. It comes in a plastic tub with a screw-top lid, so you’ll want to wash hands before dipping your paws into this (or using a clean spatula).

It’s an experience more than it is a cleanser, I’d say. There are plenty of cleansers that do just as excellent of a job removing dirt and makeup in half the time (I’m thinking along the lines of cleansing oils in particular) and leave skin prepped and ready for serums and creams. You could use a muslin cloth with any thicker cleanser for gentle exfoliation to get more of an experience out of your cleanser of choice. I’m anticipating that the ingredient list is not going to appeal to skincare enthusiasts, because of mineral oil, some of the natural oils included (like clove), and having five different paraben-based preservatives in it. I’m not knocking this–it works and feels great–but it’s pricey and more often than not, I reach for a shu cleansing oil over this when I’m wearing a lot of makeup.

Ingredients

paraffinum liquidum (mineral oil), cetearyl alcohol, peg-30 lanolin, bis-diglyceryl polyacyladipate-2, aluminum stearate, theobroma cacao (cocoa butter), peg-75 lanolin, chamomilla recutita (chamomile oil), eugenia caryophyllus (clove oil), eucalyptus globulus (eucalyptus oil), humulus lupulus (hops oil), phenoxyethanol, methylparaben, butylparaben, ethylparaben, propylparaben, isobutylparaben, p-chloro-m-cresol, eugenol, isoeugenol

Boscia Revitalizing Black Hydration Gel Review

Boscia Revitalizing Black Hydration Gel
Boscia Revitalizing Black Hydration Gel

Boscia Revitalizing Black Hydration Gel

Boscia Revitalizing Black Hydration Gel ($38.00 for 1.0 oz.) is a moisturizer that can be used for either day or evening application. Boscia states that this moisturizer is supposed to “refine skin texture, brighten skin clarity, and minimize the look of pores instantly and over time.” According to the brand, it’s suitable to all skin types.

It’s gel-based, which means it has a thicker consistency (like a gel!) but feels very lightweight and as if you’re applying cool water against the skin. It absorbs very quickly, which is a huge plus if you’re short on time. The first time I used it was an interesting experience, because it really is a charcoal-hued gel, so it’s not quite opaque black, but it’s darker than gray (it actually does contain charcoal, which helps to absorb excess oil and detoxify). It spreads easily across the skin, but it does tint the face gray while it absorbs, but once it’s dry, it disappeared. Initially, I felt a very subtle cooling sensation, less than a tingle I’d say, that disappears soon after it starts. It hydrated well in some ways, but I did still have some drier patches on my cheeks that this just couldn’t combat. If you have more combination to oily skin, this would be more appropriate, given the ingredients Boscia calls out and the gel consistency–you definitely won’t feel like there’s a greasy layer of moisturizer on.

There’s a discernible scent of roses, charcoal, and something a little herbal. It’s not heavy, strong, nor does it linger. I smelled it mostly when I pumped it onto my fingers but almost not at all when I applied it. It’s packaged in an opaque black tub with an airless pump mechanism. I couldn’t find a way to unscrew the top (short of prying it open, but me trying to pry something over with a sharp edge is likely to result in a trip to the emergency room), so I don’t know if anything was left over, but it felt empty.

My only real problem with this was that it ran out quickly–less than a month of evening usage–and it wasn’t all that surprising once I read how much the jar contains. A lot of moisturizers contain around 1.7 fl. oz., but this one only contains 1.0 oz. That makes this much pricier than it initially appears! I felt that I needed to use as much of this product as other moisturizers, so it wasn’t one of those “a little goes a long, long way” such that you would use less of this and therefore it would last longer than other moisturizers.

Ingredients

Water/Aqua/Eau, Glycerin, Dimethicone, Butylene Glycol, Glycereth-26, Isononyl Isononanoate, Lactobacillus/Punica Granatum Fruit Ferment Extract, Ascorbyl Glucoside, Glycolic Acid, Menthyl Lactate, Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimethiconol, PEG-10 Dimethicone, Sodium Hyaluronate, Epilobium Angustifolium Flower/Leaf/Stem Extract, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Cynara Scolymus (Artichoke) Leaf Extract, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Leaf Extract, Citrus Paradisi Seed Extract, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Caprylyl Glycol, Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/VP Copolymer, Carbomer, Sodium Polyacrylate, Xanthan Gum, Mica, Titanium Dioxide, Silica, Ceteth-25, Oleth-10, Charcoal Powder, Pelargonium Graveolens Flower Oil, 1,2-Hexanediol, Tropolone, Potassium Hydroxide

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BareMinerals Advanced Protection SPF 20 Moisturizer


BareMinerals Advanced Protection SPF 20 Moisturizer

BareMinerals Advanced Protection SPF 20 Moisturizer ($30.00 for 1.7 fl. oz.) is available in two formulations: one for normal to dry skin, and one for combination skin. It’s supposed to be hydrating, lightweight, and leave skin protected and smooth. The brand also states that it is “[c]linically proven to reveal brighter, smoother, younger-looking skin, reduced appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and remarkably smaller-looking pores.” Both formulations are also available in a sheer tint, but I don’t know how much of a tint it gives–the one I tried was for combination skin without a tint.

Like the rest of the BareMinerals skincare range, there’s a light, herbal-like scent that seems like it’s the ingredients’ coming through, rather than a specific scent added. It’s innocuous and very subtle, and I don’t notice it at all once I’ve applied it. This product uses physical blockers (5% Titanium Dioxide and 3% Zinc Oxide) to protect against the sun’s harmful rays. Physical blockers can be great for those who tend to be more sensitive to chemical sunscreens. I’ve definitely worn this under foundation in photos, and I didn’t see any major reflection back, but physical blockers can sometimes cause this to occur. If you have a major event, I’d opt for chemical blockers, but during regular life, the preference is yours based on what you find works for your skin!

I liked it! The consistency is thin, more like a lotion, so it spreads easily and evenly across the skin. It feels lightweight, not greasy, and it absorbs in three to five minutes. My face never felt dry at the end of the day, which was surprising, because this is one of the lighter moisturizers I’ve tried recently. Whether I wore it alone or under makeup, it performed well. I can’t speak to anti-aging benefits and the like, but it did keep my skin looking hydrated, healthy, and smooth. It’s packaged in a plastic cylinder with an airless pump. You can unscrew the cap, too, and all that is left is about a usage and a half at best (which is pretty good!). I was able to get the last bit out with a cotton swab.

It didn’t work for me as a sports sunscreen, because when I played tennis, this broke down under sweat more easily than a thicker, heavier sunscreen (I’ve been using Shiseido’s for tennis). I’ve been outdoors just walking about, and it’s held up better, but if you’re going to be really active, I didn’t think this did as well there. I liked it much more as a daily moisturizer. I’m a huge fan of bareMinerals’ skincare range–it’s actually a range I would consider returning to if I stopped testing skincare. It’s affordable, effective (for me), and doesn’t seem to over-promise. I also really appreciate that they include their ingredient lists online.

Ingredients (Normal to Dry)

Active Ingredients: Titanium Dioxide 6.0%. Inactive Ingredients: Aluminum Hydroxide, Anthemis Nobilis Flower Oil [Anthemis Nobilis], Ascorbic Acid, Benzyl Benzoate, Butylene Glycol, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Cetyl Hydroxyethylcellulose, Cetyl Peg/Ppg-10/1 Dimethicone, Citronellol, Coumarin, Dicaprylyl Carbonate, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Epilobium Angustifolium Flower/Leaf/Stem Extract [Epilobium Angustifolium], Ethylhexylglycerin, Eugenol, Geraniol, Glycerin, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil [Glycine Soja], Isostearic Acid, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil [Lavandula Angustifolia], Lavandula Hybrida Oil [Lavandula Hybrida], Lecithin, Limonene [Limonene], Linalool [Linalool], Phenoxyethanol, Phytoecdysteroids, Polyglyceryl-2 Diisostearate, Polymethyl Methacrylate, Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Potassium Sorbate, Propanediol, Retinyl Palmitate, Sinorhizobium Meliloti Ferment Filtrate, Sodium Benzoate, Sodium Metabisulfite, Soil Minerals, Stearic Acid, Tocopherol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Triethylhexanoin, Trisodium Edta, Water [Aqua], Zizyphus Jujuba Seed Extract [Zizyphus Jujuba].

Ingredients (Combination)

Active Ingredients: Titanium Dioxide 5.0%, Zinc Oxide 3.0%. Inactive Ingredients: Acacia Dealbata Flower/Stem Extract, Alumina, Aluminum Stearate, Aspalathus Linearis Extract, Aspalathus Linearis Leaf Extract, Bambusa Arundinacea Stem Powder, Camellia Oleifera Leaf Extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Caprylyl Methicone, Cetearyl Alcohol, Cetearyl Glucoside, Cetyl Ethylhexanoate, Chamomilla Recutita (Matracaria) Flower Extract, Chondrus Crispus (Carrageenan) Extract, Citric Acid, Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot) Fruit Oil, Coco-Caprylate/Caprate, Coffea Arabica (Coffee) Seed Extract, Cymbopogon Martini Oil, Dicaprylyl Ether, Ectoin, Ethylhexylglycerin, Geraniol, Glycerin, Glyceryl Isostearate, Glyceryl Stearate, Glyceryl Stearate Citrate, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Jojoba Esters, Laminaria Ochroleuca Extract, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Lavandula Hybrida Oil, Limonene, Linalool, Methylisothiazolinone, Phenoxyethanol, Phyllanthus Emblica Fruit Extract, Polyhydroxystearic Acid, Propanediol, Prunus Armeniaca (Apricot) Kernel Oil, Pyrus Malus (Apple) Fruit Extract, Silica, Sodium Benzoate, Sodium Citrate, Sodium Stearoyl Glutamate, Soil Minerals, Spiraea Ulmaria Extract, Tocopherol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate, Water (Aqua), Xanthan Gum

NARS Makeup Removing Water Review

NARS Makeup Removing Water
NARS Makeup Removing Water

NARS Makeup Removing Water

NARS Makeup Removing Water ($28.00 for 6.7 fl. oz.) is touted as a “soap-free, oil-free, and alcohol-free water that removes face makeup and tones the skin.” It’s designed as a gentle formula that will remove makeup without requiring rubbing while hydrating skin.

This is a makeup remover that is best described as gentle, because that’s exactly what it is, but it’s gentle in every way–it’s not at all stinging, burning, or irritating against the skin, even around the eyes, but it doesn’t effectively remove all your makeup, though it specifically says “face makeup” and not “eye makeup.” Just so we’re clear: if you wear eye makeup, don’t expect this to do much in the way of removal. All it ever seems to accomplish is smudging everything around so I end up looking like a mutant. I absolutely would not use this for anything that says “long-wearing” on the label, including face products.

If you want it to remove light eye makeup, I recommend gently pressing the soaked cotton pad against the eye for 15-20 seconds before gently swiping the product away. You’ll get some, perhaps not all, of it removed this way. Since NARS only mentions face makeup, it seems like you would use something else for your eye makeup.  It’s packaged in a clear plastic bottle with a flip-top that has a small hole so only a little comes out as you need it.

I’d like to think of this as a remover for gentle makeup; lightweight, natural, soft makeup. However you want to term it, it’s good for lighter makeup days. For me, it seems to remove face makeup as well as most facial cleansers are able to. It is very lightweight, doesn’t feel greasy or oily against the skin, and it leaves no trace of residue once it’s wiped away with a cotton pad.  It really does have the consistency and feel of water.  There’s no stickiness, dried, or tightened skin after use either. I need at least two cotton rounds in order to remove about 90% of face makeup.

It doesn’t remove makeup completely, so I feel like I need to use a cleanser afterward or yet another cotton pad. Instead, the way I found this product to be most useful was after using a facial cleanser, so it was only responsible for removing the last bits of makeup the cleanser missed.  You can definitely use it before your cleanser of choice as well–I just like the visual of seeing the cotton pad just picking up stray makeup and knowing that my face is clean.  It also means that I can better control how much product or how many cotton pads I use since this doesn’t eliminate a cleanser.

It’s a superfluous product in my night time regimen; it seems to be an extra step rather than a time-saver. It’s more like a toner in my routine–I don’t trust it to remove all my makeup, but I do trust it to remove the last vestiges of makeup my cleanser may have left behind (especially around my hairline and the edges, which I don’t push the cleanser around as much so it doesn’t get into my hair!). And if I’m going to use NARS as my toner, I’d rather use their Hydrating Freshening Toner, which is one of my favorites, and for me, hydrates a little better than the remover does.  You can use this like you would a toner, however, so if you do include one in your regular routine, this could take its place.

If you’re a fan of micellar water removers, then you may enjoy this recently launched remover by NARS, which has all the earmarks of one (though I didn’t see NARS officially billing it as such).  There are quite a few on the market internationally and a couple in the U.S., but this year has shown major progress with more U.S. brands launching their own versions.  Bottom line:  this will remove some but not every type of makeup, particularly longer-wearing products and heavier textured products, but it’s not designed to do much more than it does do, so it’s pretty good from that standpoint.

Ingredients

Water, Butylene Glycol, Peg/Ppg-35/40 Dimethyl Ether, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Trisodium Edta, Cucumis Sativus [Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract], Chamomilla Recutita [Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract], Sodium Hyaluronate.

Neutrogena Oil-Free Eye Makeup Remover Review & Photo


Neutrogena Oil-Free Eye Makeup Remover

Neutrogena Oil-Free Eye Makeup Remover

Neutrogena Oil-Free Eye Makeup Remover ($5.79 for 3.8 fl. oz.) is a dual-phase remover, which means there are two layers of product and once the bottle is shaken, it can be used.  You can put a little bit on a cotton pad or cotton cloth, then press against the eye area, and gently swipe away the makeup.  Whenever I use a product like this, I like to press against the lid, wait a couple of seconds (not long at all, just not instantly attempting to remove), and then proceed to remove.  This remover nearly removes all traces of eye makeup for me, but it does struggle a bit against waterproof mascara.

I found that it can and will remove waterproof and long-wearing products, but if you’re wearing a full eye of makeup, you’re going to need to go back a second time and focus on removing the waterproof mascara.  It seems to take a little longer for the remover to breakdown waterproof mascara, and I’ve been able to eliminate the second step if I press the cotton pad against the lashes for about 5-10 seconds and then move to the eyelid.  I also like dipping a cotton swab in this formula and rolling it along the lash line to get every last trace of eyeliner off (it’s more effective than rubbing a cotton pad against the lash line, which often causes excess remover to get into the eye).  This can also work to remove lipstick and lipgloss (if I have bolder lip color or thick lipgloss on, I always remove lip products separate!).

Despite the claim “no oily residue,” there is a definite oily film left behind.  It’s not a full-on oiliness, akin to that of using jojoba or olive oil as a remover, but there’s something there.  On the flip side, it is better than a tight post-cleanse feeling that can often leave skin feeling stretched and dry.  I’m not bothered enough by it that I feel a second cleanse is necessary, but I suspect that some will.  I would recommend this product as an eye or lip makeup remover followed by a facial cleanser.