Saturday, 20 November 2010

Naturaleigh- Eve's Moon

It was a panicked morning again today, because I keep forgetting to buy soap. The university week goes so fast that Saturday ambushed me. Luckily, back on October 30th, on my way to watch Royal Windsor Rollergirls do their thing, I stopped in at a hippy shop just off High Wycombe high street to sniff the patchouli and ended up buying this little bar.

Naturaleigh hand make their soap using traditional techniques in Devon. Not only that, but they care enough to skip on the parabens, artificial colours and other assorted nasties that most commercial soap makers throw in. I have to say, I was a little bit sceptical of this soap and did worry that I might end up smelling like some hippy dippy fruitcake, while somehow not getting clean and magically sprouting dreadlocks, but I needn't have worried.

Price- £3.95 for 100g direct from their site. I opted for the 50g bar for £1.95.

First look- the bar is about the colour of uncooked biscuit dough. The surface looked very similar to the Hempline soap I first reviewed, matt with a slight sparkle. 

Dry Feel- melts easily on contact with fingers, but felt strong. Didn't dent easily or crumble.

Smell- the scent was strong enough to pick up through the packet. I don't know quite how to describe it; feminine without being sickly, sweet or girly. I thought it was very uplifting, almost floral and at the same time felt clean and soapy. Something about it smelt luxurious or at least somehow... fancy. The smell didn't cling very strongly to the skin, so you could easily layer perfume over it.

As a body soap- surprisingly, for a handmade soap, it took a while to get a lather off this soap on bare skin (it's sodium lauryl sulphate free). It was a controlled melt, unlike some soaps which feel like washing with butter. For more bubbles, you could try one of those pouffle things. It left my skin, even on my shins, feeling like it had been treated and was lovely and supple.
As a hand soap- great for a bathrooms. It feels like it should belong in someone's fancy guest loo. The scent is probably good enough to cover some cooking odours, but I'm out of food right now so I can't go test it's garlic slaying powers.
As a face soap- left my cheeks less tight than most other soaps I've tried. If you were in a real hurry, it would be fine to use this on your face.

Overall- I like this soap, but for some reason it just feels so fancy to me that I'm not sure if I feel comfortable using it daily. I'm starting to thing I must have had some weird childhood encounter with ylang-ylang in an aunt's bathroom or something. Coincidentally, the 50g bars would make fantastic guest bars if you're the kind of person who has people come and stay in their guest suite and gifts them soap at the beginning of their stay (if you are, CALL ME). 
There's just something about this soap. It's a womanly soap. The kind of soap you lather up with before slipping on a little black dress and going out to dinner with the kind of man you know you can have. A magical hippy love bar, if you will...

Saturday, 13 November 2010

Clinique- Anti Blemish Solutions Cleansing Bar for Face and Body

Apologies for the lack of update last week. There was a trip home, in which I forgot to pick up any of the soap I have there, extra cheerleading practice in anticipation of our competition this December, a nerve-wracking presentation in front of the whole class and a peaceful protest with 49,999 other student which devolved into trashing Tory HQ. I wasn't smashing windows or throwing fire-extinguishers. I sat in the pub less than a mile away, eating chocolate fudge cake and watching the biased media coverage on BBC news 24. But enough of that.

Clinique, for those not in the know, are a semi-luxury skincare brand, more expensive than Garnier but little less pricy than LancĂ´me. I've been using their 3 step skincare for about 2 years now, but always with the liquid mild soap. A shop assistant pointed out my hideous pustule covered chin and handed over a washbag full of anti blemish samples, including this 50g bar of soap.

Price- a 150gr bar retails at £12.50. Not cheap, but if you're only using it on your face, it should last a while.

First Look- the bar has a matt surface and is a creamy off-white shade. It looks unassuming, like any other run of the mill bar of soap. Almost clinical.

Dry Feel- dense, it has a very strong feel to it and wont mark easily. The surface gently melts on contact with warm fingers.

(I try to take my photos in good sunlight, but the London weather doesn't always cooperate)

Smell- Nothing. Completely neutral. It doesn't even have a soapy smell... like some kind of ghost soap. How do I know it's even there? What if I've imagined this whole bar of soap? To the shower! *Batman scene change noise*

As a body soap- I don't get back-acne, but I do occasionally get a back spot in summer. The soap felt extremely luxurious and gentle on the body.
As a facial soap- it lathered up no problem straight on my cheeks, making a light and silky film. For the love of all that is soapy, DO NOT GET THIS IN YOUR EYES. I felt it was important to test how eye friendly this facial soap wash and happily flicked some lather in my eyes. The burning pain that seared through my tearduct is making my eyes water even now.
As a hand soap- don't bother. It won't shift any cooking smells or real dirt.

Overall- my cheeks felt a little dry after use, but not tight. It also didn't shift a gross little whitehead that was frolicking across my chin but that faded down during the day, so maybe it did work it's magic. I don't need to use this on my body, so I won't, but I feel my face has found a new friend. My face felt much cleaner than usual and there's the added bonus of being able to take this cleanser on a plane as hand luggage. 

Update- It's only been a week since I started using the Clinique Anti Blemish collection, and my skin already looks much better, with a huge reduction in gross chin blemishes. Definitely recommend!