Skin Creamery Everyday Cream, Facial Cleansing Powder & Facial Oil Review

The Skin Creamery is a local skincare brand with very aesthetically pleasing packaging. I saw everyone rave about the everyday cream which is why I decided to try it. There are just five products in the range – everyday cream, facial cleansing powder, facial oil, skin tonic and oil-milk cleanser.

The packaging for the Skin Creamery Everyday Cream looks great but the glass bottle did irritate me as there was plenty of product (around 20%) left at the bottom that it wouldn’t pump out. The scent is very minty. When applied to my face I felt like I was in the movie Mean Girls since peppermint is usually reserved for feet. I don’t particularly like the scent but that is a personal choice. The texture is more liquid than the rich hydrating cream I expected it to be. When applied it doesn’t easily sink in and leaves your skin with a soapy sticky feeling. The Body Shop body butter is way more hydrating at a fraction of the price. 

Application to my face made me break out in the most horrible way that I have never experienced in my life before. My face was covered in little bumps filled with liquid which didn’t even go away after a week of discontinued use. I eventually had to apply plenty of cortisone and was left with a little scarring. When I checked the ingredients it completely made sense why I broke out. The product is packed with so many different oils which are sure to irritate your skin. People need to realize that just because something is natural doesn’t mean that it is good for you. I tried to apply this on the rest of my body but I realized it also made my whole body itch. If I didn’t wash my hands after applying, even the slightest contact with my face would cause it to break out. 

The funny part of this scenario is that I was stupid enough to buy three bottles of this crappy stuff which I am now stuck with. My fiancé also bought a bottle which he doesn’t use because it also makes him itchy. I contacted the owner who agreed to a refund and never followed through. Absolutely not so awesome service. This is what deters me from trying to support local, the horrendous customer service. Had this been from a department store I could have returned my unopened products without a problem and got a refund for the one that was opened. The Everyday Cream is the worst product I have ever bought in my life. I absolutely hate it. Should you choose to ignore my experience you can purchase a bottle for R285 and a refill for R250.

The Skin Creamery Baobab Bentonite and Buchu facial cleansing powder packaging is not practical at all. After only a few uses my cork is starting to crumble and disintegrate. It’s not very easy pouring the powder out and I inevitably end up pouring too much. There is wastage that happens from pouring it back as the powder spits back out when you close the cork. This product is just so messy and impractical to use. It is difficult to know how much powder and water to attain the right consistency. The scent resembles one I associate with old people, sickly sweet & powdery. There are little shells in this which serve to exfoliate but probably do more harm by creating tears in your skin. It leaves my skin squeaky clean. This is a quick fix if you are too lazy to use a mask as you feel a difference for one day only. You can purchase the facial cleansing powder for R250.

The Skin Creamery Jojoba, Melon seed and Baobab facial hydrating oil is different to other oils. This is because you should mix the oil with a few drops of water to activate and help absorption of the oil. I can’t tell the difference of this step except that it seems annoyingly unneccesary. This is a very light facial oil which didn’t feel hydrating or absorb easily. The facial hydrating oil retails for R295.

Overall I wasn’t impressed by the range and wouldn’t repurchase anything. I did learn three very valuable lessons:

Natural doesn’t mean that it’s better. Snake venom is natural and you wouldn’t use it on your skin.

Only purchase one item of a product you have not used before. 

Don’t trust product launches and beauty bloggers as they get the product for free and are paid usually without them disclosing it.

Click: http://www.skincreamery.co.za

Skin & Cream,
CG 

Lush Big Shampoo Review

Lush Big Shampoo is a sea salt based clarifying shampoo. I was lured into buying this product by the promise of it being a good clarifier. When I went to the store to check it out it was the delicious scent that hooked me.

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Lush describes it as a sea salt shampoo to give your hair lift and volume, make it easy to get a comb through and smell great for hours. I didn’t find it to give my hair volume and on the contrary my hair got quite tangled. It does smell really great though. 

It is crammed full of sea salt for volume, seaweed & coconut for softness and fresh lemon & limes for shine. Neroli, mandarin, orange flower and vanilla all contribute to the intoxicating scent. 

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I use this as a clarifying shampoo when I remember. The scent reminds me of salty sweet refreshing drink that I can’t stop sniffing. The consistency is a liquid gel with salt pieces. I was surprised at how well it foamed up. It’s a little too harsh to use more than once a week as it really strips your hair leaving it squeaky clean and tangled. You need a good conditioner to combat the dryness. 

The container isn’t the best design as you inevitably get foam or water inside thereby diluting the shampoo. Lush Big Shampoo retails for R225 for 330g. It’s a reasonable price since the tub lasts a long time. If you looking for a great clarifier give it a try and don’t forget the hydrating conditioner. 

Lush & Big,
CG

Lush The Comforter Shower Cream & Salted Coconut Hand Scrub Review

Lush describes The Comforter Shower Cream as a cuddle in a bottle with assuring cypress essential oils, sweet cassis absolute and uplifting bergamot oil to create a blackcurranty aroma. I love the cheeky message on the bottle which reads if you really don’t know how to use it, then we suggest you find someone you really like and invite them into the shower with you to demonstrate. If you are a newbie Lushie then there is a 100% chance that the first item you will buy is the comforter bubble bar. It’s the Lush product with the most raves, reviews and the one that the sales staff will most likely recommend. I personally love the comforter bubble bar for it’s gorgeous strong blackcurrant scent.

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When The Comforter Shower Cream hit the South African stores last year I knew I had to pick up a bottle. I wasn’t sold by what I sniffed in store but still stupidly bought the big 500ml bottle for R295. Let’s be honest, that’s really expensive for a shower cream. The most exciting thing about it the rich pink colour of the cream and the pink tinged foam it creates. It didn’t smell like the comforter bubble bar to me but rather quite similar to grape cough medicine. Luckily the scent has no staying power whatsoever and doesn’t last long. Much like other Lush shower gels you need to use quite a bit of product and it doesn’t foam as much. Overall I didn’t like this shower cream and regretted paying so much for something so average.

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Lush Salted Coconut Hand Scrub is a creamy coconut and sea salt scrub perfect for keeping your hands in tiptop condition. I heard the word coconut and bought it. Firstly it is a strange product for me as I don’t think you need a special scrub for your hands and I struggle to remember to use it. The scrub doesn’t really smell like coconut as it is fragranced with the smell of gorse. It resembles a sweet nutty fragrance which lingers long after you have rinsed it off. You can either apply to wet hands or dry hands for a rougher cleanse. The consistency is very dry and for lack of a better word, scrubby. My hands are left feeling super smooth afterwards. What I liked about this scrub is that it didn’t dry my hands out. This is because while the sea salt acts as an exfoliant, the coconut oil hydrates. The price of R160 for 135g is expensive considering it does what any other scrub would do for double the price. 

Shower & Scrub,
CG

Benefit Beauty Review

Benefit relaunched in South Africa last year to much hype and craze. I received a few mini products after attending an event hosted by Chicara from Lipgloss Kisses blog. I absolutely love the packaging which is fun, girly, quirky, unique and eye catching. And yes, those are a lot of adjectives. 

Benefit They’re Real Mascara is of the brand’s cult products. The mascara wand bristles is different to anything I have seen. My expectation was that this would give me super long lashes. The end result was similar if not less length compared to a mascara  that costs 25% less. It gave me no curl which meant my lashes stuck out straight at a 90 degree angle. While lashes are perfectly seperated by the mascara wand, the formula clumps on lashes once dry. The mascara stays put for the entire day, doesn’t leave you with panda eyes and is easy to remove. 

I think Roller Lash would be more suited to my needs as I need curl not length. Overall, They’re Real Mascara didn’t provide me with anything that I couldn’t get from a much cheaper mascara. The retail price is R335 for the full size and R165 for the mini.

I absolutely love the Total Moisture facial cream. It’s light, non-greasy, absorbs easily and smells amazing. The scent is naturally refreshing. It also provides just enough moisture without leaving your skin looking greasy. The full size costs R585.

I don’t wear foundation so I just tried the Porefessional on its own. This product has a brown colour with petroleum jelly like consistency but once applied it is colourless. I noticed a slight blurring of pores but they were still very visible to me. The product works better as a matte, oil control finish. You can purchase the full size for R445 or the mini for R165.

This is a very small sample of the many products offered by Benefit. I definitely want to go pick up a mini Roller Lash mascara mainly because of the packaging. The mini versions of the product are so cute and also let you try out a product before committing to paying for a full size. You can find Benefit in select Edgars stores or online at Red Square.

Benefit & Makeup,
CG

Skoon. Skincare Review

Skoon. Skincare is a lovely local South African brand. Their products are natural, organic and ethically made. Add to that the beautiful packaging and deliciously scented products, there is no reason why you shouldn’t be rushing to place an order. I filled out a skin assessment online and they sent me these five generously sized sample products to try. 

The Elderflower Regulating Toner costs R345 for 100ml but has been recalled for reformulation due to customers experiencing flushing and tingling. I am not used to a spritzing toner but I quite enjoyed the change which left my skin cool, refreshed and hydrated. I think I would prefer the floral variant as the elderflower scent wasn’t up my alley. The spray mechanism was not something I perfected using. Half the time I would get a light mist and other times I was hit in the face with a stream of toner. This was probably more out of my own stupidity than anything else though. 

125ml Purifying Clay Cleanser costs R355. What I like about this product is that it is a gentle cleanser which doesn’t excessively strip your skin dry but still manages to clean it thoroughly.  The clay is soft, creamy and sweet scented. You apply it on damp skin and it washes off very easily. Although not how the product is intended to be used, I also liked applying it on dry skin as a mask.

Beauty Aid Cream phyto red costs R650 for 50ml. It is recommended for sensitive, fragile, very dry and veined skin formulated with key intercellular lipids, Balloon Vine Extract (nature’s cortisone) and high anti-oxidant Rooibos. This is a product that’s ideal for very dry skin as it is very rich and moisturizing. The Rooibos scent is soothing but this does leave your skin a little greasy. My recommendation would be to use it to target dry areas only or use it at night. I also noticed that the oil seperates from the rest of the cream.

White Cloud Manuka Concentrate costs R525 for 15ml. This is not to be confused as an oil as it is an emollient to help reduce breakouts while still nourishing your skin. You use it by mixing in a few drops with your moisturizer as needed. I love the scent and that it doesn’t burn like some facial oils tend to do. 

Ruby Marine Overnight Hydrating Mask costs R420 for 30ml. It smells so amazing I am definitely tempted to eat it. I slather it on at night and wake up with soft skin in the morning. The delicious scent is the combination of the organic coconut, wildflower honey and natural vanilla ingredients. 

Prescription Peptide Cream resembles a potent turmeric conconction. I applied this at night and worried about it staining my pillow. It did no such thing and I woke to smoother and brighter skin. This is currently not available to purchase.

My favourites which I would like to buy full size versions of are the clay purifying cleanser, overnight hydrating mask and peptide prescription cream. Other products I have my eye on are the hot cloth cleanser and vanilla & blood orange/fragnipani flowers solid body oil.

You can purchase Skoon online here: http://www.skoonskin.co.za

Skoon & Clean,
CG

Lush The Olive Branch Shower Gel Review

Lush’s Olive Branch shower gel is best described as a bottle of the Mediterranean. This softening gel can be used on both body and hair. It is made with fair trade olive oil, fresh mandarins, bergamot oil and vine leaves. The fresh mandarin juice is refreshing, toning and brightening on the skin. This was one of the first Lush products I have purchased. I usually don’t fork out money for expensive shower gels but a beauty blogger’s recommendation that it helped with her keratosis convinced me otherwise.

The olive oil sits at the top so you always have to give it a good shake before using it. It did annoy me having to do this each time. I also noticed that the olive oil ran down much quicker than the rest of the shower gel. The consistency is extremely watery so you do have to watch how much you use. This combined with having to use a higher quantity than normal to get enough lather means a bottle will not last you long.

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I initially thought it smelt quite spicy and manly but the scent grew on me as did the Mediterranean concept. My skin felt slightly less dry than it normally does from the olive oil residue that remains after toweling off. The olive branch shower gel didn’t help my keratosis but it did slowly win me over. It’s safe to say that I am in like but given the high price I would only really repurchase if I absolutely loved it. It is priced at R95/R175/R295 for 100ml/250ml/500ml.

You can purchase the olive branch shower gel at Rosebank, Dainfern, VnA, Canal Walk or online here.

Olive & Oil,
CG

L’Occitane En Provence Trio of Hand creams 

Lotions and potions are my secret indulgence with hand creams certainly being no different. I fell in love with L’Occitane Shea Butter hand cream when I received a sample in my Glossy Box. I had put off purchasing it for myself as spending close to R400 for hand cream seemed a little ludicrous.

My fiancé however spoilt me with this set for my birthday. It contains three travel sized 30ml hand creams: almond milk, shea butter and cherry blossom. The foil packaging is luxurious and looks lovely when brand new and unused. I didn’t like the dented appearance it gets once used and the difficulty in getting the cream out as you near the end of the tube.

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The almond and cherry blossom creams are both similar in consistency and more runny than the shea butter. Scent is quite personal and different people naturally have different preferences. I would rank my favourite scents as warm and nourishing shea, sweet almond and lastly the perfumed cherry blossom. If you are someone who can’t stand the scent of products I would recommend these as the scent is subtle and disappears quickly. The travel size is perfect for popping into your handbag.

L’Occitane hand creams will leave your hands feeling soft and lovely scented without any greasiness. All three are great but my personal favourite is the Shea butter as its a little bit more nourishing. You can either buy these in the 30ml travel size for R130 each or 150ml for R360. The 30ml works out to almost double the price per ml but gives you the added convenience of carrying around a smaller, lighter tube. I think it’s a great gift to spoil either a loved one or yourself.

Hands & Creams,
CG