When I first started blogging I had no idea that one day companies might offer me products to review and/or promote. Some of my absolute favourite opportunities have been beauty and skincare-related, and I’ve been privileged to try a number of fabulous products. Some I’ve loved more than others, although to be fair, there’s nothing I’ve tried and hated! But a few have really been game changers for me so, in no particular order, here are my best-loved six beauty discoveries of the last 12 months that I now can’t live without.
Beauty discoveries 01 – REN’s Rosa Centifolia™ No.1 Purity Cleansing Balm *
Any skincare routine starts with cleansing but what type of cleanser you use is critical. You don’t want to remove your skin alongside your make up, nor do you want to strip it of all its natural oils. I’d never used a cleansing balm or oil before so I jumped at the opportunity to try this REN one (full review here).
“A rich cleansing balm for all skin types that leaves skin purified, calm and glowing.” When you warm a little of the balm in your hands it turns into an oil that you massage over your face and neck for a few minutes. Then you add water to turn it into a milky lather that rinses away. The main ingredients are rose flower water and almond oil, a combination that makes for the most effective, nourishing and luxurious cleanser I’ve ever tried. I’ve been using it each night to remove my make up and it’s one of the very few products that since I’ve repurchased.
Beauty discoveries 02 – Mandelic Acid 5% Skin Prep Water by Wishtrend *
I’d been eyeing up the Pixi Glow Tonic water for a while but had held back for two reasons: price and concerns over how the glycolic acid might affect my – sometimes – temperamental skin. As if by magic, Korean skincare and beauty company, Wishtrend, got in touch to ask if I’d like to try their much gentler Mandelic Acid water (full review here).
Mandelic Acid 5% Skin Prep Water is one of Wishtrend’s top ten most loved products and it’s recommended for all skin types (sensitive, dry, combination, oily, acne-prone, aging). The main AHA ingredient (from almonds) causes very little irritation to the skin due to low permeability (unlike Pixi’s glycolic acid). And it’s a hydrating and non-irritating exfoliant that’s also helpful for acne due to its anti-inflammatory, antibacterial properties. I can attest that my skin is clearer, smoother, with less redness, and fewer breakouts. And I can confirm that I’ve just started using my second bottle (which I purchased) after the gifted one ran out following six months’ daily use – good value or what!
Beauty discoveries 03 – Wild Azur’s Frankincense face serum *
Beauty oils serums have enjoyed a huge rise in popularity recently. Our skin is our largest organ, absorbing 80% of what we put on it, and it responds best to natural, organic, healing plant extracts and oils. The main ingredient in Wild Azur’s serum is medicinal grade Frankincense Sacra, which has a host of well-known anti-ageing, anti-inflammatory, healing skin benefits. In fact, this facial oil is a veritable cocktail of collagen boosting and restoring vitamins, antioxidants, fatty acids, plant oils and herbal extracts that all work in harmony to rebalance and rejuvenate the skin (full review here).
Wild Azur’s luxurious frankincense face serum is their best seller and I’m not at all surprised, it transformed my skin during my trial. I have repurchased since my first bottle (eventually) ran out because I believe that investing in my skin, which I wear every day, is something that I owe to myself. But I now tend to use the oil as a treat or when I’m having any flare ups – which it heals within a couple of days. It’s a luxury staple in my skincare routine.
Beauty discoveries 04 – Kathleen Natural’s Citrus Cheer Roll-on Oil *
As some of you may know, I had a bit of a wobble a while back and had to take a blogging break. One of the things that helped me get my emotions back in check was Kathleen Natural’s Citrus Cheer essential oil roll on. The three main oils are: lemon (antiseptic and cleansing), rosewood (a known anti-depressant), and geranium (alleviates anxiety and balances hormones). A lovely uplifting blend of fragrances with some wonderful health benefits too (review here).
While you might think a roll on oil would be greasy, it’s not. Essential oils from plants are so light and natural that they’re very quickly absorbed by our skin and you feel the benefits almost immediately. My roll on is always in my handbag and although Santa didn’t bring me a full size bottle for Christmas, I’m keeping my fingers crossed for my birthday 🙂
Beauty discoveries 05 – Beauty Kitchen’s Seahorse Plankton 60 Second Manicure *
I love my garden but my hands take a battering every time I go out to work. Since I prefer not to wear gloves for most jobs as I can’t feel the soil, the seeds, or the plants, my poor skin can get very dry and cracked. And let’s not even talk about my nails… Anyway, moving on, I received this Beauty Kitchen 60 Second Manicure hand scrub in an Instagram Triyit campaign box of goodies a few months ago. And it’s been a game changer.
The scrub contains Himalayan salt, seahorse plankton and microalgae, and natural essential oils to restore moisture to hands and nails. It smells great, works like a dream, and Beauty Kitchen donate 2% of sales from their Seahorse Plankton range to The Seahorse Trust, who are dedicated to conserving these magical creatures. Win, win!
Beauty discoveries 06 – Visage Pro-Style Facial Cleanser from ALDI
This was a very recent discovery and it’s one I bought myself (sadly, ALDI didn’t get in touch with a gifting offer, haha). Facial brush cleansers aren’t a new thing (Magnitone, Sensiq, Clarisonic, Foreo Luna, Clinique etc) but most fall into a high price bracket. Unlike this Visage one that I spotted in ALDI while doing the food shop. When I saw it only cost £12.99, it went into my basket at light speed.
So, does it work? Well, I’ve been using the medium brush with my favourite Origins face wash on my face, neck, and décolletage every morning for two weeks. And I think my skin looks AMAZING. The oscillating head works to gently free pores of dirt, oil and make-up, to leave skin looking clean and fresh. The massage action also stimulates collagen production, which is a must for younger looking skin. The Visage has seven different attachments, including four brushes, a sponge and two massage heads, and I think it’s an absolute steal! Like all ALDI dupes, this won’t be around forever so do get yourself into store or online and bag a bargain while you can.
Well, these are my six favourite beauty discoveries of the last 12 months, I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about them. I’m hugely grateful to all the companies and PRs who send me beauty products to trial and just because I haven’t included every single one in this round up certainly doesn’t mean I didn’t rate them. These are just my personal favourites, based on how they made me feel and whether or not I’d repurchase. Have you tried any of them? What beauty products have you discovered recently that you can’t live without?
* I was gifted these products in exchange for a review but all opinions are my own and these are honest, unbiased reviews.