Saturday, 7 July 2012

Most requested reviews - and why I haven't thus far..

There are a few products/brands that I am asked about regularly - whether it's for my opinion on Twitter or just to review. 
Here's the thing: I try, in general, to keep this blog about things I love - or really like - if I wouldn't use it - I don't tend to blog it. I love this industry. I love my work. I have no interest in being the Liz Jones of the beauty blogging world.

However, I am asked so often about these items below that it seemed to be worth rounding them up and explaining my thoughts on them.


Eve Lom Cleanser

Eve Lom is a Goddess in the skincare world. She is. You may not have been around pre-Eve - but I was
It was a dull minefield of tissueing off milk cleanser and soap. *shudders*
Eve came along, independently from any corporate input and said: 'You know what? Use this balm, wash your face properly, take it off with this cloth - use a cloth to wash your face, stop being lazy.' She got people washing their faces properly. 
She was the pioneer of muslin cloth cleansing. Years before Liz Earle who has openly said she copied Eve for Cleanse & Polish.

She is opinionated, decisive, slightly eccentric in the best possible way and stands her ground. I absolutely love her for that. 
The only reason I do not use or recommend Eve Lom Cleanser is because it is mineral oil based. And it breaks me out. That's it. 
There was a time in the late 90's when Eve Lom was the only thing to use. Other brands saw this and came along and made their own version. In my opinion they bettered it. I'm not the majority. Eve Lom Cleanser has been the best selling item in SpaceNK for well over 10 years - probably nearer 15. I have some of the newer Eve Lom products in my 'to try' queue and I'm sure most of them will make it to the blog as an approval. Just not, sadly, the original bestseller.
If you use Eve Lom and love it - and it works for you, perfect. Don't stop. It just doesn't work for me.

Which leads me nicely on to...

Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish

Possibly my most requested review ever. I reviewed it briefly nearly 2 years ago - but it was in passing - and part of a larger post. So maybe it's an age thing. Either they have changed the formulation or my 40+ skin is suddenly rejecting it - whichever...
In the spirit of full disclosure, I used to work for Liz Earle. It was without doubt the single most miserable experience of my working career. Although ironically the most rewarding CV-wise. 
To be clear - that was absolutely nothing to do with the Liz Earle or Kim Buckland - both of whom are utterly inspiring and brilliant at what they do. It was more to do with the unexpected corporate environment, mixed messages from line managers and feeling 'hemmed in'. That and travelling to the Isle of Wight (or as I came to call it - Alcatraz) 3 or 4 times a week. *I digress*
I was the first person to put the products into a routine and trial a facial on both Liz and Kim. I left before the facials were launched. 
I love the Deep Cleansing Mask, Instant Boost Skin Tonic and Intensive Nourishing Treatment.

The reason I don't recommend  C&P is because when I use it, my skin goes redder than a postbox (an English RED postbox) and burns. I personally think its a mixture of the rosemary and eucalyptus - it's too much for me. And judging by the comments left on this blog over the last few months - a lot of you do too.

Liz Earle say - word for word - on their website: 'We only make one cleanser because this formulation works on every age and skin type, offering concentrated yet gentle cleansing power.' Erm. No. It doesn't. 

As approximately 70 billion (or thereabouts) are sold every minute - I'm sure I am in the minority. But I am not going to recommend something that makes me reach for aloe vera to soothe burns afterwards.
I'm sure Liz Earle can handle it.

Clarisonic

I can't remember a phenomenon bigger than Clarisonic in recent history. You can't move for celebrity endorsements, different colours being released, different versions being released - in short - a massive cashing in on a very big cash cow. 
I've had two Clarisonics. I gave one to a mate and used the other one as a giveaway. I was questioned by a savvy reader as to why I was giving something away that I didn't endorse - very fair point. I explained that it wasn't so much the actual Clarisonic, but the way it had become the be all and end all - kind of like a Chanel handbag of the beauty world and the way it still seems to be used without much guidance. If used properly, on the right skin, I'm sure it's fine. 
The reason I don't recommend Clarisonic is because it gave me the worst acne breakout of my life. It took me months to get my skin back to normal.
If you use a Clarisonic and love it, then I am seriously happy for you. Don't stop. Just don't overdo it .

Astalift

Astalift launched amidst much fanfare earlier this year and I am constantly asked my opinion on it. To be fair, I know it has received positive reviews from people such as Pixiwoos and Lisa Eldridge and there are few people whose opinion I respect more.
The reason I haven't recommended Astalift is because it did nothing for me. I tried. Genuinely I did. I used it exclusively until it ran out. It made no visible difference to my skin. And the texture made me stabby. It is literally like jelly - if you throw away the spoon that comes with it you are screwed. 
If you are using Astalift and enjoying it - and it is the best thing you've ever had on your skin - please don't stop on my account. I am very happy for you.
I genuinely think my skin is just too much like hard work for it. Maybe it's my age. Sorry. 


I trust that clears that up. 










39 comments:

  1. This is why we love you Caroline, no bs!

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    1. Where on earth do you get your figures from???? 70 billion sold every minute???!!! Utter tosh !!!

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    2. Purposeful exaggeration to make a point about ridiculous marketing claims.
      Oh and, REALLY?

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    3. Haha oh my goodness I cannot believe someone thought you were serious about that number...

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  2. I love this post Caroline. LOVE IT. Now I am an Eve Lom devotee - I have used it since my son was born (20yrs ago on 17th July!) and I love it not just for its effectiveness on my skin, but for nostalgic reasons - trying to manage with a new born, and take care of myself, just one whiff takes me back. However as you rightly say balm cleansers have moved on exponentially and my skin has become more dehydrated exponentially and thus Eve Lom cleanser takes more of a back seat nowadays. Caroline you are peerless - thankyou for this xxx

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  3. Haha! Amazing post. Honestly, there are SO many other products out there. It's sad sometimes to see so many people expect miracle results from hype cosmetics.

    Samantha xx

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  4. Marry me. Then finally I would have good skin as you would be able to tell me all this over and over again till it sinks in

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  5. Such an honest review. I am convinced Cleanse & Polish has changed formula, I used for 5 consecutive years and loved it, I then moved on to Emma Hardie which I adore but due to price I decided to try C&P again my skin quickly became red, blotchy and lumpy!!! Never again.

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    1. Hi, yes Cleanse & Polish did change formula. I believe that the Almond Milk was removed and since the change was made a lot of users can no longer use the product.

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    2. Yes the formual did change as written on the LE website...
      http://uk.lizearle.com/faqs-ingredients
      Are your products suitable for people with nut allergies?
      The Liz Earle Naturally Active Skincare range contains a wide range of botanical and other natural ingredients including nut derivatives (such as shea butter) coconut derivatives, almond derivatives, horse chestnut extract, hazelnut oil, argan oil and apricot kernel oil. If you have a nut allergy we would recommend that you contact our Customer Care team on 01983 813999 to discuss which of our products would be suitable for you, dependent on your allergy. If you are allergic to almonds, you may be pleased to know that we have recently removed the ingredient 'almond milk' from our Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser formulation.

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  6. Beauty, no bullshit. I love this.

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  7. Great post! Funny someone asked me why I don't have a Clarisonic the other day. Said it didn't work for my skin and they looked at me like I was mad. Oh well! In agreement with all bar Dermalogica. Some of their range really works for me. Though I wouldn't advocate any online skin questionnaire. Nothing beats touching, seeing and face to face verbal questioning.

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  8. Clarisonic made my roseaca beam like a beacon, awful instrument!

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  9. Such great honesty! love it x

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  10. Thank you for this post, when I read the title I did not anticipate laughing so hard a little snort came out, but I did. So I thank you for brightening up my Saturday night!xx

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  11. and to think I wondered why I was lit up like the olympic torch a month ago after using clarisonic and c&p lol

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  12. This is such a fantastic post, Caroline! Thanks for being so honest. I have to admit, I love my Clarisonic (but I only use it once every two or three weeks when my skin needs it, as a *supplement* to the rest of my routine, not as the be all and end all) and the C&P, but I can understand how and why these don't appeal to other people. And I am constantly surprised by Liz Earle's claims that the C&P is suitable for every. single. skin. in. the. world. How can that even be possible?!

    I haven't tried the Eve Lom cleanser, though I did try the clay mask; maybe it was just me but it broke me out horrendously, and I hated the smell. Couldn't use it after the first couple of tries, and it put me off the whole range. Though I accept it must suit others, I think I'll stick to my C&P and Emma Hardie (which, btw, I love - thanks for the rec!)

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  13. yay. i am happy to know that i am not missing out much on liz earle.
    only heard the word 'astalift' once but had to google it tonight to find out what it is/ glad it's not that brilliant as it's a little pricey for me. phew.
    enjoyed this post so much
    thank you x
    liloo/@tsunimee xx

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  14. Great post, Caroline.
    Thank you very much.

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  15. Caroline, what is your opinion on olay? Also, i love aromatherapy based skincare.. am using yonka at the moment. You seem to love decleor and i am just wondering if you think it is much better than yonka and why? Thanks

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  16. ...and that's exactly wht we value your opinion! X

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    1. Great post Caroline. Dermalogica did nothing for me as 10 years ago splashed out over £100 on the range. C&P does not make my skin feel clean like the emulsifying balms do and always felt had to use a gentle foaming cleanser to get rid of the residue. Also gave me blocked pores ditto with their moisturisers. Since they sold out to Avon- alls fair in love and war and business, the range does nor feel the same anymore. Have you tried Tata Harper? Its good but only during the winter months as serum and moisturiser are too heavy when its warmer. Geeta

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  17. I'm really not a fan of Cleanse and Polish, I find it faffy and it makes me red too.

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  18. And this is why I wish this blog had been around 4 years ago!! I experienced chronic stress at that point and my skin went into complete chaos... I spent over £500 in dermalogica (the products, the set of 6 facials, etc) only to make no difference, also tried eve lom, liz earle, etc that made no difference either so ended up seeing a dermatologist for Roaccutane (won't even go into details) that did clear me out but within 12mths of finishing the treatment my acne was back. Now I'm completely clear and you know how? changing my diet, adding good quality supplements, taking up yoga, using liquid gold and gentle skincare; basically everything that Caroline stands for! I hope other people start trying the advice she gives before spending the stupid amounts of money I did.

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  19. Is it questionable that Clarisonic can cause rosacea and broken capils? I no longer use it but I am wondering if it did.

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  20. ahh C&P broke me out big time, it took months to get my skin back to normal. I do like the brand and in particular their moisturiser though but of course it seems to all be about the C&P

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  21. Love the initial reference to not wanting to become the "Liz Jones of Beauty Blogging". That woman has nothing complimentary to say about anything or anyone!

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  22. Brilliant, refreshing, informative post!

    I absolutely agree about Dermalogica...the marketing/bespoke "skincare consultation" was an interesting angle in the 90's, but now that we are blessed with the (no BS) beauty blogging community this is outdated at best...at worst a bit insulting to our intelligence as women. It has, "thought up by a hot-shot ad-man appealing to the little ladies" written all over it...aaand step down from the soapbox!

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  23. Hi Caroline :)

    Thank you so much for your honest opinions and reviews and I LOVE the clinic! I've been reading your blog for over a year now and have wanted to comment but never have until now. I am sooo pleased that you've addressed the Eve Lom issue. The reason for my joy? That you have given those of us that hang on your every word but that do love their Eve Lom, and can use it without issue, permission to do so guilt free :-) I started using Eve Lom about 12 years ago but as any self-respecting beauty junkie will admit, we are never satisfied - after all there could be an even more perfect balm out there. To that end I think I have used every single balm or hot cloth cleanser to have been made in Eve's wake and as far as my skin is concerned it can't bettered and, after a disasterous encounter with Emma Hardie's balm, I will cease and desist from trying. About this time last year I started using Emma Hardie and my skin and I loved it. Couldn't chose between her and Eve so perfect was Emma's balm. Cut to this year and I had a massive allergic reaction to it that has taken SEVEN weeks of totally going back to basics to calm down and even now my skin is not quite as problem free as it used to be but I'm almost there. I have never had a moment of anything remotely resembling a reaction to Eve Lom, despite the mineral oil base. Yes I'd love there to be a non-mineral oil based balm that gave me the same results and rinsed as cleanly as Eve's but it doesn't exist for me, unfortunately :( I am so very pleased that you have reviewed Eve's balm and, in your usual straight talking way, given the reasons why you chose not to use it but giving your blessing to those of us that it suits. I just wanted to share my personal journey through "balm-gate" to illustrate that just because to the mind and eye the ingredients are better, your skin may not agree! I am loving your work, please keep doing what you do so well :0)

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  24. Thank you for the great post! If you ever did a Part 2 on this, I would love to know your thoughts on Dr Haushka as I don't think I've ever seen you recommend anything from the range on here. Thanks!

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  25. Yes about dermalogica theyre on y blacklist after buyig a sensitive skincare set which broke me out!! How it did so wen its supposed to be gentle is anyones guess. Also on the blacklist are bodyshop-for including without fail a comodogenic ingredient in all face products and also kiehls- overpriced crap

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  27. Wow! Thank you. I needed to hear that I wasn't the only one who had major breakout using the clarisonic. I just kept hearing...you have to stick with it... ehr. No thanks

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  28. Eve Lom cleansing balm breaks me out too.

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  29. Which cleanser do you recommend, Caroline?

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  30. Which cleanser do you recommend, Caroline?

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  31. Which cleanser do you recommend, Caroline?

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