When I first started toying with the idea of doing an advent calendar earlier this year, all I knew was that I wanted to go for 12 full-size items, not 25 smaller ones. And I knew I wanted to do it myself, multi-branded and without the constraints of a single-retailer collaboration.
I explain how I came to this kit in the video below, but in essence, the more I thought about it, and the more we looked into it, the clearer the messaging became from my readers: packaging was a major concern. Surplus packaging, extra boxes made for products that already had an outer box seemed unnecessary. Plus: the world has enough advent calendars.
I also knew I wanted the project to make a proper, definitive, clear donation to charity, and I’m thrilled that through the sales of this kit we are donating £10,000.00 to The Eve Appeal, a charity close to my heart, and for whom I am an official Ambassador. The Eve Appeal is the only UK charity devoted to research and awareness of all five gynaecological cancers.
“We are thrilled to be working with Caroline on her Winter Kit. She is a fantastic ambassador for The Eve Appeal and we’re very excited to be collaborating with her on this. £10,000 from the sale of the CH Winter Kit goes to The Eve Appeal (Reg. Charity No. 1091708).”
All of that led me to this: a proper, full routine in a brilliant kit bag, that I would want (and now have) on my dressing table.
And the contents? I genuinely started with ‘What brands would I want in a kit?’ and then went for the products. All of the brands below were hand-picked, and they all responded immediately with a ‘Yes’, which was even more perfect.
So, what’s in the kit?
Emma Hardie Moringa Balm Cleanser 50ml
One of the first products I fell in love with when I started blogging, ‘Moringa Balm’, as it became known to readers, is still in my all-time favourite cleansers nearly 10 years later.
The Moringa Cleansing Balm thoroughly deep cleanses and removes all traces of face and eye make-up including any heavy character makeup such as themed ‘Halloween’ make-up etc. It’s extremely thorough, but really gentle: re-balancing, hydrating and moisturising all skin types.
Suitable for all skin types, can be used as a first cleanse, second cleanse, or only cleanse, AM and PM.
Apply to dry skin, add water if you prefer to slightly emulsify, massage thoroughly and simply remove with the brilliant cloth provided – or a warm, damp flannel.
Beauty Pie Japanfusion Cleanser 100ml
One of my favourite finds from Beauty Pie, the Japanfusion Pure Transforming Cleanser is a light gel-to-oil-to-milk formula that removes all traces of makeup, or just freshens up your skin in the morning. When I reviewed this earlier this year you lovely lot not only sold them out, but kept them sold out for months. Savages. 🙂
Suitable for all skin types, can be used as a first cleanse, second cleanse, or only cleanse, Am and PM. I use it as a quick cleanse in the mornings. I appreciate how light it is. This can be splashed off, or removed with a warm, damp flannel.
Kate Somerville Liquid Exfolikate 120ml
This 10% Triple Acid Blend (Glycolic, Malic and Lactic Acids) exfoliates dead skin cells, smooths away surface dullness, and hydrates for a brighter, more even-looking complexion.
It resurfaces dull, dry skin and refines the look of pores. So much so, that in a clinical study, 100% of the participants showed an improvement in pore size.
Clinically tested for sensitive skin, this can be used daily, in the evenings. Saturate a cotton pad and apply all over the face. Easy, quick and effective.
Non-vegan. (Lactic acid derived from milk)
Josh Rosebrook Hydrating Accelerator 60ml
This could be the only choice of ‘mist’ for my first kit. Josh has created something that once tried, you cannot be without. The Hydrating Accelerator uses organic vitamin-infused aloe water and fatty acids to ease surface tension on the skin and effectively penetrate the stratum corneum enhancing delivery of hydration, antioxidants, and nutrients into the skin. Hydrating Accelerator plumps, firms, and hydrates the skin to another level. Rich antioxidants and fatty acids soften, boost skin structure, and reinforce the protective acid mantle barrier. Aloe and a host of herbal anti-inflammatories massively calm the skin and relieve redness making it suitable for all skin types.
In one of my routines you would mist this after an acid, or instead of, and apply before your serums. It can be topped up liberally throughout the day and is an absolute saviour when traveling.
Pestle & Mortar Recover Eye Cream 15ml
Pestle & Mortar are a brilliant, young, independent Irish brand with great, efficacious formulas in effective packaging, at an affordable cost. This eye cream is one of my favourites for numerous reasons, mainly because it immediately plumps those niggling fine lines at the outer corners, hydrates the skin underneath the eye and helps with puffiness.
Suited to all skins, this can be used AM and PM. And I find half a pump is plenty.
Indeed Labs Hydraluron 30ml
Readers eventually coined this ‘Hironsluron’, such was my obsession when it launched. Hydraluron contains one of the purest forms of low molecular weight hyaluronic acid and red algae, holding the hyaluronic acid steadily on the skin so that it absorbs. Immediately softens and smooths the skin, helping to even out skin tone and texture. Perfect under moisturiser in the AM or PM, Hydraluron is suitable for all skin types but comes into its own when you are dehydrated, which for a lot of us, is a lot of the time. A must-have.
Alpha-H Vitamin B Copper Peptide 25ml
This brilliant vitamin serum is strengthened with niacinamide and copper tripeptide to protect against damaging environmental elements and help to prevent the appearance of the signs of ageing. Rich in omegas 3 and 6, chia seed is both energising and invigorating and this ballsy bottle has been shown to increase skin hydration while preventing trans-epidermal water loss.
Suitable for all skin types, it’s one of those products that you didn’t realise you needed until you tried it. Apply after cleansing/acid/after mist and before moisturiser. Brilliant.
Zelens Power D Treatment Drops 10ml
When I first reviewed this over 3 years ago, I said: ‘What’s good about it? Literally everything, for a multitude of reasons.’
And nothing has changed. This is a true coat of armour for the skin. The key ingredient is the ProVitamin D (7-Dehydrocholesterol), which converts in the skin to vitamin D3 when triggered by sunlight, in turn fortifying, strengthening, soothing, softening, calming and protecting the skin.
Suitable for all skin types, but especially brilliant for any kind of compromised skin barrier, ie eczema, perioral dermatitis, redness, acne and psoriasis, as the strengthening of the epidermis helps to protect against bacterial infection. Use anytime, morning or evening. Also great as a buffer for vitamin A products.
This is the first time this size of the Treatment Drops has been offered publicly.
Murad Hydro-Dynamic Ultimate Moisture 50ml
This is a fantastic, hydrating yet light moisturiser, suitable for all skin types but again, especially good for protecting against the elements, locking in moisture and immediately relieving a dehydrated/dryer skin. One of my most-used moisturisers in recent years, this feels luxurious on the skin, but is not greasy at all. I used this on most of my clients post-treatment in the facial room with no problems.
Suitable for all skin types.
Apply AM and/or PM. AM underneath SPF, in the evenings it can be your last stage. Works nicely over retinoids.
Pixi Retinol Tonic 100ml
This multi-action tonic uses time-release retinol in a soothing base of glycerin and hyaluronic acid, alongside palmitoyl tripeptide-27, a brilliant peptide compound designed to reduce skin inflammation and the usual accompanying skin damage. This is super gentle and softening and is suited to even the most sensitive skins.
Suitable for all skin types.
Apply PM after cleansing and before serums/night cream. Incidentally, this can be used alongside other retinoid creams or on its own for total beginners.
Fragrance free (contains jasmine and lavender water but no essential oil or synthetic fragrance).
Medik8 Crystal Retinal 3 30ml
When I filmed my vitamin A series earlier this year, one brand stood out for the large selection of choice, varying strengths, and science. Medik8 lead the field in retinaldehyde, and the Crystal Retinal 3 is the perfect place to either start your retinoid treatment journey, or as an addition to your vitamin A routine. This crystal encapsulated 0.03% retinaldehyde night serum is proven to work 11 times faster than traditional retinol but with no more irritation. It acts on fine lines, wrinkles, texture and tone and alongside the added vitamin E and hyaluronic acid, it leaves the skin supple and more youthful looking. Crystal Retinal 3 is also anti-microbial so is great for a combination/blemished skin.
Suitable for all but the most sensitive of skins. (Medik8 actually make 4 variations of Crystal Retinal, the lowest is 0.01% for very sensitive skins, 0.03% – this one, 0.06% for people who have used high strength retinols before or are moving up from CR3, and 0.1% in Crystal Retinal 10, which is for experienced users looking to boost the results from CR6.)
Apply in the evenings after cleansing. Build up use over time as per the instructions.
OSKIA Bedtime Beauty Boost 50ml
The love for this brand runs deep on the blog and with you lovely readers. OSKIA are a brilliant British brand, led fully by science, never by trends, and they over-deliver on their promises. Bedtime Beauty Boost has been a favourite of mine for a long time and is a luxurious multi-vitamin night cream packed with patented anti-ageing ingredients, nutrients and floral extracts to literally feed your skin overnight and help prevent the signs of premature ageing to give a softer, healthier-looking morning complexion. Yes please.
So beautifully light in texture but rich in essential cell nutrients in addition to hydrating, brightening and anti-ageing actives, it is designed to help stimulate and support the skin’s natural regeneration process, iron out the appearance of wrinkles, reduce age spots and give skin a naturally radiant, youthful glow.
Suitable for all skin types. Apply PM. If using after a retinoid, give it a good 20 minutes/half an hour.
Non-vegan (milk peptides).
(Please note there is no SPF in this kit because it would prevent me from shipping to a lot of countries! Don’t forget to wear your SPF.)
The CH Winter Kit is £290 and available here:
Value is £512.99
Actual saving of 43.6%.
Free shipping UK and Ireland.
Strictly one kit per person.
Ships internationally (some exclusions apply where forbidden/not currently serviced by FedEx incl Russia, China and Saudi Arabia). The kit will not be sent to addresses previously flagged/blacklisted by my warehouse as eBay suppliers/grey market sellers. Those orders will be cancelled immediately and without notice.
ROW is charged shipping.
VAT removed from purchase when applicable.
Kit weighs 2.2 kilos.
Outer packaging, including shipping materials, is recyclable.
£10,000 from profits will go to The Eve Appeal. (Reg. Charity No. 1091708).