I’ve been putting lots of new skincare to the test in the past few months and I wanted to share five products with you that have really stood out to me. Some have been hits, some I don’t understand the hype about and the rest have just been meh!

Emma Hardie moringa cleansing balm,

Emma Hardie Moringa Cleansing Balm | £65

I’m going to start off with an unpopular opinion! I picked this coveted cleansing balm up in the Black Friday sales just to see what all the fuss is about, but unfortunately, it just didn’t live up to the hype for me.

Don’t get me wrong, it has a great texture, a beautiful oily slip, breaks makeup down well, emulsifies brilliantly and feels incredibly luxurious on the skin. It’s also worth noting that the scent, while nice, is incredibly overpowering.

However, for me personally, I think that because it’s so rich and contains a lot of fragrance from all the extracts and oils, it feels very heavy on the skin and breaks me out with frequent use. This is the only cleanser I have ever used that has done this, and I wouldn’t say I have particularly sensitive skin either.

The cleansing cloth that comes with it is one of the best I’ve used, as somehow it manages to just suck the makeup off your face without being too abrasive on the skin. This may be something I’d repurchase separately, but while I adore balm cleansers, this is one just isn’t for me.

Image Iluma Intense Brightening Exfoliating Powder,

Iluma Intense Brightening Exfoliating Powder* | £25

This brings back so many memories of the Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant! I was a big fan of that years ago as I loved how different it was to a traditional exfoliator; lightweight and non abrasive, but still effective. This offering from Image Skincare however, is similar, but much better!

The luxe packaging houses the exfoliator in powder form and a couple of shaker holes which dispenses just enough powder to cover your face. You just dispense a small amount of powder onto wet palms and rub your hands together to activate it. It turns into a light froth, which you then massage into the skin as normal, avoiding the eye area. It does feel slightly grainy in texture but it softens as you massage it in.

Quite often, I shake a little more powder onto my fingers once I’ve already applied it to the skin and continue to work it in as I prefer a thicker consistency, however, you can also mix this in with your usual cleanser or face mask for an added boost of exfoliation.

The botanical brighteners work to buff away any debris, oil and other impurities from the skin’s surface and it gets into the pores for a deeper clean, while providing hydration and age-defying benefits to the skin.

Although the results are subtle, my skin looks immediately brighter and fresher after use as it contains pumpkin enzymes, which you may know I’m a huge fan of since I discovered my holy grail face mask. While I’m not hugely keen on the pumpkin scent, you can’t detect that in this exfoliator – instead, it actually smells divine..almost like cake. It smells good enough to eat!

It’s gentle enough to use daily, but I tend to use it every other day and it always leaves my skin looking clearer, smooth and healthy with a subtle glow.

Cloud cloth,

Cloud Cloth* | £8 for a pack of 3

I appreciate that this isn’t technically ‘skincare’, but given their affordable price tag, I couldn’t resist giving these cleansing cloths a quick mention in this post. I’ve been using these so much recently that I actually can’t remember the last time I used a traditional muslin cloth. In fact, I’m really not a fan of those any more.

These double sided cloths are made in the UK, from good quality, ethically sourced cotton. The ‘cloud-soft’ side takes make up off really well – particularly when used with a balm or cream cleanser, and the textured side is perfect for a second cleanse as it gently exfoliates the skin.

Not only does each pack come with a cute hairband to tie your hair up (and yes, it even fits my ridiculously thick hair), the cute paper packaging is fully recyclable and environmentally friendly – what’s there not to love!?

Charlotte Tilbury magic cream,

Charlotte Tilbury Magic Cream* | £70

Magic Cream is a hydrating, anti-ageing moisturiser, that’s designed for all ages and skin types, but I’m slightly on the fence about this much coveted moisturiser. While I adore the formula, swoon worthy packaging and the way it instantly lifts my complexion by adding a fabulous glow, I don’t think it’s necessarily suited to my skin type.

It’s packed with hyaluronic acid, rosehip oil, camellia oil & Vitamin E, which are all great for dry and dehydrated skin. However, my skin is combination/oily and while I love the benefits of the added moisture to my skin, I don’t think I need to be using something this pricey.

The formula is extremely thick and creamy without overloading the skin and feels extremely luxurious. A little goes a long way and it absorbs really quickly, however, given it’s high price tag, it’s probably one that I’d just use sparingly in the winter months when my skin is on the drier side.

Lucia Magnani,

Lucia Magnani Retexturing Radiance Mask* | £195 (for full size 150ml)

I feel the need to point out that the first thing I noticed about this mask was the smell; not only is it incredible, but the best way of describing it is that it smells of a really good looking man! – Yes, that is quite possibly the most ridiculous way of describing a scent!

This clay mask is designed to have astringent effect on pores and reduce redness and skin irregularities, while reducing the appearance of fine lines and brightening the skin. It applies really well with either a flat foundation brush or just using your fingers, but you have to be fast as it dries very quickly on the skin which makes application a little tricky. Unlike other clay masks I’ve used in the past, this one is incredibly easy to remove – All it needs is a couple of swipes with a damp face towel and every inch of the mask is removed.

It does feel lovely on and the results are clear, radiant looking skin but the only downside is that this luxury Italian brand costs a pretty penny; a staggering £195 for 150ml of product! While the packaging oozes class and elegance, it’s money that I’d much rather spend elsewhere.

Would you spend almost £200 on one skincare product?

Have you tried any of these? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.



*Features PR samples unless otherwise stated. To read my full disclaimer, click here.

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