Saturday, August 31, 2013

Oil and Water

A few items became skin care musts/lusts when I started to pay greater attention to Caroline Hirons: Indeed Labs Hydraluron, Alpha-H Liquid Gold, a hydrating toner (Omorovicza Queen of Hungary Mist), a moisturiser sans mineral oil and a balm cleanser. Specifically, Emma Hardie Amazing Face Moringa Cleansing Balm. A few months ago, I couldn't have contemplated forking out over $50 on something intended to wash my face. I was perfectly content with my Dove Cleanser & Toner in One (still am) or my Bioderma Créaline H20 to get rid of stubborn eye makeup. But the influence of Caroline is strong, and after reading countless clinic posts recommending it, the Emma Hardie Moringa Cleansing Balm was bumped to the top of my must-buy list. When it came back in stock on Feel Unique, I didn't hesitate to add it to my cart.







Ingredients: Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Cetearyl Alcohol, PEG-8 Beeswax, PEG-6 Caprylic/Capric Glycerides, PEG-60 Almond Glycerides, Sorbitan Stearate, Palmitic/Stearic Triglycerides, Limonene, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Peel Oil, Silica, Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot) Fruit Oil, Glycerin, Phenoxyethanol, Benzyl Alcohol, Citrus Aurantium Amara (Bitter Orange) Flower Oil, Juniperus Virginiana Oil, Aqua (Water), Lecithin, Linalool, Butylene Glycol, Octyldodecyl PCA, Menthyl PCA, Tocopherol, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Crithmum Maritimum Extract, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Jasminum Officinale (Jasmine) Flower Oil, Geraniol, Moringa Pterygosperma Seed Extract, Farnesol, Rosa Damascena Flower Oil, Disodium Phosphate, Citral, Citric Acid, Citronellol


The first thing that struck me about the balm was the chunky, amateur-looking packaging. I mean, is that Times New Roman? It just looked like something a college student could have come up with design-wise. The jar is unnecessary bulky as well, with the actual container holding the product surrounded by a thick wall of plastic, a raised base and padded top, as if to give the illusion of something weightier and more luxurious.

When I opened it up, I noticed that part of the balm had separated and sloped to one side, with liquid oil surrounding the perimeter of the balm. It wasn't one solid mass. I'm not sure whether that's meant to happen, or whether it had melted and then resolidified unevenly in transit.

With those somewhat superficial quibbles, I was still very much excited to try out the balm. The smell wasn't what I was anticipating at all. I'm not sure what I was expecting in all honesty (probably a more fresh, uplifting scent), but it's much richer and more traditionally perfumed. It's extremely fragrant — the smell is as strong as a perfume oil. I'd describe it as the heart of an intense floral bouquet crossed with LUSH Rub Rub Rub Shower Scrub (sea salt, jasmine, mimosa, orange flower). It's a genuine pleasure to use because it's like receiving your own spa treatment at home. The instructions suggest to mix a few drops of water with a bit of the balm in the palm of your hand to create a cream, and then to wipe it off with a hot cleansing cloth. I never do that. I use it in the shower, somewhat unhygienically scooping out way too much with my fingers and applying it directly to my damp face, then washing it all off with water. The amount I use is probably obscene, but I don't care. If I used any less I don't think it'd have the same effect or produce as much enjoyment, so I'd rather be wasteful with the product than skimp on it and barely feel anything.

My only gripe is that if I rub this all over my face, I do find that it does tend to get into my eyes, and the sensation is quite literally akin to having oil in your eyes. Not comfortable. It could be because of the amount that I use, but either way, I can't imagine using this balm to actually remove eye makeup. Not only would it be ineffectual, the balm would also likely irritate the eyes.

As for any noticeable effects on the skin, I've used this a few times, and at the very least, I know it doesn't break me out or inflame my skin (unlike the similarly thick Sanctuary Spa Polishing Hot Cloth Cleanser which always seems to leave it red and slightly dried out). But I can't really attribute using the Emma Hardie to any marked improvements in my skin's condition, possibly because I don't use it with enough regularity, I'm not using it correctly, or a whole suite of other products are doing their bit to keep my skin generally happy. All I know is the balm is a treat to use, is highly aromatic in a relaxing, almost therapeutic way, and doesn't seem to cause my skin any issues. Just keep it out of the eyes and closed tightly on a flat surface.

22 comments:

  1. I've been debating whether to buy this or not for ages (ever since the hype started, probably) but no one has ever mentioned the scent before - so thank you! I have mildly sensitive skin and strong scents tend to make my face look somewhat like a tomato.

    I've been using the Botanics hot cloth balm cleanser for a few months - that doesn't have a strong scent and I've been enjoying that.

    It's a shame no where near me stocks this so I can get a cheeky sniff before purchase though.

    Sophie. x
    http://www.thebirdsong.co.uk

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  2. I had a trial size of this and I did love it so much but just couldnt justify spending that much on a cleanser!

    Leanne @ Leanne-Marie | Beauty, fashion & lifestyle. x x

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  3. I've used this up before and I really like it but right now I can't repurchase it. I do however, love cleansing balms in general and Caroline's advice is so solid.

    Hannah
    girl-plus-world.blogspot.com

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  4. I've been considering buying this myself because it promises getting rid of dry skin, but I just can't imagine using a cream type product to clean the makeup off my face. Right now I'm perfectly all right with using my Bioderma for that, because it does an amazing job.

    Sandra - The Puzzle of Sandra's Life

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  5. Haven't really tried cleansing balms before, I can imagine they would be good for dry or sensitive skin. This sounds really lovely and soothing :)

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    1. They're a bit richer and I suppose more nourishing than foaming cleansers or even cream cleansers. This one is a treat but certainly not cheap! :)

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  6. You could also try the Alpha H Age Delay Cleansing Oil - it's more of a balm than an oil despite the name. I love it with my Clarisonic and hey... it's Australian! Much more convenient in a tube which and much easier on the wallet. Really seems to nourish, but also loosen any nasties in my pores. I must warn you though - I'm a bit of an Alpha H fanatic.

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    1. I ordered an Alpha-H set on Beauty Bay as I've been interested in trying more products from the brand :) I'll keep the cleansing oil in mind - thanks for the recommendation!

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  7. It does sound like a nice little luxury but I want noticeable results if I fork out a lot of money. Great honest review like usual, xoxo.

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  8. I love this so much, I find it such a treat to use, but it is a bit over-expensive.

    Laura xoxo

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  9. This product always confuses me, its so odd, but people love it ! Great post

    Madeline | Its a Mads Mads World

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  10. Thank you for your review! I can't imagine myself paying that much of money for a cleanser. I'm a student and don't want to spend too much on skin care since ones I'm using at the moment are good enough for me. :)

    http://cottagecheeseohme.blogspot.com

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  11. Haha I love it when something is so luxurious that you throw all caution to the wind and just GO for it (I personally do that with all things food hahahhaha). Glad to hear you're enjoying using this as a treat and not worrying about the how-to's but rather the want-to's :)

    ♥Cassie
    thriftthick.blogspot.com

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  12. oooooh i know my cousin loves this! I have never tried it but you make it sounds sooo good now I want to try it :p
    I love it when skin care or make up have pleasant smell, i prefer it better than no scent at all and smell like 'medicine'.
    Btw, I had to laugh at 'is it times new roman?' lol! :-D

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    1. But seriously, IT IS Times New Roman! :p

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  13. I really like this cleanser, I just wish it was in a tube... don't find it the most hygienic.

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  14. Yes, that is Times New Roman. Very sad. I hate the packaging; ugly, bulky and leaky. Other than that, I love this cleanser. I use it as per the instructions and find it's magnificent at removing my eye makeup without the 'oily eye' feeling or irritation. (:

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    1. Maybe it's time I try using it per the instructions at least once :p I think maybe I just use too much and when it gets to the eyes it's like oil leaking through. Not good! But then again, I can't imagine how this would remove eyeliner on my lower lash line and things? Either way, I'm glad it works well for you and you enjoy using it :)

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  15. HAHAHA "Is that Times New Roman?" So great.
    I've never used cleansing balms before but this sounds like such a treat!
    I don't mind spending extra on my skin if i can afford it and there's nothing better than spoiling my skin ^^

    à la foliee

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  16. I'm thinking of picking up a cleansing balm instead of a cleansing oil next time, so this is nice to read. I brush my teeth and do the cleansing oil/balm step at the sink and do a second cleanse with a regular cleanser in the shower (if necessary). I think the massaging during removal takes time and I always rush it if it's done in the shower.

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  17. "I mean, is that Times New Roman?" HAHAHAHAHAH

    If you want to try something else when you finish this, maybe give the Antipodes Grapeseed Butter Cleanser a go. It's lussssssssssssh and sounds similar to the E.H. x

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  18. I feel the same about the packaging - although I didn't even notice the Times New Roman! I hate how bulky it is. I also don't follow the instructions on the jar. I find that cleansing balms work best when you put them onto dry skin and massage around with dry hands, and then use a wet wash cloth to remove. I've been using this for a few months but it doesn't compare to the Eve Lom Cleanser - my all time favourite!

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