Elsa’s Organics Natural Deodorant

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Despite trying out some alluminium free deodorants or a salt crystal stick, I didn’t feel like I tried a proper natural deodorant and was looking around and checking reviews. Then I saw on the Instagram a PR box company Tryit promoting Elsa’s Organics Natural Deodorant in one of their boxes. I didn’t manage to get a box but I saw a 20% off code and after checking Elsa’s website, one stick costs £10 but you can get the set of 4 at promotional price £30, I decided to order the set.

The deodorants are vegan, cruelty free, they don’t contain any parabens, aluminium or alcohol, are 100% natural and biodegradable.

From the amazing ingredients the deodorants contain, I can mention detoxifying pink Himalayan salt, nourishing castor oil, deodorising magnesium,  and soothing coconut oil. There is also arrowroot powder, kaolin clay, shea butter and ticopherol (vitamin E) and essential oils depending on the scent.

At the moment, they offer 4 varities – Love (Roses & Patchouli), Ocean (Peppermint & Tea Tree), Dew (Bergamot & Lime) and Sensitive (Aloe Vera & Green Tea). As I liked using spicy, warm scents in winter, I decided to try Love as first. I think this could be a unisex fragrance with its slightly masculine patchouli spiciness that is prevailing rose in my opinion.

As I never really used a deodorant like that, I wasn’t sure what to expect so I basically really read a brochure, I received with it. It is recommended to swipe only twice and I can really say it is enough for the whole day or usual 12-14 hours, till I have my evening shower. And holly shmolly, first few days, while the fragrance was new to me, I could really smell it till the end of the day (not in intrusive way). I can really say, I am impressed. When I touch my armpits in second half of the day, they feel dry not sweaty and gross.

Due to slightly beige colour, you get a slight staining of garment, so it is something to consider if you wear white (but if you sweat, you get that anyway), but so far I didn’t have a problem with washing it in normal wash.

I am really happy I bought all four fragrances and considering how much I used up, I estimate one stick might last around 2-3 months so they should last me towards the end of summer.

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GOSH Prime’n’Set Primer & Mattifying Setting Powder and Banana Powder

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I won these powders in an Instagram giveaway a long time ago (almost 6 months) but didn’t get to try them properly except for setting my face a few times because I really wanted to work on some other powder.

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As it is winter, I first decided to test the translucent/white one. What got me interested in the product is that GOSH doesn’t sell it just as a mattifying setting powder but also as a primer for mineral or pressed powder on top. Also, as it is GOSH, the powder is made in Europe (Denmark) and that is always a plus for a drugstore product in my eyes (although that might also be the reason it is one of the more expensive drugstore brands). I liked that it has a turn lock which makes it in my eyes less  messy than those powders that  just have holes and some kind of puff prevents all the powder to come out, so when I open it, I can dispense what I need into the lid.

Ingredients:

Oryza Sativa Powder, Silica, Mica, Boron Nitride, Dimethicone, Capryloyl Glycine, Magnesium Strate, Potassium Succinate, Cellulose, Zinc Stearate.

I first wanted to test it as a primer. The powder is finely milled and applies easily and smoothly without making patches or giving me geisha face. It doesn’t make the pores and fine lines disappear but it definitely smoothes them out. Although when I applied mineral foundation afterwards, I didn’t get the best coverage as my natural oils were already tackled by this powder, it did keep my face mattified for longer so I am confident this is good for no make up days just to keep skin mattified and looking smoother, especially when temperatures are higher in the summer.

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GOSH Prime’n’Set Banana Powder is pale yellow, not giving face yellow tinge so I think it is something paler skin (I am somewhere in light region) could try without worrying turning into a banana. I was also testing Vichy Dermablend last month (review a bit later) and I can say GOSH kept my face mattified for longer even if I had put heavier foundation underneath.

I have to say that overall, I am happy with the performance of these powders, but have to admit that it is a smaller pot and the price is £9.99, there is buy one get one half price in Superdrug on GOSH at the moment.

 

 

 

COSRX One Step Moisture Up Pad

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I had been interested in buying COSRX pads for long but as I have a lot of acid toners in my stash, couldn’t justify buying a pack especially now in winter (my acne is usually at its worst in the summer) but browsing Asianbeautyplus site, I noticed Moisturising pads on offer and when they had Black Friday sale, this was one of the items I out in my basket.

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What it says it is:

A daily pad that contains hyaluronic acid to replenish moisture for all day hydration. Regular use of pads will smooth the skin’s texture, providing a perfect canvas for flawless makeup.

Principal ingredients are propolis extract 70% and betaine salicylate 0.5% (gentle version of salicylic acid or BHA) so it should also calm some breakouts).

Full list of ingredients:

Propolis extract, butylene glycol, glycerin, betaine, cetearyl olivate, sorbitan olivate, 1, 2-hexanediol, betaine salicylate, panthenol, allantoin, hydroxyethyl acrylate/sodium acryloyldimethyl taurate copolymer, sodium hyaluronate, ethylhexylglycerin, sodium hydroxide, xanthan gum, citrus limon peel oil, citrus aurantium bergamia fruit oil.

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Packaging is almost the same as with One Step Pimple Clear pad, just instead of red picture and writing, the colour is light blue. You use them after cleansing, swiping embossing side over your face and then the softer side. I use them in the evening instead of essence step as the pad leaves me feeling like when I remove a sheet mask after 20 minutes on my face. The first time I used it it was in the morning routine and it took a bit longer for my skincare that followed to sink in so not a quick 5-step I am used to in the morning but I think people with dry and normal skin can really get that perfectly primed skin for make up. Although I didn’t notice improvement in my acne or that it would give me as smooth texture as when I used glycolic pads, my acne didn’t get worse and my skin was really well hydrated so I consider it as a great addition to my winter skincare and I would recommend it to people with dehydrated skin, sensitive skin or dry skin prone to breakouts.

They are a bit expensive but with the price of £14.99 for 70 pads it is not that horrible.

PS: This is not a sponsored post in any way, the pads were chosen and ordered by me and I was not contacted by any company.

What’s Christmas like in Eastern Slovakia

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I know I am a bit (two weeks, actually) late but reading how some people describe their Christmas traditions made me want to share how we celebrate Christmas in my family in Slovakia. I don’t go home for Christmas to my parents every year as travelling with children is more expensive and you just wanted the quickest way possible but after not very good year I had, I needed to be with people I know love me and give me and my children the feeling of warm and happy home.

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I think even though Christmas Eve is a working day (although usually just half), it is one of the most important evening. Many people don’t eat during the day so that they can have a big dinner in the evening.

Before the dinner, we wash our hands in water with coins so that we would have enough money in our hands throughout the next year and we also put a sachet with grains under the tablecloth so that we would have a good crop the following year (I come from the country).

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After we pray, my dad as the head of the family takes a clove of garlic dipped in honey making a cross on our foreheads starting with the oldest family member at the table going to the youngest so that we would be healthy.

Food we eat for Christmas dinner varies by regions but in our house we have Christmas wafers, cabbage soup with mushrooms and smoked sausages (of course, made by my parents – the best😋👌), small bread balls called opekané or bobalky cooked with either cabbage or curd cheese (my favourite), but some people eat it with sweetened ground poppy, fried fish with potato salad and at the end, we cut an apple to as many pieces as there are people at the table, again so that we would be healthy the following year. When I was a child, my dad also used to throw walnuts around the dinner table and we were supposed to catch them so that wherever life takes us, we would always find way home.

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After the dinner, it is the time when we find our Christmas presents under the Christmas tree.

Religious people also attend Midnight Christmas mass that night.

25th and 26th are public holidays and that’s the time when families visit each other and sometimes there are groups of boys dressed in traditional clothes going from house to house wishing Merry Christmas traditional way (not this year, unfortunately).

I have to admit – I had a lovely Christmas and I was grateful I could spend it with my parents and grandmother together with my children, it was my best Christmas presents. Hope you also had a good company this Christmas.

Little Bit of 2017 Favourites

As the end of the year came, I decided to make a little post about some numbers and other statistics in 2017. I emptied 426 full size and travel sizes, I didn’t count small 1-2 use samples. Don’t be apalled anyway because I shared shower gels, hand cream and some of the haircare with my family – 1 husband and 2 daughters.

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FAVOURITES

Morning and second cleanser: Elemis Dynamic Resurfacing Facial Wash

Toner: REN Clarimatte

Essence: COSRX Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power

Serum: Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid B5

Eye moisturiser: Organic Surge

Moisturiser: was not super impressed by anything that much it would jump up

SPF: Paula’s Choice Clear Ultra-light Daily Hydrating Fluid

Eyeshadow palette: theBalm Meet Matt(e)rimony

Highlighter: MUA Undress Your Skin highlighting powder in Pink Shimmer

Mascara: Marc Jacobs Velvet Noir for dramatic look, Clinique Chubby Lash for every day

Lipstick: All nudes that came my way

Favourite hair mask: Salon Science Hydrasorb Intensive Masque

Favourite sheetmasks: Blossom Jeju and Mizon

Most repurchased items: Lee Stafford Hair Growth Treatment and Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula Bust Cream

Favourite skincare I tried the first time in 2017: Organic Surge and COSRX

 

December 2017 Empties

IMG_20171216_195718332This month’s empties are more about samples as two weeks before the end of the month, I took my children and went to spend my birthday and Christmas with my parents and grandmother. I won’t have many pictures as I snapped the empties I had before I travelled and then it was more samples really. I also had a big mole on my jawline  removed that had larger roots than expected, so I didn’t use any sheet mask for a week after that.

Skincare

Foodaholic Snail, Aloe, Blueberry Natural Essence Mask. These masks were in my empties many times. Nothing new to say just that the set should be finished now unless I have hidden some very well. Yoohoo!

Cloud 9 Skin-Up Plumping Mask W+ was another last one from a set of hydrogel masks and it was high time because their expiry date was in November. Although application was less flimsy than with first application when I didn’t know what to expect, had to keep pouting as it was sliding down my lips and  if I didn’t cut out eye holes bigger, it kept poking me in the outer corners of the eye.

Dermal Aqua, Syn-Ake, Gold and Pomegranate Collagen Essence Mask, Q10 Collagen Essence Mask was also in my empties many times and for the price of less than £1 it is a very good mask that I would recommend to oily dehydrated skin.

Rainbow Beauty Teatree-Relax Intensive Care Mask is a three step mask with a foaming cleanser, sheet mask and anti-ageing night cream. Once you wash it off, face feels squeaky clean, so I am not sure it is for dry skin but then you hit it with the sheet mask that is dripping wet, sheet is relatively thin and flexible and it lefty face slightly tacky. I liked the cream the best – it first felt like a light cream but once it hit my skin and I massaged it in, it felt like pure water hydration. I would definitely love a cream like that (white therapy waterdrop night cream).

Superdrug 5 Minute Facial Purifying Facial Sheet Mask. I wanted to write a separate review for this but I couldn’t find it on Superdrug’s website anymore so chances are it had been discontinued. It was cheap enough for 99p and I even bought it on 3 for 2 offer but in all honesty it felt like I smothered my face in mint toothpaste. Might have been better choice in the summer if you can get over minty itching of your eyes even though the eye holes are big enough.

Superdrug 5-minute Fabric Facial Hydrating Facial Sheet Mask is a collagen based sheet mask that is targeted to normal/dry skin but essence is watery. It fine with my skin but I really don’t think it is nourishing or rich enough for dry skin. Good point is that it didn’t contain paraben though.

Dr Morita Whitening Essence Facial Mask is a Taiwanese mask containing Alpha Arbutin. It is thin and very set but they don’t recommend to have it on for longer than 10 minutes and it seems like a lot of essence wasted but I basically use leftover for neck and arms and wiped still very wet sheet all over body. It is difficult to judge a whitening mask after just one use, especially as this seems to be part of a set that should be used daily till it finish. The only thing I can say is that although it didn’t leave greasy or sticky residue, the watery essence took a good while to sink in.

Dr Morita Rich Source of Youthful Renewal was again very wet but very well fitting mask, it adhered well to the shape of my face without any folded tissue. One if the best masks I bought for under £1.

Dr Morita Whitening Essence was a mask similar to previous one, just in red sachet, I am not entirely sure about the difference between the two besides the colour of the packaging but I as ingredients are also in English, I noticed mandelic acid besides alpha arbutin.

Dr Morita Collagen Essence Mask unlike the other masks had a plastic backing and was a smaller fit around eyes. Overall, nice mask for the price again.

Bioderma White Objective Lightening Serum is a Vitamin C night serum that consists of vitamin C Powder and a liquid in a pump suspension. Once you mix the two, you are supposed to finish it within two months. I am not sure whether I would recommend it to sensitive skin as it feels rather full of alcohol but I noticed that since I started using it, my occasional breakouts are smaller in size and heal quicker but that also might be because of colder weather when my skin is between normal and oily. While I didn’t feel any tingling or stinging, I noticed my skin was slightly pink after the application. It didn’t erase my brown marks but it did lighten them and worked well with retinol.

Oriflame Love Nature Gel Cream was reasonably moisturising, didn’t break me out and although I cannot remember how much it cost me but I am sure it was “cheap as chips” cathegory.

Lavera Anti-ageing Moisturising Cream is a sample I got sa an extra in my LiB subscription. It was only for two uses so I cannot really say how effective it is but it was light enough although it took a while to sink in. The fragrance it had reminded me of chocolate jellies.

DHC Beauty Lift essence is a milky gel essence, non-greasy but richer than my beloved Snail Mucin. Can’t say much else as it was just one use sample. I would say maybe repurchase cathegory.

DHC Ceramide Cream is a richer cream than I would usually go for but it did sink in. Maybe could be used as a night cream a few times a week but not that tempted to buy full size.

DHC Eye Bright is a clear, runny gel moisturiser for eyes and works great for oily skin. This 0.03 oz sample lasted me 3 days morning and evening use. I would be willing to purchase it as a summer eye moisturiser.

Dr. G Actifirm Real Lifting Cell Essence was more like a lotion/moisturiser than essence. It wasn’t greasy but I do prefer my essence to be lighter.

Klairs Rich Moist Soothing Serum was love. Clear runny gel, very moisturising but light and 3 ml lasted me again 3 days of day and night use. I can definitely see its value and it is my wishlist item.

COSRX Galactomyces 95 Whitening Power Essence was just one use sample so it is difficult to say what it is doing.

COSRX Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence is my favourite and I was really glad I had these samples I coud use, however these samples felt a bit different and I also noticed my face felt a bit greasy afterwards which doesn’t happen when I use it out of full package but I think the problem was that the sample was a bit too much for one use and when I use what I use usually (around half od the sample), my face felt similar to when I apply from the bottle again.

COSRX Blackheads Power Liquid is supposed regulate sebum but similarly to the previous samples, it is difficult to say what it does from one use. I have a full size in my stash already, so I will find out soon.

Lee Jiham Dr’s Care Vita-Propolis ampoule was used in serum stage and it was like an essence mixed with an oil but it sank in relatively quickly. My skin felt nice, nourished and smooth but I don’t think I liked it enough to purchase full size, especially as it is over my budget.

Huxley Secret of Sahara Sleep Mask was a beautiful bouncy gel cream that didn’t make me greasy but nicely moisturised. Another wishlist sample.

Imedeen Advanced Beauty Shot is not really skincare but a liquid food supplement with vitamin C and collagen that I had in Lookfantastic Back for Black box (which I was a bit disappointed about as it seemed to me that it was just stuff from those monthly boxes that didn’t sell out).

Superdrug Ultra-Purifying Nose Strip with charcoal and volcanic ash looked promising and I liked the strip wasn’t stiff but flexible to nicely adhere to the shape of my nose but unfortunately, I didn’t see almost any blackheads been pulled out when I checked it.

Paula’s Choice Pore Normalising Cleanser is a really good facial wash that I used as a morning and the second cleanse. It removes all leftover dirt without leaving skin tight or dry even though it contains SLS. Not sure whether I would purchase a full size as there are other facial washes giving similar results without SLS and lower price.

Elemis Balancing Lavender Toner is a good purifying toner but I wouldn’t recommend it to other than oily skin as in my opinion might be a bit drying. I already have a full size.

Nuxe Micellar Cleansing Water with ríše petals. I am not sure how well it removes make up as I used it as the first cleanse after I my mole was removed so I used it only for bare face and mascara but it worked well for that. I also love scent of Nuxe products as it reminds me of home remedies my mum used make in the 90s from different flowers and plants after reading a book by Maria Treben and old fashioned pharmacy products.

Urban Veda Turmeric + Botanics Radiance Exfoliating Facial Polish was a sample from LiB and I liked that the small particles were abrasive just the right way. One thing I didn’t like about it was that it smelled like a perfume – I can get over it but it is not my preference.

Sukin Detoxifying Clay Masque Super Greens was a beautiful clay mask that regulates sebum but doesn’t leave your face tight and dry. I had a review about it and recommend it. Definitely want to try more from Sukin (I have two more masks from them atm).

DHC Coenzyme Q10 Neck Cream is a sample that was enough for three uses. It is lighter than I expected but nourishing.

Elemis Pro-Radiance Illuminating Flash Balm despite its name that made me worried it would be heavy was light and sank in well providing brighter complexion without feeling or looking greasy but again, I didn’t like the strong scent that reminded me of tablets my grandmother used in her closed to repell moths.

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Body

Yves Rocher Vanille Noire was in my October favourites and I used it since the last week of September practically every day and I am going to miss it but at the moment I have enough fragrance to last me around 2 years (depending on how many I will also gift), so I will revise in a year but there are also other fragrances that are on my wishlist for long, so I will see.

Bean Body Coffee Bean Scrub in Coconut was a delicious body scrub Sample that I enjoyed using even though it was rather messy and I don’t even want to imagine what it would look like if I used it in a white bathtub instead of my shower cubicle. It was like spreading chocolate mixed with ground coffee.😋

Yves Rocher Jardins du Monde Grapefruit from Florida shower gel. Another from my favourite shower gels, paraben free, 98% natural ingredients, grapefruit essential oil in the fragrance + Aloe Vera gel, biodegradable formula, recyclable packaging and no animal ingredients. Just love it.

Avon Ultra Sexy body soufflé. It was okay but I didn’t feel much moisturised. No repurchase.

The Body Shop Brazilian Nut dry oil. It took me around a year to finally use up this 100 ml so it is a big achievement for me. I used it in Aztec Secret Clay mask and for hair ends for my daughters and sometimes for me and it seemed like it would never end but it finally did which was just in time sa it has 12 months after opening.

Avon Planet Spa Thai Lotus Flower with Coconut Milk & Lotus Flower extract silky body soufflé has lotus flower fragrance and I actually liked it more than I expected as it was better at hydrating than Ultra Sexy with similar mousse like texture.

Superdrug Foot Nourishing sock pack od supposed to be left on feet for 20 minutes but I fell asleep with it so it had good chance to make my feet softer.  For 99p I would be willing to repurchase and I still have one with different ingredients in my stash.

Burt’s Bees lip balm with coconut and pear is one of the few lip balms that made it into my empties as I usually loose them or forget to use them.

Superdrug Conditioning Cuticle Cream with Vitamin E worked ok if I remembered using it regularly.

Avon Nail Experts Diamond Strengthening Complex gives some results if I use it regularly but it is zeroed after I use nail polish. I think it was discontinued but I would look for something else anyway.

Kneipp Balancing Lavender Mineral Bath Salt was so easily soluble that when got into bath, I didn’t feel any of the big crystals I had poured in the water before. The scent of lavender was strong and lasted for over an hour in winter bathroom.

Oriflame Masquerade body lotion is partnered with a EdT I love. I actually loved all fragrances I tried from Oriflame last few years. The texture of this body lotion was also pleasant and sank in well, so I liked using it in the morning to layer the scent.

Haircare

7th Heaven Pulped Papaya Rescue Mask. If I’m honest I am not sure that this really did something for my hair but I would be willing to repurchase because of the smell alone – I am a sucker for fruity.

The White Company Jasmine, Rose & Neroli Shampoo is a 50 ml hotel mini. I like The White Company homeware but don’t think much of their cosmetic range and I used this for cleaning my make up brushes. As it is thick, has a big hole and because I clean my foundation sponge every two days, it finished after a few weeks.

TIGI Bed Head Motor Mouth was a great leave-in treatment for my hair – kept my hair moisturised without weighing down. As I used only two pumps after washing, it lasted me ages – I think it was in my April favourites. This will definitely find its way to my basket again although I would like to try non-glossy version next time.

Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray was to me just like a hair spray – it gives my hair a certain shape but leaves it dry and crunchy which I don’t like. Plus, it is not an alternative to dry shampoo like they write on it if you really need an extra day between washing your hair.

Charles Worthington Moisture Seal leave-in conditioner was a 30 ml sample. I really liked how my hair looked although I didn’t find my hair softer than with other leave-in conditioners/treatments I like using. With price of £5.99 I will certainly buy a full size soon.

Make Up

Rimmel Lasting Finish 25hr Breathable SPF20 was a sample from a magazine that was for 2 uses but I really liked the natural, semi matte finish it gave me. It has light to medium coverage which I don’t mind but I don’t think it is really as lasting as it claims but I still liked it because it really is breathable, I had a few foundations from Rimmel and while they lasted long and were good colour match, they did feel like my skin couldn’t breath underneath and this one is definitely different. If I didn’t have too many foundations in my stash already, I would have bought it on Black Friday offers where I saw it for £4. It also seems to me that Rimmel changed their color range as with all the older foundations soft beige was one of the best colour match in foundation I had that I could actually use throughout the year but with this one soft beige is rather orange so Ivory is probably more suitable with.  For now, it is on my wishlist.

Rimmel Stay Matte powder is old trusty powder and a cheap goodie. I repurchased a few times, now I want to try some other powders I already have. Unfortunately, the packaging is not very sturdy and it is so beaten up that it was holding together only because of duct tape.

Barry M Nail Paint in Red Glitter was the perfect Christmas nail colour, unfortunately the longevity on my nails was absolutely rubbish with three nail peeling off completely after just half a day and I didn’t even do any washing up. There is around 1/3 left inside but what’s really the point of keeping it if it doesn’t last?

Clinique Chubby Lash. I liked this mascara for light or no make up days as it gives natural look, applies well on lower as well as upper lashes but that been said, I think name Chubby Lash is misleading for this mascara and who buys it thinking it would give them great volume, will be disappointed.

Bourjois Quintet Eyeshadows in 64 Révélation. Around 8 years ago, after having my older daughter, I had a black/grey clothes stage in my life (I am not saying I got much more colourful) and this was my go-to palette. I used up the lightest shade easily but the darker ones just don’t want to go. I tried to pan it this year but I got tired of trying to sculpt my eyes with 4 shades of grey – it’s not who I am anymore and 8 years is more than enough to finally say goodbye to this little palette (yes, saying good bye is a problem for me).

Paula’s Choice Clear Skin Set Trial

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Just as I got a mother of breakouts on my chin plus some other around my face (I really didn’t have as many breakouts since summer), I was on Instagram, when I saw Paula’s Choice offer to try mini set of Clear range.  All I had to do was writing them an email where I told them whether I suffer from mild or severe breakouts, my skin type and of course address. Based on my information they sent me Clear Regular-Strenght Trial Kit consisting of Pore Normalising Cleanser, Anti-redness Exfoliating Solution and Daily Hydrating Fluid. 30 ml sizes might seem small but after using them, I can say they can last well over the intended 2 weeks.

Pore Normalising Cleanser is a clear facial wash that does a very good job as a second and morning cleanser. It makes my face feeling clean (very important for oily skin) without leaving my face dry or tight but it does contain SLS in the middle of ingredients list so it might not be for everyone.

Anti-Redness Exfoliating Solution is without a doubt my favourite from the trio. It is a 2% salicylic acid solution and as such should prevent breakouts and red marks, unclog and minimize large pores. Depending on how you get on with acids, you can start with a few uses a week increasing frequency up to 2 times a day (don’t forget to use SPF30 or higher). I started using every other day the first week and then continued using nightly after toner. I could really see healing of blemishes to be quicker without nasty dark marks afterwards. One disadvantage is that once it is open, the bottle leaks when you travel, however when I used duct tape to seal the neck and lid of the bottle, I didn’t have the problem.

Daily Hydrating Fluid SPF50 is a very light non-greasy moisturiser which I would really love but depending on products I use before, it tends to pill if I touch my face after around 5-10 minutes but if I leave out other moisturiser and use it after serum, it is perfect.

The set works great together and I have to say that it did reduce my breakouts although not completely (but I have to admit I ate a lot of rubbish last two weeks). If I had some occasional pimple, it healed super quick and within a few days I couldn’t see I had it. But if there was one product I would recommend, it is Anti-Redness Exfoliating Solution.