empties // Origins, The Balm, Clinique & Aesop

In a saturated beauty and skincare market, a lot can be said for the products a girl actually hits pan on or squeezes every last drop out of. We’ve posted our can’t-live-without prods (here), but every few months we’ll also share the products we’ve recently run out of alongside mini reviews and whether we’ll be repurchasing…

Here’s to all the amazing products out there that have a Bella’s back right up until the last drop. Enjoy! xN&J

J // Origins High-Potency Brightening Peel with Fruit Acids

Waking up to bright, feel-good skin is a huge luxury and rarely the case for someone as lazy with night time skincare as yours truly. Most nights I practically dive into bed after a quick shower and face cleanse but these days, I’m always sure to incorporate Origins Brightening Peels after discovering them about a year ago.

These peels are a dream come true for the time poor, only requiring a quick, once over swipe of the face before bed. I keep a tub on my bedside table as they’re the last thing I do before hitting the hay. They have an amazing texture that’s not scratchy but enough to leave your skin feeling fresh and healthy. I’ve read several reviews in the past that warn of stinging but I’ve personally never experienced this and my skin is average in sensitivity.

The interesting thing about these peels is that while you may not notice much (if any) difference at first, they’ve been designed to deliver their potential over time. A full sized tub contains 40 pads that will span over five months when used twice a week, and the longer they’re used consistently, the brighter the results. After the full 20 weeks, Origins says that your skin has been treated with the fruit acid equivalent of a 30% glycolic acid peel – meaning the top layer of your skin has been removed to trigger the production of new collagen and elastin, improving skin texture and evening out skin discolouration. I can vouch for this as though it took a couple of weeks for the peels to warm up, after consistent twice-weekly use my skin was noticeably brighter even getting a few compliments (winning!).

Repurchase? Already done… I make sure to place an order when I’m down to my last few peels so that I’m never without these skin brightening babies!

J // The Balm ‘Time Balm’ Primer

Primers are a funny product. I’ve had friends ask ‘Are they worth it?’ and ‘What exactly do they do?’ and while I know they’re a beauty necessity, I haven’t ever sat down to think about what actually is so good about this post-moisturiser, pre-foundation goodness.

The sheer state of this tube says it all; I loved this prod, and squeezed every last ounce out of it that I could and I think the biggest difference between primed and non-primed skin is the application of foundation. After a silicon based primer that creates a smooth surface, foundation applies better by tenfold with The Balm’s ‘Time Balm’ the perfect example. Often when I apply foundation onto bare skin, I’ll hit a dry patch that is noticeably flakey, but using a primer fixes this by creating a smooth layer over skin to create the perfect pre-foundation canvas.

I much prefer gel primers, like The Balm’s, to stick applicators due to my dry skin type. For example, Benefit’s ‘Stay Flawless’ 15-Hour Primer is super raved about however the glide on, stick formula does not work well with my dry/combination skin, tugging and pulling at the dry patches and just not applying evenly at all. ‘Stay Flawless’ primer is obviously amazing for many people – just Google its reviews – however I like The Balm’s formula for its ability to apply easily and evenly, much like a second moisturiser.

Repurchase? I haven’t done so just yet, only because there are so many primers out there that people rave about, so I’m trying to share the love! Currently using Smashbox’s Photo Finish Foundation Primer that I’m finding to be lovely/very similar to The Balm’s also.

N // Clinique Take the Day Off Cleansing Balm

Having dipped my toes in the facial cleansing oil (fad) I decided that as much as I was in love with all the pros, I could not get past the slippery oil running down my wrists and the general mess of it all.

Enter the Clinique Take the Day Off Cleansing Balm and problem solved. This waxy balm may be slightly off-putting at first glance, but simply scoop out a small amount (a little definitely goes a long way) and work it between your fingers to break down the product. Pro tip – use a spatula that usually comes with moisturisers in pots – it definitely makes life easier.

Treat this cleanser as you would a cleansing oil and work it into your skin the break down the makeup, then dampen your fingers and go over your face in circular motions and marvel at the oily cleanser become milky in consistency. At this point I like to take a dampened muslin cloth (can use a flannel or wash cloth) to remove the product.

As the name suggests, it literally takes everything off, even your fave evening-appropriate smokey eye, in no time. I hardly need to use a micellar water or eye makeup remover which is great news, because who can really afford to add another step to their beauty regime (stay tuned for ours soon!). I love that this is unscented as it’s definitely counterintuitive to have a scented product designed to remove makeup. At $55, I find this prod becomes super affordable as it lasts for a few months with the right rationing.

Repurchase? Not yet, only because I’m currently trying out another cleansing oil. Should it not live up to expectations, I’ll definitely be making a trip down to my nearest Clinique counter.

N // Aesop Chamomile Concentrate Anti-Blemish Masque

Purchased on the advice of the lovely SA at Aesop after finishing my second tube of the Aesop Parsley Seed Masque, I was advised that my skin could definitely benefit from the deeper cleansing of Aesop’s more potent facial masques. After much deliberation I opted for the Chamomile Masque and I’ve already purchased my second pot.

I try to apply the masque twice a week (evenings are preferred) and find this prod so soothing and calming. Prone to the odd blemish and bump, I find that this definitely helps to balance and treat any current or future problem areas. I usually leave the masque on for 20 minutes, or until it is completely dry then wash off with the help of a warm muslin cloth.

I find that my skin is so soft and any blemishes almost unbelievably shrink – just like magic (almost)! If I wake up with an unexpected blemish or can feel one under the surface, I often spot treat the area with the masque for as long as I can. I find that it draws the impurities out and reduces the inflammation – what more could a gal want?!

Repurchase? Already onto my second pot. As my skin has cleared up quite a bit in the past few weeks thanks to a fabulous series of treatments (review to come!), I may pick up a Parsley Seed Masque soon, and alternate between the two during the week.

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