Ah, product reviews, I hear you say, that’s why bloggers exist. Along with the freebies, the exclusives, the bar launches, the free tickets for opening nights and gallery previews. Except that I never do the reviews. In fact, the last time I wrote about a beauty product was back in October 2015.
The trouble is that I’m jaded. I myself have used the same products for about 2 years and I don’t want to change anything unless it’s in favour of a product that does the same thing for less money or something better for a similar amount. I’m on a budget and I can’t see it changing for the forseeable future. I don’t expect miracles in a pot. I know the beauty industry. I know that there are big brands who charge less because they produce bulk quantities. I know that packaging isn’t important. I know that a beauty counter is marketing – when a shelf would be adequate for any consumer’s needs.
I would argue that my fussiness is really my strength as a reviewer. I don’t think it’s worth me wasting your time and money over things that I won’t change my beauty routine for. I’vé been at the cleanse, tone, moisturise game for a while now and my skin has been through the big skincare milestones – normal through childhood, a bit of teenage acne, partying during my 20s and missing out on an SPF when I lived in the south of France, buying ridiculously expensive products after a few career high points in my 30s, pregnancy – with the associated change in pigmentation, recurrence of spots and excess collagen – and, now, my fabulous 40s. I am well acquainted with a wide range of common skincare concerns through personal experience now. I’m also happy with my own regime and I don’t think that anyone should mend something that isn’t broken.
I’m lucky enough to have good skin. I know that makes me sound like a smug cow but it’s true. That doesn’t make me the best lab rat but I’m happy to take one for the team – or I was this week, anyway. found out about Angela Langford Skincare by chance – literally a mention on social media – and I was tempted by their free samples. Who wouldn’t be? The range is so comprehensive that a product lover could go crazy. The samples scheme is actually a good idea to get the best match for your needs. You give the company information about your skincare requirements and they supply the right things to match your criteria. In my case, three: a cleanser, a serum and an oil.
Sweet Cheeks balancing & cleansing face wash (£18) is made with papaya, cypress and rose. It doesn’t foam. That’s normally a ‘no’ for me but I changed my mind – it’s great. It made my skin feel zingy but there was absolutely no tightness afterwards. I would recommend using it with a facial brush – a Clarisonic would be perfect – or a hot cloth.
A Little Lift plumping & firming face serum (£31) -with pumpkin, frankincense and ellectric daisy – is a really light lotion that feels like it’s going to be underwhelming. It isn’t. It’s silky smooth and feels nourishing.
Bloom & Glow radiance restoring face oil (£20.50) contains chia seed and sea buckthorn and is amazing. I don’t have a better word. It’s like liquid gold. It makes skin feel like silk and makes it look radiant and dewy. It’s the colour of apricots so it gives a lovely warmth to my usually deathly pallor. I was really impressed with the difference in my fingernails after I used the residual oil left in the palms of my hands after facial application to moisturise my hands and elbows.
The, frankly, tiny samples lasted a week. No problems. My skin felt amazing. It looked good as well – I would call the Bloom & Glow oil my favourite product. It gave me a healthy golden tone which I have only ever experienced from two other products – the first being the legendary Clarins Touche Éclat and the other being the much, much cheaper Superdrug version. Given the choice of those two, I hardly need tell you which I buy regularly, do I?
The big question is ‘would I buy them?’. The answer is ‘yes’. And ‘no’. Put bluntly, I can’t justify the expense. I’m sorry. I’m very, very sorry – because I really, really loved the products – but I have to buy a pinafore dress for next term that costs the same amount as the serum.
Rest assured that every time I do the school run, I shall be cursing the choice I made, lovely people at Angela Langford.
Every single time.