Cleanser: Homemade vs shop bought

Homemade cleanser
Homemade cleanser

I started using Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm a couple of years ago and fell in love with it. Rubbing it over my make up felt very weird, but using a warm flannel to massage my face on top of the balm, was far more effective and gentle at removing my make up than my usual harsh face wipes. But as Clinique is now one of the products I’m trying to avoid, I need a cruelty free alternative.

As it happened, I actually already had one in my cupboard EVE LOM Cleanser. I started using it and found the results similar to the Clinique so was initially very happy, until I went to buy more and found out it was £85! Where did I even get this from? Must have been a present. Anyway,  as lovely as it was, it’s a little too pricy for me so I thought I’d have a go at making my own, I mean, how hard can it be? Turns out it was easy, so I’ve been using my homemade balm for three months now with similar results to the above products, for a fraction of the price. So I’ve made some more and this time, I took some pictures for you and wrote down the recipe in case you fancy having a go yourself. I used lavender, lemon and forget me not to fragrance my cleanser but you can use any essential oils you like.

Lavender & Forget Me Not Cleanser
100ml Sunflower oil
2tsp Extra virgin olive oil
12g Unrefined Shea butter
12g Beas Wax (I recommend using pellets as they melt quicker)
12 drops of Lavender essential oil
8 drops of lemon essential oil
4 drops of forget me not essential oil

How to make:
1. In a bain-marie, heat all the ingredients apart from the essential oils until the wax has melted stirring occasionally with a teaspoon. This should take about 20 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, sterilise a jar by pouring boiling water carefully over it drying with a clean tea towel.
3. Once the mixture has melted take off the heat and add the essential oils as the mixture begins to cool. Pour into your jar and leave for 1-2 hours to set. Store in a cool dry place and keep up to three months. (It’s a good idea to stick a small label on the bottom of your jar with a use by date on, especially if you’re giving it to someone as a gift.)

How to use:
1. Scoop out a coin sized amount and rub in-between your fingers to loosen up a bit.
2. Apply to your face bare or on top of make up in small circular movements. Work the product into your skin for about a minute.
3. immerse a clean flannel into a basin of warm water, rinse and hold over your face for three deep breaths. Wash and rinse the flannel and then using circular motions, carefully remove the balm from your face. Rinsing the flannel as and when needed. Lovely.

But if you can’t be bothered… you can always ask me nicely and I might make a pot for you for £20. Failing that, one of the below products should do the trick. To my knowledge they’re all cruelty free which is rather marvellous.
Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser £15.50
Neil’s Yard Wild Rose Beauty Balm £38
NARS Gentle Cream Cleanser £21
Ren Rosa Centifolia No.1 Purity Cleansing Balm 100ml £24
Pixie Nourishing Cleansing Balm £18

Homemade cleanser
Homemade cleanser

If you enjoyed this post (or even if you didn’t) I’d love to hear from you @corrieheale

Foundation: Clinique vs Laura Mercier

Foundation: Clinique vs Laura Mercier
Foundation: Clinique vs Laura Mercier

My Clinique foundation was always going to be a hard one to replace, not only for it’s buttery texture but for its anti-blemish formula. However, I do believe I’ve managed to find a suitable premium alternative. Hurrah!
I wasn’t able to find a foundation with an anti-blemish incorporated into it, but Laura Mercier do an anti-blemish primer I could use in addition to my foundation. I always assumed primer was a bit of a waste of money, glorified moisturiser but I was wrong. Since using the primer I’ve found my foundation stays on longer and my skin is noticeably clearer. I’m not sure if it’s down to the anti-blemish formula in the primer, or just the use of the primer itself but whatever it is, it’s working. My skin is almost totally spot free at the moment which is almost unheard of!
The foundation itself isn’t as buttery in texture as the Clinique but it is silky and has a lovely sheen to it. Considering its thickness, the Laura Mercier foundation doesn’t wear heavy and gives really good coverage, better than the Clinique. It is however £10 more but I’ve found that I don’t need to use as much to get the coverage I desire. The primer also bumps up the price by £29 but if you’re not spot prone, I’m sure you could go with a more affordable primer.
I love my new foundation, my skin now has a healthy glow and is clearer than it’s been in a long time. I prefer the sheen finish apposed to the matt and am enjoying the staying power so all in all, I’m pretty happy with my swap. My purse isn’t (obviously) but I think if it goes on your visage, you should pay the money. Can’t go smearing any old shit on your face after all.
The next product I’ll be looking to replace is my MAC concealer so until then, have a very happy New Year.
Laura Mercier Silk Creme Oil Free Foundation in Cream Ivory, £35
Laura Mercier Foundation Primer – Blemish-less, £29
Clinique Anti-Blemish Solutions Liquid Makeup, 02 Fresh Ivory, £25

Laura Mercier are not certified by the Leaping Bunny logo but I am still satisfied that they do not test on animals… “Laura Mercier is committed to the elimination of animal testing. We are equally committed to consumer health and safety, and bringing to market...”

If you enjoyed this post (or even if you haven’t) I’d love to hear from you @corrieheale

The hidden horrors in my beauty bag…


The hidden horrors in my beauty bag…And I’m not talking about the 2 year old mascara and that leaking bottle of nail varnish. I’m talking about the horrible realisation, that over half the make up in my seemingly ‘innocent’ make up bag, is tested on animals.
Really? Over half? That seems like a lot!
Yes, yes it does doesn’t it. Now call me a big naive thicko, but I just assumed this sort of thing didn’t really happen anymore. How have I been slathering rabbit tears all over my face for over a decade and not realising it? How have leading brands such as Clinque, L’Oreal, Estée Lauder and even Dove (Dove for god sake) managed to slip under the radar? Either people have stopped caring or they don’t know. Either way, I do care so I need to start disposing of all my beautifully packaged, wonderfully fragranced, lotions and potions in order to silence the small crying badger living in my conscience.

But let’s get real for a second. As much as I would love to burn all of these products and replace them immediately with cruelty free alternatives, I’m (a) not made of money and (b) replacing like for like is not going to be easy and requires extensive research. So this is what this blog is for, hooray! So, in addition to fattening us all up with recipes, I’ll also be testing and reviewing cruelty free make up because you know, it’s not like I have anything better to do. So without further a do, lets have a snoop in my beauty bag…

Animal Tested:
1. Clinique Anti Blemish solutions Liquid Make Up £25 – 02 Fresh Ivory
2. Benefit Watts Up Soft Focus Highlighter £24.50
3. M.A.C Pro Longware Concealer 19ml £18
4. M.A.C Opulash Optimum Black Mascara £15
5. Rimmel London Sun Shimmer Bronzer 
6. Elizabeth Arden Moisturising Lipstick Matt Finish £21 – Nude 43 
7. Bourjois Liner Pinceau Liquid Eyeliner
8. Clarins Eye Make Up Palette £35
9. Estée Lauder Blusher (discontinued)
10. Okay so I forgot to include this in the shot but I always have one of these in my bag. Maybelline New York Baby Lips Peach Kiss Lip Balm £2.99. I’m so upset about this one!

Cruelty Free: 
1. Nars Lip Cover – Overheated £21
2. KIKO Weightless Perfection Wet & Dry Foundation SPF 30 £13.90
3. KIKO Velvet Passion Matt Lipstick – Gossamer Emotion £10.90
4. The Body Shop 3 in 1 Brow Definer £9
5. The Body Shop Bold OverSized Felt Eyeliner – Black £10
6. NARS Duo Eyeshadow Hammamet £25
7. The Body Shop Face & Body Brush £16

Well that was a disappointing. MAC, Clarins, Benefit, Maybelline, Estée Lauder, Bourjois, Rimmel and Clinique, shame on you! From my research, I found that most of these products claim to be cruelty free but admit to testing on animals when ‘required to by law’, this means they’re sold in China. In China it’s compulsory for any company that sells cosmetics to conduct tests on animals. So, I guess I won’t be buying those again anytime soon, but what are the alternatives? This is what I’ll be researching in the coming weeks, starting with foundation.
I’m very upset about my Clinique foundation, I’ve been using it for years and with good reason. Not only does this foundation offer up good coverage for my spot prone skin but it also contains an anti blemish formula. It’s buttery lightweight texture makes it a dream to apply, damn you Clinique! This one’s gonna be hard to replace, wish me luck!