For Part 1 click HERE (Includes Emma Hardie, The Body Shop, Balance Me, RMK, Eve Lom, Elemis, Ren & Monu)
First up is a product that a lot of you suggested I try, or requested that I review:
Packaging: Standard, purple plastic with silver lid.
Ingredients: Doesn't have a base of essential oils like many other balms. No mineral oil, fragrance or anything offensive.
Performance: It's unscented, as with all Clinique products, and that paired with the fact that this felt quite greasy in texture, put me off this balm a little. It's effective, gentle and more affordable than many of the others, but it's not a pleasure to use, and for me that knocked it back from being up there with Emma Hardie, Monu and Sarah Chapman's Ultimate Cleanse (below). If you are allergic to essential oils or sensitive to fragrance, this could be a good one to try.
Price: £21 for £125ml, available from Selfridges online here or on Clinique counters.
Packaging: Nice, matte finish tube. I found the twist open/close cap a little annoying.
Ingredients: A base of sunflower seed oil, with apricot and sandalwood oils and raspberry and wintergreen leaf extracts. The ingredients read quite differently to the majority of the other balms, as the texture of the product is a gel-oil rather than a conventional balm.
Performance: I liked the different texture of this product. It's much lighter than some of the more oil-based balms and emulsifies better with warm water. It doesn't strip the skin, but it also doesn't leave any oily residue at all. I think this would be well suited to those who are worried about cleansing balms being too heavy or rich for their skin. This effectively removed all of my makeup and the squeezable tube is practical for travel too.
Price: £40 for 125ml available online from cultbeauty.co.uk
Packaging: Pretty cheap looking considering the price, it's the same type of packaging as the Liz Earle cleanser, but with a cheaper finish.
Ingredients: Very heavy on the scent front, the ingredients list has a fair few synthetics combined with a long list of oils including baobab, borage, melon, rosehip, jojoba and meadowfoam seed, combined with vitamins A & E. Free from mineral oil, parabens etc.
Performance: This was an 'instant wow' product for me. The texture is super smooth (even smoother than Emma Hardie) The pump dispenses the exact right amount of product to cleanse your face. It's an utter pleasure to use and removes every scrap of makeup from my face. It took me a while to get used to the smell, but I can honestly say this is the best cleanser I've ever used. Hands down. Although the ingredients list isn't 100% natural, this product performs beautifully. The only other balm cleanser I've tried that comes close to it is Emma Hardie's, and I have to say I prefer this. The price and the packaging are the only downsides to this product for me.
Price: £40 for 100ml, available from SpaceNK here.