Putting the “new” beauty brands to the test

Goodness how time flies.  I hadn’t realised how long it has been since I last posted so my apologies.  Life just got busy.  Firstly there was the gorgeous summer that just had to be enjoyed and secondly the day job kept me rather occupied.  Bills to pay and all that.  So down to business: the “new” beauty brands.  Back in the day there were only a few major brands we could turn to for our skincare but things have changed dramatically over the past decade or so and we are now, quite frankly, rather spoilt for choice.  How on Earth do you decide between them?  Can you trust the hype?  Which ones are better suited to your skin?  I have been putting some of them through their paces so if your skin is over 40 then read on…..

My skin always used to be a bit sensitive but generally pretty normal veering towards combination (a bit of dryness) until, of course, I reached the dreaded peri-menopause when things started to change.  I think it is fair to say that many women experience their skin drying out as they go through their forties so that is the skin type this is aimed at.


Universal Emulsion, £29 for 50ml, £45 for 100ml
Night Switch Retinol 1%, £28.00
Night Switch PHA/AHA 10%, £20.00
Electrogel Cleanser, £25.00

I am starting with what I consider to be the best new skincare brand I have tried in a long time.  I read all the hype and after a while (I’m not one to rush in) decided to take action because I knew I wanted to try retinol but didn’t really know how.  I know that might sound a bit daft but I have had adverse reactions in the past to mixing one active ingredient with another and wanted to avoid that.  Lixir’s Universal Emulsion is a water based moisturiser that can be used as a day or night moisturiser but also, if you like, with one of their three Night Switch serums.  If your skin is dry, then stick to the  Retinol and PHA/AHA (the third, BHA/AHA, is more for problem skin).  You add a drop of one to the Universal Emulsion and apply to the skin at night.  Do this for two weeks, give your face a rest for a couple of days and then switch to the other serum and repeat the process.   They say it glides on to the skin and this is true.  You will need to do a fair amount of massaging before it is absorbed but when it is your skin feels silky soft and super hydrated.  After a few days your skin will be glowing and I did indeed receive the odd compliment when I was told just that.  A lovely set of products to use and I’m not sure what it will take to tempt me to change.

I also put the Electrogel Cleanser on my first order (because everyone raves about it) but I have to be honest and say that although it is a nice cleanser to use I can’t see what all the fuss is about.  They say it dissolves make-up, dirt and gives the pores a deep cleanse and yes my skin felt clean and soft and hydrated but then that is what I find most cleansers do.  Perhaps I should declare at this point that my cleanser of choice is Emma Hardie’s Moringa Cleansing Balm and the Electrogel Cleanser is somewhat different.


Milk Jelly Cleanser, £15.00 for 177ml
Stretch Concealer, £15.00

I watched a vlog on some of their products, read the reviews and decided to dive into the Milky Jelly Cleanser as well as the Stretch Concealer because this brand does both skincare and make-up.   Also, if you are after collecting pink zip-up bubble-wrap bags (quite handy in your beach bag) then this is the brand for you.  As a day to day cleanser then the Milky Jelly Cleanser does a perfectly good job – its a gloopy jelly dispensed from a pump that is easy to apply and massage in.  Although it says to rinse off with water I personally remove it with a konjac sponge (same thing in my book) and it does indeed leave your skin feeling squeaky clean and not at all taut.   However, the concealer has been a much bigger hit with me.  You would have thought that trying to choose the correct colour online would be problematic but they make it easy and the colour I got is absolutely perfect for my skin tone (there are 5 shades to choose from).  You apply with your fingers and either pat or blend into your skin to hide imperfections or bags under the eyes and I have to say it is one of the best I have tried.  They say it is a new type of concealer with elastic micro waxes that move with your face instead of caking on top of it (with nourishing oils to give a dewy, glowing finish) and I have to agree that it does exactly that.  There are no tell-tale signs that you have dabbed concealer on and it looks just as good at the end of the day as after application in the morning.  This may well become my go-to concealer for evermore.

The Hero Project

Glow Drops Dry Touch Facial Oil, £24 for 30ml
Vit C-30 Ultra Brightening Serum, £39 for 30ml
Night Drops Stress Less Age Defying Elixir, £45 for 30ml

Maybe this isn’t one of the more mainstream beauty brands but it is one I came across a couple of years ago and I notice is now for sale at Marks & Spencer.  I like that all their products are vegan friendly and completely free of nasties such as alcohol, parabens and other synthetics and their promise is to endeavour to create groundbreaking formulations that exceed all your expectations.  I started with the Glow Drops as this seemed a good place to start – a good all round serum at a sensible price and lovely to use.  It is a blend of essential oils and Vitamin C (in a much smaller dose than the Vit C-30) designed to nourish and brighten the complexion and I would say that it does indeed do that.  You apply a few drops to your face, neck & décolletage in the morning after cleansing and before applying moisturiser and massage in.  It sinks in beautifully and doesn’t leave an oily residue or make your skin shiny.  Having tried this out I decided I would experiment with a bit of Vitamin C which I have read is supposed to fight the signs of ageing, stress, wrinkles and pigmentation.   This one has a very high Vitamin C content (30%) and may tingle on application although it didn’t on my skin and as with the Glow Drops, sinks in nicely and leaves no oily residue.  I also think it got to work on some of the inevitable signs of ageing on my face, neck and décolletage.   Having liked the last two products so much I then moved on to the Night Drops which are designed to restore order to a stressed complexion with Hyaluronic Acid and aroma therapeutic essential oils.  You squeeze a few drops onto your palms and breath in the smell to relax and de-stress before applying to your face at night before moisturising.  I absolutely love this serum as it feels so luxurious and certainly made my skin glow.  I will return to this whenever I manage to drag myself away from Lixir!

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