Cult Beauty Bonuses + Exchange Rate Savings: Oskia + Kypris + Alpha-H

cult beauty oskia offerIt’s a good time to be spending dollars with UK retailers. The exchange rate favors we Americans very much right now. So of course I had to check out what kind of deals can currently be had from my favorite British niche retailer, Cult Beauty.

My first destination on any shopping site is usually the sale page. Cult Beauty doesn’t have one of those, but it does have an Offers section where you can see the bonus gifts and other special deals that are currently on. There are lots of offers for fabulous, premium brands, but I was immediately drawn to the Oskia bonus: a free full-size Micro Exfoliating Balm with an Oskia purchase of £45 or more. I’ve long felt left out of the Oskia love-fest in the beauty world, so was thrilled to see this.

I ended up getting the Oskia Renaissance Cleansing Gel, a cleanser to which thousands of starry-eyed posts have been devoted in recent years. I also plumped for the Oskia Perfect Cleanser, which lives up to its name according to reviews from Makeup Alley and Caroline Hirons.

kypris moonlight catalystAnother line I’ve been dying to try is Kypris. I was going to suck it up and invest in the Kypris Moonlight Catalyst (I covet the bottle almost as much as what’s inside!) but it’s still sold out, so I had to settle for joining the waiting list. I was able to get Kypris 1,000 Roses, though, so I’m pretty chuffed about that.

Finally, I restocked on Alpha-H Liquid Gold, an overnight glycolic treatment I rather enjoy. You only use it a couple of times a week maximum, so a small bottle lasts ages, and it’s fantastic for resurfacing skin and encouraging cell turnover while you sleep. Bonus: On those nights when the thought of spending a whole five minutes on my skincare routine is simply exhausting, I can cleanse, swipe my face with Liquid Gold, and I’m done. You don’t put anything on top of Liquid Gold, so it makes for the most abbreviated PM routine possible.

All in all, I got five stellar products for $150 – including free shipping from the UK. Not bad! If you’ve ever been intrigued by some of these cult brands or are just looking for a fun, more affordable online European beauty shopping spree on high-end brands that might normally be prohibitively expensive, definitely check out Cult Beauty. Another extra discount: When you sign up for a Cult Beauty account, you get 15% off your first order with the promo code YOU15, for even more savings. Go forth and shop!

Soap & Glory The Ultimelt Hot Cloth Cleanser

soap & glory ultimelt hot cloth cleanserWalgreens/Duane Reade is really killing it with beauty sales lately. I’m excited they’ve brought Soap & Glory over from the UK, because I would stock up on every trip to London and now I don’t have to! Even better, the entire Soap & Glory range is on buy one get one 50% off right now. My favorite from their line is The Ultimelt Hot Cloth Cleanser ($14), which comes in the best packaging ever – like a giant toothpaste tube, super easy for dispensing. It is a great morning cleanser, makeup remover, or second cleanse at night. I tend to choose something more basic and boring to remove makeup, because I save ‘the good stuff’ for a second cleanse that will actually work on my skin. But still, you could use this to take off makeup, and then cleanse with it again for round two. I’m going to restock on that, plus grab the Soap & Glory Beauty Sleep Accelerator ($18), a hydrating cream that gets rave reviews all over the web.

I used to be really into Soap & Glory’s body products, like The Righteous Butter ($15 for a 10+ ounce tub that will last you AGES) and Hand Food ($4). But you know how sometimes, you absolutely love a fragrance until one day you can’t stand it? Maybe it’s just me, but it happens sometimes, and that happened to me with the ‘original pink’ scent of their body products. It still smells nice to me; I just got burned out after using it so much. But the body products are very rich and hydrating, so definitely check them out – especially with colder, more dehydrating temperatures upon us in the western hemisphere. (Note: Soap & Glory is a brand of body products I like to give to the young ladies in my life, and they love it, so bear that in mind with winter holidays coming up so quickly.)

New Observer Column: Please. Wash. Your. Face.

cleansing wipes are bad for washing your faceI know I sound super-judgy when I write about this topic, but I don’t judge anyone who doesn’t realize just how bad cleansing wipes are for her skin. When you know better, you tend to do better. If you know better and still use them, well, you get the face you deserve. Please, read this and know I write it out of love: Don’t use cleansing wipes, but if you do, here’s how to minimize the damage you’re doing.

New Observer Column: How To Wash Your Face

double cleanse cleansing skincare routineI know I am severely neglecting this blog lately, but September has been full of travel, houseguests, and a lot of work. (Believe it or not, my actual career has nothing to do with beauty. And it takes a lot of time.) I have made time to write my column for the Observer, though. This week’s edition is all about the magic of the double cleanse. It might be old news to many of you, but I’ve been surprised how few people I know have any idea about double cleansing. My aim with the column is to simplify the steps to looking your best, including great skin, and the double cleanse is one of the keys to that. At right: My skincare routine on Wednesday night in Arizona, where a post-flight double cleanse made me very happy indeed.

Cetaphil vs. Yes To Carrots Cleansers

friends don't let friends use cetaphil

I’m an unabashed Caroline Hirons devotée: Her straightforward reviews and brilliant routines (see cheat sheet here) have made a huge difference in my skin. She’s also quite funny and open, which I always admire in a person. Please follow her if you do not already.

I was thrilled to see Caroline has finally posted reviews of two Cetaphil products, the cleanser and moisturizer. If you can’t be bothered to click through and read, let me tell you the bottom line: Don’t use these, there are many products out there in the same price range that are much better and won’t harm your skin as these can. If you think, “Well, I use Cetaphil and my skin’s fine,” think of the long term and how your face might suffer.

yes to carrots yes to tomatoes yes to cucumbers cleansersI was pleased to see Caroline recommend Yes To Carrots Daily Cream Facial Cleanser – as discussed previously on this blog – as an alternative to Cetaphil cleanser. I discovered this a couple of weeks ago and loved it so much I have gifted it to three friends. (Alekza, Devorah, and Robin – let me know how you get on with this!) Cleansers can be a bit joyless when they’re basic, but this one is a real pleasure to use. Get it on Amazon for less than $6 and free Prime shipping.

Clarins Pure Melt Cleansing Gel

Clarins Pure Melt Cleansing Gel With Marula OilThis is one of those cleansers you never want to be without once you’ve tried it. In fact, I first used this at a friend’s house in Europe. I loved it so much, I ordered my own while I was still there, so it would be waiting for me when I got back to the US. It’s a keeper – the kind you hoard back-ups of, just in case. (Just in case of what, I’m not sure. But better safe than sorry.)

Clarins Pure Melt Cleansing Gel is not cheap. Like I keep saying, cleansers are where you can save money and reallocate that budget to your serum. But this is a totally justifiable, practical indulgence. It is far more than just a mild cleanser with a heavenly smell. Thanks to the unique gel-to-oil formulation, it also has a luxurious, silken texture and provides extra hydration. If I were to go on a show like Survivor and was allowed only ONE beauty product, I could take this cleanser and my skin probably wouldn’t miss moisturizer too much. My face would feel clean and supple, and I bet yours would too, unless you’re extremely dry.

The good news is, we’re not on Survivor, so you don’t have to make such an awful choice. Get this anyway.

Note: This is not a sponsored post or ad. I bought this product and have used it for months.