Saturday, July 12, 2014

Smooshing on Softness - A Lazy Skincare Special

For all the money and time I spend on making my nails and my eyes pretty (ie. glittery as hell), I'm still appallingly lax when it comes to my skin. I've been hanging out in the beauty community a lot more over the last year, and as well as teaching me that I really should do something with my eyebrows, they've also taught me the importance of having a skin care routine. It doesn't have to be a complex, military operation involving dozens of products costing a year's salary per jar - but I've decided I can and should muster at least a little more effort than just soap and water.

( most days anyway)

I've very half heatedly run through a ton of different creams and potions and unctions, trying to find something that made enough of a difference to make it worth my while spending extra time smooshing stuff that's not even glittery on my face. Seriously, I could moisturise a small country with the products I have hanging around my cupboards that I used once and discarded for one reason or another. They're too greasy, they're too drying, they smell weird, they make me itchy, they make my skin burn...for the longest time it seemed like nothing was just right.

My face is very particular about what it does and does not like on it. Any moisturiser heavier than "featherlight" brings me out in absolutely DELIGHTFUL rashes of blackheads, and a lot of random ingredients seem to make my skin flushed and blotchy. Parts of my face are super oily (hello pools of sebum on my nose under my glasses), but other parts are quite dry in comparison. "Oily skin" face washes always seemed to strip the oil off the greasy parts, leaving the dry parts like parchment, and "combination skin" washes didn't seem to do anything at all - not even take off dirt.

My hands...well, let's admit it, I'm pretty darn hard on my hands. I change my polish a LOT, and use acetone remover for that. I've also been crafting with resin a lot lately, and guess what is the only thing that'll get that stuff off your hands - that's right, more acetone. Of course, I tend to only take photos for you guys when they're looking their best, so you'll just have to take my word for it that they can get pretty manky and gross sometimes.

I really want my face and my hands to look...well, nice. It seems a shame to have such nice cosmetics to put on them, if the shiny is sitting right next to blotchy, pissed off skin. So I've kept at it, and after much trial and error (and occasionally reverting back to straight up soap and water in frustration), I finally have a couple of products I like enough to actually recommend.

I know, I'm sure you're all absolutely shocked that I've chosen entirely indie products.
From left to right we have; Purify Facial Cleanser from Rhasdala Beauty, Cuticle Cocktail and Rub-A-Dub Scrub from Help Me Ronda, and Clay Block for Face from Corrynnes Natural Soaps

Let me start in the middle with the two tins of softness from Help Me Ronda, a relatively new Sydney based indie business. I take my hand creams and cuticle balms and various potions VERY seriously - as I said above, I put a lot of noxious stuff on my hands, so I need seriously good stuff to repair the damage. After ludicrous amounts of dissatisfaction, I've actually given up on manufactured hand cream, and started making my own - but that's a whole other post (it's coming one day, I swear.) The point is, I take my hand stuff seriously, so you should take me seriously when I say the products from Help Me Ronda are The Shit.

Check it out, I actually remembered to take a photo BEFORE I used something for once!
The cuticle balm is a little different to my all time favourite (Powder Perfect) - it's a little harder, and takes a little longer to warm on your skin. But it does the trick, and the smells....oh lordy, the smells. I have the Pina Colada scent, which smells exactly as delicious as you would imagine. I just..I want to eat it. I want to eat it so bad. Lush products are the only other products to have made me want to eat something totally inedible so badly. I really want to go back for all the other scents as well, even though I'd be stocked for cuticle balm for the next ten years, just so I can line them all up and smell them happily.

And again! I'm on FIRE
The Rub-A-Dub scrub doesn't have any particular smell to speak of, but it's seriously hardworking stuff. I tried it after I'd been swatching polishes all morning, because I figured that was the ultimate stress test - after dousing my hands in acetone for a couple of hours, they NEED MOISTURE, and this scrub absolutely delivered. I've tried other scrub recipes before - a lot of people recommend a sugar and castor oil mixture, but I always found them a bit too rough, not to mention messy. I'm the sort of person that WILL get a slightly damp, crumbly mixture like that EVERYWHERE, and it's a pain in the behind. But the Rub-A-Dub Scrub is solid, before melting into your skin, so no dropped bits to find later! It's also incredibly hydrating - after I'd washed it off I was so excited about my baby soft hands I went and rubbed them all over Mr.Reluctant Femme, and even he conceded they were indeed noticeably softer than usual. It feels ooky while it's on your hands, because, well, it's a big moisture filled oil bath for your hands, with a smattering of scrubby bits to make sure all that goodness gets into every nook and cranny. But once you wash it off, there's virtually no reside - just hands so soft it's like you're wearing gloves made of baby skin. Help Me Ronda actually sells the cuticle cocktail and the Rub-A-Dub Scrub in a combo pack, and I'd highly recommend giving them both a try.

So that's my hand skin taken care of - but what about my poor neglected face skin?

The Purify Facial Cleanser from Rhasdala is just PERFECT for my fussy, oily-but-sometimes-not skin. I discovered it when checking out the nail polish from Rhasdala, and as soon as I ran out went out and bought another tub - which I then started using immediately, hence why the tub in these picture isn't exactly pristine.

Unfortunately, a picture can't capture the delightful lavender and
eucalyptus smell, but trust me, it's good. 
Rhasdala sell a toner and moisturiser that are supposed to go with this as well, but since the cleanser alone does a super job of keeping my skin clean but supple, I've just never bothered trying the matching products. The combination of clays, aloe vera gel, eucalytpus essential oil and lavender just works with my skin, so perfectly and effortlessly. I just smoosh it on, rinse it off, and my skin glows. I've actually started forcing it on Mr.Reluctant Femme I like it so much, and it's done wonders for his skin as well. And best of all, it's so damn affordable - like, seriously, twelve bucks? Considering a tub lasts me four or five months? BARGAIN.

I discovered Corrynnes Natural Soaps on a trip over to Perth, where they sell at the Fremantle Markets. While I was there I picked up a bunch of soaps, because I'm a sucker for things that smell nice, and decided to chuck the clay block in more or less on a whim. While I probably wouldn't pay the postage required to get the soaps across the country to Sydney, I will absolutely be coughing up to get another block once I've finished this one.

Image courtesy of Corrynnes Natural Soap website, because my block is
kind of manky now from being used so much. 
About once a week, I like to give my face a proper scrubbing, just to make sure I've gotten all the glitter off, and the clay block from Corrynnes is MARVELOUS for this. I tried using it every day for a little while, but it was a little too cleansing for that frequency of usage. But once a week, or every couple of days, this really gets all the gunk out without making my face unhappy. I know a lot of people are super into face masks, but I've found I just never get around to using them. It's such a PRODUCTION - and I know that's part of what people enjoy about them. You have to go and specifically decide to put one on, and then make sure no-one touches your face for a certain amount of time (and my cat LOVES touching my face), then go wash it off and uuugh, I just don't have the motivation. However, if you keep this block by the shower, you can grab it and rub it on while you're waiting for your conditioner to soak in (or whatever), let it dry a little bit, then wash it off and it does a lot of the same work as a mask without the production. As with the Rhasdala cleanser, this is also an incredible bargain - even if you factor in postage, the same amount of money won't get you a lot of face masks. But I've been working away at this baby for at least six months now, and it's still going strong.

So that's my skincare "routine", such as it is. What's yours? Are you a dedicated soap and water washer, or do you have a cupboard full of delightful potions?

Disclosure: Help Me Ronda products were provided for review, which did not effect my opinion. All other products were purchased myself. 


  1. I think I need to try that clay block - I love the feeling after using a face mask but I honestly can't be bothered to go through the whole process more than once every few months.

    My one HG skincare item is Paula's Choice 8% AHA gel - it's done wonders for my combination skin. The rest of my routine is fairly simple - I stick with water more often than not for cleansing (aside from heavy duty makeup removal, which isn't a daily thing anyway) and then it's AHA gel, moisturise, done. Sometimes I even remember to use Rosehip Oil at night and I love myself for it the next day!

    1. The clay block is so delightfully convenient - the only catch is that you have to make sure to leave it somewhere it can dry completely between uses or it gets mooshy and gross.

      I hear good things about Paula's Choice stuff - I might have to add it to my "to-try" pile.

  2. Those products look gorgeous! I love me some good cleansers and moisturisers. My skin is exceptionally dry, so MooGoo Milk Wash does a good job of cleaning my face without leaving it awful and tight. For moisture I tend to oscillate between brands with some heavy duty moisturisation action. Cetaphil was my latest, and now I'm onto Cerave.

    1. I've heard good things about MooGoo, but my face makes so much oil I think it probably be a bit "moist" for me.


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