I’m honestly sorry that it has taken me over a year to give you part two of my CB Advent calendar empties. A reason for that is that some products I didn’t start using until a year after. And then there was som new life changes that got in the way and many posts has been on hold. But here’s finally the last of it!
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> Verso Eye Cream
> Algenist Alive Prebiotic Mask
> Jordan Samuels Retinol Oil
> Oskia Liquid Mask
> Kaya Jungle Firming Oil
Verso | Eye Cream Extra Nourish
Although I would’ve preferred getting their Super Eye Serum, a full-size eye cream is always appreciated.
Versos Extra Nourish eye cream does not contain their Retinol 8, instead, it’s more of a soothing, repairing, and hydrating cream for the delicate eye area. The cream contains fermented oat, ceramides and vitamin e to help boost the skin’s natural production of hyaluronic acid and help protect the skin barrier. Recommended for dry and sensitive skin.
To me, this is just a simple hydrating eye cream. Not worth the £55 price tag. It doesn’t do the job better than the eye creams found at your local pharmacy/drugstore. I have proof. But you do get a heft amount of 20ml, which does last you for quite some time as you need just the tiniest amount. I’ve used it for over a year now, and my eyelids have had their ups and downs. I just recently suffered from dry and irritated eyelids, and you know what helped? Not this eye cream… I honestly had to revert back to the wonders of La Roche Posay and Bioderma to repair them back to balance.
I don’t know if it’s just my tube, but there are some inconsistencies in texture throughout the use. At first, the cream felt thick and difficult to apply without tugging on the skin. Then it felt more liquid and glided easily. To then revert back. Probably seasons and temperature changes affected the cream. But the texture just wasn’t what I expected from such an expensive eye cream.
To me, the Verso nourishing eye cream just adds more noise in an already functioning market. I just don’t see why they made it or why the high price tag for something so simple yet not as effective as cheaper alternatives. Perhaps, it’s to be applied over their super eye serum? Either way, I would not recommend you get this before looking into drugstore alternatives. Better yet, I would have you look into A-derma’s products that are quite similar in terms of actives. If you are gonna spend more on an eye cream, make sure it contains a retinoid, like the Verso Super Eye Cream.
Algenist | Alive Balancing Mask
I had heard many great things about Algenist and was excited to try something from the brand. The Alive Balancing face mask is supposed to rebalance and “detoxify” the skin while giving it a mild exfoliation. It has a mousse texture that turns from green to pink when massaged into the skin.
You’re supposed to leave it on for 5 minutes and then rinse it off. And, quite honestly, don’t exceed the time on this one! This really packs a punch! In the beginning, I let it sit at least double the time ’cause rinsing it off so quickly felt like a waste for such an expensive product. But I quickly realized that having it on for longer than the recommended time sensitized my skin and made it worse, not better. So I highly advise you to stick to the time on this one.
When used properly, it will leave the skin feeling soft, smooth, and refreshed. It also can double as a cleanser, as it does sort of foam up when rinsed. I’ve moved away from using mud masks as they can be too intense and drying for my skin but this one I really enjoyed. And although it’s kind of pricey, you don’t need much and it will last you for quite some time when used weekly or less.
Still, for me, I don’t think I’ll repurchase as my skin tends to lean on the dryer side. But I will highly recommend this one for acne-prone skin that leans towards oily/combination skin who’s looking for an effective and modern mud mask!
Jordan Samuel | Retinol Treatment Oil
At the time this came out, everyone was raving about it this retinol. It took me a couple of months before I started using this one, as I wanted to finish up whatever I was already using. But I let my boyfriend be the first ginny pig to switch to this retinol. He’s closing in on 40 and a good model to see if it makes any difference.
The bottle says to take 2-5 drops. I personally felt the need to take the upper limit. I told my boyfriend to do so too as he wasn’t feeling any difference compared to the serum he used before. As it’s an oil serum we both mixed it in with our ceramide moisturizer for easier application.
It’s not stated on the Jordan Samuels website, but Caroline Hirons says it’s 0.2% retinol. I actually thought it was at least 0.5%… But that explains why I haven’t seen much of a result using it. Not to say it isn’t potent, I did wake up with softer skin. And if your skin barrier is in any way damaged or sensitive, you should keep it away. But in terms of wrinkles… After 9 months I told my boyfriend to switch to something else as I just didn’t see it doing any good for his aging skin. If your skin is more resilient or you’re used to higher strength retinol then this will almost feel like a basic oil to you.
The Jordan Samuels retinol oil wasn’t the product for me personally, I feel like I’ve had better for less. But if you’re just starting out your retinol journey, or you’re in your 20’s, this is a product to ease in I would say. I can also see this being an alternative for sensitive skin.
Oskia | Liquid Mask
Because I’ve had so many other exfoliants on my queue this too had to wait a whole year to be opened and tested. Which makes it, unfortunately, not used long enough to give you a proper opinion. But I wanted to write about it anyway. Because, either I include it now or I’ll never mention it.
From the few uses I’ve had, I find the Liquid Mask to be an okay exfoliant. Lactic acid is one of my favorites to use for exfoliation and this product has some nice added actives in it. But overall I’m personally not vibing with the texture. This comes in a dropper and the texture is very liquid. I would’ve liked it to be a bit more viscous for easier application and added buffering/hydration.
Other than that, I do wake up to soft skin but its performance doesn’t really beat other exfoliants in its price range. It’s got 10% Lactic acid, so I only use it about once a week, but it feels gentle enough to use it twice even. Still, I wouldn’t say it’s become a new favorite. I think it’s quite expensive for what it is, and I would’ve liked it to have a thicker and more luxurious consistency.
Costa Brazil | Kaya Jungle Firming Body Oil
This is a very expensive luxury body oil! Only this little 30ml bottle usually retails from £50! I had never heard of the brand before getting this in the advent calendar. It contains a bunch of exotic oils – hence the price – that I won’t get too much into. You can read more about it on their website here.
The Kaya Jungle firming body oil is supposed to firm, tone, hydrate, brighten and improve skin texture and elasticity. I’m certain it will do some of it, but so will a simple body lotion from the drug store… If you’ve read my Part 1, you know my stance on expensive face oils. My thoughts are pretty much the same for body oils. With that said, I do see a market for it. If price and sourcing are synonymous with “luxury”, then this makes a perfect gift to someone or yourself to sprinkle some luxury into your everyday life.
I’ll be honest, I did try to resell it as I’m not a huge body oil person. But the brand is too anonymous for it to attract any demand outside of nichéd stores like CultBeauty. I didn’t want to give it away, because (no offense to my family and acquaintances but…) it didn’t feel like the people in my circle knew of the brand and would appreciate how expensive it is. I mean, there’s really no fun in giving away precious stuff to people who will treat it like it’s something from the drug store, you know?
As I said, I’m not a body oil fanatic, so I don’t know what to compare to. It’s definitely a dry oil that sinks in quite instantly. As to not use it up too quickly I’ve been mixing a few drops with my regular body lotion. I also started experimenting with using it in my hair. But for my strands, I didn’t need much before they got greasy.
While I found myself appreciating a little luxury in my body routine I, overall, didn’t find it to be anything special. I do believe it’s the fragrance that ruined the experience for me. It contains perfume (moderate strength), but it’s composed of essential oils. I’m not exactly sure which notes, but I can sense ylang ylang… or is it patchouli?… Either way, I hate both. It’s in everything. It’s not a luxurious scent, in my opinion. They should’ve gone with something else.
Anyway, if you are into luxury body oils, that don’t leave a greasy finish, and don’t mind the scent of natural essential oils, this indeed could be something for you! I acknowledge and appreciate the brand’s sustainability and conservation efforts. It does seem like by purchasing their products you are indirectly giving back. They are also using oils and butters I’ve never heard of. I am a bit skeptical of some of their claims/word formulation. While “nourishing” is an acceptable term, words like “hydrating” and “moisturizing” are false as oils don’t hydrate nor moisturize the skin. This oil does leave the skin soft and supple without a greasy feel, and that’s what I appreciated the most about it.