Hoo boy was I excited for this skincare release! I am a big fan of Caroline Hirons and whilst I still like to test and research skincare products for myself, I generally find that her recommendations are good ones, and her skincare cheat sheet for routines has really helped me change up the way I take care of my skin – here, at 32 my skin looks the best it ever has and I accredit that in part to the wisdom of Ms Hirons.
One of the things that I’ve really taken to heart is the double cleansing technique – i.e. removing makeup then cleansing the skin. I normally use a balm cleanser for my first cleanse, then follow up with a clay or mud. This works really well for me, but you can’t have too much of a good thing and a cleanser developed by the lady herself was something I couldn’t pass up. I ordered it as soon as it was released… and thats where this review nearly fell on it’s arse.
I can safely say, the service from Pixi was some of the worst I’ve experienced in recent times. It took over 2 weeks for my order to arrive, and at one point the order was marked as dispatched more than a week before it was actually sent out! I gave it a full week of hearing nothing before I called the company, and was told that they didn’t know what had happened but that it was probably a popular product and they would call me back that afternoon. Nobody called me. Then, once it arrived, it had a huge air bubble in the cream side of the pot, so it was almost 1/3 empty. Not cool. I emailed customer care but never heard back. After the delivery debacle I just gave up at that point. If I repurchase, I won’t be using Pixi direct, that’s for sure! I understand that it was a huge release, but you think they would be prepared for that, and to not answer emails or return calls… that really is poor. All in all, if I didn’t love glow tonic so much I’d be tempted to stop buying from them altogether!
But bad service does not begat bad products, and I have to say, this is a bit of a winner. It has its problems (which I’ll go into a bit further down) but with such high hopes it is always going to struggle against expectations. The divided pot contains a first cleanse makeup remover in the form of a solid oil, and a soothing cream for a second cleanse. Neither product contains mineral oil or fragrance – it is designed to be functional and usable for the most people possible – so cutting out comedogenic or irritating ingredients. Of course, this makes it a less sensory experience than a more scented concoction, but as someone who has fallen foul of beautiful scented products irritating their skin this is welcome. Let’s look at this on a cleanse by cleanse basis:
First cleanse – the solid oil. This does not mess around. The oil melts into your makeup right away, obliterating all in it’s path. I can wear a full face, including double wear, liquid lipstick and lashings of mascara and it’ll be gone in seconds. No panda eyes, no foundation on my pillowcase, just clean fresh skin. It hasn’t been beaten by a product yet, and I can always rely on it to take the day off without rubbing or scrubbing.
Second cleanse – cream. This feels lovely on the skin. A real delight to use. Although unscented, it still feels like a luxurious treat and I love massaging it into slightly damp skin after I’ve wiped the oil stage off with a muslin cloth or flannel. It doesn’t sting, burn or clog and leaves me with beautifully soft skin, just waiting to have serum massaged into it. I also like it as a morning cleanse, as it doesn’t dry out skin so you end up with a lovely base for makeup, and a reduced amount of oil breakthrough during the day. That point leads me nicely on to my problems with the product…
Firstly – the ratios of each product. Aside from my cream cleanser being limited to begin with (eye roll again), because I tend to use this for morning and second cleanse when I’m travelling (which is the main time I find myself using this), the cream side is running out much quicker than the oil. It isn’t the end of the world, but if the 50:50 ratio was adjusted to account for this – I doubt I’m the only person that has this problem – it would be greatly improved. Because I think it is such a handy product to take on holiday with you, it would defeat the point if you had to take a second pot just to cover when you inevitably run out of the cream with a load of oil left.
My second issue is the design of the pot itself. I can’t deny that it looks and feels great. The swirl is a nice design and the pot itself is heavy and luxe feeling (it is plastic, but it still feels like a quality item that you have spent a bit of money on). However, putting the extra cover on before the lid is kind of a faff, and if you lose this element of the packaging, the cream is going to go everywhere when you carry it around. I keep remarking how much I like this as a product for travel, and on that note the packaging could cope with being a little less bulky. It’s a rather large and heavy pot – great for the bathroom, not great for reducing bulk in your luggage! It is still better than two large pots, but there is a lot of redundant heavy plastic that they could do away with. I’m nitpicking though and I know it.
So overall, would I recommend and will I repurchase? Yes and… probably. It costs £24 for 50ml which isn’t the best value when you look at similar products (for example, Clinique Take the Day Off balm is £22 for 125ml) but there is no denying that both cleansers work really well and leave yourself with lovely skin. It’ll be going on honeymoon with me as my sole source of cleansing and I feel confident that I won’t have any skin issues during that time despite the fact that I’ll be wearing a full face of makeup and SPF everyday. However, for everyday cleansing, I think I’ll be sticking with my tried and true combination of Body Shop Camomile Sumptuous Cleansing Butter (£10 for 90ml) for makeup removing and Sunday Riley Ceramic Slip (£35 for 125ml) as second cleanse – more on these coming soon when I post about my morning and evening routines. Looking at these price comparisons it does seem that you are paying a little more for the convenience of having one pot. Not a deal breaker for me, but I’ll definitely be saving this for when I travel.