I’ve never really bothered much with skincare in the past; when you’re young you don’t really feel like you have to, or was that just me? I used face wipes to take my make-up off, barely moisturised and only used an SPF if I was on holiday. When I hit my mid-twenties I started to take my skin a bit more seriously, but I still used only the basics – never experimenting with different brands or products.
But now, turning 30 next year, I decided to start looking a bit deeper into making my skin look its best, and with my wedding approaching it seemed the perfect time to get myself some better products.
It was purely by coincidence that, scrolling through my Instagram feed one morning, I noticed that Cult Beauty had a “beauty box” going on sale the very next day. Teaming up with Caroline Hirons (who I’ve since learned would baulk at my face wipe days), well-respected beauty blogger and facial expert, for the second time, they were releasing a box packed to the brim with luxury skincare products. Of course, I had to buy one!
What’s in the Cult Beauty Box?
Usually, when I think of a beauty “set”, I think of a selection of miniatures – like you get in gift sets. This often makes me feel a bit cheated (I particularly dislike sachet samples – for some reason I just don’t, and won’t, use them!), but, in the Cult Beauty Box, six of the eight products were full size.
What I really liked about the box, though, was the variety of products:
- Pixi Glow Tonic – full size
- Skin Owl Eye + – full size
- Skyn Iceland Pure Cloud Cleanser – full size
- RMS Beauty Raw Coconut Cream – full size
- REN Vita Mineral Omega 3 Optimum Skin Serum Oil – sample size
- Odacité Hydration Serum Concentrate – full size
- Alpha-H Essential Hydration Cream – sample size
- Pommade Divine Nature’s Remedy Balm – full size
My New Beauty Routine
I’m fairly lucky in that I’ve always had pretty good skin. My only bug bear is that it gets very oily, especially on my t-zone, which has often put me off of oils and serums. But after just a week or so of using some of these products religiously, my skin was noticeably more cared for; it felt amazing, glowed and just looked fresher.
Here are the products I’ve fallen in love with:
This exfoliating tonic says for use twice a day (but then it would, wouldn’t it… the more you use the more you have to buy!), but I just use it in the evening. First, I cleanse my face, then I soak a cotton bud in the cleaners and sweep it over my forehead, cheeks and nose, and down my neck and sometimes over my collar bones and chest.
The tonic contains glycolic acid, which is a gentle exfoliator, and I’ve found that this evens out my skin tone and helps my skin look fresh rather than dull from layers of dead skin.This glow tonic by @PIXIBeauty leaves your skin exfoliated and, well, glowing! Click To Tweet
Hydration Serum Concentrate (Pomegranate + Rose Geranium)
What can I say… this is just gorgeous. The smell is amazing and it’s silky smooth. I never really used oils or serums, worried that they would just exacerbate my oily skin, but this doesn’t at all.
You can use a couple of drops mixed in with your favourite moisturiser (I’ve mixed it with my Simple anti-blemish moisturiser, and with the Alpha H moisturiser), or three drops on its own. Either way it’s just fabulous and the pomegranate and geranium scent is so relaxing before bed.Periodic-table-style letters on the @odacite packaging make this science-geek beauty lover happy. Click To Tweet
Vita Mineral Omega 3 Optimum Skin Serum Oil
This oil I use in the morning; mostly because I use the Odacite one at night because of the gorgeous fragrance, but also because the packaging makes it seem more like an awakening and freshening product… is it weird that I’ve made that association?!
I use this mixed with either my BB cream, or with moisturiser or primer. It helps them glide on more easily, and also helps to add extra moisture to my skin.
Essential Hydration Cream
This is a weird one – the scent isn’t particularly fragrant, and it doesn’t look like a silky smooth moisturiser when you squeeze it out of the packaging, but it is just lovely. It sinks right in to the skin and feels light and airy. I love it mixed with the Odacite oil above to give it that extra silkiness and gorgeous smell.
Occasional Use Items
These are the products in the box that I’ll dip in and out of, either because they are generally for an “as-needed” basis, or because they require a change in habit. Caroline famously says on her website: “I desperately wish people would wash their face properly. Wipes are for bums.” But I’ve just never taken my make-up off that way! Habits are hard to change, but I feel as though the reward may be worth it.
I’ve never use a hyaluric acid before, so I was nervous to try this out. The cream itself looks beautiful – silky and smooth, but when I first applied it I used far too much and my skin was stinging. I tweeted Skin Owl and they replied to say that a small batch of their product was over-activated because of a heatwave where it’s made (in LA). The next time I used it I only applied a tiny bit and I was left with just a tingling sensation – much more manageable!
The effect, though, is instantly noticeable. My under-eyes are instantly refreshed and new energy given to the skin. I’ll use this as and when my eyes look a little tired.Have you ever used hyaluric acid on your skin? Try this by @skinowl for smoother eyes. Click To Tweet
Nature’s Remedy Balm
This product has been around for years. It’s almost like a beeswax in texture, but is super nourishing and ideal for helping skin repair. It’s recommended uses are for Eczema, psoriasis, scrapes, insect bites, burns, scarring, but also for general hair, lips, heel and hand care, so I guess it’s much like Sudocrem, though I’ll probably be laughed at by beauty experts worldwide for saying that!
I used it when I, stupidly, dry-shaved my legs and ended up with shaving rash the day before my hen do. Slapping it on my legs with the hope of a miracle, it did help to sooth them and the redness was definitely not as prominent. I’ll almost certainly be taking this on honeymoon with me.
Raw Coconut Cream
I had never heard of removing makeup with coconut oil/cream before, but apparently that’s a thing! Not knowing exactly what I was supposed to do, I just slathered it on my face with my fingers, massaging it in circular motions. It truly did eat through all of my makeup… even my Benefit They’re Real mascara, which is renowned for being a bugger to remove. I then took the oil off with cotton wool and toned, then moisturised.
If anyone has any tips on how to use coconut cream properly to remove makeup I’d be grateful to hear them!How do you use coconut cream? Try taking your make up off with this @rmsbeauty variety! Click To Tweet
Pure Cloud Cleanser
This is primarily for troubled skin, which I don’t have, but surely it can’t hurt! The packaging is clean and refreshing, and it even comes with your very own muslin cloth to use. As I’ve said, I don’t usually wash my face to take my makeup off, I just cleanse with cotton wool, but it was such a nice feeling to wash my face before going to bed so perhaps my habits can be broken after all. It cut through my makeup pretty well, but I had to work on my eyes with the muslin cloth to get my mascara off, so that’s now stained black!
Am I supposed to take my mascara off before washing my face?! I’m clearly a newbie at all of this…
Where to Buy
The Cult Beauty Box is, unfortunately, a limited edition item and this collaboration sold out extremely quickly. However, you can still buy all of these items individually – there are certainly some in this selection that I will be restocking when I run out!
This was Caroline’s second collaboration with Cult Beauty, and (from looking at the previous box) I think the best. You can enter the notification list for the third collaboration on Cult Beauty’s website and, if this is anything to go by, I think it will be well worth the wait.