Elemental Herbology Moisture Replenish Starter Kit – The Perfect At-Home Facial In A Very Pretty Box
Elemental Herbology has featured on my list: ‘brands that look good: research and find out more’ for quite some time now. Sadly, that particular list has to take a back-seat to the list of ‘overdue posts to write’, so I was very pleased when earlier this month I was given the Elemental Herbology Moisture Replenish Starter Kit to try.
The Elemental Herbology Moisture Replenish Starter Kit is pretty to look at both inside and out. I do love a dash of pink in my packaging and it’s used well here – the strong typeface and abstract feel of the illustration are a perfect foil for the pink and the overall impression is directed, clean and modern. The Moisture Replenish Starter Kit contains 25ml of the Purify & Soothe facial cleansing balm, and 15ml each of Facial Souffle overnight repair cream, Facial Glow radiance peel, and Cell Plumping facial hydrator. The muslin cloth is the real deal, large and sturdy, (although soft on the skin) and I gave Elemental Herbology much credit for this – nothing worse than a muslin that’s skimpy and scanty.
On the back of the box are instructions for using the kit to give yourself an at-home facial. When I was young, facials seemed the preserve of wealthy wives: something that older ‘ladies’ did. I knew even then that things are different in La Belle France, where regular facial treatments seem to precede taking your first teetering and mis-guided steps with make-up, but over here, in ’80s Angleterre? Non. So will it shock you to know that I have never had a facial? Probably not if you’re over 40, but if you are younger you are doubtless shaken to the core.
Allow me to set the scene regarding my face on the day of application. I’d had a terrible week, and for much of it my mind had raced, and my poor soul dragged along behind: feeling dead, dry and cold. When my soul feels like this, it tends to reflect on my face, so the Elemental Herbology had quite some task ahead of it.
I am not brilliant at following instructions, so I made sure to read the directions on the back of the box through twice before beginning. They were clear and precise, with timings for different parts of the facial process. I was pleased that at no point were there instructions to relax: generally, I’m pretty good at relaxing, but never when it’s under orders, so to speak. Administering the facial takes about 20 minutes or so, which was a relief to me, as I really am no pamperer: I like to experience my beauty treatments in quick little bursts of loveliness. If I have hours of free time, I use them to write, not to groom!
1. The Purify & Soothe Facial Cleansing Balm has an intriguing scent that I absolutely loved. To me, it smells quite earthy and very natural, almost grassy – this will seem strange, but it put me in mind of one of my all-time favourite smells, namely, a freshly mucked out stable filled with clean straw and a warm horse. Now, if that sounds awful to you, please, please don’t be put off … I gave this to the Youngest Great Beauty to smell (without telling her what I thought). ‘Campari’ came the prompt reply, ‘some kind of aperitif, anyway’. The YGB obviously has a better nose than me, because what she’s picked up on is the bitter orange in the ingredients that make up this thorough, but soothing cleansing balm. I am really intrigued to find out what other users think of the scent of the cleansing balm: my theory is that it takes you to your ‘happy place’, which for me seems to be a stable, and for the YGB, a bar. It applies like a dream, massaged in with little circular movements and then taken off with the cloth soaked in warm water. Post-application, my skin felt considerably cleaner but not at all tight.
2. Facial Glow Radiance Peel. I was really looking forward to trying this as I fell in love with Darphin Mild Aroma Peeling at Professional Beauty London 2012, and this appears to work on the same principles. My hopes and expectations for this product, consequently, were high … I wasn’t disappointed: it is gorgeous. It has a delicate citrus scent (apple serum, papaya, orange peel and tangerine) and is massaged in with little circular movements. It never feels at all rough or abrasive on the skin, even though your peau has just had a good going over with the cleansing balm and muslin cloth, so might be forgiven for balking at more attention. You leave it on your face for 4 minutes, and then remove with your trusty muslin cloth. On removal my skin looked pink and plump, but not overly reddened or shiny – I couldn’t have been mistaken for a piglet, or worse; a boiled ham, as can be the case with more aggressive exfoliation. I think I actually resembled a dairymaid who’d been tumbled in a heap of straw by a passing squire, which pleased me greatly.
3. Facial Soufflé Intensive Overnight Cream. After patting dry my scrupulously clean visage, I applied a thick layer of this dense white cream, which has a rose scent, and a comforting feel. I’d like to try it in a different form I think, as ‘soufflé’ suggests something whipped and airy, and this feels luxe and rich to me. Possibly the texture feels more airy when you scoop it from a jar rather than squeeze it from a tube? Lovely though; so I found myself being a little mean with the application, as I was holding back, wanting to use it again and again … Facial Soufflé does double duty as an overnight cream and a mask. In the weekly facial so you leave it on for 10 minutes allowing it to really penetrate, then remove any excess with the damp muslin cloth. Again, no bossy instructions to relax for that 10 minutes, so I happily beetled around folding laundry as Facial Soufflé did its calming and quenching work.
4. Cell Plumping Facial Moisturiser. I love the instruction on this: ‘Apply moisturiser from décolleté to forehead’. Again, I was feeling mean (and wearing a crew neck jumper) so I just went from neck to forehead with this one, but I am a firm believer that you should treat your skin from rib-cage to chin with the same degree of care and consideration that you show to your face. Cell Plumping has a more intense rose scent than Facial Soufflé and a lighter texture. I applied this all over my face then stepped back from the mirror to make my final assessment: my skin was glowing, and the sad dullness that I’d started with had gone. It felt amazing: supple, smooth and soft. But as I stood by the mirror admiring, a wonderful alchemy occurred:
All those gorgeous scents seemed to re-vitalise and blend together into an up-lifting perfume.
Truly, I was enraptured. I realised that I was attempting to smell my own face, which looks stupid and is stupid, but I couldn’t help myself. That final application of Cell Plumping doesn’t leave you rose-scented, instead it seems to re-animate what’s gone on before: so the rose, the citrus and the enigmatic earthiness of the cleansing balm blend into one euphoric perfume. It lasts for absolutely ages. Mr Beheld returned about an hour after I’d completed the facial, and was surprised to find me so relaxed and happy, given the strains of the week. I explained the source of my well-being, and encouraged him to have a good sniff at my face. Mr Beheld couldn’t pin the scent down, although he liked it ‘flowers, fruit and something else … nettles?!’ He particularly appreciated what the Elemental Herbology Moisture Replenish Starter Kit had done for my mood as well as my face.
At this point, I hadn’t checked the price, as this was given to me by a lovely PR, who had astutely guessed that it would be very much to my taste. I was hoping that it would be around £30, steeled myself that it might be £40, which would make it a rare treat but worth it. BUT LOOK – it has a RRP of only £20.00 which makes it a total bargain! You can certainly get a few weekly facials out of this pack, or, you can use it as a regular day and night regime if you prefer. If you want to take the plunge with the full size products, which retail at £28 – £42, you can find the Moisture Replenish range online here, and the Facial Glow Radiance Peel here. Or, if you prefer to shop in the physical world, you can find Elemental Herbology at Space NK in the UK – for international stockists, click here. Do visit the Elemental Herbology website to find out more about this fabulous British brand, and their other products. I will be exploring this site page by page, making notes and drawing up wish-lists – I want my beauty regime to be far more Elemental from now on!