Malin+Goetz Grapefruit Face Cleanser is a gel cleanser formulated for all skin types with a light, natural grapefruit aroma. I have normal skin but in the summer here in the PNW with no A/C, my skin gets greasy. This product did great for my skin when used at night. My skin was left smooth with no drying. I don’t know if this is a formula that I could use in winter. It may be too drying for my otherwise normal skin type. (I typically prefer cream cleansers in the cooler months).

There is a super light fragrance that is “naturally occurring”. It is a faint, vitamin C citrus. It isn’t strong or offensive. The gel foams nicely, especially with the help of Shiseido Cleansing Massage Brush. This leaves my skin feeling very clean and refreshed. I think this cleanser did a good job of cutting grease. I don’t know if it is the best at removing makeup since I’ve only been wearing a light dusting of powder lately. But, I would think that it does a nice job because it removes oil so nicely. I also want to add that this cleanser leaves my skin feeling smooth, thanks to citrus enzymes and amino acids. I do think it is a nice match with that Shiseido brush. It’s gentle everyday exfoilation. Everybody likes the look of a healthy glow.

An 8 fl.oz. bottle retails for $30. It is available at beauty.com and Barney’s.

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Weekly Cheap Secret:

Humphrey’s Lilac Witch Hazel is a very nice toner. Sure, it isn’t much different than your regular ole’ witch hazel, but it has an amazing springtime fragrance. It may be more expensive than that regular ole’ witch hazel, but it is still a great deal at about $6 for 8 fluid ounces. I think all of the “extras” make up the difference.

This toner contains no alcohol but it still leaves the skin feeling clean and refreshed without being “tight”. It contains lots of antioxidants, every tea extract imaginable, and soothing calendula and cucumber. Plus, it has exfoliating enzymes from pineapple and papaya (these enzymes are known to lighten discolorations as well). So, yes, I like the formula. It is nice for my normal skin and I enjoy seeing all of the grime on the cotton pad than on my face.  It removes makeup and keeps my skin feeling smooth. It is highly fragrant. I like this but it could bug some people. It smells of spring because of the lilac. It’s a plain and simple soliflore. It doesn’t completely mask the odor of witch hazel but somehow that works out. (I actually like the smell of witch hazel). In fact, I like the smell of this so much that I’m thinking of purchasing a bottle to put in a spray bottle to use as spray to freshen up stale closets/rooms and to refresh my skin throughout the day. The fragrance just screams “spring!” which I need right now. (Currently, the weather in Seattle is terrible. It snowed…in the first week of April and it has been cold). I also like the packaging. It comes in a plastic bottle which I don’t have to worry about breaking on my tile bathroom floors. I also like the artwork, the colors and subject matter remind me of turn of the century lithography used in perfume/cosmetic ads.

The product is available at many stores like Whole Foods or Humprehys website.

Did I really need to fall in love with a luxury makeup remover? The answer is no. But, I can’t help it. Cinq Mondes Pâte de Fleurs Makeup Remover/Cleansing Balm is the most luxurious cream cleanser on the market. Or at least from what I have tried and trust me, I’ve tried so many.

Cinq Mondes describes everything as a “ritual”. Of course, I fall for that since my skincare rituals consist of 30 minutes twice a day. That’s why I fell for Erno Laszlo. I love to spend time doing that kind of stuff. Anyways, this is described as ritual from Bali. It is a thick and rich creamy paste that is supposed to cleanse and moisturize skin without drying it out. It is supposed to be used with some special cloth which I am not using and it is working out fine. Somehow this paste is rich but it doesn’t leave my skin oily or greasy. It is formulated for normal to dry skin. It leaves it feeling smooth and soft, almost like it has been exfoliated (it does contain natural acids). It removes makeup so easily (this is why I go for cream cleansers in general). The paste does a great job and feels great, so do many of the items like this on the market; however, it is the fragrance of this one that makes it special. It smells like Tahitian gardenia, white exotic lilies and passion flowers. It is such a romantic and luxurious fragrance. The fragrance is what makes this product ritualistic. I have never used a skincare product that smelled so lovely.

I don’t know if I would use this cleanser daily since I don’t wear face makeup very often. This is almost a special occasion cleanser due to its price, fragrance, and the fact that I need it to remove heavy makeup. This makeup remover is the Guerlain Shalimar pure parfum or the red lipstick of facial cleansers. It just seems so luxurious and special.

It retails for $58 for 150 mL and is available at beautyhabit.com.

This Almond Apple Sweet Peel is a must have exfoliant for sensitive skin. I can use a scrub and be the color of a beet for hours. This is why I would only add a scrub to my nightly routine. I had to sleep off the inflammation. This product was recommended to me by a sweetie at a L’Occitane in downtown Seattle. I’m happy she talked me in to trying this.

After being showed this product, I had to smell it. I love the aroma. It smells like all the other products in the Almond Apple line. It smells like sweet almond and faintly of tart apples. The aroma is not overwhelming. It’s pretty faint and soft smelling. It smells innocent and “cute”. I want them to make this in to a fragrance spray so I can use it as a linen spray or at least to spray Frink the frugglet with (um, he’s a dog). The scrub is in a thick gel like base. It has a few almond shell scrubbers. They aren’t jagged, they feel very “round”. The scrubbers aren’t too small and they are aren’t too large. There aren’t thousands of them. You just get a few during a use. A few, but enough to exfoliate. This is why my skin can take it. It also doesn’t leave me dried out. Good, no pain or tightness. This is a must have for dry or sensitive skin. It’s a scrub for those not trying to scrub away their acne (bad idea anyways) or for those not trying to sand down to their skeleton. Since I have normal skin that has a tendency to get dull, I use this twice a week. It is gentle enough to that and my skin actually looks better afterwards. I do not look like I have a rug burn all over my face. I think I could use this in the morning and actually leave the house, looking refreshed and glowing. ( I haven’t tried this). I also like this stuff because it is gentle enough to use on my neck. I would also guess that this scrub could be used daily by those with normal skin that do not wear too much makeup as a face wash.

It’s a bit pricey at $34 for 3.5 ounces. I justify the purchase because I like the fragrance, I like the way it makes my skin look and feel, and it isn’t something I use every day. I can get many uses out of a jar and I think I have to consider the cost per use. So far I would say that I have used it about 48 uses and I have about a half a jar left. Let me say that I can get about 96 uses out of a jar, making this 35¢ a use. That’s worth it to me. It is available at L’Occitane, beautyhabit.com, and beauty.com.

I am aware that writing a review of a skincare item is a bit of a waste of time. Skin types and needs vary so much from person to person. This scrub just did not work for me at all. I have normal skin. I do feel like my skin gets a bit “dull” so I use a scrub a few times a week. If I am using a foaming cleanser, I use my Shisiedo brush for exfoliation. One thing that I learned from doing makeup was that people that exfoliated frequently always had younger and healthier looking skin. It didn’t really matter what cream they used or skincare line. It just mattered that they exfoliated and it didn’t hurt to stay out of the sun 🙂

Anyways, I thought I would give this Burt’s Bees Peach and Willowbark Deep Pore Scrub a try. I really didn’t like it. It is in a super creamy lotion type base. There are a few “scrubbers” in there, very few. They are rough little peach stone pieces. They really don’t do anything but scratch my skin. This reminds me more of a cream cleanser with a few jagged edges in it. After rinsing, I can still feel an uncomfortable film that even toner can’t remove. I would use the scrub, then my normal cleanser, then use a toner and I still couldn’t the dirty feeling “moisture” off my face. I find this odd because it appears that this product is marketed to the normal to oily skin client. The scent is slightly sweet like peach and almond oil. I like the fragrance because it is neutral enough. But, the fragrance can’t disguise that this is a less than great product.

This product didn’t leave my skin feeling smoother. It didn’t leave it looking more radiant. It really didn’t do anything. There are much better scrubs for me out there in the $8 price range. If you do want to give it a try, it is available at drugstore.com.

Weekly Cheap Secret:

OK, so I don’t think this is a secret. For my entire life I kept hearing how awesome this stuff was. It was always winning consumer awards and being recommended by dermatologists. I never gave it a try because I was too busy trying every other expensive thing on the market. As I grew up and grew wise, I realized that a cleanser should do one thing: clean. It needs to prep the face for treatments. It isn’t a product that stays on skin. It doesn’t do anything, we wipe it off. So why spend $35 on something like that? I just want something simple and non-drying. This is it. I can use it twice a day without being irritated. (I have normal skin). The formula is thin but mixed with a little bit of water, it foams and foams. It has a fragrance, a light floral. It doesn’t sting the eyes. I try to use it to remove eye makeup like the product recommends. My eye makeup is too stubborn or I just wear too much. I still have to use an eye makeup remover to get it all off. But, it does get the rest of my makeup off very easily, including lip and cheek stains. I like the convenient pump. I just keep it in the shower.

The product is oil-free and 100% soap free. It’s a pretty good price at about $6 for 6 oz. I thought it would last a while but my husband has been using it twice daily and we are really going through this stuff. I guess I should learn that these “cult” products are worth a try and to just get over my negative Maybelline Great Lash experience. It is available at drugstore.com and DERMAdoctor.

I am not putting these in the “weekly cheap secret” category. If you do the math, these pre-moistened pads are not a deal. They retail for $7.50 for 28 pads. I wash my face twice daily. So this tub is about 2 weeks worth. That’s about $15 a month and $180 a year. For that price, I could use any facial cleanser on the market! This is making In Fiore Cleansing Balm ($125) and Sisley ($120) look inexpensive.

This product isn’t bad. I bought it because I was going through that crazy move thing and needed something portable and “easy”, simplified. These are pre-moistened. One side of the huge pad is “soft” and the other has faint “bumps” for exfoliation. So, I felt like I was getting a portable face wash and scrub in one. And it had the Allure seal of approval. It isn’t bad. It’s a cleanser, it does its job. It removed grime and makeup but I find that I still need a toner to remove the last traces of makeup. The scent is “fresh” not soapy but “fresh”. The pads are pretty big and I’m sure if you wanted you could cut them in half to make a tub last longer.

Anyways, I’m not impressed by this product. It didn’t really do anything for my skin (no cleanser really does, they exsist to clean), it is expensive, and the pads are too big and bulky.