SKIN | 5 Mini Reviews – Aesop

In a move borrowed directly from Evelyn over at We Were Raised By Wolves, I have decided to begin posts on the samples I use up in my wee sample drawers. I always find Evelyn’s sample reviews so interesting, and they offer a chance to discuss the first responses we have to products.

First up, I’m reviewing some Aesop samples I was given in Melbourne* a few months ago – cleanser, exfoliant, toner, moisturiser and a mask. Each sample was quite small, but with the exception of the mask, provided me with ample product to cover my face. There wasn’t actually any dud in this selection, the lovely lady who served me clearly paid excellent attention to my skin needs and selected the samples accordingly as my face felt positively wonderful after using them all. I’ve definitely got a few on my to-purchase list..

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Fabulous Face Cleanser

This is a very liquid-ey, low-foaming gel that smells fresh (bergamot & citrus) but is not stripping. Left my face supple and refreshed, but didn’t leave behind residue – a dream of a cleanser. Mildly calming, too (which God knows my skin needs!).

Repurchase? Most definitely – on the list.

B & Tea Balancing Toner

Nothing like any other toner I’ve tried – where you normally think of toner as a watery essence, B & Tea is more of a liquid-leaning gel. As I find with most regular toners, I couldn’t see an immediate difference. But it felt refreshing and most importantly, hydrating (which most toners don’t really do for me, so it can’t be a bad thing).

Repurchase? I’ll consider it, once I’ve used up my current stash.

Camellia Nut Facial Hydrating Cream

When I first squidged this out of the packet I was rather taken aback by it’s yellowness. But it didn’t smell weird so I put it on my face, and I am so glad I did. It hydrated my notoriously dry skin wonderfully without feeling too balmy and taking an age to sink in.

Repurchase? Oh, fuck yes. Hello, summer moisturiser.

Purifying Facial Exfoliant Paste

This was the finest grit I’ve ever felt in a physical exfoliator, and the closest I’ve ever been to a physical polish of my skin. I used this on my skin when I hadn’t exfoliated (in any form) in quite some time, and it’s a good job I did because I would be mildly concerned about stripping layers off if I used this regularly – even gently. Having said that, a full-size would last bloody ages because you don’t need much at all.

Repurchase? Probably not, I have exfoliators close to this grit already and I don’t use them enough to justify purchasing this.

Chamomile Concentrate Anti-Blemish Masque

A drying mask that doesn’t freak my skin out? What?! I’m sold. Especially when it left my skin visibly clearer and managed to soak up excess oil without pulling all moisture from my skin. Magical.

Repurchase? Yes, but only when I’m feeling seriously flush with cash.

For the record: I have dry and sensitive, mildly reactive skin that likes to be looked after gently (hint: just like people, most skin likes being looked after gently). If you have similar skin and you’re looking for something in these categories, I’d highly recommend giving these products a try. Or you could do what I suggest other skin types do and pop into an Aesop retailer and ask the expert, because I can’t see your skin and even if I could, they’re much less likely to fuck up a product recommendation.

Have you tried anything from Aesop before?



*Flinders Lane Store – Miranda served me and she was an absolute gem. Truly a stellar customer service experience.

EMPTIES | The Body/Hair Stuff

I haven’t done an empties post in quite some time, and I’ve built up quite the excess of useless packaging. Just like last time there’s a lot, so I’ll split it up into 2 posts. This one is the body/hair stuff part, and it’s where my fascination with LUSH products from the last year really surfaces, along with a few other cool things.


LUSH Rub Rub Rub Shower Scrub, 130g
My skin loves and needs a good scrub, but apparently not a scrub made from fine sea salt and lemon juice.. ouch. This is not a friend for sensitive skin, or I imagine for people on a budget – I only got two uses of this pot because its a blue gloop that doesn’t go far before dissolving down the drain.
Repurchase? If I did use this again, I’d think this consistency would be far better suited to a bottle.

Bionsen Spa Minerals Stick Deodorant, 40g
In all the unseen empties hauls I’ve taken previously, there’s a stick of this. That’s because I go through one every few months, and have no plans to change that. I love these sticks so much that I’m going to write a whole article on them.
Repurchase? It’s magical and hard to get, but yes. I’ll pay the YouShop fees as long as I live.

LUSH Turkish Delight Shower Smoothie, 45g
I got this little pot in a gift box of wonderful (mostly discontinued) products I bought myself in the Wellington LUSH store. This lasts a fair while when I smoosh my shower puff into the pot and grab a little bit to fluff it up. At first I wasn’t such a fan of the scent, but then I used it and next thing I knew, I’d bought a full size and another 45g pot.
Repurchase? Always.

Wella SP Luxe Oil Keratin Restore Hair Mask, 150 mL
This came in a pack I bought with a full size Luxe Oil, and it took a long while to use up. It was pretty good, but I had to really choose my moments with it as it had a tendency to weigh my hair down, likely because my hair isn’t in need of too much restoring or repairing.
Repurchase? If the need arose, sure, but  don’t think it will.

LUSH Santa’s Belly Shower Jelly, 100g
I haven’t yet made up my mind on the scent of apple in cosmetics, but this incarnation was certainly fun. It was sour rather than sweet (thanks to the ‘vegan wine infusion’ in there.. what?), and at some points a little too strong for me. Still interesting though.
Repurchase? I’ll have to give it a few sniffs next time it comes out, because I’m still undecided.

LUSH Red FUN, 100g (not pictured)
It turns out that by adding water to FUN and shaking it up, the cornflour settles at the bottom and it becomes a horrific mess. This is what I did, but I did find the red version is bright and uplifting without being brash, so I bought more of it.
Repurchase? Already have!

Origins Modern Friction Exfoliator, 125mL
Origins’ cult-favourite exfoliator is expensive, and not all it’s cracked up to be. Using ground rice, this is quite abrasive, and the gloop it’s contained in is deceptively astringent. I found this way too harsh for my face, so wound up using it to scrub my body just to get rid of it.
Repurchase? I’d rather not.

LUSH Christingle Body Conditioner, 45g
I am a big fan of LUSH’s body conditioners – they’re a lazy-person-with-dry-skin’s dream. This one was probably my least favourite of all I’ve tried, as it left me feeling almost greasy rather than supple. However I’m thinking this could be user error, as I recall using this a lot quicker than I do the other body conditioners I’ve had of the same size.
Repurchase? Depending on price I might.

LUSH Respect Your Elders Soap, approx. 50g (not pictured)
I went to LUSH on my birthday (had you noticed I’d been using a lot of their stuff?) and was given a huge sample of this soap. It smells very much like my favourite Comforter bubble bar, and it’s squidgy and purple. It dries my skin out and doesn’t last very long but I don’t care because it makes me happy.
Repurchase? I intend to.

Wella SP Luxe Oil Shampoo, 150mL
This came in the aforementioned pack. It made my hair so goddamn soft it’s not even funny, and I was a fan. It took forever to get through, too.
Repurchase? I told myself no, but I’m beginning to miss it now..

Dr. Hauschka Lemon Lemongrass Vitalising Bath Essence, 100mL
I bought this when it was near it’s expiry date and heavily reduced when I worked at Dr. Hauschka. It smelled like melted lemonade popsicles and I’m not convinced it actually did anything but I appreciated it.
Repurchase? Not unless it’s as reduced as it was when I got it – it’s not worth $50.

LUSH Jersey Bounce Shampoo, approx. 60mL (not pictured)
This was another very generous sample I was given on my birthday. Pros: smells like lemon sherbet sweets, makes hair defy gravity. Cons: I had to use quite a bit, and the large salt chunks were mildly frightening.
Repurchase? I’m thinking about it. It wouldn’t be used often, and I’m concerned about expiry dates.


What body/hair products have you used up lately?