haul / deciem
With their simple formulas, The Ordinary have the power to transform your skin overnight, provided you know your ingredients. Which you probs do, right? Back in the day, active ingredients - truly active ingredients, that is - were hidden in a thick fog of mumbo jumbo on a product's label. Nowadays, we know our mumbo jumbo by heart - we're beauty linguists, if you will.
We know our BHA's from our AHA's, our hyaluronic from our squalane. We got this. But if you don't - that's fine, too. The Ordinary have incredibly comprehensive descriptions for each of their items, as well as a set of user guides for common skincare concerns (we love the anti-pigmentation one here). Long story short? The Ordinary are just as much teachers as they are a beauty line, and we can't get enough. This haul was a mix of new and repeat purchases:
- Granactive Retinoid 2% in Squalane, £7.80 (V, CF)
Unless your acne is often inflamed and painful, retinoids can be very helpful in the journey towards clearer skin, thanks to their ability to speed up skin cell rejuvenation. They do this by helping your skin to shed dead skin cells quicker, getting rid of whatever would normally go on to block your pores.
Also, if you're someone who practices anti-aging or anti-wrinkle regimes, retinoids can be great resource - again, thanks to its high skin cell turnover rate. Ditto for pigmentation, which essentially gets 'shaved' off over time. This retinoid is carried in squalane, which is a plant-sourced super-hydrating oil. Drop a small amount of product in your hand, and massage into your face in small, gentle circles. (Pssst. Acids and retinoids come with sun exposure warnings. Use responsibly or you'll just be doing a lot more harm than good).
- Salicyclic Acid 2% Solution, £4.20 (V, CF)
According to The Ordinary's website, 'Salicylic Acid is a beta hydroxyl acid that exfoliates the skin. This 2% treatment solution helps exfoliate the inside walls of pores to fight the appearance of blemishes and for better visible skin clarity with continued use.' It certainly does what it promises here, especially when used as a spot treatment. Drop a very small amount onto your hand, and gently massage onto affected area with exceptionally clean fingers. Be careful when mixing retinoids with acids, or differing acids together. Read our chemical peel post for more.
Alpha Arbutin 2% + HA, £7.00 (V, CF)
If you haven't heard of this guy, don't fret. It hasn't become a skincare staple yet, at least in modern bathrooms (extracted from bearberry plants, alpha arbutin has been used in traditional medicine for decades). This was a purchase made completely on the reliance in the pigmentation regimen guide we spoke of above. Although it's too early to tell if it's going to do what eighteen glowing reviews says it will, we know that it works by slowing the production of melanin - making it perfect for dark spots.
It's also carried in hyaluronic acid, which helps the formula to reach deeper into your skin, while also moisturising and plumping the skin. Apply to pigmentation areas in the morning and night.
Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%, £5.00 (V, CF)
If you're fair-skinned and suffer from redness, this is your new significant other. Really. Like, we want to take this bottle everywhere. Museums, restaurants, the theatre. Baby, we want to show it the sights! Because it damn deserves it. Go to bed with a small bit of this over red skin, wake up with even-toned skin all-over. Yes, the redness comes back over the course of the day, but with sustained use its effects should be prolonged. WE ARE HOOKED. Zinc also provides a measure of anti-acne treatment - all the better.
Coverage Foundation (1.2 Y) + Serum Foundation (1.2 YG), £5.70 (V, CF)
The Ordinary's foundation range is hella exciting. Coming in twenty-one different shades, and pricing in at well under £10, they have an inclusive range of both full and light coverage base. We've been using their thicker formula for the spot-prone days surrounding our period, and the lighter 'Serum Foundation' every other day when not using Glossier's Perfecting Skin Tint in medium. It rivals this £20 foundation ridiculously well, and is fantastic value for money.
HAUL / GLOSSIER
It's never going to be cool to admit a brand has your heart and soul like Ursula had Ariel's voice. That is, at their disposal. Whatever Glossier drops, as long as they stay cruelty-free, we're getting that product if it starves us. Healthy, we know. Below is another list of new and repeat buys, plus a short review of each.
- Perfecting Skin Tint, £20 (V, CF)
There are those that think this 'no makeup' makeup is too sheer. But like former sweet tooths confronted with candy after months of deprivation, 'too sheer' quickly becomes the normal, with thick, baked-on layers of makeup coming off looking a little strong. Applied all around the face, with a double layer over areas of redness, PST does the job of evening out skin tone, and helps the Stretch Concealer...er, stretch further. 'What won’t it do? Hide your freckles, spackle your pores, or erase any other evidence that you are, in fact, a real human being.' Well said, Glossy.
- Milk Jelly Cleanser, £15 (V, CF)
A repeat-buy. This milky cleanser smells wonderfully of rosewater, which makes up a quarter of its water content, making it an incredibly rich cleanser that doesn't leave your skin feeling t---i---g---h---t. One bottle lasts two months, even with multiple washes throughout the day (morning, post-gym, and evening), and with double-cleansing at that. Stay tuned for more on double-cleansing on toofufu.
- Priming Moisturiser, £18 (CF)
Also a repeat purchase, this is a no-mess, no-fuss moisturiser infused with niacinamide for redness, and hyaluronic acid for plumpness. It's also buildable, so it can still do its job in winter. That said, if you live somewhere really cold and really dry, there's also a Rich formula available. We use this with our retinoid and squalane mixture, which is blended in before application.
- Boy Brow in Blonde, £14 (CF)
Our last repurchase on the list, this bottle of goodness has given us thin-eyebrowed gals a shot at the big time. Use it as a 'fluffer, filler, and shaper.' Don't mind if we do.
- Body Hero Duo, £28 (Wash - V, CF / Balm - CF)
The bopo campaign for the release of this set of shower buddies made us sit up and listen, so we ordered these to try them out. Unfortunately, not even the lovely smell of neroli can save the Body Hero Daily Oil Wash from mediocrity. Don't get us wrong - it works well, and isn't so harsh that you can't use it on your vagina - but we're pretty sure you could find that somewhere else for under £15. The cream is a tad more exciting. It comes out thick, but absorbs very quickly, ending the need to hang around in your bathrobe until it dries enough to get dressed. Nice.
HAUL / BOOKS
Working for a book publisher has its obvious perks. Here's a rapid-fire list of recent finds, buys:
- Dark Tales by Shirley Jackson, Penguin Press. Who doesn't love a bit of Shirley Jackson, eh? Received through work at Penguin Random House, UK.
- The Poetry Pharmacy by William Sieghart, Penguin Press. Poetry prescribed for common emotional ailments - love! Received through work at Penguin Random House, UK.
- Dress Scandinavian by Pernille Teisbaek, Ebury Press. We attended the book launch - it was almost toxically cool and amazing. Received through work at Penguin Random House, UK.
- On the Shortness of Life by Seneca, Vintage. A literally life-changing book.
- Almost Adulting by Arden Rose, HarperCollins. A wonderful book by a wonderful human. Catch Arden's podcast, Crash on my Couch.