Tag Archives: Product review

Why Does Clinique Smart Custom Serum Smell Of Bacon?

Here’s a funny thing.  I was asked on my Facebook page why Clinique Smart Custom Serum smells of bacon.   I should first point out that I am a bit of social media dinosaur and although I have had a Facebook account for some time I was only vaguely aware that you could message on it and even now I can only find the message bit if I get an alert telling me that someone has sent one.  So if you have ever messaged me on Facebook there is a good chance I have never realised.  But I digress, Nicola asked me to comment on her on the smell of this product and pointed me to a forum where people were discussing it.

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Oliverum Bath Oil

Olverum Bath Oil

Some formulations look a lot more complicated than they really are.  Take this one from cult emollient Olverum bath oil.

Isopropyl Myristate, Pinus (Pine Oil), Arachis hypogea (Groundnut oil), Lavandula hybrida (Lavandin Oil), Limonene, Linalool, Citrus limonum (Lemon oil), Eukalyptus globulus (Eucalyptus oil), Rosmarinus officinalis (Rosemary oil), Citral, Litsea cubeba (Exotic Verbena), Fragrance, Lavendula augustifolia (Lavender oil), Juniperus communis (Juniper oil), Geraniol, Coumarin. Continue reading

Decleor Micellar Oil

The irrepressible @just3nita on Twitter drew my attention to a product from Decléor describing itself as a micellar oil.  I have already covered what a micellar water is.  Micelles are simply one kind of arrangement that molecules adopt in solution, one which can sometimes make them quite effective for solubilising oily materials like for example makeup.  But you really do need the water for the physical chemistry to work.  How can you possibly have a micelle in an oil?  I smelt an opportunity to mock a moron from marketing and set off to investigate. Continue reading

Beyoncé Heat Eau de Parfum Spray

The popular singer Beyoncé is not backward in coming forward and has come up with a striking fragrance offering, Beyoncé Heat Eau de Parfum Spray.  It is described as a rich, sophisticated scent with hints of red vanilla, magnolia,honeysuckle and almond.  It sounds great, and the pack is clearly a work of art in itself in a curvaceous bootyesque bottle with a fiery red colouring.  With an international profile so high it probably needs an oxygen mask, this is a product that will have no trouble getting distribution and attention.  I was not suprised to see that at time of writing it is the biggest seller on Amazon. Continue reading

Elemis Pro-Collagen Super System

Elemis have some highly rated products but their Pro-Collagen Marine Cream seems to have a particular appeal to people who want a moisturiser that doesn’t bring them out in spots.  The fact that it doesn’t have this downside gets mentioned a lot by reviewers.  The other things that come up a lot are that it is very expensive and that a little goes a long way.  So what would you do with that information if you were working in the Elemis New Product Development department?  You’ve got a winner, but you probably aren’t making as many sales as you might. Continue reading

Fabric Facial Masks

Facial masks have been around for ages, and are popular enough to get stocked in supermarkets in the UK.  But they are still exotic enough that you can’t assume people know what they are.  The idea of putting a clothe soaked with a fluid on your face and leaving it there for about 20 minutes still seems to be something of a minority taste.  Part of the problem is that people aren’t exactly sure what it is that they are supposed to do.  And judging by the way some of the products in the category are marketed, it doesn’t look like the makers have a much better idea. Continue reading

Wart Products

Almost every successful wart product in the world is based on salicylic acid.  The level is somewhere between 10 and 20% and the base is a solvent rich gel that dries to form a white film.  They all work pretty well, and there is not much if anything to choose between them.  The popular one in the UK at the moment is called Bazuka.  It is no better, and indeed no worse, than any of the others.  But is does have the most gansta sounding name. The advertising campaign promising to bazuka your verruca struck a chord, and the rest is viral skin infection history. Continue reading

Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm

One of the problems with being a beauty blogger is sourcing samples.  Do you spend your own money on them?  That’s an expensive proposition if you post regularly.   Or do you accept free samples from brands, and compromise your integrity?  It is a tricky one.  I suppose there is always shoplifting.  Luckily as a cosmetic chemist I can often get a pretty good idea about a product just by looking at the ingredient list.  And to prove it, here is a review of something I have never actually tried. Continue reading

Is Hydrolyze the Answer to Dark Circles Under the Eyes? (Hint – No)


The pert and perky Dave Bradley of ScienceBase has a way with words so I can’t do better than cut and paste an e-mail he has just sent me.


How’s it going?

Dunno if you’ve come across this before, but I just noticed a sudden surge of spam emails advertising – Hydrolyze – apparently it gets rid of dark circles and bags under your eyes and reinvigorates, usual BS I assume. Something to dig around in and warn your readers if it’s a risky scam?

Obviously, to me as a chemist it looks like they just hijacked one of our words to make it sound scientific. Continue reading