Another guest post courtesy of Edward! I’ve had several requests for men’s skincare reviews and figured who better to ask than, well, a man. This set costs £19/$35 and includes the famous Cleanse & Polish, Sensitive Shave Cream, After Shaving Moisturizer, and Face & Body Wash.
Before we start, I’d just like to make something clear: I have no idea about men’s cosmetics. The whole idea of it does nothing for me but make me think of the exhaustive list of self preening products that American Psycho’s Patrick Bateman indulges himself in every morning, and as far as I’m aware, Brett Easton Ellis didn’t mean him to be someone to aspire too.
But, after a couple of weeks of using this stuff, I’ve actually started to quite enjoy using it. I’ve never done anything more than use shaving foam, and as my neck will (or rather, used to) attest to, I don’t always bother with that. This is probably why the most useful thing I’ve found in this set are the instruction cards.
How to use the hot cloth cleanser is probably obvious, but for those aficionados of unkempt like me, “hot cloth cleanser” could be something you aren’t allowed to mention pre-watershed. Fortunatly, it was pretty simple. Put stuff on face, wipe off with muslin cloth (included) soaked in hot water, then ring out. Rinse face afterwards. Pretty obvious really, but it was reassuring to find as I opened the packaging (which was very classy, black tissue with the logo in silver, wrapping the product, and a small “happy Christmas” note from Liz Earle herself! Not really. But there was a Christmas note, which was a nice and appropriately festive touch. I’m assuming that it was in there because it’s around Christmas time, it probably changes the rest of the year. Still, no assumptions.) There was also an instruction card (also very tastefully designed) that instructed you on how to shave. That one was less useful.
The presence of the two instruction cards, as well as the fact that the set I was using was the sample kit lead me to presume that this is most likely bought by women for men, rather than just by men (I know I said no assumptions, but that was supposed to be joke). It’s unlikely that I would have bought this for myself, but then I’m a scruffy type. With that in mind, the packaging the products come in is very masculine. The four products in the set are the aforementioned hot cloth cleanser (complete with muslin cloth), a face/body wash, sensitive shaving cream and a post shave moisturising balm. They’re packaged in tasteful pale grey tubes, with off white translucent lids, white writing (all proudly proclaiming “naturally active”), and the company logo in silver . You maybe wouldn’t think that this matters, but the minimalist use of colour and design fits well in any man’s bathroom, without the risk of looking feminine. The set came in a small more-brown-than-burgundy pouch (white Liz Earle logo), which fits all four of the products, the cloth, and if you put it in at an angle, a razor blade and a couple of spare cartridges, perfect if you stay at a lot of hotels like I don’t.
The actual products themselves were good. The strong, slightly lavenderish smell of the face wash is nice, but not necessarily that masculine. The rest of the products still had their own odours, but none quite as strong as the face/body wash. It does do a great job at waking you up in the morning however, and only lingers slightly. I can say that my skin has visibly improved from using all four of the products, and once I was in the routine of using it, it didn’t take me nearly as long to do as the fast time I tried. After using all four, your skin feels notably cleaner, and refreshed.
One thing I will say though is that you have to use a lot of the shaving cream in order for it to lather up well. Contrary to this is the post shave moisturiser, which, as it says on the tube, should be used sparingly. A little bit goes a long way. It works well, even if you do need a large amount of the shaving cream, and when combined with a new razor left my face and neck clear of nicks, irritation and razor burn.
All in all, this is a great set. After using it, I’m becoming somewhat of a convert, and I would definitely consider using it again. The helpful notes (as well as the two instruction cards, basic instructions are printed on the tubes, along with a “what’s in it for me?” section. A complete lack of animal extracts, all natural product list, and an all round mind blowing set of eco-credentials really impressed me, and the obvious and fairly swift positive changes to my skin all lead to me giving the Liz Earle set a high recommendation.
Availability: Liz Earle