Whereas I'd always tended to buy the cheapest products I could find (within reason), I now wanted to explore the possibility of forming a beauty routine based on some new to me products and I was happy to look at some of the more expensive brands and possibly try them out, something that I would never have done previously.
After watching lots of YouTube beauty bloggers over the last few months, I had gleaned lots of tips about certain products from them and from bloggers too, which I was hoping to use in shopping for new products. Then, I decided to change the goal posts and I made the decision to go down a more natural route, using organic/vegan products where possible.
Once I'd made this decision, I then started looking around at organic and natural products online and happened upon some Neal's Yard products, one of which was their Witch Hazel Water for toning. I used to regularly use distilled witch hazel as a toner for many years, and to be honest I liked it and I liked the way it made my skin feel. In fact, I've more or less constantly used some kind of product on my skin that has had this ingredient in it for years now.
The Neal's Yard product I found wasn't an organic product, but was made from 100% natural ingredients, which was good enough for me. The ingredients were simple, so simple in fact, that they seemed very similar to my old favourite distilled witch hazel, that I used to buy from the chemist for a few pounds. (I must admit that the bottle from the chemist's is, however, nowhere near as attractive as this lovely Neal's Yard one).
At £10.25 it seemed a bit steep to pay over 3 times the amount I used to pay, for a similar product. I thought about it though and decided to take the plunge, mainly out of curiosity and because I liked the bottle. (The frugal me can always decant regular distilled witch hazel into it when it is finished and get the best of both worlds). The irony isn't lost on me, that sometimes you can go all around the houses looking for a new skin care product and end up almost right back where you started.
Anyway, whilst shopping this brand, I also splashed out on a Neals Yard Rose and Mallow moisturiser, as I was almost completely out of moisturiser and had resorted to using up samples until I purchased a new one. At £10.50, it was on offer at half it's normal price (on Nutricentre's website), as were the two Neal's Yard Remedies to Roll (Energy). These are mixes of various essential oils that are supposed to help you feel more energetic. I can always do with a bit more energy, so I bought a couple of these at £3.13 each and I am going to use them as a more natural fragrance alternative, as I've now also run out of perfume and haven't yet researched more natural/cruelty free products. They're also great to pop in my handbag on days when I'm going out and about and want to freshen up.
All of these products got delivered just before we went away last weekend, so I took the roll on remedy and the moisturiser with me and have been using them. I must admit that I do find the texture of the moisturiser quite strange. It feels almost chalky on my skin, but as I don't seem to be having a negative reaction to it, I'm going to continue using it. I'm not sure it is something I'd purchase again though.
Whilst we were away in Yorkshire, I also spied a magazine in the supermarket for just £2.50, which had a free Neal's Yard Wild Rose Hand Cream inside it. Needless to say, I couldn't resist it, and the magazine (with hand cream which is normally priced at £10), got put in my basket. It has now been added to my current stash for future use. In the magazine, there was also a voucher for 20% off their products, which I may use for any future purchases, should I want to try out any other products in their range.
Although I do like this brand (the packaging for many of the products is a beautiful blue glass and I'm a sucker for beautiful packaging, especially if I can keep and reuse it), I'm not 100% convinced by some of the products I've tried so far and and as a consequence, over the last few weeks, I've come to the conclusion that finding new more natural skincare isn't necessarily going to be that straightforward. It can definitely be a bit hit and miss, especially if you don't have samples before purchasing and are buying online, regardless of finding good reviews.
I guess everyone's skin is different and the search is fast turning into a natural beauty holy grail. It's a steep learning curve, but one I am enjoying thus far, even if my purse doesn't necessarily feel the same way.