YOU will notice an abundance of stars this week, as I have discovered my new favourite thing. I have always hated the messiness of cleansers, foams and gels, and have feared for the state of my complexion. No more!
Cleansing balms are a consistency between a gel and cream and, in tandem with a cloth, are not messy at all. Apply on dry skin, dampen your fingers, and massage away the day. Having said all that, I did like some better than others ...
ELEMIS Pro-Collagen Cleansing Balm, €56.50, HHHHH This is like the Rolls-Royce of balms: it packs in all the signature Elemis fragrance deliciousness with truly superior cleansing power. It feels like a spa in a jar, and it comes with its own little cleansing mitt. Slather this on and relax in a hot bath for deep-pore cleansing.
VOYA Totally Balmy Anti-Ageing Cleansing Balm, €45, HHIII Accompanied by a lovely square of muslin, the actual product was less exciting. This is very thick, almost borderline greasy and, even with the cloth, it didn't feel like the balm came off completely, much less the make-up.
THE BODY SHOP Camomile Sumptuous Cleansing Butter, €14.95, HHHHI Delicate scent, delicate substance, but all in a good way. This doesn't come with its own cloth – I got spoiled something rapid – and the tin seems small. That's okay! It works really well, so I'll make this my travel balm. Great for sensitive skin.
CLINIQUE Take the Day Off Cleansing Balm, €28, HHHHI No cloth here either, and I found the texture to be somewhat slippier than the rest, but it's almost fragrance-free and the littlest scoop goes a long way. I expect this to last me a good while.
MERUMAYA Integrative Effective Skincare Melting Cleansing Balm, €18.50, HHHHI You can buy Merumaya cloths separately (seven for €15.50), which is grand, but I would have liked one included here. A minor quibble as this is super-effective. A small squeeze goes a long way and my skin looked especially glowy.
CLARINS Pure Melt Cleansing Gel, €23.50, HHHHH This is my other five-star fave, as it all adds up: the scent is spectacular, the texture is rich yet not too thick and, once you apply water, the milky consistency is soothing and extremely effective. I used very little of this at a time, and look forward to it lasting, if not forever, then for a good long while.