About a month ago I was given a Lush gift card for my birthday and, with my carefully curated wish list lodged into my brain, I wasted no time in heading to the store in Cardiff.  It was my first ever Lush haul and yes, Dear Reader, it was heaven on earth!  I came away from the store beaming, proudly letting my shopping bag swing with the weight of my swag.  

The staff were utterly charming and totally understood the fact that I already had my mind set on a few things and was not really an “off-the-cuff” recommendations kind of girl.  I rarely impulse buy – if ever!  I can spend evenings happily researching products online, scouring any reviews from those with similar features or needs, bringing together my finds in Pinterest boards that display my fantasy beauty cupboard(s).  Ultimately, I feel that I know what I’m looking for and I am rarely deterred if I have my eye on something specific.  

17310110_10155025643272226_2119032889012108853_oWhat do you need then, I hear you ask.  The short answer is that I’m not entirely sure.  The long answer is that my skin is a bit of an enigma to me.  I call it sensitive – but it’s not sensitive to everything, or even all of the time.  But it could very easily and quickly become sensitive if one thing offsets its balance.   My skin can go dry, itchy and flaky on my cheeks, around my nose, and around my brows but then oily and spot-prone everywhere else.  Not to mention how itchy it gets if it’s unhappy – whether it’s dry and flaky or as oily as Danny Zuko.  Keeping it all happy, while on a rather modest budget, is a difficult task.  Products for oily, spot-prone skin can aggravate the dryer, more sensitive bits and the conventionally creamy and moisturising products for dryer skin types can cause breakouts.  Balance is key to my skin, but finding the right product for it? Impossible – or so it seemed.

So, I left Lush Cardiff with a Rosy Cheeks Fresh Face Mask, Full of Grace Serum Bar, Seanik Shampoo Bar, Figs & Leaves Soap, and Ultrabland Facial Cleanser.  For face and body, I went with the milder, “blander” products as part of my initiation into this new, colourful and glittery world.

Ultrabland was at the very top of my wish list! I’d been itching (almost literally, thanks to my skin) to try it.  I’d read widely on reviews for it all most seemed to agree that this is one of those products that balances out difficult skin with no crazy scents or features!  XOJane even claims that the Almond Oil base encourages lash growth – something I’d never heard said of Almond Oil before!

Lush Ultrabland Facial Cleanser
After reading all of the blogger and journalist reviews on this apparently “holy grail” of facial cleansers, I was almost completely convinced.  My deciding factor?  It’s description on the product page:

Based on an ancient Greek formula for cold cream, Ultrabland is beautifully simple and very effective.

Yes, Reader, I’d been drawn in by the marketing.  I’ll admit here and now that I am an absolute sucker for historically, mythologically or literarily themed marketing when it comes to beauty products!  The ancient Greeks made use of something like this? Bring it! Sold! I want to be a Grecian goddess and this cleanser is the key to that dream being realised!  I do honestly know better.  I’ll just keep telling myself that when I buy more beauty products touted about as “ancient” or “goddess-like”…

My first impressions of Ultrabland when I put my fingers into the tester pot were:

  1. This feels rather oily for a cream cleanser…
  2. My Benefit, They’re Real mascara doesn’t stand a chance against this!
  3. That’s an oddly comforting scent. Is that you, Gran? Are you hiding in this pot?

Jumping ahead to having been in a relationship with Ultrabland for just over a month.  I call it a relationship because I am head-over-heels in love with this stuff!  That being said, it does take a little getting used to.  My tip to others considering this cleanser? Skip the cotton pads and go straight to the warm, damp face cloth option!

File_000This stuff is gorgeously balmy and removes every trace of makeup and dirt off of my face – but getting the cleanser itself off is way too much of a hard job for those poor little cotton pads.  You’d end up needing to buy a new pack every few days if you used Ultrabland morning and night!  Save yourself some money and effort, go sustainable and grab yourself a few washable face cloths!  With the thorough and hydrating cleanse of Ultrabland and the exfoliating effects of a damp face cloth, I highly doubt you’d need to double cleanse on a daily basis.  Just make sure that you do wash it all off with the cloth as you may end up with a little residue on your skin otherwise.

Since using this cleanser my skin has not become dry, flaky or itchy even once! Because of that my skin’s itchiness has vastly reduced and thus the redness in my cheeks and around my nose has subsided.  I’ve also not had any major breakouts! My skin isn’t completely matte or oily, but rather has more of a natural, comfortable dewiness to it.  I’ve been using it morning and night so far and it gets rid of everything.  Even my Benefit, They’re Real mascara has melted and dissolved under its effects!  I definitely feel that my sensitive, problematic skin has been quietened for the time being.  I can use other products in conjunction with this, such as toners and makeup, without it being re-aggravated.

While I still want to explore other cleansing options, I am always going to keep a stash of Ultrabland in stock!  Am I a glowing goddess such as those in the ancient epics?  Not quite, sadly.  But I am getting my glow on!

What did you guys think of Ultrabland? Have you got any other recommendations for skin similar to mine? Let me know in the comments below!

You can grab Lush Ultrabland right here for £7.95 for 45g and, trust me, that 45g goes a long way! –


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