* Prices may differ from that shown
I find Soap & Glory's bath products to do be near on perfect. They produce some of my favourite scents, their body scrubs, in my opinion, are unbeatable and they do some absolutely beautiful shower gels and body butters. Their skin care range, however, is a little hit and miss. I've tried a few of their skincare products, some quite nice, some not so nice and I don't think I've tried a single one which I have felt to be worth their somewhat pricey RRP.
Having said that I do still like to try the products, after all I may be missing out on something really good! So, when I saw Boots had a fair few reductions on S&G skincare products I naturally went over to have a look.
I walked away with a 30ml bottle of Hocus Pocus for £3.50. Not bad considering at full price it's £13! I believe the packaging has changed slightly on this and some other products from the range hence the reduced price. I assume the actual products are the same though so hopefully this review will still prove useful.
Hocus Focus comes in typical S&G completely over the top styled packaging. Its bright pink and silver girlie looking cardboard box makes all kinds of amazing claims about this product making it sound as though the sun shines out of its bottom. I remember thinking when reading through this box that if the product turned out to half as good as the box reckoned it was then it would have been the best £3.50 I'd spent my entire life.
So, what is it? 'Instant visual flaw-softening lotion' according to the box. Providing 'a blast of brilliance for tired skin'. It'll help reduce the appearance of wrinkles, large pores and uneven pigmentation. The product uses something called 'lightscramble lumisphere'. I could type out what S&G have to say about this but I won't bother, the explanation of what this is sounds more like a random jumble of letters than the name 'lightscramble lumisphere' does. It makes no sense and I still don't know what it's supposed to be. I think they just needed to fill some space on the box.
Inside this box is the bottle of product itself. The glass (maybe?) short, slightly fat bottle is of a pearly cream colour with a slight shimmer to it. Soft pink lettering confirms this is Hocus Focus and that is it made by S&G by yet another logo stamped onto it (there's another four on the box, just in case you forget). A shiny beige plastic pump dispenser is located at the top of the bottle with a clear plastic cap to cover it when not in use.
Hocus Focus is fairly runny. It's another pearly cream coloured liquid with a slight golden shimmer to it and its thin consistency does make it easier to work with in my experience. One pump releases a 10p coin sized blob of lotion and it smells lovely. A S&G signature scent, that light fruity-floral scent of The Righteous Butter. Nice albeit a little strange for a face care product.
Hocus Focus can be used in three ways. As a cheek highlighter, mixed in with foundation or mixed in with moisturiser, both giving a more alert, awake look to the skin providing it with that healthy glow pick me up our faces could do with from time to time. I'm sure some people have found other useful ways to use this, these are just the suggestions S&G give and my lack of imagination restricts me to using it in these ways only.
I have used this in all three ways and I thought it'd be good to review my experience with each way of using the product. So here we go!
----- Mixed with Moisturiser -----
I don't wear make-up very often, usually because I just don't have time in the morning to apply it. I do, however, often mix something in with my morning moisturiser just to give my skin a little pick-me-up when it requires it so I was quite looking forward to seeing how this worked for such a purpose as I suspected this is when I would find the product came in most handy.
I tried this with three different face moisturisers. Garnier's Moisture Match, The Body Shop's Aloe Soothing Day Cream and Clarins HydraQuench. My reason for trying three was because I was so disappointed by the results the first time I tried I wanted to ensure it was this product and not this product mixed with one particular moisturiser that was giving me these results.
I used a small, half a pea sized blob mixed with my usual amount of moisturiser. Pressing down gently and slowly on the pump dispenser allows you to easily control how much product is released. Hocus Focus mixed well with all three moisturisers despite their different consistencies and didn't interfere with how any of them performed as moisturisers. Each blended into my skin as it did without the added lotion and gave me the same moisturisation results as they always did.
There were a few difference I noticed though. Firstly, with all three of these moisturisers my skin felt a lot heavier then it normally would after applying them when I had added the Hocus Focus. Much too heavy for day wear in my opinion. Secondly, my face was left looking far too shiny. Rather than a healthy glow I was left with an oily shine. I almost looked like I'd applied liquid foundation and forgot the powder. No other noticeable effects were made either. I didn't see any reduction in the look of my imperfections and this blurred none of those problems the box claimed it would. I was left disappointed and haven't bothered to mix this with moisturiser since.
----- Mixed with Foundation -----
I wasn't expecting much from this but still, I pressed on. Again, just to be fair, I tried with three different liquid foundations. Maybelline's Dream Satin Liquid, Bourjois Healthy Mix Foundation and Revlon's PhotoReady Foundation (not to self, finish foundations before buying and opening new ones). I applied the mixture onto primed skin using the same primer each time. I think I may have took this fair testing a little too seriously..
Again, using controlled presses on the pump dispenser I released tiny blobs of Hocus Focus to blend with my usual amount of liquid foundation. And, again, the lotion blended in perfectly well with all three foundations. I did notice before applying the foundation that the added Hocus Focus had added a slight shimmer to my foundation so I was looking forward to how that would look on my face.
It didn't make my foundation any harder to apply and blend into my skin than usual. Nor did it affect the coverage levels the foundation offered me. The added Hocus Focus made my skin feel a fair bit smoother and softer after applying foundation actually so we've finally got something good from it!
But again, it had little effect. My skin looked no brighter or healthier than it would have looked if I'd have applied any of these foundations without the mix of this product. It didn't have any negative effects on the foundation though so that's something.
So far, this looked pretty useless.
----- As a Cheek Tint -----
This was my final hope at getting my money's worth. I do use cheek tint. I find wearing blusher quite difficult. I can never get the correct shade or balance of how much and where to apply it. Blusher, with me applying it, ends up looking desperately overdone or so underdone it isn't even noticeable. So a cheek tint is something I find useful. It's easier to apply correctly and still adds little bit of 'something' to my face when make-up has been applied.
I split a pea sized blob between both cheeks and carefully swept it across my cheek bones in hope of adding definition and finishing touches to cheeks. It blended fairly easily into my skin and required little effort to complete the look using this product.
Again though, my efforts where in vain. My 'glow' left from this product was just shine and it ended up removing the foundation on my cheeks slightly making the uneven skin tone I'd just covered come back through again. Rather annoying!
After about ten minutes the shine died down making the fact my cheeks were now make-up free whilst the rest of my face wasn't even more noticeable. I'm glad I experimented with this when I wasn't planning on going anywhere so I didn't have to panic and try and correct it!
I don't have a lot of good to say about this product really. I also tried applying this just on itself and, again, that just left my skin looking like a big shiny mess. It did, however, leave it feeling somewhat soft and smooth although my moisturiser does that whilst still giving me a matte effect. One thing I would point out is that my skin is very dry and I still got an over oily look from the product. If you already have oily skin then stay well away from this!
It smelt nice, it left my skin soft. That's about it. And I think the negative effects this had far outweighed those slight nice bits. I'm so, so glad I didn't fork out £13 for this. I'm rather annoyed I paid £3.50 for it. This has since gone back into its box and I suspect it won't be looked at again for a long time. A shame really, it could have been so much better!
This Hocus Focus lotion is another Soap & Glory product I have been using recently (if you read my reviews you can tell I buy a lot of their products). I purchased this one a couple of months ago mostly because there was a 3 for 2 deal and also because I am easily duped by information on a box. This product claimed to be a 'blast of brilliance for tired skin' - I felt like it was talking to me, a university course and about a million jobs means I definitely have tired skin. It also boasts luminospheres which sounded so complicated that I knew they had to be good, that's consumer logic for you. I did like the idea of the flaw-softening technology, visible pore reduction and diffusion of uneven pigmentation. In fact it all sounded rather good, so I was convinced.
The lotion comes in a lovely pink, black and white box which represents the quirky branding for this range well. It has those lovely retro images of women using the product and loads of wonderful humorously displayed information. The lotion itself comes in a heavy, very solid feeling bottle. I'm not sure what it is made of but it certainly isn't plastic. It has a pump at the top and a clear lid which sits on top of that. I really like the look of the bottle, it feels very well made, durable ans functional whilst also being rather pretty. It is pearlescent in colour with pink writing on the front. It is the perfect size for your hand and is very easy to use even if your hands are a little slippery or greasy from applying your make up. I think the design overall is really great and you can tell that the bottle is very good quality and designed to last.
The product squirts easily from the bottle - depending on what you use it for you probably only want one pump. The pump is quite hard to push down but this is actually a good thing as it means you can control the amount of lotion that you squirt from it. I never find that I end up with too much. The lotion itself it also pearlescent in colour and a lot more liquid than I had imagined it to be. Lotions I would generally assume to be a thin moisturiser but this is more of a liquid - it might get a little messy too because it is so thin. I don't think this is necessarily a bad thing but I did expect the consistency to be a little more like the highlighter product sold by benefit which are a little thicker. The thinness of the lotion does make it very easily to rub in to your face, though I often feel like I end up with as much on my hands as I do on my face.
It can actually be use for several different purposes so I will run through those and explain my experiences with them:
You can use this as a base for your make up if mixed with a moisturiser or applied alone. The product goes on easily and leaves your face with a glowing, dewy quality which is very nice. I wouldn't say that it reduces the appearance of my pores or uneven skin but it does give my skin a nice sheen. Foundation applied over the top looks smooth and fresh and your skin remains feeling hydrated, although sometimes a little sticky or wet for longer than usual. I think it works well at this function and this is probably what I use it for most.
You can use it in combination with your foundation to give your skin an added glowing dimension. I think it also works well in this way although it does water down my foundation a little bit which can be a bit annoying as I like thicker foundations. It can also leave your skin feeling a little wet or tacky for longer than usual but this does dry eventually. The only annoying aspect is that I apply powder over the top and it can sometimes make my powder brush a little wet. I would suggest letting it dry for a little bit although obviously if you are in a hurry, which I often am, this is not ideal.
You can also use this product as a highlighter for your cheekbones/eyebrow/eye socket etc. I don't think it works as well for this purpose because of the watery consistency of the lotion. It does create a lovely shine but it is a little hard to control and get exactly where you want it. I usually use benefit moon beam of high beam for my highlighter (only really when I am going out though, not for every day) and the thicker consistency of these works well for a highlighter. However, these products are expensive and if you want something to use everyday I think this is a pretty good alternative.
You can use this alone as a face highlighter to even your skin and to give a little added glow. Admittedly I haven't use it much for this purpose but I am soon to go on holiday and hope that this will prove to be a useful product. When I have used it in this way I have combined it with a little bit of moisturiser to give added hydration and SPF for sunny days. I think the lotion gives a lovely glowing, dewy quality to the skin which looks very fresh and it maintains the shine well for the majority of the day. I do think though that you end up with as much shine on your hands as you do on your face and that's a little annoying as you really don't get your moneys worth.
Overall I think this is a good product. I don't use it everyday but when I do use it in combination with my make up I really like the effect it has on my skin and the way it looks. The lotion costs roughly £13.00 from Boots although you can find it cheaper in deals, online and at other consumers on the high street. I would shop around for it and find the cheapest price because £13.00 is probably a little steep for a product like this. I do really like using it but I think has it been packaged in a cheaper, plastic bottle it might have been cheaper and therefore more cost effective. I bought my Hocus Focus a couple of months ago and have barely made a dent in the contents so I think it will probably last me for anything up to a year.
I have to say I would recommend this product, especially if you are going on holiday and want a fresh faced alternative to your usual foundation. Just make sure you shop for a cheap price and maybe don't expect it to do everything brilliantly.
Soap & Glory Hocus Focus Instant Visual Flaw-Softening Lotion
I have been a fan of Soap & Glory for years now but I have never tried any of their skin care or make up products. I had been looking at buying this product for a while and about a week ago I finally bought it.
*About the product*
It comes in a glass bottle and it has a pump dispenser. It has quite a lot of information on the bottle and on the box it came in. The bottle in total contains 30ml or 1 us fl oz of product. It is made in the UK and Soap & Glory do not test on animals.
*What Soap & Glory say about the product*
"Its specially blended luxury skin smoothing emollient complex gives a beautiful silky sensual feel and sheer look to the skin, whilst helping to lock moisture in too. It softens, smoothes and illuminates the skin, just where you need a little soft focus."
I really like the packaging as the box and the bottle do have quite a lot of information on (especially the box) about the product, how to use it and what the product is supposed to do to your skin. I also like the design of the packaging, it looks like most of the other products Soap & Glory makes. The packaging looks quite retro, girly and cute.
The bottle is made out of glass so it does weigh quite a bit, but I like the glass bottle it reminds me of chanel products that are in glass containers. Also because it is made out of glass it will remain unscathed in my make up bag. The bottle has a pump dispenser and it also has clear plastic lid over the pump. Usually I don't like pump dispensers as they tend to dispense loads of product at once which leads to some of the product being wasted, but this one is very controllable and you can dispense the tiniest amount. Also as it is a pump dispenser it is more hygienic when compared to pots and tubs of products.
*Appearance and Shade*
The liquid its self is a really gorgeous colour, it is a general off white colour but it also has really tiny iridescent particles in it which creates a light reflecting sheen on the skin. The iridescent particles are of a red/pink shade and they are what gives this product the illuminating, soft focus effect on the skin.
I adore the scent of all of the soap and glory products, such as the flirtigo mist and the body butters. This product is not exception, it has the same scent as the other soap and glory products in the original range. It smells amazing, it is a sweet scent, like flowers, which is gorgeous.
*Consistency and Texture*
The lotion has a thin consistency, although it will not run off my hand very quickly. It has a very smooth even consistency and texture, which makes it glide over my skin so quickly and easily. It is thin and when it is applied and gently rubbed into the skin it has a very silky texture.
*How to use the product*
The soap and glory box and bottle say that you can use this product three ways:
As a cheek bone hight light (used on its own)
As a skin brightener when mixed with your normal moisturiser
And the last method is to mix it with your foundation for a dewy luminous finish
*How I use the product*
I have used the product in all of the ways stated above and I find them all easy to do and it is very quick to apply as well. I find that this product works well with two or the three ways listed. I find that mixing the lotion with my foundation just makes my foundation look quite caky and not very natural, but it works well as a subtle cheek bone highlight and a skin brightener when mixed with my moisturiser.
*The product as a Cheek bone highlight*
To use the product this way I just apply my make up as normal (or you could just wear it without make up). Then I wait until my make up has set for about 10 minutes, then I get a very very small amount of the product and dab it onto my cheek bones and blend by patting the area with my finger gently.
I find that this work of using the lotion works really well, I has used the product as a highlight when I have make up on and without make up and it works fine both ways. I thought that using this over the top of my make up will make my foundation underneath look caky but it does not, it just adds a hint of iridescent sheen to the skin and it gives my cheek bones a subtle high light.
*The product as skin brightener when mixed with my moisturiser*
To use the product as a skin brightener I just take my normal moisturiser (I use simple rich moisturiser) and then I take a small amount of my moisturiser and a small amount of the lotion and I mix them together - I just use the back of my hand and I mix it together with my fingers or a small brush. I then apply it to my face and gently rub it in all over. I find that a little goes a long way with this product and especially with this method of using the lotion.
This is probably the best way I have found to use this product. It gives a gorgeous illuminated, healthy radiant glow to my skin and with my eczema my skin can look quite dull sometimes and this product just brightens and illuminates my skin.
*As a addition to my foundation*
To use the product this way I just take my foundation (currently the clinique repairwear foundation, which is amazing and it is previous reviewed). For this method I use less foundation than I normally would as the lotion makes up for that - this is the same with the moisturising methods. I then take a very small amount of the product and mix it on the back of my hand (a little disk or lid would be better as it is a little bit messy). On the bottle and the box it days that for this method you should use 2-3 pumps of the lotion - I tried it that way the first time I used this product and that is why I did not like it so much when I first tried it!
You do not need that much product at all, you only need a little bit, as with all of the ways to use this product. Once mixed together I then use my foundation brush to apply it and then I would blend it in - but I found that this method made my foundation look really caky when I applied it so I had to blend my foundation with my fingers and even then my foundation looked caky and powdery, which is not a good look!
Overall, I would not recommend using this product with foundation, although this method did not work for my skin and my foundation it may work better with other thinner foundations. Although once the foundation and hocus focus mixture was applied and eventually blended, my skin did look heathier - so to summarize using this method my skin looked like a healthy luminous cake!
*Overall Application of hocus focus*
I really like the application of this product - whether it is combined with my moisturiser or on its own it can be applied quickly and easily for a healthy glow. The best aspect, in terms of the application of the product, is the scent of the product. While applying the product I can smell the gorgeous (and quite strong) smell of the product - a sweet floral scent, which instantly lifts my mood. I think you could also use this product to highlight or to create a slight shimmer to the collar bones.
I find that with all of the methods used my skin looked healthier, luminous and radiant, which is what I bought the product for. I find that it also makes my skin feel like it is quite moisturised too, which is great as I have really dry skin. I think that the best methods of using this product includes the cheek bone highlight and the skin brightener (mixing the lotion with your moisturiser). Both methods stated do not make my skin look caky and they make my skin looks great.
I have eczema prone skin and this product did not irritate my skin at all, which is great. It also does NOT make my skin feel heavy, greasy, oily or dry. It has a nice moisturising, smoothing and illuminating effect on my skin and I am glad that I bought this product. I also love the ling lasting scent of the product on my skin - and I find that even after hours at university I can still scent the product as I walk by and catch the scent.
*The finish of the product*
I like the finish of the product is makes my skin look great and it does not make my skin look greasy (unless to use too much) and it makes my skin feel incredibly smooth and soft, which is great. The iridescent particles are really subtle so they do not make you skin look glittery or shimmery - it just gives a healthy subtle sheen. It leaves my skin with a hydrated but semi matte finish - meaning that my skin feels hydrated and moisturised but it feels quite matte to the touch.
*The best aspects of the product in my opinion*
The best aspects of the product have to be the illuminating, luminous effect it has on my skin. It makes my skin look healthy and radiant and it also moisturises my skin too. The other things that I like about the product includes the fact that you only have to use a tiny amount of product and that you can use it numerous ways. I also love the scent of the product and the scent lasts on my skin for a good few hours after I first applied it.
*The worst aspects of the product in my opinion*
I don't think there are any really bad points against the product really other than it did make me break out with a few spots after using this product for a few days - but I don't know if that is due to using this product. Also it may be viewed as slightly expensive and the glass bottle is not very convenient for traveling - so for my cruise in august I will decant some of this lotion into a small screw top tub or pot.
*Overall does it live up to its claims?*
I think it lives up to most of its claims being the luminous, light diffusing, flaw softening effect but one of the claims is not reflected in the results for me and that is the claim that it will diffuse the appearance of large pores, lines and uneven pigmentation. I think it does reduce the look of my skin uneven pigmentation but it does not reduce the size of my pores at all!
*Price and availability*
I bought this product from asos.com for £7.20, which is quite cheaper than the original price which is:
Boots: £12.26 (although you can get 48 boots points with this product) - this product can also be bought for the same price from harvey nichols and you may be able to get it cheaper on ebay.
*Easy to use with various ways of using the product
*Makes my skin look luminous, radiant and healthy
*Does not make my skin look greasy or oily - unless you use too much
*Great packaging with lots of information on the box and bottle
*Fantastic scent which lasts on my skin for ages
*Looks great on my pale skin and does not make my skin look like I have been at a children's party in which they had a glitter fight
*Good price - especially when on sale
*does not irritate my eczema prone skin
*Hydrating - so it works really well for my very dry skin too
*Did make me break out with a few spots after using it
*Does not live up to the claim that it diffuses large pores and lines (it does have a slight effect of reducing my skins uneven pigmentation though)
Thank you for reading my review - this review is also posted on ciao under my username labellavita1992