Monday, 5 April 2010

Review: Amala skincare from Being Content

Disclosure - we were sent samples to test by Being Content

We were contacted recently by Being Content, a salon and boutique specialising in high quality natural skincare, haircare, beauty and fragrance. After swapping a few emails with founder Imelda, I was excited to learn that this isn't just any old salon - it's a whole new world of alluring natural and ethically-produced ranges awaiting our attention. As a would-be ethical consumer, this sounded right up my street.

Being Content was founded just 2 years ago, but has received a lot of attention in that short space of time. Imelda has handpicked effective and responsibly-produced brands from around the world, and brought them together in a single central-London location that also happens to offer beauty treatments on site. For me, it's a fantastic resource. The sheer number of "natural" products that are touted to the consumer is overwhelming, and it's sadly often the case that the "whiter-than-white" sounding copy on the packaging proves to be flimsy half-truths under the slightest investigation. With the Being Content product range, there's none of that - Imelda's done all the research and checked all the credentials for you, so all that remains is to explore and enjoy. Oh, and there's a website with a full online store. What more could you ask?

I will be visiting the salon later this month for one of their sumptuous-sounding treatments thanks to the fantastic-ness of Wahanda Mobdeals. But in the meantime, we were sent a few samples to review.

For the last couple of weeks my usual skincare products have been replaced by Amala's purifying gel cleanser and purifying moisturiser. They're part of Amala's Purify range, one of a trio of skincare regimes - the other two being Rejuvenate and Hydrate. The Purify range is made with Blue Lotus, an active botanical responsibly sourced from Amala's partners in India.

In keeping with the Being Content criteria, the brand's driving beliefs are sustainability, ethical sourcing and efficacy, so it's perhaps not surprising that the products don't come cheap - everything that's gone into them is high quality and has been produced and researched with no corners cut. The gel cleanser costs £42 for 200ml, and the moisturiser is £60 for 30ml. However, you can road-test the products with one of the cheaper sample sets (see pic above - that's the £33 Purify sampler).

I found the gel cleanser to be very gentle and easy to use. It doesn't foam, but it spreads easily across the skin and rinses easily too. The skin is left feeling smooth and clean without any of the tightness or tingling I usually associate with young/oily skin products. I actually have normal/dry skin, but this was easily gentle enough for me to use. There's nothing medicated or harsh about it, but it does definitely get skin feeling and looking extremely clean and fresh.

The moisturiser is surprisingly thick in consistency given that it's intended for oily skin. It feels at first as if it's going to sit heavily on the skin, although it absorbs with surprising speed and leaves a soft matte effect. Like the gel cleanser it feels gentle and I was happy to use it for the 2 week trial period with no extra moisturising products - it gave my skin all the hydration it needed despite being an oil-control formula.

I was also given a sample of the Rejuvenate collagen mask from Amala (£63/50ml). This was much thicker and more nourishing than the Purify products (as you might expect - it's for older skin). It's a "bring out the big guns" kind of product, one I'd reach for to definitively blitz dry patches in a short space of time. I didn't notice any particular glow-imparting or skin-repairing effect with this one, but it certainly offered ample and comfortable moisturisation.

Also in the package I received were a bundle of sachets from French skincare brand Absolution. Just check out their packaging - it's gorgeous. Despite the edgy look, the Absolution products are as au naturel as they come - Eco-Cert accredited and infused with organically-produced botanicals. For different skin types, the Absolution moisturisers can be augmented with serum-like solutions - you pump out a bit of each and mix them together before application. My pick from the range based on what I've seen would be the Creme du Jour, a delicately scented, light-textured moisturiser.

For more information visit Being Content's website to shop online, get directions to the store or book an appointment.

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