I openly admit that this could just be down to clever marketing, but I always feel like my beauty products work best when I use complementary products from the same range. For example, when it comes to haircare, I'm forever changing brands, but I do tend to use the shampoo and conditioner from the same range as far as possible. The main reason is that you get the same fragrance instead of layering on different perfumes that sometimes fight against each other, but I've also noticed that with face products, you feel more like you've had a professional facial when you use various creams from the same range (says the girl who's had TWO professional facials in her whole life !!).
It was in this frame of mind that I decided to simultaneously test three products from the Simple Radiance range : the Radiance Brightening Cleansing Wipes, the Radiance Brightening Moisturiser and the Daily Radiance Eye Cream. You can buy all of these products separately in your local stockists or get the three in one handy package directly from the Simple website.
I started off with the Radiance Brightening Cleansing Wipes. As you'll know if you've read some of my other reviews, I love using eco-friendly options as far as possible. Well, whether it be for cleaning the house, baby's bum or my face, I have to admit that using wipes is my big bad decidedly ungreen secret. I know they clog up landfills and are less environmentally friendly than other options, like washable wipes or reuseable floorcloths - but they are just so handy and quick to use. Sometimes, if the kids have been playing up or it's been a really long day at work or I've had a broken night's sleep, I can't be bothered to faff about finding cotton wool pads and selecting the right lotions and potions to remove make-up, cleanse, tone and moisturise. If I can just grab a quick wipe out of a packet and have my head hitting the pillow 30 seconds later, I will sometimes sacrifice my green principles for the sake of simplicity. Mea culpa !
I often pinch one of Pierre's baby wipes to freshen up and clean my face at the end of the day, so I was interested to see if these grown-up wipes, specially designed to cleanse your skin, would feel any different. Well, the answer is yes they do. When you wipe them over your face, they feel soft and refreshing, cool and moist but not as damp as baby wipes, which sometimes leave your face feeling wet. If you look at the texture of the wipes, they don't look the same as baby wipes either - if you pull them, they're really stretchy and they're full of tiny little holes. With one wipe, you can thoroughly cleanse your whole face and neck, even removing make-up, and - to make myself feel slightly greener ! - I finish off by using the wipe to have a quick swish around the bathroom sink too ! By the time you've cleaned the sink and binned the wipe, your face will be totally dry and feel clean and refreshed. This seems to back up the manufacturer's claim that these wipes contain the "perfect blend of active ingredients and mango goodness to cleanse, exfoliate and remove impurities".
My skin felt totally clean but in need of some TLC so I broke out the Radiance Brightening Moisturiser, which claims to "visibly brighten" skin. It may come in a relatively small 50ml tube but it packs in a whole lot of goodness, according to the label : "3 Skin Loving Nutrients (Mango Extract hydrates and refines skin tone; Bisabolol soothes and calms; Glycerin hydrates and nourishes), 3 Vital Vitamins (Pro-Vitamin B5 actively restores, softens and smoothes; Vitamin E moisturises to improve skin condition; Vitamin C is an antioxidant to keep skin supple) but No Perfume, No Colour and No Unnecessary or Harsh Chemicals". The cream is quite thick so a little squeeze goes a long way. It is quickly absorbed by the skin, leaving no greasiness or dampness - just a pleasant feeling of moisturised skin. The fact that this cream contains SPF 10 and light-reflecting particles make it ideal as a day cream, but I also use it - along with the other two products in the set - at bedtime too. You get the sensation that your skin has a thin protective layer of cream on it that, in the daytime, will protect it from the cold, wind, rain, snow, pollution and whatever else will be thrown at it outside your front door, and at night-time, will keep the nutrients working on your skin overnight.
The final product is the Daily Radiance Eye Cream. My biggest gripe is the excess packaging. The box is almost as big as the moisturiser box but that contains a 50ml tube, whereas the eye cream is in a little 15ml pot, packaged in lots of unnecessary plastic within the cardboard box. The cream itself promises to "diminish the appearance of dark circles" and "transform skin dullness by brightening skin tone and refining texture". Well, I've tried numerous eye creams that friends have oohed and aahed over and have never really been that impressed, so maybe that's just me ! I'm not sure the bags under my eyes disappeared (but I have got a 6-month-old who keeps waking up in the night so it's asking a lot !) but the cream did feel lovely and soothing and refreshing on the skin around my eyes.
I was slightly disappointed by the smell of the products. Having read that they all contain mango extract, I was expecting them to smell of mango or at least vaguely fruity. They don't. They don't smell unpleasant but they don't smell of anything much. That is logical though, as Simple products all contain no perfume.
star rating : 4/5
RRP : for the 3 products £16.99 (+ £3 P&P) - or can be bought separately in local stockists
for more info and to buy online : http://www.simple.co.uk/products/Radiant-skin-197.aspx