Sunday, 27 November 2011

Cleansing Balms: reviewing Emma Hardie, Liz Earle & Eve Lom

Cleansing balms have been on the stage for quite a while. Perhaps more popular in the UK than elsewhere, but they start to reach a more international crowd thanks to bloggers review and international web-shopping.

As I normally veer towards Asian cosmetics, I am already familiar with cleansing oils. Most of my Asian readers and quite some Western readers already know that something that sounds far away from a cleansing device, (oil???), can be one of the better ways to remove makeup and respecting a dryer/sensitive skin.

Reading about cleansing balms, I kind of got a similar expectation, only hightened by the fact that
  • cleansing balms are perfect for a small, pre-skincare massage, thus I expected an improvement in skintone
  • even a more softer way of removing makeup than cleansing oils, and better suited for dryer (skin with dry patches) or dehydrated skin.
So, in a shorter times, thanks to some curiosity (Liz Earle), online deals (Emma Hardie freebie) and the friendliness of a niche shop-assistant providing me a freebie of Eve Lom, I had 3 types of cleansing balms to compare.

Funny that all these cleansing balms have women's names...I like that a makes it more personal...

Let's go for their full names, featuring the Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser, Emma Hardie Amazing Face Natural Lift and Sculpt Moringa Cleansing Balm & Eve Lom Cleanser (hurray, a shorter name)

Cleansing Balms: Liz Earle, Emma Hardie & Eve Lom

I don't want to repeat too much on what most beauty-afficionados already know, nor do I want to leave out things.

I think every cleansing balm on the market these days comes with the direction to cleanse the skin with a special cleansing cloth. Often, they are provided by the brand themselves.

Eve Lom is the most cult and perhaps the most popular of the three. But I think that in the UK has Liz Earle on the no. 1 spot. Eve Lom retails for approximately $50 and I think Liz Earle around $20.

Emma Hardle is a newbie on the field, so I will dedicate some special attention on that one.

The travel-size packaging and cloth:

I think the look of the brand's packaging looks a lot like the brands you can buy at beauty salons, such as Decleor, Guinot or Natura Bisse. A clean, white packaging with some gold and blue. Quite fresh and spa-like.

Similar to the cloth they provide: It is a dual-sided cloth:

One side is a softer, cushion-y texture that reminds me of fiber-cloth wipes. The other side is a flatter and somewhat scrub-like, harder texture. Emma Hardie suggests that you can alternate the softer side for the sensitive parts of the face (or when you have sensitive skin in general) and the harder side on the parts you would like to have more exfoliation, such as the T-zone.

Compared to Liz Earle, I prefer this cloth. Liz Earle only provides you with a cloth that has the exfoliating/harder fabric. I have read some complaints about that online, and I can imagine that this dual-sided cloth is more versatile and feels more spa-like.

Back to the 3:

Liz Earle (on the left) comes in a handy pump-tube. Emma Hardie in a pot, and normally Eve Lom comes in a pot as well.

For hygienic reasons I would prefer the Liz Earle.

The texture of the Liz Earle is like a balmy, milky cream.: (see white part out of nozzle):

Emma Hardie and Eve Lom are that buttery balm texture. Emma Hardie a bit thicker than Eve Lom:

On the skin:

I could not help to notice that Eve Lom melts away the fastest, becoming a runny melted butter. Emma Hardie melts a bit, but doesn't become runny. Liz Earle stays the same blob as applied first.

Adding a spritz of water:

All three become a milky substance that makes it easy to massage the makeup of the skin. Eve Lom is perhaps the thinnest of the two.

After wiping away the residue with a cleansing cloth, the skin is cleaned. The Liz Earle and the Emma Hardie have no residue left. Eve Lom still has a bit of buttery layer.


All three are suitable for cleaning up a heavy dose of makeup or other grime of the skin. The difference is in the feeling, the scent and the overal luxury feeling of cleansing.


Liz Earle is the freshest scent with a dash of Eucalyptus. Perhaps good for mornings when you are a bit groggy.
Emma Hardie reminded me of Decleor nightbalms...deliciously scented with heady essential oils, such as Orange, Neroli and Mandarin ,Jasmine, cedarwood and Rose. It really gives out that spa-like, beauty salon experience.
Eve Lom smelled like plain-old petrolium. I don't know if that would be so because it was a decanted sample, but I expect a bit more sustainablity of a nice scent (or neutral scent) when you are such a cult-product for such a price.


Liz Earle stayed the balmiest on the skin, until the water came in.
Emma Hardie became a bit more liquidy but Eve Lom's texture became a bit too runny.
I prefer when the texture stays put, until I add water. So you can massage and target the area a bit better.The after-feeling of Liz Earle and Emma Hardie are the best. Although I believe that I prefer Liz Earle's scent for when I have sensitivity issues, because the overly heady combination of Emma Hardie lingers a bit too long on the skin.

Luxury factor:

That one goes to Emma Hardie, with Liz Earle as a runner up. She provides superior ingredients in her balm, such as Moringa seed extract, Wild Sea Fennel and Vitamin E and the scent is luxurious as well. The cloth is superior to Liz Earle's.
Also, the fact she includes a whole sheet of massage instructions, has a video online with more massage  techniques and a plethora of ways to become your own beauty therapists ups up the luxury factor.
 Liz Earle still deserves a good runner-up spot for it's fresh eucalyptus scent, the milky cream that stays put on the skin until you emulsify it with water. And I actually prefer the pump above the pot.
I am not a fan of Eve Lom by the sample I received. I would prefer either Emma Hardie or Liz Earle's  based on scent, texture, and cleansing experience.


Eve Lom is the most expensive for £50.00 for 100 ml. Emma Hardie is still quite hefty for £34.00 for 100 ml. Liz Earle is a £ 13.75 for 100 ml.

Am I a cleansing balm convert now?

Not really, or perhaps not yet. I feel my skin has become more sensitive these days, and the heavier the cleansing method, the more I feel my skin feels iffy about it. So I still opt for my more liquidy cleansing oils, actually. However, I think I will enjoy these products more when I reach springtime and the sensitivities will lessen.

But if you like to try a cleansing balm for free: keep an eye on my blog because I will include an new, generous travel size Emma Hardie Amazing Face Natural Lift and Sculpt Moringa cleansing balm in a giveaway soon!!!


spletniza said...

what an interesting post!
i have just tried Eve Lom's cleanser and loved it a lot. Then i decided to look for the info about Liz Earle, since it seemed to be similar to Eve...
and occasionally i got to know about Emma Hardie's skincare. so it's almost incredible that i found all 3 of them in your post :)
thank you!

pity, you didn't like eve's balm... i am totally in love with it. I'm not sure i will try Liz Earle - all the reviews are not that good. But Emma's balm is quite interesting though...

Dain said...

How does the Emma Hardie fare against Japanese waterproof mascaras?