NIOD Multi-Molecular Hyaluronic Complex vs. The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5

NIOD…we have all heard about it…but it’s price tags leave us drawn towards the brand’s sister company, the notably less pricey, The Ordinary. I have finally pinpointed the problem with my current skin: It is severely dehydrated and that is having dire implications for the look of my foundation. Air conditioners, I am looking at you…Hyaluronic acid (HA) is one ingredient renowned for being able to quench thirsty skin. I also watched this video by Liah Yoo which discussed the efficacy of various forms of HA on offer and bolstered my understanding of this much sought after ingredient.

Although I had been using the Ordinary Hyularonic Acid 2% + B5 for several months (which was helping somewhat), I thought it was time to raid the bank and splash out on this pricier alternative, NIOD’s Multi-Molecular Hyaluronic Complex (MMHC2). MMHC2 is priced at an eye-watering £38 for 30ml, while the same size bottle of the Ordinary’s HA offering seems like spare change comparatively, at £5.90.




The NIOD serum is much lighter and quicker to absorb than its counterpart, and is almost water-like in its consistency. They both work fine under make up; but I imagine the NIOD version would work well with absolutely anything layered above as it seems to fully sink into the skin. One of the major differences between these two products is that while the cheaper offering has almost no scent, the NIOD serum has quite a discernible, unpleasant smell…In the product’s defence, however, this aroma does diffuse quite rapidly and I much prefer this to a firm’s attempt to mask funky smells with loads of skin-irritating perfumes.

They are both housed in glass bottles and have pipettes to dispense the product. The NIOD serum does look more lux in its tinted glass bottle and rather elegant pipette. Moreover, the box that the MMHC2 bottle comes packaged in is sleek…I, for one, was extremely excited to be trying this product.

The difference in the quality of the packaging mirrors the extortionate variation in price.



Price: NIOD £38 for 30ml (£25 for 15ml); The Ordinary £5.90 for 30ml

Consistency: NIOD is very thin almost water-like; The Ordinary is thicker and more tacky

Hyaluronic Acid: NIOD has an unparalleled 15 different forms of HA, including precursors; the Ordinary has 3

Eyes: Both can be applied around eyes

The NIOD serum is very runny, almost the consistency of water.
The Ordinary serum is a little more viscous in comparison.



NIOD – Aqua (Water), Hydrolyzed Yeast Extract, Glycerin, Hyaluronic Acid, Sodium Hyaluronate, Sodium Butyroyl Hyaluronate, Sodium Hyaluronate Crosspolymer, Hydrolyzed Sodium Hyaluronate, Disodium Acetyl Glucosamine Phosphate, Tetradecyl Aminobutyroylvalylaminobutyric Urea Trifluoroacetate, Pseudoalteromonas Exopolysaccharides, Tamarindus Indica Seed Gum, Tremella Fuciformis Sporocarp Extract, Ceratonia Siliqua Gum, Myristoyl Nonapeptide-3, Plantago Lanceolata Leaf Extract, Salvia Sclarea Extract, Arginine, Aspartic Acid, Glycine, Alanine, Serine, Valine, Isoleucine, Proline, Threonine, Histidine, Phenylalanine, PCA, Sodium PCA, Betaine, Sodium Lactate, Epigallocatechin Gallatyl Glucoside, Gallyl Glucoside, Algae Extract, Sodium Salicylate, Lecithin, Polyglucuronic Acid, Xanthan Gum, Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate, Sclerotium Gum, Pullulan, Cetyl Hydroxyethylcellulose, Propanediol, Pentylene Glycol, Dimethyl Isosorbide, Citric Acid, Magnesium Chloride, Silica, Polysorbate 20, Ethoxydiglycol, Propyl Gallate, Dehydroacetic Acid, Benzyl Alcohol, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate, Ethylhexylglycerin, 1,2-Hexanediol, Caprylyl Glycol, Phenoxyethanol.

The Ordinary – Aqua (Water), Sodium Hyaluronate, Pentylene Glycol, Propanediol, Sodium Hyaluronate Crosspolymer, Panthenol, Ahnfeltia Concinna Extract, Glycerin, Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate, Citric Acid, Isoceteth-20, Ethoxydiglycol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Hexylene Glycol, 1,2-Hexanediol, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol.


How I Use It

Like all serums, these are intended to be used before moisturiser; but after cleansing and toning.


My Verdict

My hopes that NIOD would be my answer to plump, hydrated skin were dashed almost immediately after the first application. My skin just does not agree with it. It seems I am allergic to something in the formulation, which comes as little surprise given its extensive ingredient list. It makes tiny bumps appear under my eyes and on my cheeks; it makes affected areas look uneven and puffy. These bumps seem to calm down as the day progresses, but are set off each time I reapply this serum in the morning. Needless to say, I have now accepted my fate and discontinued use. It does seem to quench the skin quite well as my skin seems plumper during the day, but the spotty rash it also imparts leaves me with no option but to discard it. My skin is extremely sensitive at the moment; but an allergic reaction to this serum is quite rare judging by internet reviews of this product, which are overwhelmingly positive. I purchased my NIOD MMHC2 serum from Look Fantastic; and luckily they do offer full refunds in the instance of an allergic reaction to a product.

The Ordinary serum had less visible plumping and hydrating results, but gave me no adverse reactions. So, although it may be less effective, I am left with this HA serum until I can find (if it indeed exists) a more effective but affordable HA alternative for my sensitive skin. Or perhaps, I should just drink more water…






Review: CeraVe Moisturising Lotion

CereVe is a skin-care brand that only recently reached our shores. I recall the thrill of realizing that we Brits could now too get our hands on this inexpensive but dermatologically-solid range. As of late, my skin has become extremely sensitive—I am now reacting to certain skincare. This was unheard of for me and it just makes this search for HG skincare and make-up that bit harder. Inevitably, it also means more money down the drain…

I used this product when my skin was suffering an allergic reaction and was in an angry state. I still needed to moisturise and was looking for a simple, yet effective, hydrator. I am impressed by the amount of dermatologist backing this brand seems to command; countless skin professionals recommend this brand. Not to mention the many vloggers and bloggers that swear by this range.

CeraVe Moisturising Lotion
An effective moisturiser for sensitive skins


  • Price: It retails for a steal at £9 for 236ml on Look Fantastic; £13.50 for a mammoth 473ml.
  • Texture: It is quite a thin lotion which absorbs into skin fairly quickly.
  • Application: It leaves no tacky residue and works well under every single foundation I have paired it with. My skin instantly feels hydrated once I have applied it.
  • Technology: It utilises patented MVE® Delivery Technology which provides controlled hydration release for 24 hours.
  • Notable Ingredients: It contains hyaluronic acid as well as essential ceramides.
The moisturiser has the consistency of a lotion and absorbs into skin remarkably well.

Full Ingredient List

Purified Water, Glycerin, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Behentrimonium Methosulfate and Cetearyl Alcohol, Ceteareth-20 and Cetearyl Alcohol, Ceramide 3, Ceramide 6-II, Ceramide 1, Hyaluronic Acid, Cholesterol, Dimethicone, Polysorbate 20, Polyglyceryl-3 Diisostearate, Potassium Phosphate, Dipotassium Phosphate, Sodium Lauroyl Lactylate, Cetyl Alcohol, Disodium EDTA, Phytosphingosine, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Carbomer, Xanthan Gum

How I Use It

I find myself reaching for this both morning and night to moisturise my face. Although this is not marketed as a facial product and more a generic body moisturiser, it does an excellent job at hydrating the face. It is non-comodogenic, fragrance-free and it makes my face soft and supple.

CeraVe Moisturiser
The hand with the ring has moisturiser applied whereas the other hand does not. I think the effects are visible from this photo…the lotion makes the skin marginally brighter and smoother.


This product is marketed for dry skin and as a generic moisturiser; I have oily skin and I use it as a facial moisturiser. Go figure. It quenches my dehydrated skin well and in a non-greasy way. The hydration provided is even better than some heavier alternatives I have tried. It works out a lot more cost effective to use this on your face as opposed to buying the face-specific versions*—with the latter you are getting less than a quarter of product at a higher price. I am all about saving money where I can.

As someone who regularly uses more targeted face serums, I believe I can get away with a basic moisturiser. The fact that it contains some prized ingredients at such a reasonable price makes it a bargain. For now, I will be sticking with this moisturiser; it suits my budget and my needs well.

The verdict is quite simple: This product is cheap and fuss-free but does the job and does it well. 


*The ingredients of the CeraVe Facial Moisturising Lotion (version without SPF) are: Purified Water, Glycerin, Caprylic/Capric Triglycerides, Niacinamide, Cetearyl Alcohol, Ceramide 3, Ceramide 6-II, Ceramide 1, Phytosphingosine, Hyaluronic Acid, Sodium Hydroxide, Dimethicone, Behentrimonium Methosulfate, Ceteareth-20, Polyglyceryl-3 Diisostearate, Cholesterol, Xanthan Gum, Carbomer, Disodium EDTA, Dipotassium Phosphate, Potassium Phosphate, Sodium Lauroyl Lactylate, Methylparaben, Propylparaben.

These look comparable to the ingredients for the general purpose moisturiser. The one notable ingredient absent in the generic moisturiser is anti-inflammatory hero, niacinamide. However, I use a separate serum for this ingredient regardless, so this is not an issue for me—Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 2% by the Ordinary.

Facetheory Deeply Nourishing Jojoba Cleansing Oil Review

Cleansing oils have really shaken up the skincare industry…we are moving away from harsh cleansers which irritate and strip the skin and instead are being drawn to the array of alternatives on offer. I am sure we are all guilty of turning to those pesky make-up wipes, which although quite convenient, prove to be an abrasive choice for our delicate skin. I am ashamed to admit that this was my staple make-up remover for a good while…

I have been using cleansing oils for several months now and I can say I am a fan. They are nourishing and feel a much more pampering option. It is the Facetheory Deeply Nourishing Jojoba Cleansing Oil that has introduced me to this form of make-up remover; an affordable oil with some formidable powerhouse ingredients including the anti-aging hero rosehip oil and the vitamin E-rich cranberry seed oil.


  • It retails at £24.99 for a 100ml bottle; but is currently on offer at just £13.99.
  • It combines some of the most effective face oils, to create a luxury cleanser for the skin.
  • It is suitable for all skin types.
  • It contains a small amount of a natural emulsifier which means it is an oil that can actually be washed off effectively.
Face theory cleansing oil
This products boasts such an impressive array of organic oils, it really is a steal.
The consistency is like that of a regular oil or serum.


Simmondsia chinensis (jojoba) seed oil (organic), argania spinsosa (argan) oil (organic), rosa canina (rosehip) fruit oil (organic), vaccinium macrocarpon (cranberry) seed oil, polyglyceryl-4 oleate, tocopherol (1% naturally derived).

The 100ml bottle should last a while as it is only a few drops that are required each time.

How I Use It

I use this as my second cleanse after I have removed my make-up. It helps to remove any last trace of residue while leaving my skin nourished and clean, without that tight feeling. I massage a few drops onto my skin and use my warm wet facial cloth to wash it off. I have oily skin and this product does not exacerbate it. I can also attest to it being extremely gentle; I used this on my angry, inflamed skin when I was suffering from an allergic reaction and found it soothing and nourishing.


I must say I have become a real fan of this upcoming British brand. I wholeheartedly recommend this cleanser; and it will definitely be something that I will continue to purchase, that is not something I say about a lot of products. It is regularly on offer on the Facetheory website, and I honestly cannot think of another product boasting such superb ingredients at such a reasonable price.









Fit Pit – 100% Organic, Natural Deodorant


‘Made with love and a conscience,’ by The Green Woman.

Last week I attended the Beauty UK show in Birmingham, with every intention of just looking and not buying – reciting the mantra ‘I definitely do not need anything’ all morning beforehand. Let’s just say, that lasted all of 5 minutes and I off I went contactlessly tapping away.

One thing that I had never questioned before was my deodorant. Something I have never been particularly fussy with, but suddenly became very intrigued when it was presented to me in a small glass tub with the word Organic on it. Seems a tad strange to apply deodorant with your fingers as opposed to a spray right? Although not the most conventional or even convenient process of application, rest assured that this product certainly redeems itself

I picked up three; Man, Woman and Tea Tree & Orange. All three are 100% organic, homemade and suitable for vegans. The ‘Man’ flavor is made with cypress,  the ‘Woman’ one has rosemary and bergamot. All three of them smell gorgeous and the 25ml container is estimated to last for 3 months.

Although it looks like a creamy consistency, it actually rubs in to form a powdery, dry texture which feels a lot more acceptable than a greasy feeling on the underarms. It leaves a great smell and does work to effectively reduce perspiration.

This chemical free alternative is definitely something to consider if you find yourself worrying about the potentially harmful long-term damage using chemicals can do.

Kiehl’s Turmeric & Cranberry Seed Energizing Radiance Masque Review

Although it has recently become something of a super food, Turmeric is no new revelation. The ingredient has been used for centuries in Asia, and is a common ingredient in herbal remedies. Even turmeric as a mask, is a well established tradition in Southern Asian wedding ceremonies, used for purification and in wedding preparation to give the bride and groom a healthy glow. Spanning from curing acne, treating eczema to even delaying ageing, the supposed skin benefits are certainly impressive.

Given all these health benefits, it is no wonder why Kiehl’s have leveraged this unique ingredient to sell their ‘Turmeric & Cranberry Seed Energizing Radiance Masque’ retailing at £34. Along with the Turmeric, the added cranberry seeds are high in antioxidants,  protecting the skin against environmental free-radical damage. Winner!IMG_5127.JPG

As soon as I applied this product to my face it caused an instant cool, tingling sensation. For me, this is a good thing as it gives the illusion that something must be working. I washed it off in a circular motion with warm water providing that added exfoliation from the cranberry seeds to reveal a noticeably brighter complexion. There is no doubt that this product does brighten the skin. Sounds great?…yes, but the truth is you don’t need to fork out £34 because the undisputed benefits of turmeric, can be achieved by using any homemade turmeric mask for a fraction of the price.

Get your hands on some turmeric powder, gram flour, and mix with yoghurt, lemon juice and honey. This is a tried and tested recipe for skin brighting and fighting blemishes at a fraction of the price.






Balance Me – Cleanse and Smooth Face Balm


I am over half-way through this…which explains the mangled tube…

Oh. My. God. Where do I start? Cleansers for me should: Take off my make-up effectively, be affordable, contain natural ingredients, do not need to include any skincare heroes (they are wiped off nearly immediately, so what is the point!), should not strip my skin and should also make me feel like I have been treated to the most luxurious spa treatment…don’t ask for a lot do I!

Product Description:

And I think I have found my HG product which ticks all the above boxes for me…it is the Balance Me Cleanse and Smooth Face Balm. It is ‘an anti oxidant rich, oil based hot cloth cleanser blended with a trio of butters to deeply purify and hydrate; and Oat Powder to gently polish and brighten even the most sensitive skin.’ It is £20 for 125ml.

Take a look at the 100% natural ingredient list:

Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Cera Alba (Beeswax), Avena Sativa (Oat) Kernel Extract, Mangifera Indica (Mango) Seed Butter, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Nut Butter***, Polyglyceryl-3 Dicitrate/Strearate, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter, Hydroxystearic/Linolenic/Oleic Polyglycerides, Rosa Canina (Rosehip) Fruit Oil, Camellia Oleifera (Camellia) Seed Oil, Aleurites Moluccana (Kukui) Nut Oil, Cocos Nucifera (Virgin Coconut) Oil***, Rubus Chamaemorus (Cloudberry) Seed Oil, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil, Citrus Reticulata (Mandarin Red) Peel Oil*, Anthemis Nobilis (Roman Chamomile) Flower Oil*, Citrus Aurantium Amara (Petitgrain) Leaf Oil*, Litsea Cubeba (May Chang) Fruit Oil*, Coriandrum Sativum (Coriander) Seed Oil*, Cananga Odorata (Ylang Ylang) Flower Oil, Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Limonene**, Linalool**, Citral**, *Natural Pure Essential Oil, ** Naturally Occurring in Essential Oils, ***Certified Organic Ingredient.

My Thoughts

I love supporting British companies that produce natural and affordable options in skincare/beauty. Especially with a cleanser: Why would you want to use more chemicals when trying to remove the chemical cocktail of gunk that is make-up?…it honestly does not make sense to me. This product also uses fine oat powder for very mild exfoliation—one step ahead of other companies who may need to re-formulate their microbead-laden products which have recently been banned in the UK.

I have oily skin and honestly this is not too rich for it; in fact it leaves my skin nourished and glowing. I personally love the smell, it reminds me of that facial spa aroma and catapults the cleansing process from a chore to a pampering, relaxing ritual. I use this product as my second cleanse; and instead of a muslin cloth, I use bamboo face cloths which I purchased from Facetheory. I like to press the hot cloth over my eyes and just breath in the aroma – which I believe momentarily provides me with a hint of calm. (Note: I don’t directly rub this cleanser into my eyes.)

The consistency does tend to separate…but I feel that this is inevitable due to the natural ingredients.

Price-wise – I think its probably at the upper end of what I would pay for a cleanser but I think it is a reasonable price for the amount (125ml instead of the standard 100ml of most cleansers) and quality.

I love this cleanser so much I will continue to repurchase it…and that is not something I say about a lot of products.

Jas x

Glamglow Glowstarter Illuminating Moisturizer in Sun Glow

Glamglow Glowstarter Sun Glow
I was so excited to use this product…

I usually research a product extensively before parting with my cash…there is only that odd moment that warrants an impulse buy. One such moment is a 50% off sale. A time when logic and sensible planning go out of the window as you attempt to get your hands on the last remaining bargains.

In the last Christmas sales, I managed to bag the Glamglow Glowstarter Mega Illuminating Moisturizer in Sun Glow for only £18 (half price). Bargain. Or, so I thought. In fact, it turned out to be an utter waste of money.


It is available in 3 shades: Pearl Glow, Nude Glow and Sun Glow. It promises to both  illuminate and moisturise the skin & includes hyaluronic acid, vitamins and botanicals; blurring the line between skincare and make-up.

Glamglow Glowstarter Sun Glow
The consistency of this is not too runny and also does not seem too rich for oily skins…almost a gel-like texture.


This is the darkest shade…although sheer, I found it imparted a tad too much colour on my NC30 skin. Perhaps, Nude Glow would have been a better match.

My Thoughts

I was excited to use this product. I was planning on using it in lots of different ways – eager to try it mixed in with my liquid foundation and also as a moisturiser under liquid/powder foundations. Frustratingly, it did not work in any of the above methods for me. It just seems to horribly accentuate my large pores/texture and make my foundation patchy. I tried it with MAC Studio Fix Fluid and also under Bare Minerals powder foundation with zero success.

I even tried to offload this onto my sister. She was also excited by the description; however massively disappointed by the performance. Neither of us felt like our make-up looked glowy with this product. Despite my skin being oily and my sister’s being dry it did not work on either of us.

I am now going to try my best to persuade my other sister to take this product off my hands…

Jas x

Skin reference: NC30, Oily, Textured, Large Pores