Depending on which Facebook, Twitter or Instagram accounts you follow, it’s amazing how one small detail can end up consuming your whole life. This is exactly what happened with the recent launch of Zoë Foster Blake’s skincare line Go-To-Skincare. It seemed like it was the only thing in the world that mattered; my Instagram was crammed full of posts about launch day on April 1st, but when I mentioned it to friends and colleagues they didn’t know who I was talking about, let alone that she had a beauty range being released. “You know, Hamish Blake… from the radio, his missus?” “Nope?” I guess this is one for the true beauty junkies.
Zoë Foster Blake has been touted as Australia’s number one beauty guru based on her work as a beauty editor and writer. She has written for print and online magazines and has authored a beauty book called Amazing Face. I wouldn’t say I’m a devoted ‘fan’ of hers, based on the fact that I don’t own her book or regularly read her online contributions, however on more than one occasion I have ended up on her site fruitybeauty.com.au after a google search looking for information and advice. I heard her discussing sunscreens on the radio once and I was super impressed with her practical advice. When I saw the Instagram posts about the Go-To Skincare range I became intrigued and on April 1st I placed my order.
Go-To Skincare claims to make ‘uncomplicated, effective natural skin care for all skin types, except those made of drinking straws.’ The funny stuff continues with my favourite line from the website, ‘There are no irritants or nasties, no faux-science (“Now with added Wrinkleflickatox™ and Moisturemagic® particles!”).’ The philosophy behind the five products is admirable and the added humour will definitely appeal to people who don’t take life too seriously. Throughout the website, email communication and packaging you will find lots of one liners to make you smile. The packaging is also cute; pastel peach with white embellishments. My postage was AUD$9 which at first I thought was outrageous, however I have since discovered that there are a range of shipping options including a reduced rate for the small sized lip balms and free shipping for orders over $59. I do think that $9 is a lot for shipping, but if that’s what it costs, then having options softens the blow. The rest of the pricing is as follows:
- Properly Clean Cleanser $29.95
- Exfoliating Swipeys $45.95
- Very Useful Face Cream $39.95
- Lips! Lip balm $14.95
- Exceptionoil $49.95
I’m so torn! I wanted to love this line so much. I wanted it to be awesome and, as with all things, I’m completely confident that some people will find it suits them to a tee. Unfortunately I’m not one of those people. Firstly there’s the price. $15 is really quite expensive for a lip balm and even though I desperately wanted to try the Exfoliating Swipeys, I just couldn’t bring myself to pay $46 for them. That’s almost a buck a piece. I ended up shelling out for the Lips! and the Properly Clean, avoiding the more pricey products due to my oily skin not needing a moisturiser and in favour of my bank balance. The package took a week to arrive on my doorstep, 3 days later than another skincare purchase I had made on the same day, but that’s Australia Post for you.
Secondly (and I promise I’ll get to my actual review in a sec), there’s the addition of fragrance. This is a tough one because I know how luxurious it can be to use products that smell gorgeous and Zoë is using ‘natural’ fragrances, but really truly, there is no need to put fragrance on your face. These products contain essential oils (lemon, mandarin etc.) and benzyl alcohol which might help the product smell divine but are known causers of skin allergies, photosensitivity and eye irritation. I just imagine spraying myself in the face with perfume! Even a natural perfume would hurt your skin and potentially damage your eyes. Companies have been adding fragrances their products for years so I know it’s not going to be a problem for most people but I’m still disappointed that the scents appear to be a major selling point for Go-To Skincare.
This ‘super balm’ contains lanolin along with a variety of skin loving oils which makes it more of a solid oil that melts on contact with the skin. I don’t mind the texture but everyone who tried my tube of Lips! did not feel the same way. Clare, my work colleague, reached straight for the tissues to wipe it off, and the grossed out faces of my dance class buddies made me laugh. The ingredient list states that this is scented with pure pomegranate, but as a devoted pomegranate fan, I just don’t make the connection. To me it smells synthetic and plasticky, albeit sweet, but thankfully there is no discernible taste which is a good thing. Does it leave my lips feeling the best they ever have? Umm, no, not really. I’ve been using Lips! for over a week now and although I like it when I first apply it, my lips feel their usual dry, flaky self within about half an hour. In fact, they have felt rougher than usual when the product wears away. Why is that? I have no idea. If you said to me, “Ok then, which lip product is better?” I couldn’t give you a definitive answer. Lip products just don’t wow me, which I guess is why I had such high hopes. I’ll keep Lips! on my desk at work and continue to use it until I eventually stumble on the holy grail of lip balms, it’s gotta be out there somewhere.
Properly Clean is a mousse type cleanser that starts out liquid and pumps into a smooth foam for use. My favourite cleanser is a mousse formula so I was really looking forward to trying this one. The cleansing agents are all gentle and rated ‘good’ on the Beautypedia Ingredient Dictionary, however once again this cleanser contains essential oils and fragrance. I think the combination of ginger, mandarin and lime smells a bit like Skittles lollies but my eyes don’t seem to appreciate the yummy scent and I notice that they get a bit watery and stingy if the product gets too close. Healthy Cleanse from Cosmedicine (my favourite cleanser of all time) is completely safe to use for removing eye makeup, but I wouldn’t risk it with Properly Clean. This cleanser is extremely effective at removing face makeup and grime though; when I use my toner afterwards I never see a trace of foundation on the cotton pad. I enjoy using Properly Clean as long as I keep it away from my eyes and I think it’s lovely and refreshing, especially in the mornings. Would I prefer it without fragrance? Yes and no. Yes because skincare products don’t need potentially irritating fragrance to work and no because scented products are undoubtedly nice. It’s a catch 22 situation.
So, was the excitement of Go-To Skincare’s launch worth it? Yes, of course! What an amazing and thrilling experience for Zoë to create and launch her own skincare line. I’m so happy for her and inspired that she is making her beauty dreams come true. Do I love these products more than my other favourites? No, but then plenty of people seem to be, judging by the outpouring of compliments on social media, and cosmetics can be so subjective. If you are looking for simple, gentle skincare with no fragrance then this line is not for you. If you are looking for an easy routine and fun range of products that smell nice, then for sure, give it a try. Overall I like the philosophy of Go-To Skincare and I wish the company and Zoë Foster Blake all the best.
Online Store: Go-To Skincare