Thursday, 17 January 2013

Andalou Naturals Get Started Brightening Kit review

This review has been a long time in the works, since there are so many products included in it! For Christmas, a good friend of mine, knowing my penchant for natural skincare products, generously gifted me with the Andalou Naturals Get Started Brightening Kit.

The company's CEO and President have a history of working with Alba and Avalon Organics, two brands I also want to try out, and I was so excited to try out the Andalou line! They are verified gluten-free for all their products, plus use organic and/or fair trade ingredients where possible. The line seems to be pretty affordable, at least in the realm of green beauty, with no individual product costing more than $24.95.

The Andalou Naturals Get Started Brightening Kit comes with their Meyer Lemon Creamy Cleanser, the Pumpkin Honey Glycolic Mask, the Clementine + C Illuminating Toner, the Probiotic + C Renewal Cream, and their Purple Carrot + C Luminous Night Cream. I've used the last several weeks to get acquainted with the products, so here are my thoughts!

The Pumpkin Honey Glycolic Mask, which retails full size for $14.95 for 1.7 fl oz, looks like pumpkin puree and has a pumpkin pie spicy smell to it (surprise, surprise). Upon application my skin tingled a bit and felt cool, but not in an unpleasant way. After 10 minutes, I washed it off and my face felt baby's butt smooth (gross analogy) and not at all dry. Since I first used this mid-day, I experimented with not adding any moisturizer on top after the mask, and my skin stayed feeling hydrated and smooth all day.

Warning, however: I used my Acure Organics gel cleanser that night, and my skin got really, really dry. I actually take it as a good sign that the mask is doing its job clearing away the yucky skin, but it seemed to leave the newly exposed skin a little more vulnerable. Long story short--when using this mask, do it at night and just add your night cream after, rather than mid-day and needing to wash your skin again at night. I loved this mask but you've got to be careful--it's probably too strong for those with really sensitive skin. I ended up buying a full size of the mask, which unfortunately comes in a jar rather than a squeeze tube like the sample (I prefer tubes as they're more hygenic--no dipping dirty fingers into the same jar), but I've enjoyed the product regardless.

The Purple Carrot + C Luminous Night Cream ($24.95/1.7 fl oz) surprised me with how light it was--the texture was almost a serum, not at all the thick, rich consistency that I associate with night creams. It spread nicely and felt nourishing on my skin immediately--the initial impression I got was that it felt like Tata Harper's Resurfacing Face Mask. It was a faint, pleasant scent, almost like honey mixed with rose. My skin slurped it up immediately with no greasy after-effect. However, given it's winter in the desert right now, I didn't get enough moisturization from this night cream alone, so I switched back to my Badger Damascus Rose Beauty Balm. I plan to retry in the summer, as I think it will be the perfect weight at that time and I really did like the product.

The Probiotic + C Renewal Cream ($24.95/1.7 fl oz) has the same consistency as the night cream--serum-like rather than a traditional facial cream. It too spreads well and absorbs nicely into the skin, and my skin felt nicely moisturized immediately. It has a lovely citrusy scent too, which fades quickly after application. For winter, it's not quite enough for all-day moisturizing, but I imagine that it would be perfect for the summer, so I plan to retry it then. Right now I just use it under my regular winter moisturizer, which works well.

As far as benefits of the cream other than the light moisturization, I can say that I'm always skeptical of products that claim to be 'brightening'--what does that even mean? How do you measure 'brightness'?! BUT I take back that skepticism for this product. Although not an overnight miracle worker, I kept using this cream for several weeks, and one day I looked in the mirror and thought, 'Huh. My face looks different.' I couldn't put a finger on it until the next day when I was again applying the cream under my moisturizer, when I realized: my face really IS brighter! No, it's not measurable, but I definitely notice that my skin looks less sallow and wintery-sad (I know you know what I mean ;) and instead has a vibrancy to it that is subtle but distinctly different than pre-renewal cream. So, because I like how nicely this product applies plus the slow but effective changes it's worked in my skin, I plan to purchase a full size of this product.

The Clementine + C Illuminating Toner ($12.95/6 fl oz)...well guys, I'm probably not the best person to review this, as I've only ever used one other toner in my life (Honeybee Gardens'), and I personally haven't ever seen a benefit really from using toners. So while Andalou's was nice--it smelled better and felt more moisturizing and less abrasive than HG's--I can't say that it's a product that I'll go out an buy, nor is it one that made a big difference in my skin. For those who are more toner-savvy than I, you might give this a whirl, as it did feel nice on the skin. Oh, and it smells light and citrusy, not heavy or like witch hazel--win!

Unfortunately, the final product in the kit, the Meyer Lemon Creamy Cleanser ($12.96/6 fl oz) contains jojoba, so I wasn't able to test out that product. Whah-whaaaah.

Overall Thoughts: I was very pleasantly surprised by the Andalou Naturals Get Started Brightening Kit. My favorite items were the renewal cream and the facial mask, with the night cream a strong contender for a great summertime night cream. For someone who's never tried this line before, I highly recommend this kit!


  1. i really want to try some of their things for dry/sensitive skin!! :) I'm a green beauty blogger as well! :D

  2. I like a lot of their sensitive skin line--the cleansing milk is great, for example!

  3. Is this stuff actually brightening? Like for acne scars/hyperpigmentation?

    1. Yeah. It brightened for me was a shade fairer but i used along with the brightenig serum which i bought separately. However if you have acne, you may not like the toner that much as it stings so much.

  4. My experience was that it brightened my overall skin tone and helped even things out a bit, but I don't have much acne scars or hyperpigmentation to compare before/after use. Sorry! The kit was inexpensive enough and contains a nice quantity of each product, so if you're wondering how it will affect your skin I'd just give the this kit a try :)

  5. Ive tried this kit for 2 days now. Im not loving the toner that much as its stings aloooott especially more on delicate areas like under and around the eye, cheeks and temple. There is this biting feeling throughout my face for almost 30sec. So is the pumpkin mask which stings upon application but once dried the stinging stopped. The cleanser was great as i have combination skin type ao it didnt dry up my skin and both day and night moisturiser was equally good with good texture. In addition i bought the brightening serum and eye cream in full size and after a day of application my skin was a tone lighter and looked even and smooth.

  6. Ive just tried the toner and its amazing! Im planning to buy the renewal cream and the mask..