Well, well, well. It's been a long time since I've typed out a blog post on here! Nearly 3 months of silence. What was supposed to be a week off turned into two weeks, then three and suddenly here we are in mid-August. Though I wasn't active on the blog, I was very active on Instagram. Just so you know, I always posting daily photos complete with mini reviews on there. I wasn't planning on posting this today but I had a lot of thoughts about the new Bliss launch that wouldn't fit into an Instagram caption.
I never expected to get sent PR from brands so early on in my beauty blogging journey. In my mind, brands only reached out if you had thousands of followers. Turns out, even if you're a small blogger like me (microbloggers as we're called these days), brands are still interested in working with you! After raving about their delightful face masks ad nauseam on Instagram and on here, the incredibly kind Bliss team reached out to me multiple times this summer to test their products. Last week they sent me the brand's newest launches, the Cleansing Sticks, for free to review. There are three cleansers in this launch - Cold Pressed, Oh My Gommage and No Dull Days. All three are $15 each. They're also cruelty-free! You can find Bliss at your local Target or Ulta. (Just to clarify, I'm not being sponsored! Or paid. All opinions expressed are my own! As you'll see, they're very honest.)
Let's talk cleansing sticks! Before these 3 popped up in my life, I'd never heard or tried one before. It's an intriguing concept - a solid cleanser that melts into a liquid cleanser upon contact with water. Since they aren't liquid, the Bliss cleansing sticks are the perfect travel companion! Throw them in your suitcase without having to worry about leaking. These might also be great for anyone who works out and needs a quick cleanse afterward. I also think these would be perfect for anyone who camps or hikes.
Correct application mystified me at first. Rub these solid cleansers directly on my face or on wet hands? Turns out it's the former! You're meant to apply the solid cleanser directly on dampened skin. I like to go in circles, gently massaging the product into my wet skin. Once it makes contact with water these sort of melt into a milky liquid. When I get enough product on my face, I go about it like a traditional cleanser - keep massaging but this time with my hands then wash it all off. I was surprised by how easy these melted! Rubbing the sticks on my face also gave me an unexpectedly nice, relaxing face massage. I can dig it! Now onto the reviews...
The Cold Pressed cleansing stick is by far my favorite of the bunch! It's the most hydrating, which is odd considering it's a foaming cleanser. I tend to say far away from foaming cleansers because they dry out my already dehydrated skin. I also can't stand that some have excessive bubbles. Thankfully, this one is neither drying nor bubbly! It's only slightly foaming when massaged into skin. Since this cleanser contains 40% olive oil, it leaves my skin feeling extra nourished and soft. I think this does a great job of cleansing my skin, especially when it's a greasy mess. That being said, I wouldn't use this cleanser (or any of these stick cleansers) to remove makeup. It works best as a second cleanse if you are wearing makeup. When I'm makeup-free I use this as my only cleanser. Though the other two Bliss cleansing sticks are scented, the Cold Pressed one isn't. There's no added fragrance on the ingredient list! Perfect for anyone with sensitive skin. If you can only choose one of the Bliss cleansing sticks to try, choose this. I highly recommend it!
OH MY GOMMAGE
This cleansing stick is made for those who want a gentle exfoliation. I wasn't wild about this one but I know my fellow bloggers did enjoy this cleansing stick the most! Interestingly, this contains plant fibers instead of the traditional chunky beads or sugar most exfoliating cleansers have. It's an odd sensation! Cleansing with this felt like rubbing wet paper bits on my face. It also reminds me of when a skincare product pills and bunches up. Not sure I like it? The plus side of these plant fiber bits is that they aren't abrasive whatsoever. You won't end up with red, raw skin. The Oh My Gommage cleansing stick is extremely gentle. For me, too gentle. I didn't feel like this did enough to help lessen rough texture or remove dead skin. However, I think that's a personal preference. When I want an exfoliating product, I want it to be heavy duty. I also prefer chemical exfoliation over physical exfoliation. I find it more effective. This smells great! Sort of like a man but in a good way. If you're sensitive to added fragrance, I'd avoid this! Overall, it's a decent cleanser but I have other exfoliating products that deliver better results.
NO DULL DAYS
Hate to be a Debbie Downer but this purifying charcoal cleansing stick was the least effective of the bunch. I have many issues with this. The main issue is that this cleanser is difficult to work with. It sticks to my skin and is nearly impossible to massage. It doesn't want to move! Both times I used this I had trouble properly washing away the cleanser. Even when I thought I'd managed to rinse it off (or more like rub it off with a wet washcloth), I was surprised to discover that when I swiped my toner-soaked cotton pads across my face after cleansing the cotton pads came back covered in gray charcoal residue. Instead of whisking away the impurities to reveal clean skin, the No Dull Days cleansing stick just sort of sat on my face adding another layer. Both times I wound up pulling out a traditional cleanser afterward to get rid of the grey charcoal residue. This smells exactly like the Oh My Gommage cleanser. Again, Bliss added fragrance, so if you don't like that then avoid this one. Sadly, this was a bit of a fail!
Although I do enjoy the Cold Pressed cleansing stick, I'm not sure it will replace the love I have for my traditional hydrating cleansers. For everyday cleansing at home, I think I'll still reach for those over these cleansing sticks. That doesn't mean that these aren't any good and aren't worth trying! I still think the concept of a solid cleanser is interesting and is useful for on-the-go situations. The Bliss cleansing sticks are perfect for travel! I know I plan on tossing my favorite Cold Pressed Cleansing Stick in my carry-on travel skincare bag whenever I have a long-haul flight. It's easy to whip out in an airport or airplane bathroom when your skin is feeling like an oily mess. You don't have to worry about leaking or annoying TSA regulations since it's not a liquid!