Good but not great – Charlotte Tilbury Goddess Cleansing Ritual

I have been a fan of Charlotte Tilbury’s make up ever since it came out a few years ago – I think the lipsticks and the original mascara are stand out products. While I have not tried much of the skincare line (I think (!) I tried the magic cream a few years back and remember thinking it was nice enough), I was very excited about the launch of the cleansing duo last December. I was also finishing up the cleanser I was using at the time (Philosophy’s Purity Made Simple) which worked well with my ‘one out, one in’ mentality when it comes to skincare & make up.

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The Charlotte Tilbury cleansing duo consists of two steps (duh!): the first step is a citrusy cleansing oil that removes make up and grime and the second step is a charcoal bamboo cleanser that refreshes and brightens the skin. Both cleansers should be removed with a muslin cloth (although sometimes I rinse the 2nd cleanser with water if my skin is feeling a little sensitive).

Let me start by saying that I really do enjoy using the charcoal bamboo cleanser. It makes my skin feel very fresh, reinvigorated and bright. It removes any leftover traces of makeup or cleansing oil (although, rant alert, you should not need a second cleanser to remove leftover cleansing oil if the cleansing oil was any good!). I do think it’s by far the better one of the two cleansers and works hard to make up for the shortcomings of the cleansing oil, I might purchase this again if it came as a standalone product as I like how bright my skin looks after using this.

The cleansing oil, on the other hand, is a very blah. I wear very little make up, have dry skin and yet find the oil is not ‘heavy duty’ enough to really get into my pores and cleanse my skin properly. It feels like it just moves the dirt around my face without properly cleansing. I have been using both the cleansing oil & the charcoal cleanser for almost two months and have had more breakouts than usual (and most of the time I get breakouts if my cleanser is not doing its job properly). I am certain the breakouts are due to the oil cleanser and not the charcoal cleanser because my face does not feel properly clean after the oil step (even though I use a muslin cloth that effectively scrapes the cleanser and make up off my face).

The cleansing duo retails for GBP32 (75ml of each cleanser) which I don’t find to be great value. I think I have another month of so left of use (as I mentioned, I hardly wear any make up day-to-day so if you like heavy make up you will fly through this stuff). By comparison, Philosophy’s cleanser retails for about GBP20, lasted 6 months and did a better job cleansing my skin. Additionally, if you want to use the cleansing duo, you need to purchase a muslin cloth separately as it’s not included. Don’t even try to skip the muslin cloth with the oil cleanser – I tried it a few times and woke up with a blooming zit garden on my face.

All in all, the Goddess Cleansing Ritual has been a let down. My advice is skip it – there are much better products on the market!

Have you tried the cleansing duo? Did you like it? I would love to hear your thoughts – especially if you have managed to make this cleanser work for you!


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