Monday, 26 September 2016

Brand Discovery - Bravura London

As my first proper post I wanted to give you my review on a brand I recently discovered. Bravura London is the genius creation of Amanda Elias and focuses on luxury skincare without the price tag. I am so glad that I came across them when following other skincare enthusiasts on Instagram! I can honestly say I haven’t been this excited about a brand for a long time. I really like supporting smaller companies with true ethics and knowledge about what they are selling.

Bravura provide free, no obligation skincare advice where they will recommend the correct products suitable for your skin issue and type. After years of trying so many different products I feel I have a good handle on what my skin type is, and what I should treat it with, so I went ahead and decided to buy a few products.  This enabled me to give them a fair trial and understand if their products actually worked for me. I have been using these for just over 3 weeks….

Before I start with the reviews of each product I would like to mention another appealing factor of this brand. The packaging. It’s beautiful!! The products are housed in different colours of frosted glass jars or bottles with the brand symbol of a dragonfly on them. Feels like luxury but doesn’t weigh heavy on your purse strings! Bonus! Right let’s get onto the reviews….

Hot Cloth Volcanic Mud Cleanser - £15.00 - This claims to be a gentle PH balanced facial cleanser which can also double up as detoxing face mask, recommended for all skin types. It contains glycolic acid, fullers earth and a blend of natural active botanical extracts to provide gentle exfoliation and lift impurities.

I personally use this as a second/morning cleanse as I don’t think it would remove heavy makeup, nor does it claim to. The texture itself is lovely and soft and can easily be spread and massaged over your face with ease (apply to dry skin). I love clay based cleansers anyway, but this is a delight to use. It leaves skin feeling deep cleansed without being dry or tight and I was quite surprised at how soft it left my skin after rinsing it off. The best way I can describe the scent, is fresh and earthy.  

Ingredients Aloe Vera Gel, Safflower Oil, Cetyl Alcohol, Glyceryl Stearate, Diatomaceous Earth, Fullers Earth, Glycolic Acid and Sodium Glycolate (5%), Glycerin, Avocado Oil, Squalene, Lauroamphocarboxyglycinate and Sodium Trideceth Sulfate , Chamomile and Saponaria Extracts, Amino Acid Condensate, Avocado Oil, Wheat Germ Oil, *Hazelnut Oil, *Sesame Oil, Phenoxyethanol, Guar Gum, Sodium Hyaluronate, Natural Fragrant Oil, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate.

Azulene Cleansing Milk - £14.50 – This is a beautiful soothing non foaming cleanser which is used to remove make up. This lotion is suited for all skin types especially sensitive as it contains Azulene which is why it’s blue in colour! Azulene is a healing botanical extracted from fresh chamomile flowers which helps with any skin allergies or irritation because of its anti-bacterial properties.

This cleansing milk is what you’d use as a first cleanse, I prefer to use this on days when I am exfoliating or using acids as it’s so gentle and really lifts dirt and impurities well without the use of a flannel or muslin cloth. I just rinse it off with warm water or use a cotton pad.
I’ve also used this when my skin is feeling a little temperamental as it’s just so calming and really brings down any redness. I think everyone needs a cleanser like this for pulling out when skin is feeling a tad fragile. A note to mention, this cleanser wont remove eye makeup as it’s not suitable for that area. This isn’t a problem for me as I like using a separate lotion for this anyway, but for those of you that like an ‘all in one’ then this may not be for you.

Ingredients: Aloe Vera Gel, Decyl Oleate, Dimethicone, Glycerin, Cetyl Alcohol, Carbomer, Soap Wort and Marshmallow Extracts, Camellia Oil, Glucose and Fructose and Sucrose and Alanine and Glutamic Acid and Aspartic Acid and Hexyl Nicotinate, Avocado Oil, Wheat Germ Oil, Phenoxyethanol, Triethanolamine, Glycosaminoglycans, Fragrant Oil, Guaiazulene, Allantoin, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate, Citric Acid

Revitalising Ginseng Toner with Glycolic Acid 5% - £12.40 - Now the toners from Bravura are what encouraged me to try the brand, I’ve seen them appear in lots of instagrammers skin routines, so I had to try one as I have yet to find an acid toner that suits my oily-sensitive skin.
There are 3 varying strengths available from 15% AHA/BHA (for non-sensitive oily-spotty skins), 13% AHA (for normal – oily skin) and 5% Glycolic (for normal dry – sensitive skins).

I went with the 5% to be on the safe side because I haven’t had much luck when it comes to acid toners. Every single one I’ve tried seems to break me out and cause soreness. Funnily enough this one is compared to Pixi Glow Tonic as the ingredients are almost identical, in fact having compared them I believe they are exactly the same! This comes as a big surprise to me as I didn’t get on with the Pixi GT but for some reason my skin loves this Bravura one!

This toner has a PH of 4.5 and is alcohol free which is a big bonus, it’s lightly scented with botanical extracts and really does help balance my skin and leave it prepped for treatment products. Since using this my skin feels a lot smoother and blemishes are reduced, I haven’t really had any breakouts apart from the odd 1 or 2 spots (touch wood) and this has helped clear them up quicker. I use this toner twice a day and haven’t had any allergic reactions or complaints. This will definitely be a re-purchase for me!

Ingredients: Purified Water, Aloe Vera, Witch Hazel, Horse Chestnut Extracts, Glycolic Acid and Ammonium Glycolate, Glycerin, Glucose, Fructose, Sucrose, Urea, Dextrin, Alanine, Glutamic Acid, Hexyl Nicotinate, Ginseng Extract, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Benzoate, Biotin, Polysorbate 20, Fragrant Oil.

Active Ingredients: Glycolic Acid 5%, partially neutralised by Ammonium Hydroxide.

Chemical Exfoliators: As mentioned previously my skin can be super sensitive to acids and exfoliators so I was very cautious when buying the 2 products above. I picked ones that I believe would be suited to my skin and I made sure I read the instructions thoroughly before applying! I use these acids twice a week (sometimes 3) and alternate between the two or whatever my skin is feeling like on the day. There are 3 different chemical exfoliants available through Bravura (10% Glycolic acid, 10% lactic acid and 2% salicylic acid). I would recommend buying the special applicator for around £3.50 as it makes applying so easy and foolproof.

10% Lactic Acid (infused with Rose) - £9.59 - This is a mild chemical peel with a PH balance of 3.75. Apparently it’s the most accepted acid by the skin compared to other AHA’s (Alpha Hydroxy Acid) as our body naturally produces lactic acid. It’s alcohol free and is infused with Rose water. Seeing as my skin tends to fall on the dehydrated side of life I thought this would be the better option for me. I wanted something that gets rid of dull skin and exfoliates gently without stripping the skin.
This does exactly that, it feels lovely upon application (no stinging) and is easily removed with warm water. Lactic acid has been known to help acne, dry and sun damaged skin, hyperpigmentation and fine wrinkles so believe it would help various skin types. It also encourages the skin to produce more collagen which helps keep the skin elastic and line free, which can’t be bad!
I believe that this acid has really helped de-congest my skin and the oiliness I had seems to have reduced and I think it’s down to this product and the toner.

Ingredients: Purified Water, Rose Floral Water, Lactic Acid, Glycerin, Hydroxyethyl Cellulose, Sodium Hydroxide and Sodium Citrate.

2% Salicylic Acid - £9.59 - Buying this acid was a no brainer for me, I loved the idea of having salicylic acid available on its own. Normally I would buy masks or skincare with it in, but never on its own so it can work directly and effectively. This particular acid is fantastic for treating oily/acne prone skin and has amazing pore clearing action. I use this on spots as and when they come up as it’s a regular use peel.
Apparently salicylic acid is much stronger than other acids and therefore it is highly effective in lower percentage solutions, hence the 2%. I find this acid really works at calming inflamed spots and after a 5-minute application the blemish has reduced in size and redness calmed! Amazing. Although salicylic acid is a more powerful peel compared to glycolic acid, its less of an irritant so this was perfect for me.

Ingredients: Distilled Water, Salicylic acid, Propylene Glycol, Hexylene Glycol, Sodium Citrate, Sodium Hydroxide. 

Azulene Moisturiser - £9.90 - I’m not going to lie I bought this because I liked the sound of slathering a blue moisturiser all over my face and seeing if I turn out like a smurf! That aside, I was enticed by its ingredients and claims that it provides moisture relief with a long lasting soothing effect without harsh chemicals.
Again, Azulene is the main ingredient here which really works to calm skin and has natural and healing properties which help soothe sensitive skin and prevent the formation of inflammations, blemishes and blackheads. It is also fragrance free and unscented.

I have been looking for a non-faff moisturiser that is light enough for my oily skin but is hydrating enough to combat dehydration. This is it. I absolutely love it and cannot sing its praises enough!
In fact, this moisturiser is ideal for most skin types except very dry and flaky skin. It provides instant moisture without greasiness and leaves almost like a matte effect which means it’s excellent under makeup. It can be used day and night (I have been using it both) and really recommend it after using acid or exfoliators. This will definitely be a re-purchase as I don’t want to be without it, it really is a beautiful moisturiser!

Ingredients: Aloe Vera Gel, Safflower Oil, Stearic Acid, Cetyl Alcohol, Dimethicone, Sodium Alginate, Hops Extract, Rosemary Leaves Extract, Sage Leaves Extract, Hazelnut Oil, Wheat Germ Oil, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Hyaluronate, Sodium PCA, Triethanolamine, Avocado Oil, Azulene, Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Retinyl Palmitate (Vitamin A), Ascorbyl Palmitate, d-Panthenol, Ginseng Extract, Allantoin, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate, Citric Acid.

Overall Review – I am so happy to have discovered a brand that is such good value for money with products that really work. I can see these always being in my stash  especially the Moisturiser, Toner and the 2 acids. I’m planning on trying the cleansing oil next...

Has anyone tried anything else from this brand?

Thank you for reading!


  1. Ooh I'm your first comment! Excellent post about an excellent brand and so affordable. I'm so happy you chose Bravura London as your first blog post, it was my most recent brand (few years ago) that I came across online and was wowed - to me it was the only products of that type (prob wasn't but to me it was all new) and it worked. Can't wait to read your next one xx

  2. Thanks for reading :) Yes I feel the same way, all of the products just work and for such an affordable price you can't go wrong! I know us skincare lovers like trying new things but I think I will always have this brand in my stash!xx

  3. Great post. I'm looking forward to trying my new products ��

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