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If there is one thing that I have noticed as of late is that there are so many new products, new ingredients and new brands coming out of the green beauty industry. It’s so hard for the general consumer to navigate through the latest claims, fear mongering and of course the latest ‘buzz’ ingredients. I genuinely believe in the best of both worlds when it comes to skincare, choosing to use both natural products as well as products that are more rooted in science. Both types of products have a place in my skincare shelf and I, of course, use both types of products for different purposes and I find that some work better than others for certain things.  

However, as technology and science have become more and more developed over the past decade, we have also started to see the merging of both nature and science, and with this more green beauty companies, adopting this science and nature approach. Lovinah Skincare is just one of the brands that have emerged from this. Founded by Joy Eckhator, Lovinah Supernatural Skincare is a range of plant-powered next level luxury brand, with high-performance and multi-functional products that are designed to look after and address hormonal challenges, premature aging, dark spots, hyperpigmentation, acne, and visibly improve complexion. The brand regularly combines more scientific actives such as AHA/BHA, Copper Peptides, Zinc PCA, MSM and Niacinamide as well as Bakuchiol, Snow Mushroom, Hydrolysed Kale, Blue Lotus extract and Fermented black and rooibos tea. Having kept in touch with Joy for months now, learning about her brands and its processes I decided to pick her brains and learn a little bit more about how she combines nature and science together and some of the buzz ingredients such as Bakuchiol and Dragon’s Blood that is currently trending in the realm of skincare and beauty.

***Please note that this is a sponsored post. It is my first sponsored blog post since I started my skincare blog nearly 3 years ago and as transparency is important to me, I just wanted to disclose this. As many of you know, maintaining a website is expensive, so I truly appreciate you supporting me in this. This post isn’t any way a sponsored review, instead, I hope it is somewhat educational and interesting for you to read!

Humble Beginnings

The one thing I find absolutely hilarious about the Lovinah Skincare brand is how it just stumbled into Joy’s life. “I started Lovinah by accident” she muses. The brand initially started because of family. Joy shares “I have three children that had severe eczema and after 3 back to back pregnancies I had a hormonal imbalance that resulted in cystic acne and weight gain. After visiting so many doctors, I just got tired of trying new products without success”. With this, she turned to her grandmother, who in Africa, was a herbalist, traditional doctor, bone setting and midwife. “She made our soap, cream and herbal tonics to detox from the inside out,” Joy says of her grandmother. “l learned the magical power of herbs from a very young age. The turning point for me was when the doctor was going to place my 2 and half-year-old son on steroids to help him with his skin problems. I remember telling him no and decided to tap into my knowledge of herbs to heal my cystic acne and also help my children’s skin problems”.  

With a background in software development, the last thing on Joy’s mind was to start a skincare brand at the time. “I was more focused on climbing the corporate ladder and starting a Technology Consulting firm,” she says. However, as the results from her products become more obvious within her family, friends started to ask her to make products for them and even encouraged her to start a line. “I started playing around skincare formulation in 2012. In 2015, I decided to leave my job after 12 years and went to Africa for a while to reflect on what l really wanted to do and my true passion” Joy explains. It was her time in Africa that acted as the catalyst for Joy to pursue her passion in skincare and thus, Lovinah Supernatural Skincare was born.

Science vs Nature

For me, what sets Lovinah apart from many of the green beauty brands out there is, of course, some of the science behind her products. Many of her products do combine both natural ingredients with more scientifically backed actives, allowing the consumer to really have the best of both worlds. Joy’s approach to science is also genuinely refreshing as she says “When people think of science, they automatically assume toxic chemicals, without knowing even the water we drink is a chemical reaction. Science plays a very crucial role in developing our product”. Her stance on both natural and science-based ingredients is truly refreshing and one that I personally find logical and realistic.

As much as Joy does believe in the power of science, she also loves the ancient African remedies that were passed down to her by her grandmother. “I totally love using natural ingredients” she claims. However, with natural ingredients, true results can take some time. “The skin is our largest organ protecting the body from bacteria and virus, hence at Lovinah, we use active ingredients to help enhance our botanical extracts to make them more effective and be able to penetrate deep into the skin to deliver results”.  She also goes on to explain that a lot of ancient remedies use oils, butters, clay and plant extracts making them more susceptible to contamination. “As soon as water, hydrosol or any liquid is introduced into a product, it must be preserved to avoid contamination” Joy discloses, going on to say that having some form of preservative system is highly important when creating any product – be it natural or synthetic. On the flip side, she also notes that formulation is key, “Active ingredients don’t necessarily ensure efficacy. Products must be stable and be able to penetrate the skin barrier to where they can get to work and be effective”.

Bakuchiol -Nature’s Alternative to Retinol?

Currently, Joy is loving Bakuchiol, an ingredient which has recently caused quite some buzz within the skincare industry – both in mainstream brands and independents. For those that don’t know Bakuchiol is considered to be a natural alternative to retinol without the negative side effects. In a study published in 2014, Bakuchiol showed some extremely positive results, with participants showing a significant improvement in lines and wrinkles, pigmentation, elasticity, firmness and overall reduction in photo-damage was observed, without usual retinol therapy-associated undesirable effects. In another study published in 2018, scientists concluded that that bakuchiol is comparable with retinol in its ability to improve photo-ageing and is better tolerated than retinol. Bakuchiol is definitely promising as a more gentle alternative to retinol. Whilst these studies are still relatively new and are conducted with a small sample of participants, the results are overall very encouraging.  

“I love Bakuchiol so much because it’s a powerful antioxidant to help target many skin concerns and has gone through many clinical studies and very well researched to have retinol like properties without sensitising the skin” Joy claims. Having discovered the ingredient after having a negative experience with a retinol solution, Joy found herself researching another alternative to Retinol and found Sytenol A, which is Bakuchiol. “I first tried it in 2015 mixed with Cacay Oil, which also has retinol like properties and was very impressed by the results after 7 days of using it. After using Bakuchiol on my own skin and seeing the results, I wanted to share this unique ingredient with other people with similar skin problems” she explains.

Combining her passion for these ingredients and blending that fine line between science, natural beauty and ancient remedies, Joy created The Goddess Glow, a unique pressed serum. “I love balms but everything on the market was filled with oils and butters. I wanted something different to target hyperpigmentation. I had dark spots and wanted to something with vitamin c, retinol and alpha hydroxy acid. I couldn’t find anything to work and came up with the idea to create a pressed serum call Goddess Glow” she explains. So what is a pressed serum exactly? Pressed serums have the same ‘solid’ feeling as a balm, however, they do differ in the fact they also contain a different ratio of active ingredients, oils and extracts whereas balms tend to favour a high ratio of butters and wax. For example, Goddess Glow has a ratio of approximately 70% active ingredients but with a beautiful, nourishing base of Cacay oil, squalene, Nilotica which is a creamy Shea Butter from East Africa. Joy says that “Goddess Glow is a very powerful pressed serum with bakuchiol as a natural retinol alternative, lipid-soluble vitamin c, lipid-soluble natural skin brightening agents, 24k gold for its a powerful antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and brightening properties”. 

The Truth About Dragon’s Blood (no it’s not from Game of Thrones)

Other ingredients that Joy has been using in her interesting formulations are Dragon’s Blood (no this ingredient is not born from the dragons of Game of Thrones) combined with prebiotics and probiotics for her recently reformulated Dragon’s Blood range. This somewhat strangely named, dragon’s blood is actually the name of the tree sap from the Sangre de Drago tree and was a remedy used in ancient times to promote healing.  

In a clinical trial conducted on 60 patients, scientists saw that Dragon’s Blood showed promising healing abilities on their wounds when applying a topical treatment cream which had 15% ethanolic extract of Dragon's Blood and distilled water. The results of the clinical trial showed that Dragon’s Blood cream significantly improved the wound healing duration. Whilst the exact mechanisms of how were not studied, the results are indeed promising and will, of course, require further research.  Joy adds, “When applied topically, the sap dries quickly to form a unique barrier, almost like a second skin or a protective shield that helps regenerate the skin and prevents further damage with its anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and antioxidant qualities”.

The beautiful magenta colour of the Lovinah Skincare Dragon’s Blood Mask

The Dragon’s Blood range also utilises fermented ingredients, such as prebiotics and probiotics. These ingredients are not just saved for your yoghurt or for your daily supplements – probiotics include strains of helpful bacteria that occur naturally on the skin or in the body. It is important to know that probiotics work in conjunction with prebiotics and carbohydrates as it allows the probiotics to work at an optimum to protect and nurture the skin. Probiotics work to help balance the skin’s natural microflora; if there are too much ‘bad’ bacteria it can cause skin pathologies such as acne, redness or sensitised skin. When the skin’s microflora is balanced, it can help to strengthen and protect the skin, hydrate, neutralise redness and maintain a healthy pH. Research has also shown that as probiotics breakdown on the surface of the skin, it can replenish and create other fantastic nutrients for the skin – think peptides, vitamins, ceramides and even hyaluronic acid. This means that the skin will have better hydration, look brighter and more radiant and also help with diminishing the signs of aging. In a review published in 2015, it concluded that the evidence supporting the use of probiotics for acne and anti-aging is clearly mounting and is promising. Whilst it suggests more research be conducted, early studies show that oral and topical probiotics hold potential in the treatment of acne as well as in photoprotection and slowing the signs of aging skin.

It’s taken Joy more than 6 months to improve her previously successful formula and she proudly says that her new Dragon’s Blood trio, consisting of a serum, mask and tonic “is a chock-full of phytochemicals including proanthocyanidins (antioxidants), diterpenes, phytosterols, simple phenols, and biologically active alkaloids & lignans”.

A Brand that Truly Represents its Founder

It is clear that Joy is truly passionate about what she creates and loves to share her knowledge and experiences with others. Joy’s products seem to be carefully thought out and are based on her own experiences and listening to her consumers. “Our products are not rushed. We take our time formulating each innovative product with high performance ancient medicinal botanical extracts, as well as high tech natural peptides and clinically proven bio-actives that deliver proven anti-aging, mattifying, detoxifying and hydration benefits”. Taking a leaf from both her background in science as well as combining this with her family’s rich history in traditional African remedies and medicines, you can really see that Lovinah is a brand that truly encapsulates its founder and creator. She says proudly, “Each Lovinah product is rich in beautiful history, precious oils and lush rainforest ingredients to deliver ultimate results”.

Want to see and learn more about the Lovinah Supernatural Skincare line? You can check out the full and extensive range on the Lovinah website.

Have you tried the Lovinah Supernatural Skincare range? If you have, what did you love? If you haven’t is there anything that particularly interests you? Leave a comment in the section below!

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Wow…it’s been a while, hasn’t it? I haven’t posted on the blog for over a month! Life has been busy and I have been enjoying a little bit more downtime on my weekends. I work full time during the week and find that sometimes, especially last month - I just needed that little bit more time for my family, friends and of course to myself. Anyways, I do promise I will be back to posting at least once a week very soon!

Whilst I haven’t been blogging as much, things are pretty much business as usual on my Instagram and one request that I have seen quite a lot of are my thoughts on the Tatcha’s The Pearl Tinted Eye Illuminating Treatment. Ladies (and gents!) I heard you and I think I have been using the product long enough to let you know my thoughts on this little beauty.

In a nutshell - The Pearl Tinted Eye Illuminating Treatment has been making a regular appearance in my skincare routine for good reason - its a perfect quick fix to those horrid panda eyes when you get little sleep. The concept of this is quite simple really - an eye treatment and concealer in one and its perfect for the lazy girl like me. Read on to find out what I really thought of this.

What Is It?

The Tatcha Pearl Tinted Eye Illuminating Treatment is described as “a tinted treatment that awakens eyes with a pearl-like lustre, hydrates and reduces the look of dark circles and wrinkles — instantly and over time”.

What Does It Do?

This little pot of gold from Tatcha is probably best described as a 2 in 1 product, as it provides the hydration and plumping effects that I would expect from an eye cream or eye serum yet it gives the brightening and illuminating effect that I would expect from a concealer for my undereye area.

Ingredients:

Aqua/Water/Eau, Butylene Glycol, Diphenylsiloxy Phenyl Trimethicone, Diglycerin, Glycerin, Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimethicone, Silk Powder, Hydrolyzed Silk, Sericin, Hydrolyzed Conchiolin Protein, Saccharomyces/Camellia Sinensis Leaf/Cladosiphon Okamuranus/Rice Ferment Filtrate*, Niacinamide, Royal Jelly Extract, Lonicera Japonica (Honeysuckle) Leaf Extract, Rosa Canina Fruit Oil, Geranium Robertianum Extract, Caesalpinia Spinosa Fruit Extract, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, Prunus Armeniaca (Apricot) Kernel Oil, Macadamia Ternifolia Seed Oil, Kappaphycus Alvarezii Extract, Sodium Hyaluronate, Pentylene Glycol, Propanediol, Sodium Citrate, Hydrogen Dimethicone, Peg-9 Polydimethylsiloxyethyl Dimethicone, Dipentaerythrityl Tri-Polyhydroxystearate, Dimethicone/Phenyl Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Dimethicone/Peg-10/15 Crosspolymer, Sodium Chloride, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Ethylhexylglycerin, Natto Gum, Mica, Aluminum Hydroxide, Phenoxyethanol, Alcohol. [+/- Titanium Dioxide (Ci 77891), Iron Oxides (Ci 77491, 77492, 77499), Synthetic Fluorphlogopite]

*Hadasei-3

My Thoughts:

From its launch, I was always interested in Tatcha’s The Pearl Tinted Eye Illuminating Treatment. For me, it sounded like the perfect solution to my lazy girl ways - I could save time and skip the step of concealer as this would act as my eye treatment and conceal all at once. It was such a simple yet ingenious solution! Concealer is always something that I struggle with, it takes me forever to apply (I can never get the right ratio, often applying too much or too little) and sometimes I find that concealers can settle into my skin...not very flattering! In terms of eye treatments, I have tried and tested many and dark circles is something I don’t really expect these treatments to help with. Let’s be realistic, no cream or serum that promises to fade away those genetic dark circles is going to help - hydrate, fine lines and de-puff yes, but to magically make them disappear permanently- well I would like to call BS on that. However, due to the combination of both makeup and skincare - the Pearl definitely was able to perform on all these levels for me, making it staple in my morning routines - especially when I haven’t really slept.

If there is one thing that Tatcha always gets right - it is their textures and The Pearl is no different. Upon application, Tatcha’s The Pearl Tinted Eye Illuminating Treatment feels immediately cooling and lightweight. The texture reminds me very much of their Water Cream - very light and airy. A little word of warning though, the smallest bit can go a VERY long way with The Pearl, only a little dab with a spatula (or pinky finger) is all that is needed with this eye treatment as once this is applied to the skin, the formula spreads and covers a vast amount of skin. For those who are unsure at where this would sit in a typical skincare routine, I personally apply this as the last step before my moisturiser. Once applied and dabbed onto the eye area, the first thing you will notice is the immediate brightening appearance of the under eye area. The use of the pigments (light-refracting pearl pigments) gives the under eye area an immediate luminosity. For me, it makes my under eye area dramatically brighter and I find that it hides very well the fact that I don’t get enough sleep. I have a medium skin tone and the colour Soft Light works quite well for me, even if it does look a little dark in the jar. In terms of longevity, I find that the colour doesn’t last all day for me and by around 3 pm its disappeared. Let be honest though, at that stage of the day I am not really fussed and would just like to be home already! For me, what I love about The Pearl is that the ‘concealer’ aspect of this product does not settle into the skin around eyes and that the coverage it provides is fantastic. I find that this really brightens my under eye area to make me look immediately more awake and hides those dark circles quite well.

The skincare aspect of Tatcha’s The Pearl Tinted Eye Illuminating Treatment was what I expected of this cream. Tatcha is a firstly a skincare brand after all, so I did expect some results in this area. The one must for me with any eye treatment is hydration, as my eye area is prone to being quite dehydrated and at times quite sensitive (yay to allergies). I was very happy to find that Tatcha’s The Pearl does not disappoint when it comes to hydrating around eyes. Where the ‘make up’ part of The Pearl does not last all day, the skincare aspect most certainly does and I find that my eye area which often is parched looks hydrated and plump throughout the day. Due to the lightweight texture and cooling effect of the cream itself, I find that it also does well to de-puff the under eye area, so whilst it doesn't help me with dark circles, in the long run, it does help with factors that can make dark circles look worse. I also found that the skin underneath my eye area can also tolerate this cream quite well under all circumstances - everything from a normal skin day to days where my allergies are kicking in. For me, I find this a godsend as sometimes, some eye treatments can just be that little too ‘much’ due to actives, often leaving my eye area even more irritated. I don't get this at all with The Pearl. Continued use of this product is supposed to address issues such as dark circles and fine lines and wrinkles. For me, the Pearl doesn’t quite perform in terms of ‘reversing’ dark circles permanently - but for me, no eye cream can. However, it does handle plumping and hydrating the under area quite well and I do think with continued use, those small fine lines have started to plump itself out due to this eye treatment’s fantastic hydrating qualities. The Pearl also does contain some great tried and true actives, with Niacinamide sitting 11th on the ingredient’s listing. I love Niacinamide as it’s an ingredient my skin loves due to its brightening capabilities. Tatcha’s The Pearl Tinted Eye Illuminating Treatment also contains Tatcha’s proprietary blend of green tea, algae and rice (Hadasei-3™) which have protecting, hydrating and nourishing properties respectively. This blend is a signature of the Tatcha brand and it goes into most of their products, giving the skin the protection, hydration and nourishment it needs.

In terms of packaging, there is no doubt that Tatcha’s skincare products always looks beautiful on any vanity. The Pearl is indeed another beautiful addition to any skincare vanity or shelf due to its luxe metallic purple finish. I will confess and say that my inner 90’s kid came out and I initially I did think that The Pearl resembled a Pokemon Ball. So much so, that when I first tried to open it, I tried to pull the top up, just like you would with a Pokemon ball! However, this particular eye treatment twists open like any normal jar to reveal the product. Personally, I am not a huge fan of skincare in jars due to hygiene reasons and do much prefer a pump mechanism. However, this is just a personal preference of mine and in no way impacts on how well The Pearl Tinted Eye Illuminating Treatment performs for me. For those who are wary about scents, there is no scent to this product and having a look at the ingredients listing, there are no added essential oils - just botanical extracts. This smells like cream and I think would be okay for most of those who are sensitive to scents. In terms of pricing, I personally think the Pearl is quite reasonable at USD$48/AUD$70 for a 13ml jar. The reason being - only the tiniest bit is needed when using this. As mentioned before, a little goes a really long way and I am still nowhere near making a dent with this in terms of my own usage. The website suggests that a grain of rice size is required, I honestly think I can get away with using half the amount of that for both eyes.

Overall, I really have enjoyed using Tatcha’s The Pearl Tinted Eye Illuminating Treatment and will most likely continue to purchase this. It has replaced my concealer step completely as the pigment and brightening qualities of this rival that of concealers I have used in the past (just doesn't last as long). I find that this immediately brightens and illuminates my under eye area and the texture is so comfortable to use. In terms of skincare properties, I find that Tatcha’s The Pearl reminds me very much of The Water Cream. It's cooling, soothing, plumping and hydrating and the effects of this function last all day for me. I honestly have enjoyed using The Pearl Tinted Eye Illuminating Treatment in my morning routines because it is so simple, easy and effective. Whilst the longevity of the colour component could last a little longer, the skin benefits for me last all day. Panda eyes are gone with this great little eye treatment!

Repurchase YAY or NAY

I will absolutely be repurchasing this again in the future as this makeup/skincare crossover is perfect for my lazy girl ways. I find that this has replaced concealer completely and still gives my eyes the hydration and nourishment needed in an eye cream. I love the instant brightening this gives my under eye area in the morning and it is definitely a staple in my morning skincare stash as it hides away any indication of me needing more sleep.

Tatcha’s The Pearl Tinted Eye Illuminating Treatment comes in a very pretty 13ml jar and can be purchased directly from Tatcha’s website or via Sephora USA for USD$48 and via Mecca Cosmetica for AUD$70.



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Jurlique is one of those cult Australian skincare brands that utilizes pure, natural-based/botanical ingredients in each and every one of their formulations. Each product in their range uses the power of plants to both help the skin but also to invigorate the senses - there is no doubt that each and every product smells amazing. One of the most unique things about the Jurlique range is that each and every ingredient is intimately considered and harvested from the Jurlique Farm in the unspoiled Adelaide Hills in the south of Australia. Each ingredient is harvested from their most powerful state and is then combined into each unique skincare formulation. 

Recently, I was kindly sent each product from the new Jurlique Botanical Cleansers range to test out. As many of you know, I am real cleanser junkie, so this new release was really exciting for me. I have never really used any of the Jurlique cleansers in the past and I have to admit that some of these cleansers have been making a regular appearance in my skincare routines as they have been so enjoyable to use - in both its texture and scent. 

As I haven't had these cleansers for too long and have had a few questions as to how I am finding them, along with questions on pH etc, I thought I would do a quick first impressions post and include my pH findings for each of these new beauties. 

**** PLEASE NOTE that these cleansers have kindly been gifted to me and there was no expectation of a blog post or review from the brand. However, I did get a multitude of questions about these and I thought I would share my findings and my initial first impressions of each. It is important to note that my pH findings are not done in lab conditions but are done with an electronic pH tester. All opinions in this post are my own honest opinions and I am just sharing the knowledge!

Nourishing Cleansing Oil

Description: 
This light and silky cleansing oil is ideal for all skin types. It transforms into a rich cleansing milk on contact with water to effectively remove waterproof makeup, impurities, and pollution. Natural seed oils and botanicals help nourish and smooth to reveal softer, brighter and younger-looking skin.

pH: N/A

My Thoughts: 
This is indeed a beautiful, lightweight cleansing oil and probably one of my favourites in the Botanical Cleansers range. I love a good cleansing oil/balm, especially one that removes the day's makeup and grime off my face. The lightweight texture of this cleansing oil makes it really easy to work into the skin to remove everything off my face as a first cleanse in the evening. Better still, is the fact that upon contact with water it becomes a milky texture and emulsifies, leaving little to no residue in the complexion. Once everything has been washed off and removed, my skin doesn't feel dry or stripped, instead, it feels plump, hydrated, nourished and ready for a second cleanse. 

In terms of scent, this does contain essential oils in the formulation so if you are sensitive to these, definitely patch test or get a sample first. I do work this around my eye area and it does not seem to irritate my eyes like some cleansing oils do. However, I do wear little eye makeup so I don't need to work too hard to get my eyeliner off. 

Overall, if you are in the market to invest in a good cleansing oil that is both luxurious in feel and scent, then look no further than the Jurlique Nourishing Cleansing Oil. This comes in a 200ml pump dispenser and retails for AUD$42, USD$34 and GBP£20.

Replenishing Cleansing Lotion

Description:
This rich and gentle cleansing lotion is suited to dry and sensitive skin. Suitable for use around the eye area, it effectively removes long-lasting makeup, impurities, and pollution as it hydrates and soothes. Calming botanical extracts help restore moisture, leaving skin looking and feeling cleansed, smoothed and radiant.

pH: 5.8

My Thoughts:
The Jurlique Replenishing Cleansing Lotion is an amazing option for those who have drier skin types or who enjoy using cream/lotion type cleansers. It has a really rich creamy texture that feels quite cooling upon application. It glides over the skin and washes off completely with water. Like with most cream type cleansers, this keeps the skin feeling nourished and hydrated after removing the product with water and leaves the skin feeling soft and clean (but not an uncomfortable clean!). I personally like to use this as a second or morning cleanse and haven't really tested it to remove makeup (so I can't comment on the make-up removing qualities). It works incredibly well after oil or balm cleansers and truly is the perfect companion for the Nourishing Cleansing Oil. 

Jurlique's Replenishing Cleansing Lotion is targeted to more drier or sensitive skin types and whilst this cleanser is incredibly nourishing, those who have extra sensitive skin will need to keep in mind that this cleanser does contain essential oils. The scent of this cream cleanser, however, is truly beautiful. In true Jurlique style, the brand has hit the nail on the head with the scent of this. Its light yet delicate making it a joy to use at any time of day. The Replenishing Cleansing Lotion comes in a 200ml pump dispenser and retails for AUD$42, USD$34 and GBP£20

Revitalising Cleansing Gel

Description: 
This lightweight foaming gel is ideal for normal to combination skin. It transforms into a rich lather to cleanse the skin of pollution, excess oil and impurities, leaving it feeling pure and fresh. Its unique micellar cleansing system removes even long-lasting makeup while revitalizing botanicals help rebalance the skin and restore moisture.

pH: 5.1

My Thoughts:
If you are after a comfortable cleansing foam that has a great pH then look no further than Jurlique's Revitalising Cleansing Gel. I measured this to have a pH of 5.1 and this cleanser, whilst has a gentle foam to it, is an incredibly comfortable cleanser to use. This does not strip the skin and instead leaves my combination skin feeling quite fresh and balanced. For me, it makes the perfect summer morning and second cleanser as it feels cooling and has a fantastic gel-like texture that lathers beautifully with water. Once again, I haven't really tested the makeup removing capabilities of this and are therefore unable to comment on how well it removes makeup, however, it makes a wonderful morning or second cleanses. For me, this leaves my skin feeling clean and that it has removed any excess oil on my skin, keeping my complexion feeling balanced. 

The Revitalising Cleansing Gel by Jurlique says 'with purifying Peppermint' on the label - don't worry as this has no minty smell or feel on the skin. Instead, this cleanser follows suit from the rest of the range and has a really delicate floral scent from its other botanical extracts use. Out of all the cleansers, this has the lightest fragrance and is an incredibly refreshing scent.

Overall this is an amazing foaming cleanser - it has a great pH, leaves the skin feeling refreshed and balanced and smells absolutely beautiful. You couldn't ask for much more! The Revitalising Cleansing Gel comes in a 200ml pump dispenser and retails for AUD$42, USD$34 and GBP£20.

Radiant Skin Foaming Cleanser

Description: 
This soft, lightly whipped hydrating cleanser is suitable for all skin types. Its lush foam quickly dissolves impurities, makeup and pollution as pure antioxidants naturally protect your skin. Superfine exfoliating minerals gently smooth and polish to reveal radiant-looking skin. 

pH: 8.6

My Thoughts: 
Out of all the cleansers that I was kindly gifted to me by Jurlique, the Radiant Skin Foaming Cleanser was probably my least favourite. Whilst this was really promising for me in texture (it comes out looking very luxe and almost 'whipped') and felt fantastic on the skin when cleansing - what really disappointed me was the squeaky clean feel once rinsed. I think that this cleanser was just a little too harsh for my skin and left it feeling a little dry and stripped. Having looked at the pH of this, it is little higher to what I am used to

For me, if I were to purchase a foaming cleanser from the Jurlique range, I would opt for the Revitalising Cleansing Gel as it is more what I am used to in a cleanser and what suits my preferences more. The Radiant Skin Foaming Cleanser comes in an 80g tube and retails for AUD$35, USD$30 and GBP£18.

Final Thoughts:

Overall, my first impressions on the new Jurlique Botanical Cleansers have been fantastic - I feel that they have hit the nail on almost all the cleansers and have a solid cleanser for those looking for an oil cleanser, cream cleanser or gel cleanser. Each one has a truly Jurlqiue twist to it, filled with beautiful botanical extracts and scented to perfection. Each cleanser has a truly delicate but not over powering scent, making it an absolute joy to use both morning and night. 

What have you tried from the Jurlique range? Do you have any favourites? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below. 

 

 

 

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Beauty Expert has recently been nailing it with their 'Beauty Expert' Collection series. Their last one - the Hydration Edition sold out in just 20 minutes and contained some amazing cult favourites from Pestle and Mortar Cosmetics, Eve Lom and Argentum Apothecary. I am happy to say that the upcoming Gold Edition is no exception. This edition features heavily around luxury, glamour and of course, gold - with many products having gold as the feature ingredient. Gold is a precious metal and has some potential anti-inflammatory and anti-aging benefits, making it a truly decadent ingredient that helps to skin to glow.

The Beauty Expert Collection - Gold Edition is an exciting and opulent treat to oneself (or a loved one!). Featuring some truly luxurious products that are on theme, the Beauty Expert Collection Gold Edition is one to treat yourself with. Valued at over £400, this edit as so well priced at only £ . Let's take a quick peek of whats inside. 

***Please note that this collection from Beauty Expert was kindly gifted to me in exchange for a blog post and images on Instagram. All opinions are my own in this post and it mainly is an unboxing - I haven't tried most of these products as of yet! 

Omorovicza Gold Flash Firming Serum (Full Size 30ml)

Described as a silky smooth anti-aging serum that will work to instantly soothe and firms the face and neck, the Omorovicza Gold Flash Firming Serum is truly a little piece of luxury in any skincare routine. Featuring anti-inflammatory colloidal gold, a complex of watercress extract and zinc to help brightens and even out skin tone, sodium hyaluronate to help plump the skin and keep it hydrated and of course, the brand's signature ingredient - Hungarian thermal water. This water is very much part of the brand's patented delivery system, Hydro Mineral Transference which allows actives, minerals, and nutrients to be better absorbed into the skin.

NUXE Huile Prodigieuse Golden Shimmer Multi Usage Dry Oil (Deluxe Travel Size 50ml) 

The NUXE Huile Prodigieuse Oil has been a French cult beauty purchase for decades now due to its uniquely beautiful scent and the way it nourishes, repairs and softens the skin and also help keep hair healthy and nourished. The Huile Prodigieuse Oil with Golden Shimmer is the perfect companion for a summer holiday or to give that extra glow (because who doesn't?!) as it features shimmering mineral particles in its cult dry oil formula to give that luminous, light-reflecting glow. This cult oil contains a blend of nourishing oils such as Tsubaki, camellia, hazelnut, borage, St Johnswort, sweet almond, and macadamia as well as Vitamin E for protection. There is a multitude of ways to use this iconic oil, whether it be on the ends of the hair, on the body or mixed with makeup for the complexion, the NUXE Huile Prodigieuse Golden Shimmer Multi-Usage Dry Oil is sure to be a luxurious, multi-tasking treat.

Kérastase's Elixir Ultime Hair Oil 100ml (Full Size)

The Kérastase's Elixir Ultime Hair Oil is said to be a versatile hair oil that works to help treat, protect and strengthen the hair. It contains a blend of oils such as argan and maize that helps to nourish the hair, reducing the appearance of split ends and give the hair that beautiful glossy shine. It seems to be an easy treat for the hair as it can be used almost at any time - before or after a blow dry or at any time during the day for that extra TLC.

skinChemists London Pro-5 Collagen Gold Eye Pads (5 sets, Full Size)

If there is an area on the face that needs a pick me up, it is definitely around the eye area, as those late nights I have been having are catching up with me! Oh, how I value a decent night's sleep! The thing with lack of sleep is that it's really hard to cover up and I am excited to try these skinChemists London Pro-5 Collagen Gold Eye Pads. These collagen eye patches are infused with gold and promise to replenish moisture and hydration and unveil a revitalized, illuminated eye contour. It seems to be the perfect 10-minute solution to tired eyes.

Peter Thomas Roth 24K Gold Mask (Deluxe Travel Size 50ml) 

This Peter Thomas Roth mask looks incredibly opulent with its beautiful shimmering gold colour. The cult mask is infused with 24 karat gold which is said to lighten, brighten and firm the skin. Using ingredients such as glycerin and hyaluronic acid, the Peter Thomas Roth 24K Gold Mask would also be quite hydrating and nourishing for the skin. The addition of caffeine in this mask also works to help to lift and firm the complexion. Let's hope this mask is truly as opulent as it sounds!

Chantecaille Faux Cils Mascara (Deluxe Size)

This mascara has RAVE reviews from one of my closest friends, she's a true mascara junkie and I was very excited to see this deluxe size featured in the Beauty Expert Gold Edition. This incredibly luxe mascara takes advantage of the latest Peptide Technology to dramatically enhance length, thickness, and fullness in the eyelashes. Using natural waxes and rosewater, Chantecaille Faux Cils Mascara helps to not only separate the lashes are the ultimate 'falsie' look but also to condition and protect. I am seriously hoping for some lusciously full lashes with this!

Mauli Reawaken Himalayan Hand and Body Scrub (90g, Delxue Sample Size)

This body scrub is one of those lush treats that you would pamper yourself with after an exhausting day of work or as a Sunday Pamper Session. It's a beautiful exfoliator that is 100% natural and made with simple yet potent ingredients such as Himalayan Pink Crystal Salt and mixed with ith nourishing oils such as Sweet Almond, Coconut, Argan and Moringa Oil. Its wonderful and relaxing when massaged into the body and its scent citrus and florals make it a delight to use. The best thing after using this is the radiant, soft and hydrating skin that is left.

Wishing to treat yourself to this amazing collection? Sign up at Beauty Expert for this collection and all the future collections to come!

 

 

 

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Two weeks ago, I mentioned in my previous blog post that I have accumulated quite a few empties over the past few months and just haven't had the time to share with you this collection of products. As promised, here is part 2 of my empties adventure - with a good mix of skincare, haircare and even a sunscreen!  

I find that with my empties, there seems to be a recurring trend of a few products. This post especially contains some old favourites which you may have seen pop up in previous posts. However, there is a reason why they keep springing up all the time - they just happen to be some of my tried and true holy grails. Read on for part 2 of my empties!

***Please note anything with a * has been kindly gifted to me without the expectation of a review. These are my own honest opinions, and the reason why I am writing about them is...well...they are empty! 

Maelove The Sun Protector*

I am not going to lie, but a GOOD mineral sunscreen can be quite difficult to find, especially ones that feel nice on the skin, sink in nicely, work well with other products and leave little/no white cast. If you are looking for a mineral sunscreen like this - I would suggest looking no further than Maelove's The Sun Protector. This mineral sunscreen uses zinc oxide (18.6%) as the main filter and has a really lightweight feel once applied on the skin. For my medium toned Asian skin, it leaves little white cast and it sinks in very nicely on the complexion. It doesn't feel like a typical mineral sunscreen (ie. heavy), instead it feels quite sheer and light on the skin. I find that I can apply this over my moisturiser and underneath makeup quite easily as it leaves a natural finish to the skin. In terms of how well it sits underneath my primer and makeup as I haven't had any issues when using it with my usual Nars Sheer Glow and J.One Primer. I enjoy the fact that this doesn't have any smell to it. It doesn't smell like sunscreen and it doesn't smell heavily fragranced (this is fragrance-free). This mineral sunscreen is also quite hydrating on the skin as well and can also double as a primer due to its smoothing, natural finish. 

The only downside for me for this formula is the fact it is only an SPF30 - I would personally love to be a SPF50+ so that I can wear this to the beach or on a day where I spend a lot of time outdoors due to its fantastic formula and feel. Maelove's The Sun Protector is probably one of the best mineral sunscreen formulations I have ever tried in both its cosmetic elegance and its price is one that I think is quite hard to beat! It's great value.  

Maelove's The Sun Protector is USD$17.95 for 50ml and can be purchased on the Maelove website. 

Mabel + Meg Enchanter Eye Serum*

If you are looking for a simple eye serum/treatment that helps to hydrate and depuff the eye area then the Mabel + Meg Enchanter Eye Serum might be right up your alley. This eye serum has been an absolute saviour on days where my eyes have felt dry or irritated due to allergies, as it helps to soothe around the eye area and also works to plump and hydrate underneath the eyes like no other. I love the fact it is both so gentle and hydrating, making it perfect to use at any time. The fact this eye serum is so moisturising and plumping makes it the perfect remedy to help with concerns such as fine lines around the eye area and its soothing nature makes it really helpful against puffiness and dark circles. 

The Mabel + Meg Enchanter Eye Serum often makes an appearance in my skincare routines due to the fact it is so effective in keeping my eye area hydrated and it truly is a saviour for my sensitive eye area, especially when it is irritated and dry. Its incredibly gentle formulation and lightweight feel makes it perfect for me to use both day and night and it also works really well mixed in with a concealer. This is one I will defnately be repuachsing. 

Mable + Meg's Enchanter Eye Serum can be purchased from Mable + Meg directly for GBP £29.00, USD$38 and AUD$51 for 15ml. 

Josh Rosebrook The Hydration Accelerator

I never really understood the hoo-ha over Josh Rosebrook's The Hydration Accelerator until I tried it for myself and I have to say its absolutely stunning! The scent is so delicate, fresh and relaxing and it works to not only freshen the skin but also to revitalise your mood. This mist can be used at any time - after cleansing to help balance out and calm the skin, as a final step of a skincare/makeup routine or during the day as a quite spritz to look hydrated. I find that this gives the complexion that added hint of hydration to keep the skin looking dewy and healthy at any time of day. 

What I also really enjoy about Josh Rosebrook's The Hydration Accelerator is the fact that its applicator also actually 'mists'. There are no nasty spurts of product on the face, instead, this beautiful liquid mists evenly and gently on to the complexion. The scent, fresh, dewy complexion and even application that Josh Rosebrook's The Hydration Accelerator gives is a few of the reason's why this is a favourite among many.  

The Hydration Accelerator can be purchased from Josh Rosebrook directly and is USD$35 for 120ml.

African Botanics Resurrection Cell Recovery Serum*

This product doesn't really need any introduction - it is by far one of my favourite night time serums of all time. It's a real testament to just how much I love this serum as I have gone through about 4 of these now. It is a holy grail for me and for a more in-depth review, I have written one here

A 30ml bottle of the African Botanics Resurrection Cell Recovery Serum will cost USD$160 from African Botanics, GPB£132.00 from Cultbeauty and AUD$233 from Mecca Cosmetica

Oribe Serene Scalp Anti-Dandruff Shampoo

My scalp is super sensitive and quite often, hair products just don't seem to want to work with me. Over the past 6-7 months, I have had a few reactions to hair products resulting in an itchy, flaky scalp. When Oribe released the Serene Scalp range, I knew that I had to give this a go as the Gold Lust shampoo and conditioner are my holy grails. Every instance where I had a reaction, I would use the Serene Scalp shampoo and conditioner and after a few weeks of use, my itchy, flaky scalp would be no more. 

The shampoo itself is lovely to use and it does have a nice lather, despite not having SLS in the formulation. It doesn't leave my hair as soft as Gold Lust, but keep in mind this isn't the sole focus of the range. The shampoo in conjuction with the conditioner has really helped with my scalp and my issues with dandruff and for that, I will absolutely be repurchasing and keeping this aside as a backup. 

The Oribe Serene Scalp Balancing Shmpoo can be purchased from Beautylish for USD$44 for 250ml. 

Oribe Serene Scalp Balancing Conditioner

The Oribe Serene Scalp Conditioner is the perfect partner to the shampoo and helps to soothe the scalp and detangle the hair. It works really well not only with the Serene Scalp Shampoo but also with others as well (I have used this with Gold Lust before). I find that this conditioner works quite well to keep my hair looking soft and smooth and is the perfect balance to the matching shampoo which does contain actives such as salicylic acid. Whilst again, the results aren't quite the same as the Gold Lust range, it is important to remember that the Serene Scalp is mainly there to help with issues such as dandruff. It still does leave my hair looking and feeling soft, smooth and healthy. 

Compared with other anti-dandruff ranges, this not only assists with the issue itself but still gives the hair that glossy, smooth, silky finish we all love. Plus the packaging is super pretty in pastel pink! There is no doubt that both the Serene Scalp range does have the typical Oribe pricing attached to it, and whilst there are other cheaper alternatives out there, the brand seems to have always worked with my scalp and trying something completely new again was a risk I didn't want to take. For me, if you already have a great routine for dandruff then stay with what you already have (especially if it is cheaper!) and don't jump ship just yet. However, if you are like me and Oribe seems to be a brand that just works for you, definitely look into the Serene Scalp range. 

The Oribe Serene Scalp Balancing Conditioner can be purchased from Beautylish for USD$46 for a 200ml tube. 

DrGL Skin Repair

I have spoken about how much I adore this little serum and how I am adamant it is made from unicorn tears as it works to heal my skin lit no other. PIH marks are gone, as this little beauty helps to heal those dreaded pigmentation spots caused by pimples (and in my case picking).  Using plant stem cell technology, the liquid gold in this little green bottle works to repair and heal the skin in a record amount of time.  I find that my PIH and scarring disappear so much faster when using this and I don't think I could ever be without this. Ever. My skin just loves this that much and I love the rapid results that I get from using this. 

I usually use this to spot treat on any blemishes or on areas that I have been naughty and 'picked' at. When applied on a fresh blemish, I find that it overnight, it has already started to heal and diminish, redness is absolutely reduced. However, the real magic with this happens with areas that I have attacked or are in the healing phase. Within a week of constant use, the area in which I have spot treated has healed significantly. Depending on the scarring, I find that within 2-3 weeks the area of pigmentation has almost disappeared or has lightened significantly. Usually, around the 5-6 week mark, traces of PIH have completely disappeared and the area of skin looks like nothing had ever erupted. The sheer efficacy and speed in which my skin heals with this little bottle of magic astounds me and is the reason why I will continually purchase this again. 

DrGL's Skin Repair can be purchased directly from the DrGL website for SGP$118 for 10ml. 

Jordan Samuel Skin The Performance Cream*

This is an empty which I had actually finished a very long time ago and always kept forgetting to add this on to my list! Overall the Jordan Samuel Skin The Performance Cream is a fantastic, lightweight and hydrating moisturiser that works well on its own but also mixes in well with other serums and oils. It's a great 'basic' moisturiser which aims at doing exactly what a moisturiser should do - keep the skin hydrated and to also lock in any other products underneath. You can read all about my thoughts on this in an in-depth review here

Jordan Samuel Skin's The Performance Cream can be purchased directly from the Jordan Samuel Skin website for USD$38 for 60ml. 

 

 

 

 

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Wow, we are here. Towards the beginning of the second half of 2018 - I swear time flies, doesn't it? Before you know it, the Christmas prep and shopping would have begun. Its a little scary just how quickly time has flown this year. 

Its been a while since I last did an empties post and I think I have accumulated quite a significant amount empties. The past few months have been a little bit of a blur and I haven't been so great at keeping up to date with products I have used up. However, I am proud of myself for using up quite a few products. So much so, I do think I have to split this into two parts! Here's a little taste (part one) of what I have been using up since May. 

***Please note anything with a * has been kindly gifted to me without the expectation of a review. These are my own honest opinions, and the reason why I am writing about them is...well...they are empty! Any links marked with a ^ is an affiliate link which helps me to support my blog. I won't be offended if you don't use them!

J.One Skincare Jelly Pack*

There was a time where Hourglass' Veil Primer was my go to, and don't get me wrong it was (and still is) a great primer. However, the J.One Jelly Pack is now my primer of choice and my all time favourite due to the dewy/natural finish it gives my makeup and the fact foundation just clings to this and wears so wonderfully throughout the day. 

The J.One Jelly Pack has a really interesting texture that takes a while to get used to at first. Typical of Korean Beauty products - this jelly pack has a unique texture - it comes out of the pump like a gel but when applied it feels 'sticky'. Don't stress, - this sticky feeling soon disappears once foundation has been applied over the top and what it reveals is a really beautiful glowy radiance. 

I find that makeup just clings so well to this and barely moves throughout the day. My NARS Sheer Glow, for instance, stays put that little longer when I use the J. One Jelly Pack. I find that I don't look at all greasy or undone at the end of the day, it even performs well in the summer heat. However what I love the most about the J.One Jelly Pack is quite simply, my makeup lasts on my combination skin - without that silicone feeling that we often find with primers. I find that my skin feels and looks more luminous, hydrated and plump when using this primer, compared to others I have tried in the past. Foundation doesn't 'settle' and skin doesn't look as dry when I choose this primer in the morning over others. 

Marketed as an 'all in one', I honestly haven't tried this as a mask or as a moisturiser - for me, this has primarily been used as a primer with the added bonus of 'skincare' properties. The stickiness of the product on its own probably would make it a little uncomfortable to be used solely as a skincare product for me. However as a primer - the J.One Jelly Pack absolutely performs - so much so that I have repurchased it along with the new RED version as well (which I think I may love more).

The J.One Jelly Pack can be purchased from Glow Recipe for USD$42 for 50ml. 

Eau Thermale Avene Tolerance Emulsion*

When it comes to simple moisturisers that is truly simple in formulation - the Avene Tolerance Emulsion is hands down an absolute winner. It's simple, effective and short ingredients listing makes it not only perfect for those with sensitised skin but also for those who are using actives in their daily routines. The formulation of the Tolerance Emulsion is simple enough that the actives contained in serums/oil won't interact negatively with the moisturiser itself, making this perfect for layering.

What I love about this moisturiser is that whilst it is simple enough to lock in all the active skincare products underneath, it also works extremely well to keep the skin moisturised without that heavy greasy feeling. It is also great for when skin is feeling a little sensitised, as on its own, it will work to nourish and hydrate the complexion as the formulation is just so simple (8 ingredients all up!) and will most likely not aggravate anything further. 

The Avene Tolerance Emulsion comes in a 50ml tube and can be purchased from Avene USA for USD$38 or Boots UK for GBP£13.50

moss skincare Beurre Celeste Cleansing Balm*

I wrote about how much I loved this last week and of course - now I am all out of my first Beurre Celeste Cleansing Balm. Not to fret though, I've already purchased a back up of this. Not much else needs to be said as I've gone into much detail here, but overall, I would say this is a holy grail cleanser for me. It's just THAT good. 

I received my moss skincare Beurre Celeste Cleansing Balm from the Boxwalla Green Beauty Box - at USD$49.95 these boxes are of amazing value (the moss skincare June Box and the upcoming African Botanics box is a testament to that!). You can subscribe to the box via my affiliate link here

The moss skincare Beurre Celeste Cleansing Balm can also be purchased on its own from the moss skincare website for USD$70 for a 58ml jar. 

African Botanics Fleurs d'Afrique Intensive Recovery Cream*

There isn't much that African Botanics has done wrong for me when it comes to their skincare and this beautiful, luxurious cream is an absolute testament to that. It's truly a stunning cream that takes you to another place once you open up that opulent black glass jar. I absolutely adore this night cream for many reasons and it is often a go-to of mine in the evening due to its scent, texture and the way my skin looks and feels when I wake up in the morning. I've written an in-depth review here if you want to know a little bit more about why I love this. 

The African Botanics Fleurs d'Afrique Intensive Recovery Cream comes in a luxe, glass 60ml black jar and can be purchased from the African Botanics website for USD$350 or from Cult Beauty^ for £300. 

African Botanics Fleurs d'Afrique Intensive Recovery Oil*

The partner in crime to African Botanic's Intensive Recovery Cream is the luxe Fleurs d'Afrique Intensive Recovery Oil which is wonderful on its own, mixed with a moisturiser or your choice or - my personal favourite, mixed with the Intense Recovery Cream. This oil is unlike any evening oil I have used before as this luxurious concoction simply sinks into the skin so effortlessly upon application and leaves the skin looking refreshed and fantastic the next morning. 

Created with exotic cocktail indigenous African plant oils and extracts, the Intensive Recovery Oil works to nourish, balance, protect and rejuvenate the complexion. Alongside these beautiful plant oils and extracts, come some great actives such as CoQ10, Vitamin C and Retinol which give the African Botanics Fleurs d'Afrique Intensive Recovery Oil a little more oomph in its formulation. These actives work gently alongside its 'natural' counterparts and my skin loves the effect the combination of nature and science found in this formula. 

The African Botanics Fleurs d'Afrique Intensive Recovery Oil has overall worked exceptionally well to keep my skin feeling balanced, soft and revitalised the next day. Out of all the oils in the evening, I really do like to reach for this due to its lightweight texture upon application and the results I see overnight. When my skin feels a little dull or looks a little tired or stressed I will often turn to this luxurious oil as it will boost my complexion and leave it looking healthy and nourished in the morning. Not only does this oil work wonders for the complexion, the delicate yet heavenly scent of this makes it an absolute treat to use in an evening routine, reminding me very much of a walk through an exotic jasmine garden. 

There are some great things going on with the African Botanics Fleurs d'Afrique Intensive Recovery Oil, which retails for USD$250 on the African Botanics website. There is actually a great Boxwalla Edit^ coming in August, where there will be a FULL-size African Botanics Fleurs d'Afrique Intensive Recovery Oil all for the subscription price of USD$49.95. Run don't walk on this!!!

CLE Cosmetics CCC Cream

CLE Cosmetics CCC Cream is a fantastic formulation - it works to well to be an all in one- providing colour, coverage and SPF. This white tube provides the skin with amazing coverage, blurring powers and an SPF of 45. This unique formula comes in 5 different shades and will at first appear white when squeezed out of its tube. The magic starts to happen as the CCC cream is worked into the skin, the white slowly starts to adjust the colour of the skin giving a buildable and very natural looking light to medium coverage of the skin.

What I love about the CLE Cosmetics Radiant Skin CCC Cream is the coverage it gives my skin and its ability to make my skin look almost perfect when it really isn't. It gives a beautiful dewy finish to and blurs out my imperfections (like scarring) on the skin. The magic is in the blurring capabilities of the formula - those PIH marks or pesky spots look barely there when I apply this with medium coverage and the formulation lasts well throughout the day.  On application, this did leave a slight white/grey tone to my skin, but I suspect it is more so due to the fact the colour I have isn't quite a 100% match for me. For me, the CLE Cosmetics CCC Cream sits well and doesn't pill underneath my daily skincare routine and overall, it performs really well and gives the skin that radiant, natural glow. I will be definitely looking to purchase this again once I have used up some of my existing foundations/tinted moisturisers but perhaps a different colour as this particular colour looked a little grey on me. 

The CLE Cosmetics Radiant Skin CCC Cream comes in a 30ml tube can be purchased from CLE Cosmetics online for USD$31. 

MAC Cosmetics Prep + Prime Lip*

A tried and true favourite and a product that I will continue to repurchase forever and ever. The MAC Lip Primer is something I highly doubt I can ever be without. Bold coloured lipsticks just stay put when I use this - whether it be matte or creamy in formulation. The littlest of feathering will occur with lipsticks that do tend to 'wander' and this primer works it very hardest to give the lip the smoothest foundation possible for a bold lip. When I use this lip primer for my lips, I rarely use lip liner, not just because I am lazy but I also find that I really don't need this step for a day to day makeup look. It really is a favourite of mine and I don't think I will ever be without. 

The MAC Lip primer helps all the lip products that I use to effortlessly glide over the surface of my lips and doesn't pull the product. The result? A near perfect pout. 

MAC Cosmetics Prep + Prime Lip can be purchased from MAC for USD$17.50GBP£14.00 and AUD$33for 1.7g of product. 

Drunk Elephant La La Retro Whipped Cream*

I won a pack of Drunk Elephant's Littles a little while ago and was looking forward to being reunited with La La Retro Whipped Cream. This moisturiser really is whipped in texture and feels so incredibly soft on the skin. It looks and feels like it is quite heavy, however, once applied this does disappear and sink into the skin beautifully. I find that it is a great moisturiser to mix with oils or wear on its own if the skin needs a little more hydration or nourishment. 

In the colder months, this is perfect for my combination skin as it provides my skin with that extra boost that I need. In the summer, I would probably use this in the evenings only as it does start getting a little heavy (I like really light textures in summer). I find that this does a fantastic job of giving the skin that boost of extra nourishment and protects the skin from getting dry due to its formula which is rich in plant oils. It keeps skin that is lacking moisture and hydration looking smooth, soft and firm. Due to its relatively neutral formula, this is a great option for those who like to layer or mix oils into the moisturisers as the ingredients of La La Retro will not interact. I would consider purchasing this again the colder months as it has worked so well keeping my skin hydrated and protected from the cold and intense heating. This is a mini but a full-size version of Drunk Elephant's La La Retro Whipped Cream is USD$60 for 50ml from the Drunk Elephant website

Go To Skincare Pinky Nudey Lips!

Go To Skincare possibly makes one of the best lip balms ever (I am a huge fan of the original formulation) and I have gone through various tubes of the Lips! and Pinky-Nudey Lips! as it is after all my go to (excuse the pun) lip balm. I love the fact that this is so hydrating and nourishing for my lips. When my lips are looking quite dry and I apply Lips! on, I find the condition of my lips improves quite significantly. The Pinky-Nudey Lips! formula doesn't feel 'sticky' or 'tacky' on the lips but instead is a really comfortable formulation to wear on its own. The added 'tint' to the formula is a really lovely universal 'pinky nudey' shade which resembles a little like NARS Dolce Vita. An added bonus to this version of the Lips! Lip balm is also the fact it has an SPF15 to it. 

There's a reason why I continue to buy (for myself and international friends) the Go to Skincare lip balms - quite simply they work wonders for. The cute packaging (and my added girl crush on founder Zoe Foster-Blake) is a bonus. Pinky Nudey Lips! can be purchased from Go to Skincare for AUD$17 or the normal Lips! from Sephora USA for USD$12

How have your empties been like this month? I would love to hear more in the comments section below!

 

 

 

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As many of you know, I do enjoy using green beauty products, not because they are necessarily 'green' but because they work so well for my skin. However, my love for skincare has never just stopped at green beauty - I have embraced everything from Korean Skincare products, cosmeceuticals as well as those products you would find at your local drugstore. At the end of the day, I like products that quite simply work for my skin, doesn't cause my skin to freak out and are an absolute joy to use in both texture and scent. Over the past 18 months of blogging, I have come to realise that the products that seem to work best for me are a fusion of science and natural ingredients and there are a few brands that I find that do this quite well.  African Botanics is one of those skincare brands where almost everything I have tried, I have absolutely loved and there are a few products in the range which I will happily say are my holy grails and I could never live without. As much as I hate to admit it - their most recent release, the Fleurs d'Afriques Intensive Recovery Cream has actually made it to that list. The reason why I hate admitting it? The cost of this cream is sure to raise some eyebrows for some, as it does retail for USD$350, putting it right up there with La Mer's famed Creme de La Mer, however unlike La Mer, I find that the African Botanics Fleurs d'Afriques Intensive Recovery Cream is worth every single penny. 

*** Please note that this item was kindly gifted to me by African Botanics with no expectation of a review of any kind. However, I am a huge fan of the brand and I have been asked alot about this product that I felt there was a need to share my thoughts on how much I do love it. 

What Is It? 

The African Botanics Fleurs d'Afriques Intensive Recovery Cream is a night cream that takes advantages of exotic night blooms, indigenous African Desert and Bush Plants™ and potent concentrations of highly advanced marine biotechnology which helps to protect, soothe and heal the skin. Basically, it is a night cream on natural ingredients steroids. 

What Does It Do?

This is a multi-correcting face cream that is said to stimulate cell renewal and works to plump, nourish and protect the skin. The cream works to help restores the skin’s density and bounce whilst improving texture and luminosity. The African Botanics Fleurs d'Afriques IIntensive Recovery Cream works to deeply hydrate the skin and also helps to infuse the skin with moisture. The cream also claims to help the skin fight the signs of ageing skin with its use of powerful antioxidants. On top of all of this, the Intense Recovery Cream also helps to soothe and calm the skin, whilst also speeding up the recovery of the damaged cells. 

Ingredients:

Jasmine Flower Water, Aloe Ferox Leaf Extract, Trichilia Emetica (Cape Mahogany) Butter*, Sodium Hyaluronate, Hydrolyzed Rice Protein, Centella Asiatica (Gotu Kola) Leaf Extract, Hydrolyzed Soybean Fiber, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Hydrolyzed Millet, Hydrolyzed Pea, Verbena officinalis (Vervain) Extract, Kigelia Africana Fruit Extract, Jasmine Grandiflorum (Jasmine) Flower Oil, Tocopherol, Cylindrotheca Fusiformis (Microalgae) Extract, Resveratrol, Green Coffee Extract, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Protein, Oxido Reductases, Ubiquinone (CoQ10), Myrothamus Flabellifolius (Resurrection) Plant, Panthenol, Mangifera Indica (Mango) Seed Butter*, Sclerocarya Birrea (Marula) Seed Oil, Adansonia Digitata (Baobab)*, Citrillus Lanatus (Kalahari Melon)* Seed Oil, Schinziophyton Rautanenii (Mongongo) Kernel Oil, Cyclopia Genistoides (Honeybush) Leaf Extract, Bulbinella Nutens Extract, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Extract, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Cetyl Alcohol, Vegetable Glycerin, Schinziophyton Mangifera Indica (Mango) Seed Butter, Copper Gluconate, Niacinamide, Anthemis Nobilis (Roman Chamomile), Rosa Mosqueta (Rosehip) Oil, Caffein, Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate (Vitamin C Ester), Saccharide Isomerate, Pearl Powder, Arnica Cordifolia Extract, Aspalathus Linearis (Rooibos) Extract, Calendula, Diamond microspheres, Citrus Bergamia Oil, Ethylhexylglycerin, Phenoxyethanol. *Wild-Harvested. 

My Thoughts

In three words - I. LOVE. THIS. If you are on the market for a luxe, high-end night cream then the African Botanics Fleurs d'Afrique Intensive Recovery Cream is a product that you must try. This cream is absolutely beautiful in scent, texture and of course how it performs. I absolutely love having this in my skincare arsenal as it manages to keep my skin calm, protects my skin, helps it to heal and gives me a nourished and healthy complexion in the morning. This works not only as a great everyday evening cream but also works wonders as an SOS treatment for the skin. Its performance has amazed me, and due to its price point, I really didn't want to love it...but like any forbidden love story, I fell head over heels for this. 

The Intensive Recovery Cream is an incredibly luxe night cream that seems to be jam-packed full of exotic sounding butters, oils and plant extracts. With a list that is clearly heavy in botanicals as well as some active ingredients, it's hard to go through every single ingredient in detail. Packed full of antioxidants such as Resveratrol, CoQ10, Oxidoreductase, Vitamin C, Green Coffee, Caffein and Niacinamide, the Fleurs d'Afriques helps to protect the skin from environmental stressors. As a coffee lover, I love the use of coffee in both the Green Coffee Extract and Caffein which is said  to have potent antioxidant properties as it helps protect cells against the UV radiation and slows down the process of photoaging of the skin. Caffeine’s other impressive properties is that it works to enhance other antioxidant ingredients such as green tea, white tea and resveratrol, providing a boost to those ingredients which neutralise free radicals and help to improve the texture of the skin. The formula also takes advantage of blue marine microalgae - rich in antioxidants and nutrients which also work to help protect the skin from free radical damage as well as help to renew and repair skin tissue. Plant peptides are also featured in the formulation and are derived from native African plant species, these plant peptides are naturally derived and are said to help protect the skin from oxidative stress, boost collagen synthesis, reinforce the density of the skin and improving the skin's texture. 

Like with any other African Botanics skincare product, a nod to the amazing botanicals that are native to Africa is essential. The Intensive Recovery Cream is absolutely jam-packed with exotic ingredients such as Kigelia Africana, Bulbinella, Resurrection plant, HoneyBush and Green Rooibos tea which come from the African Desert. These ingredients are renowned for their medicinal and reparative benefits and have been used by African tribes for years to help soothe inflamed, dry, irritated skin, relieving itchiness and work as an antimicrobial. Along with these soothing benefits, ingredients such as South African Aloe Ferox (otherwise known as Cape Aloe) and Bulbine Frutescens helps to hydrate the skin, enhancing its firmness and aiding in the skin looking plump. Aloe Ferox belongs to the Aloe family and works well as a skin moisturiser and humectant, helping the skin to maintain and preserve moisture. Studies have also shown that Aloe Ferox also aids in skin repair, helping to facilitate wound repair and inhibiting bacteria growth in the wounded skin. For extra nourishment for the skin, the African Botanics Fleurs d'Afriques Intense Recovery Cream takes advantage of butters such as Cape Mahogany Butter and various types of mango seed butter, as well as their signature wild harvested Marula oil. Each of these butters and oils are rich in essential fatty acids to help nourish and protect the skin's barrier. 

Even though the ingredient listing looks to be quite impressive, does it perform? Well, for me, the magic of this little black jar really is in the way it works on my skin. This cream is just amazing in the way it helps to soothe, nourish, hydrate and reset the complexion. On bad skin days/weeks, I love to use this cream in the evening to help heal and repair the skin. This cream helps to not only seal in any serums/oils applied underneath, it also works its magic to calm any angry, itchy areas of skin. Its clever use of oils and butters, mixed with its complex use of plant peptides and extracts help to hydrate, nourish and replenish the complexion with nutrients minus the feeling of heaviness or tackiness on the skin. I find that when I use this in the evening on angry skin days, my complexion looks visibly calmer, revitalised and overall much healthier the next morning. On those days where my skin is quite normal and I still reach out to use this (I love it and I want to use this all the time), my complexion looks brighter, refreshed and even in tone. I have been using the African Botanics Fleurs d'Afrique Intensive Recovery Cream a few days a week over the past few months now, and I have to say that in this time period I feel that my skin's texture has improved quite remarkably, it's healing faster, I'm getting fewer breakouts and overall my skin looks much healthier and clearer. My face is also less irritated and when I do get a spot, this helps to calm the area down, by the next morning, the redness in the area has generally subsided.

Whilst I have also been using other products consistently, I can't help but wonder if the Fleurs d'Afrique Intensive Recovery Cream has anything to do with my happier looking complexion as most of the other products I have been using are to target issues such as PIH. Whilst the improvement in my skin may not be single-handedly attributed to the Fleurs d'Afrique Intensive Recovery Cream on its own, I feel that it has played a part in the positive change I am seeing in my skin. For me, the improvements I can see in my complexion are both instant (instant calmness and skin looking revitalised) also can be seen over a period of time (improved skin texture and health). For me, these results are what I would normally expect from a serum, so to potentially see this in a moisturiser is so promising and is one of the reasons why I do love using this night cream on a regular basis and is the reason why I reach for it so often.  I am so impressed with its overall performance. The difference I have seen in my skin is quite remarkable and its scent and texture just add to the luxurious experience that the Fleurs d'Afrique IntensiveRecovery Cream creates. 

Aside from the performance of the African Botanics Fleurs d'Afrique Intensive Recovery Cream, it also gets its texture so incredibly right. Whilst the cream looks and feels quite rich initially, once applied on the face, this velvety smooth cream melts and sinks into the skin like butter, leaving no heaviness or tackiness. It settles beautifully and effortlessly into the complexion and immediately leaves the skin feeling softer and smoother on application. As the Intense Recovery Cream is a little thicker and sinks so easily into the skin, I find that it does not spread as easily over the complexion as other moisturisers I have used, and it is best patted into the skin (like you would with a serum). Alternatively, if you are a lover of oils, this can also be mixed in with a little oil to give it that little bit more slip. Applied, either way, the Fleurs d'Afrique Intensive Recovery Cream melts into the complexion so smoothly, immediately hydrating and nourishing the skin. 

In terms of scent, the African Botanics Fleurs d'Afrique Intensive Recovery Cream smells like an exquisite night garden. It smells absolutely heavenly with notes of jasmine. Its a truly stunning and inviting scent that adds to the indulgence that is the Intensive Recovery Cream. As one of the night creams' first ingredients is Jasmine Flower water, the scent of this cream is the real deal and it does very much evoke a sense of walking through a garden filled with jasmine flowers at dusk. The scent of this cream further adds to the experience and ritual of a blissful skincare routine as the aroma is so delicate and calming to the senses, that it feels so decadent. Those who do not like essentials oils or heavy scents may have to reconsider the African Botanics Fleurs d'Afrique Intensive Recovery Cream though, as the scent might be too strong. I personally love beautiful scents in my skincare, especially light florals and therefore I have no qualms with the aroma of this gorgeous night cream. 

Even though I absolutely love and adore the African Botanics Fleurs d'Afrique Intensive Recovery Cream, the price tag of this, definitely puts it in the luxury category as it does retail for an eye-watering USD$350 or GBP£300. This is no doubt a definite splurge purchase as it puts it right up there with La Mer's Creme de la Mer. Unlike La Mer, I do believe that this has a much more sophisticated formulation, as it does contain very little fillers and more rare and unique ingredients that have been sustainably harvested. There is no doubt that its price point will put many off, but do keep in mind that its formulation is packed full of plant extracts, botanicals, wild harvested oils and butters that are so unique to Africa. Due to its texture and potency, only a little is needed so this jar does last. I am only at the halfway mark and I have been using this for a good 3-4 months now. It is clear that a little does go a very long way. The only other qualm is the packaging, I don't personally love jar packaging as I find it can get quite unhygienic (no fingers in jars for me!) and inconvenient. Despite its price and packaging though, the African Botanics Fleur d'Afriques Intense Recovery Cream is a product that I do highly recommend for those who are looking splurge on an indulgent cream for the evening. In all honesty, if I were to give up blogging and use just one night cream for the rest of my life, this cream would be it as its formulation and how it works for my skin is unlike any other night cream I have ever used. This is hand down a holy grail find for me. 

Repurchase YAY or NAY?

I wish I didn't have such expensive taste, but the African Botanics Fleurs d'Afrique Intensive Recovery Cream is undoubtedly a YAY for me. Hands. Down. YAY. I don't think I have used another evening cream like this that has kept my skin looking so healthy, calm, revitalised and renewed. I absolutely adore using this cream, not only for its performance but also for its luxurious, rich texture that absorbs into the skin so effortlessly and its beautifully intoxicating scent. Whilst this cream is expensive, its impressive ingredient listing and the fact so little goes such a long way makes it worth it for those who wish to be indulgent and splurge. There is no doubt that the African Botanics Fleurs d'Afrique Intensive Recovery Cream is a truly decadent yet high performing night cream that will continue to appear in my routines. It really is a holy grail find and something that I will absolutely repurchase again. 

The African Botanics Fleurs d'Afrique Intensive Recovery Cream comes in a luxe, glass 60ml black jar and can be purchased from the African Botanics website for USD$350 or from Cult Beauty^ for £300. 

Have you used anything from the African Botanics range? What was it and what did you think of it? I would love to hear you comments in the section below. 

 

 

 

 

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In recent months Boxwalla Green Beauty Boxes have really upped their game with their curations, collaborating with some of the very best in green beauty. Case in point was April's Twelve Beauty London Mask or the upcoming box which features one of my personal favourites - the African Botanics Fleurs d'Afrique Intense Recovery Oil (one of the best!). However, the box that has been a true highlight for me was none other than June's moss skincare box, which featured none other than moss skincare (of course), a brand which I have had on my radar for a while now but haven't quite taken the plunge to purchase. 

moss skincare stands for "Modern Organic Sacred Skincare" and was founded by Celestyna Higgins, a physicist in 2015. The brand focuses on creating superior and safe skincare that draws upon the power of plants and botanicals. Each formulation is highly concentrated and powerful due to the brand's use of botanical hydrosols instead of water as the basis for all formulations. Each and every moss Skincare product prides itself in combining nature with science, using premium plant extracts as well as tried and true actives such as Vitamin C

Beurre Celeste Honey Infused Cleansing Balm was on the of items featured in Boxwalla and I haven't really put it down since. This cleansing balm has been enjoyable in almost every aspect of use - from the opening of the jar when you get that whiff of sweet floral honey to the way the balm melts on the complexion and finally to the beautiful lit from within glow this amazing balm gives as it washes off (effortlessly I might add...not cloth required). I've been using this so much that I have nearly run out and have since repurchased. I've quickly fallen in love with Beurre Celeste - so much so I would say its at Holy Grail status. 

***Please note I have been kindly gifted these products from the Boxwalla Green Beauty box with no expectation of a review. I simply adore this product so much that I had to share. All opinions about this product are my own honest thoughts and opinions. There are affiliate links in this post (anything Boxwalla FYI) but no pressure to use them

What Is It?

The Beurre Celeste Cleansing Balm is a beautiful honey-infused cleansing balm that emulsifies with water. 

What Does It Do?

The Beurre Celeste Cleansing Balm works to remove makeup and SPF, as well as provide with the skin with a gentle exfoliation to leave the skin smooth, fresh and clean. This cleansing balm works to preserve the integrity of the skin barrier. 

Ingredients: 

Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil*, Mel (Local Organic Honey)*, Garcinia Indica (Kokum) Butter*, Macadamia Ternifolia (Macadamia Nut) Seed Oil*, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Esters*, Di-PPG-2 Myreth-10 Adipate, Hydroxystearyl Alcohol, Hydroxystearyl Glucoside, Sorbitan Olivate, Sunflower Lecithin*, Hippophae Rhamnoides (Sea Buckthorn) Fruit CO2 Extract*, Citrus Bergamia (Bergamot) Oil FCF, Backhousia Citriodora (Lemon Myrtle) Oil*, Cymbopogon Martinii (Palmarosa) Oil*, Coriandrum Sativum CO2 Extract*, Pelargonium Graveolens (Geranium) Oil*, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Extract *Organic/Wildcrafted

* Organic/Wildcrafted (90%)

My Thoughts:

Two words: HOLY GRAIL. The moss skincare Beurre Celeste Cleansing Balm has quickly become a favourite of mine, so much so that I am so close to finishing my current one and have already gone ahead and repurchased another. It really is just THAT good. This cleansing balm ticks all the right boxes for me - everything from the scent, texture to how it works and rinses off. Celestyna Higgins (founder of moss) has truly hit the nail on the head with this beauty of a cleanser. 

So what makes this so special? Well really, it just comes down to the formulation and how this gorgeous balm performs. The Beurre Celeste Cleansing Balm incorporates all the things I love about green beauty cleansers - the scent, the ritual, the escape. The scent of the moss Skincare's cleansing balm is sweet and delectable. Due to the use raw Nebraska honey (straight from hives located on environmentally protected USDA Pollinator Habitat land along the Loup River within Central Nebraska), Beurre Celeste smells like a honey cake straight out of the oven. It's sweet and floral scent (due to the other plant extracts) makes it such a pleasure to use, both in the morning and at night. 

Once the scent has hit, moss skincare's Beurre Celeste Cleansing Balm has the most beautiful texture. In the jar, it is like a typical balm cleanser with a beautiful golden hue. However, once warmed up in the palms of the hand, this becomes a luxurious thick oil that spreads and is easily worked into the complexion. The balm feels wonderful on the skin, with a good slip that makes it really easy to massage into the complexion to rid the skin of any makeup, SPF or impurities. I also found that when using this, the balm would also gently slough off any dead skin cells (warning, this may sound disgusting to some) as the bits of skin/granules would be suspended in the oil itself. Despite is exfoliation qualities, I do find this cleanser so incredibly gentle still. 

When it comes to rinsing off the Beurre Celeste Cleansing Balm, the fact that this balm emulsifies into a soft gentle milk, making it a breeze to use in the morning and as a travel companion as well. This beautiful balm rinses clean with water and without the use of a cloth which is truly wonderful and amazing. In the world of green beauty, it's actually quite hard to find a cleansing balm that not only smells and feels great on the skin but also one that emulsifies. Once rinsed off, I can feel that my complexion is visibly clearer and brighter. This cleanser cleans the skin well (eye makeup and hard to remove lipstick gone) and it is so gentle on the complexion. It doesn't strip the skin or leave it feeling squeaky clean or dry. Instead, my complexion feels balanced, nourished and hydrated - most likely from the use of oils and luxe butters such as Sunflower Seed Oil,  Kokum Butter and Macadamia Seed Oil. I also find that the Beurre Celeste Cleansing Balm works wonders in calming the skin, especially in areas that are looking a little red or angry, including areas that may have broken out. Once I use this balm to cleanse the skin, I find that those areas have soothed down quite a bit and the redness has subsided. This may be due to the high percentage of raw honey used in the cleansing balm and also the Sea Buckthorn CO2 Extract. 

Beurre Celstete can also be used as a hydrating mask due to its delectable formulation. I personally haven't used it in this way (although I really should) but due to the high percentage of raw honey, nourishing oils, butters and pure plant extracts, I can see this being a super hydrating and calming mask. 

In terms of the ingredients used, there is no doubt that Beurre Celeste utilises some tried and true and ingredients. However, what Celestyna of moss skincare has done really well is combine these fantastic ingredients into a simply amazing cleanser. Raw honey is an ingredient that has been used for centuries, not only for consumption but also for traditional healing remedies due to it having a high nutritional profile. Raw honey is filled with flavonoids and polyphenols, which act as antioxidants to help protect the skin. Studies have shown that honey also has a high level of anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties, which is why it was such a medicinal favourite for centuries. Sea buckthorn fruit is another ingredient used in the Beurre Celeste Cleansing Balm, studies have shown that there is a presence of many active ingredients in the extract of common sea-buckthorn obtained by cold extraction from the fruit of the plant, including antioxidants, vitamin C, flavonoids, polyphenols and polysaccharides. Oils and butters used such a sunflower seed oil, kokum butter and macadamia oils have been carefully chosen for their non-comedogenic properties, lightweight feel, antibacterial, antioxidant properties and impressive fatty acid profiles. These oils work together to not only give Beurre Celeste its 'oil' base but also to help nourish, protect and maintain the skin's natural barrier when cleansing. As the moss skincare range does tend to focus quite a lot on skin types that are acne prone or quite oily in nature, the choice of ingredients for the Beurre Celeste Cleansing Balm show a real focus for antibacterial and soothing properties, whilst also respecting the skin's natural barrier function to help prevent further spots from occurring. 

There are two downsides to moss skincare's Beurre Celeste Cleansing balm with the main one being the cost. At USD$70 for 58ml of product, this product is in no way cheap and definitely is on the more luxury side of things. I found that I did go through this quite quickly (I also did use it lots) and for the everyday skincare junkie, this might be quite a bit of money to spend on a cleanser. It is most definitely a luxe purchase (do remember this is made in small batches and uses potent yet time-consuming techniques to create and extract ingredients), however for me, its worth every penny as I have not seen or used a cleanser quite like this one. The final downside (and it's not really a downside) is the size - I wish there was a bigger size available as I have just enjoyed using this so much. I find that 58ml doesn't last me as long as other cleansing balms. I just want a 100ml version of this gorgeous cleansing balm as I can't get enough! 

What I love about moss skincare's Beurre Celeste Cleansing Balm is that it not only works like a treat to successfully remove everything off the skin to leave a beautiful clean, healthy glow - it's a true experience. This cleansing balm isn't 'boring' in terms of its scent or texture - instead, it is a sensory and textural experience. However, what takes the cake for me, is that unlike a lot of green beauty oil/balm cleansers on the market, this beautiful cleansing balm is that little bit extra in its sophistication and it emulsifies. This makes it hands down one of my favourite cleansers as it not only gives me the sensory experience I love with a good green beauty cleanser, it also gives me the ease and convenience that often does lack in this category of skincare. 

Repurchase YAY or NAY? 

An absolute, yes and I already have. I love this cleansing balm and as mentioned before I think it does deserve holy grail status as it ticks all the boxes for me when it comes to a good cleansing balm. It's a great way to start the day or finish in the evening. It has everything going for it - ease of use, scent, texture and glow. It can be used quickly if in a rush or can be incorporated into an evening skincare pamper ritual. There is no doubt that moss skincare's Beurre Celeste is a favourite and I just wish it came in a bigger size. 

I received my moss skincare Beurre Celeste Cleansing Balm from the Boxwalla Green Beauty Box - at USD$49.95 these boxes are of amazing value (the moss skincare June Box and the upcoming African Botanics box is a testament to that!). You can subscribe to the box via my affiliate link here

The moss skincare Beurre Celeste Cleansing Balm can also be purchased on its own from the moss skincare website for USD$70 for a 58ml jar. 

Have you used anything from moss skincare before? What were your favourites? 

 

 

 

 

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As a 'blogger' (I hate that term), I am really lucky and blessed to have the opportunity to try all sorts of different skincare and beauty products. However, trust me when I say this - it is NOT as glamorous as you make think it is. To be honest, sometimes the sheer amount of volume of products that are sent can be quite overwhelming and at other times, brands put a lot of pressure to have a post or Instagram photo out ASAP. In my 2 years of blogging and Instagram, I have learned when to say "no" and I now know what sort of 'collaboration' works best for me. 

With reviews, I can sometimes take the LONGEST time to write one. Skincare products such as serums and eye creams are actually one of the hardest types of reviews to write due to the fact the product needs to be used for a decent amount of time consistently to see and know results. There is a reason why sometimes, I will have almost finished the bottle before I write a dedicated review of a product - I need to know the product well! Other products, I can get away with using in a shorter amount of time before reviewing, these include things such as masks or cleansers, where to results are pretty much instant. Makeup for me is a tough one as I am no makeup artist, I base my opinions on makeup very quickly as for me the product needs to work fast. Short little snippets of a review work best for me in this instance!

However, as a 'blogger' and a general consumer I find that there are products that don't quite work for me. Whether it be a reaction to the product in question or I find that the product a little disappointing in terms of results, texture or how just how it performs over time, there are products that I just didn't get on with. If there is one thing that I have learned in my time blogging is that not everything HAS to work for me and my skin can't agree with everything and it is okay to say so. 

*** Please note, I was kindly gifted these Aveda products in exchange for blog post. These didn't work for me, and thats okay! All the opinions in this post are my own honest opinions. 

It's Not You - It Could Just Be Me

One thing I think we all need to understand is that we are human. Part of being a living, breathing human is that we are all different. Everything from our genetic makeup, personality, conditions that we live in, habits, lifestyle etc. We are not all the same and this is so important when it comes to reading reviews because what works for Person XYZ will not necessarily work for you. There are plenty of examples of this on the internet. Cult products from brands such as The Ordinary, La Mer, SKII and recently for me, Aveda - all have rave reviews. However, there are people who just didn't get along with the product whether it be they didn't see the results that everyone was raving about, didn't see the value or the product led them to have an uncomfortable reaction. 

Speaking from my own personal experience, I was gifted products from Aveda. Looking at the ingredients on these products, they appeared fine for me to use (no SLS...yay!). However, after a few days using them, my scalp was an awful, dry and itchy mess. Quite simply, the product wasn't for me, and you know what? That's quite okay. 

It is really impossible to have a product work for everyone. The thing about beauty products, whether it be skincare, haircare or makeup is that half the fun is in discovering products. If something doesn't quite work, we can move on and find something else. It's an important message to remember as consumers AND as brands. 

Brands - this applies to you too

Going back to my story of my reaction to the Aveda products that I was gifted. Due to the fact these products were given to me, as good etiquette, I let the company know. Their response was one that really surprised me (in a good way). Basically, they said thanks for letting us know, and please be honest in how you feel about our products. This is something that I think a lot of brands - big or small need to really reflect on. Whilst the criticism might make a few people think twice about purchasing, nothing puts other off more than bad behaviour from brands. 

In my time on social media and blogging, there have been various dramas that have occurred on Instagram, the Reddit forums and of course on blogs. Quite simply, the behaviour of some brands has been rather appalling. Some brand owners can't take negative responses to their products and they expect everyone to love their hero or cult products. Whilst the vast majority of their users do honestly rave and love the product, others have just politely voiced that the product did not work for them or they may have questioned the efficacy. Those who offer a differing opinion should not be shut down and be treated awfully, they are absolutely entitled to. If you don't like what has been posted take a leaf out of brands like May Lindstrom Skin's book and perhaps help find the root of the problem. If that doesn't solve it, she graciously says thank you and moves on. 

Honesty First, PR Packages Second

Finally, in this rant, I look at you fellow bloggers. I don't understand bloggers who don't use products, yet post glowing reviews about them. How is this even humanly possible? There are products where I understand results can be seen instantly (think sheet masks, lipstick etc), but there are other products such as eye creams and serums where miracles, unfortunately, don't happen overnight or in two days. If it does, where can I get some? 

The blogger/influencer and PR relationship is an interesting one. If a PR company is sending items out, it generally is for consideration, unless otherwise specifically stated. To get in the good books of PR companies bloggers will generally need to post about a product and/or include a review (depending on the nature of the campaign). The more a blogger writes about a product from that PR agency (or brand), the more likely they PR agency will continue working with them. Please note, I when I say this, I don't mean everyone but only a select few, so please don't shoot me for saying this. However, there are some bloggers out there who constantly want 'free' goods and in order to continue this, they will write a 'great review' of a product on their blog. I am sure some of you have come across these 'reviews' whereby there is no substance, just a regurgitation of a press release with the added "I love this! It is amazing". Not very helpful if you are a consumer if you ask me. 

I am in no way perfect but when receiving PR packages, out of courtesy I will post an image of an item on my Instagram feed and/or include an Instagram story - blogs posts, however, are a whole other ball game. I only every post about products I really do enjoy using and when I do, I try to provide a little more of the why. Why did I love a product? Why didn't I like it? Lots of whys! Whilst I will admit, my blog is generally filled with 'positive' reviews, there are also some 'negative' ones there also, and with any 'good' review I give, I also do try to point out some of the flaws or issues with a product (for a lot of my products it is price!). If I can't review, I do try to think other creative ways to talk about the brand or the products - it doesn't have to be always reviews! It can be educational, though provoking or just fun!

So fellow bloggers, I do ask, when receiving products - please be transparent and please be critical when criticism is due. It's not all about free goods and numbers - it is about respecting your audience as they trust you to guide them in their purchases. Don't take advantage of your voice. 

Now Back to that Aveda package

So now, back to the product/s that started this entire blog post in the first place - Aveda's Damage Remedy Shampoo, Conditioner, and Hair Repair. As mentioned, the shampoo and conditioner didn't work out for me, quite simply, the product made my scalp feel extremely dry and itchy after a few days and I was getting dandruff. I stopped using these two products because the reaction I got wasn't fun and it did take about a week for my scalp to return back to normal. However, what did possess me to even look and consider these products in the first place was the fact that they were SLS free and the ingredients at first glance, looked harmless enough for me. I generally find it hard to buy SLS free shampoos, so I was willing to give the Aveda ones a go in the first place. Overall, I wouldn't purchase this particular product combination but after my experience with the Aveda PR team and how professional and lovely they were, I would consider looking into something else in the range later on down the track. The Damage Remedy range however,  was most definitely not for me. 

And that, ladies and gentleman, is quite simply the truth. 

 

 

 

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If there is one brand that I distinctly remember from my childhood, its Clinique. It's use of that infamous pastel green, beauty advisors in lab coats and the 3-Step System advertising is forever embedded in my mind from the countless trips to the department store with my mother and aunties. Clinique is simply iconic and is for me, is one of those 'established' skincare brands which I still go to the counter and look at to see what products they have launched recently. Whilst, Clinique and its beauty counter is very much part of my childhood (my mother was always fond of their gift with purchase), I never really knew much about the brand's rich history, until recently. 

Not long ago, I sent a few items from Clinique (products that I am both very familiar with and another which was new for me) and like with any brand I have the opportunity to collaborate with, I was inclined to learn a little more about its backstory. Clinique's rich history was especially fascinating as for me, the brand was a true beauty disrupter and a game changer at the time of its launch. It truly paved the way for many of the things we take for granted today, and it all started with a Vogue expose on the skincare industry. 

**Please note that I recently collaborated with Clinique who sent me products in exchange for a blog post. I have used a few Clinique products in the past and was excited about this collaboration! Any items in this post marked with a * were kindly gifted to me by the brand. All opinions are my own and honest opinions. 

Great Skin Can Be Created

The unique and fascinating story of Clinique Skincare, starts in New York City, where Carol Phillips, a Vogue beauty editor wrote an article in the August 15th, 1967 issue of Vogue Magazine, titled "Can Great Skin Be Created?". For this article, Carol wanted to debunk the traditional one-size-fits-all creams that dominated department stores at the time. She had researched the work of Dr Norman Orentreich, a New York dermatologist who was pioneering a three-step skin care method for his patients. This method, so fundamental today for Clinique (and many other brands) was considered to be quite unbelievable back then. In this article, Carol had sought Dr Orentreich to answer a comprehensive list of skin care questions, from simple ones like “What is a real cleansing job?” to more abstract questions like “Is there any relationship between sexual activity and skin?”. This investigative feature in Vogue made quite the stir in the beauty industry, including that of the Fifth Avenue offices of Estée Lauder. 

Image Source: Clinique

It was at this point in time that Leonard Lauder was head of Estée Lauder and he wanted to expand upon his mother's eponymous line and had the vision to create a multi-brand company. His vision was to create a new venture that was modern, inventive, and something that would attract a younger consumer who was asking more questions and demanding more results. It was from this article that Leonard Lauder knew that Carol Phillips was the right woman to head up this new venture with him. He introduced his mother, the iconic Estée to Carol and there was an immediate connection between the two women. Estée also found the idea of creating a new beauty line that was bold, fresh, different and that empowered women, a fantastic one. 

The name Clinique was conceived by Evelyn Lauder, Leonard's wife (who was a beauty pioneer in her own right). After a visit to Paris, Evelyn noticed signs for "Clinique Esthétiques" a place where Parisian women went to get facials and treatments. She loved the word as it suggested a fresh clinical approach to skincare with a hint of French glamour. The brand's packaging was considered to be equally as chic, using a pale green colour for its fresh and soothing appeal.  However, the most vital and unique aspect of the creation of Clinique was perhaps the contribution from Dr Orentreich, the original dermatologist which Carol had interviewed for her Vogue piece. She had persuaded him to join her on this new venture as Dr Orentreich had such a vision in terms of formulations and overall mindset. The result of this collaboration of beauty meets science, was Clinique to be the world’s first dermatologist-developed prestige beauty brand. On top of this, Clinique was also the first skincare brand to be both allergy tested and fragrance-free, to set it apart from the Estée Lauder brand.

Image Source: Clinique

A Game Changer is Launched

Almost a year after initial meetings and negotiations, September 1968 marked the time when Clinique was introduced to the world at New York’s Saks Fifth Avenue. The brand debuted with 117 skincare and cosmetic products. The star attraction was the now infamous 3-Step System, containing a cleanser, exfoliator and moisturiser. The Clinique Beauty Counter also included a new standard, with consultants donning a white Clinique lab coat who offered women a highly informative and tailored consultation. This service was considered to be the first of its kind in department stores. This infamous lab coat is said to be the most recognised uniform in the United States after the UPS uniform. 

Image Source: WWD

At the time, Clinique was revolutionary in the beauty industry, it's 3-Step System, the focus on allergy tested and fragrance-free, being dermatologist developed and having a somewhat "rebellious" advertising campaign, made it a true beauty disrupter and industry gamechanger. Its core advertising campaign was shot by legendary photographer, Irving Penn and are considered to be iconic.  In one ad, a white toothbrush sits perched in a glass, positioned opposite a trio of Clinique product. Each of these products is part of the 3 Step System, representing cleanse, exfoliate and moisturise and features the straightforward tagline - “Twice a Day.” The message it sent to the consumer was graphic, bold and uncomplicated - commit to the 3-Step System just as you would commit to brushing your teeth twice a day to get fantastic skincare results. The very same advertisement was so timeless and simple, it was used for more than twenty years and it's core concept is still used today. In a 2005 Elle Canada article, Tim Convery, senior vice president of Creative said: "We take a Zen approach to the advertising-elevating everyday products, like toothbrushes and soap, to art"

Clinique, Today. 

Image Source: Clinique

Now, after 50 years of the brand's initial launch, it's amazing to see that the brand has stayed true to its initial heritage and message. Carol Phillip's influence is still very much part of the company, even though she passed away in 2006.  Case in point: the 3-Step System remains essential to the Clinique experience and the names of these products were of Carol's creation. To this day, the original names such as Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion, and 7 Day Scrub are still in use. Packaging, colour tones and the iconic lab coat uniform are still very true to the original Clinique launch. So very much iconic, that Head of Packaging has since said "The most challenging project is redesigning the 3-Step Skin Care System. We can't change it because it's iconic. I'm creating a few enhancements, like pump dispensers, and now we use plastic instead of glass in case the containers are dropped". 

However, in a world where marketing and the beauty industry, in general, is very much different to that of 1968 - how has Clinique adapted to the times but still remain true to its message of simplicity and zen? In a Racked article, Jane Lauder, Clinique Global Brand President said “We’ve always been about the product first, and it’s always about custom fit. There’s not one ideal of beauty". For her, whilst the brand doesn't actively shy away from working with beauty influencers or celebrities, it doesn't engage with them the same way newer brands like Becca, Kat Von D or Benefit Cosmetics does either. For Jane, it is important that Clinique is a brand for all and thus the brand has a wider net to cast with its marketing. Choosing the right collaborations is essential to this. She says, “I think that we’ve done some collaborations with like-minded brands where we’ve both collaborated around a brand or people that have a deeper message to tell.” Collaborations and new products must toe the line between standing out and staying true to Clinique’s ethos. “You want to add a bit of fun and light-heartedness because there are so many brands out there about crazy makeup,” Jane Lauder explains. 

Image Source: Clinique

For its younger consumers and for environments like Sephora, the Pep Start range was launched a few years back. With a focus on brightly packaged and portable products providing the same benefits of a Clinique product, the Pep Start line is for the on-the-go millennial woman. The CliniqueFIT line was also released a few months ago, with the focus of workout proof makeup which transcends well with the recent focus on health and athleisure. 

Image Source: Clinique

The beauty industry has changed a lot in the past decade, with more indie brands available in the market and consumers being more clued in than ever. Clinique isn't necessarily considered to be one of those 'it' brands or 'cool' brands, it, however, is one of those tried and true brands with a rich heritage and history. The brand's simple, effective and results-driven approach to skin has given it a cult following for women and men everywhere. For Jane Lauder, she believes that quality never goes out of style and that is the main focus of the Clinique brand - quality. She explains, "It’s hard in this new day and age where fast fashion can sometimes overcome quality. We need to make sure we’re really speaking to her, or him, in ways that we can communicate the quality and the efficacy".

What I am Currently Loving in the Clinique Range

There is no doubt that many of us, at some stage in our lifetime, have used products from the Clinique range as their products are so iconic. Products that I have enjoyed using and always have recommended in the past is the Clinique Take the Day Off Balm* (this removes makeup incredibly well and is very easy to find, read a little about it here) and the Chubby Stick Moisturizing Lip Colour Balm (I am currently loving Fuller Fig). However, I recently had the opportunity to try one of their newer released (gifted by the brand) - the Moisture Surge 72-Hour Auto-replenishing Hydrator and have found myself reaching for this quite often. Whilst it is still a relatively new addition to my skincare routine, I really do enjoy the lightweight gel-like texture that sinks into the skin, giving it that boost of hydration. I find that when I do use this, my skin does feel and look more hydrated and plump and the moisturiser also gives a really natural dewy finish. The texture of this moisturiser makes it really easy to use both in the evening and in the daytime. It also does sit very nicely underneath my makeup. What I do enjoy with this moisturiser is the fact that I can use this throughout the year as it is hydrating enough to use in winter but texture wise, its lightweight feel would make it great for combination skin types in the summer.

Whilst Clinique is more of your traditional skincare brand, it is one that does have some fantastic products in its line up. There is a reason why I have purchased their products in the past and will continue to do so in the future (the Moisture Surge Hydrating Supercharged Concentrate has me fascinated since Caroline Hirons spoke about it). Clinique has stayed true to its founder's beliefs and heritage in creating simple, yet effective products for everyone. 

Do you have any fond memories using Clinique? I would love to hear them in the comments section below. 

 

 

 

 

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