December has been a very busy month and probably goes down as one of the most busiest months on anyone's calendar. The festive holidays always generate an exciting buzz as everyone is busy preparing for the holidays. It is amazing just how fast time flies in the final month of the year and I hope that everyone has had an amazing festive holiday with their loved ones and for those who do not celebrate Christmas - I hope that you did enjoy some well deserved time off.
I have been having some fun trialling some new products this month both of the skincare variety and of the makeup variety which has been most exciting. I absolutely love playing with different makeup bases and have been searching for the perfect lightweight foundation - I believe I have come across something quite close to this with a product from local brand, TMF. I have also really enjoyed using some really different products in my skincare regime - a unique milk based powder cleanser from Odara Skincare being one of them. This month also allowed me to finally try something from the infamous Zelens Skincare line and from Pestle and Mortar Cosmetics - both brands frequently are raved about by the wonderful Caroline Hirons. December has been a really fun month of new products and these just so happen to be my favourite five for this final month of 2016!
***Please note that any products with a * have been kindly gifted to me and in no way has it been expected that I write or feature these products on my blog. I simply do because I actually love the items! All opinions that I express are my own honest opinions.
TMF (The Make Up Factory) Vegan Skin Perfector Light Coverage Foundation*
If there was one makeup item that I frequently look into and purchase (other than pretty face palettes) it would have to be foundations/tinted moisturisers/BB Creams. I am always on the lookout for that really beautiful lightweight base that gives a natural dewy and glowing complexion. It is a costly habit but I really don't use a lot of other makeup items other than bronzer and eyeliner (it still doesn't stop me from buying 101 other different products though because they look 'pretty'...anyone else have this problem?). Currently I have been looking for that perfect base that offers a little bit more coverage than my beloved Perricone MD No Foundation Serum Foundation, yet less coverage than Chantecaille's Future Skin. It has been a really difficult happy medium to find and I was just about to give up until I was given the TMF Vegan Skin Perfector Light Coverage Foundation by the ever so lovely Jill Chambers, the mastermind behind the TMF line. In a nutshell...WOW. This product has really taken me by surprise as to how much I love this as a makeup base and the best thing about this product is that it is made with sustainable and safe ingredients but it also performs!
What I love about The Vegan Skin Perfector Light Coverage Foundation is that it gives me really light even coverage without making my skin looking cakey or made up. It evens out any redness, blotchiness or uneven skin tone and gives the skin a really healthy finish that is neither matte or super dewy. Instead, the finish this gives is completely natural and gives the skin a beautiful subtle glow and it really looks like your own natural skin but better. The amount of compliments that I receive when I wear this sheer foundation from friends and colleagues was probably what surprised me most but also confirmed that this product is an absolute winner. Many people have commented that my skin looks great or more radiant than normal and I do owe it to this little black tube from TMF.
I find that the Vegan Skin Perfector gives more coverage than a tinted moisturiser but less coverage than your typical light-medium coverage foundation. It is that happy medium that works perfectly for every day use. As mentioned earlier, the staying power of this foundation is fantastic and it can last a whole day, which is something that I have found a little difficult to find in makeup products that have a more natural or eco friendly vibe to it. Overall, I am so completely blown away by how wonderful the TMF Vegan Skin Perfector is and I am so glad that I was introduced to this amazing Australian label!
The Vegan Skin Perfector comes in two finishes - light and a more full coverage and I believe that the light coverage is not yet available on the TMF website but is available in TMF stockists and retails for AUD$62.
Zelens Triple Action Advanced Eye Cream
I finally now realise why this eye cream has such a following - it is just THAT good. I have been using this for a few weeks now and I just LOVE it and I am so glad that it is now easily available in Australia via Maslow & Co. This eye cream has been fantastic in depuffing, brightening, hydrating my tired, sleep deprived, weary eyes and I would even go down to say as one of the best that I have ever used. I have noticed a difference in my eye area already - my eyes look much more awake and brighter and there even seems to be (shock and horror) an effect on my dark circles. Whilst they aren't completely gone (yay for genetics!) I do feel that the area underneath my eyes are not only lifted but my dark circles aren't as dark as normal. It seems to have lightened the area a little bit which for me a big win as I do firmly believe that not much can be done to eliminate dark circles around the eye area...until now...I just may have that glimmer of hope and I blame it on this Zelens product. The complex and lengthy ingredients listing for this eye cream is as follows:
Water (Aqua), Dimethicone, Cyclopentasiloxane, Polysilicone-11, Bifida Ferment Lysate, Pentylene Glycol, SinorhizobiumMeliloti Ferment Filtrate, Glycerin, Butylene Glycol, Carbomer, Tromethamine, Phenoxyethanol, Acrylates Copolymer, Isohexadecane, Ammonium PolyacryloyldimethylTaurate, Chlorphenesin, Disodium EDTA, Tocopheryl Acetate, Polysorbate 80, Polysorbate 20, Fragrance (Parfum), Caffeine, O-Cymen-5-Ol, Steareth-20, Sodium Dehydroacetate, CetylHydroxyethylcellulose, Lecithin, Caprylyl Glycol, PVP/PolycarbamylPolyglycol Ester, Sodium Benzoate, Hydrolysed Sesam Protein PG-Propyl Methylsilanediol, Sodium Hyaluronate, Potassium Sorbate, Acetyl Tetrapeptide-5, Alchemilla Vulgaris Extract, Betula Alba Leaf Extract, Calendula Officinalis Flower Extract, ChamomillaRecutita (Matricaria) Flower/Leaf Extract, ChlorhexidineDigluconate, Equisetum Arvense Extract, N-Hydroxysuccinimide, Salvia Officinalis (Sage) Leaf Extract, Trisodium EDTA, Acetyl Octapeptide-3, Tocopherol, Citric Acid, Sodium Citrate, Soluble Collagen, Chrysin, PalmitoylOligopeptide, Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7
What I do love about this eye cream from Zelens is that in the short amount of time that I have used this, I have seen some noticeable results around my eye area as explained above. The Triple Action Advanced Eye Cream is cult favourite (it is featured in Sali Hughes recent book 'Pretty Iconic' and the fact it actually works is testament to why it has such a following. Dr Marko Lens (founder and creator of the Zelens Skincare lines) is passionate about backing each and every product that is created with clinical proven results. Every ingredient in each and every product in the line has a purpose and is painstakingly selected to work in synergy with the other ingredients as the Zelens philosophy is that only the exact balance and synergistic action of all ingredients can effectively trigger cellular processes necessary for skin regeneration and repair. After using this product myself, I now understand why skincare goddess Carloine Hirons raves about almost every single product in the Zelens line or why Zelens makes a daily appearance on my fellow Instagrammers feeds. I have been so blown away by how much the area underneath my eyes has improved from using the Triple Action Advanced Eye Cream.
Odara Skincare Herbal Cleansing Milk*
Odara Skincare is a relatively new skincare brand that has a natural focus towards skincare and I have really been enjoying using the Herbal Cleansing Milk - powdered cleanser that is activated by water. What sets Odara from some of the other natural skincare products out there is that Kerry (founder and creator) focused heavily on using natural and non toxic ingredients to create a skincare line that is incredibly friendly towards acne or blemish prone skin. I love the fact that the range does not promise to clear up acne issues but instead, as Kerry herself puts it "are a great adjunct to counteract the dryness and sensitivity that more active regimens can promote". The range acts a more natural approach in helping to manage acne.
The attention to detail in Kerry's range is actually quite impressive as the Odara Skincare line does not include any ingredients that have a comedogenicity (ingredients that can potentially help promote the formation of acne in the skin) rating of more than 2. What I also love about the Odara Skincare website that it does go to list not only what each ingredient is, but also what each ingredient can do for the skin. For example, in the Herbal Cleansing Milk:
Milk Powder - Well absorbed by the skin with a water retention ability of about 13%. Emollient, smoothing and skin conditioning.
Certified Organic Comfrey Root Powder - It’s high mucilage and allantoin content make this an excellent choice for inflamed, sensitive, dehydrated and dry skin types.
Certified Organic Marshmallow Root Powder - Emollient, skin soothing, demulcent. When combined with water it becomes mucilaginous and gel-like.
Certified Organic Burdock Root Powder - Anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, helping to regulate/normalize oil production. Also anti-inflammatory and wound healing.
Certified Organic Hibiscus Flower Powder - Moisturizing and refreshing. It provides a tightening and toning effect without stripping the skin of its natural oils. Astringent and helpful in reducing sebum production.
Certified Organic Lavender Essential Oil - An antiseptic, cicatrisive, anti-inflammatory, calmative, non-sensitizing, non-irritating essential oil that works well with all skin types and conditions.
As you can see, the Herbal Cleansing Milk has such a gentle and beautiful mix of ingredients that help to not only nourish the skin by maintaining the skin's natural oils but also to really gently exfoliate the skin. I found that when I first used this product - it left my skin so soft, smooth and radiant. I mean I expect a cleanser to clean the skin and leave the skin feeling fresh, but I felt that this cleanser worked that little bit harder to reveal a fresh and glowing complexion. There are no harsh or abrasive grains nor is there any sodium bicarbonate (often found in natural/organic powdered cleansers) which could essentially disrupt the skin's natural pH. I loved the fact that this powdered cleanser is a lot more gentle to the skin in comparison to other powdered cleansers that I have tried in the past.
The Odara Cleansing Milk is available in two sizes from the Odara website, prices start at USD$18 for a 50g jar.
Bodhi J Wellness Spa Facials
I had my second facial at Bodhi J Wellness Spa a week before Christmas as a treat to myself and chose to have the Sodashi Crystal Opulessence Facial. This facial is supposed to be one of the most relaxing of facials offered at the spa as it incorporates the use of crystals such as rose quartz and green adventurine to be massaged into the face to not only give a deeply relaxing treatment but also (if you believe in the power of crystals) incorporate their healing power. The use of the warm crystals as a tool to massage the skin also helps the Sodashi products used to penetrate the skin even further and create an overall relaxing and indulgent experience. I was again, taken to another place and was left feeling so completely relaxed that I actually fell asleep several times in my 90 minute spa experience. It is so hard for me to completely switch off and for me to completely just relax and fall asleep is just a testament as to how amazing the facials and treatments are at this spa. This facial experience was again just a highlight of a crazy busy month for me and I am looking forward to my next treatment in a few weeks!
Bodhi J Wellness Spa is in two locations in Western Australia - one in East Perth and the other in Wembley. They offer a diverse range of different treatments for both the face and body and the full spa menu can be found here.
Pestle and Mortar Cosmetics Pure Hyaluronic Serum
Never would I find the day where my beloved Indeed Labs Hydraluron would find some stiff competition. Well, I am sorry Indeed Labs but I think you have met your match with Pestle and Mortar's Pure Hyaluronic Serum. This hyaluronic acid serum has just completely blown me away in it performance in terms of keeping the skin hydrated and plump and also just how very little is actually required. A little goes a long way with the Pestle and Mortar Pure Hyaluronic Serum as this lightweight serum is quite potent and only a little bit is needed (two drops is enough for my face and neck). Whilst it is a little bit more expensive than other hyaluronic acid serums on the market at GBP£33 for 30ml, I do find that the product itself does last a lot longer (as so little is required) and that it does work remarkably well in comparison to other serums of the same variety. The effect of the of the Pure Hyaluronic Serum is instant and as soon as it is applied, the product absorbs into the skin effortlessly. I find that my skin is immediately softer, smoother and hydrated and this effect lasts throughout the day and works so well underneath another moisturiser if my skin is feeling quite dehydrated. The ingredients of the Pure Hyaluronic Serum is also relatively simple as it is the following:
Aqua, * Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, *Sodium Hyaluronate, *Cucumis sativus fruit extract,Butylene Glycol, *Tocopheryl Acetate, *Glycerin, *Xanthan Gum, Phenoxyethanol, *Caprylyl Glycol.
As you can see, the ingredients of the Pestle and Mortar Pure Hyaluronic Serum is relatively simple, uncomplicated and really packs a punch in terms of hydrating ingredients. After Aqua (water), the next two ingredients are aloe vera (a very hydrating plant extract) and of course sodium hyaluronate (hyaluronic acid) which is a wonderful ingredient for its ability to retain 1000 times it's weight in water. This therefore makes it a powerful molecule in retaining water and keeping skin hydrated and plump, therefore minimising the signs of fine lines and wrinkles. The Pestle and Mortar Pure Hyaluronic Serum is hands down one of the best and most effective dedicated hyaluronic acid serums that I have ever used and my skin just absolutely loves this and its wonderful effects really do show.
The Pestle and Mortar Pure Hyaluronic Serum comes in a 30ml dropper bottle and is available from the Pestle and Mortar Cosmetics website for EU€43.00.
Have you used any (or experienced) any of the above? What were your thoughts? If you haven't are any of these products something you would consider incorporating into your own routine? Let me know in the comments section below!