I am so sorry that I didn't post one of these last month, I didn't receive any mail or new goodies until the end of July, making my August favourites a really competitive one! As many of your know from my recent August Haul, I received a lot of new products from my *amazing* online shopping skills and a lot of my skincare buys throughout June/July just accumulated into one huge haul. I have also had the absolute pleasure in connecting with some fantastic brands via Instagram as well in the past month and some of these brands have been so incredibly kind enough to gift some products for me to try. As mentioned earlier, picking five stand out products this month has been extremely difficult as most of the things I have tried have been great but at the end of the day these are my favourite five skincare items this August.
Please note that anything marked with a (*) was gifted, however none of these brands asked me to write, feature or review their items. I am simply writing about them because I really, genuinely enjoyed using them!
5YINA Divine Bio Cellulose Sheet Mask*
To describe this mask in one word: AMAZING. Simply, undoubtedly AMAZING. I have never been a fan of sheet masks. I have tried some in the past before and just found that they didn't do much for my skin or the ingredients just did not sit well with me (Alcohol denatured, I am looking at you). However, the 5YINA Divine Sheet Mask completely blew me away and has really changed the way I look at sheet masks. I will be honest, I didn't expect much from this sheet mask, I didn't think I would like it so much but when the lovely Ervina from 5YINA told me a little bit about this mask over tea earlier on in the month (she's so incredibly lovely and her skin is flawless!), I couldn't help but be curious. What makes this mask so amazing is the great deal of thought that has gone into it's formulation and the meticulous testing that every 5YINA product undergoes before it is available to the general public. The ingredients for this incredible mask is the following (as per the 5YINA website):
Aqua (Water), Glycerin, VP Copolymer, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Sodium Hyaluronate, Caprylyl Glycol, Allantoin, *Calendula Officinalis Flower Extract, *Aloe Vera, Schisandra Chinensis Extract, Lycium Barbarum (Goji) Berries Extract, Panax Ginseng Root Extract, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate (Licorice), Centella Asiatica (Gota Kola) Extract, Hydrolyzed Rice Extract, Evening Primrose Oil, Cellulose, Caprylyl Glycol, Zingiber Officinale (Ginger) Root Extract, Ziziphus Jujuba (Jujube) Fruit Extract, Prunus Mume (Japanese Apricot) Extract, Cnidium Officinale (Japanese Chuan Xiong) Root Extract, Angelica Acutiloba (Japanese Angelica) Root Extract, Coix Lacryma-Jobi Ma-yuen (Job's Tears) Seed Extract , Eugenia Caryophyllus (Clove) Flower Extract, Bletilla Striata (Chinese Ground Orchid) Root Extract, Trichosanthes Kirilowii (Chinese Snake Gourd) Root Extract, Paeonia Albiflora (Peony) Root Extract, Rubus Coreanus (Chinese Raspberries) Extract, Acetyl Hexapeptide-8, Pentapeptide-18, Acetyl Octapeptide-3
What impresses me the most about this mask is that there is no alcohol denatured, a common ingredient found in most sheet masks. This mask is also loaded with botanical and herbal extracts such as calendula, goji berries, schisandra berries, peony root and job's tears which help to hydrate, calm, brighten, heal, illuminate, repair and clarify the skin. The Divine Sheet Mask fuses both elements of Traditional Chinese Medicine (using potent herbal extracts) as well as modern skincare technology. Ervina was kind enough to gift me two of these masks and after using the one, I knew I had to savour the last one as the results that I got from this were amazing. I left this mask on for a good hour and a half (the packet suggests 30 minutes but I wanted to leave it on longer) and when I finally took it off, it revealed an amazing complexion. My skin looked brighter, clearer, hydrated, fresh and just absolutely glowing - I couldn't stop raving about it to my poor sister, my friends and on Instagram. The result I got from the Divine Sheet Mask completely blew me away as I really don't think my skin has ever looked so radiant after using any of my other masks in my current skincare stash.
I was so sad to use my last one the other evening and I will be definitely repurchasing this to use in the lead up to my wedding! This is definitely up there at holy grail status and whilst it is a bit more expensive that a typical sheet mask, the quality of the results that I had, the ingredients used and the amount of research, testing and passion that went into creating these make it worth every single penny to use an indulgent mask or if your skin needs a desperate pick me up. This can be purchased from the 5YINA website for USD$20 for one or USD$85 for a pack of 5.
Leah Lani Skincare Mermaid Superfood Mask
I wrote a review about this earlier on in the week, so I won't go into too much detail as you can read about it all here. I have been really enjoying using this mask over the past 2 weeks and incorporating into my routine as it has been a fun mask to apply (I love scaring the Mr with this). The superfood packed ingredient list of raw honey, chlorella and spirulina make it a fantastic all round mask for most skin types as the formulation is quite gentle.
This has made it to my top 5 this month as the mask is so easy and gentle to use a few times during the week as it doesn't dry out the skin. I have even seem some ladies use this as an indulgent second cleanser by adding a bit of water (I have yet to try). After rinsing this mask off, it leaves the skin looking and feeling softer, healthier and fresh with that beautiful lit from within glow.
Leah Lani's Mermaid Mask can be purchased from the Leah Lani Skincare website for USD$32 for 50ml.
May Lindstrom Skin The Blue Cocoon
So I now understand what the fuss is about with this product. Yes it has taken me a while to finally get here, but The Blue Cocoon has pleasantly surprised me in how it performs and really does soothe angry red skin. I recently received a sample of Blue Cocoon with my order of The Clean Dirt and decided to see how it performs in calming down my eczema. I have recently been having random eczema flare ups around my eyes and jaw due to allergies and I have found that using May Lindstrom's the Blue Cocoon in those areas have made a huge difference. Normally my skin will become quite red, inflamed, dry, scaly and painful at times but after using The Blue Cocoon as a spot treatment in these areas, my skin felt immediately soothed and much less irritated. I do have a feeling that it is due to the combination of nourishing oils and butters like camellia seed oil and shea butter and also the addition of thd magical Blue Tansy oil which is high in chamazulene. Blue Tansy has a high concentration of this molecular compound which has been found to have fantastic anti-inflammatory effects. The ingredient list is below:
* Camellia Oleifera (Camellia) Seed Oil, *** Butyrospermun Parkii (Shea) Butter, *** Theobroma Cacao Seed Butter, *** Sclerocarya Birrea (Virgin Marula) Oil, Calodendrum Capense (Yangu) Oil, * Adansonia Digitata (Baobab) Oil, * Tanacetum Annuum (Blue Tansy) Oil, **Commiphora Myrrha (Myrrh) Oil, * Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, ** Boswellia Carteri (Frankincense) Oil, * Pelargonium Graveolens (Geranium Rose) Oil, * Vanilla Planifolia CO2 Total Essential Oil, Schisandra Sphenanthera CO2 Fruit Extract, * Helichrysum Italicum (Immortelle) Oil, Ravensara Aromatica Oil.
* Certified Organic
** Wild Harvested
*** Fair Trade, Raw & Unrefined
After about 2 days of using the Blue Cocoon around my eye and jaw areas, my eczema had almost disappeared, the redness and rawness was gone, and the areas that used to be flakey and scaly looking had almost healed over and just looked a bit dry. The results of this really astounded me, as not only did this balm soothe my skin it also managed to somehow make it heal in about half the time it normally takes which is fantastic. I think I will definitely be purchasing a full size of this when my sample pot runs out or at least be adding this on to my Christmas wishlist for later on in the year. The reason being, is that a little does go a long way and I don't see myself using this all up at once. This is quite a rich balm (too rich I find) to use all over the face but perfect for a spot treatment! The smell of this is also quite intoxicating (but in the best way!).
May Lindstrom's The Blue Cocoon is in no way the cheapest product to buy - but only a little is needed and I do think the 50ml full size of this is well worth it and would last someone quite some time. It retails for USD$160 from May Lindstrom, AUD$204 from I am Natural Store and GBP£128 from Cultbeauty.
Retrouvé Nutrient Face Serum*
I received an amazing package from Retrouvé earlier this month and so far I have been blown away by their products. I wrote about the brand started by former Kiehl's heiress Jami Morse Heideggar a little while ago in my July Skincare Discoveries post and was intrigued by the collection that Jami had created initially for her own personal use. She wanted nothing but the most exclusive and effective ingredients available on the market for her skin, in the highest possible levels of concentration, regardless of the cost. Due to Jami's meticulous detail in ingredients, texture and how ingredients can synergistically work together - Retrouvé is the definition of luxury skincare at its finest. Most products are around the USD$400 price point and due to this, it might not be for everyone.
If however, there were one item that I would recommend to anyone in the range it would most definitely be the Nutrient Face Serum. It has quickly become a favourite of mine due to the fact it is so easy and effortless to use. The texture of this is almost a cross between a serum and a lightweight moisturiser, it feels like silk on the skin as its glides effortlessly over the face and for its texture absorbs into skin quite well. What I love about this serum though is the fact it is like an all in one serum and does everything at once extremely well. My skin, even when dull and tired looks a world of difference after using this. My complexion looks hydrated, brighter and luminous and is the reason why I will be taking this on my flight home to Australia. I look so much more alive and less like death after using this serum as it really does just perk up my complexion. It also just sits so well under other products (ie. face oils or makeup) and I would say it can easily be used just by itself as a lightweight moisturiser due to the fact it hydrates and plumps the skin so well. It contains about 10% Vitamin C in its formulation which explains why my skin just glows after applying this. Other unique ingredients that the Retrouvé Nutrient Face serum contains is white Ambiaty extract which promotes collagen synthesis and Hydrolised Algin which is an anti-inflammatory and promotes the healing of damaged skin.
If I had to pick one serum for the rest of my life, I would choose this and be over the moon with it as it does everything I would want - its hydrates my skin, gives me a luminous glowing complexion and also helps protect my skin from further damage. I love this serum so much that I am trying to use it sparingly and carefully (I would like to use this in the lead up to my wedding) as I know that due to its luxurious price point, I won't be able to purchase this too often! The Retrouvé Nutrient Face Serum is USD$395 and can be purchased from Bergdoff Goodman.
Drunk Elephant Skincare TLC Framboos Glycolic Night Serum
Drunk Elephant Skincare is a brand that I had been hearing rave reviews about due to the fact that not only are the ingredients relatively 'clean' but most importantly the range delivers results to many people. I purchased the Drunk Elephant Skincare Glycolic Serum as I found that a serum with glycolic acid was something that I didn't have in my skincare stash and it also had quite the cult following. The Glycolic serum is a 12% AHA/BHA blend of acids that act to gently exfoliate the skin, sloughing off that extra layer of dead skin cells and stimulating collagen production to produce new skin cells to reveal a brighter, radiant complexion. The ingredient list of the Glycolic Serum is the following:
Water (Aqua)/ Eau, Glycolic Acid, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, Salicylic Acid, Lactic Acid, Citric Acid, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Juice Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Opuntia Ficus-Indica (Cactus) Extract, Aesculus Hippocastanum (Horse Chestnut) Seed Extract, Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Rubus Idaeus (Raspberry) Fruit Extract, Saccharomyces Cerevisiae (Yeast) Extract, Buddleja Davidii Meristem Cell Culture, Sclerocarya Birrea (Marula) Seed Oil, Sodium Hyaluronate Crosspolymer, Allantoin, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Galactoarabinan, Propanediol, Disodium EDTA, Xanthan Gum, Hexylene Glycol, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Sodium Hydroxide (pH adjuster)
As you can see, the ingredients list doesn't contain ingredients such as alcohol denatured, parabens, mineral oils or any other extremely 'controversial' ingredients. However, this is not the only reason why I like this serum, I like this serum because unlike some glycolic acids I have used, this is extremely gentle to the skin but it still delivers a beautiful complexion - literally overnight. I find that when I apply this is the evening, I get a slight tingle in my skin (no burning here) and no horrible reactions or redness that I have found I get with more 'heavier' acids. This is so gentle to my sensitive skin and in the morning, this reveals a beautiful refreshed complexion that is clear, not irritated and super smooth. I wouldn't recommend to use this every night, as with all acids, do be careful not to over exfoliate! Instead I do mix this up with my acid toners and vary it within the week. So far in the few times that I have used this, I have been really impressed with the way this leaves my skin feeling and looking overnight. It is so effortless and easy to use (apply and then sleep) and the packaging is ingenious as it is travel friendly and hygienic (a twist to open/close and pump to dispense). I also love its consistency as the Drunk Elephant Glycolic Serum is a lightweight gel like consistency that literally sinks into your skin on application, there is no stickiness or tackiness at all. I can now see why the brand has such a cult following amongst the beauty community as this serum itself really does deliver. I can't wait to try other products within the range later on as I do believe they will be releasing in other countries soon.
For now, Drunk Elephant is only available in the US, but you can purchase this via Amazon if you are based overseas as well. The Glycolic Serum can be found at Sephora or via the Drunk Elephant Skincare website for USD$90.
So that rounds up my top 5 for this month and I will most definitely be posting a more in depth review of some of these soon. Have you tried any of these? What were you initial thoughts? Is there a particular product that you would like to know more about? Please let me know in the comments section below!