Well its been quite some time since I have written a skincare discoveries post. I also can't believe we are coming the the fourth month of 2017 either! Whilst I have been a little MIA on the blogging front over the past few months and neglecting my usual monthly topics such as skincare discoveries, it doesn't mean I have forgotten them or have stopped doing them. One thing I absolutely love doing is coming across new and different skincare brands and products. I have been asked how I come across new brands, and quite simply I do stumble upon 95% of them via my Instagram. Social media is an amazing tool! I also love sharing new skincare brands with you all (looking out for new skincare brands is probably what kept me sane in the midst of all the wedding stress!) and I have actually discovered a whole bunch of new skincare brands in which I can't wait to share with you in the upcoming months.
For March, I have decided to share with you four new skincare brands which have caught my eye over since the new year has started. These brands have either used interesting ingredients or have really interesting and innovative concepts in which we don't often hear about in the world of skincare. So sit back, read on and discover with me four new and interesting brands that have caught me eye in recent months. Enjoy!
Lewin & Reilly
Lewin & Reilly is a story that starts with husband and wife duo - Andi and Kim who ventured to the beautiful island of Aitutaki, New Zealand for their honeymoon. They soon fell in love with the place and never wanted to leave, which prompted this wonderful couple to think 'lets open a coconut oil production facility of course!' However, they realised quickly that this dream would not happen immediately and returned home to Melbourne.
Still dreaming of the beauty that was Aitutaki, Andi and Kim was inspired by the abundance of botanical produce that was available there. This prompted the couple to start their extensive research on different oils and their properties. Inspiring the couple to start creating soaps which then naturally followed into making balms. This new love of creating and formulating influenced both Andi and Kim to look further into creating skin care which then lead them to source suppliers of ingredients for their at-home creations. In their research and trials, Andi and Kim soon discovered that Australia and New Zealand have access to some incredible extracts of rare, native plants, bio-dynamic farms growing unusual varieties of plants for essential oil distillation as well as hydrosols. "We ordered several ingredients, of which only about 1 out of the 6 made the grade, and again we performed hundreds of test batches before launching", Kim kindly shares with me.
The formulation process at Lewin and Reilly can be quite a long yet rewarding process. For example, to create the brand's Coconut Water Brightening Tonic, Kim says that "over 50 iterations/test batches of just our tonic were created before we were really, truly happy with the end result". She also mentions that "in terms of knowing which ingredients would work, we did a ton of research over several months into each ingredient’s properties and skin benefits. We were basing the formulations off of how our skin looked and felt, as well as our friends and families’ skin. Also, scent is obviously very important. And so again because we were working with such high quality rare essential oils, absolutes and oleoresins, we quickly realised that a very little goes a very long way".
The Lewin & Reilly skincare line is simple with 2 cleansers, a mist/toner, serum, mask and moisturiser - the range covers what most generally need for an everyday routine. The most interesting product in the range is their Frangipani Nourishing Moisturiser due to the fact it contains Frangipani extract from the Northern Territory of Australia. I have always loved the scent of frangipani as it reminds me very much of my grandfather in Vietnam. He always had a frangipani tree growing on the balcony of his home in Ho Chi Minh City and every time I went out there it just smelt amazing. I have never heard of frangipanis being used in skincare so this was quite a different find for me!
I have been following The Hanacure for months now as I have been so curious as to what exactly The Hanacure was and what it could do for the skin. Finally, details were up and this company still has me curious more than ever before. The innovators at The Hanacure have created an all in one multi action treatment mask that has the power to dramatically transform the appearance of the skin. I have seen some before and after photos (Drew Barrymore's experience is worth a read) and I have to say I have been rather amazed at the results that this mask has given in a space of 30 minutes. Its not only instant but it is incredibly noticeable and promises to be an all in one facial but better. Whether that translates to the rest of us 'normal' people is something to be seen and experienced.
How this mask works to get such an amazing results is that it uses a fusion between cutting edge technology such as the patented CO2 Ocotolift (from South Korea, of course) and ingredients such peptides and powerful botanicals such as lotus, peony root and green tea extracts. The combination of the two create a three part multi masking system to fight the most common skincare concerns by removing impurities within the skin and reinvigorating the skin to look more firm and lifted. How it does so is detailed below (this simplified diagram from Hanacure would be much better at explaining things than me, haha!):
As mentioned before, the mask contains three parts, a lifting serum, a gelling solution and a brush for easy application. When using the mask the lifting and gelling solution are combined for the mask to potent and most active. Once applied on the skin, the mask is apparently supposed to give a really 'tightening' feeling and once removed it has been shown to reduce pore size, minimise the signs of wrinkles and also help with hyperpigmentation.
I am both amazed and skeptical at just how effective this mask is (nothing can be THAT good can it?) and it is that combination of skepticism and curiosity that has me lusting over the Hanacure mask.
The Buff is a new skincare line that is the brainchild of Jasmine Garnsworthy, an Australian freelance beauty journalist based in New York. The Buff is a skincare range that is inspired by her own troubles with her skin when moving from the clear pristine blue skies of Australia to the concrete jungle that is New York. Having spent hours upon hours scouring the internet for solutions on how to rid her skin of cystic acne, Jasmine's research sent her a more 'natural' route. She found that harsh formulations and miracle elixirs didn't quite work for her and instead 'clean' beauty products were much more friendly to her skin. Using oils such as such as jojoba oil (a natural anti-bacterial and hydrator) and tamanu oil (used by generations of Polynesian women to treat acne and reduce scarring), Jasmine found that her skin was well into recovery in just two months and found that she had results in just a matter of weeks.
This story of her own personal struggle with acne, is what prompted Jasmine to create her own line of facial and body oils called 'The Buff'. What makes The Buf so much more intriguing than many other facial oils out there is that each and every oil can be personalised and tailored precisely for the user. What seems to be icing on the cake for myself is that every bottle can be personalized with initials of the user - a really beautiful finishing touch. In an article by Professional Beauty, Jasmine says she uses "oils such as jojoba, tamanu, rosehip, argan, raspberry seed, and maracuja (derived from passionfruit), handpicking the most relevant to our clients’ needs in order to blend a serum that’s both beautiful and personal" in her personalised creations.
The process is relatively simple, as all that is required is that you fill a simple questionnaire about your own skin concerns and skin type - Jasmine and her team will do the rest to create a truly beautiful formulation that is perfectly customised just for you. If answering a questionnaire is too much, The Buff also has ready to go formulations that are categorised by skin type. Seriously, this is skincare made so easy.
Each bottle of The Buff is a generous 120ml and is available online from The Buff for USD$37.
Described as avant-garde for the skin, Ambuja is an incredibly luxurious line of green skincare. The term 'Ambuja' means lotus and evolution in Sanskrit and is also a symbol of purity, perfection, grace and eternity. Ambuja prides themselves on being a eco-luxe, green skincare line which uses handpicked, sustainable and wildcrafted botanicals to create the most 'unparalleled and cogent molecular skincare line'. The brand's philosophy is undoubtedly elegant and avant-garde as the brand aims to 'amalgamate the world of cosmetic science with the composition of zeitgeisty fine arts.' Each product in the range is handcrafted and with an incredible attention to detail. The Ambuja line is a labour of love between Ina, a linguist and her husband Frank, a chemist - as each and every product fuses both science and nature to create a perfect balance and harmony for the skin.
The Ambuja skincare line can be divided to two sub catergories - the Couture Range and the Empire Range. The Couture Range is aimed for the 'urban woman' who is looking for solutions in skincare that is easy to understand and to use and can be described as 'a preeminent skin care line that is outstanding, unique, distinctive and elemental at the same time'. I personally just love the name of the range, as couture to me is the epitome of luxury and grace and I think really suits the Ambuja message and philosophy. The range contains 5 products which is packed full of actives which are derived from nature and are both complex but effective. The range aims to target skin issues such as anti-aging, a radiant complexion and a boost of hydration. The Empire range is aimed for men (but can also be used for women!) and is formulated for those who are always on the go or travelling. The product range for Empire is smaller, with 3 items but the products are designed to be functional and be multi-purpose.
The products that intrigue me the most from Ambuja is their Wanderlust Elixir from the Empire Line and the Dewdrop Elixir from the Couture Line. Wanderlust sounds perfect for me in this stage of my life as I find myself travelling quite a bit and travel can really take its toll on mine (or anyone's) skin! The Wanderlust Eilxir helps to plump, soothe, replenish and lift the skin and contains a cocktail of bioactive ingredients such as superoxide dismutase (an enzyme to neutralize free radicals) , rhodiola rosea, a root that aims to reduce trans-epidermal water loss and to protect skin against premature aging and acacia gum to strengthen and firm skin, pomegranate to reduce redness. I also love the the serum also uses young coconut water as one of its first ingredients as well! Many companies tend to use just plain water instead. The Dewdrop Elixir from the Couture line is another product in the Ambuja range which is focused on keeping the complexion hydrated and plump. It uses an interesting botanical called the Voodoo Lily to help deliver maximum hydration to the skin as well as 3D sodium hyaluronate (a fancy hyaluronic acid) showing the fusion between nature and science.
The ultra luxe Ambuja skincare can be found at Alyaka who also ship internationally. The products are most definitely a luxury purchase as the Wanderlust Elixir retails for GBP£205 and the Dewdrop Elixir retails for GBP£225 for 30ml.
Have you heard or tried any of the above brands? What are your thoughts? Have your found any interesting new brands as of lately? I would love to hear your thoughts and suggestions in the comments section below!