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 Intense 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 Intense Recovery Cream is worth every single penny.Read More
If there is one thing that I love doing, it is trawling and discovering new skincare brands. I love reading about how brands came about, what inspired their founders and creators and basically how they set themselves to be different from everyone else. I find this exercise really interesting, to see what exactly is out there and of course to further deepen my own knowledge about skincare, the newest technology or to discover an innovation or innovative way of using a certain ingredient. For me, it is a lot of fun and something I really enjoy doing - curling up in bed and reading the "About Me" section of a brand's page and finding out what they are all about.
This month in May, my skincare discoveries has taken me to learn about cutting innovation with clay and how it works as a natural delivery system for the skin, to the simplicity of using kelp and minerals for effective skincare. I have learnt that sometimes a brand isn't all about the latest and greatest technologies but perhaps its 'personality' and what it aims to create and how it is functional in everyday life, something that resonates with me (especially with makeup as I am so lazy). Finally, I have learnt that some brands are a love affair, a thirst for knowledge and an outlet of creativity. Each and every brand that I have discovered this month is so different and so special in its own way!Read More
We all love a little bit of simplicity don't we? Sometimes I do feel that we do tend to overcomplicate things whether it be life situation, a routine, what someone has said to us or even in what we decide to use in terms of products we use. With so much knowledge and understanding that we have as humans, we sometimes make a somewhat simple solution or answer a very complex and complicated one. This has also extended to the realm of beauty and skincare, with many of us sometimes using more than ten products in one routines (yes, guilty!) or applying and blending face products to get cheek bones like our favourite celebrities. No matter how complicated things can get, it is absolutely okay to keep things simple and strip things back to the basics. It is from there that we build on these basics to find solutions to the original problem, right?
In the month of April, the brands that I have come across have a very simplistic take on skincare and beauty. This is shown both in their aesthetics, in their product lines and even their brand or founder philosophies. Each and every brand aims to make our lives easier, whether it be using less products in general, simply finding a solution for all or perfectly tailoring a product to suit one's particular needs. April's Skincare Discoveries has been a real eye opening one and I have discovered both some really interesting brands and others who are just a little bit more cutting edge than the rest! Enjoy!!Read More
Well April has been a pretty exciting month for me, with a move pending (yes I am moving again...not too far this time round though), celebrations of all kinds with friends and family, meeting and making new friends (hehe you know who you are) and of course having the opportunity to try new skincare products.
There have a been a plethora of new releases from all different brands recently, which excites me greatly as it shows that there is a change of seasons coming. In the Northern Hemisphere, summer is soon approaching and it is (hopefully) goodbye to rainy days and grey skies. However in the Southern Hemisphere, we farewell endless amounts of sunshine and get ready to rug up for winter. I have already purchased some of these new releases and I can't wait for them to arrive for me to test and play.
New releases aside, I have had the most wonderful chance to experience some new releases this past month as well as be introduced to some brands that are still quite new to me. Today I share with you my six skincare favourites for April 2017!Read More
An area of skincare that has always interested me is the world of cosmeceuticals whereby, the product is a cross between a cosmetic item and a pharmaceutical as they contain higher concentrations of active ingredients that are clinically proven to bring about active and physical changes in the way the skin will look and feel. Generally, cosmeceuticals have a lot of clinical evidence and trials that back its claims. When I think of cosmeceuticals, I often think of products that do contain a lot of synthetic ingredients and never would I think a line could potentially be naturally derived. I was recently proven wrong!
Not too long ago, I stumbled upon Ocinium, an Australian skincare line that prides itself on using organic and natural ingredients in combination with a high concentration active ingredients that we see often in many 'mainstream' skincare brands. These ingredients include powerhouses such as retinol, niacinamide, CoQ10, Vitamins B, C and E just to name a few. Ocinium prides itself being a brand of "organic cosmeceuticals free of the toxicity of synthetic chemicals, fragrances, sulfates, petrochemicals and parabens". The active ingredients that the line uses are predominately antioxidants that have been approved for organic certification are have also been back by science for high performing results and safety.
With this extremely interesting approach to skincare, I just had to chat to Cassandra Hilton, the founder of Ocinium and find out more about this fascinating approach. What I found was that Cassandra was just a wealth of knowledge and had such passion in organic and naturally derived skincare that showed true clinical results. She mentioned that there is a lot of skepticism in the beauty industry that 'greener' or 'cleaner' brands are not as results driven or are just marketing 'fluff'. What Cassandra has set out to do is to prove the skeptics wrong and show that natural beauty brands such as her beautiful line, Ocinium can indeed show the same powerful results as other cosmeceutical counterparts. Her brand shows that natural skincare can indeed incorporate those powerful active ingredients with beautiful botanicals to give the same if not better, high performing results.
I recently took a moment to pick Cassandra's brain on all things Ocinium, skincare related and what it takes to create a product.
Read more for the interview...Read More
If there is one thing that the I can thank the wonderful Instagram community for, it is the introduction of face oils into my routine. I will admit, I used to be so fearful of face oils - I feared the potential 'greasy' feeling on my skin, I feared that my combination skin would become clogged and breakout from the oil itself and I had always been skeptical of the effects of oils on the skin (I often thought...and please don't be offended that facial oils were for hippies). Fast forward to today, I look at face oils at a completely different light - I can freely admit that my perceptions about face oils were completely wrong and I also love incorporating facial oils into my every day routines. I can now say that I have quite a little collection going on of some of the most beautiful oils, ranging from budget friendly rosehip seed oil to the highly acclaimed but also luxuriously priced Vintner's Daughter Active Botanical Serum.
Despite my own personal 'light bulb' moment about the effects and potential benefits of using facial oils on the skin, I know there are still much confusion, myths and misconceptions about face oils in skincare. In this facial oils mega post, which is split into three parts - I hope to debunk some common misconceptions and misunderstanding about face oils, explain how they work and how they may benefit some skin types and finally discuss why some of the facial oils we buy are more expensive than others (Part 2...stay tuned!) and also a brief overview of some the benefits of some types of oils that we commonly see in skincare (Part 3...coming a bit after Part 2!).Read More
As many of you know, the Mr and I moved back to our home city of Perth, located on the west coast of Australia. A little while ago, Perth made it to the New York Times, whereby the journalist Baz Dreisinger described this little city as: 'easy, breezy, green and pristine — so positively livable? I’d thought Williamsburg was hipster heaven; it pales beside Perth' and he is so right, Perth is so positively livable. It's something that I didn't really appreciate until I started to travel and whilst Perth residents do complain that the city is relatively backwards (and it some cases it really is), what makes this city so wonderful is the relaxed lifestyle. See, Perth is such a unique city being so isolated from the rest of Australia. We are a 4/5 hour flight away from the next capital city which are mainly on the east coast of Australia and are the only major city in Western Australia. However, Perth is beautiful as the city is literally right on the coast meaning we have easy access to some of the most pristine and scenic beaches in the world. Perth's location and climate also allows the city to be within easy reach of beautiful national parks and internationally renowned wineries. The city is quite small (a population of around 1 million) but Perth has a lot of personality and actually a lot to offer!
Despite the fact Perth is quite small, it is home to one of the pioneering brands of the luxury natural skincare scene and also some new and exciting beauty and skincare companies and concepts which I think will have an impact on the Australian and Interntional beauty scene. However, today I want to share with you three of my local favourites.
Follow the jump to find out more!Read More
I won't lie...I did go a bit nuts over the past few months with my online purchases. In my defence though...I rarely buy skincare locally in China due to a number of reasons. The main reason is that the type of brands that I do tend to use are just not available here as they cannot be sold due to China's strict laws and regulations - one being that imported products MUST be tested on animals. Most of the brands that I use are generally cruelty free and are not tested on animals and therefore these brands are not legal here. The other reason as to why I do not buy products in China is simply due to the fact imported goods are generally quite expensive here (and I thought we had it bad in Australia!). For example, a Chanel lipstick which costs about AUD$49 will easily got about AUD$70 here due to the higher tax rate that imported and luxury goods will have. In terms of where or not products are safe, that is also something of concern as well, but if I do buy any personal care goods, I generally do buy it from a larger overseas chain (ie. Japanese department stores or from Watsons).
Then there is the issue of shipping to China. From what I have read, shipping goods to China can be quite heavily taxed for skincare and cosmetics. I have read that consumers have been taxed between 30-50% on their personal goods before which has really put me off having my online shopping sent here. There is also the added the concern that it might just go missing in the crazy China postal system. Mind you, as of recently I have relaxed this a little and I have purchased and received some things online where the seller has kindly under declared the goods for me incase I do get taxed. So far, I am pleased to say that I haven't had any missing mail or have been asked to pay for taxes. Fingers crossed it does stay that way!
However, most of my online purchases are not urgent and I am willing to patiently wait for them. Therefore I will happily send my mail back home to Australia and wait until we have someone visiting Shanghai to bring these goods with them or wait until we are meeting family in another country. We have been extremely lucky to have visitors and family trips scheduled over the past few months and also those people have been kind enough to share their luggage space with us. My most recent haul is the result of an accumulation of skincare goods which I purchased in the months of June and July and I thought I would share the fun with you all!
Read more about my online shopping after the jump!Read More
I have stumbled upon some fantastic new skincare brands as of late that I have had to divide this month's new skincare discoveries into two parts! In this first half of August's skincare discoveries I mention three brands from different parts of the world which aim to deliver the best skincare possible for the skin. The three different brands have extremely different approaches in their formulations to achieve this. Brand new green beauty label, Virginia Stone focuses on a more customised routine that uses raw, natural and unique organic active ingredients to help its three targeted skin tones. Singaporean label, Allies of Skin combines both nature and science together in its potent and effortless, no fuss and easy to use formulations. Finally we have Rationale Skincare, a cosmoceutical brand that focuses heavily on research and development and works closely with Dermatologists and Plastic Surgeons across Australia to deliver products with concentrated active ingredients. Despite their differences though, each brand brings something quite unique and different to the table which is why I find that they are an exciting new discovery and why I am so excited to share!
Find out more after the jump!Read More
Korean Skincare...it is such an exciting, different and somewhat foreign area for me in terms of skincare. Coming from an Asian background, I have always been exposed to Korean beauty products but never have really looked into it properly. I have also been a little curious to see what the fuss has been about and whether or not it actually is THAT good for your skin. Moving to China has forced me to look into other brands, as the things I would normally buy back home, are just not available here and no matter where I look, Korean beauty seems to be everywhere.
There is no doubt that the Korean cosmetic industry is booming and according to a report from the BBC, South Korean Customs Service estimated a total USD$2.64 billion in Korean cosmetics and skincare exports for 2015. This is a huge amount of exports coming from Korea, given that the year previously, exports for cosmetics and skincare was at USD$1.9 billion. The industry continues to boom in Korea, and according to Mintel's Jane Henderson, 'South Korea is one of the world’s most exciting and fastest-changing beauty markets, which is globally influential and trend-setting'. Due to the fact that the Korean personal goods industry is so fast paced and exciting in terms of research and development, it is so easy to get completely overwhelmed and lost as there are a plethora of different brands, products and extremely strange ingredients to look into. It also doesn't help that many Koreans or Korean Skincare devotees, adopt a 10 step skincare routine and for the average person it can be too much and also quite confusing.
As I am preparing myself for a long weekend trip with the Mr in Seoul come September, I have recently started looking into the vast number of Korean products that I could potentially pick up in South Korea. So far, I have found the whole experience rather overwhelming...I mean where DO you start? There is SO much out there and not everything has a translated ingredient list to look at either. I have started looking at different blogs, curated websites and stalking people's Instagram for some much needed guidance and inspiration on understanding Korean Skincare and what products to haul back when I am in Seoul! I have combined a little list below of some websites, books and products that I have found extremely helpful in terms of making the huge worlds of Korean Skincare a lot less daunting.
Read more after the jump...Read More