Here are some products that have really sparked joy in recent times. This post includes well loved products that have been in my routine for a number of years now (looking at you ‘The After Show’ Treatment by Jordan Samuel, my version dates back to the days when it was Plie, and let’s face it, you my sumptuously tropical cleanser will always be Plie in my heart!), some newer discoveries I have come to love and an affordable perfume that I’m totally addicted to.
Jordan Samuel The After Show Treatment Cleanser
This magnificent luxurious yet minimalistic and thoughtfully curated eponymous brand finally reached UK shores a few months ago, after years of us UK skincare aficionados literally imploring Jordan to be stocked here! The thought of now being able to effortlessly order his high performance formulations through Cult Beauty without incurring those pesky import taxes legitimately fills me with so much joy and I know many likeminded skincare junkies share this sentiment. What is especially beseeching about Jordan’s brand is that he takes inspiration from his former career as a professional ballet dancer, allowing us all to choreograph our own gentle, yet effective routines, which is frankly refreshing at time where I feel brands are over-embellishing and over-complicating matters. This gel to oil cleanser was specifically developed to remove stage makeup and you are to massage this gorgeously scented, jelly textured onto dry skin, using dry hands. As a self professed balm cleanser enthusiast, I have to say, the After Show Treatment Cleanser’s texture is quite simply delightful, melts beautifully into my skin and allows for the most luxurious massage ever. Skincare gurus tend to be agreement over the fact that the cleansing step is vital but that it doesn’t necessarily need to feel extravagant or lavish. Well, I say rules are meant to be broken and as much as I will always have some non-frill cleansers in my repertoire, I like my first step to feel special and to allow me to feel pampered. This little gem provides just that. It beautifully lifts my many layers of sunscreen and makeup effortlessly owing to the wonderful mix of Olive oil, Grapeseed oil and Jojoba seed oil (you may use a washcloth if you favour a squeaky clean face, however if I chose to use this in the morning, it does rinse off, leaving my face perfectly hydrated and moisturized). Not only is this a smashing cleanser, but owing to some amazing plant based, antioxidant ingredients including Aloe, Mango, Lemon, Orange, Apple fruit extracts as well as wonderfully soothing Green Tea, Chamomile, Calendula and naturally exfoliating Willow Bark extract and Sugar Cane, it also provides a touch of mellow exfoliation, blessing you with the most radiant skin after use. And because it’s packed with this fabulous lineup of ingredients, it feels somewhat wasteful on my part to simply massage and rinse off without letting it sit on my face. In fact, now that I no longer need to be rationing, I love nothing more than applying this phenomenally scented, vanilla- ey tropically jelly textured cleanser as a morning mask before I jump into the shower and if I’m feeling particular dry, I love to add a couple of drops of an oil of my choosing. The wonderful scent transports me to my gorgeous native island of Mauritius, and frankly that in itself is glorious but my perfectly moisturized, radiant complexion is just a bonus. Trust me when I say that you need this in your life.
Zara Ebony Wood Perfume
Forget frantically stockpiling pasta and canned tuna, what you really need to be hoarding is this delightful perfume from Zara, in collaboration with Jo Malone. I have been an avid fan of Jo Malone scents for a while now but this collaboration frankly blew me away. I read somewhere that Jo describes her collection as one that is all about interpreting the feeling of clothes into fragrance, a smellable form of storytelling and that Ebony wood (which was love at first sniff for me) is all about a girl leaving college and heading off on a road trip in her father’s borrowed vintage car with soft jazz playing on the radio and notes of grapefruit, ebony, and rose absolute keeping the beat alongside. I’m not going to pretend I can correctly described scents; in fact, I’m notoriously bad at that. But I do know how wearing Ebony Wood makes me feel, sexy, empowered and confident. I’ve literally had complete strangers tell me I smell amazing, I love how I get complimented when I wear it, I love that I can spray this on with reckless abandon because it’s so well priced (and so what if the lasting power isn’t amazing) I love how I initially purchase it fully intending to use it as a an everyday perfume but dare I say, this scent is slowly captivating my heart and establishing itself as my signature scent. I have not stopped gushing about this scent to anyone who will listen and I have a feeling I won’t stop for a long time.
Femmue Lumiere Vital C Serum* (gifted)
Femmue is a brand I have a lot of love for, which harnesses the therapeutic benefits of flowers and botanicals to create a lined based on the concept of ‘Flower Therapy’ with splendid packaging. There’s no denying that their exquisitely packaged products will look spectacular, wherever you choose to display them. And so when Jin from Tonic15 offered to send me this elevated Vitamin C serum, I was more than excited to give it a go. I don’t need to preach to you, I know many of you know the numerous perks of including Vitamin C in your skincare routines (anti oxidant, helping with tackling pigmentation) and usually my preference does lie with the L Ascorbic form. However, Femmue Lumiere Vital C Serum employs a stabilized vitamin C derivative, more specifically Ascorbic Glucocide and is intended for those with particularly sensitive and intolerant of L ascorbic acid. As I have been using tretinoin for some time now, my skin does err on the sensitized side and I’m all too aware that it doesn’t take much to tip from balanced to majorly overexfoliated. Hence, I welcomed this serum in my life. I think this is a wonderfully elevated vitamin c serum, boasting a myriad of yumminess, including hydrating Hyaluronic acid, soothing Centella Asiatica, radiance inducing Jasmine oil, Rose oil, Safflower oil and glow inducing Niacinamide and Licorice Root extract housed in a gorgeous dark vessel. Whilst it screams luxury, the dark glass is also functional, preventing oxidation. I’m not claiming any miracle results, however with regular use I know that the hydrating, brightening effects are very much apparent. Sadly, my nose doesn’t pick up on those gorgeous Rose/Jasmine notes it’s meant to have but I’m prepared to overlook this because it’s just a joy to use.
Ranavat Botanics Radiant Rani Brightening Facial Serum
I have professed my love for Ranavat Botanics in the past and perhaps because I feel so culturally connected to the founder Michelle, this introduces some form of bias to my judgment. (You can read a brand overview right here). I can’t really help it though, her line truly makes me feel like Indian royalty. I loved Rose Tonique and Mighty Majestic (a Jasmine hair and body oil) remains my hair elixir of choice, I only recently committed to using Radiant Rani on a more consistent basis and got to experience the magic contained in this little 20ml flacon. You may gasp at the price, $90 for 20ml is not cheap so I’m really looking for way more than a sensory experience here. I’m looking for results. I do know that Ranavat botanics are committed to sourcing the very best ingredients, and this often comes at a price. The star ingredients are Saffron (which btw is exorbitantly pricey) which encourages cell repair and restores damaged skin, Rose which provides brightening and reducing inflammation and Turmeric Root which tackles hyperpigmentation and fades dark spots over time but I’m also loving the addition of brightening Licorice Root extract and Indian Barberry.
I’m not even going to try and conceal the fact that I’m enamored by this gorgeously yellow hued light oil texture which absorbs flawlessly or that the familiar saffron scent is reminiscent of a particular Indian marriage ritual (the Haldi ceremony where the bride is anointed with a turmeric mask to give her radiant skin the say before her wedding) or even that catching a whiff of this on my skin during day doesn’t make me smile. However, if you favour the more utilitarian approach to skincare, the brightening and the reduction in pigmentation is very much real, albeit being a slow process.
Pink Light Crystal Facial Tonic*, gifted to me via the cleanbeauty box.
Here is the perfect example of why subscrition boxes are phenomenal. They showcase brands I would have never discovered should I be left to my own devices. Basically, they do all the legwork for you and if it’s something you want to indulge in at the moment, The Clean Beauty Box have never failed to amaze me with their curations.
Pink light encompasses everything I love about indie brands. Brought to life by Amber Woods, a trained herbalist and licensed esthetician, their products provide a highly sensorial experience, bring radiance and really allow you to nurture to your skin.
A gorgeous line on their website particularly caught my eye, about the name “pink light’ coming to her during meditation, in reference to that gorgeous hue of skin the sky takes on during sunset and sunrise. Their products are infused with positive energy and intention, and aim to heal which is very much how I feel as I used this over many, many months.
Pink Light Crystal Facial Tonic is a perfectly light oil, lovely for mornings as it absorbed practically instantly and keeps my skin looking plump. I either mix it in a moisturiser or use over a recently misted face. A wonderful blend of Jojoba oil, Calendula, Comfrey Leaf, Seabuckthorn, Rosehip oil, Red Raspberry seed Oil, Sunflower, Sweet Almond oil as well as Rose and a form of vitamin c (Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate), for me it is unbeatable as a day time oil. I even love mixing it with my foundation to thin it out and impart that extra glow. Although I wouldn’t rely on this as my sole source of vitamin c, I welcome the little addition.
The Granola Goat Starry Night Balm, now rebranded Mystify Beauty Balm by Wiemagie
A fellow skincare instagrammer and good friend knows me too well and knows how captivated and seduced I am by a particularly well know blue balm. When she gifted me this gorgeously blue hued balm the last time we met in New York, I immediately fell in love this equally stunning blue coloured balm and its enchanting blue tansy scent. Now the comparisons with May Lindstrom’s Blue Cocoon are going to be inevitable but this really isn’t my intention in showcasing this brand. I cannot help but marvel at how merely combining 4 ingredients (shea butter, blue tansy, geranium and lavender oils) can produce such a exquisite balm but I suppose that’s where skincare and food have so many similarities. It’s that mystical, special alchemical combination of taking wonderful raw ingredients to produce something quite wonderful. This balm exceeded my expectation, its’ nourishing, reparative and soothes my soul with its delicious texture, melting into my skin as soon as it contacts it. I have read that it also performs as, as a delicate eyecream and even soothes baby hairs and frankly I’m not saying no to that using anything so gorgeous and aromal all overrrr my boddddy.