It would be no aggrandizement on my part if I unconditionally stated that the December Boxwalla Box baptised ‘Textures of Winter’ was the pinnacle of a truly mind-blowing, magnificent year of thoughtfully curated products. Consider this (let’s face it, tardy ) post an ode to a subscription box I would recommend to anyone in a heart beat…I believe my most recurrent phrase is ‘Lavanya has outdone herself AGAIN’. As 2020 progressed and the contents of these bi-monthly boxes were ceremoniously revealed to us by way of her beautifully penned poems and the gorgeous works of art containing cues on the magnificent, plant-based magic that awaits us, my eyes grew wider and wider with marvel. I love that everything is so meticulously thought out; the brands are true artisans and lovers of their craft, the products are perfectly tailored to suit a range of skin types and over a year, you will acquire a beautiful assortment of skincare guaranteed to make your skin (and your soul!) perfectly content.
‘Textures of Winter’ could not have been more perfect for the season. As temperatures dip, gorgeously enveloping textures undoubtedly become a source of comfort for our skin. I have to say that as much as I adored and thoroughly enjoyed these sumptuous textures from the Bluh Alchemy and Live Botanicals products, I was just as captivated by each of their individual scents.
Bluh Alchemy’s Multi C Serum
Bluh Alchemy is a brand that had piqued my interest a while ago. It was featured in another well-known green beauty subscription box and already has many devotees who’ve sung its praises, gushing on the efficacy of the products and the tantalising scents. I really couldn’t wait to experience this magic myself and I was not disappointed in the least. I often feel that Lavanya is a bit of a psychic when it comes to selecting products; I have a gap in my routine and next thing I know, we’re serendipitously receiving exactly what I need. This was absolutely the case for Multi C Serum, the answer to my antioxidant exigencies that I reserve for mornings. Although I have been trialling an L-Ascorbic acid serum, as soon I received Multi C, it was swiftly cast aside. I couldn’t resist using this Beauty Shortlist Award 2020 winner, it was heralded the best brightening serum and I live for brightening products. Multi C Serum is not only a total sensory delight (that Rose Geranium smell is immensely uplifting and an absolute delight to smooth on skin on mornings) but is very astutely formulated for maximum efficacy. The key bioactives are contained in a base of aloe juice and rose flower distillate include kakadu plum (which contains a very high amount of naturally occurring Vitamin C), reinforced with Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate ( a vitamin C derivative my skin is known to love). Skincare nerds will know that many Vitamin C formulations contain Ferulic Acid to boost efficacy and here this comes from kangaroo paw flower. The next star of the show is quandong which strengthens capillaries and has potent antioxidant properties that fight free radical damage, reducing the signs of fine lines and wrinkles. As well as these major key players, these creamy-gel formula also contains a plethora of ingredients that make me go weak at the knees; seabuckthorn, rosehip seed oil, prickly pear, buriti fruit oil, red raspberry oil, raw green coffee bean oil, licorice extract, centella asiatica, argan oil and turmeric extract. All these work synergistically to create a lovely antioxidant rich formulation that personally gave me plump, incredibly radiant skin. My preference is using this in the morning and it plays very well with my other products. Honestly, I am bedazzled by this!
Bluh Alchemy’s Active Relief Body Oil
I genuinely can’t decide if I’m more blown away by Multi C serum from Bluh Alchemy or if I was more enamoured by their second product in the December Boxwalla (perhaps I don’t even have to choose!). The Active Relief Body Oil was somewhat of a hero product for me at the end of last year. At the onset, I have to say that Lavanya is the one who introduced me to the boujee world of body oils and now I am obsessed with treating my body with gorgeous blends of oils (why should my face get all the attention?) This body oil is otherworldly, I kid you not. Delicously scented with vanilla with earthy hints of leather and a whisper of spicyness, my heart gladdens and my pulse quickens when I think of anointing my body with a drizzle of this gold, glinting oil. This usually happens when I’m at work, thinking and meticulously planning my evening skincare/body care routine. The Active Relief Body oil is all my heart desires, it is luxurious, fast absorbing, nourishing and leaves my skin sexily perfumed and I’ll often catch whiffs of its unique, addictive scent well after I’ve used it. It contains holy basil, revered in Ayurvedic medicine for its ability to support the body’s response to stress; hinoki wood oil whose light, earthy scent promotes a sense of calm and relaxation as well as copaiba oleoresin which “makes your skin happy” due to high amounts of beta-caryophyllene, a molecule that engages the cannabinoid receptors in the skin and causes cells to produce beta-endorphin. Now, I read those claims with mild cynicism (I say mild because I do believe in the power of plants and the splendid products that harness their magic but could a body oil really bring such solace, I wondered). I stand corrected, every single time I use this lush oil, I am suffused with a inexplicable sense of calmness and this must be because of this considerate and deliberate trio of ingredients.
Live Botanical Sanctuary Barrier Balm
And last but most certainly not least, the Live Botanical Sanctuary Barrier balm which I can only describe as absolute saviour right now, a hug for my winter-ravaged skin and the only reason my skin barrier is intact at this moment in time. Texturally an absolute dream to use, it is airy, whipped and transforms in a lightly, very fast absorbing oil in contact with skin and will work for all skin types, even oilier ones. It contains a blend of Amazonian butters of murumuru, ucuuba, bacuri and tucuma which deliver their anti-inflammatory and soothing prowess as well as rice brand rich in phospholipids, identical to our lipid barrier. The end result is that applied on damp skin or as a final layer after your routine, your skin is left nourished but not overwhelmed. And the scent…hard to describe. Being devoid of essential oils, there is no particular aromal quality to this balm but instead the scent is reminiscent of its constituent butters, lending it a comforting, soothing quality. For me, this translates to a nutty ghee-like scent (ghee is clarified butter so prevalent in Indian household and will always evoke familiar and remedying qualities for me). So happy to finally try this incredible brand via Boxwalla.
The December box was truly what my skin craved and it most definitely helped me get through these cold months and will continue to do so. As I write this, we now know that the February box will feature British indie brand Nini Organics (including a teeny size of Halo, the most magical blue tansy/passion fruit cleansing oil) and is currently sold out. I hope Lavanya is able to source a few more boxes as I just know this is going to be simply marvellous. I cannot wait to see what you have in store for us in 2021 Boxwalla, I have sneaking suspicion I’m going to love it all!