Since my last Pic ‘n’ Mix was posted in July I thought it about time for the next one. The products I’ve been loving lately have been used everyday without fail so I can definitely vouch for their efficacy, at least on my skin. Let’s get swooning shall we!
First up we have Gressa Skin‘s AMAZING highlighter called the Illuminating Serum. I am positively IN LOVE with this product and it’s almost gone so far as to replace my hitherto beloved RMS Living Luminizer which is saying a lot. The latter is what I used to apply everyday until Gressa’s little beauty arrived on the scene. I had the awesome privilege of winning Gressa’s Minimalist series on Instagram a few months ago which included the Illuminating Serum, Corrective Serum Foundation, Contouring Bronzing Serum and Lip Boost in Aux Rouge along with the Immaculate Buffing brush. Of all 4 stellar products, the Illuminating Serum is my favourite. It applies so easily with the tiniest amount (as evident from my pic showing the amount you need to highlight cheekbones and nose bridge and you still have product left over! This isn’t even a full drop from the pipette) leaving highlighted areas looking illuminated without any exaggerated shine, a truly lit-from-within glow that is usually seen on models (I’m guessing they’re using this highlighter too, ha!). Apart from the obvious result it imparts, this product also boasts some gorgeous skin-loving ingredients like broccoli seed oil (rich in antioxidants such as vitamins C and E and containing glucoraphanin which aids in repairing of skin damage), silymarin (another potent antioxidant which is said to be ten times more potent than vitamin E in terms of antioxidant activity), beloved Sea Buckthorn seed extract (another ingredient high in vitamin A as well as Omega 3, 6, 7 & 9) and bitter melon extract (good for deep skin infections and wounds, from the research I have found) to name but a few of the beneficial ingredients found in this little bottle. Which will last you a good long while and thus justifies the price tag! Yet another reason why I love this product so much, it is actually beneficial for the skin and yet it is make up. What a win-win situation! For those of you impartial to coconut oil in their products can rest assured since it’s not included. I gave a sampling of this gem to a friend and she fell in love, both over the performance and over how little product is needed to get that instant glow. I definitely see myself purchasing this in the future.
INCI: Brassica oleracea (Broccoli) Seed Oil, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Silica, Isododecane, *Silymarin, *Horsetail (Equisetum arvense) Extract, *Lemon Balm (Melissa officianalis) Extract, *Barberry (Berberis vulgaris) Extract, *Sea Buckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides) Seed Extract, *Elder Flower (Sambucus nigra) Extract, *Bitter Melon (Momordica charantia) Extract, Licorice Root (Glycyrrhiza glabra) Extract, Tocopheryl Acetate Non-GMO, Coenzyme Q10, Ascorbyl tetraisopalmitate, (Vitamin C), *lecithin, *glycerin, mica, iron oxides, titanium oxide. *CERTIFIED ORGANIC $45 for 15ml.
Next up on my loving-right-now list is May Lindstrom’s The Jasmine Garden. I couldn’t wait to get my hands on this gem once I had run out of toners and it’s true what other green beauty bloggers say about it – it’s divine! My first spritz instantly generated a genuine “mmmmm” reaction from my olfactory senses (imagine an exotic botanical garden with high notes of jasmine and chocolate!) and the performance of this product has only increased with daily use. I apply this botanical mist after cleansing my face AM and PM helping to balance my pH levels and aiding ensuing serums and oils to absorb better. I also spritz this throughout the day when I feel that my skin is encroaching the Sahara desert (hello central heating!) and it really helps keep my skin hydrated without having to spritz too often. The dilemma is wanting to spritz all the time to take in the intoxicating scent (and benefits!) versus not wanting the product to run out too soon! Either way, it comes in a generous 100ml Miron glass bottle which is more than what is usually offered by other brands (50ml is average) and though it may cost more I still feel that it evens out in the end. In terms of other performance factors, I have noticed that my skin is less prone to flare-ups when misting this (I can get reactions in the middle of the day towards unknown irritants resulting in mozzie-like bites but as soon as I mist TJG on afflicted area it instantly dies down) and I attribute that to the inclusion of witch hazel which has anti-inflammatory properties, as well as silver which has been known to heal complexion issues and acne. It is also quite a controversial ingredient since it is said to cause argyria, a condition in which skin turns blue or bluish-grey and some people may be against it, however I have not experienced any adverse effects so far. And I don’t look like a potential candidate for the Blue Man Group. I’m quite new to the toner world but so far this is my favourite in this category along with Leahlani Skincare’s Lavender Spritzer Toner (review here).
INCI: Pure Water (Aqua), *Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel), Argentum Metallicum (Silver), Jasmine (Jasmine) Grandiflorum Absolute, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Jasminum Officinale (Jasmine) Extract, *Rosa Damascena (Rose) Oil, *Cananga Odorata (Ylang-Ylang) Oil, *Vanilla Planifolia (Vanilla) CO2 Total Essential Oil, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Oil. *CERTIFIED ORGANIC $60 for 100ml
Last but certainly not least is the newly launched product by Pai, the Instant Calm Redness Serum with Sea Aster and Wild Oat. They weren’t kidding about the instant part! Believe it or not, this is actually my very first full-size Pai product ever. A bit strange perhaps considering this brand works specifically with sensitive skin conditions in mind…all I can say is that other brands have simply gotten in the way up to now! I’m usually against reviewing a product that I haven’t used for about a month but this has provided such great results in a short amount that I couldn’t not feature it. Great continuous results I might add. As some of you may know by now, I suffer from sensitized skin which can react to pretty much anything so a product that alleges to actively help combat redness and restore calm to my face is going to get my attention. I very kindly and generously received this as a gift from my go-to online eco store Alice & White (thank you!!) and I’ve been using it every evening for the past two weeks or so. I saw an immediate improvement in my skin tone (ie redness around cheeks decreased) and with continued use, an overall happy and calm skin condition. The consistency is that of a milky lotion which sinks in fairly quickly; when applying on damp face it does require some extra gentle massaging and leaving it to sink in before reaching for your face oil (if you want more hydration). One pump is enough for the entire face so this is another beauty that will most likely last a while, especially if you only use it as a weekly treatment. My only gripe about this product is its scent. It’s not the most pleasant as it reminds me of sour milk and I’ve no idea which ingredient(s) is/are guilty of offending my nose. Anyhoo, it’s not enough to put me off using the product since I’m satisfied with the results I’m getting. This has definitely become a staple in my skincare regime. So what makes this serum so effective? I will quote the packaging in regards to the two all-star ingredients (why reinvent the wheel right?), Sea Aster and Wild Oat: “Sea Aster inhibits the release of cutaneous neuropeptides, the molecules that cause skin to flare, while strengthening the surface blood vessels, helping to reduce the appearance of redness”. Yep, could testify to that. “Famed for its ability to soothe reactive skin, enriched Wild Oat extract works to improve the appearance of delicate or damaged skin and helps to protect skin against environmental irritants”. Again, can testify to that. And honestly, who better to produce a serum for sensitive skins than the company which markets itself as the brand that understands sensitive skins? It’s a no-brainer, people. Thank you Pai for creating a gem that really works, at least for my fussy skin.
INCI: Aqua, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis Fruit Water*, Avena Sativa Kernel Extract*, Glycerin*, Glyceryl Stearate Citrate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Aster Maritima/Tripolium Extract, Sodium Hyaluronate, Carya Ovata Bark Extract, Litsea Cubeba Fruit Oil*, Adesmia Boronioides Flower/Leaf/Stem Oil*, Helianthus Annus Seed Oil*, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Acacia Senegal Gum, Xanthan Gum, Sodium Levulinate, Sodium Anisate, Glyceryl Caprylate, Tocopherol, Lactic Acid, Rosmarinus Officinalis Leaf Extract*. Naturally occurring in essential oils: citral*, limonene*. *Organically produced (79%). Nut free. $78 for 30ml. Totally worth it!!
So that concludes Nic Pic ‘n’ Mix for this time. I hope you enjoyed my picks; have you tried any of the products mentioned and if so, what were your thoughts? As always, feel free to share away in the comments!
Sending lots of warmth this cold dark November night (yes, I can claim this as it’s already dark at 4pm)!
*Adhering to the OO policy, products I feature are of my own choosing without any external help/persuading/bribing from brands or stores. Lucky for them that I love what I love! All products have been purchased by me unless otherwise stated. Like in the Pai case =)