High time for another Nic’s Pic’n’Mix, especially because this one features very recent loves into my life and for me this is usually not the case…I most often spend at least a couple of months testing out products before I give them my blessing or kick up the booty. I’ve also noticed that this sweeping-me-off-my-feet phenomenon is happening more frequently as with Henné Organics gorgeous lip balm that I most recently lovebombed here.
Along with a new post you may notice that the look of my blog has changed somewhat. I’m very pleased with it as I feel it reflects my personality and aesthetics a bit more. I’ve also added a Lust List in the sidebar to show you what I’m coveting most right this very minute (also a nifty way for my boyfriend to know what to get haha! Totally unintentional of course) and the plan is to update it as I go along. Brands I Love and Green Beauty Shopping are also new features so check those out if you’re interested 😉
The first product I want to talk about is one that caught me by surprise and despite its little size, really has made quite a difference to my skin. It’s Antipodes Divine Face Oil. And it’s truly divine! I received this from Alice & White (love!) as a gift in my last order along with Vanilla Pod Hydrating Day Cream (15ml, unopened). The package itself is called Moisture Boost Minis (limited edition) and I don’t think they’re available anymore, at least not on Alice & White. As the box says, you get two mini products, perfect for testing them out before getting a full size. Antipodes is a New Zealand brand founded by Elizabeth Barbalich 8 years ago and incorporates many native ingredients like manuka honey, mamaku black fern (regenerates cell growth), harekeke flax (softening and antibacterial) and pohutukawa bloom (antioxidant, antiseptic and moisturising) amongst many others. There’s a whole drop down list of descriptions and explanations into the plant ingredients on their website which is interesting to read. Ingredients that are organic are certified accordingly and others are high quality with little or no residue component. I’ve tried the Avocado Pear Nourishing Night Cream before which I really liked (also got Mama Nic’s full approval!). Nowadays I tend just to stick to my beloved face oils, especially during the “warmer” months, a term I use most lightly living in Sweden.
I took the Divine Face Oil with me for a wedding weekend back in June since we weren’t going to check any luggage in (anyone else panic at the thought of not being able to take all their potions and lotions with them??) and I couldn’t take some of my usual oils with me. My recent skincare routine has been working really well so I wasn’t too keen on adding something foreign to the mix lest it upset some divine (sorry, had to!) calibration I had going on but rather that than have any of my babies exiled to wherever unwelcome skincare products go at security (worst nightmare! Heart palpitations and nervous sweat anyone?). I used the oil both day and night even though I normally use two different ones and I was pleasantly surprised to see how my skin just soaked it right up, leaving it feeling and looking calm, glowy and smooth. I went back to my regular oils after the weekend but recently took it with me to Italy for yet another wedding and again, same results. This could not be a coincidence so I have now switched it with Pai’s Rosehip BioRegenerate Oil for use in the evenings because my skin looks so calm and feels so soft the next day, more so than when I’ve been using Pai. I can’t replace anything with Yoshimomo’s Rewind during the day just yet…that oil/serum deserves a post of its own!
So what makes Antipodes face oil so divine then? It must surely be the effective combination of the following oils: avocado, macadamia, jojoba and rosehip. Avocado contains a substance called sterolin which can help soften the skin and reduce the incidence of sun spots (I can’t stake my life on it since I’ve only been using the oil regularly for about two weeks but I think it has helped in that department…not wearing sunscreen up until yesterday should have me covered in more sun spots!). It is also high in antioxidants which goes hand in hand with the sterolin in healing sun-damaged skin and preventing further harm. Vitamins A, D and E help in skin suppleness so avocado oil is great for those with dry skin. Interestingly, I don’t suffer from dry skin myself and so I was afraid that avocado oil would be too heavy for me but that is not the case at all. It sinks in beautifully and keeps my skin moisturised throughout the day since this oil is deeply absorbed by the skin. I don’t own too many products with macadamia nut oil, at least not many that I put on my face, however perhaps this should be remedied. Macadamia nut oil is high in palmitoleic acid which delays skin and cell ageing and is something that diminishes the older we get. Right, I’ll have some of that please! It’s also high in phytosterols which are calming and healing, reducing itchiness and inflammation and most probably one of the reasons why I wake up with such calm skin. Macadamia nut oil also easily penetrates our skin making it lightweight and non-greasy. For those whose skin type does not play well with rosehip, you may want to skip this even if it pains me to say so! In the way of essential oils, this divinity contains ylang-ylang (balances sebum so good for all skin types as well as being an acne-buster), sandalwood (promotes clear and soft skin and takes down inflammation and redness) and my absolute favourite, jaaaaaaaasmine* (as a cicatrisant it aids in fading scars and wounds). The beautiful choice of ingredients for this oil and the results I see and feel from it have truly made it a firm favourite. I am even contemplating a full size once I’m done with the dinky 10ml version. Only reason I say contemplating is due to the fact that there are other oils I want to try…oh human nature, how fickle thou art! *Disappointing news for fellow jasmine lovers out there is that I can’t really say that it smells of the beautiful white blossom so don’t go buying it thinking it will transport you to Jasmine Heaven. Definitely more avocado than anything. You have been informed.
INCI: Persea gratissima (avocado) oil*, macadamia ternifolia (macadamia nut) oil*, buxus chinensis (jojoba) oil*, rosa canina (rosehip) oil*, tocopherol (Vitamin E), essential oil fragrances of ylang ylang, sandalwood and jasmine: benzyl benzoate, benzyl salicylate, citronellol, d-limonene, farnesol, geraniol, isoeugenol, linalool (component of essential oil) *certified organic ingredient
Some of you may know that my main make up squeeze is blush. I adore blushes and it’s the one make up product that I will use every day. It just helps to brighten you up, you know? For many many months I was only using RMS Beauty’s Smile which is gorgeous (and another firm favourite) but when I saw that Swedish Beauty Factory was having a summer sale with up to 80% off on certain products I just had to get my hands on a Kjaer Weis product! Didn’t matter what it was as long as a red boxed beauty was arriving in my postbox! Ok, slight exaggeration there, I was mainly looking at the blushes and lip tints. I first went for Suntouched since I’ve read so many rave reviews and thought it would go best with my skin tone but unfortunately it was sold out, so I then opted for Desired Glow instead. Well, I’m over the moon I did because I adore this cream blush. The colour looks quite dark in the pan, a rusty orange/coral for lack of a better description. Compared to RMS Beauty Smile it looked like I had nothing on to begin with but depending on how the light catches it, it leaves a very natural looking glow to your cheeks. This actually makes it quite a forgiving blush in that you won’t find yourself with clown cheeks and having to wash your face if you put too much on! I do feel that I need to put a bit more product on than with Smile but I’m sure this is just a personal preference. Going on it applies very easily and smoothly and I love how natural it is both in ingredients and in the look it imparts. Being my very first KW product I had high expectations from all that I knew about it and I can say that disappointment was nowhere in sight. From the red box to the heavy silver compact, everything about it oozes sophistication and luxury. I’m so happy I got it for a steal but I do understand what the hype is about so I will most definitely be getting more products in the future. I also love the fact that refills can be purchased which is not only budget-friendlier but also friendlier to the planet. Totally smitten with this one! (This product does contain carmine which may tip you against buying it).
INCI: Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Mica, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil*, Ricinus Communis (Castor) Oil*, Zea Mays (Corn) Starch*, Cera Alba*, Copernicia Cerifera (Carnauba) Wax*, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil*, Rosa Rubiginosa Seed Oil*, Polyglyceryl-3-diisostearate, Ammonium Glycyrrhizate, Tocopherol Acetate, Vanilla Plantifolia Fruit Extract* May contain +/- Iron Oxides (CI 77491, CI 77499), Titanium Dioixide (CI 77891), Manganese Violet (CI 77492), Carmine (CI 75470) Caution-contains carmine *organically grown
Next up to receive some Nic love is a product from Lani. Lani, a UK brand, is a fairly recent arrival to the green beauty scene and currently a hair oil and a body oil graces their line up. Viola, the founder, started making her own skin and haircare products in 2013 when she switched to a plant-based diet and found that she was having particular success with her hair treatment. She would hand them out to friends and family who rightly fell in love with her creations and Lani was born. All her products are made fresh and are 100% natural, vegan and cruelty-free. They are free from fillers, artificial fragrances and chemical preservatives.
Liz from Smells Like A Green Spirit and I won a giveaway they were having not too long ago where we received both the raved-about Tropical Hair Treatment and Tropical Body Treatment. Now, hair oils are a product I’ve been slow to incorporate into my routine simply because I’ve never really used them. I like to wash my hair in the morning which means that I don’t have the time to let a hair oil work its magic since that would mean getting up even earlier than 5:30 am…and let’s be honest, that’s just not going to happen. My hair is also usually in pretty good condition so it hasn’t been an area that I’ve had to think about so much…what I’m saying is that I haven’t used the Hair Treatment enough times to give proper feedback! The few times I have applied oil to my hair I have loved it and so far it’s only been Leahlani’s Coconut Infusion and Lani’s Tropical Hair Treatment I’ve tried (yep, total hair oil virgin over here. Well, almost).
Enough rambling about hair and let’s move the spotlight to where it really belongs in this post, namely on the Tropical Body Treatment made for beach babes (why thank you!). Housed in a fun pink recyclable glass bottle with a silver screw top (somewhat impractical when pouring!) this is sunshine, sea, waves, beach and sun in a handy, take-with-me-anywhere vessel. I apply this on wet skin. Actually let me rephrase; on soaking wet skin i.e the kind where you don’t dry yourself with a towel as you get out of the shower but more the I create-puddles-in-my-bathroom-and-who-cares kind. This is how I always apply any type of body oil since I feel this is what works best for me and it actually keeps me moisturised far longer than if I didn’t. This oil, applied this way, keeps me baby bottom soft all over all day. What more is there to say? (ok, rhyme was unintended!) I could say something about the scent…soft, coconutty with a subtle sweetness. It doesn’t linger all that much or all too long so for those who aren’t partial to strong scents that hang around, this is for you. But the main reason I love this? It leaves my skin so soft and so smooth all day (broken record syndrome)…I will definitely be coming back for more. This dinky pink bottle of sunshine may look innocent but it contains some powerful ingredients, simple yay, but no less impressive on the skin. Almond oil is known for its excellent moisturising properties keeping skin deeply nourished without being sticky. It’s also anti-inflammatory and can aid in calming and healing irritations and wounds. Of course, it’s almost impossible to have a tropical concoction without including the essence of the tropics, coconut oil. Filled with saturated fats (predominantly triglycerides) this helps the skin retain moisture and is certainly a contributing factor of my baby smooth skin. Coconut oil also has vitamin E which is vital for healthy skin growth as well as helping to prevent premature ageing and wrinkling. Another oil that has powerful anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties is camellia seed oil along with being an excellent emollient (more baby smooth skin!). The inclusion of baobab oil is perfect for those suffering from psoriasis and eczema since it can help alleviate those symptoms due to omega 3, 6 and 9 fatty acids. It provides hydration without all the greasiness which is something I appreciate when I’m getting ready in the morning and not having to wait until the oil has been fully absorbed. Moringa oil shares similar attributes to the aforementioned oils which if you haven’t sussed out by now, explains why this Tropical Body Treatment packs a moisturising, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory punch! This is further enhanced by the accompaniment of ylang-ylang essential oil which also shares many of the skin-loving traits found in the oils. Like I said, I will be back for more.
INCI: Prunus Dulcis (Almond) Oil, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Camellia Oleifera (Camellia) Seed Oil, Andansonia Digitata (Baobab) Oil, Moringa Oleifera (Moringa) Seed Oil, Cananga Odorata (Ylang Ylang) Oil
Second to last fav (promise not to keep you all day!) is my white konjac sponge. Granted this is not a new love since I’ve used a few of these in the past but what happens is that I finish using one and then I go months without…until I get one again and I’m reminded of just how good these little root veggie squidgies are! The one I own is bought in Japan and I got a couple so I don’t need to reenact the whole situation in the previous sentence. This is the only thing I use in the mornings when I wash my face. Sponge and water. Sponge and Go! I used to think I needed to use a gentle cleanser in the mornings as well but simply using this and some water has actually turned out to give better results (no mozzie-like bites on my face, no redness). So I’m going with this. Questions? Since I use this every morning I think it has also contributed to smoother skin as it does provide gentle exfoliation. I’ve tried the green, pink and now the white one and I think my favourite is actually white! Fuss-free and no frills. I sometimes wonder if the coloured ones actually make a difference…comment away on that one, green beauties!
Aaaaand my last love is my pink headband! Those of you who follow me on IG will have seen a few pics of me sporting this cute thang and I just love it. It’s the best accessory to have when cleansing and masking as it really keeps all unwelcome hair from my face (can you blame them wanting to gatecrash a Mermaid Party?) and it’s a bit more fun than just tying my hair up. Which I’m incapable of doing at the moment due to my short do anyway. Bought in Japan, the land of awesome goods! 🙂
And that wraps up Nic’s Pic’n’Mix. Any old favourites amongst my new? Do tell!
Disclaimer: all thoughts, ramblings and opinions are my own. Nothing was sent for review consideration but everything was said with love.