Sunday, March 18, 2018

EMPTIES + MINI REVIEWS (Emma Hardie, Earthwise Beauty, De Mamiel, Merumaya, Just Herbs, Liz Earle, Bravura London)

Hey everyone, I usually don't do an Empties post, because I don't own that many products to get through, well, compared to other skincare bloggers. LOL. Nevertheless, I have amassed a few that have thankfully cleared up precious real estate on my skincare shelf. So, here are my express reviews on these products, which may help you decide if you'd like to get them yourselves. The products which I have previously reviewed in detail on my blog have been linked so.

Emma Hardie Moringa Cleansing Balm:
This was my first pot of the highly raved cleansing balm. What can I say, this is a true luxury skincare product, with its sensual scent of rose, jasmine, mandarin, orange peel and more. It feels like silk and looks just as gorgeous. It performs really well in removing makeup but is also wonderful for a second cleanse. I don't use it every day, simply because I want a luxurious product that I can pull out when I'm feeling especially knackered. Needless to say, I already have a backup. 😄

Bravura Hot Cloth Volcanic Mud Cleanser/Masque:
This bottle was never-ending and even now you can see a bit remaining, which try as I may, I can't get it out. I've been using this since two years I think, but now that I'm consciously off chemical exfoliators (this contains glycolic acid), I will not repurchase this, plus there are many other cleansers that I want to try. This is good for a second cleanse and a mask, though.

Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser:
I loved this! Anything that has eucalyptus in it is likely to be a favourite with me. The Liz Earle Hot Cloth Cleanser is good for both first and second cleanse. And while I'm sad that it's over, I will not repurchase because I have found an even better cleansing milk/lotion type cleanser, right here in India. In case you're wondering, it's the Just Herbs India Deep Cleansing Lotion, which I may get a full size of.

Just Herbs Pomegranate Mandarin Pore Refining Tonique:
Speaking of Just Herbs, this toner is my jam! I love it poured on a cotton pad and swiped across the face or even as a refreshing spritz. Definitely a repurchase! Detailed review here.

Merumaya Treatment Toner:
I loved using this toner. It has next-gen ingredients such as brown and micro algae, amino acids, minerals and most of all Ascorbyl Glucoside, a type of Vitamin C released slowly into the skin, which activates only on contact with the skin. Maleka, the brand owner is wonderful to interact with and is a pioneer when it comes to formulating potent products, that not only perform but also give a great user experience. Anyone who has used Merumaya products knows of its signature scent. Ah, I'm gonna miss it! I'm not sure whether I want to repurchase this, because shipping is way too expensive. Plus, I have a couple other treatment products on my radar. If you'd like to read my detailed review on it, go here.

Earthwise Beauty Ruby Facial Oil:
A holy-grail skincare product, this is a glow booster! I like it mixed with Ambrosia Del Cerrado, also from Earthwise Beauty. The mixture gives me a fast-absorbing lightweight moisturiser while working to give my skin a luminous glow. I also like it mixed with Earthwise Beauty Farizad's Veil sunscreen powder, as it provides high antioxidant value, amplifying the sun protection ability. A definite repurchase!

De Mamiel Restorative Cleansing Balm:
I got a generous sample of this from Integrity Botanicals. It's a silky rich cleansing balm, which was unfortunately too rich for me. Glad I tried the sample before spending money on the full size. Two reasons why it didn't work for me: 1) It doesn't emulsify and even though I know non-emulsifying oils and balms have their benefits in retaining moisture in the skin, it's just not my preference. 2) Its scent is a bit strange; initially, I did get a hint of ginger, which I absolutely love but later on, the scent morphed into something else, which I did not enjoy.

So, that's it folks! Hope you find these mini reviews and the detailed ones linked wherever possible, helpful. Have a great weekend! 😃

Friday, March 2, 2018

Detox Duo: Earthwise Beauty Green Leaves and Co. Facial Oil + Tigress Face Balm

By now, most people know my love for Earthwise Beauty, an organic skincare line that not only offers potent, effective skincare but also luxurious formulations.

Recently, I had reviewed its long-time popular product, the Green Leaves and Co. Facial Oil. My review can be found here. However, did you know that the fabulous results of the Green Leaves and Co. oil can be maximised by combining it with the most recent Earthwise Beauty creation, the Tigress Balm?

I call this the Detox Duo. And how does it benefit my skin? Read on to find out...

One of the biggest skin issues I have is clogged pores. While I don't suffer from blackheads, I'm a long-time victim of sebaceous filaments and the occasional whiteheads. Ever since my teenage years, my skin has been oily and that's when the clogged pore situation took roots. I didn't think much of it because I had other priorities back then. And while I discovered proper skincare only in my late 20s/early 30s, you can imagine how neglected or poorly treated my skin was until then. I'm giving you this background only because it will help you understand how these two products helped me.

So, back to this duo. At first, I had tried only the Green Leaves and Co. oil. I had a sample size which gave me ample opportunity/product to test out. But when I mix the oil with the balm in the palm of my hand and apply it all over the face, this is what it does for me:

1) The mixture brings those pesky filaments to a head within a few hours. Overnight application works best for me as the skin is undisturbed during nighttime. In the morning, I spend a few minutes to extract the obviously visible ones. The result I typically see is that congestion is down by at least 50%. In numbers, this may not seem like much but when you see the result on the face, it's truly remarkable. I spend the rest of the day touching my smooth bump-less skin, which otherwise feels like a mini version of an extra-fine cheese grater, especially around the nose and chin area. 🤣

Please note that you can't get rid of sebaceous filaments completely because a) some are deep-rooted and applying too much pressure to extract the deeper ones can damage the skin while some simply won't surface, and b) sebaceous filaments are formed continuously--it's like a cycle in the skin. The only thing you can do is 1) use skincare products that truly work at reducing acne while nourishing your skin with acne-repairing ingredients and 2) keep extracting the filaments regularly either via facials done by experts or doing it yourself at home. I have a nifty tool, which I sanitise and use expertly. Yes, I'm pretty good at it. I did say I was a long-time sufferer of the filaments. 😆

2) The mix of Green Leaves oil and Tigress Balm heals spots/pimples too and works more effectively when applied as a concentrated spot treatment. So, while I typically apply the mixture all over the face, I also dab more of it on any existing or about-to-emerge spots. In the past, I have seen a pus-filled spot disappear completely by day 3 of nightly application. TMI, I know!

3) The mixture also nourishes the skin with anti-aging ingredients. While the Green Leaves oil has rosemary verbenone, violet and lavender, the Tigress Balm has frankincense essential oil. Combining anti-acne with anti-aging is like killing two birds with one stone and is especially appreciated by adult skin because the age-old acne solution aimed at teenagers, which dries the skin out, does not work for us. We want anti-acne benefits coupled with supple skin.

4) The Tigress Balm, in particular, also has skin tissue regenerating ingredients such as uccuba butter and spikenard essential oil. I appreciate this because you do not just want the acne to reduce and go away; you want the affected area to regenerate too. However, do keep in mind that the regeneration does not happen overnight. You need to use the product consistently and for a long time.

5) This point is actually subjective but I think it completes my ritual of using these two products. I just love the scent that Green Leaves oil and Tigress Balm create when mixed together. It's like aromatherapy but on an elevated level--with Ava's products, you typically don't find the usual suspects like rose and jasmine. Instead, you find the freshest green leaf scent enveloped by a sophisticated lavender merging with a spicy, buttery, hay-like aroma laced with a tinge of tobacco. You have to smell it yourself to know what I'm talking about. And while this combined scent may not be everyone's thing, it is definitely mine. On a side note, I think I should do a separate blog post just describing the scents of my favourite skincare products.

So, there you go, folks. This is how we layer and roll! I'd love to know if you use either of these two products or even both and how you like to use them. Comment below! Thanks for reading. 😊