This is going to be a bit controversial: I’m reviewing two products that are not clean/green and don’t market themselves as such. I decided to test these for two reasons: 1) There is a gaping hole in the green beauty market when it comes to exfoliating toners that actually work; and 2) A lot of beauty bloggers who are primarily green/clean have been waxing lyrical about Lotion P50 and I wanted to see for myself what the fuss was all about. I’d been meaning to test these for over a year, but I was apprehensive after my terrible experience with Pixi Glow Tonic (acne central). I took the plunge a couple of months ago when my friends Yenny and Lacy sent these products to me in a swap. View Post

All the Boxwalla boxes I’ve received in the past have contained multiple brands. The June box, however, contains three products, all from Earthwise Beauty. For any of you who haven’t heard of it, Earthwise Beauty is a US-based green beauty brand founded by herbalist Ava Zhan. I’d tried most of the products in the box already, so I had a good idea in terms of what to expect. What I find amazing about Earthwise Beauty is that their products are unlike anything else on the green beauty market. Ava uses very unusual ingredients in unique ways, and I really admire that about the brand.This unique approach is reflected in their packaging, which is colourful and instantly recognisable. People seem to either love it or hate it: I personally like it for the fact that it makes the brand instantly recognisable (and gives it personality) in what has become an endless sea of Miron glass bottles. View Post

Very rarely do I instantly fall in love with a brand. Usually, most brands have products I love and products I don’t, but MUN has surpassed all my expectations with their tightly-edited, beautifully-formulated, exquisitely-packaged line of skincare. Their face line comprises three products: a cleanser, toner and serum – and I love all three products equally. These products work very well together, and it’s one of the few instances where I’d highly recommend using the entire line to reap the full benefits. These products have a minimalist feel to them, and every ingredient is carefully chosen to serve a specific purpose.

Created by makeup artist Munemi Imai and fair-trade advocate Anas Saidi, MUN uses time-tested ingredients from Morocco to nurture and nourish the skin. All products are designed to suit most skin types, from very dry to sensitive to very oily. I’ve been using these products regularly for over two months, and it has never broken out my combination, acne-prone skin. View Post

The pinnacle of eco-luxe, African Botanics occupies its own space within the beauty market. Luxe without being ostentatious, the products are just at home at Net-a-porter, next to Gucci and Prada, as they are at CAP Beauty, the premium New York destination for all things green beauty.

I met the founders Julia and Craig about a year ago, when they were in Melbourne to launch African Botanics at Mecca Cosmetica (Australia’s answer to SpaceNK or Sephora). Coincidentally, they were staying at a hotel close to me, and without much planning, we caught up for brunch. We bonded instantly, and much to the boredom of their kids, spent a lot of time checking out skincare and fragrances at my local Mecca store. I was so pleased to learn that the people behind one of my favourite brands were just as amazing as the products they made. We share many common interests, and they’ve become some of my favourite people in the beauty industry.

In this ‘Behind the Brand’ feature, I have a conversation with Julia (with input from Craig) about the brand they created as a love letter to South Africa, where they are both originally from.

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It’s always a bit of a gamble when a new brand approaches you to try their products. I like to support new brands, but it’s hard to know what to expect. I was contacted by Recherche Beauté and Whyld Skincare almost around the same time – roughly two months ago. Both brands are US-based and ‘clean,’ and both have a chic, millennial-friendly aesthetic. They seemed competitively priced for the quality of the ingredients, and I was excited to try them. I’ve been trying their products on and off for the last couple of months, and here are my impressions:

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