Most of us lead fast-paced lives. I find that the more stressful my life becomes, the more I’m drawn to everyday rituals that force me to slow down and give time back to myself. San Francisco-based luxury skincare label, founded by modern-day alchemist Julie Elliott, takes self-care rituals to new heights by creating seductive products that evoke the opulence of a bygone era. She uses her deep understanding of aromachology and uses natural ‘perfumerie as medicine.’ Intensely perfumed using high-vibrational floral extracts, oils, and essences, her products combine ancient wisdom with modern technology to create thoroughly singular creations that, according to their website, ‘stimulate the senses while offering hydrating and curative effects.’ All housed in beautiful red glass (a nod to the colour of glass originally used by alchemists, who considered the colour of blood to represent life force), these creations make no concessions to the fact that some us may be too time-poor (or just plain tired) to spend half an hour every evening on a skin ritual.

I’d been meaning to explore the line for a very long time, but I’d never known where to start! Julie solved this problem for me by surprising me with a very large, beautifully packaged box of treasures containing the entire ‘foundation collection:’ a selection of nine signature In Fiore treatments designed to be used cohesively or layered on top of each other. I’ve been using these products on and off for the last two months, and I’ve been enjoying their unique approach to skincare. Before I go into the reviews, I’ll briefly go through the order in which you’re meant to layer these products. This layering order, they claim, will maximise the potency of their products and yield the most visible results (while also reducing congestion). The order is: 1) Oil, 2) Toner, 3) Serum, 4) Cream, and 5) Balm.

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I felt like I could get away without a toner when I was using creams and lotions, however, now that I’ve been staying away from creams and relying entirely on oils, serums and balms to mositurise my skin, I absolutely need one. Creams/lotions are emulsions of oil and water, so, unlike oils, they absorb into the skin readily. Oil-based products need a water-based carrier (a.k.a toner/mist/essence) to create a micro-emulsion to deliver these oils deeper into the skin.

Ideally, I like my toners to be more viscous than water and have some softening/exfoliating/brightening benefits. Also, while I like a spray system that delivers product evenly, I am not a fan of ultra-fine mists. These ultra-fine mists work well as makeup or purse sprays, but I find that they don’t work well before a serum. I like my toners to drench my skin with watery goodness so my balm/oil just glides on the skin without any resistance. View Post

IMG_5650I have acne-scarred skin prone to hyperpigmentation, so I’m always looking for products that smooth and brighten my skin. I thought Kypris Elixir III was amazing, and while I still love it, these three products below take brightening/scar reduction to a whole new level for me. I’ve listed the products based on my order of preference, however, this is not the order I apply them. I double cleanse (Tata Harper Nourishing Oil Cleanser + Regenerating Cleanser), follow with a few spritzes of In Fiore Toning Essence and then use a pump of The Little Alchemist Ultra C Radiance Serum. I use the Tata Harper Resurfacing Mask once or twice a week, and use it as an overnight spot treatment whenever I get a pimple. View Post