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 Full 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 Full Post

Yuli ElixirYuli is a brand I’ve only recently discovered, and I love everything about it so far. From their founder’s story of developing the brand after suffering from terrible acne to the fact that most of their ingredients are grown on site, they represent everything I’m looking for in an eco-luxe brand. I’d heard wonderful things about their elixirs from a number of bloggers, so I invested in two of their three offerings to see if they lived up to their hype.

I’ll start this review by pointing out that in Yuli’s case, the word ‘elixir’ is used as a synonym for ‘toner’ or ‘mist.’ ‘Elixir’ (which, traditionally, is used to describe a magical or medicinal potion) is a confusing term in skincare because different brands use it to name completely different products. Just to give you a couple of different examples, Kypris uses ‘elixir’ to describe their oils and Julisis uses it for their treatment serums. This is one of those times where I wish the beauty industry was better regulated and there was greater consistency across brands to make things easier for customers. View Full Post

Whamisa toner essenceI love Korea for its unique approach to skincare: Korean cosmetic companies make products with the most innovative textures and ingredients. Their products are often ‘cleaner’ than their western counterparts, but it’s very hard to find 100% clean/green products from Korea. Whamisa is an exception. Most of their ingredients are certified organic and their formulas are 100% clean. Recently, during a trip to Seoul, my dear friend Fiona (of Orchids and Peonies) picked up a few Whamisa goodies for me. The funny thing about it was that she had a really hard time finding Whamisa products in Korea. Apparently, the brand is not all that popular there as it is in the West! Strange, isn’t it?

Anyway, without further ado, here are my impressions of the two Whamisa products I’ve been using: View Full Post

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 Full Post