Until recently, good-quality emulsifying oil and balm cleansers were hard to find in green/clean beauty. This, however, has changed considerably in the last few months. There are so many options in the market right now that I’m sure you’ll find something that’s just perfect for your needs. Personally, I prefer emulsifying oil and balm cleansers over non-emulsifying ones as they are much easier to use. Emulsifying cleansers dissolve in water, which means that you don’t need to use a washcloth to take them off. I do like the ritual of using a cleansing cloth if I’m in the mood; but for everyday cleansing, I just like the ease of using something that dissolves dirt, oil, SPF and makeup in one easy step. The cleansers I’ll review below emulsify at varying degrees, but none of them have broken me out or irritated my skin. Without further ado, let’s get right into it! View Post

2017 was an amazing year for green beauty. Green brands became more popular than ever, and it stopped being a niche segment of the beauty industry. Mainstream bloggers began promoting smaller indie brands alongside big names like Estee Lauder and L’Oreal. Big department stores like Neiman Marcus started recognising the potential of green brands and collaborated with indie brands to curate personalised selections.

From a green beauty perspective, the biggest trend was a welcome shift away from face oils. 2016 was the year of face oils; and it was amazing to see green beauty brands expand their offerings in 2017 to include more hydrating products. In fact, I’d call 2017 the year of the hydrating serum because they were everywhere! Brands, beauty stores and influencers began waxing lyrical about the benefits of hydration (and how it differed from ‘moisture’), and it became one of the hottest beauty topics on Instagram!

Below, I’ve selected my top picks of 2017. While some of them were released in 2017, a number of them were selected because I discovered these new-to-me products in 2017.

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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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I think many of you already know that African Botanics is one of my favourite skincare brands. I love the way they combine rare botanical extracts with the latest in biotechnology to create truly unique (and effective) products. They have been busy creating new products, and here are my thoughts on three of their newest creations.

Rose Treatment Essence: This is easily my favourite product of the trio. According to their press release, ‘the powerful combination of bioactive medicinal plants, botanical emollients, peptides, humectants, B vitamins, oligosaccharides, yeast beta-glucan and collagen boosters deliver vitality and nutrients deep into the skin.’ The concentrated formula is designed to tighten pores and restore moisture levels while brightening, refining, hydrating and rebalancing skin’s pH levels. View Post

I love face oils, but until recently, I used them only at night. I have oily, acne-prone skin, and I always found oils too heavy for daytime use. I don’t know if my skin has become less oily over the years, but lately, I’ve been loving adding oils to my morning routines. We are approaching winter here in Melbourne, and a few drops of a light day oil (on top of a water-based hydrating serum) keeps my skin soft and glowing all day long.

My selections below are all light and non-greasy, and they would work equally well as picks for spring/summer (in case you live in the northern hemisphere and are approaching summer, lucky you!). Most of my selections below will suit most skin types, including oily and acne-prone. View Post