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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If you are a regular reader, you’ll know that Julisis is one of my favourite brands. If I weren’t a beauty blogger and didn’t need to constantly try out new products, I’d be happy to just use Julisis for the rest of my life. All their products are impeccably made using only the finest ingredients, and they all really work. The thing I love about Julisis so much is that the products support the overall health of my skin, in the most holistic way possible. I never have any of my usual skin issues (dehydration, breakouts and uneven skin tone) when I use Julisis products on a regular basis.

The Silver Night products, two of which I will review below, are designed to support the regeneration and rejuvenation processes of the skin. As the name indicates, they all contain bio-available Liquid Silver Essence to improve the texture, tone and brightness of the skin. View Post

Being a skincare blogger, I often get to meet the artists/brains behind green beauty brands, and most of them are super inspiring! I only recently realised that most consumers never have the opportunity to get to know the wonderful people working behind their favourite brands, so I thought I’d start a new section called ‘Behind The Brand,’ where I interview some of my favourite people in the industry. Most of these interviews will be conducted via email, and I’ll try my best to limit editing to a minimum in order to keep the answers as authentic as possible.

Julisis is one of my all-time favourite brands; and Julius Eulberg, its founder, is one of the quirkiest and most inspiring people I know. He has spent years studying ancient texts on alchemy and herbalism, and he utilises this wisdom to create the most unique skincare products I’ve ever seen. I’ve spoken more about the brand and its philosophy in Julisis: An Introduction – so without further ado, let’s go straight to the interview. View Post

A couple of months ago, when I was on the hunt for an HG natural fragrance, I received a timely package from Julisis containing their fragrances. As most of my regular readers already know, Julisis is one of my absolute favourite skincare brands: I think their products are peerless. Like their skincare (which are divided into day and night products), their fragrance line includes a day fragrance (L’Elexir Du Jour) and a night fragrance (L’Elexir d’Amour) to address your round-the-clock fragrance needs.

L’Elexir Du Jour starts with fizzy bergamot. During this phase, the effervescent bergamot molecules feel like they are dancing on my skin. Julisis use four different types of bergamot from different parts of Italy to achieve this effect. Calabrian blood orange, Moroccan lime, pink grapefruit and Tunisian neroli join the bergamots to create an explosion of positivity and exuberance. To me, it smells like happiness. It smells like beautiful sunny days where you feel like anything is possible. As the fragrance settles, it assumes a greener character, before revealing its soothing, grounding base of rosewood and ho-wood. View Post

Some of my trusty travel companions

I’ve been spending the last week or so with my family in India. My first week here has been rather eventful.  There was a sudden cyclone in Chennai just before I landed, and everything was in a state of chaos when I arrived. The roads were blocked and dotted with fallen trees and fences. The cyclone had disrupted mobile, TV and internet networks, as well — so I had a hard time getting in contact with anyone.

To add to the confusion, the government had recently demonetised 500 and 1,000 rupee notes without any warning, so there was a shortage of cash everywhere. India is a cash economy, and a number of shops don’t accept cards. The places that accepted cards often had network issues and the ones that had machines that worked didn’t always accept foreign cards! While I was getting frustrated with all these glitches, the lovely and ever-patient Chennai locals seemed to consider it all a normal – if inconvenient – part of everyday life. Such things happen, they shrugged. You just can’t help it. I heard no one complain when we had to wait almost 2 hours to get 2,000 rupees from an ATM, and no one seemed as disappointed as I was when the machine ran out of cash before we got to use it.  View Post