Month: February 2016

Yes to Coconut Melting Cleanser

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Finally we see a gorgeous melting cleanser in the drugstore/chemist range. At a fabulous price point with  lovely ingredients, is this cleanser worth trying?

My Simple Answer: YES!!!!

Yes to Claims: We’ll stop the world and melt with you! This dual-texture cleanser can be mixed with water for a creamy cleansing experience or slathered directly onto skin (sans water!) for a luxurious, balm-like feel. Either way, it’ll melt right in, dissolving dirt and makeup and hydrating with virgin coconut oil and moringa seed oil… then effortlessly rinse right off. Like buttah!

Every single word from their claim stands true, except the part of stopping the world to melt with me!

Ingredients: Oryza Sativa (Rice) Bran Oil, Glycerin, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil*, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Sucrose Stearate, Moringa Oleifera Seed Oil, Water (Aqua), Tocopheryl Acetate, Morinda Citrifolia (Noni) Fruit, Musa Sapientum (Banana) Fruit Extract, Hibiscus Sabdariffa Flower Extract, Psidium Guajava Fruit Extract, Orchis Mascula Flower Extract, Aleurites Moluccana Seed Extract, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate, Citric Acid, Phenoxyethanol, Fragrance (Parfum). *Certified Organic Ingredient

Generally, coconut oils have a reputation of congesting skins but this cleanser emulsifies with water (unlike regular coconut oil) so beautifully it doesn’t leave a residue. Adding some other ingredients like Moringa, Noni, Hibiscus, Banana Fruit extract, Guava  extract, Kukui seed extract has taken a regular coconut cleanser to a new level.

In terms of consistency and texture, it is slightly denser than a gel but lighter than a balm. On contact with skin immediately melts in an oil and provides great grip. Smells Oh SO Gorgeous. I’ve never liked coconut scented beauty products (not sure why). But this one I’m reaching for time and again.

Upon adding water, it immediately emulsifies and turns into milky lushness. However per usual my preference lies with steaming face cloth compress to remove the cleanser. The scent lingers on the skin for a short while and it’s not nauseating strong. Once all done, it leaves skin super soft and supple. I don’t need to run for a toner or an oil.

It says it can melt makeup, however I like to use this as a second cleanse or a morning cleanse. Almost all skin types (including sensitive) can use this cleanser, however dry and mature skins might love this more than a teenager congestion prone skin. I think in the American Drugstore market it is one of a kind and steering the ship in the right direction, well done Yes To!!!

If you’ve tried this, have you had similar experiences?

HHW.com

xx

Estée Lauder Advanced Night Micro Cleansing Balm

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About time Estée Lauder expanded the Advanced Night Repair range and gave us something new to be excited about. New launches include Advanced Night Repair Concentrated Recovery PowerFoil Mask (yet to try) and Advanced Night Micro Cleansing Balm. It’s an established fact, I have a weakness for cleansers. Plus I’ve used and loved the serum (repurchased multiple times) for years now, so based on the experience of the serum I didn’t hesitate on giving this balm a try.

Claims: Micro-Purifying, Micro-revitalizing. This lightweight balm melts into a silky cleansing oil as you massage over skin, then transforms with water into a milky emulsion that rinses easily for a clean, conditioned feel. Removes makeup and impurities, including pollution, as it purifies deep within skin’s surface to improve your overall healthy look.

When to use: Estée Lauder specifically say Use at night, then follow with Advanced Night Repair skincare to create a revitalizing nightime ritual for healthier, younger-looking skin. 

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Ingredient Listing: Ethylhexyl Palmitate (derivative of palm oil, provides dry slip factor), Carthamus Tinctorus (Safflower) Seed Oil, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Sorbeth 30 Tetraoleate (fatty acid), Polyethylene, PEG-5 Glyceryl Triisostearate (emollient, emulsifier), Water\Aqua\Eau, Silybum Marianum (Lady’s Thistle) Extract, Polygonum Cuspidatum Root Extract (Japanese Knotweed), Algae Extract, Anthemis Nobilis (Chamomile), Lavendula Angustifolia (Lavender), Methyldihydrojasmonate, Tocopherol, BHT, Linalool, Phenoxyethanol (preservative)

One ingredient may stand out for wrong reasons, Polyethylene – which may cause skin irritation. Green/Natural/Organic Beauty People, this formulation is “Toxic” for you!

Similar ingredient listing and formulation (consistency and feel) to Clinique Take the Day off Cleansing balm. After all, Clinique falls under the Estée Lauder umbrella! However with the addition of some lovely extracts Lady’s Thistle, Algae, Chamomile, Lavender it brings it in line with the Advanced Night Repair range.

This may not be considered a typical cleansing balm ingredient listing with typical carrier oils and essential oils. However this is very typical of an East Asian cleansing balm like RMK Cleansing Balm, Su:m 37 Skin Saver Melting Cleansing Balm or Banilla Co. which have similar ingredients, texture and consistency in their cleansing balms.

Packaging: Housed in a plain plastic tub with classic gold lining twist open lid. Light enough to carry for travel (70ml – $40).P1020891

Texture & Consistency: The balm needs a little bit work of digging in unlike our beloved Emma Hardie Moringa Cleansing Balm. It’s a proper solidified balm (think Clinique Take the Day off). It would have been nice touch, if Estée Lauder actually provided a spatula to dig in (like the Asian brands do with the solidified cleansing balms).

Scent: Faint scent of Advanced Night Repair serum. Actually let me add, very very faint almost to nothing if you don’t have a nose of sniffer dog.

Performance: Once on the finger and face, immediately melts to an oil, melting makeup and providing good grip for an extended massage. Whilst this removes makeup just fine, it stung my eye like a MOFO! My fault I got carried away and lets be honest I should have known better. So next time I removed makeup little bit cautiously around eye, continued cleansing and everything came off just fine. It can be used as makeup remover, second cleanse or morning cleanse. Although I would prefer something more lush with oils for second or morning cleanse. It provides a really good grip to massage, no slip slop business.

The balm emulsifies beautifully with water to milky goodness, however my preference still lies with a proper warm steaming wash cloth over my face. My skin doesn’t feel dry, stripped or stretched. No magical skin improvements from using this balm. Does the job!!!

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So in conclusion, is this a ‘must have’ balm? Nope, there are other options available with similar formulation which perform just as well and at a fraction of price. However like me, there is slight possibility to get sucked in the hole “extension of Advanced Night Repair range” and fall for the balm.

HHW.com

xx

Darphin Smooth Retexturizing Radiance Cream

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Darphin Ideal Resource range focuses on Anti-Aging and Radiance. For skins displaying first signs of aging and loss of radiance, Ideal Resource helps visibly erase wrinkles and imperfections while helping to revive the skin’s radiance.

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Darphin Claims: At the heart of this deliciously rich cream, a unique trio of flowers acting in synergy to help rebuild the vital resources of younger-looking skin. Their combined properties have the power to improve skin texture, revive complexion luminosity and smooth away lines.

A very generous team at Darphin sent me this lush pot of goodness. Initially, I was very skeptical of this cream as I am with all creams. Usually I’m a very hard sell on face creams (want to know why, click here). But it’s Darphin and I’ve always loved Darphin’s lush products and was secretly hoping this was no different.

So….What is it? Basically a heavy glass pot of cream with light whipped texture. Smells like an amazing floral, I could bathe in that scent. Moving onto ingredient listing, this is by no means a “clean” formula!

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In saying so, there are some lovely ingredients such as Sucrose, St. Pauls’ Wort, Hibiscus, Japanes Knotweed, Fennel Seed, Red Algae, Brown Alga, Barley extract, Hydrocotyl aka Indian Pennywort, Gingko Biloba, Tomato, Caffeine, Squalene, Sodium Hyaluronate and number of emollients, thickeners and preservatives (need a run down on these, click here).

No congestion or breakouts to report, considering it’s not a “clean” formula and there may be some ingredients which some may question. But like I’ve always said, ingredient listing takes you only so far and then its all on performance and end result.

Next up when I use it and how does it perform? This is what we really want to know!

After trial and error, I’ve been loving it as my makeup base, serious radiance, hydration and makeup does not budge (or roll with this as base).

IMG_8895.JPGAbsorbs instantly in the skin and leaves skin overall soft, plump, well moisturized and properly glowy. Not sweaty oily glowy, this is soft focus dim lit glowy (am I making sense?!). Also no silicony feels to this lush pot of cream (silicone texture makes me cringe, like nails on blackboard).

Alternatively, in evening’s, paired with Dr. Dennis Gross Clinical Concentrate Radiance Booster, Major glow (read light bulb glow).

Of course its not cheap as chips, $90 for 50ml is still decent value and this pot will last a while. You need the pea size (literally) amount to schmear all over face and neck. Needless to mention (but I will), if you’ve got larger or smaller area to cover the quantity use will vary.

So what’s next on your Darphin list to try?

HHW.com

xx

L’oreal Cushion Foundation

We’ve seen the trend extend from Asia to Western countries where larger name brands are adopting the cushion foundation or BB cream concept. Lancôme launched the cushion foundation in 11 shades for $47. However now its L’oreal (who owns Lancôme) launched its drugstore version. Lets dive in the review:

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L’oreal says: Introducing new True Match™ Lumi Cushion, a liquid foundation infused in an innovative sponge that delivers the perfect amount of makeup. Our luminous refreshing formula creates sheer to medium coverage. Tap a little for a fresh natural glow, tap on more to build a new level of luminous coverage. Liquid foundation + tap on applicator puff gives you convenient on-the-go coverage.

 

Packaging – The usual Cushion Foundation package, where first layer includes the brand provided sponge applicator and as you open the second layer it’s the cushion/sponge with  liquid  foundation under (no dripping or spilling issues).

Application – Recommended with Sponge, however I’m a brush addict. I tried with both methods and finish is different. Brush tends to leave streaky finish due to the foundation consistency however sponge application pushes the foundation nicely in the skin and allows better blending (except I loathe washing sponges).

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Texture & Consistency – on first touch and feel, it feel rather liquidy however it packs a decent pigment.

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Coverage – Sheer to Medium Buildable. I generally stop at sheer coverage, however for those who like Medium coverage, this foundation can be buildable and leave a dewy finish on the skin.

Finish – Dewy and Luminuous

Lasting Power – In the current weather situation (winter, low humidity levels), the foundation stayed put for 10 hours on my skin without any touch ups. I had to blot the oil in 4th or 5th hour however that I’d have to do with any foundation. I powder T-zone with Soap & Glory Kick Ass Powder and the whole face stays put.

Suitable Skin Types – L’oreal says suitable for all skin types however I think for oily skin peeps, using a mattifying primer or oil control primer would help the foundation from slipping and sliding.

Skin Shades – available in 12 shades, in Cool, Neutral, and Warm category.

N2 Classic Ivory, N3.5 Classic Beige, N4 Buff BeigeN5.5 Perfect Beige

C3 Creamy Natural, C4 Shell Beige, C5.5 Natural Tan, C8 Cocoa

W2 Light Ivory, W3 Nude Beige, W5.5 Suntan, W8 Creme Cafe

Travel Convenience – The best for travel! No stress about spilling or cracking the glass bottle foundation.

Drawbacks – Unlike Laneige, there are no refills available (yet) with L’oreal Cushion. When you finish this compact, toss this out and buy another one.

Availability & Price – Available in most drugstores and priced at $16.99 (USA). Not sure if this has launched in Boots UK or Priceline Australia.

Ingredients: 

Aqua / Water / Eau, Butylene Glycol Dicaprylate / Dicaprate, Methyl Trimethicone, Dimethicone, Titanium Dioxide, Diphenylsiloxy Phenyl Trimethicone, Glycerin, Lauryl PEG-9 Polydimethylsiloxyethyl Dimethicone, Pentylene Glycol, Butylene Glycol, Trisiloxane, PEG-10 Dimethicone, Magnesium Sulfate, Acrylates / Stearyl Acrylate / Dimethicone Methacrylate Copolymer, Phenoxyethanol, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Lauroyl Lysine, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Ethylhexylglycerin, Polyhydroxystearic Acid, Stearic Acid, Alumina, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Lecithin, Isopropyl Myristate, Isostearic Acid, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Adenosine, Polyglyceryl-3 Polyricinoleate, Disodium EDTA, Phenylethyl Resorcinol, Tocopherol.

Overall thoughts: For a person like myself who prefers Sheer coverage generally from BB creams, this foundation is a breath of fresh air which is sheer coverage, convenient to travel with, at a good price point and decent shade range. Flip side, wish it was compatible with brushes and had refills to be cost effective & environmentally friendly.

HHW.com
xx

 

De’Mist’fying Rose Waters

Rose Water and Toners have been incredibly popular for its ability to hydrate, refresh, soothe, calm, and balance all skin types. Also known for its versatile uses as, toner, refresher, eye brightening, after shave spritz, pillow mist, mood enhancer etc.

In this post, I intend on shedding some light on Rose Waters in terms of types of roses, ingredient lists, some of my personal trials and experiences with some Rose Waters and some pointers you can look out for when deciding on a Rose Water for yourself.

Most common types of roses you’d expect to see in preparation of Rose Waters is Rosa Centifolia and Damascena Rose. Centifolia roses primarily grow in France and North Africa, have various sub types of roses, such as ‘Cabbage’ (left pic) or ‘Provence’ roses. Known to have first appeared in the late sixteenth century as a hybrid. They tend to have large globular blooms of white or pink, are fragrant and extremely hardy.

Rose Damascena commonly known as Damask Rose (right pic) with two distinct types i.e. Summer Damasks and Autumn Damasks. In addition, to these being used widely in perfumery, they are also known to be edible (Turkish Delight). The roses in this category are are a light to moderate pink to light red colour.

A Note on Preservatives Used: Consistently seen, Potassium sorbate is water soluble preservative and Sodium Benzoate – water soluble sodium salt of benzoic acid, usually used as preservative.

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My Trials, Experiences and Opinions (in order of my personal preference)

Kama Ayurveda Rose Water

Steam Distilled Rose Water

This is as pure and natural as it gets. As mentioned in my Oil Extraction Post (Water & Steam Distillation Process), Floral waters are by-product of oil extraction process. This is purest form of Rose Water you could possibly lay your hands on, where the original flower properties have remained intact. The mist is wonderful and thoroughly refreshing. In terms of rose scent, it has subtle rose fragrance, think of roses in rain scent.

MV Organics (AUD$40 – 70ml)

Water, Rose (Rose Centifolia) Oil, Polysorbate 40, Potassium Sorbate

With the least amount of ingredients, the simplest formulation and the most effective of the lot. One very important note too, the mist (mechanical pump) is damn fine! Crucial IMO. Fragrance wise, it seems to have the most subtle and “natural” rose fragrance. Fresh, Light and Nothing overpowering to make you nauseous.

Melvita Rose Mist ($15 – 50ml)

Rosa Damascena Flower Water*, Aqua/Water, Rosa Canina Fruit Extract*, Glycerin, Levulinic Acid, Sodium Levulinic, Sodium Benzoate, Potassium Sorbate, Citronellol**, Geraniol**

*Ingredients from Organic Farming – ** Natural Components of Floral Water

Second Fav, with good ingredient (Damascena, Rosehip) with boost of Glycerin for sure shot way of sealing in hydration. Other less familiar ingredient is Levulinic acid which is plant derived acid used as preservative for its anti microbial properties. Whilst Sodium Levulinic is a salt of Levulinic Acid. The aerosol based rose water, is incredibly fine and wonderful to travel with. Fragrance wise this one smells slightly more like a mature rose, not light or fresh like MV Organic. In a few seconds, it has slightly sour note (in the best way possible) may be due to my own skin composition. Having said that, it still a very nice scent.

Santa Maria Novella Rose Water ($35 – 250ml, 8.4 fl oz)

Aqua (Water-Eau), Parfum (Rosa Centifolia)-Fragrance (Cabbage Rose (Rosa Centifolia)), Potassium Sorbate, Citric Acid, Geraniol, Citronellol, Eugenol, Benzyl Benzoate (Made in Italy)

Oh dear, this is where I walk on thin line. Santa Maria Novella I love as brand, for its culture, heritage and history (and packaging, who am I Kidding!). This rose water is nice and I have repurchased too but when I glance at the inci list, I have slight cringe factor because it has Rosa Centifolia Parfum not Oil (Bloody Hell!). Latter ingredients are preservatives. Housed in solid glass bottle (not with a spritz, my ingenious addition). Upon spritzing you can immediately tell its not Rose Oil its Rose perfume, almost like slight synthetic rose note. Still very appealing even in its delicious synthetic form. Obviously not travel friendly.

Andalou Naturals 1000 Roses Floral Toner (USA only – $12.95 – 178ml, 6 fl oz)

Aloe Barbadensis Juice*, Rosa Damascena (Rose) Distillate*, Panthenol (Pro-Vitamin B5), Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Lauric Acid, Fruit Stem Cells (Alpine Rose, Malus Domestsica, Solar Vitis) and BioActive 8 Berry Complex*, Soothing Complex: [Hyaluronic Acid, Magnolia Officinalis Bark, Phoenix Dactylifera (Date) Leaf Cell and Boswellia Serrata (Boswellin) Extracts], Punica Granatum (Pomegranate) Extract*, Hibiscus Sabdariffa and Camellia Sinensis (White Tea) Extracts*^, Phenethyl Alcohol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Citrus Tangerina (Tangerine) and Pelargonium Graveolens (Rose Geranium) Oils*, Rosa Centifolia (Rose) Oil

Non-GMO verified   *Organic   ^Fair Trade

This is where the plot thickens, this is technically a ‘Toner’ not ‘Water’. Inci list wise its great, price wise is mass appealing, housed in plastic bright fuscia pink bottle with decent mist. You cannot ask for anything more at this price point. Win.

L’occitane Rose 4 Reines Hydrating Face Mist (Discontinued)
Aqua, Propylene Glycol, Glycerin, Alcohol, Sodium PCA, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Sodium chloride, Butylene Glycol, Parfum, PPG-26-Buteth-26, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Chlorphenesin, Methylparaben, Citronellol, Geraniol, Benzyl salicylate, Alpha-isomethyl ionone, Linalool, Eugenol

Disappointment is left for last, look at the inci list, where is the Rose?! It’s a NO from me (thankfully its discontinued). But I loved the bottle packaging and misting mechanism. Bloody, frigging, hell breaking, Excellent. Obvs retained bottle, to decant others and use (no brainer move).

So to condense it all, pointers for you to keep in mind:

  • Proper, Authentic Rose Water is steam distilled or a by-product of extraction process for Rose oil.
  • Check if its Rose Parfum or Oil?! Needless to mention, but Oil is the preferred option here.
  • Determine type of Rose used, Rosa Centifolia or Damascena.
  • No matter which rose is used, it should be a colourless fluid, any colour to the liquid indicates artificial colour added.
  • There will almost always be a preservative but it should be towards the end of the listing.
  • Commonly used preservatives include Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate, Polysorbate 40, Benzyl Benzoate.

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Now, after learning tad more about formulations, if you’ve lost all faith in Rose Waters, I highly recommend looking into Caudalie Grape Water which consists of Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Fruit Water*, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Juice*, Nitrogen (USDA Certified Made in France).

Simple, inexpensive, effective and widely available. It lasts a while with a generous quantity packed.

Hope you’ve found this post useful and continue on your quest to find “The Rose Water”.

HHW.com

xx