Month: December 2016

Mahalo The Unveil Cleansing Balm


Mahalo is a brand that has featured many times on the blog and repeatedly day after day on my Instagram too. Their Rare Indigo Balm is possibly one of my fave balm….dare I say over the infamous May Lindstrom’s Blue Cocoon too. So when the geniuses behind Mahalo Care announced their new launch, of course I took a plunge of faith.

What was promised? Well the new UNVEIL cleanser is an ideal balm-to-milk cleansing formula that sinks luxuriously into skin to effectively dissolve makeup and daily impurities, unveiling soft and glowing complexion. Experience: Creamy, soft and delicate, green-tea colored 100% water-free concentrated cleansing complex. Melts upon contact with skin. Will not clog pores. Aroma: Fresh and crisp scent of lemon, rounded with notes of exotic fragonia, ginger, cardamom and pink peppercorn. Hints of warm cocoa create a gourmand calming aromatherapy experience. Ideal Dose: Depending on the needs of your skin. A pearl-size dollop for a regular day makeup removal, or a half pea-size scoop for a thin veil of gentle and soothing cleanse.

I’ve used this balm for few weeks now and ready to share my thoughts and experiences. Firstly the packaging, in a classic Mahalo packaging i.e. glass jar encased in a bamboo outer shell. Whats inside, is a luxurious waterless rich balm enriched with lush oils, butters, matcha green tea and clay. The first whiff of scent is of lemons, cardamom and ginger. On touch and massaging all over skin it gradually melts to an oil. Per instructions, dosage of a pea size didn’t do a thing. My face definitely needs more than pea size and this is not limited to this balm….absolutely any cleansing balm. I don’t understand when people say ‘pea-size’, honestly it takes more than that (I will stop my rant).


Upon massaging the balm on skin, it melts to a glorious oil and the scents start making their way to my nose. The lemon cardamom scent sure tickles my fancy. Now if I had to compare with Emma Hardie balm, it certainly doesn’t have that level of slip factor. This balm gives more grip than slip when massaging. Next step, emulsifying stage. Personally, I’m a hot face cloth/wash cloth/flannel (call it what you may) kinda woman but to test the claims of emulsification I went with the flow. So yes, it does emulsify…but it takes works to emulsify the balm. The emulsifying feels different…the milky emulsion feels more slippy compared to Emma Hardie or other Asian cleansing balms or sherbet cleansers.

The after effect is lovely on my skin, some say it leaves a residue. In my experience, yes there is a slight residue when I emulsify but the residue is not offensive by any means. The residue on my skin feels moisturized and not slimy or icky (if you know what I mean…not the best way to articulate). When I take off the cleanser with hot cloth, its perfection. Absolutely no fault. Performance wise I find it hard to fault, even with makeup removal. The pic above shows how effortlessly it melts the matte lipstick by Soap and Glory and emulsifies to milky goodness.

Quick dive in ingredient listing – all looks scrumptious to me, nothing negative to say!

Ingredients: prunus amygdalus dulci (sweet almond) oil and in-house phytonutrient infusion* [medicago sativa (alfalfa), arnica montana (arnica), calendula officinalis (calendula), symphytum officinale (comfrey), centella asiatica (gotu kola), ocimum sanctum (holy basil tulsi), azadirachta indica (neem), scutellaria lateriflora (skullcap)], persea gratissima (avocado) butter*, macadamia integrifolia (macadamia) oil*, helianthus annuus (sunflower) oil*, jojoba esters, mangifera indica (mango) butter*, theobroma cacao (cocoa) butter*, astrocaryum murmuru butter*, theobroma grandiflorum (cupuacu) butter*, argania spinosa (argan) oil*, cera alba (beeswax)*, ricinus communis (castor bean) oil*, cetearyl olivate (and) sorbitan olivate, non-gmo mixed tocopherols, salix alba L. (willow) bark*, plukenetia volubilis (sacha inchi) oil*, coco glucoside, camellia sinensis (green tea) leaf*, calophyllum inophyllum (Polynesian tamanu) oil*, cucurbita pepo (pumpkin) seed oil* & papain*, lecithin*, montmorillonite (french green clay), citrus lemon oil*, agonis fragrant (fragonia) oil*, elettaria cardamomum (cardamom) oil*, zingiber officinalis (ginger) oil*, schinus molly (peppercorn) oil*, frankincense sacra oil*, melaleuca quinquenervia (niaouli) oil*, citrus aurantium var. bergamia (bergamot) oil*, commiphora myrrh oil*, rosmarinus officials (rosemary antioxidant) extract*

Given the glorious ingredient listing, I would not use this balm to remove my makeup. Absolutely NOT. It would be a wonderful morning cleanse or second cleanse. fullsizeoutput_3618

Here’s another claim up for discussion, “antioxidant-rich enzymes create a gentle, yet effective thorough cleanse to exfoliate, soften and smooth, while leaving the moisture barrier of the skin intact and balanced.” Now for a cleansing balm which spends limited time on skin, it seems a little far fetched. So I came up with an alternative and creative way to put the antioxidant rich enzymes to work. Massaged the balm on skin, and took some steam with a hope that the enzymes would do their job. Result – nada except skin was softer with rich oils and certainly helped the moisture barrier. Did I have an exfoliating effect…ermm no, far fetched claim.

Now my final point on this balm, which puts me in a place of utmost hesitation in terms of recommending and repurchasing. This balm retails at $70 for 50ml (plus $6 shipping) whereas other balms on the market are lot more value for money. Value in terms of quantity vs. dollar paid.

  • Restorative Cleansing Balm by de Mamiel – 100ml for £54.00 (USD $66) – Double the quantity and the price is still less than Mahalo
  • Emma Hardie – 100g for £38.00 (USD $46)
  • Lilfox Jungle Glow Rainforest Honey Enzyme Cleanser + Mask – 100ml for USD $75.00
  • The Organic Pharmacy Carrot Butter Cleanser – 70ml for USD$74

Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely adore the brand, the creator of this brand and her products, but this product will not be a repurchase for me simply from value for money perspective. Have you tried this cleansing balm? Any other balm cleansers which provide more bang for your buck?




Själ is a brand that has intrigued me for the longest time. From the simple understated packaging to the use of precious stones and minerals in skincare. The brand claims its “incorporates principles of eastern medicine focused on balancing energy within the mind, body and soul as fundamental to nurturing beauty and well-being. Combined with the latest advances in biotechnology, quantum physics and frequency, the results provide an unparalleled synergy which noticeably transforms your skin with each use“. There is skincare and then there is Själ incorporating elements of physics and frequency. I would love to talk about it more but just not equipped with best informed knowledge on this. So more on this from their website:


Each product in the själ range is ‘charged’ with precious minerals including gold, silver, copper, platinum and germanium in both liquid and solid form. Known as electro-stimulants, these minerals function as semi-conductors increasing cellular productivity, performance, repair and penetration while leveraging the effects of the other ingredients.

In addition to precious minerals, själ incorporates gemstones such as diamond, blue sapphire, ruby, amethyst, citrine, and tourmaline, which naturally vibrate at a higher frequency promoting increased cellular energy, microcirculation and clarity. This elevated frequency emitted from gemstones and precious minerals helps direct energy to specific areas of need, constantly adapting to your skin under any condition, allowing for maximum performance and benefits.

The product I want to talk about is Saphir Concentrate their anti aging facial oil. Saphir Concentrate Claims: A powerful ‘liquid silk’ treatment oil made with an artisanal blend of rare essential oils and supra-3™ (a proprietary blend of anti-aging bioactives) help to visibly diminish the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, increase elasticity, plump, and revitalize skin. Infused with Himalayan blue sapphires and aquamarine energy.

Packaging is in a simple powder blue, fuss free glass bottle of 30ml. The bottle has a twist open cap and this may sound extremely vain but the twist open is oddly satisfying with its incredibly smooth twirl motion. The dispensing mode is very controlled with drops.


Ingredients : vitis vinifera (Grape) seed oil, caprylic/capric glycerides, camellia sinensisseed oil, limnanthes alba (White Meadowfoam) seed oil, macadamia ternifolia seed oil, tocopherol (Vitamin E), citrus aurantium dulcis (Orange) peel oil, bidens pilosa (Hairy Beggarticks) extract, elaeis guineensis oil (Palm Oil), gossypium herbaceum (Levant Cotton) seed oil, linum usitatissimum (Flax) seed oil, caprylic/capric triglyceride, jasminum grandiflorum (Jasmine) flower cera, helianthusannuus (Wild Sunflower) seed extract, rosmarinus (Rosemary) officinalis leaf extract, chamomilla recutita (German Chamomile) oil, lavandula stoechas (French Lavender) extract, alaria esculenta (Dabberlocks – seaweed) extract, citrus aurantium amaraflower (Bitter Orange Flower) oil, oenothera biennis (Evening Primrose) oil, salvia sclarea (Clary Sage) oil, glycine soja (Soybean) oil

By and large the ingredient listing has some wonderful ingredients to nourish the skin and protect the skin’s barrier with Grape Seed Oil, Camellia Oil, Meadowfoam Oil, Macadamia and Vitamin E. Oils we don’t see in a lot of formulations are Hairy Beggarticks (type of weed), Levant Cotton, Dabberlocks (type of seaweed). The curated essential oils include Orange, Jasmine, Rosemary, German Chamomile, French Lavender, Bitter Orange and Clary Sage oils. The one ingredient I do not support at all and would criticize the use of it endlessly is Palm oil (listed as 9th ingredient). I truly do not understand or could not possibly grasp why would this gorgeous luxury oil need Palm Oil in its formulation. I’m all ears if someone would like to educate me (leave in comments below).

Having said that, lets talk about performance and results. With an opening scent of bitter orange slowly progressing to base of jasmine, the scent of this oil is subtle and evocative. The oil feels lightweight and absorbs immediately in skin. The claim of “liquid silk” stands true in this instance, upon application the skin absorbs the oil instantly, feels like silk and imparts a subtle glow. The stand out factor is noticed next morning, skin is truly hydrated, plumped. The oil protects the skin’s barrier and it appears calm and nourished. I’ve used this oil when the skin has been through a rocky road, angry, agitated, breakout zone, and this oil has aided in calming the inflammation and balancing the skin.

The quotient that would raise eyebrows is the price. Retailing at $175 for 30ml is prohibitive. Also, I perceive this oil for a ‘slightly mature’ audience (30s onwards).  This is all I can say, if you want to splurge, indulge, go silly, this would be the oil. If you want an oil that does basic things one would expect from an oil….choices are as far as your eyes can see.