BeautyBlogger

My Guide to AveSeena

AveSeena, a brand formulated by Dr. Ebru Karpuzoglu (MSc. PhD, Molecular Medicine & Immunology) who has spent 20+ years researching skin and the immune system. Her skincare philosophy is scientifically rooted in the healthful balance between skin, its microbiome and immune system. I also adore the brand name AveSeena, where “Ave” is the word used by Romans as a salutation that means “be well” – representing the energetic positivity for your life and health through new found empowerment- mind, body, and spirit. While “Seena” comes from the Rumi philosophy “of / from the heart where is the center of emotions, well-being and goodwill” – representing the pure and powerful touch of each formula. My association and experience with this brand started in 2017, and since they’ve come a long way with products and formulations. Lets explore each of them:

Honeyactive Beauty Mask, the OG from AveSeena for me since 2017. I did a post that year detailing the

comparison with The Honey Mud. Fast forward to 2021, with some changes to the formulation (change in some oils, extracts and preservative system), I can still gleefully report it is still stellar and performs like a champ! Most distinct change I noticed, was in its texture and consistency.
However the heart of formulation still consists of enzyme rich Honey, purifying clays, moisturising and healing plant oils and botanical extracts.
2017 texture and consistency I documented was: Dense, firm, very mildly grainy for very very mild exfoliation
2021 texture and consistency experienced: Dense, firm but quite sticky (in pure honey sense and has proven wonderful for Honey Tapping and no graininess at all. I believe this is directly attributed to the quality of honey itself. The scent and overall experience remains just as indulgent.

Decadent, non drying, instantly soothing and calming my skin. I leave it on…well till I’m done with a deep clean of the house, or from 5.30am (me time) to 7.30am just about when chaos wakes and unfolds in the household. I could see this mask working for just about any skin type.

Gentle Gardenia Anti-Pollution Gel Cleanser

A gentle foaming cleanser, that cleanses and removes light makeup of the day. I don’t wear full coverage makeup, and I remove eye and lip with a separate oil or balm cleanser so this works to remove the rest. It does feel refreshing after, no tightness or stretchy-ness after cleanse. Used as morning or evening second cleanse. I don’t use a washcloth with this, unnecessary with a foaming cleanser. Transparent runny gel consistency, add few drops of water to foam. The foam itself isn’t a lot, but feels soft and gentle (not detergent like).
The aroma needs to be talked about, as for cleansing without aroma is a lack lustre cleansing experience for me. The cornerstone aroma of AveSeena is Gardenia, blended with extracts of Rose, Lavender, Geranium, Bee balm, Horsetail, Dandelion, Gotu Kola, Reishi Mushroom, Amethyst extract and Beeswax. Smells wonderful floral enveloped in sweetness. The formulation on paper is fantastic, but performance exceeds what you see on paper. As I recently explained, that foaming cleansers weren’t my jam but with such advanced and elegant formulations it has contributed to my openness (deep down still a balm whore😂)

Supreme Recontour Eye Concentrate
I’m someone who likes the idea of using an eye product and sees value, however I’ve been very inconsistent over the years. I like some products and keep going back to those. Sometimes its packaging or feel on the skin or resulting milia for my eye area. Now all that said, I’m surprised to find myself actively reaching to apply this. It’s weird for me. Perhaps it’s the convenience of pump bottle, perhaps its the super light consistency and absorbs right away, and also zero milia or puffiness each morning. Plus more so, I’ve noticed it has my eye area skin firmer and taut (doesn’t feel flabby so improved elasticity). As for fine lines, too soon to tell, and dark circles well nothing will ever help me. Partly genetic and partly under eye pigmentation so I just invest in a good under eye corrector and concealer.

Consistency and texture, is a gel and absorbs beautifully in skin. One and half pump is what I use around my eyes, lids, between brows and stretch is all the way out to crows feet area.
It does have a mild aroma, however it has not irritated my skin around eyes at all. Formulation wise, its enriched with Niacinamide, N-Acetyl Glucosamine, Peptide, Gotu Kola, Peptides, Vitamin K…this product I believe is the underdog of the collection.

Micro Algae Immun-B3 Serum
The formulation feels supercharged but so replenishing and restoring to the skin barrier. A little goes a long way with this gem.
The consistency and texture is very light gel and absorbs instantly in skin. No residue on skin at all, however skin feels taut (thanks to addition of Pullulan). I use about 2-3 pumps all over face and neck, and apply thin layer all over. It works well with other products from AveSeena line or not. No pilling experienced (my pet peeve).
Some superstars in the formulation include; Brighteners like Niacinamide, Bearberry, Licorice, botanical extracts of Uva Ursi extarct, Pullulan, Micro Algae extract, Reishi Mushroom, Lemon Balm extract, Schizandra berry extract, Ginseng, Fennel, Anise, Horseradish, Willow Bark, Lemon Balm.
Ultimately what this serum has consistently delivered for me, is strong, firm, resilient barrier function. You know I love using exfoliating acids regularly, and paired in a routine, the results are excellent. But also buffering with this has been a life/skin saver in some instances. It has truly protected my barrier and protected from any potential damage. Every morning, I’ve noticed my skin appears consistently healthier, stable and glowing. What more could I ask for🤷🏽‍♀️

To sum up the next product, Ageless Perfection Cream is rich formulation but light in feel, think of chocolate mousse, rich and decadent but light and fluffy. This is it.

On paper this formulation is ultra-concentrated cream and brand claims it immerses skin in soothing hydration to transcend multiple signs of inflammaging and time. Well here’s what I can say, absorbs beautifully and leaves a gorgeous velvet finish on skin. Consistently delivered hydrated, plump skin. I’d say don’t be fooled by its light whippy mousse like consistency. Because it’s nourishment performance is exceptional. The formulation is packed with Niacinamide, Globe Daisy culture extract, Sodium PCA, Snow mushroom, Arnica, Peptide complex, Oregon grape, Diamond Powder, Licorice extract, Arnica with Caesalpinia Spinosa while nourishment with oils like Cocoa, Coconut, Avocado, Jojoba, Squalane, Grape seed, Camellia, Rosehip, Evening Primrose, Borage, Tamanu, Macadamia, & Linseed. Finally sensory treats served with Rose geranium, Chamomile, Calendula, Vitamins C, B5 and E.

Green Caviar Facial Oil Elixir is in the light oil but supercharged oil league. So light (thanks to Squalane and Green Caviar Oil), smells like garden of Gardenia and hello glowing skin!!

This oil discovery is an absolute Gem, which exhilarates me with its consistency, aroma & performance. It ticks all boxes for me. Formulated in a primary base of Squalane and Camellia seed oil, and enriched with peptide Matrixyl 3000™, Blue Tansy, Gardenia, Tiare, Bakuchiol and extracts such as Elder flower, Calendula, Chamomile, Rose, Willow Bark, Red Clover.
With the lightest tinge of mint green from Green Caviar oil, this smells of a garden of white tropical florals (Gardenia and Tiare). Refreshing yet relaxing and you can’t stop inhaling this. I use 4-5-6 drops depending if I use standalone or mixing in moisturizer. I’ve noticed it has helped with minor inflammation I experienced, but also properly moisturized my skin and is an absolutely delight to the senses. Some nights I’ve used it with nothing in my routine except cleanse, acid and oil, skin was happy, healthy & glowing.

Overall, this brand delivers some well articulated and formulated products. The finishes are sophisticated and results speak volumes. For me the eye contour concentrate along with mask and oil are must try’s.

*Brand Gifted

HHW.com

xx

Darphin 8-Flower Nectar Elixir

Rejuvenating elixir, in the pure tradition of aromatherapy, blends rare and radiance boosting aromatic essences from 8 precious flowers. Opulent formula with anti-oxidants, nourishes and helps smooth the look of lines and wrinkles, firm skin and renew skin suppleness, resilience and youthful radiance, key evidence of truly, younger-looking skin. With an exquisitely feminine, sensual fragrance that could double as a perfume, it is the quintessential holistic beauty care that creates a feeling of overall beauty and well-being while rejuvenating skin’s appearance.

P1020514
Ingredients: Jojoba Seed Oil, Sunflower Seed Oil, Oleic/Linoleic/Linolenic Polyglycerides, Avocado Oil, Apricot Kernel Oil, Macadamia Ternifolia Seed Oil, Hexyldecanol, Cananga Odorata Flower Oil, Jasmine Flower Extract, Iris Pallida Root Extract, Vanilla Planifolia Fruit Extract, Phytosterols, Date Seed Extract, Cranberry Seed Oil, Olive Fruit Oil, Patchouli Oil, Helichrysum Angustifolium Flower Oil, Lavender Oil, Orange Flower Oil, Beta-Carotene, Rose Flower Oil, Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil, Rosewood Oil, Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate, Tocopherol, Sorbitan Oleate, Benzyl Acetate, Benzyl Salicylate, Limonene, Benzyl Benzoate, Farnesol, Linalool, Geraniol, Citronellol
What are the 8 Flowers you ask?
Ylang Ylang, Jasmine, Iris, Patchouli, Immortelle, Orange Flower, Rose, Lavender
  • Carrier Oils: Jojoba, Sunflower, Avocado, Apricot Kernel, Macadamia, Vegetable Oil
  • Other Essential Oils: Vanilla, Date Seed, Cranberry Seed, Olive fruit, Rosewood
Packaged in a tiny 15ml glass bottle with twist open top. The bottle opening is very narrow, for a darn good reason.
IMG_8850.jpg
Use: I place my finger, on the opening of the bottle and tip the product on my finger. Repeat this process with 4 fingers and then proceed to face. Needless to mention, I take a deep breath cupping my palms. There is nothing more relaxing than that.
Texture & Consistency: Gorgeous oil appears dense but absorbs instantly in the skin. It Smells like no other oil I’ve ever tried. Beautiful intoxicating floral that transcends you in a gorgeous garden in Grasse France.
If you don’t like essentials oils, or have an issue with heavily scented products, this is NOT for you. If you hate strong scents in your products, don’t consider any facial oil from Darphin. An absolute treat for my skin, and skin appears calm and plump next morning.
At $10 per ml, it is exorbitantly expensive, and wise to wait for some sale or discounts unless of course you just have an itch to splurge away, go for it. Reserved as complete treat for the skin.
 *Product gifted by brand.

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.

P1020730

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.

P1020728

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

May Lindstrom The Blue Cocoon

P1020055

The Beauty Balm Concentrate – Tranquil, Intoxicating and Deep Calm

May Lindstrom says, Our balmy blue enchantress greets your skin with cool serenity, melting on touch to a fluid potion that tenderly envelops you in the most decadent azure calm. Mystical blue tansy eases feelings of emotional anxiety while releasing heat and providing nourishment and relief to delicate, inflamed and irritable skin conditions.

P1020056

Ingredients: Camellia Oleifera (Camellia) Seed Oil, *** Butyrospermun Parkii (Shea) Butter, *** Theobroma Cacao Seed Butter, *** Sclerocarya Birrea (Virgin Marula) Oil, Calodendrum Capense (Yangu) Oil, * Adansonia Digitata (Baobab) Oil, * Tanacetum Annuum (Blue Tansy) Oil, **Commiphora Myrrha (Myrrh) Oil, * Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, ** Boswellia Carteri (Frankincense) Oil, * Pelargonium Graveolens (Geranium Rose) Oil, * Vanilla Planifolia CO2 Total Essential Oil, Schisandra Sphenanthera CO2 Fruit Extract, * Helichrysum Italicum (Immortelle) Oil, Ravensara Aromatica Oil

* Certified Organic **Wild Harvested  ***Fair Trade, Raw & Unrefined

When I was first intrigued by this product and glanced through the ingredient listing, I saw Shea & Cacao Butter and instantly ruled it out. Then I met May at two separate events and she assured me it wont wreak havoc on my skin. I took a leap of faith, and I’m glad I did!

There is no simple way to explain why Shea & Cacao Butter in this formualtion isnt causing my skin to congest, so I reach out to the Beauty & Brain of this brand, yes May herself. May explains,

The Blue Cocoon’s adaptability to all skin types – including those prone to acne and congestion – has much to do with proper respect to ratios in the blend of beautiful ingredients.  The cult status of Blue Cocoon being skin saviour can be attributed largely to using both of these ingredients in their entirely raw, unbleached and non-deodorized state – rare, even in the natural beauty world. By using ingredients in their raw, unbleached form it ensures the integrity of properties of each ingredient making this balm a potent and effective option on the market without compromising the intended purpose of each ingredient.

Most often, Shea butter is refined, bleached and deodorized. It’s nearly white and practically odorless and incredibly easy to work with. However at May Lindstrom, utmost and gentle care taken is taken in the process of creating each micro batch.

The Blue Cocoon is housed in a heavy black opaque glass pot which can be reused upon completion of product.

In the pot, the aroma exudes the richness of cocoa layered with an edge of distinct sharpness of exotic lands (Myrrh and Frankincense). On my skin upon application, the Lavender and Vanilla note come off stronger in a very good way.

 

 

The texture and consistency is that of a luxurious balm thats melts on contact with skin (due to body heat). Well here, I’ve held the balm on my finger for few seconds and you can see how balm is melting due to my body heat. Plus also give credit to the heater which was on High!

In general, it can be used absolutely any time, however I like to finish my nightly skincare routines with this. Alternatively in the morning, after toner stage and while the skin is still slightly moist I push this balm into the skin (another tip from May). My skin immediately absorbs it with no residue or layer of oil on top of skin.

The Results: Well my skin is left wonderfully hydrated, plump and helps with skin’s resilience. I use this in particular when my skin may have a monthly eruption as it works wonderfully as an anti inflammatory. Calms down angry unsettled skin. On some ruthless winter nights, where the heating takes a toll on my skin I apply double layer of this balm. It almost protects it from any harshness in the environment.

Now, it is no secret, it is prohibitively expensive, and many have complained about why it’s so expensive?! But here’s one lens to this, consider dissecting the ingredients list. The Blue Cocoon has some lush ingredients like Blue Tansy, Frankincense, Myrrh, Immortelle… some of these are by no means cheap ingredients. Now in saying so, these would be bought wholesale, so the cost of these per pot is not as much. Followed by the cost of concocting the product itself, covering any incidentals/ operational overheads, packaging costs, building in shipping costs, and adding a rather generous mark-up for profit.… the final price adds up to $180 (recent price hike from $160). Beyond ridiculous and not justifiable in a market where creative artisans are coming with new formulations which are not only competitively priced but also capable of out performing.

1.69 oz. / 50ml – $180

HHW.com

xx

Pixi Glow Mud Cleanser

P1020405

Before I go into talking about this cleanser, I need to thank Sal @ummbaby for spoiling me with this even before Pixi released this gorg cleanser in USA.

Pixi Beauty Claims: This active yet gentle cleanser with 5% glycolic acid exfoliates to reveal a glowing, healthier-looking skintone. Mud deep cleans & detoxifies pores while hyaluronic acid, aloe vera, and avocado oil plump & nourish the skin. Leaves complexion feeling smooth & purified.

Packaged in an opaque mint green plastic tube. I’ve used the cleanser now for 3-4 weeks, and realized the font on the tube has started to fade. Who cares about font, moving onto the real jizz locked in that tube.

P1020406

Nothing jumps negatively at me from the ingredient list. Pixi claims its jam packed with Glycolic acid at 5% which is listed as the seventh ingredient. Other notables includes Aloe Vera Leaf Juice, Clay aka Diatomaceous Earth (obvs), Hyaluronic Acid, Squalene and some lovely oil and extract additions (Chamomile, Avocado, Wheatgerm, Hazelnut, Sesame). As for when to use? I’d say as second cleanse or morning cleanse. Please for the love of cleansers, do not remove makeup with this.

P1020409

Scent wise, some hate some love the aroma of this cleanser. Me…? I love! There is something the scent of clays and muds which make me feel……..connected to the earth. OK I’ll stop on my hippiness.

The texture & consistency is creamy, soft, spreadable, and upon adding some water nicely emulsified. The packaging says apply to damp skin, however I go with slightly damp skin when used as a second cleanse. In the morning, I go for it on dry skin.

The skin feels clean, purified and adds a very subtle glow. If you leave it on as a mask and then wash, its bloody fabulous (my preferred method). It doesn’t even leave the skin dry or tight. However during the winter I add couple of drops of Goodness Labs Chia Seed Oil. Come summer, I know I will blitz through this cleanser.

Generous quantity packed (135 ml/4.57 fl.oz) and available on Pixi Beauty site and now available in Target for $18. Although its incredibly unfair that UK has to pay £18 as well. Ermmmmmmm Seriously?! They should be tops paying £15 with currency conversion and buffer for currency fluctuations. Common Pixi!!!!

Having Said That: It’s still Friggin Excellent Value for Money!!!

HHW.com

xx