Forest Essentials

Cleansing & Exfoliating Powders

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We see it everywhere now, cleansing / exfoliating powders. An ancient concept and like many other Asian girls something we took for granted as a part of our childhood. I distinctly remember when I was little, my Mum made a paste and gave me a bath with that paste. Yes all over the body. Many of you will instantly think of garbanzo bean powder, or powdered green mung beans, turmeric and milk or yogurt….yes that’s exactly the ubtan I’m referring to. That exact concoction is also applied to a Indian brides before the wedding. It’s said the ubtan aids exfoliation and imparts glowing flawless skin.

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So you ask, well explain what is an Ubtan? As per ancient Ayurvedic principles and texts, it is roots, flowers, mud, clays grounded and mixed in a powder form. The benefits are endless – Natural ground powders of clay, mud, roots, flowers, spices, salts, lentils, dried fruit skin’s which can be mixed with rose water, milk, honey, yogurt whatever your skin and heart desires. Aids exfoliation, helps with glow, wonderful cleanser, incredibly cost effective however there are plenty of options to splurge on. Multi purpose as it can be cleanser or mask or an exfoliator.

Finally, the western world of skincare has caught on, well more specifically ‘western natural skincare world or green beauty world’, call it what you may! I’ve noticed three distinct categories of this, western skincare entirely, western brands inspired by Ayurvedic principles and then of course eastern brands that are entirely based on Ayurvedic principles and elaborate methods of preparation.

From May Lindstrom to Leah Lani, they’ve all formulated a version of their very own and sold as cleansing powder or exfoliating powder. The ingredients are varied between brands but after a while you tend to see a consistent trend (albeit with slightly different proportion and formulation).

Westernized Versions (bold ingredients are common)

May Lindstrom – The Clean Dirt ($60 for 200ml)
white halloysite clay, red morrocan rhassoul clay, sea salt, vitamin c, sodium bicarb, marshmallow root, spices like cinnamon, clove, turmeric, ginger, vanilla and cacao

Leah Lani – Kalima Cleansing powder  ($46 for 100ml)
coconut milk, brown rice, clay powders, guava fruit, banana, camu camu, rosehip, honeysuckle, sea salt, hibiscus, vanilla, rose, vitamin c

de Mamiel Brightening Cleanse & Exfoliate ($60 for 70g)

rhassoul clay, rose clay, sodium bicarbonate, white clay, oat flour, vitamin c, cocoa, rose, himalayan cedar wood, sandalwood, frankincense, vanilla, elderflower, marshmallow, grape, cucumber, calendula, german chamomile, gotu kola, ginseng, chrysanthemum and horsetail

Farmacy New Day Exfoliating Grains ($30 for 100g)

sodium cocoyl isethionate, corn starch, sodium bicarbonate, cranberry, water, adzuki seed, vitamin c, camellia, carrot, echinacea, glycerin, lemon willow bark, spiraling powder

One Love Brand New Day ($39 for 48g)

zea mays (corn) starch, pisum sativum (pea) flour, sodium cocoyl glutamate, kaolin, ananas comosus (pineapple) fruit extract, fragrance/parfum

The common ingredients that overlap between some of these products are Sodium Bicarbonate (resulting in fizzy emulsion making it more appealing & fun), Sea Salt, Vitamin C, Marshmallow Root, and Clay Powders. The first three ingredients mentioned is what clearly sets the Western Cleansing Powders apart from traditional Ayurvedic ubtans which are far more gentler on skin and dare I say far more “green” for skin! In my experience and opinion, Sodium Bicarbonate, Sea Salt and Vitamin C (assuming its pure Ascorbic Acid powder) can be very harsh on sensitive and sensitized skins.

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Coming to my second category, which is western skincare brand based on Ayurvedic principles and ingredients. This brings me to Mauli Rituals Radiance Exfoliant and Mask (£36.00 for 30gms or 1oz).

The inch list truly excites me, with inclusion of Fullers Earth Clay (that unmissable sweet scent),  Rose petal powder,  Sandalwood powder, Turmeric powder, Vetiver powder, Kashmiri Saffron, Asparagus, Sandalwood Oil, Rosehip,  Rose Absolute, Kashmiri Saffron Extract.

Works wonderfully as cleanser, exfoliant or mask. Versatile in use and mixing base. The luxurious  ingredient listing is much closer to authentic Ayurvedic ingredients with a clear exclusion of Sodium Bicarb, Sea Salt or any other skin stripping harsher elements.

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Closer to Ayurvedic Texts, Principles, and Ingredients

Forest Essentials ($18-$20 for 60g)
Tejasvi Milk – neem, cinnamon, fennel powder, sweet almond meal, sandalwood oil, fenugreek powder, peepal extract, anantmool powder, apricot kernel, saffron, durva extract and milk
Soundarya – orange peel, rose, jasmine, neem, oatmeal, sandalwood, turmeric, fennel, anantmool, saffron flower, lemon peel and star anise.
Multani Mitti  (my personal FAVE) – fullers clay, neem, turmeric, fenugreek seed powder, lodhra bark, woodfordia powder and banyan bark powder
Narangi (Orange) & Nagkesar (Messua ferrea) – orange peel, marigold flower, licorice root, messua ferrea, bala root, vetiver, ashwagandha, durva, neem, brahmi leaf, anantmool and cinnnamon
Roop Nikhar & Gulab (Rose) – lentil seed, rose, ornage peel, oatmeal, anantmool root, neem, katsuya powder,turmeric, saffron, cinnamon

Kama Ayurveda ($22 for 40g)

Mridul (face & body) – oatmeal, green gram, almond, neem, sandalwood, turmeric, rose and fennel.

PurEarth ($60 for 100g)
Turmeric Exfoliating Face Sand – Bitter apricot kernels, fullers earth clay, persian walnut, neem, turmeric, pomegranate, lavender, rose, seabuckthorn berry, and saffron

The web is also inundated with several DIY recipes, of which garbanzo bean powder,  mung bean powder, turmeric and milk or ghee is by far the most popular. However based on your skin’s needs, concerns and what’s available in your kitchen, these ingredients can also be used: Oatmeal, almond meal, rice flour, sandalwood powder, fenugreek powder, turmeric, grounded spices (cinnamon, clove, star anise, though not recommended to sensitive or reactive skins). Mixing bases may include purified water, steam distilled rose or any other flower water, full cream milk, cream, yogurt, honey, lemon juice, aloe vera juice, witch hazel, vinegar.

Ultimately it filters down to what your skin needs, how much are you willing to spend, where your brand loyalties lie, your preferences with traditional ubtan or westernized  version or a happy medium between western and eastern etc. Personally I’ve tried homemade Grandma’s ubtan recipes to modern Ayurvedic shops like Forest Essentials and Kama Ayurveda. My personal preference lies with more traditional format minus Vitamin C, Sodium Bicarb, Sea Salt.

HHW.com

xx

Encyclopedia of Face Masks

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The western skincare scene has usually been limited to clay, mud, charcoal, cream, gel kind of masks. Move to the east and we have a whole new innovative category of masks. Starting with the more traditional sheet masks for various parts like face, hands, feet with different materials to a rather new age innovative Oxygen bubbling, Splashing or Patting, Rubber modeling, Spot treatment, Lip masks!!!! Below I have a list of masks based on various consistencies and textures:

  • Clay, Mud, Charcoal
  • Powder aka Ubtan
  • Cream
  • Gel
  • Sheet – face and eye – cotton, gel, sea weed/kelp, hydrogel, foil back sheet mask
  • Sleep or Overnight – cream, gel or bouncy textures, water pack
  • Peel off mask – Gels
  • Rubber modeling
  • Oxygen Bubbling
  • Splash or Patting
  • Mousse pack – too cool for school eg mousse pack
  • Nose pack – mainly for white and black heads
  • Spot treatment
  • Hand & feet
  • Lip mask

In terms of why we mask, its simple – immediate crash injection of whatever skin needs. Below are some outcomes expected of masks, and the gobbledygook it’s usually marketed with:

  • Repair, Rescue
  • Detoxifying, Decongesting, Purifying, Deep Cleansing, Mattifying, Clarifying, Pore Correction
  • Exfoliating, Resurfacing, Retexturizing
  • Radiance, Brightening, Glow, Luminous
  • Hydration
  • Moisture
  • Firming, Lifting, Shaping
  • Self Tanning Sleep Mask

I’ll talk about my current masks on rotation based on their purpose in life and intended outcome for my skin. Here I have a decent mix of price points and regional availabilities. Of course if all else fails, diving into your kitchen and whipping up one of your own creations is always an option. I have a post on DIY masks you could refer for some ideas and inspiration.

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Charcoal, Clay and Mud Masks

I hate paying ridiculously priced clay, mud or charcoal masks! They are the cheapest ingredients and formulating a mask with them as a base doesn’t cost an entity as much moolah. Large mark up zone, so beware and ensure you read inci list here. Look for life changing ingredient (as if they exist – eye roll) to justify a price tag.

Generally formulated with some soothing, hydrating and moisturizing ingredients. This category of masks can leave the skin dry and parched. This happens because the mask is left on too long. These masks should be left long enough for it to work but not to the point where they are bone dry. By doing so it is drawing moisture from skin. Once you let it dry completely to the point you cannot move your face, you would need a bloody chisel to break through (exceptions: Aesop, SkinFood NZ, Sanctuary Spa). Therefore I prefer slapping these on when I intend to step in the shower. With the steam and clay/mud/charcoal it draws impurities to surface and truly detoxifies the skin. Plus its easier to remove and goes down the drain instead of messing up the sink.

Great for oily, combination, congestion prone skin. Alternatively also good for skin who need a detox. Drier skins need to be slightly careful with masks, add couple of drops of facial oil to avoid any post-mask tightness or dryness.

Quick blurb on all masks pictured above: Dr. Organic Virgin Olive Oil – too drying, hard to work with; Good Things Manuka Honey – purifying yet leaving skin supple; Nip+Fab Kale Fix – seriously softens the skin; Caudalie Purifying – too strong essential oils, not crazy about this one; Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus – smells amazing but results are mediocre; Moreish – another Kiwi fave mask, almost creamy and leaves skin supple; Cattier – limited availability outside France, good basic clay mask; Mahalo Bean (limited edition) – not available anymore but left skin radiant; Andalou Naturals – great drugstore option; Aesop – long time fave, wonderful detoxifier; SkinFooz NZ – the best mask truly, not drying, applies nicely, very mild exfoliating and nourishing; Derma E – exfoliating particles not for sensitive skins; Sanctuary Spa – warming sensation, easy to remove; Colleen Rothschild Detoxifying – minty freshness, leaves skin refreshed and purified.

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Brightening, Radiance, Firming Mask

Texture wise this category varies between gel, cream and whipped mousse. Ingredient base will usually have some form of AHA, or Enzymes to allow the surface exfoliation which results in brightening and radiance. Occasionally some masks include physical exfoliation aspect as well, in this case its M61 Skincare Vitablast C Scrub & Mask. I tend to slap it on, leave it for a while and then gently massage/exfoliate the skin. Given its formulation with Vitamin C it helps brighten the skin. Antipodes Aura Manuka Honey mask is an unusual one in this category, whilst Antipodes claim it to be purifying as honey draws impurities to surface I prefer this mask for subtle glow and brightening my skin. Easy cream application leaves skin soft, supple and glowy.

Blurbs on others: Andalou Naturals Berry Enzyme – again great drugstore alternative without hefty price tag; Forest Essentials Yogurt Purifying – stings skin slightly, smells yummy, whipped yogurt texture and results are meh; Dr Lewinns Reversaderm – sure shot radiance with runny blue lotion like consistency; Natio 10min Brightening – so good, but limited to Australia; Farmacia Barcelona Gold Mask – slightly gimmicky with gold ‘powder’ but decently hydrating; Nip+Fab Bee Sting – nothing firms skin like this fella, taut skin; Chantecaille Fruit and Flower – smells amazing, feels creamy and leaves skin glowy. love.

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Hydration Boosters

Hyaluronic acids, Glycerin, fermented ingredients or masks formulated with serious humectants are all about major hydration. Absolute treats for skin and sensorial experiences include Mahalo Petal – the smell is heavenly, apply and step in shower and the whole bathroom smells divine. Words are not enough to describe the scent. In terms of hydration its a mild everyday use mask. May Lindstrom The Honey Mud classified as cleanser, but No its too lush to go as cleanser hence a sweet spicy honey mask. An inexpensive treat is Super Facialist Una Brennan Rose Hydrating mask and Andalou Naturals 1000 Roses mask.

The beauty of these masks is you can use everyday (if your skin needs it). Leave it on for as long as your heart desires and skin is left hydrated, nourished and smooth.

Serious hydrating masks are – Bioderma Hydrabio (nothing like this fella), Rodial Dragons Blood Hyaluronic Acid (overnight leave on mask), Natio Ageless Vitamin C hydration and The Body Shop Vitamin E Moisture mask.

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Powder masks

The purpose could vary from mere cleansing, exfoliating, detoxifying to enzyme radiance. Recently I wrote about cleansing powders aka ubtans could also be used as masks. Since the ingredients are in dried powder form this one has greater shelf life but can be messy to use. At the same time it gives you the flexibility and allows creativity on the liquids to use for mixing. May Lindstrom’s The Problem Solver is enriched with spices and oils and tends to self heat (due to spices) when applied to the skin. Love this mask for its ability to decongest and purify skin.

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The new concept of splashing or patting unadulterated concentrated ingredients on skin for crash radiance. The methods of application can be as creative as they can get, but what remains consistent is the result on skin. Bright, radiant skin like someone slapped it to life! This product is truly tailored for clumsy individuals like me. Definitely look into this, now available in Sephora too, so you can try a sample.

Click here for my detailed review

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Sheet Masks

These masks are now becoming all the rage in western markets whereas they have dominated the east Asian market for decades. Made with various materials, ingredients these masks pack a punch and truly feed the skin. The beauty of these masks is you can get it for absolutely any skin concern. Sheet masks are also made specifically for neck, hands, feet, eye, and lips.

Personally I love using these after acid tone stage, as my skin drinks up all the essence in these masks, follow with serum or ampoule and finish off with oil or moisturizer. The fits and sizes of these masks can vary for a lot of non Asian faces. In some instances, the forehead is not big enough or nose is tiny, or mask in general is smaller. They are made with Asian faces in mind however the outreach of these masks is phenomenal.

Whilst Korea dominates the sheet masks domain, Asian countries like Japan (HadaLabo, SKII, Shiseido, Harihada, Biore), Taiwan (My Beauty Diary, Naruko, Neogence, Silk Whitia), Singapore (DrGL, BioEssence, RachelK), Hong Kong (Hiruscar,Wai Yeung Tong) are not too far behind and worth giving a try.

These masks are wildly creative with the ingredient formulation too, from oils to fermented ingredients to animal by products (donkey milk, snail mucin, abalone serum), EGF factors, etc. The price points can also range from a $1 to $40 per sheet mask.

The new trend also includes cleansing gel, peeling gel, aqua or milk peel swab (aka acid tones), essence and sheet masks making it a one stop shop for convenience and travel friendly. Reme G, Ettang, Papa Recipe, Somoon, The Saem are some brands which have got on board with this concept.

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Not a huge deviation from above mentioned Sheet Masks, these Eye patches specifically address puffiness, bagginess and brightening eye area. Common ingredients that are often used are caffeine, retinol, hyaluronic acid, niacinamide, bamboo water and other fermented ingredients.

On a disgustingly warm day, keeping any sheet mask in fridge for few minutes before application can seriously feel amazing, slapping on cool sheet mask whilst everything around you is boiling and feel like your insides are melting. Amazing for travel, excellent short cut to an elaborate routine without compromising on results.

How innovative and experimentative are you with masks? I’d love to know in comments below is there any category of mask or brand I absolutely must try.

HHW.com

xx

Array of Cleansing Oils

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Cleansing Oils….. we’ve all tried, tested, used, liked, loved, adopted, gifted, repurchased, reviewed, raved and done everything in between. These are my current cleansing oils on rotation for cleansing skin and removing makeup. The array of selection is from various geographical regions and price points. Due to the very nature of oils, all skin types can use cleansing oils. In terms of removal methods, some prefer emulsifying I prefer hot cloth steam.

Bravura London First Cleanse Oil 

£14.50/USD$21 150ml=$0.14 per ml

I’ve said it before and I will say it again in exact same words: Simple, Basic, Fuss free, Effective & Efficient at dissolving and removing makeup, Emulsifying, Non Sticky, One pump job, Inexpensive.

Wonderful certified organic carrier oils are used such as Safflower, Avocado and Vitamin which perform an excellent job whilst essential oils such as Roman Chamomile, Lavender and Rosemary give it an extra edge from a pleasing scent perspective.

Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Seed Oil*, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride(From Coconut Oil), Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil*, PEG-40 Sorbitan Peroleate (emulsifier), Tocopherol (Vit.E), Anthemis Nobilis Oil* (Roman Chamomile Essential Oil), Lavandula Officinalis Oil* (Lavender Essential Oil), Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Oil*. 

*Certified Organic

Mahogany Naturals Soothing Cleansing Oil 

£35/USD$50 120ml =$0.41 per ml

A new entrant on my cleansing oil scene, but one I instantly love for cleansing my skin or morning cleanse. Its a rather simple formulation with a soothing blend of grape seed oil, olive and lovely essential oils (sweet orange, tea tree, jasmine, lavender, camomile, eucalyptus). With tea tree and eucalyptus it has a beautiful uplifting scent. This oil doesn’t emulsify with water but cleanses effortlessly with hot cloth.

Grape Seed Oil (vitis vinifera), olive oil (Olea europaea), Sweet Orange Oil (citus sinensis), Tea Tree oil (melaleuca alternifolia), Jasmine Flower Oil (Jasminum Officinale), Lavender, Camomile,  Eucalyptus radiata oil.

Aesop Parsley Cleansing Oil

$57 6.8fl.oz/200ml=$0.28 per ml

A gentle cleanser that activates with water and converts to beautiful milky emulsion. I’ve used it to remove makeup and cleanse skin as well. Possibly my fave Aesop cleanser with gorgeous earthy scent in a whopping 200ml glass bottle.

Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Macadamia Ternifolia Seed Oil, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Bran Oil, C12-13 Pareth-3, Tocopherol, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil, Bisabolol, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Ormenis Multicaulis Oil, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Oil, Daucus Carota Sativa (Carrot) Root Extract, Carum Petroselinum (Parsley) Seed Oil, Beta-Carotene, Linalool.

MV Organic 9 Oil Cleansing Tonic

AUD$99/USD$98 65ml =$1.50 per ml

This be the Rolls Royce of cleansing oils denting the pocket by $1.50 per ml but leaves distressed, angry, irritated skin, as calm, soothed and nourished as possible. Definitely not for makeup removal, just wrong. However as morning or second cleanse it is perfect. Ideally removed with hot cloth, no emulsifying milky action here either. I’ve used this as a nourishing oil after a serum and it has worked wonderfully for my skin. Adding a drop or two to intense clay or mud masks like May Lindstrom’s The Problem Solver mask makes it a lush detoxifying yet hydrating treatment.

Camellia (Camellia Oleifera) Oil *, Avocado (Persea Gratissima) Oil *, Infused Centella (Centella Asiatica Extract) Oil, Vitamin E – non GM (Tocopherol), Rosemary (Rosmarinus Officinalis) Extract *, With essential Oils of: Bitter Orange, Lavender, Geranium, Sandalwood, Rosewood and Carrot Seed (*Organically Grown)

Badger Argan Face Cleansing Oil

$19.99 2fl.oz/60ml =$0.34 per ml

Badger claim Castor oil lifts impurities while Argan, Sunflower, and Jojoba replenish essential vitamins, fatty acids, and lipids. Yet another cleanser I love as skin cleanse and not as makeup remover. The addition of menthol crystals leaves the skin with slightest tingly refreshing feel, very unusual in cleansing oil category. The smell is divine, bitter lemon peel. This oil is an absolute treasure and quite frankly extremely underrated.

*Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, *Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, *Argania Spinosa (Argan) Kernel Oil, *Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil, *Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Peel Oil, *Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot) Peel Oil, *Menthol (Menthol Crystals), Tocopherol (Sunflower Vitamin E), *Santalum Album (Sandalwood) Oil, *Cananga Odorata (Ylang Ylang) Flower Oil (*= Certified Organic)

Nutrir Nourishing Cleansing Oil

AUD$24.95 100ml =AUD$0.25 per ml

Whilst not a typical traditional formulation of a cleansing oil, it is an antioxidant rich oil based cleanser, that foams (very slight) in contact with water. Considering it foams, it eliminates the need for a hot cloth. This is by far the most unusual consistency and performance. Similar to Badger, it does leave a refreshing tingly feel on skin which makes it perfect morning cleanse. The scent is wonderful to elevate mood levels. The sale of this line is limited to Australia only.

Water, Glycerin, Disodium Laureth Sulfosuccinate, Sodium Laurylglucosides Hydroxypropylsulfonate, Salix Alba (Willow) Bark Extract, Caprylyl/Capryl Wheat Bran/Straw Glycosides, Hrdrolyzed Jojoba Esters, Rosa Canina Fruit (Rosehip) Oil, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) oil, Plukenetia Volubilis (Sachi Inchi) Seed Oil, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Alcohol, Curcuma Longa (Turmeric) Root Powder Carica Papaya (Papaya) Fruit Extract, Myrciaria Dubia (Camu camu) Fruit Extract, Fusel Wheat Bran/Straw Glycosides, Xanthan Gum, Citric acid, Polyglyceryl-5 Oleate, Sodium Cocoyl Glutamate, Glyceryl Caprylate, Eucalyptus Dives Leaf/Twig Oil, Cymbopogon Schoenanthus (Lemongrass) Oil, Citrus Aurantifolia (Lime) Oil, Backhousia Citriodora Leaf (Lemon Myrtle) Oil, Parfum, Sodium Benzoate, Potassium Sorbate, Limonene, Geraniol, Linalool

Forest Essentials Makeup Removal Oil 

Rs 675 /USD$11 for 100ml =$0.11 per ml

Possibly the most underrated cleanser from Forest Essentials line. They claim this makeup remover is 100% natural with fresh organic oils infused with flowers and herbs. It smells like a beautiful flower garden. No escaping hot cloth with this oil, the steam mixing with gorgeous florals of this oil is a heavenly experience. Effective and efficient at makeup removal but even better as skin cleanse. The consistency is slightly more runnier oil than others.
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Which cleansing oils are you using? What would you recommend using?
HHW.com
xx

My Bedside Essentials

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An overview of what resides by my bedside. Some beauty and some random things: 

Candle – I prefer soy wax candles with essential oils, they usually burn when I’m getting ready or relaxing in bed reading on my iPad or watching tv.

May Lindstrom The Blue Cocoon – the shallow part of me wants to say the scent just allows me to melt and drift away. But in reality, since I do my skincare fairly early in the evening (straight after work, before cooking dinner) by the time I head in bed I feel like slapping on another layer of oil or balm.

SKII Mid Night Essence – whilst this a newer addition to the bedside, I can safely say I will be repurchasing this. It has an incredibly hydrating and refreshing feel (menthol) on skin. Warm, balmy summer nights, my skin would love this. The impact on skin is rather luminous.

Burts Bees Lemon Cuticle Balm – suffer from really bad, dry cuticles and over the years, BBees and I have been steady. It makes an overnight difference.

Body Oil – again dry body skin, that screams for lovely scented relaxing body oil. If I had my way I’d slather blue cocoon all over my body (watch me go broke in a space of 1 week….at this rate).!

P1040068Magnifying Mirror – well because I roll out of bed and analyse my skin. Honestly this is one thing I should probably get rid of, because it pushes me in an obsessive zone with my daily skin health. Also greatly beneficial for extracting blackheads and whiteheads.

Papaw Ointment – staple for many many many years. This one is an effortless all rounder, being a lip balm, cuticle balm, moisturizing nails, heels, knees….basically anything.

Hand Cream (2-3 different creams) – usually with different fragrance base to adjust to my mood. One to always be a permanent resident would be some form of a rose fragrance cream (current rose – Grown Alchemist). Also keep Alpha H Glycolic Acid hand cream, La Roche Posay, and Aesop.

Hair Brush and Tie – few strokes through my hair, fine hair is prone to helluva lotta knots therefore having a paddle brush is crucial. Also in theory I should let my hair free, but I hate/despise the feeling of hair on my neck or shoulder when I’m sleeping, so I tie my hair very loosely (basically contain it).

Phone Charging Dock – well no brainer. All facets of my life are scheduled, organized and prioritized in this device. So scary as I write this….eeeeek

Drawer Miscellaneous – scratching stick (incredibly helpful for scratching my back), socks (need em), sleeping mask (don’t even know why I have this because I never use them).
Water – Always, I couldn’t sleep knowing a bottle of water is missing by my bedside.

What are your must have by your bedside? What am I missing?

HHW.com

xx

Taming my Mane

Before I dive into any elaborate procedures or talk about products quick note on my ‘Hair Facts‘.

IMG_8869Length wise: Longish (below shoulder). Colour: Brunette, dark coffee brown. Texture: Fine Hair, Pin Straight and lots of it. Torture Levels: Never coloured, Blow dry on special occasions (don’t bother because no curl or wave stays put, for more than 2-3 hours) and use minimal styling goop. Styling: Almost Always in a BUN. Or Just down running wild and free. Issues: Volume, Volume, Volume, ermmm did I mention Volume? My hair tends to look flat if I don’t have any volumising or sea salt spray or some form of texturizer. And lastly, very easily prone to knots.

Heads Up (pun intended) there will be references to ‘someone sitting on top of my head’. Kindly do not translate that literally, it means my hair looks Flat like glued to my scull.

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Hair Oils have been a relatively new thing for the Western world. However I’ve been using hair oils since I was little girl. At the time I hated the glooopy greasyy feel but today I’m so thankful my mother decided to traumatize me like that. It was truly worth it. This ritual is conducted 2ish times a week, and always left overnight.

I have a rather wide range of hair oils to choose from, brands are limited, however class of hair oils vary. Castor Oil (on ends encourages growth, including eyebrow and lashes), Almond Oil (grew up with that on my head). Other regular suspects include Forest Essentials Sugandha (Vetiver, Hibiscus, virgin coconut and other botanicals), Bhringraj (Black Sesame and virgin Coconut Oil along with Goat’s Milk and Herbal Extracts), Brahmi (discontinued – basil leaves, licorice, cumin, virgin coconut oil) and Aveda Men Pure Formance Composition and Hello Hair. If you’d like reviews specifically on any of these, please leave comments below.

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Shampoo Ohhhh I have commitment issues with Shampoo’s. It’s almost like my mop of hair is a complete whore and needs a change of shampoo all the time. My hair cannot get use to one shampoo, should I use something consistently it looks like someone’s planted their back side on my head.

The Mo Faves include: Kama Ayurveda Rose & Jasmine (SLS free and smells bloody amazing) my reigning fav of the moment. Followed by Ducray and Klorane. Frequency to shampoo is usually every 3rd day. Extended to the 4th day, with varying laziness levels.

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Conditioner & Mask I DON’T use Conditioners! Yes you read that correctly, no conditioner because it makes my hair look flat like someone is sitting on top of it. However I use Hair Mask on my ends. This step needs to be Silicone free for me.

Any fine hair person would know, silicone and fine hair is BAD combo. So this mask Christophe Robin Regenerating Mask with Pricky Pear Oil is god sent for us flat fine hair peeps. Retains hydration in locks, keeps the movement and doesn’t make it heavy

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After Shampoo Ritual Towel dried for good 15 mins, I hydrate and nourish hair. My All time Faves include Phyto 7 for summer or Phyto 9 for winter (ahh the non sticky, silky smooth glossy hair) or Kevin Murphy Body Guard Hydrating Lotion for Hair (now discontinued so I seriously ration my use). Also trialing Forest Essentials Hair Vitalizer Bhringraj for hair loss (don’t think it has helped my hair at all but my hair smells lovely).

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Finally to address va va voom volume issues, some sea salt spray or Colab Dry Shampoo Extreme Volume for texturizing and addressing that non existent ‘being’ sitting on the top. Of course on day 2-3 I use dry shampoo to get rid of any oiliness. In addition, to also using Klorane Dry Shampoo which I find works fine if I intend on twisting my hair in a voluminous bun, but if I want to let it down….not a good option. I’ve tried many sea salt sprays but I’ve only ever ‘used them up’ to welcome them in my Mission Empties basket, never repurchased them which speaks volumes (pun intended again!). My all time fav hair spray is Aveda Air Control (LOVE the smell), and controls all fly aways.

If you have any recommendations on products I should try based on my hair type and issues, please leave comment below.

HHW.com

xx