What: A two-step system with an oil & ‘activating mist’.
For: Mature or prematurely aging skin, dry skin, or just skin in need of a dose of goodness!
Review: Describing itself as ‘exquisite’ and ‘rejuvenating’, my expectations of the Kimia Facial System were very high before I even opened the box. Thankfully, Kimia seems to be one of those rare brands that actually delivers on its promises.
The Kimia System is a two step process: the first is the Kimia Exquisite All Natural Face Oil, which is a lovely rich serum, and the second step is the Hydra-Activator, which is a fancy way of saying spray. The people at Kimia tell me that "…the facial system is a two stage process because the activator acts to accelerate and increase the uptake of the highly active facial oil. This is to allow a number of things - firstly an increase in the beneficial effects of the product, secondly to allow the application of make up straight after application which in turn allows today’s modern woman to treat, nourish and repair the skin while fitting in with fast pace of modern life." The instructions say to spray the activator onto your hands and then to rub it into the face, but I find it much easier to just spray the product directly onto my face and massage it in with the oil. The recommended ‘dosage’ is six drops of oil & six sprays, but this is customisable depending on whether your skin is feeling particularly oily or dry.
After using my skin feels incredibly hydrated and has an instant glow. The products are quickly absorbed into skin and leave a silky, smooth finish - not greasy in the slightest, and makeup sits very nicely on top. I tend to use it mainly at night (sunscreen is really the only product I use during the day), and I wake up with fine lines plumped up and generally healthy & younger looking skin. I am especially nuts about the oil as it has this fabulous retro floral scent that reminds me of my grandma - I’m not sure what the fragrance is exactly, but it’s just lovely. Whenever I use this my boyfriend says I smell like a hotel (which is a good thing, FYI). This is definitely my product of choice when I’ve been burning the candle at both ends and need to look fresh, and the great thing is that the results are almost instantaneous as I can see a marked difference after just one use.
I am generally a big fan of facial oils, and if you’re in the market for a luxurious & pampering treat then this is definitely the product for you. It is expensive, but I think it would last a very long time given that you only need to use a few drops/sprays per application. I’ve been using mine quite religiously and the bottles still look completely full.
Clean creds: All natural ingredients, paraben free.
Verdict: I’ve had quite a few requests for product recommendations for aging skin, and so far Kimia is the recommendation I’m prepared to highlight, bold and underline. If it’s out of your price range then Rosehip Oil is a good alternative - but if you can afford to splash out, or have a birthday coming up, Kimia is an excellent investment for your skin.
Buy it here
*This product was sent to me as a PR sample.
What: Natural skin care balm.
For: Like, sorta, everything. This is the clean version of Elizabeth Arden’s Eight Hour Cream - moisturiser, burns & bites soother, cleanser, treatment for cold sores, lip balm, hydration mask… seriously, EVERYTHING.
Review: First up, you know a product is clean when one of the suggested uses is to add it to hot water & gargle to soothe a sore throat. Try doing that with your conventional chemical laden products (actually, probably best not to do that…)! ‘Everything’ balms seem to have cropped up… everywhere, and this little pot of green is a brilliant addition to the range. The Green Balm is made of 100% natural, 100% organic herbs, and is chock-full of organic Yarrow, which according to my good friend Wikipedia is known as the ‘healing herb’ (it also told me it can be used fresh for nosebleeds, and that the aerial parts of the plant are used for phlegm conditions as a bitter digestive tonic to encourage bile flow. But let’s not go there). And beeswax, coconut, sweet almond and soya bean oils are also in there to soften & nourish the skin. Its texture is like a waxy, thick balm that softens to an oily consistency when warmed between fingers. Because it’s quite a thick consistency you don’t need to use much at all - a little goes a long way!
I have to admit I haven’t been particularly creative in my use of The Green Balm - I feel like I should have got burnt or bitten by something to really test it out… I was using it throughout winter for early morning walks when it was freeeezing - I’d slap some over my face before dashing out the door and it felt like my skin had been dunked in a vat of soothing moisturiser. I’m also looking forward to using it in summer after exposure to the sun & heat as I think it would feel lovely and cooling on skin. It’s also my go-to moisturiser when I’ve been a little too rigorous with product testing and my skin is feeling a bit overwhelmed: when I apply this it tells my face to CHILL THE F OUT. And I used it as a cleanser once or twice, it did a great job of removing makeup and left skin feeling nice and soft. I don’t think I’d use it every day as a cleanser just because there are probably better value options out there, but it would be great to take on the plane as you could use it to cleanse then moisturise.
And that’s probably the sweetest thing about this little pot: chuck it in your handbag and you have a product that works as a lip balm, cleanser, moisturiser, soothing & hydrating mask, and about a zillion other uses. Perfect if you’re staying overnight somewhere and don’t want to take a thousand bottles with you or travelling overseas and don’t want to decant everything into teeny containers to take onto the plane.
I feel like I’ve banged on enough for now (I don’t want to drive you balmy), but might post again once I’ve tested out some of the other uses for the balm.
*Update: Whilst writing this post my boyfriend leaned over my shoulder and said "Oh, you’re writing about that green stuff. Um, I’ve been using that too". So from this we learn two more things: first, my boyfriend has been stealing my products from my bathroom cabinet, and second, it is apparently also great to use as an aftershave, as it is "nice and smooth".
Clean creds: 100% natural, 100% organic herbs, no parabens, no testing on animals, vegetarian, no artificial preservatives, no perfume.
Verdict: Not a product that I use every day, but a brilliant one to have around - it’s great as an emergency / everything balm, and I’ll definitely be taking it away with me when I travel.
Buy it here (it will soon be launching in pharmacies across Australia too, so I will update when stockists are confirmed)
This product was sent to me as a PR sample
I will soon be posting full reviews of the Odacite products I have been testing for the past couple of weeks, but I just wanted to take a moment to introduce you to this brand. Odacite is a French skincare company that produces freshly made, organic products, free of parabens, fragrance and other toxic nasties, which was founded after the CEO, Valerie Grandury, discovered she had breast cancer in 2004. This triggered her to "reinvent her life, reconnect with nature and step into a beautiful and fascinating healing journey" - Valerie started detoxifying her environment, overhauling her diet and quitting her job to study the healing power of plants, and became a health and wellness coach. This led her to investigating the products she was using, and she discovered just how full of chemicals the products she was slathering on every day were. As a result, Valerie decided to start her own ‘fresh’ skincare brand - Odacite. I absolutely love this story of how it all started, and without going into too much(/any!) detail, I had a very similar journey which prompted me to start writing this blog.
And it’s not just the philosophy of the brand that is wonderful - the products absolutely deliver! The results I have experienced in using the products for just a few weeks is quite amazing - my skin looks plump, fresh and glowing, and I find that I am applying less and less foundation to let my skin show through, which is definitely a first for me. I want to post comprehensive reviews of each of the products I have tried but would like to use them for a few more weeks just so I can thoroughly test them out over the long term, but in the mean time, check out Odacite’s website here. There’s lots of great information on there, not just about the company, but also about general wellbeing and skincare. If anyone else has used Odacite’s products I would love to hear what you think!
What: Pukka Skincare is an online beauty store that stocks Australian owned products that are made primarily from safe and natural plant and/or minderal ingredients, free from animal testing, free from harsh chemical ingredients and manufactured with the environment in mind. But that’s not it! Many of the products available at Pukka are also certified organic, certified vegan, certified halal, accredited by Choose Cruelty Free, or signatories of the Compact for Safe Cosmetics. Phew!
Products: Brands include Miessence, Inika Cosmetics, Be Genki & Lapurette, and products range from skin, hair & body care to cosmetics.
Delivery: Free express delivery in Australia when you spend over $100 (or a flat rate of $10.90 for orders under $100). For international delivery you need to contact Pukka with a list of products and they will send you a shipping estimate - bear in mind that international orders will be less tax, so deduct 9% from the price (if you’re mathematically inclined).
Extras: Pukka has a blog that includes product usage tips and ayurvedic skin care regimes. Orders over $50 will also receive samples (and you can put in a request for what you would like to try!).
Inika Essentials Collection Travel Kit: available on Pukka here
What: Richly hydrating body moisturiser with a delicious rose fragrance. Think rose petals in the spa, not Grandma’s hand cream.
For: Dehydrated skin
Review: This is a lovely luxurious moisturiser – not one that I use every day, but one that gets doled out for special occasions. The cream is (as the name suggests) ultra rich, so it’s quite hydrating and leaves a fine film of moisture over the skin. I wouldn’t use this if I were about step into a stinking sweaty day, but it’s a nice one to use before you go out because of the light sheen it gives to skin. Skin is silky soft to touch and lightly fragranced – even my boyfriend notices when I use this (which, believe me, is a BIG DEAL. I’ve sometimes walked around in a clay mask all over my face and he hasn’t noticed). The only slightly annoying thing I find about this moisturiser is the tube – it has a very nice looking wooden top but I find that this collects moisturiser in the rim. Although I’m sure I’ll be quite pleased once I get to the end of the tube and rediscover this hidden stash of moisturiser…
Clean cred: No synthetic fragrances or colour, sulfates, glycols, pegs or parabens. Australian owned and made. Against animal testing.
Verdict: Lovely ‘special occasion’ moisturiser. For the price you wouldn’t want to use this every day, but it really is nice to pamper yourself with or would make a gorgeous gift (the packaging looks very smart).
Available from here.