Summer Holiday Skin Care Pt. 2 (The Pampering Products)

Even when I'm overseas, I always try my best to bring my skin care treatments with me. I think it's a must given how unstable my skin is. Besides, pampering myself is one of the most luxurious things in the world I can treat myself to, so despite all the busy schedule having a 'me' time is essential. 

Acure Brightening Facial Scrub. I have given a rave review about it here. This facial scrub is ideal to travel with because it is light. As much as I love my products being protected in Myron glass, they put so much weight (plus, I'm a lousy packer). This scrub is quite fine in texture and does not irritate my skin at all. I always feel the need to scrub my face 2x a week, it's been a big life-saver for me to avoid congestion and blackheads. The upside is that it is not as stimulating as my Clean Dirt which contain many spices and salts so when my skin is taking its toll, this scrub is truly gentle but effective. 

Absolution Purifying Mask. Again, I have to mention how stellar this product is. If you have read my review before on this, then you would know how much this product has impressed me. It is absolutely purifying (ha!), gives a little bit of a tingle when you put it on so slightly stimulating due to the mint. It leaves my skin SO purified the next day, there is not one day where this product fails to give that result. Very good to suck those whiteheads out and if your whiteheads are already at their tips, this mask will soften it so that it can get extracted naturally. I cannot vouch for pores refinement because as far as it goes, I have only seen a really good purifying action out of this mask. 

Last but not least, The Youth Dew by the one and only May Lindstrom Skin! Is it possible to love one brand THAT much?! Seriously, I think everything she makes, I will go try it in a heartbeat. The texture is just ever so gorgeous, probably the most gorgeous facial oil I have ever tried because it melts like butter and glides like silk. Although it feels lightweight on your hands, it ambitiously hydrates the skin. One pump for me is enough. Sometimes it can be too over-hydrating and I would mix it with whatever toner or mist I have to give it a nice lighter weight. The scent is beautiful, very hefty on the citrus but slightly sweetened by the beautiful rose and geranium. I personally like to use this as my special 2x or 3x a week facial oil. Your skin will feel silky the next day, really!

I also want to share this little ball of love! He belongs to my friend and he is SO damn cute. He eats a lot and is slightly too mischievous. 

Audra James Facial Mist + Elixir

I thought I would slip a review here and there in between my summer holiday essentials. Apologize for the emptiness of the blog. It's hard to keep up nowadays because things have gotten really hectic. I just started my internship at a design workshop. While I am so excited I am also feeling slightly overwhelmed but lessons will be learnt along the way. I intend to keep my 'summer essentials' posts flowing by updating every single day following this post. 

Being in the capital city of Indonesia, Jakarta, you totally need a lot of time commitment to be on the road. For someone who is not used to it, frustration creeps in easily and plus the climate and the weird weather don't really help. So, I always bring my Audra James Rose mist in my backpack wherever I go because it's such a keeper. I spray this throughout the day whenever needed. Inhaling the aroma as I mist really helps me to stay calm and grounded. You can keep this in the fridge too, to get an even more cooling sensation. The mist is actually pure rose water that has been infused with Bulgarian Rose oil, French Lavender, Rose Geranium and that's it. It actively soothes and slightly hydrates, ideal for all skin types. If you'd like the more anti-bacterial version of Audra's toner, she has what's called a skin tonic. 

Audra James is truly an exciting and special brand to me. I first discovered the brand when I read Beauty Huile's blog front to back and it'd been on my wishlist ever since. She has a line of products that are readily formulated for general skin types, but what's so special is that she offers Be Spoke products such as facial elixirs which is the one that I ordered. Priced at $75 I thought it's worth every penny. In a flash, her formulations and ingredients are simple but the way she combines them together is incomparable. She is very detailed in her questions and she would do a couple of follow-ups in between. With her thorough knowledge and skills, she had created my Be Spoke facial elixir within a week. I have sensitive skin type that is normal to dry, and also acne-prone. 

Here is the ingredient list for my facial elixir: Organic Camellia oil, Superfine Jojoba, Macadamia, Organic Rosehip Seed, Calendula Oil, Organic Sweet Almond Oil, Evening Primrose, Vitamin E (natural source), Organic Rose Geranium Essential Oil, Organic French Lavender Essential Oil, Roman Chamomile infused in Jojoba. 

I know there is no fancy-pants exotic ingredients that people might be looking for, but somehow I feel settled that the formulation has been handled with a mindful. The elixir is specially formulated for the tropical climate in Indonesia so I still needed a bit more of hydration when I was in Australia when I used this. I really love how calming this is and it gives a PERFECT hydration for my skin currently. It is slightly dense but sinks in and moisturizes beautifully. Audra has taken into account that I use Sodashi as my basic cleanse + moisturise so her products are nice companions for them. Both the elixir and the mist come with an instruction sheet each to give you multiple ways to use them. 

Audra James is also one of those few people who would share her wealth of knowledge in natural beauty on her blog here and in her facial treatments or if you contact her to ask about something through e-mail, she would reply to you shortly after! I am really eager to try her facial treatment which I will be sure to do when I visit Brisbane. If you haven't tried the brand, I urge you to give it a go, I think you might find at least one that you will love. 

Check out her products here


Summer Holiday Skin Care Pt.1 (The Basic)

Packing can be fun, but it is always sooo difficult to choose which ones not to pack (oh the dilemma). I love all my skin care products, there needs to be one, yet, to be too disappointing enough for me not to bring. But alas, I have finally made my decision within my last-minute packing, almost literally

Sodashi "Calm" Sandalwood Clay Cleanser. Thankfully, my Clean Dirt was running very low so I didn't really have to think twice. This clay cleanser wonderfully cleanses any grime, sweat, dirt and even make up off of my face. Deeply purifying making it my perfect night cleanser. I personally would dodge using this in the morning just because too much clay can be too purging for my skin. 

Intelligent Nutrients Renewal Complex Eye Gel. The eye gel is actually quite pleasant especially after being kept in the fridge. I prefer eye gels over eye creams any day, because of the cooling sensation it gives beneficial to get rid of puffiness (especially after watching tonnes of movies that suck the happiness out of you uhm). Also, since I don't crave too much for hydration, it is pretty good at smoothing out and controlling oiliness on my eye lid. I still need to cross my fingers on my dark circles though. 

Audra James Rose, French Lavender + Rose Geranium Facial Mist. This mist has been a life-saver under the hot and humid climate! How I wish there's a mini portable fridge that perfectly fits this. But even without it, it is already refreshing enough as it is. Audra James cannot go wrong, she's an aromatherapist so the scent is very calming too. I bring this with me EVERYWHERE. (I wanted to bring my TH Hydrating Floral Essence.. but the glass + the size wasn't that practical since my suitcase is already overweight...... ) 

Vered Balancing Oil. I'm still trying Vered out but this has made a pretty damn good 'first' impression. The oil is highly absorbent as if it's never there but still moisturizing. I love using this during the day because of its uplifting citrus scent and its oil-controlling ability. 

Audra James BeSpoke Facial Elixir. I have a found a new addiction for another facial oil! I decided to go be-spoke as there's so much love for facial oils, but not one of them can target all my skin concerns. Besides, my skin has been pretty good so going to a holiday where the climate is totally different is going to wreck it back to 0. So far so good! 

All full reviews of each product to come soon! Since I'm going to be in home country Indonesia (where it's hot, humid, and polluted an unfortunate combination in Jakarta!), I packed my essentials, treatment products and some bits and bobs of my make up products. So, this post is going to be separated into 3. I wish you all have a fun summer! and stay warm for people in the down under!


Acure Brightening Facial Scrub

I have been very eager to write a review about this facial scrub by Acure. Since my last post about Pai exfoliator was a bit of a flop, I present you: Acure "Sea" The Difference facial scrub. It's supposedly to be brightening and I looove anything brightening since my skin is always so dull and looking sallow. It's so dull that sometimes even dewiness can give a false impression of looking 'oily' on me. So, exfoliating and masking have become an important bi-weekly routine to boost up skin radiance! Besides, who doesn't love that feeling of a good scrub?!

Since my Clean Dirt is really running low (I should have stocked up before I cry out loud), the Acure exfoliator is a nice temporary substitution for it. Plus, the packaging is not heavy at all making it travel-friendly. Maybe, my forgetfulness to stock up on Clean Dirt brought an exciting new exploration to good scrubs out there! I am pleasantly surprised by the coarseness that is not harsh at all on the skin. It is actually fairly similar to the Clean Dirt but slightly more gentle. If you ever feel the texture of your drinking Cacao powder on your palm, it kind of reminds me of it. Acure uses Cocoa shell in a very fine powder form that is gentle enough to be used as a skin treatment. Cocoa lovers... how yummy does this sound?! And seriously, whilst it sounds good enough to eat, cocoa is highly detoxifying and makes my skin feels renewed and energized.

What's even better is that Acure has combined the unique Sea Kelp and Lemon peel granules to its exfoliating ingredient. Why Sea Kelp? On top of its gentle exfoliating properties, it contains a choke of anti-oxidants and has an array of Vitamins and Minerals so it's highly balancing to get that hydration at a good level.  PLUS, it contains green clay! That's it. I am sold!

If that's not convincing enough, Spirit has called it a 'healthy organic smoothie'. I know what she means, just look at the first few ingredients; Acai, Blackberry, Rosehips, Pomegranate, Rooibos. Deliciously tempting to drink it up. Chrollea Growth Factor, Raspberry and Argam Steam Cells are also made responsible to stimulate cell new growth.

I am confident to say that this has helped to clean my pores and keep away those annoying blackheads because they seem to like my cheeks better than my nose. Although to be honest, it is not really that brightening as it claims, but I just fell in love with its deeply purifying and refined result without making my skin irritated and dry. Of course, this doesn't impress me as much as The Clean Dirt - Oooh that thing is just.. can't even. But, think of Acure as like the St. Ives facial scrub of the green beauty but only 10000x better. For $14.99 filled with natural and organic plant and fruit goodness, it is affordable so there is no reason that you should hold back. I am sure there is a lot of deals so you can get it for even cheaper.

I bet many of you have tried this scrub. How do you like it?


Pai Kukui & Jojoba Skin Brightening Exfoliator

Image Credit to Pai Skincare website

I shall just jump right in; I am feeling a bit hesitant about this product. As you may all know, Pai is a niche brand specially formulated for people with sensitive skin. But this one is just way too gentle for me as an exfoliator. Sure it contains the little jojoba beads but they are too soft to slough off the rough dry patches I sometimes get. I also don't find enough beads to roll around and exfoliate my whole face in proportionate to the gel which makes it even less effective. Even though I have sensitive skin, my skin can still thankfully enjoy the feeling of being 'scrubbed' using my Clean Dirt or Acure Brightening facial scrub without any irritation.

Although this Pai exfoliator is nothing like them, here is the good part. It IS brightening. It is as brightening as how sunny and refreshing that yellowy lemon colour is. Probably thanks to the exfoliator being enriched with 'high concentrations of Omega 3 & 6 plus Vitamins A, D & E that instantly hydrates and brightens'. Because the texture is slightly sticky due to the gel form, I find that it lifts up the dead skin cells to help reveal a brighter complexion. It is definitely not as softening as my normal exfoliators hence why I am feeling 50:50 towards this product. But it packs a bit of moisture into the skin thanks to Kukui oil that is THE star ingredient in the product. When you are ready to wash it off, it transforms into a milky solution as you introduce water to make it easier for you to cleanse. I prefer taking it off with a facial cloth as cleansing with simply water can take awhile until it does not leave an oily residue anymore.

With winter had finally came to greet, my skin is now slightly temperamental. I have tried a good number of the tester pots which I reach out to when I cannot exfoliate with my normal scrubs but I feel like I need to.

Ingredients: helianthus annuus (sunflower) seed oil*, glycerine*, prunus amygdalus dulcis (sweet almond) oil*, aleurites moluccana seed (kukui) oil*, prunus armeniaca (apricot) kernel oil*, carthamus tinctorius (safflower) seed oil*, persea gratissima (avocado) oil*, hydrogenated castor oil and hydrogenated jojoba oil (exfoliating jojoba beads), sucrose laurate, citrus aurantium dulcis (orange) fruit water*, boswellia carterii (frankincense) oil*, litsea cubeba fruit (may chang) oil*, mixed tocopherols (natural vitamin e).  *certified organic. 


Spirit Beauty Lounge Haul

So very excited that my SBL package finally came! There is a couple of stuff that I'm hoping to give as gifts for my family and friends back home, so I was glad it arrived on time. As I'm writing this haul, I am sipping on the Pukka Herbal Refresh tea that I requested as a sample. Delish. 

1. Tata Harper Hydrating Floral Essence. I love a good splurge on a nice toner! I was given an adequately sized sample of their old hydrating toner and really enjoyed it. I noticed a different scent from this one though. I think they had a major change in their formulation since the packaging revamping. The previous one was brimming with happy floral scent while this one reminds me of one of her aromatic treatments.I had always wanted this toner as I could use this as a light skin moisturizer when I'm in Indonesia. It's very hot and humid there and my skin would beg for a constant refreshment. 

2. Acure Brightening Facial Scrub. The first Acure product that I tried was their shampoo and conditioner duo in Volumizing. It didn't give that vavavooom it promises to deliver but I like the price. I was also really eager to try out Acure's facial product lines, so I started off with their facial scrub first, the non leave-on stuff. It contains Sea Kelp, Lemon and Cocoa Powder to gently exfoliate as well as French Green Clay to give a deeper cleanse. Sounds really good to me!! Can I also give a shout out to Acure for their cute packaging?! 

3. Intelligent Nutrients Renewal Complex Eye Gel. Eye care is probably pretty non-existent in my beauty routine. Not saying that I don't need it because I definitely do. I just tend to use my facial oil and blend it upward lightly to hydrate my eye area. If I could ever choose an eye cream, it would still be the Tata Harper one... brightens my dark circles like no other. Then, this one by Intelligent Nutrients was released and it makes a list of pretty big claims too. Plus, the unique applicator excite me. We shall see if this works!!

4. RMS Beauty lip shine in 'sacred'. I finally feel like my RMS Beauty collection is complete. This sacred colour is the one I have been eyeing but dodging from for awhile. I knew it's gonna be around for a long time since who doesn't just fall in love with RMS products? 

5. Vered Balancing Facial Oil. My first Vered product. It actually contains 44ml of facial oil, so I'm sure that it's going to take time to finish this. The scent is a blend of various herbs that you are familiar with. Lots of citrus family but my favourite would be the Lemongrass in this. I had a good sniff from the bottle, and it is just oh so relaxing. Again, I am all prepared for the holiday, this, I think, is going to be a good night treatment that is light. 

6. Ilia Lipstick in Blossom Lady and Bang Bang. Bang Bang is for a friend of mine, it looks nice on her lighter skin tone colour, but Blossom Lady?! I never thought this this pale pink would look nice on me! I don't like the barbie pink lips look on me and I am actually pretty much the opposite when it comes to finding lipsticks. I would rather go for darker, brighter, deeper colours (you name it) just because they tend to have a better look factor on me. Whenever I buy a light shade no matter the brand, it tends to 'fill up' the lines on my lips. I drink lots of water I swear I do. Anyway, this Blossom Lady doesn't do that horrendous thing, a very nice feminine natural colour that I can just grab and go! 

I took advantage of their 15% sale plus used up 2 of old vouchers. Made SUCH a good saving!! :) Did you buy anything too lately? 


Tallulah Jane Body Oils in 333 & Talullah

If you're looking for a body oil that feels luxurious and not priced over-the-top, gives out a bold & one-of-a-kind scent and yet mellow on the skin, Tallulah Jane is your best option! Not only that I always find myself repeatedly saying Tallulah Tallulah Tallulah - too catchy on the tounge -, the brand offers quite a range of beautiful fragrances, 'embraces the centuries-old craft of Bourbon perfumeries but with a bold, modern edge.' 

I am a big biiiig fan of body oils especially if they are scented. They are the perfect alternative to perfumes which I most of the times find too 'heavy' and also you get more bang for the bucks since it doubles as a beautiful body moisturizer. All her base oils are ethically organic and wild-crafted. Jojoba, Camelina, Meadowfoam Seed, Pomegranade Seed and an added Vitamin E are powerful at nourishing and hydrating the skin. The texture is slightly heavy so it takes a little bit of time to sink in before it leaves your skin beautifully soft and supple. The scent also lingers softly on the skin without being too robust. 

There is a lot of different kind of tones you can find in many Talullah Jane scent. It's a good thing because I never find it too sweet or too woody. They are just nicely balanced and perfectly unisex. No. 333 has top notes of Chamomile and Lavender and is invigorated by Citrus Tree, Neroli, Petitgrain and Bitter Orange. So light and fresh. I can picture myself taking a long bath right before sunset, and moisturize my skin with 333 feeling recharged and refreshed and then sip of a cup of Early Grey with honey and lemon! I'm going to call it now 'feeling like a 333' *dry laughs*. Talullah, on the other hand, has strong notes of Jasmine and Tuberose. I am not a big fan of Jasmine, but this one is very pleasant-smelling, sweetly floral and creamy but not too much. The combination of Jasmine and Tuberose makes this scent the most luxurious out of all I have tried. 

These two body oils are actually for my mum as a 'gift' but the aroma in the box made me have a little sniff. I previously gave her Aiyana, she was okay about it at first but the scent grew on her. It even replaced her Body Shop Body Butter which means that Tallulah Jane is seriously amazing. We did complain to each other about the body butter leaving a slight film on the skin. But Talullah has a similar moisturizing benefit and yet, is able to sink in deeply. The plus side? the scent got complimented by a lot of her friends! 

Get yours from I Am Natural Store for $43.50 or Spirit Beauty Lounge for $38. 


Sodashi Calming Skin Boost + Moisturiser

Simple and really clean ingredients with effective formulation. I really had to admit, the first time I hovered over the ingredient list.. I didn't notice anything fancy-pants. For the price, I expected something new.. something rare.. at least that's what always intrigues me when I look at high-end skin care products and thought 'oh, that's why it costs so much'.

So what sets Sodashi apart from other brands? Simplicity and effective formulation. They don't claim 'no filler' because they still do contain purified water as their second ingredient.But there's something beautiful in a way that they combine all these ingredients together, the right mixture of the oil, essential oils, hydrosols - they know it all. Yes. I have heard it all the time that essential oils are a 'hazard' for sensitive skin, but I truly believe, when being used in the right amount for even the most sensitive skin types.. they can be highly beneficial especially with well-researched ingredients and high attention-to-detail.That's how I trust Sodashi with my skin. Read more below. 


Pai Rosehip BioRegenerate Fruit & Seed Oil Blend

It's not too late to talk about rosehip oil, right? I first really learnt about the benefits of using pure rosehip oil after I overheard Miranda Kerr promoting her skin care line, Kora Organics at David Jones years ago. She swears by it because it makes her skin glow and she would put it every night to rejuvenate her skin. It really was the first pure natural 'ingredient' that caught my interest and so I got myself one by Kora Organics called Luxurious Rosehip oil. It is pretty nice but I discovered Pai who uses the fruit and the seed of the rosehip oil to make it twice as many regenerative sterols and five times the caretonoids seed oil. Yeah, I didn't even know what they meant then.

So, this Pai rosehip oil contains the highest potency of rosehip oil there is. There are many great brands out there who, of course, use the cold-pressing method to minimize processing. BUT, I have never heard one that utilizes Rosehip plant as a whole. Basically, if you're addicted to Retinol, try this stuff because it's a fantastic substitution for that without your skin flaking off and unnecessary irritations you may get. Rosehip oil is a source of Trans-Retinoic Acid aka Vitamin A which treats many skin conditions so even the most sensitive skin type can use it. It is also rich in Essential Fatty Acids and Omega 3,6,7 & 9 and these with the Vitamin A, are incredibly helpful to strengthen the skin and reduce hyper-pigmentation from melasma, sun damage and acne scarring. Read more below.