Thursday, April 13, 2017

Lola's Secret Beauty Blog's Holy Grail Skincare Product Repeats!

Press Sample & Purchased (Affiliate Links)

The Beauty Spotlight Team decided that we would feature the products that we love so much that we repeatedly repurchase them. I decided to focus primarily on the luxury skincare products that I get over and over again. However, in the midst of my selection I decided to add two lip products that I have repeatedly purchased that were worthy of mention.
The Organic Pharmacy has had pride of place at the top of my list of the most extraordinary natural skincare lines that I have ever used. In fact, it is one of my very favorite skincare lines, period. They make safe and effective products that do precisely what they are designed to do, and they are a great pleasure to use. Their antioxidant rich anti-aging products stand up to any of their high-end department store counterparts, and in fact it has been my experience that they exceed the efficacy of the chemical-laden products that I have tried.
The Organic Pharmacy Rose Plus Brightening Complex ($198.00 for 1.1 oz. / 35 ml. from Barneys New YorkSelfridges (£97.00) and The Organic Pharmacy): This is an utterly superb serum, and this is a point that I simply cannot sufficiently underscore. It has a very light texture that sinks in immediately leaving behind no greasy film or residue. Since it has a lightweight fast absorbing texture I apply it directly after washing my face to warm slightly damp skin. I immediately follow with one of my favorite beauty oils, but I must say that it pairs exquisitely with The Organic Pharmacy Antioxidant Face Firming Serum (discussed below). It is an antioxidant rich anti-aging serum brightens and smooths the complexion, and it improves the texture of the skin. Furthermore, it hydrates the skin while it lifts and plumps the appearance of fine lines while offering the skin extraordinary luminosity.

This enzyme packed serum gently exfoliates dead skin cells revealing a significantly brightened complexion, and it not only evens out skin tone, but it also fades sun spots and hyperpigmentation. Additionally, the Nanka Fruit extract and Glucosamine fade existing sun spots while helping to reduce the formation of new sun spots. However, this does not contain a sunscreen, and most certainly should be used in conjunction with a sunscreen during the day. The end result is bright, luminous, lifted, even toned, and clear skin that has the most healthy glowing radiance.

Ingredients: Aqua (Water), Aloe (Aloe Barbadensis)*, Coconut Oil (Cocos Nucifera)*, Sesame Seed Oil (Sesamum Indicum), Glycerin (Vegetable)*, Jojoba Oil (Simmondsia Chinensis)*, Shea Butter (Butyrospermum Parkii)*, Vitamin B3 (Niacinamide), Behenyl Alcohol , Glyceryl Stearate, Sunflower Oil(Helianthus Annus), Ceteryl Alcohol, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Peel Oil, Parfum (Fragrance), Benzyl Alcohol, Maltodextrin, Phospholipids, Papaya (Papaya Proteolytic Enzyme), Titanium Dioxide , Xanthan Gum, Angelica Acutiloba Root Extract, Saposhnikovia Divaricata Root Extract, Glycerin, Soybean Sterols (Glycine Soya), Glucosamine Hydrochloride, Vitamin B5 (Tocopherol) , Beta Carotene, Thioctic Acid, Kaolin , Vitamin C (Ascorbyl Glucoside) , Sorbic Acid, Pinus Pinaster Bark Oligomeric Proanthocyanidins, Protease, Subtilisin, Limonene , Linalool, Citrol.
The Organic Pharmacy Antioxidant Face Firming Serum ($160.00 for oz. from Barneys New York, Selfridges and The Organic Pharmacy): First, it must be said that this beautiful oil has the intoxicating scent of sweet orange- therefore upon application you are assured of a magnificent and visceral sensory experience. This brilliant concoction boasts a high concentration of the powerful Alpha Lipoic Acid, a known powerful antioxidant, that helps to prevent cell damage by scavenging free-radicals. The high concentration of Rose Hip Oil is rich in transretinoic acid and essential fatty acids, and is clinically proven to reduce the appearance of wrinkles, fine lines, and also helps to reduce scarring over time. Sweet orange helps prevent capillary fragility, and carrots are rich in Beta Carotene (part of the Vitamin A family), and are rich antioxidants that protects the skin against free-radicals. lemon (Citrus Limonum) lifts, tones and exfoliates the skin, and does so in an immediately visible way. This is also to say nothing of the fact that my skin is left soft, supple, and deeply moisturized and hydrated.

This combination of ingredients, along with those that I didn't enumerate, create a powerful cocktail that has visibly changed the texture and clarity of my skin. There is a notable lifting effect in that my expression lines are radically softened, and my skin has an unprecedented radiance and clarity. I would describe this oil as one that stimulates circulation because my skin has the type of radiance that is not superficial, but one instead that causes my skin to have a rosy radiance as though lit from within.

Ingredients: Alpha Lipoic Acid, Rose Hip (Rosa Canina) Oil, Sweet Orange (Citrus Aurantium Dulcis), Vitamin C (Ascorbyl Palmitate) , Vitamin E (Tocopherol) , Limonene , Carrot (Daucus Carrota) , DMAE (Dimethylaminoethanol), Grapefruit (Citrus Grandis), Grapeseed Extract (Vitis Vinifera), Linalool, Lemon (Citrus Limonum).
At this point, I think that it is quite obvious that I am madly in love with African Botanics. I have their complete line, and use their visionary products every single day, without fail. They are peerless and paradigm shifting, and that is not an exaggeration!
African Botanics Fleurs d'Afrique Intensive Recovery Oil ($250.00 for 1 oz. from African BotanicsCult BeautyCredo BeautyNeed Supply CoViolet Grey and Net-A-Porter): African Botanics Fleurs D'Afrique Intensive Recovery Oil was envisioned  and conceived as a new type of antioxidant-rich, anti-inflammatory anti-aging oil– the likes of which did not yet exist. Unlike many luxury oils that add water to break down water-soluble actives, African Botanics opted not to dilute the oils, but instead utilized highly potent oil soluble actives. Furthermore, they source rare ingredients of the highest quality from remote locations, and the end result is a staggeringly unique beauty oil that easily rivals the most potent and effective anti-aging serums in the marketplace today. 

African Botanics Fleurs d’Afrique Intensive Recovery Oil is a highly concentrated luxury oil that is lightweight in texture and fast absorbing. The texture, is itself, ultra-silky and it leaves skin feeling like the softest cashmere conceived. It has an utterly intoxicating aroma that is a delectable fusion of the Jasmine Grandiflorum, Rosa Damascena Flower Oil, Kalahari Melon Seed Oil and Marula Seed Oil. It is a warm and earthy floral that delights the senses, calms the mind and nourishes the skin. During the entire experience of using this precious oil, one is reminded that it is unlike anything else previously imagined– let alone actually created. It is an oil to be savored, and the tactile and sensory experience is so exquisite that one immediately slows down to really relish the experiential component of this highly effective ultra-luxe beauty oil. 

African Botanics Fleurs d’Afrique Intensive Recovery Oil utilizes a visionary delivery system that allows the ingredients to penetrate the skin deeply in order to effectively nourish the skin, to stimulate skin cell renewal, to restore and regenerate skin and to protect and heal. Furthermore, this unique formula softens the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles while fading hyperpigmentation, and it reduces inflammation and redness.

I simply apply a few drops to my freshly washed skin, that is still warm and slightly damp, and gently press in and release the oil into my face, neck and décolletage, as recommended. Skin is immediately left with a gorgeous, pronounced luminosity and an ethereal glow. As previously noted, African Botanics Fleurs d’Afrique Intensive Recovery Oil sinks in immediately, but it neither leaves behind a greasy film, nor does it require a long wait before finishing up the skincare routine or applying makeup.

My skin is notably different in that the overall texture is more even in tone and the small areas of light hyperpigmentation have noticeably faded. My fine lines are softened and my skin appears more taut and lifted. Furthermore, it effectively encourages skin cell-turnover to eliminate dull and dry dead skin cells in order to reveal luminous fresh skin.

This oil balances skin, and has regulated my active T-Zone while simultaneously fighting redness and inflammation during my monthly hormonal cycle. I also found it remarkable that it healed a hormonal breakout overnight because of its ability to regulate hormonal skin and radically reduce inflammation.

While I do not have particularly enlarged pores, I have noted that mine are now far less noticeable. Additionally, the pores that have always been prone to clogging on my nose and chin no longer appear congested.

African Botanics claims that African Botanics Fleurs d’Afrique Intensive Recovery Oil will leave skin, "luminous, more youthful with increased firmness, elasticity and clarity" and I can attest to the veracity of this statement. This lovely oil leaves skin soft, supple, hydrated and luminous unlike anything else that I have tried.

Ingredients: Citrillus Lanatus (Kalahari Melon)* Seed Oil, Sclerocarya Birrea (Marula)* Seed Oil, Jasmine Grandiflorum (Jasmine) Flower Oil, Adansonia Digitata*, Rosa Damascena (Rose) Flower Oil, Rosa Moschata (Rosehip) Seed Oil, Caprylic Capric Triglyseride, Cylindrotheca Fusiformis (Microalgae) Extract, Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Helichrysum Angustifolium (Immortelle) Oil, Oenothera Biennis (Evening Primrose) Oil, Myrothamnus Flabellifolius (Resurrection) Extract, Aspalathus Linearis (Rooibos)* Extract, Bulbinella Nutens (Bulbinella) Extract, Schinziophyton Rautanenii (Mongongo)* Oil, Cyclopia (Honeybush) Extract, Ubiquinone (CoQ10), Calendula Officinalis (Marigold) Flower Oil, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil, Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate (Vitamin C Ester), Retinol (Vitamin A), Rosmarinus Officinalis Extract. *Wild-Harvested. Not tested on animals. Formulated without mineral oil, silicones, parabens, phthalates, synthetic fragrance and PEGs.
There is something magical about Neroli Infused Marula Oil from the feather light texture to the sweet and understated smell of the Neroli. It is a thin and potent oil that immediately sinks in and gets right to work. When I told Julia Noik that I was shocked by the efficacy of her Neroli Infused Marula oil, and that it was one of the most amazing oils that I had tried- she said, "Marula Oil is lightweight and quick-absorbing, but at the time is very nourishing, thanks to the Omega 9 content of the oil (70% - 80%). It is the fastest way to deliver essential nutrients and vitamins to the skin."

As with all luxury oils, I apply African Botanics Neroli Infused Marula Oil to warm and damp freshly cleansed skin. The added slip from the water facilitates quick absorption followed my an immediate radiance and glow. Every single time that I apply this lovely oil (which is quite often) I note that my skin reveals a new found clarity and evenness of tone. 

According to African Botanics,

Neroli infused Marula Oil is a natural, cold pressed, light textured facial oil blend that is easily absorbed into skin. Rich in vitamins C + E & natural antioxidants that help cells renew & resist damage. High in essential fatty acids (Omega 9 oleic & Omega 6 linoleic) that deeply hydrate skin & reduce redness while protecting against the elements. This impeccable facial anti-aging oil infused with essence of Neroli, penetrates deeply for soft, supple & radiant skin. pH balanced & non-comedogenic.

Directions: "Apply to clean, moist skin where needed: face, neck and décolleté. Gently massage in upward circular motions. Stimulating these areas will increase circulation and allow deep penetration of active ingredients. Recommended: 1-2 pumps for combo to oily skin, 2-4 pumps for dry to mature skin."

Some Extra Tips: "Great under make-up for a fresh look at any time, or as a nourishing overnight treatment. A few drops of Neroli Infused Marula Oil mixed with sunscreen, foundation or tinted moisturizer will illuminate the skin.Rejuvenating & nourishing treatment for re-conditioning your skin after snow, wind, sun exposure and following laser / cosmetic treatments.Can be used under your regular night cream/serum and eye cream as it will provide optimum hydration.Use it on hair to restore shine and relieve frizz.Use on hands to treat everyday dryness."

Ingredients: Sclerocarya birrea (Marula Essential Oil), Citrus aurantium (Neroli Essential Oil). That's it!
African Botanics Marula Résurrection Eye Crème ($95.00 for .51 oz. from African Botanics, Space NK, Cult Beauty and Accompany): The texture of Résurrection Eye Crème resides somewhere between a healing balm and an eye cream thanks, in part, to the Shea Butter. However, the texture is silky smooth and ultra refined without any of the granular particles typically found in many Shea Butter based products. This lovely eye cream is healing, hydrating and restorative– leaving the delicate eye area looking refreshed, hydrated, lifted and youthful. It is remarkably concentrated–therefore the smallest amount delivers noteworthy results. A small spatula is provided in order to avoid contaminating the contents of the jar, but one needs only to scoop out the smallest amount for both eyes.

My fine lines were plumped, the skin was lifted, and it boasted an unprecedented clarity and luminosity. On those days when I don't get enough sleep and wake up with dark circles, Résurrection Eye Crème works wonders on diminishing those unsightly reminders of fatigue-- not to mention that it makes short work of reducing puffiness.

This elegant and understated eye cream can (and should) be used day and night because the results are astounding. However, it is the combination of its extraordinary efficacy, healthy potent ingredients, and its superior visceral tactile and subtle aromatherapeutic sensation that take this eye cream where none have gone before.

Skin Concerns Résurrection Eye Crème Addresses:
  • Fine lines and wrinkles
  • Stressed, dry, taut, dehydrated skin
  • Redness and inflammation
  • Dark circles and puffiness
Ingredients: Aqua (De-ionised water), Myrothammus flabellifolia (Resurrection) plant extract, Aspalathus linearis (Green Rooibos) tea extract, Coffee Arabica (Coffee) Essential Oil, Sclerocarya birrea (Marula) Seed Oil**, Arnica Montana (Arnica) Oil, Adansonia digitata (Baobab) Oil, Daucus Carrota (Carrot) Seed Oil, Butyrosperum parkii (Shea Butter), Hyssopus officinalis (Hyssop) Oil, Simmondsia chinensis (Jojoba) Oil, Hamamelis (Witch Hazel), Mel millis (wild flower honey), Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Essential Oil, Rose Damascena (Rose) Flower Oil, Citrus aurantium (Neroli) Essential Oil, Citric Acid (Vitamin C), Acetyl TETRAPEPTIDE-9, Argentum Potabile (Colloidal silver), Palm Glycerine BP, Copernicia cerifera (Carnauba wax), Xantum gum, D-Tocopherol (Vitamin E). ** Certified Organic.
TATCHA is among a short list of companies producing luxury niche skincare products of exemplary quality that are so exquisite, elegant and breathtakingly beautiful, down to the most minute detail, that one finds oneself enraptured by the visual and tactile aspects of these lovely gems. The sheer efficacy of their beautiful products is what keeps TATCHA enthusiasts forever loyal to the brand, and it is very easy to see why. 
TATCHA LUMINOUS Dewy Skin Mist ($48.00 for 1.35 fl oz. from TATCHA, Sephora, Barneys New York, Spring and QVC): This is no ordinary misting spray, but instead it is a silky smooth lightweight liquid moisturizer. When misted on the face it offers the perfect veil of moisture, soothing hydration, and a gorgeous otherworldly luminosity. 

In order to use Luminous Dewy Skin Mist you simply shake the elegant bottle and then spray the semi-opaque milky emulsion. The soothing fine mist is so pleasant to use that you might be tempted to use it more often than needed, but it feels so amazingly hydrating and calming that I use it every single time that the spirit moves me. There is no need to be concerned that it contains alcohol and that it will be drying as a result-- the alcohols used are employed as emulsifiers and do not dry out the skin, and as TATCHA asserts this product is ideal for dry and combination skins. 

Luminous Dewy Skin Mist can obviously be sprayed on bare skin, but it can also be used over your foundation without disturbing any of your makeup. Use it any time of the day or night, and be prepared to fall in love!

Ingredients: Water, Glycerin, Squalane (Olive Origin), Cyclopentasiloxane, Propanediol, Triethylhexanoin, Polyglyceryl-2 Diisostearate, PPG-5-ceteth-10 Phosphate, Trideceth-12, Sodium Lauroyl Lactylate, Sorbitan Stearate, Ethylhexylglycerin, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Germ Oil, Behenyl Alcohol, Glyceryl Stearate SE, Fragrance (Natural), Camellia Japonica Seed Oil, Alcohol, Inositol (Rice Extract), Sericin (Silk Extract), Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Chondrus Crispus (Red Algae) Extract, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Zizyphus Jujuba Fruit Extract, Panax Ginseng Root Extract, Scutellaria Baicalensis Root Extract, Algae Extract, Royal Jelly Extract, Thymus Serpillum Extract, Sodium Hyaluronate, Phenoxyethanol. Formulated without: Parabens, Mineral Oil, Synthetic Colors, Synthetic Fragrances, Sulfate Detergents, Urea, DEA, TEA or Phthalates.
TATCHA GOLD Camellia Beauty Oil ($95.00 for 1.01 oz. from TATCHA, Barneys New York, Seohora, QVC and Spring): TATCHA GOLD Camellia Beauty Oil is among those extraordinary beauty oils that quickly distinguishes itself from the many run-of-the-mill oils on the market. Not only is it made from the highest quality ingredients, but this elegant elixir is featherlight, sinks into the skin immediately, leaves behind no greasy film or residue, and gives skin a stunning ethereal glow. If you are obsessed with luxury beauty oils, as am I, then you owe it to yourself to try this one.

I apply TATCHA GOLD Camellia Beauty Oil to slightly damp freshly washed skin after warming it in my hands, and then I massage it into my face, neck and décolleté rubbing any remaining oil into my hair. This lightly scented oil sinks in immediately leaving skin deeply hydrated, nourished and luminous. I find that my skin appears more even in tone and with a pronounced clarity. Furthermore, the combination of the silky texture, 24-karat gold flakes, and beautiful scent make the tactile experience of its use an even more luxurious and pleasurable one. I have to say that I find absolutely no fault in this luxury oil, and can only sing its praises. 

Ingredients: Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Squalane (Olive Origin), Camellia Japonica Seed Oil, Fragrance (Natural), Polyglyceryl-10 Pentaisostearate, Dimer Dilinoleyl Dimer Dilinoleate, Phytosteryl Macadamiate (Macadamia), Oryza Sativa (Rice) Germ Oil, Water, Tocopherol, Stearyl Glycyrrhetinate (Licorice Extract), Oryzanol (Rice Bran Oil Extract), Inositol (Rice Extract), Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Alcohol, Glycerin, Algae Extract, Gold, Phenoxyethanol.
TATCHA INDIGO Soothing Triple Recovery Cream ($135.00 for 1.7 oz. from TATCHA, Sephora, Barneys New York and QVC and $30.00 for .34 oz. from TATCHA): While I neither have eczema, nor rosacea– my skin can become sensitive and irritated at times. Periodically, while testing out new products, my skin becomes irritated and reactive, and one of the hallmarks of this type of skin eruption is the appearance of product related dermatitis. When this occurs I develop unsightly (at least to me) small patches of dry skin that peel and flake. While this is a good barometer for products, or ingredients, to avoid it is unpleasant and difficult to treat– particularly if you want to avoid pharmaceutical medicines, as do I.

When products do irritate my skin, I always turn to this amazing cream, and it always heals up irritation and redness in record time. However, this is also a very potent anti-aging cream that does far more than calm, soothe and heal irritated, inflamed skin. It is also a supremely potent anti-aging cream that lifts, smooths and hydrates the skin. Additionally, it is nourishing, comforting, and extremely pleasurable to use. When used in conjunction with the TATCHA GOLD Camellia Beauty Oil, the results are truly amazing. This potent anti-aging duo leaves skin luminous, glowing, lifted, plumped and utterly gorgeous.

Ingredients: Active Ingredient: Colloidal Oatmeal 3% Inactive Ingredients: Water, Squalane (Olive origin), Glycerin, Propanediol, Cyclopentasiloxane, Diisostearyl Malate, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Bran Wax, Xylitol, Behenyl Alcohol, Polygonum Tinctorium (Japanese Indigo) Leaf/stem Extract, Indigofera Tinctoria Leaf Extract, Avena Sativa (Oat Kernel) Extract, Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Sophora Japonica Flower Extract, Prunus Lannesiana Flower Extract, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Germ Oil, Inositol (Rice Extract), Sericin (Silk Extract), Tetrasodium Tetracarboxymethyl Naringeninchalcone, Chondrus Crispus (Red Algae) Extract, Amorphophallus Konjac Root Powder, Sodium Hyaluronate, Dextrin, Sorbitan Tristearate, Trihydroxystearin, Dimethicone, Dimethicone/vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Beheneth­‐20, Bis-­Diglyceryl Polyacyladipate-­2, Ethylhexylglycerin, Sodium Dilauramidoglutamide Lysine, Disodium Edta, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Sodium Acrylate/acryloyldimethyltaurate/dimethylacrylamide Crosspolymer, Titanium Dioxide, Calcium Carbonate, Tin Oxide, Phenoxyethanol, Mica. Formulated without: Mineral Oil, Synthetic Colors, Synthetic Fragrances, Sulfate Detergents, Parabens, PEGs, PPGs, Urea, DEA, TEA or Phthalates.
Vintner's Daughter Active Botanical Serum and Aftelier Perfumes Organic Honeysuckle Face Elixir are two of my most coveted face oils that have received my highest praise for good reason. They are both so extraordinary that once you try them, you won't ever want to be without them.
Vintner's Daughter Active Botanical Serum ($185.00 for 30 ml/ 1 oz. from Vintner's Daughter, Violet Grey, Need Supply Co., Beautyhabit, Net-A-Porter, LeVert Beauty and Cult Beauty £150.00): I suspect that those among you who share my penchant for luxury face oils have already heard something about the wonders of Vintner's Daughter Active Botanical Serum for Face. This marvelous luxury elixir has quickly risen through the ranks to achieve pride of place on the short list of top luxury beauty oils for even the most picky aficionados. I am among them.

Vintner's Daughter was created by April Gargiulo, a Napa Valley vintner, who wanted to formulate a potent and active organic botanical serum that was free of chemical compounds and toxic ingredients.  Therefore, she joined forces with natural beauty experts, and they spent two years formulating Active Botanical Serum. This potent phytoactive beauty oil in an anti-aging treatment that features, "energy dense botanicals that infuse every drop of Active Botanical Serum with anti-inflammatory phytonutrients, firming phytoceramides, nourishing fatty-acids and powerful anti-oxidants." In its capacity as a titan of anti-aging, this luxury oil serum was formulated to, "stimulate cellular turnover; maintain skin elasticity; strengthen capillaries; inhibit melanin production; deliver oxygen to cells and protect against free-radical damage." Furthermore, one quickly notices that skin appears more soft, supple, hydrated,  even in tone, lifted, moisturized, radiant and youthful.

This lightweight and fast absorbing golden elixir boasts a delectable warm and earthy aroma from which one can detect the Rose Damascena Absolute, Jasminum Grandiflorum Flower and a fusion of the remaining essential oils. The intoxicating aromatherapeutic experience delights and calms the senses while it quiets the mind. I find that I slow down and inhale deeply as I massage in into my skin, and that any residual stress that I may have been experiencing just melts away. This ritual is utterly relaxing, and it heightens the sensory experience of using this luxe oil.

My default method of beauty oil application has always been to warm it in my hands before massaging it into my damp, freshly cleansed skin. However, I was intrigued by the Push/Press Technique for Maximum Radiance that Vintner's Daughter suggests, and after having tried it numerous times I must confess that it is a remarkably effective technique.

Ingredients: Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil; Corylus Avellana (Hazelnut) Oil; Citrus Aurantium var Bergamia (Bergamot) Peel Oil; Persea Americana (Avocado) Oil; Calendula officinalis (Marigold) Extract; Rose Damascena (Rose) Absolute; Daucus Carota (Carrot) Seed Oil; Oenothera Biennis (Evening Primrose) Oil; Rosa Rubignosa (Rosehip) Seed Oil; Citrus Limon (Lemon) Peel; Lavandula x Intermedia (Lavender) Flower; Medicago Sativa (Alfalfa) Leaf; Urtica Dioica (Nettle) Leaf; Taraxacum Officinale (Dandelion) Leaf; Boswellia Carteri (Frankincense) Oil); Citrus Aurantium var Amara (Neroil) Flower Oil; Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract; Hippophae Rhamnoides (Sea Buckthorn) Fruit; Curcuma Longa (Tumeric) Root Oil; Cupressus Sempervirens (Cypress) Leaf Oil; Jasminum Grandiflorum (Jasmine) Flower; Calophyllum Tacamahaca (Tamanu) Oil. 100% chemical and toxin free and is formulated without parabens, phthalates, synthetic fragrances, PEGs, and SLSs.
Aftelier Perfumes Organic Honeysuckle Face Elixir ($65.00 for 15 ml. from Aftelier Perfumes): That Mandy Aftel has raised the bar in the realm of exceptional beauty oils should come as no surprise. Her newest creation, Aftelier Honeysuckle Face Elixir, is less a beauty oil, and more a work of art of exceptional rarity. Indeed, this is perhaps the singular beauty oil against which all other beauty oils will be judged in perpetuity. Aftel describes the Honeysuckle Face Elixir as one that, "features rare honeysuckle absolute from Italy, extracted from the creamy white and yellow trumpet flowers. This sweet heavenly aroma is intoxicating, honeyed, and reminiscent of ripe fruit."

There is an immediate sense of the pricelessness of this rare Italian Honeysuckle Absolute that, to my sensibilities, links it to a tradition of cultivating exquisite raw materials from the fertile land in Italy, and that can only be unlocked by the creative genius of a true artist. Mandy releases the true potential of this rare ingredient because of her particular deep understanding of the materials with which she engages, and does so in the same way that Michelangelo was able to free his sculpture from his raw blocks of Carrara marble. He was able to envisage what lay beneath the unhewn block and through his creative genius and deft touch was able to unlock its great potential that in the hands of anyone else would not come to pass.

It is in this way that Mandy was able to coax from this rare Italian Honeysuckle Absolute, and bring to fruition, something so unique and singular, so unfathomably beautiful and elegant, and so extraordinary in vision, and exquisite in its execution. It is, unmistakably, a peerless creation, and as such it cannot be compared to any luxury oils on the market– even those created by the master herself.

This triumphant achievement is immediately obvious the moment that you open the bottle and take the first deep inhalation of this intoxicating golden elixir. The rich and creamy honeysuckle has a depth and complexity that unfurls slowly, and once it commingles with the warmth of the skin it graciously expands and delights. This is by no means an ordinary Honeysuckle, and while one may lay the claim to being an avid lover of honeysuckle generally, one most assuredly has not encountered this one anywhere else. 

Attributes of the carefully selected oils:
  • Organic grapeseed and organic sweet almond, rich in vitamins and minerals, helps tone the skin

  • Organic rice bran oil reduces the formation of wrinkles and slows down aging
  • Organic squalane helps hydrate and protect the skin, encourages regeneration of healthy skin cells, and prevents premature aging of the skin

  • Organic camellia oil, rich in anti-oxidants and vitamin E
  • Organic rose hip oil improves elasticity and has a rejuvenating effect on the skin 
TOM FORD Beauty Lip Color in Nude Vanille ($53.00 (£37.00) from NordstromNeiman MarcusBergdorf GoodmanBloomingdale'sSelfridgesViolet Grey and John Lewis): TOM FORD Lip Color Nude Vanilla is nude peachy pink perfection, and while it leans warm in the tube, this gorgeous chameleon of a lipstick morphs once it warms up on the lips. On me, it becomes a touch more pink– which is preferable given my cool-toned complexion.

This lipstick is creamy dreamy, highly pigmented, opaque in one pass (but buildable to maximum opacity and pigmentation), comfortable on the lips with the perfect amount of cushion, and it is just gorgeous. I find it moisturizing and very comfortable to wear, and the wear-time is quite good. If you love a great peachy-pink nude lipstick, then TOM FORD Lip Color in Nude Vanilla is an absolute must-have! While it is a splurge, it is really worth every cent!
Bite Beauty Lush Lip Tint in Lychee ($24.00 for 0.11 oz/ 3.2 g from Sephora): This is among my favorite go-to tinted lip products that reside somewhere between a lipstick and a hybrid tinted lip balm, and I essentially always have one on me because they look and feel amazing on the lips. Bite Beauty offers a wide array of beautiful lip products that are made with very high quality, food-grade ingredients that are safe to ingest without sacrificing beautiful colors and finishes. Lychee is a stunning peachy pink nude, and I love this shade so much that this is my second tube! I am, however, concerned that this formula may have been discontinued because they have all but disappeared from the Sephora website. If you see these in Sephora, be sure to grab one!

The Bite Beauty Lush Lip Tint formula is very emollient, moisturizing and exceedingly comfortable on the lips. It boasts the perfect amount of cushion, glides across the lips effortlessly, deposits color evenly, and it neither feathers, nor settles into lip lines. The "B" in the center is antioxidant-rich resveratrol that infuses each application with added protection. The outer layer offers lush, buildable pigmentation with a stunning satin finish. This formula leaves lips soft, silky smooth, supple and very hydrated. 

Ingredients:10 Mg Trans-Resveratrol: From vitis vinifera and polygonum cuspidatum.
Organic Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil**, Organic Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil**, Triisostearyl Citrate* (Vegetable Derived), Organic Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter**, Organic Cera Alba (Beeswax)**, Organic Argania Spinosa (Argan) Kernel Oil**, Acacia Decurrens Wax*, Jojoba Wax*, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Wax*, Polyglyceryin-3*, Euphorbia Cerifera (Candelilla) Wax*, Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil*, Organic Sesamum Indicum (Sesame) Seed Oil**, Copernicia Cerifera (Carnauba) Wax*, Silica*, Natural Flavor*, Trans-Resveratrol*, Vitis Vinefera (Grapeseed) Oil*, Siraitia Grosvenori (Monk Fruit)*. May Contain: Mica (Ci 77019)*, Titanium Dioxide (Ci 77891)*, Iron Oxides (Ci 77491, Ci 77492, Ci 77499)*, Carmine (Ci 75470)*, Fd&C Blue No. 1 (Ci 42090), Fd&C Yellow No. 5 (Ci 19140), Fd&C Yellow No. 6 (Ci 15985), Fd&C Red No. 40 (Ci 16035), D&C Red 6 (Ci 15850), D&C Red 7 (Ci 15850), Manganese Violet (Ci 77742)*. *Natural. **Certified organic. Made without Parabens, Sulfates and Phthalates.
Overall Assessment: Each of the beautiful products, that I have featured in this post, will be repurchased again as soon as they are close to empty. These really are among my most used and loved products!

Press Sample & Purchased. All views expressed are categorically my own.
Copyright © 2017 All Rights Reserved.


  1. I was just wondering about what you thought about African Botanic's intense skin repair balm? Can you layered it with their intense recovery oil? I am looking for a great anti-aging moisturizer that would be compatible with many of the oils and serums you suggested above. Is there anything you would recommend that you use regularly?

    1. Oh, I am a HUGE fan of their balm, and I use it all of the time! It is one of my very favorite moisturizers, and I often pair it with their lovely oils featured in this post. I have normal/combination skin, and it isn't too rich. Furthermore, it is so concentrated that only a small amount is needed. That and the TATCHA Indigo cream (featured in this post) and my two most reached for moisturizers for my face!

    2. Thank you, I already bought the African Botanic's intensive repair oil from reading your blog. Your description and explanation of the various products you reviewed on your blog is wonderful and tempting. I think my next purchase will be the balm. :)

    3. Have you received and tried that amazing oil yet? I hope that you love it as much as I do. It is, without question, one of the greatest things that I have ever used on my face! I loved it from the first moment that I tried it, and love it even more after having used it for so long! Thank you so much for your very kind words– that means a lot to me. I really believe in doing in-depth reviews so that you can determine whether something is worth considering, or if it isn't a good fit for you. I am so happy that you enjoy my blog– I put a lot of love into it, and do it on top of having a full-time job– so it is very gratifying to hear that you find what I do useful! I suspect that you will fall in love with the balm! When you warm a tiny bit between your hands– it immediately melts into the skin when you massage it on your face! If you are thinking of purchasing it soon, I would urge you to wait for a few days because I am about to announce the Space NK bag event that will be happening next week! If you purchased this balm you will get their wonderful gift bag filled with all sorts of goodies! I am photographing it today, and will get the post up in the next day or two!

    4. No, not yet. I just ordered it few days ago. I'm really looking forward to trying it though. I am sure I will love it and thank you so much for your advice and letting me know what's coming with Space NK. Really nice of you. Keep up the great work on your blog!

    5. I can't wait to hear what you think about it! It is one of my all-time best discoveries! You can really make the bottle last a very long time by applying a veery small amount to warm, slightly damp freshly washes skin. It allows you to use far less oil, and it sinks into the skin much faster. Absolutely my pleasure to let you know about the Space NK bag event– I just finished photographing it, and am quite delighted by the contents. It's always nice getting a special gift with purchase, and Space NK never disappoints. Plus, if you were planning on getting the African Botanics balm– you might as well get a great GWP! Thank you so much for your quite words! I definitely will keep at it!

    6. So I have been using the African Botanics Intensive Repair oil for about week and maybe its a bit early to comment, but I must say that this oil is just HOLY GRAIL good! Now, my skin was already in good condition before I started to use this oil, as I was using very good quality brand skin care but after using this particular oil, I noticed immediate improvement! I truly love it and definitely worth the price.Thank you so much for your review on this product, I wouldn't have known about this brand if it wasn't for your great reviews. Now I am super excited to try their other products, I think definitely this is one brand that is worth the spurge.

    7. I am absolutely delighted to hear that you love it as much as you do. I was certain that you would, and frankly how could you not– it's incredible! I had immediate results as well, and can completely relate to your experience! I agree that it is worth every penny. You are so welcome, I am just thrilled to have introduced you to African Botanics! Now you know firsthand why I effusively gush over their products! I love all of their products so much, and think that you will love everything that you try! Keep me posted on your African Botanics adventure!

  2. It's the two lip products that have my attention. Those are both shades in my comfort zone. Tom Ford lipstick is my favorite brand and in spite of the high price I think it's worth it.

    1. I knew that the lipsticks would get your attention the most!


I love reading all of your comments and interacting with you- so please do not hesitate to share your thoughts, and to ask questions. Remember that what you have to say is of interest to all of us! Always feel free to email me directly as well. SPAM and advertising links will not be published.

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