It’s been a loooong time in between mask uses for me – as in I think the last time I used one, Bridget Jones’ Diary was on at the movies and Beyoncé was still in Destiny’s Child. Definitely before I had children, that’s for sure. Having kids will do that to you – radically cut into your self-care and pampering time, that is! So given that my son is bigger, and I’m not getting any younger, let’s face it, I thought my skincare routine should pick up a bit.
Enter a fabulous all natural 100% vegan mud mask from the US called Stimul8, by Gr8ful Skin Couture. I love that it’s a natural alternative to some of the more, ahem, chemical anti-agers out there. It’s mud! All natural, and vegan, and it’s converted me back to mask use again.
The first time I used it, it was WARM – I have no idea what’s in that mud but it’s like chilli for your face! It doesn’t hurt but you can definitely feel a tingling whilst it works its magic. Rinse it off and your skin looks fresher, brighter and more rested. The best thing to do is use for three days in a row to make you look as young as you did when Bridget Jones was around (I’m talking pre-Facebook, so that’s pretty young). Although I’m still not one of those natural pampering types who loves getting her bath on, I liked the effects of this mask so much that I intend to do it again. And soon. And not leave it quite so long in between masks that Beyonce can have a whole solo career. And get married (to one of the world’s richest and most influential rappers, no less) And have five Number 1s. And get 11 Grammys. And have a sold out world tour. And star in three movies. And sing for the President. And have a baby. Damn, what that woman can do in a decade! The least I can do is make time for a mud mask.
But I digress. As it’s a dark mud it’s too messy for clients at work, but I don’t want to let it out of my bathroom anyway. Now for more time to relax with a glass of wine and some Skin Couture…
PS I also love this product as it doesn’t test on animals, and every component is derived from plants – even the lactic acid she uses is sourced from sugar beets and cane sugar. It’s nice to know that choosing natural products doesn’t mean skimping on performance.
I was very excited to hear that one of my favourite makeup artists (and mentors), Florrie White, is now NUDE Skincare’s brand ambassador. Florrie is an amazing makeup artist and has quite the celebrity clientele, working regularly with Alexa Chung, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Emily Blunt, Rose Byrne and Kate Bosworth – how’s that for a cool crowd of clients?
She has magical hands and would always choose exactly the right blend of skincare to address what her client’s skin required, unfailingly achieving a beautiful, hydrated skin as a base for her lovely makeup. I’m not surprised she is now working with NUDE as they are a wonderful luxury organic skincare brand, and perfect for Florrie’s effortless, cool aesthetic.
Nowadays it feels like every week there is a new “organic” or “natural” skincare range being released as people increasingly are becoming aware of the toxic nature of many products which we put everyday onto our biggest organ, our skin. But as NUDE started back in 2007, they were one of the first to market in this area. Synthesising all natural ingredients to create truly luxurious and effective skincare (and the packaging to match) wasn’t easy, but founder Brian Meehan insisted that they get it exactly right. Cult products from the range include the Perfect Cleansing Oil and the Radiant Day Moisturiser.
I can’t wait to see more of Florrie and NUDE Skincare!
Happy New Year! I love having a fresh start – and let me tell you, 2013 is only a few days old and already it’s looking like it’s going to be a good one.
I’m not going to talk about New Year’s Resolutions and all that business, although I have a few, “ahem” improvements that I’ll be making – namely, being less of a makeup pack rat and getting more into organic products. So I thought I’d use my first post of the year to tell you about one of my favourite new natural finds, which is Dr Hauschka’s beautiful new Sandalwood and Lavender Bodymilk. This is the loveliest body moisturiser I have tried in ages. I’m usually pretty loyal to standard old Nivea or Kieh’s Crème de Corps (the Rolls Royce of body moisturisers), but I’m telling you, Dr Hauschka’s might just be taking that crown. I love not only what’s in it (ie no nasties, and lots of good moisturising oils), but the packaging as well. It’s a beautiful glass bottle with a pump that actually works, so using it is enjoyable (unlike tipping bottles of moisturiser everywhere – not mentioning any brand names!)
Having had something of a health epiphany in 2012 I’m now keen to find more gentle and non-toxic alternatives to some of my every day makeup and beauty staples. But they need to function AND be as fun to use as their more chemical cohorts, so this year I’m planning to explore some more organic brands, and I’m happy to report there is lots of gorgeous, non-toxic and chemical-free products out there. I want my outsides to be as healthy as my insides!
The Dr Hauschka Bodymilk a mix of macadamia nut, apricot kernel and avocado oils with wood sorrel and lemon balm to heal parched skin. And, as its name suggests it has sandalwood and lavender oil so it smells divine, and it melts into the skin leaving it non-sticky, non-greasy (even in pretty hot weather as I’ve been testing it through summer. My legs get a delicious lizard like appearance without daily slatherings of some sort of body unguent), and it even, as an added bonus, makes the skin look sort of sheeny and expensive. Unfortunately it can’t make you thinner – but that’s what those New Year’s resolutions are for.
Since my legs when left to their own devices look like Satan’s tracksuit pants, I am in regular need of liberal applications of body moisturiser. I have recently tried some new good ones that have displaced my usual rota of Nivea, Nivea and more Nivea, so I thought in the interests of full disclosure it was time to divulge.
My new summer time body goodie is by my favourite Aussie brand, Aesop – it’s their Petigrain Hydrating Body Gel, and it’s perfect for hot weather as it’s lighter than a regular moisturiser and absorbs quickly. When it’s hot as a sauna outside, the last thing you want to have is feeling like you’ve had a brisk bath in butter. It also comes in a plastic bottle with a handy pump, so it’s lighter and not as fragile as Aesop’s glass packaging.
Enhanced with Witch Hazel, Grapefruit and Lemon Peel oils it smells delicious (which you expect with Aesop products), and I’m thrilled to have a proper body moisturiser I can throw into my kit for summer shoots, as most of the moisturisers I’ve been using (Palmers Body Gloss, I’m talking to you!) are just too slick and greasy.
Whilst it’s hard to imagine needing some serious body hydration when your limbs are bronzed and it’s hot outside, that time is coming for my Northern hemisphere friends, and oh baby have I found your solution! By now you should all know of my love for Liz Earle’s genius Superskin moisturiser, and she has now released – Superskin Body Cream. I know, right? So all those poor dry, dessicated souls with skin (like mine) that is so parched that it feels like lizard skin, this is for you. It’s amazing, full of Shea Butter and organic Rosehip Oil, Neroli Oil and Cranberry Seed Oil, so it slides on like you’ve been touched by an angel. It smells gorgeous and, quite frankly, sticks everything back where you want it to be (you dry skinned ladies know what I’m talking about).
I think I mentioned before what a skincare orgy it is at the moment at MM HQ. From being distinctly unimpressed about most skincare and sticking to my faves, I have discovered some absolute gems lately – Aesop as you all know, and also Biotherm’s Aquasource moisturizer, new to my kit.
I actually worked on the commercial for this in London, with Kay Montano doing makeup on the unbelievably gorgeous Biotherm spokesmodel, Russian Sasha Pivarova. Statuesque, gorgeous and glamorous in towering boots, Sasha was everything you’d like your supermodel to be. At lunch I discovered she was lovely as well – very down to earth and nice, an unexpected bonus. Two things I will tell you – she loves her coffee, and yes, her eyes really are that blue!
When I got a chance to try the new Aquasource moisturizer I was slightly trepidatious as often moisturizers that have offered a high water content actually leave your skin feeling drier than it started, as the water evaporates and seems to take more water from the skin. But new technology has radically improved these and Aquasource not only feels like water on the skin (which is lovely and refreshing in summer), but my skin really retained the moisture and in the morning it still felt hydrated, and not like a dried up old walnut. And happily, no breakouts which I can sometimes get when I switch skincare. In addition, it’s such a nice base for makeup that I’ve slipped some in my kit (sorry Kiehl’s, for the first time in nearly a decade, you’ve been relegated!)
Here is the lovely Sasha P in one of her European Biotherm campaigns (I love it when she talks about kung-fu! So awesome with her Russian accent.)
A while ago, I posted about the new pale trend – skin like milk that looks touched by moonlight. Certainly with the release of the latest film in the Twilight saga, New Moon, whitening skin products are up over 200% (200 % people, that’s not a trend, that’s a tsunami of creamy complexions!), and that looks set to continue.
I applaud this wholeheartedly with skin cancers also on the rise – pale is beautiful. But now, in the depths of winter and with skin the color of an uncooked mackerel, it’s time to buck the trend (something I’ve always liked doing), and go the other way – let’s find a bronzer for winter-struck skin.
And I bring you my new addition to my kit, Benefit’s Talk to the Tan. It is delicious. It’s a self-tanner that washes off at the end of the day, so for those commitment-phobes, it’s perfect. One coat will give you sun-kissed gorgeousness, and you can layer it to go deeper if you must (although please, no Jordan tans!) I’m pretty pale and it boosts my complexion just enough to take me from this side of the undead to passably human. It solves the problem of deep-freeze weather time, where your normal blush looks like you’re auditioning for the circus. And apparently it’s one of those products that combines with your natural chemistry to make it the right shade for you – and it’s certainly working for me. And with its cute sunshine-y packaging (one of the things Benefit is justifiably loved for), it’s making me feel more Acapulco than Alaska.
Now the only question is, is this one going into my personal bag, or into my kit? It’s a tough call but the last model I worked on was the color of unbaked oatmeal, so I think it will be kit-side for now. Maybe I’ll have to channel my inner Bella until I can get to Benefit again – particularly if that pale skin comes complete with an Edward.