Review: Zoe Foster Blake’s Go-To Skincare Range Part 1.

20160831_thefile_0589-760x507Photo of Zoë Foster (Blake) courtesy of The File.

When I read reviews online about people claiming a particular product is a holy grail for them, part of me didn’t really believe them because I didn’t have “holy grail products” of my own. It wasn’t until I used Go-To Skincare that I was able to proudly say, yep, I’ve got holy grail products of my own now. As someone who doesn’t wear makeup (only a lip colour from time to time), I wouldn’t know if these products work as well as they do for someone who does wear makeup. Since I don’t wear any makeup, I’ve been trying to keep my skin routine as simple and effective as possible. Over the past few years I’ve used and tested many brands, and Go-To is the only brand that I’ve used whose range of products are consistently good.

I found out about Foster-Blake’s brand the way I usually find out about skincare brands: Instagram. She has a large following on Instagram with half a million followers, as a mother to a cute toddler, wife to Hamish Blake (part of famous Australia comedic duo Hamish & Andy) and in her own right, she is a writer and creative spirit who is very honest and funny. As the creator of Go-To, the brand oozes her same wittiness and sarcasm whether it’s through packaging or in their emails. As someone who had no current loyalty to a brand and needed to find a cleanser ASAP, I decided to give Go-To a shot.

Last month I finally went to her website, bought some products and prayed that I didn’t just waste $100 on products that wouldn’t work for me. Thank heavens I took that gamble because with you as my witness, I can finally say that I’ve found myself not only a holy grail product, but a holy grail brand.

THE NITTY GRITTY

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Properly Clean (Cleanser): I’ll be honest, I didn’t watch the video that was on the page because I was desparate for a cleanser, so I had no idea what texture the cleanser would be. To my delight, it’s a non-foaming and non-creamy cleanser (more mousse-like). If you’re not a fan of strong scents, I’d hate to be the bearer of bad news but this cleanser has a zesty kick to it (from the natural frangrances of ginger, mandarin and lime). I’ll take products with natural fragrances from synthetic ones anyday so this cleanser is 100% A-OK with me.

I use the Properly Clean in the morning and at night, and as silly as it sounds, this cleanser makes me excited to get up and have a shower because I have something to look forward to. Super soft and gentle, and would be suitable for every skin type.

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Very Useful Face Cream (Moisturiser): This might be my favourite moisturiser of all time. Not only does the smell remind me of something from my childhood (don’t ask me because I still haven’t figured it out), but its ingredients list is impressive. Packed with everything I want in a moisturiser like shea butter, sweet almond oil, sunflower oil and beeswax, my face feels like its actually soaking everything up unlike other moisturisers where it just feels like a layer on your face. I find that this moisturiser works best in conjunction with their facial oil as it glides easier and you can feel the product soaking in.

Another thing I look for in skincare products is if they’re travel friendly. For domestic flights within Australia, there aren’t any restrictions of liquids but I always think ahead to when I will eventually travel internationally where I’ll have to only bring products 100mL or under. Looking for a day/night cream that not only does what it says, but also is travel-friendly wherever you go? Very Useful Face Cream is your guy.

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Face Hero (Facial Oil): My favourite Go-To product, hands down. I have combination skin but during the colder seasons, my face becomes dry and crusty. It’s extremely hydrating, soothing and as soon as you lather it on, it brightens your face. It’s currently retailing at $45AUD and although this may seem a bit pricey, but for the quality and the amount of use you’ll get out of it, it’s definitely worth the money. Even if you aren’t keen on the other products, Face Hero is the one to spend your money on. There’s not more I can say about this besides that I use this everyday and you’ll 100% love it to, whether you have oily skin to dry skin.

The ingredients include:
Almond oil, jojoba oil, macadamia oil, brazil nut oil, evening primrose oil, buriti oil, arnica oil, rosehip oil, calendula oil, kiwi fruit seed oil, tocopherol (vitamin e), totarol, rosemary leaf extract, natural fragrance (orange blossom & rose gardenia.)

Review: Mecca Cosmetica “To Save Face SPF30+ Facial Sunscreen”

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For some strange reason I’ve been struggling to find a SPF moisturiser. I take full responsibility for this because I’m extremely picky with what skincare products I purchase. At the end of the day, quality is most valuable to me. In this instance, I didn’t care if it the moisturiser was SPF15+ or higher, I didn’t care if it was available from the chemist or from a high-end store.  After back-and-forth research and constant deliberation between numerous brands, my curiosity to try Mecca Cosmetica’s sunscreen always remained in the back of my mind.

After several months of putting it off, I finally decided to head to Mecca and buy it. The biggest downside that, I think, didn’t make me buy it immediately was it’s price. It is currently selling for AUD $38, which in my opinion is incredibly expensive for a moisturiser/sunscreen. However, I was happily compensated by the product’s quality.

I’m always searching for reliable skincare products, and it’s always a gamble because I’m never sure what product will be compatible with my skin and which ones won’t. I’ve tried countless products through the years so when something suits my skin, I instantly know. Mecca’s sunscreen is now one of those few products.

This is a weightless, matte finish cream. Although it dries and feels weightless, the moisturiser’s consistency is thicker than regular day creams that I’ve used. Because of its thicker consistency, it means that a little goes a long way (which is another pro after spending $38 on it). I have combination skin during the hotter and more humid seasons, and drier skin during the colder months, so I’m hoping this is a product that I can carry out through the entire year.

To Save Face SPF30+ Facial Sunscreen is incredibly light, non-greasy, and smells like a dream (pomegranate, to be specific) so if you’ve struggled finding a good moisturiser with an SPF like I have, then I highly recommend this gem!

Available at your local Mecca store or online.

Happy shopping

Trixie

Top 5 Bath Bombs from Lush + Review

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I remember the first time I ever stepped into a Lush store, which is almost two years ago, and remembered thinking that I couldn’t wait to try everything there. After a few years I’ve had the opportunity to try out their famous bath bombs. Below are my top five bath bomb recommendations:

  1. Twilight (AUD $6.95)
    This is my all-time favourite bath bomb that Lush has ever brought out. I remember as I was purchasing this, the lady at the register told me that Twilight had the capability of making you relaxed and ready to sleep – however, I didn’t believe her until I actually used it. Out of all the bath bombs, this was truly the most relaxing one. This is due to the essential oils of lavender and ylang ylang – which are soothing and calming scents. This is a really popular, and you’ll find that this particular bath bomb will be sold out at your local store, so be sure to check online (if it isn’t sold out there either).
  2. Dragon’s Egg (AUD $6.95)
    Dragon’s Egg, I personally think, is one of Lush’s more enjoyable bath bombs. It’s exterior is white with colourful dots placed on it, so from first glance it’s evident that this bath bomb has a few surprises up its sleeve. With no research prior to buying it, I think I just expected a white bath bomb with a few colours thrown in but I’m happy it didn’t turn out that way. After the white exterior bubbles away, an orange centre is revealed – this becomes the final colour of your bath. Dragon’s Egg contains lemon and bergamot oil, which are from the citrus family and is all your bathroom will smell of for the next few days. The smell of oranges will coincide with the colour of your bath at least. My favourite thing about this one is that it contains gold glitter and I spent most of the bath mesmerised by it.
  3. Phoenix Rising (AUD $6.95)
    I really like this bath bomb for its colour and properties. I was drawn to Phoenix Rising mainly due to the vivid purple, although it isn’t typically shaped like the other Lush bath bombs, which are round. In this case, Phoenix Rising is shaped like a trapezoid (or if you’re like me, and couldn’t remember your basic geometric shapes and had to Google that, this bath bomb looks like a small Christmas pudding). Another cool thing about Phoenix Rising is that includes gold glitter, which contrasts extremely nicely with the purple – just as mesmerising and a bit more magical than Dragon’s Egg. The main reason to buy this bath bomb is that it’s super moisturising, as it includes cacao butter, shea butter, and jojoba oil (which are ingredients found in most moisturisers). If you’re looking for hydration, then Phoenix Rising is for you. Be sure to get this quickly, this one’s quite popular too!
  4. Space Girl (AUD $6.50)
    If you walk into your local Lush store and look at the bath bombs, you’re immediately intrigued by this one, mainly because of its shape. Its designed to resemble the planet Saturn and its exterior is blue with orange glitter on top. I was expecting this bath bomb to a murky blue but was happily surprised to see the bath turn two different colours. The bath separates to purple and orange, but as you mix it around, you’ll find your bath with a colour in between. This bath bomb also includes glitter! Space Girl includes grapefruit oil, which gives your bath a blackcurrant scent, and bergamot oil, which gives you a touch of orange, as well as almond oil, which moisturises your skin.
  5. Big Blue (AUD $6.50)
    Although this bath bomb is listed last, it doesn’t make it any worse than the bath bombs above. In fact, Big Blue is a really cool bath bomb and leaves the water a really vivid blue. As a bath bomb that is supposed to imitate the ocean, this is quite relaxing. This also leaves your bathroom and skin with a lovely scent for the next several days. Big Blue includes sea salt, lemon oil and lavender oil which contributes to the relaxing aroma. Although I’ve ranked Big Blue as #5, I personally just prefer floral and citrus scents of the smell of sea salt and seaweed, but it didn’t detract from my experience.

You can purchase any of these bath bombs from your local Lush store or online.

Countries that sell Lush:
Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kazakstan, Latvia, Lebanon, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Panama, Portugal, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Slovenia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, UAE, UK, Ukraine, USA.

Review: Grown Alchemist Deep Cleansing Facial Masque and Matte Balancing Moisturiser

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Deep Cleansing Facial Masque ★★★★☆
Matte Balancing Moisturiser ★★★★☆

Over the past few days, I’ve been tossing up between purchasing new skincare from Aesop or Grown Alchemist. I was a bit skeptic of Grown Alchemist as they don’t list their full ingredients on their website, but I was also wary of Aesop after I read reviews that some of their products aren’t that effective. I decided to go to Myer to check both brands out and finally came to the conclusion of buying the “Deep Cleansing Facial Masque” and the “Matte Balancing Moisturiser“.

I’ve seen Grown Alchemist products at selected pharmacies, such as Priceline, and was curious about it but to be perfectly honest, I didn’t actively search for it until I stumbled upon their Instagram account. Similar to its stylish packaging, their online presence has an extremely clean and cool aesthetic appeal to it. I really enjoy the packaging and how it’s far more sanitary than masks in a tub.

Deep Cleansing Facial Masque (Wheatgerm, Ginkgo & Cranberry)

As you apply the masque onto you’re face, you’re initially met with a strong scent. This isn’t the prettiest smell, but it isn’t terrible at all so don’t let this be the deciding factor for you. The plus side to this smell is that it’s a refreshing, clean scent and you only have to wear it for 10-15 minutes.

The masque is of a white, creamy texture and has a good spreadability across the face. You’ll find that when you wait for the 10-15 minutes that the masque won’t completely dry, like other brands. However some of the masque will dry but it will become almost translucent. I found that this felt a lot better than other masks that completely dry out until you’re not able to move your face anymore.

After the appropriate time, I wiped it off with warm water and a face towel, and found that in a few swipes, the mask was off. Sometimes I find it slightly tedious when you have to go through a lot of washing or wiping to get rid of a mask, but it wasn’t the case this time.

Instantly, I noticed that my skin was brighter and looked a lot more healthier. The text on its tube claims that this masque will visibly improve your skin’s firmness, “leaving your skin revitalised and decongested, feeling smooth and toned.” I’m happy to say that I’ve experienced all of the above from just one use of the masque. You’re going to be left with a subtle scent but don’t worry, it’s not as pungent but if you dislike the masque’s scent then you can apply your choice of moisturiser afterwards.

Ingredients are listed in the photo below.

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Matte Balancing Moisturiser (Acai-Berry & Borago)

Unlike the masque, I don’t have much to say about this product because I’ve only used it once but this was the product from Grown Alchemist that I was really curious about as it says it has a matte finish. After applying this, I did notice that my skin glowing and my face felt smooth.

As you apply this on your face, there is a noticeable scent that isn’t of typical floral sweetness like other moisturisers but I don’t mind it at all. The smell is neither good nor bad, and the results are just as good as the masque. This moisturiser goes a long way and has excellent spreadability so this should last a several months if you’re using it daily. It comes packaged in a cream tube which makes it useful if you’re travelling.

Ingredients are listed in the photo below.

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Final Thoughts:

I’m really impressed with both these products and I’m happy I went with Grown Alchemist instead of Aesop, although down the line I do want to try Aesop. If you’re interested in Grown Alchemist but you’re not sure of what to purchase first, then I highly recommend this masque and moisturiser. It’s the perfect indulgent buy and is incredibly effective.

Despite this, you’ll find yourself spending a lot of money for this brand. If you’re like me and you already have a cleanser and exfoliator that works for you, then I suggest sticking to those until they run out and buy Grown Alchemist in bits and pieces. But if you want to revamp your skincare range/routine, you’ll end up spending around $220 and that’s only for a cleanser, exfoliator, toner, moisturiser, and masque.

Prices:

  1. Deep Cleansing Facial Masque = $40.00
  2. Matte Balancing Moisturiser = $60.00

Where to buy:

  • Grown Alchemist online store: http://www.grownalchemist.com
  • Myer in-store or online
  • David Jones in-store or online
  • Priceline (only sells limited products such as their hand cream and hand wash, and products aren’t available online)

What do you think about Grown Alchemist products?

Happy shopping,

Trixie