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This little round up is quite a nice eclectic one, basically a spontaneous collection of old and new favourites I assembled this morning while I was sipping PositiviTea’s Three Chi Chai (chocolatey/spicy) in a Portuguese mug that seems to exactly match my Moroccan cotton “hammama”.

It’s one of those 10 million things to do in a day weeks, this week, so I’ll keep it short, but these products are too good not to talk about, so here they are.


Ila Spa’s Beyond Organic Face Oil for Glowing Radiance – This really is so luxe, so rich, like a queen of facial oils, with damascena rose otto, sandalwood and argan (argan being the main ingredient). 97% organic, it’s one to add to your winter wishlist if you have irritated skin, scarring, or need a powerful natural facial oil to sort and rebalance stress-related lines, lacklustre skin or dryness. It’s a dark gold in colour and smells of “deep, earthy rose” – because of the grounding sandalwood in it. Lovely.

wednesday stash

Ananne’s Nectar Cutis Serum – Adore this! If you like seaweed/nut/fruit/herb blend serums, this one has them all. Laminaria Ochroleuca (from the kelp family), rose, macadamia, bergamot and rosemary leaf extract are in this, it’s for Normal Skin, made in Switzerland and super, super-light, like a very pale, delicate facial oil. Excellent stuff and I can vouch for the eye balm too, which would be on this shortlist if it wasn’t in my bedroom!

Sarah Chapman/Skinesis – Skin Insurance SPF30. Skinesis is one of the most consistently good, across the range, brands I’ve ever had the pleasure of delving into. Everything Sarah does, she does well, as being a top London facialist she’s seen a million different skins and understands them better than 99% of the rest of us. This advanced stem cell active cream perfects and helps protect skin from those damaging solar rays. Pop it on after your moisturiser in the morning…

OSKIA Renaissance Cleansing Gel Illuminating Vitamin Melting Cleanser.  OSKIA do “different” very well. This British brand is addictive, once you’ve tried on product you’ll find yourself Googling the rest of the range. The Cleansing Gel has a totally unique sort of silky gel/slightly oily texture which you massage onto dry skin (it smells good) before it melts into a delicate, skin-drink of an oil.  Now, add a little water (it goes a little milky, almost) and remove with a warm damp cloth, or at least that’s how I do it. I’d recommend this hands down for anyone who needs a “reviving, hydrating” type cleanser, perfect for older skin, too, and I like the pumpkin enzymes chamomile, rose, omega and vitamin ingredients on the label. I see this cleanser as an SOS-style cleanser, too, for stress-impacted skin, because the longer term effects will be therapeutic.

HERBFARMACY – Herbfarmacy have a wonderful big plot of land in Herefordshire and rather like Weleda they cultivate their own plants and herbs which go into their products. This is one of their heroes – Skin Rescue Balm. 100% organic with marshmallow, chickweed (great for cracked, distressed skin), calendula (gently healing) and comfrey. A sort of sweet herbal balm big on comfort factor.

SOAPSMITH. Soapsmith and I go way back! At least a few years anyway, this clever London brand has named each range after a London neighbourhood – Green Park, Lavender Hill and so on.  This coconut milk-based Lavender Hill bath soak is rather lovely, I’ve been using this week as it’s freezing at night – heaven for lavender lovers and the coconut delivers a skin-smoothing hit so you’ll emerge silken-skinned, ready to wrap yourself in a warm, fluffy white towel.

EVOLVE’s Hyaluronic Serum 200. As dehydration is one of skin’s biggest “enemies”, when HA-based serums come along you know it’s good news.  This one from Evolve Organic Beauty is perfect for all skin types and because it’s so light and “fluid”, you’ll love using it in summer. Perfect if you’re not a fan of heavier creams or oilier serum/oils. I really like it. Designed to boost collagen synthesis, skin firmness and elasticity with 200mg Hyaluronic Acid. 99% natural and you’ve got aloe, pomegranate and konjac in there, too.

BEE GOOD’s 2-in-1 Cream Cleanser – simple to use, feels very “clean”, does the job nicely.  (I don’t use it to take off eye makeup). Same sort of texture as Liz Earle’s legendary creamy cleanser. Bee Good donates a share of profits to support British bees and you get extra “bee factor” from wild flower honey, crambe oil and propolis which is antibacterial.

ARK SKINCARE’s Skin Perfection Hydration Injection Masque. In retrospect this probably ranks as one of my favourite – and best-performing – skincare discoveries of 2015. Suits all ages (just leave on for 5, 10 or 20 mins depending on how many birthdays you’ve celebrated – argh!) This multivitamin-based product is borderline magical if you’re after virtually instant results.

Front row:

Dr Levy Intense Stem Cell Decollegate Regenerating Silk. Dr Levy is Switzerland’s top botox specialist and his revolutionary approach to ageing is stem cell based and I think he’s one of skincare’s true pioneers and in a minority.  There’s nothing like this product around.  Not only does it blur wrinkles in seconds (try it on your hands, another area, along with our necks, that ages before the rest of us partly due to the fact that we often forget SPF on those areas, I would say?)…but the cumulative effects of using this over time are obvious. This is an absolute gamechanger with a price tag attached to it reflecting its merits but lovers of luxe skincare who’ve neglected their necks should visit – no, rush to! – the website.

Pommade Divine.  Hello, does lots of things balm! A classic makes a comeback, this skin saviour (dry patches, lips, minor scrapes, mosquito bites, even) has been around since the 1800’s and it’s one of those keep-in-the-cabinet essentials. It’s not an oily style balm, it’s very (can’t think of the adjective – like those thick, hard-set jams?!)…it’s like that! Extremely useful and a modern multi-tasker with an interesting historical heritage.

Voila! Have you tried any of these? What did you think?




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