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Among the heart-racing flurry of entries that winged their way to us for this week’s Beauty Shortlist Awards were 7 products that just feel spot-on for spring which I wanted to give a bit of shop window love to – before everything kicks off for the Awards the day after tomorrow!

And here they are (yes you’re right, 8, but we’re focusing here on Raw Gaia’s buttery gold Organic Goji Goddess Beauty Balm – in the bright strawberry glass jar second from left, below)

Every one of these products has a great energy about it – and we’ll be hearing more about energetically-active beauty and healing beauty in the next few years, I think.

As I mentioned briefly on Instagram.com/BeautyShortlist …”if you pick up on the energy of beauty products you’ll know what I mean when I say there’s dead skincare – the worst kind full of fillers, synthetics, etc”. The opposite is aromatherapy, plant-powered beauty that solves problems, lifts spirits and in the case of these seven picks, have “spring” written all over them!

So, L to R:

ELEMENTAL HERBOLOGY’S Radiance & Vitality Vital Cleanse Facial Cleanser

I normally flinch when Manuka Honey features in a product (they’re often a bit sticky) but  EH’s Vital Cleanse is a beautifully balanced, slightly foamy, honey coloured liquid that totally hits the spot for me at this time of year. I’m a bit bored with creamy cleansers at the moment, yet it’s still too wintery for the lighter, foamier ones (for my normal/dry skin) and this one sits right in the middle on the scale of “clean and foamy to rich and creamy”.

Papaya, Vitamin C, Apple Serum, Green Tea, Grapefruit, Seaweed Extracts and various Citrus Peel Oils are all listed on the label here and it’s a nice cleanser to stimulate cell turnover but not strip skin. This has just moved into my bathroom and looks like it’s staying there for a while.

DE AGE The Detox Oil

I is for intrigued. When I first tried this, without looking at the ingredients, I knew immediately there were quite a few nut oils in it – it’s got pistachio, macadamia, amaranth and wuweizi (schizandra berry) as its main ingredients – and gosh, the texture and look of it is a bit different. Like a creamy white-oil hybrid, it’s one of the richest, silkiest (not thick) oils I’ve ever used and I woke up looking astoundingly refreshed the very first morning after embalming myself in it the night before.

It’s not the quickest to sink in so you’ll be caught short if you (for some reason) put this on before going out (get the PJs and a video on, you won’t be going anywhere). I’d be tempted to use it solely as a night treatment because it’s quite intense and so oil rich but boy it works. This is a really interesting discovery for facial oil fans and an absolute must-try I’d say if you have some cash to splash and have already whizzed past the “50” sign on life’s highway.

De Age’s products are handmade in South Bavaria – this is a very luxe, artisan, high performance, powered by Nature kind of brand. In all honesty I don’t even know if it’s available in the UK – De Age entered our International Beauty Shortlist Awards and this year for the first time there’s no requirement to be sold on a UK-based site. If you’re in Germany and see this brand – check it out. Their “The Aqua Lift” which is an Hyaluronic Acid (HA) based serum with blue ginger, is another good find.

Next up…


I’ve been buying Aqua Oleum’s essential oils for some time on Amazon, they’re excellent, I find them more potent than many other brands and this year some of the judges noticed a difference between the Organic and “regular” EOs during the judging. Their Rosemary Water is heavenly if you love rosemary (not everyone does) – I use it first thing in the morning as a “wake up spray”, the scent is wonderfully intense and like the equally lovely Lavender Water, both hydrosols can be applied directly to skin with a cotton pad.

Their Vitality Body Oil (in the pic) is nice too and their oils tend to sink in beautifully so if you love the effect of an oil but resent the oiliness (!) these are for you.

I’m addicted to Aqua Oleum’s Clary Sage EO at the moment, for me Clary Sage feels very much like Lavender’s sister but more subtle and with different qualities – it’s a hormonal/emotional balancer with soothing, anti-depressant, calming qualities. It’s a brilliant oil for women. I just adore the scent of it and it’s very soporific before bed time – wonderful stuff and much needed right now with so much going on this week.

RAW GAIA Organic Goji Goddess Beauty Balm

Just when you thought you’ve tried almost every balm on the planet, along comes one you’ve never dipped into before.


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Not only has this balm got a lovely looking label, it’s the most deliciously buttery yellow. The stuff sunny days are made of.

It’s hard in the frosted glass jar but scoop it out (with a little spatula if you’ve got one lying around) and it melts upon contact with warm skin. It’s rich, comforting and feels like it’s actually smoothing out those lines as it starts to absorb, this is one of those healing beauty style products you keep coming back to because of its undeniable comfort factor. Tired, older, sun-damaged, distressed skin will love this. File under the “skin food” category. I’ll be slapping this on after sun-soaked days in summer that’s for sure.


Have you tried any of Raw Gaia’s range? The Hemp Balm (the green one in the pic for oilier skin) is also good but I’ve personally fallen for this gorgeous Goji one as it suits my skin type – it’s nice too, to see vibrant red jars (or any packaging for that matter) in beauty. So many beauty brands have gone so “all white on the night” like one big beauty snow drift.

Raw Gaia’s packaging reminds me quite a bit of Cornish brand Spiezia’s Made for Life lovely chakra-coloured frosted glass jars. (I’d leave out all the writing on the back of Raw Gaia’s jar actually, and just have ingredients on the cardboard box – these come in boxes – so you could then use the pretty red pot, back to front, as a glowy scarlet tealight holder afterwards).

And on that riveting recycling tip, we come to the last of the Magnificent 7 tonight…

TISSERAND’s Rose & Geranium Leaf Hand Wash

Spring… in a hand wash bottle!  This smells as pretty as it looks and I’m also a big fan of Tisserand’s Lavender Hand Wash. I find these gentle and non-drying and very well priced. I can also vouch for Tisserand’s Rose & Geranium Leaf hand cream. Silky yet substantial enough to deal with quite dry or chapped hands, it’s aromatic and non-greasy. You have to give it to a hand cream you can apply in the car, too- no slippery steering wheel syndrome with this one. Quite lovely, really!

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And on that note, it’s time to sign off. Much to do, not much time. A few drops of Clary Sage and an early start tomorrow, because the big day of the year, Thursday 2nd March, is just hours away now…

Good luck if you entered the 2017 Awards and were shortlisted last week. The full and final results with all the categories and main brand winners will be published around breakfast time (UK time) so we’ll know the full line-up pretty soon.

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