I've been meaning to make this post for SO LONG but have been endlessly putting it off in order to avoid the impending arduousness of scouting out all my creams/balms/lotions/potions from all over the house and put them in one place. Organisation is not one of my strong points. I'd like to begin by acknowledging that I'm by no means a wizard on the subject of beauty - I never wear foundation, eyeshadow, blush, or bronzer, and not because I'm against them in any way; I simply don't know how to use them! These are just my basic essentials, namely because they actually work and because they're cruelty and animal product free!
Without further ado, I present to you all of my beauty products!
I was one of those crazy children who collected Lip Smackers and strange, fruit-shaped lip glosses from pharmacies, and free lip balm from crinkly magazine packets. It's no surprise that I've grown into a fully fledged adult lipgloss hoarder! Although my current collection has nothing on that of my childhood, it's safe to say should I ever have dry lips, I'm sorted.
CHOCOLATE, MOON, KAPHA, PITTA, AND VATA LIP BALMS by Hurraw
Hurraw Lip Balms are natural, vegan, and made from premium raw, organic, and fair trade ingredients, not to mention that they taste like freaking delicious candy. I particularly love the taste of the chocolate (creamy, sweet, rich) and vata (fragrant, spicy, warm) - I even made a vata babycake with the same flavours because I loved them so much!
from www.shelivescrueltyfree.co.nz and www.naturalthings.co.nz
RED LIPSTICK IN POMEGRANATE by Rue Savon
Rue Savon is a brand located just two hours from where I live, who make their products by hand and with cruelty-free ingredients (including no palm oil or parabens). I love this lipstick because not only does it work like a charm, it has a base of macadamia wax, organic castor oil, and organic shea butter that leaves my lips silky smooth and not all gross and dry like some regular lipsticks do. This was my go-to for when I was travelling overseas, as it's the perfect thing to smush on if you're going out to dinner and don't have time to get ready. Doesn't squish out onto your face, and wears well for a long time (even through eating food)! Sincerely one of the best lip products I've ever used.
You know how people say they stand in the shower and ponder life? Well I do too, except instead I'm thinking about these strange Lush bottle captions. So cryptic! Is the bottle talking, or the person who created it? And what is veganese? At least it smells good, I suppose!
VEGANESE HAIR CONDITIONER by LUSH
Aside from looking like a giant tub of mayonnaise, this is one smooth operator! I personally don't think that it gives my hair the same shine or softness that many other commercial conditioners do, but it's got a lovely, delicate fragrance that leaves you smelling yummy and not like a whole bunch of chemical nastiness.I also like the thought of rubbing seaweed into my scalp - so new age. Not too intensive, so I can imagine it would be perfect for those who find themselves with greasy hair often!
REHAB SHAMPOO by LUSH
The only word I can think of to describe this bottle of golden goo is fresh. It smells like new things, fluffy baby grasses, mossy forest floors, all that good stuff. I can't say that it's the most cleansing shampoo that I've ever tried, but I think that's a good thing - stripping your hair of all it's natural oils isn't a happening thing in my books! I mean, they're there for a reason, aren't they?
I'm a huge fan of supporting local brands, so I was so happy when I stumbled across Tailor, a holistic New Zealand skincare company with a major focus on the ingredients used, the environmental impact, and animal welfare in general. They also have a super informative website that has loads of information about skin, so if you're interested it's well worth a read. I have their 'dry skincare routine', specially formulated for people with skin that has dry tendencies.
SERUM by Tailor Skincare
This is a rich combination of bioactive cold-pressed oils that you put on your skin post cleansing. It is designed specifically to boost healthy skin cell regeneration, even out skin tone, and to protect the skin from environmental damage - all of which sound pretty darn good to me! This is one of the few products that have actually left my skin totally moisturised and non-flaky, which is such a rarity.
OIL CLEANSE by Tailor Skincare
It may sound strange, but oil cleansing really does work, I promise! Long story short, it 'gently removes makeup and dirty, oily build up without stripping the skin of it's natural protective layer', and leaves your skin super soft. This is probably the best for those with dry or combination skin, so if you have an oilier skin type I recommend you go and check out the other skincare routines on the website.
HYDRATE by Tailor Skincare
This product is a 'nutrient rich oil free gel' that 'effectively plumps the skin and helps to reduce the appearance of fine lines' I find it to be a nice, smooth, cooling gel to put on after washing my face with warm water. It's very soothing and seems to settle all my pores back down after being cleansed and moisturised.
I can clearly remember so many instances where young women I know thought (or continue to think) that it is somewhat fashionable or trendy to lay about in broad daylight, getting their skin fried by harsh sunbeams (particularly in summer). I would see them peeling flakes of badly damaged and utterly sunburnt skin from all over their bodies, the development of unusual skin pigmentation, and general skin deterioration. I've never understood why people so willingly put their health and wellbeing at risk for some silly fad, which is why I'm glad that there are lovely alternatives to tanning and suncreams like those made my EcoTan. The consequences of the alternative far outweigh the benefits!
WINTER SKIN GRADUAL TANNING MOISTURISER by EcoTan
This is a totally natural tanning cream that, unlike most others, is very difficult to get patchy or streaky. It works with your skin tone meaning that you won't emerge from the bathroom looking like an enormous deformed carrot, and it doesn't have the nasty smell that a lot of other tanning lotions do. It's a win-win in my books! Who needs excessive sunlight or crazy chemicals to get a nice bronze going these days when you have beautiful products like these?
NATURAL COCONUT SUNSCREEN FOR FACE AND BODY by EcoTan
I love this sunscreen so much because it forms a physical barrier rather than a chemical one that penetrates your skin and is absorbed into your body. It does apply rather thickly, and will turn your face a pale shade of white if you're not careful (oops), but it smells absolutely gorgeous and is perfect for beach days. It's not greasy either which automatically eliminates those creepy smudges on your glasses and car doors. Yay!
What is a builder without a hammer, or a plumber without a spanner? Useless, just like me whenever I'm apart from my two favourite little tools. I genuinely don't think that my teeth or skin have ever felt so squeaky clean and fresh! I am a firm believer that a little bit of money spent now to benefit your health and wellbeing is certainly going to be a beneficial investment in the long run, and these two products are a testament to that!
SPIN BRUSH by Vanity Planet
Before I got this brush my skin wasn't shedding its top layer effectively, meaning that all the oils and sebum were getting trapped beneath the dead skin cells and creating blackheads all over my face. Thankfully, with the introduction of this magical brush, my skin cells are whisked away every morning and evening to really allow my skin to breathe. I cannot preach the great things this spin brush has done for me enough! If you're thinking about getting one for yourself, don't forget to use the code ASH4CLEAN at the checkout to get a massive 70% discount - it's unreal!
BAMBOO TOOTHBRUSH by Go Bamboo
I'm not entirely sure if those people with fear of tasting wooden sticks (like my Mum vs. an iceblock) will approve of these toothbrushes, but I personally find them absolutely fantastic! I love the feel of natural products on my teeth as opposed to synthetic ones - don't get me wrong, you can still prick your gums and so on, but for some reason I just feel so much healthier when using a wooden brush. Bamboo is a great sustainable alternative to other types of wood and plastic, and I love supporting business taking initiative when I can. Great toothbrush and super eco-friendly - exactly what I'm after!
My lovely Mum got me onto aromatherapy products last year when I had quite bad anxiety, and I've been loving them ever since. I even took a bottle with me on my travels for whenever I felt a little antsy, whether it be when on a long-haul flight, or just about to go out for the day or hop in to bed. It's a lovely sniffly reminder of home, and always makes me happier.
NO. 1 ARCHANGEL MICHAEL CLEAR AND PROTECT by Rachael White Aromatherapy
This bottle of essential oils of the highest quality smells heavenly - I kid you not. With rose, lavender and bergamot, it's floral scents are super soothing and unique. I took a bottle of this with me all around Europe and it really helped me through times of social anxiety or general grumpiness. There's nothing a lovely bottle of gorgeous oils can't fix!
LIMITED EDITION INVIGORATE ROSE MIST by Flora Remedia
This is the only product I own by Flora Remedia, and I can already tell that I'm going to be loading up my online shopping cart as soon as this baby runs out. Unlike typical rosewater sprays, this mist is not just water mixed with rose essential oils, but actually pure distilled water made from the vapour of boiled rose petals. How is that for pure? I always spray it on my face after cleansing, or simply when I need a little bit of a refresher. It smells beautifully earthy too!
AXILLA DEODORANT PASTE by Black Chicken Remedies
Aside from the cute as heck name, this paste both works and smells like a delightful mix between a nice soap and a bunch of fresh flowers. I get rashes from a lot of deodorants because of my super sensitive skin (although I'm not sure why exactly), so this was an absolute godsend. It's a little bit like solid perfume in that you scoop a little out with your finger and squish it all over the designated area. A little bit frustrating for those of us with longer nails, but absolutely worth the hassle! Just don't make the mistake of preparing food afterwards like I did...
That concludes my rather grandiose list of beauty essentials - I hope that you can find some use in this enormous blog post, and go you for sticking around right until the last paragraph! Always remember to consider three things when purchasing new products - animal involvement, environmental impact, and ingredients used. Happy scrubbing up chicas!