With April on our doorstep there is more warmth in the air and more natural sunshine to top up our depleted vitamin D levels. With spring in the air the world unfortunately remains in emotional turmoil and for that reason I was looking for things to uplift, calm and re-energise, as well as something that makes me smile when I look at or use it. Here are a multitude of wonderful (and useful!) things that fit perfectly into my April Newness.
Harmony in skincare: Absolution La Creme Beau Jour
French niche beauty brand Absolution remains my firm favourite through the years because the messaging of the brand is less to do with marketing and more about genuine dialogue with customers of different ages. Whenever a new product is being launched, the brand offers interesting insights and helpful tips, targeting specific skin problems or concerns, while at the same time offering solutions with their unique formulas that celebrate natural beauty. The new addition to the range, La Creme Beau Jour offers moisturising, revitalising and protective benefits and add a pleasantly nourishing formula that positively impacts both the mood and skin’s appearance.
Hyaluronic Acid, Chaga, Patchouli and seventeen plant extracts work together, protecting, energising and regenerate the skin. The soft texture that comes to the surface with a satisfying finger tap of the airless pump sinks in very quickly, leaving behind a matte, velvety finish. You can use it on its own or with a customised Absolution Booster that matches your mood, for a more personalized experience. I found that as the temperatures outside increased, my own skin was completely satisfied with a morning cleanse with Absolution Le Nettoyant Purete and followed by this day cream. It didn’t require anything else prior to make-up application and I felt content with such a simple morning skincare routine – both on a morning of a school run or during the Easter holiday break. With many people experimenting with multiple steps in their regular skincare routine that often confuse or aggravate the skin, such simplicity speaks for itself when you examine the skin closely in the mirror.
Moisturise with Hyaluronic Acid: a gel-like substance that our body produces naturally, it fills the spaces between skin cells, holding them close together. Unfortunately as we get older, the body’s production capacity decreases – by the time we reach the age of 50, levels of hyaluronic acid in the skin can decrease by as much as 50%, causing noticeable loss of elasticity. Absolution uses plant-based Hyaluronic Acid obtained through bio-fermentation of corn with a lactic bacterium. The brand uses two different molecular weights of HA that help deliver intense hydration to the skin’s surface, while also working at a deeper level, delivering moisture directly to cells and stimulating skin’s own production of hyaluronic acid by «mirroring» it. The volumizing effect of Hyaluronic Acid softens the appearance of fine lines, helps to plump the skin and accelerates the repairing process.
Revitalize with Chaga extract: like all adaptogens, and mushrooms are becoming increasingly popular in both cosmetics and ingestible supplements, Chaga helps to defend both the body and skin against environmental stresses that city dwellers can’t help but notice with alarm. This particular mushroom grows on birch trees, and its composition is truly extraordinary: according to Absolution’s research it contains the highest concentration of antioxidants of all natural superfoods known to man! Chaga is also rich in ß-glucans, which have the power to stimulate the immune system and protect cellular DNA, while reducing inflammatory responses, making it excellent for anyone living in an urban environment.
Protect with Patchouli leaf: The extract used in this day cream was selected for its CBD-like properties. This means that it interacts with the cannabinoid receptors in the skin in the same way as CBD, while offering the same properties: improving skin comfort, reducing irritation and blemishes, regulating sebum production, and stimulating endorphins in the skin. In other words, it puts your skin into a radiant mood! If it appears boastful, my own skin can verify that it’s actually true – and I used this cream not just at home, but during my recent trip to Finland, where snow and cold winds were still very much in evidence !
As a long-term fan of more natural skincare formulations, I believe that plants work together in both harmony and synergy, when correct combinations are identified & knowingly formulated. That’s why this cream also contains:
- Cucumber extract, particularly rich in potassium, calcium and magnesium (three powerful active ingredients that help to regulate skin structures);
- Centella Asiatica, skin’s rebuilding assistant;
- an extract of Wrack seaweed gathered off the coasts of the French island of Ouessant, with recognized anti-pollution and protective properties; Seaweed is another unsung hero that I am seeing more and more often in skincare and supplement form. Subject to strict quality control it really does bring impressive benefits to our bodies and external appearance.
- Borage and Sesame oils, which help regenerate the skin and improve its suppleness.
With 20 active ingredients that make skin glow with healthy contentment, it’s also a great reminder that certified-organic Absolution products are unique. Each of their products that I have used in the past doesn’t scream to attention, but rather helps you to shift focus and look after your own skin’s needs in a better, more conscious way. At this stage Absolution products are made with over 98% naturally derived ingredients and contain, on average, over 50% naturally derived, certified-organic ingredients. In the case of this particular cream the airless packaging protects the formula inside and enables the brand to keep preservatives down to an absolute minimum. Absolution boxes are made from recycled and recyclable card, and most of them are printed with vegetable inks.
Many of us are drawn to French women for their effortless style and innate comfort to be in the skin they are in, irrespective of age. Looking after one’s skin is something mothers start imparting on their daughters from an early age and to me Absolution represents the synergy of quality, natural ingredients and simplicity, backed by scientific research. I am raising a cup of Absolution Purity herbal tea (a combination of Yerba Mate, Peppermint, Rosemary and Clary Sage, as well as Stinging Nettle, Liquorice and Burdock that Absolution very kindly sent to me and that I thoroughly enjoy drinking in the afternoon to tonify my body & perk up the mind) to the team that creates thoughtfully efficacious skincare. And I gratefully smile, while observing the appearance of my own skin in the mirror in the morning while using this cream!
April newness for Happy Kids: Spots & Stripes Awesome Arnica Balm, £16
My son has been a very happy customer of Spots & Stripes for a few years now and my daughter has been carefully eyeing his use of the products. Recently the brand added an Awesome Arnica Balm that not only I would highly recommend keeping in your bathroom cupboard, but taking on your family adventures as well. And dear teens, be aware that on this occasion your parents might be borrowing this product from you !
This lovely balm, with a texture of a rich, moisturising cream, is packed with anti-inflammatory oils and ingredients that help sooth the skin. A combination of Arnica and Calendula speed up the healing process, reduce bruising (comes handy for the active and sporty kids) and calm and cool the skin down. Lavender and Rosemary boost circulation and reduce muscle cramps, while moisture-rich Vitamin E that is particularly favoured by the skin and shea butter help to heal the scars and strengthen skin’s own natural barrier at the same time.
With its distinct, bright packaging and metal tubing this balm fits perfectly in a school or sports bag and comes handy on occasions when a muscle is strained during a sports lesson or competition. While children can’t carry any medicines in their bags, this balm can be an answer to prayers and assist the healing of the skin on the spot. You can also use it when a headache comes on (in the last couple of years I notice that more and more children of different ages have become prone to migraines, some of which are actually weather related) or for period pains, as the balm can be applied to the lower tummy on achy days as well. I have used this balm myself as well, alongside my children, to calm a local skin irritation and on occasion when I sprained a wrist after a vigorous tennis match. On both occasions the balm brought comfort with its scent and eased the problems within a short period of time. Now it’s a firm family favourite that got thumbs up from the kids as well, who were very keen to explore the benefits of balm’s natural formula. I also find such products very relevant when it comes to conversations with the children about the importance of good skincare habits and knowledge about what is it that they actually apply or use on their skin regularly.
April Newness in Wellness: Shakti Acupressure Ring, euros 9
Some of you might be already familiar with Shakti due to its original ‘bed of nails” mat that helps to improve blood circulation and dissolve tension. What I wasn’t aware of is that they also created an Acupressure ring. While browsing the display at a Helsinki yoga studio with my friend, I saw this silver ring on display and reached out to try it. It was a very pleasant surprise. What you need to do …is to massage each of your fingers by rolling the springy ring up and down 20-40 times on each of your fingers. Call it a silent meditation or a fidgety habit, the benefits might just pleasantly surprise you on the spot.
According to eastern wisdom, such regular finger massage can positively impact acupressure points and the meridians we have on our hands. During colder months of the year such finger massage can be helpful if you suffer from stiff or cold fingers and at other times it can increase your flagging energy levels. The ring also offers a quick practise that will positively impact your body, while you ponder a work problem or are looking for a way to decrease your irritation levels caused by a naughty child or words of a wilful teenager. I fiddle with my acupressure ring now on a regular basis during the day – at a work desk, on a yoga mat, while travelling on public transport or sitting in a car traffic. A surprising find that brings me a dose of gratitude on a daily basis as well. Just make sure to store it in a safe place between uses and remember that it’s not a piece of wearable jewellery, but rather a wellbeing gadget/tool.
April Newness for Immunity Support: Ross Barr supplement package
With more and more people succumbing to Covid again and again, recently one of the family members caught it again. While it wasn’t as bad as it was the first time round, the virus still has the power to knock down energy levels and can impact immunity, so I was deeply moved when my acupuncturist Ross Barr kindly sent me a wellness package of his four yet officially to launch immunity supporting supplements. Each comes in the glass jar fitted with a metal lid and has uplifting yellow and orange labelling.
I recently did an Instagram post about the Ross Barr Immunity supplement family, as I feel strongly that quality supplements should be accessibly priced ( Ross’s price range is between £25 & £42 for a month’s supply) for people to be able to actually use them on a regular basis. Ross is meticulous about the formulating process and doesn’t recommend unnecessary things to you. If anything, he is the one to say that is you get your lifestyle choices right, you might not even need to take a supplement. But let’s be honest, how many of us can actually say that we get our daily lifestyle balance right? Think about your sleep patterns, regularity of exercise, rest, diet & stress levels. Even with my knowledge of wellness industry and personal life experience more often than not don’t get all those parts ‘right’ for my own individual needs. And that’s when supplements come into play.
There are four formulas in Ross’s Immunity supplement selection: Beta-Glucans, Vitamin D, Vitamin C & Zinc & Copper. Each plays its part in fine tuning our personal immunity and helps our bodies deal better when a virus or bacteria gets into our body. Unfortunately even a good, strong immunity won’t make you immune to catching Covid, a virus or a cold, but it can help you recover quickly from whatever malaise afflicts you and that is as important for children, as it is for adults. Ross’s supplements are well-balanced, thoroughly researched & tested, with the main aim to assist individual wellbeing of adults at different stages of their lives, taking individual needs into account.
You can purchase Ross Barr supplements & patches on Victoria Health website
April Newness: Eyes Have It with Manasi7 Lash Defining Precision Mascara, euros 35
According to Manasi7 founder & make-up artist Susanne Manasi this particular mascara “is inspired by the Binchōtan, Japan’s high grade charcoal, made from Ubame oak and the ayurvedic Shilajit from the Himalayas, both of which help enhance eyelashes to perfection”. I tried the original version of this mascara in the past and while I enjoyed its effect on my eyelashes, I noted that it smudged on occasion. The updated version offers a new texture that is less creamy, but still gives a great colour pay-off and it also comes in a luxurious glass packaging, that feels weighty when you hold it between the fingers.
A combination of organic plant waxes, activated charcoal and selected raw minerals allow this emollient mascara to shape lashes and intensify fullness. Creamy and rich at the same time, the unique & updated formula separates and defines lashes, while creating the visual lash volume that looks ravishingly natural. Interestingly, the application feels almost weightless and the effect is subtle – you notice the difference, but don’t feel like you painted your eyelashes. The effect is down to a very clever combination of organic plant waxes, activated charcoal and select few raw minerals that allow this emollient mascara to both shape the lashes and intensify the ‘fullness’ effect. One of the natural properties of plant-based waxes that I mention above is that they are water-repellent (but not 100% smudge-proof), which makes the mascara durable, adds volume & gives individual lash separation, all the while adding the ‘blackest black” pigment capabilities. Obsidian is the ultimate deep rich black shade for enhancing your eyelashes to perfection, giving instant and buildable colour pay-off. This mascara is fragrance free, but has a natural scent courtesy of organic oils and minerals pigments in its INCI list.
Manasi7 tips on best mascara application
- Prep and prime your eye area with our Skin enhancer and Silk finish powder for optimal staying powder.
- Curl the lashes well, then apply mascara starting with reducing the amount on the brush by pulling it up and down a few times in the reducer. Start by looking upwards and apply one layer on the bottom lashes. Make sure to not look down until it has dried. Then look down and apply one layer on the upper lashes. Make sure it dries completely before looking up.
- Repeat application if necessary. Use as many coats, as you feel comfortable with. One coat and your lashes are full and defined. Two coats and lashes are even more luscious, curled, and dramatic. Three coats help you achieve the most intense, black, multi-dimensional lashes possible.
Packaging and storage details:
- Primary packaging bottle made of recycled and recyclable glass. Cap made of recycled plastic. Brush made of recycled and recyclable plastic and nylon.
- Reusable and recyclable paper secondary packaging.
- Shelf life unopened is at least 24 months.
- Shelf life opened is at least 6 months.
- Store by tightly closing the lid on the product when it is not in use. Avoid direct sunlight or near sources of heat.
The best compliment I can give to this mascara is this – as someone who rarely uses the mascara, I have become a mascara convert and have been using this mascara if not daily, then a good few times a week, even if I didn’t have a work event, theatre outing or dinner with friends. If this is not a love letter to a black mascara, I don’t know what is my darlings. Until May Newness…..