As women’s interest in beauty, irrespective of the age, only seems to grow, so does the amount of beauty products and subscription boxes, making it even more difficult to decide what your skin needs or what you should try. However, there are some brands and services that stand the test of time not only because of their quality, customer service and efficacy, but also because of the people behind them. I am a big fan of Boxwalla, because every time Lavanya launches a box, be it a beauty or a book one, I not only get curious, but more importantly, I have a chance to learn something new, that ultimately benefits me as a person in the long term.
Boxwalla’s February Beauty Box, titled ‘Moonlight & Silver Sleep’, that I received a few weeks ago, contained night-time skincare products from two cult brands, British Amly Botanicals and American Mun Skincare – both united by minimalist perfection when it comes to their respective formulations and products, that at the same time have the biggest personalities. The box contained Amly‘s latest launch, a third one from the brand, a face mist called Beauty Sleep, Mun’s Aknari Brightening Youth Serum and the accompanying it canvas make-up bag. The overall effect was that of a peacefully radiant beauty that doesn’t get touched by the passing of time.
Amly Botanicals Beauty Sleep Silver Rich Face Mist
Amly, founded by two women, Kerry & Lisa, whose friendship lies at the foundation of the brand, is built on their complimenting talents & desire to create something that will help people who use it, feel special, cloaked in the invisible veil of their mists. Another element of Amly’s foundation lies literally underground on the farm in East Sussex, belonging to Lisa’s family. The discovery of artisan spring water, rich in silver, deep below the farmland inspired Lisa & Kerry to create the Amly Botanical mists, featuring this water in its base. In addition to containing trace elements and minerals, this spring water is unusually rich in naturally occurring silver salts that are highly bio-accessible. Silver has also been recognised for its powerful antioxidant properties & helping enhance skin’s natural regenerating ability.
With good night’s sleep essential for our wellbeing, yet many people struggling with actually getting it on a regular basis, this powerhouse of a mist is meant to be used at night and includes neroli, lavender, geranium, snow algae extract, tulsi, valerian root, roman chamomile, frankincense, passionflower, hops & echinacea. The mist promises to support the natural sleeping process, encouraging your mind to rest & skin to be restored & rejuvenated.
Part toner, part hydrating serum, Beauty Sleep, launched in October of last year, was specifically formulated to be used at night-time & its list of ingredients was carefully crafted to sooth, restore & repair your skin as you sleep. The star ingredient, Snow Algae, isn’t easily sourced, as it is grows on glaciers, but is known for helping to speed up overnight collagen production (aided by Passion Flower), assisting & strengthening skin’s protective barrier. Rose Quartz, Benzoin & Labdanum resin add the feeling of warmth & being in the protective cocoon, while Echinacea calms irritated skin & assists effective functioning of the immune system.
Formulated for both fatigued skin & mind, the mist also contains extracts of Passion Flower, Valerian & Hops, a powerful synergetic trio that relieves tension, while a combination of Clary Sage, Linden & Chamomile quietens a busy mind & helps relieve the body of negative effect of stress.
Beauty Sleep Mist is also different from Amly’s two other face mists in terms of the scent. While the first two smell of flowers that grew in a big open field and were regularly swaying in the windy sunshine, this mist has a deeper scent, with earthy notes & sweet undertones. Infused with sublime floral waters of Neroli, Lavender & Geranium, the mist isn’t just an indulgence for your skin & mind, but for the senses overall. It whispers comforting musings into your ears, as you wrap yourself in the blanket & hopefully fall into deep & restful sleep.
I normally sleep well, but after using this mist in my evening meditation practise & then again as I settle to read before bedtime, for a couple of weeks, I found myself deeply attached to its mystical scent, my hand reaching out for it, like a comfortable palm of a friend.
Shake the bottle before each use, close your eyes & spray generously the small-particled mist on your face, neckline (and pillow, if you deem it to be worthy). This also offers you an opportunity to take deeper breaths & prompts your body to change gears & slow down, with your senses masterfully soothed for entrance into the land of dreams.
‘While gently nudging you into soothing, blissful slumber, the selected products work as you sleep, so you wake up with glowing, plump, hydrated skin.’ Boxwalla
Mun Skincare Aknari Brightening Youth Serum
The ‘second’ product (but by no means second fiddle .) in Boxwalla’s February’s Skincare Ritual Beauty Box, is Mūn Skincare‘s exquisite Aknari Brightening Youth Serum. After cleansing your face with your usual evening cleanser (when I received the box, I had a third of a bottle of Mun’s Akwi Purifying Cleanser on my ‘cleansing products’ shelf, so I ‘paired’ them down, later switching to Odacite’s Green Ceremony Cleanser Powder, which contains Matcha & Spirulina, which allowed me to create an Asian-inspired evening skincare ritual in the privacy of my bathroom, akin to Japanese onsen).
Mūn Skincare’s minimalist & now cult Aknari Brightening Youth Serum contains only three carefully selected ( & undoubtedly a magic number in this case) ingredients. There is certified organic, cold-pressed Prickly Pear oil, rich in linoleic acid, phytosterols & Vitamin E, K & Zinc; certified organic cold-pressed Argan oil, high in ferulic acid & squalene and finally, a fragrant rose embrace that comes courtesy of pure Bulgarian Rose oil.
Munemi & Anas, the founders of Mūn Skincare, work directly with the sources that harvest & produce Prickly Pear Seed Oil, partnering with women’s cooperatives to source this potent ingredient. Vitamin E, found in Prickly Pear Seed Oil, is very high in Linoleic Acid (Essential Fatty Acid), which is proven to lighten sun-induced hyperpigmentation, protect the skin barrier, lower water loss & retain moisture. It also reduces the appearance of fine lines, helps prevent premature wrinkle formation, brightens dark under-eye circles, calms redness, helps relieve sunburn, brightens & evens out complexion. Quite a list of positives for the skin, right?
Mūn Skincare also partners with women’s cooperative to source their certified organic Argan Oil, supporting women & families, by giving them a reliable source of income & ability to improve their lives. To see a beauty brand support their suppliers and women in particular, who live in the third world countries, is something that only makes you more inclined to support the brand too, expanding the circle of positive change & proving that the world of beauty isn’t as fickle as some would make it up to be.
I have always been honest that while I occasionally love a rose bouquet, I generally am not a huge fan of roses in my skincare, preferring more woody or citrus scents. There are generally very few exceptions to this rule & this Mun product now also falls into this category. It’s rich formula is very pleasing, the sweet scent of rose that reminds me of the honey harvested in the summer & the uplifting in the mood that you experience upon application of it to the skin – cleanse, tone, then tap the oil onto your slightly damp skin, to enhance the already quick absorption – is most special. Few face serums or face oils overall have such an effect when compared to the total volume sold within the marketplace, be it in mass, luxury or natural segments. Applying it makes you feel more beautiful, re-assuring the strength of your inner femininity. The skin glows, contentment descends and I just glide regally out of the bathroom.
Pairing those two brands, Amly Botanicals & Mun Skincare, from different parts of the world, yet so close to each other in terms of sourcing, creativity, efficacy and long-term effect, is akin to a stroke of genius, because their synergy just creates invisible magic, that not only children want to believe in!
As they say, beauty is in detail. When pre-ordered, this box cost $49.95, plus postage cost, depending where you live. However, the total value of two products and make-up bag came to a total retail value of $165. Not surprisingly, this beauty box sold out very quickly & made those who ordered or received it feel lucky & special in equal measure.
Boxwalla’s April Beauty Box, which will include two Twelve Beauty products, won’t be far behind in terms of the retail value, so do order, because the London Mask alone is quite something & it’s retail price alone is £86. Something tells me that the box is bound to sell out quickly .)