We gravitate towards a beauty brand for a variety of reasons. Some appeal visually, others do their marketing irresistibly well. What tends to draw my attention is the innovation, story and the engagement, as original narratives are also more likely to lead to an interesting discovery that will do wonders for your skin. Getting to know Gabrielle, a former sponsored athlete and graphic designer, who is now Australia-based and is the founder of the holistic and sustainable brand Fifty7Kind, proved to be even more fascinating than I envisaged.
Gabrielle recently collaborated with The Drunken Boxwallas (Boxwalla) and the resulting Boxwalla beauty box contained both a 30ml NADI Innate Flow Quell Balsam and a 5ml TANU Cell Affinity Coactive serum. From the moment I laid eyes on the packaging boxes my interest swelled. When I opened the box and caught a gentle, earthy whiff of NADI, I become intrigued by the scent journey that temporarily took me away from the pandemic lockdown limitations. My heart was smitten by the time I lifted a red and green felt hearts, each accompagnying the Fifty7Kind product on its journey from Gabrielle’s hands into those of her customers – in that instance, mine.
Fifty7Kind TANU Cell Affinity Coactive Serum, 5ml, pipette or rollerball options
Meaning and Alchemy
Meaning ‘self, person, body’ in Sanskrit, this serum is powerfully potent. Formulated to protect, heal, balance and calm any skin type, it also helps to reduce visual hyperpigmentation. Something that more and more women of different ages notice after direct sun exposure. The problem is increasingly magnified by the lack of regular sun protection.
Made in a base of Prickly Pear and Camellia Oleifera Seed Oils, mossy & mustardy in colour, this serum reminds me of alchemy at work & sinks almost instantly into the skin – something that many consumers are still weary about, when oils are mentioned when talking about face care. The oils used in this serum are non-comodogenic, so please don’t worry about pores being blocked.
An interesting star ingredient of this serum are the Crithmum Maritimum Plant Cells. Those plant cells provide powerful, yet gentle retinol-like results, without the skin irritation or photosensitisation, so with regular use – I tend to use it in the evening – I noticed that my skin was smoother and while lines didn’t magically disappear, coupled with face massage the skin certainly recovers more of its natural “bounce”. If you have oily skin, this serum will help to regulate sebum activity – just start with a ‘light’ touch and observe your skin’s reaction in the course of a few days, adjusting the amount, with your skin being your trusted guide.
Clinical Testing & Age recommendation
Gabrielle’s manufacturer has done clinical tests for the Crithmum Maritimum Plant Cells and you can read about the results on her website. I was particularly intrigued by the fact that regular use of this serum helps to lower cellular differentiation, which helps to reduce keratinisation process (which results in the appearance of dark skin spots ), particularly with the active sun exposure. Thanks to Zeaxanthin the serum also provides blue light absorption credentials – something worth considering when selecting skincare products, as most of us continue to spend increased amount of time in front of our laptops, iPads and phones.
TANU is a concentrated product and Gabrielle recommends it to 30+ demographic of customers, but younger, acne-prone customers can certainly benefit from using this product too. Personally I appreciate inclusion of lipids and ceramids that help replenish the skin, while natural salicylic acid accelerates skin cell turnover – something that is important for those who are outside of their first flushes of youth of 20s and 30s.
The Scent and the Knowledge
There is also the comfort derived from TANU scent. The earthy scent makes you feel grounded, something that we often forget in our constant rush towards targets or ticking things off the daily ‘to do’ list. You can also lift the pipette up and examine the gently floating plant molecules, semi-saturated at room temperature, that disperse, as if sped up by the invisible wand, once they come into contact with the warmth of the skin.
You can also expect the encyclopaedic knowledge and the revving up of the appetite when you read the INCI list, which includes, but isn’t just limited to Acai, Goji, Amaranth, Avocado, Baobab, Borage, Blue Tansy, Carrot Root, Calendula, Roman and German Blue Chamomile, Green Tea Leaf, Pomegranate, Raspberry, Rosehip Fruit & Seed, Rosemary Leaf, Sea Buckthorn Berry, Turmeric Root and Willow Bark – nature’s own medicinal and nutritious pharmacy that is expertly and knowingly bottled for your skin. Just make sure you don’t drink it in, but your skin does!
P.s as this serum is full of actives, Gabrielle recommends doing a patch test first.
Fifty7Kind NADI Innate Flow Quell Balsam, 30ml, US$150
Nadi is a Sanskrit word that translates as a channel, river or flow that allow energy to travel throughout the body. There are three principal nadis in the body that go through the seven chakras or energetic centers of the body closely connected to our organs and emotions.
NADI is a aromatic balsam for our skin sorrows. And it’s bold, confident and herbaceous scent will grip your senses and put them at ease through the unseen, but deeply comforting embrace.
NADI is a multi-correctional balsam that Gabrielle created to alleviate her own skin’s stress response and restore a state of internal calm to both skin and mind. Formulated to calm stressed, irritated, acneic, inflamed, dry, flaky, or itchy skin, as well as diminish the negative impact from over-exfoliation, environmental aggressors, pollution, or UV damage, this balsam is suitable for use on any skin.
- CALM – Skin irritation.
- REDUCE – Acne-causing bacteria.
- EVEN OUT SKIN TONE – Inhibits melanin synthesis, reducing the appearance of hyper-pigmentation and fading dark spots on the skin.
- ACCELERATE – Microcirculation and oxygen to the skin to speed up healing and repair.
- RESTORE – Increase barrier formation on the skin, helping to prevent trans-epidermal water loss.
- PREVENT – Skin dehydration by improving the lipid barrier matrix & encouraging long-term vitality.
- BOOST– Epithelial cell turnover.
- ENHANCEMENT – Of cellular energy metabolism.
- STIMULATES – Collagen and Elastin production.
- INCREASE HYDRATION – Natural humectant draws moisture from the air to your skin, and holds onto it, preventing epidermal water loss.
- PROTECTS – Against oxidative stress and DNA damage. It also reduces the negative effects of photo-acing, which is shown by lessening the depth of wrinkles.
NADI is one of those product that grips you as soon as you lift the lid and inhale the scent. Within minutes you almost feel like a different person, more serene, if only for a limited period of time. Products like that, which have duality of purpose – improve the external and internal appearance of the skin, as well as positively impact our mood, are something that is universally beneficial, particularly at times of increased stress that the whole world has been and continues to go through.
- OVERNIGHT MASK / Emulsifies with water; mix with a mist or essence to create a micro-emulsion treatment mask.
- EYE TREATMENT / Natural inflammatory multiplex reduces the appearance of puffiness and fine lines – add a soothing cool boost by storing NADI in the refrigerator.
- MAKEUP BASE / Fast-absorbing, but with a weightless texture that leaves a powdery, non-greasy skin feel.
- SKIN IRRITATIONS / Rosacea, scarring, dark spots, dry skin, burns, and bug bites.
- COMBINE / Mix with a mist, essence, oil, cream or a small amount of loose mineral powder to create a liquid foundation.
- HANDS + CUITCLES / Soothing cracked, chapped skin on hands, cuticles, elbows and feet.
Solid in appearance (but do keep it in the fridge in hotter months of the year, as it is waxless and might melt), the balm is surprisingly light-weight, as well as fast-absorbing, which is a testament to both Gabrielle’s knowledge of ingredients and formulating skills. When using it, I now take a minute to lengthen my breath, inhaling and exhaling deeper, welcoming the connection to nature through ingredients that is so important to us human beings, and only then I apply it to cleansed and slightly damp skin. It’s a beauty meditation product, its duality positively impacting even children after a particularly stressful or busy day.
Gabrielle’s Top Tips on Using Fifty7Kind Products
I use my cleansing balm (big reveal: launching later this year) first thing in the morning, followed by a hydration (water based) serum, then apply three drops of TANU all over my face. In the evening I apply my cleansing balm as a flash mask, leaving it on for 10 minutes (or while I take a shower for skin protection, as I find the water so drying to my skin), then I will apply a face mist / essence / hydrosol. I always have one that I am testing, followed by an hydration serum, followed by another spay of essence / mist, followed by NADI as my final step. Personally I believe that our skin reaches a critical mass – by this I mean there is only so much our skin can absorb and I feel its so easy to overwhelm our skin and then ‘blame’ a particular product. After cleansing and hydrating, I will wait at least 30 minutes before applying NADI as my final step.
Fifty7Kind Product Ethos
All of my Fifty7Kind products are created to be: (1) Concentrated – less is required per application. (2) Multi-functional – addressing numerous concerns, while reducing the need for multiple products. This way the skin is less likely to be ‘overwhelmed’. (3) Experience – For me this is EVERYTHING! I create my products not to ‘promise’ to change your skin, but to change the way you FEEL about your skin and yourself. Beginning with the felt heart – a visual reminder of how utterly beautiful and wonderful you already are. Next comes the Miron bottle / jar – its weight, when you hold the product in your hands, is grounding and the deep purple/blue hue of the glass is exquisite. The aroma of the product is to be savoured, we each react and feel differently as we inhale aromas, but this is where the personality of the product comes from. I don’t formulate for just the aroma – by this I mean that I do not add ingredients for their scent alone (for example essential oils). I only add ingredients because of their individual compounds, which I wish to leverage for the performance of the product. (4) Texture and Skin feel – I spend an obsessive amount of time adjusting the smallest of percentages to master the texture and feel of a product – I quite literally drive myself crazy creating micro batches in the quest of reaching the “this is it moment!”
Gabrielle’s Skin Takeaways:
- Your skin can only absorb so much!
- Less is more.
- Take time – if you wish to layer skincare products, allow time between layers for your skin to absorb and assimilate the product before adding more.
- Enjoy the ritual and the pleasure of “me time” – especially when it comes to your evening routine, as this will help your senses to calm down and prepare you for better quality of sleep.
To learn more about Fifty7Kind, please click here to go to brand’s website (the link is unaffiliated).