Curiosity Gap Spotlight: Ra Oils & interview with the founder Frida Jonsdottir

Judging by the recent volume of write-ups in the press about acne, a skin condition that used to be read more

Beauty brand in the spotlight: Sarah Tay & Tay skincare

The older I become the more the proverb ‘don’t judge the book by its cover’ makes sense but sometimes one makes an exception even to the most stringent rule. Recently Cult Beauty team announced the arrival of the new range called Tay Skincare into their online store but it wasn’t the formulas that initially peaked my curiosity, it’s the packaging that I couldn’t take my eyes off. The range comes in bamboo bottles or boxes, with the product’s name, as well as ingredients & instructions engraved on them. It looked so beautiful and so unusual even in the pictures, that without thinking twice ( thank you Verity from Cult Beauty for your assistance on this one ! ), I placed an order based purely on visuals alone-a first for me, truth be told. An additional bonus was that as part on the launch promotion, Cult Beauty customers received a gift bamboo box with product samples, which are organic or natural in origin and are rich in botanical extracts and such ingredients as shea butter, sea buckthorn, apricot kernel oil, cucumber fruit, mushrooms, argan and rosehip oils and green tea extract. One of Tay skincare main aims is to keep our skin looking glowing, supple and youthful.


Sarah Tay, brand’s founder and CEO,  has a creative background in art and design and that’s one of the reasons why designing an appropriate packaging was important to her, in addition to perfecting the products formulations. Each bottle and box is made out of 100% sustainable bamboo and each looks like a work of art, as far as I am concerned. An additional benefit is that you can re-use them once you finish a specific product-for storing make-up, kid’s small toys, beauty samples etc or to dispense the products for travelling purposes.


It was equally important for Sarah to create products that combine high performance skincare with easy to use regime, as many of us have hectic lifestyles and want to have products that can achieve maximum results in minimum beauty routine time. She sourced premium ingredients that combine anti-ageing properties with the ones that keep our skin healthy and well hydrated.

Tay Skincare, as part of brand’s ethos and business development, holds the idea of the preciousness of the world that we live in very close to its heart. It supports the Fruit Tree Foundation, a non-profit charity group that plants trees to promote forestation of orchards in city parks, schools, low income neighbourhoods, animal sanctuaries and international hunger relief sites in order to help combat the global warming, strengthen communities and improve air, soil and water quality.

Before I tell you a little bit about each of the Tay skincare products, read Sarah Tay‘s answers to my questions, which hopefully will give you a better understanding of this beauty skincare brand.

What inspired Sarah Tay——-

The idea of building a skincare line from very pure and high-grade ingredients was inspired from her upbringing with an orchard garden. She had always had organically-grown fruits and when she first had a store-bought orange, she found it so puzzling that the same type of fruit could feel and taste so different. In learning more about organic and natural botanicals, tied in with her love of skincare, this line was a blend of passion for antioxidants and anti-aging formulas. She also wanted to create packaging that could express the high quality of the skincare on the inside out. Sarah Tay is New York-based, and is a creative director and veteran of the beauty industry. 
What inspired the design——–
Sarah Tay’s design philosophy has always revolved around textures. She knew from the beginning that she wanted to have an organic and natural collection that could naturally reflect wholesomeness. Because each and every bottle is unique in its own way, Sarah Tay wanted to be able to share a piece of art with each person that came across the line.
Tips about the formulas——–
Our formulas are hand-filled and created in small batches, thus being able to give our followers very pure and clean formulas that have no petrochemicals, no parabens, no synthetic fragrances or dyes. They fit all skin types and especially sensitive skin users.

Are the formulas natural or organic?——–
We use a blend of natural and organic ingredients. While we originally started with organic formulas, we did a myriad of testing with other natural ingredients. What resulted from this testing was that some extracts, while not certified organic, went through a very clean production that could almost be. And when we picked up some ingredients from small, artisan farms that had very effective ingredients, but did not necessarily have the time and money for the mounds of government paperwork, we decided to create the most effective formula through clean and pure mixtures, rather than just getting a lot of paperwork in order. We fully believe in the formulas and encourage people to try it. After all, what’s written down on paper is not necessarily what you will experience with your own skin. 

Below are the product descriptions, my read more

Not just the supermodels secret-Embryolisse Lait-Creme Concentre

Almost every time you read an interview with a famous model, where they talk about their backstage secrets, most of them tend to mention Lait-Creme Concentre by Embryolisse Laboratoires and it always makes me wrinkle my nose a little, as it’s not just the ‘supers’ who love this product.


I have been buying it from French pharmacies since my early 20s and since then it had remained my beauty staple too. It has been quite frustrating at times to run out and have to wait for a trip to France or to beg my girlfriends to bring me a couple of tubes if they were going, as no one was stocking it in the UK.

Why do I like this products so much? Well, for starters, it’s very versatile. I use it as a cleanser, as a moisturiser or even a mask, when my skin is feeling a bit dry, especially post-skiing. It works for all skin types, including sensitive ( it has been  developed under pharmaceutical supervision and has been tested by dermatologists using a limited number of carefully selected ingredients )and can also be used on your toddlers skin too. It reinforces your skin’s defences, works on its hydro-lipid barrier, helps cell renewal and protects the skin from outside aggressors, like heat and cold. It has lots of fatty acids ( combining shea butter, aloe vera, beeswax and soy proteins ) and vitamins   and it never ceases to amaze me how great it makes my skin feel and look.

I am also happy to report that it has landed on the British shores and is stocked up on Cult Beauty site, priced £17.50 ( at the time of publishing, there was a waiting list for it, so when you manage to place an order, order not one, but a couple .) and I promise you you will be in for a pleasant surprise that will have a lasting effect on you .)

Great beauty buys from Cult Beauty-Jouer Cosmetics, KaplanMD & d.j.v. Beautenizer

Jouer1The beauty market is over-saturated with big brands, so I take interest in lesser known brands that deliver surprisingly great results and CultBeauty team are my kind of girls in that respect.

First of all, let’s discuss American brand called Jouer Cosmetics, which means ‘play’ inJouer French. This brand offers cool packaging, with possibility of your beauty items attaching/clicking into each other, like pieces of the puzzle. I absolutely adore

Jouer ‘lip and
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A great find from Cult Beauty team-Fix Malibu

I have been meaning to rave about the Fix Malibu brand for a while now, but as I have used it for a couple of months now, Ifixmalibu cannot be accused of not being objective in my praise .)

Fix Malibu originated in…yes, you guessed it, in sunny Malibu and people living there know a thing or two about the effect of sun on our skin-both good (we need sunshine to feel good) and the bad (prolonged sun exposure can lead to burns and even skin cancer). This American developed brand is founded by Rebecca Giles M.D. and her mission is to address the issue of sun-damaged skin. She does make a point that her skincare needs to be combined with a broad sunscreen-on that condition, you will see the effectiveness in prevention of wrinkles, pigmentation and redness.

I have started using

‘The Works’
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