Wild for A.S. Apothecary Beauty Balm Concentrate

Sometimes it’s hard not to feel drowned in by the amount of new beauty launches and to choose wisely, not impulsively. But the older I become, the better I understand not just myself, but my skin & body needs, so they are the ones to dictate my skincare choices, not the marketing or advertising. As consumers we also develop affinity with certain brands, which makes us keep an eye on their new launches & A.S. Apothecary is one of those brands for me. Amanda Saurin‘s latest launch, Wild Beauty Balm Concentrate No.30 came about ‘over a series of months, meetings & musings’, including with yours truly. Once I tried one of Amanda’s early samples of the balm I was intrigued, after using the launched balm for about a couple of months, I can now say that it has become tightly woven into the fabric of my daily skincare routine.

Unscrew the lid, close your eyes & take a few deep, slow breaths, inhaling the indulgently flowery, uplifting scent that brings an almost instant feeling of calm & comfort. Open your eyes & continuing to take deep breaths, dip your finger into the smooth surface of the balm (and feel the satisfaction, as it sinks into a rich texture, releasing its aroma even more).

Amanda developed this balm over months, testing & refining it tirelessly, trying to create a product that will nurture not just your skin, but your soul as well. Several moons ago, when I visited Amanda in her studio in Lewes, well before she opened her beautiful store, I showed her a multipurpose balm that I use for healing the skin. I stock up on it in Moscow during my visits, as I came to rely on it due to its multiple purpose use, but it has a big minus, as its texture becomes too runny when it is warm, which led to quite a few accidents during my travels in the past. A lovely, but in someways imperfect product (and not 100% natural), which clearly gave Amanda some food for thought & the end result of her creative process continues to blow me away with its nurturing loveliness. As I was writing this post & exchanging e-mails with Amanda, it was important for me to incorporate her wise & creative voice into the conversation about this product, as noone understands the process behind its birth better than she does.

‘I also find ridiculous pleasure in opening the new pot and pressing my finger hard onto the surface, feeling it give way to reveal the soft buttery interior…’ read more

Need to know: The Hayo’u Method part two, rituals & products

Having introduced you to the Hayo’u Method & its formidable founder Katie Brindle in the part one of my post, in my second post I want to talk to you about daily rituals and products that are part of the method. I will also talk about the effect they had on me in the last couple of months.

Katie devised four simple rituals – Beauty Restorer for the face, Body Restorer, Reset & Rescue Breath. Each ritual need only take one minute  of your time & will either calm & de-stress or rejuvenate & re-energise your system. A case of simple, but efficient results, when you commit to being a little bit more disciplined & take time to nurture yourself.

As to the products, there are four plus two tools. A jade Beauty Restorer de-Stress Face Tool, a steel Body Restorer, a Treat-Rite de-Stress Face Oil & Body Oils,  Bathe-Rite de-Stress Shower Minerals & Bath-Rite de-Stress Bath Minerals. During our meeting Katie’s honesty gripped my attention. She clearly prides herself on creating well-thoughtout & researched products, but says that if you already have your favourite bath, body or facial products, you don’t have to switch in order to use her face & body tools. Use them alongside the products that work for you and see what transpires. I often hear brand founders say how you should use only their products in your routine, as they have the best synergy, yet here is a woman who wants you to be happy in your skin & body by using what appeals to YOU.

Simple Daily Rituals & Practical Techniques

Hayo’u offers four daily self-treatments using techniques & tools that are most effective in protecting the read more

CRiL Reviews: Alchemy Grapefruit Hair Remedy

Most of us consider hair our crowning glory, but until we start having problems with it, we tend to take our hair for granted. Having had a few of my own hair voes in the past, I always keep an eye on new haircare launches, within the natural & organic beauty segment in particular, so when a British brand Alchemy approached me, I was instantly intrigued.

Like our skin, hair reflects the state of our general health. However, as they are dead cells, hair issues like splitting ends, discolouration, dry scalp or dandruff can be indicative of past or ongoing illnesses or nutritional deficiency. If you leaf through many publications, including the glossies, you will notice that hair that is glossy and in top condition seems to be trending lately and it is the trend that I wholeheartedly embrace, as part of my own daily self-care evening ritual.

Each oil in Alchemy formulas is organic, fair-trade, vegan & cruelty-free (part of PETA’s beauty without bunnies campaign) and is sourced either from the UK or India

I don’t know about you, but I have white envy of real women who posses long, thick, glossy hair (please make no mistake, this doesn’t include me admiring magazine or tv ads where glossy hair is achieved by clever lighting & editing ). Fairly often women who have naturally glossy locks come from the Arab countries, Latin America or India, so the fact that Alchemy founders are of Indian heritage comes as a natural advantage. Amandeep Panglin, one of brand’s founders, alongside her two siblings, decided to create Alchemy after noticing a gap in the market for multi-tasking hair oils – ones that can remedy damage already inflicted on hair & scalp, while also acting as a styling product. Amandeep & her siblings have been using oils on their hair since the young age, which allowed them to combine their childhood practises with modern knowledge & to create a line of products based on natural oils (no gimmicky or complex formulas, reading through which you get lost) to benefit both hair & scalp. In a way, they have always been working towards setting up their own business & in 2015 a dream became a reality.

Alchemy launched with just three products, Peppermint Beard RemedyGrapefruit & Amla Hair Remedies, recently adding the Peppermint Brow Remedy to their range (you can also purchase sample-sized versions of the products, as well as limited editions of the products for special occasions). The brand combines Ayurvedic practise of hair oiling from India, where oils are used much more often than in the West, for scalp massaging. There is a notion that oils will make your hair greasy, but you don’t have to worry, if you use good quality oils in the right way for your own scalp & hair needs – more on this later.

Each blend was formulated to stimulate hair growth, treat hair loss, promote stronger hair, soften it, fight frizz, add shine or make hair more manageable naturally. We often want what we don’t have, but it’s nice to have a product that allows you to achieve the desired result, factoring your hair’s unique qualities, while ingredients used have long-term benefits & don’t jeopardise your wellbeing.

read more