Category

Beauty

Category

Our favourite Auckland Spas

From facials and waxing to pregnancy massages, we’ve selected seven of our top spas in Auckland for the ultimate pampering session as we are often asked where our favourite places are to get beauty treatments

To read our full list of Auckland Spa’s, visit Expedia.

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Spring Spa
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East Day Spa
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Caci Clinic
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Dry & Tea
Loft Beauty Boutique
Loft Beauty Boutique
Haven
Haven

Slip Slop Slap – Protect your skin!

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We all know it, there are advertisements everywhere telling us to do so, our parents told us, teachers, doctors… yet SO many of us fail to protect our skin from the sun. 2,162 Australian’s lost their lives from skin cancer in 2015. That is on average 6 people per day! Heartbreaking!

I was one of those (idiots) people who thought it was a better idea to sunbathe sans sunscreen in order to achieve a darker tan. I never thought twice as to how bad it was when I got sunburnt. “Oh at least my tan will be darker” I would say to myself. Looking back I deeply regret not listing to my Mum telling me to wear sunscreen each time I decided to bask in the sun. It came as no surprise when I had my skin checked under UV lights that the damage I had inflicted on my skin was extreme. Pigmentation, uneven skin tone, and yes the physical damage can sometimes be undone thanks to advances in beauty, however the internal damage cannot. And that is what is most important. I don’t want to get preachy here, but this is an important topic, especially for those of you living in New Zealand or Australia where our countries have extreme UV. And no, the pitiful amount of SPF in your foundation is not enough to protect you. You need more! Face, Body… I have you covered. Literally. Here are my sunscreen recommendations:

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Ki Sunscreen SPF 30+ by Caci Clinic

Caci Clinic fixed my skin. They took it from pigmented, uneven and drab to a point where I seldom wear make up. Thank you skin fairies! When I found out they launched a sunscreen I knew I had to try it and it doesn’t disappoint. Fragrance and oil free, reduces shine and gives a mattifying effect (say goodbye to shiny moon face!) and it is suitable for all skin types including acne prone and sensitive skin.
NZD $58 | 60ml | www.caci.co.nz

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Snowberry Everyday Sunscreen SPF 15

Snowberry is a New Zealand brand who are known for their anti wrinkle serum. As part of their range they also have an SPF 15 and 30 sunscreen. Their 30 was out of stock so I have trailed the 15 and use it on days when I know being outdoors is only when I am in and out of my car to the gym, supermarket etc. According to Snowberry SPF15 provides about 93% protection against UVB, and surprisingly, SPF30 provides just 4% more, so it is more in how you use your product, than its rating that is important.
NZD $46 | 50ml | www.snowberry.co.nz

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Hamilton Active Family SPF 50+ Sunscreen

Spray on sunscreen is my best friend when I am at the beach. I don’t know about you but rubbing sunscreen onto my skin when half of it is covered in sand is not a nice experience. This is where spray on suncreens rule! 4 hours water resistant so you can swim to your hearts content and know you are protected, fast absorbing, invisible and non greasy. Ticks every box! Make this product a staple in your beach bag this Summer.
AUD $11.95 | 200ml | www.hamiltonsun.com.au

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Antipodes Immortal SPF 15 Face and Body Moisturiser

With ingredients like Vinanza Grape & Kiwi * Raspberry seed oil * Reishi mushroom this is more than your typical sunscreen. Antipodes know how to do luxe skincare well, so if you are after a product that will nourish as well as protect you from the sun, this is it.
NZD $54 | 60ml | www.antipodesnature.com

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Cancer Council Sunscreen Body Spray SPF 50

Pink Grapefruit and Lychee scent sunscreen! Yes please! This leaves you smelling delicious. It is a light non greasy formula and comes in 3 scents. Great for long days at the beach thanks to its easy application. Bonus, sales of Cancer Council products help fund important research, patient support and education.
AUD $11.95 | 70g | www.cancercouncilshop.org.au

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Murad Essential-C Day Moisture SPF 30

Murad make fantastic skin care and this is a product of theirs I use on my face every single day. It is a scientifically proven formula that helps repair as well as protect your skin from environmental damage. Light and non greasy, perfect to apply before make up to keep your skin hydrated and protected during the day.
NZD $133 | 50ml | www.murad.co.nz

Do you protect your skin everyday? What are your go to products? Jx

Aussie Beauty – The Best Of Down Under

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Not long ago natural and organic beauty products used to be very hard to find and when you could find them they were darn expensive. With consumers paying more attention to what they are putting onto their skin that has changed and now there is a natural alternative to every single beauty product on the market and a lot of them are at a bargain price. It could be as simple as changing a few key ingredients to make the product less toxic, or having testing performed on humans, not animals (as it should be!), or adding in botanical ingredients.

Australia is known for some of the best brands that are loved all over the world when it comes to natural beauty, from multi million dollar brands to boutique, they have it all. I have lived in Australian for nearly 4 years and love to support home grown companies big and small. Below are some of the Australian beauty brands I love.

What is important to you when purchasing beauty products? Jx

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Scout, Organic Mineral Foundation

I cannot tell you how much I love this make up brand! I have been using Scout’s free 5 nail polishes and remover for quite some time now and have just tried their foundations. AMAZING! Scout was launched in 2008 by Sydney mother Sylvie Hutchings. Sylvie has done an incredible job of growing the brand range and creating products that are made in Australia from only the highest quality certified organic and natural ingredients. I couldn’t choose between the liquid and mineral powder foundation, as they are equally as wonderful. The coverage of the liquid foundation is perfect for the daytime by itself and isn’t too heavy. The mineral powder foundation I dust on top of the liquid foundation if going out at night for full coverage that lasts hours or you can wear by itself in the day and the more you layer, the better the coverage.
AUD $49.95 | www.scoutcosmetics.com

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Manicare, Artiste Airbrush Collection makeup brushes

How beautiful are these rose gold brushes? They are SO soft! I don’t wear make up enough to justify spending a lot of money on brushes. I find a lot of the expensive brushes are made with animal hair, and hey, if there is an alternative I would rather use that than swipe a horses tail across my face when applying make up. Manicare is such a well-known brand that is affordable and available nearly everywhere in Australia and New Zealand so girls, try these! Their foundation brush is my favourite, it applies make up flawlessly.
AUD $24.95 – $44.95 | www.manicare.com.au

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Jurlique, Restorative Hydrating Emulsion

One of the leaders when it comes to Australian beauty brands. Juqlique is one of the original brands to make natural cool, they have been doing this for a long  time.  Their rosewater balancing mist is my favourite product of theirs and this hydrating emulsion is a close second. Being exposed to the sun every day and living by the beach means my skin needs extra attention to help re hydrate. This product does just that and a little bit goes a long way! If you are after a luxe day cream, this is the one.
AUD $120, 50ml | www.jurlique.com.au

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A’kin, Dry Shampoo

A’kin is an Australian made and owned brand who have been around for nearly 30 years. Their formulations are free from parabens, sulfates, ethoxylated cleansers, silicones, mineral oil, phthalates, DEA and artificial colours or fragrances. All of their products are vegan friendly and contain no palm oil (yay!). Dry Shampoo is always in my handbag so my hair looks fresh at all time, and to add volume. This product also has no residue build up, which means you don’t get that white look like some other dry shampoo products.
AUD $14.95, 150ml | www.akin.com.au

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Alchemy, Lemongrass Shampoo & Jojoba Conditioner

Long gone are the days of using horrible supermarket shampoo, as now there are so many alternatives that are gentler on my skin and pocket. Alchemy shampoo and conditioner has been in my shower for years, I love that you can purchase this brand from pharmacies, Chemist Warehouse and Priceline – affordable and easily accessible. As the formulation is very concentrated you only need a tiny amount so if you are washing your hair every 2nd day the bottle will last months.
AUD $14.95, 225ml | www.akin.com.au

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Botanicals, Hand Cream

One of the first signs of aging is hands; therefore I make an effort to apply hand cream often (and then sunscreen on top!). I find it unnecessary spending a small fortune on hand cream and love that this brand by Cotton On is $9.95 for a 100ml tube. At that price you can afford to get one for your handbag, office desk and kitchen bench. Paraben & sulphate free and made in Australia.
AUD $9.95, 100ml | www.cottonon.com

Shop My Stash

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Do you sometimes get overwhelmed with the amount of beauty prodcuts on the market? Trying to figure out what is best for you, what fits into your budget and what actually works?  As always with beauty posts I only write about products I have actually tried so you can be sure that my feedback is genuine.

It’s been another busy few weeks trying out beauty products to share with you and of course I couldn’t write a post without including some of my favourites.  None of these brands test on animals so if you are looking to fill your bathroom cupboard with cruelty free products, read on.

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Murad Hydro Dynamic Quenching Essence

Lightweight, silky, smooth and luxurious sums up this quenching essence. A product to be used before serums, moisturiser or sunscreen is applied. It will leave your skin hydrated and feeling as smooth as anything – the perfect product for anyone with skin that tends to be on the dry side. All Murad products are developed by Dr Howard Murad, he is a dermatologist, trained pharmacist and Associate Clinical Professor of medicine.  NZD $164.00 | www.murad.co.nz

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Eco Store Shampoo + Conditioner

Made in NZ, zero parabens and the packaging is made from renewable sugarcane plastic, which is 100% recyclable. Eco Stores shampoo and conditioner for normal hair to dry hair gently cleans and restores shine without drying out your hair. Their products are never tested on animals! AUD: $10.99 | www.ecostore.com.au

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Jurlique Rosewater Balancing Mist

Jurlique’s Rosewater Balancing Mist is a multipurpose spray that smells heavenly! I use it pre, during and post flight to help keep my skin hydrated and bring a sense of calm. After applying make up I use it as a refresher spray to help keep skin looking fresh. The mist comes in a glass bottle, which is perfect for preserving the product and gives it a luxurious feel.  AUD $35.00 | www.jurlique.com.au

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Savar Rosehip Ultra Brightening Serum

If you are looking for a serum that isn’t greasy, is gentle on skin and smells beautiful, this might be for you. This serum absorbs ultra fast so is perfect to use before applying make up. It contains NZ blackcurrant and kiwifruit extracts plus rosehip and goji berry. A tiny bit goes a long way and the dropper applicator means you get the exact amount you need for your skin. Made in New Zealand and not tested on animals. NZD $56.00 | www.savaronline.com

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Dr Hauschka Cleansing Cream

This is a cream cleanser which contains almond seed meal so it does have an almost exfoliant like texture to it. I love how it makes my skin feel really clean after using, unlike some cleansers that fail to get make up off in one go. The squeezy tube means that you can get every single bit of product out with none of it going to waste. Vegan friendly, Free from synthetic fragrances, dyes and preservatives. I really like this brand and am excited to try more of their products!  NZD $39.00 | www.drhauschka.com

What are your favorite beauty products at the moment? Jx

September Skin Essentials

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It’s been a busy few month for Lib and I – lots of travelling for our Takes A Village events, working on our new brand (hopefully we will be able to tell you all about it soon) and recipe testing in Sydney for the past few weeks.  One thing we have been doing is trailing a lot of beauty brands so that we can share with you.  As always I review brands that are cruelty free and use ingredients that are as natural as possible. If there is the option of choosing products that are gentler not only on our skin, but the environment also, why wouldn’t you go down that route? Here are my September essentials – if you use any of these products/brands I would love to hear from you in the comments below. Jx

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Swisse Micellar Make Up Remover

A fragrance free make up remover with a hint of cucumber. This product is Soap and irritant free, contains no harsh chemicals and is not tested on animals. I love that it is affordable as some micellar waters can be quite pricey. You can pick Swisse products up from the supermarket.
AUD $6.99 | Swisse.com   

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Verite Kiwifruit Seed & Baobab Probiotic Eye Serum

Looking after the skin around my eyes and keeping it hydrated is something I see as being important, especially when flying. This eye and lip serum from Verite is super hydrating and makes such a difference! Verite products are special as they are hand blended in New Zealand in small batches in order to maintain their potency and effectiveness.
NZD $56.00 | Veritespa.co.nz

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Keune Curl Enhancer

If you have naturally wave or curly hair this product is for you. During summer months it is nice to let hair air dry to give it a break from heat stylers – I put this product through my ends and it enhances my hairs natural wave without weighing it down. Keune products are not tested on animals, bonus!
AUD $27.99 | Keune.com

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Ethique Shampoo & Conditioner Bars

Ethique is SUCH a cool brand, I love everything that they stand for and what they are trying (and doing a really good job of) to achieve. Ethique products were introduced to me when they were featured in goodie bags of Women’s Wellness events I took part in, from there I was hooked. Their conditioner bar contains Cupuacu Butter, Coconut Oil, Vitamin B5, Wheat Protein and zesty Mandarin oil and is also a heat protectant, containing an ingredient that binds to your hair when used in the shower and won’t wash off until you wash with shampoo next. Pretty cool! All of their bars smell beautiful, are super concentrated (so you only need to use a tiny bit and they last forever)! And you don’t use any plastic. If you have not heard about this brand visit their website to read more.
NZD $15.00 – $28.00 for hair products | Ethique.co.nz

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Ultraceuticals Even Skintone Serum

I credit this product (along with photo rejuvenation treatments) to clearing up my skin, getting rid of pigmentation and redness. It has been 4 months since I started using Ultraceuticals products and I will continue using them. The brand is a salon-grade skin care line that’s only available in select salons/spas, cruelty free which is not common amongst Cosmeceutical brands and Australian made and owned. Even Skintone Serum contains AHAs – they work best for refining skin texture and skin tone while BHAs work best for exfoliating pores. Ultraceuticals is not cheap, however you only need to use a tiny amount (I use 3 drops of this serum every second day) so the product does last a long time and results are visible in such a short time.
AUD $99 | ultraceuticals.com.au

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Skinfood Coco & Nut Oil

When flying it is always a good idea to keep skin hydrated. I love Skinfood’s Coco & Nut Oil as it contains organic cold pressed Coconut Oil, Sweet Almond Oil, Macadamia Nut Oil, Apricot Kernel Oil, Vitamin E – all ingredients that are nourishing. The bottle is 30ml’s so under the required size of liquids to be able to carry in hand luggage. You only need a few drops of the product so it lasts a long time. NZ made, not tested on animals and available from the supermarket.
NZD $23.99 | www.skinfood.co.nz

Beauty | The perfect foundation + everything for your base.

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The one beauty question I am asked most across our social channels is “what foundation do you use?” After trying many brands I have finally found what I deem to be the perfect foundations. They both feel beautiful and light on my skin but provide full coverage! Monday to Friday I am generally sans make up, since having photo rejuvenation (for uneven skin tone) I feel a lot more confident out in public without make up on and will stick to serums and sunscreen. On the weekend when I go out with friends or if I have breakouts I will wear make up and the products below are my absolute favourites! One tip I have learnt after having my make up professionally applied many a time is to prime skin before putting foundation on. Why? It will hydrate your skin and help smooth it out. There are 2 primers that are on rotation in my make up bag and I will introduce you to them in this post.

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Nude by Nature Pressed Mattifying Mineral Veil

This compact, portable, easy to carry pressed powder feels light on my skin, sets make up well to keep skin looking fresh all day. The price point is great. You only need a small amount of product so this compact lasts me months. Nude By Nature are 100% cruelty free and PETA certified. This is one brand worth supporting!

AUD $29.95 | More info

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Nude by Nature Airbrush Mineral Primer

Another Nude by Nature product that you only need to use little of to achieve a fantastic result. I have had this tube of primer for so long that Nude by Nature have since changed their packaging and I have not had to go out and by a new tube yet. This primer is silky smooth and allows your foundation to spread evenly across your skin. This product is silicone free and composed of performing active natural ingredients, including antioxidants rich Vitamins A and E, and Green Tea.

AUD $29.95 | More info

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QVS Make Up Brushes

Using make up brushes keeps make up application mess free and allows for even application. QVS brushes are great quality and one of the cheapest brands I have found. Their brushes are synthetic and make from a high quality nylon (do you know some brands use squirrel or sable hair, not cruelty free). In New Zealand QVS products are available at most chemists and in Australia you can find them at Target.

NZD $8.99 – $20.99 | More info

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Adorn Anti-Ageing Loose Mineral Foundation with SPF20+

This loose mineral foundation is incredible! I had never heard of this brand until I was sent some of their products and am now a huge fan of their range. Adorn is a cruelty free brand, Australian made and they use plant minerals and organic ingredients. I love how you only need a small dusting of this foundation for a flawless finish. When it is on my skin I forget I am wearing make up, as it is incredibly light and natural looking. This foundation comes in 6 shades from fair to dark tan so there is something for everyone. I use “light medium”. When you are finished with the pot refills can be purchased for $49.00 to save on plastic!

AUD $59.00| More info

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ELF Mineral Blush

Eyes Lips Face (ELF) cosmetics are super cheap, this blush was $8.00! Not only is this product easy on the wallet so are the rest of ELF’s products. All our their blushes are 100% mineral based with no parabens, no preservatives and no chemical dyes. This blush is very pigmented so the smallest amount gives a beautiful result. ELF products are listed on PETA’s cruelty free list, something I had to check as the products are made in China. ELF cosmetics are available in all Kmart stores across Australia and New Zealand. This shade is “Bliss”.

AUD $8.00 | More info

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Inika Primer

Inika is the Rolls Royce of mineral make up! This brand ticks every single box when it comes to what I like in a make up brand. Cruelty free, certified organic, and contains no nasties. All of their tubes, tubs and brushes are made from recyclable material. You can find out more about the brand here.   Their primer is quite thick which is great for anyone whose skin tends to be on the dryer side. This is my winter primer for that exact reason; it leaves my skin well hydrated. Their primer now contains hyaluronic acid!

AUD $60.00 | More info

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Inika Certified Organic Liquid Foundation with Hyaluronic Acid

I have no words to say just how much I love this product! Having struggled for years to find a foundation that gave me full coverage, a beautiful glow and was cruelty free I was so happy to find Inika Liquid Foundation. It has become so popular that the shade I use is almost always out of stock on their website! This foundation comes with the added bonus of Hyaluronic Acid (HA is a natural occurring component of your skin. 40% of your Dermis (the deep layer) is made from HA and the remainder is made from collagen.) There really is no reason to use any make up brands that test their products on animals when there are brands like Inika that are on par with the rest! The shade I wear is “honey”.

AUD $65.00 | More info

Have you used any of these products before? What are some things you look for when purchasing cosmetics? Let me know in the comments below. Jx

Skin Confidence

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Lets talk about skin! Our skin is our largest organ and is composed of 2 main layers – the epidermis (outer) and dermis (inner). It prevents germs from entering the body and damaging our internal organs and plays a role in maintaining the immune system. It manufactures Vitamin D, can show early warning signs of disease, removes toxins and waste from the body plus a whole list of other amazing things. So while our skin can do a lot for us we also need to give it a bit of love. Not just sometimes, everyday.

When I was younger I never wore sunscreen on my face, unless of course my Mum applied it on me herself (thanks Mum!). Wearing sunscreen was not something I thought was important, even though it was something I would always hear needed to be done. In Summer my freckles would appear and when Winter came around they would fade. I loved having a golden glow on my face, pffft who needs sunscreen I thought.

It was not until I got a boyfriend and would wake up in the morning before he did to apply make up so that he was not able to see my face make up free. I didn’t think it was anything strange, didn’t everyone do this? Maybe, maybe not, but the more I think about it now the crazier it sounds. I was not comfortable enough with my face to let my boyfriend see me without make up on. My skin tone was uneven, some parts of my face were completely different shades and I had lots of pigmentation. Those little brown spots – not noticeable from far away, but they were there, and they bothered me. Uh oh, my years of going sunscreen free, not wearing hats or covering up at the beach had caught up on me. I thought it was something that I just had to live with. I would wake up each morning look at my skin in the mirror and didn’t like what I saw. When I would tell people about how I felt I was always met with the response “your skin is fine, just cover up what you don’t like with make up”. Yes, I could even up my skin tone with make up but that is the point of this – I didn’t want to. I really dislike wearing foundation. I want to leave the gym or go to the supermarket and not feel the need to apply even a touch of make up. Does that make me superficial? Vein? Too worried about what other people think? No! My goal is to have even skin tone, to get my base right and not have to wear as many cosmetics on my face. Most of us have insecurities – it could be not only something physical but emotional as well. There is nothing wrong with that. It is so easy for people to say “be happy with the skin you are in”, and to an extent yes we should be but if there really is something you do not like about yourself, go and change it.

Late last year I read about a beauty editor at a magazine who had a procedure called photo rejuvenation to help clear her skin. Her concerns were exactly the same as mine. Her before and after photos looked too good to be true. She was basically telling me that a laser could pulse through my skin surface and encourage the production of collagen while getting rid of pigmentation (and acne scars too!). No chemicals, no creams and no down time. GIVE ME THAT LASER!!

I did a bit of research and found that Caci Clinic in New Zealand offered the treatments. Booked myself in, went for a consult and was mortified at what I saw. My skin was analysed under UV light and it showed significant sun damage. Guilt set in… I should have listened to my Mum and wore sunscreen. Not to worry the nurse said, we can have your skin clear after a few treatments. I was so excited and the next week went in for my first treatment.

So to recap, my main skin concerns pre photo rejuvenation were that my skin tone was very uneven and looked patchy up close. It was pigmented which I had noticed was getting worse as the years progressed on. I am 30 in a month and would like to keep looking my age.  Lotions and potions on their own were not going to sort my skin issues.

What made me decide to start on a skin correcting journey?

I would love to be able to be skin confident and not have to worry about wearing so much make up to hide the things that I do not like. To have even skin tone would mean I can use less cosmetics on my face and for me that is important.

How did I find the treatment, photo rejuvenation?

I was not quite sure what to expect however I did know that the machine used for the treatment is the same machine used when you have hair removal, which I have had before. During the treatment the nurse said anytime I felt uncomfortable to let her know and she could give me a little rest which was reassuring. Some parts of the face did sting a little bit but the treatment is over so quickly I did not find it an issue. I did lots of deep breathing and squeezing of the stress ball.

What results have I noticed, after my treatments?

I have had 2 treatments and after the first I noticed a huge difference straight away, especially with pigmentation, which was my main concern. I had my second treatment in May and my skin is a lot softer since then, very smooth which is something I was not expecting. I am going to have my 3rd treatment in June and from there assess if I will require anymore.  So yes my skin tone is a lot more even, pigmentation is significantly reduced so all and all I am happy with the results.

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2 weeks after my first treatment.

 

So why am I telling you this? If you have acne scarring, pigmentation and uneven skin tone, it can affect your confidence and sometimes the only way you can feel confident is with a full face of make up which is not always the solution you want.  I hope that there are younger girls reading this who can take something from the post and wear sunscreen on their face every-single-day!

Drink lots of water, get adequate sleep, eating lots of fruit and vegetables, minimise sugary foods, and if you want clear skin go and have a consult at Caci so that you too can have skin confidence! You can also take the Caci skin quiz to find out what treatment would suit you best.

Jx

Beauty | May Essentials

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Another beauty essentials post for May to show you some of the brands that I am loving at the moment. Most of these are products I have been using for a long time and are staples in my household. It is really nice to see that over half of the products shown are made in either New Zealand or Australia.

It is important to me to support local businesses so where possible, choose products made in the country you live in or close by.

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Savar Conditioner

Savar Shampoo was featured in the April Essentials and I thought the conditioner deserved its time to shine, as it is equally as fabulous. Enriched with cucumber, honey, avocado and ginger, it sounds like a delicious meal of sorts rather than a hair product. I have thick knotty hair and after a few pumps of this product my hair is silky smooth. The conditioner is plant based, made in New Zealand and the bottle is recyclable. NZD $39.00 | More info

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Via Eco Brush

A vented paddle that reduces blow drying time (yes please!) and is made from sustainable wood and uses environmentally friendly wood sealer. The bristles contain semi precious Crystal Ions to recondition hair. It looks pretty too! NZD $24.99 | More info

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Scout Cosmetics Nail Polish Remover

Water based, Acetone and Acetate free, this nail polish remover is gentle on your skin and does not dry cuticles out like most nail polishes. Also containing aloe Vera, Calcium, Pro Vitamin B5 and Vitamin E to strengthen nails. Not tested on animals and made in Australia.  AUD $16.95 | More info

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Jurlique Lavender Hand Cream

Lavender scented anything is so calming and soothing and this hand cream smells natural, not artificially scented. Travelling a lot leaves skin dry so I always have this in my handbag to pop on; it is the perfect travel size. This hand cream does not leave your hands sticky or greasy, it instantly absorbs and leaves skin super soft. It is a little on the pricey side but you only need a pea sized drop so it does last a long long time and for that reason is worth it. I will definitely be buying this again when it runs out.  AUD $29.00 | More info

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Only Good Body Wash

Palm oil free, Not tested on animals, Made in New Zealand, 100% natural, No petrochemicals, no parabens… is there anything that this company can do wrong?! We love Only Good for all of these reasons and the fact that their products smell beautiful. Clarity Body Wash contains peppermint, rosemary and green tea; I find that the minty smell is quite strong which is great as it is so refreshing. You can buy their products in the supermarket at a price that wont break the bank.  NZD $8.99 | More info

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Grin Toothpaste

I was first introduced to this brand when their product was included into the goodie bags for our Women’s Wellness events last year and ever since then I have been using the product and whenever I am back in NZ I stock up on the toothpaste. This brand is also made in New Zealand, is 100% natural, and contains no sodium lauryl sulfate, no preservatives, no artificial colours, no artificial flavours, no fragrance and no harsh abrasives. So not only is it one of the best toothpastes on the market it also is scientifically proven to combat tooth decay and to help keep the mouth healthy. The toothpaste is mint flavored thanks to the peppermint and spearmint oil. It tastes a lot different to other toothpastes on the market, not as sweet, but after a few brushes I was used to it and now wont use anything else. NZD $7.99 | More info

What else would you like to see me post about? Hair products? Make up? Let me know in the comments below. Julia x

BEAUTY | April Essentials

April Essentials

It has been a while since I sat down and wrote a beauty post. Why so slack you ask? For the past 6 months I have been trialling and testing many skin care, personal care and cosmetic products. Cleansers, toners, sunscreens, moisturisers, serums, exfoliators, deodorants, nail polish, foundation, mascara, bronzer, blusher… you get the point.

Before I go on I want to note that the products shown in beauty posts are products I have purchased myself, products always in my bathroom cupboard and products that have been sent to me. None of my beauty posts are sponsored; therefore you know my opinion is genuine. Some of the products I have used don’t make the cut, in fact some of them I didn’t even bother to try as they do not fit in with our ethics.

As I approach 30 (2 months to go!) I am becoming a lot more interested in keeping my base in tip-top shape. Trying to prevent wrinkles, pigmentation, keeping my skin plump and hydrated, basically anything I can to avoid looking older than I am. I am trying to go down the natural route, but after talks with a few skin experts I realise that I may need to employ the help of more intensive products… we shall see. That is a whole other blog post!

So what is this one about? I have rounded up 8 of my favourite products, some I have been using for years and some are new to me. A mixture of beauty tools, skin care and cosmetics to make up my April Essentials.

I hope you enjoy, and please let me know in the comments what you would like to see more of! xJulia

Verite Spa Organics ScrubVerite Spa Organics Coffee and Cacao Body Scrub
Verite is a luxury organic skin care brand that ticks all of the boxes… vegan friendly, certified organic and NZ made. Coffee scrubs are one of the “it” beauty products at the moment but none on the market are as luxurious as this one. Organic coffee beans, raw cacao sweet orange and vanilla come together to help exfoliate your skin and leave you smelling good enough to eat. NZD $38.00 | More info 

3Sávar Ultra Cleansing Shampoo
Products made in New Zealand are hard to come by, especially beauty products, so we applaud Savar for all that they do. This plant-based shampoo has had great reviews. The big 500ml bottle means that you won’t have to keep buying more, a little bit goes a long way. This shampoo contains cucumber, ginger and honey. NZD $39.00 | 500ml | More info 

Only Good Body Wash-3Butter London Nail Polish
Butter London nail polishes are formulated without the use of the harmful ingredients – their trend nail lacquers are “8 free”, this means they are free from Formaldehyde, Formaldehyde Resin, DBP, Toluene, Camphor, Ethyl Tosylamide, Xylene, or TPHP. They are also cruelty free so get a tick from us! This colour is called Pink Knickers. NZD $29.95 | more info

4

Ambiance Dry Shampoo
This product is a total game changer! Generally dry shampoo comes in an aerosol can and contains alcohol that can dry your hair out. Ambiance is different in that it comes in a bottle with a brush at the end and you apply it onto the roots by brushing the applicator onto your hair. Why is this product so great? It is sulphate, paraben and preservative free, vegan friendly, you can purchase refills so that there is not packaging wastage and the bottle is small enough to fit in your handbag so you can take it everywhere with you and always have your hair looking clean. I have blonde highlights and have tried the blonde and brunette powders, both work well and don’t leave my hair looking grey, like some other dry shampoos can. AUD $34.95 | 14gm | more info

6

Eco Body Coconut Body Oil
Coconut oil, evening primrose oil, rosemary essential oil, vanilla extract all in one bottle make up the most delicious body oil. I lather this on after a warm shower, just before bed, and wake up with silky smooth skin. AUD $16.00 | 95ml | more info

Only Good Body Wash

Only Good Body Wash
Lib and I were lucky enough to feature in Only Good’s TV advert , it was a first for us and we fell in love with the brand. No palm oil, no petrochemicals, never ever tested on animals, made in NZ and vegan friendly. The fact that this product is sold in the supermarket making it budget friendly was another selling point for us. The packaging is gorgeous and the scents are divine. My favorite is ‘Balance’, it contains rosehip, ylang ylang and chamomile. NZD $8.99 | 445ml | More info

5

Antipodes Kiwi Seed Lip Conditioner
Kiwi Seeds are full of Omega 3’s oils, which make the perfect beauty food ingredient. This ultra nourishing lip conditioner is what I use to prep my lips before lipstick application and is a great day-to-day lip balm. The lip conditioner doesn’t leave a sticky residue and bonus with it being in a lipstick container meaning you don’t have to use your fingers.  AUD $25.00 | 4g | More info

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Tangle Teezer
You are probably wondering why I am writing about such a well-known beauty tool… Tangle Teezer’s have been around for years but I have just discovered them. After having a blow wave at Dry & Tea I saw pretty pastel coloured brushes staring at me from behind the counter. “What are those?” I asked. “Tangle Teezers, they are great for detangling hair” replied the girl at the counter. “Perfect” I said, “I will take one of those please”. How could I not choose the white with pink bristles?! If you haven’t got a Tangle Teezer and you do have thick, long hair that is hard to tame, try one! I love how they don’t hurt your hair when you brush it and it’s wet. NZD $29.00 | More info

December Beauty Essentials

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Beauty is my thing – I have always said I would rather spend my money on a blow wave or facial than a pair of shoes.  For me it’s the simple things and having my beauty routine in check makes me feel alive.  I would rather invest my money into beauty products, rather than make up (as I am terribly at applying it and believe less is more!).

Of course the most important beauty tip is to nourish your body from the inside out with the foods that you eat! BUT for those times when you have been neglecting your diet, a little bit of tan here, blush there and spritz of perfume here can make you feel a million dollars in a matter of minutes.

I am lucky enough to be sent products to trial – a lot of them I will give away as they do not take my fancy, so when something does, I love to let people know about it, which has led me to this post! And one of many… These are a few of my favorite things.

Abel Organic Eau de Parfum
What firstly made me fall in love with this brand is that Frances, the creator, is based in Amsterdam and the beautiful wooden casing that the perfumes are inside are made from reclaimed Dutch railways carriages or canal beams, so it made me think of my roots (I am half Dutch). Secondly, it is the only organic perfume I have ever heard of.  Most perfumes are made using a mixture of (mainly) synthetic ingredients, whereas everything in Abel is derived from plants.  There are 2 scents Tonic and Vintage 13 – strong and long-lasting, gender neutral and absolutely beautiful in every way.  www.abelorganics.com

Tan Babe faux tanner
There is nothing like a Summer glow to make me feel confident and that is why I am a massive lover of using fake tan, no matter what time of the year it is.  Having used other organic tanning brands that would take hours to dry and leave me a sticky mess I would always revert back to cheap chemist brands – that was until I was over in New Zealand staying at my best friends and needed to tan myself. She had some Tan Babe in her bathroom, I used it and was blown away by how fast it dried.  Tan Babe is all natural, vegan, organic and oil based.  It does not leave you orange, you can wash it off after an hour and it does not stain the sheets! I have tried pretty much every tanning brand and can happily say that this ticks every single box and is the best tanner around.  www.tanbabe.co.nz

Revitalash Lash Serum
My natural lashes grow in all sorts of directions so when mascara is applied it looks like a clumpy mess.   To fix that I started getting eyelash extensions and to help my natural lashes stay strong I use Revitalash aswell. Revitalash conditions the eyelashes to help protect from brittleness and breakage, it also makes them grow, really long, so if you do not want to get eyelash extensions and want naturally long lashes this is the product for you.  I purchase mine from Ashley Allen when I’m back in Auckland.  www.revitalash.com

Scout Cosmetics Water Based Nail Polish Remover
Formulated and made in Australia, not tested on animals, acetote and acetate free and also strong enough to take your nail polish off. Scout water based nail polish remover is a welcome addition to my bathroom cupboard, and actually smells nice thanks to the added Aloe Vera.  Scout also make a range of Eco-luxe 5 free nail polishes.  They do not contain harmful ingredients like formaldehyde, DPB, Toulene, Camphor or Parabens.  I’m a sucker for red on my toes but Scout have a whole range of colours to suit any taste. www.scoutcosmetics.com

What are your beauty essentials?

Jx

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