Beautyheaven Natural Beauty Month - beauty box trial and review
August is the Natural Beauty Month at Beautyheaven and this is the third year that I've got invited to celebrate all things "natural"! In each of the previous years, I was super honoured to have been invited to special dedicated events held in the Beautyheaven HQ. This year 2020, for obvious reasons a similar event could not be held. However, thanks to the lovely staff at Beautyheaven and the sponsors, we get to trial a curated selection of natural beauty products came in a specially-designed box.
We have been asked to use these goodies for 2 weeks and rate them on the Beautyheaven website.
This beauty box is pretty epic. I am quite picky when it comes to deciding what can take up the precious space in my bathroom vanity, but there are only 2 products that I wouldn't keep using after the initial 2 weeks (even then, I don't think they are bad, just average). Here are some of my thoughts and first impressions.
Since Garnier is the major partner for this event, I will start with it first.
Garnier Organics Regenerating Lavandin Anti-Age Sleeping Cream & Eye Cream
The Garnier Organics is a new range of products in the market. The products are not organically certified; rather, it contains ingredients of natural and organic farming origins and the informative list on each product clearly states the ingredients and their origin.
We were given two products from the Lavandin range to trial and review.
So what is Lavandin? How is it different from Lavender?
Both Lavender and Lavandin belong to the same "Lavendula" genus - and this genus contains 47 (or so) species. Lavender is the common name for the Lavendula genus.
While the term "Lavenda" is most commonly used to refer to Lavandula angustifolia - or "true" /English lavender, it is only one of many species of lavender.
Another common specie is Lavandula x intermedia - or "Lavandin", a hybrid of "true" lavender and spike lavender, and has a more herbal scent than "Lavender". While "Lavender" is renowned for its relaxing and calming properties, Lavandin scent does not have the same effect due to the larger camphor content. If your skin can tolerate essential oils, Lavandin in skincare may have soothing and anti-inflammatory properties.
Sleeping cream: The night cream has a lovely, creamy texture and the herbal lavandin scent is pretty strong. It is plant oil-based, containing jojoba seed oil, glycerin, shea butter, argan oil, sunflower seed oil and smaller amounts of sodium hyaluronate and vitamin E. 98% natural origin and 25% organic. The ingredients are good but not any that I would consider "active". It is a lovely night cream to seal in the goodness of serums. Consistent with many other natural ingredients-based creams this is not a melt-into-your-skin type of cream, but rather, requires some effort to work the cream in properly. That said, I have certainly enjoyed using mine.
Eye cream: The eye cream is also natural ingredients-based with glycerin, jojoba seed oil, candelilla wax, argan oil and of course, lavandin oil. As an eye cream, I feel that the product requires too much effort to rub into skin for proper absorption. I prefer a melt-in cream around the eyes so that I am not finessing with the already thin skin in that area. Compared to the night cream, I think this is an inferior product considering both are priced at $20. The ingredients are also a bit too basic for my needs. It is not one that I would purchase or be keen to continue, but nevertheless a decent option as an "entry-level" eye cream.
Garnier Fructis Hydrating Aloe Vera Hair Food
The Garnier Fructis Hydrating Aloe Vera Hair Food is another attempt by Garnier to re-brand their products to align with the "natural" image. I must say that 98% natural origin is pretty impressive.
The Hair Food can be used 3 ways: as a conditioner, a treatment mask, or a leave-in treatment.
I couldn't tell much difference between using it as a conditioner or a treatment mask. I think due to the rather thin consistency it is more suitable as a conditioner. It also works as a leave-in treatment on wet hair, but it dries slightly tacky and I have to brush my hair hair out once my hair is allowed to dry naturally.
In terms of results, I think it is okay but not outstanding. The smell though, is beautiful and I have received many compliments.
Usually I like my products come in big sizes to give me more value for money, but this tub of hair food is just way too big. The size is so ridiculously big that it makes it feel cheap (it reminds me of bulk buying from Costco). I also think that the content is thin enough to package it into a tube or bottle rather than a tub. It is very inconvenient to use in the shower, I have to be careful not let water in or, even worse, dropping the whole tub.
Weleda Skin Food Body Butter
I am so obsessed with Weleda Skin Food Body Butter. The Body Butter is actually so rich that it is solid! Weleda managed to come up with a formulation that is super rich, super nourishing but easy to apply without excessive effort needed to rub it in! Plant oil and shea butter-based, it does not give the silky finish like a silicone-based lotion does, but it is not sticky either. The Body Butter nourishes at a deeper level than a regular body lotion - the moisturising feeling doesn't just go away with a shower. I have been using this body butter every day and my skin is less dry and less itchy.
It does not smell quite the same as Weleda's iconic skin food, but it smells delicious in its own way.
Glow Lab Age Renew Soothing Day Cream
The Glow Lab Age Renew Soothing Day Cream gave me a
surprise in the WOW category. In addition to first class ingredients like matrixyl synthe'6 (peptide), liquorice root extract, rosehip oil, betaine, shea butter, etc etc., the lightweight and silky smooth texture is such a pleasure to use. Top that up with a rose gold lid and a heavy glass jar, in a blind test I would have thought this was a $80 cream.
I used this day cream both day and night as it was really lovely to use. It has a subtle fragrance coming from a blend of essential oils, but that fragrance can linger for sometime (it can be a love it or hate it scent). I did two layers at night just because we are still in winter, but this cream has a lovely lightweight texture that would be ideal for summer nights.
This is certainly one to keep using beyond the Natural Beauty Month!
Blessed by Nature Antioxidant Daily Renewal Cream
Blessed by nature is an Australian brand based out of Melbourne. The Antioxidant Daily Renewal Cream has a fairly lightweight consistency with an adorable botanical scent. I love that the scent of patchouli in the cream which is immediately noticeable.
The cream contains a lovely blend of vitamin E, C (ascorbyl palmitate) and A (retinyl palmitate), together with allantoin, Marshmallow root extract, green tea extract, sodium PCA, etc etc., the ingredients are quite impressive for a $15 cream.
As topical retinyl palmitate (alongside with other variations of vitamin A) has been widely documented as phototoxic. (For example, see EWG's article here), it should be avoided during sun exposure. Together with the small amount of lactic acid (an exfoliant which can also increase sun sensitivity), I would be using this cream in evenings only.
Handsome Facial Moisturiser
The Handsome skincare is designed for men but apart from the black packaging there is really nothing so men-specific about it. I trialed it myself and it is probably my least favourite inclusion in the box. What I like most is the subtle patchouli scent (clearly, I have a soft spot for patchouli!) It has some good ingredients in it, but it has a somewhat waxy and lumpy texture, requiring a lot of effort to massage into skin to make the white cream disappear. It reminds me of a Sukin moisturiser I tried previously, and sure enough when I compare the ingredients in both, the first few ingredients are exactly the same (and both having sesame oil as the base). It is an okay moisturiser, but for $25 it is quite expensive for what it is.
Bodecare Detox FSC Dry Body Brush
Skin is a one-way defence system, and scientifically speaking there is no such thing as skin "detox" because toxins cannot be eliminated through skin. Nevertheless, this brush is a good exfoliating tool.
I am new to dry body brushing. I have always enjoyed a good scrub in the shower, but dry brushing seemed abrasive. Since I was given this Bodecare brush in the Natural Beauty Box, I thought I'd give it a go. Bodecare says dry body brushing is best done after a bath or shower on dry skin, brushing each area 7 times towards the lymph nodes (the theory being that dry body brushing enhances lympatic drainage). Initially I thought the process was really awkward, and I didn't quite know how to hold the brush or which direction I was supposed to go. The online Bodecare video helped explained a few things. But really, it came down to practice and it was not until the end of the first two week that I started to enjoy the process. My skin (especially knees and elbows) does feel smoother. It is too early to comment about the "lynphatic drainage" part but I certainly haven't lost a dress size! The thing that I am enjoying most is not the effects on skin - it is the habit of making some "private" time for myself, which is the core of self care.
Disadvantage? the cleaning. I am supposed to sanitise the brush every single time after use, and wash it thoroughly every week - and I am supposed to wash just to bristles to avoid the timber from getting wet. I am yet to figure out how to do that.
Toni & Guy Bamboo Detangling Comb
100% biodegradable and recyclable wide-teeth bamboo comb. Lightweight, compact and easy to grip. This comb works beautifully on my long, straight hair. I especially like using this to comb wet hair and combing through hair treatment mask or leave it treatment. It is also suitable for breaking up curls after using a curling iron or GHD. Very versatile and handy comb for $10.
The box was gifted by Beautyheaven. Apart from reviewing the products on Beautyheaven's website, I have no obligation to publish any other reviews (including this blog post). My opinion is honest.
Makeup artist and hair stylist based in Sydney. Founder of the well-known award-winning bridal specialist team Faces Makeup & Hair. Beauty junkie with an obsession for skincare.