Photography by Ram Shergill
Models Leon Brockmann and Tom May at Established / Matthew Spooner at First Models
Written by Wanda De Rosa
Your winter skin is tired? In need of a break? On the plane to Australia? Over the past months, our team has tried and tested some of the most exciting skincare brands in different conditions - and reviewed some products that just make you feel good or bring a smile to your face. All of them are suitable for men and women and everyone else alike!
Hiding behind unpretentious packaging, Australian-made MV Organic Skincare has released a cotton bag with Travel Essentials that includes the Gentle Cream Cleanser, Rose Hydrating Mist, Daily Soother, Rose Soothing Protective Moisturiser as well as a Rose Plus Booster. All of these are no-nonsense skin essentials based on organic rose oils and extracts. Sharon McGlinchey who created MV has managed to combine a range of products that seem similar but are suited ever so slightly to different needs, that combined into a formula will help anyone out with their specific skins’ needs. Especially during dry winter months but equally throughout warmer periods of the year this range will refresh and regenerate. Included in the Travel Essentials is a muslin cleansing cloth to make for an ultimate feel-good cleanse before nurturing the skin with the Daily Soother or Rose Plus Booster for particularly sensitive skin – all less than 100ml, this experience can even be enjoyed on the plane journey during an exotic winter escape. Throughout a superbly satisfying range, this has to be amongst our very top picks for skincare.
Australian wild flora is ultimately conquered by dermatological science in order to offer a natural and yet sophisticated ‘skin-aware line’ of products – which leads us to the second top tip for skincare: Rohr Remedy offers specific solutions for every weather and skin condition. Exploiting the medicinal herbs preserved and cultivated by indigenous Australian people, the brand offers a unique range of honest products meticulously combined with scientifically proven pharmaceutical formulas. Dressed in simple black packaging, this organic Australian cosmetics line concentrates on preserving the antioxidant and antibacterial ‘raw wilderness’ of its natural ingredients, untainted by artificial colours and synthetic fragrances.
The Protagonist Magazine team suggests a selection of products which have flawlessly proven their efficiency. The Rosalina Face Cleanser combined with the Kakadu Plum Vitamin C Face Serum deeply refresh while smoothening and compacting the skin. The notable amount of vitamin C existent in the Kakadu plum stimulates the production of collagen and its elemental phenolic compounds stabilise the vitamin C by preventing oxidation and aiding its absorption. Aloe vera and vitamin E enhance the qualities of the product by bringing healing properties. The moisturising that follows can be provided by the Lilli Pilly Regenerating Face Moisturiser, balanced with Omega 3 found in Rice Bran and Macadamia oils for your everyday use, or the Boab and Rosehip Oil for a specific enhancement to your hydrating treatment.
For dry lips there is the Gumbi Gumbi Lip Balm, originating in the traditional use of Gumbi Gumbi tree by indigenous Australians as antibacterial and antiviral. Together with Castor Oil, Lanolin and Vitamin E, this lip balm is incredibly efficient and seldom has a product satisfied all our beauty testing team’s needs without question.
Added to Rohr Remedy’s range is the Australian Wildflower Deodorant, which blends Rosalina, Kunzea and Fragonia essential oils in an aluminum-free mixture. In a minimalistic roll-on bottle, this deodorant is a non-sticky, natural alternative – and the light and creamy Desert Lime Body Moisturiser is an evergreen hydrating body remedy. An exquisite citrus scent gently caresses the body while nourishing and softening the skin. The antioxidant desert lime properties aided by the giant Kelp detoxifying extracts grant skin repairing and smoothening features. The body moisturiser can be applied after enjoying the sweet satin touch of the Honey and Myrtle Body Wash. With an anti-microbial power stronger than tea tree, due to the high levels of citrus proper of the honey myrtle, and the highly antioxidant healing features derived from the Quandong plant, this product can be used both as a body wash and face scrub when mixed with salt or sugar.
Another Australian made salon product range comes from the tongue-in-cheek brand Evo. On the white, practical and rectangular bottles we can read the above and other witty commentary. It makes you want to squeeze a dollop of the calming shampoo or calming conditioner into your hand, savour its rich consistency and natural feel, while singing in the shower and thinking of Australian beaches and the sun on your body with a smile on your face!
The liquid rollers are a curl balm designed to do just what curlers would; give curly hair a lovely consistency and some hold, easing all fizziness. “Saving ordinary humans from themselves” is the catchphrase that the makers of Evo call their motto, which is to sell haircare without “truth stretching”. The products do no more or less than what they describe and can probably be called a true friend when it comes to being kind to your hair.
The Australian range of semi-edible skin care products is led by Frank Body and The Beauty Chef. Both combining the key properties of organic food with the peculiar aim to properly feed the skin. Frank Body picks the energising power of coffee and brings it to an entirely dedicated caffeine-based skin care line. Scrubs, cleansers and balms, mix the coffea arabica seed powder with either coconut oil, clay, rosehip oil, beeswax, always looking to obtain the perfect combination of moisturisers and purifying essences. The body balm with its delicate citrus scent, makes it difficult to believe it isn’t a sweet custard you are rubbing on your body, and yet provides a powerful hydrating treatment accompanied by the sweet and familiar essence of lemon and nuts. Once the urge to taste them is put to rest, Frank Body products emerge as a natural and fresh alternative to chemically altered beauty products.
Born from the personal kitchen garden of its extremely passionate founder Carla Oates, The Beauty Chef takes a step back in looking at skin care solutions. Believing that real healthy skin comes from a balanced digestive health, all of The Beauty Chef products are food supplements, which provide a much healthier and conscious alternative to the average protein powder or vitamine supplements. The Body Inner Beauty Powder comes in different flavours, all of whose super-food inner beauty mixture perfect your morning smoothie. A careful selection of antioxidants, minerals, vitamins and extra probiotics, is what makes the Glow Inner Beauty Powder unique and rapidly effective as well as the Body Inner Beauty Powder. The Beauty Chef range is great and reading in Carla Oates’ new cookbook will make you feel good outside and within, following recipes and perhaps using some of The Beauty Chef”s skincare products as well!
A classic reliable beauty selection is offered by Ella Baché developed to perfection in its Parisian labs since 1936, which provides specific pharmacological treatments to skin health. The Hyaluronic Moisturising Cream will perfectly fit your beauty routine as a mild all-round hydrating balm, while the Hydra-Mattifying Detox Cream from the Pur’ Aromatics line comes in aid to mixed skin types as a grapefruit scented sebum regulating daily lotion. An added benefit is the travel-size format of the dispensers, which yet last a very long time. The Tomatoe Cleanser, while sounding strange at first, is actually a wonderfully subtly scented cleanser that leaves the skin refreshed and pampered.
Lipstick Queen cosmetics with their pop packagings and fairy-tale inspired collections, create awe-deserving make-up looks. The Frog Prince perfectly represents the brands aim to stun nature. Its emerald green appearance suddenly changes once in contact with your lips into a shade of perfect rose blossom pink, flawlessly matching every skin tone. Based on the same colour variating idea, the Hello Sailor blue lipstick gives a light blackberry glare to the lips. While The Frog Prince texture is rich and intense, the Hello Sailor shade donates a rather cold and sophisticated dazzle. This whimsical technology provides a long lasting always flattering colour experience. Worth to mention is also Saint - the nude line of the brand. A wide palette of nude tones is the easy-to-wear line from Lipstick queen, providing subtle hues of colour to your lips in a matte and creamy texture.
Eye of Horus line of liquid metallic eyeliners adds two rather interesting shades of bronze to the classic silver and gold tones. The professional smudge-free tip of the applicator either allows the creation of elaborate party looks or highlights your every day eye make-up. Thanks to the high volume of minerals contained in the blend, the metallic colours truly brighten the look and resulting in a royal seductiveness.
Aesop, as always, is a reliable brand for many skin needs. Suitable to all skin types the Aesop’s Parsley Seed Anti-Oxidant Serum combines the efficacy of a topical treatment with the natural moisturising properties of Aloe-vera. As part of Aesop’s anti-oxidant products line, this daily serum comes in subtle herbaceous notes with a non-greasy light touch, polishing and protecting the skin from the formation of free radicals proper of the oxidation process. The strong anti-oxidant hallmark of parsley seed also comes soothingly sweetened by white tea and rock rose extracts in Aesop’s Facial Hydrating Cream. The richly nourishing nature of the product will appeal all skins types as a daily shield against urban pollution and harsh weather conditions. Its exceptionally non-greasy finish is conferred by a carefully balanced mixture of botanical emollients, including sweet almond oil and shea butter. Lastly, the Damascan Rose Facial Treatment is a specific absorbent oil blend which merges 10 plant extracts with vitamin A and E. Suitable for a twice-a-week usageon extremely distressed and dry skin, is very hydrating and relieving. It should be used in addition to other Aesop moisturising products in order to heighten its effectiveness.
An amazing product that we have featured before but found worthwhile mentioning here again is the Cloud of Protection – By Nieves, created by US-based Nieves Rathbun. Everything in her range is handmade in small batches near one of the most gorgeous and pristine coastlines. Nieves does not seek investors, does not want to go huge she says and does not sell to chains. Through and through she endeavours to make ethical choices up and down her supply chain. We talked to Nieves in a bit more detail for this feature, completing our all-year round feel-good suggestions when it comes to skincare and wellbeing that is based on natural goodness:
What is the background of By Nieves?
I started By Nieves because I wanted products made with only beneficial ingredients. With my hippie/counterculture background and experience in the natural products industry it was natural for me to question ingredients and to start musing on why there weren't products that would address my needs with out all the junky stuff. Every product in my line came out of a specific gap in my skincare regimen and a desire to make formulas that are as beneficial and multifunctional as possible.
How is the Cloud of Protection made?
At first I thought I would like an urban protection balm, something very antimicrobial. As I started doing research on the potent essential oils for that purpose I noticed that they all had lore and mention of magical properties of protection too. I love when the science and the woo agree, it happens fairly often! I decided to go with a spray because of the versatility plus it smells so good I just love to spray it every where! it can be used on and around the body but also in your space whatever that may be.
What has been your response?
I get such wonderful feedback from my customers, it's the best! The last time I was at a fair I heard from one guy who said The Balm was the only thing that helped his hard working hands. There was a gal who came up to me with misty eyes and said how the C Perfect Skin and Face Fix changed her life, that she was finally happy with her skin and coming out of her shell. Then there was the lady who came up to me and told me in whispering tones and knowing looks about how her house had some stuck dark energy of some sort and she had tried everything with no results and but the Cloud of Protection had been the first thing that helped. I love all of these stories, of course!
Production: DPH Management
Postproduction: Ingrid Reigstad