In some ways, it is extraordinary this is my first post dedicated to what New Zealand skincare and haircare is currently in my bathroom. I've long been a lover of all things local, and beauty is no exception.
While the basis of my skincare regime is and remains the Margaret Hema Range (of which I've blogged about before here), today I wanted to share some other products which have come into my bathroom that I think you'll enjoy.
New Zealand is a country known for its clean green image. It is safe to say that in these uncertain times, that comes at a premium and can be commoditised, particularly in the beauty industry.
Few brands have done this with such success as Elizabeth Barbalichs' 'Antipodes' skincare. Founded in Wellington, Antipodes is known for its signature forest green, black and gold branding and is certified organic by Bio-Gro.
Antipodes started with some foundational skin and body products, such as a mineral foundation (which I've used, and worked very well, although like many mineral foundations could be rather messy), before expanding its offerings into facial masks and lipsticks, just to name a few. Now it is headed for global domination, recently having completed activations in the UK and Europe, as well as having a strong cult following in China. Despite this, Antipodes doesn't sell in mainland stores in China and is cruelty-free. Antipodes products are lightly scented and packed full of extracts with antioxidants and feature lots of 'superfood' and 'hero' products. The question is though, do they work?
One of the most appealing things about Antipodes is its price point, and it is indeed one of the most inclusive and accessible products in the market. It is stocked in most Unichem pharmacies and Farmers around the country and is a great option if you like the look of nature-inspired packaging but don't want to have to pay a luxury price.
While I haven't tried the whole suite of products from Antipodes, I have had generally only good experiences those which have come under my nose. With such an extensive collection, and a phenomenal marketing presence, I've tried the whole lipstick range (love these - super, super good and very moisturising), the Halo Skin Brightening Mud Mask (also excellent and really worth getting your hands on so much so I used it on my Dad!), the Juliet Cleanser (I used to purchase this regularly while I was studying at university), and the Saviour balm (this is great all rounder and far purer than something like 8 Hour Cream by Elizabeth Arden as it is without petroleum jelly). I also enjoy the Namaste Body Wash and their range of hand moisturisers.
Antipodes sent me two more products to try: the Grace Cream Cleanser and the Hosanna H2O Skin-Plumping Serum. While you may find the serum a little less bouncy in its consistency than some other like Advanced Night Repair, it is worth remembering that it is water-based rather than Hyaluronic acid based so could be a good alternative if you find that the latter or oil-based serums aren't for you. You'll absolutely see brightening and plumping effects and has all-around good feedback from the internet. Its hero ingredient is the antioxidant Vinanza Grape which is said to improve the elasticity of the skin. Ding ding!
I really liked using the Grace Cream Cleanser which has great packaging especially if you are a frequent traveller. It can sit in my shower and be used as easily as a tube of toothpaste. The juice inside is a creamy milky paste which removes makeup easily. I found it really hydrating and a nice change from my usual oil-based cleanser or the balms I've invested in recently. Often what you might prefer as a texture for your cleanser will differ from the-next-guy so it is good to have options so you can swap out your skincare depending on the time of year. Grace is a great winter all-star and will appeal to any girl who needs something simple and hydrating at the end of a good night out to take off her mascara.
Next, we come to Bees Brilliance, a new range founded by a couple of beekeepers in Nelson.
If anywhere has a soft spot in my heart apart from Wellington, it is probably Nelson thanks to all the little trips Matt and I did earlier this year. Bees Brilliance uses Manuka Honey (which is particularly popular as a hero product at the moment), beeswax and bee pollen as well as propolis, bee venom and royal jelly.
I like that this company is very transparent about which ingredients that they use and their story. The founders are from a long line of beekeepers who discovered a bit of a beauty gold mine on their hands after the bees venom mask took off! As such, Bees Brilliance may be the new kid on the block but is one to watch!
I used the Manuka and Propolis Cleanser which has a creamy rich cleanser. The packaging is beautiful and easy to use. A good few pumps are all you need to fully remove your makeup, although I would suggest double cleansing for proper results. I found I had to be careful not to get the cleanser in my eye because it stung a little bit but overall I would recommend this as a lovely addition to your skincare collection for Winter and an easy way to get Manuka based skincare products into your regime. I do think that the box is excessively large for the size of the product and don't really understand why it is so, apart from to look pretty (it does look very pretty). I would prefer a more fitted box that didn't waste packaging.
The Beauty Elixir misting spray is, however, my preferred product of the two. It is light, smells amazing and has an incredible diffuser to release the spray. This is a fantastic beauty mist if you need to set your makeup in place after powdering or if you want to make sure that you have something cooling on your for the Summer months. Aloe Vera, Chamomile and Cucumber soothe, calms and hydrates tired skin, while glycerine and Nelson Manuka Honey traps moisture to retain hydration levels. Witch Hazel tones and minimizes pores for velvety soft skin and provides the perfect base for makeup application. It also has “Chiwi 8 Complex” which is apparently "A potent blend of the best of New Zealand’s Botanicals and the Ancient world of traditional Chinese medicine to protect the skin from environmental pollutants, thus resulting in premature ageing."
Finally, Sans[ceuticals], the haircare and skincare range founded by Lucy Vincent of former Lucy and The Powder Room fame. She is a goddess and her shampoos are amazing! Since being turned onto these by my hairdresser David of Matt Forsman Hairdressing, my hair has literally been transformed. It has been so much healthier, stronger and shinier than it has ever been - and I have Sans[ceuticals] to thank.
At first, I'll admit I was a bit skeptical when David recommended the products to me. I just wasn't sure whether a New Zealand line was going to be able to deliver something different. But it truly does and is head and shoulders above the competition in the market.
I use the Nourishing Hair Wash and Nourishing Hair Hydrant every second day or so. They're fantastic, and while a bit steeper than some might pay for shampoo, they really do deliver. I also adore the packaging and how chic and simplistic they are. I've also used the moisture and protein infusion spray which is quite nice as well, delivering shine and strength to my hair, although I seem to be using it up rather fast.
I can't speak highly enough about these products and would encourage anyone to try them.