Tis Awards Season so what better time for me to bestow my own for the best clean and green beauty products that rocked my beauty world in 2018. So without further ado, I present my 2019 Wonderloving List:
BEST NATURAL PERFUME: Abel Golden Neroli
I was one of the first bloggers/journalists to write about Abel over five years ago (I ain’t new ta this) when it launched the first 100% organic fragrance. Since then they’ve had a rebrand and reformulation launching a collection of 100% natural eau de parfum. Abel Golden Neroli is described as a “luscious soft floral that opens with a harmonious neroli and matcha tea accord, a rich jasmin sambac, petitgrain and ylang ylang heart and a soft santal base.”. To me it is simply joy in a bottle. During the darkest days of winter when my summer loving soul was struggling, a spritz of Golden Neroli lifted my spirits so and reminded me that spring exists. The hint of zest and green tea freshness wrapped around a warm heart added a zip to my step.
Avril Cleansing Oil
A good cleansing oil with natural ingredients isn’t hard to find. A good cleansing oil with natural ingredients that rinses off with just water, now we’re entering Mission Impossible territory. Until I tried this Avril Cleansing Oil. It’s better than good it’s great. Whips off makeup with minimal effort, rinses off cleanly and doesn’t leave my dry skin tight. Made with 100% natural ingredients, 89.5% Ecocert organic certified, it reminds me of my first cleansing oil love from Shu Uemura except with better ingredients and a fifth of the price.
Frances Presscott Tri-balm
I love balm cleansers but they are a hassle to travel. The stick packaging of the Frances Prescott Tri-balm and the fact that it rinsed off with water like a dream with no cloth required, meant that it quickly became a must-pack in my travel bag. The dreamy texture that melted on the skin in the most delightful way was glorious to massage in and I could practically hear my skin sighing with happiness. The tri in the name is that this is meant to be a triple threat – cleanser, exfoliator and moisturiser. I used it as a cleanser and exfoliating mask when left on thanks to the pumpkin enzymes and was perfectly happy with that.
BEST SKINCARE COLLECTION: Bodhi & Birch Superfoods Series
The Bodhi & Birch Superfoods Series collection was my standout skincare launch in 2018. The five-piece range including Avo Bao cleansing balm, Tomato Seed cleansing oil, Lemon Water hydrosol tonic, Renshen Root exfoliant and Super25 Botanical serum, is a veritable feast for the skin and senses with intriguing and exquisite ingredients in innovative formulations. Bodhi & Birch is maestro of scent, so this collection made without any added fragrance or essential oils, is quite a departure. The quality of the ingredients leaps out and using these is like savoring the chef’s special tasting menu at a Michelin restaurant. Bursting with some of the most potent oils and superfoods from all corners of the earth, everything can be used individually or mixed and matched. If you’re an ingredient geek or love cooking you will flip out. I guarantee there’s at least one product that you haven’t used anything similar before.
BEST HYDRATING TONER/MIST: BYBI Mega Mist
The BYBI Mega Mist hyaluronic acid toner is a serious skin thirst quencher. Think super hydrating serum in refreshing mist form.This is a rose water and bitter orange flower water-based toner full of plumping hyaluronic acid alongside aloe juice powder, green tea leaf extract, algae, pomegranate and lactic acid. In the summer, I have been known to spray this and not apply any moisturiser afterwards and my Sahara dry skin stays soft with no tightness at all.
BEST MASK: Dafna’s Skincare Revival Mask
The Dafna Revival Bioactive Mask is unlike any other I’ve tried before. Firstly it reminds me of dragonfruit. Secondly it has an innovative 2-phase formula containing encapsulated charcoal to be activated when required, in a hydrating mask base that includes reishi, ginseng and hyaluronic acid. Basically this is the charcoal mask that dry skin has been dreaming about! This Dafna mask detoxes whilst leaving skin feeling petal soft and hydrated. You can learn more about the Dafna range from my chat with Dafna herself here.
BEST BODY BALM: Evering Botanique Gigi Body Balm
Evering Botanique is a new London-made, artisan skincare brand inspired by the founder’s French heritage, family of beekeepers and their handed down recipes. The Gigi Body Balm (named after the founder’s aunt, using beeswax from her family in Limousin) is delectable. The gel-like balm texture is not too heavy and sinks in to the skin quickly without that greasy feeling balms sometimes give. The uplifting scent from geranium and grapefruit lifts the spirit whilst smoothing and soothing the skin and soul.The Evering Botanique Gigi body balm has all the nourishing power of a balm without any of the overbearing greasiness. Magnifique.
BEST HAIRCARE: Flora & Curl Botanical Haircare
Flora & Curl is a ridiculously pretty, delectable smelling, new hair care range made with 100% plant-based ingredients formulated especially for curly, dry and afro textured hair. Using the pink Flower Garden Styling Butter, which smells scrumptious thanks to floral extracts including rose, hibiscus, wild pansy and passion-flower, is like your head has been dipped in a delightful bouquet. The butter is rich with a whipped texture that means it’s not too heavy and perfect for twist outs. The African Citrus Superfruit Hair Oil is made with plant oils including jojoba, baobab, Kalahari melon as well as papaya, watermelon, tangerine which give it a mouthwatering smell. Great as a hair treatment and I’ve also used on my body too.
BEST MOISTURISER: Flower & Spice Soothe & Repair Moisturiser
Flower and Spice is a beautifully formulated, ecoluxe skincare range that launched last year from Formula Botanica graduate Karmen Novak. The extremely elegant and effective products have a unique, fresh herbal scent thanks to the use of coriander. The whole range is wonderful but forcing myself to pick a favourite, I would go for the Flower and Spice Soothe & Repair Moisturiser. As an oil obsessive that very rarely uses moisturiser this cream is pretty special to have me reaching for it. The texture reminds me of a lightly whipped cream you’d find in the finest Parisian patisserie. It’s rich but not too heavy and leaves my dry skin feeling very pampered.
BEST SERUM: La Bella Figura Vitamin D + Ergothioneine Deep Serum
La Bella Figura is a purveyor of exquisitely elegant skincare, constantly demonstrating that natural doesn’t necessarily mean basic. The Vitamin D+Ergothioneine Deep serum harnesses the magic (and science) of mushrooms to strengthen and repair skin. It has a zesty pink peppery scent that lifts the spirit and the ingredient list reads like a lavish banquet for your face – black truffle, mushrooms, moringa, seabuckthorn, guava, cherry blossom and more! Over winter I found that it did wonders to keep my dry skin feeling and looking healthy. Spendy but worth it.
BEST LIPSTICK: Rouge Bunny Rouge Tinted Luxe Balm
I fell out of love with makeup last year. Not sure why. I just didn’t get excited about anything until these beauties came along. The Rouge Bunny Rouge Enchanting Blooms Tinted Luxe Balm collection inspired lipstick lust. Balms are generally boring with one functional job to do. These have a buttery texture that keep the lips hydrated so yes they tick the function box, but they also offer pretty pigment that have enough punch to dress the face up and yet are sheer enough that you can apply without a mirror for a subtle my lips but better veil of colour.
BEST DEODORANT: We Love The Planet Deodorant
We Love The Planet Forever Fresh deodorant is labelled for “you love staying fresh naturally”. Well that’s me! In zero waste tin packaging, this cream deodorant made with all natural ingredients proved to be marvellously effective in the most testing of conditions. This tin came with me on all my work trips to the Caribbean which involved long days in tropical heat with no time to be reapplying deodorant and this kept me smelling sweet. Using my fingers to apply took a little getting used to but it was worth it.
BEST BEAUTY SUBSCRIPTION: Art of Organics/The Clean Beauty Box
I was stoked to be selected as a Clean Beauty Insider for The Clean Beauty Box (previously known as the Art of Organics and I kinda miss the poetic name but the ‘organic’ was proving to be a limitation so let’s move on). Anyway the Clean Beauty Box was the best curated green beauty box to drop through my door. Each thoughtfully themed monthly edition was filled with the most covetable, artisanal, natural skincare. Opening each box truly sparked joy. My picky self was expecting a ‘meh’ box but each one knocked it out of the park. Then there’s the bargaintastic nature of it all. I’ve totted up the value of last year’s boxes (guess who who did Pure Maths A-level) and the average value of the boxes in 2018 was $106 (well $105.91 to be exact). Subscription is from $37.95 – 41.95 depending on whether you sign up for 2, 6 or 12 months. Whichever option you choose that is a serious saving that you won’t find any of these brands at elsewhere. Click my affiliate link for The Clean Beauty Box to subscribe with 10% off your first box.
Head over to Part Two of Wonderloving 2019 list dedicated to my beauty bae, oils!
Have you used any of these products and did any make your “best of” list? Make sure we’re friends on Instagram where I share the products I’m currently using and loving.