Sarah reviews

What's the point of knowledge, if its not shared?

Sep 12, 2023

Being the sala mama brings a lot of perks. I have unlimited access to amazing classes, meet new people every day, and receive some pretty awesome freebies. This millennial has learnt you're never too old for your glow-up. I now see past shiny marketing campaigns to the product beneath, with my philosophy being 'Efficiency is the Highest Form of Beauty.'

To me, this means, is this product efficient? Is it performing as it claims it will as a product? Is it good for the community? Is it good for the Earth? What positive impact is it having as a whole? A beautiful product does not outweigh its chain of production. Greenwashing is the second-hand smoke of our generation. With that in mind, here's the very best of what I've tried recently.

  1. Kumo - Award-winning skin rituals from Skinography's Kate Michelmore.

These potent products are made in small batches and use live ingredients, which is why they have a shorter shelf life. I hadn't considered that I'd been applying products to my skin that, in theory, could have been sitting on a shelf for years. I suddenly got the icks from years of stale products running through my lymphatic system. Kumo also runs a return-to-sender recycling initiative, which is very cool. I love all these products; they have a milky quality that feels nourishing when applied. The photoDose prebiotic barrier serum is my favourite, although it's hard to choose.

  1. Chloe Zara - Natural, clean haircare made in new Zealand.

My life has a strange serendipity. I had just spent the morning in the hairdresser's chair. Four hours and $400 later, I was leaving with my natural hair colour, a casualty of Aotearoa's harsh solar glare, bleached shades lighter, from dark brown to light Auburn.

Being familiar with NZ sun, you probably know more than me on this, but the sun's UV rays can break down hair's pigment (aka melanin), leaving you with lighter, damaged, and dry hair. We're all well-versed in protecting our skin these days, but what about our hair? This Glossifying Hair Mist protects hair against heat and UV damage using a powerful key active, HAIR Oléobooster®. This unique, ground-breaking ingredient is a micro-structured oil-based extract stabilised by Oléo-éco-extraction, a patented green process. This product is a conditioner, a detangler and a protector. It's lightweight, and it's incredible. It won a place in my forever list. I highly recommend it.

  1. Raaie - An ode to our complicated relationship with the sun.

At 16, my doctor used to send me to a sunbed to help with my eczema. Twenty years on, I still cringe when I think about it. I am proud to say that I am now a factor 50 girl. These sun milk drops from Raaie are tinted for a subtle warm glow while delivering broad spectrum protection with non-nano zinc oxide. It shields against UVA and UVB and other skin aggressors such as digital blue light damage from devices, pollution, and infrared radiation. I love that the range only has three staple products, founder Katey-Ellen Mandy focuses on impact and quality over quantity. The containers also looks beautifully sculptural on any shelf, an ode to Katey's devotion to a full circle product. 

  1. Olga face up pro app

Olga Newman's holistic approach to face massage, posture and alignment can transform your whole face. She can define your cheekbones, reduce fine lines and relieve jaw tension. For those unable to fit in a regular IRL session, she has a fantastic app, Face Up Pro, where she leads you through a series of short stretches, massage, and sculpting techniques. It's quickly become apart of my weekly routine. I'm obsessed with her hypnotic instagram tutorials where you see her de-age before you eyes, cocoon style.

  1. Abel Fragrance - Natural perfume that doesn't compromise when it comes to ethics or aesthetics

I was in conversation with Abel founder Fran, when she casually pointed out that perfumes don't come with ingredients lists. A seed had been planted and whenever in a department store I would flip the bottles to look for one. She was right, I had no idea what was in any of them. I really love a heavy signature scent. I suppose unconsciously I have been put off even engaging in the concept of natural perfume, given its reputation for being simple, subtle and organic smelling. Since discovering Black Anise, I see that option was misguided. This new-age scent rebels against botanical reputations, it's smoky, luxurious and rich. If it were a place it would be my favourite Soho spot Bob Bob Ricard. Each booth comes with a 'press for Champagne' button, which I've pressed more often than I care to remember.

I hope you'e enjoyed this au courant tour of my beauty cupboard. In a world flooded with reviews, sponsored ads and influencers I hope it can serve of some use. These are my hand on heart and hope to die, real life beauty loves.

Until next time, love you < 3