Oh hi love. I wouldn’t imagine that I will ever post a Beauty Haul journal, but here it goes! Airasia invited me and three other influencers for a familiarization trip to New Zealand Northern island a week ago (read it here and here), and on our last day in Auckland, we (four girls) were guilty of wrecking our credit cards by spending them all on magnificent NZ natural skincare products: Lush, Antipodes, Trilogy & Rotorua Mud Mask!
I didn’t get any single make up products this time and only focused on skincare brands. The best thing about buying them here is, everything we found and purchased was mostly organic #ecochic is #anotherexcuseforsplurging.
Australia and New Zealand are pretty strict about everything produced and imported within the countries, so it’s safe to say that we are in good hands. Rest assured that all the skincare/haircare products are natural, organic and environmental friendly. The only thing they’re dangerous to is… your wallet. #thestruggleisreal.
I know this is an American brand, but who wouldn’t go CRAZY inside Lush? Those rainbow colored slabs of soaps, humble black little jars neatly arranged with handwritten little labels, photogenic psychedelic bath bombs and wonderful scent all over the place; plus a bunch of shop ladies who seems like they’re always happy to see you, like you’re an old friend. That’s some of the many reasons why I love Lush; and most importantly for their handmade, organic, ethical buying products and also the no-nonsense black packaging. Just being inside the shop was a total temptation; the super friendly sales ladies wasn’t much of a help to stop myself from buying everything in sight.
Also, you know those times when you’re inside a store and being really tight on time? Our shopping was on our last hour before rushing to the airport so no time to contemplate, ladies! Grab those little black jars!
R&B Hair Moisturizer
I told the sales lady that I wanted something that makes my hair look as smooth as hers (she has beautiful, shiny blond hair) and she proceeded to get me some hair conditioners. I said, “No, I don’t have time to apply conditioners.” -you know that you suppose to leave conditioner/hair mask for a few minutes to really get it working on your dry and damaged hair, right? Well, my longest was probably ten seconds before rinsing everything off #waste. Then her eyes sparkled and she said “I got the perfect one for you.”, and reached for the R&B.
Basically the R&B Hair Moisturizer is a leave-in conditioner, so you use it après shower. It will work its magic as the hair dries out and leave you with silky smooth, controlled, frizz-ease hair. I love every single product that I can use on the go, because #busymillenial. Every other sales lady kinda went starry eyed when they saw the jar inside my basket “Aww, I see you got the R&B, you gonna love it!”, so I guess I chose the right product? Seriously, whoever product-trained these girls must be in my team.
Review: I’ve been using the R&B for more than a month now, and I can say that I love it! My hair has a long abusive relationship with my straightening iron, curling iron, dry shampoo and smoothing chemicals for as long as I remember; it misbehaves pretty much all of the time and is an untamed nightmare after every wash; this conditioner makes my hair stays put without giving too much weight. I also love how it detangles my hair and brushing now is such a breeze. No more broken combs (yes it happened.)
H’Suan Wen Hua Hair Treatments
After selling me the hair moisturizer in like… five seconds, the sales lady looked at my frizzy dead ends sympathetically (complete with frowned eyebrows) and recommended me the jar of this difficult -to-pronounce hair treatment. I hesitated, naturally, because if I ain’t got no time for hair conditioner, when am I doing to do the full treatment?
Then she said innocently, “I’ve been using this regularly,” and she -I swear- flipped her beautiful shiny hair a little; I was sold. These kind of ladies are dangerous.
Review: I have only used it twice on two rare luxurious me-time weekend, I left it on my hair for an hour before rinsing it off and shampooing (it washes off pretty quickly too) and it leaves my hair silky smooth! A whole jar will probably only last 4-5 times because I’m halfway of the content already; and to think that the jar is actually pretty big (I have thick long hair). But I guess it’s still cheaper than going to the hair salon for a treatment; plus you can do it at home while snacking/making coffee/checking your email/browsing Pinterest/watching netflix/multitasking all of them.
Sea Spray Hair Mist
The sea hair mist was actually the only thing I was planning to get when I entered the shop -right before I half emptied my credit card balance. Ironically I forgot about it and just saw it on the counter right before i paid, so along with the others it went.
Review: A good sea salt mist has become a perennial staple on my hair arsenal, especially on days when.. ahem, I don’t have time to wash my hair #gross. It adds texture and volume without making my hair stiff. But I am also careful of not putting too much or using it too often, as it also unforgivingly makes my hair dry. This spray helps you achieve an instant ‘natural’ beach wave, not silky shiny smoothness. Just think of it as a matte lipstick, too much of it will make your lips dry and patchy.
Cup o’ Coffee Face & Body Mask
The lady says that “It smells like freshly ground coffee, it got scrubs and it’s perfect to kickstart your day”, #sold.
Review: I only used it once because I think the scrubs (coffee) feels a bit harsh and gritty on my skin.
Leaving it in was pure joy; she’s right, it smells like heaven for coffee lovers (me.) But washing it off was pretty tricky. I was really careful in wiping it off my face because it almost felt like it would scrub my whole face off. I would prefer much finer scrubs than this one.
Who else had experience with this mask? Am I using it wrong? Please let me know love.
Angels on Bare Skin Facial Cleanser
Clara got herself the Ultrabland cleanser that looks so shiny and smells so good but we got different skin types, so the saleslady recommended me this clay cleanser instead. She showed me how to use it: Take a small amount on your palm, add a little water and mix into a paste. Massage into skin to gently cleanse, then rinse clean. Bonus point: It has scrubs in it. I cautiously asked, “Those are not microbeads, right?”, she looked at me in horror and said “No, these are ground almonds!”, I apologized for being an ignorant b*tch and totally forgetting that I was, indeed, in New Zealand.
(More about this microbeads fuss below)
Review: I absolutely love this cleanser! It dissolves easily when I mix it with water and I can feel that my face loves it too as it leaves my face nourished and fresh, not dry like some other cleansers. The scrubs cleanse through all the dirt without being too coarse. Just remember that this is not a make up remover like Ultrabland, so you have to clean your make up first before using it.
I use it twice times a week, rotating it with my other cleanser because I don’t want to exfoliate too often. The only thing is that I need to be careful by not mixing too much water on my palm because it runs off between my fingers and wastes the products down the sink. 💸💸💸
Vanishing Cream Face Moisturizer
A girl can’t have too many moisturizer, right? End of the case.
Review: Honestly I haven’t used it because I am currently still rotating between three other creams. So no review yet.
Let’s just start by admitting that I fell in love first with their font; Antipodes wasn’t exactly on my shopping list but their shelves were standing next to Trilogy, the brand that I was actually went in for. A quick browse to their website showed me their company policy The Antipodes Green Beauty Ethos, which aims to produce environmentally friendly, safely biodegradable organic products that uses New Zealand’s best natural ingredients.
I didn’t get many products here as I didn’t have much time to research their best selling products reviews, but I got these two things:
Apostle Skin Brightening Serum
I always stock on facial wash, toner and moisturizers but never splurged on serums that much. Mostly because the ingredients inside serums can be very potent therefore experimenting with the wrong ones can risk a breakout on my skin. The serum claims to help correct dull, blemished or uneven skin (well, just like every other serum), but I figure that the 100% certified vegetarian ingredients won’t do much damage if it happens to be not suitable for my skin.
Review: Ok guys. I don’t remember my life before this serum! It’s so lightweight and it absorbs quickly, and most importantly I love how smooth my face in the morning after applying it at night. I’ve been using it every other night, alternating it with The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid (which I also love.) Now I don’t believe in instant result, and the promise that it will help target pigmentation, brighten skin and restore even tone will not happen in a short time. But so far I love using it and hopefully eventually they’ll deliver.
Manuka Honey Skin-Brightening Light Day Cream
When it’s a NZ product and it got Manuka in it, I trust it. Manuka Honey is world renowned for their health benefits, and also helps to prevent skin blemishes. I was tempted to get their night cream as well but I figure I’ll start with the lighter day cream first before trying the heavier creams.
Review: Again, I have yet to finish my other moisturizer before using this one.
I’ve heard that Trilogy is one of the best New Zealand’s made skincare; and their bestselling, cult favorite rosehip oil is sold every 48 seconds. I don’t know whether that claim is true, but I decided to give it a try. After being an oil-convert since trying Josie Maran 100% Argan Oil, I’ve been researching the right facial oils that works with my combination skin. I’ve read somewhere that Rosehip Seed Oil is the Mother Nature’s produced Retin-A (loosen and remove dead cells from the skin surface), but without the negative side effects.
(Naturally when we found the drugstore that has shelves of Trilogy products, you can bet that I didn’t end up with just the oil.)
Rosehip Oil (Light Blend)
Their award winning product, made for all skin types and claim to balance, nourish and repair the skin. They have three different Oil products: Certified Organic Rosehip Oil, Rosehip Oil Antioxidant+, and the last one that I got: the Rosehip Oil Light Blend.
Review: As I am pretty new to the oil game, I still experiment with different ones that’s suitable for my combination skin. My T used to get oily and conversely my nose can get dry and flakey on some worse days. However since I’ve been incorporating oil in my skincare regime, I feel that my skin condition gets so much better.
This Rosehip oil seems to provide enough hydration without being too heavy. It absorbs pretty fast (not as fast as Josie Maran’s Argan Oil) but it also doesn’t stay too long on the surface to clog my pores. I can sense that my skin’s pretty happy after using it.
Gentle Facial Exfoliator
I am against any plastic microbeads based cleansers because those are the tiny things that cause massive problems in our marine life. Every year, the microbeads waste goes into the water, become snacks for microscopic plankton; which gets eaten by the fish, which later get eaten by bigger fish, up and up to the food chain, later also consumed also by the birds, who eat the fish. Guess who else eats fish?
But finding the exfoliant that doesn’t use microbeads is pretty hard. That’s why I got excited finding my Lush cleanser (above), and also this one by Trilogy uses natural, biodegradable and non-abrasive jojoba wax spheres. Dead skin begone without sacrificing our sea, and everyone’s happy.
Review: I haven’t used this one yet because I still have yet to finish the Lush cleanser.
Rosehip Collection Travel Pack
I have a weakness for travel packs. Really. Any products, downsized to TSA-approved little jars and bottles are my biggest skincare temptations. Also, the travel pack contains their best selling Rosehip Products: Rosehip Oil Antioxidant+ (5ml), Vital Moisturising Cream (20ml), Cream Cleanser (30ml) and Hydrating Mist Toner (20ml). Welcoming these guys to my cabin beauty pouch.
Rotorua Mud Mask
If any of you remember me and Clara went all wacko with our muddy face on our IG Stories last month, you might also remember that we were using the Rotorua Mud Mask we just got earlier that day. We got these tubes at the giftshop in Te Puia, Rotorua and loved them at the first try! Rotorua Mud, referred also as the New Zealand Fountain of Youth (#soooold) comes from their geothermal mud and packed with minerals from the volcanic gases and vitamins that help improve the skin’s elasticity and help minimize the pores.
There were many selections in the shop and we were completely clueless about which ones to get. Some brands contain aloe vera and some others have high vitamin C content. We ended up with the PureSource Rotorua Mud + Manuka Honey (pictured above) and Rotorua New Zealand Thermal Mud Mask (below). I highly recommend you guys to grab some tubes of these when you visit Rotorua (they sell these at Auckland Airports too but it’s more expensive there.)
Review: I’ve been using the Innisfree Jeju volcanic mask for awhile and these mud mask feel similar to it when applied; but the consistency is more watery therefore we had to layer it several times. It dries within ten minutes and after washing, our skin felt so firm, clean and nourished. Serious instant glow. We kinda regretted that we didn’t get the big jars.
I’m actually kind of glad we didn’t have more days in Auckland since i know I’ll add more purchase than my wallet could handle; but as we the girls told each other (between the shopping paper bags and endless guilt), “Skincare is investment”, I kinda felt better (?) Some of the products are also available via online resellers in Indonesia, of course with a marked up price; so I hope I got another chance to visit NZ before I finish all of them. How about you ladies? Any Australian/NZ based skincare that you can’t live without? Let me know in the comment below, xxx!5