SKIN | The Body Shop Seaweed range

The Body Shop Seaweed Oil-Balancing Toner and Oil-Control Gel Cream

I’m always on the hunt for skincare for oily skin that doesn’t consist of stripping foaming cleansers, alcohol-based toners and instantly-evaporating “balancing” gel moisturisers. And who does it well? Duh, The Body Shop.

These two items joined the overflowing basket of skincare that is my life when I went along to the opening of The Body Shop’s new Queensgate store a few weeks ago. The store’s flash, but it’s the products that matter, and the Seaweed range is pretty dope.

BODY | Christmas at The Body Shop

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I don’t do ‘new in’ posts very often. I think they’re a bit boring, frankly, and don’t give me much opportunity to say anything other than ‘this is a new thing a brand sent me that you can spend money on’.

I also don’t write about body care very often, largely because I don’t use it. The hairs on my legs are about 2cm long and my legs haven’t seen moisturiser in probably a year, at least. I’m lazy. I hate taking baths (and I’ve talked about this enough that Lush took me off their PR list).

When it comes to The Body Shop*, however, it’s a little bit different. I love The Body Shop. We go way back—to the time I was four or five and accidentally stole a gift tag from the counter because I thought it was free, and Mum discovered it after we’d left the shop and made me take it back. It’s not all bad memories, though. The Body Shop used to be full of tiny squishy dissolving bath beads in every scent (before I decided I hated baths) and I’d get to pick a little paper bag of them on special occasions. It’s also the perfect destination for difficult Christmas gifts, because the products are genuinely nice, they’re ethically-minded and strike a good balance of affordability and luxury.

It’s a little alarming to be talking about Christmas in October, but it’s coming, so I really have no choice.

FACE | High and Low End Best of 2015

Hyacinth Girl Best of 2015

So I’ve been a shit blogger in 2015 but I’ve still been using products and trying products and having thoughts on them, so I’m still going to write a Best of 2015 post. This time I thought I’d keep it nice and brief with one favourite high end product and one favourite affordable option. Conveniently they also work out to be one makeup product and one skincare product! Nice and symmetrical. If this isn’t enough for you, feel free to read my 2014 and 2013 favourites, all of which I still like.

SKIN | When basic is best

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The skincare market is crowded to saturation, which makes it very hard to know what you should be putting on your skin. I hope I’ve been somewhat helpful with my What the hell is…? series – which I have no intention of stopping any time soon. I’m thinking peptides and retinol should be next on my list!

There are two mistakes people make when managing problematic skin. One is going to the shelves of the beauty section in Farmers and looking for magic potions labelled with buzzwords. The second is dismissing ‘basic’ and affordable products as worthless. On the contrary, the simplest, fragrance-free, single-focus products in bland packaging are often the best. Today I want to talk about Physiogel (new to the New Zealand market), and Benzac AC.

SKIN | What the hell is hyaluronic acid?

neutrogena_hydro_boost_hyacinthgirl_top_sI was in Countdown with a migraine the other day, buying myself treats and picking up as much codeine as I could from the pharmacy (spoiler: not very much). Despite my headache stupor I couldn’t stop myself browsing the skincare and was genuinely excited when I saw the Neutrogena Hydro Boost range. It’s a supermarket-priced skincare range that contains hyaluronic acid! You may know how much I love hyaluronic acid, and you may also know that products containing it are usually pretty costly.

So what’s the big deal about hyaluronic acid, and why should you buy this stuff?

Morgan: ‘less is more’ skincare & giveaway

My everyday skincare routine is heavy on my two favourite New Zealand natural skincare brands – Antipodes and Trilogy (see my latest empties post for evidence of this). I don’t choose natural skincare because it’s natural, per se – I think the anti-chemicals rhetoric that’s often used to promote natural skincare is garbage, because everything is a chemical. And heaps of ‘natural’ things are terrible for your skin, like cinnamon and lemon juice and all sorts of household ingredients that pop up in homemade face mask recipes on Pinterest.

I like natural skincare for my basics, cleansing and moisturising, because it’s simple. My skin does tend towards sensitive, so using natural skincare has helped me narrow down what does irritate my skin. (Rosehip oil is included on my list of known irritants.) I am reluctant to change up my skincare because I know what I’m using at the moment works for me, but after scanning the ingredients I thought I might as well give the new Living Nature Skin Minis a go. Harriet’s also been trying them. This is going to be a long post, but if you make it all the way to the end you can enter for your own chance to try the Skin Minis set and mask best suited for your skin type! (This giveaway is now closed.)