SKIN | Essence of Humanity skincare

Essence of Humanity Nourishing Moisture Cream and Softening Cream Cleanser

With natural skincare brands proliferating in New Zealand it’s sometimes hard to care about new ones—so your brand uses natural plant oils, like every other brand on the market? Congrats.

That’s not the case with Essence of Humanity. They’re a social enterprise, and 100% of the surplus proceeds from their products go to a charitable trust working against poverty. It’s a great concept, especially if you’re not keen on your beauty dollars going to multinationals.

SKIN | What’s the deal with powder cleanser?

Powder cleanser review - DHC face wash powder, Dermalogica Daily Superfoliant, Clinique Fresh Pressed cleanser, Nude Detox Fizzy Powder Wash

Powder cleansers have come to my attention recently. Dermalogica launched the Daily Superfoliant* as a kind of dialed-up version of their ever-popular Daily Microfoliant, and Clinique’s new Fresh Pressed Vitamin C-based range includes a powder cleanser. Upon remembering I had a bunch of sachets of the Nude Brightening Fizzy Powder Wash that I’d never used either, I figured I should give them all a go and see how I feel about them. Is the powder cleanser format shelf-stable genius or over-complicated moisture magnet?

SKIN | Seed and Soul New Zealand natural skincare

Seed and Soul New Zealand natural skincare company

Seed + Soul are the newest company to hit the growing New Zealand natural skincare market and today I’m looking at what they’re about and what sets them apart from the rest. I’m vibing on their sleek packaging and charming product names, but it’s what’s on the inside that counts, right? These products use all natural plant-derived, paraben free ingredients.

I know what you’re thinking. Morgan, you hate that kind of thing! Not quite. I’m perfectly happy putting parabens and chemicals on my skin but I’m also perfectly happy to put plant-based and natural ingredients on my skin—as long as they don’t claim to do anything they can’t.

With that out the way, let’s get in to the products proper.

LIFE | Project Pan

Hyacinth Girl project pan

I’ve been thinking about embarking on a Project Pan for a while now. I even filmed a video about it the other week, but after watching it back I hated how I looked in it, so it has since been deleted. You can have that video in word form in this blog post, instead.

Project Pan is where you select a certain number of beauty products with the express intention of ‘panning’ them. Panning can mean either hitting pan, or using them up entirely.

This concept of having to actively try to use a product up runs counter to the average person’s experience of makeup. Most people will have one foundation; they use it until it’s gone, and then buy another one. This is not how it works in the beauty blogging world, and so we have to set our minds to finishing products.

It does highlight the excess of beauty blogging, and that’s why I want to get into it. ‘No-buys’ don’t really work for me, and you’ll know about my recent Depression Hauls. Starting a Project Pan will hopefully help me minimise my makeup collection and rationalise my ‘need’ to buy more.

SKIN | Simple skincare

Simple skincare

I first heard of Simple skincare when I was living in the UK with my parents in 2009, about to move to Canada on my own (well, to live with my then-boyfriend, but the travel was on my own and I ended up on my own so… let’s emphasise the independence aspect over the teenage-relationships-you-think-are-real-serious-but-probably-should-have-ended-already aspect). Mum and I popped down to the tiny local chemist to find some travel-sized skincare and found a wee kit of Simple products—labelled the UK’s best-selling skincare, “kind to skin”, and unfragranced.

Since then I can’t say I’ve been loyal to Simple skincare, because that would be an absolute lie, but it has always been a brand I recommend for people looking for supermarket-priced skincare. Callum has been a regular user of the Simple light moisturiser (one of the reasons is because he inevitably leaves it on the windowsill and at least three bottles have been lost to the great outdoors, and it’s cheap to replace).

This is starting to sound like a sponsored post for Simple but really, I just rarely write about single brands, at a cheap price point, that I rate highly (perhaps because they’re few and far between). They sent me some of their new products, but I also continue to buy them myself!

SKIN | What the hell are peptides?

Image of peptide-rich products including eye creams and serums with peptides

Peptides! What are they? Good question. Plenty of skincare products use them—you might have seen Clinique’s new Pep-Start eye cream, as an example—but no one has ever really explained to me what they are or what they do. I’ve done a bit of research and I’ve got some answers, so if you’re wondering whether peptides are good for your skin, whether they’re anti-aging or just another marketing buzzword, I’m here to help.

SKIN | Fixing dehydrated oily skin

If there’s one thing worse than oily skin, it’s dehydrated oily skin. It sounds like an oxymoron, but dehydrated oily skin is really common, and the dehydration can be making your oiliness look and feel worse.

It took me a while to figure out that my skin was dehydrated and oily, and that these were two different concerns I needed to address. From my time working at Clinique I’ve learned how to identify dehydrated oily skin, and three different techniques for addressing it.

SKIN | Really into retinol


This post has been sitting in my drafts since November, but I’m still really into retinol and I’m still really into these products, and it’s probably better for me to write about them after using them for a while anyway. This is not a comprehensive ‘What the hell is…?’ post, because I have two others of those on the go at the moment, but I’m sure I’ll write one of those in time. For now, though, I’ll just tell you about Indeed Labs Retinol Reface and Sunday Riley Luna Sleeping Night Oil, two retinol-rich products I’ve been loving.