Late last year a video was posted on the Dior YouTube channel but I doubt all of you have seen it. I thought given that spring has begun in the western world there is no better time to share it with you than now. Last weekend this short feature caught my attention and held me in from start to finish. Designer Christian Dior was known to have been deeply inspired by the beauty of resilient wild cliff roses in his childhood place, Granville which faced the sea. His home there has now come to be known as the Dior Gardens. Christian’s mother, Madeleine Dior, before passing away tragically had previously installed a rose garden in their home which is what fueled his admiration for the flower. In the Loire Valley, also in Normandy, a team of horticulturists, experts in ethnobotany, have innovated by taking that cliff rose and purposefully crossbreeding it manually with other roses to produce a new kind of rose to be used as a sustainable cosmetic resource.
Petals being stripped from the bud of a different rose in the process of crossbreeding to create the Rose of Granville. (Photos are stills from the video feature)
The Dior horticultural team have tenderly named the new rose “La Rose de Granville” or the Rose of Granville. From it they take extracts used for improving skin vitality and also incorporate the flower’s anti-inflammatory properties into their Prestige skincare range. The crossbred Rose de Granville is just as beautiful to behold as it is essential. Watch this Dior film feature on the Rose de Granvilleand be inspired.
In just a few weeks the once-a-day bathers will become twice-a-day bathers. Summer heat is creeping up on us with a few cool nights making their last visits. I was super excited late last year to have been invited by the Cream Factory team to check out the brand. The Cream Factory is a goat milk centric bath and body range, their biggest product group being their ever popularly fragrant Bath creams and each have an added natural ingredient to flag a specific skin benefit. The ones I have are the Goat’s Milk and Honey and the Goat’s Milk and Avocado, each type has its own distinct scent (the smells are unrelated to the botanic ingredient). Essentially, these are shower gels infused with the goodness of goat milk and botanical essences but I do think the word “cream” has a better ring to it, the goats would be pleased. Just how great are these? They’re pretty much the most luxurious mid-range liquid body soaps I have ever tried. Had these existed while I was in grade school I would have collected the bottles for my dolls and pretended the milk man delivered to their doorstep daily (an “upcycle” tip for you mommies).
NO Pthalates, formaldehyde, mineral oil, or toxic petrochemicals.
VARIANTS – Goat’s Milk & Almond: The Detoxifying Soap, Goat’s Milk & Jojoba: The Clarifying Soap, Goat’s Milk & Yogurt: The Soothing Soap, Goat’s Milk & Seaweed: The Revitalizing Soap, Goat’s Milk & Cinnamon: The Purifying Soap, Goat’s Milk & Avocado: The Radiating Soap, Goat’s Milk & Acai Berry: The Age-Defying Soap, Goat’s Milk & Witch Hazel: The Rejuvenating Soap, Goat’s Milk & Honey: The Germ Killing Soap
That certainly looks like “dessert for the skin” doesn’t it? What I love about these bath creams is they don’t aggressively lather up, they gently lather up in a silky way and my skin doesn’t feel stripped of moisture after. Plus the scent, oh my the well-rounded sophisticated scents, they have some that are a little bit more on the sweet slightly fruity or slightly floral side but I’ll have you know they also have clean non-gourmande soapy scents. The most unisex scent I smelt was their Goat’s Milk and Witch Hazel (seriously smells just like Safeguard White) and the next best neutral scent would be the Seaweed one. My favorite scent is Avocado, it’s a clean scent with a slightly sweet note in there, Jojoba is pretty nice, too. These bath creams just really make showering something to look forward to.
THE CREAM FACTORY IS AVAILABLE IN: – Beauty Bar (Powerplant Mall, SM Mall of Asia, Shangri-La Plaza, The Podium, Robinsons Galleria, Eastwood Mall, Gateway Mall, Trinoma Mall, Robinsons Place, Greenbelt 5, Alabang Town Center, Lucky Chinatown Mall, Glorietta 2) – Rustan’s Fresh (Glorietta, Powerplant Mall, Shangri-La Plaza, San Antonio Plaza, Katipunan, Cuenca Park) – Mercury Drugstore (Rockwell, Glorietta 4, Trinoma, Shangri-La Plaza, Robinson’s Galleria, Pasong Tamo Makati, Scout Borromeo, Glorietta, Cash and Carry Makati, BF Homes Paranaque, Greenhills Shoppesville, Katipunan, Greenbelt, ACR Rodriguez, Better Living Paranaque, People’s Support Makati, San Juan Greenhills GS, Makati GL, Greenhills Office, Trinoma LG, Meralco Pasig, Bonifacio Global City Taguig, MDC 100, Sanjuan C Greenhills) – Robinsons Department Store (Galleria, Magnolia, Ermita) – Landmark Department Store (Quezon City, Makati) – SNOE (SM Muntinlupa, SM Center Pasig, SM Valenzuela, SM Center Las Pinas, SM City Sucat, SM City Sta. Rosa) – SM Supermarket (SM Megamall, SM Aura) – SM Hypermarket (SM Mall of Asia, SM Center Pasig) – Blowout Bar Manila (G-02, Rada Regency, Rada St. Legaspi Village, Makati)
They come in a handy regular 221ml size (Php699) and a whopping 1000ml family size. The regular 221ml sizes also come in triple bundle packs of 3 different scents. They recently also came out with some awesome body scrubs which you should seriously check out.
I had a quick revisit of my skincare regimen to note what I’ve been using most regularly to keep from looking like the deadly undead. I just observed my winning streak with these bits of skincare. I haven’t had any allergic reactions or breakouts in nearly a year. I noticed a growing trend, pun unintended. Given that four of these six products are available locally and reasonably priced for the amount I think I’ve got pretty good plant-charged skincare picks on hand.
I’ve reviewed most of these products individually and have also included those links below. Please note that my regimen has become less “strict” and more of an “as needed” situation when it comes to application. So I don’t use ALL of these together daily, the combination changes. Of course the cleansing milk I use everyday, it is hydrating enough for me to sometimes skip moisturizer, but not all the time. I didn’t include body products but just for details’ sake I’ve been using my LUSH cosmetics vegan solid soaps for the past few months. The only two imported products are the 100 Percent Pure Tomato Lycopene Cream and the Pai Facial Oil, the rest are available locally.
MAKEUP REMOVER – The Body Shop Camomile Eye & Lip Makeup Remover (bi-phase) 150ml Php650 (goes on buy 1 take 1 sale sometimes). The one I used to buy a lot was the L’Oreal Gentle bi-phase which was Php300 a couple of years back but now according to Mom it’s now up to about Php500+? That’s what she told me, will double check and the L’Oreal one gave me red itchy skin after makeup removal. For a hundred more I’d rather use the Body Shop’s Camomile one. A little goes a long way with this makeup remover so one bottle hangs around longer and my face doesn’t itch. I like it mainly for eyes because Bioderma Crealine doesn’t remove waterproof mascara well enough for me.
FACIAL CLEANSER – Le Couvent Des Minimes Beneficial Rose Gentle Cleansing Milk Php799 (Non-foaming, No Mineral Oil) goes on buy 1 take 1 sale at major SM Department stores- “With 3 Beneficial Roses” If that’s not skin love I don’t know what is, LOL. This also contains wild rose hip polyphenols to further nourish skin after cleansing. I’m on my third or fourth bottle of this stuff. On a super lazy night I can even skip makeup remover sometimes thanks to this. If you massage this directly on top of made up skin for longer periods before rinsing off with water it also is able to break down most base and eyelid makeup. You can you can use a cotton pad so you can see what’s coming off.
TONER – Moringa O2 Malunggay Herbal Facial Toner Php80 (Alcohol-Free) I use this just as needed, not everyday but it’s what I want in a next step after cleansing and it’s alcohol free, it also has an aloe water base that hydrates and soothes the skin afterwards. I also use it with cotton to ensure my skin has been purged of all grime and makeup.
DAILY MOISTURIZER – 100 Percent Pure Tomato Lycopene Face Cream$34 USD (No toxins, No Mineral Oil) Mom got me this from San Francisco airport is the purest botanical moisturizer I’ve ever owned. The ingredients list, as you can see in the standalone review, speaks for itself. Key plants are rose, cucumber, tomato, carrot, avocado, pomegranate and more. Note…even though it is not artificially scented it DOES NOT STINK as an organic product, there a very, very light tomato after scent which disappears once skin has absorbed it. This one I like to use day or night. It’s a powerful yet gentle overnight miracle worker for me when coupled with a few drops of the Pai Rosehip facial oil. It’s a light moisturizer, not as rich as the next one.
TREATMENT MOISTURIZER - Za Perfect Solution Restoring Collagen Cream Php725 (No Mineral Oil, with Hyaluronic Acid) I’ve come to like this just recently, I misjudged it by its name and packaging. It’s the more chemically charged one in this group but it isn’t that bad sort of cream. In that fuschia pink pot it looks like nothing botanical and the “anti-aging” description turned me off at first, but boy did I misjudge this. I was way wrong. It is quite simply a moisturizer packed with glycerin collagen, hyaluronic acid, yuzu seed extract, apricot juice, marine elastin, Vitamin C, Vitamin E and moisturizing minerals. It certainly backs up the list with how it makes my skin feel. I choose to use this as a treatment cream when I feel my skin needs a bit more hydration locked in. I like how the skin surface feels plump and supple about half an hour after the cream sinks in. The only thing I would change about this is I’d make it fragrance free, but it doesn’t break me out anyway. Best overall description for me is this is like a lightweight version of Clinique’s yellow Dramatically Different Moisturizer +. It gives the same type of lasting hydration but with less stickiness and more softness, plus for hundreds of pesos less.
FACIAL TREATMENT OIL – PAI Bioregenerate Rosehip Facial Oil $31 USDA friend based in SG ordered this for me from the Pai UK Website a year ago and I’m almost halfway down the bottle after a year because you only use two drops with your moisturizer on nights when you need it. Yasumi of Worship Blues blog turned me on to this. From what I can tell we have a similar complexion and facial skin type (sensitive to dry combo, plus she’s Japanese and I have Japanese ancestry). A few drops of this with the Tomato Lycopene cream before bed and I wake up to perfectly rebalanced skin. I try to use this once to twice a week.
So that’s my updated skincare edit. I really use these products on a regular basis now so believe me when I say they work for me as a person with dry to sensitive skin. I didn’t just think of putting a bunch of products together for the sake of an edit. More or less I’ve been posting my updated skincare products every six to eight months, (here’s the previous post)on the blog. I just have to say what a plant powered group this one turned out to be…goodbye, zombie “zkin”.
I actually shortened the name in the title because it was in my opinion kinda way too long : Za Perfect Solution Restoring Collagen Cream. A pretty technical product name, a mouthful, which sounds scary BUT don’t fear, this rich moisturizer is actually simple and botanically sound and oh, so nourishing for the skin. Plus hey, it’s water based and doesn’t contain mineral oil! I finally tried this hoping since it was rich it might be a great overnight moisturizer. I’ve discovered it’s a great one for day or night and leans a little bit on the side for people with particularly dry skin in need of a boost. Don’t let the name scare you, this moisturizer is packed with good nourishing botanicals AND hyaluronic acid, one of our favorite skin-loving ingredients. I should have given the ingredients a closer look earlier on, I would have used it sooner, because it’s pretty much in my opinion what Caroline Hirons might agree with in a moisturizer!
I’ve worn it twice and it leaves my skin smooth and soft. On first application it’s a little rich and there’s a momentary stickiness but it goes away after it’s been given a few minutes to sink in. I also pretty much trust Za in terms of skincare the reason being they’re also a daughter brand of Shiseido. The only thing short of making this my perfect treatment moisturizer is the fact that it’s scented, but even if it is it doesn’t break me out and hits almost all boxes on the great moisturizer checklist! Available wherever Za products are sold for PHp725.00.
As you probably already know from Instagram (@blessmybag) I’ve just returned from a press junket at Palawan where NIVEA PH revealed the new product that’s bound to rock our summer boat. NIVEA is a world market leader in affordable sun protection formulas that are good for the skin. They’ve also been around 120 years so there are no buts about how established these guys are. Another thing that I didn’t happen to know is that NIVEA actually invented the SPF system standard. They do up-to-date research coupled with frequent safe testing on human volunteers (using the back of the hand) to ensure the quality of their products. Way before I ever became a beauty blogger NIVEA was in our bathroom and yes, mostly in the form of sunscreen for my baked brother who is currently one of the country’s best teenage football players. They’ve brought in a special spray lotion product for summer this year that aims to jumpstart a healthy, natural tan without “fake tanning” you and more importantly does it with sun protection. They’ve had the regular Protect & Bronze lotion before but now you can spray on this light lotion. This product is actually the solution to my dilemma as someone fair-skinned. I’d like to tan but I hate having to choose between tanning oil and sunscreen or combining them in doubt that I’ll ever get properly sunkissed. This product boosts your own tan while protecting you, plus it smells nice, not annoying. Interesting, noh?
“Protect & Bronze sun spray combines immediate protection with a natural looking tan. *The formula contains a natural plant extract which helps support skin’s own melanin production (in-vitro). Use regularly for an even and natural looking tan. Contains no self tan.” PRICE: Php599.00 for 200ml, available in leading groceries, department stores, or pharmacies that sell Nivea skincare. NIVEA PH site shows they also have the SPF10, 20, 30 and spf 50 but that’s depending on availability I guess.
(At the press launch we were given SPF 20 which is still safe even if it isn’t as high as 50 as long as you frequently reapply and layer it on like I did, I didn’t burn but just take note it isn’t summer yet. )
Truthfully, two days in Palawan is not enough time for someone as fair as me to get a full on medium-well tan that will last (someone like me needs over a week at the beach). What I liked about NIVEA Protect & Bronze is without using tint I managed to generate a healthy sunkissed glow within the first few hours. I also applied every 2-3 hours to stay protected and to help build my tone. What it does initially if you don’t have as many days at the beach is it takes the edge off pale skin and encourages your skin with a botanical extract to develop a well-rounded natural tan, no tints or harsh chemicals. I actually somehow saw a subtle difference within minutes from applying it indoors even before heading out into the sun. I’m nowhere near tan at the moment, but I’m not a sickly pale shade anymore either (bathing suit provided by Roxy PH).
Disclosure: I had to adjust this photo’s brightness and hue from the camera shot to properly match the actual sunkissed me in real life, mobile phone photos tend to need some help in capturing real life color sometimes. Please be assured that my skintone in the photo is properly exhibited, also don’t mind the shadows from the coconut trees overhead.
The lower SPF variants of Nivea Protect & Bronze like 20 and 10 are actually great for outdoor brides who don’t want to look pasty on their wedding day and want an overall healthy glow. P.S. I do NOT have a tummy ache lol, I just really don’t know how to pose.
By the way, I personally asked one of NIVEA’s global bosses if it is safe enough for the face because the instructions that say “Don’t spray on face” might confuse you. The formula IS SAFE for the face, you’re just not supposed to spray the product directly from the bottle onto your face to avoid getting it into your eyes. Spritzing it onto your hands and applying on the face is the correct way to do it. You can develop a deeper tan with this given you’ve got more time under the sun. NIVEA Protect & Bronze Sun Spray is available for Php599.00 in leading local department stores, groceries, and selected pharmacies/beauty floors.