2015 Skincare & Hair Favourites

Here is the first of a two-part post with my 2015 Skincare and Hair Favourites. I had to split Beauty Favourites out to be part 2 because if I didn’t, this post would be epic (it’s already pretty long). Grab a cuppa and enjoy!

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Cleanser – The Natural Instinct Replenishing Cream Cleanser. I prefer cream based cleaners and applying them in the shower in the morning. This has a lovely creamy consistency that makes my skin feel clean and smooth. Added to that it’s vegan, cruelty free and is free of lots of nasties. It’s made in Australia using Rosehip, Kakadu Plum and Ylang Ylang. Another plus is that this has a very accessible price point – yahoo!

Toner – Neutrogena Pore Refining Toner. I’m usually wary of toners as I’ve found in the past that they tend to make my skin feel irritated. This one is nice and gentle and helps remove any leftover makeup that my night cleanse has missed. It doesn’t dry my skin out and it’s available at supermarkets.

Day Serum – I’ve been pretty much astounded by oils this year and using oil as a serum under my moisturiser has been a game changer. I’ve noticed such an improvement in my skin tone, especially during the dry winter months. My day serum of choice this year was the Antipodes Divine Face oil. After buying a couple of smaller bottles (available as a duo with the Vanilla day cream), I bit the bullet and bought the larger bottle. This oil has avocado and rosehip oil in it and something about it nurtures my skin and prepares it for whatever moisturiser goes over the top. It just makes everything sink into my skin. I won’t be without this product.

Mask – My favourite mask of 2015 has been from Lush. The Oatifix Fresh Face Mask has a blend of bananas, vanilla and oats so it perfect for stressed out skin that needs some help. That’s usually when I reach for it and it has never let me down. In fact on a recent trip to Lush they urged me to try something else for a change and I just couldn’t because I just know this is the one for me. Added to that, you’ll know (unless you’re on Mars) that all Lush products are uber natural and cruelty free.

Scrub – The Skinfood Exfoliating Scrub has been amazing on my skin this year. This product is free of those plastic microbeads, instead exfoliating with walnut shell, cucumber extract, manuka honey, aloe vera, sweet almond and lime. It’s so gentle on the skin and smells very nice. I keep this in the shower and exfoliate once or twice a week to make my skin feel nice and fresh. It’s a New Zealand made product that is available from supermarkets for such a cost effective price.

Moisturisers – I have two here, firstly the Natio Ageless Daily Moisturiser with UV Protection SPF30. I was after a more natural moisturiser that still had a high SPF and it was unbelievably hard to find. I was pleasantly surprised to find that Natio stocked this bad boy. It’s cost effective compared to many others and provides a hydrating moisturiser that is non-greasy. It has rosehip, lavendar and lemon in it so has a lovely citrus zingy fragrance.

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My second moisturiser is from Plantae Organic Skincare. I was sent these products to review and was wowed by them. This Vanilla Bean Day Cream is lovely and smooth and smells divine. It’s a lighter weight than the Natio one and there is no SPF in it so I apply SPF over the top. However, I’m super excited to hear that Plantae will be coming out with an SPF moisturiser early this hear – yay! This hasn’t stopped me from using it though. Au Contraire – with it being summer at the moment, I stepped up my SPF to 50 during the day and rather than kill myself trying to find the perfect moisturiser with SPF 50 in it, I found that this moisturiser worked really well with a layer of SPF over it. Note: I’m currently reviewing face SPF creams so will post about them separately in a later blog.

Night Serum – another amazing product from Plantae, this is the Rosehip Fruit & Seed Serum. This is for dry or damaged skin and trust me I needed this boost this year. Working in a non-air conditioned office over winter, and often waiting in the wind and rain for the ferry in the mornings, my skin was really put through the wringer. I applied this serum at night, after working a long day and coming home to lovely sticky fingered cuddles with my kids. I actually think I could see my lines disappearing! Here is a link to my full blog review where I go into more detail.

Night Cream – A big performer this year was the Essano Rosehip Moisture Restorative Night Creme. I was pretty wowed by this product. I found it in the supermarket at an excellent price point. Certified organic, this New Zealand company controls their entire manufacturing process and are part of the Sustainable Business Network of New Zealand. Cruelty free, vegan and free of all petrochemicals this product also smells amazing and is so luxurious on the skin. It’s a truly beautiful night cream that I will definitely repurchase and I’m looking forward to trying more of their products.

A little late to the play in 2015, but amazing nevertheless, is the Antipodes Avocado Pear Nourishing Night Cream. Can I just start with the fragrance – it’s so beautiful! With avocado oil, antioxidant vinanza grape and active NZ manuka honey, this cream is divine. It is rich and creamy, but isn’t greasy. When I wake in the morning, but skin is still moisturised and feels hydrated. I bought this as part of a night time duo so am enjoying the smaller size. I’ll probably buy the larger one too!

Eye Cream – I’ve really enjoyed the Plantae Avocado Pear Eye Contour Cream this year. It’s lightweight, so is perfect to wear during the day and under makeup. It absorbs quickly and smells amazing and is helping keep my lines at bay (as much as possible).

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Body Moisturiser – I loooooooove body moisturisers. This year the body moisturiser brand that has stood out to me is Pure Fiji. They are amazing, whether it’s their body butters, moisturisers, scrubs or oils. Pictured above is my favourite and now empty (boo hoo) White Gingerlily Body Butter. It’s amazing! So lovely and smooth, this kept my crocodile skin nice and moisturised for the whole day. They now have a website so that you can easily purchase without having to pay the exorbitant prices that you find at the beauty therapists where you had to buy them previously. AND if you order over a certain amount then shipping is free. While I love supporting New Zealand made products, being Afakasi I love to support our Pacific brothers and sisters too and I hope you do as well.

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Hair -For my hair I’ve had a few issues, mainly around hormonal hair loss (sometimes it sucks being a woman right?), so I haven’t tried too many products in it. I use Pantene shampoo and conditioner and the products above to tame my frizz and oil.

The Paul Mitchell Super Skinny Serum has been a staple of mine for years. Two pumps into wet hair and your hair will be silky smooth. Because my hair is fine and has a tonne of cowlicks, my hair can look like it’s crackling with static electricity unless I have something to smooth it out. I’ve tried other products, but they tend to make my fine hair heavy and greasy. This doesn’t. It just works and I always get compliments on hair wash day.

When my hair does get a little greasy and I don’t have time to wash it before running out the door, I use a dry shampoo. The best by fair is good old Batiste. I usually buy the one for dark hair, but the standard one (above) is still amazing. What on earth did we do without dry shampoo?

Well, that’s all folks. Hope you liked my 2015 Skincare and Hair favourites. Watch out for the upcoming 2015 Beauty Favourites 🙂