All about: the newest in natural beauty

While interest in natural products has increased steadily amongst skincare users of all ages, research by skincare giant Kiehl’s has found that consumers still feel they are compromising efficacy when using natural skincare solutions. I can’t say this is true for all natural skincare ranges but for many, it sadly is. And we shouldn’t have to compromise, right? Luckily there are some brilliant innovators out there creating amazing new formulas all the time, so I have rounded up a few of them to chat about here.
The aforementioned Kiehl’s hardworking chemists spent considerable time over the last few years hitting the lab and created Pure Vitality Skin Renewing Cream (RRP $98.00), a 99.6 per cent naturally derived formula that is the first of its kind to leverage the combined efficacy of two world-renowned wellness ingredients – New Zealand-sourced Manuka Honey and Korean Red Ginseng Root. The Manuka Honey used in Pure Vitality is sourced from a New Zealand-based, Maori owned company called Watson and Son, who are one of the biggest producers of Manuka Honey in the world. So how does it work? Well, while cocooning the skin in a comforting, creamy texture, the luxurious moisturiser also helps skin resist hydration loss while aiding in recovery from existing skin damage. That is one hell of a multi-pronged approach to dehydrated skin, and I for one give it two thumbs up.
When a natural skincare brand gets major props on the notoriously thorough – and tough! - Paula’s Choice Beautypedia website, you know it’s got to be good. This is the case for Drunk Elephant, a brand recently arrived in New Zealand at and Mecca Maxima. Based out of Los Angeles, California, Drunk Elephant was founded back in 2012 by former skincare executive Tiffany Masterson. As their website describes, Masterson developed the brand out of a desire to create “natural-themed formulas” that were truly effective and high performance. From the get-go Masterson was emphatic that they leave out that which wasn’t effective – primarily added fragrance. The inclusion of a plethora of exotic fragrances is where many natural-themed brands seem to go wrong, leaving many potential customers with major irritation to their already-sensitive skin. Fragrance, be it from essential oils or synthetics, has even been found to cause damage in some skin types. Happily, Drunk Elephant are one step ahead with their innovative, fragrance-free products.
The Drunk Elephant line is a small but beautifully curated one, and it makes each product count. All of the clever packaging keeps the ingredients inside protected, and many of the formulas include the aforementioned ingredient Marula oil, which contains an array of beneficial fatty acids, anti-inflammatory agents, and antioxidants. Drunk Elephant's Virgin Marula Luxury Facial Oil has been on high rotate in my house of late, due its abilities as a marvellous multitasker and its general awesomeness. It’s actually a very straightforward beauty product, in that it contains just a single ingredient: Marula oil. Marula oil is an excellent ingredient for skin, and thanks to the aforementioned great packaging that keeps it stable, this product is a winner. High in critical antioxidants like tocopherol (vitamin E), tochotrienol, phenolic compounds and Omegas 6 and 9, it hydrates, preserves and nourishes your skin, while restoring that elusive, youthful plumpness. Straight from the “pip” of the marula fruit, the Virgin Marula Oil in the bottle is virtually untouched by any chemical or fragrance, natural or synthetic and remains in its purest form. The oil itself is lightweight enough that it can be applied directly to skin, absorbing within a couple of minutes. It is amazing for those with dry to very dry skin like mine, but if you have oily or combination skin with patches of dryness, this can be applied to those areas too. If you haven’t checked out this new range yet then I highly recommend that you do – their Lala Retro Whipped Crème moisturiser is another absolute winner.
“I think that lipsticks are like flowers, they have an instant feel good factor that will brighten anyone’s Christmas day,” says Karen Murrell, Creative Director of Karen Murrell Lipsticks, and I couldn’t agree more. Karen’s lipsticks have even more to feel good about than most as well, being hailed as the ultimate ‘vegetarian lipsticks’ as the range has no animal based materials or testing. Instead, they contain Avocado Oil (to provide moisture, nourishment and hydration), Cinnamon, Evening Primrose Oil (rich in Omega 6 to soothe and moisturise), and Carnauba Wax; renowned for its high melting point, ensuring they are hard wearing in even the roughest handbag. 
Karen is always adding new shades to her range and lately, she also launched Karen Murrell natural lip pencils (RRP $27.00) as the perfect partner for your favourite natural lipstick shade. Smooth and easy to apply with long lasting, natural colour, they can be used alone for a long lasting matte finish or as a liner or base to compliment your lip choice. They are as natural as it comes without compromising on performance, which is rare when it comes to many natural lip formulas that last about as long on as they take to apply! From product to packaging, even the gorgeous boxes that house the new Karen Murrell lip pencils are ethically created: they were printed with vegetable based inks on sustainably sourced paper by an FSC-certified printing company. Amazing, and how good would it be if all beauty brands went to the same lengths as these?


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