Beauty as ritual: the brands that do it best

The practice of mindfulness has been around for thousands of years, but has really exploded – gently – into the mainstream as our lives have become more hectic and unpredictable. This same practice has caught the interest of the health and beauty world primarily because we now understand that improving our resilience to stress also comes with a myriad of health benefits – including skin health.
Mindfulness is based on the premise of giving yourself permission to focus on one thing at a time, and being present in the moment. It’s an approach practised by the Slow Beauty movement, and the antithesis of the 10-step, crazy routines that many beauty giants suggest we all adhere to. Instead of just going through the motions it involves creating a skincare ritual, pausing to be present and taking the time to really enjoy the process of giving yourself a little love.
Three of my favourite brands have honoured this approach from the get-go, creating little rituals that sit alongside their products for nourishing the emotional as well as the physical.


Almost 20 years ago, MV Skincare’s Sharon McGlinchey's extensive research lead her to the realisation that the only way to achieve the results she believed were possible for skin was to turn her back on the mainstream and challenge the status quo. Creating her own unique manufacturing process and insisting on fewer ingredients in higher concentration to guarantee efficacy gained her the respect of aestheticians, naturopaths and nutritionists and attracted the attention of some of the world’s top make-up artists. Now her award-winning products are available all around the world, and her signature facials one of my favourite ways to spend an afternoon.

Sharon (above) is a huge fan of skincare rituals, creating the brand’s 3-minute and mineral mask rituals to act as moments to stop and centre ourselves at the end of a busy day. She has said that they allow you to “connect with yourself because they take you out of your thinking body and into your feeling body and that’s how meditation is often described: feeling, not thinking!” Being immersed in the incredible aromas of her delicious products and taking time to treat yourself as a facialist would is a true treat – and one that can be built into your daily to do list for a little self-love whenever you need it.


When I was lucky enough to indulge in a holistic facial at Auckland’s Tonic Room not long ago, one product stood out in my mind as an absolute sensorial overload. Called The Clean Dirt, it’s a totally unique powder-to-mousse exfoliating formula that smells like a spice market —and delivers brightening and exfoliating results pretty much immediately. It was my first experience of the May Lindstrom range, which is the work of an LA-based beauty entrepreneur of the same name who has created a community of skin enthusiasts who love her hippy-meets-luxe approach and incredible creations.

She shares her own skin rituals on a regular basis on her social media accounts and website, and each and every product in the range is designed to be experienced and enjoyed as well as delivering exceptional results. Her Blue Cocoon soothing balm has been a runway hit, and after using it for the past week I can definitely see why. A stunningly blue balm that literally melts on contact with skin, it can be used as your primary moisturiser or as a special treatment for skin that is sensitive, inflamed, damaged, acneic or irritated. It is a powerful anti-inflammatory and soothes the skin in the most beautiful way, providing the perfect level of hydration and healing, eliminating redness and irritation. If you are experiencing any of the above or just want to truly indulge yourself, pop into Tonic Room and expreinec this range for yourself now.


Sans (ceuticals) is the work of tiny blonde powerhouse Lucy Vincent (above), whose fresh, uncontrived approach to hair and beauty has made her an icon in New Zealand and globally. Over ten years ago she created the brand, which is a specialist collection of hair and body products that has slowly but surely been going on to conquer the world. Their formulations are pure and clean, with each ingredient highly considered. This means that as well as being simply gorgeous to use, they are as high performance as they get. The active ingredients in each offering are dialled up to really high levels to work on cellular health as well as skin and hair structure, and I for one can’t get enough.
The collection contains no artificial chemicals – only sustainably harvested, natural ingredients and organic wherever possible - and in line with the name (Sans is French for ‘without’), is pure, clean and without any unnecessary or harmful ingredients. 

The range began with a single product: the now cult favourite known as Activator 7 Body + Hair + Face Oil, a reparative oil that uses active vitamin A to stimulate cell repair, increase collagen production and boost skin thickness and elasticity. The effects of regular use of Activator 7 on some eczema sufferers has been better than that of the use of steroid-based creams. Further body and haircare formulations were to follow, each more amazing than the next.
The bathing ritual is one long-celebrated by Sans (ceuticals) and its fans, and the feeling of applying Activator 7 to still-wet skin straight from the bath or shower is one I will never get enough of.

Main image by Lesly Juarez on Unsplash


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