Many people assume that just because I manufacture skincare, that I have no interest in other brands or products. Absolutely untrue. First of all, it’s a great way to stay abreast of the latest ingredients, textures and performance quotients on the market. Second, I’m always down to support a brand that delivers on its promises, especially if it works well with what I already have in my arsenal. The only real difference with the way I approach outside skincare is that I’m not easily won over by marketing claims and ‘newly discovered’ ingredients. I’m also acutely aware of how much base ingredients cost, so I can’t be duped into paying $300 for a product that contains water, hyaluronic acid and extract from a succulent. If it costs a company less than $10 to manufacture an ounce of product, there is no reason on earth that it should be playing with an 800% markup. I also know what filler looks and lists like, and how much of any given active it takes to make a product effective. So my criteria is always: what is the ratio of effective ingredients to carrier or filler, what is the actual wholesale cost of those ingredients (at the highest rate of quality), and what is the consumer markup? If the product passes those tests and I also enjoy using it in real time… there’s a good chance that it’ll end up in my regular roundup.
Bonajour Rose Stemcell Ampoule is a product that proves every now an then… something in a PR package will hit and spark a repeat purchase. And another repeat purchase. And another one. I’m not sure how many of these I’ve purchased over the seasons… but suffice to say it’s a LOT. One of the reasons is likely that the contents of one dropper is not enough for my face. I have to use two. But the effects are well worth it. When I discovered the magic powers of rose and rosehip for my aging and acne prone skin… let’s just say I never went back. I pair this with Habibi Seven Veils Regenerating Elixir (which is packed with rosehip seed oil) everyday without exception. It has made all the difference in the world.
DRMTLGY Needle-less Serum is one of those products that I had my doubts about. So many proactive aging formulas promise to deliver and just… don’t. But this one has niacinimide (yay!), is full of peptides (love that), and is guaranteed to play well with other products. I use this as a base at night, before I apply my regular products. And I have to say, it definitely works. Plus, little goes a long way, which is impressive. Since I added it to my regular lineup, my skin is noticeably plumper and has more clarity. It’s also supple, which is a major bonus. When you’ve been dealing with acne all your life, supple isn’t really a word in your skin texture vocabulary. But now I know what it is to have skin that looks and feels supple. For me, that experience is priceless.
NIOD Myrhh Clay the the perfect complement to an essential ingredient that I’ve been obsessed with for years. I love myrrh for its ability to ground the senses and visibly lift and tighten the skin. I use it from head to toe, and have even made my own bespoke line of full body skin care with it for personal enjoyment. I use this mask once a week to boost my regular skin care routine and let me tell you… it delivers. In just 10 minutes my skin is lifted, firm and deeply nourished. I was so worried that they’d changed the formula after founder Brandon passed (RIP)… but fortunately it appears to have remained the same.
The best thing about all of these products is that they work harmoniously with a ride range of routines and other products. For me, they’re keepers.