october 19, 2020 | by: mercedes | filed under: podcast, episodes
Your Purpose is Beauty brings you eco/organic, luxury, and niche beauty product reviews and critique, as well as intellectual discussion about the beauty and alternative health industries. Hosted by independent beauty journalist and PhD sociologist Mercedes Lyson, this podcast will also explore why people have chosen beauty as their profession or passion through interviews with brand founders, beauty professionals, bloggers/influencers, and creatives. Exclusive episodes of this podcast are available at Patreon.com/lamouretlamusique, and Mercedes’ 6 years of eco beauty video content can be found at Youtube.com/lamouretlamusique/videos.
Episode 45: October Boxwalla Beauty Box: The Logic of Finding Fine Things feat. Fine Cosmetics & Naturallogic + A Limited Edition Box (from a fellow sociologist)
There’s something quite exciting about a beauty subscription box that comes every other month. And even more exciting when they release limited edition boxes alongside their regular beauty box for those who want to dive deeper into an intriguing brand. Such is the case this month from the ever-interesting Boxwalla! I just about turned into the red flamenco dancing emoji when I read that the Founder of Fine Cosmetics, Judith Springer, has a PhD in Sociology (among other interesting skills and work experience). A sociologist formulating eco beauty products? Say.no.more. Naturallogic, the other brand featured in the main beauty box was also a new discovery for me and a truly lovely one at that. We’ll spend the hour discussing both brands and all the products included in box boxes at length, plus I riff a bit on this trend I’ve been observing towards ultra minimal (basically no) skincare. A bit of barrier/microbiome healing, a bit of sustainability sensibility, a bit of rebelling against the beauty standards that refuse to fully die but may be under construction because self care? As always – it’s just complex! Potential for a future full episode on this for sure. Check the show notes below for all the references and links you need and if it’s not there, it will be on lamouretlamusique.com along with a full transcript with timestamps and hyperlinks for this episode.
To sign up for the Boxwalla Beauty Box (October Box still available) –
Limited Edition box feat. Fine Cosmetics –
Boxes available as one-time purchases –
Why Does Boxwalla Exist?
To listen –
Episode 6: Current Skincare Philosophy
Episode 27: June Boxwalla Review // Nini Organics, Pai, African Botanics
Episode 36: August Boxwalla Review // Votary and Lovinah
Episode 44: Pamela Friedman, CV Skinlabs
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00:08 – Introduction(Jump to section)
01:04 – October Boxwalla Beauty Box(Jump to section)
04:02 – Preliminary Announcements(Jump to section)
08:45 – Beauty Box Details(Jump to section)
09:40 – Introduction to Naturallogic(Jump to section)
12:34 – Naturallogic Elemental Advanced Hydration Red Wine Essence(Jump to section)
18:32 – Naturallogic Unmask Detox Hydration Mask(Jump to section)
26:12 – Introduction to Fine Cosmetics(Jump to section)
32:13 – Fine Cosmetics Daytime Radiance Eye Serum(Jump to section)
38:04 – Boxwalla Limited Edition Box Feat. Fine Cosmetics(Jump to section)
49:40 – Where to Find L’Amour + Closing Thoughts(Jump to section)
Hey, everyone. Welcome back to yet another episode of Your Purpose Is Beauty. This is Episode 45. I can’t believe I have made this many episodes, but here I am at 8:25 PM on a Tuesday night. This is going to be my way of unwinding from a long day of parenting and trying to get work done and cooking food from scratch and never running on enough sleep because Toddler L’Amour – I feel like I can’t even say Baby L’Amour anymore – Toddler L’Amour was up at 4 AM and had wet through the regular diaper that I accidentally put on and not an overnight diaper. So this is what we’re dealing with over here. Sorry to intro you to today’s episode with these mundane details of my everyday life but here we are.
Today, we’re going to be doing a review of the October Boxwalla Beauty Box. I’m always so excited when these come. There’s something about a box that comes every other month. You know, of course, I love a box that comes every month, my beloved Beauty Heroes. But I don’t know, there’s like more anticipation or… I don’t know. I also just really appreciate that Boxwalla really introduces me to brands that I’ve never even heard of. Lavanya, the curator behind these boxes, I think is just tapped into a sphere of the beauty omniverse that I don’t know anything about. And the brands that I’m going to talk about today are both two brand new brands to me. One of them I feel like I have vaguely heard of – Naturallogic – but the other, Fine Cosmetics, is brand new to me and I am pretty smitten.
The theme of this October beauty box from Boxwalla is The Logic of Finding Fine Things. So it’s a play on Fine Cosmetics. It actually is spelled F-i-n-e. So at first glance, it looks like it’s Fine Cosmetics but it actually is meant to be pronounced in Italian, which would be Fine (fee-nay). And from Fine’s website, they say Fine means “end” in Italian and that is what Fine is: “the end of your search for the perfect beauty product and the beginning of uncompromising, absolutely reliable beauty care.” In addition to the October beauty box, there is a limited edition box with three additional products from Fine that I’m going to talk about today. I haven’t tested them extensively but I can give you very, very preliminary thoughts and impressions, and I’ve done a little bit of research on them. I haven’t had them in my possession that long and I can’t remember if I’ve told you on here or not, but the month of October, I’m wrapped up testing skincare, like an exclusive skincare set, for the entire month. So it has really limited my capacity to be able to test other skincare. I can basically swap out maybe two to three morning skincare routines a week of something else, but everything else is basically accounted for with this other project that I’ve been working on for the month.
At the time that I’m recording, the limited edition box with the three additional Fine products actually hasn’t launched, so I unfortunately don’t have details on price or availability or things like that. But I’m going to go ahead and talk about it and hope that by the time you hear this episode – I’m just going to have to delay the episode until it actually is available, but I believe it’s going to be this week and I’m recording towards the beginning of the week.
Just a couple quick announcements because, you know, I want to throw them into the beginning because I’m sure at the end, most people probably check out after they hear the meat of an episode. So if you missed last week’s episode, Episode 44, it’s an interview with Pamela Friedman, who’s the president and CEO of CV Skinlabs. Amazing company that makes amazing products for the most sensitive, compromised, fragile skins out there. We get into the effects of really intense medical procedures like chemotherapy, radiation surgery, and how skins that are dealing with these conditions can really benefit from just ultra-sensitive but also ultra-repairing and nutritive products, which is what CV Skinlabs is. There’s also a special discount code for Your Purpose Is Beauty listeners for the rest of the month of October, so at the time you’re hearing this episode, that is still available to you. I will have that episode linked in the show notes. There’s also a full transcript of that episode on lamouretlamusiqe.com. I also just published my combined Beauty Heroes box review for September, which was featuring Pai Skincare, and October, which was featuring One Love Organics. I combined these – it was somewhat of a happy accident because I think they combined really well together. These are both very, very longstanding, pioneering brands in eco beauty that are over a decade old. And I just didn’t have time to get my September box review out in time so I combined it with October. So that’s on YouTube; it’s about 35 minutes long. I also drew on some other products that I have used and really liked from both Pai and One Love Organics. I talked about other eye serums I’m using because there’s a newly launched eye rollerball serum from One Love Organics. It’s featured this month; the Love + Eyebright. So I talked about some other eye products I’m using. So I hope that you will enjoy that if you have the time to go watch. It’s youtube.com/lamour/videos.
Coming up on YouTube as soon as I can get to it will be my A Night for Green Beauty 2019 Awards. I’ve been meaning to do that video for months so it’s going to be the next one I’m going to film. I have some other things planned but I really want to get that project off my desk. This month on Patreon, the poll recently closed and it was a very tight neck-and-neck race between fall capsule wardrobe planning and actual shopping that I’ve done. That lost by two percentage points to seasonal wellness prep and current COVID thoughts. So I think that people just are wanting some – to hear what other people are doing going into this fall and winter and also just looking for some perspective on the state of the world and what’s going on. So I will be happy to share my perspective, and similar to the immunization podcast episode that I did for Patreon earlier this month in October, I really hope that people don’t pigeonhole me or think that they know how I think about these things, because it’s complex. And there’s just a lot, a lot of nuance and I don’t fall prey to – or I try really hard not to fall prey to compartmentalized thinking or identity beliefs or politics or group thinking and things like that. So I’m happy to share my state of affairs on all of that and just an updated look at what I’m doing for myself and my family as far as immune support and kind of how I would approach any other cold and flu season, just staple things to have on hand, and then in light of COVID, how that informs any actions that I’m taking. I guess I know that I’m sounding a little vague. But I will be doing a video on that towards the end of this month, October, on Patreon.com/lamouretlamusique.
Enough announcements. Let’s start talking October Boxwalla Beauty Box!
So like I mentioned in the beginning, the theme of the October Boxwalla Beauty Box is The Logic of Finding Fine Things. Each of these boxes – which you would subscribe to, you would sign up for a Boxwalla subscription and you would get a beauty box that would come to your house every two months, and the cost of each box is $49.95. So it would just be a recurring thing. I always include a link to sign up in the show notes if you’re interested to go take a look. So $49.95. This month, there are three full-sized products. In fact, I think it’s generally three full-sized products in a box. Two of the products in the October box are from the brand Naturallogic and one is from Fine Cosmetics. The retail value of this box is $181.
Let’s start with talking a little bit about Naturallogic. I went ahead and did a bit of research because this brand seemed vaguely familiar. I had never tried anything from it but when I saw it, I thought maybe I’ve heard of this brand, maybe I’ve seen people use it. It certainly didn’t seem wholly unfamiliar to me. So I did a little bit of digging, I read a couple of interviews which I’ll link in the show notes for you, that were done by bloggers with the founder of Naturallogic. Her name is Toni Ann Barandon, I think. B-a-r-a-n-d-o-n. And I found out that she got her start in beauty way back in 2003 when she started making soap. From there, she started an Etsy shop in 2007 and Naturallogic officially launched as a company in 2010. I think that she’s located in the Philadelphia suburbs area. I went to Naturallogic’s Instagram page and it was a part of Pennsylvania that is like half an hour northwest of Philadelphia, so I think that that’s where this company is located. So I went ahead and took a spin around Naturallogic’s website. The thing that jumped out at me right away is that they have a lot of products, so it’s a pretty extensive product range. Multiples in different categories, so multiple cleansers, multiple serums, multiple masks. The brand’s key words are “nutritive,” “dynamic,” and “integrative.” On the website, they say, “We create natural, vibrant, effective, multifunctional daily skincare that brings health and vitality to skin while being gentle on our environment. Our products are 99% bioactive, highly concentrated, gentle, broad-spectrum recipes. We craft them this way to bring skin the highest nutritional value in a minimal yet power-packed daily ritual.”
So also in these interviews, I had seen that Toni Ann does have a background in holistic nutrition. So that, I think, is getting infused in the products and the products seem to have a focus on antioxidant protection, lowering inflammation in the skin, and creating a strengthened barrier and a level of environmental protection through the products. They also say, “We draw our inspiration from the ideas of holism, using whole plant nutrients to craft multifunctional, well-rounded formulas that support the whole you. We draw on our knowledge of nutrition and herbalism [right up my alley, personally] to select ingredients based on their nutrients and ability to produce real results.”
So the two products from this brand in the box are the Naturallogic Elemental Advanced Hydration Red Wine Essence. A full size of this is $58. Let me just go ahead and talk about this and then we’ll talk about the mask. So this is actually – well, I was going to say – is this my favorite product in the box? I like it a lot and I’m not typically an essence user. So for anyone that hasn’t used in essence, it’s almost like an amped up version of a toner. I think of it that way. You can use it in place of a toner. It’s meant to be used as the very first step right after cleansing, so it would be the first thing that you put on your skin and then you would top it with serum and oil, maybe a toner on top of that. I personally use mists, like a real toner, I tend to use those as a finishing step or on top of an oil. You can listen to Episode 6, my skincare philosophy episode, if you want to hear more about skincare layering. But you know, you can kind of play around I think with where this sits in a routine. It’s described as a multitasking essence, made in a base of house-made organic red wine rich in polyphenols and resveratrol, reducing free radical activity. This essence also contains a polysaccharide-rich red algae, which increases collagen production and is anti-inflammatory, B3 to strengthen barrier function and balance moisture levels, aloe vera juice, licorice root extract. So it functions essentially as a hydrating step but also has these serum-like properties. Also, they claim that it’s a pH balancer and can be used in the toning, misting, as well as the serum step of your skincare routine, so that’s why they’re labeling it multitasking, multifunctional, because it can serve these multiple purposes: toner, essence, serum.
Right away – I can’t remember where I said this, maybe on a Livestream because I tend to talk about everything every Friday morning on the livestreams I do on Patreon – Right away, this brand reminded me – I guess I shouldn’t say this brand, this product reminded me of Caudalie just because of the grape/red wine link and the focus on resveratrol. So that’s kind of the base of Caudalie’s marketing, is how good resveratrol is for skin. So this comes in a 2 fluid ounce, frosted glass bottle with a pump dispenser – really substantial packaging. It has a cap that comes off and the pump dispenser is really, really easy to use. You pump out, I don’t know, one to two pumps probably per application. It’s pretty watery but not as watery as something like a pure hyaluronic acid serum. So something like Monastery Aloe, I think that this is a step up in viscosity from something like that, or maybe they’re really comparable, but I don’t have the Monastery product right nearby. It does smell a bit yeasty. That’s the thing you kind of notice right away. So it’s quite cooling going on and the predominant smell is a yeasted smell. I’m not sure if there is any kind of fermentation going on with their ingredients. I actually have been learning quite a lot about the brand Biophile, which is a fermentation-focused bioactive skincare brand, under a year old, very new on the market, but really, super interesting. And so this product to me, the Naturallogic Elemental Red Wine Essence, kind of smells fermented in a way but they don’t really list anything other than to say that there are probiotics in this product.
So the directions are just after cleansing, dispense one to two pumps and briefly massage between hands; gently press; sweep over the face, neck, and décolleté; follow with serum, facial oil, and moisturizer. So it absorbs really quickly, within under a minute, I would say. And you’re going to be left with a pretty silky finish, I would say, so it certainly is not sticky. It definitely is going to absorb in and be quite smooth and silky feeling, I think. I can’t remember if this one has Persian silk tree extract or maybe the Fine product has Persian silk tree extract in it. But anyway, it feels very, very silky on the skin. So I’ve enjoyed testing this very much. I’ve used it AM and PM. I’ve really mostly used it as the first step in a skincare routine AM or PM. I just – right after cleansing, I go in with two pumps of this, let it fully absorb, and then I just kind of go on with my routine as normal. I think it’s a nice complement to skincare that I’m already using. I enjoy the experience; I find it refreshing. And I do feel like it’s imparting some additional nutritive benefits to my skin. And again, this is just because I just got off a brand education call with Biophile. I’m feeling like this is kind of the same idea. So it really does feel like it’s feeding and nourishing the skin, but in such a lightweight way. So when we think of nourishing the skin, I have always thought of, you know, a really rich and nourishing oil. But I feel like there’s this new generation of serums, toners, essence-like products that are very lightweight, they absorb into the skin so quickly, but they’re giving you all of that nutritive goodness in such a lightweight, very user-friendly way. So this feels like the future of skincare. I guess the future is already here. But it’s the generation of skincare that that is coming of age right now. So I’ve enjoyed using this very, very much.
Now we can talk about the Naturallogic Unmask Detox Hydration Mask, which is the second product in the box. So a full size of this, which is a 2 fluid ounce jar, retails for $58. It comes, again, in a frosted glass jar with a twist-off lid. It is an inky, squid ink, jet black, very loose-textured – I mean, I guess it’s not really a gel, it’s – so this is one of the things that I want to mention about this product. So I’ve used it once, maybe twice, and the thing that stuck out to me above all else is just how loose of a texture it is. I feel like most masks, even – I mean it’s almost like a pourable liquid. And I think you might expect it a mask like this to be more formed, and it’s not, and so that does impart a bit of learning curve maybe with the application. So this is described as a slick-textured, charcoal-based mask that melts away environmental impurities while healing and regenerating the skin; filled with hydrating, soothing aloe, niacinamide that strengthens skin barrier function, antioxidant burdock root that increases circulation and reduces inflammation, cranberry fruit extract, and more. They say it’s a uniquely beautiful mask that refines the skin, deeply cleanses, and purges the pores while leaving the skin plump and hydrated.
I will say that charcoal-based masks tend to be slightly too much for my skin personally. I’m a normal skin type with a tendency to go dry and dehydrated when out of balance. But my skin – just as I’ve gotten older, as I’ve gone through pregnancy and postpartum – my skin has just become a little bit more sensitive and more finicky to being disrupted, so I had a little bit of caution around using this. Typically, a mask like this would probably dry my skin out quite a bit and you can just kind of tell when your skin kind of has the life sucked out of it. I’m sure you’ve had that experience with a product before where you almost look – not worse after a treatment but you look like kind of the vitality has been sucked out of your skin. And I think for people that have skin that needs a really deep clean and, as the blurb that I read describes, a deep cleanse, a deep purge; maybe they’re combination or they have some oiliness or what have you, and they really need the skin, they need the oil control, they need the skin to be rebalanced in that way. That’s who I feel a mask like this is suited for. However, someone with normal skin and a tendency towards dryness, I do think that it’s definitely workable. I did a facial steam – an Earthwise Beauty Selene Facial Steam – a couple of weeks ago, and this was the mask that I chose. Typically, I would do either the Earthwise masks – Sungod or Catharsis; they actually now have a third mask out that I am meaning to pick up and test. Sometimes I will do the Mukti Deep Cleanse Masque; despite having some clays in it, it’s not drying on me at all. So it just kind of goes to show that it’s such a case-by-case basis and even just reading ingredients and having a speculation about what a product or a certain ingredient in a product might do to you, you really do just have to dive in and try the products, I think, for yourself a lot of the time if you’re feeling drawn to something. So the instructions on this say to apply a dark, even layer to freshly cleansed, lightly patted dry skin and allow to penetrate 20 to 30 minutes. So when I saw that, I said, “Oh, I can totally do this after a facial steam. I could do this while soaking in the tub. I can leave it on for a substantial amount of time.” So I left this on for 30 minutes. I sat on the couch and watched TV with Kaveh – my husband, for anybody that doesn’t know. And when I sat down, he’s like, “Well, that’s a look I haven’t seen before” (laughing). I mean, I do so many beauty treatments; he’s so used to me taking therapeutic baths and I’m sure I’ve had masks on before, but I’m not sure he’s ever seen me with a charcoal mask on, which of course is a pretty intense look. I would say it doesn’t really have that distinctive of a smell. It’s kind of just somewhat fresh. Let me see… so slightly geranium, I guess I would say. The second ingredient is actually geranium distillate. It also has an AHA complex, orange peel extract, a bunch of good stuff. Again, very nutritive, replenishing… Calendula extract, rosemary extract, has a little bit of bergamot, orange peel oil, clove bud oil, lemongrass oil. The scent is not overpowering at all, in my opinion. It just smells kind of gently spa-like, and that’s how I feel about Fine, too. The Fine products, especially, to me feel like you’re at a day spa, which is very, very nice in my opinion.
My main note with this, like I said, is really the texture. I was trying to pour – you definitely, I think, don’t want to scoop your fingers in there. I think you’ll want to take a spoon and put some in a separate dish. You’re going to make a mess if you do what I did, which is pour it from the jar into your hand. It’s like kind of a cluster if you do that. So I would recommend a spoon and decanting it into your hand directly from a spoon or into a smaller dish, and if you want to spread on with a brush – I always wonder who has time to spread a face mask on with a brush because I have just never been able to get into it, even when I’ve had a ton of time to myself to do beauty routines. I don’t know. The brush is just like something else that you have to wash and deal with so I just always prefer to use my fingers, to be honest. So I left it on for 30 minutes, washed it off in the shower. Truthfully, I did get a bit of that look of the life has been somewhat sucked out of your skin, so I would say I probably left it on a little bit too long. I just felt like it was too, too deep cleansing on my skin for my needs. I would probably halve the amount of time that I had it on, maybe 10 to 15 minutes. I would even flash mask with this, do a second cleanse with it. I think it would be really nice. So do an oil or a balm cleanse, take that off with a warm cloth, and then decant some of this into my hand, do a second cleanse, massage it around the skin, hop in the shower, leave it on as long as I can in the shower, and then rinse it off. So it would be on, you know, five to seven minutes. That’s what I’ll probably try next with it but I will say try to limit the amount of time that the product sits on your skin if you are dry, dehydrated, or even normal. But again, all of us are different. I think I just have a sensitivity, maybe, to charcoal in skincare or products that are formulated with charcoal in them. I do think that the products in general from Naturallogic feel extremely high quality, so I can attest to that. The quality is truly beautiful.
Let’s now move on to the final product in the October Boxwalla beauty box by Fine Cosmetics and it’s their Daytime Radiance eye serum. This is a full size and I think it’s – so it’s a 30 mL bottle and it retails for $65. I guess before we talk about this, let’s talk a little bit about Fine because I gave you a little bit of background on Naturallogic. So Fine is based in Berlin, Germany. The founder is a woman named Judith Springer and she has the most interesting background, you guys. She is an art curator, or was an art curator, I’m not sure, is or was; a yoga teacher; and she also – brace yourselves – has a PhD in sociology. When I learned this from – I think it was here in the insert to – actually, to the limited edition box that I’m going to tell you about – the insert that Boxwalla wrote said, “Fine was founded by Judith Springer, who has an eclectic background in art and sociology. She has a PhD in sociology and is also a trained yoga teacher. As an art curator, she brings her unique aesthetic and attention to detail to the formulation and packaging of her incredible products.” So I later that night, wrote her an email – Judith, the founder of Fine – and I was like, “From one sociologist to another, I just wanted to say hi. I just wanted to say that I so appreciate this crosspollination between sociology and beauty. I love your products, I love your website,” yada yada yada. She wrote me back and was super nice. And she said, actually, in her email back to me, she said she did her PhD in urban and regional sociology. So I – one of my prelim areas was in urban sociology. So I haven’t had a chance to write her back yet, but I kind of want to and I want to see if she knows John Logan and Urban Fortunes, who – John Logan was a professor at Brown that I worked with and he wrote a very well-known urban soc book called Urban Fortunes. And then I was really into the work of human geographers like David Harvey, who are, I think, have more of a European focus more than North American. So I wanted to see if she was into the human geographers, and I’m assuming she did her PhD somewhere in Europe, but I kind of just wanted to talk shop with her, which tells me that maybe the inner academic part of me is not fully dead, that I still feel that as some sort of connection to someone that would also share that interest. But anyway, suffice to say, immediately felt taken with this brand because – really, because of the perspective of the person behind the brand, but actually, I don’t think I knew that when I started testing the serum, the Daytime Radiance eye serum. I just, like I said, sometimes I’m super busy so I just plunk new products in the testing queue in the bathroom and I start using them before I’ve even had a chance to really look into the brand at all. So when I started using this eye serum, I didn’t know any of this stuff about Judith, and I was loving the eye serum. Very unique and very unlike any eye product I’ve really ever used. It’s extremely, extremely watery, and you wouldn’t think that it’s really doing anything except that it is doing something, but let me get back to talking about the brand and then we’ll get into the product a little bit more.
So a little bit of background to Fine. It began in Berlin in June of 2016, so getting on the way to being pretty established. That’s, you know, coming up on being five years old. So they started “with the creation of a single product: the Fine Deodorant, Vetiver Geranium. Only one month after, everything was sold out and it took us months to meet the ever-increasing demand. Fine has grown over the years. Now, new scents and designs have been added. Our newest additions to the Fine family is our small but exquisite face care and body line.” So it looks like they started with these deodorants first and then built out the rest of the product range. Their range is not as big as Naturallogic, but it’s still pretty substantial. They have quite a few products to choose from. They say that their products “are produced in close collaboration with various German labs, always according to the strict regulations of the EU cosmetic law,100% vegan, organic, and clean without nasty ingredients and aluminum salts.” Okay, here was the part that – again, I’m just like, I totally am like fangirling over Judith. I really want to meet her and just like have a coffee with her. She said, “We try to work with as many regional partners as possible and also to support social enterprises. Our beautiful wooden spatulas from American nutwood are produced in an anthroposophical workshop for people with special needs, with a lot of love and care. Also, our paper packages are ready made in another workshop right here in Berlin.” This really spoke to me on a lot of levels: the inclusivity, the focus on social enterprise, creating meaningful work for people that desire that, and then – I mean, I’ve never heard of an anthroposophical workshop but I am so taken with anthroposophy and the work of Rudolf Steiner. I’ve been kind of, you know, laywoman-like trying to accumulate knowledge around anthroposophy. I’ve been listening to some of – “Steiner” or “Shteiner”? I think the appropriate pronunciation is “Shteiner” but I feel like I just want to say “Steiner.” Rudolf Steiner is the person who really built out anthroposophy as a school of thought. He’s the person behind Waldorf education, which is still, I would say, relatively popular here in the States. So this just – I don’t know, you guys. It just felt so good to read and I feel like this brand is just very, very meaningful and doing really beautiful work.
So the Fine Daytime Radiance eye serum. I think I already told you a full size is $65. So it’s described as a water-based eye serum which is extremely gentle and effective. It’s in a base of witch hazel leaf water. It contains – this is the product I thought had Persian silk tree extract, which minimizes the appearance of crow’s feet, dark circles, and swelling. It also has beet root extract, protective and firming ashwagandha extract, grape leaf extract, niacinamide, high molecular hyaluronic acid, and more; absorbs instantly into the skin, protecting and rejuvenating the undereye area. Well, I’m sold. That description speaks to me. I will say that there’s this ongoing debate, conversation, critique, who knows what, that I have seen playing out, maybe this year, maybe longer, about whether hyaluronic acid actually has a place in skincare. I think blogs like Oumere and beauty journalists like Jessica DeFino – I’ll link them both in the show notes for you if you want to go check them out. But, you know, these are people that are really promulgating a much more minimal approach to skincare as a way to heal the skin’s microbiome and restore barrier function. I think I’d actually like to do a podcast episode on this trend towards ultra-minimal skin care, basically no skincare, and letting your skin just kind of rebalance itself. There’s also an Instagram account, Empowered Skincare, that’s all about just super minimal. And I have a lot of thoughts on this topic because actually, a lot of the underlying logic behind it is 100% in line with things that I think about the body’s innate ability to heal some of the issues that can arise in terms of mainstream vaccinations. Please do not call me an anti-vaxxer because I am not, but just thinking about the immune system holistically. Cilla Whatcott’s work at RealImmunity.org lays it out beautifully. She’s done a bunch of documentary work. Anyway, I’m starting to get sidetracked. But there’s a piece of this conversation in the minimal skincare realm that I think – it’s not so black and white. I do think that there is still a place for discovering and experiencing ritual and beauty through a skincare routine and some intangibles that come with skincare beyond just, like, is it functionally good for my skin? And granted, yes, we live in a very results-oriented culture and people generally are very causally mindset-focused (“So I’m going to use this and it’s going to deliver this”) and I just feel like my evolving approach to skincare has always been – well, there’s some intangibles there, there’s some mystery, too, to how the products might interact with your skin at different moments in time. And, you know, for example, Inlight Beauty, I feel, is a very energetic skincare brand – Earthwise, as well – and your skin is really having a conversation with the plants in certain products. So anyway, totally getting sidetracked, but I would like to do a whole episode on these topics.
So I basically love the Fine Daytime Radiance eye serum. I think it is completely a pleasure to use. It’s in an amber glass bottle with a dropper/pipette dispenser. So it’s so weird because when I drop it out, it doesn’t slide down my hand the same way the Naturallogic Red Wine Essence is, but going on the skin, It feels really pretty watery. You need like one to two drops. It’s pretty much unscented, honestly. I can’t detect anything, you know, any scent in it really at all. Yeah, so I kind of gave you the highlight ingredients: sea water, witch hazel, lactobacillus ferments… yeah. Ashwagandha, grape leaf extract, elderberry fruit extract. Really beautiful and it gives that silky feel under the eyes. I would say it finishes ever so slightly tackier then the Naturallogic Red Wine Essence but really, again, that very smoothing, silky feel from the Persian silk tree extract. I think it’s a pleasure to use. I think it wakes you up so nicely in the morning because it’s cooling, it’s refreshing. If you need more moisture, if you have really dry undereyes, definitely you can layer a drop of an oil or once it sinks in you could sweep a rollerball eye oil serum around. So it’s definitely on the lighter end, I would say, of hydration but it’s almost like – again, it’s this new generation of products or of thinking about what a hydrating product is and it’s not a heavy, nourishing oil, which you typically don’t really want to use around the eyes, anyway. We have to be pretty careful with what we use around the eyes. When I use this alone, I certainly don’t find that my undereyes are dry or anything, so it’s like it doesn’t feel, maybe, that it’s going to be enough but somehow it is, at least on me. Doesn’t interfere at all with makeup or anything. It’s just really a wonderful product and I think I would say that it probably is my favorite product in the box. I guess tied with the Naturallogic essence but I may like the Fine just a hair more. But really, really wonderful. It’s just such a such a pleasure to discover these new-to-me brands through this box.
In the small amount of remaining time we have left, because I try and not keep you for more than an hour because it just feels excessive, even though I could probably sit here and keep talking longer. So the limited edition box from Boxwalla – If at the time I’m publishing this episode for you, I know the details of the price, when it’s available, how to sign up for it, I will include that in the show notes. Unfortunately, at the time of recording, I don’t know those things. But I’m going to tell you what’s in the box. It’s three products and it’s a duo: the Nocturnal Renewal duo, $138 value, and it features an overnight face mask and eye mask; and the third product is a 50 mL bottle, $25 value, of the Peace Body Serum. So I was looking on the website last night. I think they have three different body serums and Peace is the one that’s included in the box. So the only thing that I’ve had an opportunity to try is this body serum. I have not had a chance yet to try the face mask and eye mask but I’m going to tell you why I’m glad I didn’t just dive in and start trying willy-nilly. But quickly about the body serum: so it’s an a base of aloe leaf juice along with camellia oil, rose canina fruit oil, and squalane to provide hydration and emollience. Due to the base of aloe, it sinks in immediately like a true serum while also deeply moisturizing the skin. So it’s a two-phase body treatment, which means that you every time you use it, you have to shake it to remix them. Think of the bi-phase eye makeup removers that have been so popular for the last 20 years; like, I think the Lancôme is a bi-phase makeup remover. So you want to shake it to remix the two phases every time you use it. It contains Australian bush flowers to calm and soothe the skin, as well as a special extract from Mediterranean algae that repairs UVA, UVB, and pollution-induced damage, rejuvenating and restoring the skin. So I have to say, the box that this comes in is – I mean, when you see it, if you get this, you’re going to be like, “Oh, I understand why Mercedes is obsessed with that box.” It’s this midnight blue, matte navy box and it has a foiled azurite blue, almost like it has a sheen to it – not like a micro-glitter, but oh my god, it’s like this foiled azurite blue, and all of the ingredients are foiled in this blue; like all the text on the box is in this blue color. It’s honestly a little bit hard to read against the – I think the box, the box might be black. The box is black, or maybe a navy. But anyway, I obviously really don’t care because it’s so beautiful.
Instructions are shake well until the two phases mix, then pump just the right amount onto your hands, massage lovingly into your skin after showering, inhale to feel the peaceful power it gives. I’m trying to see if I can get the scent notes that are in here. So it has fir needle oil, rosemary, those are kind of the main ones; juniper fruit oil, maybe palmarosa. Those are kind of the main ones. So it definitely has – hang on, I’m going to pump a little out. So it’s in a pump dispenser top and it pumps out – it’s very, very viscous and liquidy. It’s going to slide down, you know, your hand right away if you pump it out. Almost kind of goes on like a watery serum, really cooling and refreshing. That’s – to me, that’s the theme of this brand, like the products are just like extremely refreshing. It’s like drinking a glass of cucumber water at the spa is kind of like what they feel like. Smells like being at a high-end day spa, very, very much that vibe. I’m rubbing it in. It’s maybe a tiny bit sticky but I mean, not really once it kind of goes in fully. Yeah, no, once it fully absorbs, there’s no stickiness or tackiness really at all. The scent lingers a bit on the skin, actually, very, very delicately and subtly, which I find really beautiful. So I haven’t had a chance to really use this as a body care product after a bath or a shower. But first impression just testing it is really positive.
Now the exciting thing – I mean, the body serum is exciting, but this Nocturnal Renewal set, for anyone interested in skincare, you’re I think going to think it’s quite interesting. So I’ve never, ever seen packaging like how the High Potency Nocturnal Renewal Overnight Face Mask is packaged. It looks like a bottle that you would find in a 17th or 18th century European apothecary. It’s kind of this squat, cylindrical bottle and it has like a stopper, you know, like if you have a cork stopper in a bottle, it has that but you twist – it has like a disk on top that you rotate, like twist horizontally, to lift the stopper out of the jar. I’m honestly somewhat concerned about how I’m going to get the product out. I have to play around with the product design and kind of ease of use, but I think you’re going to have to end up getting a spoon and again decanting some of this to then apply. So the reason I’m happy I didn’t just go in and dive in and start, you know, slapping this on my face and, you know, whatever – I actually went to Fine’s Instagram page last night when I was doing my research for this episode and Judith, the person behind the brand, has a whole set of stories specifically on how to use this set, the Overnight Face Mask and the High Potency Nocturnal Renewal Overnight Eye Mask, and I watched all the stories of her using them. They’re all of her speaking German but she has captions in English or like text in English on each of the slides, which was very helpful. So she also has gorgeous skin. I actually tilted the phone to Kaveh who was on the couch. I was like, “Whoa, like she’s – her skin is like, very nice.” And to be honest, you guys, it’s like sometimes, I just think it’s the impression that I have of someone and it’s like – I’ve talked about this with Ava from Earthwise Beauty. You know, as we grow and develop and I guess you could say age, you know, the true mark of beauty, I feel, is really someone’s spirit that is coming through and that’s what’s truly beautiful and it’s not really like even topically what your skin looks like. I mean, to some extent I guess it is but it’s more that inherent essence of someone that is what you perceive, I think, as beautiful. So the main note that I want to make on this is that Judith recommends – well, first of all, you start with the eye oil serum first, so you do – and to watch her apply it, I was like, “Oh, I never ever put eye serum like on the eyelid or kind of on the inner part of the eye.” I always do eye product under the eye, along the orbital bone, like kind of up around the corners of my eyes, and then sometimes I’ll go up underneath the eyebrow, and then I generally always do between my eyebrows because I’m prone to 11 lines. But I never really put product like directly on the eyelid or I don’t ever really go below the brow bone. And she did. She put like a dropper full right under the eye and then she put a – not a dropper full, a drop – under her eye and then she put another drop kind of directly on the eyelid and in the crease. And so I’m definitely going to try that. It’s described – the eye mask ask is described as an incredibly gentle yet effective water-based serum with tightening – I’ve never heard of this ingredient – pullulan, ashwagandha extract, anti-inflammatory darutosiden, and more. Gosh, I get – like I said, next generation of skincare formulation. Firms and tightens the undereye area, reducing dark circles, as well. The instructions here to use say “start by applying two to three drops of the eye mask carefully around your eyes, then apply a hydrating mist or essence to the face and neck followed by a thin layer of the face mask. Let it sink in for a minute before going to bed. Do not use acid toner or exfoliator along with the face mask. The next morning, remove any remaining face mask with a warm washcloth and proceed with cleansing your face.” Judith recommends using the masks four to five nights in a row to get the full power of all the ingredients; afterwards, two to three times weekly or when needed. Patch test before us.
So yes, basically, this is what is captured in the Instagram stories that Judith did. I found it really helpful to watch her apply because she doesn’t really apply a thin layer, to be honest. She applies like a pretty substantial amount of the mask to her face, and then also talks about how – I think she just kind of puts it out there as something to consider that people would be better served to sleep on their backs and that their spines would thank them. I mean, I am a diehard side and stomach sleeper so I’m not sure that anything is going to make me sleep on my back. But her point is that, you know, she – I guess goes to bed with like a super thick layer of this on her face, and if you were a side sleeper or stomach sleeper, it would be kind of untenable to do. So Judith must be a back sleeper and she could probably sleep with a sheet mask on and it wouldn’t be an issue. But I would recommend going to Fine’s Instagram page and looking at her demo of this to see the amount that she uses because it’s a lot. And then, yes, I’m glad that Boxwalla included this as a tip that you don’t just want to use it once a week. To really harness the results of the mask, you want to use it four to five nights in a row and then dial it back. So the face mask is in a base of French deep sea water and witch hazel leaf water. The eye mask is, too, I guess. The Overnight Face Mask is a powerful cream concoction delivering smooth, clear, glowing skin overnight. It contains baobab, marula, broccoli seed, and argan oils along with squalane to deeply hydrate and moisturize. the actives in it are asked to astaxanthin, niacinamide, ashwagandha, ceramides, prickly pear stem, and papaya fruit extracts to deliver smooth, plump skin. It also has Persian silk tree extract, which reduces glycation effects, promoting collagen production, minimizing wrinkles, firming, and improving the texture of the skin. So once I’m done with my current monthly skincare project, I think I probably will test this four to five nights in a row and see what we see. Right away, I’m probably going to start interchanging the Overnight Face Mask. I’m going to use this at night and I’m going to stick to using the Daytime Radiance during the day. I was using Daytime Radiance at night but then I was often putting an oil over top, so now I think I’ll just use as the name would imply – the Overnight Face Mask for nighttime.
Thank you guys so much for spending some time with me and listening to me talk about these beautiful products. Come find me on Instagram @lamouretlamusique or shoot me an email firstname.lastname@example.org, and let me know if you decide to try these things or what you think. I will try and find another way – I mean, maybe I’ll do a skincare routine video or something on YouTube. I’d love to actually show you some of these products or how they figure into a routine. Maybe I’ll – now that I’m thinking about it, I’d love to do kind of a vlog of the four- to five-day project of the Nocturnal Renewal. I’m feeling drawn to do kind of some Fine-specific content, really, really dig into the brand a little bit more and see what’s there.
As always, all the information that you will need from this episode will be either down below in the show notes or on lamouretlamusique.com. There will be a full transcript of this episode uploaded the day that the episode publishes to your podcast feeds. Or you can always stream this on lamouretlamusique.com. I hope that you’re enjoying the transcripts. I hyperlink as many things as I can. I’ve been timestamping, so hopefully they’re a nice resource for you to go back and check on things that maybe you heard in passing if you were listening to this while multitasking. Thanks so much again, guys, and I’ll look forward to convening with you here next week. I have no idea what I’m going to do for next week’s episode but we will be here. See you then. Bye!