november 23, 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 48: All the New Skincare I’m Testing and Using (and Loving): Biophile, Earthwise, In Fiore, Agent Nateur, et plus
It’s a tough job but…here I am, doing it. Always testing new skincare! There hasn’t been dedicated skincare chat here on the podcast or on YouTube in a good couple of months and as a result, we have a ton to cover today. Settle in for an hour of in-depth eco beauty product chat.
Products discussed –
Inlight Balm Cleanser https://bit.ly/3pP3Ahp
Amly Balm Cleanser https://bit.ly/3kQ8uaq
Amly Sleep Balm https://bit.ly/3flk5Nm
Amly Sleep Mist https://bit.ly/2IMOqZL
Free + True Freedom Fighter Oil https://bit.ly/36PhAiI
Arcana Cleansing Balm https://bit.ly/36XZA5R
In Fiore Transparence https://bit.ly/2HkjkaW
In Fiore Vitale https://bit.ly/3pQnhWb
In Fiore Raffermissant Fleur https://bit.ly/2IYIRHo
Earthwise Imhotep’s Balsam Face Mask (LAMOUR for 10% off) https://bit.ly/3pMzXNZ
Earthwise Resiliency (LAMOUR for 10% off) https://bit.ly/2AWuX4O
Biophile Essence https://bit.ly/3fv0Tx7
Biophile Serum https://bit.ly/3nLRHXI
Biophile Oil https://bit.ly/36Uuj3F
Kristina Holey x Marie Veronique https://bit.ly/3pNRDJ2
5YINA Moonlight Pearl Detox Mask https://bit.ly/38YVaOJ
5YINA Hand Treatment https://bit.ly/333OcUU
Lepaar Elemental Day Silk https://bit.ly/3fj5pyl
Ranavat Imperial Glow https://bit.ly/3pMzOdp
Ranavat Ceremony Cleanser https://bit.ly/3fkp3dB
Agent Nateur Holi (Water) https://bit.ly/3pY8WY2
Agent Nateur Cleansing Oil https://bit.ly/35Nqcac
Agent Nateur Lactic Acid Cleanser https://bit.ly/2ITTPxC
Agent Nateur Holi (C) Refining Face Vitamins https://bit.ly/36YFwA6
December Boxwalla Beauty Box https://bit.ly/3lTYm1Q
To watch –
Beauty Heroes Box feat. Free + True (March 2020)
L’Amour Reviews: A Night for Green Beauty 2019 Awards
Post-Wedding Unboxing (Nov 2020)
Beauty Heroes Box feat. Ranavat (Jan 2020)
Beauty Heroes Box feat. Agent Nateur (June 2019)
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00:08 – Introduction (Jump to section)
02:15 – New Skincare I’m Testing (Jump to section)
06:19 – Amly (Jump to section)
09:58 – Free + True (Jump to section)
13:14 – Arcana (Jump to section)
15:55 – In Fiore (Jump to section)
21:13 – Earthwise Beauty (Jump to section)
28:00 – Biophile (Jump to section)
34:28 – 5Yina (Jump to section)
35:55 – Lepaar (Jump to section)
37:28 – Ranavat (Jump to section)
42:45 – Agent Nateur (Jump to section)
51:35 – Upcoming Content & Closing Thoughts(Jump to section)
Welcome back to another episode of Your Purpose Is Beauty. This is Episode 48, I believe. I hope I’m not mistaken with that. I have been off the public podcast feed for I think three weeks now, so thank you for coming back to listen. It was a little bit of a longer break than I intended. The first Monday of every month is always an exclusive-to-Patreon podcast episode, so I did publish something on November 2nd. It was a product clear-out/declutter; it was some skincare and mostly makeup. So there’s an hour of product chat over at Patreon.com/lamouretlamusique, along with all of the other exclusive podcast episodes I’ve done this year. But I unexpectedly ended up taking two weeks off. I always knew I was going to take that second Monday of November off because Kaveh and I got married in Texas. (chuckles) A bit of a backstory there. We actually eloped a couple of years ago but we had never had a celebration or a more public recognition of our union with friends and family. So there was a lot behind that, as you can imagine, doing something like that during these times. I am planning to do some content around the wedding, both the visual aspects of it like my hair, makeup, dress, accessories, and then elements of the wedding like the floral and the cake. And then I also do want to share some of the reflections around the experience, what I learned, what it was like. But as may not surprise you, it’s probably all going to be on Patreon. And the reason for that is that – first of all, it’s just a very personal experience and I’m a very private person, even though I have been on social media for a long time. With something like that, with my family, I’m just private about that. And to be honest with you, I just feel like there are so many looky-loos on Instagram and YouTube. And it’s just very personal to me. So it’s something that I feel more comfortable sharing with a smaller community of people.
But I don’t want to belabor any of that today. I don’t want to do a big long intro with a ton of announcements. I just want to jump into talking about products. So today, we’re going to be talking about all of the new skincare that I’ve been testing, and it’s a lot. And I think it’s a lot because I haven’t talked about skincare in a while. A bunch of new things came through during this first part of November while I was wrapped up with the wedding and travel and then coming back and kind of trying to recalibrate after that intense experience. But I’ve had a bunch of stuff on my testing counter and I want to talk about it.
Today, we’re going to talk a little bit about Biophile, which I think is the still-available-in-November Beauty Heroes discovery, I didn’t have an opportunity to film a review for YouTube of it. I think I’m planning to just do another combined review of Biophile with the December Beauty Heroes discovery, or I might just do something different where I do a Biophile skincare routine and review standalone/separately because I actually already know what December Beauty Heroes is going to be and it doesn’t pair as nicely with the Biophile discovery. I really feel like I want to give it a more dedicated review. So it’s not going to be out in time for you to pick up the box. But I’ll talk through a little bit of that here today. I have a big Agent Nateur PR package that came through and I’m going to share a few thoughts on that brand, because if you’ve been following me for a bit of time, there’s a bit of backstory there. The founder of Agent Nateur is somewhat of a controversial person in green beauty. And actually, I had proposed as a patron-exclusive video poll option this month – because every month, I put forth a poll of three or four video options and people at that level on Patreon vote on the video that they want me to make, and then I make it over the course of the month and publish it towards the end of the month. And so one of the video poll options was, I think I titled it something like “Am I changing my mind on some brands?” Agent Nateur and Living Libations is two examples. It was the runnerup, got the second most amount of votes, so I think I’m probably going to do it as a podcast episode at some point, probably for Patreon but we’ll see.
I also got a generous and exquisitely beautiful PR package from Ranavat, and the new-to-me product is her newly launched – I say her because Michelle Ranavat is the person behind the brand, who has been here on the podcast. Wonderful episode. We talked a lot about the kansa wand, just I highly recommend going to have a listen. She launched a new product called her Imperial Glow Facial Polish, so I want to tell you about that. I have a couple of new Earthwise things, new In Fiore… I mean, there’s just a lot here. So let’s get started.
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All right, I just took a sip of my chamomile tea. I brewed some loose chamomile buds from Mountain Rose Herbs because, as always, I’m sitting down to record at an evening hour, so I have my tea. Let’s dive into all of this. I want to start with a couple of samples that I’ve been testing. So actually all of this came from some L’Amour Patrons. I think that I had talked about – during a Petit Conseil, which is this individualized Q&A, monthly Q&A that I do with people at another level on Patreon – I was doing a Petit Conseil with someone. We were talking about I think face cleansers and I was professing my love of the Inlight Balm Cleanser. And she recommended to me, actually, the Amly Balm Cleanser, and I was like, ”Oh gosh, I haven’t thought about Amly in so long.” It’s spelled A-M-L-Y. It’s a UK brand and they had initially launched some years ago now. I want to say maybe 2016, maybe 2017? They had launched with a face mist and it was called the Silver Rich Face Mist and it was so exquisitely gorgeous. I went through one or two bottles and I honestly have not thought about the brand since then. And I don’t mean that in a bad way. I just feel like it’s – as we know, green beauty is extremely oversaturated and I feel like my attention is always getting pulled in different directions. So when she mentioned Amly to me, I was like, “Oh, so they’ve expanded the range.” They’re now doing a balm cleanser, they have a mist, they have multiple products that they never used to have. So she generously sent me these samples of the Amly Balm Cleanser, the Amly Sleep Balm, and the Amly Sleep Mist.
So I’ve been trying these and my impression is that they’re very, very perfumed in a way that I don’t really remember the mist being. It almost reminds me of maybe like a Sisley type of product and I’ve never even used Sisley skincare or La Mer, but it for some reason, the experience is a bit like that. The products are very substantial, but they’re really very, very fragrant. I thought the balm cleanser was nice and another reason that this Patron had recommended it to me is because it’s not emulsifying, which is getting harder and harder to find oil and balm cleansers that don’t emulsify and rinse off, where you just get the traditional oil cleanse experience where you remove it with a warm cloth. So this is that. I still prefer my Inlight Balm Cleanser a bit but I think that this is a really nice option.
Now the hit from this little trio for me was really the Sleep Balm. I did a routine a couple of times using the Sleep Mist, which I think is nice, but again, quite strongly scented. But the Sleep Balm… I just really, really loved the texture of this. It reminded me a bit of my beloved Lepaar Beauty Balm experience. Again, quite fragrant, but it’s just a very oily balm. I felt like it was such a nice finishing step or I may have even used it as the lone skincare step after a double cleanse and then topped it with the mist, which is one of my favorite ways to trial a balm and see kind of how my skin reacts to it. But it also makes just like a really nice plumping finish to the skin. If you take a little bit on your fingers and tap it onto the cheekbones during the day, that’s another favorite way that I love to use balms. But yeah, the Sleep Balm was really my favorite of these of this trio and I thought it was going to be the Balm Cleanser.
Okay, then another lovely patron sent me this generous bag of many samples. There was some Wabi Sabi samples in there, some EvolvH, she sent me some Chocolita chocolate, which has gone on to now become just an amazing, amazing favorite chocolate brand of mine. I recently bought a whole bunch of boxes of it, and I’m going to talk about them more when I do a 2020 beauty and lifestyle favorites. But two of the things I wanted to mention to you here today that I’ve been testing from this panoply of samples that she sent me are the Free + True Face Oil and the, I think it’s pronounced Arcana Cleansing Balm.
Okay, the Free + True Oil – I think it’s called the Freedom Fighter – it had come in a Clean Beauty Box box from, I think, over the summer. Clean Beauty Box is one of the like Beauty Heroes and Boxwalla competitors. They used to be called Art of Organics, if any of you remember. I think it’s the same company. I received a couple in the very beginning and then – I don’t know. I – for some reason, I just – I don’t like the name, the “Clean Beauty Box.” (chuckles) But I don’t know, the curation seems pretty good, I guess, from what I’ve seen from some people. Okay, so the Freedom Fighter Oil. See, now I’m having a hard time smelling it because the Amly Balm is all over my hands and so strongly scented.
So here’s what I’ll say about Free + True. So I discovered this brand through a Beauty Heroes box earlier this year. It was the Mama Pacha Face Cream and the Body Prophet Body Serum. Those are two of my favorite, favorite product discoveries this year, like Best of Beauty 2020, they will be highlighted in my the next Beauty Heroes retrospective I do. However, I’ve also tried a couple of other things from Free + True and I’ve been pretty underwhelmed. So, you know, do I consider this brand to be hit or miss? I don’t know. So I’ve gone through a full jar of the Moonlight Milk Balm Cleanser. I did manage to use it up but I have to say, I really did not enjoy the product that much for a lot of detailed reasons I’m not going to get into here. I’ll talk about it in an upcoming empties, probably.
So the Free + True Oil, the Freedom Fighter Oil, I think it’s okay. I’m not all that nuts about the scent. I mean, it smells actually quite a bit like the Body Prophet, but for some reason, I like it on my body and not necessarily on my face. It’s kind of like a candy, sweet candy smell, like a fruity oil type of smell. I don’t know. I personally would just prefer to use something like Earthwise Ruby, for example, which I would consider to be somewhat similar to this. They kind of both have that same fresh punchiness in a face oil. The texture of this was nice. I mean, I do think the quality, even of the products that aren’t hits for me like the Balm Cleanser and this oil, the quality is really nice. It’s just they don’t hit it out of the park for me the way Mama Pacha and Body Prophet do. Those products are so exceptional. So I’d really have to try more from the brand to have a more kind of comprehensive perspective. So yeah, I wanted to mention that.
Now the Arcana Cleansing Balm. This is a new line that Beauty Heroes is carrying and I first tried this balm cleanser – it does emulsify, so I will say that – I used this as a second cleanse. The first time I used it, I used it as a second cleanse. (chuckles) I realize that may sound a little confusing. And I rinsed it off in the shower, and I was kind of like, “Okay. Like, it’s okay. I’m not feeling like really strongly one way or the other.” So then the most recent time I tested it, which was earlier this week, I used it as just my first step. I used it kind of – I had, I don’t even remember if I was wearing makeup. I may have been wearing really minimal makeup or just tinted moisturizer. So it went just right onto, you know, end-of-day skin and I massaged it in. I then transformed it into kind of the milky balm that it will transform into with a little bit of water, let that sit on the skin for a couple minutes, and then I just rinsed it off with warm water at the sink. And when I went to pat my skin dry, I noticed that water had been like beading on my skin because the cleanser actually does leave behind a little bit of a film, which I love. Now I realize that some people want just like a fully emulsified, rinse-clean type of feel. So for example, the Free + True Moonlight Milk Cleanser will give you that. It will give you just a completely, not squeaky clean finish, but it’s going to emulsify off completely.
Now emulsifying and rinsing off the Arcana Cleansing Balm was not that and in a way that I truly loved, and it’s – and the last time I used it, I thought, “Now this is an emulsifying balm cleanser that I can get behind,” because it still leaves moisture behind, it leaves a plumpness and just a really, really gorgeous finish to the skin, even if you’re just going to use it as your one-and-done cleanser. I did feel like it cleansed my skin enough, even leaving that bit of residue behind. So I – a full size of this has now gone on my wish list. I really like it. The scent is very mild, kind of just like a fresh green plant type of smell. And the color is like a muted lime. It’s like a muted jade color, I guess I would say, with like a little bit – it’s like a brown, light browny green. Really liked it. And I’ve just heard such good things about this brand that I’m definitely curious to try more from them.
All right, let’s talk about In Fiore quickly. They are currently, and I believe at the time you will hear this will still be having, their early Black Friday shopping deal. They were one of the first brands that I follow anyway to announce their holiday shopping promo. I do believe they’re going to be doing some things in December, as well. But typically, at least from what I remember last year, and I did take advantage of their gift with purchase last Black Friday, they had a deal that started on Black Friday and went through like mid-December, I want to say. So that’s what I was prepping for this year. Then all of a sudden in my inbox a couple weeks ago, like beginning of November, I see, “We’re doing things differently this year” and like “here’s our holiday deal.” So I was completely unprepared. I was already somewhat on the fence. I mean, you know how I feel about In Fiore. They’re like a – one of my just absolute favorite – I admire this brand so much, love them to the ends of the earth and back, but I’m so overwhelmed with product at the moment. And I still have products that I have picked up over the summer in the gift with purchase that they did that I hadn’t even broken into. So that’s what I’m gonna tell you about today because I finally took them out of the boxes and put them on my vanity to start using.
I had been using – I’m actually still using up a huge bottle of In Fiore Botanical Water. If you’ve ever used the In Fiore Botanical Waters, they last a long time. I’ve had mine for a year and a half. The nice thing about the Botanical Waters, they’re part of their Made in Japan line, so the expiration date is quite distal. I think they’re good for two to three years. So definitely a reasonable amount of time to use up the product, but yeah, I’m still using up a Botanical Water and the gift with purchase from over the summer was a full size of their Vitale Toning Floral Essence. So this is just the house-made In Fiore San Francisco-based brand, whereas the Botanical Waters are more of an essence and part of the made in Japan line. And also over the summer I picked up a bottle of the In Fiore Raffermissant Fleur. This is part of the Made in Japan line and it’s a serum. It’s similar in some senses to Sauvetage, which I had picked up last holiday season and had gone through a whole bottle of, really liked it. It’s like an SOS serum for the skin. But I just started using Raffermissant Fleur and I actually sent Julie Elliot – the founder of In Fiore, who I message with on social media from time to time – I sent her a message and I was like, “I just started using Raffermissant Fleur and I went through a whole bottle of Sauvetage, really liked it, but Raffermissant Fleur feels kind of more aligned with me.” So she was helping me kind of discern the differences between the two and essentially, Raffermissant Fleur is more warming and circulatory promoting to the skin, which I have actually noticed right away, and we’ll see how it fares over time. I have noticed just kind of more color to my complexion since using this but the, the texture of the serum is extremely plush, whereas I felt like the texture of Sauvetage was more kind of like a dry finish, if that makes sense. Like it absorbs and that does hydrate the skin quite nicely but it leaves the skin quite a neutral canvas, where I feel like Raffermissant Fleur is a bit more plumping. So there’s these subtle differences between the products.
So I just started using Vitale Toning Floral Essence, which is just kind of, you know, takes the place of any toner in a routine. I love it. I have used it on and off over the years and it’ll be a nice change of pace from the Botanical Water, which I’ve really liked but is – actually, the Botanical Waters are a very nice wintertime skincare product because they’re extremely hydrating. They’re very softening to the skin. Whereas for me, Vitale is more – it’s a little bit more versatile. I think it’s a little bit more refreshing, it feels a little bit more herbal-centric and like, kind of like it has more herbal support, whereas the Botanical Waters really kind of have that like skin-perfecting, complexion-perfecting type of technology in them.
So yeah, I wanted to mention that I’m using those two new In Fiore products, but to anybody that’s interested in trying In Fiore, I had promised that I was going to do a – well, I have a bunch of empty In Fiore because I’ve been using quite a bit of In Fiore over the last year, so I have some empties. I was going to do an introduction to the brand because, you know, I do these Petit Conseils every month on Patreon, and invariably, every single month, I get at least a couple of people wanting an introduction to In Fiore. Or they tell me what their skin concerns are and what I might recommend from the brand because I have tried, you know, a lot of the brand at this point. So I thought it would be helpful to do a video on this and I was planning to do it in time for their Black Friday sale. So now that they’re doing it early, I just – I’m like, “Am I gonna have time?” I don’t know. I’m in the middle of so many other projects. I’m going to try my best. But eventually I am going to do – and I’m hoping to get it up just this holiday season, a video just on In Fiore for people.
Let’s move on to what has proven to be the most profound, new-to-me beauty discovery of 2020. Drum roll, or you probably already know what it is: Earthwise Beauty. Not a new brand but new to me this year. I finally started trying their products in March, I think, after – I mean, I don’t even know how many years of people asking me about the brand, telling me about the brand, telling me they think I would love the brand. And here I am all this time later, finally having it be the right time to try them and being, like, just truly transformed in my beauty life because of it. So the two new products that I’ve been testing from them are Ava’s newly launched mask. It’s called the Imhotep’s Balsam Face Mask, which is a powdered – I think they describe it as like a powdered mud mask. So I’ve been trying that, and then I’ve also been trying their Resiliency Face Serum, which had been out of stock most of this year until, I think, a month ago. Their aloe supplier had changed. So I knew that there was an issue why it was not in production for most of this year, and it had to do with getting the right gelling consistency of the aloe in this product. So I think of Resiliency – so it comes in a jar, like how their masks come and their balms come, but it’s really quite a liquidy, almost pourable type of serum. In fact, I wonder if it’s – it must be too viscous to go into a pump, but I think of this as a compliment to something like Nap in the Meadow, which is another aloe-based serum. It’s in a pump dispenser. I have had a whole evolution with that product. I talked about it very extensively in the A Night for Green Beauty 2019 Awards video that I published to YouTube last month. Huge project for me; it took about six months, maybe even more, to acquire and test everything and also find the time to film such a kind of epic wrap-up to a long-term project, but really valuable project, and also was one of the instigating reasons for me to be like, “Okay, I’m going to try Earthwise” because Nap in the Meadow was one of these award-winning products. I really detailed my experience with it there because it wasn’t very straightforward. At first, I thought that it wasn’t going to work for me because of the high essential oil content and now I’m on my second bottle? Yeah, I think I just started my second bottle, but I went through a full bottle of it over the last six months or so.
So Resiliency can kind of take the place, I think, of Nap in the Meadow. It does feel – for me, I prefer Nap in the Meadow in the morning and Resiliency in the evening. I haven’t been able to dedicate enough time to Resiliency to be able to, to kind of feel exactly how it’s differentiated from the other Earthwise serums. Like, I basically need more time with it. I do wish that it was in a pump because I end up having to dip a spatula into this. This used to be, I believe, Earthwise’s Carrot A Day Face Serum, which was like a best-selling product for them. It’s a very kind of bouncy type of gel serum. It seems – I guess what I will say, just my initial impressions having used it here and there over the last couple, I guess, maybe the last month I’ve been using it kind of here and there. It leaves more of a firmness to the skin than something like Nap in the Meadow, um, and I think with dedicated use – but see, Nap in the Meadow does this, too, which I feel kind of targets hyperpigmentation and works to even out the skin tone. I will say I prefer the experience of Nap in the Meadow, just like the scent and whatnot. Um, the scent of Resiliency is, it’s kind of a little bit bitter actually, which I think is really interesting. It has a kind of like a sharp, astringent – it’s not really fennel but it’s kind of like a little peppery, a little astringent. So yeah, definitely a really interesting scent profile, very distinct from other products that they’ve done, and I’m looking forward to incorporating this in a more dedicated way in my routine.
So the face mask, Imhotep’s Balsam Face Mask. First of all, I love the Egyptian reference. I think – I was gonna say I feel like a lot of people have an interest in ancient Egypt when maybe like, that’s just me being a weirdo, but I feel – I know Ava has a connection to Egypt, and yeah, it’s just a very interesting period of history. So this is now the third mask in Earthwise’s range. They also have Sun God and Catharsis. And I’ve used this once after a face steam. It did bring up a bit of redness in my skin, but Catharsis does as well, which tells me that I just can’t leave it on my skin as long as I did. Sun God I can live on for 30, 35 minutes and actually, I think Sun God – well, I’m just gonna say Sun God’s my favorite but Catharsis is a favorite as a second cleanse flash mask, rinse it off in the shower. It is such a fast-acting skin revitalizer. It’s like a multivitamin or like vitamin IV infusion type of effect on the skin in such a short amount of time with very little amount of effort. So the Imhotep’s Balsam Face Mask. Again, I need to use it more, and I think I’m going to experiment with it some, more similar to Catharsis than Sun God, meaning I’m not going to leave it on my skin for more than 5 to 10 minutes and I’ll kind of titrate the time down to find that optimal window that I get kind of the nutritive effects, the clarifying effects, the deep cleansing effects, the regenerating effects. Um, so again, it’s similar to Resiliency. I feel like I need more time to situate it within the broader range, because these other Earthwise products I’ve been using since March, so I’ve had a lot more time with them. But yeah, I wanted to tell you guys that those have also been in the testing queue. And also just a reminder, you can always save 10% on your Earthwise Beauty order or at Pacific Northwest Essences, which is Ava’s sister flower essence company. You can just use the code “Lamour”, L-A-M-O-U-R. It’s multi-use so it’s not just a one-time thing; you can use it as many times as you want on as many products as you want, 10% off and I hope you’ll find that helpful if you’re looking to explore the brand.
So now I feel like we should talk about Biophile – which, if it’s still available as a box discovery through Beauty Heroes this month on the day that I publish this, I will include a link for you below to go subscribe, if you’re interested. You can do month – just like a one-month box with Beauty Heroes now, so that, that is an option. Okay, Biophile is a fermentation-focused skincare brand. There’s three products in the range and the two products in the box are the Bio Shroom Rejuvenating Serum and the Root Bionic Refining Essence. And then the third product they do – not in the box but is available on the Beauty Heroes site – is their Bio Barrier Nourishing Oil. So these are meant to be applied in the order of essence, serum, and oil. Beauty Heroes brand ambassadors had an opportunity to do a brand education call. They say that, “Unlike anything on the market, Biophile merges the power of bio-fermentation and nature to create sustainable, pro-microbiome skincare that works.”
So Biophile, I think, means “lover of life,” and I think that this is such an interesting brand and also an interesting time for this kind of brand, or really this kind of skincare philosophy. So for any of you who know, for example, the Marie Veronique and Kristina Holey skincare collaboration. I feel like that was really the first time – and I think they came out with that two, three years ago, maybe more; as we know, I lose track of time. But that was really the first time I felt like I was starting to hear this perspective on skincare or this focus on the skin microbiome and protecting or restoring the barrier, creating a healthy skin barrier or acid mantle. I mean, they’re kind of all connected, right? Because the skin microbiome is responsible for your barrier and things like that. And interestingly, as we see – I mean, I don’t necessarily want to call it a trend, but these ideas that come to light in the eco beauty community or people that are very passionate about skincare. I’ve started to see this trend towards basically disavowing all skincare and being extremely minimalist. I’m thinking for example, Jessica DeFino, who’s a beauty journalist. She writes a lot about skincare minimalism. She uses a very few amount of products on her face, like manuka honey and rosewater and jojoba oil, yet she’s a beauty reporter. (chuckles) So, you know, I don’t know how she squares that philosophy with any testing that she needs to do. So I feel like this is a perspective that is more and more taking root. It’s, you know, kind of an anti-capitalist perspective. It’s a redefining beauty standards perspective. It’s an appreciating our biology perspective, almost like a reclamation. So I think that there’s a lot there and that’s why when I found out that this was going to be the Beauty Heroes discovery, I thought, yeah, that’s, it’s really interesting. And I also thought that it was a nice change of pace after the Pai boxes and the One Love Organics boxes, which are very straightforward green beauty, you know, tried and true veterans in the industry. And then you get Biophile, which is something very novel, very interesting. And the experience really is pretty seamless and so I think it will appeal to people that kind – I mean, honestly, the experience of using the products is very no fuss, no muss. And honestly, that was sort of how I felt about the Kristina Holey and Marie Veronique products, too. They’re not very, I mean – it’s like, it sounds bad to say they’re not very exciting, but I don’t mean that in a bad way at all. There’s something to be said for products that are not maybe flashy but that are truly supportive to your own biology and to your skin. And actually, I think Biophile, experience-wise, is a bit more interesting than the Kristina Holey products I tried, which I have to say I do really like them, too. But they don’t give me that “je ne sais quoi” that I sometimes am looking for in products that a brand like In Fiore gives me, for example; that a brand like Inlight or Earthwise gives me, for example. But I think that as kind of, like, a skin reset or a skin SOS, the Kristina Holey/Marie Veronique products are great.
Biophile is – these products I want to commit to using exclusively for a couple of weeks, like AM and PM, and kind of see what I observe. That’s actually what Jeannie from Beauty Heroes had recommended we all do, that yeah, like it can be tough to set everything else aside when you’re a blogger or journalist or what have you, but that it really is a worthwhile endeavor with Biophile. So I have been put – doing this routine AM and PM, you know, again, sort of here and there, sort of the way I’ve been testing the Earthwise products. The essence, which would be the first step, it does have some exfoliating properties, so it’s not a product that I want to overuse. But I would say I would use it maybe three times a week, whereas the Bio Shroom Rejuvenating Serum and the oil I would use every day, probably. They work beautifully together. It really is just such a seamless experience. I do two pumps of the essence, let that sink in very quickly, a pump of the serum and a pump of the oil. It’s just – I love how they kind of all fit together as a trio. And I think that it’s really nice in the morning. I feel like it’s enough in the evening, although we’re not quite in the dead of winter yet here in Chicago, so I’ll need a bit more time. I will say that the shelf life, I learned, of these is about three months. So if you’re kind of a product enthusiast and you have a lot of stuff around, uh, you would want to make sure that these would get priority for a three-month period, I would say. Um, and I would assume that the amount of products they give you is good for probably I would say three to four months, depending on how you use them.
I have one thing I could tell you from 5Yina, however, I have not yet had an opportunity to try it but I’ll mention it here. It’s the 5Yina Moonlit Pearl Detox Treatment Mask. So this is I think a newly launched 5Yina product. It’s a very – oh my gosh, it smells like a Christmas tree – it’s very sprucey and pine-smelling. It’s a viscous, thick, charcoal black – I mean, you could pour it out. It’s a pretty loose-textured mask. Reminds me maybe a bit of the Naturallogic Detox Hydration Mask but much more strongly scented, and I am somewhat afraid of using it just because of the strong scent. And I’m always a little bit hesitant with detox charcoal type of masks, they tend to give me that “just had the life sucked out of you” look. I had talked about this when I reviewed the October Boxwalla box that was featuring that Naturallogic mask, if you want to hear about that. I definitely will try this 5Yina product. I generally love the brand. We’ve actually been using the hand treatment that was another relatively newly launched product of theirs. It’s a very thick balm, so you don’t really want to use it and then like, go type on the computer or anything, but it’s really nice like in the evenings before bed. So I will be trying the 5Yina Moonlit Pearl. I will keep you posted.
This is – I guess technically I consider it a skincare product. The Lepaar Elemental Day Silk 12% Non-Nano Zinc Fluid. I showed this – actually, I think I just posted about it on Instagram, and I’ve been testing it on my live Get Ready With Me’s on Patreon. I really like it. I will say it’s probably not going to be for everybody. It’s gonna be similar to a very moisturizing sunscreen or SPF, like Kari Gran 365, like Honua Malu, like Solara Daily – I think it’s called the Time Traveler. You’re gonna have to like something that feels a bit heavier on the skin, that’s very moisturizing, that’s going to leave a bit of a residue. I haven’t noticed any white cast on me. It does come out completely white. Um, this is the type of moisturizer/SPF hybrid that I think you’re really only going to want to use in the fall and winter. I have a feeling it would just sweat and melt off your skin if you used it in hot weather, but it’s extremely nourishing to the skin. So now we’ve been going through this seasonal transition, um, at least here in Chicago where I live. Everything is drier and I feel like my skin is a little bit parched in the morning, so I need something to quench it. So I would probably forego an oil or do just a couple of drops of oil and then do four to five pumps of this, and that’s kind of my moisturizer and SPF in one and I really am liking it but with those caveats.
Okay, Ranavat Imperial Glow Facial Polish. Well, first of all, let’s talk about how Ranavat has just gone through a rebrand or packaging redesign. Not really a rebrand because the branding is mostly the same but she has redesigned some of the packaging for her products, like Radiant Rani Brightening Saffron Serum. I mean, you’re just going to have to go – this is a time when I wish I had a visual element to share with you because you have to go visually see what the boxes that these products come in look like and what kind of the experience is like. This is Kjaer Weis level. This is In Fiore level. It feels like you’re opening an expensive piece of beautiful jewelry or like a watch or just like something really, really special. They’re these – oh my gosh. The shade of green that these boxes are is – in addition to the azurite blue color that I always talk about – this kind of hunter green… Oh my gosh, it just makes me weak in the knees. It’s really, really gorgeous. So the Radiant Rani’s in a new bottle. I talked about this and showed this actually in the unboxing video that hopefully will be up on YouTube at the time you’re hearing this, so I will put that in the description bar for you if you want to go visually see all of this stuff.
So the Facial Polish was the only thing I hadn’t tried. Physical exfoliant, it has very finely milled rice grains in it, I think, and it’s in like a cream base. You’re supposed to use it one to three times a week. Now you know how I feel about physical exfoliants. They’re like not for me. They always make my skin red, even the most gentle ones. Like the most recent one I tried, but I had tried it before, is the Pai Jojoba Kukui Exfoliator. Like, it’s okay. It’s pretty gentle, but I just was like, I don’t know, it’s just like not really for me. I don’t do any physical exfoliation anymore. It makes my jawline really red, I just – my skin just generally doesn’t like it. But you know, I’ll try anything at least once for L’Amour, with a couple of exceptions. Like, I’m not gonna try EGF, but a physical exfoliant I will try. So I – the other night I did quite a generous amount of this, like a teaspoon, and it’s a creamy consistency and actually feels very similar to the base of the Ceremony Cream Cleanser, which is another favorite product of 2020 for me, like favorite discovery. It was in Beauty Heroes very early in the year, I think January or February, and I loved it. And actually, that was what instigated me reaching out to Michelle to have her come on the podcast, because I was just reminded how special I think a lot of her products are. So I very gently worked this onto my skin. The exfoliating particles are very dispersed, so there’s not a lot of them, if that makes sense. Like, the concentration of the exfoliating particles is minimal, at least in my, the first application I had of this. And they’re tiny, but they’re pretty durable. I had just tried describing this to someone else, so I’m going to try and do my best. So there’s not a lot of them, but they do feel – like they’re different than a jojoba microsphere, which feel – you know, if you’ve tried them, they feel kind of squishy and honestly, like they’re not really doing very much. (chuckles) But this, I could definitely could feel a bit of that durability of the exfoliating particle. And I was just very gentle. The experience was really nice, because it’s kind of like the Ceremony Cleanser plus a little bit of grit, basically. I left it on my skin for a couple of minutes, like, so similar to how I might use Earthwise Catharsis. Left it on the skin, hopped in the shower, and then I kind of rinsed it off after a couple of minutes. I got out of the shower and I kid you not, not a trace of redness on my skin, not a trace of irritation, in fact. And it could be a fluke.
So you know, I don’t want to be overly optimistic that something has finally started to help my jawline pilaris, or my jawline rosacea, like, I don’t even know what it is, my jawline just gets red and it looks like I have pigmentation in that area. It’s related to, I think, postpartum hormonal shifts and whatnot. But it’s irritating and it gets irritated actually a lot by products. But I mean, I’ll be darned if it was not the best it has ever looked in months. Another product I will say that helps it a lot is Earthwise Tigris. Whatever, you know, whatever she’s using in that seems to do very, very well for inflamed skin, at least on me. I actually forget the name. I think it’s spikenard was one of the ingredients she uses that I kind of zeroed in on feeling like maybe that was what was making a difference for me. But anyway, very positive first experience with Ranavat Facial Polish, but I’m going to have to definitely keep testing to see if it was, you know, where I’m at in my menstrual cycle that my jawline redness is less… I mean, it depends on so many things. So very promising so far, though.
Now let’s end today’s episode with these Agent Nateur products. So I was recently sent – I’ve actually never received Agent Nateur PR before. I have received some things through Beauty Heroes. However, Beauty Heroes is no longer carrying Agent Nateur. This brand – I mean, I have done one or two – I think one past video on Agent Nateur. I reviewed the Beauty Heroes box, and I’m trying to even remember what I said about it because a lot of people reflexively don’t use this brand because the person behind the brand, Jena Covello, is a bit of a polarizing and controversial person. Now I don’t say this at all to – it’s not a negative thing. I think it’s just a reality and I think she would say the same thing about it, too. She has – uh, shares a lot of political beliefs on her own account., so not under Agent Nateur, but, you know, she’s very, very much the face of the brand and stuff. So there’s a lot of people that take issue with that and won’t buy the brand because of that. Again, I want to do a bit of a deeper probing and a deeper unfolding and reflections for myself on that. I definitely, around the 2016 election, observed some things that at the time, I felt unsure about, I guess I will say that. But I just have, you know, different – different thoughts. And I guess what I will share here is that – I don’t know, like, can I come out and say that I just think it’s not okay to dehumanize people who think differently than you? Look, I mean, I know a lot of people want to have this hard line in the sand that no matter what, they’re never going to respect a Trump supporter, because you have to have some kind of basis of ethics and morality and that these people don’t exhibit that. Like, I know the arguments. I come from as liberal and progressive a background as you can get, but I’m deeply troubled by seeing this behavior. I mean, regardless of what you think, um, I think there’s so much manipulation and there’s so much distortion. And I mean, just being able to be tolerant and to actually listen to other people is something people aren’t doing and I just, I – I cannot support all of these posts and things that I’ve seen people talking about, how conservatives or Trump supporters are, like, not even human. And I don’t even have words for how wrong I think that that is, for me personally. And I’m not going to tell someone else, you know, that’s working through whatever issue they are that’s doing that – I mean, just – just, that’s my personal stance, and I don’t even know if Jena Covello is – (chuckles) you know, I think that she doesn’t vote, actually. So anyway. (laughs) I’m always like, “God, do I even really want to get into all of this?” The climate around sharing any kind of opinion about this stuff is just scary. It’s, it’s so scary to say what you think right now or to or to even have a thought that maybe is not a final thought, it’s something that you’re observing, it’s something that you’re thinking about. It’s something that you’re growing and evolving around, and there’s like no room or tolerance or anything to do that. So I’ve had an evolving perspective on this brand as I have grown and evolved as a person.
So I have some products of hers to try, and I’ve never necessarily been opposed to trying her products in the past. In fact, I think that Agent Nateur was in a past Detox Market box and that was the first time that I tried the Holi Oil, which is what I think – She first came out with the deodorants however many years ago she started the brand, and then she came out with this face oil called the Holi Oil, which is personally a bit too much for my face, at least right now, but I love it actually as a perfume oil. So I take just like a dropper full and rub it like on the insides of my arms in the beginning of the day and it’s really nice for that. Again, a bit too much for my face. The deodorant doesn’t work with my body chemistry. I don’t like the way that it interacts and I actually feel like I have worse smelling B.O. when I wear it. But deodorant is super personal and I know so many people that absolutely love it. So the products that were sent to me are the Holi (Water), the Cleansing Face Oil, the Lactic Acid Brightening Cleanser, and the Holi (C), which is a powdered vitamin C product, as well as the Holi Oil and deodorant, which – I don’t know, it doesn’t fully rinse off, it’s somewhat, I guess, similar to the finish that the Arcana Cleansing Balm leaves behind. It’s not going to totally strip the skin, which I think is really, really nice.
The Lactic Acid Brightening Cleanser – I will say, her products feel strong and I think that I prefer – personally, because I’m more of like a sensitive skin type – so I prefer products that are not quite as strong. But I think that she models a lot of her skincare formulation after like, European pharmacy skincare, so it’s pretty intense. Actually, the Lactic Acid Brightening Cleanser is something I could use maybe max once a week, maybe twice a week as a second cleanse. Gives me a similar finish to the One Love Organics Vitamin A Cleanser, which I talked about somewhere recently. I don’t remember where… Oh, I think in the Beauty Heroes combined review of Pai and One Love Organics, I briefly talked about the Vitamin A Cleanser. They’re very exfoliating on me personally. On someone else, it may be like no problem. It advises using the cleansing oil actually as a second cleanse after the Lactic Acid Cleanser to re-impart moisture. But if you’re wearing makeup, you would want to use the cleansing oil first. So I almost feel like the way advocates it is as a triple cleanse if you’re wearing makeup. So if you’re wearing makeup and you need a makeup removal/SPF step, you would do the Cleansing Facial Oil, then you would do the Lactic Acid Cleanser, then you would finish with the cleansing oil, which is like, kind of a bit much, right? Especially if you’re doing water splashes with all of those. But the quality and experience is really nice. I love that they’re in pump dispensers, really easy to use.
The Holi Water is kind of like a toner/essence hybrid. I’ve only used it a couple times, um, so I’m going to have to report back, but it’s the hyaluronic, pearl, and rose toner. I used it this morning over a face oil and I thought it was very nice. The packaging on this is really nice. It’s like a frosted, tall, white glass bottle, very elegant and weighty and luxe feeling. Now the Holi (C). (laughs) This product scares me. I haven’t tried it. But from what I’ve seen online, it’s strong. It’s a strong vitamin C powder, again modeled after, I think, European pharmacy skincare, and it’s at like a higher percentage than we would maybe typically be used to here in the States. But I think also she does source a lot of her ingredients from Europe, um, so the quality I do think is, like I’m saying, I think it’s really good. Vitamin C powder… I know the brand Activist, Allison Callaway’s brand Activist, used to do a vitamin C powder, which I had tried and was a little intense for me, but I could see the appeal. And then True Botanicals, I think, used to do a vitamin C powder. They haven’t become all that popular. I think the brand Jillian Dempsey also did some powdered like mix-ins and the idea behind it is that it’s fresh every time you mix up a vitamin C batch. I haven’t looked into the exact formulation of this powder. I need to and then I will try it and see how I do. I do think it’s something that you need to use pretty regularly to see good results with. Historically, vitamin C just always dries my skin out, synthetic vitamin C. Now this new version that everyone is using, at least in suspension, like in a liquid formula, Tetra-C – for example, what’s in the Lil Fox Haute C – I do very well with and I think a lot of people do, so if you experience flaking and dryness and a bit of a reaction to vitamin Cs in the past, this Tetra-C seems to be really working for people. But yeah, I’m definitely curious to try the Holi (C). And she calls – I forget. She has this grouping, I guess let’s say, of – I think she calls it the “holi trio,” where it’s the toner, the Holi (C), and the oil, which is – I think they come bundled or packaged together.
So okay, I’m like starting to lose steam at 53 minutes of recording and I’m starting to lose my words and not make a lot of sense, but I will be trying these Agent Nateur products more at length. If you’re interested, you can come over to Patreon to hear me expound on why I don’t think we should be dehumanizing people who think differently than we do. And I’ll also end this episode by saying I’m also newly testing the December Boxwalla box, which is featuring two products from Blüh Alchemy, a reformulation of their Multi C Serum and their newly launched Body Oil, which I’ve used once and I think it’s pretty exceptional and exquisite. And then a full-size balm from Live Botanical called the Sanctuary Barrier Balm, which I’ve used once. So I need to try these things more. I’ll be doing a full standalone podcast episode reviewing the box and I’m also going to review the limited edition hair box featuring Antonin.B that Boxwalla has curated because I’m testing those things too.
So can you tell that things have been very busy product-wise around here? There’s just a lot going on. But it’s always fun to do this kind of talk, you know, like what’s new and exciting, what I’m testing, and then I can get a gauge from you on what you’re really interested to hear a more long-range perspective on. Like, do you want me to do the Biophile dedication test? Do you really want to hear this exposition on Agent Nateur and the products? And… It’s helpful for me to get that kind of feedback from you so I can know where to focus my attention on, both on the podcast and in video or what you want to see demoed. And some of you kind of want to see all of it (laughs), which I get too, because it’s just fun to see all different facets of the product and product experience, I think, from the unboxing to the first impression to the routine to the review to the final review to the empty. Like, the lifecycle of product experience is, I mean, like why we’re here, right? Because it’s – I think it’s uplifting and I think that that’s what, you know, kind of bonds us all here as being very, very interested in beauty products.
Alright, it’s almost 9 PM and I haven’t had dinner, so I’m gonna go take care of myself. I also wanted to take a bath tonight but that might have to wait as it’s already gotten too late. You know where you can find me, I think. lamouretlamusique.com. There will be a transcript to accompany this episode so you can check back and word search for anything that piqued your interest and you want to go reread or situate it or look at the timestamps. That’ll all be there with links and everything for you. Check the show notes again for any references, videos episodes I mentioned. You can follow me on Instagram at lamouretlamusique. You can send me an email, firstname.lastname@example.org. And you can come over to Patreon if you’d like to support the production of this podcast and all work I do under L’Amour. It’s Patreon.com/lamouretlamusique, and I thank you so much for contributing to this project. Wishing you guys a wonderful week. I will look forward to connecting with you here next week, and until then, take good care and we’ll talk soon. Bye!