Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Artsy Wednesday: Skittles


As much as I would've liked to be clever and painted my nails the actual colours of Skittles confectionery for this week's AW theme, my mind just wouldn't let me do it. Brights? In winter? Vetoed! So I used some of my favourite pastels instead: Rimmel Misty Jade, Rimmel Lively Lilac, ulta3 Spring Shower (muted out with a few drops of black), ulta3 Spring Blossom and OPI Skull and Glossbones. To tie it all together, I layered a gold glitter gradient on top with Essence Make It Golden, using the same Q-tip technique as for my earlier glitter gradient mani... more golden showers for y'all! :P


What do you think? The green thumb seems a bit too bright compared with the other colours, but overall I think it was a skittley success!

Taste more rainbows:

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

NOTD: Duochrome yay! Color Club Alias

Duochrome time! This was part of my nail mail - Color Club Alias. It's a purple/green duochrome with big chunky foil-like particles in a really translucent base, so it needs underwear. I used Color Club Catwalk Queen, but any dark colour will probably do... (shut up Michelle, less talk more pics!)


Nom!


Pretty...


Pretty...


BAM! Duochrome flash right in your face!


The green flash really comes out best when backlit, but that's also when the camera's least cooperative.

I jazzed it up a bit with some gold stamping using ulta3 Gold Rush Fever (PRC):


Overall, it's very pretty and it combines two of my favourite colours, purple and green. But I can only wear foils in winter, in the sun I just find them too damn SHINY. It's nowhere near as crazy as the Orly Cosmic FX polishes though, which are amazing but just a bit too much sometimes. I think I'm more of a shimmer-duochrome girl, but Alias is definitely a keeper!

Saturday, 26 May 2012

Review, swatches and FOTD: Ansley Pure Pop Super Star eyeshadow/eyeliner in Dazzling Green Smoky


Onward with my warpaint campaign! Ansley Pure Pop Super Star eye shadow & gel eyeliner is the cutest little set I've ever laid eyes on (aye aye!) The eyeshadow pan screws onto the eyeliner container... if they had worked out a way of getting the eyeliner brush to attach to the pot I would have been super impressed! I'm obsessed with stuff that fits together - Swiss army knives, Dyson vacuum cleaners, Transformers... </geek> There's even a teeny mirror in there!


(L to R) The eyeshadow duo is oven-baked and consists of an almost-matte dark olive green next to a very pale green, practically white frosty shimmer shadow. The waterproof gel eyeliner is an olive-tinged gold colour. The eyeshadows apply very lightly, the dark green has been seriously rubbed in in this swatch.

FOTD: I'm not the best at eyeshadow, but I did my best! I used the light colour dark colour in the crease and on the outside with a damp brush, then lined my eyes first in black, then with the gel eyeliner. The eyeliner is really lovely and creamy, it's my first experience with gel eyeliner, and I have to say, I think the hype is worth it - it applies densely and isn't too much harder than pencil, but it lasts all day.

Excuse my eff'ed up fringe - some days it just doesn't behave...

(posing with a symbol of my gender's enslavement... heh)




Overall, I'm pretty impressed with the package - the dark eyeshadow applies a bit lighter than I'd like, but the white eyeshadow and eyeliiner are really lovely!

The eyeshadow was sent to me by e-boutique Glow and Glamour. They have many more cosmetic products and contact lenses on their site. You can use the coupon code LABMUFFIN at checkout for a 5% storewide discount (I don't get any money from this, it's just a discount). Additionally, they currently have a promotion going on where you have the chance to win a US$ 10 voucher, just for making an account - no purchase necessary! What are you waiting for? :)


Update: retested eyeshadow with primer - still very very light, but lasts forever.

Friday, 25 May 2012

Sleeping beauty - benefits of getting enough shut-eye

 
(You think you love your sleep? If you're not Japanese - think again. The Japanese are HARDCORE SLEEPERS. Google images of "Japanese subway sleeping" for some pro-level public transport power-naps that most of us mere mortals can only aspire to.)

I've been staying up til all hours recently for a number of reasons (Diablo, nail painting, thesis - in that order >.<) and trying to make up the loss with copious amounts of coffee. While instinctively I know this is a VERY BAD THING, sometimes I need a reminder that "beauty sleep" isn't just one of those things my mum tells me...

Benefits of sleep


Learning - Are you finding it harder to remember new things you've learnt? Sleep deprivation could be the culprit. More studies are showing the importance of sleep in memory consolidation (i.e. putting things from your short term into your long term memory). One theory for this is that your hippocampus (part of the middle bit of your brain) stores new information while you're awake. When you go to sleep, your hippocampus and your neocortex (grey stuff on the outside of the brain) "talk" to each other, and the information transfers to the neocortex, which is later accessible. Kind of like typing lots of things into a new document - sleep is the "save" button which transfers all the data onto a permanent place in your hard drive.

Problem solving - Got a problem you can't seem to work out? Again, sleep can help your brain put the pieces together (technical term: "insight formation").

Butterfingers - This is an obvious one - sleep deprivation destroys your motor skills. I'm sure you've noticed it ;)

Hawtness - "You look tired" - yes, it's been proven that other people can tell the difference when you've had enough sleep! People picked pictures of sleep deprived people as being less attractive, less healthy, and more tired compared to pictures taken when they've had enough sleep. So "beauty sleep" is a real thing!

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Artsy Wednesday: Inspired by a celebrity manicure

Hi! Sorry this is a bit late, I got carried away doing a sugar scrub... my legs went from scaly hellbeasts to soft, plump happy things, so it was all for a good cause!

Anyway, here it is:


I trawled the internet for a few weeks to find a design for this when's challenge, but ended up back at my first search result - Zooey Deschanel's tuxedo nails that she wore to the Golden Globes.


I freehanded everything using an eyeliner brush. To make it a little bit different, I did Zooey's Golden Globes dress on my ring finger as an accent nail using China Glaze Glittering Garland and ulta3 Metal. Unfortunately I don't think it's obvious that it's a dress if you don't know the context!


What's your favourite celebrity manicure?

More celebrity-inspired nail art:

Monday, 21 May 2012

NOTD: Ummm... golden showers? :\


(Sorry, I couldn't resist the name :P Can you blame me though?)

All you northern hemisphere girls with your spring manis somehow convinced me I needed more pastels, so I did a glitter gradient using a cotton bud (Q-tip) with Essence Make It Golden over Rimmel Misty Jade.

The cotton absorbs a lot of the gloopy suspension base, so no problems with the tip being thick :)


I've gone back to using Sally Hansen Insta-Dri as my top coat - it's a tad slower than Seche Vite and Poshe, but my mani lasts a lot longer (a full 7 days with minimal tipwear and no chipping or peeling - a miracle!). It does the same thickening thing as Seche Vite, where after I've used half the bottle I have to thin in every time I need it, but shrinkage is nowhere near as bad, and it just stays on forever! Unfortunately I can't find it in the shops anymore - it seems to have been replaced by Diamond Shine topcoat. I bought a bottle and will be test-driving it over the next few weeks, hope it works just as well...

Saturday, 19 May 2012

BYS eyeshadow palettes: Drop in the Ocean, Smoke & Mirrors

BYS is a budget Australian cosmetic brand sold in supermarkets and variety stores across the country. I recently came across these eyeshadow palettes when browsing in Gloss while waiting for my train to come. $4.95 each - bargain!


Smoke & Mirrors:



Drop in the Ocean:



Aren't they darling? Look at the embossing!

First off, unlike a lot of other cheap eyeshadows (including a lot of other BYS palettes), the main ingredient isn't talc. There's heaps of mica, so it's super shiny, and not powdery. However, it's a tad greasy - I'm an eyeshadow novice, but I guess that could affect staying power.

Any suggestions for what I can try with my palettes? Or recommendations for resources that teach you how to apply eyeshadow... I'd really appreciate some! :)

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Artsy Wednesday: Newsprint Nails


This is a new technique I've never tried before, and it turned out a lot easier than I expected! All you need to do is let your background colour dry thoroughly, then dip your nails in alcohol (vodka, rubbing alcohol, methylated spirits etc.) so there's a thin alcohol layer on top. Then you quickly press a rectangle of newspaper onto it for about 30 seconds. The ink transfers onto your nail like a temporary tattoo!

The base I used was ulta3 Earl Grey with Rimmel Lively Lilac sponged on top as a gradient with a kitchen sponge. This was also a new technique for me, it turned out better than I expected! After it dried, I used my household cleaning mixture of isopropanol/ethanol to transfer some Chinese newspaper cuttings. I finished with a coat of Poshe topcoat, but it didn't look right shiny, so I mattified it using Rimmel Lycra Pro Mattifying Topcoat.


There was a lot of newspaper ink hanging around on my fingers afterward which was a mess to clean up (I didn't do a great job, sorry!), and the alcohol dried out my skin a bit, but I really like the result! I'm glad I tried it, definitely thinking of things to do with it in the future...

More newsprint manis by talented ladies:

Monday, 14 May 2012

How can I get rid of stretch marks?

Ruth boraggina

One of the things I hate the most about my body are my stretch marks. I have a lot around the sides of my bum from when I had my growth spurt in puberty. Every summer I'm paranoid about going to the beach in a bikini (yay swimming skirts!). So what can you do?


Causes

Although it's not clear how exactly skin gets stretch marks, they generally appear during periods of growth, such as during puberty, pregnancy, sudden weight gain or steroid therapy. About 90% of pregnant women get stretch marks! They can shrink and fade after the weight is lost, but don't go away completely. Several conditions can also lead to stretch marks, incuding anorexia, tuberculosis and Cushing's disease.

Whether or not you're prone to stretch marks is often determined by genetics. The most common places for them to appear are on the thighs, upper arms, butt and boobs.


Developing stretch marks

A new stretch mark usually looks pink, and sometimes can be itchy and slightly raised ("striae rubra"). They then usually turn darker and grow longer. After some time, they turn white, flat and look sunken into the skin, and appear a bit like a scar ("striae alba"). Stretch marked areas tend to have less collagen, fibronectin, fibrillin and elastin, all of which are important skin components.


Treatment options

Successfully treating stretch marks is challenging, and there's no cure discovered yet that works for everyone, so whoever invents one is going to get very rich!

Generally, stretch marks are easiest to get rid of when they're fresh and still pink - they're hard to treat when they're white. Bad news for me!

Tretinoin (vitamin A) cream rubbed into fresh stretch marks is one of the most reliable treatments. It seems to work by stimulating skin growth. However, it does next to nothing on old stretch marks.

Trofolastin cream (active ingredient: centella asiatica) also seems to stimulate skin growth.

There is some evidence that glycolic acid, an AHA, may stimulate collagen production and improve the appearance of old stretch marks.

Monthly dilute (15-20%) trichloroacetic acid peels has been found to improve the texture and colour of stretch marks in one study.

More research is needed, but some initial studies have shown that cosmetic treatments such as microdermabrasion, RF, IPL and laser treatments (especially fractional photothermolysis using Fraxel lasers) could be effective in treating striae.


Prevention

Since stretch marks are so hard to get rid of, prevention is definitely better than cure! Stretch marks result from trauma deep down in the skin, so topical treatments aren't likely to penetrate deep enough to quell them completely.

Although common sense would tell us that keeping skin well-moisturised will prevent tearing, not enough studies have been done to convincingly confirm or deny this. Oil and cream massages are often recommended for preventing stretch marks, but it's not clear whether it's the physical massage that helps, or the moisturising action of the oils, or both, or neither. Camellia oil in particular can help boost collagen in the skin.

Hyaluronic acid creams (e.g. Verum, Alphastria) can help prevent stretch marks by increasing skin strength.


Camouflage

The easiest way to deal with stretch marks seems to be to hide them!

Fake tan is a double-edged sword - the right one can do wonders, but the wrong one can show them up more since stretch marks are different in texture to undamaged skin! Sun tanning makes them more obvious, since the scar tissue doesn't brown. Concealer is also useful for temporary cover.

Keeping your skin moisturised and toned (with dreaded exercise!) can smooth out the skin and make the affected areas less lumpy and obvious.

Most.importantly, we need to learn to embrace them! Most women (and many men) have stretch marks, including famous beauties such as Scarlett Johanssen, Kate Beckinsale and Angelina Jolie. 


Are you self-conscious about your stretch marks? Or are you genetically blessed and have none? What stretch mark disguises work for you?



References

S Kang, K J Kim, C E M Griffiths, T-Y Wong, H S Talwar, G J Fisher, D Gordon, T A Hamilton, C N Ellis and J J Voorhees. Topical tretinoin (retinoic acid) improves early stretch marks. Arch Dermatol 1996, 132, 519.

M L Elsaie, L S Baumann and L T Elsaaiee. Striae distensae (stretch marks) and different modalities of therapy: An update. Dermatol Surg 2009, 35, 563.

G Young and D Jewell. Creams for preventing stretch marks in pregnancy. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 1996, Issue 1. Art. No.: CD000066. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD000066.

E Junga, J Leea, J Baekb, K Junga, J Leea, S Huha, S Kima, J Kohb and D Park. Effect of Camellia japonica oil on human type I procollagen production and skin barrier function. J Ethnopharmacol 2007, 112, 127.

Sunday, 13 May 2012

NOTD: essie-inspired Autumn half-moons

 
I was feeling uninspired with my Autumn manis (but with a million ideas for Spring manis... argh reverse seasons) so I was really excited when I came across this look:


It's the mani the models rocked for the Michael Lo Sordo SS 12/13 show, done using essie Sew Psyched and Case Study. Instant love! Gorgeously sophisticated and so, so chic, much more interesting than all the other nail looks I've seen so far from Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia (one colour cremes, meh). And such perfect Autumn colours! (Strange, considering it's a SS collection...) SWOON. So of course I had to recreate it on my nails!

I don't own Sew Psyched, so I used a franken I made using China Glaze Wagon Wheel and ulta3 Lily White. I wanted something last winter that had the creme-with-subtle-shimmer look that so many Chanel polishes have. Unfortunately, the shimmer sinks pretty badly in my franken and largely disappears on the nail (except in full midday sun), I probably would've been better off buying Sew Psyched, if only it had been on my radar back then!


In the Michael Lo Sordo show, half the models had green nails with beige half-moons, and the other models had the reverse colours. So I did reversed colours on my hands - Case Study half moons over franken on the left, franken half moons on the right.


These double-hand photos took considerable 733+ 5k177z - I set up the timer then held the camera between my knees, like a super polish-photographer ninja.

Left hand:



Right hand (apologies for bad clean-up and angle, this hand isn't used to being in the limelight!):


I like the left hand better with my skin!

What do you think? Is this a SS or AW/FW look?

(show photos from essie PR release)

Friday, 11 May 2012

Review: Kosmea Daily Exfoliant

I know I promised warpaint, but I've been a bit sick so my nose is gross and red at the moment so I didn't want to subject anyone to that level of ew. So skincare review it is...

I've reviewed Kosmea Rose Hip Oil here before. As well as the pure liquid gold, Kosmea also have a range of skincare products based on rose hip oil. They use the same quality rose hip oil for everything - no skimping!



This is Kosmea Daily Facial Exfoliant - the key ingredients are:

Kaolin clay, rice flour - soothing, oil-sucking
Ground chamomile and crushed rose hips - physical exfoliants (rough scrubbing bits), and chamomile also soothes the skin (anti-irritant)

There are also lots of emollients (skin-softeners) high up on the ingredients list, including glycerin, caprylic/capric triglyceride and shea butter.

Sexy back-of-hand photo:


And spread out to show off the scrubby bits:


The instructions on the package tell you to massage it into cleansed skin, which makes sense since I found it a bit too oil-based to properly clean all the BB cream off my face on its own, despite a lot of scrubbing. I don't think it'll do much to lift off oil-based make-up. Kosmea suggests using one of their other cleansers before for best results, but I didn't have any so I just used my usual cleanser, and the combo washed all the makeup off nicely.

The scrub leaves your skin covered in a thin layer of moisturising stuff (I'd guess it's mainly glycerin, capric triglyceride, shea butter and rose hip oil) which I personally love, but I can imagine that some people might find it greasy and want to wash it off. It doesn't dry greasy though, and since my skin loves glycerin, it was incredibly soft and plump afterwards!

Another possible dealbreaker is that it has a strong herbal scent that might be off-putting. It smells very green, like freshly torn leaves. It makes me feel like I'm going on a bushwalk, although I think the smell might be chamomile. I like how it smells different and fresh, although it took some getting used to!

This scrub is gentle enough for everyday use if you have normal or oily skin like me - if you have very sensitive skin, patch-testing would be a good idea. I've had a sad little sniffle for the past few weeks that's given me lots of red, flaky, irritated skin around my nose - the scrub stings a bit around there, even without rubbing (most things sting, wah). Nothing unbearable, and it goes away as soon as I wash it off, but go slow if you have very easily irritated skin.

You can also use this as a mask by leaving it on for longer (5+ min recommended), much like my DIY clay scrub. The most similar product I can think of is Lush's Angels on Bare Skin, which also has the kaolin/glycerin/scrub combo. This scrub is more like a proper scrub though - it feels like exfoliation is actually happening, whereas Angels on Bare Skin has always been more like a gentle cleanser to me.

I half expected my skin to break out from bits of flower stuck in my pores, but it hasn't - instead, it's soft and clear :)


What's your favourite scrub?


Full Ingredients: Water (Aqua), Glycerin, Kaolin, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Germ Powder, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flowers, Cetearyl Alcohol, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Extract, Glyceryl Stearate, Rosa Eglentaria (Rose Hip) Oil, Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil, Sesamum Indicum (Sesame) Seed Oil, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Extract, Macadamia Ternifolia Seed Oil, Pelargonium Graveolens (Rose Geranium) Flower Oil, Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Seed Extract, Aniba Rosaeodora (Rosewood) Wood Oil, Syzygium Luehmanii (Lilly Pilly) Fruit Extract, Acronychia Acidula (Lemon Aspen) Fruit Extract, Davidsonia Pruriens (Davidson’s Plum) Fruit Extract, Citrus Glauca (Desert Lime) Fruit Extract, Santalum Acuminatum (Quandong) Fruit
Extract, Acacia Victoriae (Wattle Seed) Fruit Extract, Rosa Eglentaria (Rose Hip) Seed Powder, Xanthan Gum, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Benzoate, Linalool, Citronellol, Geraniol.


(Product provided by PR for consideration, which did not affect my opinion of it. Kosmea Daily Exfoliating Scrub is available in selected pharmacies and David Jones, or from their website or other e-tailers. RRP AU$6.95 for 20 g, AU$39.95 for 125 g.)

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Artsy Wednesday: Candy/Sweets

 
This Wednesday the theme is Candy/Sweets. I had a bunch of ideas, but I ended up back in my comfort zone - freehand colour blocking with cremes. Sorry if you're sick of these! I'll be more adventurous next time.

Now, I'll be the first to admit that I hate liquorice. Hate it. But when I was a kid, these fluoro-bright neon cubes of liquorice would always tempt me, and I'd try to eat only the coloured bits, or just gulp the whole thing down. It always ended in sadness - aniseed-flavoured sadness. Why you gotta look so good, liquorice allsorts?


Colours used: Nicole by OPI City-Pretty Rose, Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Sun Kissed, Rimmel Green Grass, ulta3 Lily White, Spring Blossom and Black Satin.

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Blog swap with Jess from Just Jesss

I recently participated in a blogswap organised by Rachael of Island Girl Insights. I love parcels, and I really couldn't pass up the opportunity to get a surprise parcel put together just for me! (It's also awesome fun putting together an Aussie parcel for someone else, and trying to keep it all under £15 is really hard, I'm pretty sure no one in the history of swaps has ever succeeded!) I was so excited to see Jess's package arrive on my doorstep last week:


First off - look how beautifully Jess decorated my parcel! It made me feel extra bad about panicking at the post office about the weight of my parcel and taking everything decorative out (for the record, I ended up with about 40 g to spare... sorry Jess!).


Chocolate, my favourite! I've always wondered how English Cadbury tastes... it's sweeter and milkier than the Aussie version, which is slightly grittier and more chocolatey. I laughed a little when I saw the caramel bunnies... I sent Jess two Caramello Koalas, we're trading sugary fauna!


Nail polish! All brands I haven't tried yet. Accessorise Aztec (multichrome yay, looks a bit like Orly Space Cadet), BeautyUK Posh Polish Sunstone and Topshop Blitz - how cute are these polka dots???

Eyeshadow, perfect for my warpaint adventure! CK and Accessorise eyeshadows (I forgot the names, so I'll have to update that later!). The Accessorise packaging is so pretty!


Overall, I'm thrilled with my package and the whole experience! It's definitely whetted my appetite for more international blogswaps (wink wink nudge nudge). Thank you so much Rachael and Jess for such a great swap experience! And if you want to see what I sent Jess, click here :)

Monday, 7 May 2012

How does UV light "cure" gel polish?

Shellac and other hybrid gel nails give long-lasting nail colour that can be soaked off with acetone. You simply paint your nails using special gel polishes, then "cure" each layer under UV light. What's in those special polishes, and how does the UV light change that?

Plastic - it's fantastic


To understand gel nails, first we need to understand plastic! Plastic is made up of long stringy molecules. Depending on how these molecules are arranged, and their exact composition, you can get different types of plastic. If they're arranged neatly in lines, you end up with hard, rigid plastic, used for things like boxes and furniture. If they're all jumbled up, you end up with soft, stretchy plastic, like in clingfilm and plastic bags.

Polymerisation
Plastic is made in a process called polymerisation - small molecules called monomers (mono = "one") react in chain reactions to form long plastic molecules (polymers: poly = "many"). One polymer chain can be made up of thousands of monomers.



There are three major steps in polymerisation:


1. Initiation - free radicals (unpaired electrons - the red dots) are formed from bonds breaking symmetrically.

2. Chain elongation - the free radical attacks a monomer unit. The free radical is passed on, and the new radical can attack another monomer unit. This step repeats thousands of times.

3. Termination - The free radical attacks another free radical. Since a free radical is an unpaired electron, when two free radicals meet up they pair together and stop each other from reacting further. The final polymer chain is thousands of monomers long!


The UV light helps the chemical bond break in such a way that free radicals form. Free radicals are very reactive, and when they attack the wrong chemicals (such as DNA, and bits of your cells), they can make your skin look old and cause cancer - that's why using sunscreen is so important!

In soak-off gels, these polymers can be dissolved using acetone. In older acrylic and gel systems, these polymers don't dissolve, so you need to remove them physically using files or drills (eep).

Hope that was interesting!

Saturday, 5 May 2012

NOTD: Icing Peacock duochromey goodness + stamping

Firstly: I have my own domain now, yay! Update your links to labmuffin.com... or not, since everything redirects there anyway :P

Now, all you Northern Hemisphere girls are posting your pretty pastel spring manis, but it's autumn here! To me, autumn means vampy shades, jewel colours and duochromes, so in that spirit, I just ordered $50 of duochromes which I will subject you to, one by one! Muhahaha!


Icing Peacock is a purple shimmer in a green jelly-ish base, a standard two-toned shimmer-in-jelly duochrome. I scored it in Kaz's blog sale recently. Duochromes bring out the grabby hands in me!

The green/purple flash is a lot like my duochrome franken, Ariel. I think Ariel is prettier - the green is brighter and the purple is more distinct - but Peacock is pretty close. Because of the jelly base, both of them take a lot of layers to get full opacity, and the shimmer is a tad strokey. This swatch is 4 layers and there's still the dreaded VNL when you look closely..

For more wearability I used a coat of ulta3 Jade as underwear. 2 coats of Peacock over that gave the full duochrome effect while being awesome opaque (I forgot to take a photo at that stage - you'll have to trust me). Then (of course) I had to stamp over it! ulta3 Black Satin (PRC formula) is my favourite black stamping polish, and it definitely doesn't disappoint. I love how duochromes look under black:


What's your favourite duochrome? (And how much would you bet that it was in my polish order?)

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Review: Kosmea Rose Hip Oil


Kosmea is an Australian skincare brand that's still owned and run by an Australian family. I don't know the whole story of how rose hip oil got so popular, but Kosmea Rose Hip Oil is the only one that claims to be the original rose hip oil, so I'd take their word for it ;)

Unlike most other rose hip oils, Kosmea rose hip oil isn't South American - it's sourced from certified organic, hand-picked rosehips from Lesotho in Africa, which supports the local community. The oil is extracted from the whole rose hip (seed, skin, and fruit) using a supercritical CO2 process which doesn't require heating, which means far less of the unstable nutrients in the oil are destroyed during processing.  

(A'kin Rose Hip Oil, which I reviewed earlier, also uses a supercritical CO2 extraction process, but with Chilean rose hips, and the seeds only. In one study, oil from whole rose hip fruit was found to have a higher carotenoid (vitamin A) and tocopherol (vitamin E) concentration. I have no idea whether Kosmea Rose Hip Oil has a higher antioxidant content, or whether this results in an observable difference when used on skin.)

Just like A'kin Rose Hip Oil, this absorbed quickly (maybe a tiny bit quicker) and has left my skin clear and glowing. Kosmea's (left) is slightly darker than A'kin's (right), but neither makes my skin noticeably different in colour when rubbed in... perhaps if you're incredibly white you might see a difference?


Kosmea oil smells slightly stronger than A'kin oil, but the scent disappears after a minute. I don't find it unpleasant (kind of musty), and it's easily covered up once I put my moisturiser on over it.

I can't really tell the difference between the two in terms of their effect on my skin - how do you tell the difference between astounding and breathtaking? I have nothing but praise for both these brands of Rose Hip Oil - all the fangirly gushing I did in the A'kin review equally applies here!

Are there any other brands of Rose Hip Oil you think I should try out?

(Product provided by PR for consideration, which did not affect my opinion of it. Kosmea Rose Hip Oil is available in selected pharmacies and David Jones, or from their website or other e-tailers. RRP AU$24.95 for 20 mL, AU$44.95 for 42 mL.)

References
V Illés , O Szalai, M Then, H Daood and S Perneczki. Extraction of hiprose fruit by supercritical CO2 and propane. J Supercritical Fluids 1997, 10, 209.

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