Cosmetic Favourites January 2014: Martina Gebhardt, Ebelin Brush, Silicone Peeling Pad, Lakshmi Lip Balm, Dr. Hauschka Eyeliner, Annemarie Börlind, Dudu Osun Soap

   I know I haven´t been posting cosmetic review posts for some time, since I had been busy finishing up old products. Now I suddenly have tons of new stuff to recommend, partially because I got a generous gift bag from my DM bloggers camp; and partially because of my Biobox subscription. The Biobox is like the Glossybox, but for natural cosmetics. I pay 15€ a month to get a box with cosmetics from natural brands, worth at least 30€. So far I have been pretty satisfied with what I got, and have tried out brands and products I would normally not have discovered by myself. The Biobox subscription is available in many European countries. A similar service is the Fairy-box, though limited to DE, AUT and CH. You can see the content of one of the boxes in the picture above.

On to the cosmetics that I have been using recently:

Martina Gebhardt - Young and Active Lotion

   This has been a huge favourite. It moisturises my face and at the same time keeps the oiliness of my T-zone under control. It doesn not block my pores in the least! I´d never have discovered this product if I hadn´t got it in the BioBox. The packaging is very utilitarian, and both the label and the brochure look home made, so the product had never caught my eye in stores. However I was pretty happy to see that the brochure recommended a minimalistic skin care, and not using the moisturiser twice a day unless necessary (in contrast to lather-rinse-repeat recommendations that make us use up more of the product, to push sales). Points for not being coldly money-driven!
   The products from Martina Gerbhardt are certified natural cosmetics in biodynamic Demeter quality, and vegan. They are based on Spagyric principles, which date back to middle-age alchemism. They use the salts extracted from ashes of the plants instead of essences in alcohol -- I don´t know about the effectiveness of this method, but I do like not having alcohol in my moisturiser (my skin doesn´t like alcohol very much). I´m pretty impressed with the Maria Gebhardt Lotion as well as the philosophy of the brand, so for sure this will not be the last cosmetic from them that I will use.

Lakshmi Lip Balm No. 600

   I had been looking for a natural lip balm for the cold season. The Lakshmi is based on Ghee (Indian clarified butter). It is rich but not waxy or sticky, and gives a soft, dewy look. The lips are moisturised, and the taste and smell is neutral. I can also be used to moisturise the dry sin around the eyes. Another use that I have found for this product is as a cuticle moisturiser! It is very multipurpose since it is neither oily nor sticky. The packaging is quite stylish! Overall, a nice product that I will probably not rebuy because of the price.
  The Lakshmi lip balm is Ecocert and Demeter certified, but not vegan.


Ebelin Professional Gesichtspeeling + Massagepad

   I had been eyeing this little pad for a long time untill I took the plunge and bought it when on a hot-chocolate high. It is a soft silicone pad with soft bristles, meant for cleansing and massaging the face. It has worked really well for me: the bristles gently dislodge dead skin and blocked pores, and the gentle massage is quite pleasant. The pad is very soft so it doesn't scratch the skin or irritate my fragile capillaries as long as I am gentle and don't apply too much pressure. I use it on wet skin with a dab of cleanser to help it glide smoothly.
   The sucker thingy on the back won't stay on the tiles on my wall, but prevents the pad from slipping out of my palm. I´ve also heard of women using this pad for cleaning their makeup brushes. One thing that puzzles me is why one corner has different short bristles. Ideas? Also, I´d love to know if there are similar products available online.

Ebelin Professional Makeup + Concealer-Pinsel

   Brushes from Ebelin are really great if you want an inexpensive and good brush. They are soft, and cruelty-free. I got this one at the DM blogger event.
   It is meant for foundation and concealer but it perplexed me at first: it is too small for foundation (it works, but takes ages) and I prefer a much smaller brush for concealer. Finally I realised this brush is perfect for applying concealer or an extra layer of foundation to larger areas like the entire nose. It gives more coverage and precision than my bigger foundation brushes, and is faster to use than a small concealer brush.
   The brush blends and buffs the product well. However it is a tad too stiff for my taste. The grip is well-made, and the bristles are very dense. It´s not a must-have, but can be useful if you need more precision to your foundation.

Dr. Hauschka eyeliner in black

   I like my eyeliners and kajals to be certified natural because I often do my waterline with them, so some of it ends up inside my eyes. This one comes with a sponge on the other end with which you can smudge and soften the line. It reminds me a bit of erasers on pencils but is actually great because you don't need an extra tool, plus it does the job neater than your finger. I like to draw on a thick line, smudge it, and then draw on a more defined thinner line. This gives a nice, soft, sexy look.
   The pencil glides very smoothly on the skin. The colour is not completely black but more a very dark grey. It is ideal for those on whom jet black is too harsh. As to smudging or migrating, I don't think it smudged more or less.

Annemarie Börlind Nature Effect Fluid

   A nice, light moisturiser. I felt that it evened out my skin tone. It didn't block my pores.
  Annemarie Börlind products are close to natural, yet for the price I would prefer to buy certified natural products.

Dudu Osun Black soap

  I wanted to try the famous black soap since a long time so I was very happy when I got this sample in last month's Biobox. The soap is quite "strong", so I haven't used it on my face very often.
   Unfortunately the first ingredient of this black soap is palm oil, which I have been trying to consciously avoid since the last few months. I recently read about the environmental impact of palm oil in the Öko Test, and it made a huge impression on me. I could not find any indication that the palm oil for this soap was sustainably
produced. Also, this is not the same as the traditional African black soap paste.

   That's it for this month. I have a number of lovely products in line for next month! Do let me know which cosmetic products stole your heart this winter, and whether you're tempted to try out anything I wrote about in this post.

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