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Category: Mirror Mirror on the Wall…

Clean Skincare with REN.

REN Clean Skincare

In some natural way beginning of a year brings reflection and sometimes a need for change. Making new year’s resolutions is still important for some and even if there is no promise that things will change when the clock strikes midnight, January is the time to make a conscious effort to start new, healthier and better. Beauty care is one of those areas where making a change can go a long way, not only for the body, but also for the mind. I used to be much less selective when it came to skin care, I bought products based on advert, price or a general attraction towards a brand or even a packaging. This resulted in total chaos, dry skin, dull hair and regular outbreaks on my face that weren’t related to nutritional or hormonal irregularities. I became more interested, tested new products and on my own skin discovered that there is a real difference between what you get off the shelf in your local drugstore from what you buy from a retailer specialising in organic beauty products. In this process of change one of the brands that made its way into my bathroom shelf is REN Clean Skincare.

REN Clean Skincare is a brand that comes from UK and goes back to 2000. Their mission is to offer a smarter skincare which delivers high performance visible results whilst always being on skin’s side, which means offering products free from toxic, harmful ingredients and striving to improve formulas continuously. REN offers products for the face as well as for the whole body, packaging is simple and designed to protect the product. With REN there are no unpleasant surprises, at the moment I am using several products and they are all very good, even the make-up removing milk lived up to promises as it really deals well with a waterproof mascara. I suppose some people may not like the smell, as it can be quite peculiar especially for the body care line, but it is not strong and doesn’t linger for a long time. Where did I hear about REN for the first time? It was recommended by Siobhan O’Connor and Alexandra Spunt, authors of “No More Dirty Looks.” In opposition to many positive qualities, the biggest downside is the price. REN strives to be an affordable brand, but in my opinion some products are on a high end, like Moroccan Rose series which is rather expensive, so unfortunately REN products are not as available as the vision of the company would make us believe.


KORRES. Everyday Organic Beauty from Greece.


The more organic I get in selection of food and beauty products, the better I feel and look, but all good things do not come for free and if you think about going organic, it is not easy to do so without a decent budget. But not all has to be out of reach, it is still possible to find affordable beauty products that are up to highest standards and produced of quality, certified ingredients.

KORRES is an organic beauty brand established in 1996 in Greece, with roots in pharmacy and homeopathy, backed by a good lab research. KORRES philosophy is about making everyday beauty products based on natural, certified organic ingredients and offering them at an affordable price, in aesthetically pleasing packaging that gives a full information about each product. From 1999 started international expansion of the brand which is now globally recognised and available worldwide, with many KORRES outposts and in collaboration with department stores. KORRES brand takes pride in tradition, making a wood-fired kettle Rakokazano used in the traditional extraction process into a logo appearing on an every product.

KORRES products are easily available in Norway, I had seen them many times on pharmacy shelves, but I never took a closer look and I probably would keep on dismissing them for all the wrong reasons, if not for a jasmine body butter that I used when visiting a friend. I loved the texture, the smell and the way it worked on my skin, so I got curious and for the first time really noticed the brand, did some research and made my first KORRES purchase. So far I am very happy with products that I have selected and I very well may continue to use them as a good, but more affordable alternative to Australian brands that were my favourites up till now.

Benton. Beauty from Korea.


Benton is a brand that you probably never heard off, unless you live in Korea. I wouldn’t heard of it myself, if not for a book about a Korean beauty regime that I read some months back. Benton is focused on natural skincare that eliminates harmful, artificial ingredients and instead of those, uses potent natural ingredients. The main focus is on anti-ageing and imperfection control, with additional whitening and anti-acne effects.

I got intrigued by the concept, did some online research and finally placed an order. Locating “made in South Korea” beauty products is not that easy, as they are not popular in Europe, so internet purchase is the fastest and most available option. The package arrived and with a great hesitation I decided to give it a try. Before placing my order, I read many reviews of Benton products, in which approximately 8 out of 10 were very enthusiastic, only 10% gave most discouraging reviews. Snail Bee line by Benton is rather intense, considering main ingredients and their origin. I assumed that the very dissatisfied 1 out if 10 suffered an allergic reaction to the product and hoped that the same won’t happen to me. To be on the safe side, I tried a small amount on my neck, before applying it to the whole face and since essence is more concentrated and rich in ingredients, I used it first.

To my relief no warning lights were flashed by my complexion, to the contrary, results were and still are very positive. Even though I am rather careful with my Snail Bee steam cream and essence, using them once per day in the evening,  I can see improvement in areas that were most problematic. Post acne scars and taints became less visible, skin is more even and softer. For me Snail Bee products have no noticeable smell, texture is pleasant, packaging simple and elegant – overall a perfect beauty product experience. If you decide to try for yourself, do remember to store them in a cool place (fridge is where I keep mine) and use within 6 months form opening, because ingredients are not synthetically preserved therefore are prone to dissociate faster.

Grown Alchemist.

Grown Alchemist 2

Grown Alchemist is another great Australian brand that I discovered thanks to Instagram. I became intrigued by the unusual name and wanted to find out more. Founded by Australian brothers Jeremy and Keston Muijs, Grown Alchemist is an organic skincare manufacturer, offering products with potent antioxidants and vitamins that renew and nourish skin cells in an all natural way. It is done in tune with best practices in organic beauty care, supported by research and continuous improvement. Grown Alchemist products are safe and free from any harmful chemical ingredients.

What I like the most about Grown Alchemist are scents. They take me to the land of childhood, bringing back memories from summers spent in my Grandmothers house, geranium pots on window seals, roses in the garden, smell of wet grass in the early morning… In our modern, industrialised world being closer to nature is more important than ever, with Grown Alchemist nature awaits in every black and white box. Small change can make a big difference and new beauty routines can make a skin very happy.

Grown Alchemist 1

Less but Better. Beautiful Essentialism.

Is it Essential

How many lipsticks do you have? How many mascaras? powders? nail polishes? shampoos? shower gels…? The list is endless and if you have to take a closer look and actually count, it may mean you have too many.

Unless you are a professional make up artist, you do not need several of each. I dare not make calculations and give you a number, my own philosophy is one of each and at most two for colours (like lipgloss, eye shadows, nail polish, blush, foundation, etc.). I own only what I use and replace when needed, avoiding overstocking. Beauty products have a certain life span and the better they are, the shorter it is. A number on a sign of a “lifted lid” informs how many months after opening a particular product should be used. This is a prime time, when all qualities remain intact. Later on they deteriorate until they are completely gone, worst case scenario an allergic reaction or irritation may appear if skin is exposed to a product that is too old. I admit that I often have a dilemma of what to do with pressed powders, blushes, bronzers and eyeshadows, as I never get to use them within the recommended period of time, at most I go half way through and it doesn’t feel right to throw them away so soon. I usually decide to keep on using, unless the main qualities like consistency, smell or colours are affected, which to my own experience rarely happens, but it is an individual choice – I never noticed any side effects of giving an eyeshadow or bronzing powder one extra season, but I cannot promise it will work out the same for others.

Storing temperature is also very important. The more organic, natural the product is, the lower temperature it requires. For this reason I keep my precious face care products from Aesop in the fridge, it is advised to store them below 22 – 25 C degrees or even below. If like I you keep your beauty arsenal on a bathroom shelf, be aware that warmth and humidity affect them. To keep your creams and serums in good condition, enjoying best results longer, keep them in your fridge, it won’t harm, can only help.

Thinking about face and body care, less but better is a good rule to follow. I do not save money on skin care or make up. My wise Grandmother told me once that I can always buy a new dress, but I can never buy a new skin.This made me think and ever since face care is essential for me. Where I do economize is body care, excluding hair care and hand creams. I have fine, delicate hair that get moody and static if I do not keep them in good shape, especially in winter time. As for hand care, I grew to believe that face and hands speak volumes about a woman, and those volumes get thicker as she becomes older. For overall body care – body lotions, shower gels, peelings – I rarely go beyond popular brands, unless I really want to treat myself. Currently my go to brands are Nivea and Neutrogena, for more luxurious feel I chose Rituals. Same as before, I limit products that I use at the same time to maximum two, I like some variety, but stick to my limits.

You may perhaps wonder how is this related to slow fashion and essentialism. Well, one thing is to focus on quality, not quantity. Chose the one that really does it for you rather than a handful bought on impulse and for wrong reasons. Secondly, same as with garments, beauty products are another commodity that uses intense and highly persuasive marketing practices designed to lure consumers into buying things they do not need and into doing so frequently. If you flip through pages of an average fashion magazine, beauty advertising takes great deal of space. Certain products are being associated with beautiful people and certain lifestyles, cosmetics are no longer utilitarian, they became status symbols and are meant to make consumers covet them for those reasons. To be rational and aware is the best defence against emotional purchasing. Ask yourself same questions you ask when choosing a new piece to add to your closet – do I really need it, why do I feel an impulse to buy it, what do I expect from this product, how often and where will I use it, can I afford it, do I have similar product at home, …?? Do not give in to marketing manipulation or to your own urges to have “something new”.

You will see the difference when you apply more systematic approach to shopping for cosmetics and make up, because as a result you own only what you need, what is right for you and what makes you feel beautiful. And if you still feel an urge to experiment a little and be more adventurous, sign up for a surprise box service (like Glossy Box), where you subscribe to a monthly delivery of a package containing a selection of beauty and wellness products in regular or sample sizes, it is not too pricey and can satisfy your craving for something extra.


Byredo 2

It is thanks to Instagram that I became aware of Byredo brand and their collection of bespoke perfumes. I became slightly obsessed and started a search for “my” Byredo perfume, which took me from department stores through London Underground, where I actually followed a lady smelling Byredo, to debating with myself whether I should be spending so much on a of bottle perfume. In the end I did and the day I started wearing Mohave Ghost was a day when my perfume fully complimented my image. In a way it felt complete – colours, fabrics, cut and scent.

Founded in 2006 by Ben Gorham, the brand became an extension of a creative project focusing on links between smell and memory. Name Byredo comes from “By Redolence” meaning a reminiscent of a person or particular place, a vivid memory of the past inspired by sensation related to smell. It is not uncommon to go back in time when a smell evokes places or situations, those moments do not happen very often, but when they do occur, a recollection of the event is surprisingly clear and precise.

Byredo started from five composition and as the concept developed and became a commercial success, more scents were included in the selection. After perfumes, body care products and candles followed. Brand originates in Sweden, but not surprisingly all perfumes are made in France. So far the one and only flagship store is in Stockholm, otherwise Byredo perfumes are available in major department stores all over the world. I look forward to my upcoming visit in Stockholm and while I am there, I will make sure to stop by Mäster Samuelsgatan 6 to embark on a fragrant voyage and bring home memories locked in a simple yet refined bottle.




Do you have those little pleasures and things that you don’t really need and can easily live without but somehow don’t want to? I for sure do and have recently discovered one more, Marvis toothpaste. I became intrigued after numerous Instagram appearances, as frankly speaking, how special can a toothpaste be to feature it on your profile? The answer is very special and do not be surprised if you find it on mine Instafeed more often.

Marvis is an Italian brand offering contemporary toothpastes in surprising and truly delectable flavors like aquatic mint, jasmine mint, cinnamon mint… Marvis toothpaste’s image is very sophisticated, supported by artisanal advertising campaigns linking the toothpaste with an unique and luxurious identity. At the end of a day toothpaste is a toothpaste, not a state of art, but this one is really something special and can make your look forward to your next morning routine.

Diptyque Paris. L’Art du Parfum.


The story of Diptyque perfumes dates back to 1968, when the first eau de toilette, L’Eau, was composed, being inspired by 16th-century potpourri recipe and the scent of pomanders. This alone indicates that perfume compositions locked in elegant Diptyque bottles are far from ordinary and predictable. Not only fragrances, but bottles alone are very special, echoing the shape of an 18th-century medallion, with a broad pattern being a reminiscence of shields in ancient Rome. Over four decades from the first perfume, the portfolio of fragrances grew, developing into a sophisticated collection of signature scents, suitable for both men and women. Every bottle contains an illustration on the back side of the label, an artistic expression of the scent,  conveying emotions, impressions and motives associated with it.

My first Diptyque obsession was all about candles, perfumes came as the second. I was momentarily seduced by compositions so magical, that one can almost picture the imaginary tale told by fragrant notes and accords. Even if you are more into mainstream perfumes, it is still worth to give it a try and stop by Diptyque boutique or a perfume counter, you risk nothing… or almost nothing, as you may find the one composition that speaks volumes in your own sensual language of memories and emotions.



Luna Foreo.

Luna Foreo

I wish I was one of those women with a perfect complexion, but well… I am not and as a result have to work very hard to keep my mine reasonably calm. I first discovered Aesop beauty products and now found a perfect little device to help with my daily cleansing routine – Luna from Foreo.

Luna is a new take on a facial cleansing brush concept popularized by producers such as Clarisonic. What makes it unique is a material it is made of – the device is of silicone with a non replaceable brush that cleans pores by pulsation and vibration. The whole process takes 2 minutes and is divided into two stages – deep cleansing and anti-aging, the first is about removing make up residue and dirt, the second is about wrinkle prevention. Luna is very intuitive and easy to operate. The device communicates with a user via changes in pulsation and a build in light, automatic stop is programmed to prevent overuse. Luna comes in different versions related to complexion types, so it is easy to select one that suits you best. A mini version was introduced to cater for frequent traveller needs, as it is more compact and therefore easier to take with. For complete product information, visit the website

Up till now I am very happy with results. From the first use I observed my skin to be smoother and overall healthier looking. I use my Luna once a day as a part of my evening ritual and so far experienced no irritations or other side effects. The brush is smooth enough and pulsations intensity can be adjusted according to individual preferences and skin condition. Price can be an object, as the device is quite expensive, but since you do not have to replace the brush, it won’t cost you extras in the long run. Overall I can share a very good recommendation for Luna Foreo and am very happy with the purchase.

Luna Foreo_2



I became aware of Aesop brand through Instagram, as beauty products signed by this Melbourne based manufacturer appeared regularly on my favorite profiles. I became intrigued, researched a little, visited their signature spaces in Zurich… and became addicted.

Aesop is all about nature and simplicity, offering a range of superlative products for the skin, hair and body. Their products are locked in apothecary, almost ascetic packagings and sold in refined, carefully design spaces. Aesop stores are available in major locations around the world and visit to each and every one of them is an experience, thanks to the unique interior design, well defined by clean lines and preference for minimalism and natural materials. To my delight, Aesop opened their first signature shop in Oslo, a beautiful space on Prinsensgate 21 designed in collaboration with local architecture firm Snøhetta.