I’ve been on a little break for a little health issue and then I was off to a Naturals workshop I participated in. I hope everyone is well and ready for May. I cannot wait to show you all the products and brands I’ve discovered behind the scenes, including one really affordable mascara that gives you babydoll lashes!
Now, this is an overdue post but I’m thrilled to be able to continue my indie brand series with one of the most beautiful eco-gems I’ve had the privilege to try, namely, Isa’s Restoratives. Brands like these are likely to make you fall for artisanal, hand-made skincare. The founder, Isa Brito, has the art of crafting products that are simple to use yet contain a magnificent array of botanical ingredients.
The great multitasker. Not available on the IR web shop but still available on Aurora Beauty (here). Hopefully, it will be back in store at some point because I was blown away by it. This mist/toner is packed with botanical extracts one of the most sophisticated formulas I’ve ever seen in a toner. It is not uncommon to find toners containing aloe juice, witch hazel, rose, neroli, sandalwood, white tea, and licorice but what truly picked my curiosity was the presence of wakame, gotu kola, reishi, goji, acerola, ferulic acid, silk amino acids and hibiscus because these ingredients heighten the experience. Elixir II thus targets all skin types and tackles multiple skin issues at once:
- brightening – hibiscus, licorice white tea, goji
- astringent – gotu kola, witch hazel
- protective and rich in antioxidants – wakame, acerola
- hydrating – aloe, rose, neroli, silk amino acids, reishi
In terms of feelings, elixir II has a slight tingling sensation and feels like a skin tonic, instantly refreshing. I strictly used it for my evening routine, right after cleansing my face and before serum/oil application. On my skin, elixir II was able to keep my skin in a stable condition and prevent new blemishes. During the testing time, my skin was pretty clear. While I switched cleansers and serums occasionally, I stuck to the elixir and my skin remained balanced.
Price: $38 for 2.0oz
Ingredients: Hydrosols of [Rosa Damascena (Rose)*, Santalum Album (Sandalwood)*, Citrus Aurantium (Neroli)*, Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Juice)*, Hamamelis Virginiana (Non-Alcoholic Witch Hazel)*, Malpighia Emarginata (Acerola Extract)*, Centella Asiatica (Gotu Kola Extract)*, Hibiscus Rosa-Sinensis (Hibiscus Extract)*, Ganoderma Lucidum (Reishi Extract)*, Undaria Pinnatifida (Wakame Bioferment)*, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice Extract)*, Camellia Sinensis (White Tea Extract)*, (Ferulic Acid)*, (Silk Amino Acids)*; Essential Oils of [Rosa Damascena (Rose)*, Santalum Album (Sandalwood)*, Citrus Aurantium (Neroli)*, and Helichrysum Italicum (Helichrysum)*].
I was not familiar with the use of violet in body care before, but according to Isa, “violet leaves are reputed to have various skin healing properties such as moistening, emollient and anti-inflammatory and mild lymphatic mover (…) the addition of violet leaf mucilage into the body oil, offers a less greasy finish yet a very nourished feel.” Keeping it short but sweet, I loved the satin finish it provides and my skin felt silky smooth after massaging it. Satiny, but not greasy or slippery. I had the travel size and it lasted me about two to three weeks simply because a little goes a long way.
Price: $18 for 1.0oz
Ingredients: rice bran oil*, grapeseed oil*, safflower oil*, violet leaves***, rosehip oil*, rosemary extract*; essential oils of cedarwood*, petitgrain*, neroli*.
Not pictured but worth trying: the Matcha facial mask – youth preserving antioxidant elements
More than a clay mask, a protective treatment against inflammation. If you’re a matcha lover, chances are you’ll love it to pieces. A dry powder mask that you can mix with water/oil/yogurt/honey to have a nice creamy texture. Matcha is rich in antioxidants, packed with catechins which are a type of polyphenols, and it is supposed to prevent and fight against signs of premature aging. I love that Isa Brito also incorporated amla which I’ve been using for several years on its own as both a hair and face mask. Amla is rich in vitamin C, used to revitalize the skin. Butcher’s broom was a novelty for me even though it has been a key ingredient in herbal medicine for a long time. Butcher’s broom is used to fade the appearance of under eye circles but is also beneficial for sensitive, irritated, clogged and oily skin as it decongests and soothes. This is a fantastic mask, especially during the summer where you can really notice how effective it works to heal the skin from excess heat. It’s potent yet gentle so my face does not turn red after washing it off, I can feel my skin refreshed and restored after each use.
Price: $52 for 2.0oz
Ingredients: french green clay, kaolin clay, matcha, rice powder, horse chestnut, licorice, amla, butcher’s broom, acerola, horsetail, nettle, comfrey, aloe; essential oil of clary sage, patchouli, rose.
This cloudy blue pot stole the show for me. Some of you might ask how it compares to May Lindstrom’s Blue Cocoon: in essence, they have the same aim which is to calm inflammation and nourish the skin, but their formula differs. By combining cupuaçu (from the cocoa family) babassu kernel oil and murumuru butter, Isa Brito created a highly emollient balm that remains non-clogging as opposed to highly concentrated balms with shea butter as their base. I’ve professed my undying love for blue chamomile and yarrow on many occasions and the Blue Beauty balm just reinforces that feeling for me. It has worked as a miracle ingredient for me because I deal with inflamed, clogged skin and everything azulene-rich has proven to treat my skin efficiently. The Blue Beauty Balm has a very subtle scent, it is less concentrated in essential oils, but also more suitable for oily skin as it is less dense and more lightweight. In the fall/winter, this is a moisturizing treat but it can be used all year -round: it melts into the skin without feeling greasy. Whenever my skin felt a bit itchy, congested or tight, I’d apply a little amount as an overnight moisturizing mask and I’d get up with calm skin. The best way to apply it is through the push and press technique, instead of rubbing it in. The push and press technique imparts a more even distribution and enables you to use less product. I also used it as a lip balm, eye balms, hand balm…everything works. If you prefer creams over balms, Isa recently relaunched her Blue Chamomille face cream. (as shown on here Instagram here).
Price: $60 for 1.0oz
Ingredients: jojoba oil*, cupuaçu oil*, babassu oil*, murumuru butter*, andiroba oil*, sesame oil*, passionfruit seed oil*, brazil nut oil*, argan oil*, marshmallow*, yarrow**, beeswax; rosemary extract*, essential oils of blue chamomile*, lavender*, neroli* and carrot seed*.
If you’re in the US, I’d wholeheartedly recommend Isa’s Restoratives. For non-US residents, her products are now stocked on Aurora Beauty (international shipping available). Isa’s Restoratives is an invitation to sit back, breathe, and treat your skin with softness and ease. The line is a testament to the wonders of plants because you can feel how every little ingredient has been mindfully picked and carefully formulated to reach its full potential.
Have you tried Isa’s Restoratives? What is your green little gem?
*Samples sent for review consideration, all opinions my own