In April, I was lucky enough to be invited to a blogger event hosted by the New Zealand skincare brand Antipodes, a brand which I had limited contact with or knowledge about, but a brand I can get behind, with a strong ethos based in scientifically-researched, certified organic or natural products which are designed to give the skin a whack of what it needs without playing Who's Afraid Of The Big Bad Paraben.
The purpose for the tête-à-tête was to launch two new products into the UK market, a cleanser called Juliet, and a serum called Apostle. Having spoken to a friend called Jade, who is across the pond and then some in Australia, Antipodes is a popular brand down-under, so I was curious to know how it had flown so long under my radar.
Juliet is a skin-brightening gel cleanser that sort of smells like green apples (not sure why they are specifically the green kind, but it smells like green ones). I've found this to be a pleasant cleanser to use - it never dries out my skin or hurts when it gets in my eyes. Skin-brightening? Questionable. I haven't seen anything dramatic from it - it's also supposed to balance oil, but I haven't noticed anything to that effect. I do, however, love this product for the purposes of double cleansing - but I don't think it'd get full makeup off very effectively.
Apostle is a certified organic water-based serum that feels really nice on the skin, and sinks in really quickly with no residual stickiness or sliminess. The idea behind it is that it contains Vinanza Performance Plus, which is some kind of magical voodoo ingredient derived from Sauvignon Blanc grapes, a powerful antioxidant. It's designed to brighten the skin and make it glowy, while hydrating and not making it sticky. While the texture and colour are a bit suspect, I think this is a pleasant product to use, but there has been no noticeable change to my skin. I was kind of disappointed, since the reviews of this have been so good, but nothing, zip, zilch, nada. I have generally good skin though, so I don't usually see dramatic results from skin care.
I was also given the Vanilla Pod Hydrating Day Cream to try, and it doesn't smell a bit like vanilla. In fact, it sort of smells like Christmas, spicy and sweet. It's a thick, luxurious cream in an apothecary-style jar, and it's a fantastic moisturiser. I think this will work amazingly for my chapped wind-whipped skin in the winter, although it's a little too hydrating for now. If you've got dry skin, this will be a fabulous day cream as it contains shea butter and manuka honey, though it might be too rich for oilier skins.
In short, I was pretty impressed with my foray into a more organic and natural style of skin care, but although the products are lovely, the claims they make were a bit too close-but-no-cigar for my personal skin type and needs. If you want to check them out for a bit of natural beauty, click here for their website.