This week we're zoning in on Australian beauty products, celebrating all that is great about, well, us! Making waves is Leif, the new Aussie botanical line that was shortlisted for a 2011 Wallpaper Design Award in the Best New Grooming Product category. The brainchild of packaging designers Container — fun fact: they design the product packaging for Kevin Murphy and O&M — Leif launched in 2011 with a simple, yet soon-to-be-cult line of basic bodycare products. Think: washes, lotions and hand balms. Making the most of the amazing indigenous ingredients that Australia has to offer, Leif products are packed with lemon myrtle, eucalyptus, wild rosella, wattleseed, desert lime, kakadu plum and lilly pilly, taking you on an olfactory journey as well as rejuvenating your skin. But, given Container's history, it may come as no surprise to learn that the packaging came before the formulations. Not to say they're not equally as impressive as the fully recyclable bottes, boasting SLS-, paraben- and alcohol-free formulas. Currently only available for purchase in Sydney, definitely keep it on your radar.
For more information, including stockists details, see www.leifskincare.com.
The States can't get enough of our stars, and now it seems they can't get enough of our skincare either! Aesop has proven such a hit in NYC that the Melbourne brand now has plans to open up not one, not two, but three stand-alone stores in Manhatten before the year is out. For anyone planning a trip OS and not wanting to cart their toiletries over or for any New York-based Aussies who need their Aesop fix, the locations will be a shop in Nolita, a kiosk in Grand Central and then a boutique in the West Village. We think it's great that Australian brands are doing so well for themselves! Are there any OS brands you'd like to see here?
Please allow us to introduce to you another ripper of an Australian skincare brand: AUM, which in Sanskrit means, '"the divine sound of creation." This newbie is one of Australia's only certified organic anti-ageing skincare brands. Recently bowing into Myer, all of its gorgeous and natural products are made right here in Australia, and are free from parabens, sulphates, mineral oils, silicones, petrochemicals and colouring agents. Sounds good, huh? They're also making a stand on the environmental front and are in partnership with 1% For The Planet, where one percent of every sale goes to the reforestation of Australia's habitat. Kudos. We've picked a few of our favourite products for you to check out below. What do you think of it?
Stockists: 03 9415 9911
Apple & Bee is a brand that you must acquaint yourself with. NOW. Pourquoi? Well the Aussie-owned brand makes the most beaut-iful and adorable makeup and toiletry bags. But hold up, it gets even better. They're not just any cosmetics bags, oh no. They're eco chic cosmetics bags. See the founders of the brand, Brett Stewart (the founder of natural skincare company, bod) and Claire Morris (the former Art Director of Marie Claire magazine) are both committed to protecting the environment, which is why they're proud to call Apple & Bee a carbon neutral company and proud to donate a percentage of their profits back to environmental organisations. Good one. Their collection of makeup and toiletry bags, for both him and her, is broad and features fold-out wash bags with hangers, bowling bag-style designs and pencil cases that make the perfect place to store your brushes. Check out some of our top picks.
Stockists: Apple & Bee
The macadamia nut tree is part of the Proteaceae family of flowering plants and is native to the East coast of Australia, though it is also cultivated in Hawaii, New Caledonia and Indonesia now. Named after John Macadam, the macadamia, or macadamia nut, is also commonly called the Queensland nut, Bush nut, Maroochi nut and Bauple nut. Indigenous names for the species include gyndl and jindilli.
The trees can reach as high as 20m and have glossy leaves, but are most famous for producing the macadamia nut. In fact, they are the only Australian native species that is grown on such a large scale for food. As well as being a popular snack, the macadamia nut and macadamia seed oil (which is obtained by cold-pressing the seeds and then putting them through a refining process to produce a mildly-coloured oil that has a faint odour) are commonplace ingredients in the cosmetics industry because of their conditioning benefits.
You can find macadamia in these beauty buys: O&M Style Guru ($24.95), Burt's Bees Cocoa & Macadamia Body Butter ($29.95), Griffin+Row Enrich ($34.99), Be Genki Sensuality Body Cream ($34), Coast to Coast Macadamia Lip Butter ($9.95) and Endota Spa Bush Honey and Macadamia Skin Drink ($50).
Love, love, love, love, love, LOVE this new limited edition palette from Aussie beauty brand, BECCA. The Bombora Palette ($99) mixes shades from the sand and sea, drawing inspiration from the untamed beauty of Aussie surf culture. There's definitely a fun and fresh vibe to the palette that caters to lips, eyes and cheeks.
The palette features Mai Tai Lip Gloss (sheer orange with just a hint of shimmer), Bougainvillea Lip + Cheek Creme (a rusty red), Mazu Highlighting Creme (great for giving cheeks a golden sheen), Raffia Compact Eyeliner (shimmering marine blue), Sunburst Compact Eyeliner (yellow-gold), and of course a dual-ended brush to create the magic. In other words: everything you could possibly need. Definitely worth getting your hands on pronto lady.
Find out where to buy Becca.
This product should totally come with a warning: mind-blowingly scrumptious. Could lead to an unhealthy addiction.
For those of you not familiar with the brand, here's a quick ice-breaker: Grown is an Australian made and owned range of luxury organic skincare with a pretty simple philosophy: never underestimate the power of nature, that's where beautiful skin comes from. All ingredients used are grown, not manufactured, hence the name.
The hand cream is a bit of a hero product for them having received cult-like adulations from us beauty eds. It's rare to find a cream that is both richly moisturising, yet non-greasy, and this, I'm happy to report, is both. It features grapeseed, wheatgerm and rose hip oil, all of which help to protect from free radical damage and ensure your hands stay nice and spritely. Camellia seed oil is also worth a mention as that increases the skin's lipid content, thus helping moisture levels to be restored.
Available in a handy 65ml tube ($24) or a mega 500ml pump ($66).
Stockists: David Jones and Priceline.
Though we’ve had a fair few success stories over the years, it’s always nice to see more Australian brands crack the tough UK and US beauty markets. Two of those attempting to do just that in 2010 are Inika and Alpha-H.
Inika is a mineral makeup line that set itself apart from others by being created without a hint of chemicals, bismuth oxychloride, parabens, talc or fragrance. It’s been big news in mineral makeup circles for a while now but it’s been given a sleek and sexy new makeover, complete with a few new products to boot. Check out the Lip Whips ($25.95) and Certified Organic Pure Primer ($59.95) which I'm betting will be big news both here and in the UK.
Alpha-H is best summed up as a cosmaceutical range, nicely bridging the gap between skincare and cosmetic procedures by using glycolic acid as its key ingredient. Liquid Gold ($54.95), its hero product, has developed a cult following thanks to its ability to firm and resurface the skin. Now the brand has set its sights on the US and Japan telling WWD that they've been doing a lot of work with hibiscus flowers “which act as a natural skin whitener.”