Month: February 2020

Zelens Youth Glow Foundation & Velvet Lipstick


Zelens developed by Dr Marko Lens, an internationally renowned authority in the field of skin aging, skin cancer and for his excellent skincare products. His deep knowledge of skincare also includes the study of traditional Japanese Kampo medicine. Whilst his skincare has been widely raved and approved by many skincare authorities (likes of Caroline Hirons), his makeup is lesser known and reviewed. So, recently I was gifted one of his foundations to try, by Calissa (one of brand’s online stockist). Without further ado, diving straight into it:

The foundation itself is packaged in standard Zelens skincare packaging, slim tall frosted glass bottle with a pump. Reminds me a little of Chanel-esque packaging with frosted glass so feels tad luxe. Pump action is effortless and dispenses just right. Now bear in mind I’m not a heavy or full coverage foundation wearer so one pump or one and half pump is more than sufficient for my face and neck. Good control over pump action too, where I can dispense half a pump.234BCFEF-EBD4-4F63-A40C-FC81BDA7F04C_1_201_a

Onto the formulation, typically I wouldn’t delve into foundation formulation but given this is from a skincare whizz, it needs to be talked about. Some ingredients that have been given special mention in the formulation and why they’re special:

  • Uyaku – a natural molecule extracted from the Japanese evergreen spicebush – this unique ingredient helps synchronise circadian rhythms, which are easily upset by ageing, stress and seasonal transitions. In the afternoon and evening, these molecules stimulate protection, cell division and DNA repair, whilst late at night and early in the morning they encourage cell renewal, so skin quickly becomes clearer, brighter and more even with increased elasticity and strength.
  • Sesame protein has an instant ‘tightening’ effect, Hyaluronic acid plumps and hydrates, Shiso leaf provides protection from the elements, Vegetable polyglycerides exhibit exceptional skin conditioning benefits, Cutting-edge diamond spheres then work to convert invisible UV light to blue light (photo-luminescence), creating a flattering, soft focus effect and reducing the appearance of wrinkles, shadows and discolouration, for skin that looks younger and exudes an enviable vitality.

Inci List – Aqua (Water), Cyclopentasiloxane, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Coco-Caprylate/Caprate, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Dextrin Palmitate, Trimethylsiloxyphenyl Dimethicone, Cetyl PEG/PPG-10/1 Dimethicone, Hydroxystearic/Linolenic/Oleic Polyglycerides, Hyaluronic Acid, Saccharomyces Lysate Extract, Lindera Strychnifolia Root Extract (Uyaku), Hydrolyzed Pearl, Perilla Frutescens Leaf Extract, Tocopheryl Acetate, Silanetriol, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Phenoxyethanol, Benzyl Alcohol, Polyethylene, Benzimidazole Diamond Amidoethyl Urea Carbamoyl Propyl Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Cera Alba (Beeswax), Sodium Chloride, Boron Nitride, Glycerin, Silica, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Disodium EDTA, Butylene Glycol, Propylene Carbonate, Dehydroacetic Acid, Pectin, Xanthan Gum, PVP, Parfum (Fragrance), Sorbic Acid, Citric Acid, Sodium Benzoate, Ethylhexylglycerin, Linalool, [+/- (May Contain) CI 77891 (Titanium Dioxide), CI 77492 (Iron Oxides), CI 77491 (Iron Oxides), CI 77499 (Iron Oxides)].

Screen Shot 2020-02-17 at 7.17.30 PMOnto the texture and feel, it smells very similar to their Z Luminous Brightening Serum, which is pleasant and much like french skincare. I can’t seem to specifically pinpoint any fragrance notes in the serum. The texture itself is like serum cream but with foundation pigment. I apply with fingers and effortlessly blends and settles in skin. I’ve tried with brush too, but I feel with such expensive product, the brush absorbs tad much. Unlike mainstream foundations, I really don’t feel this one warrants buffing in with a brush. Perfect for someone like me, “finger slap dash application” method (very technical).

The finish is light to sheer coverage, you’d definitely need concealer for dark circles or any spots you’d want to cover. Personally I prefer this method, as it lets my skin, just be skin, let it breathe and pack on coverage only where I need. Plus it looks incredibly natural in broad daylight or even in the judgy office lights. The dewy finish is my preferred finish however if set with powder it can be matte finish too (which sets well). For me, this has been my go to perfect everyday foundation, as it wears particularly well over sunscreen too. It wore well through the day with and without a primer but I always have some kinda moisturizer or primer on my skin (any makeup just performs better). Skin appears plump and not like prune by the end of day. Perhaps that can be attributed to some of glorious inci inclusions too.

After my endless gushing, one would question what’s not so good? Well a very limited shade range (all of five shades, of which predominantly focused on fairer paler skins, more pinkish undertones, no availability for warm undertones, could possibly fit in shade called Tan (haven’t tried that) but not nearly adequate. In doing so, eliminated a large demographic. Also trying before buying is very tricky as samples and swatches are mainly online (depending on your location, unless you have a SpaceNK near you). In addition, very limited accessibility. And the biggest downside, the exorbitant price tag (£62.00 for 30ml) Zelens Foundation comes with….. brings a tear to my eye. Whereas Chanel Vitalumiere is £40.00 for 30ml, so you see the tear is justifiable.

All in all, this is an excellent foundation and I personally would purchase it however, there is no hiding from the fact that it is indulgence at its finest. I cannot see anyone ‘needing’ this foundation as similar finishes can also be achieved with more inexpensive options. So stalking for some deals or sales is worth the wait on this one.


Next up is the Extreme Velvet Lipstick in Nude Pink. Claims to be “a moisturising highly-Screen Shot 2020-02-17 at 7.25.12 PM
pigmented lipstick infused with a unique blend of active ingredients providing treatment benefits. Helps to plump lip volume, reshape contours, reduce the appearance of vertical lines and restore suppleness. Delivers rich long-wearing colour with a velvety, soft matte finish.”

Well this is a tricky one, this is a lipstick and works and functions like a lipstick! I haven’t noticed any reshaping contours, reduction in appearance of lines. Yes it is smooth application, properly pigmented with just one swipe. Feels velvety on lips, and stays put. Doesn’t creep into fine lines around crevices of my mouth and stays put nicely. The shade I have here is Nude Pink and on my pigmented lips appears more cooler toned pink than warm beigey nude pink. I guess one could say, the line overall is catered to more fairer, cooler toned population. Not saying it cannot work for medium toned folks, but not an instant match. The beautiful thing is this works wonderfully as cream blush too, blends effortlessly and nice stain on cheeks.

Overall, I would still think Zelens first and foremost for skincare but wouldn’t entirely discount the skin and base products. Of course at a price of indulgence.

** Products Gifted by Calissa



Votary London Super Seed Oil & Cream


Latest Boxwalla boasts Votary London’s Super Seed range, which is aimed for sensitive, dry, hormonal and redness prone skin. Without further ado, lets go straight into my review:

Super Seed Nutrient Cream is formulated without essential oils, fragrance free, enriched with Fatty Alcohols, 22 super seed oils, Mango butter and Aloe Vera Leaf Juice. Also includes potent hyaluronic acid for hydration.

I’ve tested the cream in my day and night routines, in cool (13-14 degrees) and warm weather (38-41 degrees). This cream is rich, oh yes no mucking about there but it is not pore clogging at all. It claims to be soothing, nourishing and protecting – completely agree with it all. While formulated for sensitive, in hormonal flux or unsettled skins, I think this would be excellent also on over exfoliated skin, abused and tortured skin (hello tret users), sunburnt skin, freshly lasered skin.

Perfect for layering (no piling experienced, either with oil under or over), excellent sealant over any oil or balm leaving a velvet finish on skin. Its beautiful under makeup making it an excellent primer as well and makeup sets nicely (no creasing or setting in fine lines). Lazy nights include a thorough cleanse, hydration serum and this cream. Done and my skin still appears plump and rested following morning.

Inci List: Aqua (Water), Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera) Leaf Juice, Cetearyl Alcohol, Glyceryl Stearate, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil, Mangifera Indica (Mango) Seed Butter, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Glycerin, Cetearyl Glucoside, Rosa Canina (Rosehip) Fruit Oil, Sodium Phytate Hyaluronate, Cucurbita Pepo (Pumpkin) Seed Oil, Vaccinium Macrocarpon (Cranberry) Seed Oil, Limnanthes Alba (Meadowfoam) Seed Oil, Salvia Hispanica (Chia) Seed Oil, Camellia Oleifera (Camellia) Seed Oil, Fragaria Ananassa (Strawberry) Seed Oil, Nigella Sativa (Black Cumin) Seed Oil, Papaver Orientale (Poppy) Seed Oil, Solanum Lycopersicum (Tomato) Seed Oil, Linum Usitatissimum (Flax) Seed Oil, Punica Granatum (Pomegranate) Seed Oil, Vaccinium Myrtillus (Blueberry) Seed Oil, Borago Officinalis (Borage) Seed Oil, Brassica Oleracea Italica (Broccoli) Seed Oil, Citrullus Lanatus (Watermelon) Seed Oil, Prunus Avium (Sweet Cherry) Seed Oil, Rubus Idaeus (Raspberry) Seed Oil, Calendula Officinalis (Marigold) Flower Oil, Passiflora Edulis (Passion Fruit) Seed Oil, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Tocopherol, Citric Acid, Sodium Stearoyl Glutamate, Glyceryl Caprylate, Sodium Phytate, Sorbic Acid, Hydroxyacetophenone, Benzyl Alcohol, Salicylic Acid, Xanthan Gum.


Next up is the Super Seed Facial Oil, honestly, I’ve barely reached for the Facial oil, perhaps 3-4 times, not because anything is wrong with it. Its light, without any essential oils or fragrances (making it perfect for sensitive reactive skins). I used about 7-8 drops all over face, neck and décolletage. It absorbs nicely in the skin, no sticky or oily residue on skin, even the oily skins would love this oil. So one may ask, why haven’t I reached for it as much, well it didn’t excite me! Its an oil, I’ve tried many many oils and anyone who knows me well enough, is versed with my love for oils and balms. But this just doesn’t excite me enough to reach for it. Its an oil!!!

As for the inci list, claims to be formulated with 22 Seed Oils – Grapeseed, Pumpkin, Cranberry, Chia, Meadowfoam, Black Seed, Camellia, Hemp, Strawberry, Poppy, Pomegranate, Blueberry, Linseed, Rosehip Fruit, Borage, Broccoli, Cherry, Melon, Raspberry, Sunflower, Carrot Seed and Calendula flower extract (which I don’t believe comes from seeds, but from petals, please correct me if I’m wrong).

I would recommend to get this box purely for the Nutrient Cream, which in itself is excellent value ($102 for cream, $110 for oil and box is $49.95) and thankfully the box subscription is extended till February 20th, 2020.

Inci List: Vitis Vinifera (Grapeseed) Oil, Curcubita Pepo (Pumpkin) Seed Oil, Vaccinium Macrocarpon (Cranberry) Seed Oil, Salvia Hispanica (Chia) Seed Oil, Limanthes Alba (Meadowfoam) Seed Oil, Nigella Sativa (Black Seed) Oil, Camellia Oleifera (Camellia) Seed Oil, Cannabis Sativa (Hemp) Seed Oil, Fragaria Ananassa (Strawberry) Seed Oil, Papaver Somniferum (Poppy) Seed Oil, Punica Granatum (Pomegranate) Seed Oil, Vaccinium Corymbosum (Blueberry) Seed Oil, Linum Usitatissimum (Linseed) Oil, Tocopherol Rosa Canina (Rosehip) Fruit Oil, Borago Officinalis (Borage) Seed Oil, Brassica Oleracea Italica (Broccoli) Seed Oil, Prunus Cerasus (Cherry) Seed Oil, Citrullus Lanatus (Melon) Seed Oil, Rubus Idaeus (Raspberry) Seed Oil, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Calendula Officinalis (Calendula) Flower Extract, Daucus Carota Sativa (Carrot) Seed Oil

**PR Gift