Skinterview #2: HiddenHarmonyWorld

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Episode 2 of my Skinterviews series features my delightful friend @HiddenHarmonyWorld. Please follow her on Instagram and visit her website! This is another long one, so grab a hot beverage and prepare for banter! Enjoy!

 

Skintrovert:

(tap-tap) Is this thing on?

HiddenHarmonyWorld:

Yes! Let’s get this show started!

Skintrovert:

Yay! Okay! Usual formalities – who are you, where are you, and what do you do?

HiddenHarmonyWorld:

I would call myself a Beauty Fanatic – I love beauty products, practices, rituals, and discoveries from all parts of the globe. I call Australia my home, but Chicago is my present home. My day job has absolutely nothing to do with beauty!

Skintrovert:

I think the majority of the people I do these interviews with are going to be closeted beauty addicts. Another formality, because I’m sick like that, and only because I know you’re drinking tea — what tea is it?

HiddenHarmonyWorld:

I knew you would ask me that! It’s Licorice Mint by Yogi. I’m also munching on a pistachio shortbread. The tag on the teabag says: A relaxed mind is a creative mind.

Skintrovert:

Mmmm. I love Yogi tea. Have you ever tried just their plain Egyptian Licorice?

HiddenHarmonyWorld:

No, but I really want to. My tea situation is no different from my cleanser situation, though – I have so many!

Skintrovert:

Yes you do, my darling. You’d love it! If you’ve ever had Aveda’s Comforting Tea, this is the closest I’ve found to it. At a fraction of the price, I might add.

HiddenHarmonyWorld:

*censored!* Aveda tea! Tea extortion!

Skintrovert:

Yes! They’re all so willing to pour you a cuppa in-store, but once you say “Oh, this is good!” It’s all over for you. Because then they tell you they sell it, and hand you a box with no price tag on it. How much is it? THIRTY dollars? I don’t think so, madam.

HiddenHarmonyWorld:

Costs more than their shampoo!

Skintrovert:

Bringing up Aveda was a happy accident, because I was going to ask you about your hair! You have absolutely beautiful hair. What do you use on it?

HiddenHarmonyWorld:

Oh, dear Lord! This is embarrassing, but I actually use the LEAST amount of product on my hair. And I don’t style it, condition it, colour it, or blow-dry it. I just let it grow like weeds!

Skintrovert:

Well that’s probably why it looks so good! Do you use oils on it?

HiddenHarmonyWorld:

Oils! Am I really that predictable?

Skintrovert:

Hmm, *however* did I know? 😉 Being a male with short hair, I’m so limited with what I can do to mine. I like it short, though, because I think it makes me look younger. And I want that, duh, because I’m vain. But my hair grows alarmingly fast for some reason, and I hate getting haircuts, so the struggle is real. I put off getting my hair cut until I can no longer bear pushing it off my ears. Have you ever thought of cutting yours short?

HiddenHarmonyWorld:

Yes, but by the time I’m sitting in the hairdresser’s seat I wimp out. I think I should enjoy the perks of long hair while I can. Plus, I need to be able to tie it in a bun. Approximately 95% of the time, my hair is twisted up in a bun.

Skintrovert:

Serving secretary realness! And obviously some kind of thick-framed glasses and a clipboard, right? Munching on the bottom of a pen nonchalantly?

HiddenHarmonyWorld:

Yes to glasses, no to clipboard… just a kickass attitude! Haha!

Skintrovert:

I hear you, baby! But I don’t want to stray too far from two very important topics you mentioned: oils and cleansers. You love an oil, don’t you?

HiddenHarmonyWorld:

I could swim in it.

Skintrovert:

Same here. The oilier the better. We’ve talked about this before, but for the readers, just why do you love oils so much?

HiddenHarmonyWorld:

I honestly don’t mind walking around the house covered in a thick layer of glossy oil. It makes me feel… at home? I can’t find the right words to describe it.

Skintrovert:

When I’m at home you will never NOT see me either A) covered in oil, or B) wearing some kind of face mask. I scare my family a lot. They think I’m insane. They kind of just roll their eyes and go “what is it this time?!”

HiddenHarmonyWorld:

The story goes so much deeper than that, though. Oils are so versatile.

Skintrovert:

There are no hard and fast rules to oil, either. If you’re trying to cut corners, a facial oil can easily double as a cleanser/makeup remover, a hair treatment, a body moisturizer, a lip balm… they are very versatile.

HiddenHarmonyWorld:

When I was younger – about fifteen-ish – I had a horrible breakout. The typical teenage drama that unfolds on one’s face. The teenage years passed, but the drama did not. I was gullible, naïve, misinformed, and desperate. The one side of my face was broken out in cystic acne so painful that I couldn’t even sleep on it! Whatever marketing rubbish was being churned out, I was eating it, so to speak.

Skintrovert:

The plight of teenage skin coupled with the plight of being suckered into marketing shill is double-trouble for the skin.

HiddenHarmonyWorld:

It made my skin worse. A lot worse. Then along came the oils and my skin responded in a positive way that I had never experienced before. It’s like all my skin needed was love, care, and OIL! This is exactly why I want to share what I’ve learned over the past fifteen years. I know the feeling all too well.

Skintrovert:

I always recommend that people put oil on blemishes and they look at me like I have two heads.

HiddenHarmonyWorld:

I couldn’t agree more – I wish you were there to give me that advice when I was a teenager!

Skintrovert:

You actually have a very interesting post on your blog about oils. I am going to link it HERE (click, please!) so people can have a read. We both see eye-to-eye on the fact that it’s a lot of the junk that makes a moisturizer a moisturizer, i.e., waxes and thickeners, that wreak havoc on the skin of people prone to comedogenic breakouts. Just get an oil, damnit! Is that why you use oils in lieu of moisturizers now, for the most part?

HiddenHarmonyWorld:

You know what’s funny? The posts I put my heart and soul into are the ones that end up being the least popular in terms of numbers (for which I couldn’t care less!). People need to be informed on this! That’s all this is really about… it’s not about pushing people to buy products. I got nothing out of it then, and I get nothing out of it now. I really prefer the massage that comes with the application of an oil. I do like moisturizers, but I’m extremely careful (picky) about them now.

Skintrovert:

That’s why I wanted to link up your post on oils specifically. That post is very important to me because it’s so relatable, and I know it’s a subject that’s close to your heart. I hear you on the numbers thing. I don’t give a damn if people or brands don’t like my reviews on products. I’m a tough sell on most things, frankly. But that’s because I’ve tried literally everything, as I’m sure you have. I know almost immediately what works, what is going to work, or what is junk. If I don’t like it, I don’t have a problem telling it like it is. At least I know my opinion is an honest one. If the product has ludicrous claims, I’m going to call them out! I love using an oil for a good facial massage as well… but never with the palms of my hands. I always use the backs. Fist, knuckles, fingertips, and a lot of pressure, rather than pulling and stretching. I hate when people squish and pull their skin.

HiddenHarmonyWorld:

Oh, boy, are we opening up a can of worms with brands/products/claims? And you said one of my buzzwords — PRESSURE. I hate airy-fairy stroking massages and fingertip tapping!

Skintrovert:

I hate stroke-y massages, too! I’m all for gentle when it comes to applying products, but when I’m cleansing or massaging in an oil or a balm, it’s knuckles, it’s fists, and it’s PAINFUL! Almost like you’re beating yourself up, but in the best possible way. And yes, claims that brands make about their products—what’s the worst you’ve heard?

HiddenHarmonyWorld:

Yes! I couldn’t agree more! And oh wow, the worst… hmmm… let me think. *pause* If I’m being totally honest with you, you know what…

Skintrovert:

Please don’t mention cellulite creams. Please! Because we know where that conversation will go…

HiddenHarmonyWorld:

Haha! I don’t read the claims anymore – really! It’s straight to the ingredients list. The claims are always the same rubbish, the same jargon, but slapped on a different package. Bullcrap! I don’t want to waste five minutes of my life reading ludicrous claims. It’s five minutes I’d never see again.

Skintrovert:

I do have to say, though, that the ingredients list is the start point, but it’s not the end point. Because I have used products where I’ve looked at the inci and thought to myself “no way” and shook my head, à la Whitney Houston, but then I’m singing a different tune (see what I did there?) after using it.

HiddenHarmonyWorld:

I agree. Performance/result is always the end-game for me.

Skintrovert:

A good example for me is the Clarins Gentle Exfoliator Brightening Toner. Its ingredients list is absolutely horrendous. And yet, it’s one of the best products I’ve ever used. How!?

HiddenHarmonyWorld:

The starting line is the ingredients, mid-track is the experience/feel, and the finish line is performance and results.

Skintrovert:

And now that we’re talking ingredients, that Clarins toner is also one of the most TOXIC! *gasp* Yes, I said it! My skin loves toxins.

HiddenHarmonyWorld:

*censored* NO YOU DIDN’T! The word toxic is so… toxic! I haven’t tried the Clarins toner yet!

Skintrovert:

Oh, I so did. The Clarins toner is great – it’s exfoliating in the most mild way, and it also feels very softening. It helps that it smells bloody amazing, too. So, please tell me why you hate the word toxic! *smiles sweetly*

HiddenHarmonyWorld:

When “toxic” became a mainstream word, it got thrown around a lot by “green beautybrands and in particular, a specific green brand that markets products with the words “non-toxic”. Nowhere has this been proven scientifically. It’s marketing jargon – claims to lure in an emerging set of consumers. It’s wrong, it’s misinforming, it’s deceiving, it’s scare-mongering, and it’s brainwashing.

Skintrovert:

People go mad for stuff labeled non-toxic. They think they’re doing something good for their skin, their bodies, and their wellbeing. Because really, they see the product labeled “non-toxic”, compare it to one that doesn’t contain that label, and think the product labeled non-toxic must be better. The other product is going to kill them. The non-toxic one isn’t. That’s what the packaging is suggesting. And it freaks people out. It’s a scare tactic. By extension, you probably harbour the same negative feelings towards detoxification, right? Detox tea, detox diets, etc.?

HiddenHarmonyWorld:

Oh, my God! Detox! Another word I loathe!

Skintrovert:

I’m hitting all the sweet spots, aren’t I?

HiddenHarmonyWorld:

Yes you are! Hang on, I need another cuppa…

Skintrovert:

Go for it!

HiddenHarmonyWorld:

Okay, back!

Skintrovert:

Since we’re going on about ingredients and dodgy claims, what do you think of all these Korean skincare products that contain snail slime, camel colostrum, and other rancid-sounding stuff?

HiddenHarmonyWorld:

Personally, I don’t mind the whacko ingredients (and they are whacko). I actually adore East Asian skincare for their eccentricity, uniqueness, and cute packaging (though it’s not really my taste)… they are lightyears ahead of us. The mainstream market only just caught onto oils now!

Skintrovert:

This is all I have to say on the topic: if you love yourself enough to put ground-up starfish, literal snail shit, bee venom, and horse semen on your face, then…

HiddenHarmonyWorld:

What can I say, I’m a very open person – LOL.

Skintrovert:

Oh, dear. LOL.

HiddenHarmonyWorld:

I have a problem. I am willing to try (try being the operative word!) almost anything in the name of skincare.

Skintrovert:

I’m so picky about what goes on my skin. The farthest I’m going is P50 by Biologique Recherche, which contains vinegar. And boy, does it smell like vinegar. Vinegar isn’t strange, but it is odd to see on a list of ingredients.

HiddenHarmonyWorld:

My simple life philosophy is that we only have ONE life to do things—might as well take the plunge!

Skintrovert:

So use the cream made of donkey hooves! Yay! Why not!?

HiddenHarmonyWorld:

Synthetic fragrances! Woohoo!

Skintrovert:

I do love a synthetic fragrance, not gonna lie.

HiddenHarmonyWorld:

I love fragrance period!

Skintrovert:

Same! That’s because my skin isn’t sensitive at all, though. I understand why people can’t use anything with fragrance in it. I mean, I feel bad for them, but I understand it! Better to be safe than sorry.

HiddenHarmonyWorld:

Fragrances are the best memory triggers!

Skintrovert:

What is your favourite fragrance? If you’re dashing out the door and you need something to make you feel confident and on top of the world… what do you spray?

HiddenHarmonyWorld:

N°19 by Chanel. For sure.

Skintrovert:

Yes! Oh, my God! We’ve talked about N°19 before, haven’t we?

HiddenHarmonyWorld:

We have! That fragrance is ME. A lot of people hate it, but I LOVE it!

Skintrovert:

My friend from university bought me the bottle that you can refill with the inserts. I need to get a new one when I’m not flat broke!

HiddenHarmonyWorld:

I tend to only get compliments on it when it’s developed on my skin. People hate it at first hit.

Skintrovert:

I like the word beguiling to describe it. It’s an Ice Queen fragrance! Aloof and cold. But is somehow enchanting? It draws people in.

HiddenHarmonyWorld:

That’s the perfect description of N°19—I couldn’t have said it better. Day-to-day I tend to reach for whatever my mood drives me to reach for. I don’t always wear N°19.

Skintrovert:

Well, where is your mood taking you today?

HiddenHarmonyWorld:

I will walk to my fragrance cabinet and pick something out based on my current mood. Hang on!

Skintrovert:

Please do!

HiddenHarmonyWorld:

Here’s what I was drawn to: Rouh Al Khaleej by Ajmal, which is a perfume oil, and layered with a few spritzes of Samsara by Guerlain. I’m all about strong scents. No fruity or edible scents for me.

Skintrovert:

There you go with your oils again! I used to wear one of the attars from Amouage – it was called Ayoon Al Maha. The bottle couldn’t have been more than 15 mL and it was painfully expensive. Apparently it’s super rare now. I should have saved it! That particular attar was a very strong rose and oud crossover. I love oud notes in fragrance. It paid for itself in compliments, and you would never smell it on anyone else, so I felt special when I wore it. Samsara is a classic. I really like Mitsouko and Shalimar by Guerlain, as well. I hate fruity smells, too. Anything that’s outright fruity or gourmand is a no-go for me. Headache-inducing! I don’t mind gourmand notes as much if they’re covered up in a chypre base, or if they have a spicy kick. Black Orchid by Tom Ford is one of my favourites, and it has cacao in it.

HiddenHarmonyWorld:

You know, I still haven’t tried Black Orchid. I live under a rock.

Skintrovert:

You have to! It’s an experience! And you would love it because it’s spicy and warm.

HiddenHarmonyWorld:

I love spicy. And woody. And musky. I could be a man.

Skintrovert:

It starts off as aquatic and almost minty. But then the cacao seeps in as it develops, poking its head through the fragrance’s warmth and balsamic-ness. Yes, that’s a word.

HiddenHarmonyWorld:

Cinnabar by Estée Lauder is only of my all-time favourites. One spritz is all you need.

Skintrovert:

Yes! I love that one, too! Those classic old-lady fragrances that have a rich animalic quality. I love an old-lady perfume.

HiddenHarmonyWorld:

I am an old lady. It’s an established fact.

Skintrovert:

Ysatis by Givenchy is another chypre fragrance that I love, and it has that same animalic quality that Cinnabar has. It totes belongs on a granny, but I don’t care! Anyway, before we get too out of control here, let’s reel it back in! I was going to ask you about cleansers when we were talking about Aveda!

HiddenHarmonyWorld:

Oh, yes! Cleansers! The Joy of Waking Up to Cleansers.

Skintrovert:

Are you going to write that book? LMAO.

HiddenHarmonyWorld:

Catchy title, right?

Skintrovert:

Yes!

HiddenHarmonyWorld:

If you’re sad, cleanse your face.

Skintrovert:

This is totally bonkers, but I agree one-hundred percent. Connecting the tactile experience of cleansing with your mind makes all your woes melt away.

HiddenHarmonyWorld:

I have a tendency to first take a long deep whiff and then start massaging it all over my face.

Skintrovert:

Same! You have to! Remove your makeup with the fragrance-free nonsense… but when you’re doing a thorough skin cleanse, you need to go in with something aromatic. Something that lets you feel present in the moment.

HiddenHarmonyWorld:

It triggers something. The scent of the oils wakes up dreary senses, the massage, and then the warm steaming cloth. Cleansing orgasm right there.

Skintrovert:

What cleansers do you love?

HiddenHarmonyWorld:

I’ll have to pick one from each category! Cleansing balm, my current favourite is the Aromatic Cleansing Balm with Rosewood by Darphin. It tickles my soul to such joy. Cleansing oil, I’d say Aēsop Parsley Seed Facial Cleansing Oil… one word: home. Cleansing cream, I’m torn between MV Organic Gentle Cream Cleanser and Grown Alchemist Hydra-Restore Cream Cleanser. Cleansing water would be Bioderma – that’s a no-brainer! Cleansing gel, I’m currently liking the Oskia Renaissance Cleansing Gel, but I’m also partial to La Roche-Posay Physiological Cleansing Gel and The Body Shop Nutriganics Softening Cleansing Gel (discontinued, sadly), which are simple and inexpensive. These last two I particularly enjoy because they can double as a face mask: the Multi-Use Exfoliating Clay for the Face by Diptyque, which is mildly exfoliating, and The Honey Mud from May Lindstrom. They are polar opposites, but they’re such a delight to use.

Skintrovert:

Love the Darphin cleansing balm. I haven’t tried the Aēsop one! You can send it to me when we do a swap. 😉 I’m all over the MV Organic cleanser right now. It’s next on my to-buy list. But ewwww no at Oskia! And the Grown Alchemist cleanser is the one that made Caroline [Hirons] break out into a rash, right?

HiddenHarmonyWorld:

That’s the one. But I love it! I can understand why it didn’t work for her skin, if she was allergic to one of the ingredients, but it’s a great cleanser.

Skintrovert:

I like their vanilla and orange peel hand cream and their watermelon and vanilla lip balm. Their day cream didn’t blow my mind. It almost felt matte on the skin for some reason, even though it’s ripe with oils?

HiddenHarmonyWorld:

I actually like the day cream because it has a matte-finish. My makeup sits better! Oh, tell me more about the Oskia cleansing gel…

Skintrovert:

The Oskia Renaissance Cleansing Gel offended me on a personal level, so I’m over the whole brand now. I fell for the hype. It feels exactly like Vaseline on the skin, but people think the texture is so elegant for some reason? Um, no! It’s Vaseline! It’s slippery, squeaky, and gross!

HiddenHarmonyWorld:

Hmmm, yes, I can see that.

Skintrovert:

And it smells like leather! …Or the inside of a new car. Just a really bizarre smell… not at all like what it’s supposed to smell like, which is rose and chamomile! It doesn’t smell bad, but the smell is not what I was expecting, given the list of ingredients.

HiddenHarmonyWorld:

If it was leather I would be getting high off it! Leather, tobacco, and petrol—I love those smells.

Skintrovert:

I love the smell of petrol. I like tobacco notes in a candle or fragrance. Not the biggest fan of leather.

HiddenHarmonyWorld:

I think it’s a decent morning cleanse. I wouldn’t use it as a second cleanse.

Skintrovert:

It just left my skin feeling really slick. Like, it left a film that nothing could take off! Near the end I was using it as a first cleanse to take off my sunscreen. And I was literally using twenty pumps at a time because I just wanted it gone.

HiddenHarmonyWorld:

Did you use a cloth to take it off?

Skintrovert:

Of course I did! The first time I used it was as a morning cleanse, actually. And I used a flannel (duh). When I cleansed my face again in the early evening with the same flannel from the morning it smelled so rank! Like the smell of new car had rotted inside of it. I actually ended up throwing that one out because I didn’t think laundry detergent and bleach would take the smell out! Hated it after the first use.

HiddenHarmonyWorld:

Eek! The first time I used it I was on the fence, too.

Skintrovert:

I never used it with a cloth after that. I just tried rinsing it away after using it for my first cleanse.

HiddenHarmonyWorld:

I see where you’re coming from.

Skintrovert:

Luckily it kind of emulsifies. It just doesn’t rinse clean. But yeah, one pump wouldn’t be enough to cleanse your face anyway. And can we talk application technique for a minute? Who are these people that say use a pea size of cleansing balm to cleanse? Get the hell out of here!

HiddenHarmonyWorld:

That must be why some people have never-ending balms. I have five on rotation right now.

Skintrovert:

I’m actually out of ALL of mine at the moment! Isn’t that horrifying?

HiddenHarmonyWorld:

WHAT? How can you live like that? Such a tragedy! What are you cleansing with right now?

Skintrovert:

I know, I know. I don’t know how I’m doing it. I have the Tata Harper Nourishing Oil and Purifying Cleansers, different iterations of Cleanse + Polish by Liz Earle, Sunday Riley Ceramic Slip, the Diptyque clay you mentioned before (one of my all-time favourites, and I do believe I coerced YOU into buying it, haha), and the soy cleanser by Fresh… and then some other nondescript scrubs.

HiddenHarmonyWorld:

Not crazy about Fresh!

Skintrovert:

I love Fresh! The soy cleanser is one of my all-time favourite basic cleansers! It’s so nice on the skin… and it smells like wet soil and cucumbers, which is never a bad thing. I don’t think I’ve tried a Fresh product I don’t like, actually.

HiddenHarmonyWorld:

Nothing from Fresh tickles my fancy. I’m sure it’s lovely, but it just doesn’t excite me.

Skintrovert:

Their body stuff is amazing! The shower gels and lotions… ugh! But I’m still not paying $300 for that Crème Ancienne of theirs… sorry, Fresh.

HiddenHarmonyWorld:

See, this is what I love about skincare. There is no guarantee that everyone will love the same products. It baffles me to no end how the same ingredients don’t work in the same way for everyone. But that makes you appreciate how everyone’s skin is different and therefore one glorious or scornful review cannot be conclusive.

Skintrovert:

I love the back-and-forth, as well. I am glad that you and I come together on most things, though. And even though we were berating green beauty before, I’m sure there are some green beauty products that you love, right?

HiddenHarmonyWorld:

I do! Clarification time! I have a major problem with green beauty marketing jargon and how they’re so blatantly misinforming people. The products themselves, I love, for the most part. As an example, when I met May Lindstrom about three months ago, she and I had a wonderful discussion about “natural”, “green”, and “organic” products.

Skintrovert:

Totally. It’s like yes, I will use your lovely 30-oil blend. But please don’t tell me it’s non-toxic, thank you very much.

HiddenHarmonyWorld:

Exactly!

Skintrovert:

That picture of you two is amazing! Like I said in my Skinterview with Liz, I am keen on trying May’s products, but just not right now. The timing has to be right.

Screen Shot 2016-01-14 at 19.38.19

HiddenHarmonyWorld meets May Lindstrom!

HiddenHarmonyWorld:

Aw, thank you! Her products are a treat, in the true sense of the word.

Skintrovert:

I see that. And I’d like to experience it.

HiddenHarmonyWorld:

She is also a wonderful, humble, gorgeous soul.

Skintrovert:

There is just something about her that emanates a kind and radiant light, eh? You don’t even have to know her personally to see that. I don’t recall seeing many (or any?) Tata Harper products in your routines?

HiddenHarmonyWorld:

I have used her Regenerating Cleanser and Replenishing Nutrient Complex (RNC), and now I’m using her Skin Rejuvenating Serum. What irks me about TH is the marketing and language used… it puts me off. I’m sure the products are lovely. The products should always outdo the jargon, though. As a comparison, have you ever heard May Lindstrom use the words green, toxic, harmful, etc.? …NO!

Skintrovert:

I’m actually quite keen on trying the RNC. I really like her Beautifying Face Oil.

HiddenHarmonyWorld:

I got the Skin Rejuvenating Serum and RNC from the Cult Beauty boxes. And the cleanser out of my own impulsive dumb wit. I’ve yet to try the Beautifying Face Oil (what’s with the name!?).

Skintrovert:

The face oil and RNC are actually quite reasonably priced, though… compared to her other products that contain many of the same ingredients. The cleansers – Nourishing Oil and Purifying are the ones I like – are pricey, but I would buy them again. The Regenerating one was awful for me. Breakouts happened almost immediately after using it. I think her treatment products are astronomically priced. I couldn’t justify buying them, even if I loved them.

HiddenHarmonyWorld:

I’d rather save and invest in May’s products. Or even Mahalo’s products. Apart from the green bottles, nothing else interests me.

Skintrovert:

What do you think of the cost of some of these organic/green brand products?

HiddenHarmonyWorld:

It depends solely on the ingredients for me. As an example, let’s use May Lindstrom’s The Blue Cocoon. Blue tansy, frankincense, myrrh, geranium, immortelle… these are not cheap ingredients.

Skintrovert:

Immortelle is particularly expensive.

HiddenHarmonyWorld:

I have a whole post on that, too – sourcing and extraction make a huge difference to the final product. Obtaining frankincense, for example, is completely manual human labour, and then extracting the oil… I understand it seems prohibitively expensive, but when you dissect the ingredients list, consider sourcing and extraction method(s), concocting the product itself, covering incidentals, and adding a mark-up for profit… sometimes the final price is justifiable. Also when you are dealing with different countries, there are always middlemen making money… then you have to consider adding a buffer for currency fluctuations, factor in some corporate greed, etc…!

Skintrovert:

I’d have to pay about $65 CAD for the MV Organic Pure Jojoba. One ingredient! So painful! I could never bring myself to pay $65 for a tiny bottle of jojoba oil.

HiddenHarmonyWorld:

Yeah, I totally get that. We pay considerably less in Australia. MV Organic is an incredibly underrated brand, in my opinion. Actually, a lot of Aussie brands are!

Skintrovert:

I like the looks of their rose booster oil, though. So expensive. But I love rose-anything.

HiddenHarmonyWorld:

It’s divine, no doubt. I have it on my face right now, actually! When I go home next I’ll stock up for you!

Skintrovert:

You’re a treasure! How about some rapid-fire questions that probably won’t be very rapid-fire?

HiddenHarmonyWorld:

Rapid-fire! Do I get to think?

Skintrovert:

Yes, you do! Why did you start your blog?

HiddenHarmonyWorld:

My husband pushed me into it. He saw it in me, really. He wanted me to spread the knowledge I gained through fifteen years of trial-and-error and try to empower people in the process. Sounds corny, I know, but that’s the true intention of what I’m trying to accomplish.

Skintrovert:

Same reason for me, funnily enough – people wanted to hear what I had to say, and the more I heard it the more I thought “well, maybe they’re right…” And I’m glad they egged me on. And I’m glad your husband egged you on, because your blog is one of the best I’ve read, and one of the most thought-provoking and thorough, especially in terms of ingredients.

HiddenHarmonyWorld:

And so far, I guess I can speak for the both of us, we’ve only really received positive feedback, right? And thank you so much, you know that truly means the world to me.

Skintrovert:

Positive feedback through sometimes being not-so-positive. But that’s life, isn’t it? It’s not all sunshine and rainbows! Nobody wants to hear the frilly and lovely stuff all the time. At the end of the day, we are consumers speaking without an agenda to sell. And you’re very welcome! I wouldn’t have said it if I didn’t mean it!

HiddenHarmonyWorld:

Exactly! Our meals don’t depend on our opinions. Our opinions come from our hearts. We don’t get paid anything.

Skintrovert:

That’s the best way I’ve ever heard it put. Okay, next question — one (or many) beauty trend(s), be it skincare or otherwise, that you absolutely can’t get on board with? Like, you see it and you quiver and think “no… just… no.”

HiddenHarmonyWorld:

Okay, so here’s a makeup one: over-lining the lips and contouring and highlighting like Kim Kardashian. Who the *bleep!* goes to work like that? They literally draw with a crayon all over their face when it’s completely unnecessary. A skincare one… would have to be dermarollers. They make me cringe.

Skintrovert:

I can’t say much about the makeup thing, being a male, and I know a lot of people hold strong opinions with respect to “it’s just makeup, it washes off”, or “girls can do whatever they want”, but makeup now has never been this way. The makeup we see these days is not makeup for the real world. It’s for cameras. It’s for pictures and for films. And it looks great in pictures… but in reality, it’s like “um, there’s a brown stripe on your face, love!”

HiddenHarmonyWorld:

I don’t like that girls on YouTube are showcasing these looks as everyday makeup. Not sure if it’s the best message to be sending to young, impressionable people.

Skintrovert:

Alright, and now the pièce de résistance – the question I will end all of these interviews with, and inevitably the moment everyone has been waiting for: the HIDDEN HARMONY WORLD FACIAL! Your ultimate crème de la crème, ride-or-die, best products only. What are the steps of the facial, and what products do you use? GO!

HiddenHarmonyWorld:

My absolute ultimate facial… if I were to run a spa, this is what I would do (if you want to get water or take a break, do so, because this is going to be a long one):

Skintrovert:

I’ll just nose through your Instagram as you let yourself get carried away. 😉

HiddenHarmonyWorld:

It would take place in a spa room, dimly lit by candles, with some essential oils burning. Terrycloth robe, a cool-temperature bed, the whole nine yards. If you were wearing makeup I would first cleanse with 9 Oil Cleansing Tonic by MV Organic. Otherwise I would go straight in with Darphin’s Aromatic Cleansing Balm with Rosewood, cleansing the face, neck, and chest, and remove it with a hot washcloth. Depending on the texture of the skin, I may use Oskia’s Micro Exfoliating Balm. There would definitely be a facial steam of white flowers – gardenia, tuberose, jasmine – followed by extractions, if necessary. If not, I’d start on a solid twenty-minute facial massage using a mixture of MV Organic’s Pure Jojoba and Aēsop’s Fabulous Face Oil, ending the massage with a hot compress to encourage penetration of the oil. Before moving onto a mask or two, I’d mist the skin with Kama Ayurveda’s Pure Mogra (jasmine) Water. This would be my idea of a relaxing spa day. If we went into a rigorous facial, I’d do the triple mask routine* with Bravura London’s 10% Lactic Acid Peel, May Lindstrom’s The Problem Solver, and Mahalo’s Petal Mask (soon to be released).

Skintrovert:

Gotta love that triple mask! [*Click HERE to read my explanation of the TRIPLE THREAT MASK]

HiddenHarmonyWorld:

I hate facials where people start massaging the hands and feet… screw the limbs—just focus on my face! I also hate when facialists don’t massage!

Skintrovert:

The word facial quite literally has the word face in it. So please don’t touch my legs.

HiddenHarmonyWorld:

Exactly!

Skintrovert:

What kind of skincare would you use after the masks?

HiddenHarmonyWorld:

I would treat with the niacinamide-loaded Pro-B Extreme Damage Control Serum by Aspect Dr (this brand is also called Auspect Clinical). Assuming there were no contraindications, I’d also use Redermic [R] retinol cream by La Roche-Posay. For the eyes, I’d go with Antipodes’ Kiwi Seed Oil Eye Cream. Then, of course, an oil to seal it all in. Looking at my stash, I’m gravitating towards Aspect’s Red-Less, which contains kakadu plum, or Kama Ayurveda’s Kumkumadi Miraculous Beauty Fluid. I’d also whack some NUXE Rêve de Miel on the lips… or Mahalo’s Rare Indigo Beauty Balm.

Skintrovert:

Holy smokes. That’s like a proper heavy-duty facial.

HiddenHarmonyWorld:

I would happily die if I ever received that.

Skintrovert:

You and I have followed each other for quite a while on Instagram, eh?

HiddenHarmonyWorld:

Indeed we have. You and Liz were the first people I stalked/followed. The end of January is my one-year anniversary on Instagram.

Skintrovert:

I cannot believe how quickly time passes—it’s scary.

HiddenHarmonyWorld:

Scary is putting it mildly!

Skintrovert:

I was so oblivious to time when I was a kid. Everything moved so much slower back then. Never stopped to smell the roses, to be honest. Youth truly is wasted on the young. Not only is time not stopping or slowing, it’s in the fast lane.

HiddenHarmonyWorld:

I wish it would stop… so we can enjoy the simple pleasures of life… like cleansing! LOL.

Skintrovert:

Well, my beauty, this has been an absolute joy. No surprises there. I can’t thank you enough for agreeing to be put through the ringer.

HiddenHarmonyWorld:

No – thank YOU for even considering me to be a part of this. It’s truly a privilege, and my honour.

Skintrovert:

You’re one of the few people who immediately came to mind when I was thinking of potential interviewees, so I’m totally chuffed.

HiddenHarmonyWorld:

Awww, thank you! I hope people like it – I hope they think it’s worth the wait!

Skintrovert:

They will. People will love it.

HiddenHarmonyWorld:

Night night, darl – thank you again! xxx

Skintrovert:

Take care, love!

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3 thoughts on “Skinterview #2: HiddenHarmonyWorld

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