Brand Overview: My Mood

I’m a sucker for cute packaging. That’s how I came across My Mood. Founded by Thea Green, the brains behind Nails Inc and Incredible Cosmetics, My Mood is the adorable little sister filled with cute things you take to sleep, to bed, and to school.

They offer bath bolts – the Muscle Hustler Bath Bolt to chill with sage, rosemary, and seaweed and the Get Up Show Up Bath Bolt to wake up with scents of cardamom, black pepper, and sandalwood. For those running low on mental and physical health come Friday, the I’m Like 104% Tired Just Chill Bath Bolt is a good treat to relax, containing lavender and orange peel.

To top that off, the I’m Like 104% Tired Switch Off Sleep Spray can be a nightstand buddy. It’s a gentle, calming essential oil spray that mixes lavender, poppyseed, and valerian to fight away nervous vibes and alleviate tension, to help you relax. Just spray on some of the oil before bedtime, to get the full effect. My first impression was that it smelled like massage oil, which was perfect for relaxing after a busy day. The sweet lavender scent was nice, but it didn’t last too long. The light scent of the spray was too light to leave a lasting effect and seemed to fade away after a few minutes. Maybe those with a preference for softer fragrance notes would enjoy this, but those who want a stronger scent may find it too mild to be effective.

For the lips, the Smoothing On Jelly Lip Balm I’m Shook PH Pink feels moisturizing and hydrating on the lips. It has pinkish tint that looks so natural.

The Smoothing On Jelly Lip Balm I Eat Rainbows For Breakfast Glittery Pink has a pinkish-red tint when applied on the lips.

The Smile Everyday Smoothing Lip Balm Hustle On Iridescent, on the other hand, smells like candy and offer a light sheen to the lips.

I like putting this on top of matte lip colors to add some shine. I love that they all don’t feel heavy on the lips but I wish they were more moisturizing.

These My Mood products were provided by @mymoodlondon. Available at boots.com

Selfcare Review: Provision Scents Dream Extract Room and Linen Spray, Connection Lip Rescue, Manifest Body Oil

What selfcare routine do you do before sleeping? The past month, I have been playing with these cute trial-sized goodies from Provision Scents before getting some zzz’s

After doing my face routine, I spray the Dream Extract Room & Linen Spray ($9.60), which is infused with french clary, Italian bergamot, sheer woods, and amber. I like how this gives off a strong yet soothing smell. It really does seem to invite dreams before dozing off.

I apply the Connection Lip Rescue ($44) as I watch a show, which is most recently Crash Landing On You. This contains shea butter, avocado oil, vitamin e, and rose wax to moisturize, soften and condition the lips. This #lipbalm can also be used to moisturize your cuticles and other drier parts of your body if you prefer. This balm has a citrusy floral scent and a little goes a long way. It feels a bit thick but it did soften and moisturize my lips after waking up.

As the last step, I use the Manifest Body Oil, which has a blend of amla, avocado, and almond oils with shea butter to soften and condition the skin. I usually prefer body oils over body creams. This one has a candle-like scent and feels thick on the skin. Due to the thick consistency of this oil, I only apply this on my foot, elbows, and knees. So far, this has helped moisturize those parts of my body.

The Provision Scents Dream Extract Room & Linen Spray, Connection Lip Rescue, Manifest Body Oil were provided by @provisionscents. Available at provisonscents.com

Selfcare Review: Oille Essential Oils

Oille’s Essential Oils harps on its GC/MS Technology which is a strong indication of an essential oil’s purity and the lack of unadulterated and harmful chemicals or additives. These certified oils aim to bring out the best quality and provide the right benefits without the risk of inflamed or allergic responses.

All oils were diffused using a YL diffuser using the recommended 8-10 drops.

I found the Lemon oil to be my favorite. The tart scent wasn’t too strong or sharp and just gave the right amount of pick-me-up when diffused. Cliché as it may sound but I found it helpful in awakening my senses, keeping me alert and productive, especially on lazy Saturday mornings. It made me feel cleansed and energized, giving me a boost to do extra work or activities. I also noticed that my skin seemed clearer and brighter on the days I’d diffuse it.

The Lavender’s scent was so overpowering that I’d recommend lowering the number of drops diffused to 5-6 instead. This definitely smelled pure and did not seem to have any additives. With the right amount of drops, I used this for relaxing at night after a long day at work or just to keep my nerves calm after anxiety triggers. It kept me mellow (too mellow that sometimes I’d end up falling asleep too early!) I also found that it helped with minor headaches, sometimes.

I liked Frankincense as it wasn’t too strong. I tend to stay away from this oil as most of the ones out in the market reminded me too much like I was going to Sunday Mass every time I’d diffuse it. However, Oille’s version was subtle enough that I didn’t expect to hear church bells every few minutes. This oil has been quite helpful during morning or evening allergy attacks, allowing me to breathe easier and sleep better. My nose and throat didn’t feel as congested and it helped reduce the stuffy head feeling that comes with constant sneezes and a dripping nose.

The Oille Essential Oils were provided by @oilleorganics . Available at oillenatural.com

Bodycare Review: Kate McLeod Daily Stone and Sleep Stone

Exploring the world of body moisturizers is fun. I’ve tried creams, oils, creamy oils, and now, a stone. The body stones from pastry chef Kate McLeod came about when she was recommended cocoa butter to moisturize her skin. She mixed it with her favorite oils (sweet almond, apricot kernel, avocado, and fractionated coconut) to develop a body butter that melts upon contact with the skin.

Now, Kate McLeod has created four varieties of body stones made cruelty-free, vegan, and without parabens, preservatives, and alcohol. I got to try two of them.

The Daily Stone is recommended for everyday use containing rose, frankincense, and neroli to soften, heal, and calm the skin. The Stone does what it promised when used regularly. It made my skin glowy and well-moisturized to a satisfactory degree. On the downside, however, is the tacky feel it leaves the skin. Upon usage, you’d feel a stickiness for quite some time before it melts. Overall, the product works great as it has moisturizer my skin and healed dry patches, it just takes a bit of getting used to. For someone who sweats easily, something of this texture is best used at night.

The Sleep Stone uses lavender and chamomile to moisturize while helping calm and ease you. It has a very rich and moisturized texture so one swipe is enough. Like the Daily Stone, this takes a bit of time for it to be absorbed by the skin but it did make my skin feel smooth and soft. As recommended, this is to be used at night and the strong fragrance felt relaxing.

These two I would recommend for those looking for a vegan and cruelty-free moisturizer that intensely moisturizes the skin. This is a heavy-duty moisturizer that is fragrant and soothing and would be great for those with extremely dry skin.

The Kate McLeod Daily Stone and Sleep Stone were provided by @katemcleod. Available for $45 and $38 for refills at katemcleod.com

Brand Overview: Gruum

Inspired by Scandinavian ideals, British selfcare brand Gruum aims to create purposeful products without gimmicks and labels. Their products are created cruelty-free and are for everyone.

Even their packaging is simple and it really called out the small minimalist voice deep inside me.

Kori, their vegan exfoliating face wash contains orange, eucalyptus, and witch hazel to balance and soothe the skin. It has a gel consistency which feels gentle, even with the exfoliating bits it has. It cleanses the skin without leaving it feeling tight but I personally prefer a foaming cleanser to be used every day. I have this one in my office desk for emergencies though.

Their face toner Gösta has witch hazel, chamomile, and rosemary to reduce shine, prevent clogged pores, and refresh the skin. This stung at first but it subsides after a few seconds. It refreshes and cleanses the skin of impurities a cleanser couldn’t remove. This is a bit strong for every day so, I like using this when my skin is acting up.

To moisturize, Kåre contains rosemary, sage, and green tea go protect and moisturize the skin. This is a very straightforward vegan moisturizer. Its only aim is to moisturize the skin. I like that it doesn’t promise to do anything else. True to its claim, this feels like how a typical moisturizer would feel. Personally, I prefer a more hydrating moisturizer that will manage my #oilyskin but this would work to those with normal skin types.

They also have a coffee body polish aptly named Skrub, which comes in three variants – original, coconut, and strawberry. This body scrub promises to exfoliate, nourish, and illuminate the skin.

Strawberry is a favorite because I love strawberries and I’ve never had a strawberry-scented scrub before. It does smooth and exfoliates the skin with the coarse scrubs that amazingly feels gentle on the skin. My only gripe about this though is about how much mess it creates in the shower. It leaves my tiles stained so I need a few minutes to clean up after showering.

They also have a Shaving Kit that contains Oska, the razor handle made of zinc alloy, Osku, the blade razor ( I have mine in Max 5, which are 5 thin platinum-coated blades) that uses the brand’s Glydå roll system to smooth the skin and provide a closer cut, and Danne, a vegan shave gel that has aloe vera to soothe, witch hazel for its antibacterial properties, and orange for an uplifting sensation. I use this to shave my legs and the ergonomic design of the razor makes it easy to remove hair in one shave. Combined with the #shavegel, which feels light on the skin, the shaving process feels smooth and relaxing.

Its minimalist packaging comes with straightforward products that will be enjoyed by someone who wants a no-frills skincare product.

The Gruum Kori, Gösta, Kåre, Skrub, Oska, Osku, Danne were provided by @gruum. Available at gruum.com