As a teenager flipping through Teen Vogue in the mid-2000's, I was drawn like a moth to a flame to brands not available in New Zealand. There was something mysterious. Just out of reach. If a product that had acquired cult status but could only be bought if someone you knew was travelling overseas, you knew it had to be good (this is pre-widespread-internet-shopping, Y'all).
As such, I found myself as stocking up on products whenever I travelled or dreaming about trying them. Whether it was buying a jar of Benefit’s Benetint on a school trip and then screaming at my brother when he accidentally bumped it and half of it went down the sink, hoarding my Fresh eyeshadow from a two year past holiday so I didn’t use it up too quickly or dreaming of the day I’d be able to get my own bottle of Kiehl's Creme De Corps, the legendary body moisturiser beauty editors talked about with the reverence only beauty icons acquire, it is safe to say my obsession with that which was not easily available haunted me like a bad fake tan.
When Kiehl's finally came to Kirkaldies in the late 2010’s I was thrilled. Now, finally, we had joined the future! I splashed out and bought Matt a men’s Christmas pack as my first ever-present for him, breaking the bank (on a first-year lawyer salary). Sadly, Kirkaldies closed and became David Jones. Kiehl's, tragically, did not return. Wellington women mourned the loss, weeping salty tears into their tub of Ultra-Facial Cream. We wondered, ‘Whhhhy!?'
Now it's back. Kiehl's has its own concession in Farmers which opened last week in Lambton Quay. Being a gal attracted to minimalist, authentic brands with a history, Kiehl's is somewhere I’m excited to have in Wellington and looking forward to adding to my pampering regime.
Started in New York, Kiehl’s began as a homoeopathic pharmacy located at 3rd Avenue and 13th Street in the East Village of New York City. In 1921, Irving Morse, a former apprentice and Russian Jewish émigré who had studied pharmacology at Columbia University, purchased the store. Morse was involved in the development of many Kiehl's products that are still popular today, including Blue Astringent Herbal Lotion and Creme de Corps. Designed to reflect the Kiehl's aesthetic, right down to the obligatory skeleton of Mr Bones, the counter space feels like an apothecary.
With so many new products, I thought I’d share what I’m loving from the shelves. I should mention I’ve been fortunate enough to receive these products from Kiehl's as a blogger, but as usual, all opinions are my own.
1. Now you C me
I’ve been recently trying to educate myself about serums and concentrates as I look headlong towards thirty (which I will be by October 2019 - euuuugh). Having listened to the wisdom of Caroline Hirons and Nadine Baggot (experts in skin care you all should know), I know that I need some extra help and hydration, but probably am not at the stage where I need retinol).
Kiehl's Powerful Vitamin C Concentrate is a great place to start. Vitamin C works as an anti-oxidant to neutralise skin-damaging free radicals which you basically come into contact with all day long. With 12.5% vitamin c and Hyaluronic Acid (which can hold many times its own weight in water), this cream is like drinking a glass of orange juice for your skin. Since using this for the last two months, in conjunction with Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair in the evenings and my usual Margaret Hema regime (sans the day cream which I am just introducing again as it as getting a little bit colder) I have had some of the best skin I’ve ever had in a long while. Co-incidence? I think not It feels a little bit warm when it goes on, like those old school self-heating face masks you’d get from a packet, and I love it!
2. Creme Me Up Buttercup
The butteriness of Creme De Corps cannot be overstated. Receiving a lovely big bottle of this over Christmas reminded me that I don’t just have skin on my face. The rest of my body needs to start being looked after as well - and why would you want dry thighs and bum if your face is super-hydrated (did that create a mental image for you? Lovely). Creme De Corps smells so, so good, like a giant thick milky vanilla pudding that you slather all over your limbs from top to toe. The scent is quite neutral which means I can share it with Matt and also not be worried about it overwhelming me with the smell. A special shout out to the gorgeous butter sticks that Kiehl's also do - love me a good lip balm and I am rarely without this fab twist stick which has a pinky tone and glides on like…well…butter.
In Summer, I reached for this cream almost every day. I needed something that wouldn’t just melt off my face as soon as I applied it. This fast-absorbing moisturiser fitted the bill precisely. Excellent on very dry, flaky or sensitive skins. The gentle tightening effect from a rich, cosseting cream is divine. While I’ll be also using my Margaret Hema Day Cream as the days get colder, this is a perfect addition to your moisture library.
4. Oil be there!
I saved the best til last (wait, except for the Kiehl's powerful-strength line-reducing concentrate - or is it this? Now I’m confused!!). I simply adore this hydrating Shower Oil and Body Oil duo. Like a gorgeous oily healthy cereal for your skin. I love me an oil (as evidenced by my skincare picks) and this is lavishly soothing, smooth and perfect to wash myself silly with. It feels like a true treat in my shower. The dry oil has a sweet vanilla-almond scent. I like it. I bet you will too.