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Personal care

Our favourite products—Tracey’s March 2021 edition

Photography by Tracey Creed
Assisted by Amandine Paniagua
Words by Tracey Creed


Published May 3 2021

Welcome Our Favourite Products, a monthly feature of the products keeping our skin glowing, mood lifted and health high. It's a combination of the new things we've tried over the previous month and historic repeat purchases that we think you might love too. And as part of our editorial policy, every product we write about is vegan, cruelty-free and 100% natural and where possible organic. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the idea of incorporating clean beauty and wellness products into your daily routine — or even finding them, we hope you find the following helpful. And as a reminder, a constant favourite of mine — clean filtered water. Drink it frequently, daily. Here's what I'm loving this month:

Hands. The focus of 2020 — washing, scrubbing and sanitising, and for many of us attempting at home manicures. For the longest time, I have not worn jewellery and for me, lacquered nails are an opportunity for adorning the hand. Perhaps it is childhood memories of my mother’s hands, she always wore long nails, natural and maintained by a technician, painted red and pink. Mostly red. What follows are essentials for well maintained hands and nails.

sundays Base and Top Coat

DIYing a fresh manicure is completely manageable, weekly shaping and buffing — an application of base and top coat is virtually impossible to mess up. Many people overlook the base coat. Think it is another product and unnecessary but it holds on to the nail, manages any staining and leaves a strong foundation so the polish adheres to your nail properly. I’m currently using sundays B.01 which is excellent because one, the brush but also when used in tandem with the T. 01 [also available as a set] provides a glowy finish for the equivalent of a ‘no makeup’ makeup look. The Top Coat seals your polish, or Base Coat if that is all you’re committing to, and lasts for the better part of a week. And both are quick drying — because no one has time to sit for 20 minutes and wait for polish to set. Made in the USA, sundays formulations are 10-free, cruelty free and vegan.

Mecca Cosmetica Nourishing Hand Cream

Manicured hands are moisturised hands and I always have a tube near. This one from Mecca Cosmetica I received as a birthday gift, and it smells amazing — like smoke, tobacco and juniper berries. It’s thick but sinks in leaving your phone screen devoid of oily fingerprints and also lasts for a few hours, which is rare. We often associate Hyaluronic Acid with cherub skin. Imagine what it could do for tired hands? The molecule retains up to a thousand times its own weight in water to moisturise, prevent water loss and boost skin's elasticity. Read, ageless hands, while antioxidant rich Avocado Oil provides long-lasting hydration. Even if time is limited, keep your hand cream near your bedside so you can slather it on at night. This is the self care ritual you can commit to.

Aesop Resurrection Rinse-Free Hand Wash

Otherwise known as hand sanitiser. It does not smell of alcohol, rather it is citrus, woody, herbaceous with notes of Mandarin Rind, Cedar Atlas and Rosemary Leaf. This hand sanitiser also incorporates caster oil into its formula to moisturise while you disinfect. Post pandemic I’ve continued to keep Aesop’s perfect, pocket-sized rinse-free hand wash in my bag. Truthfully I am kind of lazy and so when I return home, this option is quicker than actually washing my hands with water. Also Auckland has a water shortage so I am doing my part.

Bangn Body Smooth Skin Scrub

Exfoliation has the same benefits for the hands as for the face and rest of your body — glow and a smoother, more even texture. Exfoliating is a non negotiable for me, I’m super prone to ingrown hairs so that’s an essential in my routine. Bangn Body isn’t all Instagram hype. Post shower, your skin isn’t oily, so the softness your skin feels is the way it really is. It is just so amazing. And that sold me instantly. That and the fact it is formulated from plant-based ingredients like Sunflower, Avocado and Jojoba Oil; is cruelty-free and vegan.

I also love a multitasker and the texture of the Bangn Body Smooth Skin Scrub is one of its main benefits — it’s extra smooth and gentle. So ideal for face and hands. Arabica Coffee Seeds and Australian White Kaolin Clay remove dead skin cells to smooth and prep your skin for following products. I use a Sasawashi Deep Exfoliating Body Scrub Mitt for my body, my hands to exfoliate my face and hands. One of the problems I had previously with scrubs is that I always feel like there was oil left on the shower floor after I’ve showered which is ultra dangerous. It doesn’t feel as though I’m clogging the plumbing either.

Everything we create is an effort to participate in a culture shift. All products featured are independently selected and curated by the authors, and we only feature items we use or would use ourselves that align with our values. As part of our business model, we do work with affiliates such as Amazon. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases if you decide to purchase through our links. The price would be the same to you either way, but if you find value in our work, then these affiliate links are a way to support it. We only recommend brands, makers and products we use — that we support. Transparency is important to us, so if you have any questions, please reach out to us.

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