I remember when Antipodes first burst onto the blogging scene a couple of years ago, the hype was tremendous. I first heard about the brand through Essiebutton and soon enough, I was seeing universally positive reviews about their products on countless other blogs. Gradually, the continued exposure brought me to a tipping point where I was finally prepared to fork out some cash. Given the price point of the skin care, the Daily Moisturise Kit I bought at the beginning of last year was the ideal introduction. Since then, I've accumulated far more Antipodes products than expected and I've tried enough of the brand to give a general overview.
Divine Face Oil Organic Avocado Oil & Rosehip
I would definitely recommend a good face oil as an essential part of any skin care routine. This one containing avocado, macadamia, rosehip and jojoba oils, along with vitamin E, is a solid pick. Like most Antipodes products, the attractive packaging is undoubtedly a drawcard, though I find the addition of ylang ylang, sandalwood and jasmine essential oil fragrances to give it a bit of a hippie, musty, ever-so-slightly uriney vibe. I usually mix 2-3 drops with my nighttime moisturiser for additional hydration and nourishment. It helps the skin feel and look softer, smoother and better rested in the morning.
Joyous Protein-Rich Night Replenish Serum
Unlike a face oil that I normally combine with a moisturiser, I tend to use this product on its own over freshly cleansed skin before applying my evening cream. It has a pleasant scent of sweet berries though there is a touch of the exotic as well, which I find hard to pinpoint. It's certainly not artificially saccharine, there's a richness/woodiness to it that evokes images of the ingredients being extracted from raw nature. Maybe that's just me. This is a silky, light, hydrating serum that absorbs well and does an excellent job of combating the drying effects of winter.
Reincarnation Pure Facial Exfoliator
Probably the most surprising 'hit' on my list, in that this is not something I'd willingly buy. It's one of the more expensive items by Antipodes at $42 for 75ml. At that price, I'd rather buy an exfoliating toner or mask. I managed to score this as a freebie with the purchase of the Daily Moisturise Kit, an offer I've never seen repeated since. Though it's an extremely gentle exfoliator with tiny beads that barely feel like anything, I really notice the difference when I use it in that my skin is left polished, softer and more receptive to oils/creams afterwards. The texture is so refined despite clay (kaolin) being the second ingredient, but best of all, the subtle sweet orange and cedarwood scent is absolutely divine. By far my favourite fragrance of any Antipodes product, making it a pleasure to use.
GOOD BUT NOT GREAT
Vanilla Pod Hydrating Day Cream
How I feel about this cream largely depends on the weather and how my foundation is cooperating. It's a rich, skin-plumping cream that's better suited for autumn/winter when the skin is craving a bit more moisture. In the summer, it might be too heavy and a disaster for oily skin. The jar packaging gives it a luxurious feel and the texture of the cream is beautifully smooth and easy to work into the skin, provided you don't use too much. It has a lovely botanical, slightly sweet scent that's not too overpowering, though I don't detect much vanilla.
Avocado Pear Nourishing Night Cream
I was super excited to try this for the first time when I purchased the Anti-Ageing Minis set, given this night cream seemed to be one of the star products of the Antipodes range. While it's an effective duo with the Joyous Protein-Rich Night Replenish Serum, I'm not convinced I'd go out and buy the full size on its own. Firstly, the smell is pretty funky. Once again (like with the Divine Face Oil), it's the essential oil fragrances of sandalwood, ylang ylang and this time, patchouli. Not a fan. If I thought the Vanilla Pod Hydrating Day Cream was on the heavy side, this takes it up a notch or two. It's positively greasy, though that's not so much a problem if I'm slapping it on before going to sleep. I don't think it has as refined a texture as the day cream, and as far as night creams go, I prefer both Clarins Multi-Active Night Youth Recovery Cream and Trilogy Rosapene Night Cream.
Aura Manuka Honey Mask
I wanted to love this more than I do since this seems to be one of the most popular products in the Antipodes range. For me, it's more of a disappointment simply because I had such high expectations. Don't get me wrong, it's undoubtedly pleasant in terms of texture, scent and how it feels when it's applied. It's calming, soothing, cooling, and the skin just drinks it up. The only problem is that it doesn't do anything. I've used it a handful of times and each time after washing it off, I'm quietly hopeful that my patience has paid off. No such luck. It does nothing for blemishes. It does no more in improving my skin's texture and/or boosting moisture levels than my regular routine of washing my face, using an exfoliating toner followed by a hydrating one, and applying my serums/creams on top. Nice, but ineffectual.
Juliet Skin-Brightening Gel Cleanser
The only Antipodes product that for me, has been a dud. I know a couple of blogger friends who are fans, but I just couldn't make this work for me. Maybe my bottle was part of a bad batch (I noticed that the liquid in mine is almost transparent, when in other swatches online it's almost an amber colour), but I found this foaming cleanser to be on the drying side which is a huge no-no. After cleansing with it in the morning and patting my face dry with a cloth, within 1-2 minutes, I'd get that slightly tight, uncomfortable feeling of needing to moisturise ASAP. I also simply disliked the scent (it smelled SALTY to me). The 200ml bottle is ginormous given you need a small amount each time, and considering I'm not using it anymore, it's destined to be thrown out 80% full at some point in the future.
Joyful Hand & Body Cream
I received the full 120ml size with a recent Priceline promotion simply by purchasing any Antipodes product. Given the cream itself retails for $34, it was an offer I simply couldn't turn down. Having tried the tester in store, the scent seems to be basically identical to the Joyous Protein-Rich Night Replenish Serum. I would've preferred if it replicated the Reincarnation Pure Facial Exfoliator, but at least it wasn't the Divine Face Oil or Avocado Pear Nourishing Night Cream. I'm sure the product itself is all the things I'd expect in a good quality cream: easily absorbed, non-greasy, nourishing and hydrating. I just need to use up my existing body and hand creams before I get to it ... which might take a while.