Sunday, August 31, 2014

Antipodes: Hits and Misses

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.


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.


  1. Great Review Lena! I definitely back you on Aura Honey Mask. I didn't see much of a difference after using it.. although it was being compared to the Aesop Parsley Seed mask so the poor thing obviously didn't fare well against it but still! I have been using the Night cream on and off and now that the weather here is getting colder it seems to work better. I just it without any other product interfering with it and it seems to work better!

    I missed out on the minis duo, but definitely eyeing eyeing the divine face oil! Sounds like a great face oil.. although I have been so pleased with the Pai Rosehip oil that I see no reason to change! Will wait out for another such mini duo to come out!

    Divya | TheConscienceFund

    1. I'm intrigued by the sound of the Aesop Parlsey Seed mask! Do you recommend it? I was also disappointed by the Aura Honey Mask - I have dehydrated but acne prone skin and my blemishes tripled in number each morning after using this mask! I love the idea of it and the texture is lovely, but it definitely does not treat blemishes :( xo

  2. Really great overview! So far I've only tried one thing from Antipodes - the Vanilla pod day cream and I am really loving it in the recent Winter weather. I have a feeling it might be a bit too heavy in Summer though. I have the Divine Face Oil waiting in my stores so I'm super excited to use that one!

    Tasha // shiwashiful.

  3. The exfoliator sounds like a good'un, I hadn't thought to try it but definitely sounds like a gentle and effective option... I absolutely LOVE the Joyful hand+body cream, it definitely has all those elements involved in a good hand cream :)

    Angie ||

  4. I've tried so far only their cleansing balm and night cream - so far I'm in love, especially with the balm. I need to try their brightening serum for my freckles :)
    Really nice post, made me rethink some of their products.

  5. Uhhh love it <3
    From them the one products that I really want to try is the mask , not only because everyone talks about it but because I'm a sucker for face masks.
    Saly we don't have Antipodes here, it's a bit har to get anything from them :/
    Take care*

  6. Great post! I have been thinking about trying these products

  7. This was an incredibly useful post, thank you. Like yourself I liked the Manuka Honey Mask however was left feeling a little flat as I had the impression that it was supposed to be this amazing product. It's nice don't get me wrong but I don't think it warranted the hype it received, maybe it just didn't work for me.
    Amy x | A Little Boat Sailing

  8. I've never tried any antipodes products and although I'd always make my own mind up, posts like these are so useful when trying to make a purchase. Especially if you can't easily get to a store to try out samples. Thanks! Love Tori x

  9. Thank you for this post, it's great for future reference! I've found I can have access to this brand even if I have to go to another city, but since I'm interested in trying something from them it's good to be able to really see what's worth trying and what maybe not! ;) xx

    Gyudy’s Notes Of Beauty

  10. It's so good to hear that someone else feels the same way about the Aura Manuka Honey Mask! I was so excited to try it out and then was confused, had I missed something? So it's refreshing to hear that others are having the same problems... I also agree about the fragrance of the Divine Face Oil, it feels lovely but the smell is rather off putting. Wonderful reviews, thank you!

    Ash //

  11. I'm glad I've read this because I've been weighing up some Antipodes products lately and I just didn't even know where to start. A lot of the "meh" ones you mentioned are ones I was looking at, so I was glad to see a review on them that was a rave.

  12. Oh no, I have just bought the Pear cream, three days back :( and I was actually looking for such a post but couldn't find any :(

  13. I'm surprised to hear about the Aura mask not being amazing- the manuka honey is supposed to do SOMETHING, right... I love your reviews, so comprehensive and helpful. I've played around with the Reincarnation exfoliant and it's so fine, but not worth paying the money. I reckon your Juliet might have been a dud. But at their prices, while affordable and within reach, it's not worth buying something again on the off chance that you just might like it if you gave it another go.

    1. And I was SO tempted by the Joyful hand cream but I wished it was something else instead of a hand cream to really reel me in.

  14. This is basically the blog post I've been waiting for all year! Thank you so much for this - I've been wanting to try out some Antipodes products for ages but I never knew where to start. This is a fantastically clear post and I'm bookmarking it for later!

    Owl Girl | A London lifestyle blog

  15. An interesting review! I love brand summaries, they're incredibly helpful. This is a brand I want to dig into a little more, and this is a great heads up! <3

  16. This is a really helpful post. I have been looking into trying Antipodes products for a while now.
    Face oil looks like something I might be trying.

    Kah-Feh Yen

  17. Very very interesting range *0*

    I'll check them out!!

    恵美より ♥

  18. The Divine Oil sounds really wonderful, I have a couple of oils I love at the moment but once I've used them up I might be tempted to try this one! xo

  19. Which one would you personally reccomend for a guy with an oily and acne prone skin? In what price range are they? Thanks for the info!

    Adrian FS.

  20. I have only tried a few things from Antipodes - the Kiwi Seed eye cream, Aura Manuka Honey mask and the Juliet Cleanser. I really like their eye cream, wasn't a fan of the mask and I liked the first half of the cleanser (it went off relatively quickly).

    Laura | Breton & Blush

  21. I absolutely love the Antipodes Lime & Pachouli Cream Cleanser. It's a creamy, but not too thick, cleanser that's both purifying and nourishing. I have combination, dehydrated and acne-prone skin and this worked miracles on my severe acne, I love it to pieces!

    Jimmy |

  22. I was planning on buying the aura mask.. and was doubtful anyway..
    can you recommend a mask you really love?

    1. I love the Sukin Purifying Facial Masque! It's so soothing and calming and great for taming blemishes and irritated skin too.

  23. I've tried the facial day moisturiser I think it's called rejuvenate or something but I found it incredibly thick and sticky! I have however tried testers for their hand creams and stuff which are nice:)!

  24. I got the mini moisture kit, and loved the Divine Face Oil. Trying something else at the moment, but might go back to it. I'm still getting through the Vanilla Pod cream, and I've gotta say that I detest the smell. I expected botanical + the sweetness of vanilla, but it smells like soap to me. Really shitty soap. Ugh. Decent product though. x

  25. Miss: Juliet Skin-Brightening Gel Cleanser. Dang, I just bought that one haha.

    Tegan | Beauty Challenged

  26. Great post and very helpful reviews! I recently tried a 10mL sample size of their Skin-brightening Serum and I loved it. I also love facial oils and recently purchased their Avocado & Rosehip Oil but I haven't started using it yet. I must get it out and give it a go soon.


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