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Flower and Spice Review (Cruelty Free, Vegan)

I recently sent out a tweet about collaborating with natural makeup companies and was a little surprised when the PR lady for Flower and Spice approached me. At first, I was slightly disappointed, not another skincare brand, I thought. I was on the hunt for the latest and greatest in green makeup, and besides, how many more amazing natural skincare brands could actually be out there? Surely they’re all the same? Well, after reading into the company I realised that possibly I was just a little bit wrong… okay, I was A LOT wrong. The more I read, the more excited I got – cooking spices like coriander and fennel were infusing these wonderful luxury skincare products and with ingredients so pure it wouldn’t matter if I ate them. I could almost smell the beautiful aromas… so, naturally, I got back in touch and agreed to review the range. I mean what fool wouldn’t? Flower and Spice have even provided you lovely lot with a 15% off discount code – just enter ‘GREEN15’ at the checkout.

About Flower and Spice

Flower and Spice Modern Apothecary was founded by Slovenia born, Karmen Novak – a self-professed science enthusiast and art lover. Karmen worked across a wide range of careers such as photography, video production, and marketing – she even created an online fashion store at the young age of 25. But these high-stress jobs left Karmen craving a lifestyle of her youth; a calm, green environment surrounded by flowers, herbs, and spices.

She began to research into the benefits of essential oils made from her favourite culinary spices and discovered that her inkling had been correct the whole time, that they were, in fact, beneficial to the skin.

Karmen went on to study at the UK-based Formula Botanica – a top accredited Organic Cosmetic Science School. It was there that she truly fell in love with the beauty of natural skincare. Karmen was first hand experiencing the benefits of using organic formulations on her skin and alongside her passion for cooking with world spices her passion grew. She often pondered whilst she cooking with these spices – if they were so potent to the taste buds, could they maybe benefit the skin too? She began to research into the benefits of essential oils made from her favourite culinary spices and discovered that her inkling had been correct the whole time, that they were, in fact, beneficial to the skin. Karmen started to experiment with different botanicals and created her first real shelf worthy product – Midnight Beauty – now her best selling product – this successful serum was the final push that made her launch Flower and Spice.

All Flower and Spice products are vegan, 100% natural, and organic. Although Karmen hand formulates the products in The Netherlands they are manufactured in a 2nd generation family business and natural skincare lab in Switzerland. They were certified with the ‘Certified Sustainable Economics Standard (CSE)’ in 2012 for their ethical, ecological, and economic excellence – they even recycle their water that’s used for cleaning. They’re also certified under NaTrue, EcoCert, and BdiH. Though none of the ingredients contain gluten it cannot be assured that the facility in Switzerland that manufactures the products doesn’t use gluten so for severe allergy sufferers it’s best to stay safe. If you’d like to read more about where Flower and Spice sources their ingredients and their ethos click here.

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Flower and Spice Instant Glow Calming Exfoliator (120ml), €85.00

The Instant Glow exfoliator is designed to reveal your inner radiance. It uses a 2-step exfoliation process; bamboo buds slough away dead skin cells whilst AHA fruit acids enzymatically exfoliate leaving younger looking skin and smaller pores. The formula is creamy and moisturising and is infused with lavender and fennel seed essential oils to increase circulation and improve the overall tone of the skin.

The Ingredients

So, you already know you don’t need to worry about what’s on the label, instead, you can marvel and the delicious ingredients list and learn more about what these ingredients can do for your skin. So, let’s take a look:

Foeniculum Vulgare (Fennel) Water, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Flower Water *, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter*, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil*, Cocoglucoside, Glycerin, Cetearyl Alcohol, Bambusa Arundinacea (Bamboo) Stem Powder, Cetearyl Glucoside, Isoamyl Laurate, Alcohol, Aqua, Vaccinium Myrtillus (Blueberry) Fruit/Leaf Extract, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil*, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Bitter Orange) Fruit Extract, Citrus Limon (Lemon) Fruit Extract, Citric Acid, Levulinic Acid, Acer Saccharum (Sugar Maple) Extract, Sodium Stearoyl Glutamate, Foeniculum Vulgare (Fennel) Fruit Oil*, Saccharum Officinarum (Sugar Cane) Extract, Xanthan Gum, Tocopherol (Vitamin E)*, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil*, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate, Sodium Levulinate, Limonene, Linalool

*Certified organic ingredient

So, let’s break down some of my favourite ingredients a little further:

  • Bamboo Stem Powder – Bamboo stem powder exfoliates the skin gently without causing any micro tears. Bamboo itself contains various compounds such as amino acids, flavones, glycosides, and phenolic acids. All of these compounds provide the skin with an antioxidant boost and soothe the skin. This has even been found to lessen the appearance of uneven skin tone. It also acts as a great astringent making it perfect for oily skins too.
  • Sugarcane Extract – Sugarcane is the main source of AHA (alpha hydroxy acids ) fruit acids. These help to increase skin cell production and remove blocked pores by exfoliating the skin, thinning down the dead skin cells and removing them layer by layer. It’s a really gentle way to exfoliate.
  • Grape Seed Oil – Contains the plant compound proanthocyanidins also known as OPCs. These are super powerful antioxidants that contain 50 x the antioxidant power of vitamin C and 20 x that of vitamin E.  This makes it a great component for protection against the ageing process and sun damage.
  • Fennel Water – Fennel is great for ridding the skin of dirt, excess sebum, and germs as it possesses antiseptic, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties making it perfect for acne prone skin. It’s also a fab toner and helps to tighten pores and firm the skin.
  • Lavender Flower Water – Lavender is great for calming the skin but also possesses anti-bacterial properties to help kill off bad bacteria living on the skin. Much like fennel lavender helps to tone the skin. It’s also perfect for all skin types.

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The Verdict

I was feeling a little apprehensive at just the thought of using an exfoliator, in the past, they’ve all been super grainy and so harsh that I just feel like I’m scratching my live skin off rather than doing my skin any good. I haven’t reached for an exfoliator in over a year – I’ve pretty much just stuck to clay and muslin cloths for that job. When I first opened the jar I was pleasantly surprised at how creamy the Instant Glow exfoliator looked – it looked more like a thick night cream than anything else and the sweet scent of fennel was such an uplifting experience. There’s a lot of nostalgia for me when it comes to fennel – I used to go to an amazing Indian restaurant as a kid and they’d always bring you a tray of colourful sugar-coated fennel seeds to eat after you’d finished your dinner. They were delicious and that same gourmand scent turns this exfoliator into an olfactory dessert that you won’t ever be able to forget.

I was pleasantly surprised at how creamy the Instant Glow exfoliator looked – it looked more like a thick night cream than anything else and the sweet scent of fennel was such an uplifting experience.

Upon application, you feel a slight scrubbing sensation but it’s lessened by a gorgeous moisturising experience thanks to the jojoba oil and shea butter. Even after scrubbing quite hard I wasn’t left with any redness on my skin, the cream melted in and the AHAs did their magic whilst I waited a minute or so to wash the whole thing off. What was I left with? Baby smooth skin… Like smooth as a little babas butt. Honestly, this has to be the best exfoliator I have ever used in my life. It doesn’t quite remove all the gunk from my pores like a clay mask does, although it was pretty close, it definitely leaves my skin looking rejuvenated, plump, and refreshed which I don’t feel clays can do. I’ve been using this twice a week now and have found that it really helps when applying my foundation – if you’re into green makeup you’ll probably know that some foundations can show up literally any small tiny flakes of dry skin. This exfoliator has helped to lessen that by far. One thing that I’ve found that it helps the most with is minimising the look of my melasma on my forehead which has taken a turn for the worst this summer. That was definitely a pleasant surprise.

Would I buy this again? 100% yes – even though the price tag is quite high it’s well worth it as this isn’t something you use daily and you literally need a generous finger dab for one application. 120ml would go very far – the product has a 6-month lifespan from opening and it would take you about that long to use the whole jar. So, when you think about it from that angle it’s pretty darn cheap!

If you’d like to get your hands on the amazing Flower and Spice Instant Glow you can pick it up directly from the Flower and Spice website for €85.00 which is roughly £75.00. There’s also a subscribe and save option that saves you over £7.50 which isn’t too bad! For those of you on a budget, I’d really recommend that you pick up the Sample Set for €15.90 (about £14.00) which contains 5ml samples of all 3 products in the range.  Don’t forget to enter ‘GREEN15’ at the checkout for 15% off your order.

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Flower and Spice Midnight Beauty Rich Revitalising Serum (30ml), €105.00

The Midnight Beauty Rich Revitalising Serum is Flower and Spice’s hero product and best seller, every review is 5-star rated and it’s really easy to see why. A combination of 10 super skin nourishing oils such as; prickly pear, evening primrose, jojoba, argan, sacha inchi, apricot kernel, and macadamia, the list just goes on. All infused with rose otto and coriander essential oils for a calming, collagen boosting, and skin balancing experience.

The Ingredients

Much like the Instant Glow Exfoliator, Midnight Beauty is packed full of 100% edible and nourishing ingredients, let’s take a little look at the full list and then break them down as we did before:

Opuntia Ficus-Indica (Prickly Pear) Seed Oil*, Oenothera Biennis (Evening Primrose) Oil *, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil*, Argania Spinosa (Argan) Kernel Oil*, Plukenetia Volubilis (Sacha Inchi) Seed Oil*, Prunus Armeniaca (Apricot) Kernel Oil*, Prunus Domestica (Plum) Seed Oil*, Macadamia Integrifolia Seed Oil*, Tocopherol (Vitamin E)*, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil*, Coriandrum Sativum (Coriander) Seed Oil*, Citrus Aurantium Bergamia FCF – non-phototoxic (Bergamot) Peel Oil* Parfum (White Rose Natural Composition), Rosa Damascena (Rose) Flower Oil, Geraniol, Citronellol, Limonene, Linalool, Citral, Farnesol, Eugenol

*Certified organic ingredients

  • Prickly Pear Seed Oil – Prickly Pear Seed is rich in vitamin K and is well known for brightening the under eye are and reducing hyperpigmentation – making this ideal for melasma and sun damaged skin. The high levels of linoleic and oleic acids replenish the skin’s lost lipids helping to restore its elasticity.
  • Evening Primrose Oil – Although it’s commonly associated with relieving women’s problems, evening primrose oil is actually pretty amazing for the skin. It’s packed full of omega-6 fatty acids and is great for treating eczema, psoriasis, and acne making it perfect for almost any skin type.
  • Sacha Inchi Seed Oil – This is so great for combatting environmental stressors as it’s really antioxidant rich. Again the high linoleic acid content helps to treat oily skin and clogged pores and even out skin tone. My favourite thing about sacha inchi is that it is absolutely packed with omega-3 fatty acids which boost hydration and prevent the ageing process making it a great oil for mature or hormonal skins.
  • Rose Otto Essential Oil – Rose Otto is a super expensive essential oil as it’s essentially steam distilled rose oil rather than solvent extracted. It adds a big touch of luxury to any product and is fab for helping acne or rosacea-prone skin due to its anti-bacterial properties. It’s also antioxidant rich and very moisturising so definitely one for more mature skin types. If Cleopatra was a fan then so am I!
  • Coriander Seed Essential Oil – When I think of coriander seed I think of curries and using it as a digestive aid. I would never have thought it would help in the skincare department at all. It has a spicy, sort of woody scent that’s complemented by the citrus and rose oils. It has energising and stimulating effects on the skin, warming the muscles and toning. It’s also a great anti-inflammatory, easing any irritation.

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The Verdict

At first, I was a little dubious about the whole coriander thang in a skincare product, but I have to say, I’m usually the one coming up with crazy combos like that and rather than leaving you smelling curry like it lingers a gorgeously deep woody scent on the skin that is softened and sweetened by the rose. The two work so well together it’s pretty darn crazy – think of Turkish delight with a more gourmet and exotic upgrade. Karmen – you’re a genius!

Unlike most serums, it doesn’t leave you feeling greasy or tacky just soft and supple and mega hydrated. The texture of the skin definitely becomes more refined and looks incredibly radiant after application, lessening the appearance of fine lines on the face.

The formulation of the product is a slightly thick oil that instantly melts into the skin and absorbs. Unlike most serums, it doesn’t leave you feeling greasy or tacky just soft and supple and mega hydrated. The texture of the skin definitely becomes more refined and looks incredibly radiant after application, lessening the appearance of fine lines on the face. Over the past few weeks of using the Midnight Beauty serum, I have noticed my skin improving in elasticity more than anything. My foundation has been gliding on, and I feel really confident when going make up free. Just like the Instant Glow the experience isn’t just limited to the skin, it’s a dose of aromatherapy – clearing your mind and preparing you for what the day has to offer and what will come the next morning. It’s very calming.

Out of the 3 products, this one is definitely my favourite, if I could only purchase one it would be Midnight Beauty. I can use it after I’ve derma rolled, I can prep my skin before applying my makeup, and I can treat myself to a luscious olfactory experience. For me, skincare is very much about ritual, and this is like connecting yourself with nature in the comfort of your own home. Yes, it’s pricey but it’s perfect. It has a shelf life of 12 months so, think of it as an investment in your overall wellbeing and it won’t seem so bad.

If you’d like to get your hands on the amazing Flower and Spice Midnight Beauty Rich Revitalising Serum you can pick it up directly from the Flower and Spice website for €105.00 which is roughly £93. There’s also a subscribe and save option that saves you over £9 which isn’t too bad! Don’t forget to enter ‘GREEN15’ at the checkout for 15% off your order.

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Flower and Spice Soothe and Repair Daily Moisturiser (60ml), €72.00

The Soothe and Repair Daily Moisturiser is the cheapest of the 3 products, but certainly not a weak product. This face cream is packed full of antioxidant-rich and soothing ingredients such as prickly pear oil, oat extract, and aloe vera making it the ideal day and night cream for all skin types but certainly great for sensitive, dry, or mature skin.

The Ingredients

Although it includes some really similar ingredients to the Midnight Beauty serum it has some added extras like shea butter, aloe vera leaf juice, and of course Swiss mountain spring water which sounds pretty refreshing and skin quenchingly hydrating. Let’s take a look at the full list and then break down some ingredients we haven’t looked at yet:

Aqua (Swiss Mountain Spring Water), Rosa Damascena Flower Water*, Prunus Armeniaca (Apricot) Kernel Oil*, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil* , Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter*, Opuntia Ficus-Indica (Prickly Pear) Seed Oil*, Cetearyl Alcohol, Cetearyl Glucoside, Glycerin, Avena Sativa Kernel (Oat) Extract*, Alcohol, Isoamyl Laurate, Tocopherol (Vitamin E)*, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil*, Xanthan Gum, Sodium Stearoyl Glutamate, Chondrus Crispus, Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera) Leaf Juice*, Citrus Aurantium Bergamia FCF – non-phototoxic (Bergamot) Peel Oil*, Coriandrum Sativum (Coriander) Seed Oil*, Sodium Levulinate, Parfum (White Rose Natural Composition), Rosmarinus Officinalis Leaf Extract, Rosa Damascena (Rose) Flower Oil, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate, Ascorbic Acid, Citric Acid, Geraniol, Citronellol, Citral, Linalool, Limonene

*Certified organic ingredient

  • Apricot Kernel Oil – Apricot kernel oil is packed with unsaturated fatty acids such as oleic and linoleic acid. It is also high in vitamins A, C, E, and K. This is a light oil that doesn’t leave a greasy feel making it perfect for a moisturiser, it’s also great for firming and toning skin as well as treating inflammatory skin conditions such as eczema.
  • Aloe Vera Leaf Juice – Aloe vera is full of antioxidants such as; beta-carotene and vitamins C and E which help to improve the skin’s natural firmness and keep it well hydrated. It can also help to soothe skin and reduce any inflammation or itchiness making it great for acne or eczema prone skin.
  • Shea Butter – Shea butter is another fantastic natural moisturiser that’s rich in fatty acids and vitamins E and K. It’s great for combating oxidative stress making it perfect for protecting your skin against UV rays, the elements, and pollution. It’s one of my anti-ageing faves.
  • Oat Extract – Oat extract is perfect for ultra-sensitive skins as it possesses anti-pruritic properties meaning it helps to battle itching and inflammation, it’s also anti-fungal too. It’s perfect for dry and flaky skin but also battles the ageing process by protecting your skin from UV rays and pollution.
  • Bergamot Peel Essential Oil – Bergamot oil helps to tone the skin and balance out the skin’s natural oils making it perfect for oily or acne prone skin. It’s often used to help unclog pores so if you’re acne prone don’t worry about this cream breaking you out!

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The Verdict

The Soothe and Repair Daily Moisturiser is a breath of fresh air, quite literally, it has a much fresher scent than the Midnight Beauty serum and the essential oils refresh your senses leaving you feeling calm and alert. The cream itself feels slightly thicker than a regular day cream but still a little lighter than a night cream, not to say that it isn’t as luscious as a night cream because it really is. I’ve been using it daily as both a day and night cream with amazing results.

I never hit my daily water intake, I’m always on the go and with kids, it’s sometimes hard to prioritise things like this, so as a result my skin can become a little parched and my fine lines are more prominent. After using the Soothe and Repair Daily Moisturiser my skin is definitely a lot more hydrated and my fine lines are less visible because of this.

I have a little confession to make – I never hit my daily water intake, I’m always on the go and with kids, it’s sometimes hard to prioritise things like this, so as a result my skin can become a little parched and my fine lines are more prominent. After using the Soothe and Repair Daily Moisturiser my skin is definitely a lot more hydrated and my fine lines are less visible because of this.

One thing I usually struggle with when it comes to natural moisturisers is that they leave me super oily after or just dry and undernourished but this seems to get the balance right and soaks right in within a few minutes of the application making it much easier for my daily makeup to hold on and last throughout the day. It’s not my favourite out of the 3 products, not because it isn’t as good performance wise, it’s just not a revolutionary as the others. I’d definitely purchase it again and as a little goes a long way I could definitely get 2 months of use out a pot, maybe 3 at a squeeze, making it really good value for money. It has a 6-month shelf life too so if you only want to save it to use just as a night cream it will last long enough.

If you’d like to purchase the wonderful Flower and Spice Soothe and Repair Daily Moisturiser you can pick it up directly from the Flower and Spice website for €72.00 which is roughly £64. Again there’s a subscribe and save option saving you 10% (about £6) which is always handy! Don’t forget to enter ‘GREEN15’ at the checkout for 15% off your order.

My Overall Thoughts

If you didn’t make your way through the full review and scrolled to the bottom shame on you! (Joking!) In a nutshell, Flower and Spice is an amazing ethical and high-quality natural skincare company and I think I’ve pretty much found my staple products for the rest of my life – and no that wasn’t a joke. The products are unique and well thought out – from the consistency, scent, absorption rate, composition/formulation, and packaging. There wasn’t anything I disliked about these products or would want to change. I think if you can afford to buy the full range then go for it, but if you want just one product that will up your beauty regime game I’d say go for the Midnight Beauty serum as it lasts for a long time and it’s seriously effective. If you can’t afford that get yourself in a sample kit for a little, well-deserved taste of luxury, and with Christmas not too far it would certainly make an amazing stocking filler. I gave my 13-year-old daughter some samples of the exfoliator and moisturiser and she loved the scent and textures so much that I’ll probably be getting her some more in the near future.

Karmen is an amazing entrepreneur and I feel lucky to be able to have had some wonderful conversations with her about food, natural beauty, and of course her company. She’s a really humble character that’s confident in her abilities and just wants to bring a little taste of nature back to those of us stuck in a busy modern society. I see a lot of myself in Karmen and it’s been an honour to get to know her a little and try her beautiful product range. Thank you Karmen <3

Be sure to check out my latest reviews here and to keep up to date with my blog posts and delicious recipes be sure to sign up for my newsletter.

DISCLAIMER: Please note that this is NOT a sponsored post. I was sent products by the Flower and Spice PR team for my own personal use and to write a review if I wished. All opinions are my own and 100% honest.  If you buy anything from the Flower and Spice website I will not be at any personal gain. If you’d like to know more, feel free to contact me.

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