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The world of cosmetics is an ever-growing, perpetually expanding empire. New brands appear like mushrooms after a rainstorm, and let’s face it – there’s only so much a girl can take in at once. When I was an undergraduate on exchange in Paris, I had my first taste of cosmetic overload when I set foot into the famous Sephora store on the avenue des Champs-Elysées – flashing lights, beat-thumping music and so many brands on offer that I felt like I had to sit down and take it all in. I left the store stunned and confused by the sheer breadth of brands available, the aggressiveness of each brand’s marketing and advertising campaigns, and generally being unable to figure out what I was looking for.

I love Sephora, but I’m a girl of simpler tastes. Garish, bright campaigns put me off – as does overly fancy packaging that often times detracts from the actual purpose and efficacy of the product itself. I like clean-cut packaging, even better when the products are cleverly named and well-labeled. For all these reasons, I was instantly drawn to philosophy when I first encountered it.

makeup optional skincare set by philosophy - Photo courtesy of philosophy.com

Read on to find out more about what philosophy has to offer!

philosophy is an American-grown brand founded in about 1996, so it’s quite young. Taking a holistic mind-body-spirit approach to their products, philosophy’s founder, Cristina Carlino, decided she would create a range that would “bridge the gap between what was offered in doctors’ offices and retail; so, women everywhere could personally access leading skin care technologies”. Doctors and scientists work together to formulate products that are not only medically-approved but also results-driven, clean and happymaking – what’s not to love about this so far?

SKIN CARE

philosophy - hope in a jar moisturiser - Photo courtesy of philosophy.com

Skin care wise, I have heard rave reviews from friends about their Hope in a Jar moisturiser, which is a light souffle-textured moisturising cream that softens, exfoliates, reduces wrinkles and brightens as it goes. Talk about multi-purpose. And if you want a boosted effect, they also carry the wickedly named When Hope is Not Enough Serum to further combat premature ageing. Personally, as an oily-skinned girl, I am coveting the Never Let Them See You Shine facial scrub, which is smooth thanks to its non-abrasive, diatomaceous earth-based formula and no added oils. I managed to get a whiff of it when I was checking it out in Australia, and it smells divine too. Definite selling point.
FRAGRANCES

philosophy - amazing grace mini fragrance set - Photo courtesy of philosophy.com

As to philosophy’s fragrance range, I am no expert as I’ve never tried philosophy scents myself – however, the tall, polished, graceful journalist-cum-beauty blogger Kahani of So Loverly and Frocking Around fame is a devoted fan of the floral and musk-toned amazing grace.Personally, I love that philosophy scents are packaged so artfully in simple, rectangular glass bottles with a spray nozzle and minimal embellishment. For Kahani’s utterly convincing review of amazing grace, click here!

BATH & BODY CARE

philosophy - the cocktail party 3-piece shower gel gift set - Photo courtesy of philosophy.com

philosophy’s bath and body line is deliciously named, boasting names such as Cinnamon Buns, Strawberry Milkshake, Aloha Colada, Melon Daiquiri and Raspberry Sorbet. They carry a range of shower gels, body exfoliators, hot salt scrubs (very tempting) and body washes. Also available (says their website) are hand and foot pampering treatments, hair care products, hair removal products and body moisturisers. In other words, a whopping range of anything and everything for your self-pampering pleasure.

MAKEUP

philosophy - the coloring book - the supernatural set - Photo courtesy of philosophy.com

Apart from the usual suspects on offer (i.e. compact powder, loose powder, mineral foundation, primer, blusher, eyeliner, etc.), philosophy has two makeup ranges to create specific looks: the blushing, deeply pink-inspired, ultra-feminine color of grace and the subtle, berry-inspired, warm-toned supernatural. I’m a fan of the dusky earthiness and elegance of the supernatural myself, but I can also see many girls falling deeply for the color of grace range, with its bright, cheerful pink hues. philosophy also makes a range of makeup brushes that are worth taking a look at. All their makeup is made on the premise that it’s skin-loving and non-comedogenic. All this is good news for us ladies!

philosophy is not (yet) available in Malaysia or Singapore (as far as I’m aware), but a limited range of philosophy products can be found in Australia. So dear, fortunate Aussie readers, do head down to Mecca Cosmetica at any Myer departmental store and you just might find a product that will pleasantly surprise you! For now, Malaysian and Singaporean readers, let’s keep our fingers crossed  and eyes peeled for its debut on our shores. The philosophy website does ship internationally, but it costs a whopping USD39.95 in shipping and handling costs alone, so it may not be worth it unless you’re planning to buy an inventory’s worth of products. For now, let us smile, sigh, covet and remain patient.

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