Kora Organics Turmeric Brightening & Exfoliating Mask Review

My love affair with Miranda Kerr’s Kora Organics continues, they seem to come out with very good and eco conscious mid-range products a lot. I’ve previously reviewed their Moisturizer and Luminizers, please check out the posts if you’re curious. Today’s product is a bit strange one as I think you’d either love or hate it..

*Product gifted for consideration, post contains ad links to support the blog.

 Copyright Laura Loukola

Kora Organics Turmeric Brightening and Exfoliating Mask

Kora’s Turmeric mask is a two-in-one exfoliating facial treatment to promote brightening look and cell turnover. It combines enzymatic exfoliation with manual scrub with rosehip seeds and quartz. Continuous use of the mask promises to help with discoloration, pigmentation as well as congestion. €49.9 for 100ml. Vegan product, comes in a golden squeeze tube. Available at Kora Organics, Jolie and Kicks.

Kora Organics Turmeric Brightening & Exfoliating Mask Review | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

Using Kora Organics Turmeric Mask

Up: Me and baby Cara

Some websites that sell this product do suggest regular using of 2-3 times per week. Personally I think that’s too much as this mask is pretty abrasive. The packaging also says “All Skin Types”, which I certainly disagree No matter how natural the exfoliating particles are - they can still be sharp and strong. This mask reminds me a lot of the Yon-Ka Guarana Scrub (review) I reviewed last Summer, but with an added kick. I don’t have a very sensitive skin, but I can’t put strong enough emphasis on the fact it is strong - scent-wise as well. The peppermint scent can be invigorating and cooling to some, but a big turn-off if you’re sensitive or prone to redness.

The texture of the mask is pretty fluid and feels cooling on the skin. I wouldn’t answer the door while wearing it as the “baby puke” color from the turmeric isn’t too attractive. I apply the mask on dampened skin, let it sit about five to ten minutes and gently rinse without too much rubbing or tugging. The feel is very refreshing, clean but not tight, which I like a lot.

If I want just a chemical exfoliant mask or more gentle physical one, I reach for Evolve masks. They’re also very good price-wise. I reach for Kora if I don’t have the time to do multiple steps, but want a clean and refreshed look with one product, miss manual exfoliation or want a mental pick-me-up with the strong peppermint scent.

Ingredients

Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera) Leaf Juice*, Quartz, Rosa Canina (Rose Hip) Seed Powder*, Maranta Arundinacea (Arrowroot) Root Powder*, Lactobacillus Ferment, Bambusa Arundinacea Stem Powder, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Powder*, Glycerin^, Cetearyl Alcohol, Benzyl Alcohol, Rosa Canina (Rose Hip) Fruit Oil*, Carica Papaya (Papaya) Fruit Extract*, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Wax, Populus Tremuloides Bark Extract, Lactobacillus, Morinda Citrifolia (Noni) Fruit Powder*, Sclerotium Gum, Curcuma Longa (Turmeric) Root Powder*, Sodium Stearoyl Glutamate, Cetearyl Glucoside, Juniperus Virginiana (Cedarwood) Oil, Cananga Odorata Flower Oil, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Citrus Limon (Lemon) Peel Oil, Mentha Piperita (Peppermint) Oil*, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Fruit Extract, Salicylic Acid, Water/Aqua/Eau, Sodium Phytate, Tocopherol, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Potassium Sorbate, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Glucose, Alcohol, Sorbic Acid, Limonene**, Linalool**. *Ingredient from Organic Farming. ** From essential oils. ^Made using organic ingredients.

99.8% natural origin of total. 75.8% organic of total. 

Kora Organics Turmeric Brightening & Exfoliating Mask Review | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

Kora has two hero ingredients: noni, which is a native fruit to South Pacific Islands and quartz (rose?) as Miranda believes in its healing powers, vibrations and opening the heart chakra. As I know little about chakras, I’ll focus on the INCI instead! But I assume that in this mask quartz bits offer also a manual exfoliation among the rose hip seed powder. With these type of products it’s difficult to be sure if these powders are crystalized aka do they cause potential micro cuts to the face. Couldn’t find more information on the website, but I suggest you don’t rub the mask vigorously.

The powders are in aloe base, which is a nice soothing and hydrating ingredient for almost all skin conditions. It’s soon by Lactobacillus ferment, a probiotic ingredient with promising antioxidant or environmental protection qualities. As I’m not a scientist myself I cannot tell if green tea leaf powder works as effectively as extract, but I’m happy to see lots of promising plant based ingredients at the top. I wish there was more resources about the topical benefits of turmeric, but at least orally it’s a very good antioxidant.

Papaya fruit extract is a source of the enzyme papain, which has some exfoliating properties. It may be a potential skin sensitizer, but so are many other exfoliants such as glycolic acid (this mask does have a small amount of salicylic acid). Personally I haven’t found skincare with papaya extract irritating, but I think the amount of essential oils can be a make or break to many users combined with exfoliation. There is Lavender, Lemon Peel, Peppermint.. to name a few. If you have no problem with essential oils, I think the natural moisturizing ingredients such as rose hip will help to condition the skin after exfoliating.

Final Thoughts

Do I like and use this product? Yes. Would I recommend it? ..Maybe, but you need to love scrubs and peppermint. Or love Miranda and her good vibes, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. I like many products from Kora and this is one of them. I found the ingredients list nice, but some difficulties to if powder forms have the best topical effects (compared to extracts and so on). The Kora Turmeric Brightening & Exfoliating mask might give pretty polarized results. Especially with a price this high, I suggest you sample it somewhere and see if your skin and nose agrees. If you want a safer splurge, I’d go for Tata Harper’s Regenerating Cleanser (review) and use it as a mask.

Do you currently have a favorite exfoliating mask, would you try Kora’s Organics Turmeric Brightening and Exfoliating one? I’m also curious to hear if you love or hate peppermint!

SUQQU Urban Prism Eyeshadow Compact Review and Swatches

I think this is the second time SUQQU UK releases a limited edition 8-pan palette. The colors of the previous one from holidays 1 or 2 years ago didn’t speak to me, but my jaw dropped when I saw the teaser pictures of the new UK exclusive Urban Prism compact. The looks SUQQU’s makeup artists Jorge Balzaretti and Paul Holmberg have created using this are stunning, blended, chic and airy yet packed some punch with color choices. I was so excited for the reds and pinks so I marked my calendar with the release date.

SUQQU UK Urban Prism Eyeshadow Compact Review | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

About SUQQU Urban Prism Eyeshadow Compact

The inspiration for this collection was a kaleidoscope, contrasting textures and colors to create wearable looks: natural and elegant, chic and smoky, trendy and edgy. The other items from this collection were a powder highlighter, bronzer, highlighting crayon and two lip crayons. As I’m typing this the SUQQU Urban Prism Eyeshadow Compact is still available on Selfridges and Harrods. It sold out quickly during the first launch, but I’ve noticed Selfridges tends to restock their site from time to time. £59 for 12.4g of product, 8 pans of eyeshadow and two small applicators. Made in Japan.

SUQQU UK Urban Prism Eyeshadow Compact Review | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

Wearing SUQQU Urban Prism Eyeshadow Compact

I refer to this palette as the Urban Prism although the packaging says ‘Eyeshadow Compact 101’. I think this is one of the most fun, unique yet wearable palettes SUQQU has come out with since they revamped to Designing Color Eyes formula. This palette doesn’t have holes on the backside, so it’s not meant to be depotted. I hope the glue is strong enough to hold the shadows, it felt little loose when finger swatching.

I’ve been looking for a palette to do more colorful looks: either a has-it-all palette with neutrals for contouring the eyes or a full blown colorful palette. Sadly, these types palettes are difficult to put together shade range and formula-wise, which is the reason I have been putting off purchasing a Natasha Denona palette for example. They are often very cool or warm, not enough color variety (just 1 pop of color) or just hideously expensive. Not that £59 is cheap by any means, but SUQQU combines warms with more neutral shades of brown, cool pink, blue and yellow. Thanks to the careful color selection and mattes I can wear this palette on its own without reaching for brown neutrals.

I’m really happy to report that SUQQU is consistent with their quality. Only one or two quads have had a more chalky black, but overall you can feel safe when getting a SUQQU palette online. The shadows are smooth, buildable, finely milled and silky texture. The colors don’t skip on the eyelids and blend evenly. There’s some variety in textures with more mattes to satins and shimmers, but they all perform very well.

I’d like to call these SUQQU shadows nicely pigmented, but they’re certainly more on the buildable side vs many US based brands that put an emphasis on high pigmentatiod when swatches. SUQQU shadows give a nice veil of color without being sheer or see-thorough, you can layer and mix them as you wish without the result turning muddy. With my NARS Pro Prime eyeshadow primer these shadows wear ~8h on my hooded lids.

SUQQU UK Urban Prism Eyeshadow Compact Review | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

SUQQU Urban Prism Eyeshadow Compact Swatches

Orange leaning peach with golden shimmer

Red tomato matte

Dark khaki with slightly greenish undertone

Champagne shimmer with glitter bits

Purple leaning pink shimmer

Orange tomato matte

Dark navy blue with black undertones

Matte yellow with a greenish hue

Look with SUQQU Urban Prism

SUQQU UK Urban Prism Eyeshadow Compact Review | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

I was inspired by this look by Jorge Balzaretti. I had a lighter hand compared to the editorial pictures, but in real life the pinks and reds still popped out beautifully. I love the yellow in the inner corner, makes the look more interesting and playful in my opinion. I used MILK makeup’s gel liner in CEO on my waterline to get similar intensity to the look, but it’s not too visible as I’m looking down.

SUQQU UK Urban Prism Eyeshadow Compact Review | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog
SUQQU UK Urban Prism Eyeshadow Compact Review | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

Final thoughts

If you’re very color-shy I think you’re better off with 01 Yuushakuyaku (review) or other more muted SUQQU quad, but if you like to experiment - even with 1-2 shades at the time, I think Urban Prism is an excellent choice. I personally love this palette and have reached for it a ton. I think it’s going to be my go-to palette this summer thanks to the elegant vibrancy and wearing possibilities. Big recommendation!

Niki Newd - the Pioneers in Fresh Skincare (Review)

There are many green and eco friendly Finnish skincare brands, but nothing quite like Niki Newd. They are a new artisanal skincare brand based in Helsinki that makes 12 batches of fresh skincare products in a year. Today I’m chatting about their philosophy of “gourmet nutrition” and reviewing a couple of products I was kindly gifted to try. Enjoy!

*Products marked with asterisk(*) are kindly gifted for consideration.
My thoughts are honest & my own.

Niki Newd Fresh Skincare Review | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

About Niki Newd

The inspiration for the brand came when the co-founder Kirsi’s shared her family’s skincare recipe with her biochemist friend. This facial recipe was passed down from mother to daughter where food grade, quality ingredients were used for a fresh skincare facial. Fast forward and the brand Niki Newd was born, with similar core principles: everything is hand-made, top quality with full traceability, purest, freshest, organic ingredients.

Many eco skincare brands use luxury ingredients, but not food grade. Even organic cosmetic grade ingredients are not meant to be edible. Niki Newd wanted to create a “gourmet” luxury brand where every ingredient is food grade, naturally sourced and inspired by the Nordic superfoods. Niki Newd uses zero fillers, no alcohol, preservatives - on the contrary the products are made in small batches with a limited (‘fresh’) shelf-life of marked on the packaging. Read more about their philosophy. The product line now includes masks, soap, cream (must be refrigerated), facial oils and balms.

Fresh Batch of Skincare

Niki Newd doesn’t joke when they say everything is made in small batches: they are made to order. In May you may order products for June and forward, delivered globally. I chatted with the founders of Niki Newd and learned that some customers choose to place an order every month, some every other. If you’re stingy with a product it may last you longer than ~1 month, but everything is best when it’s fresh. The maximum shelf-life/“use within” of certain products is 3 months. All products (except soap and mask powders) are packed in the highest grade of violet glass.

Niki Newd Fresh Skincare Review | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

Niki Newd Oatmeal Soap

I was very excited to try this soap, I liked the idea of a solid cleanser and heard it would also remove light makeup. I also love anything oats and oatmeal. Unfortunately I felt this soap is way too drying for my face. While I liked the texture and cleansing properties of this soap, I feel the lather dried out my skin every time. I don’t like the “squeaky clean” feel it leaves. I was talking with the other founder of Niki Newd and she mentioned it make take a while for skin to get used to the difference, if the skin is used to cleansing milks. I tested this soap with a friend who has more combination skin on her T-zone and she loved the results.

Since it’d be a waste to not enjoy the high quality, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant rich ingredients of this soap, I think I will use it for my body. After all, these products were meant to use head to toe. Someone with much more combo or oily skin might enjoy this soap, but for now it’s not my first recommendation. €45 for 2x20g soaps and linen washcloth.

Oatmeal Soap INCI: Sodium Rapeseedate, Sodium Cocoate, Aqua, Avena Sativa Bran, Linseed Acid, Faex

Niki Newd Yogurt Face Mask

The idea of this mask is lovely: you get a sachet of the mask and a small bottle of Spring Water from Lapland. You mix them in a lovely dish and apply to your skin, wait until the mask starts to dry and crackle - then wash off. For extra effectiveness you can wear the mask in sauna. I think this also wasn’t my thing. I loved the ritual of mixing the mask - even my cat wanted a bite (he likes oatmeal), I have a whole post about using powder masks right here.

I was having a stressful moment when applying the mask and didn’t feel much difference when I washed it off. I smelled like oatmeal cookies, but that’s about all. Beta glucan has antioxidant and skin-soothing properties, but I think this mask would probably better suit for sensitive skin to tone redness. For me €35 is also too pricey for a single-use mask. I want to mask as much as possible!

Yogurt Face Mask Powder INCI: Oatmeal, yogurt powder, potato starch, yeast
Water INCI: Aqua

Niki Newd Fresh Skincare Review | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog
Niki Newd Fresh Skincare Review | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

Niki Newd Velvet Skin Oil and Skin Butter

The Skin Velvet is a “heavier” type of facial oil – again, can be used head to toe, even on the eye area. I could tell it’s high quality even by the feel alone: its golden color and non-artificial scent that’s like a hint of berries mixed with camelina oil. Only a few drops is enough, but I’ve slathered this on generously. It sinks in, pampers, moisturizes intensively, but doesn’t feel greasy or leave a residue. It’s truly luxurious and lovely, I’m happy to find a facial oil that utilizes whats local and natural for me and my family: Nordic berries.

The Skin Velvet consists of cold pressed avocado and camelina oils mixed with Nordic berry oils: sea buckthorn oil, strawberry seed, oil, lingonberry seed oil and blackcurrant seed oil. The oils are naturally high in omega -3, -6, -7 and -9 fatty acids that topically applied soothe, reinforce, treat and protect dry skin. It’s also packed with antioxidants, carotenoids, Vitamin E and CoQ10, all which help with signs of ageing.

To my nose the Skin Velvet has a leafy scent, reminds me of blackberry leaf juice my Grandma makes. I never liked the juice, but the memory brings me back to our summer cottage, next to lake and birch trees.

Skin Velvet Oil INCI: Persea Gratissima Oil, Camelina Sativa Oil, Hippophae Rhamnoides Oil, Fragaria Ananassa Seed Oil, Vaccinium Vitisideae Seed Oil, Ribes Nigrum Seed Oil, Helianthus Annuus Seed Oil, Rosmarinus Officinalis Leaf Extract

The Skin Butter is a soft, creamy skin balm with a yellow hue. In room temperature it’s soft enough to be picked with a finger (or a spatula) and spread on the face. You can also warm the balm between your fingers and then massage. This is the most refined balm on the lips as well. Your skin is left feeling soft and moisturized, if you layer or mix this with the Skin Velvet it’ll take a moment until everything sinks in.

The scent of the Skin Butter is more buttery, soft and creamy. I’ve used coconut oil, shea butter, olive oil in multiple products but they never smell this concentrated and “real”. Not to be confused with coconut or shea perfumed things, this is the real stuff.

The Skin Butter INCI: Cocos nucifera oil, Butyrospermum Parkii Butter, Hydrogenated Olive Oil, Cera flava, Tocopherol, Lactic Acid

Niki Newd Fresh Skincare Review | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog
Niki Newd Fresh Skincare Review | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

Final Thoughts

The prices are high and amounts are small, true luxury, but Niki Newd believes in a minimal routine with multi-purpose, powerhouse products that you can apply head to toe. The price is similar to other highly luxurious skincare oils like Vintner’s Daughter, for example. Let’s say the Skin Velvet lasted you only a month, the price would be ~2,7 euros/day (two applications). If you can skip daily takeout lattes and want to invest them in skincare, I think it’s doable treat. Expensive, yes, but if I prefer to spend on something in my beauty routine, it’s serums/oils. In my experience Niki Newd Skin Velvet and Skin Butter were the most exquisite: if you want to start from somewhere, I’d pick the oil.

Let me know if you have any questions, I’ll find out! What do you think about ‘fresh skincare’?