When things are going wrong in my life I look to my beauty products for therapy and I must share that Boxwalla’s latest beauty box has been a welcome respite from the insanity. A rare and destructive winter storm just passed over us here in the woefully unprepared southern states and beyond that I’ve totally been over the cold weather, the clouds, and other minor flooding disasters that were occurring in my home prior to the storm, and are still occurring now.
Boxwalla’s February Beauty Box* brings us the plant magic of NINI Organics – founded by British siblings Alex & Nicole – an exquisite skincare brand that delivers 100% natural and organic superfood formulas to properly feed and nourish skin. Themed “The Poetry of Beauty and Rain“, the February beauty box features three NINI Organics products to help start off an excitingly fresh skincare routine for the new year, including a travel size of their HALO Cleansing Elixir (daily cleansing oil), RAIN Hydrating Essence (hydrating face mist with lactic acid) and CRIMSON Beauty Serum (water-based serum for microbiome health). This box has a total retail value of $155.
I find therapy in beauty through daily skincare rituals which help to calibrate + reset my mind, but I find these Nini Organics products so therapeutic for their vibrant hues, fresh sweet scents, and hydrating qualities all reminiscient of Spring and Summer when things are renew and in bloom. If you’re in a gloomy mental rut because of this Winter season, it can really help to get some sun and to use your favorite beauty products that you associate with your favorite seasons, or better times in general.
I’m happy to share that as this review goes up, there is still time (albeit little time, my apologies!) to subscribe for this box! Subscriptions close at midnight on February 22nd, so now is the time to snag one if you’re interested as it’s likely that this high-demand box may not be available on their One-Time shop after subscriptions close.
What is Boxwalla all about? To put it simply, they like to fill boxes with things that MUST be experienced. Boxwalla is a bi-monthly subscription box service that showcases artists and artisans from around the world giving the subscriber a choice of three different interests to choose from: The Beauty Box, The Film Box, and The Book Box. Each box is curated with context in mind and with a story to be told, each one delivering a beautiful sensory experience. Green beauty lovers will appreciate that they have high standards when it comes to ingredients and that they actually use, love, and enjoy the products they feature. Boxwalla typically features between 1-4 products including both full and generous deluxe travel-sizes. Their beauty box rings in at just $49.95 every other month, with each box valuing well over the price tag. If supply is available, they will offer one-time boxes after subscriptions close and they also offer non-renewing gift cycles.
NINI ORGANICS HALO CLEANSING ELIXIR
» proper, non-emulsifying daily cleansing oil
» formulated with lightweight passionfruit seed oil + sebum-similar jojoba oil
» regulates oil production; skin soothing
» scented in blue tansy + lavender
» 5ml travel size; $14 retail value.
HALO Cleansing Elixir has a minimalist formula, containing two base oils for cleansing – organic cold-pressed passionfruit seed oil and organic cold-pressed jojoba oil. Jojoba is renowned for regulating oil production as it mimics our skin’s natural sebum, helping to maintain skin’s balance. Passionfruit seed oil, also known as maracuja oil, is lightweight and also renowned for its ability to regulate oil production. Passionfruit seed oil is high in linoleic acid properties, which makes it great for acneic skin types as it’s less sticky and more pore friendly, and helps to repair the skin’s barrier. In HALO you’ll also find blue tansy, lavender, and antioxidant rich + barrier-supporting vitamin E.
I could say this about every product in this box, but it was love at first sniff with this cleansing oil. Like many of you, I’m a sucker for blue tansy and interestingly I’ve found that any product formula I’ve found this ingredient in tends to be lightweight and exquisite, a skin happy-maker for sure. Blue tansy contains azulene which is thought to soothe inflamed skin, but of course for those who fancy the scent of blue tansy its also delivers soothing and calming aromatherapy.
This box includes a 5ml treat version of HALO, so I can’t provide an in-depth or long term opinion on it, but in my limited experience I intensely enjoyed it. It has a lightweight feel, but cleanses in this lush and juicy way that seems to treat my pores so well. With its deep green hue and lavender-spiked scent of blue tansy, it transports me to an imagined Spring garden space, filled with the most vibrant colors and fresh sweet scents. I’m actually not much of a fan of lavender, but Nini Organics has done it right in this formula, where it manages to bring out the spiky zest of lavender, while subduing its more herbal qualities allowing for a more energizing and uplifting scent.
For now she’s on my wishlist, but I’m definitely keen on purchasing a full size HALO in the future.
NINI ORGANICS RAIN HYDRATING ESSENCE
» water-y mist format
» based in hydrating cucumber-infused water + calming neroli hydrosol
» contains hyaluronic acid for skin-plumping hydration
» lactic acid provides gentle chemical exfoliation + humectant benefits
» fresh cucumber scent
» 50ml, $48 retail value.
As someone who constantly suffers from dehydrated skin and everything else that stems from it, maintaining hydration is incredibly important to me, being a top skincare priority. After cleansing I always lay down some sort of mist/thin essence/hydrator first, as it fills skin cells with water and allows for deeper absorption + longer lasting effects of products to be applied after. For me, a hydrator of this sort doesn’t have to have a crazy ingredient deck, but it’s important that it contains non-sticky humectants and I prefer to see hydrosols/flower waters as opposed to a base of plain water.
I’m super pleased that the RAIN Hydrating Essence nearly checks off all the boxes for my hydrating-first-layer needs. It’s *actually* hydrating in that it’s not counter effective like some mists can be, it’s infused in cucumber (LOVE cucumber extract) and neroli flower waters, and the glycerin content is low enough that it doesn’t leave the skin sticky. The only negative for me is that it contains lactic acid – my skin doesn’t get on too well with AHA’s used on a consistent basis – so I have been keeping it on a rotating schedule of 2 or 3x nightly per week. I’ve been finding that it helps to exfoliate and keep things smooth, without the usual skin-imbalanced effects I usually see with AHA’s, so my experience with this product has surprisingly been great on the exfoliation front. I would say RAIN is more like a traditional mist or toner rather than an essence because it’s essentially a water-like liquid – essences are more akin to a thick liquid or runny serum.
When I do get to use RAIN, it feels like the most luxurious treat with its super fresh cucumber scent and its deep amethyst jewel tone. It invokes a similar sensory experience that I get with HALO – everything Nini Organics creates is so fresh with plant magic that it feels like it’s a recently made garden to bottle product and this is where I find my evocative beauty therapy.
NINI ORGANICS CRIMSON BEAUTY FACE SERUM
» the brand’s very first water-based serum
» boosts moisture levels; contains sodium hyaluronate
» includes quora noni for microbiome and barrier support; balances skin’s flora
» shields against blue-light rays via arabian cotton
» vitamin-rich exfoliating hibiscus extract, macerated in neroli hydrosol
» scented in rose water and cocoa + vanilla
» 50ml, $94 retail value.
As I mentioned in the previous section, hydration is of the utmost importance to my dehydrated (and often imbalanced) skin type and I am positively rejoicing over this serum that’s super juicy and nutrient dense. I feel like Crimson has the more ideal consistency of an essence, but it’s concentrated and active-rich like a serum, so you get the essence hydration + serum benefits in one beautiful multi-tasking package.
The CRIMSON Beauty Serum absorbs beautifully plumping the skin up with its intense hydrating effects, working to repair + fortify the skin’s barrier, making it more resilient and strong against environmental pollution and other stressors. The included hibiscus extract provides gentle AHA and BHA exfoliation, clearing the way for smoother skin, better product absorption and reducing the chance for acne and clogged pores. The scent is exceptionally delicious, at first smelling of rose or flower waters, and as it settles onto the skin you can really smell the cocoa and vanilla. It’s sweet and delicious, like a fresh and hydrating treat for the skin. I love all three products in this box equally, but I’ve been particularly drawn to this serum for how well it hydrates and treats my skin and I haven’t been able to set this stuff down. I use it both morning and night!
Quora noni is a patent-pending microbiome-supporting ingredient created by Vytrus Biotech. I’ll do my best to explain what it does in laymen’s terms, to the best of my ability to understand it! Bacterias communicate to each other via quoram-sensing signals, producing a biofilm (cluster of bacteria) that attaches to a surface. Through constantly fighting off other microorganisms, plants have evolved to develop their own anti-quoram sensing/antimicrobial compounds. Vytrus Biotech’s naturally derived ingredient consists of concentrated Noni plant stem cells that are rich in anti-quorum sensing signals, disrupting bacteria’s ability to communicate and become virulent. In that sense it’s a treatment to fight acne-causing bacterias, thus overall promoting the microbiome’s health in balancing skin’s flora.
I’m not a biology nerd and much more research should be done both on this ingredient and on a topic on like this, but through my anecdotal experience with this product I can say that besides a diet-related break out that I experienced on my chin last month, I haven’t had any other memorable break out. I can usually distinguish between what is likely hormonal, bacterial, or diet related and since using this serum in January I can’t remember the last time that I had so much as a pimple, beyond what I mentioned being diet related. It’s hard to know what you can attribute results to, but it’s safe to say this serum definitely isn’t hurting my skin and seems to be keeping it healthy.
It bears repeating that there’s still one day left to sign up for this box and for those interested I recommend to do so while it’s still available!
In other wonderful news, I’m excited to share that Boxwalla will be launching a new store (and re-launch of their website) with individual shops opening for each category of boxes that they offer and we will be seeing the Food Shop come back as well! In the mean time, April Beauty Box subscriptions will be opening this week and they’re launching another exciting Limited Edition skincare box featuring artisanal small brand FIFTY7KIND with pre-orders opening soon. You can follow Boxwalla, or myself @greenbymercy on Instagram for product peeks and launch updates!