Meet The Founder: Sandra From Otis Skincare.

First of all, can you give my readers a quick overview of the brand?

Yes, absolutely. We are a men’s skincare brand, OTIS SKINCARE, based in Paris, and we make clean, effective, anti-aging skincare products that have been specifically designed for men.

Can you tell us a bit about your background?

I come from a design background, not skincare at all. So I’ve been able to look at developing our products in a very different way to how skincare is usually developed. I’ve tried to take an authentic approach and really focus on the customer, ie men, and develop everything concentrating on that idea of quality and honesty, and respect for their skin. 

What was your inspiration for creating the range?

I read an article about shaving, and the terrible things that it did to a man’s skin. As a woman, of course this was something that I had never considered before, and honestly, I was shocked. I felt that there must be a better solution than what was currently available.

So initially I looked at developing a product which would make shaving easier on a man’s skin. Then, as I investigated further, I realised that it was more than just the shaving cream which had an effect.

So I talked to men a lot about the issues that they had with their skin, and about what they would like from their skin care. 

A lot of men want to look after their skin, but are unsure of what they need to do, or if a product is actually worth using. And these are very sophisticated men, but in this area they are unsure. 

I set out to develop products which would address those things and that men would like using, and would be happy to use every day. We spent about 18 months just testing out different formulas and consistencies on men to make sure that we got it just right. We really took our time on this.

Do you have any tips for someone wanting to start a beauty brand?

I think the first thing is to really get to know your potential customers. Start talking to them and find out what issues and problems they have with their skin. Then you can start to research possible ingredients. Find ones which are the best at solving those issues, and are ingredients that you believe in.

Next you should search for a really good laboratory to develop the formulas for you. This is crucial. We were lucky enough to work with a phenomenal laboratory here in Paris, who had developed some beautiful creams for large houses, like Shiseido. Their advice and expertise were invaluable in formulating our products.

Finally, you need to get as much feedback as you can to make sure you have got the products exactly right. 

It can be a long process but it’s the best way to do it, and at the end you know that you will have produced something really worthwhile. 

How did you decide what products you wanted in the range?

I wanted to keep it very simple and uncomplicated. I wanted to make products that men need, and also that they will be happy to use consistently. 

We focused on three products - a Daily Face Wash, a Protective Shave Cream and a Hydrating Daily Moisturiser, and designed them so that they are all a man needs to look after his skin really well. They all do double duty. The face wash is also a gentle exfoliator, the shave cream also nourishes and conditions the skin, and the moisturiser can be used night and day, and used as an eye cream too. 

We wanted to make sure that men would enjoy using the products as well.

For example, our Hydrating Daily Moisturiser is really light, almost like a gel or a serum, and feels really good to wear. It absorbs quickly to a matt finish, without any greasiness. But at the same time, it is extremely hydrating and packed full of the best anti-aging ingredients.

It was also important that the products fitted into a man’s life easily. Every item is travel ready and can be taken onboard an aircraft in hand luggage, and they are designed to be easy to pack for the gym too. 

How do you think men’s skincare products differ from women's products?

There are small differences between a man’s skin and a woman’s skin. Some are due to the influence of hormones, like testosterone, and others are down to lifestyle differences. And these small differences have an effect on the best way to look after your skin. 

For example, the sebaceous glands are more numerous and active in a man’s skin, so it tends to be oilier. They also have a higher concentration of blood vessels, so the face is often redder than a woman’s might be.

Men’s skincare products need to address all of these differences.

But most obviously, men have more facial hair than women so they either have to shave (sometimes every day) or they have a beard. Both of these options can be hard on a man’s skin and their skincare needs to help with this. 

As the brand is French can you tell us a bit about a typical french mans grooming routine?

Generally, French men take good care of their skin and are very receptive to skincare advice.

They always like to smell good. Choosing a fragrance is serious for a French man. So it’s essential that skincare and grooming products don’t have an overpowering smell or they will clash with their chosen scent. French men are very sensitive to this. When creating our products, we were careful to make them smell very light and fresh, and this light fragrance disappears quickly after application.

Recently and increasingly, they also take especially good care of their hands and nails too. 

What are the key products you believe should be in every mans grooming routine?

Firstly, a good exfoliating face wash, to clean away excess oil and dirt so that it doesn’t clog pores and lead to blemishes. Exfoliating away the dead skin cells is going to make your face look and feel brighter and healthier, and for men, it will prevent in-grown hairs from developing too.

Secondly a really hydrating moisturiser, ideally one that has quality anti-aging ingredients. It’s the single best thing you can apply to your skin, and it’s never too early or too late for a man to start using one. It really will make a difference!

And then depending on whether you shave or not, a good shave cream or beard oil is vital too.

In everything that we do we try to take a holistic approach because as you know having good skin isn’t just about the products that you apply.

For example, we recently published an article about The Beauty Benefits To Men Of A Good Night’s Sleep, and ways that you can get better quality sleep. There’s a lot you can do to improve your skin, as well as using good products. 

You can buy our products directly from our website Here, or from The Rake.

… And we’re always here if you’d like to say “hi!” - Instagram and Twitter.

Thank you to Sandra from Otis Skincare for taking the time out to do this interview.

Simon x

This Cult Favourite Mask Is Now Available in Australia, Here Are My Thoughts.

Summer Fridays Jet Lag Mask

If you are anyone who is obsessed with beauty then there is no doubt in my mind that you have already heard of Summer Fridays, it's already become a cult favourite in its own right and everyone from editors, influencers and beauty lovers have been singing it's praises.

Well, my beauty obsessed friends the good news is that the famous Jet Lag Mask is now available in Australia at Mecca Cosmetica and Mecca Maxima, just in line with the Summer season beginning in Australia.

 The mask itself can be used in a few different ways, the most obvious being used like a mask where you apply a thin layer over your face, leaving on for ten minutes and rinsing off. As it's a hydrating treatment it can also be left on and used as an overnight mask, I actually did that last night and woke up to plump and hydrated skin.

If your skin is feeling especially dry it can also be used as a hydrating primer before makeup application, I even like applying it instead of my moisturiser when I am not wearing any makeup if my skin needs it.

I have oily combination skin which is also dehydrated and my skin drinks this mask up, it feels like it's had a big drink of water without leaving it feeling greasy. It does give my skin a glow but it never looks overly shiny, it's that kind of lit from within glow we are all aiming for.

The masks main ingredients are Chesnut Extract which helps to activate your skins natural exfoliation process, Vitamin C which is a well-known antioxidant that helps to brighten the complexion and add hydration and Niacinamide which helps with pores, uneven skin, and fine lines.

The biggest thing I notice when I use this mask is how hydrated my skin is, the one thing I have learned is that even though I have oily skin it's still really important to keep it hydrated as in turn that helps keep my skin balanced.

In Australia Summer Fridays Jet Lag Mask is available at Mecca Cosmetica and Mecca Maxima.
Click Here To Purchase.

Simon x

*The product mentioned in this post has been sent to me by Mecca, as always all opinions are mine and every product I mention on this site has been tested personally by me.


Magic Mists.

I have always been a fan of face mists, but over the past few months or so I have really started to incorporate them into my daily beauty routine. I like to use a mist after I have cleansed my skin as I find they add an extra layer of hydration and also help the products I use next absorb better, I especially like using them once I have finished doing my makeup as I find they give my skin a bit of a boost and keep my makeup looking fresh throughout the day.


Even though I have an oily skin type my skin is easily prone to dehydration, this mist feels like a big drink of water for my skin. It contains Geologically Filtered Icelandic Water that instantly hydrates and balances the skin, it also contains Orthosilicic Acid (OSA) which helps to strengthen the skin's elasticity and retains water in the skin to keep it hydrated.
Click Here To Purchase.

*La Mer The Mist:

When my skin is feeling dehydrated and looking a bit dull I like to use this mist after I cleanse but also throughout the day to keep my skin hydrated, I either mist it over my skin or apply a few spritzes of the product on my hands and gently press it into my skin.

It contains Magnetically Charged Waters which comprise of a blend of Marine and Botanical Extracts as well as Vitamins and Minerals that help to restore hydration levels in the skin, When I use this mist it's like an instant pick me up for my skin, it leaves it feeling instantly hydrated and plump.

It contains the brands Signature Miracle Broth that is well known for this healing and nourishing benefits.
Click Here To Purchase.

Caudalie Beauty Elixir:

I have loved this product for years, it has become a cult classic in its own right and for good reason. I love the way it makes my skin feel, my skin feels instantly energized and awake. I love bringing it on flights with me and find that when I use it consecutively it helps to keep my skin balanced and hydrated.

It contains a mix of Essential Oils and Plant Extracts that help to clarify and brighten.
Click Here To Purchase.

FRESH Vitamin Nectar Anti-Oxidant Glow Water:

With Summer fast approaching here in Australia I am always looking for products that help to cool down and instantly perk up my skin, I have been loving this Glow Water from Fresh as it smells of citrus and instantly gives my skin a glow.

It contains a Vitamin Fruit Complex that comprises of Vitamins C,E and B5 alongside Citrus Fruit Extract and Minerals that help to hydrate, brighten and smooth texture.

I love that the mist on this is super even as it doesn't interfere with makeup application.
Click Here To Purchase.

*Dermalogica UltraCalming Mist:

When my skin is feeling and looking sensitized I like to use this mist, I especially like it after I shave to help calm down any irritation. It contains the brands Ultracalming Complex which is a mix of Oat and Botanical Actives that help to ease discomforts such as burning and itching.

I find this mist instantly soothes and hydrates my skin and I always like knowing it's on hand when I need it. When I use it I noticed an immediate reduction in redness and my skin feels cooler and instantly soothed.
Click Here To Purchase.

*AMOREPACIFIC Moisture Bound Skin Energy Mist:

I don't know what is going on with my skin at the moment but it is feeling drier than normal, when it's at it's driest I reach for this mist. It instantly leaves my skin feeling plump and hydrated whilst feeling like a big glass of water for my skin.

It contains the brands exclusive 5-Hydra Complex that helps to increase moisture levels and I can honestly tell you that it really does, I also love the mist as it is super fine and evenly distributes over my face and works especially well over makeup.
Click Here To Purchase.

Simon x

*The products mentioned in this post that have been marked with an *asterisk have been sent to me by the brand / PR, other products have been purchased by myself. As always all opinions are my own and every product mentioned on this site has been tested personally by me.

Mecca Holiday 2018, My Recommendations and Wishlist.

Skincare (L-R): Malin+Goetz: Grapefruit Face Cleanser, Vitamin E Face Moisturiser, Revitalising Eye Gel and Lip Moisturiser, Goldfaden MD: Fresh A Peel Multi Acid Resurfacing Peel, Skin Balancing Mask Botanical Rich Refining Treatment, Bright Eyes Dark Circle Radiance Concentrate, Drunk Elephant Rescue Party Kit: Lala Retro Whipped Cream (50ml), Beste No 9 Jelly Cleanser (30ml), B-Hydra Intensive Hydration Serum (8ml), C-Tango Multi-Vitamin Eye Cream (5ml), Lippe Balm, Eve Lom Simply Radiant Set (Cleanser (20ml), Muslin Cloth, Radiance Face Oil (15ml), Radiance Face Mist (15ml) and Radiance Lift Cream (15ml), 111SKIN Radiance Edit Rose Gold Brightening Facial Treatment Mask (1 mask), Hyaluronic Acid Aqua Booster (20ml), Nocturnal Eclipse Recovery Cream NAC Y2 (15ml), Space Anti Age Day Cream NAC Y2 (15ml) and Space Defence Bright Eye Lift Gel NAC Y2 (5ml), Bare Minerals Milky Way Glow Set: Oil Obsessed Total Cleansing Oil, Skinlongevity® Vital Power Infusion, Butter Drench Restorative Rich Cream, and Dirty Detox Skin Glowing and Refining Mud Mask (Travel Sizes), Drunk Elephant Agent Ellie Kit: C-Firma Day Serum (30ml), B-Hydra Serum (8ml), Marula Oil (8ml) and Shaba Complex Eye Cream (5ml).

Skincare Part 2 (L-R): Mecca Cosmetica Beauty Resolutions: Lip De-Luscious Nude (3.2ml), To Save Face Superscreen SPF 50+ (30ml), Eyelash Curler, Kissable Lips Exfoliating Scrub (15ml), Hydrating Moisturiser (15g), Lip De-Luscious with SPF 25 (3.2ml), Multi-Purpose Plumping Balm (15g), Mini Enlightened Lit From Within Powder, Micellar Water (85ml), Tweezers, Enlightened Lit From Within Balm (3.2ml), Transforming Facial Cleanser (30ml), Acrylic Gift Box, Dr Dennis Gross C Me Sparkle: C+Collagen Brighten & Firm Vitamin C Serum (30ml), C+Collagen Deep Cream (15ml), C+ Collagen Brighten & Firm Eye Cream (5ml), Diptyque L'Art Du Soin Suprise Pocket: Precious Oils – (7.5ml), Smoothing Body Polish (10ml) and Infused Face Oil (10ml), Elemis Pro-Collagen Deep Sea Duo: Pro-Collagen Marine Oil, Pro-Collagen Marine Cream Ultra Rich, Kate Somerville Kate's Mini Must Haves: ExfoliKate Cleanser (50ml), ExfoliKate Intensive Exfoliating Treatment (15ml) and EradiKate Acne Treatment (30ml), Perricone MD Perricone Essentials: Nutritive Cleanser (59ml), Face Finishing Moisturiser (7.5ml), GlamGlow Hydration Dream Team Set: Waterburst Hydrated Glow Moisturiser (50g Jar), Thirstymud Hydrating Treatment (30g Tube), Galacticleanse (50g Tube), Omorovicza Queen Of Hungary Mists Set:Queen of Hungary Mist (50ml) in Midnight Blue, Teal and Lime.

Body Care (L-R): Le Labo Body Scrub, Byredo Rose Rinse-Free Hand Wash, Sol De Janeiro Bum Bum Carnival Magic: Bum Bum Cream (75ml & 25ml), Brazilian Kiss Cupuacu Lip Butter (6.2g) and Brazilian Crush Body Mist (30ml), Sol De Janeiro: Bum Bum Bath Bomba, Byredo Vetyver Soap, Byredo Suede Soap, Byredo Rose Soap, This Works Sleep Together: Deep Sleep Pillow Spray (75ml), Deep Sleep Breath In (8ml), Malin+Goetz Hand and Lip Duo: Almond Hand Treatment (30ml) and Lip Moisturiser (10ml), Frédéric Malle: Eau De Magnolia After Sun, Le Labo Hinoki Body & Hair Travel Set: Shampoo (75ml), Conditioner (75ml), Shower Gel (75ml), Body Lotion (75ml), Malin+Goetz Body Essentials: Bergamot Body Wash (236ml), Vitamin B5 Body Lotion (250ml), Lime Soap Bar (140g).

Diptyque (L-R): Sapin De Lumiere Candle, Carousel Set, Baume D'Ambre Candle, Diptyque Amande Exquise Candle, EDP Discovery Set: Do Son, L’Ombre dans l’Eau, Philosykos, Tam Dao, Fleur de Peau (All 7.5ml), 12 Mini Candle Set: Includes Mimosa, Baies, Roses, Benjoin, Jasmin, Noisetier, Ambre, Tubéreuse, Feu de bois, Pomander, Vanille and Santal.

Fragrance (L-R): Maison Martin Margiela Discovery Set For Her: By the Fireplace, Lazy Sunday Morning and Jazz Club, Le Labo Concrete Candle in Santal 26, Ellis Brooklyn Chronicle Discovery Set (7X2ml): Fawn, Fable, Myth, Raven, Rives, Rrose, Sci-Fi, Byredo Hair Mists Mini Woody Kit (3x30ml): Bal d'Afrique, Mojave Ghost, Gypsy Water, Byredo Fleur Fantome Room Spray, Diptyque L'Ombre Dans Suprise Pocket: L’ombre Dans L’eau EDT & Shower Oil (10ml) and Baies Scented Candle (35g).

*All images provided by Mecca Cosmetica.

Three Products I've Added Into My Routine From AMOREPACIFIC.

If you are someone who is obsessed with beauty there's no doubt in my mind that you have witnessed the popularity of Korean Skincare, A lot of products that come from Korea have had a huge influence on products and beauty regimes all around the world.

AMOREPACIFIC is a brand that always pops up on my radar, I first discovered the range when I was in the states and every blogger and beauty aficionado I spoke to about it raves about the range.

The range has recently launched at Mecca Cosmetica and I have been lucky enough to trial a few key products from the range.

Vintage Single Extract Essence:

Essences form a big part in a Korean skincare routines and have now become a staple in skincare routines around the globe, The way I use an essence is either straight after cleansing or if I am giving myself extra time with my routine I like applying it after I tone my skin. I treat an essence as a treatment product and know that it is doing something good for my skin, I also find that when I use an essence the products I use thereafter absorb better.

This single extract formula is made by fermenting Green Tea which has been handpicked from the brand's plantation on Jeju Island. The tea contains Antioxidants and Prebiotics which help to encourage your skins good bacteria, it also helps with the overall clarity, texture, and tone of your skin.

After using this product consecutively I noticed that my skin was more hydrated and had an overall evenness to it, It's a step that I never miss in my routine and my skin thanks me for it.
Moisture Bound Skin Energy Mist:

Regular readers of the site will know how much I love a good face mist, I tend to use a mist over my essence for added hydration and throughout the day to keep my skin hydrated. I also like keeping one on hand to refresh my makeup throughout the day, I like this one from AMOREPACIFIC especially as it has a super fine mist that evenly distributes around the face, never interfering with makeup application.

It contains Pure Stabilized Bamboo Sap which is rich in Minerals and Amino Acids that help to refresh and energize the complexion, it also contains the brands exclusive 5-Hydra Complex that helps to increase moisture levels.

I always have a few face mists lying around and this one has become a firm favourite in my daily routine.

Time Response Skin Reserve Cream:

Even though I have an oily combination skin type I always like to finish my routine with a moisturiser, I find it helps to keep my skin hydrated but also balanced. The latest cream I have been using is this one from AMOREPACIFIC, it's a luxurious cream that sits beautifully on top of other products and gives my skin an extra dose of hydration.

It contains the brands exclusive Beauty Green Tea which helps with elasticity, hydration and the tone of your skin alongside Shea Butter that helps to lock in moisture.

My skin drinks this moisturiser up and it instantly leaves it feeling hydrated and plump, I tend to use it more at night on top of my serums and essences but also love wearing it in the morning as it forms a really beautiful base for makeup application.
Click Here To Purchase.

I have really enjoyed every product I have tried from the range, the textures and scents from the products feel really luxurious and every product I have used has fit into my routine beautifully.

Simon x

*The products mentioned in this post have been sent to me by Mecca, as always all opinions are mine and every product I mention on this site has been tested personally by me.



As you are all well aware taking care of my skin is very important to me, although it is part of my job to trial various products for review I do try my best to stick to a consistent skincare routine. As much as a homecare routine is important I truly believe that it's also important to incorporate in-clinic treatments.

If you are someone who is starting out with skincare or just want to know more about your skin, it would be beneficial for you to go into a clinic and have a skin consult. 

For the past few months I have been visiting the lovely ladies at St.Skin and I have really enjoyed all the treatments and advice that they have given me, they really took the time out in my initial skin consultation to talk about the skincare I am currently using, my diet and lifestyle as well as my skin concerns.

The thing I love most about St.Skin is their approach to treatments, they are all about healing the skin and getting it ready for more advanced treatments. I started off by having LED treatment once a week and then moved on to having them twice a week, I really noticed a huge difference in my skin, my blemishes had gone down significantly and my skin had an overall glow it.

Alongside the LED treatments I had a few peels here and there based on how my skin was at the time, the girls there are really good at observing your skin and working out what products and treatments would suit at the time.

Below I have asked a few questions about the LED treatment.

First of all, can you give my readers a quick overview of the LED treatment?

LED or light emitting diode is a very effective and non-invasive skin treatment that is used today to treat various skin conditions. LED works on a cellular level to stimulate collagen, reduce inflammation and fights acne bacteria making it a quick skin rejuvenation treatment without any downtime.

Here at St Ski,n we use Healite II, which has 3 wavelengths blue 415 nm, red 633nm and 830 with 590nm. Each light has different features to improve skin conditions such as rosacea, dermatitis, psoriasis, and acne.

I know from having my treatments there are different coloured lights used, can you explain what the different lights do and how they benefit the skin? 

The red light is miraculous for stimulating collagen and elastin as well as increasing the rate of cellular renewal within the skin. This also helps to increase the blood flow giving the skin an instant glow as it increases the hydration levels within the skin.

Blue Light is used to treat Acne, The 415 nm is specific to inhibit acne bacteria and therefore reducing the number of acneic lesions.

The Infrared with 590 which is called 830 light, is great to increase blood and lymphatic flow, treat acne, reduces pain, increase wound healing, reduces inflammation of the muscle and joints as well as providing skin rejuvenation.

How many sessions do you recommend having?

Depending on the skin condition a course of LED is recommended which includes 2 sessions per week for 5 weeks. During the treatment plan we usually use different lights to treat and deliver cellular changes to the skin.

LED can be used on different body parts not only the face and can be used to treat multiple areas of the skin. LED can vary from 9 to 22 mins depending on the intensity and wavelength required.

I know the LED treatment is very popular at St.Skin, can you tell me why you and your clients love it so much?

Our client’s absolutely enjoy having LED because of its warmth feeling; it is a super popular treatment to have lunchtime. Clients notice an improvement in the skin tone and hydration after each session.

It is also very popular to have a course of LED for our brides to be.

I think it's important when it comes to your skin to find people you trust and ones that truly care about the wellbeing of your skin, I can't recommend the ladies at St.Skin enough, they are highly knowledgeable and truly care about the health of your skin.

St. Skin
304 Flinders Lane
Melbourne 3000
Victoria, Australia

Thank you to the team at St.Skin for everything you have done for me and for taking the time out to answer questions for this story.

Simon x

*Main image provided by St.Skin and Inka Creative.

Dermalogica Rapid Reveal Peel.

If you were to take a peek into my beauty cupboard (and bathroom for that matter) you would see Dermalogica products scattered throughout, that's because it's a brand I have personally used for over ten years now and it's a brand I know always works for my skin no matter what.

I think it's always important to have products and brands in your beauty arsenal that you know work for you and ones you can always fall back on.

A few weeks ago I was invited to the Melbourne flagship Dermalogica store in Melbourne Central to try the Pro Power Peel, alongside my treatment I was also introduced to the new Rapid Reveal Peel which is a professional grade at home peel product.

I am someone who is a huge fan of a peel and at home peel products as they have been really beneficial for my skin, I also think it's important to maintain the results of an in-clinic treatment at home and this product allows you to do so.

The peel consists of 10X3ml vials in a travel case with a suction cup that can be stuck to your mirror, which I think is a great way to remember to use the product on a weekly basis.

The brand recommends an optional kick-start phase where you use one tube of product every day for three days and after the third day using one tube once a week, this will help to accelerate the results of the treatment.

The product contains Lactic Acid which is one of my personal favourite exfoliating ingredients as whilst it exfoliates my skin and helps with the texture and tone of my skin it is also hydrating, Fermented Plant Enzymes help to remove dull surface debris which in turn firms the skin and helps with the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. 

Pumpkin Fruit Enzyme and Rice Bran Extract will help to even skin tone whilst accelerating cell turnover and Australian Caviar Lime Extract whilst smelling beautiful will help to brighten the complexion.

I have to say that I saw instant results with this product, As someone who works in beauty and is constantly trying new things it can sometimes be hard to notice instant results but with this I did. I applied it to my skin after cleansing and left on for the recommended time (3-7 minutes depending on how sensitive your skin is) and rinsed off with cool water, I immediately noticed that my skin was brighter and looked more plumped and hydrated.

I like having these type of products in my routine for those times when my skin is looking a bit dull or for wh I want to give it a bit of a perk up before an event.

Like I said earlier this product is a great way to maintain the results of an in-clinic treatment at home and is an easy way to give your skin a boost when you are in a rush.
Click Here To Purchase.

Simon x

*The product mentioned in this post has been given to me by the brand, as always all opinions are my own and every product mentioned on this site has been personally tested by me.
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