The dedicated reader (anyone?) will know that I try as much as possible to stick with natural products. Okay, so I’m not so great when it comes to makeup but I’m investigating organic makeup ranges such as the highly-rated Australian brand, Inika. You can find Inika at various health food stores here in New Zealand so I’m going to check it out soon. I do use Dr.Hauschka mascara, bronzer and their Stone Colours collection eye palette – this German range is certified natural skincare and it’s very good but very expensive in NZ.

When it comes to skincare, I use New Zealand natural ranges such as Antipodes and Evolu for cleansers and toners. I gave up using the Korean brand, Sulwhasoo, despite liking it very much. Too concerned about nano-particles. I swapped to Royal Nectar, which is a product range from Nelson, NZ and using Manuka honey, bee venom, shea butter and rose and lavender oils. The two products I used have lasted over six months now but I’m nearly at an end. And true to say, the creams are around NZ$60.00-75.00.

So I decided to hunt down a more frugal NZ band and, after some research, settled on Madeleine Ritchie. Interesting backstory to this brand – founded in the UK in the early 1960s by Hylda Conway, who first started making honey-based health creams from natural recipes her beekeeping husband discovered. Her daughter, Madeleine Ritchie, moved to NZ I think in the 1980s and began to produce skincare under the HoneyCreme brand.

I bought the Manuka Honey Day Creme (rose scented) with active Manuka honey, beeswax, witch hazel, evening primrose, apricot kernel oil and rosehip oil. The cream is a very pale pink colour and lightly scented. I also picked up the Royal Jelly Face Creme (rose scented), which contains active Manuka honey, royal jelly, witch hazel, evening primose, apricot kernel oil and jojoba seed oils. It’s thicker cream than the day variety and is white.

The day cream cost NZ $37.90 and the Royal Jelly Face cream was $39.90. Cheaper than Royal Nectar and I also prefer the tubs the Madeleine Ritchie product comes in. Royal Nectar is in a glass jar and I’m always worried about dropping it.

So far I’m very much liking this brand. The Manuka Honey Day Creme works very well under makeup. I did think it was going to be a bit heavy for my combination skin but it sinks right in. The Royal Jelly Face Creme is a pleasure to use as well. I’m not giving up on my Antipodes cleanser – love it too much – but I might give the Madeleine Ritchie cleanser a go. I also won’t be giving up a great product I told you about recently – Balm of Apis by NZ herbalist, Malcolm Harker.

When I finish up the Madeleine Ritchie stuff, I’ll do a full review.