Duchess Marden is a small, lovingly crafted beauty line that focuses on high-quality, natural skincare - luxurious European-style formulas free of petrochemicals, parabens and silicones. I had the opportunity to try out most of the line, and came away completely enamored with all of it, and am trying not to write an overly giddy review - the elegant bottles, the soft, natural rose scent, the gentle but effective products! Rosa Damascena is the base of the line - prized for centuries as for it's use in beauty and scent, huge bundles of petals are gathered by hand and steamed in copper kettles, releasing the highest quality oils and extracts. Peruse the rest of the line on the Duchess Marden website, or at Anthropologie - my birthday is coming up this month, and I'll be very much hoping for some of these pretty little bottles to add to my vanity. HINT. Here are my top four favorites.......
Damascena Creme Cleanser - I am something of a connoisseur of cream cleansers, thinking as I do that they are god's gift to skincare. While I have several favorites, some a bit cheaper, this is my top pick for sheer quality - it's rich and emollient enough to remove even the heaviest makeup, and leaves skin deeply clean, glowing and moisturized. Cleansing heaven to use with a muslin cloth.
Damascena Pure Rose Water - while there's lots of choices out there when it comes to great facial tonics/sprays/toners, this has to be one of the most gentle and soothing - a mixture of pure damask rose oil, rose water and honeysuckle extract leaves the skin smooth and clean, and sets makeup beautifully. Damascena Hydrating Masque - my usual experience with hydrating masks is that they feel lovely on, but do absolutely nothing for my skin afterward. This cool, aloe-based gel bucks the trend, soothing and hydrating immediately, and leaving skin feeling plumped and calm afterwards - I use it when my skin is particularly irritated or dry feeling, and leave it on for a while in the bath - a luxury product to be sure, but a something that I would very much like to keep on hand in my dream beauty arsenal.
Damascena Face Creme - rich and creamy without feeling at all heavy or oily, this is one of the most luxuriously simple moisturizers I've ever used - and I think it's actually quite a good value for the amount you get. If you love Dr Hauschka's Rose Cream, try this - I think it's even better - smoother, more whipped in texture, it sinks in quicker and leaves a lovely canvas for makeup, and is gentler on sensitive skin. Absolutely divine.
The bottom line for me is that most skin, including mine, really loves this line. I often get distracted by flashy labels and multi-tasking wonder products, but get the best results from simple, extremely high quality ingredients that comfort and protect fragile skin - pure, natural luxury like Duchess Marden.
photo via pinterest
(products were very kindly sent as PR samples)