Reviews: Style Secret Root Concealer and DermaFix DermaPolish + Activated Charcoal PLUS Ellis Faas Cosmetics are available in South Africa at Skins

A while back I agreed to review a bottle of Style Secret Root Concealer (R360, Style Secret) but, being crazy busy at the time, I skim read the release and got the impression it was made to touch up highlights that had grown out. Oops! Turns out, it’s actually meant to cover up grey, not colour anything dark. (Trust me, I tried it!)

I love how Style Secret totally matches my mom’s decor.

So! I took it home with me over the holidays to use it the way you’re supposed to – using my mom and her grey/white hair as my test subject – and it did a really good job! Also, using it is easy. You simply spritz it on any grey bits and BOOM, you’re sorted. It takes a while to get the hang of how much you need to use but once you get it right you’ll be sorted. My mom liked that it didn’t leave her hair feeling crispy. It ends up feeling like you’ve used a mousse or a very light, non-sticky hair spray. Also, once it’s on, it doesn’t rub off or brush out the way gel or powder would, but comes out easily when you wash your hair.

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Shout out out my mom for being a great sport. I missed a few bits around her hairline but you get the idea.

Style Secret is available in several shades and available at stockists like salons in Jozi and Durbs but you can also buy it online. Shipping to anywhere in South Africa is just R30 per pakkie.

Moving on let’s chat about Dermfix DermaPolish + Activated Charcoal enzymatic exfoliator (R585, DermaFix). I love powder-based scrubs! They’re way more scrubby than granule-based exfoliators but aren’t going to shred your face. (If you didn’t know, some granular exfoliators, like those that contain irregular shaped bits like peach kernels and what not, can actually make teensy little micro tears in your face. Not a good thing!)

DermaFix DermaPolish + Activated Charcoal enzymatic exfoliator

DermaFix’s new polish contains finely ground microcrystalline cellulose and rice starch, among other things, to gently exfoliate your skin. Other ingredients?Β  Colloidal oatmeal and allantoin to soothe; an array of antioxidant botanicals like green tea extract; a papaya enzyme to help dissolve the bonds between dead skin cells and salicylic acid that can exfoliate deep inside your pores. Unlike it’s original polish, it also contains bamboo charcoal powder to purify.

One side opens up like a flap and the other has holes in it. It’s kind of like a spice shaker.

Being powdery and charcoal-based, you might want to compare it to Dermalogica’s Superfoliant, which also uses charcoal, but their formulations, while similar, are different. Dermalogica has also used botanicals with a focus on fighting pollution. That’s not to say DermaFix’s wont. They just haven’t stated as much and to be honest, I’m still not sure what differentiates an antioxidant from one that’s specifically a ‘pollution-fighter’.

As far as the exfoliating goes, DermaFix’s newbie works very well. It’s a little less scrubby than Superfoliant, but considering the fact that it’s almost a quarter of the price (if you work per gram) it’s suddenly a super small concession.

A scrub as dark as my heart…

For the record – and I’m stating this now because it’s the first thing I’ll be asked in the comments section – the best budget powder polish I can find is still The Body Shop’s Chinese Ginseng & Rice powder wash. At R85 for 33g it works out to R2,50 per gram. Unlike DermaFix DermaPolish and Dermalogica’s Superfoliant it doesn’t contain detoxifying charcoal but it’s a great option is you’re cash strapped.

Lastly, have you ever heard of Ellis Faas? I hadn’t either but as it turns out she’s a Dutch make-up artist that French Vogue’s referred to as ‘one of the most influential make-up artists of her generation’.

Gorgeous packaging, right?

She got her big break after being discovered by photographer Mario Testino and has since gone on to work with mega-brands like Armani, Chanel and YSL, designing make-up looks for their shows and shoots.

Ellis Faas concealer in Dark, R480.

Anyway, Ms Faas has now launched her own make-up line, Ellis Faas Cosmetics, a selection of which is now available at Skins in Jozi as well as their online store. Everything’s packaged in beautiful, luxuriously heavy-feeling silver packages and, price-wise, it’s on par with Tom Ford cosmetics so it’s most definitely an indulgent spoil.

Ellis Faas Skin Veil foundation in Dark, R1 080.

The shades that arrived are too dark for me, so I can’t really review them but I did want to mention them because it’s always exciting when new brands arrive in South Africa, especially when they’re able to cater to our wide arrange of skin tones. Ellis Faas cosmetics span the spectrum from light to dark.

Ellis Faas Glow Up in 3, R500.

If you try anything, please be sure to let me know what you thought in the comments section. I’ve seen rave reviews of her foundation online.

Love, love


14 thoughts on “Reviews: Style Secret Root Concealer and DermaFix DermaPolish + Activated Charcoal PLUS Ellis Faas Cosmetics are available in South Africa at Skins

  1. Hello πŸ™‚ thanks, as always, for a great article. With the body shop face scrub, could you not add a charcoal into it? obviously a make up grade one, please do not put braai charcoal in your face scrub!! haha! I used a dermafix moisturizing mask and found it to be waaaay too oily for my skin so i’m very wary of using dermafix again…. it is very expensive to just try once and pass on to someone else. In saying that i am not at all saying Dermafix is bad, i just personally cant afford to try all their products until i find the one that suits me

  2. I’ve been using Dermalogica’s Microfoliant for so long I really cannot imagine life without it. It’s the only exfoliator I use that doesn’t dry out my dry skin totally… I really would like to know of there’s anything better than it, even if it’s more expensive (and Dermalogica ain’t cheap…) Because I’m quite willing to pay. I’ve bought two bottles in around 7 years, so I really feel that it’s worth it πŸ˜•

    1. If Dermalogica is working for you and you love it then stick with it. It’s my favourite too but when I find myself cash-strapped I’m always looking for a cheaper alternative. The Body Shop’s option and Sorbet’s are very close to it but definitely not on par.

  3. Loving the Body Shop alternative to the Daily Microfoliant. I find it a reasonable alternative when I’m cash strapped. Thank you for the recommendation! πŸ˜‰

  4. The Sorbet daily skin polish powder is currently at Clicks for R153 for 75g, even cheaper than the Body Shop one!

  5. I’ve also happily resorted to the Body Shop option in times of need. It’s a great stand-in during the low months, like this January which seems about 17 weeks long. If you don’t want to leave that gorgeous Ellis Faas languishing in the back of a drawer, will happily forward you my address, they look just my shade πŸ˜‰

  6. I wanted to try Ellis Faas but they are super expensive, and I am not sure if it is worth it! Plus, the store marks up their price by at least 40%, which makes it even less affordable. But I have also heard rave reviews of the foundation, and the shade range looks perfect for us tanned people!

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