Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Natural empties - winter 2015

Hello my lovelies :)


As we are nearing the end of the year (can you believe it?) I want to blog about my most loved natural items of 2015, but I thought I would get this post - natural empties out of the way first, so let's get into it, shall we?
(from the top left)

 Meswak toothpaste by Dabur - this I get at my local Asian shop for 1.5€ a pop and I am perfectly happy with it, apart from SLS in the ingredients list - why?? The ingredients are great (again, apart SLS) and way healthier than you would find in your average health shop toothpaste, and I love the price point. It works great and it is a constant repurchase in my household.

Neem toothpaste by Theraneem Organix - this mini cost me €2.50 if I remember correctly - and I wanted to test if this is any better than my regular neem toothpaste that I get at the Asian shop - and although it does not have SLS, it has Sodium Lauroyl Glutamate instead of it, plus it contains glycerine - something that I don't want in my toothpaste as it coats the teeth and stops them from remineralising themselves. It also didn't work any better than my regular neem toothpaste, and the full size price isn't what I'd like it to be, so it a nay, not a repurchase for me.

My Earth Kiss Miracle Clay Facial Bamboo Sheet Mask - I was sent a bunch of these for a review, and this a first one I've tried. Unfortunately it did react with my facial dermatitis and made it way more red, so too bad for that, I won't be able to use them myself. These are all natural masks that have different ingredients for different purposes. Some are sheet ones, some are not. They cost only £1.99 per pack and are available on their website. If your skin isn't damaged like mine, please be my guest, I think they are awesome, way better for you than your average single use masks from Boots or other stores. A repurchase? Not sure, I might try them again once I will be fully healed from dermatitis, but not for now.

Manuka & Propolis Toothpaste with manuka oil by Manuka Health - this costs €10 (!!) (don't ask what I was thinking) and despite having all the manuka goodness in it, it didn't perform any better than regular paste, it didn't take away my teeth sensitivity, didn't whiten my teeth (I would say the opposite s true, they became a bit more yellow) and at this price it is way too expensive for me to buy it on a day to day basis.

Pure Olive Oil Soap with vanilla - one of the things I'd brought from my hols in Greece, it was great while it lasted. I love soaps with natural ingredients :) Would I buy it again? Yes, if I will come across it in the shops or markets somewhere. Would I buy it online? No, because I don't like my items to be clocking too many air miles (I have a problem with that, although I know I can buy anything under the sun online these days, but we as a consumers have to think about consequences of doing so. And besides, it is just a soap, isn't it?)

MooGoo Irritable Skin Balm - I was using this in combination with other things while my dermatitis was at it's worst and at the time I thought it was helping me (and I even recommended it on my Instagram page) - but later I found out it made my face and under eyes swell - it was actually horrible! I was using it together with Dermalex and wasn't sure which one was helping as I'd used them both together (trust me, when your skin itches that much, you would use anything, esp it it seems to be helping). Long story short I used it alone when I got the odd dermatitis flare up later on, and within one hour my under eyes were puffing up! Needless to say this goes to the bin, never to be purchased again.

Neal's Yard Remedies Geranium & Orange Hand Wash - let's just say that this lasted me four months - using it a few times daily every single day! When I got this I deemed the price too steep (€17.50 for 200ml) but having witnessed the lasting power first hand I should say that I will buy it again, maybe when it's on some kind of deal or sale? What? I am the ultimate bargain hunter, what can I say? :) It is also very gentle and non drying at all and it's 93% organic, certified by Soil Association, they have the strictest criteria for organic certification, so you know it is a good product!

Burt's Bees Baby Bee Shampoo and Wash x2 - it's a constant repurchase in my house, check out my previous posts if you want more info, but let's just say that my hubby wouldn't trade it for anything - and that is rich coming from him! All the dandruff, sensitive scalp and backne problems vanished since he switched to natural shampoo. I find it a bit too pricey as it runs out quickly and it's very thin, but it's a constant repurchase in my house. A holy grail item if you will, will feature in the yearly faves for sure!

Naked Care Neroli & Oatmeal Mild Shampoo - this is a 97% natural product that I got in Boots, but truth to be told it's not a good product, and I won't be repurchasing it. Yes it will wash your hair, but only that, your hair won't be moisturised (the opposite is true, tangly mess anyone?) and it won't be shiny! I am done with their shampoos but I will try their shower gels, as my family refuses to wash themselves with soaps, demanding shower gels back. Spoiled much?

Swell Ultimate Volume Masque - I only tried it once and I hated it with passion! It made my freshly washed hair like 5th day unwashed hair, zero volume, zero shine, just limp, flat and stringy hair. Very disappointing for a product that costs £10 for 50ml - say what?

Rahua Shampoo & Conditioner - these samples came via Naturisimo discovery box (as well as Swell mask) and what can I say? I am in love! These products work amazingly well - probably the best shampoo and conditioner I have ever used in my life!  used both of them separately (that's how I test shampoos at first to see if they are any good on their own, without the help of conditioner) - and they both performed extremely well, passing my 4 days test with gusto. Ingredients are amazing, company's ethos - amazing! The only thing that stops me from getting the full size of it is the price - it's 27£ and 28£ for 275ml! Just imagine the cost for a litre of it? Will I get it? Not right now, but when I will come into money I sure will :) 

Korres Wild Rose 24H Moisturising Brightening Cream - this still has 1/3rd of the product left and while I hate throwing away products, this has to go as it's a year old and my dermatitis seems to react to it (my skin has become very fickle of it, reacting to the ingredients it loved previously, like rosehip oil and rosewater). There is nothing wrong  with the cream itself and I may repurchase it sometime, but not right now, because of the dermatitis and because I have plenty of new products to play with. If you are interested in ingredients, Korres is not 100% natural brand, but they are trying and I like them.

Kjaer Weis foundation in Silken (sample) - this turned out an amazing product and I had to eat my words, as I always claimed I would never spend that much on a foundation, esp as it's only 7.5 grams of product for that amount of cash! Who knew it will turn out the perfect product for me? Two samples in I own a full size of it, stay tuned for a review :) And did I mention that is certified organic?

W3ll People Narcissist Foundation in Nr3 (sample) - again, one sample in, I am hooked :) I proudly own the full size of it and again, stay tuned for a review a few weeks down the line!

Ilia Vivid Foundation in F3 Santorini (sample) - I really wanted to like it because of the clean ingredients, chios mastic intrigued me in particular - but it turned out not the best thing for me - it made my skin itch and I did not like the matte finish, it made my face look flat and tired. So glad I tried a sample first and didn't jump in with both feet like I tend to do.

100% Pure French Lavender Hand Buttercream (sample) - I love this company, give or take I enjoyed all the products I tried from them and I esp love the fact that you can understand every single thing on the ingredients list without needing the chemist's degree :) So what about this product? I do not enjoy the scent of lavender, but I do own this in blood orange flavour (scent? flavour?) so yes, it is a repurchase. We will see. 

The Organic Pharmacy Double Rose Rejuvenating Face Cream for radiant glowing skin - I got this is a sample size last summer and took it on hols with me - and it impressed me so much that I did bring it back! Yes I know, who brings back samples, right? It is light, creamy, leaves skin radiant and bright and happy looking! It didn't react with my dermatitis in the slightest, which is very important factor for me these days. Because it's The Organic Pharmacy, you can trust it will have amazing ingredients, and I will definitely will be getting full size of it eventually, the only reason I haven't done it yet is that I have products coming out of my ears at the moment, and I want to finish them up before buying anything new. I am not one of those bloggers that keeps buying loads of stuff in the year and does the huge purge around the end of the year. I actually use what I have. Case rested.

The Organic Pharmacy Antioxidant Lip Balm - even though it's The Organic Pharmacy brand, I will tell you upfront that I won't be getting full size of this product - first of all it didn't impressed me much, and I find it overpriced for what it is - there are better products than that in the balm category. I didn't like the squeezy tube packaging - it seems half empty and it's very hard to get the product out, I didn't find it moisturising and it separated on me in the second week of using it, so not very impressed in over all.


So that is all my empties for now - did you try any of them and what do you think? Let me know, let's share our thoughts?



That is all for now,
Lots of Love,
Renata.




Monday, November 2, 2015

Neals Yeard Remedies - My Stash and Experience So Far

Hi My Loves :)

 

So I've become Neal's Yard Remedies customer!   Let's see what I got and what I think of it, shall we? Here you will be able to see all the products I got, I will try to do my best to review it as soon as possible, please bear in mind my dermatitis that holds me back from trying it all at once, haha, but I will update this post as soon as I will try new item. So let's dig in :)
 

Beauty Sleep Body Lotion: (30.10€ for 200ml)

Ingredients: Aqua, Corylus avellana (Hazel) nut oil*+, Persea gratissima (Avocado) oil*, Theobroma cacao (Cocoa) butter*, Butyrospermum parkii (Shea nut butter)*, Cetyl alcohol, Cetearyl glucoside, Cera alba (Beeswax)*, Aloe barbadensis leaf juice (Aloe vera) powder*, Sodium hyaluronate, Rosa damascena flower (Rose) oil*, Pelargonium graveolens flower (Geranium) oil*, Cananga odorata flower (Ylang ylang) oil*, Citrus medica limonum (Lemon) oil*, Tocopherol, Helianthus annuus seed (Sunflower) oil*, Cetearyl olivate, Sorbitan olivate, Levulinic acid, Glycerin, Potassium sorbate, Xanthan gum, Benzyl alcohol, Benzyl benzoate, Benzyl salicylate, Citral, Citronellol, Eugenol, Farnesol, Geraniol, Isoeugenol, Limonene, Linalool. *Organically produced ingredient.+Nut based ingredient. Natural constituent of essential oils listed. Made with 95% organic ingredients.
I say: I must confess that I am not a fan of lavender smell, I know, shock horror! :) I do own a lavender essential oil and I do know about many many healing properties to it, but I just can not bring myself to use it, so l tend to skip all-things-lavender. This came in my starter kit and I gifted this among some other things to my mom. She uses it happily.

Geranium & Orange Hand Wash:  (€17.50 for 200ml)

Ingredients: Aqua, Potassium sunflowerate*, Potassium cocoate*, Coco-glucoside, Glycerin*, Citrus aurantium dulcis (Orange) peel oil*, Propolis extract*, Alcohol denat.*, Pelargonium graveolens (Geranium) oil*, Potassium chloride, Potassium citrate, Citral, Citronellol, Geraniol, Limonene, Linalool. *Organically produced ingredient. Natural constituent of essential oils listed. Made with 93% organic ingredients.
I say: I must admit I was apprehensive about seemingly high price tag for such a product, but now I can see it's worth the splurge, as l use it for a God-only-knows how many months already, and it's only halfway down. And I just love the fact that it's made with 95% organic ingredients, what more can you ask for? It is also non drying, which is fabulous, as l wash my hands multiple times per day.
The only fly in the ointment that I don't like the scent so I will go for something else next time, probably Bee Lovely one :)

Rehydrating Rose Toner: (22.50€ for 200ml)

Ingredients: Aqua (Water), Alcohol denat., Aloe barbadensis (Aloe vera) leaf juice powder*, Rosa damascena (Rose) essential oil, Levulinic acid, Glycerin, Potassium sorbate, Coco-glucoside, Citronellol, Eugenol, Farnesol, Geraniol, Linalool. *Organically produced ingredient. Natural constituent of essential oils listed. Made with 95% organically produced ingredients. This is a vegan product.
I say: I must say that my skin didn't react well to the alcohol in this product, and that is the reason I won't be repurchasing this product. That is a  deal breaker for me as my skin tends to react badly to any alcohols in any products; but then again, my skin is sensitive, if you are a gal with normal or oily skin, this might be your best friend? It still sits on my counter in the bathroom, but I must give it away to one of my friends. Prior to this I used to use cheap rose water from Asian shops - edible kind, and they cost less than €2 per bottle, and I will go back to using that.



Lavender Essential Oil: (€9.40 for 10ml)
The only ingredient in this is lavender essential oil, and you can use it for baths, inhalations or applying on the skin, remembering to dilute it very well.

Geranium Essential Oil: (Organic) €14.50 for 10ml
Again, this s a pure essential oil that has balancing refreshing properties to it, and you can use it for vaporisation, baths and on the skin, again, remember to dilute it very well.

Lemon Essential Oil: (Organic) €8 for 10ml
Has stimulating, cleansing and uplifting properties to it, great price point for organic product in my mind! Definitely purchasing it again! Can be used as the other oils, but I also add it to my DIY cleaning products.

*Please don't use any essential oils on the skin undiluted, ever! And please do your own research about essential oils, there are plenty of books or websites dedicated that that.


White Tea Toning Eye Gel: (€33.60 for 10 ml)

Ingredients: Hamamelis virginiana (Witch hazel) extract, Alcohol denat., Aqua (Water), Glycerin, Rosa centifolia (Rose) flower extract, Aloe barbadensis (Aloe vera) leaf juice powder*, Euphrasia officinalis (Eyebright) extract*, Sodium hyaluronate, Camellia sinensis (White tea) leaf extract. *Organically produced ingredient. Made with 6% organic ingredients. Made with 100% ingredients from natural origin. This is a vegan product. 
This is a fabulous product and the only thing that really works at removing wrinkles, it is amazing! I have used countless eye creams in my time and nothing worked until this beauty came along :) So glad I have it! Full review coming up. 

White Tea Facial Mist: (€16.10 for 45ml)

Ingredients: Aqua (Water), Glycerin, Calendula officinalis (Marigold) flower extract*, Alcohol denat.*, Aloe barbadensis (Aloe vera) leaf juice powder*, Levulinic acid, Palmarosa (Cymbopogon martini) oil*, Bergamot (Citrus bergamia) oil*, English Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) oil*, Geranium (Pelargonium graveolens) oil*, Roman Chamomile (Anthemis nobilis) oil*, Cistus (Cistus ladaniferus) oil*, Melissa (Melissa officinalis) oil*, Ylang ylang (Cananga odorata) oil*, Citronella (Cymbopogon nardus) oil*, Camellia sinensis (White tea) leaf extract, Tocopherol, Helianthus annuus (Sunflower) seed oil, Bach Flower RemediesTM: Malus sylvestris (Crab apple) essence, Impatiens glandulifera (Impatiens) essence, Alcohol, Benzyl alcohol, Benzyl benzoate, Benzyl salicylate, Citral, Citronellol, Eugenol, Farnesol, Geraniol, Isoeugenol, Limonene, Linalool. *Organically produced ingredient. Natural constituent of essential oils listed. Made with 92% organic ingredients. This is a vegan product.
I say:  Even though this has alcohol in it too, I am somehow able to use it! It really came handy in summer to take the heat off, and I do plan on purchasing it when the summer comes. if you are dry skin gal like me, you can also use it for setting your make up and refreshing it throughout the day.That's little tip for you :)



Orange Flower Facial Oil: (€34.70 for 30ml)

Ingredients: Macadamia ternifolia (Macadamia) seed oil*+, Simmondsia chinensis (Jojoba) seed oil*, Oenothera biennis (Evening primrose) oil*, Cannabis sativa (Hemp) seed oil*, Punica granatum (Pomegranate) seed oil*, Olea europaea (Olive) fruit oil*, Citrus nobilis (Mandarin) peel oil expressed*, Citrus aurantium (Neroli) flower oil*, Cananga odorata (Ylang ylang) flower oil*, Hippophae rhamnoides (Sea buckthorn) oil*, Helianthus annuus (Sunflower) seed oil, Tocopherol,Benzyl alcohol, Benzyl benzoate, Benzyl salicylate, Citral, Citronellol, Eugenol, Farnesol, Geraniol, Isoeugenol, Limonene, Linalool.
*Organically produced ingredient. +Nut based ingredient. Natural constituent of essential oil listed. Made with 99% organic ingredients. This is a vegan product.
I say: Once I got this I thought it's probably a simple jojoba or sunflower based oil with some orange essential oil in it, however that is not the case! It is chockfull of fabulous plant oils as well as few essential oils, and it's 99% organic, which justifies the price to me (I deemed it too high at the beginning if I am honest) It also does not react with my dermatitis at all, which I am chuffed about, and I do have to say I really am enjoying this! 



Frankincense Hydrating Cream: (€38.50 for 30ml)

Ingredients: Aqua (Water), Helianthus annuus (Sunflower) seed oil*, Simmondsia chinensis (Jojoba) seed oil*, Glycerin*, Cetearyl alcohol, Alcohol denat.*, Calendula officinalis (Marigold) flower extract*, Cetearyl glucoside, Prunus amygdalus dulcis (Almond) oil*+, Prunus armeniaca (Apricot) kernel oil*+, Borago officinalis (Borage) seed oil*, Daucus carota (Carrot) fruit oil*, Aloe barbadensis (Aloe vera) leaf juice powder*, Glyceryl stearate, Cetearyl olivate, Sorbitan olivate, Levulinic acid, Glycerin, Tocopherol, Potassium sorbate, Sodium hyaluronate, Boswellia carterii (Frankincense) oil, Commiphora myrrha (Myrhh) oil, Limonene. *Organically produced ingredient. +Nut/Seed-based ingredient.Natural constituent of essential oils listed.Made with91% organic ingredients.This is a vegan product.
I say: I have used it for a little while, but it is a little too strong for me, plus it always reacts with my dermatitis patch by making it redder, so I probably won't get it again, but I will go for something from their sensitive skin range. 


Wild Rose Beauty Balm: (53.20€ for 50ml)

Ingredients: Rosa canina (Wild rose) seed oil*, Simmondsia chinensis (Jojoba) seed oil*, Cera alba (Beeswax)*, Butyrospermum parkii (Shea butter)*, Cannabis sativa (Hemp) seed oil*, Borago officinalis (Starflower) seed oil*, Pelargonium graveolens (Geranium) flower oil*, Rosmarinus officinalis (Rosemary) leaf oil*, Boswellia carterii (Frankincense) oil, Cymbopogon martini (Palmarosa) herb oil*, Pogostemon cablin (Patchouli) leaf oil*, Ascorbyl palmitate, Tocopherol, Citral, Citronellol, Farnesol, Geraniol, Limonene, Linalool. *Organically produced ingredient. Natural constituent of essential oils listed. Made with 99% organic ingredients.
I say: This is love at the first use! I first tried a sample when I had dermatitis at it's worst and this was one of the very few products that I could tolerate and it soothed my skin tremendously. This you can use three ways - as a mask, a cleanser or as I do, a emolient moisturiser, I leave it all day if I have time to spare. It leaves skin soft and supple, all the redness is gone and my skin seems happier and brighter at the end of the day. I wouldn't waste it using as a cleanser (unless I am traveling) as it's too fabulous for that, not to mention it costs a pretty penny! But once again, even the initial cost seems high, I am once again convinced that it is worth it, as a little of it goes a long way, and I am prepared to pay higher price for an organic product. Plus it's base is rosehip oil, not cheap oil like other brands use, so that explains the price point. I think it's safe to say that it's upgraded to Holy Grail product status and I never want to be without it :) Yep, I love it that much!



AAAnd my second order from the company :)

Aloe Vera Juice: (€7 for 100ml)

Ingredients: Aloe vera (Aloe barbadensis), Citric acid, Sodium benzoate, Potassium sorbate.
This is a vegan product. Can be taken internally or externally. Take my word for it, keep it in the fridge once opened, it went off on the second week for me.

Organic Elderberry Syrup: (13.30€ for 150ml)

Ingredients: Glucose (Corn and sugar beet syrup)*, Elderberries (22%)*, Lemon concentrated juice*. * Organically produced ingredients. Made with 100% organic ingredients.
I say: I will happily pay this price for an organic product, and I found out elderberry is what helps me the most not to get sick in winters, so I always stock up on it come winter. It also gives you energy for a good few hours, like a nature's Berocca Boost!I highly recommend it.

Geranium and Orange Shower Gel: (19.60€ for 200ml)

Ingredients: Water (Aqua), Lauryl glucoside, Cocamidopropyl betaine, Sodium cocoamphoacetate, Calendula officinalis (Marigold) flower extract*, Pelargonium graveolens (Geranium) flower oil*, Citrus aurantium dulcis (Orange) peel oil*, Panthenol, Alcohol denat., Sodium olive amphoacetate, Levulinic acid, Glycerin, Citric acid,Citral, Citronellol, Geraniol, Limonene, Linalool. *Organically produced ingredient.Natural constituent of essential oils listed. Made with 65% organically produced ingredients. This is a vegan product.
I say: I didn't open it yet, as I still am using the tiny little sample bottle of Bee Lovely shower gel, more about it in a second, and if this is similar, which I assume it is, it should last me absolutely ages. The only thing that I don't enjoy the smell of it, so will go for something else next time, not sure yet.


Bee Lovely Set, which consisted of :

Bee Lovely Busy Bee Balm: (€9.10 for 15ml)

 Ingredients :Helianthus annuus (Sunflower) seed oil* Ricinus communis (Castor) seed oil* Cera alba (Beeswax)* Cocos nucifera (Coconut) oil* Theobroma cacao (Cocoa) seed butter* Citrus sinensis (Orange) peel oil expressed* Calendula officinalis (Marigold) flower extract* Tocopherol CitralEugenol Farnesol Geraniol Limonene Linalool
*Organically produced ingredient.Natural constituent of essential oils listed.Made with 99% organic ingredients.
I say: this was much needed for a lip balm addict - me :) and I do enjoy it very much! Even though the tin is tiny, I think it will last for a year at the very least, as a little of it goes a long way! I also like cute retro metal tin packaging, the only thing that bugs me is thatI have to dip my fingers in the pot, and that contaminates a product.


Bee Lovely Hand Cream: (€14 for 50ml)

 Ingredients: Aqua (Water), Helianthus annuus (Sunflower) seed oil*, Bertholletia excelsa (Brazil nut) seed oil*, Cetyl alcohol, Cetearyl glucoside, Cetearyl olivate, Mel (Honey)*, Citrus sinensis (Orange) peel oil expressed*, Alcohol denat.*, Propolis extract*, Sorbitan olivate, Sodium hyaluronate, Camellia sinensis (White tea) leaf extract, Tocopherol, Xanthan gum, Potassium sorbate, Levulinic acid, Glycerin, Sodium levulinate, Citral, Limonene, Linalool. *Organic ingredients. Natural constituent from essential oils listed.
I say: this is very nice hand cream indeed and I do enjoy using it. I does sink in very fast and does not leave any greasy or sticky residue, which is always a bonus. Smells like oranges, and I do wish it would smell of honey like the name suggest.


Bee Lovely Body Lotion: (30.10€ for 295ml)

Ingredients: Aqua (Water) Helianthus annuus (Sunflower) seed oil* Glycerin Cetearyl alcohol Cetearyl glucoside Cera alba (Beeswax)* Citrus sinensis (Orange) peel oil expressed* Citrus nobilis (Mandarin) peel oil expressed* Styrax tonkinensis (Benzoin) resin extract* Mel (Honey)* Aloe barbadensis (Aloe vera) leaf juice powder* Tocopherol
Xanthan gum Alcohol denat.* Levulinic acid Sodium levulinate Potassium sorbate Sodium dehydroacetate Citral Citronellol Eugeno Farnesol Geraniol Limonen Linalool
*Organically produced ingredient. Natural constituent of essential oils listed. Made with 94% organic ingredients.
I say: Ok, I have to admit seeing so many ingredients scares me a little bit, as I am a mimimalist when it comes to ingredients in the products that I use on my body, the fewer, the better. I will use it up, but I am not sure if I will repurchase it to be honest, as I am in a happy relationship with my pure oils and butters. Even if the product would be super fabulous and amazing, I don't think I will part with 30 bucks for a body lotion.. Just being honest. 


100% Organic Essential Oil "Organic Defence": (€16.10 for 10ml)

Ingredients: Melaleuca Viridiflora Leaf Oil*, Cymbopogon Schoenanthus Oil*, Lavandula Hybrida Oil*, Thymus Vulgaris (Thyme) Oil*, Vetiveria Zizanoides Root Oil*, Cinnamomum Zeylanicum Leaf Oil*, Benzyl Benzoate, Cinnamal, Cinnamyl Alcohol, Citral, Citronellol, Coumarin, Eugenol, Farnesol, Geraniol, Limonene, Linalool. *Organically produced ingredient. Natural constituent of essential oils listed. Made with 100% organic ingredients. This is a vegan product.
I say: I purchased this specifically for this upcoming winter, as I wanted an essential oil blend to protect us from getting sick. I've only used it twice so far, but I can already tell that it will last for a decent amout of time. I used it in my oil burner, and 4 drops I'd put in it were too much, so make sure to start with 1-2 and build it up from there. I will update on it as the time goes.



Organic Honey and Thyme Syrup: (€14 for 150ml)

Ingredients: Honey*, Water, Alcohol*, Marshmallow Root Extract (6.7%)*, Glycerin, Thyme Flower Extract (1.6%)*, Aniseed Fruit Extract*, E300 Ascorbic acid (Vitamin C). *Organically produced ingredient.
I say: This was another hero product for me, as it knocked out the cough for all four of us in as little as three days! this is nothing short of a miracle for me, and needless to say I always want to have this product now :) 

My Final Thoughts:
I am really impressed with the quality of all the products I have tried, and I have given myself plenty of time to play with the products to make up my mind. As I metioned in the beggining of my post, I deemed a lot if not all products too expensive (at least for my pocket) but now that I see that they have high percentage of organic ingredients, last for absolutely ages and do work fabulously, I changed my mind about the price point - it's all worth it. I love what this company is all about, they were pioneers in organic, natural and fairtrade business, in fact they were organic before it was fashionable to be organic, they were natural long before it was popular to be natural! I am really impressed! They are fairtrade, do not test on animals (leaping bunny certified), not all products are vegan, but a good portion of it, and it will be stated so. As always, there are star products and not-so-great products in the line, but some of them made it into Holy Grail Status Products, and what can I say - Rose Mask, Organic Thyme Syrup, Organic Defence EO blend and Orange Flower Facial oil get official Green Life In Dublin Stamp Of Approval! 

 What are your favourite NYR products? And if you haven't tried it yet, what would you like to try first? Please share, I really want to know :)
(don't forget to contact me if you would like to order some of the products for yourself or for your loved ones, perfect for upcoming Christmas presents).

That is all for now.
Much Love,
Renata.


Saturday, October 10, 2015

Natural Empties & Stuff I Am Throwing Away - Autumn 2015

Hi My Loves :)

Today I am coming at you with my trash, aka empties. I must admit I do enjoy watching these videos on YouTube, as it sorts the good products from the bad in my mind! I mean, the product has to be good if you finish the whole bottle and go on to repurchase it, right?

So let's start from the top left:

Aromatherapy Herbal Soap by Plantlife - this is vegan gluten free GMO free paraben free natural soap that I got in TK Maxx for six bucks in orange and vanilla scent and I really liked it, although my family didn't enjoy it, so I was left to finish it on my own, which was fine with me. The thing is I am trying to wean my family off the shower gels - they are made to run out quickly (meaning you come back to purchase it frequently = you bring more money to manufacturer) and make tons of plastic waste, something I am against, but I kinda have a hard time getting my point across, as  my hubs and elder princess are too used to shower gels, aka easy life :) Now let's get back to the soap, shall we? The label (which is printed in recyclable soy ink, no less!) says that they hand craft the soaps the old fashioned way - no heating, meaning the ingredients retain their beneficial properties. The soap is non drying and not irritating, something I can testify. The ingredients include organic herbs, aromatherapy grade essential oils, and plant oils such as olive oil and coconut oil. Truly natural stuff.
Repurchase? Without a doubt, yes.

Pur Minerals Bling Mascara - this is my natural Holy Grail mascara without a doubt! I am so glad to have found it, you guys have no idea! It lengthens, gives loads of volume, everything that a regular mascara does! Before it i was trying loads of other natural brands including Lavera, Benecos and DrHauschka, and they were so poor in performing, they made me sad as I was imagining to myself all natural mascaras would be this way - i.e. not doing anything - and I basically spent many months with crappy lashes (and not-so-great overall look too) because I don't do fake lashes. I got my first PurMinerals mascara in TK Maxx for 4 or 6 euros, and since then went on to repurchase it at full price in M&S a couple of times too. 
Repurchase? Absolutely! (Although I want to try many different mascaras, including Lash Dominator by Bare Minerals, Lily Lolo, and multiple others, I still want to have this on me at all times).

Declare Skinatura Restructure and Lift Elixir Serum - this is Swiss product that truly works and I was in awe when it helped to heal my dry patch on the face that wouldn't budge for weeks! (result of trying out a tanning product once, yes, my skin is THAT sensitive) and in some time I noticed my complexion getting smoother and firmer, brighter too, in fact my skin looked really good when I was using this and vitamin C serum at night. The ingredients feature organic oils and natural hyaliuronic acid. The problem was, it went rancid on me very soon, even though I kept it in the fridge, so I am not sure if I got an old product or it has extremely short shelf life? i got mine in TK Maxx (where else?) for about 13€ but it retails for 48€ and I didn't see it in the actual shops in Dublin anywhere, nor I was able to find it in TK Maxx ever since.
Repurchase? maybe! I know this is a good product and I do keep it at the back of my mind, but I am having too much fun with other products :)

Bee Lovely Shower Gel by NYR (or Neal's Yard Remedies in other words) - this was a pleasant surprise, and something I really enjoyed using. It came in a Bee Lovely set that I got a little while back, and so far so good! Smells lovely (although all the line of Bee Lovely products smell of orange essential oil, you do not get a scent of honey, but it is definitely on the list of ingredients). You only need a little of it to get a great lather, the very first time I tried it, I used the regular amount i would use with other shower gels, and let's just say I was practically having a bubble bath, lol! This is not drying and not irritating too.
Repurchase? Yes, if on sale. What? I am a thrifty person :)

Lavera Kids Toothgel - this I am throwing away because it got rancid on me. My little princess definitely enjoyed it's strawberry-raspberry flavor, and I enjoyed the fact that it has minimal good ingredients, the only thing I didn't like was the glycerine in it, it is said to coat the teeth and prevent them from re-mineralising themselves, so i will try to look for glycerine free version of toothpaste next. If you will decide to go for it, look for it in health food stores.
Repurchase? No.

100% Pure Fruit Pigmented Mascara - this came in a gift set that the brand was giving away with a purchase a while back, and it was my first order from 100% Pure! I mean who can resist a make up freebie, esp this natural, right? At first I really hated this mascara, as it reminded me of DrHauschka one, i.e. I thought it does nothing for my lashes, as it gives zero volume, something I desperately need! But as the weeks went by and it dried up a bit, I warmed up to it as I was able to layer it more, and coupled with Pur Minerals mascara on top of this, it definitely was a good combo. And I appreciate the fabulous ingredients in this! 
Repurchase? Not sure - I ordered their Maracuja mascara, so yes, it is a repurchase in a way, but I have to see which one I like better. Plus I am not sure if |I want to pay custom duties every time I order from this brand. So we will see.

Pur Minerals pressed foundation in Porcelain - this I also got in TK Maxx for €6 about a year ago and I could not find it there at that price ever since. Porcelain is their lightest shade and it is too light on me, so eventually I will purchase the product, but I need to match my shade correctly, but every time I visit M&S store who carry this line, the tester I am looking for is never there, I can't remember the name of the next shade up - that is the one I am looking for. The thing is, on pictures it looks almost identical to Porcelain and the next next shade is way too dark for me, so I need to eventually find a tester and colour match myself to the right shade. So you can see, it is a repurchase. The reason I am buying this again is that it coverage is very good - full coverage if we speak in beauty terms. It also didn't irritate my dermatitis at it's worst, so that's when you know it is a good product.
Repurchase? Yes Yes Yes.

Meswak toohpaste - a staple in my house that I get in Asian shops for 1.5€, so you can see it is much cheaper than any brand from health store (the last time I paid 10€ for one with manuka honey in it, and that is ridiculous price point for a toothpaste if you ask me). The ingredients are really good (and the marking is green!) in it apart SLS which irritates the crap out of me, but there's nothing I can do about it. In order not to have too much SLS I alternate it with neem paste.
Repurchase? Yes, it is a staple.

Korres Hand Cream with organic almond oil and shea butter - this is one fabulous hand cream, that I would repurchase for the smell alone! The marking is black and it has loads of ingredients and some of them I can't pronounce or understand, meaning it is not all natural product. Korres in fact isn't all natural brand, but they are trying.
Repurchase? Not right away as currently I have NYR hand cream, but yes, I would go back to this product.

Pai Rosehip BioRegenerate Oil I got a sample of it from Naturisimo to see if my skin will tolerate it (it is super finicky lately due to dermatitis and seems to react to EVERYTHING, even to the products it loved before, like rosehip oil from another brand. Yes I have it that bad at the moment!) This brand it is a cult product in the green beauty community and it has been recommended to me numerous times, hence me finally trying it out! It is different from other oils in a way that is has rosehip seed and fruits oil blended together.
Repurchase? Yes, very soon I will go for this product.

Bottom row from the left:

Sukin Facial Moisturiser - I found this on Holland and Barrett website and I immediately went on to purchase it as I knew Sukin as this clean Aussie brand, and the ingredients in this sound fabulous - aloe vera, nettle, horsetail, burdock, rosehip, jojoba oil, avocado oil and a bunch of other ingredients, it all sounded fabulous and I was keeping fingers crossed it would work for me, as I needed a good facial moisturiser - who doesn't? I perused the ingredients and I knew it has a couple of alcohols in it, which don't suit my skin in general, but as they were way down on the ingredient list, I thought I might get away with it? Plus, it is 125ml instead of your regular 50ml for your average face cream for 13€, so the price point is fabulous. And I really like the fact that it has a pump, much more sanitary than dipping your germy fingers in a pot, right? Did it agree with me? No, I got breakouts from it even though I tried it multiple times. I did finish it as a body cream but it did not blow me away either.
Repurchase? No, purely because it made me breakout.

Earth Friendly Baby Organic Mandarin Bubble Bath - this you can get in Boots or numerous other shops, and I would highly recommend it as this brand does fabulous products with very clean ingredients, it does not get cleaner than that! this particular product has over 70% of organic ingredients, and what's more, it truly works! I have tried Burt's Bees bubble bath before this, and that was a real flop producing practically no bubbles. Plus Earth Friendly Baby one is 2 or 3 times cheaper, depending on where you buy it. I also really enjoy their Baby Hair and Body wash, I use it as a body wash and the ingredients in that product are also fabulous, you can understand every single ingredients without needing the chemist's degree! This company truly gets Green Life In Dublin seal of approval, and their products cost about a fiver each, which is like music to my ears! Let's hope Boots doesn't discontinue this product like they did with Child's Farm (more on it later)
Repurchase? not for this product, as it turned out my little princess does not like bubble baths and everybody else in the familia are shower users.

Child's Farm Shampoo (over 98% natural ingredients, suitable for eczema prone skin from newborn upwards) - I got this in Boots, or should I say I used to get this in Boots, as they discontinued this fabulous clean brand and replaced it with chemical laden one which also costs twice as much! Boo Boots, and the pun is intended, you really put BOO in Boots this time! Yes I do understand you need to make money, but as you have only a little handful of natural brands/products, so why pull the plug on one of them and introduce yet more chemicals, especially for newborns and young children?! And what is more infuriating to me, Child's Farm is only discontinued in Boots Ireland, it is still available in Boots UK! Why for God's sake? Boo you, and did I mention boo?!
Now, little rant aside, all is not lost as this brand is available in selected Supervalu stores, so look out for that :) it costs a bit more, but I will continue to buy it nonetheless. All my family uses it, as a shampoo and a body wash, it is almost as good as Burt's Bees one, although it won't give you as much shine.
Repurchase? Yes!

Dr Bronners, Burt's Bees Child Shampoo and Bodywash, and Rosewater from Asian shop (edible kind) Please excuse me if I roll these all into one, these are all repurchases and staples in my house and I constantly sing praises to them in my blog and Instagram posts. So I won't repeat myself for the millionth time here, and you can always browse my blog if you want to know more, right? :)
Repurchase? YES YES YES!


So that is all for now :) What are you loving and finishing off lately?


Lots of Love,
Renata.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Super Loaded Sauerkraut

    Hello :)


I am thinking of starting a new series on the blog, recipes that are healing to the body.
Because of my dermatitis and multiple allergies, I have to be wheat/gluten/dairy free, and while at first it seemed there's nothing left to eat (imagine taking away all of your fave foods overnight and having to comb through ingredients list of EVERYTHING all the time!! Long and frustrating story short, let's just say eating out fills me with fear, not glee these days)  I am slowly but surely accumulating my new fave recipes, and I thought of sharing those with you, as it may help someone out there who is in similar position to me? I would be glad if would help out at least one person out there :)
So, my first recipe is for loaded superfoods sauerkraut! I was never a big fan of it before and I didn't made it at home until I learned that is a natural source of probiotics and enzymes and I am all about healing my gut and probiotics now!  Don't get the shop bought sauerkraut, because unless it will labeled as raw, it is treated with heat, effectively killing off all the good stuff in it, plus it is made with industrial strength vinegar, something that is not good for your body. Plus is is so much cheaper to make it at home, and I promise you, it will be ten times more tasty!

So let's get started, shall we?

What you will need:
For basic recipe of sauerkraut:
Half a head of small cabbage
One large carrot
Half an onion
2tbs of Salt (I always use Himalayan pink salt)

Ingredients for pimping it: (you may add all of them or just a couple)
Apple cider vinegar
Dill - this made it on the whole new level!
Paprika
Cranberries
Celery
Sprouted quinoa
Turmeric
Spring Onions
Basil


How to make it:
Prep the vegetables, take off the top layers of the cabbage, peel the carrots and other veg and wash everything throughout. Shred or hand cut all the ingredients, put the salt on them, pound them with pestle and mortar or the end of the rolling pin or something similar and leave it to rest of 1 hour. (I want to add that you don't need any vinegar to make real kraut, as the cabbage will ferment on it's own,I only added Bragg's Apple Cider vinegar because I wanted to). After the hour has passed, squeeze the veg once more, the more juices it will make, the better! Pack everything tightly into glass jars, pressing it down a few times so the air bubbles would come out up top and wait a few days for it to ferment. It will be done on the day seven, but if you are like me, you will start eating it way sooner, because it is just too damn tasty :)
And I should add that technically this is not the correct way of fermenting, you should add something like a small plate and something very heavy on top, so the cabbage would be submerged in the liquid at all times (it can get moldy otherwise). I remember my mom used to make large quantities of it and she used bucket to put it in, then the plate and the huge stone on top. Of course you can get special jars for this purpose that would have weighted lids, but I am not buying them, because they are expensive, and I don't want my stuff to be clocking so many air miles, but feel free to buy them if you will decide to! I will think of something, I am sure of it :)
So, please let me know if you ever made your very own sauerkraut? or planning to? Let me know how do you like it, if you will decide to go for my recipe, i really want to know :)


So that is all for now :)
Lots of love,

Renata.



Wednesday, September 30, 2015

I AM SELFCARE SKINCARE review


Hello and welcome back my loves!


Lovely ladies from I AM SELFCARE SKINCARE contacted me to see if I would like to review their products, and seeing that they use plant based extracts and they are cruelty free company, l said yes. Many if not all products are vegan too.




A bit about the company in words of the President Cathy McCracken:


I’ve always been a self-proclaimed “naturalist” with a fascination for whole health. I’ve studied and practiced various aspects of nurturing the body, mind and spirit—including yoga, meditation, nutritional supplements and, of course, skincare and body care.

Over the years, I’d noticed many skincare companies stating half-truths and making lofty claims about their products with nothing substantial to support those claims. As I learned the intricacies of botanical skincare, this concerned me, as I saw how easily consumers could be misled into spending money on products that weren’t capable of giving them good value or solid results.

So I began formulating my own skincare line and testing it out on family and friends. Quickly, these products caught on throughout my community, and I began getting requests for orders. When it became undeniable that I was onto something, I took a leap of faith and created my own company in 2008.


I set out to start a skin care business that tells the truth about what’s possible to obtain (and what’s not) from using high quality skincare products. My simple goal was to provide the very best naturally sourced ingredients in a line that would be affordable to anyone who wanted beautiful skin. I believed then, and I’ve proven since then, that you CAN have it all when it comes to luxurious skincare: it doesn’t have to be the most expensive to be the best.


The secret is in the type and amount of active ingredients that we choose to use. I AM products are bursting with potent actives because I want everyone who uses our products to see positive results, regardless of their skin type. If the right ingredients are there, they will work. Will you look the same as you did in your twenties? To be honest, probably not, but you WILL see youthful changes in the tone, texture and radiance of your skin.




And boy, do they work! Now, before we begin the review, I wanted to tell you that majority of these products were tested on my more-than-willing human test bunnies, aka my hubby, teen daughter and bestie. Transparency and honesty are very important to me, so I wanted to throw it out there upfront. Of course I wanted to test them all myself, but my skin is still in and out of flares (for those of you who are new to my blog, I have dermatitis herpetiformis - nothing to do with herpes, mind you, it's just my body's reaction to gluten is to break out in painful blisters all over, and what's more upsetting, mostly on my face. I will do a blog post about it, promise) So I am using absolutely minimum products on my face as my skin seems to react to everything, and needless to say I was afraid to irritate it by putting new products on it. My scalp is OK though, and I have played with the hair gel, which is such a cool products, it also doubles as a scalp treatment and a face cream! How cool is that? So if you want to see what these products are and what my test team thought of them, please keep on reading :)



I AM combines a synergistic blend of 61 actives in our skincare line and 38 in our haircare line. I AM not only uses more active ingredients than most skin care companies, they infuse them into the products at very high concentrations too. (Some other big brand companies may use the same active ingredients too, but mostly they use minuscule amounts of it, which is why you may have not seen results). What's more, they offer your money back if you are not completely satisfied.


Also let's just take a moment to appreciate the fabulous names of the products - I am Magnificent, Vibrant, Joyous, Infinite, Pure, how fabulous that sounds? They encourage you to read those out loud every morning as positive affirmations to set your day in a positive way, and I think that is a splendid idea!





I AM JOYOUS is a daily facial cream, which is light, refreshing and infused with 24 active ingredients!
Ingredients List: Water, Jojoba Seed (Simmondsia chinensis) Oil, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Squalane, Polysorbate 60, Sorbitol, Butylene Glycol, Glyceryl Stearate, Cetyl Alchohol, C14-22 Alchohols, C12-20 Alkyl Glucoside, Stearyl Alchohol, Sesame Seed (Sesamum indicum) Oil, Sweet Almond (Prunus amygdalus dulcis) Oil, Avocado Seed (Persea gratissima) Oil, Carnosine, Carnotine, Hydrolyzed Collagen, Resveratrol, Coenzyme Q10, Glutathione, Alpha Lipoic Acid, N-Acetyl N Acetyl Glucosamine, Niacinamide, Cholestryl Oleyl Carbonate, Cholestryl Nonanoate, Cholestryl Chloride, Pomegranate (Punica granatum) Seed Oil, Tocotrienols, Alpha-D-Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Astaxanthin, Lycopene, Lutein, Beta Carotene, Hyaluronic Acid, Citric Acid, Xanthan Gum, Potassium Sorbate, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol.

It promises to protect from enviromental stressors, fight premature aging, age spots and tighten, brighten and lift the skin, and my very happy test bunny can confirm all those things, she says the moisturiser sinks in quickly leaving no sticky residue on the skin, feels comfortable throughout the day and her skin is much more happy since she started this product as well as VIBRANT eye cream. The face is visibly brighter and so soft, she says she can't stop touching her skin all day long!



Now for I AM MAGNIFICIENT day and night hydrating moisturiser that my bestie used as a night time moisturiser. This vegan product is packed with shea, avocado, jojoba and sweet almond butters and oils which lend emollient properties to it, plus cermides antioxidants and Sea Kelp.
Ingredients list: Water, Lactobacillus/kelp ferment filtrate (Sea Kelp Bioferment), Simmondsia chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Squalane, Polysorbate 60, Sorbitol, Butylene Glycol, Glyceryl Stearate, Cetyl Alcohol, C14-22 Alcohols, C12-20 Alkyl Glucoside, Stearyl Alcohol, Butyrospermum parkii (Shea) Butter, Lecithin (from non-GMO Soy), Sesamum indicum (Sesame) Seed Oil, Prunus amygdalus dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Persea gratissima (Avocado) Oil, Cholesteryl Nonanoate, Punica granatum (Pomegranate) Seed Oil, Tocotrienols, Tocopherol (alpha-D-tocopherol , Vitamin E), Astaxanthin, Lycopene, Xanthophyll (Lutein), Alpha Lipoic Acid, Beta Carotene, Hyaluronic Acid, Ceramide E (Cetyl-PG Hydroxyethyl Palmitamide), Citric Acid, Xanthan Gum, Potassium Sorbate, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol

Now, while this is rich cream packed full of goodness, it sinks in quickly and leaves skin soft and nourished. My bestie loves it so much that she can't imagine her nightly routine without it and has even asked if I have some more of this for her! Nice try love :) 




I AM VIBRANT is an illuminating eye cream, that is packed with 31 active ingredients, including Hesperidin Methyl Chalcone to handle under-eye baggage, and Chrysin to lighten dark, under-eye cirlcles. CoQ10, Green Tea, Sea Kelp and some other ingredients.

Ingredients List: Water, Lactobacillus/kelp ferment filtrate (Sea Kelp Bioferment), Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Squalane, Polysorbate 60, Sorbitol, Butylene Glycol, Glyceryl Stearate, Cetyl Alcohol, C14-22 Alcohols, C12-20 Alkyl Glucoside, Stearyl Alcohol, Sesamum Indicum (Sesame) Seed Oil, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Seed Oil, Water, Hesperidin Methyl Chalcone, Caffeine, Hyaluronic Acid, Grape Seed Extract, Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide, Hydrolyzed Collagen, Hyaluronic acid, N Acetyl Glucosamine, Centella Asiatica (Indian Pennywort) extract, Cholesteryl Oleyl Carbonate, Cholesteryl Nonanoate, Cholesteryl Chloride, Hydrolyzed Collagen, Pomegranate Seed (Punica granatum) Oil, Tocotrienols, Alpha-D-Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Astaxanthin, Lycopene, Lutein, Alpha Lipoic Acid, Beta Carotene, Chrysin, Alpha Lipoic Acid, Camellia Sinensis (green tea) EGCG leaf extract, Ubiquinone (CoQ10), Niacinamide (Vitamin B3), Boswellia Serrata (Indian Frankincense), Hyaluronic Acid, Human Oligopeptide-1, Citric Acid, Xanthan Gum, Potassium Sorbate, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol

Once again, oh boy does it work! My friend does not have dark circles, but her bags were diminished and her little fine lines are definitely reduced in as little as three weeks! She was really impressed with all the three products she was given. Big thumbs up from her :)



I should also give a mention to the luxurious packaging of the creams, it comes in jars that  have double walls and with airless pump to preserve the freshness of the ingredients. Also, if you are not dipping your finger in a pot, there's no chance of bacteria getting in. The way it works is you have to pump it a few times to get the product out, and the cream comes out on top of the jar as you can see here. Each jar is also hand written with the date of when it was blended, so you would know you are getting freshest possible concoctions.


I AM LUSH was the product that intrigued me the most, a hair gel that doubles as a scalp treatment AND a oil free moisturiser? Are you kidding me? How cool is that? You don't come across many products that doubles and triples in their uses, don't you? So what is it?
This vegan product is basically liquid nutrition for your hair and scalp, packed full of vitamins, minerals and proteins, and over time it helps your hair grow too.

Ingredients list: Lactobacillus/kelp ferment filtrate (Sea Kelp Bioferment), Phenoxyethanol, Chlorphenesin, Sodium Dehydroacetate.

So this was tested by my hubby (who has this Viking style man-tail going on) and myself, and my hair is long and full, but fine at the same time. My hubby uses hair gel every day because his hair is curly and he desperately tries to straighten it with the help of hair gel, but he uses tons of it, sometimes to the point that his ponytail is so stiff that l joke it might break off if I touched it :) So needless to say he commented than this LUSH gel is more like a leave in conditioner, than a hair gel, and he needed way more hold from it. I, on another hand, liked light-to-medium hold of it, as it was perfect to define my loose curls and tame flyaways. We both used it as a scalp treatment and face gel, and both liked it, so it is safe to say it really works multiple ways. Perfect for travelling I would say, you would be packing just one item instead of three.




I AM PURE was the first product that we tested from the bunch, and it went to my daughter, who is in her teens and she's a bit different from other teens in a way that she uses no products (the later, the better I say). She does have acne as all teens do, but it is not severe, pimples here and there and lots of pores clogged with sebum. She didn't promise to use it everyday or anything, so only after two days l noticed a difference so huge I had to ask what she was doing to her skin - it was brighter, more even, all the pimples were shrunk dramatically and pores were non-existen! She said it was down to this product as she didn't use anything else! I wish I took "before and after" photos! It was truly a wow moment, and I have to admit I was a little jel that I can't use it myself :) I can't sing enought praises about this cleanser as I witnessed instant results from it and now, a few weeks down the line, her skin continues to be amazing, the best it looked in a really long time. BIG thumbs up from me and my teen test bunny! And did I mention that it's a vegan product too?
Ingredients ListLactobacillus/kelp ferment filtrate (Sea Kelp Bioferment), Distilled Water, Glycerin (Vegetable), Decyl Glucoside, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Powder, Glycerin (Vegetable) , Salicin from White Willow Bark Extract (Salicylic Acid), Citric Acid, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol, Sorbic Acid.



Conclusion: these products really do work, there is no doubt about that, and l really liked the fact they are packed with array of powerful botanical extracts. Now, a few of you my wonderful purist friends may point out that they use preservatives in their products, and yes, they do, as Cathy herself explained to me, they are not natural in a way that they would not have preservatives, they are needed to bind water and oil together, and without them not only you would have a hot mess on your hands, but your products would be quickly overrun with bacteria, mould and other nasties. So they are there for a reason. I AM are natural in a way that they use many potent botanical extracts in a high concentrations, much higher than your regular over the counter skincare brands. They have "Ingredients glossary" tab so you can go and peruse any ingredients you are unsure of, and then decide for yourself if you are OK using it. Customer service is also excellent, all my questions were answered in prompt and friendly manner.
I AM have 14 products in skincare range, 5 haircare products and lash and brow rejuvenator. They also have this wonderful program where they will send full size Magnificent cream to someone special to you if you buy any product! How amazing is that? Talk about giving back big time!



So that is all for today, let me know if you used or are planning to use any products from I Am range, and how did they work for you? 



Lots of Love,
Renata.




Monday, September 21, 2015

Blush For Days

Hi My Lovelies,


Today's post idea came via Instagram, lovely fellow blogger Rawdorable (check her out, she really is adorable!) tagged me to show my current blushes in a tag called Blush For Days, and since one of them is my little DIY, I thought I could post it here too, as some of you might want to know the DIY recipe?
So here are my favourites for the moment, shall we start? By the way, this photo is not retouched, and the colours are true to life, even though I didn't had the best of light at the time I shot the picture, what you see here, is what you will get :)

Starting from the top right corner and going clockwise:

Inika Peachy Keen, beautiful shade, more orange than coral, and the gold shimmer particles are quite visible in it. Very clean ingredients, which l like bout this blush, but this tends not to last on me. Costs £17 and I got it from Love Lula.

Bellapierre Desert Rose, the most subdued of the shades here, but beautiful nonetheless :) the name pretty much describes the colour, and I use it most often with the bold lip colours. I got it in TKMaxx in a set a while ago, but you can get it from Naturisimo and Lovelula.com, both websites have free worldwide shipping, I love free shipping so much :)

Pur Minerals Polynesian Pink is the colour I can not get enough of, it is dead ringer for Nars Orgasm! If you are looking for clean version of that blush, you are welcome :) I know I was killing myself for around two years until I found this, as all other blushes didn't look quite right on me. It behaves exactly the same way as Nars one, is very pigmented, lasts all day as well. I have this baby for almost a year, and it doesn't even look dented, so it will last for ages! I am lusting over Kinky blush from the same brand, as it is almost the same shade, but with more gold particles to it! Unfortunately Pur Minerals have both carmine  and phenoxyethanol in them, and while I avoid both ingredients in my other products, I can't bring myself to NOT USE this either. So I kinda made a deal with myself to avoid carmine everywhere apart this, and as I have seen many green bloggers bending the rules in much similar fashion, I am sort of OK with this. Oh, and this costs 27€ full price, but I managed to get it for €4 in TKMaxx a year ago. I couldn't find it ever since, but as I always tell you, please check your local TKMaxx people! Sometimes beauty section contains treasures like this!

Next is Jane Iredale multiple in Clarity, which is beautiful baby pink, and I used it a lot in summer. You can use it on the lips too, but that way it does not last, so I mainly use it on my cheeks. For me it lacks depth or some shimmer, or something to it, and I always have to use highlighter on top to get my look just right, so in my mind this doesn't live up to my standard, as I'd like to minimise my make up routine, not add to it, or maybe I am just expecting too much? If  you are looking for a natural blush that will look natural, this might be your best friend indeed. I got mine from Naturisimo and I believe I paid around 21-23£ for it.

 And last but not least, my little DIY, which you can see pictured in the middle. A good while ago I got gorgeous micas from voyageursoapandcandle.com and I did this little diy with one of them, called Cotton Candy. Basically micas are concentrated mineral colours (don't apply straight up, unless you are after the clown effect) and at that time I wanted to learn how to do your own mineral make up (there are some tutorials on youtube and on the internet if you want to give it a go) but from what I researched, the recipes called for a bunch of other ingredients, which I had no desire nor funds to buy, so I put my own spin on it, and tried the recipe two ways, and they both work great.
So here are super simple recipes, hope some of you will find it useful?

Version 1: take 1 part of mica 
and 5/6 parts of mineral foundation that is way too pale for you.

Version 2: take 1part of mica 
and 5/6 parts of arrowroot flour. 



So that is all for now, hope you will find it useful :)
Have a great day everyone!



Lots of love,
Renata.