Sunday, 1 May 2016
Thursday, 28 April 2016
I've genuinely been using natural and organic beauty products for so long that I have a list of lost loves.
1. Lily Lolo Eyeshadow Quad: A lovely mix of pale pink, bronze, warm cocoa and a very dark chocolate shade, with a little bit of shimmer. A good mirror, and I loved the white packaging - I much prefer it to the monochrome packaging that they have now. Wonderful for travelling, and I wore the shades all the time for work.
2. Lily Lolo Rose Glow Highlighter and Blush: I really miss this product. Again, a good sized product, with a decent mirror. Wonderfully shimmery - before highlighter was that fashionable - with dusk pink tones. Beautiful.
3. Sante Eyeshadow Sticks - I'm not sure if these are entirely discontinued, but they are quite difficult to get hold of in the UK - although this website has some shades. A great chunky shape, and muted colours, although I would prefer it if the formula was slightly more buttery - they are a tiny bit too hard to use on the eyes.
4. Green People Concealer Pencil - a really firm texture and pale colour, and so was brilliant for naturally covering blemishes.
5. Benecos Eyeshadow in So What: This is an eyeshadow that I've only bought recently so I was really disappointed to find out that it was going to be discontinued. It's a beautiful antique gold shade, with just the right amount of shimmer.
So, now I've revisited these favourites with wistful nostalgia, what do I use instead:
The most logical swaps for the Lily Lolo eyeshadow quad and rose blush were these two product by Benecos: their Natural Eyeshadow Quad in Coffee & Cream and blush in Rose Trio (which has a highlighter in the middle). I'm still on the hunt for an affordable cream eyeshadow stick, but for concealer, I'm still using my final stick of Green People - whilst using the creamy BWC Super Cover Cream Concealer under my eyes (it has slightly peachy undertones, so works perfectly for this). You can still buy the Benecos eyeshadow in So What, but a loose mineral verison would be Lily Lolo in Gold Digger - it's the same perfect antique gold.
Have you ever had a natural product that you loved be discontinued?
Tuesday, 26 April 2016
Natural and organic beauty products are becoming more popular. A lot more popular. So I thought it was time to review the handful of products that are gaining 'cult classic' status.
1. Weleda Skin Food £7.95 for 75ml
Worth the hype? Yes - but only if you recognise that this is a multi-purpose balm/cream in a vintage style metal tube. I often feel that this product is marketed as a hand cream, but I find it too rich for that. Skin Food is perfect for super dry skin, as a foot balm - and I sometimes find that it is good for spots that need healing - the thick cream and alcohol seem to sterilise and cure them. I love the scent - it's a slightly medicinal citrus fragrance.
2. Burt's Bees Beewax Lip Balm £3.99 for 4.25g
Worth the hype? No. I actually really like the classic Burt's Bees Beeswax Lip Balm. It has a sharp peppermint flavour, that makes your lips feel tingly. I tend to pick them up whenever I have Boots points. The packaging is quite iconic, and they have a nostalgic quality for me: I bought them lots when I was a teenager and in university. But they are not the best lip balm on the organic natural market. Not by a long shot. Try Hurraw for beautifully scented vegan lip balms, Melvita for pretty beeswax balms in pots with a matte finish, or Bloom Remedies for British beeswax balms in flavours such as caramel and strawberry. Burt's aren't awful, they're just not the best.
3. Pai Rosehip BioRegenerate Oil £22.00 for 30ml
Worth the hype? A thousand times yes. If you have scarring from old blemishes, this stuff is liquid gold. I could have also put the Trilogy Rosehip Oil in this list, as it's also quite cult, but I chose the Pai version partly because I've been devoted to this stuff for about six years, and partly because this rosehip oil is slightly different - it's a blend of the fruit oil and the seed oil, which means tons more vitamins. This makes my skin look bright, refreshed, and healed. I always reach for it if I'm looking a little spotty or dull. I love the vibrant orange colour (it reminds me of Lucozade, my childhood love) and the scent is divine. It's also more affordable in comparison to a lot of the other face oils on the natural beauty market. I love it.
Worth the hype? Depends. Firstly, can we all take a moment to reflect on how cute this 5ml sample is? I bought this from Naturisimo, because I've never owned a full size version of this moisturiser before. I love it - the texture is initially really thick and balmy, then it sinks beautifully into the skin. The scent is pure crushed rose petals, and the packaging is a minimalist metal tube, like a retro toothpaste tube. The acclaimed makeup artist Lisa Eldrige always keeps a tube of this in her kit, and I can see why. However, skincare is so subjective, I think it's always worth trying a sample first. But this is a new discovery for me, and I am determined to investigate Dr Hauschka skincare further. They also make a Light Rose Day Cream, if you prefer a more delicate texture.
Cream Eye Polishes in Magnetic and Lunar, 'Un' Cover Up in 00.
5. Anything by RMS Beauty.
Worth the hype? Yes and no. For the Cream Eye Polishes, on balance I would say no, unless you have a high tolerance for creasing. The Lip Shines are pretty, but I would go for a quite intense colour, otherwise you just have a subtle (but expensive) tinted lip balm. I can't comment on the Lip2cheek products because I've not tried them (yet) but the highlighters are divine - I actually use the eye polish in Lunar as a highlight - it's more silvery than the Living Luminzer, which I quite like. 'Un' Cover Up is a great concealer - super creamy, great coverage, that can even be blurred out and worn as a tinted moisturiser (provided that you don't react to coconut oil, which is used as a base in all of RMS Beauty's products). The frosted little glass pots make my heart sing, but they're not the most hygenic for makeup application. RMS Beauty is one of the most stylish natural makeup brands, and therefore they are very overhyped. That doesn't mean that the products aren't beautiful, just that it might be worth swatching them in person. If you're based in London, Content Beauty would be a lovely little shop for you to visit and achieve this.
6. Coconut Oil (I love the packaging of this one by Sister & Co).
Worth the hype? No. I know that this is controversial for a green beauty blogger to admit, but I don't spend my life slathered in coconut oil. It has a gorgeous natural scent, and is great for really dry skin, but I find it a little bit too rich for everyday use. It doesn't work in my hair (grease city) and while I can occasionally use it on my face, using it everyday would make me break out. I like it as an ingredient in a deodorant, as a thick, all purpose moisturiser, and it's lovely at giving nails a bit of natural gloss. But my go-to oil is still avocado: I can use it for shaving, on the ends of my hair as a deep conditioning mask, and to remove the makeup as an plant oil cleanser.
Worth the hype? Yes - but only if you need them. Much in the same way as the Weleda Skin Food, Dr Bronners soaps are a proper multi-purpose product. I use them as a handsoap (diluted) mixed in a D.I.Y shaving gel with avocado or olive oil, to handwash delicates, to clean makeup brushes, my boyfriend uses it as a shampoo... However, if you already have affordable and practical options for all of those things, you might not need Dr Bronner and his magic soap - in Britain they can be quite expensive, however, you can sometimes find them for a few pounds cheaper in T K Maxx.
Do these products work for you? Which are your favourite cult classic natural beauty products?
Monday, 25 April 2016
Sunday, 24 April 2016
My Weekend in Pictures: lavender & liquorice tea, a new succulent, and a mini T K Maxx natural beauty haul...
Ended with an eight-hour round train trip (for work) during which I had relied on my new Tazeka aromatherapy blends (especially the lavender infused Peaceful Slumber on the Thursday night).
There hadn't been much opportunity for hot meals, so I'd been surviving on Bounce Energy Balls - my favourite flavours are Coconut & Macademia and Cacao Mint - so I was really happy to have a Charlie Bigham's curry. I also made a homemade rice pudding using pearl barley and brown sugar.
There was a really beautiful flower stall at one of the many train stations I frequented, so I bought a new succulent for our home. Dan named him Fred.
Saturday was a really lazy day. I baked a chocolate tray cake (because I remembered eating these at school) with chocolate icing and tried my new English Tea Shop Calming Blend - I discovered this at T K Maxx a couple of weekends ago. It's Soil Association Certified Organic and is a mix of liquorice, cinnamon and lavender. I love it.
In the evening, I had a long, hot bubble bath, using my Estelle & Thild BioCleanse Exfoliator and Detox Mask, for a sort of at home facial. I adore the scent of these - they remind me of blackberry and cucumber. I mixed my Neal's Yard Aromatic Foaming Bath and a new discovery: the Little Soap Company Pure English Lavender Bubble Bath. There is nothing more soothing than a bubble bath.
Sunday was my sister's last day working for a jewellery shop in Brighton, and she bought me a couple of pieces before she left. I love Rodgers & Rodgers use of colourful stones, and they're handmade in England. I chose a turquoise style pendant for summer, and some chunky cerulian studs. All the pieces above are from Rodgers & Rodgers.
In the afternoon, Dan and I took a little spring time walk to T K Maxx.
I bought an Eco Aroma Lavender Essential Oil, because I get through these like water, and I think the packaging is really pretty. It was £3.99.
I also bought the Organic Surge Deep Cleansing Face Mask - it was £3.99, so was really affordable, and I love trying different face masks. I'll let you know if I like it.
I hope you all had a wonderful weekend.
I know that cynics say that eye cream is essentially just a decent face cream in a tiny, tiny (and therefore expensive) pot.
But I am a twenty seven year old with surprisingly wrinkly eyelids (thanks Dad!) so I'm always willing to give an eye cream a shot.
Living Nature make some wonderful skin care (I've raved about their hand cream before).
So, the Living Nature Firming Eye Cream is the sort of cream that you immediately feel tightening around your eyes, which is strangely pleasant. After using it for a couple of weeks, I did feel that my laughter lines were slightly smoother - although the difference was subtle. Perhaps I should stop laughing. My Mum tried it and loved the tightening affect too.
There's tons of New Zealand sourced good stuff in here: Manuka honey (which smooths skin and has antimicrobial properties) and Harakeke flax gel gives skin a plumper look, and cools redness.
It's quite expensive, and I would be slightly daunted at the prospect of repurchasing this again (I tend to spend most on moisturiser, then a good plant based oil, then a cleansing milk). However, you only need a teeny tiny amount, so it would last for ages. And if you wanted to try this eye cream, I can share a 20% discount code with you: just type in WILDORGANIC at Botanical Brands. Be quick: the code expires April 30th.
Full ingredients: water, an emulsifier derived from Olive Oil, emollient derived from coconut oil, vegetable glycerin, meadowfoam seed oil, jojoba seed oil, vegetable squalane, glucose, sclerotium gum, pequi fruit oil, carrot extract, larch tree gum, manuka honey, NZ flax gel, glucose oxidase, lactoperoxidase and vitamin E.
Monday, 18 April 2016
We're thoroughly spoilt for simple natural and organic soaps, aren't we? How can conventional beauty brands compete with the simplicity of rose geranium, lavender or bergamot? Or creamy natural shea or cocoa butter?
Well, you haven't tried organic soap until you've tried Savon Stories. If Dr Bronner's is the Gap of the the soap world: safe, reliable, distinctive, then Savon Stories is the Prada: luxury, beauty and heritage in a glass bottle.
Firstly the packaging is so beautiful that you want to hoard it for the guest bathroom that you will never have. Their cold pressed soaps and argan oil come in weighted glass bottles (what is it about heavy glass that just feels so expensive and wonderful?) which are decorated with wallpaper worthy blooms. The texture is silky and very gentle - no harsh stripping or foaming here. But the fragrance... I tried the Mandarin and Geranium scent, but it was unlike any other version of that scent I'd encountered before: tangy, and deeply floral - almost masculine - that remained slightly after you'd washed, like a perfume. I know that this is a little unseasonal, but it would be perfect at Christmas.
If you love organic argan oil, then Savon Stories should be your first port of call. You can purchase either unscented or scented versions of this rich, luscious oil, but personally, I'd always swap the bitter nuttiness for the scented: I tried the Soothing version, with clary sage and neroli, and it genuinely makes me want to collapse into a hot bath and then bed - it's so calming. This is a beautiful quality cold pressed oil - it's like velvet on the skin - perfect for summery limbs, as a moisturiser or as a leave in conditioner for your hair.
Savon Stories are a British, handmade brand, their beautifully packaged soaps and oils are cold pressed, with minimals, organic ingredients. And the scents are just transcendent. I can't recommend them highly enough.
I've also written a post on their bar soaps and raw cacao lotion bar here.